Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Brilliant Reggae covers of Pink Floyd, Radiohead. It’s what Lincoln would have listened to.

They even did a nice job translating the iconic cover image of the original.

A cool cover for the cool cover.

When a friend first told me to listen to it, I wasn’t expecting much. A Reggae band, The Easy Star All-Stars, put out a song-for-song cover of the entire Dark Side of the Moon album. I thought it might be of passing interest — a novelty album. What I got was much more remarkable. Dub Side of the Moon, released in 2003, is frankly inspired.

Like many people, I was a huge fan of the original album, but I have listened to it perhaps more than 100 times. The Easy Star All-Stars breathe fresh life into the songs, and clearly spent a great deal of time and effort at the sound board mixing it. It is a beautiful, lush sounding album that perfectly translates the original into the Reggae vibe. Much of the album’s success is due to the fact that Pink Floyd is like Reggae music in a lot of ways: songs with dark lyrics about struggle and suffering buoyed by joyful, triumphant music. The entire album is great and you will enjoy listening to it end to end, as you do the original, but pay particular attention to

I was very excited when they released their follow-up in 2006. Another end-to-end cover, this time of Radiohead’s OK Computer. Radiodread was not as successful, I think because some of Radiohead‘s deconstructed pop songs are more dark than triumphant and they don’t translate well. Still, the strength of their concept, the great songwriting, and their brilliant musicianship allowed them to skillfully rework several songs on that release as well. I recommend you check out

On January 13th, the All-stars announced they will be releasing their next project on April 14th, 2009: Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (check it out on their label’s website). Mark your calendars.

Quick extra recommendation. I stumbled upon a really great classical disc. Scarlatti: Sonaten by Ivo Pogorelich. It is solo piano work all the way through, which sounds like it might get tedious, but it really doesn’t.  Most of the pieces are upbeat — lots of allegretto and andante — and Mr. Pogorelich has such a light touch and great technique that these sonatas, composed originally for harpsichord, are airy and engaging all the way through. If it’s too much solo piano, throw it in your disc changer with some Vivaldi, Telemann, and Bach…

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February 16, 2009 - Posted by | Classical, reggae

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