It's The End Of The Week As We Know It: Part 62

I'm going to physically write this post out instead of typing. Well, obviously it's typed in its final form.

It's The End Of The Week As We Know It: Part 62
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I'm going to physically write this post out instead of typing. Well, obviously it's typed in its final form, but the original draft is au naturale. Just picture me scribing on papyrus with a feather quill and ink by candlelight. I'm doing so because the personal nature of this post should benefit from the intimacy created by pen on paper. This week's subject: favorite albums. Instead of making fun of Morrissey's latest panty twist or how f--ked the music industry is this week, I'd like to open up the floor and talk about all-time favorite albums to get to the roots of why we come here to read about music, why we play guitar, why we love music, and what impact those special albums have on us. I'd say most of us who've ever picked up an instrument have that one album that changed everything and gave us a hard on for music. For me, it's always been Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon". When I was 14 and on the brink of an inspired journey of musical discovery, I stumbled upon the album in a small record store following a guitar lesson. I saw the album cover's understated yet striking triangular pyramid-prism pointed up at me, as if it was saying, hey, dude, check this out. I had seen the image before and I knew of Pink Floyd, but I had never considered listening to them at that point, probably because they were so vastly different than anything I was listening to at the time - mostly grunge and the admittedly trite trend of early 2000s alt. metal. Despite not having the wall of distorted, layered guitars and the percussive boomage I was used to, I figured I'd buy it since it was apparently a classic. I got home, put the CD in my boombox and from the moment Pink Floyd celestially chimed in unison after the anxious buildup of ticking clocks, footsteps, cash registers, heartbeats, and voices, I knew this album was different. It was clearly in another league compared to the music I was into at the time; if Fuel was the girl next door (yeah, shut up, I liked Fuel) then Pink Floyd was Kate Beckinsale - way more attractive and on a completely different level. Everything on that album - the synth effects, the overarching concept that explores the human condition, the lyrics, the vocals, the clear and vibrant production, the GUITAR SOLOS - every aspect of the record fit together perfectly to create the ultimate experience of listening to a near-perfect record from start to finish. I was hooked and thus began my first "Floyd Phase". And I soon discovered that I wasn't alone in my infatuation and attachment to the record; 24 million copies sold and a 14-year straight run on the Billboard charts reflected how universally loved this particular record has been over decades. I've listen to "DSOTM"... I don't know, seems like hundreds of times. And what becomes amazing is how I keep finding myself returning to the record throughout various stages in my life, listening to it slightly differently each time. If I happened to be in a heavy guitar practice phase, I'd focus in on the guitar and David Gilmour's playing. Another time, I would pay particular attention to the words and interpret the meaning differently than I had done when I was younger and more naive. Sometimes the production and studio tricks would catch my attention, and sometimes the record would simply be played as low, soothing and comforting background music. The same goes for other Floyd albums as well, but Dark Side is where that personal specialness exists. I guess the reason I'm writing this is because over the past weekend, I popped on the album to take advantage of a new speaker system I just inherited. Considerably loud and through some quality speakers and a subwoofer, the album played out, and I'll be damned, it was almost like listening to the album for the first time again; I got those chills, felt those inner surges of joy a physiological response brought on by the music. It was outstanding, inspirational and spurred my...hell 20th Floyd Phase. So as you prepare for a great weekend, why not use today to listen to your favorite album of all time and bask in its might? Think about what the album means to you. Where you were when you first listened to it and how old you were when you picked it up? Why do you still come back to it? Is your favorite record by a huge band like Pink Floyd, or by an underground act few people know about? Albums...movies, books, any sort of art really, has that personal appeal that can stretch over long periods of Time. Your favorite album is one of those purchases that are 200% worth it; you get a ton of replay value too, because it didn't cost you too much Money. And your ears Breathe new life into the record each time you come back to it. People may think you're even a little weird for listening to one album so much, maybe suspecting you have Brain Damage too. And if you're a Floyd fan, you can tell I'm just looking for a clever way to wrap up this blog post.

Pick of the Week: Pink Floyd, "Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973)

So naturally, "DSOTM" is the pick of the week. I'm going to guess that the majority of you have heard it, but if you haven't... well, Jesus, what's the matter with you? Take some time to put on a good set of headphones, get comfortable, chill out and listen to the album! And for fellow Floyd freaks who may know someone who hasn't heard it, sit them down and enjoy watching their reaction to the record. Just for fun, here are a few tidbits about the album that may pique your interest: To capture the spoken word passages you hear throughout the record, Roger Waters walked around Abbey Road Studios with flashcards presenting vague, open-ended questions and he interviewed various people in the studio; the band Wings were recording at Abbey Road during the same time and Paul McCartney was actually interviewed but his remarks weren't included on the record. "DSOTM" engineer Alan Parsons was an apprentice engineer on The Beatles' "Let It Be" a few years prior to recording "Dark Side". To capture the original inner album sleeve photographs, longtime Floyd graphic designer, Storm Thorgeson, traveled to Egypt to photograph the Great Pyramids at night under a full moon, an experience that he described as "very spooky". "DSOTM" is the 4th best selling album of all time. The only records that have sold more worldwide are Michael Jackson's "Thriller", the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever", and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors".

On The Next It's The End Of The Week As We Know It:

Daily filming reports for the new season of "Arrested Development" (!) sadly reveal a last-minute casting change. David Cross, will no longer play Dr. Tobias füNke, rather, Axl Rose will be playing the infamous analrapist. President Barack Obama responds to Ted Nugent's recent insults aimed at the president, stating that "Ted Nugent represents everything that is bad about rock music". Steve Vai, who recently shared how he "dreamed" his career as a shred guitarist, wakes up from that dream, looks in the mirror, and is horrified when he realizes he's actually Michael Angelo Batio. By Zach Pino Twitter: @zachpino

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    rockfreak611
    "DSOTM" is the 4th best selling album of all time. The only records that have sold more worldwide are Michael Jackson's "Thriller", the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever", and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors".
    False. DSOTM is the 3rd best selling album of all time. Thriller by Michael Jackson and Back in Black by AC/DC are the only 2 albums that have sold more copies worldwide.
    jordo246
    Steve Vai, who recently shared how he "dreamed" his career as a shred guitarist, wakes up from that dream, looks in the mirror, and is horrified when he realizes hes actually Michael Angelo Batio. Hahahaha brilliant.
    Eclectic Lizard
    Metallica-Ride or Master Megadeth-Peace Sells Bruce Springsteen-Darkness On The Edge of Town Neil Young-Live At Massey Hall 1971 Led Zeppelin-IV Witchfinder General-Death Penalty
    Tonganation
    I would have to say my favorite album of all time is "Dirt" by Alice in Chains. It was an album that cemented my love for grunge and heavier music when I was 17. I'd never heard anything quite as powerful as Layne Staley singing such personal and haunting lyrics accompanied by Jerry Cantrell's unique and heavy guitar riffs and tone. It was an album that pushed me away from the vapid and cliched sound of radio rock and post-grunge and into music that had true meaning and purpose, and I've loved it ever since.
    iommi600
    Dark Side of the Moon is epic. I don't praise UG that much, but this new design for the comments sections is awesome. Just sayin'.
    rattleurhead
    The album that inspired me to play guitar... Megadeth's Best of album (the one with the mushroom cloud on the front). I heard Holy Wars, Dread in the Fugitive Mind, The Killing Road, and many other amazing songs that made me a guitar player, and an avid music listener
    zeroceid
    Porcupine Tree - Signify Anathema - Weather Systems, even though it only came out this year, it is truely a masterpeice
    pantallica87
    I was 9 when i aquired my first cd (somewhere around 1995) and used my own money to buy it. For some reason my parents didnt care that i grabbed 'Metallica- And Justice for All... Ive been a 110% metal fanatic ever since and never looked back \m/
    faltrax
    DSOTM is my all time favourite as well. It's just better than every album out there. Including Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band!
    Abrie Compion
    album I always come back to is cruel melody from black light burns. Albums I've never stopped listening is Chimaira from Chimaira and From the edge of the earth of sylosis.
    CoyT
    I'd have to agree with the person who said Dirt by AIC. But The Sinister Urge by Rob Zombie is really special to me too, it was my first CD. I got it for Christmas when I was like 8 (my parents are awesome), and I've been into hard rock and metal ever since.
    iommi600
    Oh yeah, forgot to mention my album, lol. Probably Sabbath's Vol.4... I'm pretty sure I've never been the same again since "Wheels of Confusion" hit my ears.
    jerad2424
    For me it was DSOTM White album Born to run beggars banquet And ride the lightning lol
    ZStardust2012
    For me it was fleetwood mac's self titles, damn that album had some great guitar riffs in it, all played by lindsey buckingham using his fingers, i was amazing since i'd never even thought about playing solos and riffs like that with my fingers
    mop10893
    Master Of Puppets. I remember when I was about 5 years old I was in the bath. My dad was apparently listening to music somewhere else in the house. When I got out of the bathroom, I heard music like I had never known existed. It was the interlude to MOP. That was my first discovery of rock (I shared a room with my sister, who at that time listened to the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls) and I loved it. Years later, I had kind of forgotten about Metallica. I was big into bands like Sum 41, Green Day, The Offspring, and Good Charlotte. I also was starting to learn bass and had just been introduced to Cliff's playing. I decided to start listening to Metallica again, and the first album I popped in was naturally MOP. Now a little older, I was even more blown away by the whole album this time. From the intro to Battery all the way to the final note of Damage Inc., I sat in awe of the greatness that was hitting my ears. The two new highlights for me were Sanitarium and Orion. I fell in love with Metallica that day, and was now on my way to becoming a metalhead. It is the only album I have ever listened to that I LOVE every song off of it. My three favorite metal songs of all time are all on that album (MOP, Sanitarium, and Orion), and to this day, hearing just one note from one of the 8 masterpieces on that album makes me smile like no other music can. It changed my life.
    mastodude13
    Panopticon by ISIS- best thing I have ever heard, absolutely perfect. Lateralus by Tool Remission by Mastodon Wake/Lift by Rosetta Blue Record by Baroness Given to the Rising by Neurosis All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone by Explosions in the Sky
    crazycyanide
    for me gotta be; -dirty deeds done dirt cheap, acdc. not all the songs but the few that re good really get me going close joint second; -back in black, acdc -live and dangerous, thin lizzy -appetite for destruction, guns 'n' roses
    kratos379
    It's really hard for me to pick a single album that has really inspired me. If I tried picking just one, I would end up writing a long list of albums. I used to listen to rock, primarily grunge, but since then I've spanned out to metal, blues, and jazz. In the beginning though, I would probably have said Superunknown, Rage Against the Machine, and maybe Lateralus. Now there's just too many albums to name.
    The jazz Man
    As I started guitar and not knowing what I wanted to play I would have to say Metallica's Black Album. The first metal song I heard was Sad But True of that album and From that point on I knew what I wanted to do musically. That riff just blew me away. Trying to figure out why it sounded so low and heavy was such a great experience. Turned out the rest Of the album was great.. And that turned me on to the rest of the albums and eventually shaped my playing style. Was lucky to find it so early on really.
    dennis.1960
    Id like to open up the floor and talk about all-time favorite albums to get to the roots of why we come here to read about music, why we play guitar, why we love music, and what impact those special albums have on us.
    Seems like I run into one album once every 10 years or so that reminds me why I'm a musician and inspires me. Here are those magic albums by decade... 60's) Beatles - Sgt Peppers ('67) 70's) Tie: Black Sabbath - Paranoid ('71) King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black ('74) 80's) REM - Chronic Town ('81) 90's) Cathedral - The Etherial Mirror ('93) 00's) Trance to the Sun - Atrocious Virgin ('02) 10's) STILL WAITING!
    ibanez124
    Great piece of writing, agree 100% with the message. The way the world is now, it's refreshing to hear people actually stop and actually "listen".
    edbert
    I had one of those experiences when my friend and I listened to his (at the time) newly acquired original master recording of DSOTM, and it happened to be right after Rick Wright died, surreal experience indeed. As far as my favorite albums I need to revisit: Bob Seger - Live Bullet Rage Against the Machine's self titled and of course Ted Nugent's self titled...argue all you want about his political views, the man makes great music
    Raining Kasch
    There were a handful of things that got me into guitar playing. It started with Hinder's cover of "Born to be Wild", and shortly after Lostprophets "Can't Catch Tomorrow". But my favorite album ever is definitely "Start Something" from Lostprophets. Been a devoted fan since I was in middle school, and I still keep going back to that album.
    gorocurt
    AHHHHH! I'm so excited about Arrested Development! ...Or candy? Hmm, the album that inspired my guitar playing was G.I. by The Germs. But I was a drummer long before I started playing guitar, so I'll have to go with Tommy by The Who.
    Dirtee
    Live in Hyde Park - Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not sure if live albums "count" but this would be IT for me, the revised solos, the improvs RHCP are known for (the understanding between Flea & Frusc) and basically, the live funkiness of them playing so many damn good songs... Second would be either Out of Exile or Audioslave by Audioslave.
    sum1udunno
    Daily filming reports for the new season of "Arrested Development" (!) sadly reveal a last-minute casting change. David Cross, will no longer play Dr. Tobias fNke, rather, Axl Rose will be playing the infamous analrapist.
    LOL. One of the best "On The Next It's The End Of The Week As We Know It" bits IMO. It's just like the "On the next Arrested Development" segments at the end of every episode.
    axeslinger0u812
    Van halen, pretty much everything they did until vh III, inspired me to play guitar. I would say after that, it was Thrice's first three albums, evanescence's fallen, and a mix of metal and harder rock albums have kept me interested in songwriting and still pursuing the instrument. I love the feeling of finding a new album that is stellar all the way through. You can always return to the classics, but there's just something rewarding about finding a new band or hearing a new album that grabs you.