Friday, 16 July 2010
News, Views and Music Issue 67 (Top Five) AAA Sunny Songs
♫ Now that summer’s here – briefly – it seemed timely to give you the rundown on the five sunniest AAA songs. Astonishingly, when I typed ‘sun’ into my media player search engine it came back with 81 results – who’d have thought listening to music could be such a solar experience! (I’d never noticed before but The Kinks’ ‘Something Else’ album contains three sun-connected songs alone...):
5) The Sun Is Still Shining (Moody Blues ‘To Our Children’s Children’s Children, 1969): A surprising burst of optimism on one of the Moodies’ more pessimistic albums, with mankind’s ‘progress’ in the future finding himself first running around in circles and then lost in the vastness of space, alone. For now though the rocket containing mankind’s future still has a lot going for it with the sun literally singing through the windows and calling him onwards. A large dollop of cheery Mike Pinder synthesiser and a catchy singalong chorus makes this one of the more breezy and hopeful Moody songs of the period.
4) Here Comes Sunshine (Grateful Dead ‘Wake Of The Flood’ , 1973): Forgotten hymn to happiness which brightens up the middle of perhaps the unhappiest Dead LP. What with the cheery bass-guitar riff and a chorus full of gorgeous harmonies that sounds like the sun coming out, this song about overcoming obstacles and waking up the morning after some great disaster is a lovely slice of summery pop. Much underrated, like its parent album, it remained missing from the Dead’s live sets for almost two decades before being revived in an all-new arrangement almost as sumptuous as the first.
3)Lazy Old Sun (The Kinks, ‘Something Else’ 1967): You can almost feel the heat dropping off you in this lazy, warm Ray Davies song – although in trypical Kinks style the elder Davies brother is moaning about where its got to ‘hiding behind thunderclouds, I don’t mind, spend my time looking for you’. In this song – the opposite of the forthcoming ‘Sunny Afternoon’ where the sun is all the narrator has left in his life - the narratyors life will only be complete when the sun comes out. After three years of miserable summers, most of Britain knows how he feels (although personally, I’ve always preferred Winter...)
2) Fat Old Sun (Pink Floyd, ‘Atom Heart Mother’ 1970): A very untypical track this one, with David Gilmour’s second ‘proper’ song for the band a gorgeous fragile hymn to memories of childhood summers. The tune is a strong candidate for the best Gilmour ever wrote, with the words a nice matching fit for those long summer days with nothing to do, while his guitar solo at the end is utterly magnificent, channelling all of his awe and wonder at the life-giving heart of our interplanetary system.
1) Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles, ‘Abbey Road’ 1969): Written after a hard Beatles winter, with the band on their last legs and filled up to the brim on Apple business problems, George Harrison reportedly wrote this song in Eric Clapton’s garden, after skipping yet another business meeting. It’s not recorded what the other three felt about George ‘sagging off’ his commitments, but they must have been pleased when George decided to stick this song on Abbey Road instead of keeping it for his solo albums, as its summery pop, shiney shimmering chorus and sheer delight and enthusiasm at being alive made it one of the best-loved tracks on the last ‘finished’ Beatles LP (discounting the 15-month-old ‘Let It Be’). Sun sun sun here it comes.
And that’s it for another issue. Hopefully the next one will be along a bit quicker this time, what with our computer being fixed and all. See you next time!