5 Songs I Wish I Could Listen Again For The First Time

Recently, I asked my buddies on Twitter a very intriguing question:

question music

Plenty of my followers and dear rock friends from all over the world responded with various, personally relevant and undoubtedly breathtaking tracks, such as Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven”, Pink Floyd‘s “Comfortably Numb”, AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell” and more. I was so happy to see that many people sharing their stories, feelings and reasons why they would give anything to experience hearing their favorite song for the first time again.

Of course, way before asking my followers, I thought about my personal choices. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, actually. A song you wish to hear for the very first time and experience that “love at first listen” all over again is not necessarily the same as a “favorite” track, though. We all have hundreds and thousands of songs we LOVE but do you actually remember how you felt or what kind of emotions were flying around the air the first team you heard each and one of them? I don’t think so. Just like me, probably most of you guys can remember the first encounters of only a few songs – those special, world-shattering songs that challenged your entire existence and brought so many mind and body reactions, even…The following five masterpieces are such songs for me – song so captivating that make me wish I could go back in time and recall those beautiful first moments with them…the moments that took my breath away and made me think, “oh, that’s a song I will love and listen till the day I die”. I hope you enjoy my list! Feel free to share your thoughts here or on Twitter!


Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)

layla-claptonI have never felt a connection so instant and so strong as the one I had when I first heard those opening riffs. I didn’t know about the long and painful story behind the song and of course, that famous love triangle but I could feel that there’s just so much going on…”Layla” is not just your regular romantic tune; it’s a 7-minute long epic ballad that features two highly impressive parts – a speedy blues-oriented assemble, followed by a gentler piano and side guitar instrumental.  I was young but I could truly understand why “Layla” is referred to as one of the most important songs rock songs of the ‘70s and Eric Clapton’s most outstanding work. For me, it all started with “Layla”; I needed to hear it just once to know that Eric Clapton will become a huge part of my life…Years later, I cannot even imagine my life without his music.


Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Still…You Turn Me On (1973)

emerson-lake-palmer-brain-salad-surgery-1973My progressive rock journey started with ELP and in particular the song “Still…You Turn Me On”. I will always remember how immensely captivated I was by the bizarre, but gorgeous instrumentation, stunning lyrics and of course, Greg Lake’s vocals that just sent me to another dimension. I felt so attracted to this song; my body, my mind instantly reacted and by the time I knew it, I was already listening to their entire discography. ELP opened a new chapter of my life and for that I will always love them.


Boston – More Than A Feeling (1976)

Boston-1“More Than a Feeling” is probably the main reason why Boston and their debut record became one of the most popular rock acts of the late 70s. Each and every second of this song was designed to instantaneously crawl under your skin, inject its blessing and leave you in a state of trance. I wasn’t an exception. This song was never just an opening track to a classic rock record from many many years ago. “More Than A Feeling” turned into my ultimate relaxation outlet and a way for me to experience sweet comfort right from the very second I heard those guitars. I guess Brad Delp’s killer vocals, relentlessly playing with your senses were another reason why this song grabbed me right form the beginning.


Def Leppard – Love Bites (1987)

Def_Leppard_-_Hysteria_(vinyl_version)One of my biggest musical obsessions is hard rock power ballads from the ’80s. Everyone who follows my blog and Twitter knows how passionate I am about the gentler, mellower side of rock music. It all had to start from somewhere, right? Well, for me it started with Def Leppard‘s only one #1 hit single, the most stunning rock ballad of all time – “Love Bites”. The moment I heard that passionate, thrilling, so sensual song I knew two things: 1) I will become a huge Def Leppard fan and I need to listen to every piece of music they released; 2) Power ballads would become my favorite kind of rock songs and I gotta find out more. The fact that I knew these things right after the first listen speaks volumes. Joe Elliott‘s vocals crawled under my skin and the rest is history. Interestingly, every time I play “Love Bites”, it feels like the first time…


Scorpions – Send Me an Angel (1990)

Scorpions - Send me an Angel2There are rock ballads and then there’s Scorpions’ “Send Me an Angel” – a song that brings tears to my eyes every time I play it. I remember my first moments with this track back in the day very distinctively because the sincere, so powerful and expressive vocal delivery of Klaus Meine left me speechless. I played that song over and over till I finally learned the lyrics by heart. I couldn’t interpret the words but I just knew how honest they were. I had the chance to witness the song materialize on stage during their 50th anniversary tour and I will never forget that magical experience…


References:
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Remembering Greg Lake (1947-2016)

greg-lake-65I am writing this publication with tears in my eyes but I really felt like saying a little something to the person whose voice and music brought me so much comfort and joy when I really needed them. Greg Lake passed away on the 8th of December 2016 (age 69) after he lost a long battle with cancer. He was the frontman of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer – two bands that defined progressive rock and completely changed the course of music history with their extraordinary musicianship, experimentation with hard rock and symphonic elements, profound lyrics and never-seen before technicality. Two unbelievably talented bands, both led by Greg Lake – one of the most emotionally-fueled voices of rock music; a voice that always found a way to touch people’s souls and make them fly. I cannot believe we lost him…

My progressive rock journey started with ELP and in particular the song “Still…You Turn Me On”. I will always remember how immensely captivated I was by the bizarre, but gorgeous instrumentation, stunning lyrics and of course, Greg’s vocals that just sent me to another dimension. I felt so attracted to this song; my body, my mind instantly reacted and by the time I knew it, I was already listening to their entire discography. ELP opened a new chapter of my life and for that I will always love them. “Brain Salad Surgery”, “Trilogy”, “Pictures at an Exhibition” – all albums that showed me the true depth of music. One reason why I connected so much with the band was of course Greg Lake. His tender, calming voice was there to help me fall asleep while I was going through some tough times and couldn’t even close my eyes; his music guided me through the dark roads of despair and stress. They say that music helps the pain fade; for me, it was the music of ELP, fronted by Greg that helped me fight my demons and made me feel alive again.

After ELP, I moved on to the debut album of King Crimson “In the Court of the Crimson King” which many people refer to as “the birth of progressive rock”. In songs such as “Epitaph”, Greg perfectly demonstrates how immensely talented he is. I could listen to that song for ages and never get tired of hearing his mind-altering delicate voice. Just listen to his isolated vocals – that’s the kind of experience you will never get from music, being released nowadays. Greg Lake delivered sadness, comfort, happiness, sorrow…the whole rainbow of emotions trough his singing and believe me, for that he will always be appraised and loved.

Keith Emerson died earlier in 2016 and now we lost Greg Lake in the last month of 2016. Carl Palmer remains the third and final member of ELP to be alive. I am still in shock and refuse to believe that one of my favorite bands is down to its final piece. 2016 took so many lives and in my book it’s simply going to be remembered as “the year music died”.

No one is ever prepared and the loss is huge but I am glad that the world was able to witness his musical creativity, passion and vision. Greg Lake will be remembered as a first-class producer with a heavenly voice and an unforgettable approach to music. I will remember him as the artist who lovingly brought harmony and peace in my life. Thank you so much for your music! Rest in peace, my love….


P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Want to Get Drunk on Progressive Rock? Listen to These 5 Albums:

One of my greatest musical passions is progressive rock. There is just something so magical and immensely captivating in mixing rock with elements of classical music, all wrapped up under layers of complex instrumentation, life-changing lyrics, intense experimentation and supreme technicality. Not to mention the groundbreaking album artworks those beautiful compositions come with. The origins of progressive rock are quite debatable – many people, including myself, believe that it all started in the late 60s as a logical advancement of psychedelic rock. It’s important to mention the significance of albums like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles which is credited by many critics as the album where the idea of progressive rock began. It wasn’t until the ‘70s when prog rock found its way to the hearts of the general audience. Albums like “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) by Pink Floyd completely transformed the notion that this type of music is very difficult to enjoy. For the rest of the decade, prog rock was a predominant force on the worldwide music scene, especially among British audiences. Rock acts like YES, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Frank Zappa and many more are notable names in the genre.

My gigantic adoration for progressive rock grew out of a couple of albums which till today remain my ultimate soul-feeding musical pieces. The following albums are definitely part of the list. Not only that, but each of them has its own unique place in the history of progressive rock and music in general. If you are not so familiar with the genre and are looking for the start, look no further – these five records are surely going to provide you with the ultimate progressive rock experience. Noticeably, I haven’t included the earth-shattering prog rock titles like “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd because I wanted to demonstrate a little bit of variety and give the green light to other equally essential records. Also, Pink Floyd are a completely different monster.
Please enjoy my selection and I hope those albums can bring you at least a little bit of the comfort they bring me.


King Crimson – In The Court of the Crimson King (1969)

king-crimson-in-the-court-of-the-crimson-king-1969This might be a bit heavy for some listeners who are not accustomed to the sound of progressive rock but bottom line is – every conversation about progressive rock should begin and end with this album! Historically relevant, highly experimental, critically acclaimed and seen by many as the birthplace of progressive rock – meet King Crimson’s 1969 debut album “In The Court of Crimson King”. Personally, I see is as one of the most impactful forces in the history of rock in general. Where do we even begin with this album? Jazz, blues, classical influences, psychedelic rock elements, mind-blowing lyrics, questioning your entire existence. “In The Court of Crimson King” is THE progressive rock album! The monumental artwork is another reason behind the album’s significance – just look at it! That is how you will react when you listen to King Crimson for the first time!


Yes – Fragile (1971)

Yes - Fragile - Roger DeanIf you want to experience progressive rock at its fines, YES’ “Fragile” (1971) is another album you should devote your time to. “Roundabout” is YES’ ultimate classic and one of the reasons behind the commercialization of progressive rock. People were, and still are, simply in love with the elegant guitars of Steve Howe, accompanied by mindblowing organs, stunning keyboards, mind-altering drums and of course Jon Anderson’s a-list vocals. This whole record is a fantasy coming alive. It became a rock staple and influenced generations of musicians.


Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973)

emerson-lake-palmer-brain-salad-surgery-1973And ladies and gentleman the album that changed my life – Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Brain Salad Surgery” (1973). This record is like a door to a new colorful world, a world in which there are no limitations to what your body and soul can experience. I can’t even begin describing why this album is such a huge masterpiece. “Still. . . You Turn Me On”,“Toccata”,“Karn Evil 9” – all sending you on a mind-altering journey after which you feel like a different person. The trio is simply phenomenal – Keith is running through the keyboard with unimaginable precision; Carl is the king of the drums and Greg’s impactful but gentle vocal delivery is releasing you from every little trace of stress and negativity. That’s just how it affects me…


Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick (1972)

jethro-tull-thick-as-a-brick-1972Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” is just one 44-minute song which really does it for me. Concept, parodies and tricks aside, I do really enjoy diving into the atmosphere of this musical treasure from time to time. You click on “play” and for the next 40 minutes you have the perfect background to your work. I feel like this type of music synchronizes quite well with your work tempo and gives you that extra push! (Or maybe It’s just me). It’s a beautiful piece of progressive rock and musically speaking it is the whole package, not to mention the dozens of instruments we get to enjoy throughout this tune – trumpet, saxophone, timpani, violin and so much more.


Rush – Moving Pictures (1981)

rush-moving-pictures-1981Another album you have to listen to if you are into “progressive rock mood” would be Rush’s “Moving Pictures” (1981). Both critically and commercially acclaimed this is one of the albums that truly deserve a spot on your shelf and in your heart. I included it as a part of my selection because despite coming out relatively late, compared to other progressive rock jewels, it did manage to leave a lasting trail of classic prog rockers and radio staplers. It’s a perfect combination between hard rock, adopting a lot of experimental techniques and state of the art technologies to craft the perfect sound. It’s accessible progressive rock at its finest; a natural evolution of a genre!


 

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Rock Legends Who Deserve to be Inducted in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame Right Now!!!

I have very strong opinions towards this “institution” called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I have always been one of those people who cannot stop criticizing and being mad at their rather shady and unrealistic nomination process. Let’s face it – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an absolute joke and it doesn’t really reflect or represent an objective and fair point of view. Not to mention that they include too many artists from all kinds of genres which confuses people and makes them lose their trust in this “institution”. They lost me as a fan and a supporter a long time ago. However, I cannot ignore their inductions because if I do ignore what’s happening, it will bug me and I won’t be able to find my sleep!!! Bottom line is – if you are a top rock act with a career that lasted for more than 30+ years and you sold millions of records, the chance of you being inducted into this “piss stain” is very SLIM! WHY? No one knows… Money? Politics? Basically, all that crap that ruin everything decent in life… The nomination process sucks and they better hope I never find a way to get down there and give them a little rock ‘n’ roll lesson cause apparently they don’t really know what that is….

Anyhow, these are 10 of the most outstanding and timeless rock legends who guess what… are NOT INDUCTED in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Let’s talk a little bit about their accomplishments and careers and try to figure out who in their right mind decided that THEY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for this “prestigious” recognition! I swear, I’m losing it… Let’s just hope that they will be inducted sometime soon. The influence, success and love for those following artists is SO HUGE that they most definitely DESERVE to be there among the other legends of rock music… Let’s check them out!


 

Def Leppard

Def Leppard have been active since the late 70s and never stopped making awesome music. With their Platinum hit records “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, they basically ruled the hard rock scene in the 80s and quickly became one of the best-selling bands in the world. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide and released over 50 timeless classic singles we can’t get enough of. I can’t stop asking myself why are they STILL NOT INDUCTED in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?? Only a few other artists managed to sell over 10 million copies of an original studio album and if this is not a worthy accomplishment I don’t know what is…

def leppard

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden – the absolute pioneers of British Heavy Metal and one of the most influential and successful rock bands ever! They began their journey in the late 70s and so far have released 38 albums which sold more than 90 million copies worldwide!!! Their contributions and achievements are unquestionable and they should be inducted in Rock Hall of Fame RIGHT NOW!

iron-maiden

Judas Priest

Judas Priest – the fathers of metal and one of the most essential bands for the development and success of rock music back in the day. In the 70s, they helped shape thrash and in the 80s they just blew everyone’s minds away with their heavy metal sound and innovations. Up to date, they have sold more than 45 million records worldwide and influenced the majority of rock artists with their unique style, image and music. Induct them NOW, please!

judas priest 2

Journey (2017 Inductees)

Journey! A band that went through a lot of line-up changes but became one of the most commercially successful rock acts of the 80s. They have 18 top 40 singles and a number of unforgettable tunes we love with all our hearts – “Open Arms”, “Don’t Stop Believin’” and many more. Journey sold over 48 million records and became one of America’s most beloved bands! Also, we have to talk about Steve Perry and his immense contributions and vocal abilities which became one of the main reasons why they reached such success back in the day! They deserve to be inducted for sure!

journey

Ronnie James Dio

This right here is the biggest mistake of Rock Hall of Fame – not inducting the MOST influential and talented rockstar – Ronnie James Dio. I can never forgive them for that. I don’t really need someone to tell me that he was a legend and a pioneer of rock, but he deserves to be acknowledged and respected for what he did. His name should be alongside the other big names – Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, etc. He fronted Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Elf and Heaven & Hell and sold over 47 million albums over the span of his career! It’s time, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – it’s time!!

ronnie james dio

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi were nominated in 2011 but couldn’t make it – I have absolutely no idea why, though! They have the whole package – a long and productive career, amazing and charismatic frontman, timeless classic rock hits, sold over 100 million records worldwide and keep on releasing awesome music! Come on, Rock Hall of Fame – it’s now or never!

20130204_Bon_Jovi_0369.jpg

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

ELP – one of the most essential progressive rock supergroup which completely re-defined the music scene. Formed back in the 70s, these phenomenal artists were destined for success. By combining unique elements of classical music, jazz, symphonic rock and excessive use of Hammond organ, they crafted a sound that was never heard of or will ever be heard again! Such influential bands should be inducted in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – no second opinion about it.

emerson lake and palmer

Electric Light Orchestra (2017 Inductees)

Sometimes it really makes me mad when people just forget about the influence and success of this awesome rock band. Formed back in the 1970s, they have also crafted a unique sound, combining elements of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography. Not to mention that they have 27 top 40 hits and an outstanding leader in the face of Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne who also by the way co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys and is the only one of them who is not included…Such a SHAME!

Photo of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Dire Straits

Dire Straits – a band everyone loves listening to! They became hugely successful in the 80s with their distinctive sound, drawing influences from jazz, folk and blues music. Their biggest triumph was undoubtedly the ultimate “Brothers in Arms” which became the first album to cell million copies on CDs. Not to mention the tons of music awards they received throughout their career… Bottom line is, Dire Straits are awesome and they should be inducted!

dire straits 3

Motorhead

Motörhead are undoubtedly the pioneers of speed and thrash metal. Formed back in 1975, the influence of this band goes above and beyond any other heavy metal band. By mixing elements of punk and metal, the mastermind of the band – Lemmy, crafted a sound that still sounds as awesome as ever! The band has sold more than 30 million records worldwide and becoming the number one influence of bands such as Metallica, Motörhead have earned their rightful place in the Rock Hall of Fame… RIP, Lemmy!

motorhead


 

There are plenty more….

[PLAYLIST] My Good Morning Classic Rock Mixtape

Good Morning, everyone!

tumblr_n4ucrsJtso1rslcoko1_500

I don’t know which side of the world you live in, but for me it’s time to rise and shine and marry the day! Like many other rock fans out there, I can’t really imagine waking up and start preparing for the day, without listening to some rock ‘n’ roll tunes as a background. However, mornings can be pretty tough – we are still too sleepy, still very tired and it takes time for the coffee to start working…So, to some people, including myself, solid hard rock sounds and crazy guitars might not be the best option for your morning…especially if it’s the beginning of the week. Thus, a few years ago, I made the so called “morning playlist” or “morning mixtape”, featuring classic rock tunes which I think are perfect for the early start of your day. I love collecting songs and making playlists, so I decided to share with you guys, some of the songs you can find on this morning playlist of mine (My personal playlist is too long, so I decided to share just 20 songs from it). They are indeed more soft and melodic than the usual songs I post on the blog, because I just can’t handle the crazy riffs at 6 am in the morning (haha). I hope you guys will enjoy the mixtape I prepared for you and might get some ideas for your own “morning playlist”. It’s a personal selection, combining classic rock songs with no common grounds, except being suitable for your busy and tiring mornings ( of course, based on my opinion only). Let’s play!


 

Eagles – I Can’t Tell You Why ( 1979 )

 

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight ( 1977 )

 

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven ( 1971 )

 

Whitesnake – Don’t Fade Away ( 1997 )

 

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Lucky Man

 

The Alan Parsons Project – Some Other Time ( 1977 )

 

Skid Row – I Remember You ( 1989 )

 

Fleetwood Mac – Over My Head ( 1975 )

 

Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly ( 1987 )

 

Eagles – Tequila Sunrise ( 1973 )

 

Def Leppard – Unbelievable ( 2002 )

 

Dire Staits – Lady Writer ( 1979 )

 

Foreigner – Waiting For a Girl Like You
( 1981 )

 

Chicago – You’re the Inspiration ( 1984 )

 

Bad English – Time Stood Still ( 1991 )

 

John Lennon – Woman ( 1981 )

 

Queen – Somebody to Love ( 1976 )

 

Survivor – You Know Who You Are ( 1993 )

 

Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure
( 1982 )

 

The Police – Every Breath You Take ( 1983 )

 


 

The Very Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Keith Emerson – the keyboardist of the progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer has died today at the age of 71. It’s only March, but 2016 already took the lives of so many notable and legendary figures of rock music – I don’t really know what to say, except feel sad about it and pay tribute to those artists who made such a huge difference…

Emerson, Lake and Palmer are probably the first progressive rock supergroup, formed back in the 70s. With their distinctive approach, sustainability, innovation and if I may say rather classical approach to rock music established them as a radio phenomenon and gained them a solid fanbase. Their enormous commercial success opened up the doors to numerous progressive rock bands, such as YES. Progressive rock was never easy to sell to mainstream audiences, however ELP were one of those exceptions as they found a way to gain the love of millions of fans. I don’t consider ELP as one of those progressive rock bands that have a clear cut rock vision or like to stay within the boundaries of safe rock. On the contrary, in comparison to other progressive rock bands, such as YES or Pink Floyd, ELP often choose to go with more classical music adaptations, in combination with jazz and symphonic rock elements. For instance, Keith Emerson was famous for excessive use of the Hammond organ and piano, in addition to the synthesizer.

As a result, their first few albums enjoyed a massive success during the 70s – apparently mixing classical elements with rock music was their recipe for fame. They simply proved that classically-trained musicians can also be rockstars and compete for the arena-scale audiences.

The success of the band is largely credited to Keith Emerson, who was not afraid or worried with what was happening in the industry or how will people respond to their progressive musicianship. “Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz,” says Carl Palmer.

Needless to say, Keith was a keyboard virtuoso and a music genius to whom we owe a lot. As a tribute to him, I decided to dedicate a publication to the super trio and pick up 10 of their most famous and loved songs throughout the years. It’s unfortunate that we lost another great artist but he will always be remembered and respected for his music and contributions. Let us not remember such rock icons only when they leave this world – let’s cherish and appreciate their music throughout eternity …

Trilogy (1972)

 

Lucky Man (1970)

 

From The Beginning (1972)

 

“Karn Evil 9” (1973)

 

Jerusalem (1973)

 

Knife Edge (1970)

 

C’est La Vie (1997)

 

Peter Gunn Theme (1979) [Live]

 

Fanfare for the Common Man (1977)

Still…You Turn Me On (1973)

 

Rest in peace, Keith Emerson!

 

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P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and/or publishers.