Last night’s regularly scheduled Masters spin class did not happen as I (and HRH) chose instead to volunteer at a local Christmas dinner for, well, let’s just say for those who could really use a bit of Christmas cheer right about now. Hey, sometimes there are things more important than my workouts, and participating in and giving back to the community in which I am lucky to live and train is something that’s important to me. I’m confident the good karma I earned this evening will come back in spades on a not-so-distant future run, ride or swim when I really need that little extra motivation, so let’s call it an investment in my good training karma, shall we? Having said that, I have a little catching up to do today so to motivate today’s workout I dragged out another old favorite from my collection, the unique and remarkable ‘K’ album by Kula Shaker.
Born from the ashes of the Post-Britpop era of the 90’s, this English psychedelic rock band enjoyed success for approximately three years, before slipping back into the chasm from which they first magically appeared like some sort of musical mirage. Drawing influences from traditional Indian music (including sitar, table, and tamboura), culture (the band name itself was itself inspired by King Kulasekhara, an Indian emperor from the 8th century ) and mysticism (many of the song lyrics are in Sanskrit) as much as from popular 60’s jam bands like the Grateful Dead, this debut album released in 1996 produced no fewer than three hits (‘Tattava’, ‘Hey Dude’ and ‘Govinda’) and became the fastest selling debut album in Britain reaching the #1 position in the UK charts, while stalling in America at #200 in the Billboard charts. Go figure.
Anyway, The cover art (by comic-book artist Dave Gibbons) consists of various images related to the letter K, including: John F. Kennedy, Lord Kitchener, Karl Marx, Gene Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, Ken Dodd, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Danny Kaye, Kal-El (Superman), Boris Karloff (as Frankenstein’s monster), Krishna, King Kong, Martin Luther King, Jr., 2 Knights (a pair of Keys on one of them), a Kettle, Kali, the Kaiser, Nikita Khrushchev, Grace Kelly, the number 11 (symbolizing K) and Rudyard Kipling’s book ‘Kim’. That’s a shitload to both think about and be inspired by through a difficult 60 minute interval spin, wouldn’t you say?
In 1998 ‘K’ was listed at #44 on Q Magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Albums of All-Time’ list and, in 2011, the album once again made it onto their list of the ‘250 Greatest Albums of All Time’.