My Top 10 : The Most Beautiful Songs

God Bless Us with so many beautiful creations of music, fill our days and our hearts that make us having all the time in the world.

So, how can I say a song is beautiful? Hard to exercise the words, but I will close my eyes and then start listening to the song, feel the lyric, the nuance of the arrangement, hear the instruments sing, savor the melodies, and let the song bring you to another dimension of world that you might can only taste while listening to that particular song. That feeling is not pre-meditated, it comes across directly when I listen to these songs.

So let’s get straight. These are my own choices of 10 most beautiful songs ever written in the history of music (They are not in order) Tell me yours too 🙂

1. GORILLAZ On Melancholy Hill 2010
Dream a journey to the melancholy hill, that’s what this song is about. The soft keyboard intro, relaxing atmosphere, and simple arrangement with only keyboards and synthesizer made this ballad a beauty despite cartoonish-like video. Damon Albarn is a genius in music and this wonderful ballad is only tip of the iceberg of his talents.

2. R.E.M. Find The River 1992
Filled with minor chords and unusual melody lines in the verses albeit gently acoustic guitar intro (which might explain why it didn’t sneak into Billboard 100 unlike earlier REM singles). But to me it’s interesting and how it gradually came into the major chord chorus with beauty backing vocals really bring my mind to the forest with the river.

3. STEREOPHONICS Step On My Old Size Nines 2001
This country-flavored song reveals a love story about watching an old couple dancing with the woman step on the man’s shoes due to her inability to move properly, so the old man ‘carry’ the woman and they dance together. Harmonica and acoustic guitar add the romantic nuance of this song, not to mention Kelly’s sexy vocal. Try to give it a listen 🙂

4. BETTE MIDDLER : From A Distance 1990
It’s hard not to gently cry hearing Bette Middler with her crystal voice sing this. Minimum arrangement really made her vocal dominated the story line. This song has been echoing since my very youth days and it is still relevant until today, never get aging on my mind.

Originally written by Julia Gold in 1985, Bette’s version is my most favorite.

5. COLDPLAY Paradise 2011
If you eager to know what ‘paradise’ is all about, try to close your eyes and listen to this beautiful song. Chris Martin strong and falsetto voice will surely carry you there. My favorite is the strong keyboard riffs that stands on the top of the recording, it blows my mind.

6. EAGLES New Kid in Town 1976
It tells you story about a new kid in town (yes it is 🙂 ). All about this song is beauty, the vocal, the harmony, the lyric, and the instruments blend perfectly made it timeless.

7. STARSAILOR Born Again 2003
James Walsh vocal itself is a real gem. And when he sing about revitalization of old love, I could believe that it is like being ‘born again‘. Besides, I could not forget the melancholy atmosphere of this britpop ballad song that I always come back to enjoy this video again and again.

8. JAKOB DYLAN Something Good This Way Comes 2010
Stay calm and thinking positive are the main theme of this country ballad. Jakob might look a bit like his father, Bob Dylan, when picking acoustic guitar but he deliver this song with tenderness and I could feel the encouraging lyric inspired me in numbers when I’m down.

9. OWL CITY : Fireflies 2009
Until Owl City enter the music scene, I always associate synthesizer with kind of techno, disco, funk music with a disco bar and colorful lamps come to mind. But from the very first intro, Fireflies down to me like a spacecraft take my body into another planet. Just listen to soulful Adam vocal, lyric about dream, and the majesty synthesizer melodies.

10. ADELE One and Only 2011
Talk about Adele, “Someone Like You”, “.. Fire to the Rain” sure will be the main topic. But this beauty love song really made me can’t help for not falling in love with her incredible voice. Her tone and passionate timbre made the lyric about loving only someone really meaningful. Check it out.

My opinion : Axl Rose wrote letter to Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame

To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing. Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N’ Roses were to be inducted it’d be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.

Since then we’ve listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N’ Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists’ comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts.

Under the circumstances I feel we’ve been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N’ Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in “our” induction (that for the record are decisions I don’t agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things… no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It’s their show not mine.

That said, I won’t be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of “Guns N’ Roses”.

This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp’s perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn. Though unfortunately I’m sure there will be those who take offense (God knows how long I’ll have to contend with the fallout), I certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we’ve actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” scenario all the way around.

In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion lineups, I’ve publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing’s changed.

The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my opinion whether under the guise of “for the fans” or whatever justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba.

Izzy came out with us a few times back in ’06 and I invited him to join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the Hard Rock, later in ’06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in ’11 along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me, with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that’s enough.

There’s a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn’t room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.

Maybe if it were you it’d be different. Maybe you’d do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We’re there for each other when the going get’s rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.

So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’, expense.

But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the “no show, grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn’t care about the fans” crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let’s move on. No one’s taking the ball and going home. Don’t get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we’ve endured the double standards, the greed of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball’s never been in our court.

In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as ironic as it may seem, I’d like to sincerely thank the board for their nomination and their votes for Guns’ induction. More importantly I’d like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any success we’ve had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N’ Roses music.

I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on tour!!

Sincerely,

Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III

I personally stand with Axl Rose in this case. To me, based on the people they have inducted previously, this award is not precious enough so the ball is on Axl Rose feet whether he would take a part or not. And I wish him the best for his choice and the reason for it.

No need to attend the reunion indeed, it’s just a kind of nostalgic thing which I believe Axl had no interest at all about it. Axl has a great band now and fantastic musicians with him now under Guns Roses name. They are truly rocking!

My Top 10 : Best Rock Guitar Riffs

Here are my top 10 list of best rock riffs. Everybody’s list will be different to each other. For me the main cause that lead to my list over here is that the riff is reflecting the sound, power, and melody of the song. Please note that I am not a guitar expert, just a normal rock music fan so I could not describe these gems in detail like in Guitar Magazine or something like that 😀 Feel free to tell me yours

The list is not in order :

1. DEEP PURPLE – Smoke on the Water
A mandatory riff for whoever wanted to start playing guitar. Ritchie Blackmore said he was inspired by classical music, but I think no one cares because it is so easy but popular.

2. GUNS N’ ROSES – Sweet Child of Mine
Who on earth doesn’t know this riff? Slash rules.

3. JOURNEY – Stone in Love
Powerful, straight to the top, you can feel the vibe of the song by listening to the main riff at the beginning. Neal Schon is a very underrated guitarist.

4. CREAM – Sunshine of Your Love
A typical busy but technical riff which carry the entire elements of this song, even the vocal was sung across the riff. Eric Clapton’s masterpiece.

5. MR. BIG – Green Tinted Sixties Mind
Very technical but beautiful riff, very rare but imaginative. Paul GIlbert’s masterpiece

6. RAINBOW – Since You Been Gone
I bet nobody would complain if I put more than one Ritchie Blacmkmore’s riff over here. This piece is so crunchy, catchy, easy listening, and so on.. Well you know it was RItchie who transformed this song into a world wide popular.

7. EUROPE Let the Good Times Rock
Kee Marcelo really made a roaring high-notes riff which streams so beautifully altough LtGTR is sung with mostly low and medium notes. First time hear the riff I was like ‘Wow!’. Usually guitarist play medium notes for the riff but this is a great exception.

8. LED ZEPPELIN Heartbreaker
This list would be nothing without Jimmy Page’s piece of action. And here it is, IMO the best riff Jimmy has made during his Led Zeppelin days.

9. LYNYRD SKYNYRD Sweet Home Alabama
An Americana riff. I think it is symbol of American music, across the riff I can feel the Souther Rock anthem, country flavor, and blues feeling inside. If you dance with the riff, you can also feel the RnB touch (ha!)

10. OZZY OSBOURNE Crazy Train
Perhaps someone who could compete Eddie Van Halen during the 80’s (RIP Randy Rhoads). The riff in the beginning and in the middle show what Randy had up off his sleeve, very technical and complex but also crunchy and enjoyable. As a casual rock fan I couldn’t explain how the riff was composed but that’s all I can say.

Hatem Ben Arfa’s goal against Bolton

It is a special goal from a special talented player.
Hatem Ben Arfa scored a genius goal when Newcastle beat Bolton 2-0. He brought the ball from the backside near the center after Cabaye’s pass, then ran with the ball passed 4-5 Bolton players to the goal and just inside the penalty box when the goalkeeper went forward, he calmly sneak the ball to the right side of the goal…and yes it is, a wonderful goal.
The special point to be mentioned here is that before getting face-to-face with the goalkeeper, two Bolton players tried to stop him before entering the penalty box, but unlike some divers living around us, he gracefully turn the ball and his direction on the right time and right place to put them into blank point while watching Ben Arfa scored the goal just behind them.

After the goal, he ran to the right side of St. James Park and spread both of his hands to celebrate the goal with the erupted Newcastle fans. But it takes less than a minute to all the football fans and the journalist to admit that was a superb goal, candidate goal of the season. Just like Lionel Messi, he is the one and only Hatem Ben Arfa!!

My Top 10 : Favorite Rock Guitar Solos

And here is my top 10, my most favorite guitar solos.
Not bordered by time or musicians, it’s all about rock’n roll.
Feel free to share me yours 🙂

They are not in order
1. OZZY OSBOURNE : Crazy Train
Rest in Peace Randy Rhoads, he killed the guitar on this

2. PINK FLOYD Comfortably Numb
Courtesy of David Gilmour,truly beautiful guitar solos. To me they’re the best

3. EUROPE : The Final Countdown
I think John Norum guitar solo really saves the song from an utter creepy cheesy eighties pop. Just fantastic fingers

4. NIGHT RANGER : You Can Still (Rock in America)
The double guitar solos by Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson are hot and thunderous. Need I to say more?

5. DEEP PURPLE : Highway Star
RItchie Blackmore built this solo with inspiration come from Beethoven classical music. The guitar solo is so inredible and very attached to the song that it will be wrong to change it even in concerts.

6. GUNS N ROSES Estranged
Nobody can beat Slash when talking about metal blues guitar. And he really put the nail in the coffin on this song. I will never be able to get those bluesy guitar licks and solos out of my mind.

7. LYNYRD SKYNYRD : Free Bird
The triple-guitar-solos by Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Steve Gaines. What more can you expected? It’s an epic ‘classic rock’ song, begin with ballad and then ultimately exploded into full high voltage rock topped by that three concurrent guitar solos.

8. KISS 100.000 years
Ace Frehley is my ultimate guitar hero. Arguably, his guitar solos that made KISS catalogue very interesting, Rock’n roll All Night in Alive! was a true testament to this (the album version without the solo was a mess). However, I will go for 100.000 years, he put a tremendous, adventorous, very unique something I never heard. He just bending on one two notes and keep it interesting during the key changes. A genius solo

9. OASIS : Live Forever
Simple but memorable. Noel Gallagher is not known as virtuoso, but he cleverly put melodic guitar lines sound in rhyme with the verses and the chorus of this great song, that’s it. And I love it.

10.VAN HALEN : Dreams
This list will mean nothing but rubbish without Eddie Van Halen, perhaps the most inspiring guitarist with Jimi Hendrix. Among all the incredible solos his fingers have created, I really love the melodic and arpeggio riff and solo in Dreams (remember I’m not putting instrumentals on this list)