April BlogCast ~ Timeless Heartfelt Sentiments

 

Welcome to our monthly musical get-together.

We, who came of age in the Sixties… an era seething with military madness, political unrest and societal upheaval… had no shortage of songs interwoven with antiwar, political and social commentary. These TIMELY and TIMELESS song lyrics pointed squarely at (in some cases with the middle digit) the aggression and injustices, which were sullying and degrading humanity all across America and throughout our world.

Throughout the decades that followed, when liberal minded presidents were at the helm, we did manage to take some baby steps towards extricating ourselves from such ills. But… to keep it real… there were also conservatives who would not stand for any part of what we stood for… who were (still are) hell bent on undoing any and all progress. Which means…

There still is so much of our work that remains undone.

More recently, Barack Obama, our nation’s very first biracial President, did offer average Jane and Joe Americans that sunny ray of hope. But his plan to effect change we could all believe in head-on collided with political gridlock… “courtesy” of his obdurate opponents. Net effect, these archconservatives had been the political equivalent of an endless, total eclipse of the sun.

And considering how the present-day, backward, reptilian brained, Tyrant-o-saurus Rex has been on a national and international rampage… making his primary ongoing mission to muddy and cover up each and every forward moving footprint his predecessor had left… well… now more than ever, there is an ever-growing need to “air” this month’s BlogCast songs.

On a more positive note, if such lyrical sentiments are ever, truly taken to heart by the powers-that-be, we could wind up with an energizing soundtrack that’ll, eventually, fight and win the war against aggression, oppression and discrimination in all of their grotesque, deplorable forms. Well, at least we can dream about it, right?

You likely noticed those two capitalized and italicized “T” words at the outset of this blog. The TIMELY and TIMELESS quality of this music has the capability of engaging critical thinkers wherever we may be… at the very least… inspiring a far greater liberal turnout at the polls this midterm election year.

On a more technical note: Admittedly, choosing between featuring original recordings vs. cover versions was a tough call. To resolve this, I’ve formatted the covers to appear onsite and link to the originals offsite over @YouTube. For any of you, who choose to click onto the smaller font’s artist/song names beneath each vid’s main title, you’ll be treated to a comparative study of the earlier artists’ interpretations / renditions.

So, sans any further delay, let’s all ear and eyewitness how all of these recording artists have so adeptly and passionately infused their heart and soul into the musical mix. Be these songs Sixties era or more recent, they’ve kept my hope alive… and hopefully yours too… hope for a better global society and better tomorrows.

 

Lena Markley & Brother Sanford ~ Get Together

Youngbloods ~ Get Together

“L” Debois ~ What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye ~ What’s Going On

VazquezSounds ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan ~ Blowin’ In The Wind
Stevie Wonder ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Justice Collective ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

Hollies ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

 

In parting… all I can add, here, is…

As consequential, expressive and inspirational this program’s timeless songs have been, what a shame that the political wasteland we are presently slogging through has made them so desperately needed and damned relevant. Maybe someday they’ll be played purely based on their musical merits. Someday…

Thank You for listening, viewing and reading. I’ll be posting my next monthly BlogCast during the first week of May ’18.

To access past programs, click onto my BlogCasts and Music categories.

If you’ve found our musical get-together enjoyable, don’t forget to like, comment and share. Those options can be accessed by clicking onto each blog title.

 

 

 

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Musical Compositions “Decomposed”

The above clip aurally sums up a recent plagiarism lawsuit… the case where the estate of Spirit’s guitarist / songwriter, Randy Wolfe (a.k.a. Randy California) had claimed that, in 1971, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” composers  Robert Plant & Jimmy Page had ripped off the guitar riff to Wolfe’s 1968 instrumental song, “Taurus”. Well, yesterday, a jury settled the matter in favour of Led Zeppelin… and I’m not totally convinced they decided correctly.

In this next clip, guitarist TJR, further showcases these two songs, practically “decomposing” them down to their atomic structure. He also demonstrates the similarities between Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and Beatle George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

Of course, forty years ago, Harrison, himself, had been found “guilty” of subconscious plagiarism re his 1970 recording, “My Sweet Lord”… that song being deemed a musical clone of Ronnie Mack’s composition, “He’s So Fine” (recorded by the Chiffons in 1963).

There have been other similar sounding tracks, which have caught my ear, as well, over the years… including “Things We Said Today” released by the Beatles in 1964 and the Hollies’ 1966 track, “Bus Stop”.

 

It was only about a week ago, while I was playing the John Lennon / Paul McCartney composition, “Help”, on my piano, when it suddenly dawned on me that George Harrison had kinda / sorta, “ripped off” his own band mates… had employed the exact same chord progression [A – C#m – F#m – D – G – A] for the bridge to his composition, “Something” (once the key signature shifts from C to A).

 

So… why does this happen? Well, I’d say with our brains, for the most part, all being wired in a similar fashion… with multiple millions of musicians limited to playing within the confines of western music’s 12-note octave, the possible (pleasing) sequences of these notes are not infinite and, as such, whatever plagiarism issues which arise… well… let’s just say that this should not come as any big surprise.