Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The iPod Shuffle

It’s time to steal an idea again and this time it is to do with music.

I am stealing an idea from two fellow bloggers (Princess Pandora, Queen of Denial and Working Through It).

The idea is simple:

Put your fruit-flavoured or other brand MP3 player on Shuffle, and write down the first 15 songs that come on, and what they mean to you (if anything).

Of course, the idea is to be honest and list the first 15 songs and I shall endeavour to do that, no matter how embarrassing. Why? Because these songs are in my collection and I will stand by that.

Can I just add that I don’t own an iPod – my mp3 player is the one pictured above and can accommodate 40Gb of music. It is not far from being full so I may have to either purge some of the songs or reinvest in another one.

Anyway, here are my random 15 songs:

(1) Bruce Springsteen – Born In The U.S.A.

In the 1970’s one of my best mates was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen and he would play his music over and over again. Consequently I was kind of brainwashed with classic albums like “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, “Born to Run” and “The River”. He really grew on me. The album “Born in the U.S.A” hit the shops when I was university and reminds me vividly of that time. I love this song, and not just because of the memories that are reborn. I have to say that Bruce Springsteen is one of the finest acts I have seen live.

(2) AC/DC – Rocking All The Way

This is a song from the latest album by AC/DC called “Black Ice” and their style hasn’t really changed over the years – and they really have been going for years. I have always wanted to see them live and finally got my wish the year before last when I got the chance to see them at the Manchester Evening News Arena. Such was their popularity that they sold out within minutes. And they were fantastic. I just wish I’d had the chance to see them before Bon Scott’s tragic and premature death.

(3) Aerosmith – Jaded

As much as I like Aerosmith, the album “Just Push Play” was a bit of a disappointment to be honest and it was the last album I bought by the band. This song is a single from that album and, while it is not a bad track, it lacks the punch of their earlier stuff.

(4) Manic Street Preachers – Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky

The Manic Street Preachers have written some great songs over the years. My favourite album by the band is “Everything Must Go” and this beautiful little song comes from that album. It is one of those songs that you can listen to with the lights down low and let your mind wander as the stress is left behind. A lovely song to relax to.

(5) Judas Priest – Sands of Time/Pestilence and Plague

The lead singer of Judas Priest, Rob Halford, hails from my home town of Walsall and has a magnificent rock voice – even now he is in his fifties. I have loved Judas Priest since the 1970’s and some of their material has been fantastic. Their latest album, released a couple of years ago, is a concept album charting the life and times of Nostradamus and is called, unsurprisingly, “Nostradamus”. It is an absolute triumph. “Sands of Time” is a beautiful mellow song that builds up, ultimately transforming into a superb heavy metal anthem called “Pestilence and Plague”. Give them a go, you might actually like them. I certainly do.

(6) Pendulum – The Fountain

My eldest lad has inherited my love of rock music and heavy metal (much to Mrs PM’s disgust) but one of his favourite bands is Pendulum, a kind of electronic rock band whose genre I can’t quite put my finger on. He has been to see them live in concert and he has been urging me to listen to them. So I have. This particular song surprised me because it features the vocal talents of Steve Wilson, the main man behind “Porcupine Tree”, a progressive rock band that I discovered last year and haven’t stopped listening too for the past few months. Pendulum are slowly growing on me and this song certainly helps.

(7) Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love

You can’t beat a bit of blues rock and Cream are one of the best. I discovered Eric Clapton, thanks to “Layla” and graduated to his earlier stuff with Cream soon afterwards. This song is a timeless classic.

(8) Joe Satriani – Love Thing

Joe Satriani is, in my opinion, one of the greatest guitarists in the world. I have a plethora of albums by him and his virtuosity never ceases to amaze me. I have seen him live twice and he brings his guitar to life. One of my favourite albums is “Crystal Planet”, which has special significance because I played it to death when Mrs PM and I got together. Mrs PM, having no taste in music, hated it. Nevertheless, it holds a special place in my heart because of our blossoming relationship. “Love Thing” is a beautifully mellow love song that you might think is quite apt. Of course, it is – but unfortunately the songs that stick in my heart are the screamers on the album. Those of you who like a little romance will no doubt like this – I prefer the faster heavier stuff. Still, it is a good tune.

(9) Geddy Lee – Slipping

Regular readers will know that Rush are my favourite band of all time. For those of you who don’t know, Geddy Lee is the singer and also plays keyboards and the bass guitar for the band. During a hiatus, Geddy Lee released a wonderful solo album called “My Favourite Headache”. While not classic Rush, you would be forgiven for thinking you are listening to the band because of Geddy’s distinctive voice. There are a couple of diamonds on this album and “Slipping” is one of them. It is a beautiful song and would easily fit onto any album by Rush. Wonderful.

(10) Nazareth – Broken Down Angel

Nostalgia time again folks. When I discovered heavy metal, I decided to research other rock bands around the time and discovered a Scottish rock band called Nazareth. While not particularly heavy and loud, they have a distinctive sound, thanks to the vocal talents of Dan McCafferty. This song is a from “Razamanaz”, released in 1973. Some of their later stuff is much better but this is a nice little number to give you an idea of how good they are (and I believe they are still around).

(11) Guns ’N’ Roses – Don’t Damn Me

Guns ‘N’ Roses self-destructed thanks to Axl Rose but thankfully after their impressive double album release “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II”. I was lucky enough to see them on that extensive world tour and, although we had to wait three hours for the buggers to arrive on stage, it was worth it. “Don’t Damn Me” is from “Use Your Illusion I” and is a nice rocky little number.

(12) Judas Priest – Night Crawler

I guess it was inevitable that my random list would contain more than one song by an artist. This song is taken from the album “Painkiller” which, even by Judas Priest’s standards, is quite a heavy album. “Night Crawler” is one of the tamer songs on the album; if you think it is heavy, you should hear the rest of it. Get your air guitar out and rock!!!

(13) Gillan – Come Tomorrow

When Ian Gillan left Deep Purple, he formed a new band. Clearly he couldn’t think of a good name and decided to name the band after himself. Their second major album was called “Glory Road” and in order to promote it, the band gave away a free album called “For Gillan Fans Only” which didn’t set the world alight but contained the odd half decent song.

(14) Dream Theater – Never Enough

Regular readers will know that I have mentioned Dream Theater before. For those that haven’t they are one of the finest bands on the planet. One of my favourite albums is “Octavarium” and “Never Enough” is one of the songs on that album. Usually their songs are epic progressive rock monsters that take you on a rollercoaster ride. “Never Enough” however, is a small song in comparison, coming in at a mere six minutes long. A great tune.

(15) Skin – House of Love

Skin were a rock band who had a modicum of chart success in the 1990’s. I saw them a couple of times in small venues in Manchester and they always went down a treat. They split up after a couple of albums, which was a real shame because I quite liked them. They tried reforming a year or two ago and I saw them one final time in a venue that had a bar. Needless to say I had a beer or two too many and ended up nursing a hangover the next day. They have recently split up again though, sadly. If they reform and make me drunk again, I might have a few words to say.

That was fun but you may think, dear reader, that my taste is biased to all things rock and metal. That is simply not true – it is the fault of the shuffle algorithm on my mp3 player (honestly).

I may have another go in a future post – after all there are a lot of songs to go through.


Kath Lockett said...

Where're your shameful ones? The ABBA you needed for a party, the soundtrack from a weak moment?

Don't tell me that you're organised and ONLY HAVE WHAT YOU LIKE ON THERE....!

River said...

I'm not into heavy rock, as you know, so I don't recognise any of your songs.
But I did get curious about what might be the first 15 to come up on my own i-pod. So I dug out my original i-pod shuffle, you know the long thin one that came out with only 512mb of space?
I'm listening to the selection right now. It's a mix of country and boppy rock apparently.
Not sure if I'll do the meme though.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Honestly, those are the 15 that came up. For once, I followed the rules.

And there are shameful ones, believe me.

Like I said, I will have another go soon - perhaps one or two will pop out.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Give it a go - it's fun. I hadn't heard many of the songs in my list for a while so it was like brushing off the cobwebs.