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Sunday, November 17, 2013
 
Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #1

Music and Movies - the two powerful forms of entertainment, are very subjective. In general, there is no good or bad music, and there are no good or bad movies. Their success depend on a combination of various factors such as the mood we are in, our biases, memories, brand (eg., Pixar in movies; The Beatles in music, although I never came across any palatable original work from this boy-band group), derivation from other successful work -- remixes (Fatboy Slim), mashups (DJs), mockery (spoof movies, comedy skits), influence/herd mentality (Bieber, Miley on Billboard top singles), celebrity endorsements, timing of their release (cliched superhero summer tent-poles), their competition (someone will emerge as a winner even when the actual content and its presentation is equally weak), marketing push (Kelly Clarkson, The Avengers movie), viral status (Gangnam Style), cult following (Office Space), audience desperation, events that evoke feelings such as happiness, smugness, sympathy (Heath Ledger's death helping Nolan's Batman series) and pity (MJ's "This is it"), luck, the artists, crew and of course, the actual content. In short, if something was "well liked", it does not necessarily mean that it was really "well liked" -- multiple factors surrounding that piece of work must have properly aligned and helped in one way or the other, to make it more successful.

Now that the obvious disclaimer is out of the way, I think I can openly list out some of the stuff that I think is worth listening to. If you don't like or really hate something that you see here, too bad I guess - just deal with it. :-)

To kick start this series, I chose a handful of oldies from 50s, 60s and 70s. (yes, I intend to publish a few more playlists down the line, unfortunately). Here it goes in no particular order. I really like those shorter 2+ minute durations. Audio-Visual material courtesy: YouTube.

1. BJ Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head (1969)

Featured in the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

2. Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe (1965)

Prominently featured in Groundhog Day.

3. Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle with You (1972)

Featured in the movie Reservoir Dogs.

4. Donovan - Jennifer Juniper (1968)

Featured in one of the episodes of The Simpsons.

5. Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction (1965)


6. Billy Joe Royal - Down in the Boondocks (1965)


7. Link Wray - Rumble (1958)

Sounds unreal - way ahead of its time. Featured in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.

8. America - A Horse with No Name (1972)

Earned bad song reputation for some of its lines.

9. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (1959)

Featured in one of the episodes of The Simpsons animated series.

10. The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight (1961)

I guess this one too got some bad rap.

Before concluding: I do not know much about composing music, or playing musical instruments of any kind. Still I attempted composing a few instrumental tracks with the help of software. It's been a fun exercise so far. Listen to those amateur tracks @ icompositions | giri04 webpage.

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Good collections
 
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