21 Comments

Oh man. I could go on and on and on about this one. Instead, I’ll just play it over a few dozen times with a few hits of micropane and a few days naked in the woods behind my house.

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Jan 12Liked by Ty Burr

I still like the Byrds (mainly, their first three or four albums) and another important folk-rock group, The Lovin' Spoonful, but every time I hear that Eight Miles High was influenced by Coltrane I want to scream. I know the Jim Mcguin said so, but the "influence" is SO superficial that it counts for nothing. To be "influenced" by something, you have to actually know what it is....few years back, there was a really fine documentary about Coltrane....one of the talking heads was I forget which member of the Doors, who got 8 times more screen time than did McCoy Tyner. All while showing virtually no insight into what he'd been hearing, and it certainly didn't show up in the music of the Doors, even if they say so.

I used to make mix tapes (like a great collection of blues, or gospel music) to educate some friends, but I've long since given up doing that. Don't like listening to them so much.

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What a great piece, thank you. As one of those cassette playlist makers I agree with the pontificating v for me dichotomy. Doesn’t being a parent give you permission to ‘broaden’ your kid’s musical horizons? I loved both the Byrds and Fairport. On my first trip to London I spent almost as much time in record shops, buying a double Fairport’s best, as I did at Westminster Abbey.

In addition to spawning musical progeny, some I wished they hadn’t, an equally great result was that both groups led me into the music that inspired them. Without Sweetheart I might never found my way to the Louvin Brothers and Gary Stewart. Without Fairport I’d be without Nic Jones and Jean Redpath.

Two other comments: Parsons left after Sweetheart. McGuinn was probably afraid he’d hijack the band. Steeleye Spans’ ‘Dark-Eyed Sailor’ is as great as anything by Fairport.

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Also, Lovely on the Water is a great atmospheric piece by Steeleye Span!

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Totally! There are so many times there’s something running in the back of my head, and that’s what it is!

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Van Morrison covered She Moves Through the Fair in the late eighties, during his zen/ pre-Trump period, and I’ve always loved that cut. And surely Nick Drake deserves a mention in the history of folk rock.

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Thanks for doing this...

I'm 85 and I still create playlists. They are for myself as most friends are gone. I would never attempt to influence my kids who are, probably, older than you.

There is that wonder that I have as to what happens to all the music that I've recorded. And the recordings, themselves.

My sources are 78 rpm that date to the beginning of recordings right to the time when LPs and 45s showed up. Now CDs pile high around me. Thousands of each threaten to squeeze me out of house and home. One could name the category and it resides with me.

I love music...

Duke Ellington said "Music is my Mistress". He, also, said that there are only two types of music: good music and bad music.

P.S. I loved Jethro Tull...

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I'm with you all the way on Fairport. I go back a little farther than you and had the delightful chance to hear them at The Music Hall on a double bill with Traffic in the early 70s. But My North Star is still Martin Carthy for what he has meant to the British scene, along with his partner in crime, Dave Swarbrick. Got to sit next to Martin at a gig outside London one time and watched his fingers on the strings of the guitar. A delightful man. And so begat Steeleye, Blue Murder, and a long time with the Watersons. Celtic folk music is still very popular today. Try Runa, from Philly. They're very good.

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Wow Ty Burr! If reading your wonderful movie critiques and insights weren’t enough- the world of music according to Burr! I am so delighted to know that you are also a person of music. I immediately downloaded the Soul playlist to listen to on my way back to Boston but also look forward to checking out the others. Thank you!

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Thank you, Ty for this wonderful post. Reading your film reviews I slowly came to realize what a music maven you are. Never made mixtapes for others’ music education but I have tried at times to get my adult kids interested

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Thank you, Ty, for this wonderful post. Reading your film reviews over the years, I slowly came to realize what a music maven you are. Never made mixtapes for others' music education, but I have at times tried to get my adult kids interested in music I now love. No interest whatsoever. Your mention of Jethro Tull dropped me into my mental Way Back Machine to 1970 when I saw JT’s Ian Anderson do that frenetic flute-playing standing-on-one-leg thing - lots of fun and laughs. And JT was one of three bands in that concert, the other two being Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and Fleetwood Mac - the early blues band version. Today I'm amazed to think I saw that concert, and in a place I never visited before or after, Lawrence, KS. One last thing - a British folk rock band I loved - Pentangle. John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, two of the group’s members, were terrific guitarists.

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My two cents: I opened for the Byrds, a couple of months before Clarence White's tragic death - he was so cool backstage, and .....onstage? An explosion of sweet, angelic riffs......

Dave Mattacks, the second drummer of Fairport, now lives in Marblehead. A splendid chap, and great player, he works locally when he is not abroad. He is a great friend, and very supportive of local music.

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Don’t be down on the Eagles - so many times I remember driving somewhere with “Old ‘55” as the background …. loved Poco too . So evocative …

Byrds or Fairport, there’s no “versus” - they are two sides of the same coin. But Richard Thompson is probably the best neo-trad songwriter then or now. His autobio is worth a read.

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I loved this post. Even the names - Parsons, Poco, Steeleye Span, Renaissance - all so evocative ! I was a little behind the curve age-wise and never saw any of them live so I’m enjoying reading posts from other

music lovers who were thete.

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Ty— I suspected this column over the years by reading your movie pieces but this completely confirms it. Brilliant, not least because we are contemporaries who share the same passion for music and movies. (Yeah, we differ on the politics but that’s ok).

I have abandoned the mix tapes in favor of ensuring my daughter has to listen to equal parts C. Berry, Jerry Lee, Buddy Holly and Elvis to match her Taylor Swift. It’s a Dad’s responsibility.

You offered up so many songs of my youth from bands that I adored but rarely play nowadays, (Other than Richard Thompson, who remains vital). And podcasts have squeezed out music, which makes me a bit sad. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of what is important and please promise to throw in a music column every great while.

Ps Can’t wait to hear your funeral wishlist; I have told my wife that I only want doo wop.

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A few thoughts about this but before I have time to articulate them, I just want to say I love this so much! I’m of a slightly younger generation, but I have rarely felt as _seen_ watching a movie as I did watching High Fidelity as a 22 year old. So I feel the love of mixtapes in my bones.

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Ty, I have always, and will always, love your writing. Always interesting and fun. Not sure how you ever had the time to explore ALL these strains and notions, but you turn out a great gumbo! You’ve sent me on many a musical and cinematic search! Thanks!

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I had a lot of fun creating "classical" playlists for friends, since they were likely to have heard little or nothing of my faves (and I left off Beethoven's 9th for that reason). Components in rough frequency of use:

Vaughn Williams, Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas Tallis

Beethoven, Symphony #7

Ives, The Unanswered Question

Bartok, Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta

Arvo Pärt, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten

Satie, 3 Gymnopedies

Vaughn Williams, The Lark Ascending

Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, Masks / Dance of the Knights

Josquin, Missa Pange Lingua, Gloria

Steve Reich, Violin Phase

Krasimir Kyurkchiyski, Pilentze Pee

Bach, Cantata 140, movement 4

Pärt, Fratres (for Eight Cellos)

And I want to thank you for reminding me that I badly need to explore Fairport Convention. I was an immense Steeleye Span fan—Parcel of Rogues is a an all-time fave album— so I feel somewhat like a fraud!

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