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Where we’re very polite (even when we’re ranting about things that irritate us)

Relationships with music

with 4 comments

Last night I was reading one of my favourite books, Travelling Music:: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times by Neil Peart (yes, the drummer from Rush) and a particular paragraph struck me (in the “Is he writing about himself or about me?” kind of way) and I wanted to share it with my dear readers.

I don’t know how it is for other music lovers, but it’s rare for me to have a “committed relationship” with a piece of music. So many times I become briefly infatuated with a record, listen to it regularly for a few months, then grow tired of it, and never feel like listening to it again. Of course, I have a long list of “timeless classics,” those I will always appreciate and speak well of, but even with many of those, once I come to know them by heart, I don’t necessarily feel compelled to listen to them again. They are held in memory, complete in every detai of song and sound, like digital recordings. The exceptions seem to be the “aural feasts,” the Philospher Kings, Massive Attack, Isaac Hayes, all that stuff, where the recordings simply sound so good, musically and sonically, that they are a pleasure t hear repeatedly, just as a sensual experience. And more, it’s when the actual construction of the music – the composing, arranging, performances, and recording – is artful and subtle enough to bear repeated listening. Perhaps the difference is that you can’t get to know such music “by heart,” because it brings your heart, and your ears, something different every time, in line with the saying that you can’t step into the same river twice.

My question to you, dear readers, is this: Are there any records that fall into either of those categories (timeless classics and aural feasts) that you’d like to share here? Feel free to discuss in the comments section.

Ill get the ball rolling:

Timeless Classics

Peter Gabriel – US

Metallica – Metallica

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?

Metallica – Master of Puppets

U2 – Achtung Baby

Paul Simon – The Rhythm of The Saints

Amanda Marshall – Amanda Marshall

Blackei & The Rodeo Kings – High or Hurtin’ – The Songs of WIllie P. Bennett

The Who – Who’s Next

Aural Feasts

Metallica – Metallica

Paul Simon – You’re The One

Paul Simon – Surprise

Roxy Music – Avalon

Rush – Moving Pictures

Seal – Seal II

Steely Dan – Aja

Gavin Friday – Shag Tobacco


Written by The Canuck

August 6, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Posted in music

4 Responses

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  1. Hm. I don’t get quite to that depth with music, but for me the “timeless classics” are like old friends. I don’t get to the full “aural feast” level, I think, but the closest I get is with some records that really speak to my innermost heart and soul, and are good musically as well. But you know that lyrics are at least as important to me as music… 🙂

    Timeless classics? I’d agree with Metallica Metallica.

    What else for me? Let’s see. Barenaked Ladies Gordon. Raisin Pickers Handed Down. The first half of Bjork’s Post (but not the rest). Paul Simon’s Negotiations and Love Songs. Carole King’s Tapestry.

    Borderline aural feasts: Eva Cassidy Songbird and much of Amy Grant’s Age to Age.

    Individual songs that are like aural courses (if not feasts): “Keweenaw Light” by the Raisin Pickers, “Penny to My Name” by Eva Cassidy, “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield, “Hyperballad” by Bjork, “El Shaddai” by Amy Grant. Others too, for sure, but those are the ones that leap to mind.


    August 6, 2008 at 7:03 pm

  2. Hmm. I’m not sure…. I probably have several songs that I will keep coming back to, but I’m like that serial monogamist of music loving. I will find a song I absolutely adore, and listen to it ad nauseum — sometimes even sticking it on repeat for days on end in my car, and you know how long of a drive I have. Then, I will find a new love and the old one will get set aside.

    My current love is “Summertime” by New Kids on the Block. I know. I know. 🙂


    August 7, 2008 at 8:10 am

  3. Kasia,

    Oooh – Dusty In Memphis – it’s not quite a “timeless classic” for me but it’s definitely in deserves an honourable mention.

    I enjoy everything about “Hyperballad” by Bjork except for Bjork’s voice. I can’t seem to get past her (inability?) to sing in tune.

    I’ve enjoyed what Eva Cassidy I’ve heard but haven’t heard enough to really form a strong opinion – you’ll have to play some more for me.


    New Kids on the Block – whatever floats your boat 😉 We’ve all got our guilty pleasures – I’ve always enjoyed “Show Me Love” by Robyn

    The Canuck

    August 7, 2008 at 9:44 am

  4. Haha! Back when I was purchasing CDs, I got that Robyn CD just for that track! Seth used to say that I had the worst collection of music ever. I love all this happy, boppy poppy music that makes the top 40 for like a month and then people refuse to admit to ever liking it.
    “MmmmBop” by Hanson — Yep!
    Pussycat Dolls — Yep!
    Akon, Eminem, T-Pain — Yep!
    Campagnioni (sp?) del Mondo — Yep!
    Mamma Mia
    One Way (Christian song, do you believe it?)

    These are currently on my iPod.


    August 8, 2008 at 8:04 am

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