Tag Archives: Pulse

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.

My favourite Live Albums

This post is a follow up to my last one. I was introduced to Live Albums when I moved to Nagpur. People in our college used to share 3-in-1 live concert DVDs with each other. I have already written about my favourite concerts, so this post is only about live albums. Below is the list of my favourite live albums of all time.

Hell Freezes Over (1994) – Eagles

Hell Freezes Over : Eagles

My favourite live album of all time and my introduction to Eagles, as a band. In fact I didn’t even hear the original version of Hotel California till years later and was then surprised to find out it was so different. Overall, this album is just magical. Everyone performed perfectly. I remember the first time I heard it, at a friend’s house, his father had found the DVD. It was also Eagles’ reunion concert and as Don Henley says, “we never broke up, we just took a 14 year vacation”.

This concert was part of the MTV unplugged series.

My only gripe with the album is that they replaced many songs’ live versions with studio versions which are inherently inferior. One example of this is “Learn to be still”.

Pulse (1995) – Pink Floyd

Pulse : Pink Floyd

One of my favourite live albums of all time, Pulse is Pink Floyd at its epic live psychedelic best. I have listened to this album countless times and can never get tired of it. The album starts with the epic “Shine on you crazy diamond” and ends with an epic rendition of “Comfortably Numb” with extended solos.

Honourable mention to Delicate Sound of Thunder, which is almost as good as Pulse, but not quite.

This concert also reminds me of a disaster that occurred back in 2006.

MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) – Nirvana

MTV Unplugged in New York : Nirvana

This live album reminds me of Whoreko, I don’t know why. I am not a huge fan of Nirvana‘s heavier work, but this concert showed their “acoustic side” and boy, was it awesome. This concert also introduced the Meat Puppets & Pat Smear to the world.

Another concert from MTV unplugged series.

Live at Pompeii (1972) – Pink Floyd

Live at Pompeii : Pink Floyd

Ok, Ok, so technically this is not a live album, but it is shot as such, simulating a concert in Pompeii (without audience). The tracks are all psychedelic and the version of echoes in this album is a masterpiece, especially the bass.

One Night Only (1998) – Bee Gees

One Night Only : Bee Gees

Not a huge fan of Bee Gees, but this live album is just awesome. Such beautiful, soulful music. Reminds me of my days in Chandigarh.

Supernatural Live (2003) – Santana

Supernatural Live : Santana

I got this as part of a 3-concert pirated DVD. The music is awesome and features guest appearances by Dave Matthews, Erik Schrody, Rob Thomas, among others. Entertaining much.

The Corrs Unplugged (1999) – The Corrs

The Corrs Unplugged : The Corrs

Another part of the 3-concert pirated DVD. I am not a Corrs fan. In fact I have never heard of them outside this concert. But the music in this album is soothing and beautiful.

This is also the album where I heard Dreams for the first time, much before the original version.

Another concert from MTV unplugged series.

A special mention to Roger WatersThe Wall – Live in Berlin for being one of the shittiest live albums I have ever had the misfortune of listening to and making me dislike him forever after.

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..