The Sunday Six

Celebrating music with six random tracks at a time

A Sunday morning (at least in my neck of the woods in lovely central New Jersey, U.S.A.) means another Sunday Six is in store. I’m also introducing a new technical feature. Alternatively, you could call it catching up with 21st century technology: Embedded Spotify playlists. Admittedly, I shamefully stole the idea from fellow bloggers like Music Enthusiast, Aphoristic Album Reviews and Eclectic Music Lover, who have been using embedded Spotify playlists forever. With that being said, let’s get to the six random tunes I picked for this installment. Hope you enjoy – and look for the paylist at the end!

Tangerine Dream/Para Guy

I’d like to kick it off with some electronic music, a genre that with a few exceptions like Jean-Michel Jarre and Klaus Schulze I’ve pretty much ignored in the past. That being said, I’ve always liked spacy music. That’s part of the reason Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were and The Dark Side of the Moon are among my all-time favorite albums. This brings me to electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream, founded by Edgar Froese in 1967 in Berlin, Germany. According to their website, the group’s fifth studio album Phaedra from February 1974 became a milestone in electronic music and one of more than 100 studio albums they have released over the past 50-plus years. Para Guy is a from Tangerine Dream’s most recent EP Probe 6-8 that appeared a few weeks ago on November 26. The track is credited to band leader Thorsten Quaeschning, co-members Hoshiko Yamane and Paul Frick, as well as Froese who passed away in January 2015. Another current member of Tangerine Dream’s current line-up, which has been in place since Froese’s death, is Ulrich Schnauss.

Bob Dylan/Ballad of a Thin Man

If you asked me about my favorite Bob Dylan record, I’d pick Highway 61 Revisited, his sixth studio album from August 1965. Admittedly, the big caveat is my knowledge of Mr. Zimmerman’s catalog continues to have significant gaps. Regardless, I can’t imagine Dylan connoisseurs would argue over an album packed with gems, such as Like a Rolling Stone, Tombstone Blues, Desolation Row and Ballad of a Thin Man. According to Songfacts, While speculation remains rampant as to who “Mr. Jones” is and what exactly this song is supposed to mean, there is no definitive answer at this time. Shockingly, Dylan hasn’t hepled to clarify things. Asked about Mr. Jones at a press conference in 1965, he reportedly said, “I’m not going to tell you his first name. I’d get sued.” When prompted what the man does for a living, Zimmi answered, “He’s a pinboy. He also wears suspenders.” Frankly, I don’t really care much about any deeper meaning here, I just love everything about this tune: Dylan’s cynically sounding voice; the music, especially the keyboard; and the song’s dark feel!

Blind Melon/No Rain

Next let’s turn to the ’90s and a tune I’ve always found cool: No Rain by Blind Melon. The song is from the American rock band’s eponymous debut album that appeared in September 1992. It became their breakthrough single and biggest hit, climbing to no. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100; topping the charts in Canada; reaching no. 8 and no. 15 in Australia and New Zealand, respectively; and charting in various European countries. The tune is credited to all members of the band at the time: Shannon Hoon (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion), Rogers Stevens (lead guitar), Christopher Thorn (rhythm guitar), Brad Smith (bass, backing vocals) and Glen Graham (drums), as well as producer Rick Parashar. Blind Mellon are still around, though they were inactive between 1999 and 2006 and 2008 and 2010. I guess in part this explains their modest catalog, which to date only includes three studio albums, a live record and a few compilations. That said, Blind Mellon have released four singles since 2019. The band’s current members include Stevens, Thorn and Graham, along with Travis Warren (lead vocals, acoustic guitar) and Nathan Towne (bass, backing vocals).

Pete Townshend/Give Blood

While the massive and monotonous drums on Face the Face, the lead single off Pete Townshend’s White City: A Novel, took a few listens before I found them cool, I immediately dug his fourth solo album when it came out in November 1985. I still do and wrote about it here back in February. Give Blood is the album’s excellent opener and also became its second single. Asked about the tune, following is what Townshend said, according to Wikipedia: Give Blood was one of the tracks I didn’t even play on. I brought in Simon Phillips [dums – CMM], Pino Palladino [bass -CMM] and David Gilmour [guitar – CMM] simply because I wanted to see my three favourite musicians of the time playing on something and, in fact, I didn’t have a song for them to work on, and sat down very, very quickly and rifled threw [sic] a box of stuff, said to Dave, “Do one of those kind of ricky-ticky-ricky-ticky things, and I’ll shout ‘Give Blood!’ in the microphone every five minutes and let’s see what happens.” And that’s what happened. Then I constructed the song around what they did.

Boz Scaggs/I’ve Got Your Love

When my streaming music provider served up I’ve Got Your Love by Boz Scaggs the other day, I immediately loved the tune’s soulful feel. Written solely by Scaggs, this song is from Come On Home, a studio album he released in April 1997. Even though Scaggs has put out records since 1965, sadly, the only tunes I can name are his two biggest hits Lowdown and Lido Shuffle, which were both included on his best-selling album Silk Degrees that came out in February 1976. Scaggs, who also played on the first two albums of Steve Miller Band in 1968, apparently remains active to this day. Damn, I’ve Got Your Love is such a great tune – so glad it was brought to me!

Elton John/Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

For the sixth and final tune of this week’s zig-zag music journey, I picked a real classic off my favorite Elton John album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road from October 1973: Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. Borrowing from a previous post I did in December 2020, here’s what I said about the album’s magnificent opener: The first part is an instrumental of music John felt he’d like to be played at his funeral – one wonders a bit in what state of mind he was! It’s followed by Love Lies Bleeding, which Songfacts describes as an angry song about a broken relationship. Had it not been fused together with Funeral, something producer Gus Dudgeon had come up with, I would have included Love Lies Bleeding in my previous post about great Elton John rockers. While due to the total length of over just 11 minutes the track initially wasn’t released as a single, it became a fan favorite and staple of John’s live set lists. It’s easy to understand why!

And here it is…drum roll…Christian’s Music Musings is embracing 21st-century technology…my first embedded Spotify list. Take that Apple Music, despite my brilliant computer skills, I couldn’t figure out how to embed playlists using your platform so I won’t, at least not for playlist embeds!

Sources: Wikipedia; Tangerine Dream website; Songfacts; YouTube

28 thoughts on “The Sunday Six”

  1. great tunes there- the only one not familiar with Tangerine Dream- I’ve heard of them but don’t think I’ve ever HEARD them– that was a good one will have to dig deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hans. Even though they’ve been around for 50-plus years and are considered electronic music pioneers, I’ve mostly known them by name. Their heyday was the ’70s.

      Previously, I had heard their sophomore album “Alpha Centauri” from 1971, which I like. A record that’s oftentimes mentioned is titled “Pheadra” from 1974.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Blind Melon “No Rain”. I remember watching the official video which often rotated on MTV. I had sympathy for the girl on the cover who danced at the begin of the video and I heard the people laughing. It really took me down.
    Shannon Hoon was befriended with Axl Rose (Hoon is pictured on a photo in a booklet of “Use Your Illusion”) and I assume that he doesn’t live anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful playlist, Christian. I love your ambient choice to start out with. Boards of Canada and Brian Eno, not to mention Wendy Carlos are some of my favorite makers of this kind of music. With the Dylan song, fans will probably be poring over his lyrics for untold generations after his passing. I didn’t know the Blind Melon song by name but instantly recognized it and like it. Wonderful to see “Bee Girl” again. Townshend’s song good except for where you’ve already noted. Thank you for the intro to this new-to-me-also Boz tune. He makes it sound easy. I enjoyed listening to the rock opera ending also. I never get tired of that one. Also, Bravo on your spotify playlist! If I can figure out how to do that, one day I will try it also.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Christian, I’ve never used Apple Music, but I do enjoy using Spotify more and more, especially since discovering it plays on my radio through blutooth, including others’ playlists!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Playing others’ playlists sounds like fun. I’ve used iTunes and subsequently Apple Music forever.

        While I’ve had the free version of Spotify for a few years, I’ve rarely used it. Recently, I signed up for a free 3-month trial of the Premium version.

        Leading up to that, I had been noodling around with Apple Music, trying to figure out how to embed playlists in WordPress. Supposedly, there is a way, but I couldn’t get it to work. At some point, I got so frustrated that I said to myself, ‘screw it,’ I’m going to try Spotify.

        Using Spotify to embed playlists in WordPress actually isn’t very complicated. If you’d like, feel free to email me at christian.pflaumer@comcast.net, and I’d be happy to send you step-by-step instructions. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Christian, I’m guessing you saw Aphoristical (Graham’s) playlist that he built with Hans 2021 Song Draft? It’s what I’ve been listening to in the car for awhile now. Such a great playlist. OK I will email you for step-by-step instructions and please understand that technologically I’m a baby 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Tangerine Dream . At one time I had like 50 of their CDs, and then downloaded a whole ton of them, even all those compilations and live albums and remixes and everything. And then I kept listening through most of the 2000s. I haven’t heard the last two or three though. Isn’t the son with them anymore? Jerome Froese? A lot of people only like the earlier 70s stuff, but I like most of the 80s and 90s stuff too. And even later, although it’s kind of hard to remember it at all because there’s so much. I think I have some that I haven’t even listened to yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Frankly, I hardly know anything about Tangerine Dream. Their website doesn’t list his son Jerome as a current member.

      Perhaps he’s still involved behind the scenes. Froese’s widow Bianca Froese-Acquaye runs Eastgate Music & Arts, Tangerine Dream’s current label.

      Like

      1. Klaus Schultz too.. I was really into him about 10 years ago and he also has like over a hundred albums. I had all those real long ones that had six CDs and stuff, with all those tracks that are like an hour long. He put out a lot of stuff. Cyborg and Timewind from the ’70s are a couple of the best albums ever. Then he got real good again in the early 2000s. Virtual Outback I po

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Timewind” was my intro to Schultze. I’ve also listened to some of his “Dark Side of the Moog” albums.

        While I still listen to electronic music relatively rarely, I like some of it, especially when it’s spacey!

        Like

      3. Those two really invented spacey electronic music. At one time that’s even what they called it, space rock or space music. Phaedra and Zeit are the ones that started it all in a big way.

        Like

    1. Sorry, Graham, I love that tune. But I guess if I had had that colleague, I’d probably be tired of it as well. Too much of anything rarely is a good thing!

      I hope this annoying colleague hasn’t completely ruined the “Highway 61 Revisited” album for you – lots of other great stuff on there!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just got back into that Blind Melon song not long ago…it’s a great song that was wore out at that time but now it’s fresh again…
    The one Bob Dylan song I’m worn out on is Lay Lady Lay…I can do without that one…but Ballad of a Thin Man is still good to me…no not good…great.

    Great picks as always man….this is one of my favorite blog posts each week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First off, thanks for the mention Christian. WordPress (which I’m getting to dislike more with each passing month) has a feature in Block Editor for embedding music from different platforms, including Spotify.

    Secondly, like Hans, I’ve heard of Tangerine Dream, however I can’t remember really ever listening to much of their music either. But ‘Para Guy’ is a good song. As for Bob Dylan, while I can acknowledge what a tremendous songwriter he is, as well as his monumental contribution of music over the past 60 years, I’ve never fully appreciated his music nor vocals, and can only listen to him for a short while. Music and vocals are much more important to me than lyrics in the overall scheme of things. I guess I’m a musical philistine…

    I really like Blind Melon’s ‘No Rain’, and ‘Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding’ is my all-time favorite Elton John song. I was a huge Boz Scaggs fan back in the 70s and early 80s, and played ‘Silk Degrees’ nearly to death. I also liked some of his early songs like the beautiful ‘Near You’ from his 1971 album “Moments” and ‘Dinah Flo’, as well as ‘Jo Jo’ and ‘You Can Have Me Anytime’ from his 1980 album “Middle Man”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad I finally figured out Spotify playlist embedding in WordPress. 🙂

      Initially, I tried with Apple Music, the streaming provider I’ve mostly used, but I just couldn’t get it to work. Unlike for Spotify, I noticed Block Editor doesn’t include an explicit embed menu option for Apple Music, so perhaps that explains why it couldn’t embed Apple playlists.

      Liked by 1 person

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