Archive for the ‘playlists’ category


Sgt. Pepper’s Re-boot

The Hunt for New Music:

Here’s an interesting idea for fans of “Sgt. Pepper” and The Beatles.

Re-boot the album.

Re-imagine, re-order, re-program it, because as terrific as it was, is, and remains, there were some very interesting conversations during the production of the record about what songs should be included and what should be excluded.

Here’s the original song list for “Sgt. Pepper”:

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

“With a Little Help From My Friends”

“Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds”

“Getting Better”

“Fixing A Hole”

“She’s Leaving Home”

“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”

“Within You, Without You”

“When I’m Sixty-Four”

“Lovely Rita”

“Good Morning, Good Morning”

“St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (reprise)

“A Day In The Life”

That’s it. A lot of great music but a lot left out that you may or may not know about.

The original album was only a little over 39 minutes long–it’s not a very long album–and there was certainly room for more.

In various articles and discussions, both The Beatles and George Martin discussed which songs should have been included on the album but were not –“Strawberry Fields” and Penny Lane”–and also which songs were included but perhaps should not have been–“Lovely Rita”, “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “Good Morning, Good Morning” (Lennon disliked all three).

The audio style  and subject matter of “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” fit right in with the overall concept of “Sgt. Pepper”(at one time, the album was going to be developed as a homage to the traditional English lifestyle, but it outgrew that thought); indeed, George Martin, The Beatles producer and the producer of “Sgt. Pepper” said that the decision to leave those two songs off the album was “the biggest mistake of my professional career”(Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles did not want the two songs–released before “Sgt. Pepper” as a marketing move to keep the band in the public consciousness, repeated on an album). George Harrison thought “Only A Northern Song” would fit in nicely but “Tomorrow Never Knows” would have been even better.

A couple of other songs that fit the album’s style and time period, “All You Need Is Love” , “Hello Goodbye”, and “Baby You’re A Rich Man” would also fit–all songs are recorded in 1967 although not necessarily prior to the release of “Sgt. Pepper” in the U.S. in June of that year.

To reprogram the album, start with some givens: It’s going to open with the first two songs on the original program and close with the last two. Those are necessary to set the stage for everything follows. They are among the most iconic songs of all time and state the concept of the album (a band free to do music that the then-current iteration of The Beatles could not).

Next, review other songs made in the period close to “Sgt. Pepper”–anything in 1967, for example, and some of the music produced in 1966. There are some very good options in that group for inclusion in a re-boot of “Sgt. Pepper”.

Then fill in “Sgt. Pepper” with the songs that should have been included but weren’t: “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” , of course. Without the three songs that had some band ambivalence to them, a first pass at a re-boot would provide this lineup:

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

“With a Little Help From My Friends”

“Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds”

“Getting Better”

“Fixing A Hole”

“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”

“Within You, Without You”

“Strawberry Fields”

“Tomorrow Never Knows”

“Penny Lane”

“St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (reprise)

“A Day In The Life”

Not a bad lineup at all and you can try it yourself at home by setting up the playlist in iTunes and letting it roll.

But…a few other songs that fit either in mood or production technique (or both) creates an even more interesting re-boot.

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

“With a Little Help From My Friends”

“Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds”

“Getting Better”

“All You Need Is Love”

“Fixing A Hole”

“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”

“Within You, Without You”

“Strawberry Fields”

“Tomorrow Never Knows”

“Hello Goodbye”

“Penny Lane”

“St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (reprise)

“A Day In The Life”

In this iteration,  the iconic songs that set up the album are preserved, the key opening and closing sequences are intact, but new (to the playlist) songs that build on the “Sgt. Pepper’s” consciousness and sound add to the overall magnificence of the album.

It’s been called the “greatest album ever recorded” so there is no presumption that a new song lineup would be as good or better the original–greatest of all time is tough to beat. But..and this is the point…it would provide yet another take on the most discussed album of our time as well as a glimpse into different thoughts of how the album might be programmed.

If you’re interested enough to read this far…then send me your playlist and song order for a “Sgt. Pepper” reboot. I’ll post it, and will  look forward to hearing it.

 

 

 

 


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. X

The Hunt for New (Christmas) Music:

This playlist is composed of the best of the previous playlists. This is Part A. Combine it with the playlist that follows and create your own super-Christmas playlist for the season.

Line ’em all up on your playback system and let them play all day(or night).

All good. All totally in the holiday spirit.

No Song Artist
1 Jingle Bells Katherine McPhee
2 Carol of the Bells Keith Lockhart
3 Thinking About You Paul Carrack
4 Sleigh Ride Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops
5 A DC Christmas Melody Destiny's Child
6 The Christmas Song (Holiday Remix) Christina Aguillera
7 Driving Home For Christmas Billy Mathis
8 White Christmas Michael Buble' (w/Shania Twain)
9 Blue Decorations BB King
10 I Believe in Father Christmas Cortex Cure
11 All Alone on Christmas Darlene Love
12 Snowflake Joe Sample
13 Holiday Road Lindsey Buckingham
14 Waltz of the Flowers Greg Long
15 The Spirit of Christmas (Chillout Lounge Mix) Skillmates
16 Christmas at My House Rahsaan Patterson
17 Rudoph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Los Lonely Boys
18 Wrapped in Red Kelly Clarkson
19 Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow Dean Martin
20 All I Want For Christmas is You Mariah Carey

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing.


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. IX

The Hunt for New (Christmas) Music:

 

The 9th in a series of terrific and smartly curated playlists of Christmas and Holiday music.

As always, the spirit shines through.

no title artist
1 Sleigh Bells The Blenders
2  Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming) Melanie Horton
3 Ye Merry Gents Billy Paul Williams
4 Home Blake Shelton w/Michael Buble
5 Best Christmas Ever Wonder Girls
6 It's Not Really Christmas Kevin Parker
7 White Christmas Michael Buble (w/Shania Twain)
8 Working at Christmas Paul Brady
9 The Day It Snowed Amusement Parks On Fire
10 Christmas Time to Me Jordan Sparks
11 Christmas Kiss Steven Curtis Chapman
12 Even Santa Gets The Blues Marty Stuart
13 Driving Home For Christmas The Reggae Band
14 No Room At The End Mahalia Jackson
15 It Snowed Meaghan Smith
16 Birth of Love SuperHerose
17 Just Want To Be With You (This Christmas) Nick Lowe
18 One More Sleep Leona Lewis
19 Merry Christmas Baby Bruce Springsteen

 

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing.


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. VIII (slow)

The Hunt for New (Christmas) Music:

 

A double Christmas Playlist. The first one,  The “Christmas Series Playlist VIII (slow),  features Christmas and Holiday Music that is a little lower key than some of the rocking music normally featured.

Makes no difference…fast or slow, it’s all great.

And…if slower holiday music is not your thing, a playlist featuring faster tunes is coming up tomorrow.

no title artist
1 Carol of The Bells George Winston
2 Winter Wonderland Tony Bennett & The Count Basie Band
3 Long Road Home Sheryl Crow
4 The Nutcracker-Russian Dance Philadelphia Orchestra
5 Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree She & Him
6 Christmas Lights Coldplay
7 Santa Claus is Coming to Town Ray Charles
8 Christmas With My Girl Mindless Behavior
9 Snow Globe Mathew Wertz
10 Christmas Without You One Republic
11 O Christmas Tree King Kooba
12 Last Christmas Kimberly Locke
13 Merry Christmas Happy Holidays Chicao
14 Please Come Home For Christmas Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
15 Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow Marcus Roberts Trio
16 Well Hear It's Christmas Phillipp Franknauser
17 Christmas Time Is Here Kem
18 Christmas In New Orleans Louis Armstrong
19 Glorious Melissa Etheridge
20 Skating Cyrus Chestnut & Friends

20 Songs. 1.2 Hours.

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing.


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. VI

The Hunt for New (Christmas)Music:

 

Our 6th  Christmas Music Playlist. Every playlist has a different personality and every list is very tightly curated.

Pay particular attention to Paul Simon’s opening song, “Getting Ready for Christmas Day”, which is an absolute blast and sets a great tone for the holiday season. Right behind, Barenake Ladies & Sara McLachlan do a very 21st Century version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and McLachlan follows with a sharp version of John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas” (and you thought The Beatles didn’t do Christmas music) .

Another in our tradition of including not-specifically-Christmas music comes from Mavis Staples, whose version of of “In Christ There is No East or West” is a modern spiritual for the Holidays.

There’s a great group of “chill” Versions of classics (“Deck the Halls”, “We Three Kings”, Sleigh Ride”, “Winter Wonderland”), a new classic from Hall & Oates (“Home for Christmas”) and songs by Lenka, Zee Avi, Michael Franks, and Stevie Wonder & Wyclif Jean.

All in all–a terrific Christmas Playlist (But then, every playlist is terrific).

So..it’s a gift and a soundtrack for the season.

Enjoy and turn it up….

no title artist
1 Getting Ready For Christmas Day Paul Simon
2 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Barenaked Ladies & Sara McLachlan
3 Happy Christmas Sara McLachlan
4 Here Comes Santa Claus Ramsey Lewis Trio
5 Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer Jack Johnson
6 We Three Kings Josh One (w/Cool John Ferguson)
7 In Christ There Is No East Or West Mavis Staples
8 Deck The Halls Peter Cetera
9 Feliz Navidad Lenny B (W/David Verbist)
10 Sleigh Ride Toby Lightman
11 Winter Wonderland Lenny B & Madison Park
12 Merry Christmas Baby Stevie Wonder & Wyclef Jean
13 Christmas Baby (Please Come Home) Mariah Carey
14 Christmas In Kyoto Michael Franks
15 The Little Drummer Boy Kenny Burrell
16 All My Bells Are Burning Lenka
17 Home For Christmas Hall & Oates
18 No Christmas For Me Zee Avi

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing.

 

 


The Christmas Playlist Series: No.V

The Hunt for New (Christmas)Music:

 

The Fifth Playlist in our annual Christmas Music Playlist Series. Every playlist has a different personality and every list is very tightly curated.

As always, new favorites and classics updated for the times….all of it good.

Enjoy.

no title artist
1  Happy Holidays(Beef Wellington Mix) Bing Crosby
2 Run Rudolph Run Sheryl Crow
3 I Believe in Father Christmas Cortex Cure
4 Driving Home For Christmas Billy Mathis
5  Early On One Christmas Morn Bruce Cockburn
6  White Christmas Raul Malo
7 Jesus Is Just Alright The Doobie Brothers
8 Mistletoe Colbie Callet
9 Please Come Home For Christmas Cee Lo Green
10  World Christmas R. Kelly
11 This Christmas (Hang up the Mistletoe) Paul Carrack
12 Last Christmas(Single Version) Ashley Tisdale
13 Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree Toby Keith
14 Sunshine Christmas Billy Paul Williams
15 Winter Wonderland James Taylor w/Chris Botti
16 Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow Dean Martin
17  The Christmas Song Catherine Feeny
18 Christmas Must Be Tonight Hall & Oates
19 The Way We Celebrate New Year's Eve Michael Franks
20  Wonderful Christmas Time Straight No Chaser w/Paul McCartney

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing.


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. IV

The Hunt for New (Christmas)Music:

 

No. IV in our annual and tightly curated Christmas Playlists.

As always, new favorites and classics updated for the times….

Turn it up and enjoy the sounds of the season.

no title artist
1 Blue Decorations B.B.King
2 Island Christmas Michael Franks
3 Baby It's Cold Outside James Taylor
4 Someday at Christmas Jack Johnson
5 Merry Christmas Baby Charles Brown & Bonnie Raitt
6 I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Frank Sinatra
7 What Christmas Means to Me Paul Young
8 Jesus Etc. Wilco
9 River Sarah McLachlan
10 Christmas Time is Here Tony Bennett
11 Winter Paradise Destiny's Children
12 Please Come Home For Christmas Willie Nelson
13 Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy Brad Paisley
14 Winter Song Sarah Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
15 Let it Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow Michael Buble

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing. 

 

 

 


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. III

The Hunt for New (Christmas)Music:

 

 

The third of our annual Rocking -For -The -Holidays Christmas Playlists.

The goal is to introduce you not just to new versions of old favorites, but new songs you might not have heard before.

Enjoy and turn it up….

no title artist
1 I Bought You A Plastic Star Michael Franks
2 The Christmas Song (Holiday Remix) Christina Aguilera
3  Come In From The Cold Joni Mitchell
4 Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow Dean Martin
5 Learn To Be Still Don Henley
6 Blue Christmas Chris Isaak
7 I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Frank Sinatra
8 Christmas Everyday Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
9 Driving Home For Christmas Chris Rea
10 Baby It's Cold Outside Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton
11 Christmas Must Be Tonight Hall & Oates
12 Last Christmas (Single Version) Ashley Tisdale
13 Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree Toby Keith
14 A Sailor's Christmas Jimmy Buffett
15 Presents for Christmas Soloman Burke
16 Children Go Where I Send Thee Hall & Oates
17 Hallelujah Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra

The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images (all rights reserved), who graciously make available their vast archive of photos to non-profit bloggers and websites. Check it out–they have the last century on file. Thanks, guys, as always, for sharing. This is post Number 827 for this site. 


The Christmas Playlist Series: No. II

The Hunt for New (Christmas)Music:

 

The second of our traditional rocking -for -the -holidays Christmas Playlists.

Also, with this list, the practice of adding songs that have a spiritual component–but are not necessarily traditional Christmas songs–begins.

no title artist
1 Merry Christmas Baby Otis Redding
2 Here Comes Santa Clause Elvis Presley
3 Sleigh Ride Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops
4 Santa Baby Madonna
5 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Gene Autry
6 Linus & Lucy Cyril Chestnut
7 (Simply Having) A Wonderful Christmas Time Paul McCartney & Wings
8 Early Christmas Morning Cyndi Lauper
9 Five Pound Box of Money Pearl Bailey
10 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) U2
11 Did Ye Get Healed Van Morrison
12 Christmas Through My Eyes Gloria Estefan
13 Santa Clause Is Coming to Town Pointer Sisters
14 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Baby Face
15 A DC Christmas Melody Destiny's Child
16 Run Run Rudolph Bryan Adams
17 Life is Beautiful Keb 'Mo
18 All Alone on Christmas Darlene Love

18 Songs. 1 Hour.


Newe Summer Playlist, Courtesy of Spotify