Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A musical analogy

“Kokomo” : The Beach Boys :: “What a Wonderful World” : Louis Armstrong. Both songs hugely known, both songs woefully unrepresentative. The one is missing Brian Wilson’s participation as writer, arranger, or musician. The other is missing a trumpet. At least “Hello, Dolly!” had a trumpet solo.

How many musicians and writers are best known for some small unrepresentative part of their work? There’s William Butler Yeats and “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” There’s William Carlos Williams and “The Red Wheelbarrow.” “Williams, is he the one with the wheelbarrow?” someone once asked me. Well, yes and no.

[Could Louis Armstrong redeem “Kokomo”? It’s strangely pleasant to imagine.]

comments: 2

Sean said...

Here are a few (and not to say these aren't good, there's just more under the hood...)

1. Nick Drake - Pink Moon
2. Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor (if he wrote it at all).
3. Rush - Tom Sawyer
4. Weather Report - Birdland
5. Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart
6. Webern - Variations Op. 27
7. Arvo Pärt - Fratres
8. Kurosowa - Ran
9. Rodin - The Thinker
10. Tesla - Tesla Coil

That's all for now, but this will be fun to think about.

Michael Leddy said...

Prompted by “Birdland,” I’ll add Cannonball Adderly’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” as another unrepresentative representation.