Friday, 6 January 2017

Progressive Thoughts - Day 6

Today’s song is called Ascension by a British progressive rock band called Arena.

The song has a theatrical feel to it, something I love when listening to music. The song is the final track on what is a brilliant album and rounds it off beautifully.

I imagine that you probably won’t have heard of Arena, nor in fact many of the bands in this blogathon and that saddens me a little. I’ve mentioned this before in previous blog posts and urged people to actually go out into the world wide web and actually seek music that is not on the playlists dictated to by record companies and people like Simon Cowell, who are in my view killing music.

The internet has opened up the entire world to everybody and we should all make use of it, rather than being told what to do. This doesn’t just apply to music; it applies to everything. Whatever you are interested in there is something out there for you.

I like to cite music as an example because this is one of the most important subjects I like to pontificate about – and I do realise, dear reader, that sometimes I do preach a bit. It’s my problem really because I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve over some subjects.

Anyway, as I have vowed to remain positive in 2017, I shall try to dwell on the music itself rather than attacking Simon Cowell and his partners in crime, as well as greedy record producers.

Let me use Adele as an example.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Adele has an amazing voice and has written some good music, albeit not to my musical taste. But in Britain, a new Adele album is met with absolute delight by the music industry simply because they know that they can rake in millions. Her latest album was apparently a triumph – I don’t doubt that – but it was basically rammed down our throats here in Britain particularly. I’ll give you an example.

The BBC pride themselves in not advertising but in many ways, they are hypocritical. When I am abroad, I watch BBC World News and, in between reports they show adverts – but I guess that doesn’t count because we are in a foreign land.

Nevertheless, in the UK we can watch television programmes uninterrupted by terrible and cringeworthy advertisements.

That is, unless an Adele album is realised.

The BBC gave Adele a one hour show where, in between songs, she chatted to one of the most famous UK chat show hosts, Graham Norton, and plugged her new album mercilessly.

It was a one hour advert for her album!!!!

I don’t blame her. If I were in her position I would also have accepted this lucrative offer.

In my opinion, television and radio in the UK is flawed in this regard.

If I had any clout whatsoever, I would not allow this – or alternatively – have programmes and shows that showcased alternative music out there. With all respect to Adele, there are lots of women who have written great songs and have amazing voices yet are never heard of because nobody plugs their music on prime time television and radio shows.

I would love to be a DJ at a commercial radio station. I would play all sorts of music from various genres.

Back to Adele, I have to admit that I like her Bond theme for Skyfall. She wrote an amazing song and sung it brilliantly. She deserves all the plaudits.

However, there are other women out there who have written better songs and have equally, if not better voices. I have an example.

A year or two ago, a Dutch symphonic metal band were challenged to interpret other people’s songs and perform their own version. They were given one week per song. The band is called Within Temptation and I have mentioned them before. Their song writing is amazing but on this occasion for fun they covered other songs. One of those songs was Skyfall.

Now I know that they didn’t write it, but the singer, Sharon den Adel, sang magnificently. Yes it is a little more rocky but concentrate on the vocals. I think you will be surprised.

Judge for yourself:

Do you agree?

If so, check them out.

This is the power of the internet, ladies and gentlemen.


Big D said...

I think you accidentally posted the same song twice. I love Within Temptation's covers so I don't mind.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

Most of them are better than the originals. Checkout Radioactive (if you haven't already).