Freshly Played #20: Pearl Jam

Yep, Pearl Jam again. This time, it’s a song with a curious history… and great guitar riffs at the beginning and end.

As I’ve mentioned previously, guitar riffs drive me wild. The riffs at the beginning and end has a striking resemblance to Jimi Hendrix/Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rendition of Little Wing.

Yellow Ledbetter never featured on any of Pearl Jam’s studio albums. It was an outtake from their debut album 10, and was released as a B-side on the released single Jeremy. It did however feature on a B-sides and Rarities album, and their Greatest Hits album.

And it seems that nobody really knows¬†precisely, the lyrics to the song. Lead singer Eddie Vedder is known to change the lyrics at nearly every live performance. Vedder once jokingly replied in response to a question from a live audience, “Wait…you mean there’s lyrics?”

Not surprisingly this lyrical ambiguity has stirred up some ingenuity in elucidation by others – the famous misheard lyrics videos. Catch a load of this:

Freshly Played #10: Pearl Jam

Another in my series on cool guitar riffs, this time by Pearl Jam, one more of my (many) favorite bands of all time.

Released in 1994, this song really speaks to me as I consider myself to be something of a dissident in my own country. From reading this blog, you will have noticed that I’m an outspoken critic of the political masters in charge, and I judge the democracy we are told we have, as a lie and a sham.

I dedicate this song to other dissidents in South Africa, and all over the world who stand up to political tyranny, and other forms of oppression.

Dissident

she nursed him there, over a night
i wasn’t so sure she wanted him to stay
what to say…what to say
but soon she was down, soon he was low
at a quarter past…a holy no…
she had to turn around
when she couldn’t hold, oh…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never, the safest path
a dissident, a dissident is here
and to this day, she’s glided on
always home but so far away
like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste
when she had contact…with the conflict…
there was meaning, but she sold him to the state
she had to turn around
when she couldn’t hold…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never, the safest path
a dissident, a dissident is here
she gave him away when she couldn’t hold…no…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never, the safest path
a dissident, a dissident is here
couldn’t hold on…she couldn’t hold…no…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never the safest place
a dissident is here

Freshly Played #9: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Another in my series on great guitar riffs…

Little Wing

The original song was written by none other than the legendary Jimi Hendrix. It has been covered by guitar playing greats such as Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers Band, Def Leppard, Santana, John Mayer, and Pearl Jam, among many others. However, my personal favorite cover is the instrumental version by another legend who has sadly also passed on – Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Watch, listen and be moved with this live YouTube version:

 

The Original by Hendrix

Freshly Played #8: Robert Plant

In continuation of my series on great guitar riffs, here is another amazing example:

Big Log

Released in 1983, it became Robert Plant’s first Top 40 solo hit after splitting up from Led Zeppelin. Incidentally, Phil Collins played drums on this song.

It is said that Plant’s lyrics are inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame. I haven’t read any Tolkien but yes, the lyrics are quite poetic actually.

My love is in league with the freeway
It’s passion will ride, as the cities fly by
And the tail-lights dissolve, in the coming of night
And the questions in thousands take flight
My love is the miles and the waiting
The eyes that just stare, and a glance at the clock
And the secret that burns, and the pain that won’t stop
And it’s fuel is the years
Leading me on….

If you’re interested in that kind of thing, the rest of the lyrics can be found below the video on the YouTube website. And hey, nice hair Robert!

Freshly Played #6: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Simple Man

 

Remember when lyrics were simple and music was fresh and honest? We used to think that we were simple men, but it turned out that we were complicated as hell, usually unnecessarily so?

Lyrics

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it’ll help you some sunny day

Oh, take your time don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
Go find a woman you’ll find love
And don’t forget son there is someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can? Oh yes, I will

Boy, don’t you worry you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can?

Baby be a simple, be a simple man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man

Freshly Played #5: Joe Bonamassa

India/Mountain Time

There are so many songs with great guitar riffs that I am partial to, but right now the one that’s playing in my head constantly is India/Mountain Time by Joe Bonamassa. I don’t know what it is about guitar riffs, but they cause my the fingers on one hand to involuntarily hold chords that are all wrong over an imaginary fret board, while the other strums on imaginary strings.

Air guitar is a phenomenon that affects many people the world over; I’m certainly not immune. But I tend to do it dead sober, even in public. I can’t help it, and here’s a reason why:

Hope that took you far away to another world. And don’t fight the impulse to straddle those imaginary strings; it’s quite okay to become afflicted too.

Whisky in the Jar – Lynott, Moore & Metallica

There’s nothing quite like a catchy guitar riff. I suppose all lovers of rock music have their own personal favorites. Mine is Parisienne Walkways by the late great Gary Moore.

But this tribute is not about Parisienne Walkways, but about Whisky in the Jar, one of my all-time favorite rock songs, by Thin Lizzy. Phil Lynott, the frontman for Thin Lizzy would have been 62 this month, had his genius endured. Thankfully good music survives the ravages of time and the living can still drown in the ecstasy of sound.

My preferred version of Whisky in the Jar is by Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy, but there are at least two other versions which I’m partial to. Here’s the Thin Lizzy version:

And the Metallica version:

Perhaps the Gary Moore version does it for you:

I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is your personal choice. Whatever it is though, you can’t be wrong…