Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This has to be the most fertile period in popular music. Sly Stone had liberated R&B music from the formulaic, radio friendly confines of Motown, and you had Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and countless other singers on independent R&B labels creating some wicked tracks thereafter. Miles Davis was ripping off Sly Stone in creating fusion jazz. Santana was ripping off Miles's fusion jazz and combining it with latin rock. Tim Buckley was ripping off old Miles in creating jazzy folk. The Who were experimenting with synthesizers. Entire synthesizer bands like Tangerine Dream were cropping up in Germany. Kraftwerk were ripping off American R&B and fusing it with experimental electronic music and classical minimalism. Faust and Amon Duul II were ripping off American R&B and fusion jazz and mating it with weird Germanic psychedelia. There was some crazy cross-pollination going on. The Beatles hegemony was over. Not everyone was covering Beatles songs or trying to sound like the Stones. Bob Dylan got tired and dropped from the scene. There was room for others to create.

During this period, I was listening to Captain and Tenille and The Monkees. Jesus! Now, when I look for new music, I don't seek new releases from 2010. I look for albums from 1969-1974 by bands and artists that I had never listened to before. That new Syl Johnson box set looks pretty sweet.

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