Trouble In Shangri-la - Stevie Nicks
After the 3-CD Special edition boxed set "The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks," was released in 1998, it would take another three years before Stevie compiled old and new material with the release of the new solo album, "Trouble In Shangri-La." And what an album this is! Whereas "Street Angel," dealt with ... Stevie suffering from the effects of a weight loss drug, Klonopin, this album was written when Stevie was coming out of that time in her life and started work on this album in 1994 and 1995. Throughout the years Stevie developed a friendship with Sheryl Crow before "Trouble in Shangri-La," was finally released in 2001. This album brings Stevie Nicks back from the ashes and was co-produced by Sheryl Crow, of whom Stevie and Sheryl worked together on a live album where Sheryl had invited Stevie to sing "Gold Dust Woman," live on stage.
Trouble in Shangri-La features mostly all songs written by Stevie although there are some additional contributions from other artists such as David Kahne, Rick Nowels, Pierre Marchand, and Jeff Trott. Artists Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks, who had previously covered "Landslide") Sarah McLachlan, and Macy Gray contribute vocals to some of the tracks. There are some songs on this album which should have been added to Fleetwood Mac's albums such as "Rumours," as well as some early Buckingham Nicks songs that for many years have circulated on You Tube in demo format until now.
The album has been recorded with an almost continuous feeling with very few gaps in between all 13 songs. The CD inlay booklet is awash with a golden brown and beige/gold colour, printed on recycled paper with a beautiful tactile feel. Photos of the singer and her backing vocalists have as usual been included, as well as a photo of the main producers on the album alongside Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks in sepia colour photos. All in all, it's a much better effort that feels both well executed than previous albums and lifts the expectation to the listener by the very inclusion of the artsy feel that the CD inlay booklet gives, alone. Lyrics are also included.
Current 2013 prices range from £4-99 for the CD album to £5-99 for Mp3 download from Amazon UK. iTunes charge £7-99.
Track Listings & External Links
All the following songs are as followed in order as they appear on the album. External samples for this whole album can be found here:
1) Trouble in Shangri-La
This is one of my favourite songs of the album, even if it is the title-track of the album, it has a fantastic "back from the dead" kind of a feeling, helped along by Indian percussion instruments, plenty of synths and acoustic guitars. All the while this song has more airy-fairy lyrics than you can wish for as well as some rather simple lines, even though from the very start it is clear that the song is about a story, about a man and a woman and a troubled love affair.
What makes this song appealing is the veritable platter of sounds that it gives from the fade in of static like guitar chords to the moment after 25 seconds or so with this short intro when the verse stars with Stevie painting the story as she goes along. Here you don't have to read the lyrics to know what route this song is going to take. The chorus is awash with beautiful harmonies that make Stevie Nicks famous for both her style of music and her voice. Although the song doesn't sound that old (it was written in 1996) and co-produced with John Shanks, it has a real mix of Indian percussion mixed with reverb guitars from electric and interspersing acoustic guitars that, along with the depth of reverb and harmonies, really appeals to me - it gives Stevie a lot more strength in her older years and the mix of synth sounds and guitars really works here, even if some melodies and fragments have intentionally been separated out from stereo channels. This song also has a great bridge section with plenty of harmonies, vocal echoes and a wonderful stereo sound that has been missing from Stevie Nicks from some time, not since 1989's "The Other Side of The Mirror," with keyboard and electronics impresario, Rupert Hine.
After listening to this song a couple of times, it took me some time to get into it, having heard the original demo of this song, which was written in 1970, under the original title "Nomad".
Here, the co-producer Sheryl Crow slows the song down and adds some light country guitars typical of her own music, though not that far away from soft rock music, even though a string quartet plays in between this rather happy song. The instrumentals are lovely to hear, even though there seems to be a trademark of low toms filling out the parts of this song, giving it a "bottomless pit," idea from the way it sounds. As such the bass line is very non-existent and plays along to the lyrics of the song. In this first airing though, Sheryl Crow and Stevie sing harmonies together and they suit each other quite well.
Story wise, Stevie compares a candle and its bright flame to a lover, or perhaps she compares herself to a candle and the way in which the flame shines brightly. The gaps in between the song are obvious in the way the lyrics come in and out, but the song's intention is revealed when Stevie sings at the end of the first verse..."the story has a strange ending."
From one old demo song to another, "Sorcerer," was originally written in 1972 and is given a much heavier feel here, even if there are Fleetwood Mac stylistics fragments here such as the bass drum or hand drum that plays throughout. With trademark tambourine playing off beats and acoustic guitars filling out the sound, the pendulum sound of bass lines mimics a lot of songs from Stevie's first invitation to join Fleetwood Mac and the music from Buckingham Nicks. Here though, it is much more powerful when the song really starts up with the chorus after 1 minute 20 seconds of the song. This song was also a single to promote this album and it seemed to do well in the U.S when it was released. The retro sound coupled with Stevie's repeated chorus and Sheryl's backing vocals are very strong, which is probably why very few keyboards are featured in this song.
Personally I have not been a fan of this song. I just let it pass me by, even though I do love the sounds of traditional drums verses a drum machine and the glinting, clear sounds of the acoustic guitars. The rock country style that Stevie Nicks has forever played out along with her warbling voice and country harmonies almost seems timeless when hearing this song, which makes it far more appealing than the demo ever did. As such, though I was never a fan of this song in general, I do like listening to it from start to finish. It could well be for the fact that the chorus is forever repeated and that the song, for the most part is just very tight and well structured.
4) Planets Of The Universe
Another demo song from the 1970s (1979) and intended to be a song added to "Rumours," by Fleetwood Mac, but like so many songs Stevie offered, this one got rejected - and I bet the band are regretting it now. "Planets of The Universe," reached No. 1 in the dance charts in the U.S followed by a single of several club dance remixes as well as an extended version of this single. I still get goose pimples whenever I hear this song!
Here, though the song may well lack the extra bridge, this song is quite powerful by its lyrics and feeling. Helped by synths, plenty of guitars and a beautifully thick reverb and building enthusiasm, the lyrics are plain to hear and very clear. What makes this song appealing is the simple fact that it is clear Stevie wrote this for Lindsey or perhaps from the basis of an argument. The intent isn't clear until the very end of the song, as Stevie plays out the theme of relationships with metaphors of planets, clashing together, or light and dark, yin and yang. The bridge is beautifully dipped in reverb and echoes that bring Stevie's voice out very well - but more importantly the song has been so well engineered that it isn't hard to tap my feet along to it.
5) Every Day
This is a formulaic song in the way it has been written with a very fast first verse before it dips into the chorus. It is quite simple but yet full of strings, keyboards and guitars. However, it is quite a good song to listen to, again much thanks to the way the instrumentals have been included with a yearning to know chunk of lyrics that pulls the listener in to find out what happens. At times though the lyrics are too simple for Stevie to sing without some reflections of the past and though it sounds like a song that Stevie would write herself, it remains one of the songs on this album that wasn't written by Stevie - and it shows. Before it gets interesting, it seems to peter out too early.
6) Too Far From Texas
This is another favourite song of mine though it is written by Steve Booker and Sandy Stewart. Clearly a country song from the way it starts with country guitars, acoustic, and electric solo lines soaring in and out, the song is a slow rocker with a great duet developed between Stevie Nicks and Natalie Haines from the Dixie Chicks. It even has shades of songs from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in the way the instruments have been picked. The first time I heard this song I wondered when Natalie Haines was going to sing, not realising that she sings backing vocals with Stevie before she sings her own verse. The vocal gloss between the two singers is pitch perfect here and really shows off Stevie's embrace of country music. It also highlights quite closely who Natalie Haines' main vocal inspiration is. This song is almost like "I Know Him So Well," country style!
7) That Made Me Stronger
The story behind this song is that Stevie Nicks went to see Tom Petty to ask for his help to co-produce a song that she had written. He declined telling her that she was a great songwriter - and the meeting became the inspiration for this song. It starts well with thick electric guitars and an incessant beat with tambourine. It also has trademarks of Sheryl Crow with low octave guitar chords and a country like shaker rhythm kit with the odd tambourine thrown in. Possibly added before the main chorus comes in and a distinctly more modern feeling that has been done to link in with Tom Petty's own music in more recent times.
However good the lyrics play out what really happened and some good rhyming lines without feeling to generic, I feel this is probably the poorest song on the album, even if the harmonies are tight. There is something missing from this song that a lot of the others have, possibly a factor that makes me want to listen to all the other songs on this album and not this one. Still, it was nice of Stevie to share her tale with us.
8) It's Only Love
At the stage of this album being released, Sheryl Crow had released her own solo album that also featured this song, "It's Only Love," as this song is another one not written by Stevie, but by Sheryl Crow. Whereas Sheryl's version is far more manufactured, upbeat feel, Stevie brings it down to a camp fire, grab-a-guitar feeling. Far more acoustic and lacking a lot of nuances that have appeared on this album already, there's some lovely keyboard playing by Benmont Tench, keyboardist to Bruce Springsteen's "E-Street" band and having played on some of Stevie's albums previously as well as her first "Bella Donna" live tour. The keyboard part actually has shades of Christine McVie in the keyboard sound on "Oh Daddy," from Fleetwood Mac's album, "Rumours."
Here, this song is beautifully sung and feels much better by Stevie, even though Sheryl does sing harmonies along with Stevie in the chorus. Reading between the lyrics reveals a lot of inspiration from Sheryl, even before the song's chorus comes in. Eventually electric guitars do make an appearance but they're quite gentle alongside the strumming guitars playing both bass and middle parts of the music. I much prefer this drier version to Sheryl's version on her own solo album. A little natural piano lifts the mood but no echoes have been added in Stevie's voice and the feeling is almost like a "live" version that was recorded here.
9) Love Changes
Plenty of synths and a Hawaiian like guitar play out the start of this song with a good medium drumbeat and Stevie singing lightly, unaided before the chorus comes in with harmonies. Although the song plainly dictates another love relationship, "Love Changes," is an unusual song because it lacks a heavy, thumping bass line that pulls the song along. Instead, there are many nuances here that correlate this song to the kind of keyboard-enhanced music of Cyndi Lauper. As such, it is for the keyboard fans of the world, for those who adore a rising chorus line. The problem is, that half the time whilst the song is good, the lyrics seem to dictate the way the song is going, and though some of the lyrics are good, the message gets lost about love very quickly.
10) I Miss You
"I Miss You," brings Rick Nowels back to working with Stevie and it shows that this is one of his little ballads that works so well, even if the song's lyrics are sad. This song is one of my favourites as it could well apply to anyone in my life, as well as the fact that it sounds modern and fits Stevie very well. Short verses and short choruses dictate this song was never going to be a single without some heavy structuring. Surrounded by plenty of keyboards and guitars that have gone on before, swooning backing vocals add some interest, but for all intents and purposes, the song doesn't stand out for being anything but a lovely little song that has a real tale of regret. Could it be about Lindsey? Could it be about Mick Fleetwood? Could it be about a lover that meets Stevie in Paris or London? We are never told, but the song does modulate into a lovely key that pushes Stevie's voice higher but at the detriment of repeating the chorus over and over. At best this is a good song to finish the album but at worst it needs a little more time spent with it to get the full effect.
11) Bombay Sapphires
From one keyboard synth based song that was light to a rather better structured song and now featuring backing vocal talents of Macy Gray. We are never far away when Stevie becomes dreamy and floats away into another world. Here, she is not talking about the drink (and confirmed it in an interview about this album a few years back,) but rather the colours of crystals, reaffirming her "Crystal visions," and crystals that she likes to collect in real life.
Here however, she sings about colours and the metaphors in which they dictate or are like people, or being in love, or other themes. Though she clearly sings about her love, about having to "move on." The song starts well enough with a feeling of something that is about to happen. In the chorus you get it but only with a snap shot of Spanish like solo acoustic guitar playing alongside the song, giving the song a rather natural, but busy feel. All the while, strumming electric guitars and a bumpy bass line plays in between a jarring keyboard sound that highlights the danger of the verses' lyrical content. Never frightening, it just adds to the mysticism of the song and its content. A Bombay sapphire seem to give Stevie luck, or changes the view of the world around her. Quite far out, but then Stevie is an original and plays up to the 1970's love of hippie like crystals!
It is a pity though that Macy Gray only contributes some of her raspy backing vocals. It is easy to miss them.
12) Fall From Grace
Similar to one of my favourite songs from "Street Angel," called "Listen to the Rain," "Fall from Grace," is a fast rocker song. It has so many shades of Tom Petty's jarring guitar sounds and light rock beat that it is hard to believe this song wasn't played by his band, let alone be responsible for the writing of it. But it is all Stevie's music here and it is very hard hitting both by the lyrics and the way the song unfolds in an instant. Powerful, defiant and aided later by echoes and close guitars to the microphone, Stevie lets her voice and angst rip in this song. It wouldn't be the first time and she carries it off so very well. As such I adore this song. It lacks keyboards, it lacks the synth sound that this album has a lot of, bringing Stevie back to hard rock music, to the stuff that she loves. Her voice works well here, even if Sheryl Crow's lighter tones in the backing vocals sit at odds at times. Importantly, even as Stevie gets higher in her voice, she never croaks, she never gives in.
13) Love Is
This is a beautiful song by Stevie Nicks, though Sarah MacLauchlan's producer Pierre Marchand produced it. As a farewell song, it isn't slow and it isn't quiet. Instead, it has beautiful echoes and a light, peppery and haunting voice of Sarah doing backing vocals and cameos in between the verses and bridge of this song. All the while, Sarah's trademark piano chords plays in between that add a lovely gloss to this slow to medium ballad. Stevie sings with just a little echo but she has more of a dry voice here, which lifts up the power of this song. It has plenty of reverb at times that add to the romanticism of the lyrics, even though if it is clearly sad by the way the lyrics have been written.
For me, "Trouble in Shangri-La," is a far better effort than 1994's "Street Angel," with Stevie Nicks being slightly older on this album, though it is hard to tell by the brawn in some of the songs she sings as well as some more hushed moments. Never afraid to go beyond her vocal range or to include demo songs that are now properly engineered to some lovely new songs with other duetting artists, "Trouble In Shangri-La," by Stevie Nicks is a timeless album that deserves to be considered. Featuring a few well-known musicians and a sound that carries on today in Stevie's music, this is one album that deserves to be recognised. It is one of Stevie's finest moments and it was worth waiting for, all those years ago! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2013.
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Thirty Three And 1/3 - George Harrison
GEORGE HARRISON, 1976 In 1976 George Harrison's ten-year contract with EMI Records as a Beatle and then as a soloist expired, and he was free to record for his own independent label Dark Horse, set up two years earlier and distributed by A&M Records. At the same time the 'My Sweet Lord' copyright infringement case came to ... court, the verdict being that he had committed 'unconscious plagiarism' and had to pay heavy damages. While he was recording his next album he fell ill with hepatitis, and as he was unable to deliver the master tapes on time A&M threatened to sue him. The matter was only terminated when he ended his distribution deal with the company and signed a new deal with Warner Brothers Records instead.
The thus-delayed 'Thirty Three & a Third', referring to the speed of the vinyl LP and also his age at the time of recording, was finally released in November 1976. The remastered and repackaged version, with one bonus track, which I am reviewing, was issued in 2004 after Harrison's death as a stand-alone CD, as was much of the rest of his back catalogue, and also as part of 'The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992' boxed set with bonus DVD. On initial release most critics hailed it as something of a return to form after the previous disappointing records which had followed his masterpiece 'All Things Must Pass' six years earlier. It reached No. 11 in the US where his albums had always been eagerly awaited, but only No. 35 in the UK where his faithful fan base had dwindled somewhat.
Things begin well with one of the strongest tracks, 'Woman Don't You Cry For Me'. Mostly written during the Beatles' latter days while he was touring with Delaney & Bonnie and Eric Clapton, and intended for 'All Things Must Pass' but not finished in time, it was the first instance of his writing a song based around bottleneck or slide guitar which he was just starting to play. As well as his slide, the funky bass and drums are a treat on this song, and it's amusing to think that if some smart disco remix producer had got their hands on it (something he probably would not have wanted), it might have gone down a storm with the generation who were buying Bee Gees singles by the shedload at that time.
Next it's the gentle, melodic George Harrison that we always knew and loved. 'Dear One' is introduced by some lovely organ chords and acoustic guitar as well as attractive keyboard work, and a lovely hook in the chorus, when the bass and drums join in. In much the same vein is track three, 'Beautiful Girl', also started and intended for 'ATMP' but only completed several years later. Good as these songs are, the mood is pretty similar, and it might have been a better idea if they had not been placed back to back in the running order.
Following that, 'This Song' was the first track to be issued as a single (No. 25 US). This is undoubtedly the most poppy, bouncy song of the lot, and certainly the most radio-friendly. The words 'Hit Single' are metaphorically written all over it. Billy Preston's piano and organ lead the backing, plus some lively saxophone from Tom Scott, and towards the end a great guitar solo from the man himself. Lyrically it's a wry comment on the plagiarism court case, riddled with humour and puns:
This song has nothing Bright about it, This tune ain't bad or good and come ever what may, My expert tells me it's OK,
As this song came to me, quite unknowingly, this song could be 'You' could be...
Bright Tunes was the music publishing company alleging breach of copyright, and 'You' was George's previous hit single the previous year. There's also a spoken interjection from Eric Idle of the Monty Python team:
'Could be 'Sugar Pie Honey Bunch'
'No! Sounds more like 'Rescue Me''
Listen carefully and you'll hear that the bass figure in both those 60s pop classics is the same as the bass between verses in 'This Song'. Crafty or what? In interviews, he said that it was also partly inspired by his paranoia when it came to writing songs after the case. How did he know that he would not be subconsciously ripping off somebody else's work? As they say, 'where there's a hit, there's a writ'. However, had it not been completely ignored by Radio 1 at the time, it could have been a fair-sized hit in Britain as well. (You could dance to it). It's ironic that Paul McCartney and Wings' nice but lightweight 1976 singles 'Silly Love Songs' and 'Let 'em in' both became radio favourites and both reached No. 2, while all three singles from George's album (we'll come to the other two later) went by unnoticed. Hang your heads in shame, BBC Radio.
The pace slows after that for 'See Yourself', a slower, wistful number with something of the other-worldly feel of John Lennon's 'No. 9 Dream', and gentle guitars and keyboards supporting it well but unobtrusively. The lyrics had been inspired by George and John's taking of LSD about ten years earlier, and the fact that Paul did not do so till a year or two later, at which point the press made a huge story out of it. As he sings at the start:
'It's easier to tell a lie than it is to tell the truth'.
The second and third unsuccessful British singles follow. 'It's What You Value' is a thoughtful lyric on the personal price of material possessions:
'It's all up to what you value, in your motor car, It all rests on what it's cost you, getting where you are.'
Musically it's got an almost jazzy hook, played on guitar and sax. The first few times I heard it, it sounded rather dull, but it grew on me after that. Then comes the only song here not written by George, Cole Porter's 'True Love'. I have mixed feelings about George singing old easy listening standards, but at the same time I can't resist that glorious wall of sound created by organ and that distinctive slide guitar, soaked in plenty of echo. George does take a few interesting liberties with the melody line, but this arrangement is much more imaginative than the reverential but rather dull retread by Elton John & Kiki Dee which almost topped the charts in 1993.
However, I still can't raise much enthusiasm about 'Pure Smokey'. Written as a tribute to Smokey Robinson, to use an old cliché, this is definitely late night listening. With its soft electric piano and organ, almost like MOR jazz, in style it's rather like such records as Earth Wind & Fire's 'After The Love Has Gone'. It's pleasant enough, but frankly I find it rather dull.
However, things pick up with the more lively 'Crackerbox Palace'. Written about the cult alternative American comedian Lord Buckley (1906-60) and inspired by a visit to his house, the slightly surreal lyrics are set to an almost reggae beat, with guitar and horns leading the way. It was another American single, and after 'This Song', this is probably the most instant-sounding track.
'Learning How To Love You' is another tasteful smooch-type number, with those velvety electric piano chords and minor keys throughout. More relaxed late night listening, in fact. George was inspired to write it for Herb Alpert after hearing him sing 'This Guy's In Love With You', and had Herb recorded it, it would probably have sounded about right. However while there's no harm in trying to write songs that might have equally have come from Burt Bacharach and Hal David, for me it's not really what George does (or did) best.
The final number is an outtake from a 1980 recording session, not used on the original release. 'Tears Of The World', has a tasteful guitar and brass intro and strong bass, with lyrics railing against warmongers who terrorise us all, big business calling the tune. Nothing ever changes, I suppose. It's another of those songs which takes a while to grow on you.
Don't forget that the sometimes rather earnest Hare Krishna ex-Beatle was also the ex-Beatle who left his mark on British movie history by becoming an honorary member of the Monty Python team (and the one who actively participated in the Beatles spoof 'The Rutles'). If you want to see him clowning it up as a baby being pushed around the gardens of a stately home in a pram by Neil Innes in drag as a Victorian nanny, or watch him as an Edwardian gent on the river, or as a defendant causing havoc in the courtroom, have a look at the clips on YouTube. The latter is probably one of the funniest music videos ever, at least of its era. Watch them and you'll never think of him as dull and earnest again.
The twelve-page booklet contains personnel credits, photos taken of some of the musicians (and a group consisting of garden gnomes, George and his father) taken at his home at Friar Park, the lyrics, plus his notes and thoughts on several of the songs.
There's no hard and fast opinion about George's music. Some fans find this album rather lightweight, others love it but much prefer the more mellow songs. Personally I think at least three tracks are excellent, two rather forgettable, and the most pretty good. But for me he was always the most interesting ex-Beatle, and on balance, some of his material was really top form. For that I can forgive him a certain amount of the so-so stuff. The first couple of times I heard it, it didn't quite click with me. After all, it's not packed with potential Top 10 singalong fare. As with most of his records, I find that that quiet, understated charm comes through after a few listens.
If you count yourself a George Harrison fan but don't know this album, I think you'll find it well worth your while. Just give it a little time and don't expect it to grab you at once.
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Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
**Introduction** Pink Floyd are one of the most expansive and diverse bands in the History of Music. The duo of David Gilmour and Roger Waters wrote some of the most well known songs around and along with Nick Mason and Richard Wright they carved out a signature sound that was both experimental and filled with great ... musicianship. Despite strife and in fighting the band managed to record twelve albums with founder member Roger Waters still there. In 1987 they released the album "A momentary lapse of reason" which was the first without Waters after he decided to quit not expecting his band mates to carry on without him, This caused a big legal battle.
**Wish You Were Here**
Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album from Pink Floyd and one of their most memorable for various reasons. It was released on 12th September 1975, having been recorded in January of that year at Abbey Road Studios. The album only features five tracks but the long "Shine on you crazy diamond" acts as a bookend for the album as parts 1-5 open the album and 6-9 close the album. What is between them is the title track and two other cuts which are Rogers' tirades about certain people in the music industry. The album featured saxophone from Dick Parry, additional lead vocals from Roy Harper and backing vocals from Venetta Fields and Carlena Williams as well as violin from an uncredited Stéphane Grappelli.
1.) Shine on you crazy diamond 1-5
This is without a doubt one of the most sensational tracks from Pink Floyd, It's the tribute to Syd Barrett who went mad after using too much acid. I was not particularly a fan of Barrett era Floyd but this touching tribute is just superb. Roger Waters takes on lead vocals and the track began with four chords from David Gilmour which he developed into a song with the help of Waters and Wright. Featuring plenty of organ and synthesizer this track takes a while to get going but once it gets going it is a triumph, The opening pulls you in and then the development keeps you sucked in. Gilmour's guitar work on the track is exceptional and really brings the emotion of the song as one of Pink Floyd's more Bluesy tracks. Not only does this track sound great musicianship wise it is also a stunning recording for 1975. As the track develops you get some wonderful music with a lovely Minimoog solo by Wright and ends with some stunning saxophone from Dick Parry but the real star of the show is David Gilmour for his brilliant guitar playing throughout the track. Remember there's 6-9 to come yet.
2.) Welcome to the machine
This is one of two track from the album that were solely written by Roger Waters, The track tells of how the band felt disillusionment with the music industry as a money-making machine rather than a forum of artistic expression. The track heavily features synthesizers and acoustic guitars, as well as a wide and varied range of tape effects. It has a fairly long introduction before it develops with the acoustic guitar and David Gilmour's vocals. It's a contrast from the opening track bit still has some good artistry from the band. There are some sounds which are reminiscent of work on "Dark side of the moon"
3.) Have a Cigar
Another track which takes aim at the ills of the Music Industry. This time Roger Waters sounds off about the hypocrisy and greed within the music business. The vocals are performed by Roy Harper as Waters was struggling with the effect he wanted, He later said he wish he had been able to do the job as he would have done it better. There's a churning riff throughout which is played by Gilmour and Waters on electric guitar and bass. There are also some synthesizer effects and electric piano from Wright which add to the overall sound. Gilmour's solo which comes in at the end is excellent and tops things off well.
4.) Wish you were here
Here we have the title track from the album, It's a lovely ballad which is also about Syd Barrett and his breakdown. The intro is from a twelve string guitar and takes a while to come in, The simple acoustic guitar part develops and Gilmour's vocals come in with an emotive feel, the drums and other instruments come in gently and the song is soon into it's flow. There's an excellent guitar solo from Gilmour which also features some fine scat singing alongside which makes the sound even more gentle. I like the vocal parts from the band which come in for the chorus. There are some really lovely moments on this track.
5.) Shine On You Crazy Diamond 6-9
The track begins with the fade-in of a dense G-minor synthesizer pad and there's the bass guitar from Waters, As the other instruments come in you hear the "Shine On" sound again and as it develops into a more cohesive sound it really shines. Gilmour's guitar work is again extremely impressive on the track and the band produce an excellent sound together. Richard Wright plays the Minimoog and David Gilmour plays lap steel guitar to take the track to a new sound which continues on developing until the next part where things change with the vocals coming back with some excellent electric guitar work which brings the track back to the sound of the opening parts. We're back to the fabulous backing vocals and twangy guitar licks and soaring vocals. Next you hear another guitar played by Waters which fades into the next part which features gentle drumming from Mason and then some bluesy keyboards from Wright which leads into a different sound entirely which has jazzy and bluesy elements. The volume quietens and then the next parts come in to end the track with some lovely sax and simple drums and keyboard which form the backing for the guitar to come in. To end we have some fantastic blues guitar from David Gilmour which tops things off wonderfully.
This is a fabulous album which features a very ambitious idea which is delivered to almost perfection. The three songs which are book ended by "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" parts 1-9 are excellent but the real worth goes to the stupendously good 25 minutes or so of music which forms the musical tribute to a former bandmate who actually turned up at the studio when they were recording parts of the song, They hadn't seen him for two years and barely recognised him as he was bald and had put on a lot of weight. Not only is the song a touching tribute to a good friend it is also a stunning piece of music that is as diverse as it is brilliant. The title track is "Wish you were here" but the real triumph is of course "Shine on you crazy diamond" particularly the first 5 parts which are just stupendously good in my opinion.
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Genre: Rock / Music Album / Artist: Parquet Courts / Import / Audio CD released 2013-01-15 at What's Your Rupture
Genre: Rock / Music Album / Artist: Lifesigns / Audio CD released 2013-01-28 at Esoteric - Disc #1 Tracklisting 1 Lighthouse 2 Telephone 3 Fridge Full Of Stars 4 At The End Of The World 5 Carousel
Genre: Rock / Music Album / Artist: The Virginmarys / Audio CD released 2013-02-04 at Double Cross - Disc #1 Tracklisting 1 Dead Man's Shoes 2 Portrait Of Red 3 Just A Ride 4 Out Of Mind 5 Bang Bang Bang 6 Lost Weekend 7 Running For My Life 8 Dressed To Kill 9 My Little Girl
Genre: Rock - Psychedelic Rock / Music Album / Artist: Unknown Mortal Orchestra / Audio CD released 2013-02-04 at Jagjaguwar - Disc #1 Tracklisting 1 From the Sun 2 Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark) 3 So Good at Being in Trouble 4 One at a Time 5 The Opposite of Afternoon 6 No Need for a L...
Genre: Rock / Music Album / Artist: Daughter / Audio CD released 2013-03-18 at 4AD - Disc #1 Tracklisting 1 Winter 2 Smother 3 Youth 4 Still 5 Lifeforms 6 Tomorrow 7 Human 8 Touch 9 Amsterdam 10 Shallows
Genre: Rock / Music Album / Artist: Bridgit Mendler / Audio CD released 2012-10-22 at Hollywood - Disc #1 Tracklisting 1 Ready Or Not 2 Forgot to Laugh 3 Top of the World 4 Hurricane 5 City Lights 6 All I See Is Gold 7 The Fall Song 8 Love Will Tell Us Where to Go 9 Blonde ...
Genre: Rock / Music Album / Artist: Orianthi / Audio CD released 2013-03-11 at Spinefarm Records - Disc #1 Tracklisting 1 Heaven In This Hell 2 You Don't Wanna Know 3 Fire 4 If U Think U Know Me 5 How Do You Sleep? 6 Frozen 7 Rock 8 Another You 9 How Does That Feel? 10 Filt...
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