When I started this website, I decided to use it write about whatever I liked, whether it was TV shows, films, music, books, video games, whatever. However, from now on, it’s going to be a bit more focused. Welcome to New Adventures In Hi-Fi, the music website…
I’ve made this decision because, much as I love many great films, TV shows, etc, my first love in this sense is music, so it makes sense to dedicate the website to that exclusively. I’ll still be talking about the other things, but I’ll do it over on my blog A Series Of Moments, so you’ll be able to see it all there.
But New Adventures In Hi-Fi is named after an album and is now all about music, because I think music is such a powerful thing and I want to use this website to share my love and enthusiasm for it. So much great music exists in the world, so much of it sends shivers down my spine or makes me cry or makes me deliriously happy.
Some examples: yesterday I listened to the version of Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynrd from their comeback live album, recorded on a their first tour with Johnny Van Zant replacing his late brother on lead vocals. Obviously it’s the last song, and before it, he dedicates it to his brother and the others who died in the plane crash ten years earlier, then says that only one person could get on stage and sing it, so leaves the vocals to the fans. The mix isn’t great, unfortunately, but the power of hearing the crowd sing the whole song for Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines is unmistakeable.
This morning I listened to It’s Your World by Gil-Scott Heron, an astonishing album with a lengthy live version of Home Is Where The Hatred is that blows my mind every time I hear it. To think that such a talented man wasted so many years of his life torn apart by drugs is really sad, but at least he managed a last hurrah before passing away last year.
I’m going to see Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam within a few days of each other in June this year, which is very exciting as I’ve seen each of them twice before and will keep on going to see them for as long as they keep coming back. Springsteen’s new single is fantastic and I love the lyrical content, and it’s great when your musical heroes seem to share your beliefs and values. But of course, music is powerful enough for that not to matter either, as my love for Skynyrd shows, as they’re found to the right of my own political views. They can sing songs slagging off President Obama if they like, I don’t have to agree, but I can enjoy the song anyway.
And then there’s Pearl Jam, a band who I would definitely choose to represent me. I showed my parents the end of Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty film recently, which is all about the band’s relationship with their fans. Of course it’s a little bit cheesy, but the comments from both fans and band members are heartfelt and there really is a connection there that I don’t think exists in the same way between footballers, actors, directors, writers, etc and their fans. Something about music reaches further into the heart if it’s done right and done by good people. The clip of a Pearl Jam crowd singing Better Man back to Eddie Vedder gets me every time.
That’s the power of music and I hope I can do it justice on this website.
So we come to the end of my epic Top 50 Beach Boys songs list. Will there be a predictable choice at number one? How many songs from Pet Sounds will be in the Top 10? Will Help Me Rhonda or Sloop John B be in there (erm, nope)? Has any band made ten better songs than these?