It seems Sierra may well be on her way to a full album. Our daughter has turned into a prolific artist, churning out yet another soon-to-be hit, “Tour de France,” clearly inspired in much the same way Queen‘s Freddy Mercury was inspired to write “Bicycle Race.” Considering it was released during Bernard Hinault‘s reign of the Tour, I’m not surprised the race served as a muse for Freddie and the crew. They churned this beautiful hit along with a bunch of other classic tracks on their album Jazz which included every genre but its namesake.
Freddie, however, wasn’t the only muscian inspired by bicycles. A notable example is Pink Floyd‘s “Bike” from the equally eclectic, but also experimental and entirely epic Piper at the Gates of Dawn album. Because it was released just before Eddy Merckx dominated the Tour, it lacks the passion of Queen’s song, but it makes up for it with charming British humor and extreme psychadelia in a way only Syd Barrett could do. Interestingly Syd was found riding his bike nearly 35 years after the release of the song, but shortly before he sadly went the way of Freddie and passed away.
Happily, though, all of the bike inspired musicians haven’t died. German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk had to postpone the release of their Tour de France Soundtracks for a decade or two thanks to cycling, but they’re still alive. These same people who brought us “Trans-Europe Express,” “Radioactivity,” “Pocket Calculator,” and other indicators of a technologically advanced modern era, were into archaic technology: the bicycle. In fact, they were obsessed with them. They had their own cycling club. What eventually led to the shelving of their plan to release a whole bike-inspired album was a rather traumatic crash from leader Ralf Hütter. Luckily he’s recovered and with him has recovered one of the greatest musicians in electronic music ever. Lynette even secured proof in Seattle, 2004.
There are many more intersections of bicycles and music, though. Click those iTunes links above, enjoy some of the highlights, and can we get those singing lessons so Sierra added to the list!