THE PRESENT

Picture of The Moody Blues

“The Present” I believe to be one of the greatest albums out of the many incredible ones written by The Moody Blues over the years. If you’re a Moody Blues fan or not, I highly recommend making this album a part of your musical library. It is filled with such sonic beauty and melodic splendor. You will really come to thank me for it, and who knows? Maybe even come to appreciate my strange, melodramatic ways and wry sense of humor!

Meanwhile, here is a sample from The Present, written and sung by TMB’s legendary lead singer Justin Hayward–an incredible singer/songwriter in his own right. It’s called “Running Water” and is a favorite of mine from the band’s entire vast catalog of inimitable music. Was a favorite of my great novelist father, too, and how I miss the times I used to play this song and the whole album for him. In times long ago that were once The Present. And in another meaning…still is!

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Link To Running Water: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCJc3RkDaZQ

 

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Lady Magdelene

N. DIAMONDI’ve always said that most lovers of Neil Diamond’s music hardly know him at all, for most his greatest songs he never released as singles.  You have to be a serious diehard fan who buys or has bought his albums over the years to full appreciate his songwriting skills and the sensationally unique songs he has written throughout his career.

One such song is this one, Lady Magdelene, a spiritual-philosophical ballad that is very unique indeed for the most unusual examination and description it presents about the meaning of love and those who believe in it.  This is a very beautiful song, and for those of you who thought you knew the extreme depth and sensitivity of Neil Diamond’s music are in for a special treat…and a spritual-philosophical trip seldom found in popular music.  Enjoy!

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SIX MEGA-HITS BY KISS

With or without the makeup, KISS is one heck of a band, and amazing songwriters, too, I might add.  To prove both these points, here is the band from 1995 in an amazing “Unplugged” concert they gave on MTV.  They have so many hits it was difficult which to select to share here.  But I found six favorites I hope you may enjoy…and will rock you all night long!
 

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 SIX MEGA-HITS BY KISS
 
Sure Know Something: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=MJDbKVvKD6A&NR=1
 
Goin’ Blind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD6e0TYA35M&feature=related
 
I Still Love You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_f250hoHus&feature=related
 
Every Time I Look At You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baU0QL8R7G8&feature=fvwrel
 
Beth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tET3vtelQ6A

Nothing To Lose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=cCfkK_q41OU&NR=1

BRILLIANT DISGUISE by Bruce Springsteen‏

It was not until his album Tunnel of Love that I really discovered Bruce Springsteen and came to appreciate his gift for songwriting and singing.  More so, I’ve become convinced The Boss is easily one of America’s 10 greatest songwriters.  This song, Brilliant Disguise (from Tunnel of Love), is really a brilliant example of Springsteen’s incomparable songwriting skills.  You just have to listen closely: it’s full of subtly and metaphor and a nice twist and profound statement at the very end.  The whole album Tunnel of Love is a masterpiece, and I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates great pop/rock music and beautiful torch songs.  As a bonus, I’ve also included his haunting song “You’re Missing,” from his equally suburb album The Rising, which was the most successful album of 2002 and the ultimate tribute to 9/11.  There were or are a lot tribute songs, but I know of no other that captures the emotional grief and loss of 9/11 as does You’re Missing.  If it doesn’t rip your heart out and lay it bare, then there’s probably no music that can.

 
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LINK TO VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idnJnjV_8rg
 
LINK TO LYRICS:  http://lyrics.astraweb.com/display/385/bruce_springsteen..tunnel_of_love..brilliant_disguise.html
 
LINK TO MISSING (with lyrics):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXxsJM0mPeQ&feature=related
 

Donna Summer–She Wrote and Sang Great For The Money!‏

Today, to me, is a kind of sad day, and I’m in a funk because of it.  For The Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, died today.  I really enjoyed her music through the years, especially during the 1970’s when Disco was King…and Queen!  She and The Bee Gees pretty much defined the whole musical era, I believe. 
 
She had an amazing voice that could break glasses and get people dancing.  And dancing has got to be one of the most fun things in life to do.  A really good thing, too.  So I’m not ashamed of loving disco music.  If it ever makes a comeback, I’m ready!  But today I’m sending this blurb out to everyone on my song mailing list and here on my blog as a tribute to The Queen of Disco.  Her many, many great hit songs brought and still bring a lot of joy into people’s lives.  That too is really a great thing, I think.  So here are my four favorite songs by Donna Summer–and it wasn’t easy to choose since she had so many marvelous hits. 
 
If anything, do try to at least watch the last video where she sings and performs MacArthur Park.  Oh, what an unbelievable voice!  What an incredible singer and performer!  Long Live The Queen!  May there never be a last dance for her music.
 

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Castles In The Air

Among America’s all-time premier songwriters, Don McLean has got to be near the top. Here is one of his sensitive masterpieces to demonstrate that fact.  The lyrics read and sing like pure poetry (exact rhyme!) and have an elegance you usually find in a songwriter like Cole Porter or Irving Berlin.  But this is the American Pie rocker here amazingly underappreciated for his amazing skills with rhyme and lilting words.  If there is another modern pop artist I put in the same category of excellence, it would be Jackson Browne.  But I’ll get to him soon enough.  For now, it’s Mr. American Pie himself, Don McLean, and one of his most beautiful ballads ever.  Enjoy!

LINK TO SONG:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNidllCtHZc&feature=related

 

Two beautiful ballads by ToTo

A master of ballads and one of the 10 best pop/rock bands of the 1980s and early ’90s, in my opinion, is Toto.  Here are two of their biggest hits and two of the most beautiful torch songs from that era.  My and my great novelist father’s favorites by this incomparable musical act, nostalgia and flames abound. So be careful…these fiery songs can scorch and burn!

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I’LL BE OVER YOU:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u1u3Q-G5xI

LYRICS:  http://www.lyricsdepot.com/toto/ill-be-over-you.html

OUT OF LOVE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUx_FpJ55EM&feature=related

LYRICS:  http://www.songlyrics.com/toto/out-of-love-lyrics/