17

133: Spencer Davis Group (Stevie Winwood), ‘I’m A Man’

The incomparably talented 18-year old Stevie Winwood; the dark, mysterious ‘I’m A Man’. If I had a ringtone, this would be it.

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6

137: Patience and Prudence, ‘Gonna Get Along Without You Now’

I first learned the song ‘Gonna Get Along Without You Now’ when I was knee-high to a lawn-mower, and I still hum it on occasion. Patience and Prudence McIntyre were 12 and 9 when they recorded it in 1956. Today they’d probably be renamed Sistas Lust and Greed.

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5

222: Joni Mitchell, ‘River’

Joni, skating on thin ice, on a river so long that our own feet can fly us away from this troubled world.
Peace on earth, goodwill towards men and women, everyone.

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5

136: James Taylor, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel – ‘Wonderful World’

What happens when three of the finest singers of our times get together to record a pop paean to pimply passion?

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2

131: Nickel Creek, ‘Somebody More Like You’

Children – anyone under thirty – should be seen, not heard. It’s unreasonable that Newgrass whippersnappers as young as Nickel Creek should absorb entire traditions, from bluegrass to country rock, and forge a mature, refined, sophisticated style all their own. And they’re just the tip of the ice cream cone.

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4

130: Thelonious Monk, ‘Let’s Call This’ (Monk’s Advice to Lacy)

You talk about a different drummer? Thelonious Monk inhabited a not-so-parallel universe. He played very few notes, and those unpredictable. Metronomes were witnessed imploding in his presence. He pounded the keyboard with extended, flat fingers. He got up in the middle of a song to dance. He wore funny hats. Sometimes he just refused to talk. But he gave soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy some unforgettable advice about how to be a ‘cool’ musician. Or maybe about How To Be. “A genius is the one most like himself,” Monk says. Clearly, Monk was exactly like Monk.

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8

128: The Isley Brothers, ‘Twist and Shout’

Before the Jerk, the Pony, the Watusi, the Mashed Potato, the Monkey and the Funky Chicken, there was the big mamma pelvic rotator of them all, The Twist. And before there was The Beatles, there were The Isley Brothers. They’re the guys who really Twisted and Shouted.

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6

204: Bob Dylan, ‘Idiot Wind’ (NY Sessions)

‘More Blood, More Tracks’ is the latest Columbia boxed-set Dylan rip-off. Not him as a kid pretending to be a cotton-picker in Greenwich Village; not him embarrassing himself as an Evangelist preacher; not him as an old fool croaking standards. It’s a complete, 6-CD compilation of the New York sessions for “Blood on the Tracks”, Dylan at his creative pinnacle.
It’s another side of Bob Dylan — unmasked, naked and vulnerable. We’re idiots, babe, it’s a wonder that we still know how to breathe.

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