Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Horn-y Songs

Modest Mouse--Horn Intro
Fela--Funky Horn
Mandrill--Mango Meat
Talib Kweli--Africa Dream
Ethiopians--Well Red
ATCQ--Oh My God
Outkast--The Rooster
Louis Armstrong--Perdido Street Blues
Tom Waits--Anywhere I Hang My Head
Mikey Dread--Heavy Weight Sound
Belle & Sebastian--Dress Up in You
Chet Baker--My Buddy
LKJ--Di Black Petty Boooshwah Dub

I really like songs with horns in them, a while back I compiled a long list of them, and here's a brief sample. I'm defining "horn" pretty loosely--anything with a certain kind of sound I can't define. I love the way it crosses genres, so I'm guessing the rest of you could come up with some lovely horn-ed lists too, no?


steenbeck said...

I realize there are some glaring omissions from the short list, but the truth is for certain artists I only have the most obvious selections, and I'm hoping to learn something.

Tim (Kalyr) said...

Fish - Big Wedge. Just about the only song he's ever used a horn section. It's on his first solo album "Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors". Have a feeling it was released as a single, but wasn't a hit.

Frank Zappa's bonkers reggae-style cover of "Stairway to Heaven", with the horn section playing Jimmy Page's guitar solo note-for-note. Ends with a few bars of "Teddy Bear's Picnic", of all things. Actually the entire album (the live double "The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life") is full of great horn arrangements.

steenbeck said...

Can you post a list? It's all stuff I've never heard! I was hoping EVERYONE would post a list. It seems like RR doesn't deal in instruments or sounds, so I don't think it's encroaching.

I've also had a lot of wine in 100 degree weather when they warn you NOT TO DRINK ALCOHOL AT ALL!!

snadfrod said...

I couldn't agree more, steenbeck, I think a horn section has increased the appeal of a song to me every single time in history ever. Fact. I still to this day find the opening of The Rooster to be one of the most bizarrely thrilling things imaginable.

I always remember a random b-side by Dodgy called Self Doubt which my brother had, but I've never been able to find anywhere, cos it had brilliant brass on it. And the Super Furries used some great brass around the Radiator album and tour. I also realise that tracks 1 and 3 of my wedding playlist above would fit very nicely into this scheme, too.

Thankyou for cheering up my tuesday night.

snadfrod said...

Oh and Freakout/Starry Eyes by LCD Soundsystem. AMAZING brass.

I agree. Like I was with drums, I think we need an RR about an instrument or a sound. I think that might spice things up a bit...

DarceysDad said...

One that might appeal to the rocker in snadfrod:

Little Angels - Radical Your Lover.

And I had a couple of off-the-wall topic thoughts too:

1. "Songs at odds with themselves". For instance, doom-laden lyrics over chipper, bouncy music.

2. Songs with dropped "G"s.
In other words, The Band's Rockin' Chair would be in, Muddy Waters' Got My Mojo Working would be out.
Should spark a few debates, that one, given how crap labelling can be ... eh, snadfrod!

Tempusfugit said...

Have you come across Don Ellis from the 1960s? He has what sounds like a brass orchestra, with a few vocals and some electronica thrown in. It's a mix of classical 60s brass sounds and a taste of things to come. There is a magnificent version of Hey Jude on the 'Live at the Fillmore' album. On his '..Goes Underground' album, he has some Balkan brass sounds in 'Bulgarian Bulge' long before World Music took to the air.

Speaking of which, try some Balkan brass sounds. Not for all, but judicious pickin' and choosin' can yield results. Perhaps, check out 'Electric Gipsyland', a comp. cd of various Balkan bands used in the Balkan Beat clubs springing up all over Europe.

Just this morning I received a re-release package of Al Kooper's first two albums. Whilst sitting in the car in the car wash, I learned from the liner notes that AK formed Blood Sweat and Tears, a band with the great meaty brass sound mentioned earlier, and a sound Chicago used on their early stuff. There are some wonderful brassy tracks on the first AK album, 'I Stand Alone'.

steenbeck said...

DsD...Rollin--Dungeon Family, Rollin & Tumblin--E. James, Rollin on--Mandrill, Keep it Rollin--ATCQ, Rockin it--Fearless 4, Just a sittin and a rockin--Ella, Good rockin Mama--JL Hooker, Rockin Chair--L. Armstrong...oh there are more. It would be a good list, I think.

Snadfrod, I found Self Doubt on Last FM. (Ell, I had plenty of my own to start with, but I found the song there...) Wonderfully hornful, and I think it might fit Dsd's theme of a cheery sounding song with gloomier lyrics.

Tempus Fugit, thanks, I watched some Don Ellis & Al Kooper clips on YouTube and liked them a lot, particularly Don Ellis. Yesterday, following the trail of ATCQ's Oh My God, I watched some Lee Morgan, the track was called Absolutions. Does anyone know more about him?

nilpferd said...

Lee Morgan was an underrated trumpeter who performed on a lot of Blue Note albums in the sixties. His most famous composition was the Sidewinder-
He also contributed to many great 60's Blue Note albums, but perhaps his best work was earlier with The Jazz Messengers. His solo on Moanin' is, according to Wikipedia, that band's most memorable moment.

Brass-wise I'd dond Tempusfugit's mention of Balkan music, especially my favourite Romanians Fanfare Ciocarlia.
Jazz wise many big bands had excellent brass; Oliver Nelson's big band had particularly good brass arrangements.
Hoe-down and Stolen moments are good examples, as well as blues and the abstract truth.

steenbeck said...

I thought you'd know, Nilpferd!!

I intend to look into the Balkan music. I believe that was an influence on Beirut--does anyone know?

I'm also waiting for someone to elucidate on Miles Davis. I have Kind of Blue (obvious-ly) but I really liked shoot, what was it called...Duke Booty (?), and it seems like sort of an overwhelming subject to tackle without a guide.

nilpferd said...

Miles. Big theme. When I think how I got into his albums, I'd say it's been over 20 years and there's still part of his output- most of the late 80's- I've never really properly heard. The fun part is discovering it all yourself, though, so I'm not sure if a JAP style best 10 or 25-of is of much help- it would seem too sewn up, too final.
I think I'll try to post 2 or 3 lesser known tracks at the weekend just to (hopefully) whet your appetite.
Judging by RR posts, "In a silent way" is his second most loved album, and justly so.

I haven't the slightest idea what Duke Booty is, though..

snadfrod said...

Steenbeck! Thankyou again! Simply by directing me toward last.fm you have both refound Self Doubt for me (still love it) and forced me to tackle last, something I have been hitherto loathe to do, by dint of it scaring me a little. Still not sure what it does, but I'll let you know how I get on...

As regards Miles, In a Silent Way is one of my favourite albums of all time. I, too, started with Kind of Blue and, like nilpferd, am happy to think I have many years of discovery to come.

Also, thinking on brass, I reckon its no surprise Street Legal is my fave Dylan album - its got sax on it!

Now, having realised that car washes may be the very best place to listen to music, I'm off for a lather...

Tim (Kalyr) said...

Uriah Heep - Salisbury. Early and surprisingly successful rock/orchestral crossover - Brass, Woodwind and towering walls of Hammond B3. Wonderful stuff if you love OTT 70s heavy rock.

steenbeck said...

Nilpferd--Duke Booty, if I got the name right, is on here. Ejaydee, posted it. Speaking of which, hope you're okay, ejay--ears, incipient beard, etc.


steenbeck said...

I forgot Herb Alpert!! Love this video

ejaydee said...

Thanks Steenbeck, the ear is better, the rest will sort itself out. Duke Booty was from Doo-Bop, MD's hip-hop experiment and final album. I think it really could have been another genius part of his career, but I he probably chose the wrong producer in my opinion. He had planned to go further into that that direction but died before he could. I don't know if you like jazz in general, but if you do, pretty much anything form him should do. If kinda but not that much, I would go maybe for On The Corner, or Get Up With It, from what I know of your tastes. Then there's Tutu which is good from the 80's.

ejaydee said...

Most stuff released by Stax has got some greasy dirty horns. Cymande are good with their coppers too, if you like Mandrill, you'll definitely love them. In fact I've decided they are the most underrated band in the history of the universe. Ever.

nilpferd said...

Aah, Doo bop. I listened to it a lot when it came out, but I was always struggling a bit to like it. The title track and the car chase track I thought was a good indication of what he might have gone on to develop. Musically the album was fine, I hated the raps though, and I think you're right about the producer too, Ejay.

Tempusfugit said...

Definitely recommend Tutu as worth a listen.

I also forgot to mention a big big favourite - Eric Truffaz. I'm not too au fait with youtube, etc., but I'm sure you could access some there. Very much Miles-influenced (Nilpferd- would you concur?). Start with his later stuff. He is brilliant and his band is brilliant too.

Big band sound from the '40s should include Anita O'Day - again a recent blind pick which has paid dividends.

Wow, I didn't realize I had so much love for brass myself, or that I've got so much in the old cd collection. Yet another victory for RR and the Overspill.

nilpferd said...

Definitely, Erik is massive. I've seen him 4-5 times over the last few years and he has been awesome every time. His website is good and has lots of samples.
Very innovative, he has a quartet doing post-Miles fusion, a collaboration with Tunesian singer Mounir Troudi which is more world music oriented, and the most recent Arkhangelsk project with torch singers.
I might post some Cubanismo too, a young and dynamic cuban band.

steenbeck said...

This is proving so educational!!. Thanks, everyone. I realize I have entire genres mostly missing from this list (soul? Disco?) but they would require their own lists, and I was trying to limit myself to 10, and that didn't work. I guess I didn't need 3 hip hop and maybe I didn't need 3 dub/reggae. I'm very indecisive, I'm glad RR is not my job. What would be fun would be to make lot's of lists....10 hornalicious hip hop, 10 hornful soul, 10 hornable jazz...it would still be hard though, wouldn't it?
I do like Cymande, I currently only have one song by them, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology I hope to remedy the situation soon. Apparently they played some shows with Mandrill. That would have been an earful, eh?

steenbeck said...

Forgot to say...Stax was a good call and reminded me of Daptone--Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are very brassy, and the budos band is a wall of horn.

tincanman2010 said...

I love horns!
It's another reason I like Reel Big Fish so much.

nilpferd said...

BTW, Tempusfugit, you might like Dave Douglas- another trumpeter developing some of Miles' ideas. His album Moonshine is quite reminiscent of Erik Truffaz' quartet.

Chris Ramsbottom said...

And what about

Building a bridge to your heart by Wax?

The place where he says


and a trumpet blows....

Anonymous said...

Anyone heard the opening horns of Cee-Lo's Die trying? I know I've heard a similar intro somewhere else but I just can't place it .... Any horn-y song lovers out there who can help me out?