Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coloured Music

I'm getting confused – and bored – with recent bands having the word black in their name: Black Lips, Black Keys, Black Dice, Black Ghosts, Black Seeds, Black Velvet, Nine Black Alps, Dan Black. Is black the new black once again? White bands seem to pale by comparison: White Denim, White Lies and The White Stripes.

(Similar band names definitely seem to come in waves. During Britpop, bands were all one, usually short, word: Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Suede, Cast. Post-Britpop bands all seemed to be prefixed by The: The Libertines, The Rapture, The Strokes, The Bravey, The Knife, The Young Knives.)

Traditionally black has always been the cooler shade (it's not a colour) for bands: Black, Black Lace, Black Eyed Peas, Black Sabbath, Black Uhuru, Black Crowes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Flag, Frank Black (of The Pixies). The best white can come up is Whitesnake. And David Gray is sitting in the middle (in more ways than one).

What about other colours? There's Deep Purple, Blue, Pink, Silver Jews, King Crimson, Screaming Blue Messiahs, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Green Day, Orange Juice, Blue Oyster Cult, Cream, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Maroon 5, Tangerine Dream, Goldfrapp, Al Green.

Album titles use colour too to convey an emotion or feeling. Blue is big in jazz: Mile Davis' Kind of Blue, Coltrane's Blue Train. Jazz is a form of the Blues, a genre 'meaning melancholy and sadness'. I don't necessarily associate the colour blue with sadness. Why wasn't it called the greys instead? The term has stuck, though, and transcended music to be a common phrase, having the blues.

There's Black, Grey and White albums by Prince, Jay-Z and The Beatles respectively. And Back to Black, Black Ice and Back in Black (black a popular choice for heavy metal music). Other coloured albums include Music from the Big Pink, Purple Rain, Blonde on Blonde, White on Blonde, Red on Blonde, White Blood Cells and White Ladder...

Any others?

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Rhapsody in Blue – Gershwin
Mellow Gold – Beck