My Five -- S. Suresh

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Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run

Long before Bruce Springsteen became a household name in India with ‘Born in the USA’, he had released the album ‘Born to Run’. This is raw Springsteen with searing vocals, and the anger coming through clearly. His later offerings are more polished, and you miss this young and raw Springsteen.

Bob Dylan

Tambourine Man

Tags like anti-war, ant-establishment, rebel etc are generally attached to Bob Dylan. While no doubt true, what gets left out many a time is the sheer melody this man can produce. One of the prime examples is ‘Tambourine Man’. Here Bob Dylan produces a tune where melody is paramount and it comes through, though his voice cannot be deemed perfect.

Led Zeppelin

Gallows Pole

Led Zeppelin III was an album quite different from Led Zeppelin II in the sense there was more acoustic usage, and the sound was different. This particular song, Gallows Pole, is pure Led Zeppelin. Taking an American traditional song, Jimmy Page and his crew give this a heavy metal makeup. Starting with just the strumming of guitar, the song picks up pace as the person singing gets more desperate. And when Bonham joins, it is sheer mayhem and absolutely enjoyable.


Tales of Brave Ulysses

If there was one group that deserved the tag of ‘Cream,’ it was Cream! Three superstars, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, came together to produce some wonderful music. The group was short-lived but produced music that was to last long. ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’ starts with the bass of Jack Bruce and moves forward wonderfully. The lyrics are deliciously vague. Given that they produced songs such as ‘Sunshine of my Love’, ‘Crossroads’ etc, it is a tough task picking just one from this group.

Allman Brothers Band

Rambling Man

“Lord I was born a Rambling Man” starts this Allman Brothers song. It is always a tough task for any Allman Brothers Band fan to pick between this song and ‘Jessica’, another wonderful creation. This is melody at its finest, be it the singing or the guitar. Everything is perfect; so much so a friend once said that this song should be framed.

Those that almost made it

The Doors: Roadhouse Blues
Eagles: Sad Cafe
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Proud Mary
Rolling Stones: Don't Play With Me
Derek And The Dominoes: Layla

(S. Suresh runs a competency development company targeted at technical competency development in the IT industry)

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My Five is a personal list of the five greatest tracks in popular music




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