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Top 5 “Top of the Mind” Leonards

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Splendid logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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Something a little different for today’s Top 5.

In fact, I practically insist you play along!

Step 1: Acquire a pencil & paper

Step 2: Write down the names of the first 5 people named “Leonard” that come to mind.

Step 3: Share your Leonards in the comments below

Ready, Set, Go!

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As for my Top 5 “Top of the Mind” Leonards?

5. Leonard from the Big Bang Theory
The last name alas did not immediately spring to mind

4. Leonard Maltin, The Movie Critic
I always enjoyed his yearly movie guides

3. Leonard Bernstein, Composer/Conductor/etc.
As shouted by R.E.M.!

2. Leonard Nimoy
Though admittedly I pictured him on The Simpsons, specifically the timeless Monorail episode

1. Leonard Cohen
Well, it is his week after all.

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Verbalize the Positive

In that monorail episode, Leonard Nimoy delivered the ever-quotable line, “No, the world needs laughter.”

And I’ve been laughing about that episode for decades now, my thanks!

Leonard Cohen – Songs from a Room (1969)

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Splendid Artist of the Week logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 532/1001]

I play ball hockey every monday night.

Usually, I carpool with a friend.

But for a stretch of a few weeks in a row, he was unable to go, and I made the trip alone.

Or I should say, Leonard & I made the quiet night drive together.

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A night drive with an emphasis on quiet; on my CD, the recording level was significantly lower than the radio volume.

Maybe that was a strategic move, to draw the listeners closer, creating a more intimate listening environment?

Not to mention the CD case itself: the CD packaging contained the front cover, a tracklist, and…that is all.

No lyrics, no instrument credits, no thank yous.

Was this also pure strategy? Let the songs do the talking?

Whatever the grand scheme, it worked, as when I’ve been driving alone at night recently, Leonard is the voice that I’ve wanted to hear.220px-Songs_from_a_room

If Nick Drake’s Pink Moon represents the ultimate soundtrack for a solitary evening drive, Leonard Cohen’s Songs from a Room isn’t far off.

It’s a highly reliable substitute; sort of like in hockey, how some teams have a #1a / #1b goalie tandem, rather than a distinct #1 starter / #2 backup pairing.

Although my carpooling friend has returned to ball hockey, I have a feeling Songs from a Room will stay in the car all the same.

As of course, there are six other nights in the week.

And if I have to pop out independently to run some errands on one of the other nights?

I’ll think of the closing track on Songs from a Room and smile, thinking, “yes, Tonight will be fine.”

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to all the non-hockey-obsessed spouses of the world (to all the wonderful folks who might say they “didn’t give a (hoot) about hockey”)

I’ll likely be capable of discussing very little else during the next couple of weeks (the first round of the NHL playoffs).

So if, like me, you’re fortunate to live your life with someone who tolerates your inexplicable interest in such things, please join me in a toast to supportive spouses!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #14

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Deep Purple last week.

Here are the results after 13 quizzes:

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after 13 weeks

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Ready for Quiz #14?

Alright, Alright, Alright!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #14
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..In the song Pennyroyal Tea, Kurt Cobain requested a “________ ________ afterworld,” name-checking this artist in the process

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400 points………………..He has 4 albums on the 1001, 3 of which begin with the word, “Songs

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300 points…………………He was born in 1934 and died in 2016

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200 points………………….Canadian male solo artist, he’s in just about every possible Hall of Fame

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100 points………………..The artist is L_____ C______

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Answer: يونارد كوهين
(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

This artist provides an argument in favour of never retiring. When he performed in Kingston at age 80 or so, the reviews I heard were overwhelmingly positive!

The Tourist & The Tour Guides

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Outstanding Artist of the Week logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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“`cause everybody hates a tourist. Especially one who thinks it’s all such a laugh.”
– Pulp, Common People

As I alluded to in yesterday’s review, though I’m immersing in these artists for a week at a time, I often feel somewhat like a tourist.

Hopefully not an obnoxious one!

In an effort to be a responsible/respectful tourist, I solemnly swear to never use a selfie stick & I will do my best to keep the noise down after 11 p.m.

When I decide on an artist of the week, I try to do a minimal amount of research/review-reading in advance.

I fear if I’m too well informed going in, I’ll end up just regurgitating more articulate posts by more experienced listeners; inevitably, I would do so with considerably less effectiveness.

So instead, I write what I write, ideally in a mildly diverting way, and then I like to go see what the experts had to say.

And I’ve decided that if I find there’s an expert that I think is particularly knowledgeable & passionate about a given artist, I’d like to give them a tip of the hat here.

In the case of Deep Purple, the foremost authority on the subject is a fellow Ontarian named Mike “LeBrain” Ladano.

Here’s why Purple matters, in the words of LeBrain, cheers Mike!

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mikeladano.com
Visit Mike’s site for more info on all things Purple

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Geoff asked me to write a few words on “What makes Deep Purple so special.”  As a fan since I was old enough to be, I think the best way to answer that is by asking “What makes Deep Purple so special…to me?”

I have always been attracted to bands who have had multiple lead singers over their careers.  That can often be the key to such a varied discography.  When I found out that the singer for Deep Purple was the same guy who I already knew as the singer of Black Sabbath (Ian Gillan, on Sabbath’s Born Again album) I was immediately intrigued.  Then I found out David freaking Coverdale (Whitesnake) was in Deep Purple once upon a time.  This lead to a slow, years-long exploration of classic British hard rock and heavy metal that continues to this day.  The family tree is a mighty, tangled redwood filled with brilliant names both legendary and obscure.

You can’t talk about Deep Purple without talking about the musicianship.  These are highbrow guys.  Their fourth album was an original concerto recorded at Albert Hall.  It sounds all very pretentious, but guitarist Ritchie Blackmore kept it on the very noisy side of rock with his impressively blazing six-string excursions that could go on for 10 minutes at a time.  The lynchpin in those early days was the late Jon Lord, a true maestro and gentleman.  His Hammond organ and trained classical schooling took Deep Purple to a level that few bands can explore.  Without Jon Lord, Deep Purple probably would have been a lot more ordinary.  Today, Deep Purple boasts the talents of jazz-rock fusion pioneer Steve Morse on guitar, surely one of the most esteemed players of the instrument.  Considering players like these, Deep Purple has very few peers.

All of this is well and good, but timeless songs are the real proof of value.  Look past “Smoke on the Water”.  Seek out deeper cuts like “Rat Bat Blue”, “You Keep On Moving”, “Bloodsucker”, “Pictures of Home”, “Child in Time”, “No One Came”, “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” and more.  Every Deep Purple album from start to finish has at least one quintessential cut on it.  You just have to find them and let them into your being.

– LeBrain, 04/02/2017

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Verbalize the Positive

Thank you in advance to all the people I’ll be looking to as Tour Guides as the year progresses!

Deep Purple – Deep Purple In Rock (1970)

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Awesome Original Artist of the week logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming
Excellent CROSSOVER logo edit by LeBrain @ mikeladano.com

Check out Mike’s site for his review of Deep Purple In Rock!

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[Album 531/1001]

Without hearing a note, based on the cover alone, the album, Deep Purple In Rock, was already off to a promising start.

It’s likely tied with Rush’s Moving Pictures for the best literal album cover on the 1001 list thus far.

Can you tell which one of the images below is currently a popular tourist destination in South Dakota (and which one really ought to be someday)?

Rushmore Purple

Yet the album cover is a somewhat ironic design for a couple of reasons:

a) Unlike their Mount Rushmore counterparts, these Mount Purple faces aren’t familiar to me

In a game of Name that Tune, I’m fairly confident I could spot a Deep Purple tune from a great distance.

In a game of Match the Band Member’s Name with his Rock Face on this cover, I have absolutely no faith in my ability, from any distance!

Was their ‘look’ even important at the time, did the fans care?

Some groups, it feels like the ‘look’ is half of the b(r)and appeal, but I wouldn’t have thought that was the case with Deep Purple.

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b) Was the band lineup ever really (*impending groan warning*) set in stone?

I gather this was already the second set of Deep Purple personnel (there’s a fascinating graphical breakdown of all the different lineups on Wikipedia).

It’s referred to as the “classic” lineup, so I suppose if there’s a group configuration to be commemorated in such a grand manner, this is the one.

I just find it unusual that such a permanent membership declaration was made for what would become such an ever-changing group.

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Though I imagine the cover art was partially in jest, upon actually listening to the music, I’m beginning to think it’s somewhat less ironic and maybe even somewhat apt.

For starters, the album does/they do in fact rock; it’s not just a clever name.Deep_Purple_in_Rock

And secondly, the slightly immodest cover doesn’t feel so ridiculous when I think about their musical legacy.

Why were Washington/Jefferson/Roosevelt/Lincoln chosen as the 4 heads to be featured on Mount Rushmore? I gather they were chosen for their role in “preserving the Republic and expanding its territory.”

What did Deep Purple contribute to the world of music?

Well, with albums like this one, the band preserved the Rock genre & helped expand its territory into brand new genres such as Heavy Metal.

Like many Presidents, they weren’t universally adored at the time.

But also like the 4 gentlemen on Mount Rushmore, it would be tough to form a coherent argument stating that they made anything less than a significant contribution to the (music) world.

Especially when you consider rock-solid releases like this one, deserving of their status as stone-cold classics.

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Verbalize the Positive

Thanks for reading this review by yours truly, a Deep Purple fan, but admittedly, a Deep Purple tourist.

Please take a moment to check out Mike Ladano’s review of Deep Purple In Rock.

Or as I like to think of it, a Deep Purple review from the lens of a proper Deep Purple Tour Guide.

Thanks for the crossover-collaboration today Mike!

Top 5 Purple-ish Albums

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Excellent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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“Start wearing purple, wearing purple”
– Gogol Bordello, Start Wearing Purple

Deep Purple should have the #1 spot locked up in terms of Top “Purple” group.

But how about the top “Purple-ish” album?

How about another Top 5?!

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5. The National, High Violet
Hence the purple-ish cateorgy! Wikipedia has a nice section explaining the distinction between purple & violet here.

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4. Deep Purple, Deep Purple in Rock
Most descriptive album title on the list.

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3. Stone Temple Pilots, Purple
No sophomore slump here.

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2. The Tragically Hip, In Violet Light
As Don Cherry (featured in the video) might say, good Kingston boys!

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1. Prince, Purple Rain
The movie, the soundtrack, the title track, his wardrobe, I can’t help but admire the full commitment to the colour.

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to Top 5s for allowing me to give lots of deserving non-1001 artists (like The Hip & STP) plenty of airtime!

Deep Purple – Made in Japan (1972)

 

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Magnificent made in Ontario logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 530/1001]

Back to the Future III
Doc Brown: “No wonder the circuit failed, It says Made in Japan.”
Marty McFly: “What do you mean Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan.”
Doc Brown: “Unbelievable”

 

When the above conversation is applied to Deep Purple’s Made in Japan, Marty & Doc are both partially right.

With regard to Doc, in my case, Made in Japan was ‘cheap’ in that it was inexpensive to procure; I scooped the tape years ago at a garage sale for 25 cents.

From a quality perspective however, his argument collapses, as the songs don’t seem carelessly performed & the band’s full sound doesn’t seem like it would be the thriftiest of productions.

And unlike the circuit from the movie clip, this Made in Japan product did not “fail.”

As for Marty, not having ventured too deep in the Purple catalogue myself, I don’t know if the set list here includes all of the band’s “best stuff.”

That being said, it feels like a running order that can be agreed upon by Deep Purple neophytes & lifers alike.

For me, someone who would likely fall somewhere in between, Made in Japan checks all the right boxes:

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Live Album Checklist

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While I imagine that a Deep Purple show in 2017 would include plenty of material from the last 45 years, in 1972, this show feels like a good representation of220px-Deep_Purple_Made_in_Japan the group at the time.

It feels like they would have been something to see in person, as not many bands can stretch 7 songs into 75+ minutes!

And while the track list might not feature all of Deep Purple’s eventual ‘best’ material, I can see why people would be as incredulous as Marty McFly, if someone were to suggest that there was a superior live album from the early ‘70s.

Are you kidding me?

All the best stuff (in those days) was on Made in Japan.

Unbelievable.

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Verbalize the Positive

Although garage sales don’t always reveal humanity at its finest, I’m grateful for all the sales in Kingston that have provided such affordable cassette/CD/LP versions of these 1001 albums.

At numerous houses, I’ve asked, how much for this/that tape? And I think they’re so
surprised that someone would be buying a cassette in the 21st century that they’ve laughed, asked for a quarter, and we’ve both left the transaction feeling fine!