Five songs that inspired me to make music and write FOXMASK songs? Now that's a though one! I guess I could easily compile a list of 100 songs that inspired me in one way or the other because there is no shortage of great songs out there. I guess this could be the beginning of an ongoing series, so this is not a Top 5 list.
I know, I know, "This Flight Tonight" was originally composed by Joni Mitchell but is has become such a signature song for Nazareth. I still recall listening to this one for the first time. The rhythm was raw and hypnotizing and Dan McCafferty's vocals were out of this world. The chorus is this sort of hook line that stays with you for quite some time. It is that good. I remember humming that particular line for three weeks straight. This song also kick-started my vinyl collection because after experiencing it I had to get everything NAZ. "This Flight Tonight" from the 1973 album "Loud 'n' Proud" may not be the bands heaviest tune but it certainly is a rocking dance floor classic.
This is one of the earliest songs I remember listening to. I must have been four or five years old. That is why I often say that 'I grew up on Beatles and Stones'. "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" from the album "Help!" (1965) is also one of the first songs I attempted to play on the guitar and failed miserably at it because I could not play and sing simultaneously back then and the rather fast chord changes were a bit to heavy for me at the time. The instrumentation is simple - you could even call it a folk song. But the arrangement is quite beneficial to the slight melancholy atmosphere.
Whenever I hear those keyboard chords I am lost for words. "Hazard" from "Rush Street" (1991) is the most intense song on this list. I guess this is not one of the most well known songs by Richard Marx but it certainly is one of my all-time favorites and it definitely sparked my interest in narrative lyrics. "Hazard" tells the unnerving story of a small town of the same name. The accompanying music video is nothing short of a masterpiece. The black and white visuals match the song’s tone and atmosphere perfectly. "Hazard" showed me that a pop song can be grave and bitter but also catchy at the same time. I just love this song.
I am a huge David Bowie fan. It was not easy to pick just one song by him. But one thing was indeed quite simple and that was picking an album. My favorite has to be his 21st studio album "Hours" from 1999. This record is such a product of its time but it still appears so incredibly timeless. "The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell" is the heaviest song from the album and actually the most straight forward rock song. But it still manages to sound so different. Bowie's vocals seem to come from a distant void. The guitars are melodic but not entirely harmonic. I am tempted to say that "The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell" is an experience, an acoustic voyage.
Monster Magnet have become quite a strong influence for me as a musician and especially for FOXMASK. You just can't escape these hypnotizing riffs. The first album by Monster Magnet I ever experienced was "Powertrip" from 1998. There are only hit songs on this record. Period. From the opener "Crop Circle" to the epic crowd-pleaser "Space Lord" to the surprisingly touching "Your Lies Become You". "3rd Eye Landslide" is a rock song. An incredibly cool rock song. The hook line is so rewarding, the song feels like a never ending chorus!
I have prepared playlists on YouTube and Spotify if you want to listen to these songs.