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26 of my favourites
All About Music
Member Name: radams
All About Music
Date: 10/07/04, updated on 10/07/04 (78 review reads)
Advantages: Brilliant songs
Disadvantages: Q and Z
a-z music challenge, courtesy of competition.man
~ the rules ~
1) use all the letters of the alphabet .
2) only one choice per letter , ie. no listing close seconds.
3) give reasons for your choices .
So here are my choices?
A) Air ? La femme d?argent
The first track on that wonderful atmospheric album, Moon Safari, it?s the ideal accompaniment to a lazy Sunday, a romantic evening ? just about any occasion in fact. This track manages to be kitsch 70s, modern dance-y and I?m still surprised that I love it so much!
B) Buena Vista Social Club ? Chan Chan.
The whole album, called ?Buena Vista Social Club? is, for me, pure perfection, and this, the opening track, is my favourite ? mellow, yet it makes me want to dance, catchy yet somehow relaxing. Ry Cooder brought the whole thing together, with this album, in 1997, and since then I?ve seen them live and also bought several of the offshoot albums (Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Ruben Gonzalez), all which I?d recommend.
C) Cyndi Lauper ? Time after time
Some of those poppy 80s tracks have turned out to be real classics, and this is one, in my view. Even Miles Davis has done a cover of it.
D) Dubstar ? Not so manic now.
This is one song that?s just stayed with me ? instantly a singalong success, but it?s never got on my nerves. One I usually do the ironing to, which, considering the subject matter, is quite funny really!
E) Elvis Costello ? Tiny steps
Not the most well know Elvis song, I know ? it was the B-side to ?Radio Radio?, and then appeared on the Girls Girls Girls compilation. I?d love to know what it?s about. As with many of his songs, especially the earlier ones, there?s a distinctly menacing feel.
F) Flirtations ? Nothing but a heartache
One of those songs from the KFC adverts that gets into your brain. It came out originally in 1969. Sort of a cross between the Martha
and the Vandellas, Phil Spector and Cilla Black. Strangely, it works.
G) Marvin Gaye ? Baby I?m glad that things worked out so well
Not his most famous song, I know, and one I only discovered recently. In my opinion neither Marvin Gaye nor Aretha Franklin ever really produce any bad, or even mediocre, songs, in their early years, but even so, this track, from the mid 60s, blew my mind when I first heard it. Why is it only available on the Lost and Found rarities album? Anyway, musically it?s upbeat, and lyrically it?s really quite sarcastic ? not something you got in that many soul songs around that time.
H) The Hives ? Hate to say I told you so
I was never into punk much, but second time around, why not? This one really gets me going. Headbanging, me? Well? almost. By all accounts their new album is something special, as well, so I?m looking forward to that.
I) Janis Ian - At seventeen.
I was younger than seventeen years old when this first came out, sometime in the mid 70?s, but I could identify with it completely. All that teenage angst, sung from the point of view of a supposed ?ugly duckling?. One of those songs I can sing the lyrics to, word for word, even now. Janis Ian is still touring and producing excellent new music, but this is a reminder of those early days.
J) Joni Mitchell - Carey
From the Blue album, which is one of my favourite of her albums, though I like them all. Her voice is sublime, though I know it?s not to everyone?s taste. No one can deny her songwriting is something else, though.
K) Carole King ? It?s too late.
The Tapestry album truly was my bedsit album ? the one I played through my late teens, and this is my favourite song from it. Another female singer songwriter... perhaps there?s a bit of a trend here.
L) Lenny Kravitz ? Let love rule
When I heard this single it was the first time I?d heard Lenny Kravitz, but I have to say I thought this song could e
asily have been something from the Beatles late in their career ? with a screaming McCartney-esque vocal, he managed to improve on the kind of sounds that Wings made.
M) Mull Historical Society ? Watching Xanadu
Very radio friendly, poppy, this was one of those songs that got into my head, after only a couple of listens - and it turned about the whole album was just as good. The MHS is really a man called Colin MacKintyre, but, yes, there really was, and still is, a Mull Historical Society
N) Nilsson ? Without you.
Still 30 years later, this song is very powerful for me. I think it will always be in my Desert Island list. It always makes me feel sad about the deaths of Pete Ham and Tom Evans, the writers. And the fact that Nilsson himself is no longer with us. But having said that, it?s an uplifting song in many ways.
O) Ozark Mountain Daredevils - Jackie blue
This was one of those country rock songs, released in the early 70s, which, was probably a bit dated at the time, but it had it all as far as I was concerned ? and it doesn?t sound bad nowadays, either, even the guitar solos.
P) Paul Simon ? Boy in a bubble
I?m a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel, but I also like how Paul Simon branched out and embraced world music. This one, is one of my favourites ? it just sounded so different from other things that were around at the time. And the video was pretty memorable too.
Q) Queen ? Somebody to love
Not my favourite band, generally speaking, but? well, there aren?t many that would fit under Q? and I do like this song, even bought it as a single when it was released.
R) Richard and Linda Thompson ? I want to see the bright lights tonight.
I was never much of a folk fan, and maybe this song wasn?t,strictly speaking, folk ? there was certainly a poppiness ? but what does genre matter if you like something? It features lovely harmonies, and even some brass (which, again, I shouldn?t ha
ve liked), and I love that like ?I need to spend some money and it just won?t wait?. The song for any shopping expedition.
S) Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ? You really got a hold on me
Such a simple song, in many ways, with superb lyrics (?I don?t like you/ but I love you? must be the best opening couplet ever), but it?s completely soulful, and can bring a tear to my eye whenever I hear it.
T) Temptations ? Ain?t too proud to beg
Sublime, sweet soul. It?s unbelievable that it only reached number 21 in the British chart, but we?re talking about 1966, when black music really was discriminated against ? the Temptations rarely got into the Top 20. At least nowadays songs like these are recognised as classics.
U) U2 ? It?s a beautiful day
I remember once being woken up by my radio alarm with this song. It really set me up for the day. Perfect timing by the radio station or what?
V) Frankie Valli ? You?re ready now
Solo single from the lead singer with the Four Seasons, mostly famous in the 60s. This song, though, became a bit of a Northern Soul hit in the early seventies. Perfect for bringing back those school disco memories.
W) White Stripes ? Fell in love with a girl
Like most of their stuff, it?s such a simple, stripped down song, but all the better for it. Raw music works best for raw emotion. And who would have thought that a line like ?it bears repeating? could sound so right in an indie rock song?
X) X Ray Spex ? Germ Free adolescents
A slightly more mellow moment from the punk band ? everything about Poly Styrene was such a breath of fresh air, the untrendy clothes and braces, the abrasive voice. But songs like this showed they could produce great music too.
Y) Neil Young ? After the goldrush
The band Prelude were the ones who got the hit record with this song, but I have a soft spot for Young?s original recording. His singing is an acquired taste? I mean, he
doesn?t really hit all the notes, but somehow it?s better that way. And those lyrics are nicely obscure ? ?silver space ships?? - so that you make up your own pictures in your head to explain what it could be about.
Z) Zager and Evans ? In the year 2525
Apocalyptic folksong, with plenty of strummed guitars and beards. I remember when this song was at number one, for weeks and weeks, in 1969 (yes I?m old enough to have been there, with my transistor radio!) ? and it got mighty tedious, I can tell you. But, listening to it now I kind of like it. And there wasn?t much else I could think of for the Z position.