I’ve been devouring music as long as I can remember. Early memories include roller-skating in my basement while listening to Blondie and the Village People, then my first job DJing at Lloyd’s Recreation, a roller rink in Calgary, Canada. It was there I really expanded my musical knowledge, becoming acquainted with funk classics like Double Dutch Bus by Frankie Smith to rockers like This Flight Tonight by Nazareth and everything in between.
Then I moved to Thailand in 1999, stopped listening to the radio, got older and gradually became unaware of ‘hot’ new songs and artists. Over the years I found myself relying more and more on established classics and discovering less and less music. Something had to change.
In 2014 I reached out to two of my best friends, Darren Scott and Greg Jorgensen, and pitched the idea of forming a musical collective that would focus on a different album each month. They were game, we bantered around ideas for how it would work, gave it a name – The Sonic Collective – and came up with the following manifesto:
The Group’s intention is to share and listen in depth to an album of significant importance (to be deemed by the selector) on a monthly basis. Members will submit post-listening comments, which will be shared with all members in an agreed upon format/time frame.
Selections shall fit the following criteria:
- Work is at least 5 years old (based on original release date)
- Can be of any genre
- Has to be an original album (no greatest hits, soundtracks or compilations; can be a soundtrack if it’s entirely original material, composed and compiled for this purpose – eg. Saturday Night Fever)
- Be available for purchase/acquirable to all members
Three members didn’t seem like enough so Darren’s friend Alain Dupuis was added and we were off. Darren had the first pick, Fela Kuti’s Zombie. Reactions were mixed, but it was an ideal start to the Collective. Selections aren’t intended to be ‘the best’ or ones that ‘wow’ every member each month. Rather, it’s an opportunity to broaden musical horizons, push our established tastes and learn about music. After about a year we added a fifth member, Scott Gregory (two Scotts in a group is a bit much??), also Darren’s friend and we’ve been humming along as a happy five-some since.
As we approach two years making picks and sharing music as The Sonic Collective, I thought it time to compile a Greatest Hits of sorts from albums selected thus far. Each member has made four album selections to date (Scott G two as he joined late) and I asked each of them to select six songs from their picks that they enjoy most, with at least one song chosen from each album (Scott G got three picks). Following are their selections, in order of who picks.
Thank you very much gentlemen for being a part of this musical journey, which has been adding melodic depth to my life every month. I hope you enjoy being part of the Collective even half as much as I do. To many more musical discoveries and journeys to come!
- Zombie – Fela Kuti, Zombie
- Fountain – PJ Harvey, Dry
- Sheela-Na-Gig – PJ Harvey, Dry
- Dry the Rain – The Beta Band, The Three EP’s
- Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band – Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band
- With a Little Help from My Friends – Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band
- Surrender – Cheap Trick, Heaven Tonight
- Stiff Competition – Cheap Trick, Heaven Tonight
- Here Comes Your Man – Pixies, Doolittle
- Ace of Spades – Motorhead, Ace of Spades
- Living For the City – Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
- Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
- Terrible Lie – NIN, Pretty Hate Machine
- Down in it – NIN, Pretty Hate Machine
- Autobahn – Kraftwerk, Autobahn
- The Day the N****s Took Over – Dr. Dre, The Chronic
- Lyrical Gangbang – Dr. Dre, The Chronic
- Space Oddity – David Bowie, Space Oddity
- Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf, Bat Out of Hell
- Map of the Problematique – Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
- I Can Dream – Skunk Anansie, Paranoid and Sunburnt
- Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual
- All Revved Up and No Place to Go – Meatloaf, Bat Out of Hell
- Weak – Skunk Anansie, Paranoid and Sunburnt
- Back in Black – AC/DC, Back in Black
- You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC, Back in Black
- Before You – Chantal Kreviazuk – Colour Moving and Still