Daily Dose: ‘Classical Gas’ by Mason Williams

Hi there. Been a while. This is the first day in about two weeks that I’ve been able to sit down at a compute (mostly) unbothered. It’s not my computer, but needs must, and I have a ton of free time over the next couple of days, so expect some serious output, starting with this banger.

Seriously, what a cracker of a tune this is! Lures you in with the slow British folk introduction (which sounds ace), and then goes full ham on us, launching into a classical rock/baroque pop journey of basically epic proportions. I want this music as my theme song, and I’m apparently not the only one, because I’ve seen chat that it was used for a bunch of sport and news programs back in the day. It’s from an album helpfully entitled The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, that came out in February 1968 (1968!) and won two Grammies. I’m going to have to listen to that album at some point, because if it kicks half as much tail as this tune does then I’ve found my new favourite album from the sixties. Okay, if goofy instrumental rock is not your thing then it might not be your favourite song ever, but if you listen to this track and do not conclude that it is at least a little bit fun and funky then I genuinely think there might be something wrong with you. I heard it on the radio and immediately had to stop what I was doing and seek out the name of the artist, because I was instantly hooked. Unsurprisingly, so were lots of other people, as it’s been covered and re-recorded a bundle of times, as well as appearing on some very well-known shows. Apparently, this all lead to the nonsense rumour that the song was originally composed by Eric Clapton. Yeah, right: Clapton can only wish that he’d come up with something as cool sounding as this. The best part? Mason Williams is still kicking about today, making lots of songs about rivers and generally being a top dude. Fantastic work, Mr Williams.

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