Duke Ellington has been famously quoted as saying: “If it sounds good, it is good.”
Which brings us to Topic A of today: What’s the greatest scream in rock ‘n’ roll history?
In my own mind, it’s a tossup which of these is No. 1 — Janis Joplin’s soul-scraping vocalization at the end of “Piece of My Heart” or John Lennon’s wordless reveille at the opening of “Revolution.” Joplin’s amazing album with Big Brother and the Holding Company, “Cheap Thrills,” has been named to the National Recording Registry for 2013 by the Librarian of Congress.
There’s a lot of other fantastic stuff on this year’s recording registry – bet you can find personal connections to a bunch of it, too. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” – my college roommate played that album end-to-end daily for six months, but it was OK, because it was really good. Harking back a bit more, Artie Shaw’s “Begin the Beguine” is on my IPod – that is one hot instrumental, enduringly so. (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for putting me on to that one.) Ditto the soundtrack to “South Pacific,”played in our home again and again in the 1960s.
“Just Because” by Frank Yankovic & His Yanks is on this year’s registry; I can’t say I’m familiar with the album, but I know about Frank because a young woman I went to high school with was of Slovenian extraction, and let me know in no uncertain terms he was the man to see about polka.
And “Hoodoo Man Blues” by Junior Wells is on this year’s registry. I had the enjoyment of seeing a very talented acquaintance of mine back in Denver, the irrepressible Robin Chotzinoff, sit in on piano with Junior Wells and Buddy Guy at Herman’s Hideaway.
Care to nominate an alternate rock cri de coeur? Offer a comment below. And if you’d like to nominate sound recordings for next year’s registry, offer your suggestions here.