Pink Floyd - A Great Day For Freedom
It was 1994 when Pink Floyd released the excellent The Division Bell. There was the necessity for the construction of a new Europe and a new world, after the fall of The Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. This song centers on the idea of freedom and the need in the change of paradigm after the fall of The Berlin Wall. It's about hope and the disappointment that followed. David Gilmour stated: "There was a wonderful moment of optimism when the Wall came down - the release of Eastern Europe from the non-democratic side of the socialist system. But what they have now doesn't seem to be much better. Again, I'm fairly pessimistic about it all. I sort of wish and live in hope, but I tend to think that history moves at a much slower pace than we think it does. I feel that real change takes a long, long time."
Genesis - Mama
"Mama" is one of the major hits of the band. It's about a man's obsession for a prostitute, it contains a heavy instrumental with a recognizable harsh drum piece and it's by far one of the most intense tracks ever made by Genesis. It's definitely different from the rest of the album, it's the heaviest instrumentally and the most difficult to listen to, mainly because of its concept. I choose this song for this article because of its complexity, emotion, performance and solid composition.
Tommy Bolin - Dreamer
It's my personal homage to this amazing guitar player called Tommy Bolin. Tommy Bolin was a guitar player in bands such as Deep Purple, James Gang or Billy Cobham. He's one of the most underrated geniuses of the music world. After the release in 1975 with Deep Purple of the very credible Come Taste The Band and also of his own album entitled Teaser, Bolin released in 1976 another great album entitled Private Eyes. A very short time after Private Eyes' release, he died, a victim of drug overdose during a promotional tour. "Dreamer" is about a girl's desire and will in looking for a better future for herself, but for that to happen she needs to leave her love. This track tells the story of the man and his sadness but also conformation in seeing his love leave his side.
Journey - Open Arms
It's taken off the biggest success of these American natives, who formed in 1973. Escape is one of the major successes of the 80's filled with romantic hits. "Open Arms" is from far one of the most romantic songs in rock. The iconic soft rockers, at the time, with Steve Perry had their musical peak with this album and particularly with this song. Its concept is very simple; it is about love and the need of two people to be together.
Captain Beyond - Starglow Energy
It's one of the top tracks of their second album entitled Sufficiently Breathless. This album contains a different energy when compared with their debut album. Sufficiently Breathless is much more spirited and relaxed, mixing jazz with rock with great effectiveness. "Starglow Energy" resumes the idea of the entire album, an idea of love, partnership and togetherness.
Genesis - Throwing It All Away
It's by far one of the most known tracks of the 80's. At this time Genesis were already following a more radio-friendly musical direction. This track comes off their best and most inspired work of the 80's, entitled Invisible Touch. "Throwing It All Away" is not technically complex but is very strong spiritually. It's about rejection, someone that loved someone but was rejected. The title may serve as reference to the loss of what might have been a relationship with a future.
Golden Earring - I've Just Lost Somebody
It's a track from the third album of this Dutch hard rock band. Although Golden Earring started in a more rockabilly, baroque pop/rock style, in this 1967 release they quickly changed their style to a more hard rock/progressive rock style. After the entrance of Barry Hay with a more direct rock voice, the band changed their style. "I've Just Lost Somebody" is a drama song about a man that lost his sweetheart. The man dreams about her and wants to keep dreaming because in the dream she's alive.
Nazareth - Love Hurts
The title gives the song its meaning. It's one of the most recognized hits of these Scottish natives, named Nazareth. Nazareth are one of the greatest hard-rock/heavy metal bands of the 70's, and are definitely one of the flag-holders of the heavy metal scene. This track is taken off of the 1975 release entitled Hair Of The Dog. It centers its meaning on the "bad side" of love, and its consequences on a person when love isn't returned or they are rejected.
Procol Harum - A Salty Dog
Procol Harum are one of the pioneers of symphonic and progressive rock, although not being characterized as one of the main rock bands in the 70's, they had an immense importance to the development of both progressive and symphonic styles. "A Salty Dog" is a track taken off of the 1969 album entitled A Salty Dog, centers its story on a sailor crossing unknown seas. Its lyrics were written by Keith Reid and music written by Gary Brooker that plays the piano and sings too. Its main feature is Brooker's strong and penetrating voice with a very melodic piano arrangement. In the video the song begins at 1:05.
Deep Purple - Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Every time I listen this track I feel a sense of calm, although the title doesn't transmit the calmest feeling in the world. It's from the 1996 album entitled Purpendicular, and it's the debut album featuring their current guitar player Steve Morse. It's by far one of Deep Purple's top tracks since the departure of Ritchie Blackmore. Ever since Ritchie Blackmore's departure, the band has been lacking in creativity, producing only a few good tracks and most of their albums since 1996 are only average. This song reflects a feeling of union and spirit that the band was lacking at the time with the departure of Ritchie Blackmore.
Black Country Communion - Cold
It's one of the best ballads in 2011, taken off of Black Country Communion's sophomore album entitled 2. It deals with loss and someone's need to move on with life. It contains Glenn Hughes' genius all over it. It's an inspired piece of music, both instrumentally and lyrically. Black Country Communion is a supergroup featuring Jason Bonham, Glenn Hughes, Derek Sherinian, and Joe Bonamassa.
Saga - Only Time Will Tell
"Only Time Will Tell" isn't instrumentally a ballad, but its concept is definitely very close of being one. It's the second track from Saga's 1987 album Wildest Dreams. Like always Michael Sadler's performance is very close to perfection, not only in this song, but also on the album. It's difficult not to enjoy the performance of someone that was already compared vocally with legends like Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury. Its concept centers in lost friendships that have deteriorated over the years.
Led Zeppelin - All My Love
It's one of the most special and emotional tracks of Led Zeppelin; it comes from their eighth studio album, entitled In Through The Out Door. This album is the last album featuring iconic drummer John Bonham. Although not featuring the band's greatest moments, the album is very special mostly due to the fact that is the last featuring the classic lineup. "All My Love" was written in honor of Plant's son Karac, who died while Led Zeppelin were on their 1977 North American tour. Robert Plant stated that this song was one of the band's finest moments.
Pink Floyd - High Hopes
Taken off Pink Floyd's The Division Bell, it was one of the band's greatest successes when the album was released. This song talks about the great things of the past, and how "wonderful" it was back then. Many may relate this track as being the last of this album, but also, the last of Pink Floyd. Its main meaning may be a sentiment of nostalgia. When I listen to the track I feel that sentiment of nostalgia, but also, a feeling of hope and search for a brighter future. It's a feeling of someone that went away and wants to come back but knows that has to do better and knows that has to change. This song brings me a feeling of nostalgia but also a feeling of change to a new cycle in life.