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28 July, 2006

Five favourite bands

At BlogCritics, Eric Berlin challenges people to state their five all-time favourite bands.  With the caveat that I'm uneasy about the arbitrary restriction imposed by the very concept, these are mine, in no order, with the additional caveat that these are the bands I'd choose at the time of writing; though the list should be reasonably stable, I might change my mind tomorrow!

  • Porcupine Tree – I was under-impressed by the two most recent albums, 'In Absentia' and 'Deadwing', but 'Stupid Dream' remains my all-time favourite album and I like virtually all of the back-catalogue alongside some tracks from the recent albums.
  • Pink Floyd – Their awful* 'by-the-numbers' appearence at Live8 notwithstanding, I've always enjoyed the music of Pink Floyd, plus Roger Waters' solo material. I can't say I've enjoyed it all; I've never been drawn to the Syd-era material, I'm indifferent to most post-Waters material, and, unfashionably, 'Animals' leaves me utterly cold. Having listened to the albums & live recordings rather too intensively over the years, I've slightly burned-out on them, and tend not to listen to Pink Floyd's music so often nowadays, but when I do, I have no doubt that they're still important to me. The album version of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' remains my absolute favourite piece of music, of any genre.
    *: No, that's unfair. The performance was fine. It's just that the setlist and arrangements were absolutely routine and could have been pre-recorded – twenty-five years ago. Pointless.
  • Bass Communion – Some would dismiss this as experimental ambient... noise, but somehow it grabs me, and I can't hear it too often.
  • Jethro Tull – I wasn't sure whether to include Tull, as I haven't liked anything they've released or performed within the last decade or so. However, I still enjoy their 1971-1995 material as much as ever, and with a couple of exceptions repeated listening hasn't (permanently) reduced that.
  • Marillion – Primarily for the post-Fish h-era rather than the early neo-prog stuff, though some of that is good too. Like most of these choices, over-familiarity means I don't listen to Marillion's music on a daily or weekly basis, but I regularly return to it.
Hmm. That looks rather 'proggy', but I'd argue that it's a poor representation of my usual tastes. I suppose these bands collectively account for 20-30% of my 'listening time', but that leaves 70-80% for entirely different material, some not even remotely similar.

[Via Tim.]

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