Stream of consciousness or Pictures, Pictures, Pictures, Pictures (part three)

Our journey downstream (on the stream of consciousness) brought us to The Who and their first classic single I Can’t Explain.  The nice thing about this journey is that I don’t have to explain…just go with the flow.  I mentioned the song’s recent use in the BBC series The Great Pottery Throw Down.

The Great Pottery Throw Down
The Great Pottery Throw Down

Another song used in the show’s soundtrack (season two) is Pictures of Matchstick Men by (The) Status Quo.  It was the only major hit for the British band in North America, reaching #12 in the US and #8 in Canada in 1968. But these are no short-lived one-hit wonders.  In the UK they’ve enjoyed a lengthy career, achieving (to date) 22 top ten hits on the British charts.  They have had, in fact, 60 songs charted in the UK (apparently that’s more than any other rock band…congrats!)  So maybe they deserve to be heard twice… here’s the same song performed by the band in 1968 and in a more recent “stripped down” version…

Speaking of pictures… how about Pictures at an Exhibition by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.

moussorgsky

Completed in just 20 days, the composition evokes Mussorgsky’s tour of a particular exhibition, one mounted in tribute following the sudden death of Mussorgsky’s artist friend, Viktor Hartmann.   Each of the ten numbers of the suite serve as a musical illustration of individual works by Hartmann.  Mussorgsky conceived and wrote the piece for piano but it has also enjoyed great popularity as an orchestral work (most often an arrangement by Maurice Ravel is used).  Below is a recording by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1980) of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece.

If you prefer you can hear the original piano arrangement performed here…

Speaking of pictures… recognize these guys?

 

garylewis-playboys

Maybe this will help…

Gary Lewis.  Jerry Lewis’s kid.  Reached #15 in 1966.  ‘Nuff said.

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

My final submission for this post doesn’t contain the word “picture”.  But… it’s about pictures (The Starry Night amongst others) and the artist who created them.  Vincent, composed and recorded by Don McLean in 1971, is a musical tribute to Vincent Van Gogh.  It became a hit for McLean the following year, reaching #12 on the US singles chart , #2 in Canada and #1 in the UK.  McLean’s sensitive handling of both melody and lyrics make Vincent a song worth hearing (if never heard before) or hearing once more.

And so the journey continues…

 

 

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