This is a pretty much overlooked gem by The Association. Somewhere described as a "total pacific beach fantasy", that's exactly how the song sounds. With it's idealized lyrics, great vocal harmonies, lush strings and a very nice acoustic guitar solo you can almost feel a gentle pacific breeze, evoking a similar kind of "lost summer" mood Chad & Jeremy's "Distant Shores" provide (at least for me)...
To me, Everything But The Girl are one of the most memorable bands of the 80s and 90s. What always strikes me is how their sound evolved from jangly, jazzy-pop in the beginning to polished, rather slick sophisti-pop in the late 80s/early 90s to sample-heavy, drum & bass/trip-hop influenced, house-embracing electronica at the end of their recording history in the mid/late 90s. Despite the change in sound they always managed to capture a consistency in the feel of the music, always revolving around the same themes over the years, dripping with melancholia, unrequited love, self-pity, romantic disillusionment etc. "Two Star" is a delicate, yet emotionally bleak ballad. Acoustic in sound, with piano, double bass and a wonderful string arrangement by Harry Robinson plus some cor anglais embellishments by Kate St. John.
'Metal Warriors' is Manowar's call to arms, a joyous rallying cry to all the "Brothers of True Metal" of the world. Stand tall and proud, they implore, for the magic of the metal has brought you here. The power within each and every one unites them, and to exclusion of everybody else ("if you're not into metal, you are not my friend!"). Anyone that tries to suppress their might will be met with fearless defiance, "we don't turn down for anyone, we do just what we please!". And they live and die metal, and will not tolerate fakes and frauds and softies, "heavy metal, or no metal at all, wimps and posers, leave the hall!" rings out the epic chorus, "heavy metal, or no metal at all, wimps and posers… go on get out!"
So, anyway, put your reservations aside and head out into the streets to find this one, just this one*, awesome, thumping Manowar track. Spinal Tap were playing for laughs, this however, is frighteningly real.
*although 'Achilles, Agony, and Ecstasy in Eight Parts: Prelude/I. Hector Storms' their 30 minute interpretation of Homer's Iliad is certainly worth a listen.
An American tale with references to Brando, Dean and Natalie Wood, and characters like "Johnny the King". A series of melancholy snapshots of hope set to a jazz inflected soundtrack. Top-notch, both musically and lyrically.
With the companion piece (in my eyes, anyway) "Living It Up" (introducing us to "Eddie", "C***-finger Louie" & "Zero") which directly follows it on the album, it represents the pinnacle of Rickie Lee Jones career.
The rest of the "Pirates" album has its moments, such as the title track, as well as some less successful songs, and is well worth a listen if you get a chance.
I’ve listened to quite a lot of other stuff by Rickie Lee Jones and sadly it seems she has never come close to reaching the heights achieved by these two fine tracks, IMO.