Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Softer Side

Most everyone who visits here knows the kind of music I like. 1. Heavy. 2. Loud. 3. Often fast. 4. Did I mention Heavy?

I don’t really get into lyrics. In fact, I own quite a few CDs or albums (large round disks made of vinyl with music embedded in them) in which the singing is in German or Japanese or Spanish or Portuguese. I’m perfectly happy with them.

One of my perennial favorites, which meets all the primary criteria, is “Fight from the Inside” by Queen. Now Queen is not a metal band, but this song has a serious case of the heavies. My only problem with it is that at 3:00 minutes it’s way too short. I used to have a tape I made for myself in which I recorded it four times, one after another, so that I could get a good fix.
Queen: Fight from the Inside

Black Sabbath is the prototype for this kind of music, and most of you will know of such songs as War Pigs, Iron Man, Paranoid, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Good stuff. But for an example of this type that you may not know, I’ve linked to Celtic Frost’s “Procreation of the Wicked.” If you don’t like metal you might just want to get a flavor and then go back to your regularly scheduled programming. If you’re like me you’ll get all goose-bumpy and play it over at least twice.
Celtic Frost: Procreation of the Wicked.

But do you know that I have a softer side? Yes, I do. The two songs linked below, Wasp’s “Sleeping in the Fire” and Ted Nugent’s “Together” are slow pieces that never fail to get to me emotionally.
WASP: Sleeping in the Fire
Ted Nugent: Together

The other two, “In This River” by Black Label Society and “Hurt” as sung by Johnny Cash, tear me up. I can only listen to them occasionally. They always leave me melancholy. I played them a lot in the days just before and after my mother died. That was March 21, 2010.
Black Label Society: In This River
Johnny Cash: Hurt



David Cranmer said...

"Hurt" is very heavy and that video is so stark. Cash delivered the goods right to the end.

Ron Scheer said...

Pain songs, I could name a few...

nephite blood spartan heart said...

I like Queen a lot but had somehow never heard that song-so thanks Charles.

Charles Gramlich said...

David, it's beautiful but agonizing.

Ron, sometimes they resonate all the way to the bone.

David, it's my favorite of theirs.

G. B. Miller said...

So this is what makes you tick, eh?

I'm probably one of the few people who recognize the band Celtic Frost (first heard them on a Metal Blade records compilation some 20 years ago. on vinyl) and probably WASP as well.

Since you like metal, if you get a free moment, check out my FB profile. Somewhere buried in there is page link to a Florida metal band called "Nation Of The Oppressor" (N.A.T.O. for short).

I work with the lead guitarist's father and the band is pretty good. They also have a link at Road Runner Records as well.

My personal favorite Johnny Cash song from those American Recordings is his version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Gives me the goosebumps just thinking about it.

Deka Black said...

Fun. One of my most beloved bands is manowar. But my favorite song of them is "Master of the Wind", that is not precisely a fast, loud one.

The music (and the lyrics too) of this song helped me throufgh a hard time years ago. I suppose is the reason.

I love Iron Maiden too.And in this case is "The Clansman", but sung by Bruce Dickinson.

Unknown said...

I will listen to a couple of those songs but I am not much of a musician. In fact the very reason I listen to music is for the lyrics and not the melody. The only one I really knew was Hurt by Cash. But then I like Cash a lot. Perhaps because I am tone deaf.

laughingwolf said...

i listen to most, as long as it's MUSIC....

Paul R. McNamee said...

Like you, I'm not overly concerned with lyrics but if they are - in my opinion - really dumb I cringe.

Lately I've found a couple that really move me.

One is "Annabella's Song" by Everclear. It's a song to the lead singer's daughter.

I like to watch you play
When you don't know I'm there
See you in your sleep at night
Reach out and touch your hair
I wanna make this world
Be just how you want it to be
Yeah you just don't understand
You are everything to me

And the Avett Brothers' 'Murder in the City"

Make sure my sister knows I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

Alot of the attachment to these has to do with where I'm at with my life at this point. In five years, it might be different.

Charles Gramlich said...

G, will check out NATO. Lots of Cash recordings from that series are amazing. I really like "God's gonna cut you down too."

Deka Black,I've got several Manowar cds. I think my favorite song by them is "blow your speakers."

Carole, I would guess the tone deafness has a lot to do with that. With Hurt and In this river I definitely do pay attention to the lyrics. With most songs I don't.

laughingwolf, some kinds o f music I'll listen to but I just don't get any emotional charge from. Some stuff actually grates on me a little.

Paul R. McNamee, you're right about the place you are in life. There are songs that were once important to me that now only produce a mild smile perhaps. Usually I find that is the ones in which I really did pay attention to the lyrics. I've not heard either of these songs but I do like some stuff by Everclear. And yes, bad lyrics can certainly detract from a song.

Deka Black said...

Blow Your Speakers. maybe one of his best works. But as a whole i like more the Kings of Metal CD

Travis Cody said...

My metal knowledge is limited and my taste is selective. I'm aware of more mainstream metal, such as Metallica and Megadeath. I think my preference would be what I call the form of hard rock driven by heavy base and guitar, such as Judas Priest or Dokken.

But as anyone checking out my Five on Friday feature can attest, I also enjoy the softer side of music life. I'm a big fan of 50s and 60s era music, and quite a bit of pop from the 70s.

Charles Gramlich said...

Deka Black, I like that CD a lot too. I have it.

Travis Cody, I forgot about Dokken. I have several of their albums. Stuff like "it's not love" are great melodic metal tunes

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

WASP for your softer side - now that's funny!

Steve Malley said...

Mostly, I listen to my soundtrack of machine tools and badly-aligned brakes screeching, but when I REALLY want to ROCK OUT, it's Glee all the way, baby!! ;-p

ivan said...

I liked Queen from way back--l978--"Death on Two Legs." Heh.

That's what it felt like the last time I had a meltdown. :)

Scott said...


Excellent choices...heard of 'em all, of course. :) I ahve a couple of old Celtic Frost cassettes I want to find 'em.

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex J. Cavanaugh, that's one of their slower and less evil songs. :)

Steve Malley, get thee to a doctor my friend.

ivan, they've got some really interesting stuff. "Get down, make love." Crazy shit.

Scott, CF could do the metal thing, man. Great stuff.

Lisa said...

I have always known you have a softer side;)

jodi said...

Charles-Led Zep and Deep Purple are my favs. Motor City mad man, sometimes....

Charles Gramlich said...

Ocean girl, I will try to hide it better. :)

Jodi, definitely he's a mad man. I like his music, don't care for his politics.

X. Dell said...

My tastes in music are fairly catholic. But, what matters is that you know what you like and you enjoy it.

Like you, I'm generally not a lyric person. Early in the 2000s, there were a bunch of young bands from Mexico who were recording and really lighting it up. One NYC station devoted a four hour block to them Rock en Espanol. Problem was there was so much good stuff, that you really couldn't get familiar with it, as the programmers tried to cram as many different songs as they could. And since I don't speak Spanish, I can't remember the titles or look up the lyrics.

BernardL said...

I've always liked that Johnny Cash music vid of 'Hurt'.

Erik Donald France said...

These are all great, Charles! Nice to spin vinyl record albums, indeed. And the newer link technology is useful, for sure.

What I never liked much were 8-tracks, especially when they cut songs in two. . . but we still had them . . .

Jodi MacArthur said...

I really like your taste in music, Mister G! I'm surprised at none of these (well, ok, I was surprised at Wasp. ;-) I like Wasp too but I don't tell anyone that. Of course, I just did. Fist. Head). And I think it shows your humanity, the inner fight with the dark and light (that shows in your writing too). ;-)

Jessica Ferguson said...

I'm running behind in my blog reading but just wanted to say thanks for introducing me to Queen. I love all you posted with the exception of Celtic Frost. I just don't get anything out of that kind of music and honestly, I don't know WHAT I'm supposed to get out of it. Sometimes I think our band at church ventures into some heavy metal. :)

I checked out other selections by Queen on YouTube. I'll have to ask my daughter if she has any; otherwise, I'll invest. Thanks!

The only time I like loud music-- or my music loud - is when I'm alone.

Randy Johnson said...

The Celtic Frost was pretty good. Also Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society.

Brother Ted, I've always loved the music and, like you, think his politics are abominable. Everyone should believe in something, but listening to him, I usually cringe.

Hurt never fails to move me.

Charles Gramlich said...

X. Dell, For a while there has been quite a bit of good heavy metal coming out of Brazil. Some of them do sing in English but not all the bands do.

BernardL, it's definitely powerful.

Erik Donald France, I remember that about 8 tracks. Pretty bad when that happened. I had one though. they were convenient to plug the tape in.

Jodi MacArthur, I've got about 5 WASP cds, I guess. They even have a line in a song about standing "Cold in the light," which I didn't realize until years later is probably where that title came from.

Jess, Queen has some very interesting stuff. They were very experimental in their way. As for Celtic Frost, not to everyone's taste for sure.

Randy Johnson, yeah, with a guitar, Ted is a whiz. With politics, not so much. He and that band played some pretty good music for my growing up years, though.

j said...

Have you ever considered a little Barry Manilow... John Denver... or maybe Michael Bolton?

Sorry, I couldn't resist :)

I hate to admit it but I have let music get away from me. I rarely listen to anything these days unless my kids turn on the radio (and I think we would have a similar opinion of their music).

sage said...

I had a suspension that you were into heavy rock... Queen's "Night at the Opera" came out my first year of college and will always be remembered in that context. I too like Johnny Cash.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, who? Aren't these all ex members of Megadeth?

Sage, It's not a well kept secret for sure, :)

Lana Gramlich said...

You have a softer side? No...say it ain't so! ;)