Joy

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon was on the record charts for nearly 294 weeks. That spanned a period of time from 1973 to 1979. The album lingered in the charts in the US until 1986 due to the introduction of new technology ( the CD ). In that time, it has sold an estimated 23 million copies. It is considered one of the classic rock albums of all time and definitely holds the record for endurance.

Now, let’s put it in another perspective.

Martin Janus wrote the words to “bleib­et meine Freude, mein­es Herz­ens Trost und Saft” in 1661. In 1723 Johann Sebastian Bach put a score to those words as the finale of his “Can­ta­ta 147″. The combination became known as a song called Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The score is still played today at countless weddings and other celebrations. Although the rights to the song were lost a long, long, long time ago, and although the “album” is no longer on the charts, it is more popular today than Dark Side of the Moon. If Billboard tracked it’s play time, it would definitely beat out most songs today. The life span of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” would therefore be about 14,612 weeks. You don’t see MTV or VH1 touting it in the same league. They can’t, they don’t want to reveal exactly how shallow the pop industry is. “Greatest song of all time”? It ain’t Stairway To Heaven. For Stairway to Heaven to even begin to compete, it would have to be popular in the year 2251. And that’s only assuming “Jesu” is forgotten soon, which won’t happen as long as I’m alive.

In 1972, a studio band called Apollo 100 redid “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” into a peppy tech jig they called Joy. That was right about the time I was learning to play piano. My teacher wanted me to learn Bach’s version, I couldn’t keep my mind off the Apollo 100 version. For my recital, I started with the Cantata 147, but when it led into the “Jesu” chorus, I switched to the Apollo 100 version. It was a major hit. I can still play the Apollo 100 version, I doubt I can play the Bach version.

I have loved the Apollo 100 version since 1972. Along with the influence of David Bowie, I consider it probably one of the most influential impressions on my musical youth. What I have done now is take my love of “Joy” to the next level, it’s 21st version now. There was only so much Apollo 100 could do with it in 1972. One person, with a computer and some cheap equipment can do a lot more, more easily. You don’t have to be a professional any more to make songs the way you want to hear it. Here’s my proof.

Enjoy, and remember, I only do this for fun!