The Beatles – “Hey Jude”


Nirvana – “Love Buzz”

Love Buzz” is American grunge band Nirvana‘s debut single released in 1988. It is a cover of a song by the Dutch rock band Shocking Blue whose version was released in 1967.

It released on Sub Pop in the US. It was the first single in the Sub Pop Singles club. A slightly different mix of the song would also appear on Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach. This version is missing a 10-second sound collage introduction put together by Kurt Cobain. “Love Buzz” was later released on Nirvana’s Blew in the UK in December 1989.

In a 1989 review for British music magazine Melody Maker, Everett True wrote,

“Nirvana are beauty incarnate. A relentless two-chord garage beat which lays down some serious foundations for a sheer monster of a guitar to howl over. The volume control ain’t been built yet which can do justice to this three-piece!”

True also made “Love Buzz” joint-US Single of the Week. True also described Nirvana’s Love Buzz single as a “Limited edition of 1,000; love songs for the psychotically disturbed”.

Metallica – “To Live Is To Die”

To Live Is to Die” is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica from their fourth studio album …And Justice for All.  It was released on August 25, 1988.

This song is a tribute to Metallica’s bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus crash. It is instrumental except the spoken word piece near the end – this was a poem that Cliff wrote before he died. Cliff Burton receives co-writers credit on “To Live Is to Die” as the bass line was a medley of unused bass recordings Burton had performed prior to his death. While the original recordings are not used on the track, the compositions are credited as written by Burton and are played by Metallica’s bassist at the time, Jason Newsted. The words spoken towards the end of the song (“when a man lies, he murders some part of the world. These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives…”) by Hetfield were written by German poet Paul Gerhardt, but are misattributed to Burton in the liner notes. Still, the second half of the speech (“All this I cannot bear to witness any longer. Cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home?”) were written by Burton.

Metallica Singer James Hetfield explained to Mojo magazine December 2008 that this song is, “a homage to Cliff without going over the top.” He added: “It’s about realizing how grateful we were to have that time with him.”

The Beatles – “Love Me Do”

Love Me Do” is the Beatles’ first single released on 5 October 1962. When it was released in England by Parlophone Records, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-promoted and reached number four. In the United States the single was a number one hit in 1964.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this in 1958, when John was 17 and Paul was 16. They made time for songwriting by skipping school. They had written songs before, but this was the first one they liked enough to record. When they played this for an audition with Parlophone Records, the producer they auditioned for was George Martin, who became a key figure in Beatles history as he helped shape their sound. He started tinkering with the song right away, adding the harmonica part. Fortunately, John Lennon knew how to play the harmonica and was able to come up with something.

When this was released in England, it was not a big hit. The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, was so confident in the group that he gave the single a big marketing push by buying a bunch of copies of it (some say 10,000) for his record store, which helped get it on the charts and ensured more exposure for the band. Before they recorded this, Lennon always sang the lead vocal, but when his harmonica part was added, McCartney had to sing it because Lennon’s mouth was full of harmonica. Paul claims that you can hear the fear in his voice at the audition.

The Doors – “The End”

The End” is a song by The Doors from the album The Doors. Released in 4 January 1967, it was written by Jim Morrison. The Doors developed this song during live performances at the Whisky a Go Go, a Los Angeles club where they were the house band in 1966. They had to play two sets a night, so they were forced to extend their songs in order to fill the sets. This gave them a chance to experiment with their songs. This started as a short song about a farewell to a girl, and developed into an 11 minute epic. The band would perform the song to close their last set. It was first released in January 1967. The song was recorded live in the studio with no overdubbing. Two takes were done and the second take is the one that was issued.

In 1969, Morrison stated:

Everytime I hear that song, it means something else to me. It started out as a simple good-bye song…. Probably just to a girl, but I see how it could be a goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don’t know. I think it’s sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be.

Interviewed by Lizze James, he pointed out the meaning of the verse “My only friend, the End”:

Sometimes the pain is too much to examine, or even tolerate….That doesn’t make it evil, though – or necessarily dangerous. But people fear death even more than pain. It’s strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah – I guess it is a friend…

This is supposedly the last song Morrison heard. The night he died, he was playing old Doors albums, ending with this one. This was the last song on that album. This was recorded with the lights off and only one candle burning next to Morrison.

The Beach Boys – “Feel Flows”

Feel Flows” is a song by the American rock band The Beach Boys from their 1971 album Surf’s Up. Released in August 30, 1971, this song was written by Carl Wilson and Jack Rieley. Carl Wilson’s lead vocals were recorded using reverse echo.

We have Beach Boys guitarist Carl Wison and their manager at the time, Jack Rieley, to thank for this ethereal song packed with lyrics like “Encasing all embracing wreath of repose.” While his brother Brian Wilson wrote most of The Beach Boys classics, Carl had a big part in the Surf’s Up, doing a lot of production work on the album and also co-writing “Long Promised Road” with Rieley – Carl sang lead on both tracks as well. Explaining the spiritual nature of his songs, Carl said, “We believe in God as universal consciousness. God is love, God is you, God is me, God is everything here in this room.”

Unfolding enveloping missiles of soul
Recall senses sadly
Mirage like soft blue like lanterns below
To light the way gladly
Whether whistling heaven’s clouds disappear
Where the wind withers memory
Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
Feel flows (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (Black hot glistening shadowy flows)

Unbending never ending tablets of time
Record all the yearning
Unfearing all appearing message divine
Eases the burning
Whether willing witness waits at my mind
Whether hope dampens memory
Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
Feel flows (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (Black hot glistening shadowy flows)

Encasing all embracing wreath of repose
Engulfs all the senses
Imposing, unclosing thoughts that compose
Retire the fences
Whether wholly heartened life fades away
Whether harps heal the memory
Whether wholly heartened life fades away
Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
Feel goes (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel flows (Black hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feelings to grow (White hot glistening shadowy flows)

White hot glistening shadowy flows
White hot glistening shadowy flows
White hot glistening shadowy flows

Review: The Song of Achilles

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a novel set in ancient Greece and tells the story of the love between Achilles and Patroclus. The title could refer to a song sung by Achilles or it could also refer to a song sung about Achilles.

The title of the book may be The Song of Achilles but the story is narrated by Patroclus, an awkward young prince who has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia after accidentally murdering his friend over a game of dice. Achilles, ‘best of all the Greeks’, is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess and yet Achilles takes Patroclus under his wing and soon they develop steadfast friendship. From there on, their bond develops into something deeper, much to the outrage of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.


“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.” – Patroclus

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Achilles joins their cause to fulfill his destiny to become the greatest warrior of all time. Patroclus, through fear and love for his companion, follows Achilles to fight in the war, neither of them knowing what tests the future years will hold for them.

I’ve always been fascinated by Greek mythology. So, I decided to read this modern retelling of Homer’s the Illiad. Miller has taken one of the most legendary and familiar of stories from the Illiad and successfully managed to create a modern masterpiece out of it. In the Illiad, Patroclus is a relatively minor character. But in this book Patroclus is chosen as the narrator which would have been quite tricky after his death but Miller pulls it off brilliantly. Patroclus’s narration gives a convincing account of his childhood, the events leading up to the Trojan War and the War itself.

This depiction of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a overwhelming love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

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