Posts Tagged ‘Pink Floyd’

music

Pink Floyd on Spotify – the best of their singles, films and early stuff

By Stefano on June 18th, 2013

Pink_Floyd_Large_1233758930_crop_500x338Of course we all know that See Emily Play is one of the best singles of the 60s and that Dark Side Of The Moon still outsells just about everyone apart from One Direction. And also that Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here are rock classics of the highest order.

But now that the entire Pink Floyd catalogue has landed on Spotify here’s a few of their lesser known gems to get familiar with.

1 Candy And a A Currant Bun – The B side of the band’s first single, which was originally titled Let’s Roll Another One, was for years pretty tricky to track down unless you splurged out on the original vinyl. A massive influence on bands like Paperhead and The Sufis this is Syd Barret at his chirpiest and has an amazing Rick Wright keyboard solo.

2 Apples and Oranges - Pink Floyd’s third single, their first to miss the charts and their last with Syd at the helm.  Apples and Oranges is a flawed masterpiece and in many ways just as good as Arnold Layne and See Emily Play. The odd time changes and nursery rhyme chorus provide more than just a few clues that someone’s mind was starting to fall apart.

3 Let There Be More Light – Long before Can, Neu and their Kraut Rock Motorik beats the Floyd kicked space rock off with this stirring opener to their second ‘transitional’ album Saucerful of Secrets.

4 Cymbaline – One of two standouts from the soundtrack of the film More, this is a dreamy psychedelic ballad with a strong vocal and some stunning guitar courtesy of the new boy Dave Gilmour.

5 The Nile Song – Also from More, this is The Floyd pretending to be Black Sabbath. Better than it sounds.

6 Grantchester Meadows - Roger Waters’ acid folk ballad is one of the highlights of the studio side of Ummagumma. It is a paen to the gorgeous rolling water’s side fields to the east of Cambridge.

7 Summer ’68 – Much of Atom Heart Mother is borderline unlistenable prog rock noodling – IMO, but this psych-ish ballad is almost as good as the amazing psych era it celebrates.

8 Brain Damage – The killer track from Dark Side that often seems to get overlooked in favour of the more obvious stuff like Time and Us and Them. Again this sounds like it could have come from a few years earlier.

9 Hey You – If you are not sure about The Wall, this along with the obvious Comfortably Numb, is the place to start.

10 When The Tigers Broke Free - There is a small bit noisy coterie of fans who believe that The Final Cut is among the Floyd’s best albums. I am not one of them but this dramatic song is always worth a listen.



Gadgets, music

Pink Floyd finally lands on Spotify – Wish You Were Here first

By Stefano on June 14th, 2013

Pink_Floyd_Large_1233758930_crop_500x338There is a small but rather impressive list of bands who haven’t yet made their music available to streaming service Spotify. The Beatles top the list, alongside Led Zep and Oasis. but one band who up until now had resisted making their music available on the service have finally changed their mind.

In a short period of time (hopefully, more on that in moment) Pink Floyd’s entire back catalogue will be available to stream on Spotify. So listeners can revel in Syd Barret’s psychedelic ditties while switching all the lights off and sniffing josticks to Dark Side Of The Moon.

Back in May several Pink Floyd albums landed on the site but were withdrawn quickly. This time round the track Wish You Were here has been added to the service and this cryptic tweet has come from the band.

To unlock the catalogue Wish You Were Here has to be streamed one million times. So come on Spotify users get cracking. So come on Floyd fans hop to it.

Not everyone will be pleased though.



music

The Shadow Kabinet – Nostalgia For The Future review

By Stefano on April 22nd, 2013

Nostalgia_cover

If you have never heard The Shadow Kabinet’s epic album Smiling Worlds Apart I suggest you do it pronto. Especially if you love The Beatles. For with tracks like Tabla Motown (a quirky sitar driven instrumental) Office Life (Lovely Rita style pop) and the title (think Harrison’s droney psych), multi-instrumentalist Steve Somerset, for he is The Shadow Kabinet created a Sgt Pepper in miniature. And very good it is too – Spotify link below.

Now four years on and Somerset is back with the third SK album Nostalgia For The Future. Having made his Fabs’ inspired pop masterpiece Somerset has fast forwarded a decade or so with Nostalgia and many of the tracks sound like they have their roots in the 70s as opposed to the 60s vibe of his earlier albums.

Sure there’s a smidgeon onf psych, especially in the album’s opener – the title track – and its Lennon-esque finale Let It Go, but in between the music’s inspiration hovers somewhere between 73-76.

So you have Dust Descends Into Light – a droney slice of Wish You Were Here era Floyd complete with Gilmour-esque guitar and  Ladder To The Moon, whose jazzy interludes and odd instrumentation recall Peter Frampton. The album’s opening single Angelville even has a whiff of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games about it.

In some respects then Nostalgia doesn’t connect quite as quickly as its predecessor, but give it time. It really gets under your skin and stays there.

Somerset’s songwriting has blossomed too. There are some great off the wall lyrics, such as Have We Got Max On Board which imagines how a world war was temporarily postponed so the world’s inhabitants wouldn’t miss the final of the X-Factor. Or the story of a girl who falls out of her window in Camden in the intriguing Ladder To the Moon.

While the lyrics are often inspired and the arrangements ambitious it is the melodies that carry this excellent album. The title track may be Somerset’s best ever though Honey Glow Afternoon – a gorgeous slice of folk pop – runs it very close.

If you have ever loved Pugwash, XTC, The Orgone Box or any number of McCartney influenced US power poppers then you’ll adore this.

It is available for download here.

 



features, music

Beatles, Led Zep, Pink Floyd. Ten Classic Albums on YouTube (and not Spotify) and how they got there

By Stefano on February 7th, 2013

beatles-pepper-640-80

Over the past year or so there has been a significant trend of full albums showing up on YouTube. There is invariably no video content – just a still of the artist and the music.

The interesting part is that there are now many classic albums on YouTube a good chunk of which aren’t available on Spotify or other streaming services. So for example if you fancy a bit of Pink Floyd you can hear Dark Side Of The Moon on YouTube from one of many different sources. You won’t find it on Spotify though.

Uploading someone else’s music to YouTube is of course totally illegal (as it is with music videos). However it seems that under YouTube regulations the emphasis is on the copyright holder to take action to pull the music down. And it seems that some record labels (coughs, EMI) are turning a bit of a blind eye.

They may even be on some occasions using YouTube’s ContentID system and its revenue opportunities to enable them to collect a little cash from the adverts that precede the music.

Some companies are playing even stranger games. You can for example listen to Oasis’s The Masterplan on YouTube on your laptop, but it won’t play back on your mobile or iPad.

So why do record companies do this? Maybe they figure that if you are listening to an album on YouTube you may at some point think I’ll go and buy it.

As for newer artists, well YouTube is a huge community and it can help to break an artist. There is a bit of analogy with radio here. Record labels are very keen to get their band’s singles on say BBC 6 Music, but there is a way bigger audience on YouTube.

With Spotify subscribers can take music offline and listen to it on their smartphones etc with YouTube if you want the music to travel with you then you run the risk of running up huge data costs. So you might as well go and buy it.

Some companies are more aggressive than others at taking content down. I was delighted to see The Velvet Underground’s controversial final album Squeeze on YouTube as it is not available digitally anywhere and the record itself is hard to find. However it got taken down after a while. I guess because the only people who might have bought that album would have been trawling used record stores for it and the record company wouldn’t make any money from it.

Anyhow here are ten classic albums that are all available on YouTube, and the last time I looked were not on Spotify. Happy listening. I wonder if they will all be still up in three months time?

Finally one quick footnote. I listened to John Lennon’s Imagine album on YouTube and 1, It really is a great album, much better than I remember it. 2, It is like listening to a vinyl record. There’s no easy fast forwarding or skipping tracks and you know what, I kind of like it.

1 Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of the Moon

2 The Beatles – Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band

3 Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

4 AC/DC Highway to Hell

5 Peter Gabriel 3

6 Oasis – The Masterplan

7 Eagles – Best of

8 Wings – Back To the Egg

9 John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band

10 The Zombies – Odyssey and Oracle




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