RIP Chris Squire bassist and co-founder of Yes

Chris Squire, co-founder of prog-rock band Yes and renowned bass guitarist, has died aged 67. He was the only member to appear on each of their 21 studio albums, released from 1969 to 2014. Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, and was also a great songwriter, having written and co-written much of Yes' most endearing music. Albums such as Fragile (1971), The Yes Album (1971) and Close to the Edge (1972) are considered highlights of progressive rock by attempting to push music into new directions. Some fans were disappointed by the pop-oriented path the band took in the early 80s. Owner of A Lonely Heart (1983) reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sweetness (from 1969's Yes)

Heart of the Sunrise (from 1971's Fragile)

Starship Trooper (from 1971's The Yes Album)

I Get Up I Get Down and And You and I (from 1972's Close to the Edge)

Lucky Seven by Chris Squire (from 1975 solo album)

Owner of a Lonely Heart (from 1983's 90125)

Are you a fan of Yes? What do you think of their music? Which are your favorite tracks/albums by the group?

2015 blindspot series: A Face in The Crowd (1957)

My contribution to Ryan McNeil's 2015 blindspot series blogathon where I watch a film each month that I have never seen before.

This will just be a quick review. Directed by Elia Kazan, the story is about fame, power and the american dream, and in many ways was ahead of its time, foreshadowing the celebrity craze which we still see today. Andy Griffith is unforgettable in the lead role as charismatic, guitar-playing Larry 'Lonesome' Rhodes, who is discovered, becomes a radio sensation, and this changes his life. You should see the story unfold for yourself, I don't want to give too much away.

The story raises issues about the nature of fortune and fame, temptations, manipulation, jealousy and pitfalls. A film that comments on our society, and is still highly relevant.

I loved the performances, and the applause in the final scene felt iconic. That said, A Face in The Crowd does seem to drag and felt needlessly overlong. The film launched Griffith into stardom, but earned mixed reviews upon its original release. Later decades have seen reappraisals of the movie.

Rating 8/10

Agree or disagree? Have you watched A Face in The Crowd (1957), and what did you think? Which is your favorite film directed by Elia Kazan?

Top 50 songs of 2015 so far (tracks 1-25)

You can listen to the music on the YouTube playlist I created.

I also added my top 50 to a Spotify playlist

1.) Let It Happen by Tame Impala

2.) Where the Sky Hangs by Passion Pit

3.) True Survivor by David Hasselhoff (from Kung Fury soundtrack)

4.) Need You Now by Hot Chip

5.) Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding (Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack)

6.) REALiTi by Grimes

7.) Stonemilker by Björk

8.) Play for Today by Belle and Sebastian

9.)  Strange by Laura Marling

10.)  Fourth of July by Sufjan Stevens

11.) Dark Bird Is Home by The Tallest Man On Earth

12.) Running Out Of Time by Toto

13.) 21st Century Blues by Toto

14.) When The Lights Turn Out by Twin Shadow

15.) Dreams by Beck

16.) Buffalo by Toro Y Moi

17.) Tell Me (Feat. Saoirse Ronan) by Johnny Jewel (Lost River soundtrack)

18.) Bunker Buster by Viet Cong

19.) Baltimore by Prince (protest song) (not on YouTube or Spotify)

20.)  I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen

21.) Can't Deny My Love by Brandon Flowers

22.) Right Here Right Now by Kylie Minogue and Giorgio Moroder

23.) Yes by Chromatics (Love Theme) (Lost River soundtrack)

24.) On Fire by Garbage

25.) Change Is Everything by Son Lux

Agree or disagree? How many of these have you heard? Did I share something you want to listen to? As always, comments are welcome

Top 50 songs of 2015 so far (tracks 26-50)

You can listen to the music on the YouTube playlist I created.

I also added my top 50 to a Spotify playlist

26.) Duke of Burgundy (Opening Credits) by Cat's Eyes (Duke of Burgundy soundtrack)

27.) The Party Line by Belle and Sebastian

28.) All That by Carly Rae Jepsen

29.) Great Expectations by Toto

30.) Garden of Lavender by Sun Kil Moon (not on YouTube)

31.) Shégué by Mbongwana Star

32.) King Kunta by Kendrick Lamar

33.) Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars by Mark Ronson

34.) Living for Love by Madonna

35.) Sunshine On My Back by The National

36.) Leaf Off /The Cave by Jose Gonzalez

37.) Easy To Get by Hot Chip

38.) Laughing In The Sugar Bowl by Veruca Salt

39.) The Beginning by Levon Vincent (Not on Spotify)

40.) 74 Is the New 24 by Giorgio Moroder

41.) Lionsong by Björk

42.) Way It Is, Way It Could Be by The Weather Station

43.) The House by Le Volume Courbe and Kevin Shields (2015 version) (Not on Spotify)

44. Welcome To Love by Young Ejecta

45.) Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse

46.) Vortex by John Carpenter

47.) Saturns Pattern by Paul Weller

48.) Eventually by Tame Impala

49.) Feeling Ok by Best Coast

50.) Brothers In Arms by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL (Mad Max : Fury Road soundtrack)

Have you listened to any of these? What did you think? Which are your favorites of 2015 so far?

Top 5 albums of 2015 so far

Toto XIV by Toto

Key tracks: 21st Century Blues, Running Out Of Time, Great Expectations, Orphan, Holy War, Chinatown

(For me the best album of 2015 so far, and this is from a group who I considered washed up. Surprisingly it's the non-singles that impressed me the most. The opener rocks. Toto XIV is the band's first record in 9 years.  RIP former Toto bassist Mike Porcaro who died at 59 on March 15)

Why Make Sense? by Hot Chip

Key tracks: Need You Now, Easy To Get, Huarache Lights, Why Make Sense?

(In an age when many albums only contain a couple of good tracks, Hot Chip have crafted a record I can listen to from start to finish)

Vulnicura by Björk

Key tracks: Stonemilker, Lionsong, Black Lake,

(A melancholy breakup album, about Björk's split from her longtime partner and father of her 12-year-old daughter. The lyrics feel very personal and also universal, in that listeners who have gone through a painful breakup could mirror themselves in her heartbreak. As a commenter on YouTube said, the full album sounds much better than the songs separately)

Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Key tracks: Fourth of July, Should Have Known Better, All of Me Wants All of You

(The first 6 tracks are outstanding. Inspired by the 2012 death of his mother, Carrie, and the family trips they took to Oregon in Stevens' childhood. The album title also references his stepfather)

Lost River (soundtrack) by Various Artists

Key tracks: Tell Me (Feat. Saoirse Ronan), YES (Love Theme), Shell Game

(A dreamy soundtrack by Johnny Jewel. Featuring Chromatics, Glass Candy, and members of the cast)

Agree or disagree? Which is your favorite album of the year? Later this month, I'll reveal my top 50 songs of 2015 so far.

Top 15 older song discoveries of 2015 so far

Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship
(Memorably from a scene in the movie Skeleton Twins. Makes you feel like you can do anything)

Crockett's Theme (Miami Vice) by Jan Hammer
(I never saw the show. Great discovery. Better than the Main Theme)

Changes by Black Sabbath
(Different to their usual style. This ballad gives me chills. I listened to it over and over on a car journey late at night. Computer speakers don't do the sound justice)

Slave To The Rhythm by Grace Jones
(I need to listen to her albums)

That Was Yesterday by Foreigner
(Chills. They have a bunch of great songs, and this is one of them)

The Magnificent Seven by The Clash
(I'm glad I delved into their albums. Great band who were not afraid to experiment)

All Apologies by Nirvana
(Used in new Nirvana documentary Montage of Heck. I should do a top 10 Nirvana songs)

Black Cat by Janet Jackson
(From arguably her best album)

Waiting For A Star To Fall by Boy Meets Girl
(Their signature song and was a worldwide hit in 1988)

In the City by Joe Walsh
(The Warriors soundtrack. From the end credits)

Cabaret sung by Liza Minnelli
(From the 1972 film)

No Self Control by Peter Gabriel
(Timeless. Taken from his 1980 album Melt)

Whiplash by Hank Levy
(Performed by Don Ellis' big band. From the 1973 album Soaring. Brought back to the mainstream with the recent oscar-winning movie)

Meggie's Theme by Henry Mancini
(Haunting theme from the 1983 TV mini-series The Thornbirds. The main theme is great too)

Subdivisions by Rush
(A band I am curious to explore)

Are you familiar with the artists or songs? Which are your favorite music discoveries of 2015 so far?


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