Musical Explorations of Philosophyguru the Tao of Questy

Musical Explorations byTom Peracchio the Tao of QuestyI love music, all types of music. The definition of good music is very personal. Not only is music a very personal thing, is it something that can change with our moods, and surroundings.

When I am driving with the windows down on a hot summer day, only the loudest of hard rock will do. Winding down, thinking about the tasks at hand, a little smooth jazz does the trick.

With music such a subjective topic, it is easy to see how we sometimes limit ourselves to different genres of music, which keeps us from discovering new groups, new songs, and new sounds.

With the internet, I can quickly research artists, and sample new songs with every passing personal whim. Likewise, while driving, I can easily explore genres that I usually ignore, with services such as XM Radio. Spending my whole life in technology I sometime get frustrated that I work in the field, but I don't spend enough time enjoying technology myself. The one area that I do try to indulge in as much as I can, is using modern technology like XM Radio, and Napster, in the exploration of music.

The sweet spot of my personal tastes in music lies within the genre known as Progressive Rock. For those of you not into the definitions, this would be groups like Jethro Tull, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, and Kansas. Progressive Rock usually has more complex music than traditional rock and often uses concept albums to tell stories.

True Progressive Metal seems to get a bit lost in the shuffle. Not necessarily the wild head banging style of traditional heavy metal, but just a bit too wild for the usual Progressive Rock crowd. Like its close cousin Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal often uses concept albums to tell stories.

Listening to XM Radio stations like Deep Tracks, I learn more and more every day about artists I enjoyed back many years ago. Listening to some of the other classic rock stations, songs that were distant memories, are revived and refreshed in my consciousness.

I have a few stacks of old vinyl albums that I am slowly but surely going through and converting to digital formats. But everyday I am rediscovering artists that I only vaguely knew from back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Napster's library of songs is pretty amazing, it has grown quite a bit over the years. What's equally amazing, is not only how many of the classic rock tunes are available, but how many are being digitally remastered. The tunes sound great on the Sync system in the car. I would have never would have believed it a few years ago if you told me that I was going to buy a car with a "Powered by Microsoft" logo inside of it.

Maybe I am the exception to the norm, but the digital age has caused me to buy more music legitimately, not less. I'm sure many of these artists have already made their millions on these tunes, but out of respect to the musicians, I legitimately download the songs from Napster, through my monthly download allowance with my subscription. In some cases I'll use Napster to download a few tracks of an artist for my own mix of select classics. In a few cases, where I want more than a few tracks, I will search for the CD's to purchase.

Much like section on movies, and the philosophies they represent, my musical explorations are not meant to be a guide to any specific genre, but in the true spirit of this website, to draw attention to the topics, and provoke some thought.

The philosopher of today is not necessarily wearing a robe and sandals, but very possibly could be playing a guitar or a piano, as the social messages of our day are delivered through our music. The ballad is the vehicle of the modern day philosopher.

Progressive Rock

There are some things by their nature that are very subjective. For instance music is probably one of the most subjective topics I know. I love progressive rock. Some people will automatically say they hate that genre of music. My goal as a writer is not to confront you and say look Progrock is where it's at, and if you can't see that you must be an idiot. My goal as a writer is to get you to see why people in general like progressive rock.

This is my opinion, I love progressive rock. There's too much of this three guitars and a drummer crap out there calling itself rock and roll.

This is my story: Many people tired with the main stream three guitars and a drummer brand of rock music discovered the extended musical structures and intricate instrumental patterns and textures of the genre known as progressive rock. The often esoteric subject matter and frequent concept albums known to this genre created a new breed of rock music.

I'm not trying to get you to like progressive rock, just trying to help you understand why I like it.

So what's my point?

Yes, we all are biased in one way or another in what we believe. But that does not mean we can not present a logical and civil case for the basis of our beliefs. I am more than happy to talk to anyone about politics or religion, and enjoy hearing philosophical arguments. Where these conversations go bad is when A) it becomes personal in that my way is the only way and anyone who does not believe in my way must be an idiot or B) it becomes a sales pitch to convert you to my point of view.

Love Songs to Suit Your Mood

Love SongsAn Exploration of Love Themes Through the Eyes of Classic Rock

Combining the power of rock music and love, an exploration of love themes with suggestions for music to match your mood.

Planning a romantic evening?  Choose the love theme that best describes your love mood, and check out the suggested theme song for the evening. The songs are listed by title, recording artist, and year of release.

Feeling a Little Nostalgic

Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley, 1956: Starting with the roots of rock and roll, what would be more appropriate that a little bit of Elvis. A number one hit in 1956. this soft ballad from the early days of Elvis, is appropriate for a quiet moment alone.

Groovy Tie-Dye Love

Sunshine of your Love, Cream, 1968:  Cream were the British supergroup consisting of Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker. The tune is a psychedelic rock from the 1960s kind of love song.

Somebody To Love, Jefferson Airplane, 1967:  Just like everyone else was in the 60s, Jefferson Airplane was just looking for somebody to love.

Groovy love from the 60s is best served with incense. Peace!

Just Happy to Be in Love

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher, Jackie Wilson, 1967: A very upbeat tune first recorded by Rhythm and blues singer Jackie Wilson in 1967, and later recorded by pop star Rita Coolidge in 1977. Both versions did well, both charting in the top ten.

Keep On Loving You, REO Speedwagon, 1980:  A fairly successful song hitting number 1 in the US, and breaking into the top ten in the UK. While still considered a hard rock power ballad, REO Speedwagon is just a bit less loud than other power rock bands of the 80s.

Happy love songs fit in well at all types of gatherings.

Southern Fried Country Rock Love

Caught Up in You, 38 Special, 1982: Best known for the song "Hold On Loosely" 38 Special blends mainstream rock with their southern rock roots as is illustrated with the song "Caught Up in You." A great upbeat tune for a burgers and beer dinner for two.

Dream Lover, The Marshall Tucker Band, 1978: The Marshall Tucker Band of Spartanburg, South Carolina are a cornerstone of the Southern rock genre best known for "Heard It in a Love Song" released in 1977. "Dream Lover" is a good example of Southern Fried Country RocK and the quest for love, best served with fried chicken and beer.

A More Mellow kind of Love

The Best Of My Love, Eagles, 1974: A very laid back and mellow love song from one of the super groups of the 70s, this song topped the charts back in 1975. Suitable for soft candlelight dinner with some wine.

Love's Theme, Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, 1973: One of the few instrumental singles to reach number one on Billboard's Hot 100. How about an all instrumental tune, no words, just music, and let your love do the talking!

Proclaim your Love Loudly

I’ll Be There For You, Bon Jovi, 1988:  The song hit number 1 in the US, a heavy duty power ballad by the hard rocking hair band from New Jersey, featuring Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

Feel Like Makin' Love, Bad Company, 1975: A moderately successful song in the US and UK by British supergroup Bad Company, upbeat rock best played while dancing or during any other physical activity.

A Passionate Screaming Kind of Love

I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That), Meatloaf, 1993: Marvin Lee Aday, better know as Meatloaf. could sure belt out the passionate power ballad, as he does in this tune. This Jim Steinman song from the Bat Out of Hell II album was a hit all around the world.

Loving You's A Dirty Job But Somebody's Gotta Do It, Bonnie Tyler and Todd Rundgren, 1986:  Written by Jim Steinman, the same writer as many of Meatloaf's hit, this song features the raspy voiced Bonnie Tyler best known for power ballad Total Eclipse Of The Heart teaming up with rocker Todd Rundgren on this over the top power ballad.  This song never made it big in the United States, had some moderate success in Europe.

Screaming kind of love songs are suitable for slamming down some beers and playing pool with your significant other.

Confused about love?

Is This Love, Whitesnake, 1987:  Performed by English rock band Whitesnake, was one of the biggest hits in 1988. 

I Want To Know What Love Is, Foreigner 1984: Recorded by the British-American rock band Foreigner. The song hit #1 in both the UK and the U.S

These songs dare to ask the tough questions trying to understand love. Both are high energy power ballads.  If prolonged exposure to either song does nothing for your love life, you may need to seek professional help.

I'm Not Sure Who I Love

We've Got Tonight, Bob Seger, 1978:  More like a "Hey you're not doing anything else why not a one night stand" song than a love song, but Bob Seger is the master of the power ballad, how can you resist this one. If you don't have someone special already lined up, this song might be appropriate for you!

Explore and Enjoy

If some of these songs are before your time, take the time to check them out, create your own music mix.  Support the intellectual property of musicians by downloading these songs legally from you favorite online music service.

Love Songs of Angry Emotions and Relationship Problems

Angry Love SongsAn Exploration of Less Than Perfect Love Through the Eyes of Classic Rock

Combining the power of rock music and love, an exploration of less than perfect love through the eyes of classic rock music, noting that not every love story has a happy ending. 

Love is the strongest of emotions. This exploration of less than perfect love through the eyes of classic rock music exposes the roller coaster of emotions with relationship problems, and reminds us that not every love story has a happy ending. The songs are listed by title, recording artist, and year of release.

Starting Off Nostalgic

Suspicious Minds, Elvis Presley, 1969:  Any collection of songs mentioning rock and roll, and love, needs to include something by the king, Elvis Presley. Suspicious Minds is about a dysfunctional relationship on the verge of a break up. The song would be Elvis's last hit of his career to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mellow Songs of Abnormal Relationships

Lyin' Eyes, Eagles, 1975:  The Eagles as group found a way to to create hits that blend a perfect mix of pop, rock, and country.  This
song of less than perfect love, reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number eight on the country charts, received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Group, and was also nominated for Record of the Year.

When Will I Be Loved, The Everly Brothers, 1960: Being lied to and mistreated made this song a hit in two different decades. Written by Phil Everly, "When Will I Be Loved" was hit single for the Everly Brothers in the summer of 1960.  

"When Will I Be Loved" was released as a single by rock recording artist Linda Ronstadt in 1975.  Much like the Eagles, Ronstadt had a way to blend the sounds of pop, rock, and country to create hits.  Her version of the song went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and charted at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles.

The Angry Lover

Love is a strong emotion, so it stands to reason that when love goes wrong, a lot of anger follows. There are so many songs about anger and love, that coming up with a short list to represent this category was not easy.  This group of hard rock ballads cry out, and scream out, love angst.

Cold As Ice, Foreigner, 1977: When love goes bad, angry name calling and bitterness will follow, as expressed in this hit by  British-American rock band Foreigner.  Reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, this is one of the best know songs by Foreigner

You Give Love A Bad Name, Bon Jovi, 1986:  This heavy ballad about a angry past love, was a number one hit by the hard rocking boys from New Jersey. In 2009 it was named the 20th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.

I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, 1988: A hard rock band from the Philly area, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, drive a heavy beat in the ballad about a angry past love. The song reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Football fans may recognize the reworked version of the song as the opening theme for NBC's Sunday Night Football series

Lamenting Lost Love

Look Away, Chicago, 1988: The song is a very upbeat and lively tune, and when the song was popular many sang it as a happy song.  When listening to the song pay attention to the words, the guy is telling his former love, do not look at me if you see me on the streets because I am so torn up over losing you. Listen closely and hear hear the severe pain of a lost love.  The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in December 1988.

Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone), Cinderella, 1988:  Cinderella is best known as a heavy metal band from Philly, yet their biggest hit was this slow power ballad peaking at number 12 on the charts in November 1988. Another song about a lost love, and a person pondering what when wrong.

Explore and Enjoy

Anytime you come up with a short list of songs to represent a theme there are always songs that someone will feel were left off.

Hopefully this list will get you thinking, and singing, about less than perfect love through the eyes of classic rock music. Support the intellectual property of musicians by downloading these songs legally from your favorite online music service.


Music, Murder, and Mysteries: Tupac Shakur

Murder Mysteries and Tupac Alive Rumors Surround the Life and Death of a Music Legend

Whether you like Hip Hop music or not, the life and death of Tupac Shakur is an interesting story.   His internet legacy lives on with endless speculation that he faked his death, perhaps due in part to the several platinum albums released after his death.

A Life of Legal Issues and Violence

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan, New York City on June 16, 1971. Throughout his life Tupac was associated with numerous criminal acts and legal issues.

In November 1994, the day before Tupac was to hear the verdict in a sexual abuse trial, he was shot five times and robbed after entering the lobby of a recording studio in Manhattan. Tupac accused rapper Biggie Smalls for having a part of the incident.

A day later Tupac was found guilty of three sexual crimes. He would eventually serve eleven months in prison for the crimes.

Much like the life he lived, he would die in an act of violence. On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur attended a Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas. Later in the night after the boxing match, another fight broke out between Tupac and his crew, and members of a rival gang. Later that same night a car that pulled up to Tupac's vehicle would fire a gun into the vehicle hitting Tupac four times.

Tupac died at University Medical Center in Las Vegas on the afternoon of September 13, 1996, from complications and internal bleeding from the gun shot wounds. Adding fuel to all the conspiracy theories surrounding his death is the report that Tupac's body was cremated within 24 hours of his death.

His Internet Legacy Lives On

Tupac's success in music is quite impressive, with four albums released before his death gone platinum, and eight more released after his death going platinum as well. The tremendous success of albums released after after his death, and endless speculation surrounding his death, has fueled countless websites and online conspiracy theories that Tupac faked his death.

Speculation of whether Tupac is still alive was preyed upon recently up by the group of hackers that calls themselves LulzSec, as they hacked the PBS website and claimed Tupac Shakur was not dead, but was actually alive and well and well living in New Zealand.

Mysteries in Life as in Death

On June 15, 2011, a day before what would have been Tupac's fortieth birthday, a prison inmate admitted to the 1994 shooting of Tupac.

The crime of Tupac's murder in 1996 has never been solved.

The person who Tupac implicated in his 1994 shooting, Biggie Smalls, would also die much the same way Tupac did. Biggie was shot dead, a victim of four gun shot wounds, March 9, 1997. His murder also remains a mystery.

 As with any artist that dies in the prime of their career, their status becomes more legendary over time. In the case of Tupac, his legendary status includes a variety of mysteries as well.