This week we’re thankful for newly released archival material from some old masters, which you can download (legally, of course) or stream to your iPod, iPad, iPhone or other personal media device.
"Obvious Child (Live in New York City)" by Paul Simon
This is something to be thankful for – Paul Simon, one of America’s greatest troubadours, is still kicking ass live at 71 years of age. In this timeless song from 1990’s “The Rhythm of the Saints,” you can feel the weight of the lyrical rumination on a life lived versus a life wasted. The drum-roll ushers in lyrics such as “Maybe I’m a dog that’s lost his bite…I don’t expect to sleep through the night.” And by the time the snare snaps back into the exodus roll, we know Simon’s musical life was not wasted, it’s a legacy that speaks for itself and we say thanks for giving.
"For Your Life" by Led Zeppelin
Back in September, a lot of Zep fans were pissed because the band led a viral campaign hinting at a possible reunion, only to reveal instead an upcoming release of a live CD and DVD of the band’s 2007 reunion show at the O2 Arena. Can’t we just be happy with what we get from these geriatrics? They’ve reached retirement age already and haven’t they done enough? The three original members are joined on drums by the late-great John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham and bonus…this is the first time they’d ever played this song live. From Jimmy Page’s dive-bomb guitar to John Paul Jones and Bonham crunching through the shifting time signatures to Robert Plant’s vocal gymnastics – this Zeppelin proves it is still able to fly high.
"A Quick One, While He’s Away" by The Who
Here’s one to honor of our editor, Kent Kimes, and his recent trek in search of live sightings of the often elusive rock giants who have been reduced down to their flashy half after the unfortunate demise of one of the best rhythm sections in history. This track is from the band’s most recent jaunt across memory stage, “Live at Hull 1970.” And it’s The Who at the height of its powers, containing all the dynamics the band became known for. It’s Pete Townshend’s first foray into operatic songs and this tale of infidelity moves through musical suites – starting with the harmonized a cappella intro and genre jumping until Roger Daltrey and Townshend exchange the shouts, “You are forgiven.”
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge