A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog
We all like to think we have good taste in music, let’s be honest. But the truth is, music is a subjective matter.
Not in the case of James Blunt, however: he is bad.
We all have our guilty secrets. You know, the artists or bands we shouldn’t like, but actually do. And they are there, lurking in the depths of your iPod; Celine Dion, Journey, Kenny G…come on, you know it’s true!
So, at the risk of musical suicide, I thought I’d put my iPod to the test and give it The Shuffle Challenge. The rules are simple: select ‘Shuffle Songs’ on your iPod (or similar device) and let it randomly select 5 songs from your library.
The results are in, and as follows:
1. Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks
We’re off to a flying start here. What a great tune! Having just read up on this, I’ve discovered that When the Levee Breaks was originally recorded and written by husband and wife Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. The ‘Zeppelin version of this blues number was recorded in December 1970 and featured on the 1971 album Led Zeppelin IV.
2. The Roots – Step into the Realm
One of my least favourite tracks on a great album Things Fall Apart by this superb Grammy Award-winning hip-hop band (yes, they play instruments). It’s still a solid track, with Malik B and Black Thought tight as ever on the mic. Check the album for the stand-out track, You Got Me with Erykah Badu. I remember seeing Jill Scott (‘Jilly from Philly’), another collaborator featured on the album, singing that particular tune at a live solo concert of hers in London about 10 years ago.
3. Dorando – Didn’t I
Ah, I can’t help but feel very happy that this came up. A beautiful tune by a guy whose talents deserved more recognition. I first heard of Dorando through a Gilles Peterson compilation, Gilles Digs America , which is well-worth checking if you get a chance. This tune, Didn’t I, is a heart-breaking raw soul ballad. Sadly, Dorando passed away last summer. He was just 66.
4. Pink Floyd – Cluster One
To be honest, beyond the classic Dark Side of the Moon album, which was my introduction to the band, my knowledge of Pink Floyd is ashamedly poor. It’s almost as if I’ve been too afraid to listen to any of their other works, the bar having been set so high. So I must admit that I actually don’t know this tune. It’s from the Division Bell album. It was recorded in 1994…which kind of makes me skeptical. In my experience, bands or artists that reached amazing heights of creativity during the 50s, 60s or 70s rarely recapture that magic on any of their later work (think Miles Davis’ Tatu, for example). That being said, maybe this one breaks that trend. Have a listen and draw your own conclusions.
5. Aba Shanti-I – Jericho Walls
Last up is UK dub sound system selector and producer, Aba Shanti-I. He is one of the biggest names in dub sound system culture, with a career spanning four decades. Presently he’s twiddling the controls of the legendary King Tubby’s sound system, and has a long-standing residency at London’s Notting Hill Carnival. The link below is of one his shows because, in my humble opinion, he’s a much better selector and dub-wiser than producer!
So there we have it, a nice little selection. I would recommend using the shuffle option periodically. So many hidden gems will emerge from your library that you didn’t know you had, or had long-forgotten. Of course the flip-side is that it will also occasionally spit out a guilty secret or two!
Thankfully, this Shuffle Challenge didn’t find anything from the Rick Astley and Chesney Hawks back catalogues I have stored away. 😉