Terry Pack's Desert Island Discs.
Recently at a Trees gathering, conversation turned to the different ways we listened to music when we were growing up and how much loved recordings from our youth informed our adult musical taste. Here is a selection of albums that Terry has chosen as influential:
Please Please Me and A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles
I was born in 1958, and the first music I was aware of was by The Beatles. I loved all of their records, but Please Please Me has stayed with me because of the pedal point in the harmony, played on the guitars in the intro and then sung in the verses, and A Hard Day's Night because of the wonderful guitar chord at the beginning (the source of much debate ever since) and the brilliant modulations in the bridge. The Beatles early sound was so wonderful, with great harmonies and fantastic use of guitars, bass, drums and harmonica. Paul McCartney was and still is one of my favourite bass players. Recorded by George Martin at Abbey Road.
Up The Ladder To The Roof and Nathan Jones - The Supremes
I was nuts about Tamla Motown and loved everything I heard by Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. After Diana Ross left The Supremes to go solo, the new trio recorded even better songs than they had before, and these are two of them. Beautiful songs, great vocals, amazing playing by The Funk Brothers and great production. The bass, played by James Jamerson, another great favourite of mine, was even given its own track, so important was it to the sound and groove.
Pictures At An Exhibition - Mussorgsky, Ravel and Emerson, Lake and Palmer
The first 'serious' music I came to know well, thanks to Peter Watcyn-Jones, my music teacher at St Richards in Bexhill. Peter played us ELP's live version, recorded at Newcastle City Hall on my fifteenth birthday, soon after it was released in in 1973, and I loved everything about it. I had been singing and playing bass for about a year, and was beginning to think of myself as a potential musician. Peter then played us both Mussorgsky's piano version and Ravel's orchestration. It was the first time I had heard how a piece of music can be treated in so many different ways, and was an inspiration. Many years later, I got to know Keith Emerson, now sadly departed, and told him how important this recording was to me.
Made In Japan - by Deep Purple
Another great live recording, which I first heard in 1974. I became a Deep Purple fan, and learned to play and sing all the songs from the band's first six albums. I loved the sound, the playing and the energy, particularly that of drummer Ian Paice and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. It all seems a bit shallow now, but it appealed to the adolescent me.
Genesis Live - Genesis
Another live album, introduced to me by Phil Thornton, with whom I became friends in 1974. Id never heard anything like Genesis, and loved the use of 12 string guitars, bass pedals and the Mellotron. I also loved the compound time signatures and the overall sound. Years later, I made an album with Steve Hackett, the guitarist on this album, and told him that I preferred his playing on Genesis Live than on his 1980s stuff. He agreed!
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd
I was 15 when this was released. It was my first Pink Floyd album. I loved everything about it: the songs, the vocals, the playing, the sound effects, the posters, which stayed on my bedroom wall until the fell off! I once travelled from Bexhill by train and tube to Wembley Empire Pool on a cold October night in 1973 to hear Dark Side live. I had no ticket and very little money in my pocket, so that both journeys went unpaid for, and I got a ticket from a tout for £5. When I told my friends, nobody wanted to believe me. I bought all the Floyd albums before Dark Side, but only 'Wish You Were Here' after. My favourite is 'Meddle'. I have since got to know Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason, and even met Ron Geesin, the 'Pict' on 'Umma Gumma'.
In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson
I came to this a bit late, via ELP, but loved it. Pete Sinfield's lyrics, Mike Giles' drumming and Robert Fripp's guitar playing and use of the Mellotron. Wonderful. I bought all of Crimson's albums until Bill Bruford left the band in about 1976. I even formed a band called 'Red'!
Fragile and Yessongs - Yes
Also thanks to Phil Thornton. I bought his copy of 'Fragile' and played it to death. I loved the whole thing: the glacial vocal harmonies, Steve Howe's guitar playing, Rick Wakeman's use of piano, Hammond organ, Moog and Mellotron, Bill Buford's crisp, tight drumming and Chris Squire's amazing sound and playing. I bought a Rickenbacker bass and began writing songs greatly influenced by Yes and King Crimson. The opening of the live recording, 'Yessongs', was 'The Firebird' by Stravinsky.
The Firebird and The Rite Of Spring - Stravinsky
After hearing 'The Firebird' on 'Yessongs', I bought a recording of it conducted by Lorin Maazel and fell in love with it. I later bought a Stravinsky box set, including 'The Rite of Spring' conducted by Stravinsky himself, and have since bought several more versions. Amazing music.
Talking Book, Inner visions and Fullingness' First Finale - Stevie Wonder
For teenage fans of Rock music, and especially Prog, it wasn't at all 'cool' to like Stevie Wonder, but I didn't care about that. I played the albums to death between 1973 and 1976. The songs are wonderful, the playing fantastic and Stevie's singing is peerless. After joining The Enid in 1976, and becoming great friends with drummer Dave Storey, who shared my love of John Coltrane and Stevie Wonder, we agreed that there wasn't any real point in attempting to play with anyone who didn't like these two titans of modern music. Our enthusiasm was not shared by anyone else in the band, though Steve Stewart did like Bob Fripp of King Crimson and Jan Ackerman from Focus, so that he, Dave and I used to entertain ourselves by playing 'Larks Tongues in Aspic', '21st Century Schizoid Man', 'Sylvia' and 'Hocus Pocus' when unsupervised!
Octopus - Gentle Giant
I discovered Gentle Giant in 1975 and loved them. Great writing, mostly by keyboardist Kerry Minnear, fantastic musicianship and great vocals. I bought all of their albums until 'Free Hand'. When I sold 90% of my record collection in 1979, including nearly all of the rock albums, I kept the albums by Gentle Giant.
J S Bach: Six Suites for Violoncello - Edgar Meyer
I have many recordings of the 'Cello Suites', and those by Paul Tortelllier and Heinrich Schiff are my favourites by cellists, but my favourite of all if the recording made a few years ago by Edgar Meyer. Edgar plays three of the suites on the double bass. I have been studying these pieces on both electric and acoustic bass since I was 16, so I know just how difficult they are to play. Edgar makes them sound easy!