Friday’s Uncensored Jukebox: What Tunes Do You Really Like? Well, Ed Bott has done it to me again. Ailing after the Consumer Electronics Show, Ed is soothing his self with random selections of his favorite music downloads. It wasn’t until he asked for Random 20 Play Lists last November that I even knew that Windows Media Player would shuffle play through an entire set of songs. Within the past week I figured out that I could do the same with a group of songs all having the same ratings (1 to 5 stars). Now Ed wants to know what’s in there.
I don’t have that many five-start tracks in my collection, and I have not been attentive to providing my own ratings. To select a random 10, I used the 4-star ratings (mostly not my personal ones) of all of my Windows Media Player tracks. This is what I ended up with in my first ten:
- Abba: Take a Chance on Me, Abba Gold: Greatest Hits
This is the first song on the alphabetical list. I played it to start off because I like it. This is one of the songs I downloaded from MSN Music after hearing it on MSN Radio Plus while exercising. I like exuberant music to exercise by, and this one certainly fits the bill.
- Ray Charles with Van Morrison: Crazy Love, The Best of Van Morrison, Vol. 3
This album is an Amazon MP3 download that I obtained shortly after Amazon MP3 started up. There are some great duet bonuses, and this is one of the best.
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor: Dona Nobis Pacem, 25 Bach Favorites
In other moods, I wood listen to Classical genre station on MSN Radio Plus. For collections, I found that I almost always purchased the entire album, simply because they were bargains and filled in for the large CD collection that I disposed of before a major household move, and the LPs that I disposed of before that.
- Van Morrison: Shenandoah, The Best of Van Morrison, Vol. 3
I bought this album in large part because this track was on it. It carries me back to a film score that featured the song. I’m no longer sure of the film, many years ago (though it might have been How the West Was Won), but the song calls to me. I don’t like this version enough to give it 5 stars though.
- Fabio Vicentini: Lieti Pastori, Garritan Community Christmas, vol. 4
This is software-instrument music (based on sampled elements) arranged by computer. It is provide as a freely-downloadable album that demonstrates the versatility of the compositions arranged by users of GPO, the Garritan Personal Orchestra. Beautifully done. You have to listen closely to hear the software on this one.
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D: Air, Discover the Classics.
Here’s Bach again, this time out of coincidence. There are many more other songs on Discover the Classics and Discover the Classics 2.
- SoundDogs.com: Ceremonial Music, Brass. This is from a set of sound effects and sound track overlays. I didn’t realize that the material was on my machine and that it has ratings. I worried where it had come from until I found the files in a "Creativity Fun Pack" that Microsoft provides as a free supplement for Windows Movie Maker. I’ll have to find an occasion to use this with a video.
- James Taylor: Fire and Rain, One Man Band. I just downloaded this outstanding live-performance album. It was featured while I was on amazon.com looking for St. James Infirmary recordings. Amazon is starting to indicate when there are MP3 downloads available for its listed CD recordings, and this was one of those. Amazon MP3 is definitely shaping up. I just downloaded three Led Zeppelin albums that I have missed having.
- The Band: Ophelia, Greatest Hits. I can’t hear hits from The Band without thinking of The Last Waltz and wanting to spin it up on my DVD player. So these are mostly five-star recordings for me, ones that I have to stop and listen to when I hear them. This is also an MSN Music find.
- Mendelsson: Incidental Music to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Wedding March, Discover the Classics. I can see that I need to be more systematic and rate my downloads rather than relying on the average ratings that were provided with the material.
Ed Bott added a Van Morrison recording of St. James Infirmary as a bonus at the end of his list. I have always loved that song, and I didn’t have it by any performer. The Van Morrison version is not available on Amazon MP3, but I found several others. These are the ones that appealed to me at least enough to download the single:
- Billy Lee Riley, on Billy Lee Riley in Action
- Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, on The Gifted Ones (instrumental)
- Dr. John on N’Awlinz Dis Dat or D’Udda
- The Joe Krown Trio on Old Friends (compare the lyrics with the others)
- Phil Wilson – NDR Big Band on The Wizard of Oz Suite (instrumental)
I’ve heard Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Artie Shaw versions. I also learned that the song is traditional, with the Irving Mills lyrics/arrangement apparently registered under the pseudonym Joe Primrose.
As my bonus selection, here’s a fascinating session with some people rarely seen on stage together:
The performance was apparently on June 5, 1986 at Storyville Hall in New Orleans. Recognizable personages include Paul Shaffer, Ron Wood, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and Carl Perkins. Best of all, we get to see accomplished artists doing what they love. (Perkins and Lewis figure in The Million Dollar Quarter, a theatrical production that I’ve seen performed twice. Now I’m waiting for the movie.)