For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)
I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.
Well, now I’m getting around to it!
It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.
I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.
My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,” is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.
Here’s the link for when the show returns: http://rdo.fm/r/4qntu )
Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!
But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.
I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.
On days that I spotlight a greatest song, it will take the place of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.
This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!
How about a batch of great songs for today?
I have played today’s medley by Be Bop Deluxe [Hall of Fame] every year I have been a DJ.
But I need to go back a little further.
I bought their first album, “Axe Victim,” because of its album cover of a skull guitar.
I thought that maybe it was a punk album.
I listened to it once, it wasn’t what I expected, so it went back into my collection on the wall.
I occasionally would hear a song by them on the radio: “Ships in the Night,” “Sister Seagull.”
Those were fine songs, but I really only heard them once or twice, so nothing really sunk in.
My next encounter with Be Bop Deluxe happened when their “Live in the Air Age” was released.
The initial release was on white vinyl with a limited edition EP. I decided to roll the dice again.
I started to get hooked on the album. The live versions were faster than the studio versions, and the band sounded really tight!
I ended up putting a couple of the tracks on some vacation mix tapes that I would put together for our yearly adventures.
There’s nothing like hearing music you like in various National Parks or cross country jaunts!
I ended up picking up the rest of the catalog over the next couple of years. I listened to them a little bit, but they still hadn’t struck me yet.
Fast forward to the next Millennium after going on the internet.
Hard to find music suddenly became easily accessible.
I once again decided to take a chance on an Anthology by Be Bop Deluxe.
Those two astonishingly sequenced discs started a major music binge in my life which continues until today!
I quickly picked up all of their albums on CD and continuously listened to them.
One album quickly became my favorite, and might actually be my all-time favorite album: “Modern Music!”
I would say that it is the album I have listened to the most in the past twenty years!
I must have heard it first in May because May is not May unless I listen to “Modern Music!”
I’ve already taken you on a long journey and I still have plenty more to say, so some of these stories will have to wait for other posts.
Let’s talk about the music.
Bill Nelson is an amazing guitar player, some guitarists think one of the best ever, and his work shines on this medley!
The songs weave in and out and remind me of the medley side of “Abbey Road.”
Years ago, I remember reading that the song cycle was about an American tour that Be Bop Deluxe was on.
“Modern Music” kicks off the medley with a radio dialing through a couple of staticky snippets of the bands songs, before exploding into bright, layered guitars!
Bill Nelson was missing his, then girlfriend (“Dancing in the Moonlight (All Alone)” who then caught up with him in New Mexico. (“Honeymoon on Mars”) Appropriate scenery!
After the blissful rendezvous, the show and the tour had to continue and therefore the medley quickly moves through “Lost in the Neon World” and into a funky sci-fi instrumental! (“Dance of the Uncle Sam Humanoids”)
From there it’s just a short passage to “Modern Music (Reprise)” and a much too soon ending.
There’s are so many flourishes that are just breathtaking to me!
The fast guitars along with the organ break and that cosmic break, all of those on “Dancing in the Moonlight (All Alone)”
“Dance of the Uncle Sam Humanoids” is full of floating space guitars and cosmic break!
Melodies and harmonies slowly build on the “Reprise.”
The medley sounds like it’s about three minutes long to me and I hate to hear it end.
As much as I like lists, I have never really thought about actually compiling my list of favorite artists and bands. Much like the Philby Album Awards, all of this great music coexists and it would be difficult to do so.
However, I can tell you this:
The Beatles are #1 and probably always will be!
Bruce Springsteen is second. (That’s a whole lot of other stories.)
Be Bop Deluxe is third!
That means that all of the other bands that held one of those spots over the years (The Doors, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes), are now below them!
In other words, they are my second favorite band!
And I see a lot of similarities between Be Bop Deluxe and The Beatles.
But for now, I urge you to check out the music!
Youtube does not have a complete studio version of the Medley so I have posted all of the segments and they should be listened to in sequential order.
I have also posted a bonus live version of the medley.
I feel that the studio version is far superior!
One of the Greatest Songs (Medleys) Ever Recorded is “Modern Music” by Be Bop Deluxe!!!
This is the complete Live Version.
If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!
#BeBopDeluxe #BillNelson #ModernMusicMedley #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorde #GSER