In the wake of the world losing another musician who changed the world of music for the better, a close friend of mine suggested I dedicate a playlist to him. I knew that it would be the right thing to do, but decided to do a little better than that-
This playlist numbered 88, is a tribute to all those prominent musicians we lost this year- Musicians who really made an impact to the industry, and are no doubt huge contributions to how far the music industry has gotten today.
I chose to start off with Pete Huttlinger, a well known solo guitarist- famous for his finger picking and unique acoustic guitar deliveries- and also famous for performing with artists like John Denver and LeAnn Rimes.
I was looking for a track by Pete Huttlinger that would be just perfect to start a playlist off with, and I found his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely. Words wouldn’t do any justice to how beautiful this rendition is, so I’ll just let you explore the track as you listen. Feel free to lose yourself in it. There really is no other way to enjoy music like this.
The next song is English glam-rock band Mott the Hoople with their 70s hit called All The Young Dudes. The track is listed among the 500 Greatest Songs of all time.
We unfortunately lost Dale Griffin, the band’s notable drummer, earlier this year. He was a founding member of the band, and has seen the group through all their years of success- quite literally being the rhythm that drove them on.
Interestingly, and I only found this out white looking up info to share with you, this song was written by David Bowie- an artist who is featuring later on this very same playlist.
We also lost Earth, Wind & Fire’s unique, talented, and entertaining front-man Maurice White this year. And in memory of all the good disco songs they gave us, I’m sharing with you the band’s Boogie Wonderland.
Say what you want about the colourful attires, the glam, the afros, or the heavy bell-bottom influence, this band is still everything that disco stood for in my opinion. I enjoy Earth, Wind & Fire to this date, and hope to do so for the rest of my life. The band also comprised some seriously talented musicians over their years, and explains why so much of their music is so memorable.
My dad was talking to me about Merle Haggard the other day. I didn’t know who he was, country music not being my strong suite, but I did give Merle Haggard’s music a listen. Among all the songs I heard, I decided to share with you I’m A Lonesome Fugitive.
Listening to this song, I can see why Merle Haggard got so popular. He has a unique countrygrass style, and a rich thick voice and diction. His music stood out during the peak of his career, between 1960 and 1980.
We lost Merle in April this year due to ill health and age.
Next up is a song I’ve grown up to. It’s Jefferson Airplane with White Rabbit.
This song is really interesting in so many ways. Let’s start with the music. It takes on this unique march tempo, and despite there not being a distinct riff, verse, or chorus, the structure the song takes is splendid. Another awesome thing is Grace Slick’s voice. There’s a rich huskiness to it that’s everything I have loved about Jefferson Airplane. On the contrary, I do hate that the song is really short. It barely touches two and a half minutes, which leaves me feeling so incomplete at the end of it.
Jefferson Airplane is credited with pioneering the psychedelic rock movement in America in many ways. This song White Rabbit is a good example. Paul Kantner, the band’s guitarist and founding member died at the start of this year, and it’s rather sad because of how much he contributed to the rock scene itself.
We also lost John Berry from The Beastie Boys earlier this year.
The Beastie Boys have always stood out as one of the most influential punk rock, electro rock, and rap rock bands that grew in the 80s and 90s decades, and if you spent some time exploring their music, you’d understand why. The track I’m sharing with you is called Intergalactic, is one of their most famous work, and is one of my favourite Beastie Boys songs.
While I maintain I am not a huge fan of electro, rap, or the punk music genres, The Beastie Boys did what they did well. Real well.
Hell, I enjoy this stuff.
RIP John Berry.
Glenn Frey was a founding member of The Eagles, and was also a huge success as a solo artist. We lost him this year, and I’m yet to cope with this.
Let’s just talk about The Eagles and how much they’ve influenced the rock, country-rock, folk-rock, and ballad scene across the globe. Don Henley and the boys really put some of the best live performance acts together, and are what aspiring performers like myself aim to cover to their bench-marked perfection. It’s sad that if I ever do get to see an Eagles reunion tour in future, Glenn Frey will no longer be a part of it.
I remember listening to The Heat Is On since I was a child. I had no clue who the artist was, but that never really mattered. This was a lively dance number, and did its years on the charts, and I’m glad I spent a good part of my childhood listening to it.
I’ve now got David Bowie for you.
I was conflicted about which song I wanted to share. In my opinion, the song Heroes isn’t Bowie’s best, but it just felt so right for all the appropriate sentimental reasons on this playlist, and so I chose to go with it.
I think Bowie’s death is one my brother and I took hardest, in comparison to all other artists I’ve featured on this playlist. His music still has a major share in our extensive collection, and we’ve always had these interesting takes about the man’s talent in music, art, film, and the like.
Yup. Heroes is the right song for this playlist. I’m sorry you’re gone Bowie.
We also lost Prince. I don’t think that loss is one to easily forget considering how much of an influence Prince and his music were not just in the United States, but the world over.
The song I’m sharing is called Little Red Corvette. I chose this one because I think the song really stands out as one of the man’s best. It also really showcases why Prince was… well… Prince – The undisputed icon of funk and pop music.
I think it’s also important to address the way these two men (Bowie and Prince) influenced fashion over their more dominating years in the industry. Were they eccentric? I don’t know. Were they geniuses? I don’t really know this either. I guess the facts should speak for themselves. Icons don’t become icons for no reason.
P.s. I apologize for the terrible audio quality on this track. Couldn’t find a better version on YouTube.
I’m closing this playlist with Leonard Cohen and Hallelujah. Appropriate in a lot of ways I think.
I have helped people learn to play this one over piano for some years now, and to be honest, the song found a lot more meaning after Cohen’s unfortunate demise. I’ve also heard several versions of this one song- covers that are splendid in so many ways, they give you goosebumps- but it seemed fitting that I share with you The Man’s version.
After-note: Cohen is the artist my friend suggested I dedicate a playlist to, and while I may not have done exactly that, I believe this playlist should stand testament to all the good things that music really is and stands for, and all the artists who collectively make it what it is. We’ve got musicians all over the world touching and changing lives with the purity of their work, and I love that they can inspire me in so many ways.
And with that, I’ll say goodbye for now. I hope you enjoy listening to this playlist. I’ll be back soon with another.