Monday, May 17, 2010

YouTube is the World's Biggest Jukebox

Today, YouTube celebrates its fifth birthday.

I think the word "revolutionize" is overused but YouTube truly revolutionized the Internet.

We will never watch TV or listen to music in the same way.

The reason I say listen to music is because I generally listen to YouTube rather than watch it.

I think of YouTube as the world's biggest jukebox containing songs from the familiar to the obscure.

YouTube has given me to listen to music by artists whose recordings are nearly impossible to find.

Here are a few of my favorites. However, I must apologize for I cannot embed any of the videos.

Here's a song called "Histoire Sans Paroles" by Harmonium, a 1970s progressive rock group from Quebec. In English, histoire sans paroles means a story without words. It's a stunningly beautiful instrumental. The only drawback to YouTube is that you generally can't post videos longer than 10 minutes. So the song is in two parts which can be found here and here.

Most of you are probably familiar with The Byrds who had such hit songs as "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man". However, you might not recognize the name Gene Clark. While he wrote or co-wrote many of their hits he was overshadowed by the likes of Roger McGuinn and David Crosby. Clark's solo career would also be eclipsed by both McGuinn and Crosby. But take a listen to "Echoes" (with the Gosdin Brothers) and "Silent Crusade." These songs were recorded a decade apart but the quality of his song craft is undeniable and deserves another hearing.

I also like YouTube because you can ask someone to post a video and more often than not someone will. Over the last few months I've become a big fan of Emitt Rhodes. While some of his songs were available on YouTube others were not. One such song was "Golden Child of God."
When I asked for this song to be posted beatlefan64 was more than happy to oblige.

Speaking of The Beatles, there are lots of Beatles fans on YouTube. Many of them cover their songs with varying degrees of success. So who does sing the best a capella version of "Because" from the Abbey Road album? Is it a trio of college boys at a bar? Or is it a quartet of high school girls sitting on a living room floor? You be the judge.

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