Cream...

I'm not sure there's ever been a better band than Cream. Listening to White Room just now. Loud.

Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Clapton? Nothing and no one else.

And best album?

"Who's Next" with "Won't Get Fooled Again" for the best rock 'n roll song ever.

News reports the last couple of days are tellling us they think more women secret service agents are the solution. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

(TB--of course; if it were brother David it would be Elvis Costello; if it were our American-African correspondent it would be John Denver or the Carpenters; Doug Wilson? Big Walter Horton; RCJR? John Lee Hooker; Alistair Begg? Abba; Mark Driscoll? The Clash with Mott the Hoople's "Violence" best song ever; Wayne Grudem? Neil Diamond. Al Mohler? I dunno, help me out, here.)

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Dear Tim,

I'll grant you this, there is far more hope for you than David when it comes to music. David likes the Ramones... We beat people up who listened to the Ramones. But Cream the best band ever? That title belongs to Lynyrd Skynyrd. And all the mania aside, the Beatles from "Rubber Soul" on can hardly be challenged.

Clapton is good, Stevie Ray Vaughn is great.

Greatest song? You made a good nomination. Maybe it is "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". I know this wouldn't rank amongst the greatest but I love "That Smell" by Skynyrd.

Love,

Gary

Best band: The Eagles. Greatest song: I think you may be right- "Won't Get Fooled Again." I remember listening to that song while driving in the fog one night back in the early 70s...

The Carpenters? The Carpenters? It's a good thing you're in Michigan and my cousin is in Connecticut.

Old U2 and their songs One Tree Hill and Wide Awake

Cream belongs in tea.

Google Prince and While My Guitar Gently Weeps on Youtube. Best guitar solo ever.

"There are two types of people in the world: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't."

I'm embarrassed to say that I can only name one song that any of those bands have released... Dancing Queen, by Abba.

I think Mohler would go with classical music.

Definitely Eagles and U2.

I vote for David Gilmour's guitar solos in Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." Speaking of Pink Floyd, Clare Torry's non-verbal vocals in "The Great Gig in the Sky" are sublime. Another favorite (probably more nostalgia, than anything) is Dire Straits "The Sultans of Swing." I love the guitar in it.

Best voice, female: Karen Carpenter; best male: Barry White. Best singer: Nat King Cole with his three packs before a performance (way to lay down your life for your art), if you want someone who is still singing, Leon Redbone will do. Best group: The Temptations in the early days, Bread picked up the baton, then passed it to Dire Straits, who dropped it. The best song goes from one to another depending on the day. Yesterday it was Beth Nielson Chapman's "All the Time in the World", the day before that it was "Unforgetable". Usually, these days it is "Be Still my Soul" performed by the singer formerly known as Dave Curell.

Dear RCJR,
I've seen the Prince, Tom Petty video and agree it is great but the best guitar work ever is Stevie Ray Vaughn's, "Say What?" on his "Soul to Soul" album.

Dear David,
I'm with you on David Gilmour, he is underated. I also have grown in my appreciation of Mark Knopfler. Check out his live version of "Telegraph Road" on YouTube, the one that says "Amazing Audio".

Early Chicago. Duh!

Good to know you can still rock. I got taken to task by a Facebook friend about eeeeeeeeeeeevil rock for my last Monday Music post.

Vaughn is great; Hendrix and Prince, too. But really, less is more and Clapton is king of soul-aching less. And the loss of his son has made it more hauntingly beautiful. Listen to his lead on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Elegance is knowing what not to do. Prince and Vaughn and Hendrix are Elizabeth Taylor, Clapton Mary Lee Bayly. No makeup. No lipstick. No headcovering. Just simple beauty.

On my way home...

Love,

Fret not, American-African correspondent, I'm with you on John Denver (and to some extent, the Carpenters as well).

So is my dad. :) As I grow older, I notice more and more that most of my musical tastes have followed (and not reacted against) my dad's. So yeah, not only Denver and the Carpenters, but also Neil Diamond, and (to a lesser extent) Billy Joel and Elton John as well (the latter with major caveats, of course—but what a talent for melody).

Cream? Never heard of 'em. Eagles? We heard of 'em, but that's about all. :)

Drive safely, Tim,

Josh

P.S. If any of you only know Neil Diamond from the late 70s onward, you're missing out; there are 15 years before that of some excellent, quite original stuff.

Guitar: Terry Kath.

U2, especially for "Forty", "Grace" and "Yahweh". Pink Floyd, for "Dark Side of the Moon". Kraftwerk (who?), for being the grandfathers of electronica.

David,
I teach my son in baseball, golf and on his guitar, to "keep a little in your pocket." I agree less can be more (and after watching Prince's solo on youtube chose Clapton's WMGGW for my ipod) and would never want to denigrate Clapton, but sometimes his pocket seems stuffed, and I find myself wishing he'd let go a little more.

If you've ever seen it, one of my favorite lines ever is the beatnik trumpet player disguised as a member of the Mayberry marching band, after being corrected by Sheriff Andy for going to town says on "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Wow, like constable, I thought I was playing it kind of quaint."

In the end thoug, if Clapton is Mary, give me Clapton.

All this talk makes me wonder if anyone has ever listened to B.B. King...

Dear Friends,

Came across this today from Rolling Stone, a compilation of the 100 best Beatles songs. While one might argue with the order of the songs as one clicks through them you are just left wondering if anyone equals it. The Beatles are not my favorite group but at times I must confess that they do not have an equal in terms of greatness. Here is the link and I'm enjoying the debate:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-beatles-songs-20110919

RCJR,
You said exactly what I have thought many times watching Clapton...It's like, "Cut loose man, we know you can". Subtlety can be beautiful but I tend to think that Clapton employs it too much even more so in his later years. With Tim I wonder if the loss of his child hasn't done something profound to him and much that it is good at least from my distant vantage point.

I think that Mark Knopfler also has that subtle strength in his playing.

>>No makeup. No lipstick. No headcovering. Just simple beauty.

Actually, I should add that Mary Lee wears makeup, lipstick, and a head covering. It's just that to me, I don't see the makeup or lipstick. Sometimes I tell young women not to paint themselves or hide their forehead with their hair. I tell them men love long hair, no matter what lies their daughters or wives force out of them, and we really want to see the face and forehead God gave her. Then I point to my wife and say, "Look at her. She doesn't wear any lipstick or makeup, and isn't she beeeeUtiful!"

To which Mary Lee replies, "I do too wear makeup and lipstick."

But I refuse to allow truth to cloud my reality.

Love,

Al Mohler's favorite? Got to be "Also sprach Zarathustra"

What, no Zeppelin?!

Some solid stuff in this list, but where's Jack White?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fM2qhG8mA4

He's a sui generis when it comes to phrasing, no question about it. And he can change tempos mid-solo better than anyone since (early) Slash.

White Stripes, good stuff. Everyone should watch this video,director Michel Gondry bought all of one particular drum set in London so he could use the same one over and over again for the video.No special effects, all in-camera work. The amount of people and time that went into making this must have been huge!
"Hardest Button To Button"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLESpHrtvxs

OK, I'm willing to go with you on Cream's music, and I definitely agree on Clapton's guitar. But I have to bring up the small matter of lyrics. All I've ever known is "In the white room, with black curtains, at the station."

I went and looked up the rest of the lyrics, and while I freely admit I'm no poet or interpreter of poetry, it just looks like a bunch drug-inspired, self-indulgent, artsy-fartsy mumbo jumbo with it's share of sexual innuendo.

Now I know you think lyrics are important so maybe I'm just way off on my reading of them. On the hand, if lyrics aren't that important, I'm going to go back to listening to a lot more Bob Seger!

Fist-bumps to Gary for Mark Knopfler and Matt for Jack White. (A live Jack White performance is something to behold, if you ever have the chance.)

As for "best band"...I am the stereotypical Christian fan of rock who loves U2.

Each generation has its own "best band/song/album ever." For me and mine, it's U2/"Where the Streets Have No Name"/The Joshua Tree. But lately I've been listening to Sinatra, Crosby, and Holliday. As for the other posts, I like pretty much everything listed. I do find the idea of a "100 best Beatles songs" list pretty funny.

"Like a Rolling Stone," by Dylan -- best song.
"The Eagles" -- best group.

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