I had a friend back a long time ago who sort of drifted away. No rift or specific disagreement, just one of those things that happened in a pre-Facebook/Tweet world. Like so many of my friends, present and past, he was a big music collector and he introduced me to a lot of new sounds. I remember being blown away hearing Pat Metheny's As Falls Wichita, so Falls Wichita Falls
Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Scott McCaughey, Linda Pitmon, and Steve Wynn (The Baseball Project) have just released their third album, curtly and evocatively entitled 3rd. That’s not bad for a party-generated idea. The results so far are brilliant and I was hooked at “Ted Fucking Williams” from Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.
After many years of listening to music it’s natural to hear familiarities in riffs and chord progressions. Roy Harper’s HQ from 1975 begins with one of those familiar—but different—riffs. The first chords of the opening track (“The Game”) are reminiscent of “You Really Got Me.” That’s where the similarities end, however. From then on it’s all Harper. And from then on his tunes clearly influenced others, from Led Zeppelin through Pink Floyd to Be-Bop Deluxe to today. This is the album that Harper felt was “probably the best” and it’s very good, perhaps only secondary to Man & Myth or Stormcock.
I’m aware that this isn’t a common choice, but Defenders of the Faith has remained for me, for thirty years, the quintessential Judas Priest album; and in my opinion, the album’s best track, “The Sentinel,” encapsulates all that is and all that is great, good, and fine about heavy metal in a single song.