Friday, July 27, 2012

Ten songs - Debut edition

Today we present "Ten Songs". I'm putting iTunes on shuffle mode to see what comes up. No skipping, just running commentary.

Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko (Ferry Corsten Mix): About five years ago this song was all over the place, featured in many ads and, I believe, was a free Apple iTunes download at some point. I've always liked the song (full disclosure: I have four different versions of this song in my music collection) and hoped Shiny Toy Guns would do more. They haven't exactly lit up the world. I think the best they ever mustered was a cover of Peter Schilling's Major Tom for a Lincoln ad:

Sennen - A Little High: Hmm... the first I've heard of this one. This came off a compilation I had from the now defunct "The Word" magazine from April 2010. Nothing special and a little generic. At least I get to edit collection thanks to this exercise.

The Travelling Wilburys - Heading for the Light: This will be news to most of my readers, but I have an irrational and unhealthy distain for Jeff Lynne. Anything he puts his hairy fingerprints on sounds like bad ELO. He does it to his own work, to artists like The Beatles and The Traveling Wilbury's of which, to me, he's the weakest link. And yes, I don't care if we was the producer, everything he touches sounds like ELO. It bugs the crap out of me. Why do I own this song, you ask? Because, thankfully, I'm able to recognize good music despite my bias. Hell, the band has Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison in it. That's some serious heavyweight talent in one band! My second gripe about The Wilbury's aside from Mr. Hairy's ELO-ness of it? The first Wilbury album is only 37 minutes long. What band in the post-vinyl era puts out an album under 45 minutes?!?! I blame Jeff Lynne.

Madness - On the Town: Oh, I'm glad this came on. I'm always happy to shine some light on Madness music that isn't Our House. Madness, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated bands on this side of the Atlantic. They've had an amazing career and have put together a fantastic songbook. It amazes me that they didn't have a solid following in the US. This song appears on the album The Liberty of Norton Folgate, which may be their best album...and they issued it in, wait for it, 2009. Yes, they're still making music...great music. Don't believe me? Hey you, don't watch that, watch this:

NW5 appears on Norton Folgate. Buy it, listen to it and thank me later.

Duran Duran - Secret Oktober: It was an inevitable that a Duran Duran song would pop up for this. You're lucky, it's one of their better ones. Oktober was the B-side (remember those?) for Union of the Snake. Why they didn't include it on their album at the time, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, is beyond me, but it's one Duran's best dark tunes. They even whip it out for live shows every now and then:

It's an old clip, but you can definitely see The Doors influence Simon's wearing on his sleeve here.

Berlin - No More Words (Re-Recorded/Remastered): Nothing screams "I'm having record company issues" more than when a band re-records their back catalog. This is what we have here. Berlin (actually Terri Nunn) has kicked around the music industry a long time, and I suspect they got screwed out of some royalties, which resulted in this recording. This version is true to the orginal, and you'd be fine owning this version. In fact, if Terri's getting more money for this version than the orginal, snap this version up. She's a tour de force live. Besides, don't you want to own a song by someone who auditioned for Princess Leia? (And yes, I know I've shown this before but it's worth airing out again)

The Crickets - I Fought the Law: While not the most famous version of this song, this is the first version of it. It's interesting to hear that even in its earliest and most basic form, it's a rock classic.

Melody Gardot - Your Heart is as Black as Night: I'm not sure why I have this song. According to iTunes, I added it to my collection in 2010. It's a bit Shirley Bassey meets Amy Winehouse-ish. Lyrically, it sounds like something that could have been used in the Grinch cartoon, so it has that going for it.

Lewis & Clarke - Changes: A Bowie cover, from an incredibly mediocre collection of Bowie covers...present company very much included. This is a lounge-meets-folky version of Changes. The only reason I bought this was for Duran Duran's cover of Boys Keep Swinging. David Bowie deserves better.

Adam Ant - Wonderful: You already heard me prattle on about this song (or at least this album here), but it's worth repeating. Adam did a great job of reinventing himself with this album. It's more accoustic than what we're used to hear from him and it proves the guy knows how to write a song. It's worth mentioning that my wife hates this song, so it usually gets the immediate skip when it comes on.

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