Tag Archives: Metallica

Timeless Songs – Part 1

In case I have not made it clear already, I love music. Music plays an important part in my life. So I decided to make a list of songs I consider timeless. I don’t claim that these songs are the best in any way; is just that I keep coming back to them every now and then, even after all these years.

These songs are in no specific order. I may be obsessed with one of them today and with some other one tomorrow.

Also, I did an interesting experiment with this post. I actually listened to each song and then wrote about it. For any song where I did not find anything to write about, I discarded from this list.

Hotel California (1977) – Eagles

The first time I remember hearing this song was at my erstwhile friend Bhavesh’s house. He had just found the Hell Freezes Over video and his family had gathered around the computer to watch it. So this version stuck with me over the years. The starting notes of this song was one of the first songs I learnt to play on the guitar. It was quite some time till I even heard the original version & even then it took me quite some time to develop a taste for it. Now, I listen to the original version more and the Hell Freezes Over one not so much.

Overall, this is a timeless classic that will stay with me till the end of my days. The guitar duet between Don Felder and Joe Walsh is unparalleled in rock history.

I suggest you also listen to this (very well done) parody.

Comfortably Numb (1979) – Pink Floyd

I don’t remember exactly when I heard this song for the first time, but I assume it didn’t leave a big impact on me then. What I do remember is, like the previous entry, I listened to the Pulse version of this song before I did The Wall version. Over time, this song grew on me, especially when I saw the movie and understood the meaning behind the lyrics.

The song is special, because of the fantastic guitar solos by David Gilmour.

The first solo starts off with an uplifting note and is simpler in nature.

The second solo starts much later and is more serious in nature. It is also much longer and technical. If you like the song, do watch the movie to understand the deeper meaning as the protagonist loses his mind.

Dreams (1977) – Fleetwood Mac

Like the previous entries, the first time I heard this song was the cover version in this concert. But the original version came to me from my friend who now goes by the name of Lee La.

This song was also my introduction to Fleetwood Mac.

I think I love this song because of how melodious it is, in spite of not being too technical or having complicated solos. I also love the bass track.

The FLV version of the below video was one of the few videos I kept on my Nokia E50.

Sheep (1977) – Pink Floyd

Even though I had been a Pink Floyd fan for a long time, I hadn’t heard Animals. and when I did it drove me crazy. Of all the songs in that album, Sheep is my favourite.

This song is like an unstoppable train, relentless in its pace, reflected in the distorted guitar shredding. The bass track is also awesome.

I love how the song crawls down to a near stop around the 3:50 mark, stays that way for some time and then goes back to its frantic pace.

This song still reminds me of those Think Floyd concerts back in India.

Come as you are (1992) – Nirvana

Although when I was young, I preferred the heavier songs from Nirvana, I have stopped listening to most of them over the years, leaving this as one of the few Nirvana songs I still listen to, regularly.

This song is defined by its melody and simplicity. The bass, guitar, drums are all relatively easy to play, leaving only Cobain’s angtsy vocals that still cannot be matched.

Echoes (1971) – Pink Floyd

I had just come back from a trip from back home in Kolkata and the first thing I did was install my Worldspace satellite radio system. I put on Orbit Rock and went to take a shower, when this song started. Even though I had never heard it before, I immediately recognised it as a Pink Floyd song and was captivated and listened to (all 23 minutes of it) in my towel. After it finished, I went online and looked up Orbit Rock’s schedule to find out the name of this song.

Over the years this song has left a deep impression on me. I am not sure why, but this song reminds me of driving to office just before Durga Puja and being excited about the upcoming holidays.

The Live at Pompeii version is even more special as it has an elaborate bass track by Roger Waters.

I remember going to office listening to this song and reaching before it got over and then spending up to 10 more minutes in the car in the parking waiting for it to get over. One day, like this, a colleague knocked on my window to ask me why I was sitting in the car alone and I pretended not to notice him.

The Chain (1977) – Fleetwood Mac

I didn’t listen to rumours till (relatively) recently, but what an album! But this section is about my favourite song from the album, not the album itself.

The song starts off slow with Lindsey Buckingham’s haunting guitar plucking with chorus vocals coming in after. The bass and guitar duet-solo is also iconic.

To understand the deeper meaning of this song, I suggest you watch  the Classic Albums episode of this album, which explains the personal turmoils the band members were facing.

I Can’t Tell You Why (1979) – Eagles

This is my favourite Eagles song of all time, I just love it so much. It made me a fan of Timothy Schmit’s beautiful vocals and Don Felder’s haunting guitars.

The song is slow and easy-going. The 2 solos are just beautiful.

I bought an electric guitar to play these solos. I grew long hair and a beard, wore a shirt with a big collar and recorded myself playing the 2 solos.

The FLV version of the below video was one of the few videos I kept on my Nokia E50.

This song also reminds me of my early courtship period with my (now) wife in Nagpur.

Time (1973) – Pink Floyd

This is my favourite song from The Dark Side of the Moon. The opening clock sounds are so iconic, many movies, songs and TV shows have used them over the years. And every time I hear them, I get excited for this song followed immediately by disappointed when its not this song.

Nick Mason’s drum solo in the beginning is iconic, too. Gilmour’s solo is amazing; I even learnt to play it at one point of time.

This is one of those songs, whose lyrics I have used to live my life by, mainly how not to waste your time on unpleasant things (like toxic relationships) and if you aren’t careful, the world leaves you behind.

The song ends with a reprise of Breathe, which is also a song I like.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pts 1-5 (1975) – Pink Floyd

The number of times I have listened to this composition would surely be close to a thousand. This is my favourite morning song. The >13 min long Parts 1-V are perfect to listen to when your morning coffee hasn’t kicked in and you want to take it easy.

The song never picks up too much tempo.

I prefer the live versions of this song, especially the one from  Delicate Sound of Thunder.

This version reminds me of my time in Nagpur when I had finally gotten serious about studies and rewarded myself between study sessions by listening to music. I remember listening to it on a shitty Samsung phone, whose SD card retainer had broken and I had to use tape to keep it inside.

Linger (1993) – The Cranberries

I remember listening to this one in college. Although Zombie was the more popular The Cranberries song, I preferred Linger. I just find this song so melodious and haunting. My ultimate feel-good song.

2 Minutes to Midnight (1984) – Iron Maiden

This is my go-to song when I want a dose of heavy metal. The guitar riffs and the bass track are just amazing.

I find the lyrics fun (I don’t consider them deep or something). One of the things I do is, when I am speaking/chatting with someone, I try to fit-in the lyrics of this song somehow into the conversation. Has led to hilarious conversations in some cases, especially when the other person recognises what I am doing and responds in kind.

One great moment was when I discovered that there’s a clothing store named Golden Goose.

A clothing chain called Golden Goose
A clothing chain called Golden Goose

One (1988) – Metallica

Whenever I buy a new set of speakers or headphones, this is the song I test on it. The song starts off in a soft melodic setting, but it develops through multiple sections into heavier and faster speed metal sounds, leading up to a tapping solo by Kirk Hammett, and a dual guitar section by Hammett and James Hetfield. The double bass drumming by Lars Ulrich is the only bass in the song as this album famously has almost no bass guitar sound.

Riders on the Storm (1971) – The Doors

Ah! One of the most beautiful & melodious songs ever. Such beautiful bass and keyboard tracks. The first time I heard this song was not the original version, but the Snoop Dogg cover, in the game Need for Speed: Underground 2.

This song reminds me of leaving Someplace Else late at night while its raining outside or has stopped raining, but the streets are still wet.

We also had a fun rule in our family for many years. Whenever it would rain (rare in Gurgaon), we would play this song.

O Re Nil Doriya (2009) – Arnob & Nazia Ahmed

I first heard this song at our favourite (now defunct) Bengali restaurant & fell in love with its melody and simplicity. Although it’s in a language I understand, the dialect is foreign to me and I don’t understand all the lyrics.

One thing I love to do, is go to Ibirapuera Park, sit on my favourite bench facing the lake and listen to this song.

I also want to go to Bangladesh one day and listen to this song while sailing on the Padma.

Zombie (1994) – The Cranberries

Zombie is a powerful anti-war anthem by The Cranberries, which is still relevant today, because humans can’t stop making war.

My earliest memory of this song goes back to our college second year fresher’s party where my friend Arka was (supposedly) going to perform this song with a junior girl on the vocals. We were all quite excited, so you can imagine our disappointment when we found out the girl had fainted and the performance was cancelled.

That’s it for Part 1 of this post, look out for Part 2, soon.

Why Delhi/NCR doesn’t deserve Metallica (or any other band)

After the Bryan Adams fiasco and concert cancellation in February, here I am, spending another disappointed night at home. Metallica’s first concert in India, one I was looking forward to for months was cancelled. I don’t agree with what most of the news channels are saying; here’re the events as I saw them myself from the venue

  1. Gates were to be opened at 3:00 PM. The security personnel/organizers didn’t anticipate people queuing up since morning. By the time it was 3:00 PM, there was a huge dis-organized crowd, almost 30,000 strong, impatient to get it. The security personnel should have started organizing people in queues from the very beginning (Hats off to concerts I have seen in Mumbai; excellent organization and obedient people)
  2. Before the gates were to be opened, the security staff shouted at the crowd that unless they get into proper queues, they won’t open the gates. A 30,000 strong crowd (especially a metal concert crowd) can’t organize themselves in a queue just like that.
  3. After failing to form a proper queue, the security personnel just opened the gates. The crowd mass directly in the front of the gate surged forward, the ones on the left or the right, sensing that they aren’t making much progress, started pushing the whole crowd. This was sheer torture. For almost 40 minutes, we had to almost suffocate in the unruly crowd and risk being stampeded if we fell down. The ground was uneven. Many girls almost suffocated and had to plead with the crowd to let them leave.
  4. During entry, the security staff failed to keep up with the massive crowd surge. Not all tickets were checked and frisking was a joke.
  5. Once in, the people right at the front rushed towards the stage, banged against the barriers separating the stage from the crowd and broke them. Slowly people settled down and the crew members noticed that the front barriers were broken
  6. Crew members politely asked the crowd to move back a little so that the barriers could be repaired. The crowd did nothing
  7. Another crew member asked the crowd to do the same. They just kept standing like they couldn’t understand what was said to them.
  8. Another crew member called the crowd ‘buttheads’. At this point, the crowd started abusing back (but still didn’t move)
  9. Another crew-member politely told the crowd that the concert cannot start unless the barricades were repaired and that cannot happen with the crowd still pushing against it. Still, nothing.
  10. This went on for some more time. They also flashed the text on the screens which said the same thing. The crowd just laughed, abused and threw bottles towards the stage
  11. The crowd waited till around 18:30 when they were told that the show was postponed till tomorrow because of technical difficulties. At this point, the people standing towards the front went berserk and passing the already broken barriers, climbed up on the stage. They broke microphones, monitors and speakers.
  12. A few people gathered a banner and set it on fire.
  13. While I decided to leave, my last view was of a group of people trying to pull a huge speaker (towards the middle of the ground) down. There was not a single policeman to witness the whole event
I think the following factors contributed to this disaster
  1. The organizers/security personnel had little or no experience of dealing with a Heavy Metal concert crowd. The failed to ensure order from the very beginning. They didn’t anticipate such an early turnout and didn’t make arrangements for queues.
  2. Press says that the organizers were facing technical issues with sound, I cannot comment on this because I don’t know this for sure, but they did goof up big time. They failed to control an already unruly crowd and kept them waiting for too long before breaking bad news
  3. I feel the crowd was the biggest factor. Most of the people were unruly, already drunk/high and very different from rock/metal crowd you see in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.
I see reports coming in now that the gig won’t be held tomorrow either, but will instead be scrapped. I understand that a band needs some rest between subsequent gigs (Metallica has another gig in Bangalore on Sunday), but the unruly behaviour/vandalism by the crowd ealed their fate. Metallica will not risk performing before such a crowd. Here’s a video

The people of Delhi/NCR don’t deserve to be rocked by Metallica (or any big band for that matter).

Concerts I would give my arm and a leg to be in(Ok.. maybe only an arm)

These are the concerts I would like to go back in time and see. Of course, I would also want to be in the first row..

  1. Eagles-Hell Freezes Over:- One of the best concerts. Each and every band member played perfectly. All the songs were great and the Intro to Hotel California is one of the greatest. Also great are the songs by Timothy Schmidt(Love will keep us alive, I can’t tell you why)
  2. Pink Floyd-Pulse:- Read my earlier post
  3. Pink Floyd-Wall
  4. Metallica-SnM
  5. Woodstock 69
  6. Woodstock 94
  7. Nirvana-MTV Unplugged
  8. Beegees-One night only

Why is it that when I am writing my blog, I forget everything?? If I remember more, I will edit the post to add more..

My favorite Songs

Well, This is my list of favorite songs as of 27/12/2005. Please remember that this list is volatile and the songs are arranged in no particular order and I have avoided multiple songs of the same artist so that the list doesnt get too long
1. I can’t tell you why – Eagles
2. One – Metallica
3. You shook me all night long – AC/DC
4. It must have been love – Roxette
5. How deep is your love – The Bee Gees
6. Every breath you take – Police
7. Blind – Korn
8. Something in the way – Nirvana
9. Back to you – Bryan Adams
10.Always – Bon Jovi