Welcome autumn with these fall listens
With the area nearing peak fall colors, it’s the perfect time to go for a walk with your choice brand of mp3 player before the weather turns too cold.
I dug into my vinyl collection to pick out classic tracks from the 1960s and 1970s I can’t help but listen to this time of year.
“Visions of Johanna” By Bob Dylan off “The Bootlegs Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966, The ‘Royal Albert Hall’ Concert”
If you ask me, this song deserves to be discussed with Bob Dylan’s best-known tracks like “Blowin’ In the Wind” and “Like A Rolling Stone. While Dylan’s almost certainly intoxicated in the 1966 bootleg (watch the video), it’s one of my favorite tracks ever recorded.
Autumn Connection: Reportedly written in November of 1965.
Did you know: The song was reportedly written when Dylan was living in New York’s Chelsea Hotel with his pregnant wife, Sara. Some believe it was written during the East Coast blackout of Nov. 9, 1965.
“Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” By The Beatles, “Rubber Soul”
One of John Lennon’s best tracks, this narrative track is a perfect combination of sitar and narrative lyrics.
Autumn Connection: Recorded in October of 1965.
Did you know: Lennon admitted he wrote this song about an affair he’d had, but tried to write it coy manner while on holiday with his first wife, Cynthia.
“Wish You Were Here” By Pink Floyd, “Wish you Were Here”
Every year when the school year starts, I instantly start listening to “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were Here.”
Autumn Connection: Released September of 1975 on the — drum roll, please — Harvest record label.
Did you know: The radio/voices in the introduction were recorded in guitarist David Gilmour’s car, and the opening guitar part was meant to sound like it was playing on a car radio.
“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas and the Papas, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears”
Autumn connection: Released in the September of 1965. And, it uses imagery of the fall: “All the leaves are brown …”
Did you know: John Phillips is said to have dreamed about the song before waking up Michelle Phillips to help him write it.
“Harvest” by Neil Young, “Harvest”
When Neil Young isn’t rocking in the free world, he can spin some of the most heartfelt ballads.
Autumn Connection: This is a no-brainer: It’s the title track of the album “Harvest.”
Did You know: The story goes that when Young was in Nashville for “The Johnny Cash Show, producer and studio owner Elliot Mazer invited him to dinner to convince him to record at his studio. Young agreed to start that night and recorded the basic tracks for “Harvest” and other songs.
“Going to California” by Led Zeppelin, “Zeppelin IV”
Led Zeppelin is the godfather band of hard rock, but this track shows their softer side, with John Paul Jones trading his bass for a mandolin.
Autumn Connection: Released Nov. 8, 1971.
Did you know: The song was originally said to be about earthquakes, and guitarist Jimmy Page and some audio engineers experienced a minor earthquake when mixing the song in California.
“El Condor Pasa” By Simon & Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Let’s face it: Simon & Garfunkel are the ultimate band to turn on when the weather descends into scarf weather. The duo recorded this song based on Andean folk tunes with a strong backing of wind instruments, which instills a feeling of autumn leaves and breezes.
Autumn Connection: Recorded in November of 1968 and 1969.
Did you know: Paul Simon did not write “El Condor Pasa.” Daniel Alomia Robles wrote it in 1913. Simon was incorrectly told it was a folk song dating to the 18th Century, even though it had been copyrighted in 1933. Robles’ son, Armando Robles Godoy, filed a copyright lawsuit against Simon. Since it was essentially a misunderstanding, the court case is said to have been very friendly.
“Season of the Witch” by Donovan, “Sunshine Superman”
One of Donovan’s first psychedelic songs bears instant Halloween connections for its name, but it also incorporates a bass part, keyboards and guitars that play off each other nicely.
Autumn Connection: Recorded September of 1966 and released that November.
Did you know: The song’s title has been reused in multiple movies: George A. Romero’s “Season of the Witch” in 1973, “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” in 1982, and Dominic Sena’s “Season of the Witch” in 2010. Martin Scorsese used it as the working title for 1973’s “Mean Streets.”