With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.
I started reading Twilight Of The Gods this week, a book in which Steven Hyden explores the past, present and future of classic rock. Early in the book, Hyden calls classic rock a finite resource: “One day, it will disappear. Bands break up. Albums go unplayed and are eventually forgotten. Legends die.” Hyden has a point of course. Time does not stand still, albums are losing out to playlists, fewer and fewer bands sell out stadiums and it’s unlikely that current and future rock bands will come anywhere close to the lasting cultural impact of the classic bands from the ’60s and ’70s. But is that necessarily a bad thing? They’ve been saying that punk is dead since the late seventies, but to agree with that statement you essentially admit that you haven’t been paying attention. Ultimately, there will always be musicians that will carry the torch of guitar music into familiar and unfamiliar territory. Which brings us to this week’s Gimme 5! which features an artist whose music celebrates the power of classic rock and soul.
Marc Ribler is a musician and producer who in recent years has been Steven Van Zandt’s right hand man in The Disciples Of Soul. Ribler also shared the stage with many Hall-Of-famers including Carole King, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Darlene Love, and Paul McCartney. On July 9th, Ribler will release a new solo record called The Whole World Awaits You (pre-order here). Busy as Ribler is with producing, performing and writing songs and jingles for others, it is a record that’s been long in the making – some of the songs were written as early as 2005. Little Steven became excited after hearing some of the early mixes and offered to co-produce the record and release it on his label Wicked Cool Records. Based on the early singles, it’s easy to see why: Shattered and Who Could Ask For More (watch the video here) are excellent throwbacks to the heyday of rock and soul, and both songs were picked as ‘coolest song in the world’ at the Underground Garage radio station. Not only that, these songs make my speakers sound better than ever – this is some well produced, mixed and mastered music. Below Marc Ribler shares five classic albums that he drew influence from in writing the songs for The Whole World Awaits You. Enjoy reading and listening! [post continues below]
Marc Ribler: “I was fortunate enough to grow up at the tail end of when rock and roll was in its most creative and expressive form. As Stevie Van Zandt calls it “the renaissance period of rock ‘n’ roll”. 1965 through 1975. These are the five records that directly or indirectly influenced the writing and production of my upcoming album The Whole World Awaits You.
1. Bob Dylan || Blonde on Blonde
“If you want to know the roots of great lyric writing you have to look to Dylan. After Chuck Berry, he reinvented the form. This album represents the utopian lyric album for me. Visions of Johanna, Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, and my favorite Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again. If for some unusual reason you’re not familiar, give a listen and prepare to have your mind blown.”
2. The Beatles || Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band introduces so many new colors to pop music and is one of the best concert records ever released. In particular, She’s Leaving Home, Within You Without You – which is probably the first world music record with its use of East Indian instruments, and my favorite A Day In The Life.
iI started out as a John Lennon song, then George Martin created that incredible ascending orchestration to link into Paul McCartney’s bridge (“I woke up got out of bed etc.”), and then back into John’s song. Pure Pop genius.”
3. Jimi Hendrix || A Band Of Gypsys
“This is the quintessential live album. There is Jimi Hendrix in the studio and then there is Jimi Hendrix live. To me this is some of the most transcendent electric guitar playing ever to grace planet earth. My favorite track being Power To Love.”
4. The Who || Who’s Next
“I feel this is the finest Who record. Emotionally, sonically and artistically. The raw power of rock ‘n’ roll combined with great singer songwriter insights, amazing fresh sounding textures and of course Roger Daltry screaming from the bottom of his being. It’s a tough call to say which is my favorite but I I would have to go with the iconic We Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers || Damn The Torpedoes
“Although this record falls a little bit outside the renaissance of rock (1979 release), and as much as it is a bit of a throwback to the classic sounds of Roger McGuinn and The Byrds, there is an undeniable freshness and purity to this record. My favorites are Here Comes My Girl and Even The Losers.”