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In my musical odyssey, only one track has made me want to listen to it twice straight away. Given that I’m almost a hundred tracks into the 500, that’s a significant achievement. Taking this as the metric of good music, I wanted to know more about its creators and their music. That’s the whole point of the project.

Being the Tinman, I took the logical step of researching rather then merely being content to listen to the same track repeatedly and giving it 5 stars on my iTunes playlist.

The track, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, had two attributes that captured me. Firstly was the remarkable vitatality of the sound, an interesting mix of music that was different from any of the categories that I’d experienced. Secondly, the holy grail of audibility, I understood the words the first time round and they actually meant something, neither of these results that you can rely on with so much of modern music.

There was a sense of “I’ve heard this before”, and I had. It’s the theme that backs the memorable montage that opens Nicholas Cage’s fantastic movie Lords of War, which shows a bullet in all the steps of its journey, starting as a bit of smelted copper, processed, cast, loaded in a magazine, packaged, shipped, loaded, fired and ends with it firmly embedded in a young African boy’s head. You would agree, memorable.

It’s also features, I’ve since learned, in the Forest Gump sound track as well and was a tremendous commercial and critical hit that put the band on the map.

Buffalo Springfield were an influential band (which is why they’re on the Rolling Stone’s Top 500 list) for a short while in early 1966 and already recognized as significant history by the time 1969 came around. Typical, when I find a sound that I like, that it lasted only for 25 months. It represented a unique sound that fused together a wide variety of genres.

Apart from the Byrds, no other American band had as great an impact on folk-rock and country-rock — really, the entire Californian rock sound — than Buffalo Springfield. They are widely recognized as great musicians and even their critics realized they were hugely influential. But besides the one song, they never achieved significant commercial success, and this probably capped their longevity.

in the end they succumbed to the problems of professional musicians; people not getting along, creative battles and differences of personality that proved insurmountable. Buffalo Springfield did this in abundance, trading members like basketball players. Eventually, like all things too good to last, they split up to build solo careers.

Enough about the band. I’m not a fan yet, just curious. They’ve produced an outstanding track. It’s well worth a listen. Or just read the words

Other sounds that have stuck in my ears are Black Sabbath, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, The Flaming Lips, Al Green, Deep Purple & Fleetwood Mac to give a broad brush sample. They all have interesting, but very different sounds and so it doesn’t fit into any category.

 

 

 

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