This past week in music covered an awful lot of ground – definitely music now and then.
Taylor Swift dropped a new album, Folklore, recorded in quarantine over the past four months. It seems to have gotten more attention in two days than all other quarantine musical output combined, but hey, she is TSwift. The album features suitably stripped down arrangements, Swift’s young woman, broken heart lyrics, and really nice, soft vocals. The song that jumps out at me is “seven”. Its vocal style and harmonies are different from other tunes on the album, and the first several lines remind me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on! Call to Music Now and Then readers: help me out on this!
While TSwift was releasing 16 new tracks, the Rolling Stones excavated one unreleased track, “Scarlet”, from 1974 featuring Jimmy Page sitting in with the band. I’m not sure Page and Keith Richards are a match made in guitar heaven, but it’s rock history.
While taking in these new releases, we should also take in a bit of the legacy of Peter Green who passed away yesterday. Green was the co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, but left the band a few years before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined. Green was a highly respected guitarist, serving a brief stint replacing Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He also wrote “Black Magic Woman”, covered by Carlos Santana a year after Fleetwood Mac released it as a single. Here’s a live version of FM’s hit, “Oh Well” from 1969, with Green on guitar and vocals.
I’ve never been a fan of Taylor Swift, but I really like “folklore” and think it’s her best work yet. I can’t put my finger on what the opening of “seven” sounds like either, but I know what you mean. The Stones/Jimmy Page song is alright, and yes, Peter Green was a great songwriter and guitarist, and it’s a shame he messed himself up with drugs.
I can’t say I listen to Taylor Swift much – I don’t think I’m her target audience. But I think she is a versatile artist. Hearing all the praise heaped on “Folklore”, though, I’m listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” this morning. Like comparing any painter to da Vinci, but just sayin’.
Love Taylor Swifts new album! Can’t stop listening but I cannot help you with the familiarity of ‘Seven’ but I will continue to think on this!