In-depth student playlist: Daniel Burgess ’18
Daniel Burgess recommends five different songs with his stories behind them.
February 20, 2017
Daniel Burgess ’18 is known around school for his musical abilities in violin, piano and guitar. As a musician, Burgess listens to a variety of music. Although some of his favorites are more recent, many of the songs that he enjoys are older. The following songs are some of his recommendations.
“Limelight” by Rush
While listening to the radio, Burgess discovered “Limelight” by the band Rush.
“I personally really like the chorus. The intro and the verse are very hard rock, fake distortion and intense,” Burgess said. “In the chorus, it really opens up into this wide external divide. The transition and the dichotomy between the two moods of the song is very cool.”
The song is about them coping with fame and living in the limelight. Burgess describes this songs as having a very good balance of melody and technical skill work.
“Rush is definitely one of the most technically skilled bands in rock and roll. This level of musicianship is close to what one might expect from jazz musicians, [rather] than rock musicians. That’s always impressive,” Burgess said.
This song was found on a classic rock station. To hear more songs like this one, Burgess recommends listening to 105.7 FM.
“Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin
Burgess’s interest in Led Zeppelin is one of the many musical influences that came from his dad. From a very young age, his dad has been his advocate for music. His dad also helped Burgess with his musical choices.
“He grew up in the 70s and 80s and has great taste in music. Some has rubbed off on me, either directly or indirectly,” Burgess said.
In 1969, Led Zeppelin released the song “Ramble On.” Burgess takes this song’s meaning as a call for adventure.
“This is the time to get out, “take my life into my own hands” type of things. [And by that, I mean] finding yourself or finding someone else, whatever you are looking for,” Burgess said.
The vibe of “Ramble on” is mystical and surreal.
“If you are searching for something and need some inspiration, it’s definitely a good one to check out,” Burgess said.
“What About Me” by Snarky Puppy
Snarky Puppy is classified as jazz, but Burgess thinks of them as more than that. He finds them very innovative in their take on the genre.
“They are combining the sound of today’s youth with the sounds of the 50s and 60s. It’s jazz fusion, but it’s fusion an another level,” Burgess said.
“What About Me?” was released in 2014. He praises them for mastering their instruments very well with top of the line music writing and musicianship skills.
Snarky Puppy has had several number ones on Billboard’s jazz albums, and two songs on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. Burgess listens to them on Spotify, but also encourages watching their live performances on YouTube.
“It’s still [the kind of] music [that] you can grasp what’s going on. Experience something that is not really on the radio and not very conventional,” Burgess said.
“Dani California” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Burgess found “Dani California” on accident while listening to the entire Red Hot Chili Peppers album.
“I think they [spent] about 20 years shirtless, and have a lot of live antics that they do. They are kind of out there, but it’s all in good fun,” Burgess said.
Burgess recommends this song for many reasons, including the musicianship and the lyrics.
“It’s not a song you can listen to once and get everything. [There are] different layers and things to pick out if you listen to it multiple times,” he said.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers have been nominated for many Grammys and MTV awards, and have won a Grammy for Best Rock Song for “Dani California.”
“Time” by Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd is a band that has been around since 1966. Burgess admires Pink Floyd’s guitarist, David Gilmour, specifically his solo in “Time.”
“What a guitar solo…[I have tried to play “Time”] a few times, but David Gilmour is a very good guitarist,” Burgess said. “I can play this one, I think. I hope.”
The style of the song is more than just the guitar solo. The lyrics explore the problems that humans have with time. Burgess describes them as expressing these problems with “impressive accuracy.”
Burgess describes the song itself as mystical and easy to get lost in. He also states that Pink Floyd is innovative and unconventional.
“It would stick out if it [was released] today, but if you think about it coming out  some years ago, that’s quite incredible,” Burgess said.