Saturday, 3 October 2015

Rock Fusion

I’m off on my travels again on Monday and I can’t wait. I’m heading west across the pond again but this time, I’m heading south of the Equator to Brazil. We are starting off in Lisbon for a day before flying to Salvador, Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro and finally a couple of days by the beach in Búzios.

We’ve never been to South America before and I am looking forward to crossing off another country from my travel bucket list.

I will post more details on my return but in the meantime I thought I would offer you a couple of rock songs that cross over into other genres. 

Regular readers know that I love rock music and I my quest to introduce new music to readers will continue (sorry about that). The songs below are all probably by artists you haven’t heard before but have been influenced by other musical styles.

Rock meets 1980’s Pop – Yes – Owner of a Lonely Heart

I love pop music from the early 1980’s and Yes, a progressive rock band, produced the perfect fusion of this style with rock. Many die-hard fans of Yes hate this song accusing it of being too commercial and that the band sold out. I totally disagree. I love it and it was of my favourite songs from the 1980’s.

Rock meets Reggae – Rush  - Digital Man

Regular readers will know that Rush are my favourite band and they often incorporate other musical styles into their songs, which is one of the reasons I love them so much. This particular song has a heavy reggae influence throughout.

Rock meets Blues  - Led Zeppelin – I Can’t Quit You, Baby

To be fair, Led Zeppelin started life as a blues band and evolved into something that many people think was the start of heavy metal. As you can see from the song below from their eponymous debut album the band’s roots are deeply embedded in the blues.

Rock meets Gospel – The Answer – Preachin’

I love a good bit of gospel and when combined with a bit of rock and a slide guitar, it is a recipe for a cracking feel good song. The Answer are a cracking British rock band who I first saw before they were famous in a tiny venue in Manchester. The next time, they were supporting AC/DC at the Manchester Arena. They are definitely worth checking out.

Rock meets Jazz – Nightwish – Slow Love Slow

Nightwish are a Finnish symphonic metal band who regularly cross musical genres. I am not a huge fan of jazz music at all but this particular slow and sensual song is just brilliant and wouldn’t feel out of place in a 1950’s jazz club. Here are the band performing it live at the Montreux Jazz festival:

Rock meets Latin American – Santana – Smooth

Okay – Carlos Santana is from Mexico so it’s hardly unexpected that his music is heavily influenced by his Latin American roots. However, he is a fantastic guitarist and in my humble opinion it makes his style of Latin American music much more enjoyable.

Rock meets Dance – Nine Inch Nails – Only

Nine Inch Nails have always flirted with electronica (which is the main reason they are one of my favourite bands). Only is a great little song that borders on being a pop song. It’s certainly a song that would persuade me to jump onto the dance floor and strut my funky stuff, even though these days I look like an embarrassing old man at a wedding.

Rock meets Mexican Mariachi – Rammstein – Te Quiero Puta!

Rammstein are always producing bizarre songs and this is arguably the most bizarre of them all. Most fans of the band hate the song but I find it quirky and intriguing. It is sung in Spanish and I won’t bother translating the words for you (because as you can guess they are offensive).

Rock meets Opera – Nightwish – The Passion and the Opera

The original singer of Nightwish, the fabulous Tarja Turunen, has an amazing and very operatic voice. To be honest, I could have chosen many more early songs by Nightwish to illustrate her vocal capabilities, but I selected this one because it focusses more on the operatic range of her voice. I’m not a fan of opera at all but somehow her voice fits in snugly with the heavy music. About two minutes into this song you can hear for yourself how operatic her voice is.

Rock meets Techno – Joe Satriani – Devil’s Slide

Joe Satriani is a brilliant guitarist, arguably the greatest rock guitarist in the world. The album Engines of Creation is probably the most experimental he has produced, with synthesisers and computer manipulation taking centre stage alongside his guitar genius rather than the traditional drums, bass and keyboards.

I hope you enjoyed the songs and I will see you in a couple of weeks.


River said...

I remember Owner of a Lonely Heart, I sort of liked it, but once it was gone from the airwaves I forgot about it. LOVE Santana's Smooth.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

To be honest, I've never got into Yes but "Owner ..." is a great song.

Smooth is great isn't it?




Pandora Behr said...

I'm with River. Love "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and Santana rules.
Have you discovered Jeff Beck? Try Brush with the Blues. Love him too.
Very envious about your South American sejourn!
Enjoy and stay safe.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Yes I have a couple of Jeff Beck songs but I haven't really delved into his catalogue. I will explore further.




Big D said...

"Owner.." is easily my favourite Yes song. It's very,very 80s but who says that's a abd thing. Loving the rest of the selection as well - especially Nightwish and Rush.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

I am a fan of early 1980's pop music so I really like "Owner ..." too.