Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Day The Music Died...

As Don McLean sang:

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
This, of course refers to the plane crash on Feb. 3 1959, which killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper
So, ever the wonderer, I've pondered the impact on the young rock and roll industry...  Did the music "die" that cold day?  Waiting to be resurrected by Beatlemania?  What empirical evidence could I find?  

Well, how about the Rolling Stone list of Top 500 Songs in Rock?  Granted, we can find lots of flaws with any list, but I'm running with it.

If I take that list, and sort by release date, what do I see?



 The dots represent how many songs (per year) were recognized among the Top 500 of all time.  The dashed line is a 4 year rolling average.  The red line is at the front end of 1959, represnting the plane crash.  the green line is 1963, when the Beatles first hit the US charts.

The numbers certainly seem to support the premise.  There is a clear and dramatic dip during the 4-5 year period between the deaths of Holly/Valens/Richardson and the appearance of the Beatles.

Aside:  The Beatles are used as the benchmark, but one should not overlook the impact of Motown in that 1963 through 1966 spike.  Or the whole British Invasion.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Springtime On Campus

Way behind on posting.  Life is being "like that"...

This is from last month, our visit to the campus of Vanderbilt University.  Obviously, there's a lot of OTSOOI (post processing) going on....  But I like how it turned out.


Quotated

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane"


- - - -

Friday, May 12, 2017

Halls Of Learning

Hanging out on a Friday evening...  digging on some tunes (Little Feat via Amazon Music), sipping a beer (Boulevard Brewing's Spicy Rye Ale), and trying to process a photo or two.  It's been a dramatic dry spell on the photo front.not taking many, and not finishing those.  Been busy at work and home, had a few health "things"...blah blah blah.  Hopefully I can get rolling again.

So, heres a little something from last month's college visits w/ my son.  This is at Purdue.  Taken w/ my iPhone...  Not bad, at least IMHO.  





I suppose in B&W I should've posted at Happenstance....  but I chose here.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Best Years Of Rock



What was the best time for rock music?

Well, I’m sure that there’s a hundred (or more) answers, depending on how you define “best”.  I’d tend to say the span from the late 60’s through the early 70’s,..  But, speaking as an engineer, what’s a more “technical” answer?

Let’s look at the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest albums.  The original, 2003, edition.  Now look at a sliding window of time, and count the number of recognized albums.....  I chose a 7 year window, because that gives a pretty clear answer:

The blue dots are the number of albums from each year.  The green line is the 7 year average, looking at the 7 years up to the noted year.

You can see a very dramatic peak in 1973.  In other words, the 7 year window from 1967 through 1973.  It's equally clear if you look at the individual years.  Each year from 1967 through 1973 is solidly above all of the other years:


 This time window provided 189 of the Top 500 albums, 37.8% of the list. I won't list all of them in this post (but look for a post per year over the next few weeks).  Meanwhile, here's the top ranked album for each of the years:



  • 1967  -  Beatles – Sargent Pepper’s …    - #1
  • 1968  -  Beatles – White Album     - #10
  • 1969  -  Beatles – Abbey Road    - - #14
  • 1970  -  John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band    -  # 23
  • 1971  -  Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On    - #6
  • 1972  -  Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street    - #7
  • 1973  -  Stevie Wonder – Innervisions     - #24

 So, what do YOU say?  What time frame to you think was the best?  And what's your criteria?









Wednesday, May 03, 2017

when it's raining...

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain"
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- - - - -