I play bass in a band called Schering and Inslag. All five members are excellent songwriters. We have discussions over subjects like who's the best songwriter of all time and whether songwriters are really special.
Dylan, Springsteen, Cohen, Lennon, Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, modulations, and so on. . .It can get pretty esoteric.
But as I was grooving to The Vibrators "Pure Mania" the other day, I had to think again about what makes for great music.
The Vibrators weren't exactly a household name in the States, but "Pure Mania" is one of the best punk albums of the 70's. It's the usual high speed bar chords, semi-melodic vocals, straightforward lyrics (if little deeper than usual for punk). It's the kind of music that inspired me to pick up a guitar (actually drums, melodica, jaw harp and octave harmonica beforehand) and write songs.
I got a lot of inspiration out of 70's punk. (Not so much out of 80's hardcore and afterwards) I won't list all of my early influences, but a couple of the most notable were Johnny Thunders and the Sid Vicious album "Sid Sings," which turned me onto a lot of other music. There's so much about punk rock in general (and those two musicians in particular) that I can't justify.
Nonetheless I was moved to action.
My tastes have changed as I have delved more deeply into music, but I still find something very compelling about some of this simple, amateurish, high energy music.
I guess there are some things you just can't explain.
For Further Research
The Vibrators: "Pure Mania"
The Who: "Can't Explain"
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