Originally for this project, I wanted to create a mashup video much similar to ones I’ve done in the past. I was either going to do “Nocturne No. 2 in E flat Major, Op. 9,2” by Chopin playing over silent film scenes or “Elvis” by Lana Del Rey playing over Presley family home videos. Due to time constraints and having to layout an entire student publication by myself, I opted to create a “mixtape” of sorts.
My main purpose for this remix work was to showcase how sounds and artists of the past influence the works we listen to today. The odd numbered songs in the playlist were the songs of the “past” and the even numbered songs are pieces influenced by the song before it. I found that I was most successful in the lineup of the songs. I was inspired by Al Shipley’s article in Complex when he was describing people having to flip the cassette tape or vinyl record. The listener could take a break from the music and listen further later, if wanted. “Side A” of my mixtape (the first six songs) are more upbeat, whereas the songs on the B-Side are more mellow in tone and progressively get slower in bpm.
One of the difficulties I faced, though, was selecting the actual songs. There were two artists in particular I KNEW I wanted to feature on the playlist, and that was Fleetwood Mac and Lana Del Rey. The other artists I chose were artists I’ve previously listened to, but to create a connection between them all, I had to do a bit of research. The songs by FM and Del Rey I had to choose based on what artist and song they were paired with, which was also difficult. For example, I originally was going to have FM’s “Dreams” followed by the Dixie Chick cover of “Landslide,” as the final two songs on the playlist. I decided, though, that it would be much more fitting to end the playlist with Billie Eilish, who is the youngest out of all of the artists.
Most of my time on the playlist was spent actually listening to my options and my playlist from beginning to end, perfecting it. I also spent a bit of time researching who influenced who, which came mostly from interviews with the artists and music reviews. The beauty of the playlist, though, is that several of the older artists influenced more than one of the younger artists. For example, FM not only influenced Florence Welch, but also Lana Del Rey and Harry Styles. Lana Del Rey herself influenced Billie Eilish and worked with Stevie Nicks of FM, as well as Florence Welch. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles were also major influences for different members of FM. So, a lot of paths were crossed.
Many people from this generation will recognize the opening guitar chords of both “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones and “Do I Wanna Know?” by the Arctic Monkeys. It’s been noted by several music critics that the Arctic Monkeys sound is a modern take on The Rolling Stones, and eerily similar.
The most similar, though, out of all of these pairings are “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin and “Highway Tune” by modern rock band, Greta Van Fleet. Ever since they hit the main stream scene, comparisons have been drawn between Greta Van Fleet and Led Zeppelin. The band has admitted to being inspired by Led Zeppelin, with the main vocalist having a similar sound to Robert Plant.
Florence Welch’s stage persona has been compared to that of Stevie Nicks for years now. “It’s pretty much my favorite song of all time,” Welch said before performing a cover of “The Chain” at Glastonbury, “All of my heroes are in this band.” Welch has also covered “Silver Springs,” before as well.
“Ship to Wreck” has the same freeing energy and angst as “The Chain.” A match made in heaven, if you asked me.
As I mentioned before, the “B-side” of my mixtape takes a more mellow turn. Beginning with the iconic tune “Hotel California” by the Eagles, the beat is instantly recognizable and makes the listener interested. Harry Styles has been noted to attend several Eagles gigs and is listed as one of his greatest influences. Though “Sign of the Times” doesn’t have a memorable guitar solo like “Hotel California,” the lyrics are quite similar in their almost prophetic meanings. Both songs are about a journey of sorts, a type of “go forth” vibe.
Also mentioned before, Harry Styles was also greatly influenced by Fleetwood Mac, who he has performed with before. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album was the 1978 album of the year at the Grammy’s and stayed at number one on the Billboard 200 for 31 non-consecutive weeks, only being usurped once by Hotel California. In the ’70s, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles were known to be in a friendly competition. Lead vocalist, Stevie Nicks, has worked with all of the Eagles at some point during her career, and even dated a couple of them in her time.
“I think they were a defining moment in the rock n roll world that I love. You couldn’t really love the Eagles music and be an Eagles fan and actually know them and not aspire to greatness yourself,” said Nicks in an Eagles documentary.
As “Sign of the Times” ends, a more hopeful and recognizable tune begins to play. “Here Comes the Sun,” written at Eric Clapton’s house by George Harrison, is one of the most well-known Beatles songs. The song following it, “Tomorrow Never Came” by Lana Del Rey, actually references the Beatles and was a duet with John Lennon’s son, Sean. The song certainly alludes to the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” and is believed to be a sequel to it.
“And I could put on the radio/To our favorite song/Lennon and Yoko/We will play all day long/”Isn’t life crazy?”, I said/Now that I’m singing with Sean,” Lana croons in the bridge.
There is definitely a sense of nostalgia written within the song. Also featured on the Lust for Life album is “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems,” which Del Rey sings with Stevie Nicks.
Along with Lana Del Rey, The Neighbourhood is one of the younger influences on the playlist. Similar to “Tomorrow Never Came,” “Baby Came Home 2 / Valentines” is a sequel to one of their previously released works, “Baby Came Home.” The Neighbourhood has actually been known to work with Dey Rey, with an unofficial release of their song, “Daddy Issues,” having Del Rey on backing vocals.
Following “Baby Came Home 2” is “ocean eyes,” by Billie Eilish. The two songs have an ethereal and atmospheric sounds, with “ocean eyes” being the calmer of the two. The Neighbourhood’s album, Wiped Out, (which “Baby Came Home 2” appears on), is listed as one of Eilish’s most influential albums.
“It touches on a lot of different emotions at once,” said Eilish about Wiped Out.
Eilish also listed “Baby Came Home 2,” “Without You” by Lana Del Rey and “Something” by The Beatles as a few songs on her Valentine’s Day playlist.
As mentioned before, many paths are crossed as far as musical influences go, with influences seeming to go through time and space to inspire artists of the future. Showcasing this phenomena was my main goal with this playlist. You can listen to all of the songs on the Spotify playlist below.