Modest Mussorgysky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” – the original Black Sabbath

 

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Although written nearly 150 years ago, Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” feels incredibly modern.   Mussorgsky composed the piece – about a witches’ Sabbath and Satan worship on St. John’s Eve – over 12 sleepless days in 1860, finishing on St. John’s Eve itself.  In a letter to Vladimir Nikolsky, he said of the work:

 “[I]t seethed within me so, and I simply didn’t know what was happening within me… I see in my wicked prank an independent Russian product, free from German profundity and routine… grown on our native fields and nurtured on Russian bread.”

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“Frankenstein” – John Entwistle’s monster bass

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The Who’s John Entwistle is considered by many to be the best bass player in the history of rock.  Of the many basses Entwistle played during his career, the the most interesting has to be the bass guitar known as “Frankenstein.”

Entwistle crafted Frankenstein in 1967 out of the remains of five smashed basses, using the body of a ‘65 Fender Precision bass with an original sunburst finish, (refinished in the mid ‘70s to Fiesta Red/salmon pink).  Other parts came from a Fender Jazz bass, and three dead Fender Precision basses with “slab” fret boards, which were only produced in 1962 and 1963.

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