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You searched for ‘Dark’, which matched 155 songs.
click - person recommending, year, performer, songtitle - to see more recommendations.
"volicie"  performed by edward ka-spel  1984
Recommended by kohl [profile]

instrumental track that makes you (well, at least me) think of water, needles, darkness, and voices inside your head. all at the same time.


available on CD - Perhaps We'll Only See a Thin Blue Line...


16 Toneladas (Sixteen Tons)  performed by Noriel Vilela  1971
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

This, friends, is the swingingest and most bizarre version of this chestnut you will ever hear. Having recently left the Cantores De Ebano (Ebony Singers), sort of a 60s Brazilian version of Sounds Of Blackness, Noriel Vilela, possessor of an impossibly deep, rumbling basso profundo capable of blowing your speakers, embarked on a brief yet fondly-remembered solo career. This witty reworking of the Tennessee Ernie Ford original replaces the country-western-pop of the original with a rollicking samba-rock rhythm and Portuguese lyrics extolling how much fun samba is, sung by a voice from deep in the crypt that swings like crazy. It stops everybody who hears it dead in their tracks and is the guaranteed highlight of any party. What Messrs. Ford and Travis would have made of it is anybody's guess, but this version refuses to die, having recently become a hit in Brazil all over again, 30 years after its first release. I've heard many, many versions of "Sixteen Tons," but believe me, this one truly runs away with the prize!!

from 7 (Copacabana)
available on CD - Samba Rock (Compilation)




  konsu: I stand corrected. It's just a matter of getting in line for some of this stuff , ya'know? Soo much music, so little time...sigh...
  Festy: São Paulo group "Funk Como Le Gusta" have a wonderful version of this also from their 1999 album "Roda de Funk". It's in the same style that Noriel Vilela did, but tighter.
  sodapop650: If you get a chance - try and track down a copy of Juarez Sant'ana's first LP it has a super-cool version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" to complete the bizarre brazilian western covers.
3 libras  performed by a perfect circle
Recommended by eggplantia5 [profile]

a beautiful, haunting, disturbing song. maynard's voice just does something that twists up my heart every time i hear the song. this is one of the songs i can put on repeat and just completely let swallow me whole. it's perfect for a dark mood.




Abaddon  performed by GPKISM  2009
Recommended by shakebear [profile]

Abaddon is just beautiful; the lyrics are pure poetry, GPK's voice is gorgeous and soothing, and all of the instruments fit together perfectly.

from Atheos (Darkest Labyrinth)


Angelica  performed by Scott Walker  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A quintessential Scott track, recorded when he was at peak of his abilities. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground over Scott Walker - people seem to either love him or hate him. I don't really understand how anyone could not be charmed by Scott - sure, he's a crooner and the music backing him is often lush and is rarely 'hip'. But the voice! The words! I've never been really big on either vocalists or lyrics, but these really, really get to me. Angelica's verse is dark and melancholic, and the words speak of regret over a neglected lover. The chorus explodes with emotion, and at this point you should be able to figure out one way or the other whether you love Scott or not. n.b. I always thought this song was composed by Scott, but I was mistaken. As well as being a great songwriter, he had superb taste in other material.

from Scott, available on CD ()



As You Are  performed by Travis  1999
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Hardly the first successful song to take its musical inspiration from a Beatles number. I would choose to listen to it over "Across the Universe" almost every time.

from The Man Who, available on CD


At Once You Fall In Love  performed by Birgit Lystager  1970
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Birgit Lystager is incredible, a Danish cross between Astrud Gilberto and Karen Carpenter with really artily written and composed pop songs. It's hard to choose just one tune from this magnificent and scarce album, but I'm often unable to get that "Eyes and hair and legs, oh what a sight/She's a flash of light in darkest night...." chorus out of my head for days at a time. To the above two chanteuses I might also add a dash of Joni Mitchell because of the conversational lyrics and melodic savoir-faire (maybe I should also mention Francoise Hardy right about here as well!). The arrangement is lush and expansive with more than a hint of Bacharach (whose "Another Night" is covered spectacularly on the same album). All this is already more than enough, but lovely Birgit also opted to go the extra mile and pose stark naked on the gatefold LP cover, tastefully exhibiting her considerable assets. (Heh heh, he said "assets.") In any event, this song, and the album it comes from, would be completely brilliant no matter what she looked like. Extremely hard to find, but WELL worth the search. I recommend Soulseek.....

from Ready To Meet You (Artist)



  criz: Yes, we are talking about a real rare album, worth searching for. Filled with unexpected chords and abosutely anti-typical for that era of Danish popular-music, or should I state it: Compromise-lessness. Compared to Bacharach's music, I myself find the pieces on this album more sophisticated - not saying that Bacharach finds the "easy way out!" "I'm Waiting For A Bus", the opening tune of the album is truly my favourite. May I also recommand the Birgit-album "Love's Labyrinth", also worth a search. Here you will find Elton John's break-through "Your Song" in a version of international class, among other fine pieces. Arrangements made in the same style as Ready To Meet You. And yes, also with a nice-looking picture on the cover. Go look for it - but not in my house!
  tempted: You guys share my thoughts on this 100%. A friend of mine from Stockholm made me a copy of Ready To Meet You just at the doorstep of summer '01. That summer I barely spent a day without enjoying that record. I'd been a passionate fan of 60's soft pop and psych (and Bacharach) but had never heard anything like Birgit Lystager. The adventurousness of the compositions and the colour of Birgit's voice are what sets this record totally apart from other stuff from that era. It's great that you guys have found this, too!
  tempted: ...but please guys, if you have until know somehow managed not to get a glimpse of the cover of Ready To Meet You then don't. It will shatter every pretty thought that you may have about the chanteuse. It's totally rude. But this is just my opinion...!
  criz: Latest news...In Denmark a 7-CD-set has just arrived, with 76 Birgit Lystager-tunes, including the two English albums - and very fair priced. Have a look at www.lystamusic.com - and be guided to the places to buy it on the internet (link-page). Just a recommendation from one who knows!
Ballad of Billy the Kid  performed by Ricky Fitzpatrick  2007
Recommended by jmalthew [profile]

Ricky Fitzpatrick's song "Ballad of Billy the Kid" is a 3 minute class in songwriting.

A compelling story filled with unexpected references, internal rhymes, interesting characters...not to mention his beautiful voice. His single acoustic guitar is the perfect backdrop for this tragic and beautiful story. A couple of four-letter words, but nothing that doesn't fit appropriately into the song as a whole.

Ricky's comment on the mystery of the song has always been "Never judge a man til you've walked a mile in his shoes".

I am a fan and always will be. I suggest checking Ricky out while he's still available as a "local" artist at www.rickyfitzpatrick.com.

from The Same Only Different, available on CD (RFM Music)


Best Adventures  performed by THINKMAN aka RUPERT HINE  1986
Recommended by beautifulmutant [profile]

From the 1986 concept album "The Formula" by Rupert Hine, this is an excellent mid-eighties dnace number which received no radio or MTV rotataion but deserved to. Highly dancable, cool, European and memorable. Rupert Hine is famous as a producer for badns such as The Fixx, Howard Jones, Tina Turner, Eight Seconds, Rush, Stevie Nicks and more...
Don;t let that throw you off though. His solo material is ofetntimes very dark, futuristic, apocolyptic and just plain catchy.

from The Formula (Island)



  ntrembat: I loved the song production (if not the lyrics) and, after watching the video over and over on MTV in '86 (black, paramilitary vans racing around for some forgotten reason), raced out to buy the tape. The rest of the album was really bad. Can't find it on iTunes.
Black Cherry  performed by Goldfrapp  2003
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Wonderfully lush, yet dark electronica. Alison Goldfrapp's excellent voice shines on a landscape dominated by synthesizers of various vintages. When she stops singing, the synths fizz even more.

from Black Cherry, available on CD


Black Eyed Dog  performed by Nick Drake  1974
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

In order to fully examine the minds of torment and depression, one would need to be familiar with Nick Drake's 'Black Eyed Dog.' With his transcendant ability to translate his demons into song, Nick Drake accounts a supernatural phantasm chasing him through the darkness of his own neurosis. 'Black eyed dog he claws at my door' - sung in his upper register, with the use of heavey falcetto, sounds like he is straining to survive a nightmare. His performance, despite the sparse production of acoustic guitar and vocal, is expansive. Use of harmonics and finger roll on this song proves the mastery of his instrument, as an amateur guitarist I am baffled by the sound he can create. The singular pulse of the guitar string rings-out with a delicate harmonic while the layering of other voices continue subtly underneath. And the result is the tragic embrace of his own psychological deterioration; a horror unlike the Macabre style of the French, it stands as its own haunting style, that of 'Drakesque.'

As we know his depression did finally catch up to him, and as a revisionist I would say that Nick knew it would all along, sooner or later. One would only need to hear this song and some of the pieces are put into place.

from Time of No Reply, available on CD




  Liv: they say he had to have several overdubs of his voice on this track until he got it right, because of his depression his voice was trembling.. so far from the classical orchestrations of his early recordings, the sparse instrumentation and the intense emotion of "Black dog" affects you even more as Nick's haunting voice sounds like he's singing through an abyss of infinite darkness and despair..
  songs-I-love: Actually, the lyrics to this song go "A black-eyed dog, he CALLED at my door...", but with Nick's way of singing (or rather: expressing himself), it's just all too easy to get confused. The line "I'm growing old and I wanna go home" gets through my heart like a bullet every time I hear it. Only few songs can evoke such strong emotions in me.
  kkkerplunkkk: Yes beautiful and chilling, but it's a small comfort to know that this wasn't actually the last song he ever recorded, that sad honour going to the recently discovered Tow The Line.
Blues Jumped A Rabbit  performed by Bonnie Dobson  196?
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Not usually a great folk lover but this has such a beauty to it. In terms of texture its flawless, swinging between the fluctuating notes of Dobson and two guitars. A very pure sound darkened in a positive way by Dobson's lyrical treatments.

Certainly one to put on if you wake up in the middle of the night.

from Dear Companion (Prestige 14007)



burning skies  performed by tones on tail
Recommended by javaviolet [profile]

This has to be one of the most hypnotizing songs I have ever heard. It is a very dark, goth like song. And from the moment you hear Daniel Ash's opening gutiar, I was hooked.




Carry Me  performed by John Lodge  1976
Recommended by john_l [profile]

John Lodge's "Natural Avenue" was overall the best of the Moody Blues' solo ventures of the mid-1970s, being almost up there with the "Blue Jays" effort on which he collaborated with the band's guitarist Justin Hayward (whose own solo LP "Songwriter" was the biggest disappointment of the lot). This track has a wonderfully exotic feel to it, what with lyrics like "Show me your island of a thousand names" as well as orchestration including strings, oboe and bassoon, and some kind of bubbling thingy which may be a synthesizer. On a darker note, some of the other lyrics seem to indicate the alleviation of an addiction to certain substances, e.g. "Paint all the clouds the colour of 'No'" and "Gone is the white horse that carried us home", but hell, every band was addicted to stuff back then and I'm happy that 99% of them seem to have survived intact. Anyway, it's a lovely exotic song that if you haven't heard it, it's about time you did!

from Natural Avenue, available on CD (Threshold)


Cesspools In Eden  performed by Dead Kennedys
Recommended by Durruti [profile]

This is one of the best songs from Bedtime For Democracy. It's slower and more complex than other songs on BFD but it's very dark and very dark.
It's a great song.

from Bedtime For Democracy


Chain Reaction  performed by Don Ellis  1972
Recommended by konsu [profile]

Don Ellis is a often overlooked trumpeter/bandleader. His style of jazz was most well recieved in CA, and he's most famous for his Fillmore appearances opening for people like Janis Joplin and Frank Zappa. This is a demonstration of his prowess and his ability to construct an amazing band, and take them to new heights. Recorded hot on the heels of his French Connection score, and more than a decade into his career.

The piece is a sprawling morphilogical journey, full of orchestral passages and time/tempo changes, and blissful rests. He utilizes an "Electric String Quartet", which, through the magic of studio production, sounds like a full string ensemble! Making the wole track just bristle with dark energy.

Produced by the great Teo Macero, who had been doing great work at Columbia for a long time. He did some stuff with Ramsey Lewis around the same time, as well as Miles Davis. This record also has a great version of his "French ConnectionTheme" and really entertaining versions of "Alone Again (Naturally)" & Yes's "Roundabout"!

from Connection (Columbia KC 31766)


Cough/ Cool  performed by The Misfits  1976
Recommended by Kriswell [profile]

This is by no means a new release, but I've recently gotten back in to it. Most people have a misconception about The Misfits. Yes they have recorded some very 'crap' songs, and the newly re-vised band and almost everything Danzig has done lately is complete garbage in my eyes, however the original Misfits early recordings, circa 1975-77 are simply amazing. 'Cough/ Cool' is a Hammond/ Fender Rhodes driven, atmospheric masterpiece. Danzig croons like Jim Morrison in this emotionally charged ballad(?). Granted, the lyrics are kind of dark, "scent of blood when you cough, cool, cool, cool, cough, cool ", and most of the other words are relatively indeciphrable, yet shockingly 'pretty'...at least in their tonal quality. The song is very scaled-down and under produced (organ, electric piano, bass and drums), but this is a good thing, it's part of its charm. The amount of reverb and slap-back echo on Glenn's voice is brilliant. So, I urge anyone who has never listened to The Misfits due to the forementioned reasons to get off their collective 'high horses' and give it a listen, they have some really great songs. Other good tracks from the same era include; "Return of The Fly", "She", "Hybrid Moments", "Come Back", "American Nightmare", etc...

from the single Cough/ Cool (Caroline)
available on CD - Coffin Box Set (Caroline)




  yoakamae: Ya I'd have to say, the Misfits were an amazing band during the 70's. Their old work was all so original, I can't get a feel for Danzig's new material with his current band. Last Caress is a great old track as well, one of my favourites with that awesome guitar riff, circa '79?
Dark Allies  performed by Light Asylum
Recommended by DeathandHarmony [profile]




Dark horse  performed by Katy perry
Recommended by ___n__i__c__k___ [profile]




Dark of the Matinee  performed by Franz Ferdinand
Recommended by sillysne [profile]




Dark On You Now  performed by The Ashes  1967
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

This song is a classic of the psychedelic era, by a group that later became known as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. I first discovered it years ago on a 1967 compilation album called "West Coast Love-In" which featured about four of the Ashes' songs. It was "Dark on You Now" that really wigged me out-it is an awesome, slow-paced, moody number that features the spine-tingling vocals of Sandi Robison and the prominent 12-string guitar of John Merrill. The song is incredibly atmospheric and reminds me of a combination of the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane when both of those groups were in their prime. It is also at four minutes plus quite long for the era. I listed this as being recorded in 1967 but it may have been waxed in 1966...at any rate it is surely one of the great songs of the early psychedelic era.

I have the first Peanut Butter Conspiracy album which contains a re-recorded version of this song, harder rocking and not nearly as good. The original Ashes version was recorded as a 45 for the Vault label (which also issued "West Coast Love-In").


from Spreading from the Ashes (Big Beat)
available on CD - Spreading From the Ashes (Big Beat)



  n-jeff: I'm sure I have this on one of the pebbles "Highs of the mid sixties" series ("volume 3 Hollywood a go-go" IIRC) although I believe they credit it as "Follow the sun", I'm sure. Great summer song.
  artlongjr: That is a cover version by a band called the Love Exchange..."Swallow the Sun" is a key lyric in this song, but I really don't know what it means!
David Makalaster  performed by Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade
Recommended by kylemangan [profile]

Bass Masta' Les Claypool is at it again with with bizzare arangment about our favorite news anchor. Very Frank Zappa

from Purple Onion (Prawn Song)


Deadness  performed by Darkstar
Recommended by DeathandHarmony [profile]




Dig up her bones  performed by The Misfits
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

Dark and grim,great riffs and vocal ability. A twisted Love song.




Dismantle Me  performed by The Distillers
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

Fast,dark,disturbing




Do I Scare You  performed by Shakespear’s Sister  1996
Recommended by OneCharmingBastard [profile]

One of the finest moments of she-glam ever, Siobhan Fahey's long-buried-but-about-to-be-unearthed-for-reconsideration third Shakespear's Sister record has many harrowing moments of brilliance, but none moreso than "Do I Scare You". Opening with a swirl of Eastern-cum-goth keyboards, boasting "there goes the year/in doctors bills and sleeping pills", Fahey's voice squeaks, snipes, and snarls throughout, ultimately climaxing on the verge of pumping lyrical lead into a deserving partner (and listener) by the final bridge. I can't think of a celebrity meltdown on disc that was ever this catchy.

from Shakespear's Sister (SF)
available on CD - The Best Of Shakespear's Sister (London/Warner)


Dollhouse  performed by Switchblade Symphony  1995
Recommended by straitjacket [profile]

The bell chimes on the intro both haunt me and pull me into the song. From that point on I'm hooked until the end. Nice guitar hook in the middle. I just find it quite flawless as a song. Everything was layered out rather neatly.

from Serpentine Gallery (Cleopatra)


Dungeon Master  performed by Mr. Quintron  1997
Recommended by Kriswell [profile]

Mr. Quintron has been performing/ inventing for 20 years or so. He currently resides in the 9th ward of New Orleans, LA. His "one man band" sound does not really fit into any genre that I know of. If I had to describe it, I would say it's as if a mad scientist, a Hammond organ, early 80's techno and your favourite Jerry Lee Lewis or Elvis song met somewhere deep in the murky swamps of Louisiana. The song "Dungeon Master" is a geeky, upbeat, yet dark, tongue in cheek, seemingly blatant, but possibly unintentional theme song for anyone who has either played or is aware of the board game, "Dungeons & Dragons". *I've never played, but am familiar with it from my ..."less social" classmates from grade school. The song begins with a very techno-esque, oddly-timed organ solo that swells and then abruptly breaks as Quintron belts out, "DUNGEON MASTER, MAKE ME GO FASTER!!!", only to be followed by quirky Hammond and Vocoder sounds as Miss Pussycat chants along in her cheerleader style back-up vocals. After you think you've figured out the gimmick, "Q" channels Elvis Presley as he reaches the climax..."Comma, Comma, Comma, Come On" and erupts in other indecipherable grunts and yelps. Check it out.


available on CD - yes (Rhinestone or Skin Graft records)



Earth (Gaia)  performed by The Orb  1991
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

This song is a great trancy piece of work! It opens with dialogue lifted from the soundtrack of the cult classic 1980 film 'Flash Gordon. "Klytus, I'm booooored.... what plaything can you offer me today?" "... the inhabtants refer to it as the planet... earth..." "how peaceful it looks"... The song then goes to a great drum break and a voice not unlike Alexander Scorby reading cryptic Bible-like phrases, "the mountains shall drop sweet wine and the hills shall melt"

A nice change from watching Wizard of Oz with the Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack, if you know what I mean...

from The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, available on CD


Easter Parade  performed by The Faith Brothers
Recommended by tonyharte [profile]

During the early days of 1982, I was as a 'wet behind the ears' 19 year old suddenly sent to a faraway war in the (previously unheard of) Falkland Islands. This deeply haunting, passionate and heart-rendering track by the much missed Faith Brothers, encapsulates much of the mood, confusion, passion, patriotic pride and dark bitter reality of that horrific time. Now no longer naive at 42, my mind still screams and my heart still aches ... as I listen .. and remember.

Along with 'And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' (Eric Bogle, The Pogues et al), I believe 'Easter Parade' to be the finest song ever written about the utter desperation of war ... and life after the tea and medals have been dished out.

Would love to know if any Faith Brothers music is available on CD. (Tapes worn out and faded in the sun - a bit like me!). Can anyone help?

from Eventide



  Mr Greedy: I have some Faith Brothers tracks on MP3 format (Easter Parade, Fulham Court, A Stranger On Homeground, Eventide). How can I get them to you? Mr G.
  tonyharte: Many thanks - your not so Greedy at all! However, since my original post, the very kind Faith Bros frontman Billy Franks has sorted me out with a CD. He's a top lad - check out his solo stuff too. Regards and keep on keeping on! TonyH
  watford7: How can I get my hands on a DVD copy of Eventide? Does anyone have In The Country of the Blind on CD? Recommendation: Welcome To Comboland (collection of great songs from Raleigh/Greensboro/Athens area of US, some genius songs. Watford7
  TDQ: LOVED the Faith Brothers, saw them in Dublin many years ago with the Alarm and was bowled over. AM DESPERATE to get MP3s or CD`s of any of their work, happy to pay too. So if anyone can help, please please mail me on [email protected] Oh and Fulham Court was wasted as a Bside, my fave FB track, would love to hear it again... sniff sniff... Have vinyls but no way of playing them! Glenn
  tonyharte: TDQ - I went to billyfranks.com and then emailed him directly. He was happy to send CDs. I responded with a donation, but really, he does it out of kindness. Dead right about Fulham Court!
  eddie: I am dying to get hold of the album, eventide I think its called, the one with the burning broken statue on the front. My dad used to play this album all the time when I was his little tom boy! Wanted to get it for Fathers Day. Know he would be really surprised!! Does anyone have it on CD/MP3? Have checked out ebay and amazon to no avail :(
  eddie: Hoorah!!!! I went to billyfranks.com and downloaded it!! Brilliant!!!! :)
  tonyharte: Well done young Eddie! Your dad is clearly a man of good taste. You've make me feel mighty old now though. T'Internet is a wonderful thing ... sometimes.
  eddie: Indeed! We danced to it for hours when i was a little girl back in the 80's, and the look on his face was priceless when i started playing it! Brilliant again!!!! :)
Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell  performed by The Flaming Lips  2002
Recommended by pleasepleaseme [profile]

Funky Rock. Nice Title! Sweet Lyrics. And i love the Beach Boys break. Move over George Martin!
Is this the best concept album since "Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were Here". Or Maybe even " Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/ Magical Mystery Tour"? Very Trippy Rock! Nice electronics. How do you sound like Neal Young, Bread, America, Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, David Bowie, Beach Boys and the Beatles all at once? You can hear the full album through the thier site: www.flaminglips.com
Super Generous & Super Talented. One of the most beautifully produced albums ever!
POP HEAVEN! "Light Side of the Moon" for the new millennia.

from Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, available on CD



Ely Arcoverde Quarteto  performed by Ely Arcoverde  1965
Recommended by sodapop650 [profile]

Ely Arcoverde is a Brazilian organist. His sound is similar to Ze Maria but not as chime-like and almost even a church-organ sound at times. I love this LP because it has a real low meditative sound. It is a quality I find in much of the music from Bahia as opposed to that from the south. The quarteto inludes organ, drums, bass and - a quality that I love alongside the organ - an accoustic guitar. It is mostly instrumental with some vocals similar to the way Jorge Ben would just make repetetive humming and moaning noises in his early LPs. The whole record has a very dark and mysterious feel - sad and lonely the perfect LP for the dark just the light from the stereo tubes flickering. It is available on ebay a lot, it is Ely's most popular LP and it should run you about $50 - 75.

from Ely Arcoverde Quarteto (RGE RXLP-5.279)


Eque  performed by Duke Ellington  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Taken from his exquisite Latin American Suite, this is an unusual sounding track to me. Mid-tempo, with an unrelenting bossa nova style beat, the action is shared between the piano and various horns and saxophones. I guess it's the strange discordant tones that take this track higher for me. They remind me of some chords I've heard in the more adventurous Brazilian pop music of the late 1960s - basically taking what is fundamentally a sweet sounding, warm chord, and overlaying notes that provide a darker, more forboding feel.

Adding to this, the punctuating horns and reeds give the whole thing a gently groovy feel that's reminiscent of quirky 60s soundtrack music. Really cool stuff, and I recommend the whole album.

from Latin American Suite, available on CD


Famous Blue Raincoat  performed by Tori Amos
Recommended by Reina [profile]

Originally performed by Leonard Cohen, Famous Blue Raincoat is dark and poignant with beautiful lyrics. Tori Amos performs it wonderfully.

"One more thin gypsy thief..."




Fine Art Of Friendship  performed by King’s X  1990
Recommended by MoeShinola [profile]

King's X is my favorite hard rock band by far. This song is on Faith Hope & Love, a very psychedelic record with a sound different from their others. They must have had the fairy dust going on at the recording sessions for this album because the sound is just beyond bluesy and groovy. The guitar just sounds...slinky! that's the word. Slink and snaky and dark. Their harmonies are a wonder to behold as usual, and the lyrics are mystical and weird.

from Faith Hope & Love (Megaforce UPC)


Flood  performed by Boris  2000
Recommended by Sandwiches [profile]

This album has been so amazing to listen to lately. From the beginning riff that is looped and over and over and enventually shifted around 360 degrees with a simple delay into a beautiful guitar arrangement and of course Boris' most notable feedback/fuzz perfection. Much like the new album, this arrangement reminds me of the type of music Godspeed You Black Emperor might make if they were a little darker, a little heavier, and a lot more Japanese. From the solos to the repetition of drums and sludge, I can always throw this on riding the train home and forget about all the ugly bullshit I had to put up with during the day.


available on CD - Flood (MIDI Creative)


Floods  performed by Pantera  1996
Recommended by King Charles [profile]

Starting off with the haunting echoing of steel string suspended minor chords, and quickly moving into the feeling of darkness, Floods reigns as one of the greatest metal balladry songs of all time. With a time of 6:59 (minutes and seconds), Floods deals with the internal struggle, elements of corruption, and dissolution of troubles (wash away man/ take him with the floods), that is not dismissed or watered down into a three-minute wad of sound. Pantera's pervasive composing abilities are seen not only in the length of this track, but it its bridges and structured solo set ups. Phil Anselmo delivers this song on the back of Dimebag Darrell's mighty 'steel' guitar effect, and of course the trademark bass drums and top-hat kicks of Vinnie Paul that have made Pantera so famous. The bridge perhaps extracts the greatest meaning from the song; it epitomizes itself on the power chord riff solos and Anselmo's godly muttering of "floods" (in which we can picture a Goliath or force of destruction coming in to obliterate all existence), which echoes throughout the solo. A rather dark song, Floods is characterized by its catchy guitar work (which contains a spectrum of minor and suspended shapes), and staircase wit/reflective backdrop mumbling vocals about the cold, harsh realities of life. Recommended to anyone who doubts this band's ability to do other than scream and wax metallic, Floods will not be a disappointing track. The bleak acceptance of moving onto new horizons or ways of life, leaving the old and dead behind and walking on down the road, is embodied in the ending solo, with the subtle sound of rainfall calming the listener in the end. 5 out of 5 stars for its genre.

from The Great Southern Trendkill



Follow Me  performed by John Barry Orchestra  1972
Recommended by MickeyPeas [profile]

This track also comes from "The Very Best Of John Barry" and is the main titles from the soundtrack of the film "Follow Me" starring Mia Farrow, Topol and Michael Jayston and directed by Carol Reed in 1971. The soundtrack has only been offically released in Japan for some reason but a version can be found on the Polydor CD "The Very Best of John Barry" which in itself is a compilation of two John Barry Polydor albums released in the 70s (one of which is the fantastic "The Concert John Barry"). The track is a lush string led theme in a minor key with the Polydor version including a mandolin leading the main melody along. The film I saw many years ago and my memory of it is very vague, but I do remember enjoying it and the music really stuck with me (being directed by Carol Reed who gave us "The Third Man" means it must have had something going for it!). The soundtrack is also available as a 500 limited edition bootleg (Dark Son Records DSRJB71-01A) and includes the vocal version heard at the end credits. Like a lot of Barry's 60s output the soundtrack consists of the main theme repeated in various different styles with the exception of one or two tracks (like "The Knack" and "The Ipcress File").

from The Very Best Of John Barry, available on CD


For one moment  performed by Lee Hazlewood  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An incredible doomy pop masterpiece, 'For one moment' is a dark, haunting ballad, laden with rich strings. I guess what makes it stand out is the recording itself - Lee was a master of studio techniques, and so the whole thing has an uncanny, almost Phil Spector type feel to it.

from The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood (MGM)




  plasticsun: Have you noticed that the string part sounds a lot like the string part in Scott Walker's "Plastic Palace People"?
  olli: Brilliant song, was going to recommend it myself, but luckily remembered to check for earlier entries. Always thougt this had kind of a Michel Magne feel myself..it's the swirling strings, i guess. Check out his version of Poinciana and Petrol Pop to see what i mean.
Forgetting You  performed by James Carr  1966
Recommended by tinks [profile]

The epitome of deep Memphis soul. The hurt evident in Carr's voice is absolutely unimaginable. Carr's story is a strange one. He is best known for recording the original version of the Penn-Moman composition "At the Dark End of the Street", a song which comes as close as possible to being considered a soul "standard", and of course, his version is the one by which all others are measured. His vocal range and intensity is comparable only to Otis Redding and Percy Sledge, and in my opinion, completely surpasses both of them. He suffered from a mental illness that on one hand allowed him to channel pain like few others have ever been able to. On the other, it led to serious instability and crippling stage fright which buried his career before it ever really started. He was also functionally illiterate, but you'd never know it based on the raw emotion he put forth in his recordings. On this song, he pleads with a lover to stay with him so that he won't have to try and forget her. Absolutely heartwrenching stuff. "I've done you wrong/now you are gone/but what can I do?/Don't make me live/the rest of my life/forgetting you."

from You Got My Mind Messed Up (Vivid Sound)
available on CD - The Essential James Carr (Razor & Tie)



Freak  performed by Days of the New  1997
Recommended by falicon [profile]

The deep and catchy voice again...plus kinda cool lyrics...check it out. The beat is a bit more of a dark and repetative type sound, really the vocals in this are what the song is all about. Plan to have them get old really fast though as they do repeat the same thing over and over many times.

from Days of the New, available on CD


frozen warnings  performed by Nico  1971
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

At first appearance, its not the most appealing of combinations, that deep flat voice accompanied by the unforgiving Harmonium alone. And it is quite stark, but at the same time strangely warm and hypnotic.
The song itself has a strong chorus and there are well played hooks. Slow, dark, magnificent. And it strangely is a pop song where the rest of the EP isn't.

from Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit SFPS064)


Funeral of Hearts  performed by HIM  2003
Recommended by Carrie [profile]

She was the sun, shining upon,
The tomb of your hopes and dreams so frail


Gothic, dark, etc.

from Love Metal, available on CD


Get UR Freak On  performed by Shawn Lee,s Ping Pong Orchestra  2008
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Working on the premise that if you are going to cover a song then do something with it .then Shawn Lee wears the crown .Missy Elliots ground breaking hip hop giant has been turned into a dark surf twangy guitar driven celebration of Tarntino-esque proportions .the relentless plink plonk riff of the original is replaced by a mammoth guitar line which builds to a Mexiacana brass bound climax.There is a whole album of contemporary covers in this vein all of which need to be heard .

from Shawn Lee Hits the Hits
available on CD - Hits the Hits


Gone...Like the Swallows  performed by And Also The Trees  1986
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

The exquisite standout of the Virus Meadow album and easily And Also the Trees's best song from its early years, "Gone…Like the Swallows" steers away from the sometimes frenetic vocal intensity found elsewhere on the record it comes from for a more reflective but still passionate approach. Simon Jones delivers his lyric with all the deep-voiced intensity of a student of Wordsworth and Shelley reciting on the hillside to nature (which in some respects is pretty much the point of the song). But Jones isn't explicitly anti-modern — consider the mention of the aeroplane in the sky at various points — while the music is equally ancient and up-to-date in feel. Digital delay on the guitars turns them into rolling, darkly chiming flows and waves of sound, dramatically crashing behind the steady rhythm section and Jones' increasingly intense words. Bass and drums alone wrap everything up on a brief, spare note.
(AMG)

from Virus Meadow, available on CD


Good Dancer  performed by The Sleepy Jackson  2003
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Fantastic Austrlian pop drawing on the post Beatleseque for references ,perhaps an imaginary collaboration between John Lennon and George Harrison,the Dark Horse meets No9 Dream .Bright and energetic from start to finish with a sun bleached aura to make your day shine .incidentally this group split and re emerged as Empire of the Sun well worthy of perusal .

from Lover, available on CD


Grand Dark Feeling of Emptiness  performed by Bonnnie Prince Billy  1999
Recommended by umbrellasfollowrain [profile]

He's a psychobilly from the woods. His bearded figure foraged out to tell you what he saw, and he's pared his story down to the bare essentials so that his story is your story. "Over the hill, like always you know/ where Billy and Frankie and Henry and Joe/ they beat and broke me hard and slow/ to prove that I was nobody." His wound is your wound, and you follow the lyrics through as he wonders what gave him his redemption. And though you never thought of yourself as having found redemption per se, it seems like you must have. Essentially, Bonnie Prince Billy makes boys cry.

from Ease on Down the Road
available on CD - Ease On Down the Road


Hearth And Soul  performed by Joy Division  1980
Recommended by Durruti [profile]

It's from their last album, Closer. It's very dark and moody. It sounds like Ian (singer) is singing from his grave (It was released post-humuosly)

from Closer, available on CD


Heaven Up Here  performed by Echo & the Bunnymen  1981
Recommended by Fig Alert [profile]

I'm glad that I get the opportunity to be the first to recommend a Bunnymen track, especially since their early work, which I feel is far stronger than anything after "Porcupine," is unknown, primarily Stateside, to many.

"Heaven Up Here" is a car losing it's wheels at full speed while cornering on a high mountain pass. Will Sargeant's opening chick-chick-chicking on guitar gives way to a straight bassdrop, headlong into Pete DeFreitas' insistent pounding on drums, while Ian McColluch's yelps sound utterly desperate, claustrophobic, pleading and angry simultaneously. There's a pause in the careening during the bridge, just long enough for Ian to remind us that "We're all groovy, groovy people...we're okay, we're okay," before it all plunges straight down the cliffside, banging, exploding, scraping and finally, ending succinctly.

I don't ever recall hearing back then, and rarely today, such a beautifully cacophonic melding of swirling psychedelia and assaultive punk/pop. The guitars are cascades of shimmering shards of sound. Les Pattinson's coy, but effective bassline floats beneath the furious energy DeFreitas unleashes on his drumkit. "Mac the Mouth" may be the frontman, but I think this gem is DeFreitas' piece all the way.

After 20+ years of living with this album, and this song in particular, the pump, pump, pump of the bass drum still sends shivers up my spine. Don't overlook this album as a whole either!

from Heaven Up Here (Sire/Warner 3569-2)



House of Mirrors  performed by David McAllum
Recommended by Maximum_Bygraves [profile]

Another Axelrod mini masterpiece on display here. Big twangy guitars and a wonderfully modernistic haze of modal horns strings and flutes snake around rock solid bass and drums. Whoooo-heee




how’ s it going to end  performed by tom waits  2004
Recommended by olli [profile]

one of my favourite tracks from the new album. it's one of his dark plucked string- ballads, quite a simple melody really, but the subtle brass and the mournful moaning of the background vocals makes truly beautiful. and then there's the lyrics..

"behind a smoke coloured curtain, a girl disappeared
they found out that the ring was a fake
a tree born crooked never grows straight
she sunk like a hammer into the lake"
stunning.

i am SO going to buy this album when it comes out, even though i've got the mp3's (sorry mr waits!). a part of me hoped that this album wasn't going to leak, so that i could get the whole package with the liner notes and all at once, but then again some things are just too good to wait for..

(hope they avoid the glossy plastic paper of the alice booklet this time. that was just plain wrong. didn't fit the subject matter at all..)

from real gone


hvis du bare ville  performed by ranveig kvello  1970
Recommended by olli [profile]

a norwegian language version of the song "if i thought you'd ever change your mind". the instrumental part is pretty similar to the original, only a bit more stripped.
it's the vocals that really shine here. the singer, rannveig kvello, isn't all that good a singer, but her voice has an interesting quality wich adds an incredible sense of quiet desperation to the lyrics (they are pretty different from the english language version. still pretty cheesy, but with far darker overtones than the original. they remind me of glenn close's bunny boiling character in fatal attraction)
not really a fantastic recording by any means, but there's something in it that seems to tickle nerve in me.
the chances of finding this are probably pretty slim, as far as i know it's only on vinyl and was probably only available in scandinavia.(i found it while pillaging a danish flea market. )

from norsk pop '70



I Believe In a Thing Called Love  performed by The Darkness  2003
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

This song is fun, and over the top and has a great beat. A perfect first single for the Darkness, and very very catchy.

from Permission to Land (Atlantic)



  olli: edson have a pretty odd acoustic cover of this.
  spinner303: cool song, fun, the video makes the song: http://www.thedarknessrock.com/media/video/
I Hope I Die Before You Do  performed by John Hoskinson  2004
Recommended by hendricks2007 [profile]

Quirky, upbeat -- and a little bit dark & twisted. And very, very melodic.

from Miscellaneous Heathen, available on CD


i luv the valley OH!  performed by xiu xiu
Recommended by licoricewhipped [profile]

dark, strong, i love it.




I see darkness  performed by Bonnie Prince Billy
Recommended by elani9 [profile]




i will follow you into the dark  performed by death cab for cutie
Recommended by anakinskywalker [profile]

from plans


I Will Follow You Into the Dark  performed by Death Cab for Cutie
Recommended by lhirsch92 [profile]




I'm Your Man  performed by Leonard Cohen
Recommended by Reina [profile]

Leonarn Cohen has the deepest, darkest, creepiest voice ever. It's perfect for this song--a song about complete devotion. It sounds almost stalker-like. But awesome.

"I would crawl to you baby, and I'd fall at your feet, and I'd howl at your beauty like a dog in heat..."




Is everything real ?  performed by the frozen autumn
Recommended by tonymendel [profile]

darkwave, gothic, electro-goth




Jesus Calling  performed by The Triffids  1984
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

For a start we need more in the Australia section than Nick Cave and his assorted Combo's. Although I think the bass player from the Triffids now plays with him. And then I can't believe I've not recommended the Triffids before. This is quite an early one from when they were still playing London pubs. I don't know what its about (blood on my thighs and milk on my knees the sign outside says vacancies), theres lots of violin without it being folky or too countrified, and the chorus is insanely catchy with lines alternated between the late David McComb and Jill Birt the keybboard player. They were a big part of my musical life in the eighties, and 'In the pines' is still a great LP 15 years on.

from Raining Pleasure



Jump  performed by Van Halen  1984
Recommended by savintheuk [profile]

Eighties Rock Classic, Cheers me up during dark times.

from 1984 (Warner)


Just Like Us  performed by The Connells  1987
Recommended by john_l [profile]

In the late 1980s the Connells managed to produce some excellent songs which had an extraordinary amount of tension built into them, and this one is probably the best example (others are "Hats Off" and "1934" from the "Darker Days" LP). I don't know exactly how they did it, maybe it's just the rumbling bass combined with splattering drums and tambourine that gives the whole thing an edgy, anticipatory feel, but I sure as hell like it a lot.

from Boylan Heights, available on CD


Let New Days Dawn  performed by A Cautionary Tale  2006
Recommended by aggryle [profile]

Beautiful composition and production with a darkly uplifting, somber mood and feel. Definitely will make you stop and focus on it as you are filled with melancholy feelings, though once the song ends, you feel better than when it began. Hard to find album, but you can listen to the song on myspace.com/acautionarytale.

from Let New Days Dawn, available on CD


Let’s Go to the Dark Side of the Moon  performed by Original Love
Recommended by johannp [profile]

One of the best songs from the cd 'Sunny Side of Original Love' and one of my favorite songs by Original Love. The instrumentation is typical of this cd: Organ, a driving bass line, drums, a funky guitar riff, brass and a very interesting flute. (Why don't western bands use flutes more? Japanese bands surely seem to realize how they can enhance the mood of a song.)

I love the chords and harmonies in this song. Together with the instrumentation and the suggestive title they make this song very strongly emotional. I can almost feel myself leaving the dull everyday life, escaping to the dark side of the moon as I listen to this song. Oh, and Takao Tajima's vocals are as good as ever.

If you like this song, you may also like 'Sunshine Romance' from the same CD, although this one is the better of the two in my opinion.


available on CD - Sunnny Side of Original Love


Look at Your Game Girl  performed by Charles Manson
Recommended by texjernigan [profile]

Need I say more? It's beautiful, rich and dark. He wrote and recorded some songs in prison, but this isn't one of those.





Love’s A Lonely Place To Be  performed by Virginia Astley  1982
Recommended by john_l [profile]

A gossamer light track with cello, glockenspiel and some other non-standard rock (?) instrumentation, by a classically-trained musician. The only song that it is heavier than is the Caravelles' 1963 hit "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry", which is probably the song it sounds most like as well, if I had to pick one. Quite gorgeous! But there was a re-recorded version that found its way onto the 1986 "Hope In A Darkened Heart" LP; it's NOT nearly as good as the original.

from Promise Nothing (Why-Fi)


Lullaby  performed by Krzysztof Komeda & Mia Farrow  1968
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

And I am not just including this because it is from Rosemary's Baby, my very favourite film of all time. Well, maybe I am a little - the opening credits where Polanski guides us over the rooftops of the Bramford while Mia murmurs her "la la la"s sets up perfectly the movie heaven that is to come.

Actors usually make a hash of singing (and, of course, vice versa - Bjork is great in Dancer In The Dark but that's all I can come up with), although I've heard that Cybil Shepherd makes a decent stab. But Mia can't fail to impress with her innocent singing voice, keeping in the character of Rosemary even though she doesn't speak a word in this song. Komeda maintains his usual atmospheric wonder, with the sort of piano based joy that gave such a fruitful relationship with Polanski's films.

Lots of others have had a pop at this, usually with some degree of success as the melody is so strong (discounting a dodgy metal version of it by some chancers whose name escapes me). My favourites are Hugo Montenegro's (on Good Vibrations) and Claudine Longet's lyric-added version, Sleep Safe And Warm.

from Rosemary's Baby, available on CD




  Swinging London: I love this too! It seems to pull the whole movie into a class of it's own. I've been trying to find the Claudine Longet version for years!
Mad World  performed by Gary Jules  2002
Recommended by BucketDog [profile]

This is a great cover of the Tears for Fears song. I don't think the original holds a candle to this version. Simple and soulful, you can find it on the Donnie Darko soundtrack or take a listen at garyjules.com on the Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets CD.

from Donnie Darko soundtrack, available on CD


Mad World  performed by Gary Jules  2001
Recommended by cryofthecelt [profile]

"Mad World" was written and originally performed by the popular 80's band Tears for Fears. A more mellow, piano-based cover of the song was featured in the cult movie "Donnie Darko" (Jake Gylenhaal, Patrick Swayze) as performed by folk artist Gary Jules. His version of "Mad World" reached the coveted Christmas #1 spot in the UK in 2003, despite that it was 3 years old and performed by an unknown artist.
This song is quite possibly my favorite song of all time, at least in my Top Ten, because I feel that it describes life very accurately. The chorus of the song is:
"I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had."
To me, this song is saying "Hang in there...I know life sucks on this earth, but you will go to a far better place after your death."
Depressing? No. This song helps me to carry on.

from Donnie Darko (Enjoy)
available on CD - Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets (EMI International)



  malpt: This is a rare occasion where I love the cover more than the original. A very awesome song.
Majory Razor Blade  performed by Kevin Coyne
Recommended by camus [profile]

70's oh so 70's daubs of wierd gaudiness, layered over plain drabness.

Quirky....very quirky also hilarious, disturbing and unforgettable.

Sample Lyric " Oh what a woman what a tongue, what an abrasive manner"

I first heard this when i around 15 or 16, borrowed from a local Mushroom dealer called Mad dog, I kid you not. At the time I'd "Inadvertently" consumed some of his wares, and was beginning to get hazy and paisley, hence he made me and a couple of friends lay down on his room floor, head to toe, turned off the lights and put Majory Razorblade on.........we giggled in the darkness like school kids,which we were, as we listened to the tale of the woman with the long and fusty dress..I've never forgotten it....

I highly recommend the Album Majory Razorblade, by Kevin Coyne - a lost genius. The title track sets the tone for an album full of seedy characters, each lost in their own wanton little worlds, with lashings of philosphical blurbs "Being on your own is hard, being with someone is harder"

well worth exploring.........




Man In A Raincoat  performed by Claudine Longet  1968
Recommended by konsu [profile]

I had to mention my favorite Claudine tune. A nice cinematic piece about an enigmatic lover with "Laughing eyes & dark brown hair..." who sweeps her off her feet, then splits with her dough when he goes to buy a ring. The track is touched by the deep-blue sax of Ernie Watts, which gives the track a "Noir-ish" vibe. Look of Love is one of the best records she did in her short career. Arranged by the genius Nick DeCaro, the godfather of A.O.R. !

from Look Of Love, available on CD


Manon  performed by Serge Gainsbourg  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A lovely, dark, haunting song with an intricate string arrangement; this really got me hooked on Gainsbourg as soon as I heard it. Musically, the song dazzles me - the arrangement flows beautifully and sounds very original (to me, anyway; if I'm wrong, please help steer me in the direction of more recordings like this!). Serge is a great vocalist here as well. At times he whispers, but some lines he really spits out - 'a quel point je HAIS......ce que tu es...' The guy was a genius.

from Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, available on CD




  Mike: I must agree with you (it seems pretty appropriate to do so as you introduced the song to me yourself a few years ago) - this is a very beautiful song, very beautifully and expressively sung, and the arrangement is frankly stunning. This is definitely one of those Gainsbourg tracks which really hits the heights in every department. Surely worth a listen, even to those who can't stand the bulk of Serge's output.
  tempted: Scott Walker has some similarly haunting orchestral arrangements but as a singer he's a sheep whereas Serge's a wolf. A great sheep, though.
manon  performed by serge gainsbourg
Recommended by stemmer58 [profile]

dark and passionated in a now very retro euro continental style with decadent overtones in both its lyrics and musical tone.

from gainsbour greatest hits


Marquee Moon  performed by Television  1975
Recommended by theothercynic [profile]

The title track of Television's 1975 album is the greatest statement of their cumulative abilities as a band. A majestic epic of dual guitar interplay, metronome bass playing, unconventional jazz drumming, and the strangled vocal screeds of Tom Verlaine, Marquee Moon begins with a double-stop riff. A second tangled guitar weaves in, a bass thuds upward, and a lockstep rhythm forms behind the surreal lyrics. From the chorus to the long, flowing jams that follow the third verse, the guitar interplay between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd amazes again and again. Instead of rhythm and lead guitar, the two guitarists trade solos and phrases, tones and colors. Even when Richard Lloyd plays simply, he dominates the color and tone of the solo he underscores, and when he lets loose a solo, it flows like poetry, phrasing and declaiming the beauty of the notes it contains. Band leader Tom Verlaine twists and curves his notes all over here, careening in on himself and threatening to implode before finding a perfect spot. The majestic peaks this song climbs to seem almost impossible, and it very nearly stumbles by running long. However, nothing can detract from the climactic jams that culminate in Tom Verlaine's singing bird-call guitar notes and gentle spills of warbling riffs.


available on CD - Marquee Moon (Elektra)


Maxwell’s Silver Hammer  performed by The Beatles  1969
Recommended by rum [profile]

‘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



  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?
  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.
Maypole  performed by Dark
Recommended by Captaintoenail90 [profile]

A unique song from a low profile band of the 70's. It's a trippy but well composed psychedelic song with good riffs and interesting lyrics.

from Round the Edges


Melody  performed by Serge Gainsbourg  1971
Recommended by eurotrashkit [profile]

Melody Nelson is probably one of the best serge gainsbourg albums.
he mumbles and sings about the fictional character Melody Nelson, a young red haired teenager.
the opening track 'Melody' would've almost been enough to fill an entire album with: it's full of bass, violins and soft drums but it never comes across as being over the top.
and that's what this album is: perfectly produced, orchestrated and beautiful...
beautiful, yet quietly disturbing.
"melody nelson" is a defining french album.

well, that's what i think anyway : )

from Melody Nelson, available on CD



  robert[o]: One of the BEST LPs ever, period, end of sentence! Also - a great lost piece of the UK glam rock jigsaw, I think. Listen to this record, then listen to Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" or "Aladdin Sane", Roxy Music's "Stranded" or "For Your Pleasure", even "The Slider" or "Tanx" by T. Rex. Serge's fingerprints are all over those records.
Mother  performed by Danzig
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

Dark and suspenseful.The music seems to build.




Motherfucker=Redeemer  performed by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Recommended by Irvine Black [profile]

A very lengthy, dark instrumental by the undisputed gods of post-rock.
It's extremely moody, building up slowly as with their other work, into a wall of distorted guitars and violins.
You'd need a fairly long attention span to fully appreciate it though.




Mysterious Bilderbergers  performed by Darksand
Recommended by timbotones [profile]

sick dark electronic mind control download mp3.com.au darksand





Noah’s Dove  performed by 10,000 Maniacs  1992
Recommended by Yammer [profile]

For admirers of classic pop song construction, production, and performance, Noah's Dove is jaw-dropping in its perfection. The subtle piano hook, deep and dark chord changes, and the warm, dry-eyed, heartbreakingly acute singing grab your ears, while the lyrics (an unhurried, unsparing epitaph to a relationship with a cheating scumbag) clench your heart. The best part may be that it introduces Our Time In Eden, a collection of finely-crafted folk-pop songs that served as a worthy finale for the Maniacs.

from Our Time In Eden


Oh Comely  performed by Neutral Milk Hotel  1998
Recommended by purrple [profile]

This song is really beautiful. It's eight-odd minutes long, but it doesn't really feel like that. It's full of longing and it just makes you want to reach out for something, but you don't know what...

lyric sample: "thunderous sparks from the dark of the stadium, the music and medicine you needed for comforting. so make all your fat fleshy fingers to moving and pluck all your silly strings, bend all your notes for me..."

from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea



  evolutum: This is the greatest song ever written. So many times tears roll from my face when listening to this track. Thank you Jeff Mangum.
On The List (electric valentine mix)  performed by Metroid  2008
Recommended by BloodyRachelB [profile]

"until you wake up, take off your whispers and your makeup There ere excuses to be made up So C'mon show me what you're made of..." -wishes I would have wrote that!

check it out!:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTYhHI2tsS4&feature=related




One With You  performed by Sun  2004
Recommended by Justin-D [profile]

[01] Peter Rafelson Album Version
[02] Pete Lorimer 29 Palms Mix
[03] Chris Cox Club Mix
[04] Eric Kupper Club Mix
[05] Mike Rizzo Global Club Mix
[06] Chris Cox Dub
[07] Eric Kupper Dub
[08] Mike Rizzo Dark Dub
[09] Eric Kupper Radio
[10] Mike Rizzo Radio


available on CD - Sun 'One With You' Promo-CD5 (RM Records)


Paradise Lost  performed by GAIN  2015
Recommended by ohgodmyfeels [profile]

It is a dark-yet-sexy song that really pulls you in.
I think my favorite line is "They’re talking about a fantasy
They’re making up another fantasy
They’re talking about a fantasy
They’re making up a story
So that they can control you and me"

from Hawwah


Play Alone  performed by Asylum Party
Recommended by Dalriada [profile]

This unique song, unique to the whole body of work by the obscure Asylum Party, unique in every sense... If anybody ever wanted to create the sound of pure nostalgia in itself, this is the closest anyone ever got. I wonder what other people feel when listening to this song. I get utterly and hopelessly nostalgic, even though I don't know what for. It's not that I'm particularly old and know many times and eras, it's not that I have to dig particularly deep into my memory to get to that one dark part that's so irrevocably gone it makes one's heart ache and break. I don't know what it reminds me of, if of anything at all. It seems to be simply the soundtrack of some good times, times much better than the one you're stuck in right now, the soundtrack of reverie and the painful awareness that nothing will be the same again. I sometimes think it reminds me of beautiful summers I've known, the heat and sun that burnt my eyes, but then it seems just as fitting for a summer night at an open fire or an autumn window blurred with falling rain. The initial beats sound as if they could lead to anything, they even sound deceptively cheerful until the first melancholic screech of a guitar... "Feeling that hole that is just my soul..." Yeah, that must be it!




Polaire  performed by Lassigue Bendthaus  1994
Recommended by beautifulmutant [profile]

Fans of Kraftwerk and general dark synthetic music fans should seek out this CD "Render" and play it over and over and over. Ewe Schmidt aka "Atom Heart" "Senor Coconut" and who knows who else released four albums under the Lassigue Bendthaus name... Render is the purest and best of the four.

from Render (Restless)


Power in the Darkness  performed by Tom Robinson Band  1977
Recommended by geezer [profile]

The middle class ,friendly face of new wave,mostly known for the student sing a long 2 4 6 8 Motorway ,this track however is the sound of late seventies London a cowbell driven social comment which evolves into a beligerent news cast berating man,s basic lack of freedom before returning for arousing chorus.
An underplayed but constant hammond organ gives the track a modern hymn like feel,a little idealistic but a great musical document of the sound of the U.K for a few months in 1978

from Power in the Darkness (E M I)
available on CD - Power inthe Darkness (E M I)


Prelude in Black  performed by Cy Coleman  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Both shocking and extremely cool, this has to be heard to be believed - a 'rock' adapation of Rachmanninov's Prelude in C# minor which really does rock. Cy Coleman lays a huge funky breakbeat and a heavy bassline on top of the beautifully dark, doomy theme. A jazzy guitar comes in and out as the track builds. I've never heard anything quite like it (I mean that in a good way). I am now unable to hear the original piece without Cy Coleman's breakbeat!

from The Ages of Rock (MGM)



Radio Orchid  performed by Fury in the Slaughterhouse  1993
Recommended by Vagina Man [profile]

The music itself is sort of like a darker Live, the group Live. Fury.. really didn't catch on to the alternative scene but that doesn't take away from its amazing music. Radio Orchid is by far their best song, melodic and serene. This song will make you want to buy their album. The voclas are a soothing mix to its already unique sound. It both relaxes and invigorates the soul. Hey if the song can't get to your soul then its just not that good. Also the lyrics play a big part in the song, not only are they good but they make you think. This was their second and last album, and eventhough they are relativley unknown, they are still alternative kings in my eyes.

from Mono (RCA)



  meatball: that is fuckin gay! damn!
Ripple  performed by The Church  1990
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

The lead single from one of the Church's all time highs, the dark, powerful Priest Aura, "Ripple" was much like the album it came from - lengthy, with an emphasis on artistic impact rather than radio-friendly ease, charged with a feeling of impending, unnerving threat. The initial guitar chime and Steve Kilbey's singing may provide a familiar feeling for long-time listeners, but the edge of spite and conflict in the words carries through in the performance - Kilbey's not so much blending into the mix as suddenly slicing through it. The full arrangement almost has a touch of film noir threat to it, but not as much as the amazing chorus. Starting with a soft, almost sighed overdubbed vocal part like a mysterious signal, it literally does ripple up in the mix, sneaking up on the listener instead of turning into any kind of a singalong. It's the same approach as with "Under the Milky Way," but the air here is less elegant melancholia and more unsettling electric charge, extra guitar feedback carving arcs through the arrangement, instrumental breaks providing only short, temporary relief.
(AMG)

from Priest=Aura, available on CD


Rock Lobster  performed by The B-52’s  1979
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

The B-52's were one of several late-'70s bands for which there was no real category. With their modified surf guitar sound, their thrift-shop fashion sense, and their jokey demeanor, they certainly weren't in the rock & roll mainstream, but they exhibited none of punk's sneering rebelliousness or musical aggression, either — the only anarchy that seemed to interest the B-52's was of the sartorial variety. "Rock Lobster" was the first B-52's song to catch popular attention, and it's easy to see why. The minimalist guitar lick is like a beach-bum's rendition of the James Bond theme, the one-note organ ostinato complements it perfectly, and Fred Scheider's campy sprechgesang jumps out at you immediately. Yet despite the song's self-consciously weird texture and silly lyrics about earlobes falling off and communal towel coordination, there's a thread of darkness weaving through it. Make no mistake — this is not a song with hidden meaning lurking below the surface. But its surface is a little more complicated than it seems to be at first. For one thing, it's almost seven minutes long, and it does start to drag toward the end. Right when it does, you notice the mood getting darker — Schneider delivers lines about "having fun" and "baking in the sun" in a hoarse croak, and the guitar starts sounding repetitive in a slightly creepy way. Suddenly you realize that the whole song has been in a minor key, and as Schneider shouts and the guitar barks out its angular riff over and over, you start to wonder if maybe there's some kind of commentary going on here. But then Kate Pierson's angelic voice comes in with a surprisingly pretty falling harmony part that can only be described as a descant, which repeats several times, gradually paring itself down to a single phrase, and abruptly the song is over. The whole song ends up being a goofy party confection with a slightly crunchy center — a pretty satisfying overall flavor combination.
(AMG)

from The B-52's, available on CD


Same Girl  performed by Randy Newman
Recommended by umbrellasfollowrain [profile]

This song is devastating. The piano is precise, but halting and delicate, as though the melody is just as tentative about saying anything at all as the singer is. The song clocks in at less than three minutes, but the strings shudder like a dark devouring cloud hovering at the horizon, drinking up the lyrics for what seem like months, or years.




Samson and Delilah  performed by Shirley Manson
Recommended by Nori [profile]

Shirley Manson sung this Grateful Dead cover for the premiere of the second season of 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles', a show on which she had a recurring role. Manson takes the country-styled song and makes it feel totally different: cold, darkly triumphant and gloriously evil in an impersonal sense.




Scatterbrain (As Dead As Leaves)  performed by Radiohead  2003
Recommended by trixlation [profile]

Once again a very melancholy song, which make you thoughtful. The voice from the lead singer Thom Yorke is special and touch the soul.

(I hope, you will understand, what's my message is xD)

from Hail To The Thief, available on CD


Seance on a Wet Afternoon  performed by John Barry  1964
Recommended by nighteye [profile]

I love John Barry's work, he always seam to be able to score anything with excellent results. This song is no exception, taken from the movie 'Seance on a Wet Afternoon' from 1964. Haven't seen the movie my self so I can't really say what the premise of it is, but IMDB says it's a crime-drama about a self-styled psychic in London. Groovy eh?

This song is however great, Barry relies heavily on haunting flutes and trombones to create a some what eeire feeling, and it really works. Just listening to this song makes me think of a rainy gloomy dark afternoon in London. Now if I only could get a hold of a copy of the movie...


available on CD - Ultra Lounge: Vol 16 - Mondo Hollywood



Sevengill (Notorynchus cepedianus)  performed by Giant Squid  2009
Recommended by SamHall [profile]

The song really portrays the heartbreak of the character, and the murky, unforgiving sea which he has committed to. You can almost see and hear the ocean, and feel the main character as he reflects upon what he's become and what he's lost. The instrumentation is spot on. Like any good post-metal group, every instrument has its say, and everything's beautifully balanced.

There's movement in the song where the main character and his former lover exchange words, presumably over a distance, where the torment and pain of the situation is palpable. The song, and the album's concept in general, really hits my soft spot for stories of pain and failure, and the proverbial fall from grace. It also invokes great imagery.

from The Ichthyologist, available on CD


Shoots and Ladders  performed by Korn
Recommended by gypsy36 [profile]

I think this is one of Korn's first songs to get airplay, although most people I know don't remember it. It came out during the Grunge era of the 90's.

This is not a serious, meaningful song, but it is fun! How could you not like to hear your favorite childhood nursery rhymes translated into a hardcore rock song? It's a great idea!

After singing somewhat diabolical versions of "Ring-Around-A-Rosy", "London Bridge Is Falling Down," "Mary Had A Little Lamb," etc...Jonathan Davis leads us into the main chorus:

"Nursery rhymes are said, verses in my head
Into my childhood they're spoonfed
Hidden violence revealed, darkness that seems real
Look at the pages that cause all this evil"

The most interesting thing about this song is that each rhyme has a unique style, kind of like songs within a song; and it all fits together neatly.




Sleep  performed by Godspeed You! Black Emperor  2000
Recommended by mardikas [profile]

A long track (23 min) with orchestral sound. About the album: "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is unusual in being structurally and conceptually closer to a symphony than a conventional pop or rock album. The four tracks are composed of internal movements, with different sub-titles, that fade into each other. The whole album is instrumental, except for sampled voice inserts, and starts with an almost orchestral crescendo somewhat reminiscent of Ravel's Bolero." (http://en.wikipedia.org/) <- basically the same goes for the track.

I like it because of the dark and powerful feeling it conveys.

from Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven


Slowly Surely (Theo Parrish Remix)  performed by Jill Scott + Theo Parrish  2001
Recommended by lil_ze [profile]

Unreal.
First of all, there's Jill Scott. With as much respect I have for her songwriting and singing abilities, I've never thought of her as a musical genius. Her music was, and stays, consistently the best soul music being released. And I'm sure that in twenty years I'll still have great fondness listening to her tunes. Yet, I don't hesitate to state that she is not a genius.

"Slowly Surely" is a great track off Jill Scott's "Who is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds, Vol. 1" album. The track, itself, is a departure from the rest of the album in composition. It is lyrically and melodically experimental, and deosn't perform as a very commercially radio friendly tune. Having said that, this is probably my favorite track on this sublime album.

Theo Parrish is a genius, however. There are no two ways about it. His music is difficult to understand. His path to fame and stardom seems as intentional as Donald Trump's efforts at staying unnoticed. He has a tendency to compose electronic dance music with beats so slow, they'd make Big Daddy Kane half step. This isn't a salmon swimming upstream. This fish is out of the water wondering why he can't fly.

The remix, in the commercial music industry, has been tainted ever since the digital age. Starting off as a tool for DJs in night clubs, a track would have been remixed to have extended beats in the beginning and the end of the track. Thus, early remixes were plainly titled, "Extended Version". However, remixes on commercial radio are merely an effort to milk the popularity of whatever is popular at the moment. These remixes usually include a guest vocalist singing, or rapping, along the original track. Another version of the remix is the time filler. When albums were made with consideration to program times for opposing sides (as well as cassette tapes), remixes were often added when material was scarce. This practice would eventually wipe out the addition of the "Reprise" track. These remix tracks were usually the chosen radio friendly track with extra production on top of the original track.

The remix for "Slowly Surely" is none of the above. It is very unique as it's own being. It pulsates to it's own heartbeat. It moves on it's own, in no predictable direction, as if Theo Parrish had little control over his artistic output. That's his genius. That's his art.

from not available, available on CD


smell memory  performed by mum  2002
Recommended by theaugustchord [profile]

this is a unique piece that comes from the depths of iceland, 4 piece dark electronic group Mum have there shining moment with this gem. Smell memory is a 9 minute epic of errie substance, it has grown on me since the day i bought the album - yesterday was dramatic, today is ok - to really absorb this you must be the a mood where you really want to lose yourself and see where you are at the end of it.

from Yesterday was dramatic, today is ok., available on CD


somliga går med trasiga skor  performed by cornelis vreeswijk
Recommended by olli [profile]

it's about time i recommended some vreeswijk. after all he's one of my very favourite artsts, and pretty obscure outside scandinavia. it's hard to decide wich song to post, as i guess you'd have to be scandinavian to enjoy the masterful, deceptivly simple lyrics. the best way to describe the man is as kind of a swedish crossbred of serge gainsbourg, tom waits and bob dylan.
this is one of his best-known songs, a qusasi-joyous melancholy number about death and hopelessness.
i once heard someone say something that summed up the power of this guy pretty well: "I don´t understand swedish, however I do understand Cornelis Vreeswijk"


the best place to start if you're interested n an initial taste, is probably the new 2-cd set. if you're like me, youll soon advance to the original lp's and the 5-cd set "master cees memoarer".

lyrics:
Somliga går med trasiga skor, säg vad beror det på?
Gud fader som i himmelen bor kanske vill ha det så.
Gud fader som i himmelen bor blundar och sover sött. Vem bryr sig om ett par trasiga skor när man är gammal och trött?
Vem bryr sig om hur dagarna går? Dom vandrar som dom vill.
Medborgare, om ett hundra år finns du ej längre till.
Då har nån annan tagit din stol, det vet du inte av.
Du känner varken regn eller sol ner i din mörka grav.
Vem bryr sig om hur nätterna far? Jag bryr mig inte ett spår. Bara jag får ha mitt ansikte kvar dolt i min älsklings hår.
Jag är en tvivelaktig figur, duger ej mycket till. Bakom ett hörn står döden på lur, han tar mig när han vill.
Somliga går med trasiga skor tills dom har slutat gå. Djävulen som i helvetet bor får sig ett gott skratt då
a very, very bad and rushed translation of the lyrics,most of the humor and finer points are lost but at least you'll know what's it about:

some walk around in bad shoes, say, why is is it so?
maybe the good lord up in the sky wants it that way.
the good lord up in the sky sleeps calmly now.
who cares about a pair of bad shoes when they are old and tired?
who cares how the days pass? they go the way the want.
fellow citizen, in a hundred years you will no longer exist.
someone else will have taken your chair, but you won't know about that.
you'll feel neither rain nor sun, down in your dark grave.
who cares how the nights pass? i don't care at all.
as long as i get to keep my my face tucked in my love's hair.
i'm a questionable character, not good for much.
behind a corner death lurks, he'll take me whenever he wants.
some walk around in bad shoes/ until hey walk no more
the devil, who lives down in the hell/ will have a good laugh then.






  daniel: Hello, I don´t like your translation of "somliga går med trasiga skor", You have changed alot in the lyrics, If you like the song you should work on it and translate it corectly. Daniel
Spit The Dark  performed by Empires
Recommended by DearPrudence [profile]




Stop Me June (Little Ego)  performed by KENT  2000
Recommended by Carrie [profile]

I've been called a little coward more than once,
It hurts when it's true.


I like this song - a lot.

from Hagnesta Hill (English edition), available on CD


Street Spirit (Fade Out)  performed by Radiohead  1994
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

If the sun would rise in a minor key, this is what it would sound like. The shadows dissolve around you in warm harmony, even death sunbathes here, in a song ripe with hope and humanity. It is a misnomer to 'Fade Out' when we are held not by darkness, but by light. The paralysis of a dreary existence is manifested in the 'Street Spirit' where 'cracked eggs, dead birds scream as they fight for life' and 'machines will not communicate these thoughts and strain I am under.' If we were to stifle the creative spirit all we would need to do is look down a suburb and notice the lack of aesthetics and individuality of the homes. 'Rows of houses all bearing down on me...all these things will one day take control and fade out again.' This is the prelude to the bigger picture found in Radiohead's songs. Sure they dwell on the robotics of Orwell's '1984', and at times they are tedious and painfully accurate, nevertheless they leave us with an indelible desire to survive. 'Immerse your soul in Love' wags it's tail at the end of the song to insure a new beginning, much like the death of night. When sung, it is a very exciting moment as Thom's voice soars above the convolutions of the incessant guitar picking and synth-strings. Not the most popular Radiohead song, but their brightest moment to be experienced.

from The Bends (Capitol CDP 7243 8 29626 2 5)


Sunshower  performed by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band  1976
Recommended by ambassador [profile]

This one fits well with with my previous reccomendation in the melancholy/eerie vein. I read somewhere that the song was in the African JuJu style, but discofied of course given its 1976 production. It was this song that proved to be the Dr. Buzzard . . . was not your average disco band. Cory Daye's vocals are beautiful and harken back to an earlier era of classic jazz vocals, like Ella and Billie. The children's backup vocals are what gives it the spooky quality, probably because the intrumentation is dark, like seeing those cute (but scary) kids come out of the corn fields in Children of the Corn. The last chorus just sends chills down my spine as Cory digs into the lyrics and dances around them as the everything sort or brightens up, like the sun coming out after a summer rain. This makes the title all make such perfect sense.

from Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, available on CD



  Festy: You know what makes the last chorus for me (or choruses from after the kids singing only accompanied by percussion)... as simple as it may sound... it's the handclaps. They add so much and I always look forward to them coming along. I became obsessed with this song about 6 months ago and bought the CD, which, as I expected, doesn't contain so many fantastic songs on it, but, still an enjoyable CD. I really enjoy your recommendations!
Swamp Thing  performed by Chameleons  1986
Recommended by lil_ze [profile]

Johnny Marr once said that he wanted to write a song with an unforgettable guitar intro, like Eric Clapton's "Layla". He was, at the time, talking about the penning of the Smiths' "How Soon is Now?" The Chameleons' "Swamp Thing" does everything still that "How Soon is Now?" did for me when I was 16. Difference is, I haven't popped in a Smiths mixtape since I was 20.

There's somthing very romantic about this song. I've never really paid too much attention to the lyrics of this particular Chameleons track, although Mark Burgess' oddly peotic songwriting skills on other tracks have haunted my mind years after I had heard them. This tune is led and driven by the chord structure more than just the delayed, jangly guitar, or the powerfully precise drumming. Midway into the tune, the song goes from minor chord structure to major chord structure, even though the lyrics remain as bleak as a Manchester weather report.

Whenever I hear this song, one word always pops into my head, "pretty". That's what this song is. Pretty.

from Strange Times, available on CD



  kohl: yes. excellent.
Tales from the Riverbank  performed by The Jam  1981
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Released as a B-side in 1981 ,this group were so prolific at this time vast parts of their output never made it to albums ,turning up ,like this gem as b sides or outakes,This is late period Jam in a wistful jangly mood but with a darker undertone lurking behind the mellowness ,the song ,lyrically,mourns the passing of a way of life sacrificed to progress and declining morals.Has hints of British psychedelica at its most parochial ,The Kinks come to mind as do early Floyd.The almost pastoral feel of this was not out of step with Wellers writing at this time and his finest inspiration often came to fruition on calssic b-sides like this .

from Extras (Polydor)
available on CD - The Jam-Extras


Talk Show Host  performed by Radiohead  1996
Recommended by penelope_66 [profile]

Super-dark-sexy...This song is an honest portrayal of the paradoxes involved with desire; happy/sad, pleasure/pain, love/hate...etc. I find it terribly gloomy yet wonderfully uplifting at the same time. Just beautiful.


available on CD - Street Spirit (Fade Out) EP


The Call  performed by Gene Page  1972
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An atmospheric soundtrack instrumental, with a superb blend of strings harpsichord, brass and woodwind. Everything is underpinned by a gently funky beat that delights me, and is typical of early 70s mood instrumentals.

from Blacula, available on CD




  Mike: Nice dense arrangement with the harpsichord penetrating attractively (try to remember that penetration can be unattractive at times). I enjoyed the excerpt very much.
  delicado: Yeah, the clarinet/sax you hear at the end of the sample nearly ruins it for me, but not quite. Those chords at the beginning recall that great song 'Life is Mono' by Mono, don't you think?
The Cast and Crew  performed by Harry Nilsson  1968
Recommended by agnamaracs [profile]

Otto Preminger's "Skidoo," starring Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, and Groucho Marx, among others, is best described as a psychedelic gangster film. While the film itself is mostly forgotten, Harry Nilsson gave it a memorable soundtrack, including "The Cast and Crew," which was played over the credits.

Wait. Did I say "played over?" This song IS the credits. The COMPLETE credits. Yes, going as far as mentioning the copyright line ("Copyright MCMLXVIII/By Sigma Productions Incorporated/Your seat's on fire") and people such as negative cutters, set directors, etc. And he puts in every little detail:

--"Photographed in Panavision and Technicolor/Director of Photography: Leon Shamroy, A.S.C. Hmph."

--"It's a Paramount (TM) release, a Gulf + Western company." (Yes, he sings "TM" and "plus.")

So, it's the movie credits. But he sings them, and he sings them in an interesting and humorous way. You have to pity the poor guy: he had to take all these names and occupations, fit them into a song, and make it interesting. And he even performed it live on television once, on "Playboy After Dark" in 1968.

from Skidoo (RCA LSO-1152)
available on CD - Skidoo / The Point! (BMG Camden)


The Conductor  performed by the faint  2001
Recommended by elvisneedsboats [profile]

arguably one of my favorite faint songs. but they're all good. the faint is all about the eighties synth-pop aesthetic, but they reach out of that style enough to keep it interesting. a lot of their stuff, this song in particular, shows this keen sense of being able to combine the dark("macabre" even, if you will.) synth/drum machine sound and equally dark lyrics with catchy riffs in a way that keeps the pessimistic, shadowy side bubbling at the surface. kinda reminds me of joy division, not so much in the style (even though there are some points where the two sound similar) but in the general tone. 'the conductor' is all about the atmospheric key board drones and 'plunk' sounds, plus the vocoder thing they use on the vocals.

from danse macabre, available on CD



the dark is rising  performed by mercury rev
Recommended by morning belle [profile]




The Dark of the Matinee  performed by Franz Ferdinand  2004
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

This song is so sinister sounding, and so dark, but at the same time you can dance to it. It's uptempo, but somehow still vaguely depressing. Plus, "It's better in the matinee, the dark of the matinee" is just such a cool lyric.

from Franz Ferdinand (Sony)



The Drapery Falls  performed by Opeth  2000
Recommended by Metalvangelist76 [profile]

Lyrics:

Please remedy my confusion
And thrust me back to the day
The silence of your seclusion
Brings night into all you say

Pull me down again
And guide me into pain

I'm counting nocturnal hours
Drowned visions in haunted sleep
Faint flickering of your power
Leaks out to show what you keep

Pull me down again
And guide me into...

There is failure inside
This test I can't persist
Kept back by the enigma
No criteria demanded here

Deadly patterns made my wreath
Prosperous in your ways
Pale ghost in the corner
Pouring a caress on your shoulder

Puzzled by shrewd innocence
Runs a thick tide beneath
Ushered into inner graves
Nails bleeding from the struggle

It is the end for the weak at heart always the same
A lullaby for the ones who've lost all reeling inside
My gleaming eye in your necklace reflects stare of primal regrets
You turn your back and you walk away never again

Spiraling to the ground below
Like Autumn leaves left in the wake to fade away
Waking up to your sound again
And lapse into the ways of misery.

This song is the embodiment of Opeth's sound, and one of the most powerful to me from an emotional perspective in the entire catalog.

from Blackwater Park, available on CD


The End of Life  performed by Gabor Szabo  1967
Recommended by konsu [profile]

I have to write about this song just to defend it. Because,among Szabo fans, this is considered crap...

But for a guy not known for his pop,this is a slammer! Most of this can be attributed to the singers on the session, who incidentally, are from The Love Generation. The Bahler brothers wrote this under the guise of "The California Dreamers", who also did a record the same year for Impulse with Tom Scott... And, whereas the Scott record has become a plunderphonic classic, Szabo's record goes unnoticed for it's lack of "breaks".....

This song is a great groovy stomper much in the tradition of all sunshine pop from the time period. Only with the added bonus of being performed by some of the best west coast session players of the time including Tom Scott himself, alongside Jimmy Gordon, Mike Melvoin, and Carol Kaye. And as with all Szabo's stuff,dark and sexy,with that eastern twist that he added to everything he did.... Bill Plummer added some buzzy sitar to this track too, which makes it a must for indo-pop fans!!

Did I mention the cover art?

from Wind Sky & Diamonds (Impulse! A-9151)



The Fog  performed by Kate Bush  1989
Recommended by Steenie [profile]

Hands down, this ballad by Kate Bush has THE BEST violin solo of any non-classical song. The song itself, though a bit of a downer, is really very beautiful.

"The Fog"

You see, I'm all grown up now.
He said,
Just put your feet down child,
'Cause you're all grown up now.

Just like a photograph,
I pick you up.
Just like a station on the radio,
I pick you up.
Just like a face in the crowd,
I pick you up.
Just like a feeling that you're sending out,
I pick it up.

But I can't let you go.
If I let you go,
You slip into the fog...

This love was big enough for the both of us.
This love of yours was big enough to be frightened of.
It's deep and dark, like the water was,
The day I learned to swim.

He said,
Just put your feet down, child.
Just put your feet down child,
The water is only waist high.
I'll let go of you gently,
Then you can swim to me.

Is this love big enough to watch over me?
Big enough to let go of me
Without hurting me,
Like the day I learned to swim?

'Cause you're all grown up now.

Just put your feet down, child,
The water is only waist high.
I'll let go of you gently,
Then you can swim to me.

from The Sensual World



  mrtanner: I agree. This song is stunning.
The Happy Phantom  performed by Tori Amos
Recommended by xicanti [profile]

I always want to dance to this song, and it's great to sing along to. It reminds me of "Wednesday" in a lot of ways; I just love how the tone changes from upbeat and cheerful to somewhat dark, then back again.

from Little Earthquakes


The Lament Of Pretty Baby  performed by Cursive  2000
Recommended by malpt [profile]

This is a powerful and deep song. I love it. It moves me. Every time I listen to it, it moves me.

from Domestica, available on CD


The Nightingale  performed by Julee Cruise  1989
Recommended by JoNZ [profile]

This song breaks my heart every time I hear it. Musically, it's like "Leader of the Pack", but at a snails pace. the thing is that the lyrics and Julee Cruise's delivery are so full of sadness and desire. The feeling grows as the song progresses, especially when the background wail kicks in. It illuminates dark places in the heart. This song is also included on the Twin Peaks sound track.

from Falling Into the Night, available on CD


The Reflecting God  performed by Marilyn Manson  1996
Recommended by lionson76 [profile]

We all need a little EVIL in our lives. Hey, "evil" is "live" spelled backwards. So when you feel the Prince of Darkness invading your soul, when depravity oozes from your pores, when the sweet smell of brimstone tickles your nose hairs, put on this track and throw yourself into the arms of Beelzebub. Paradise be damned!!

from Antichrist Superstar, available on CD


the spider and the fly  performed by London After Midnight
Recommended by silent_wretch [profile]

"Eternal bliss, something I can show you. Spread your arms and let my wings enfold you my love, my love"

Ah! perfectly dark romance...


available on CD - Selected Scenes From The End Of The World


The Stalker  performed by Green Velvet
Recommended by timbotones [profile]

this is a twisted sort of house/techno number that will appeal to non-lovers of house. Its heavy enough, tweaked enough, etc. and the vocals are nice and twisted. dark, but still humorous "im losing my mind"


available on CD - the nineties


The Underdogs  performed by Rialto  1998
Recommended by john_l [profile]

A majestic, dark, and glorious song. It has a horn in the background through most of it, and lovely strings interjecting at appropriate places. Actually it reminds me of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's '67 classic "Woman Woman" crossed with the Walker Brothers. The weakness is in the lyrics, which weren't Rialto's strong point, but with music this wonderful, I for one can overlook that ...


available on CD - Rialto (China)


The Very Best Of Neil Diamond  performed by Super Furry Animals
Recommended by komodo [profile]

With a glam stomp, middle eastern rhythms, electro inflections, Furry invention and a monstrous hook, this is one of the many highlights from SFA's latest album "Dark Days/Light Years".
The album is chock full of brilliance to be honest, it may be the best thing they have done in 10 years, it is that good!

Genius. SFA OK.


available on CD - Dark Days/Light Years (Rough Trade)


The Way that I Found You  performed by Ladytron  2000
Recommended by tempted [profile]

It's no matter what you do but how you do it! This is a darker song in the Ladytron repertoire and electro disco pop at its very best. Very synth bass heavy yet melodic thanks to these people who understand the recipe of making me happy! Ladytron succeed in making their highly synthetic music sound very organic. Just like Kraftwerk have always done. Apart from Kraftwerk this reminds me of... The Human League. But with a modern touch, leaving the trademark 8t's echoes out. Get up on the dancefloor!

from 604, available on CD



Thesen & Antithesen  performed by Brainstorm  1972
Recommended by human-cannonball [profile]

A long, wild, complex, dark, almost haunting jazz-rock piece that has changed the way I faced German 70s rock. It's in par with the rest of the tracks on the excellent 'Smile a While' LP by this legendary rock band. It's not very hard to find, and I believe it has been re-issued on CD.

from Smile a While (Spiegelei)


This place is a prison  performed by The postal Service
Recommended by realbookfakebook [profile]

Sounds dark and neato and electonic-ish. Super catchy tune




This year  performed by Mountain goats
Recommended by moondog [profile]

When you´ve overdosed on soft pop and brazilian reissues of the sixties, well, you need something else. So, how about an alt-country concept record, sort of, on child abuse ? Now, don´t runaway because Mountain Goats singer/songwriter John Darnielle is in my opionon the antidote of all the other, look at me how authentic i am singer/songwriters, that have seem to have regular subscriptions in mojos review department. There is a sense of urgency in darnielles songs that he writes songs because he has to. Taken from a fine album overall,The sunset tree, "This year" is the stand out track with a chorus to seek comfort from in the darkest of times; "i am gonna make it through this year if it kills me".

from The sunset tree (4ad)


Threshold Of Transformation  performed by Isis  2009
Recommended by SamHall [profile]

The 9:52 long track immediately blasts you off your feet with a ethereally heavy series of riffs and Aaron Turner's rough vocals. Keeping it interesting, the structure continues to evolve, and drifts downward into a more dreamy movement which stays dense and builds the tension for the following verses. About halfway in, the song reaches the first climax that (I think) embodies the "Threshold" in the song title. After which, it moves into a more contemplative section, smoothing out the turmoil and tension brought on by the first half, while building its own. Beautifully, it succeeds in building yet another crescendo, only to end in free fall, with guitar and bass fantastically accenting the mood. The bass in this song is truly something to behold, wavering and powerful in its tone.

What I like about this song reflects on why I like Isis' music in general: it's complex, atmospheric, emotional, intricate, and smart. It truly is "thinking man's metal." Isis is all about themes and atmospheres, emotions and vibes, rather than clear ideas and lyrics. It's visceral, raw, and transcendent. And in some ways, I think this song embodies everything that makes them great.

from Wavering Radiant, available on CD


Tired of being alive  performed by Danzig
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

Dark,some what disturbing and beautiful.




Tive Razao  performed by Seu Jorge  2004
Recommended by ambassador [profile]

So anyone who's seen The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or City of God will recognize Seu Jorge as the handsome, dark-skinned actor with the gravelly voice. In Life Aquatic he plays Pele, the Brazilian safety officer on board Zissou's boat and the bard that plays Portuguese language covers of David Bowie songs. Although this is changing, even in Brazil he's better known as an actor than a musician. His second solo album (he used to be in a band called Farofa Carioca), Cru, was released last fall in France and was impossibly hard to find until recently. Tive Razao was the first release from this album and is fairly representative and is the shining peak as well. Based around an acoustic guitar riff and Seu Jorge's multi-tracked vocals, the song just floats in this melancholy haze like some of the best Chico Buarqu de Hollanda ballads. The production on this song (and the album) is much more sparse than the previous album, but much more original as well. Jorge even uses what I think is a theremin to add a slight spookiness to the preceedings. The lyrics mean something like, "I had an excuse" or "I had a reason."

from Cru, available on CD



  ambassador: I since found out that the title means "You were right." makes a bit more sense that way.
To the shore  performed by Pet Shop Boys  2005
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Dark, majestic, tender, subtle instrumental music which is of immense quality and beauty. There are several other high points on this...it's very worthy of investigation!

Unfortunately the British CD has nasty copy control technology on it which I'm pretty certain is going to stop me listening to it on an mp3 player. Oh well...

from Battleship Potemkin, available on CD


Today  performed by Smashing Pumpkins
Recommended by brooksyinc [profile]

Wow! What a song! It starts off with the mock ice-cream jingle then Billy And The Guys craft a brilliant song. But dont be fulled with the lyric "Today Is The Greatest Day Of My Life" it seems to be upbeat and poppy but it has some dark lyrics

from Siamese Dream


Trouble Every Day  performed by Tindersticks  2001
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

From the film of the same name. This has to be one the darkest songs from the Tindersticks. It features the lush string arrangements that the band has been shying away from lately, and incorporates some soulful pizzicato effects. Guitarist Dickon Hinchcliff contributes vocals along with Stuart Staples. Haunting.


available on CD - Trouble Every Day (Beggar's Banquet)



Turning of the Tide  performed by Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3  2006
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Songwriter Steve Wynn, the former Dream Syndicate frontman, has been on a tear since 1996 when he offered Melting in the Dark. Since then, his records have featured howling, wailing rock & roll and deep, dark acoustic reflections — all of them bearing his trademark noir-ish lyrics that offer the shadowy side of life, love, and violence. He's employed a variety of musicians, and they've always sounded like hired guns. On ...Tick...Tick...Tick he's got himself a real band. They're all younger than he is, and they have the hunger it takes to really execute Wynn's unique songs. Start with drummer Linda Pitmon, who acts as co-producer (along with Wynn and Craig Schumacher) on these sides. Add to this the fact that the entire band (including Dave DeCastro on bass and guitarist Jason Victor) plots the arrangements.

"Turning of the Tide," is the mirror image, with the refrain stating "Don't be afraid/It's just the turning of the tide." Here again, guitars climb astride one another and begin ringing, jangling in heated dialogue to underscore the words as Pitmon's in-the-pocket drumming urges them forward.
(AMG)

from ...Tick...Tick...Tick, available on CD


Um Girassol da Cor de Seu Cabelo  performed by Milton Nascimento / Lo Borges  1972
Recommended by mr_klenster [profile]

This entire album is beautiful and fascinating. I seem to be a sucker for rather melancholic, afflicted, and intoxicating sounds, so here I go again. The first half of this song is slow and haunting, I don't understand Portuguese, but the tone sounds like a filmic remembrance of tragically lost love, with yearning lyrics paired to beautiful piano-led orchestration . In the middle of the song there is a break of dark, doomy strings, followed by the second half, which is a quicker tempoed revisit of the first half, taking the form of a psychic climax.

from Clube Da Esquina


Unas Slayer of the Gods  performed by Nile  2002
Recommended by The Great Deceiver [profile]

A technically astonishing piece of Egyptian-influenced death metal by a bunch of Americans from the swamps of Florida. For those not initiated in the relentless grind of thrashing guitars, double-bass tub-thumping and unholy growling vocals this is about as subtle as a horse's cock. And about as appealing as well. Make no mistake, this is brutal but in a market dominated by tedious and unchallenging MTV-friendly nu-metal, that any band can try and succeed in pulling this off is two welcome fingers in the face of Fred Durst and his pals.

from In Their Darkened Shrines, available on CD



Unas the Slayer of the Gods  performed by Nile  2002
Recommended by King Charles [profile]

If you are looking for an epic, detailed, scriptured text, infused with the basal roots of death metal, this song is it. Standing at a whopping 11:43 (minutes and seconds), this is one of the longest songs I've ever heard, apart from Dream Theater. Listen to the lyrics here, we don't have a bunch of nihilistic meatheads preaching about death and lost love, it rather contains text from the Pyramid of Unas (known as the Pyramid Texts). These texts are dated in Unas's reign, who was the last ruler of the 5th dynasty- most agree he was alive from 2375 to 2345 B.C., but as is seen on elyrics.net, some date him back to 5330 B.C. This date, combined with it's deific juggernaut of sound (perpetrated in the beginning with an echoed 'vena' intro compimented by an all mighty gong, and again in the bridge which sounds like the intro to the Dark Army from LOTR: Return of the King, with it's French horns and marcato kettle drum foundation), make for a truly musical masterpiece. This is the first death metal band I encountered whose lyrics had real meaning, origin, and context (much like DJ Cheb i Sabah's portrayal of texts from the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita). Listen to this the whole way through, the instrumentation is incredible, with a massive orchestrated sound about as subtle as a tidal wave. The bass drums constantly set up the rhythm for the entire work (hold the beginning, and about 8:20 through, as well as the conclusion), and the instinctive deep-throat, albeit gut lyrics add for the dark yet impressive overtone of this piece. I believe I can hear sitar, vena, and even 12-string guitar in this piece. Also, it is critical to acknowledge the chorus in the background- this really highlights the sovereign, godly quality of the song's tone. The arrangement is tight, constantly in rhythm, never behind, and well meshed together, indicating well thought-out composing. Great to listen to before a game of hockey, going to the gym, or if you are feeling weak and helpless- this piece will give you power. Enjoy it for what it is- a new, comforting taste in death metal. Listen to this piece, buy the album, and do research on Unas himself- you'll find a quite interesting history behind this ancient Egyptian ruler, which is the embodiment of Nile- their obsession with the ancient kingdom. 5 out of 5 starts for its genre.

from In Their Darkened Shrines



Under Cover of Darkness  performed by The Strokes
Recommended by lhirsch92 [profile]




Underglow  performed by EO - www.soundsliketree.com  2011
Recommended by phaeocstar [profile]

Electro Acoustic, Dark, Tribal, Cosmic, Futuristic, Dubstep, Through-Composed, Journey, Classical, Exploration, Experimental, Balkan, Psychadelic

from Underglow


Vim Da Bahia  performed by Quarteto Em Cy  1967
Recommended by sodapop650 [profile]

Quarteto Em Cy "Som Definitivo" was the first brazilian LP I purchased because I liked the cover. Before that I had only been familiar with Sergio Mendes and things like Les Baxter or Michel LeGrands excellent Rio LP. The darkness and power of Som Definitivo blew me away. Instead of the sacharine sweet vocals and ultra-clean arrangements of Sergio Mendes this sounded like 4 rowdy schoolgirls who got dragged into the studio off the street. The sound was much more throaty and the music by Tamba Trio is the primitive repetitious acoustic stuff that, personally, affects me the most. they do a lot of "call-and-response" type of arrangements. I always imagine the solitary life of people living in Bahia and the importance of the sea and the repetitious sound of the breaking waves in much of the music and the voices of the 4 girls like ghosts of the sea calling out to the fishermen. (I make up all kinds of stupid shit about the songs becasue I can't understand a word their saying anyway) Quarteto Em Cy also perfom on the classic Baden Powell/Vinicius De Moraes LP "Os Afro Sambas." In one of my earlier comments I mention that I have been told that Voodoo had a big influence on the people of Brazil and this LP is the best example of this influence.

from Som Definitivo, available on CD


Waiting for the Moving Van  performed by David Ackles  1972
Recommended by I, Claudius [profile]

An underrated '70s singer-songwriter, Ackles was a weird hybrid of Scott Walker and Brecht-Weill. He had a macabre, darkly humorous streak, but he could be almost embarrassingly sentimental at times; this is one of those times. It's a delicately orchestrated ballad about a guy whose family left him because he didn't have time for them. Comes from his best album, 'American Gothic.'

from American Gothic, available on CD


Wanderlove  performed by Claudine Longet  1967
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

I always like Claudine Longet's whispery, French accented voice, singing cutesy little love songs with all the dreamy passion of a girl decorating her school notebook with detailed drawings of unicorns and flowers. But she sounds even better when performing a darker, vaguely forboding song like "Wanderlove". The gentle string arrangement and subtle sitar flourishes are the icing on the cake. Wherever you're going, Claudine, take me with you.

from Claudine, available on CD


Warning Sign  performed by Coldplay  2002
Recommended by FoolScribe [profile]

One of my favourite tracks off Coldplay's second LP, this song is definitely not "Clocks", but that's a good thing. This is a slow track, one that's good for listening to on a rainy afternoon when you're feeling lethargic, or in the dark when you're feeling pensive. The guitars and percussion on this one are plaintive and comforting at the same time; the lyrics are plain and simple, yet full of meaning; and anyone who has heard Chris Martin sing and has run out and bought a Coldplay album won't be turning this track off.

from A Rush of Blood to the Head (Capitol)


Watch Take Care  performed by HE SAID  1988
Recommended by beautifulmutant [profile]

Lewis from WIRE formed this side band with John Fryer back in the late 80's. Watch Take care is probably the coolest song ever shat forth from the doomed Enigma label. It's a complete winner though. Scary, bumping bass rift... dark vocals. It's like pop goth almost. Very memorable. One of my favorites of 1989.

from Take Care (Enigma)


We might as well be strangers  performed by Keane  2004
Recommended by Mike [profile]

An absolute masterpiece whose deceptive simplicity always moves.

from Hopes and Fears, available on CD



  daniela_por: it's fantastic, just like the whole album. And the lyrics are wonderful
When I Was a Young Girl  performed by Feist
Recommended by ThisNameIsTaken [profile]

inspired by traditional American Folk Music 'When I Was a Young Girl' contains beautiful vocals, haunting lyrics and a great beat.

Leslie Feist is an incredible artist and i would highly recomend the entire album 'Let It Die' (preferably the 2004 re-release).

from Let It Die, available on CD



When you live life alone  performed by Sarah Shannon
Recommended by moondog [profile]

To judge by the coverphoto of mrs Shannon this song doesn´t refer to her own personal situation. So, for at least this writer, to see that it was penned by her boyfriend at the time, Blake Wescott, makes a bit more sense. Anyroads, When you live life alone is one of those songs that could have been so much more. A bit properly edited and structured I believe that Burt Bacharach would have considered it among his best. Certainly, the verse is up there with the best burtinspired pop ever. In the chorus though, Barbra Streisand enters the stage and smudders it with a bit too much melodrama to make it the 24 carat gold classic of a song it could have been. But if you have read this far into the text do check it out.

from Sarah Shannon


White Rabbit  performed by Jefferson Airplane  196?
Recommended by mattypenny [profile]

I'm going to post 3 linked songs. Eventually. This one, Somebody to Love by the same band and then the recent cover of Somebody To Love by the Boogie Pimps.

Anyway I must have heard this before, but sometime within the past few years it popped up on a free magazine compilation. I probably associated the band with their 80s (?) incarnation - the band that did 'We built this City On Rock and Roll'. Each to their own, but I have to say I really didn't like that song at all - to me it was bland, radio and MTV friendly big haired, anthemic music for people who don't like music. Really sorry if it was your favourite, but as I say, each to their own. White Rabbit is to me is the total opposite.

The best way I can think of to describe the sound would be as being like a cooler, more rocking 60s version of 'Metal Postcard' style Siouxsie and the Banshees. The words are a druggie take on Alice in Wonderland, and it finishes with the singer (Grace Slick?) basically shouting 'Feed my head' over and over. Although I wouldn't condone the sentiment (Just say No, kids!), it's all very impressive. It couldn't be less bland, radio and MTV friendly.

If you like the Banshees, Bauhaus, indie in general or on the otherhand the darker Beatles stuff or the Velvet Underground you might enjoy this.




who needs forever  performed by astrud gilberto  1966
Recommended by coffman [profile]

This exceptionally haunting and lyrical song by Quincy Jones has received its definitive interpretion by Astrud Gilberto with arrangement and accompaniment by the Brazilian organist Walter Wanderley. The melancholy urgency of the piece resonates well with the dark/sad tonality that pervades so much of Bossa Nova music, though its character is also reminiscent of certain otherwise very different pieces from the bebop era, which had a formative influence on Quincy Jones' music. There is definitely the remote influence of Charlie Parker and especially Dizzy Gillespie. It's truly a completely unique piece. The drifting melody which seems to skirt over the chord changes has a beautiful inevitability. Only a very gifted and skilled musician could have contrived such a beautiful work. So Quincy Jones deserves especial credit for crafting this song from the film "The Deadly Affair."

Astrud's delivery, so typically limpid and restrained, only serves to heighten the intensity of this darkly passionate song. The subtle but somehow fierce organ playing of Walter Wanderley acheives a sizzling romanticism that perfectly complements the reading of Astrud's apparently detached fatalism.

In my opinion, this track is a true musical masterpiece. Its remarkable economy of means is a testament to the skill of the composer as well as the artistry of the performers. In fact, it's a nearly perfect combination of expressive means and poetic intent. The beautiful resolution, with Astrud's perfect striking of the high B-flat over the half-diminished F-minor seventh, is a moment of sublime dramatic intensity, though profoundly understated, as is typical of her finest artistic moments. One is reminded of Miles Davis. Her poetic skill is rooted in subtlety.

I have listened to this extraordinary track hundreds of times, and always experienced chills rising up on the back of my neck. How amazing that this incredible musical gem was omitted from the original album A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness. Perhaps it was too intense, too heavy; whatever the case, it's a truly remarkable piece of music.

I'm truly grateful to have discovered this great albeit minor musical masterpiece. There's really nothing else quite like it! The sizzling but subtle sensitivity of the rhythm section (Claudio Slon on drums, possibly Joao Gilberto on guitar and Jose Marino on bass) adds an intensity to the piece which helps project the almost existential tone of the song.

I'm really swept away by this obscure and neglected work, which attains -- for me at least -- to a peak of poetic intensity really rare in music. As is usual with Astrud at her best, it accomplishes its artistic ends with what seems like the most minimal of means. But subtlety is always the avenue to the most profound of artistic experiences. I think this is a remarkable example -- one of the greatest -- of the wedding of popular music and high art. It is a truly perfect performance. In my opinion, its greatness increases rather than diminshes with repeated listenings. There is only one word for that -- it's magic!

from A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness, available on CD



  rio: you must pick-up the quincy jones soundtrack (released with the score to "the pawnbroker") with astrud singing "who needs forever". The lush quincy jones score is hauntingly beautiful, and astrud never sounded better. This version is the real deal for me..
  rferus: Amazing guitar on this piece.
Wicked Blood  performed by Sea Wolf  2009
Recommended by jeeves [profile]

dark blue, outside in the snow at night, looking at lights in the distance.

and under the church light / you stand there / with your wicked blood and your curls

from White Water, White Bloom, available on CD


Yawn  performed by The Orchids  1989
Recommended by Rena Blue [profile]

One must be alone in a quiet darkened room, late evening, to feel the full atmospheric impact of this very moving tune.

Also available on the 'What will we do next' ep Sarah 23.

from Epicurean - A soundtrack (Sarah Records Sarah 611)



You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling  performed by The Human League  1979
Recommended by Genza [profile]

This is a cover of the Spector, Mann and Weil classic. I'd always loved The Human League - and Dare is probably the seminal new romantic album. But it wasn't until a friend of mine bought Reproduction in the late 1980s that I discovered the early, darker side of The Human League.

Reproduction is often slated for being too doomy and too pretentious. But there's some real gems on there - and Empire State Human and Blind Youth bounce along nicely.

The real killer is track 7 - which effectively blends electronic lament Morale with the League's cover of You've Lost That Loving Feeling. It's a beautiful, slow version - a totally electronic lullaby and it's totally essential.

from Reproduction (Virgin CDV 2133 CDV 2133)


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