Friday, 9 March 2018


After writing my music memories for this very blog, I wondered how other people felt about music, why do they like the songs, the artists or the genres? So what does YOUR music ear like?

Personally for me, the 80s music will always be special to me, it was fun, it was my childhood and almost every song reflects that fun and freedom of being a kid with no worries.  I have my idols Debbie Harry, Adam Ant, Prince and Madonna, just for what they represent, all 80s artists who taught me life lessons and gave me escapism and hope.  They also inspired me to write my own song lyrics and poems.  Words to me are important, so songs with great meaningful lyrics will always catch my ears.  I like Rock because the drums and guitars pairing is just a magical combination, its the anthemic sound that can elevate a ballad or an all out Rock n' Roll song to higher levels.

I am an emotional guy so sad songs or love songs can mean a lot to the listener, if heard in certain situations, they can last a lifetime.  Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" (because of a tough time in my life after Mum died), Prince's "Purple Rain"(even sadder now that Prince is dead, the end guitar solo is heartwrenching), John Legend's "All Of Me" (my wife walked down the aisle to this and it makes both of us teary) and Katherine Jenkins' "Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming" (my wife and I simultaneously saw this on TV while we were dating!) all mean a lot to me.   Music for me is memories, songs, bands, genres, all can be the mental scrapbook we have until we die.  Everyone has their favourites, everyone has a different story.  Some songs mean a lot personally, while keener ears love the compositions, the lyrics or simply the way the musicians perform the tracks.

I asked 10 different people about their thoughts on why they love music.  Some went in depth, some gave simpler explanations.  All opinions are valid in this experiment, no opinions for or against by myself, just people who love music.  Lets begin...

DAWN reflects on an inspirational song...

"It's not really a genre, but a particular song, "Something Inside So Strong" by Labi Siffre.  I had to make a very difficult decision, and it is one I think about every day.  This song lifts me up and gets me back on my feet.  It makes me want to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.  It inspires me, keeps me going and tells me that I am still strong."

EVA remembers childhood, college and life changes...

"I like Rock mostly, some Pop, Country and Classical. Favourite group I would have to say is Abba because I grew up with their music as my mum used to exercise to "Dancing Queen" among others.  My favourite band is a hard decision but it is probably Bon Jovi.  I just love their songs.  I also like Pink and Celine Dion together with Roxette who I listened to a lot during college whilst learning for my exams.  Last but not least is Katherine Jenkins, who came into my life (not literally!it was the song "Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming") when I was dating my husband.  Life started changing for the better.  There are many others but that is a rough guide to my tastes!"

GILL tells us about bands' appreciation...

"I love the bands Tyketto and Dare.  I have listened to their music since the 80s and still listen to them now.  They still do gigs every year and both grouos do a "meet and greet" with their fans at every gig, free of charge.  They are appreciative of the fact that they would not be where they are today without their fanbase.  We meet up with other fans before each show and the band members are all very nice people.  Their music ranges from Acoustic Melodic Rock to hard Rock anthems.  If anyone has not heard of these bands they are well worth a listen and you may be surprised at what you hear!"
JEANNETTE talks about different moods, the 80s and classics...

"Music depends on moods.  If you are busy around the kitchen you want lively and upbeat music.  Usually this is the 80s music as that's my childhood, but alos more current artists like Bruno Mars.  If you are talking with guests or having a meal then you want more subdued songs in the background (although I can't think of an example as I don't enteratin much!).  Rock is always in our lives so if we go to a concert it is always Rock, for example, Foo Fighters.  I still like 80s Rock and have been to see a few lately such as FM and Dare.  Would like to see Def leppard too!"

"Also, if you are in a car and a classic song come on the radio like Simon And Garfunkel or Neil Diamond or 70s stuff, you sing every line at the top of your lungs.  This is because it is music your parents liked and you are reminded of the happiness it brought."

JOANNE recalls different reasons such as old favourites, videos and lyrics...

"I like lots of different music, for lots of different reasons.  I don’t think I am particularly rigid, and go through phases, at the moment I like Clean Bandit a lot and Ed Sheeran.  I suppose favourites that I keep coming back to would be Billy Joel, Mumford and Sons, Matchbox Twenty, Kodaline and Alanis Morrisette.  I like a good video that tells a story, like Kina Grannis' "My Dear" and One Republic's "I Lived"."
"One of the most important things for me in songs, is the lyrics, I like them to strike a chord with me, or to mean something to the artist, be about something real in their life.  One of my favourites is Billy Joel's "You’re My Home", at a time when home was something I was craving.  Oh, and you can’t beat a video with a dog or two in it Like Swedish House Mafia's "Save the World"!"

KATE reveals her Metal favourites...

"I like a wide variety of music, I like to think that I don't pigeon hole myself into just one category. For example, I may listen to really heavy Death Metal at times, but also love a bit of BeyoncĂ© and Steps!  The reason I love my favourite bands/artists are for various reasons. They are all within the same genre essentially but at the same time so different."

"Halestorm is probably my favourite favourite! I love the quality and the sound of the lead singer Lzzy Hale's vocals. She has a wide vocal range and so many different qualities to her voice. She is very powerful and can scream (not death metal shrieking as everyone assumes) but still make it musical. At the same time she can sing softly when the song requires it. She's multi-talented, playing guitar, piano, drums and writes all the songs herself. I can always find a way to relate to the songs personally in someway.  My personal favourites are "I Get Off", "I Am The Fire", "I Miss The Misery", "Scream", "Mrz Hyde" and "Innocence", although I could probably list them all!!!"

"Alter Bridge are a highly skilled band. Again the lead singer Myles Kennedy's vocals are amazing, he has such a wide vocal scale. The combination of his voice and the music can give you goosebumps. The harmonies within the songs are amazing too. The guitar riffs and solos are amazing also and you find yourself singing along to them when there isn't any singing.  My favourites are "Lover", "Metalingus", "Cradle To The Grave", "My Champion" and "Show Me A Leader""

"Skindred are a UK band who are best described as Reggae Metal. The sound is an amazing mix of Metal Rock and Reggae. The lead singer Bneji Webbe is hilarious! The songs are so easy to dance to and you definitely struggle to stay still while listening to them! You may not be able to catch many words as he tends to sing in Caribbean Patois or similar.  My favourites are "Nobody", "Pressure" and "Ninja"."

MARTIN gives us his top 5 album reviews...

"Rush - "Permanent Waves" 1980 - This album captivated me the first time I heard it and still does!  It starts with probably the most famous and successful Rush track, "The Spirit Of Radio" which is a great stand alone track.  This is really an album to play and listen to on a train journey, when driving a long time or all in one go on a free afternoon.  It is 36 minutes long with just 6 tracks.  It is like the concept albums of the 70s with only "The Spirit Of Radio" and "Freewill" probably single tracks.  The album is just 3 guys from Canada.  Drummer Neil Peart, lead guitarist Alex Lifeson and singer Geddy Lee.  The trio experiment with complex rhythms, articulate lyrics, great guitar riffs, high pitched vocals to create an epic crative Rock sound."

"Coldplay - "Mylo Xyloto" 2011 - Coldplay music is simplistic, depressing and boring right?  Maybe step outside your predetermined views and listen to this as a one album test.  Music can be more than your own genre or admiration of technical musicianship.  It can be about enjoyment, collective experience and life inspiration.  This album has 14 tracks and you will recognise some tracks as they have been used extensively on TV and film soundtracks as they are so powerful.  There are big uplifting tracks such as "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall", "Major Minus"and Charlie Brown".  There is also the collaboration with Rihanna, "Princess of China" and the famous "Paradise".  It is a poweful and uplifting album with huge "live live to the full" inspirational moments."

"Thin Lizzy - "Jailbreak" 1976 - This is a classic Rock album with 9 tracks.  It sums up Thin Lizzy with its incredible dual electric melodious guitar harmonies from Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham, with front man Phil Lynott on bass and rasping Rock vocal.  Brian Downey provides the exciting drum backing.  This album contains many of the classic Thin Lizzy tracks such as "Jailbreak", "The Cowboy Song", "Emerald" and the storming "The Boys Are Back In Town"!  The outstanding mix of harmonic guitar solos and Phil's rugged vocals build the song up bit by bit to exciting memorable climaxes on every song.  This highly skilled Classic Rock album really is a quality snapshot og a memorbale Rock era which is the foundation of all music to follow.  Thin Lizzy should not be missed!"

"Tom Petty - "Full Moon Fever" 1989 - Tom Petty (who sadly passed away in 2017) released this album as his first solo effort after 7 albums with The Heartbreakers.  This album includes his most famous hits "Freefallin'" and "I Won't Back Down".  They document his life challenges and contractual battles with the music industry over track rights and who dictates the music he releases, hence the phrase "won't back down".  This album is a great escape from the hassles of the day, with great rhythms dominated by Tom's great vocal tones.  A feel good album to be played to escape, chill and "freefall" with iconic music.  Tom's crisp, soothing voice draws you in and makes this album an easy and memorable listen."

"Foo Fighters - "Sonic Highways" 2014 - This is a very unique Foo Fighters album, a project if you will.  It has only 8 tracks, which is the worst part of this album, more music could have been better.  The Foo's travelled around 8 American cities, each having a unique take on the musica history of the USA.  The set was recorded in 8 historic studios of Chicago, Washington DC, Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle and New York City.  The musical styles of each studio are inspired by each city's music history.  This really is outstanding music with complex guitar and drum segments.  All these facets are better explained in the Documentary dvd.  If you love top quality Rock with technical musical excellence then get your ears around "Sonic Highways"!"

MIKE succinctly states his admiration for Rush...

My favourite band is Rush, a 3 piece Canadian Rock band.  What brought me to love this band was that I could not believe this huge sound was produced by only 3 people! All three, Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars) and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyrics) are all amazingly talented musicians.  They also write great songs and have dedicated their lives to music."

ROB talks easy going music, the live experience and escapism..

"Not sure where to start, for me music is a mood thing! I can listen to many genres all in the same day.  If it’s late night reading normally Eric Clapton, BB King, John lee Hooker, just simple music, nothing too heavy to tax my brain.  Messing around the house I prefer more upbeat stuff, anything from All Time Low, Foo Fighters, and I have Kerrang TV on a lot . Music is best LIVE!  For that it is U2, not everybody’s cup of tea but for me, passion, emotive song writing and the experience. (30 shows and counting!).  This year I have U2 (2 shows), 30 Seconds To Mars,  Huey Morgan, FooFighters, Def Leppard up to now.  In some ways music is an escape into a world to relax, forget about work, problems and remember the past" 

and finally...

STU recalls memories, nostalgia and a helping ear from yours truly...

My favourites music is 80s, live and chillout and my favourite artists are notably Prince, Deacon Blue, The Christians, Jimi Somerville, Eurythmics, The The and countless others.  Primarily, I think all music is influenced by mood. And I think as we get older we look back on our formative years and the music that we listened to then with great fondness. It takes us back to moments,or memories of when life was simpler and we close our eyes and get lost in another time and place. And as we're all a bit nostalgic I think we like to think music was better at that time. No idea if it was or not, I'm quite certain our parents would say the same of the 50s/60s and the kids of today will in the future talk of Ed Sheeran and Rihanna in the same way we talk about Prince or Madonna. So musical inspirations very much tend to come from nostalgia for me and I find it incredibly difficult to get excited around the current musical climate"

"So why certain artists? Well for me the most important thing is if they can perform live. Can't beat a good live act and for a couple of hours to just feel the energy of a crowd and be lost in the music is an escape from normal life. Ive been lucky enough to see a couple of hundred artists over the years starting with FGTH (with Andrew Goodwin of New Music Ear!) to most recently Olly Murs (at work, I wouldn't pay to watch him!) and there are just certain moments created that stay with me forever. From "Purple Rain" at the O2 to "Bat Out Of Hell" at the MEN to "When The Fingers Point" at the Royal Court all are defining songs by artists that just connect with a crowd and memories that will never be forgotten. Live music also crosses over with the nostalgia thing as for a couple of hours at a concert I'm 18 years old again, lost in the performance, singing badly but no one cares and attempting to dance. So if I'm to like an artist they better be good live!"
"So why particular artists? Impossible to be precise about why an artist appeals. There are far too many factors that influence this. From the lyrics, to the talent, to the time, to the showmanship, to the mood they create. I think we just latch onto someone for a multitude of reasons and then feel an affinity,or a sense of ownership, or exclusiveness. Prince is a good example to take. Why was Prince the greatest artist ever? Why wasn't he more popular? Why was Michael Jackson considered better? And why did I latch onto to Prince and not Jacko? I certainly have nothing in common with him. In fact he was the polar opposite of everything I am. Talented, funky, good with the women, can sing and dance and can captivate thousands of people with his charisma and charm. So theres not a single logical reason why I should think hes without a doubt the greatest musician the world has seen. I like to think that because of my enlightenment in being able to see this I'm somehow superior to the masses who would rather listen to Westlife or Justin Timberlake. It sets me apart from the masses because I know talent and they don't. So thats why certain artists appeal- Musical talent, lyrics that connect, and a feeling of ownership or protectiveness of the music I like.  I want to be able to put music on,and it take me to another place, to alter my mood, or enhance it. I want to relive the memories, or create new ones and I want music to reflect who I am. I want the lyrics to connect with me and I want to feel an exclusiveness that I like someone that the uneducated masses don't."
"So that's my summing up of why I like certain types of music although its far too broad a subject. Theres also the whole subject of peer groups. Obviously we have to be introduced to music one way or another and in my formative years it was through the friends that I had that my greatest musical influences came. So it was undoubtedly Andrew Goodwin of New Music Ear who introduced me to Prince and started me on an obsession and a passion that will stay with me for life. So thanks for that Andy, who knows if I ever would have fell in Love with the man and his music if it wasnt for you."
So there you have it, a lot of different views.  A lot of different reasons why we love music.  It can be songs, albums, live performance, lyrics or just the feelings music brings to us such as escapism, joy, sadness and excitement.  You can find new music, you can inherit music from your parents, you can share experiences with your friends.  Music is the one thing that doesn't cost us the earth, because it is everywhere.  It doesn't start wars, it doesn't cure pain and illnesses, it doesn't make us rich but it makes you FEEL good, it can make you cry tears of joy or tears of sadness, it can make you dance, it can make you escape from all the bad things in the world.  Enjoy your music and we all have opinions, we all will like what we like, no matter what anyone says.  It's a personal thing...thanks for reading.
Thanks to everyone who participated and gave their thoughts... :)  

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