Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...
For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.
This year I've been taking a once-a-month look at specific instruments and showcasing five songs or tunes which place that instrument front and center.
This year's feature is called Spotlight On...
...and for our ninth installment, I'm transitioning from percussion and rhythm to the leading melodic instrumental voice.
We began the year listening to the primal body instruments of hand-clapping, whistling and vocal harmonies. Moving on, we explored percussion with April's look at drums, May's look at the vibraphone or vibes, June's look at piano, and wrapping things up with cowbell in July. In August I trained the spotlight on a favorite of mine, the bass guitar.
For September let's listen to that diva of instruments -- the lead guitar.
1 - Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles - 1969
A typically bittersweet joy radiates from George Harrison's guitar in this song he wrote after a long English winter.
2 - Milkcow Blues Boogie - Elvis Presley -1954
Elvis' guitar player Scotty Moore was an essential part of the 'Elvis sound' that took the world by storm in the mid-50s. He was ranked at 29 in the Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, a list heavy with electric guitar gods.
3 - Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits - 1979
Mark Knopfler's undeniably unique sound burst out from pop music's late-70s/early-80s move into synth and a highly-produced sound. Knopfler instead brought us his throwback to a more traditional sound with his '61 Fender Stratocaster.
4 - Black Dog - Led Zeppelin - 1971
Jimmy Page's playing on this classic Zeppelin tune helped propel it into legend:
Top Fifty Classic Rock Songs of All Time -- Classic Rock magazine
20 Greatest Guitar Tracks -- Q magazine (UK)
500 Greatest Songs of All Time -- Rolling Stone magazine
To mention merely a few.
5 - Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix - 1969
This footage of Jimi Hendrix playing at Woodstock is riveting, and then somewhat hilarious when the camera moves to gaze out at the appreciative if bedraggled audience and the half-empty hillside strewn with the remnants of festival goers. He was the headliner and closed the festival, which meant that he went onstage beginning at 9:00 in the morning. Over half of the attendees had gone by Hendrix's close to two-hour set.
He was ranked posthumously as the greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, but had also been named during his lifetime as Artist of the Year (1968) by Billboard magazine, and Rock Guitarist of the Year (1970) by Guitar Player magazine, among a great bounty of lifetime achievement awards.
Considering his early death at 27, and how far he pushed the boundaries of the electric guitar at the time, it's surprising that he was so passionately embraced during his lifetime, as true trailblazers are so often misunderstood by their contemporaries, and only valued much later when the public catches up with them.