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G400 Custom [profile] has recommended 6 tracks.
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Anything At All  performed by Crosby, Stills & Nash  1977
Composed by David Crosby

Could this be the most self-aware song ever written? 'I'm the world's most opinionated man,' sings sweet-voiced David Crosby in a tone of utter resignation. Bear in mind he'd already dealt with fame, failure, bereavement, heroin, booze and yachting by this point. It's a very stripped-down arrangement, with even CSN's trademark harmony kept to a minimum. And Crosby's rueful laugh towards the end is a real killer. Should I die soon, stop by my funeral and you'll hear this song... From a very underrated album, recorded after that toerag Neil Young had come and gone.

from CSN, available on CD (Warner Brothers)


Night Game  performed by Paul Simon  1975
Composed by Paul Simon

One of the most mysterious, beautiful, and above all *quiet* songs you'll ever hear. It comes at the end of the first half of the album 'Still Crazy After All These Years' and is nominally about baseball, but don't let that put you off. Worth a listen if you like subtle 70s singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell or James Taylor, or if (like me) you're a fan of Red House Painters, upon whom Paul Simon's earlier work was a great influence.

from Still Crazy After All These Years, available on CD (Warner Brothers)



White Bird  performed by It's A Beautiful Day  1967
Composed by David LaFlamme

Any North American readers may already be familiar with this haunting folk-rock number, as I believe it's a bit of an FM staple over there. For UK-based music fans such as myself, however, it's a bolt from the blue. Imagine a combination of The Mamas & The Papas and Jefferson Airplane at their spookiest, with shedloads of virtuoso violin and flanged percussion all the way through.

One more note: the self-titled album from which this song comes has an absolutely gorgeous cover (see http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B000000DPF.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg), but the re-release is just white type on black - shame on Columbia.

from It's A Beautiful Day, available on CD




  16 Jan 03 ·konsu: Unfortunately, nothing quite this good is an FM staple in the US. Their market is crowded with crap mook-rock like Boston or Journey... Although I have heard their stuff on more "educated" radio, like say NPR or maybe college-based freeform playlists. Great stuff!
  17 Jan 03 ·G400 Custom: I love Journey and Boston as well... does this make me a mook? :-)
  17 Jan 03 ·konsu: ;) Escape was one of my first records... I have no shame!
  19 Apr 07 ·artlongjr: This song got substantial airplay when I was a boy, back around 1970...I loved the melancholy sound that it has. I got the CD as a gift and it is pretty good, although "White Bird" is by far the best song on it. This was one of the second generation San Francisco bands that came up after the Haight-Ashbury era.
It'll Never Happen Again  performed by Tim Hardin  1966
Composed by Tim Hardin

This wonderful record is the closest I've heard to an American Nick Drake. Very short and jazzy, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, impeccable white soul vocals... what more do you need? Good if you like Tim Buckley. That someone could be this good on their debut album is little short of incredible. Heroin victim Hardin's second album is even better.

from Tim Hardin
available on CD - Tim Hardin 1/2 (Repertoire)


Zimbabwe  performed by Miles Davis  1975
Composed by Miles Davis

Recorded live in Osaka on 1 February 1975, immediately before the man took a break for several years, this track makes up one entire disc of the overlooked album 'Pangaea'. Gone are the multitude of keyboard players that dominated Miles's work over the previous few years, to be replaced by brutal guitars and African percussion. The real change however is Sonny Fortune's alto sax, a welcome relief after Wayne Shorter's squeaky soprano. It lasts more than 40 minutes, but if you like mind-blowingly heavy acid-funk-rock-jazz (or early-70s Zappa) than 'Zimbabwe' is for you.

from Pangaea, available on CD (Columbia)


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