1981 was not a great year in music for me, but still some wonderful albums & singles were relesed. Here are my 20 chosen songs.
Every Grain of Sand – Bob Dylan
Written by Bob Dylan, recorded in Los Angeles in the spring of 1981 and released in August of that year on Dylan’s album Shot of Love.
The love in “Every Grain of Sand,” though firmly rooted in Dylan’s conversion experience and his Bible studies, immediately and obviously reaches beyond its context to communicate a deeply felt devotional spirit based on universal experiences: pain of self-awareness, and sense of wonder or awe at the beauty of the natural world.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan, performing artist:The Middle Years )
In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet floods every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and the morals of despair
In 2015, committed to performing the newly reissued Sticky Fingers in its entirety for the first time ever, they had to deal with the 1971 album’s often-serious topics and occasionally hushed dynamics.
The Rolling Stones have finally begun to assemble and release their vast archives. Setting up The Official Rolling Stones Archive online, their first release was The Brussels Affair ’73.
Long hailed by die-hard Stones fans as one of the band’s greatest live performances, The Brussels Affair has been a mainstay in the underground music world for years. The album is pulled from the two gigs that took place at the Forest National arena in Brussels, and was originally recorded by Andy Johns on the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Bob Clearmountain applied the final mix in 2011.
As i said it is compiled from two shows recorded in Brussels on 17 October 1973 in the Forest National Arena, during their European Tour. The album was released exclusively as a digital download through Google Music on 18 October 2011 in the US and through The Rolling Stones Archive website for the rest of the world in both lossy mp3 and lossless FLAC format. The 2011 digital edition has been bootlegged on physical CD.
1969 was another great year in music, here are my 20 chosen songs (and those who came close).
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
One of the greatest rock songs from any artist, “Gimme Shelter” is a glowering, snarling beast of a recording. It tiptoes in on one of music’s most recognizable chord-based riffs, ghostly “oooh’s,” and percussion ratcheting up the tension. When the full band enters—sinister low piano notes, fuzzy harmonica, organ chimes—it grabs you by the lapels and shakes you, begging you for shelter from an ominous storm.
-Bill Janovitz (Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones)
It first appeared as the opening track on the band’s 1969 album Let It Bleed. Greil Marcus, writing in Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, said of it, “The Stones have never done anything better.”
The recording features Richards playing in his new open tuning on electric guitar. The recording also features vocals by Merry Clayton, recorded at a last-minute late-night recording session during the mixing phase, arranged by her friend and record producer Jack Nitzsche.Lisa Fischer was later recruited to perform the song during their concerts.
– Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away
A shitload of great music was released in 1968, here are my 20 chosen songs.
Madame George – Van Morrison
Madame George is the album’s whirlpool. Possibly one of the most compassionate pieces of music ever made, it asks us, no, arranges that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too.
A song from the album Astral Weeks, released in 1968. It was recorded during the first Astral Weeks session that took place on September 25, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer.
In 1974, after he had recorded eight albums, Morrison told Ritchie Yorke when he asked him what he considered his finest single track and the one that he enjoyed the most that it was: “Definitely ‘Madame George’, definitely. I’m just starting to realize it more and more. It just seems to get at you… it just lays right in there, that whole track. The vocals and the instruments and the whole thing. I like that one.”
– Down on Cyprus Avenue
With a childlike vision leaping into view
Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
Ford and Fitzroy, Madame George
Marching with the soldier boy behind
He’s much older now with hat on drinking wine
And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
The cool night air like Shalimar