This is an ode to the shuffle. How better to get a good insight in your digitized album collection than by a classic shuffle? Finally discover the albums you never got into, finally throw the ones away you will never get into and worship those classics that never grow old again. The Shuffle of this week:

1. Jethro Tull – Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square (Stand Up, 1969) 

Second and short track from Tull’s second album, on which the bands’ blues rock roots are still strongly present. The Jeffrey who is mentioned is Jeffrey Hammond, the band’s bass player from the later Aqualung (1971) till Minstrel in the Gallery (1975). Ian Anderson of course already knew Hammond from his first band The Blades at the time he wrote this song.

2. Panda Bear – Take Pills (Person Pitch, 2007) 

Also the album’s second track, one of the seven genius pieces of music that together form one of the best albums from the past ten years. This song was the last of five that were released as a single before the album came out, containing a nice sample from Scott Walker’s ‘Always Coming Back to You’. Playing this album has become a ritual act on a first summer day.

3. Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney, 1970) 

Getting spoiled with this classic from McCartney following. This debut solo album was released only a week after The Beatles broke up and a month before Let It Be still had to came out. Like other songs on it this one was written for Paul’s wife Linda, with some  great guitar playing by McCartney himself, as he played all the instruments on the album (!). It’s a good album, that was a commercial success (because of the break-up) but one that was badly received by music critics (because of the break-up).

4. dEUS – Instant Street (The Ideal Crash, 1999) 

One of the biggest hits for this Belgian rock band, from their strong third album. Their early albums get my attention once a year and after the debut last time it’s time to crash now.

5. Led Zeppelin – Black Dog (Led Zeppelin IV, 1971) 

A loyal customer of the shuffle, not playing live this time. This is the opening song from that great fourth album, featuring the band’s most mature sound till that point. Despite the diverse strange influences on that album, the band still rocks in an old-fashioned way on this track built around a great riff written by John-Paul Jones. Vocals and band alternate like the early Fleetwood Mac on ‘Oh Well’.

6. Paul McCartney – Mrs. Vandebilt (Band on the Run, 1973) 

Not the first time to shuffle the same artist twice within ten songs, but highly unusual. But you don’t say no against an extra McCartney song a day. Great bassline.

7. Frog Eyes – The Heart That Felt Its Light (The Folded Palm, 2004) 

Indie rock from Canada, been a while. Third album by this band, mainly consisting of singer Carey Mercer and his wife Melanie Campbell on drums. But on this song it’s the piano playing from Grayson Walker that stands out.

8. Jefferson Airplane – 3/5th of a mile in 10 seconds (Bless Its Pointed Little Head, 1969) 

One live song a week is something that’s highly applauded and that’s why the Airplane is welcomed again after last time. Slick and Balin are once again taking up the vocal battle against each other on this psychedelic showpiece, originally from Surrealistic Pillow .

9. They Might Be Giants – Turn Around (Appolo 18, 1992) 

A band I totally forgot about, so time to catch up. A pioneer band, as the 21 separate short tracks that together constitute ‘Fingertips’ (4’35”) on this album were specially designed for the shuffle mode of CD players.

10. Fleet Floxes – The Cascades (Helplessness Bues, 2011) 

Just like last week, the closing song is again located in the land of the elfs. Little dwarfs are waking up and rub the dew out of their eyes on this beautiful instrumental.

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