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Mammal’s Merry Memories: Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (1975)


Surely every metalhead knows or at least knows of Pink Floyd. This colossal British band dating back the 1960s has been a seminal influence for any number of top musicians, including the likes of Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon and other projects.

The Floydian influence extends well beyond metal. Modern progressive rock, psychedelic rock and space rock also bow often to Floyd.

Unless you own the 1975 album Wish You Were Here, the chances are that you haven’t heard “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” in its entirety. It’s my favourite Floyd composition. It was included on the original album as a nine-part suite split into two movements, one at the start and the other at the end of the album. “Best Of” collections and compilations usually include a shortened version. Splice the two original movements into one long piece, however, and you have one of the most beautiful prog rock symphonies imaginable.

Indulge yourself for about 26 minutes.

 

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Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs #18 – Comfortably Numb


comfortably-numb-brickDare I say I am not a Pink Floyd fan? I never have been a fan and to this day I have heard enough of their music to honestly say they will never make my list of favorite bands.  Blasphemy to some, I know.  I do, however, like when other bands cover their music.  I think this is some kind of genetic mutation I cannot fully explain.  Enter Dream Theater and their cover of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb.  I totally dig it and can listen to it repeatedly, but when the original comes on, I turn the channel or whatever.  Like I said, I can’t explain it.

Comfortably Numb appeared on the 1979 double album, The Wall.  Obviously, it is very popular and has been covered many times.  I did see a great live rendition of the song at a co-headlining Dream Theater and Queensryche show around 2003-ish.  Both bands collaborated on stage for Comfortably Numb which you can see on Queensryche’e The Art of Live DVD or on YouTube or below.  It was awesome to say the least especially now knowing Geoff Tate is no longer part of Queensryche.

Here is the original song recorded recently in London, 2011.

Here is Dream Theater’s version which appears on their (bootleg) release of The Dark Side of the Moon.

Below is the bonus Dream Theater/Queensryche collaboration.

Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #24: Animals covered by Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade


The_Les_Claypool_Frog_Brigade_-_Live_Frogs_Set_2I tip my hat to Mr. Claypool and his brigade of amphibious creatures.  They could have just covered a single song off of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece (and my favorite PF record), Animals.  But Les had too much respect for the album, and to break it up, he felt would hurt the records integrity, so he just covered the whole darn thing.  And he released it as an official Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade live album to boot: Live Frogs Set 2.  So not only do you get the Claypool take on a classic album, but you get to hear it with wonderfully captured live energy as well as quality sound quality (if you ever purchased a bootleg of another band doing this kind of thing, you know how bad the audio recording can get).  I really can not speak enough of how great the sound quality of this record is, hats off to the production and recording team.

Les’ take on Animals is pretty straight forward not changing anything and staying true to the way Roger Waters composed it.  But, given that Claypool carries such a unique bass playing style as well as a peculiar voice, it would be impossible for him to replicate Animals note for note.  When compared to the original the low ends are a lot fuller and much more pronounced with many blue notes added in.  His voice also fits in perfectly with his oddball croon being a nice change of pace from Roger Waters rather pedestrian voice.  The rest of the band also does some outstanding work giving due respect to the source material.  I particularly like how saxophonist, Shriek, was able to replicate many of the sound effects heard on the original with his saxophone and Jay Lane’s excellent drumming working well with Claypool’s occasional improvised bits.

After listening to both records back to back, I have to say, I almost prefer Claypool’s rendition to the original, almost.  And while there is plenty of the Claypool personality and improved moments crammed in, I do wish he deviated from the original a bit more to give it a more Claypool-ish spin to it.  Nonetheless, it’s an excellent homage to Claypool’s favorite band and a wonderful cover that all fans of the original should listen to.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Listen to the cover after the jump:

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #15-#11


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#15 Colors by Between the Buried and Me

In the early and mid 2000’s I found myself a bit disenchanted with new metal. I had kept in touch with the established bands in my catalog, but anything new just ‘didn’t do it for me’. Then I stumbled on BTBAM and their newly released Colors. Never have I heard metal quite like this, ferocious, complex, organic, beautiful, chaotic, and so unorthodox. How each song flowed into the next created a neat flow and the musicianship in each one seriously blew my mind and gave me a new-found faith in modern metal. I also love while on one end the music and themes on this record are pretty serious, the band knows how to sit back and have some fun at times and get playful with the music breaking that ‘more brutal than thou’ mentality that was plaguing metal at the time in my eyes. After this record I became more adventurous with my music returning to actively seek out/check out music by stuff I never heard of in hopes I find something that blew me away like Colors. To quote Forrest Gump: “I must have drank me 15 Dr. Peppers”. Returning to this album 7 years after my big first impression it still holds up wonderfully and BTBAM received much deserved success and took the right path and upped their talent (seriously, check out the new record 😉 ).

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #50-#46



So, now I’m into the Top 50, as much as I adore all the records previous to this half, this is where things start to get good.  The albums in this half are a handful of records that I could not see myself being without.  These 50 make up the top ~3% of the 1500+ albums I have in my music collection, so needless to say, they are all of the highest quality in my eyes.  While there a few more modern releases in here, you’ll see that the test of time was a big factor for me as I approach the coveted #1 spot.  I hope you enjoy reading my list as much as I enjoyed making it.  And if you happen to be doing one of your own, let me know, I’d be keen to check it out.  Hopefully this list will make you return to an album you haven’t listened to in a while or discover something new to check out.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

#50 Meddle by Pink Floyd

Meddle is the Pink Floyd album where I think the band really found their sound. They are able to be both wildly experimental and cohesive at the same time. Gilmour’s signature guitar style sounds wonderful as he creates some of the best musical textures of Pink Floyd’s catalog on Meddle. This album has always been a favorite of mine especially in my ‘experimental’ days where I always enjoyed sitting back in a haze, completely zoned out to the soothe sounds of tunes like “A Pillow of Winds” and “Fearless” and tunes like “One of These Days” and “Echoes” would take me on magical journeys. Even when I stopped ‘experimenting’ Meddle remained as one of my favorite ‘chillin’ out’ albums, hence its spot on my list.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #90-#86


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#90 Leviathan by Mastodon

I think I may have permanently injured my neck from the rate of headbanging I did when I first heard “Blood and Thunder”. That tune is the very essence of metal. Oh, and the rest of the album is about Herman Melville’s Moby Dick you say, F’ yeah! Boy am I happy I paid attention to that one in school. This album is so heavy it should come with a ‘lift with caution’ warning label. If you’ve never checked out Mastodon before this is a good starting point. It has the brutality of their earlier works and the beginnings of the prog side the band would later explore.

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You’re Being Very Unmetallike Dude


Like most people, when I listen to music I tend to stick to my preferred genre, and like most others I also like to take steps outside of my preferred genre from time to time to see what else is going on.  Often times reveling in the glorious world of metal can tend to become a bit overbearing and need a breather.  Other times I hear a certain non-metal element in my metal music that catches my ear and the interest gets me to go out exploring and often times I find some great music.  Here are some of my favorite artists outside of the realm of metal.  Some are quite popular, some not, but all are worth checking out.  Do you have some non-metal bands that you would suggest to check out?  Let me know!!  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Theme Thursday-Unlikely Covers


Cover songs are a great way for a band to show tribute to their favorite artists, and move out of their comfort zone and have some fun with their music without having to compromise the integrity of their core material.  Here’s a list of some covers done by metal bands that step out of what the bands core sound and cover something that is a little different for them, some of the covers are “metalized” some hone the spirit of the original, but in the end, they’re all pretty damn good covers.  And if you dig the cover version, check out the original, more times than not it’s a great song.  If you know some more unlikely covers let us know in the comments and let us know what your favorite were. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal

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Awesome Covertunes


It’s always nice when a band plays tribute to some of their influences.  So I’ve compiled a list of 10 covertunes that are really, really, really wicked good.  Personally, covertunes should be done one of two ways; either cover the song exactly for what how it was intended or completely remake it, but keep it at least recognizable as a tribute song.  Anywhere in the middle is usually blah…

So here is my list of 10 covertunes that bring an older song back to life.

Bullet For My Valentine – Welcome Home (Sanitarium) – Original by Metallica

Faith No More – Easy – Original by The Commodore’s

Five Finger Death Punch – Bad Company – Original by Bad Company

Killswitch Engage – Holy Diver – Original by Dio

Machine Head – Hallowed Be Thy Name – Original by Iron Maiden

Trivium – Master of Puppets – Original by Metallica

Chimaira – Disposable Heroes – Original by Metallica

Hatebreed – Ghost of War – Original by Slayer

The Bronx Casket Company – My Way – Original by Frank Sinatra

DevilDriver – Wasted Years – Original by Iron Maiden

It looks to me like a good pool of songs to cover were originally recorded by either Metallica or Iron Maiden.  There are many more covertunes that could have made this list, but these are the ones that stuck out for me the most.  I could probably easily redo this list with 10 other songs.  You know what, lets extend it out five more songs…here goes.

Susperia – Lack of Comprehension – Original by Death

Machine Head – Message in a Bottle – Original by The Police

Queensryche – Synchronicity II – Original by The Police

Children of Bodom – Hell is for Children – Original by Pat Benetar

Dream Theater – Comfortably Numb – Original by Pink Floyd

If you know more covertunes that deserve special attention please let us know.   I’m going to stop now before I go another five…