‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ is my least favourite Beatles’ song, and my nomination for Paul McCartney’s worst, most annoying composition ever (it’s a jaunty number about a homicidal maniac with a hammer in case you’re suffering from post-trauma memory loss since you last heard it). But anyway, that’s a debate that could just run and run (I’ll leave it to the BBC to compile the public’s top 100). Here’s not the place. But, BUT, this is musicaltaste.com, and there is one moment of utter sublimity, in that misery of a song, a moment of incredible transcendent beauty. That very last chord. The final chord is indescribable wonder (it’s a D I think). Every time I hear that I just feel like the dark clouds of evil have lifted, the ring has been destroyed, and everything is gonna be alright for me and the hobbits. I remember having a really vicious fight with my first wife and ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ came on the radio and when we heard that final chord we just stopped, looked at one another and we both knew that from then on everything would be alright forever.
from Abbey Road
25 Sep 05 ·Mike: Unfortunately MacCartney, responsible for (or at least connected with) some of the best recorded rock/pop has also written such a huge quantity of absolute dross that I can't agree that "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" comes anywhere near being his worst. Can anyone name more than about three tracks he's come up with since the 60s that aren't dreadful? 26 Sep 05 ·rum: Well you can ignore his solo work, pretend it's not there, but 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is on an otherwise sterling Beatles set. Maybe if either the 'Frog Chorus' or 'Silly Love Songs' were on there instead they'd steal the crown. No, no, that's not true, i hate this track so much because it's meant to be funny (Paul was always the unfunny Beatle, listen to those early press conferences). If you listen very carefully you can hear the other Beatles wincing and grimacing at Macca's 'comedy'. It makes it so painful to listen to. Unbearable. Still I'd stick my thumbs aloft for 'The Girl Is Mine', now that's funny.
Dionne's lil' sister, in contrast to her sibling's restrained niceties, proves what a gorgeous, wholesome howl she has in a track voluminous with vehemence and the hope of joy hereafter. Warwick travels effortlessly between poles of frustration and hope over the underdone orchestration (a compliment: if the backing was as heartfelt as Dee Dee we'd be wading into Celine Dion territory).
And, in the age of Eamon and his bleep-a-ramas, it's deeply satisfying to hear a word such as "damn" being expressed as if it were the nastiest expletive possible.
from the single That’s Not Love (Mercury 72927) available on CD - I Want To Be With You: The Mercury / Blue Rock Sessions (Hip-O)
Greatest instrument of this song is Marlena's voice and the story it tells about being a mother and getting along in ghetto. I haven't heard any as improvising singer than she is and I know there is not many as versatile as she is and that is the reason You need to get this song. During eight minutes that this song lasts you may find yourself singin' "I'm woman of the gheeetto...", even if you are not and you there may also raise urges to feed a baby. This is a warning.
This song goes to same category as Marvin Gaye´s and Curtis Mayfield´s political material, but what makes this different is that this song does it by the point of view of a woman. And lord that woman is strong one.
from Spice of Life (Cadet) available on CD - Blue Break Beats Volume Four (Blue Note)
I've been looking for a Japanese song with an late 60's/early 70's loungy, yet soulful and deep sound for a while. This song by Okumura Chiyo (Japanese name order, last name first) is the closest track I've been able to find yet. The title means love slave, the beginning lyrics translate something like, "from the day I met you, I've been your love slave, I want to wrap myself around your knee like a puppy..." This song is somewhere between traditional Japanese enka and soul similar to say Nancy Holloway for example. The Japanese instrumentation blends nicely with the bleeding bass and horns. If anyone knows of any other Japanese songs in a similar vein, I'd love to hear some more recommendations.
15 Oct 06 ·jojijoji88: Couple of tracks I can think of is Wada Akiko's "Doshaburino ameno naka" and Chiaki Naomi's "Ameni nureta bojou" Both have irresitable bluesie feel - Wada's tune is more brassy, Chiakis's more with organ and strings. They're both grrreat songs - Wada is powerfull and Chaiki is quite soulful. Please let me know if you find them - they are jewels!
great electronic effects-laden psychedelia from their 1969 album "an electric storm". a spooky and beautiful track with lots of echo and spacy non-melodic digressions. oddly, it stays quite coherent despite all the insane stuff going on in the background. Female singer, beautyful breathy voice, kind of a "nico light-" thing going on.
the track "firebird" from the same album is also highly recommended.
by the way, i´m pretty sure each member of broadcast have their own copy of this album. The song "marooned" on wire's 1978 album "chairs missing" shares some melodic qualities with this track. would probably sound great if mixed together..
(if you're interested in aquiring the whole album, it´s pretty hard to come by, at least in vinyl form. i think it's been reissued on cd by some obscure label, but as i only have a cd-r copy, i'm not sure. side a is very good, but from what i heard they ran out of studio time, forcing them to make side b a bit more...shall we say, "experimental" in order to make it lp lenghth...)
from an electric storm
31 Aug 05 ·standish: My dad's prog-rock friend brought this album over when my dad got his first proper stereo in 1972 and played us the scary side... These days, I love "Firebird" and "Here Come The Fleas". Quirky UK electronica by (BBC Radiophonic Workshop) Delia Derbyshire and David Vorhaus.