Ode To Joy Day!

This is something different from me. Ode To Joy is actually a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1800, but most people know it as the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the one he wrote when he was totally deaf. It has been performed in multiple ways throughout history, and it’s a piece I absolutely love.

It’s in that vein that I’m doing a video post of different ways the song has been performed. Some are goofy, some are eclectic, and some are outstanding; okay, in my mind they’re all outstanding. Yes folks, it’s the same song over and over, but something amazing with each one.

Let’s start with something funny, Beaker from the Muppets:
 


 
A flash mob performance:
 

 
How about hearing it via 10,000 voices?
 

 
A commercial with David Beckham
 

 
Pete Seegar’s folk music version with English lyrics; love this:
 

 
On a glass harp; amazing:
 

 
Piano variations:
 

 
A techno version; this is kind of extreme lol:
 

 
We started with Beaker, we end with Beaker:
 

 

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My Favorite 5 Songs From The 60’s

Tomorrow I’ll be doing a live presentation and I’m going to be spending today rehearsing and getting ready for that. Since the last post was so long I decided it was time for a shorter and more fun post again. So, following along the lines of other musical posts I’ve done, I decided to share my top 5 favorite songs from the 60’s, which some of you have no recollection from, and the rest might have other songs to highlight instead.

Before that, though, I’d like to share some of my previous posts, in case you’re new to the blog or just missed them:

Top 5 Dylan Songs

Top 10 Favorite Operas

Top 10 Disco Favorites

Top 13 Favorite Singers

Top 19 Favorite Classical Pieces

And now, on with my list, from #5 to #1:

5. Happy Together, The Turtles – I can’t even tell you why I always liked this song. Maybe it was the relatively simple melody. Maybe it was the fairly non-threatening lilt in the way Flo & Eddie (it was 2 guys by the way) sang together. I couldn’t tell you, but it makes my top 5.

4. Daydream Believer, The Monkees – I remember this song for many reasons. One, of course it was on the TV show. Two, it helped close out 4th grade for me, and man, was that a grade that just had to end! I remember a party at school near the end of the school year where this song played a few times and, because of the show, I could sing along with it and it brought comfort to me. Yeah, I missed the love song part of it, but so what. lol

3. Soul Man, Sam & Dave – My mother bought this album when we first came back to the United States from Japan back in 1966 and for the next 20+ years it was the first song she played every single Friday night; yup, you read that correctly. It was the first song on the album, and it was a great one; always made me smile, and still does.

2. Sugar Sugar, The Archies – This was a cartoon and on the cartoon the characters had put together a band. In the 3rd season of the cartoon they released their second album, and the main single from the show was this one, which ended up going all the way to number one.

1. I Want You Back, The Jackson Five – This was the first #1 song of 1970, but it was released in 1969. I’ve told this story before, but the day my dad left for Vietnam the Jackson Five showed up on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time and performed this song, and they and Michael Jackson himself were my favorites from that point on.


 

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Dylan’s 70? My Top 5 Dylan Songs

As I say about blogging, sometimes you get inspiration from reading other people’s blogs and then commenting on them in some fashion. In this case it’s the blog of a local young guy who not only works for the local newspaper, but is a DJ. He has an interesting connection with all types of music, even music that, in my strange opinion, I would never expect him to know; it shows there are some younger people with an appreciation for older music.

Anyway, his name is Geoff Herbert, @deafgeoff to us here because he’s also legally deaf, and his post was titled Chillin’ like a villain: My all-time top 5 Bob Dylan songs, only he had 6 songs instead; kids, can’t count. lol Of course, he has some of these from movies and some of these with other people singing; I can’t roll like that. I’m giving you Dylan, the best of him and, well, him anyway. lol So, here we go, not necessarily in any particular order.

Just Like A Woman

I think this is the first Bob Dylan song I ever heard, from the Blonde on Blonde album, and though he had this really weird voice, there was something about this song that captured my imagination.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

This is the first of two songs in a row from the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It was also in a movie called American Pop, along with the next song. This is one of the most musical songs Dylan ever put out, very catchy tune.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

As I said above, same album and same movie. This was probably one of the best albums he ever put out because I liked almost every single song on it.

Forever Young

Of all things I couldn’t find this one on YouTube, but I find it elsewhere. This song is from the album Planet Waves, and I sang this version of the song at a wedding, believe it or not. It’s not a love song but the bride, the sister of a friend of mine, heard me play it and requested it for her wedding; who was I to say no?


Bob Dylan-Forever Young(from The Last Waltz)

Melody | Myspace Video

Tangled Up In Blue

Well, I guess I did end up putting them in order because this is my favorite Bob Dylan song of all time, and it’s the “newest” song on my list. What a great story this song is, and some of the lyrics are classic, one of the best songs lyrically I’ve ever heard. I have to admit this isn’t my favorite version of this song, but it seems that no one has created a video with the original so it’ll have to do. At least it’s Dylan live.

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Sunday Question – What Is The Last Great Album In Your Opinion?

Man, talk about a tough question for someone like me. Well, it’s not, but when I give my answer you’re going to say “no way”. But I at least have criteria; I wonder if you have the same thing or just go by the last thing you bought that you liked.


by Jem Stone

Ah yes, criteria. Without criteria, you’re just guessing and throwing things out without any meaning. Not having criteria allows you to say “Ooh, I love Lady Gaga because she did a song called Allesandro” without listening to anything else she might have done. Not having criteria allows you to say “Man, I hate Aretha Franklin” while you’re walking around the house singing “Respect.”

I have criteria that disallows things. Let’s take a look:

1. Classical albums of existing music don’t count. Sure, I love Rachmaninoff and Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, but if a monkey had enough talent to play that music and I bought it I would probably love it, and it would be a great album, but it’s not new music. So, that has to be thrown out.

2. Show tunes and movie music doesn’t count. Both are scripted to enhance a movie and to have flow throughout a full performance. I love both Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, but I have to ask if I’d have enjoyed both albums without their being a show to follow along with. I’m thinking that without the show I’d have never even given the music a shot, so they get excluded.

3. A great album doesn’t necessarily have to have a great hit, but whether it does or doesn’t, you have to like at least 75% of the music on it. We don’t have sides of an album anymore, but if you find yourself skipping songs you don’t want to hear, then it’s probably not a great album, just a pretty good album with a few songs you absolutely love. If that’s the best you can come up with for a great album then your criteria has a grading curve to it; don’t settle!

4. If this doesn’t start giving it away, if you folks know me, then nothing will. Your favorite album will most probably correspond with your favorite artist or artists. Man, I have a lot of great albums in my repertoire. There are so many that I loved either every song or almost every song, to the point that I’ll even listen to the not very good songs because if I didn’t I’d feel like I was taking away from the entire experience of the album.

My problem is that all the great albums (and yes, I still call them “albums” instead of CDs) are from when I was younger. Not necessarily my 20’s, but I have to face the fact that when I want to listen to certain things over and over, I go back to older songs. Sure, there are some newer songs I like, and I’ve even bought an album or two over the last bunch of years. But if I tell you that the last thing I bought was Mariah Carey’s Emancipation of Mimi, which came out in 2005… yeah, you know my collection of music is kind of old. lol

So, for me, the last, or newest I guess I’ll say, great album was… Dangerous by Michael Jackson. I almost said HIStory, but the first CD was a collection of old hits I loved and I didn’t make my 75% quota on the second album. Dangerous came out in 1991; isn’t that a shame? But off that album of 14 songs I loved 12 of them, which is 86%. And 9 songs, count ’em, 9 were released as singles from that album; who else has had that many songs stand on their own from one album except… oh yeah, Michael Jackson & the Beatles? 😉

Heck, let’s end with one of those songs; what album was your last greatest?

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Sunday Question – Who’s Your Favorite Musical Entertainer Of All Time?

This is either one of the easiest or hardest Sunday questions I’ve ever asked. I say that because, for me, there’s no content, and readers of this blog know my response already, and probably why.

Michael Jackson is my favorite entertainer of all time. I wrote the reason why on my business blog the day after he passed away. Throughout my life he just seemed to always be there when I needed a boost, and even now I can always think of a Michael Jackson song whenever I need something to help me think things through.

It’s amazing how music can touch all of our lives. I’m not sure that everyone knows when they started liking a particular musician or what song they might have heard that sparked something in themselves that they’d never ever want to give up. I know that I had heard many other songs beforehand that I liked, but wasn’t really tied into the musician.

For instance, I loved the song Daydream Believer by the Monkees, but I wasn’t a Monkees fan as far as the band was considered, though I watched the TV show. The same goes for Sugar Sugar by the Archies; loved that song, but it was a cartoon band after all. I didn’t learn until 10 years later that an actual band was traveling around in the early 70’s playing the music from that cartoon.

Anyway, that’s the question of the day. It’s not who your first musician entertainer was that you liked; it’s who your favorite is. Let’s see how you answer this one. And by the way, in lieu of an image, I share the “latest” song and video from Michael Jackson called Hold My Hand; I wonder how many of these will come out as the years go by.

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