Friday, 8 June 2012

My top 10 recorded musical moments of all time

I'm not one for top x lists. I find them divisive, boring and I can neve settle on my own ones, but something in me says go for this one [a decision that will no doubt be reversed when it's morning again!]. Anyway, until the eternal judgement of the delete button is invoked, my top ten recorded musical moments of all time, in no particular order are...

"How to disappear completely", (Radiohead, Kid A) - that dominant 7th string chord at 4”08, over Thom Yorke's elegiac "I'm not here...". 12 years on and still goosebumps.

"Miracle Drug", (U2, How to dismantle an atomic bomb) - that guitar solo sound at 2”45. I'd never have had the guts to mix it that loud, but boy, it burns so bright. The first time I heard this I actually raised fists in the air without realising.

"So What", (Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue)- that trumpet solo at 1”30. Will never forget the jazz tutorial at uni where we got told never to play this tune in our class, and the entire room of students immediately started singing the solo note-for-note in perfect unison. Guess that proved my lecturer's point!

"Save the Children”, (Marvin Gaye, What's going on?) - that [let's be honest here, hilarious] a capella at 2”40 when Marvin screams "Save The babies...!!". Sublime...and ridiculous.

"Sex on Fire", (Kings of Leon, Only By The Night) - that first chorus at 0”50. My nice Christian friend Matt Giles arrived in the studio soon after this song came out and he just kept singing this line over and over and laughing. Bemused, I bought the record later that week, and Sanj and I soon after discovered the uniquely incredible sensation of accelerating in a car whilst cranking this song out. Rockin'.

"Holocene", (Bon Iver, Bon Iver) - that final chorus at 4”40 where the whole band arrive. There's a beautiful undercurrent on the saxes that flows throughout that you have to really listen hard to pick out, which has this beautiful effect of sucking you 'inside' the mix. It's as near to perfection I can think of in popular music.

"99 Problems", (Jay-Z, The Black Album) - that beat drop at 0”05. Rick Rubin is a legend.

"Time", (Pink Floyd, Dark Side of The Moon) - that guitar solo at 3”30. Everything about it is genius - the tone, the lyricism, the incredible bends, the contrast of depth between the guitar and the rest of the band, the amazing Disney backing vocals in the b-section. As good today as it was when I first played it on my Dad's record player aged 12, and fell in love with the guitar.

Andvari", (Sigur Ros, Takk) - that beautiful string outro from 3”26. Rejecting every OCD instinct in my blood, I've never yet counted the number of loops on the end. That way it always surprises me when the chord finally ebbs away and doesn't swell back in, which I love.

"Lo! How A Rose E'er Blooming, (Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas [5]) - that final octave of the piano at 0”49 that sounds like Finlandia and makes me actually believe that peace on earth and goodwill to all men might actually one day be a reality.

And there we go. I'm sure you'll all disagree entirely, but hey, that's me!



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