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Zharth's Music Log (Revisited)

Week 54: Rainbow Vibrations

(Originally posted on April 1, 2010)

Preface: For a brief explanation of Zharth's Music Log (and a link to the archives), see the first paragraph of the last installment of Zharth's Music Log Revisited. Since I like the idea of the music log so much, but didn't have the resources (whether internal or external) to keep it going past a year (and really, a whole year of posting a different song each day is pretty impressive if you ask me, what with the themes and everything), and since I still have some themes leftover that I like enough not to completely forget, I figured I could pull one out every so often when the timing is ripe, and we could all have fun basking in the faded glow of a great idea whose time has come and gone.

And speaking of glowing, what with it now being April, with spring in tow, ready to shower the earth in preparation for the colorful floral bloom that is impending, the theme I bring to you today is one of colors - the vibrant colors of the rainbow. We'll take them in order, following the old standard - ROYGBIV.

Monday: Jimi Hendrix - Electric Church Red House [Blues]
Comments: An old standard itself, Red House is a tune that belies its simple blues construction. It's one of my favorite songs in Jimi's repertoire, and among the various recorded versions of it that I've heard, I have yet to hear a bad one. This one is one of my favorites, and stands distinct from both the original studio version, and the more fleshed out live versions scattered around. It starts with some pseudo-inspirational ramblings, and then takes off, wandering far off the path and getting lost in the woods during the solo in the middle, never even finding its way back for the last verse, before it ultimately fizzles out. Wild and unrestrained - that's what it's all about.

Tuesday: The Amboy Dukes - Why Is A Carrot More Orange Than A Orange? [Journey To The Center Of The Mind, 1968]
Comments: Knowing Ted Nugent, you might be surprised to learn that he was a prominent member of a psychedelic band during the later part of the swingin' sixties, but it's true. And The Amboy Dukes, while not as popular as, say, Jefferson Airplane, had a few good acid trips (I'm referring to songs, here) of their own. In this song, the band asks the strikingly poignant question, why is a carrot more orange than an orange? It beats me.

Wednesday: Donovan - Mellow Yellow [Mellow Yellow, 1967 (released as a single in 1966)]
Comments: Popularly hailed as Britain's "answer" to Bob Dylan, Donovan's one song of particular note - to me, personally, that is - is a song done even better by other musicians. That song is Season of the Witch, and those musicians are the ones who stuck around for the Super Session (including Al Kooper and Stephen Stills) after Michael Bloomfield bailed. But Donovan comes back to my attention by way of this song, Mellow Yellow, played - once again - even better by a local musician of no small talent, whom I know personally. ;)

Thursday: Pink Floyd - Green Is The Colour [More, 1969]
Comments: Here is a track from one of Pink Floyd's oft-overlooked albums, which was actually recorded as the soundtrack to a film of the same name, an arty look at drug addiction and sun worship on the Spanish isle of Ibiza. Despite technically being a soundtrack album, More stands pretty strong on its own, in my opinion, more so if you don't mind atmospheric tracks (something Pink Floyd is known for anyway). But there are also a number of good straight tunes on this album, such as this one presented here.

Friday: Cream - Blue Condition [Disraeli Gears, 1967]
Comments: Some colors are better represented in song titles than others. For example, I could only find a single orange song in my catalog. Blue, as it turns out, is a very popular color - and that's true even if you ignore the many songs with the word "blues" in the title. I chose this one, from the album that brought us such classic tracks as Strange Brew and Sunshine of Your Love, because I think it fits well with the other mellow tracks chosen for this theme (excepting, of course, the red song).

Saturday: Led Zeppelin - White Summer/Black Mountain Side [Coda (bonus track), recorded in 1969]
Comments: Since indigo is an illusory color that doesn't really exist, I figured I'd do a "black and white" sort of a thing instead. And how convenient that we have Led Zeppelin's White Summer and Black Mountain Side (really only variations or parts of the same song to begin with, at least how Page played them) together in one track! You can check out the roots of Led Zeppelin for more info, but White Summer was first recorded by Jimmy Page back in the Yardbirds, and Black Mountain Side appeared on Led Zeppelin's debut album. During the band's later tours (1977 on), the piece worked as a counterpoint and unsuspecting intro to the much heavier and hypnotic Kashmir.

Sunday: The Blues Project - Violets of Dawn [released as a single, 1966]
Comments: Violet is another color that's hard to find, although a little bit easier if you allow purple. But I didn't want to do two Jimi Hendrix tracks for this theme (and I've already used that song for another theme, incidentally), and I don't own any Prince, I'll tell you that. Anyhow, it's fitting that I was able to find an actual violet song, as opposed to simply purple, even though I think the song may be referring to the flower. But that's okay, because isn't the flower named for its color anyway (or maybe it's the other way around)? Well, in any case, this is a nice light track to close the theme, from a great little known band that I will tell you is not adequately represented by this track alone. Check out their performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 (the Summer of Love), if I've got your curiosity piqued (or, try this on for size).

And with those thoughts of flowers and summer I leave you. Until next time.