Thursday 08/29/2013 by jwelsh8

PHISHING POLL THURSDAY, VOL. 3

Back by popular demand this week: Phish content!

I'll preface this installment by outing myself as an unapologetic fan of The Phish Ballad. I love the band's approach to the song form over the decades. I love the punctuation they provide in the right context. And I love the way Phish's ballads show off the band's grasp of harmonic movement and dynamics.

We gave the staff here at Phish.net an opportunity to rank their favorite original Phish ballads across the breadth of the catalog, and below the fold you'll find our top 10. As usual, please feel free to add your own over at Ranker.com (instructions below the fold).

Phishing Poll Thursday, Vol. 3: Favorite Phish Ballad


Here are some versions for your listening pleasure, courtesy of Phish Tracks.

Lifeboy 10.18.94 (with Bela Fleck)
Roggae 06.20.10
Billy Breathes 10.29.96
If I Could 05.03.94 (with Alison Krauss)
Fast Enough For You 11.19.92 (with Gordon Stone)
Mountains In the Mist 08.09.10
Horn 07.16.93
Brian and Robert 10.06.00
Dirt 06.14.97
Sleeping Monkey 07.02.11

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Comments

, comment by Live_Eels
Live_Eels No Secret Smile??
, comment by bonbonagogo
bonbonagogo No SITM? Really?!?
, comment by bonbonagogo
bonbonagogo Or Strange Design?
, comment by morsemoose
morsemoose Surprised neither Strange Design or Wading made the list.
, comment by PersnicketyJim
PersnicketyJim I don't think Roggae should be considered a ballad. It's a half-time shuffle much like Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain." Incidentally, I dream of a Roggae -> Fool in the Rain segue.
, comment by jwelsh8
jwelsh8 I should note that you can add your own songs to the list by visiting the Ranker site:

http://www.ranker.com/list/phishing-poll-thursday-vol-3-favorite-phish-ballad/phishingpoll

As noted above, the "starter" list was the top ten as voted on by the staff. (I, for one, would agree if Strange Design was on the list.)
, comment by Fluffyfluffyhead
Fluffyfluffyhead Strange Design is on the list at #11. I'm kinda persnickety at times too and I love Roggae, especially this one> Roggae - Gorge 2011

Not your average Roggae, eh?
, comment by Shmendrick
Shmendrick Ahem...Where is Tela?
, comment by Prickly_Pete_2001
Prickly_Pete_2001 Waste that far down?
, comment by PeterJenningsLovedTheFish
PeterJenningsLovedTheFish I chose If I Could after seeing the performance Trey did with the LA Philharmonic
, comment by MiguelSanchez
MiguelSanchez Horn is a ballad?
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown To clarify, none of these songs fit the proper definition of ballad. Not one. It's a bastardized term whose misuse has swallowed its proper meaning. If you think Horn isn't a ballad or whatever other nitpick you may have then down rate it. Make sense?
, comment by TheLeprechaun
TheLeprechaun Seems that "Wading" is a pretty good example of a ballad. In my opinion.
, comment by Brandonclick77
Brandonclick77 Theme is a ballad I think! Nothing beats FEFY though...
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @bertoletdown said:
To clarify, none of these songs fit the proper definition of ballad. Not one. It's a bastardized term whose misuse has swallowed its proper meaning. If you think Horn isn't a ballad or whatever other nitpick you may have then down rate it. Make sense?
Seriously...I agree. Let's all stick to the list and not try to debate the definitions of which songs are ballads and which aren't. It's a list, like any list there will be omissions.

That being said....what about Joy?

Dog Faced Boy IS penultimate Phish ballad, if you're going to stay in the context of pure Phishiness. Second would be Horn, I think.

Last, how about Weigh? That's not a ballad either, so it qualifies, doesn't it?
, comment by PersnicketyJim
PersnicketyJim @bertoletdown said:
To clarify, none of these songs fit the proper definition of ballad. Not one. It's a bastardized term whose misuse has swallowed its proper meaning. If you think Horn isn't a ballad or whatever other nitpick you may have then down rate it. Make sense?
True, but little of what Phish does fits proper definitions. But ballad is more flexible than you imply, and most of these songs share the same widely recognized structure.

I'd say if you don't think Horn is a ballad then abstain. But that conundrum speaks to Ranker's inadequacies; for as much as I'm grateful for these polls and the work of @jwelsh8 et al, this system does not work well.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown Lots of you folks are recommending songs that are already on the list.
, comment by Justinthegroove
Justinthegroove Army of One and Let Me Lie get no love?
, comment by Phart_Door
Phart_Door I voted thumbs up for Bug (always love that one!), but it's definitely not a ballad.
, comment by TheLeprechaun
TheLeprechaun OH! And no BBFCFM?!? Geeze.
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox Had to give FEFY a thumbs down...but I love when they play it non-balladly (e.g., 10.05.00 at the end of Character Zero).

For my money:

If I could
Waste
Dirt
, comment by Land2reform
Land2reform Just glad I didn't have to rank Caspian 10th. Thanks for that
, comment by Land2reform
Land2reform 18th* I think the intro saying that the admins voted on the top 10 and then only seeing 10 songs (unless you actually scroll Over it) confused everyone
, comment by Ravinus
Ravinus FEFY
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @Land2reform said:
18th* I think the intro saying that the admins voted on the top 10 and then only seeing 10 songs (unless you actually scroll Over it) confused everyone
Kind of reeks of an electoral college, doesn't it?
, comment by scottocs
scottocs Not 1 vote for Farmhouse?
, comment by NickSalv
NickSalv I'm a real sucker for FEFY...

8/17/93 and 10/19/10 are personal favorites, both with very soulful Trey solos
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard Secret Smile became great early this month at the gorge. never cared for it before that one.
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard Summer of '89 was skipped as well.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @PersnicketyJim said:
@bertoletdown said:
To clarify, none of these songs fit the proper definition of ballad. Not one. It's a bastardized term whose misuse has swallowed its proper meaning. If you think Horn isn't a ballad or whatever other nitpick you may have then down rate it. Make sense?
True, but little of what Phish does fits proper definitions. But ballad is more flexible than you imply, and most of these songs share the same widely recognized structure.

I'd say if you don't think Horn is a ballad then abstain. But that conundrum speaks to Ranker's inadequacies; for as much as I'm grateful for these polls and the work of @jwelsh8 et al, this system does not work well.
Not sure what your specific quarrels are, but I think the tool is fascinating.

Sure, it's not statistically pure. It doesn't pretend to be. It's social, and it's fun, and it's certainly "directionally correct." Moreover, Clark and Elise and Ravi at Ranker are giving us a lot of TLC, and soon thanks to them we're gonna start to share some cross-tabs and analytics that I think you'll find fascinating, starting with what the first poll revealed. [HINT: There's no such thing as objectivity in a "best jams of summer" exercise.]

There's potential to actually learn something about our community through this feature, which I think is gold. Stay tuned.
, comment by Icculus
Icculus For anyone who gives a sht: every single purported "ballad" that has been mentioned in the comments above this "comment" was considered by the dozens of volunteers who run this site in coming up with the initial purported "top ten" above.

All that ultimately matters of course is what you believe Phish's "top" ballads to be.

That said, you're a deaf noob if you think Let Me Lie and Weird Design are worth a damn. They are turds nesting in a puddle of diarrhea vomit.
, comment by PersnicketyJim
PersnicketyJim @bertoletdown said:
Not sure what your specific quarrels are, but I think the tool is fascinating.

Sure, it's not statistically pure. It doesn't pretend to be. It's social, and it's fun, and it's certainly "directionally correct." Moreover, Clark and Elise and Ravi at Ranker are giving us a lot of TLC, and soon thanks to them we're gonna start to share some cross-tabs and analytics that I think you'll find fascinating, starting with what the first poll revealed. [HINT: There's no such thing as objectivity in a "best jams of summer" exercise.]

There's potential to actually learn something about our community through this feature, which I think is gold. Stay tuned.
I'm happy Ranker is here. I'd like to think that my feeble forum thread on polling expedited its appearance, but surely .net has been thinking about it for a while. I look forward to the hinted developments. I shouldn't have written that it doesn't work well; rather that it could work better. And I trust it will, thanks again to the team.

FWIW, I wonder what it would be like for users to submit their own top ten lists and let a simple program sort it out with weights, like college football polls, or something less corrupt. If, for example, I have Secret Smile at my number two, it seems counter-intuitive to simply up-vote it, whilst down-voting whatever's ahead of it, and then hoping for the best. Perhaps the aforementioned analytics will proove to be a Strange Design-loving "deaf noob" in this regard?

Finally, yes, best jam exercises lack objectivity, but a favorite jam, ballad, effect, tour, etc. would suffice. Staying tuned; I like where .net has gone and continues to go, thanks.

, comment by dogman
dogman How is Friday last?!?!?!?
, comment by B_Dub
B_Dub Mist will always be my go to slow Phish song, or ballad, if you want to call it that. But I can't believe Show of Life is not mentioned anywhere here.
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @dogman said:
How is Friday last?!?!?!?
I, too, am surprised we couldn't find a way to rank Friday lower than last.

;)
, comment by JahNuhDead
JahNuhDead Velvet Sea is the worst ballad...and typically placed in the worst spot in a show...second set. The song blows.

My vote is If I Could which they should play a hell of a lot more.
, comment by fspencer09
fspencer09 What in the world is wrong with Show of Life?! Some of my purest moments of enjoyment have been spent with this song. TAB it may be, it still gets my vote.
, comment by theothr1
theothr1 not that anyone gives a ccccrrap but my absolute favorite? "Lifeboy"...then "Tela", "Horn", "Strange Design" and "FEFY"
, comment by johnnyd
johnnyd @dogman said:
How is Friday last?!?!?!?
Because it is the worst phish song ever.
Objectively speaking, of course.
, comment by johnnyd
johnnyd @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@Land2reform said:
18th* I think the intro saying that the admins voted on the top 10 and then only seeing 10 songs (unless you actually scroll Over it) confused everyone
Kind of reeks of an electoral college, doesn't it?
I'd liken it more to Soviet-era Politburo politics.
, comment by newbornelph
newbornelph No Wading, but Roggae is on the list? Huh???
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman Up votes for Friday!

, comment by TheSilentTrees
TheSilentTrees I think, in this context, the term ballad refers to a song with a slow tempo. If you're complaining about a song not being on there... then stop complaining and just add the song. It takes about five seconds.

And, while it isn't a Phish original, honorable mention for "The Ballad Of Curtis Loew," which is, as far as I know, the only song Phish plays with the word ballad anywhere in it.
, comment by Lemuria
Lemuria @Icculus said:
...That said, you're a deaf noob if you think Let Me Lie and Weird Design are worth a damn. They are turds nesting in a puddle of diarrhea vomit.
"turd in a puddle..." seems to be a common phrase this week. it'll probably show up in a miley cyrus song.

btw, anyone else seeing selena gomez's upcoming tour? we're 15th row center in LA, baby! :)

(btw, thumbsdowning netters who take their kids to see lots of live music, is a diss on kids, music, and parents, thpfffft!)
, comment by Lemuria
Lemuria @fspencer09 said:
What in the world is wrong with Show of Life?!...
What's wet about the ocean?
, comment by Lemuria
Lemuria @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
...Kind of reeks of an electoral college, doesn't it?
A nominations committee kinda seems like the opposite of a representative body, doesn't it?
, comment by PersnicketyJim
PersnicketyJim @Lemuria said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
...Kind of reeks of an electoral college, doesn't it?
A nominations committee kinda seems like the opposite of a representative body, doesn't it?
So it's a Junta then?
, comment by westbrook
westbrook Lifeboy and Mountains in the Mist are my favorites.
, comment by EvilKingWilson9
EvilKingWilson9 The author has removed all of the text from their comment
, comment by EvilKingWilson9
EvilKingWilson9 Farmhouse and wading are perfect examples of phish ballads. (sorry about the empty post, my finger slipped) If I could is up there too.

-one more gamehendge performance, please-
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @JahNuhDead said:
Velvet Sea is the worst ballad...and typically placed in the worst spot in a show...second set. The song blows.

My vote is If I Could which they should play a hell of a lot more.
I both vehemently disagree and wholeheartedly agree with you, sir.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @johnnyd said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
@Land2reform said:
18th* I think the intro saying that the admins voted on the top 10 and then only seeing 10 songs (unless you actually scroll Over it) confused everyone
Kind of reeks of an electoral college, doesn't it?
I'd liken it more to Soviet-era Politburo politics.
Harsh, but curiously appropriate.
, comment by weekapaugrooven
weekapaugrooven Sleeping Monkey is a ballad? And Horn?

I just shot milk out of my nose.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @weekapaugrooven said:
Sleeping Monkey is a ballad? And Horn?

I just shot milk out of my nose.
I'd like Trey to sing Horn while shooting milk out of his nose. That would be novel.
, comment by parrott56
parrott56 Fee does not belong on this list. At all.

Also, while I was at least prepared for all the anti-Friday vitriol, I am shocked how low every single Round Room ballad is ranked. That the title track is ranked so low must mean either: (a) people don't know it because it's not really played anymore, or (b) people summarily dismiss everything 2.0 because of deaf/prejudice.
, comment by TheBlimpalot
TheBlimpalot Thunderhead? Any love for Thunderhead?
, comment by TheBlimpalot
TheBlimpalot There are ballads...and then there are power ballads that break the ballad barrier.

Arguably, with Phish, it's difficult to separate the them because often their deepest valleys become fathomless peaks.

Nonetheless, the top ten ballads (authored by Phish--no side projects) that really mellow me out and rock me in the arms of mother infinity's tender arms are: Secret Smile, Driver, Talk, Sleep, Thunderhead, Billy Breates, Fast Enough for You, Dog Faced Boy, and Train Song.

Top ten power ballads: If I Could, Lifeboy, Bittersweet Motel, Tela, Roggae, Bug, All of These Dream, Twenty Years Later, Waste, and Dirt.
, comment by tela2
tela2 Whoahhh Friday is at the bottom? Doesn't get a lot of positive attention because ...it's kinda slow and sad but definitely in my top 30 songs of all time. so epic.
, comment by bouncin7
bouncin7 During Fast Enough For You on 2/20/03 Rosemont, I stood next to Kuroda balling my brains out - absolutely caved by the song. Was just a few weeks prior I found out my son had autism. This list here is all subjective to personal experiences of course. My number two is without a doubt Swept Away. Wooooooo
, comment by lincolnfrog
lincolnfrog @Fluffyfluffyhead said:
Strange Design is on the list at #11. I'm kinda persnickety at times too and I love Roggae, especially this one> Roggae - Gorge 2011

Not your average Roggae, eh?
Yeah that one is wild. Big fan of Roggae over here and my favorite is Bill Graham SF 2012. Nobody talks about that one for some reason.
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