Tag: Most Beautiful Music

What a Wonderful Tune. I bet if you know it, you already love it…

Time for an absolute classic which I found in my parents’ collection of 45s we used to go through when I was a kid. This piece somehow stuck with me and was my “favourite” for many years, well into my teens and would still be on my top list today.

Something about the strings and horn parts make this swell and flow so majestically. And the actual melody and harmonies are so haunting.

No wonder this, an early hit for the Shadows, spent a record 8 weeks at No 1 in 1962 – no other act beat this in the 60s, pretty impressive considering they had Elvis and the Beatles to contend with!

If you know it , you already love it. So “Like” it and “Share” it so another generation can also enjoy it as I wouldn’t like to guess the last time this was played on any significant radio station!  If you don’t know it, well you are missing out so add it to your iPod now!

The eternal question looms, why is this a good piece of music that people like? If only we knew the magic formula. In my opinion it is a combination of things, melody and harmony play a part, orchestration – some may never like electric guitar sounds, or anything with drums in – but also the package as a whole. I have heard cover songs of various tracks over the years and they never sound quite as good, even though all the above elements are in place. There is something unique created in a studio and a time period which, like art, cannot be reproduced easily and it is also the unique sound of this recording which makes it special.

Interestingly, one of my other favourite artists, Mike Oldfield, also released a version of this in 1980. Clearly he had also enjoyed it as a kid and paid tribute to the Shadows by making his version. It is also a good version, quite different in sound but still references that horn part!

I tried tracking down a good quality version of the original on YouTube for this post but came across many newer mixes and the older ones weren’t great quality so I made my own clip, taken directly from my mum’s old 45 vinyl.

Do enjoy – maybe with a sense of nostalgia or maybe for the first time, one of the most succesful instrumental singles ever and a quite sublime piece of music –

Wonderful Land by Jerry Lordan

 

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When sport meets music – the result?…

Five circles2

In my world, Sport and Music don’t mix. 

In schools, sports fixtures are the eternal pain up the everything for a music department. I still cannot work out quite why sport is considered “more important” than music but it is. In all schools as far as I can see. Except maybe choir schools…or specialist schools…you know what I mean.

If a student was to get a letter from school saying they had been “selected” for the XXXX team, and that they would now be required to attend training three times a week before/after school, they would I imagine feel honoured, privileged, and delighted at being chosen. The family would rally around so they could attend all the practices and missing any or heaven forbid a MATCH would be considered unthinkable.

But swing this around to music  –

Dear Mr & Mrs Bloggs,

Your son has been chosen to sing in the school choir and will now be required to attend practice three times a week and attend all school concerts and competitions as required. These may also be at weekends.

Yours,

Mr F Sharp

Well, I will all allow a few exceptions but I would expect in most schools that a rude letter from the parents might be sent in.

However, putting my personal gripes about education aside, when we mix the two, many wonderful things have happened. And I am talking about “Sports Themes”.

Think of all the great BBC sporting themes we have alone, The Cricket Theme, Wimbledon, Ski Sunday, theat really groovy one they used to use for the Snooker (Dragnet) and even Match of the Day is a classic. All fine miniature works of musical art. And there are many more.

Now we are in Olympics season, of course there is only one theme that covers this, you know what it is, Danny Boyle knew as well….

Chariots Of Fire.

Hardly a TV or Film shot of people running goes by (well, in any kind of spoof) without the iconic music being played, unless its involves horses, then it’s Black Beauty…

And it is a wonderful piece of music, the original that is. Don’t go for any copy or cover, that’s like drinking Virgin Cola. No, the Original track, called “Titles” by Greek composer Vangelis is a thing of beauty. Listen to it carefully to hear all the details and it is joyous.

Like my last music post, this takes me back to younger days. I was nine when the film came out and the music kind of drifted into my subconscious. I kind of knew it but not well enough. I did end up borrowing a tape of it off a friend once and made a copy (nothing changes) which I listened to to death. I only copied this main track though and it wasn’t until I was fourteen that I bought the album, on vinyl.

And what a real treat this is. The main theme is sublime but the other tracks are equally attractive. The big V just has a way with electronics that makes it so expressive, which most electronic music, certainly of the time, was almost the complete opposite of.

The track I want to treat you to today is the second on the album called “Five Circles” and it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I know. There are no acoustic instruments in it at all, not even piano, and yet it is so expressive.

Pleased be moved by this work of art, perhaps while watching some amazing Olympic achievement.

 

 

Love as ever,

Chris K