Music

The creative side of The Beatles

Of course, The Beatles are one of the biggest rock bands or the biggest to walk this Earth. They have influenced pretty much every musician directly or indirectly. So here are some of the bright creative side of The Beatles, doing things they are best at, exploring and innovating.

  1. Abbey Road
    The album cover of Abbey Road [1]

    The album cover for Abbey Road is a piece of art. It’s simply an act of the four Beatles crossing a street with a few trees and cars in the background at Abbey Road, Liverpool outside the EMI Studio by Iain Macmillan at 11:30 in the morning. The Beatles have influenced way too many people to copy this act and made the zebra crossing at Abbey Road in Liverpool one popular tourist destination. Many people still imitate the cover in movies, music videos or by walking themselves. The picture was taken on August 8, 1969. Paul McCartney came to the photo shoot on flip-flops on the day the picture was taken and decided to walk barefoot triggering some unnecessary controversy about the bassist dying and being replaced by someone else. Hillarious.

    The album itself is a masterpiece with songs like “Come Together”, “Octopuses Garden”, “Here Comes The Son” and “Something” being one of my favorite Beatles tunes.

  2. Rooftop Concert
    The Beatles in their famous roof-top concert [2]

    Maybe some other popular groups like U2 and Red Hot Chilli Peppers tried to cover up this act of free music, but it was The Beatles who did it first and did not feature in any of their music videos. This was the last time that the Beatles ever performed in together in public as a band. It was performed on 30 January 1969 on the roof of Apple Headquarters at 3 Savile Row for 42 minutes. They performed five songs in nine takes which include “Get Back”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “One After 909” and “Dig a Pony”. The Beatles performed for free and the cops shut them down. How disappointing.

  3. Bed-Ins for Peace
    John Lennons Bed-In for peace with Yoko Ono [3]

    For 2 weeks, John Lennon and Yoko Ono made a protest by staying in bed for a whole two weeks in Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and in Montreal to protest against the Vietnam War. I see this as brilliance. Besides singing songs like “Revolution” with The Beatles, “Give Peace A Chance” and the most revolutionary peace-seeking song “Imagine” later on in his solo career, this was another non-violent way in which John Lennon made a protest for peace in a peaceful way. It took place from March 25 and 31, 1969. They had world media to cover them from 9 AM to 9 PM with “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace” signs to promote their message of peace.

  4. Exploring the Eastern Culture
    The Beatles and family with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Rishikesh [4]

    The Beatles did not tour to India but made a visit to Rishikesh, India to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in February 1968. They went on a journey to learn of the Eastern Culture. They attended the to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session on an originally planned 10 days visit cut short by the death of their manager George Martin. Their visit to India promoted Western attitudes about Indian spirituality and encouraged the study of Transcendental Meditation. Though they had to leave early, the Beatles collaborated with the Maharishi later on for benefits concerts and so on. You can see some direct influences of the visit in popular songs like “Within You, Without You”, “Norwegian Wood”, “The Inner Light” and “Across The Universe”. Later on in their individual careers, they still had great influences of Indias visit in them.

  5. Hair For Men

    The Beatles: John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Srarr [5]

    The Beatles were handsome boys from Liverpool touring with their rockability and The Beatles gigs would often smell like piss because of women peeing in excitement. In time, these handsome well shaved and properly trimmed boys promoted hair for men. The hair didn’t turn them ugly but rather turned them into sages. They turned rough hair into fashion influencing the next generation to copy them and also promoting the hippies and experimentation with drugs. Still, I don’t think they did anything wrong.

  6. Music Videos

    The music video for “I Am The Walrus” which the Beatles performed without any clear message in the song [6]

    You know how ridiculous the music videos of the 2000’s are. They’re videos of rich artists having fun or showing everything that does not go with the lyrics or make any sense. It was The Beatles who made videos like these first. The  video to “Paperback Writer/Rain” was the first in which the music video wasn’t all about the artists performing live. If it wasn’t from them, music videos would probably make sense.

    Matter of fact, there is countless other ways in which The Beatles beat the barrier to become an expressive group, experimenting with various studio techniques and so on. Yet these are some of the well-known things perhaps which I wanted to share. I hope I’ll present to you more facts about The Beatles soon enough. Till then, keep the Beatlemania going.

    References:
    1. Manik Music, Image copied from: [https://manikmusic.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/beatles-abbey-road-album.jpg]
    2. Image copied from: [http://blogs.c.yimg.jp/res/blog-dd-bc/wkqtd627/folder/986798/47/23053347/img_2?1376553115]
    3. Image copied from: [https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Bed-In_for_Peace,_Amsterdam_1969_-_John_Lennon_%26_Yoko_Ono_07.jpg/1024px-Bed-In_for_Peace,_Amsterdam_1969_-_John_Lennon_%26_Yoko_Ono_07.jpg]
    4. CHOM.com, Image copied from: [http://www.chom.com/Pics/PhotoAlbums/147348/4/beatles-at-rishikesh__900W.Jpeg]
    5. Noise Made Me Do It, Image copied from: [http://www.noisemademedoit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/beatles-5-700×466.jpg]
    6. Video source: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r52ZBx0KMI]

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Ranking my favourite Led Zeppelin songs

I wouldn’t have done this, but my fellow friend @benjix21 requested that I write a blog about it. You might think of Led Zeppelin as a heavy metal and hard rock band, but it is more. Led Zeppelin is also an extremely good folk band. I feel that their acoustics songs are as good as their electric and each member of the band would make the line-up of my dream band. Without a doubt, this is the biggest and baddest band in existence. I felt horrible to miss out on some of my very favorite songs and it was hard for me to decide which songs to select for my list of top songs. So here I have made 2 lists, a short one for the acoustics and a longer one for the electrics.

If there are some newbies listening to Led Zeppelin, here is my take on the best Led Zeppelin songs.

Acoustics

5. Hey Hey What Can I Do
It’s pretty unfair ranking this song to no. 5. It’s here only cause the others were better. This song is a decent song, easy to listen to with a folk vibe. It is an easy cheerful song to play with some country instruments playing as well.

4. Bron-Yr-Aur
Named after a lake in Wales, this is an instrumental and is one of Jimmy Pages finest acoustic performance. This short song gives the folk vibes with no drums but a very ambient sound in the background, guaranteed to give you a pleasant mood as if you’re sitting on a hill watching a river flow. The tunings are altered so it takes quite to set up the tuning and to learn the song. Also listen to Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, it’s a little different tough.

3. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
This is a song with one of those very smooth guitar parts. It has a nice plucking rhythm guitar and has some very strong vocals from Robert Plant. It is a good song which sets up a decent mood. It has a little bit of Spanish feel with the guitar. Though acoustic, it has a good energy to it. Pretty decent song from Led Zeppelins untitled first album which ws entirely recorded in 30 hours.

2. Going to California
This was my favorite country song for quite some while. This song has got Jimmy Page playing guitar in his alternate guitar tuning so it is hard to cover. John Paul Jones, as talented as he plays the Ukelele in it to give this song a unique vibe. With no drums again, Robert Plant has a good smooth vocal which covers up for it.

1. The Rain Song
Again one of those very hard songs to cover. This song is unreal. It is so good, it gets you sweeping. It the very soft guitar of Jimmy Page to some very slick orchestrated music, and the sweetness in Robert Plant’s vocals will get you melting. This song will set you to a slow, groovy mood. Makes it fell like it’s spring every time you listen to it.

Electrics

10. Good Times Bad Times
There isn’t much to explain.but you’ve got to give the heads up to this song with fine drums from Bonzo. This song is a short and simple with a good melody to it. Nothing too special about it but it is a song with simple structure but there something in that simplicity which brings it here on the list by creating something out of nothing. It needs a good coordination to perform this song right.

9. No Quarter
As I’ve mentioned before, John Paul Jones’s talent has no limits. He plays the synthesizers this time around and owns it. The delay effect on vocal makes this song even better. The guitar isn’t heavy and is pretty slow. Yet another lengthy song but that’s the thing about Led Zeppelin. You don’t feel it’s unnecessarily long and you will enjoy the music throughout the song with some decent less highlighted solo.

8. When The Levee Breaks
A couple of friends of mine would tell me that this is the best Zeppelin song and I wouldn’t doubt them. This song from Led Zeppelin IV, the same album with Stairway to Heaven probably overshadows this song but it’s got the calmness and composure. It’s a smooth flowing song, easy to listen with harmonicas, guitars and high reverb drums.

7. Dazed and Confused
From the first album of Led Zeppelin, he shocks the audience by playing guitar with a violin bow. Though the Yardbird version of the song is poor, Plant manages to make a lot of improvement. It shows what a talisman Jimmy Page is and how innovative he is with producing a different never heard before sound with guitar effects and techniques which many still cannot get hold of. Every Ledhead is a sucker for this song. It won’t stop giving you the shrill. Pretty progressive, experimental and lengthy, there’s everything to be excited about.

6. The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair
You can’t find this on an published album but you can find it in their BBC Live session. It’s a song with a trippy blues progression with a good guitar solo with crunchy guitar and an excellent band performance. Many Ledheads don’t know about this performance so this is something you can brag about.

5. Kashmir
This song is so good that you should forget about listening to covers of the song. It is a bit progressive and has a little bit of an orchestra with it. Without a doubt, no one in the world could possibly come close to Robert’s vocal in this song. It shows why he is the absolutely best and no one would dare argue that he is among the world’s very best vocalist. With the brilliance of the band’s composition, Kashmir is a song that puts Led Zeppelin among one of the best bands of the world. It will always leave you with goosebumps. Get ready for some slow head banging grove.

4. Heartbreaker
You could call this the signature Zeppelin song, one with a killer riff and an awesome guitar solo.Van Halen was influenced by Jimmy Page and came up with tapping when he saw the hammer on and pull offs that Jimmy presents in this song. The solo is purely about emotions and putting string bending to the limit. Also listen to Black Dog and Whole Lotta Love, which I listened to while I was a newbie and equally enjoyed them.

3. Stairway to Heaven
Perhaps I don’t need to get started with this song. It is probably Led Zeppelins most famous song, one that probably everyone has heard. It’s got a stand out intro guitar and synthesizers making it mystique. It’s solo has been listed as the best solo in the world by Gibson guitar and why not. Jimmy absolutely nails it with a great combination of slow and smooth plucking to the soulful solo. The double neck Gibson guitar Jimmy uses on live performances is revolutionary. The song has some wise lyrics to the song and as a matter of fact, everyone bows to Zeppelin for this composition.

2. Since I’ve Been Loving You
Though Jimmy Page is known for his heavy guitar riffs, he shows how good he can play the blues. This is probably one of the best blues song that exisits. It’s not an easy song to cover, not even for people with expertise in blues guitar. This shows the other side of Page with versatility than you would normally imagine.

1. Over The Hills And Far Away
Everybody’s got their own choices right? For me, Over The Hills And Far Away was a song I listened to very late on since I listened to Zeppelin and I was astonished. I was walking in the middle of the streets listening to it in my experimental playlist in my iPod and I began dancing. It’s sets a pleasant mood and has got a soothing guitar with a perfect blend of clean and crunching guitar.

Abish’s List of Top 10 Underrated Bands

The following are a list of bands which I think are greatly underrated. Most of these musicians do not appear on most my friends playlist or do I ever hear them playing in a cafe or restaurant. I have rarely met people who say it’s their favorite band. Most of these names were never heard of by people. So here’s my view on the list of bands you could put into your awesome playlist.

Creedence Clearwater Revival
It’s more than just ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain‘. Of course, I first heard that song and thought it was a good single but never bothered to listen to the band thinking it was some old blokes just playing guitar. Later on when I got bored with my playlist, I listened to a couple more of the and discovered it was one great band. The guitar is great, their stories are and perhaps they’re a little country oriented, but they are one cool, neat and tidy band. I’d love to have CCR on my playlist if I’m going on a long travel. My personal favorite ‘Suzie Q‘.

Mr.Big
This band is more than just Paul Gibert. I first heard ‘Wild World’ and then thought they were a cool acoustic band, a type that you would find in a coffee place. Turns out they are one absolutely gorgeous band. Songs like ‘Just Take My Heart’, ‘To Be With You’ were the ones I followed, but this band is an epitome of a hair metal band.
T. Rex
If you don’t know about T.Rex yet then I’d like to remind you that without Marc Bolan and the band, there would have been no glam metal meaning no Slash, KISS or Def Leppard. Perhaps they’re some old glamorous bloke but Bolan really is a greatly underrated figure. He was the cosmic man who would at times fold his knees, strum his hollow guitar and make a magical night. With outstanding compositions like ‘Lifes a Gas‘, ‘Get in On’ and ‘20th Century Boy’, perhaps they lack the respect from the newer generation. I haven’t heard anyone besides my dad who knows of this band.
Dire Straits
This is one very smooth band who probably hit a big time, but I feel needs a little more attention and respect. Mark Knoffler is a very talented guitarist and it’s because of people like him who are less respected that there has been a rise in influences to other genres than classical rock. Some songs like ‘Heavy Fuel’ have that punk attitude and they have various songs like ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ that would make you go dancing, making you feel like you’re under a spotlight. If only guitarist made Knoffler their idol, they would make pleasant rhythmic music than metal.
Deep Purple
Perhaps because of bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, this band never got enough of a bad ass reputation. They have a killer guitar and keyboard combination. I could never quite figure out when the solo is a guitar solo or a keyboard solo. From rash to reckless solos, this band is the kind of band you would play in an underground club like UFO alongside Pink Floyd. Their music certainly gets you headbanging. For beginners, give ‘Highway Star‘ a try.
Whitesnake
It’s yet another hair metal band that should be in the limelight. They are one of the smoothest bands I know that that get you both rocking or makes you put your hand up in the air, but I have not met more than a handful bunch of people who have actually even heard of this band. It was ‘Is This Love‘ was playing in Hard Rock in Delhi, but no one I know here has ever heard of such an 80’s piece of art.
The Police
It’s more than just ‘Every Breath You Take‘ which has so many disco versions these days. Though Sting was an asshole, the band is altogether produced some very decent music. It made songs like ‘So Lonely‘ with lyrics supposed to make it more of a song something that sweeps your feet. The guitar work is amazing with some amazing harmonic techniques. A decent band that never got such a decent reputation.

Scorpions
These Germans surely are pioneers of the early metal and hard rock genre. ‘Still Loving You‘, ‘Wind of Change‘, ‘Big City Nights‘, ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane‘ and many more? The guitars are absolutely amazing with very cool plucking and have kind of songs you would never skip while playing in your iPod. They deserve to be there among the greatest musicians to walk the earth.
The Verve
This is a less known band where I come from. This band is so smooth and that kind of gives you a comfortable Radiohead kind of vibe, less the depression. Of course ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony‘ has to be their best song but every song you hear will set you the mood to listen to more of it. I personally love ‘One Day‘ and ‘Lucky Man‘. If you haven’t heard songs from this band, download it and give it a listen, not the other way around. Trust me, no matter which genre of genre you listen to, you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Gary Moore
This guy here is the best man to take a sad song and make it better. He is definitely the most underrated guitarist on the planet but besides that fact, he is one damn good blues musician. If you haven’t heard songs like ‘Parisienne Walkways’ or ‘Walking By Myself’, you are in for a treat.

If you think there are any other underrated bands, do let me know.

Bands that don’t make my playlist

DISCLAIMER: You could find some of your very favorite bands innit. Please be ready for some ‘WHAT THE F#&*’ is wrong with him.

Just my honest opinion. Many don’t even have a reason why I don’t listen to them. Just check if you have a thumbs up for some of the bands. Kewl.

Metallica

At some point, I was going nuts trying to learn ‘Nothing Else Matters’ but that was a long long time ago. With time, it just did not go with my musical taste. I rather opted for Megadeth and maybe it was because of my loyalty towards Dave Mustain, I never really liked Metallica. I’d rather listen to AC/DC or some other band. It was not the right level of heavy or perhaps a different type of music than what I would opt for.

U2

This band is exactly what Pink Floyd isn’t. It’s got a few good songs and the guitar sucks. Edge has this irritating repetitive stuff with his guitar going on. It never got me curious to learn a riff of his. I don’t even think Bono is close to any good rock frontman and feels overrated. If it wasn’t for ‘FRIENDS’, I would have probably disliked even ‘With or Without You’. I don’t see what’s so good about the band. It’s the kind of band Simon Cowell would opt for. Bleh!

Guns ‘n Roses

I’m a big fan of the glam metal, but GNR is just not the right band for me. At some point, I did like this band but since even my friends who were their biggest fans said that Axle Rose in an ass, I began disliking it. Though songs like ‘Paradise City’ and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ were at some point one of my favorite songs, I realised it’s just songs I would skip when it started playing on my playlist these days so.. there you go, there’s none there now. I wouldn’t say they’re lame. I’m staying loyal to them. I don’t think Slash and I have anything in common anyway though I respect him. Rose is still an ass.

Bon Jovi

At some point, I listened to bands like MLTR and Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi songs would be in the songs books I would buy. I just never liked their songs. It kind of felt like a big wannabe band that didn’t go along with my taste. I always thought it was overrated. It’s the name I use when I have to say I wish I’d discovered bands like ‘Led Zeppelin’ and ‘KISS’ earlier than slobby bands like Bon Jovi.

Black Sabbath

Ozzy, Dio? It doesn’t matter to me who was better. Even the name does not feel so big to me. I quite never liked any songs from them. Those I’ve heard never got me goosebumps or excited. I couldn’t wait till their song to end. It wasn’t too dynamic or anything exciting innit. I’d rather go for Iron Maiden or Deep Purple than this band. To sum up, I felt it was boring.

Pearl Jam and Alice in Chain

All I hear when I tell I love grunge is that I probably listen to this band as well, but Nirvana is all that’s very suitable for me. Eddie Vedder? Kurt Cobain is way cooler. I don’t think the soundtrack of ‘Into the Wild’ is good anyway. Just a band I wouldn’t wanna listen to.

John Mayer

When I first heard ‘Your body’s a Wonderland’, I thought “Dude, put your bedroom stories to yourself”. When I hear him, it only feels like a normal street guitar player. Eric Clapton could have chosen a better disciple. The electric guitar doesn’t doesn’t suit him. He’d rather stick with acoustic guitar and cover some songs like ‘Free Fallin’ and get chicks like Taylor Swift. 😀

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

I cannot classify them under a certain genre. What is that? Maybe at time I tried learning to play ‘Snow’ or ‘Caifornication’ but my interests just didn’t go with it. Just another song I’d listen to when in a restaurant or in an old friend’s iPod but nahh… it feels like it kind of degrades the quality of my playlist.

Foo Fighters

Nice guy Dave Grohl, I don’t feel like you’re anything like Nirvana with your guitar. I don’t see why you require 3 guitars mann. Like your other bands where you play the drum though.  i.e. Them Crooked Vulture, Queens of Stone Age. Peace.