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Help! I need to expand my music horizons!

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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Kevin Porter

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Posted October 19 2003 - 07:19 PM

Ever since I got iTunes I've been feeling like I need a music education. I feel like I don't have the basics. I have never heard songs (As far as I know. Or at least bought) songs from such icons as

-Johnny Cash
-Elvis Costello
-The Rolling Stones
-Ray Charles
-Buddy Holly

And so on. Many I can't recall. And I've only bought 1 song from


What I'm saying is that I need reccomendations for the basics. The basic songs that I really haven't had any exposure to. I would really like to get into each of these artists (And others I might not have listed) but it's hard to know where to start. I really want to get a good music library. It might help ya'll to know what I do like. Well for starters:

-Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel
-Little Green Bag - George Baker Selection
-It's Your Thing - The Isley Brothers
-Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Nancy Sinatra
-Walk On - U2
-At Last - Etta James
-Everybody Hurts - REM
-Green Onions - Booker T. and the MGs
-Cissy Strut - The Meters
-You Never Can Tell - Chuck Berry
-Be Still My Soul - Lisbeth Scott
-Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
-September - Earth Wind and Fire
-Run Faye Run - Issac Hayes
-My Weakness - Moby
-Everloving - Moby
-Battle Without Honor or Humanity - Tomoyasu Hotei
-Autumn in Connecticut - Elmer Bernstein

Actually I love all of those and yes I am aware that about 1/4 of them are from Tarantino flicks. Like I said, I really want a solid music library/collection. Any reccomendations would be welcome. And don't just limit yourselves to the bands aformentioned. Any essentials that I might not have because of my musical stupidness.
Danny Federici, we'll meet you in the land of hope and dreams

#2 of 25 OFFLINE   PhilBoy


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Posted October 20 2003 - 12:41 AM

For starter, pick a band & get a 'best of' or 'greatest' collection... As far as the Stones go, "40 Licks".
simplicity is genius...

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Chet_F


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Posted October 20 2003 - 07:34 AM

Johnny Cash - American IV - The Man Comes Around The last great CD of an amazing artist. It's really hard to explain. I think Johnny KNEW it was his last chance to really shine.
"If you’re lucky, people like something you do early and something you do just before you drop dead. That’s as many pats on the back as you should expect." - Warren Zevon 1993, R.I.P.

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 20 2003 - 07:42 AM

Kevin, are you saying you've never heard any Stones material or that you simply never have bought a Stones recording? I mean, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is just about the most widely and highly regarded rock&roll tune of all time.

#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Kevin Porter

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Posted October 20 2003 - 08:39 AM

Well I probably have in fact heard one of their tunes but if I did, I wasn't aware of it. Can you tell I really need help?
Danny Federici, we'll meet you in the land of hope and dreams

#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 20 2003 - 10:17 AM

Well, Kevin, it's just unusual for someone not to have heard (or to be certain he or she has heard) anything by the second most popular and influential rock band in history. "Ruby Tuesday"? "Start Me Up"? "Mother's Little Helper"? "Get Off of my Cloud"? "Black Sugar"? "Sympathy for the Devil"? "Gimme Shelter"? These are standards with which you might want to familiarize yourself.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   LawrenceK


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Posted October 20 2003 - 10:20 AM

Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True, This Year's Model The Rolling Stones - 40 Licks, Exile on Main St. R.E.M. - Automatic for the People Those are the best that I have heard from those bands. But...they all have pretty extensive discographies. I personally disagree with the "greatest hits" collection routes, except in the case of the Stones, because I almost always prefer the "hits" in relation to the album they were put on. Also, greatest hits often pass over truly great songs because they were never issued as singles. Since you are using iTunes, what have you got to lose? It is only $9 for an album, which is a pretty safe bet. I can almost guarantee your enjoyment of any of the albums I just named.

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   jeff peterson

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Posted October 20 2003 - 11:58 AM

Jack, Jack, Jack.... "BLACK Sugar"?:b

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Kevin Porter

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Posted October 20 2003 - 12:28 PM

Thanks guys for the reccomendations so far. And don't just limit yourselves to the bands that I mentioned. Any essentials that I might not have because of my musical stupidness. I'm such an idiot when it comes to music.
Danny Federici, we'll meet you in the land of hope and dreams

#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Peter Mazur

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Posted October 20 2003 - 12:34 PM

As far as U2 goes my favorites albums are: Boy War Joshua Tree Achtung Baby Songs you might try: I Will Follow An Cat Dubh I Threw A Brick Through A Window Sunday Bloody Sunday New Year's Day Two Hearts Beat As One Pride (In The Name Of Love) Bad I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For With Or Without You Bullet The Blue Sky Heartland Even Better Than The Real Thing One Stay (Faraway, So Close) Discotheque Staring At The Sun Beautiful Day These are a few songs from each album to get a sample of the different sounds they have had through the years. Also, if you really want the basics, you must start with The Beatles. All of their albums are truly mandatory for any serious collection. The albums I personally would recommend first are: Revolver Rubber Soul Sgt. Pepper Abbey Road

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted October 20 2003 - 07:17 PM

Ok, I have to say that this is very difficult to do. To me, the base would be the early days of rock & roll, which would be the late '50's - like 'Ricky Nelson' & 'Buddy Holly', but some of their roots go back to the blues, and jazz, which came before that. The '60's brought about many changes, from 'Elvis Presley', 'The Beach Boys' and then 'The Beatles', 'Rolling Stones' all the way through the acid rock of the late '60's, and then disco, and so on, and so on. To me, the 'Best of...' albums are a better buy, because if you do like them, then you can get the rest, and see how they changed from album to album. If you don't, you haven't lost as much. Do you prefer a solo singer to a group, or one guitar, a band of 4 to 8, or bands with orchestra's behind them? You might have certain preferences too, like a good lead guitar, or even drums or a banjo. You don't have to hear everything to get a good start, and if you end up liking everything you won't have enough time to see any movies, which is why you are here in the first place! Just trying to help you to narrow it down a bit, because there are a ton of groups out there. Glenn

#12 of 25 OFFLINE   John Watson

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Posted October 21 2003 - 12:04 AM

Movie "soundtrack" compilations can give an indication of the amazing variety of music you may come to enjoy. Some are pretty lame as movie theme support, but the variety of songs on them makes them a good bet. Try DINER. Anyone who likes "You Never Can Tell" should like that one. DINER actually has an Elvis track, which is very unusual on a compilation. Personally, my inclination these days to broaden my horizons is towards jazz and classical.

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   PhilBoy


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Posted October 21 2003 - 12:34 AM

Kevin, As you are a 'musical virgin', here is what to avoid... Disco. It never really happened.
simplicity is genius...

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   RobertW


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Posted October 21 2003 - 08:12 AM

as far as i can tell, you're looking for individual songs to download from itunes? if you really liked the earth wind and fire, then you have to hear "that's the way of the world", "shining star", and "sun goddess". i was a huge earth wind and fire fan back in the late seventies.

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport



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Posted October 21 2003 - 09:25 AM

I have 2500 CDs and they are ALL essential!

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted October 21 2003 - 10:51 AM

Give a listen to some samples of Steely Dan songs. Steely Dan is a very acquired taste but it's great music IMO and just about everyone agrees it's techinically very complex and textured. I think every Steely Dan album is on the iTunes store. Good albums to start samplinga are Aja, Gaucho, and Katy Lied. Definately give a listen to Aja and Gaucho first. If you find you like them, go for some others and then grab Donald Fagen's awesome solo Album the Nightfly. As I said, the band is an acquired taste but it's really good sort of oddball music.

#17 of 25 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport



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Posted October 22 2003 - 04:45 AM

FYI-Here are my top 25 albums (not by the Beatles or Rolling Stones) (in no particular order). 1. Television - Marquee Moon 2. The Stooges - Fun House 3. Love - Forever Changes 4. The Who - Sell Out 5. Love Battery - Dayglo 6. The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen 7. Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All 8. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue 10. John Coltrane - Ole 11. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 12. Pink Floyd - Meddle 13. The Monkees - Headquarters 14. VA - Nuggets 15. The Small Faces - Small Faces (Immediate) 16. The Doors - Strange Days 17. Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland 18. The Zombies - Oddysey & Oracle 19. Sonic Youth - Evol 20. Johnny Cash - The Essential Sun Recordings 21. Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul 22. The O'Jays - Love Train: The Best of 23. The Dead Kennedy's - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables 24. The Beach Boys - Surf's Up 25. King Crimson - In The Court of the Crimson King

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   Angelo.M



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Posted October 22 2003 - 05:22 AM

I disagree with the "greatest hits album" strategy. In the short term, you'll probably discover some things you like, but you might be less inclined later to really explore the catalogs of important artists. You'll eventually get much more out of "Blood on the Tracks" than "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2".

Also, thanks to the 'Net, there is still some decent radio around, which might help you. I recommend a listen to New York's WFUV, the radio voice of Fordham University (not an alum, don't work there, just a fan!). You'll find a great mix of new and classic rock, pop, folk and other genres, plus NPR news. Finally, use www.allmusic.com as a tool for helping you to organize your search for the good stuff.

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted October 22 2003 - 10:16 AM

i actually agree with the greatest hits strategy. what better way to get a good cross-section of their music. if you don't like their greatest hits, it's doubtful you'll like their standalone albums.

okay, i'm just gonna rattle off a few that i can think of.

one of my all-time faves. if you like coldplay, you'll almost certainly like them. call these guys....ummm...i dunno....experimental/alt/rock? unlike many groups, they have really shifted their sound. their early stuff is more rocky, their latest stuff more electronicky

beth orton
okay, she may be my all time fave singer. her vocals are so awesome and her sound is truly unique. she is really "big" in the industry, very well known. she has a sultry/raspy/seductive voice. all her albums are worthwhile - try "central reservation" or "trailer park".

you may not like her music, but you gotta love her creativity. formerly of the sugarcubes, she has truly broken out on her own. her vocal stylings can sometimes grate your spine, but at the same time, she is just too damn irresistable. go for the greatest hits - which are songs that were chosen by her fans

concrete blond
featuring the vocal stylings of johnette napolitano - she presents a harder-edged sound than many female vocals...and the band can defintely back her up. their greatest hits album (titled "recollection") is a must-have.

in the same style as enigma. very electronic. if you like *that* sound, then this is a band for you. sweeping and organic, yet infused with a modern beat. typically they have recognizable names do the singing - including people like sara mac, sinead o'connor, poe, etc. their breakout album is "karma", but just about any of their stuff will do. i really like their new album too...can't remember what it's called.

diana krall
if jazz and standards are your thing, then her album "live in paris" is a must-have. premium quality recording only helps. i've probably listened to this album more then any other album while i'm at work. it skips and be-bops along quite nicely.

more electronic stuff. hard to define...sort of wordly i guess would be accurate. wonderful sweeping textures and a lovely voice by their lead singer. best-of is called "parts of the process", but "big calm" is also a great choice.

nickel creek
i guess folk would be a good term for these guys? i'm not a huge fan, but i like them enough that i think you should give them a try. i know there are other fans here at htf.

saint etienne
another one of my all-time faves bands. the lead singer's voice is simply....heavenly. these guys run the gamut: uptempo dance, 70's infused mono, haunting soundscapes, etc. "smash the system" is their best of, and every song on it is great. otherwise, give their first (?) album "foxbase alpha" a try.

i just recently got into these guys and i love em. if you're tired of electronic, rap, dance, or anything that involves uber-processed mixes, then these guys are just right. alt-country at it's best. i love listening to these guys when i'm burned out. the only albums i have from them are "being there" and "yankee hotel foxtrot". i would have no problem recommending either one...i'll give a slight nod to being there.

#20 of 25 OFFLINE   Stu Rosen

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Posted October 22 2003 - 11:30 PM

For starters, you can listen to discs other than Tarantino movie soundtracks!

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