Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Music ABC: S


I skipped the letter 'R' on purpose as I have already mentioned some 'R' bands in my previous posts.

The letter 'S' is going to be all about European music which I like most due to my European roots. Non European artists (well at least one) will be mentioned some other time, not today.

Our S #1 is Sabaton - Swedish formation - one of the very few contemporary bands whom we enjoy listening to. Each and every song by Sabaton is a little story based on real facts and history. Each of them tells about a real event, battle, soldier/soldiers, king or a war. And we can learn something about them just listening to Sabaton records.

The very first songs by Sabaton which I listened to were the ones connected with WWII and history of Poland: Uprising (about the Warsaw Uprising 1944) and 40:1, inspired by the battle of Bzura and the heroic fight of the Polish soldiers. It was quite a few years ago. Anyway, I heard those pieces and loved them at once. They also made me interested in other compositions by the Swedish band. The music is from the 'hard and heavy side' but it is very pleasant to the ear. What is more, it is quite original with many interesting and nice melody lines. While listening to their songs you not only enjoy the tunes but at the same time learn about some (often rather forgotten or little known) history facts.


The music pieces by Sabaton sound very well also when they are enriched and supported by a classical orchestra. It may seem a bit wild - heavy metal and classical music mixed together but, according to us, it is a great compilation. Actually, our dream concert by Sabaton would be the one performed by the musicians in a small concert hall with some assistance - from time to time - of a classical orchestra. We could sit in the comfortable chairs of a music hall and enjoy two in one - what we really like - the 'Sabaton history music channel' tales and classical music as well.

On the other hand, the Swedish musicians create a great performance when they are on their own - they do not need any extra support. The band does very well on stage and their live music + songs are as good as the ones recorded in the studio. It is just our dream concert vision. Another reason for that is that regular heavy metal concert venue facilities are usually of a different sort of comfort comparing to a cozy concert hall. I guess, not too many fans of Sabaton would be happy about such a concert and the opposite - not too many classical music lovers would decide to buy tickets to listen to a heavy metal band. Well, that would be perfect to us.

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I have always liked Scorpions (German band) and many of their songs - both ballads and the more heavy stuff. I saw them at a concert at the beginning of the 90s, in Poland. To be honest, I do not recall much of the event besides the fact that I did enjoy it.


Talking about Scorpions I need to mention Michael Schenker and his Group. At some point he was part of Scorpions, later he played with his own band. I do not know much of their career or music but I do remember the piece 'Into the Arena' - I loved the way Micheal played the guitar.

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Status Quo are my number one English 'S' band. Lively, cheering music and very enjoyable guitar parts that is what I like about them most.


The band members, very skillful musicians, are also great stage performers. Their music is simply good stuff and fun. I could watch some of their concert pieces (such as Gerdundula) again and again.

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Slade - another English band who played the music which I would call 'merry & fun'. The costumes they wore added to the fun part. My Slade hit #1 is 'Coz I Love You'.

Smokey and Sweet - I mention them here although, when they were most popular, I disliked them with all my heart. The guys looked too girly to me and, in my opinion, their music was too sweetened and boring. The time has passed and I am still not a particular fan of the bands but these days I am OK with listening to some of their songs once in a while. At some point, they were big in Europe anyway.

Sting - a class of his own. Shortly speaking - Art of music - no need to comment it at all.

Classical S

Schumann Robert - quite a coincidence - his birthday is today. He was born on 8 June 1810. Schumann liked playing with his seven children. Several of his compositions relate to children/childhood.

Strauss - both father and son - I do knot know if it is still a kind of tradition on Polish TV, at least it used to be. Every year on New Year's Day a live concert was transmitted from Vienna. The music by Strauss Senior and his Son was mostly played then. I did like those cocerts. It was a good way to celebrate the beginning of a new year.



Sabaton: too many songs which we really like to mention them all here - just some of them are
To Hell And Back, Attero Dominatus, Carolus Rex, The Lion from The North, Swedish Pagans, Poltava, Got Mitt Uns, Aces in Exile, 40:1, Uprising, Night Witches

Scorpions:
The Zoo, Holiday, In Trance, Life's Like a River, Fly People Fly, Can't Live Without You, Blackout, You Give me All I Need, No One Like You, When the Smoke Is Going Down, Yellow Raven

Slade: 
Far Far Away, Run Runaway, Coz I Love You

Smokey:
I'll Meet You at Midnight, Don't Play Your Rock'n'Roll to Me

Status Quo:
In The Army, Gerdundula, What You're Proposing

Sting:
Shape of My Heart, Fields of Gold, Moon over Bourbon Street, Russians, I'm Lost Without You, Desert Rose

Sweet:
Hell Raiser, Blockbuster

Classical S

Schumann: Scenes of the Childhood - opus #16 Dream

Johann Strauss Sr.: 
Radetzky March

Johann Strauss Jr.:
Tritch-Trach Polka
The Blue Danube
Pizzicato Polka
Vienna Blood

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Credits

Photos
  • Sabaton: By dr_zoidberg [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scorpions: By Pablo BM from Plymouth, England (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Status Quo photo: KevM at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons


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