I was looking up and down the list and wondered "why wasnt there any Todd Rundgren"? This is one of my all-time favorites from him at his creative peak. Although sometimes his ego and additudes about the music business (and fans) gets in the way of me enjoying his music, on this track he keeps his ego in check and uses his melodic (and commercial) smarts to make this one of this greatest ballads.
This is just an wonderful track, along with a amazing Stevie Wonder meets Brian Wilson all synth production. Also check the solo piano version on his "Back to The Bars" 2-CD set.
The title track from Goldfrapp’s second LP is everything pop music should be – sexy, glamorous, smart and weird - but rarely is these days. If their debut album was all about, in the duo’s own words, “Ennio Morricone and disco”, then the follow-up is all about disco and…Ennio Morricone – only wrapped in a shimmering gown early 1980’s inspired electronic textures. Electro-clash with heart and soul, a Madonna song with 170 I.Q., a tune for Milva to sing on Moonbase Alpha – I could go on and on…
eftimihn: Excellent recommendation and great description. Unfortunately the only track off their sophomore effort that can moodwise hold up to such exquisite songs like "Pilots" or "Utopia" from their debut. robert[o]: I actually dig the second LP a great deal. Very disco/electro, (as opposed to Ennio), but really high quality disco/electro. (And simply delivering a "Felt Mountain" Part II would have been a bit dull - I think.) "Forever" and "Hairy Trees" are pretty darn exquisite, likewise. catfish: a beautiful track that simply melts into your ears. You get the impression that something very naughty is going on but never quite sure exactly what. Has Rachel Stevens ripped this band off or what? OneCharmingBastard: A sumptuous moment from one of this decade's most solid slabs of sound.
This is the record that pretty much kicked off the whole 'bastard pop' genre - where a clever bootlegger would fuse the vocal track of one song with the backing of another. Here we have Public Enemy and Herb Alpert (Bittersweet Samba, from Whipped Cream...).
The reason this record (unlike most of the other mash-ups) works so well is that it sounds like a genuine collaboration - the parps of the Tijuana Brass and Chuck D's rap spits meld perfectly. It's a smart-arse idea that becomes a work of art.
from the single By The Time I Get To Arizona [Whipped Cream Mix] (Pickled Egg Egg 8)
From Ottawa, the Staccatos were Canada's best pop band of the 1960s and, with the possible exception of Strange Advance, still their best ever. This song is a bit of a clone of their biggest hit, 1967's "Half Past Midnight", right down to the lyrical preoccupation with time, but it's still worth a listen if you like that late-'60s "summer pop" sound, because its production is pretty tight and it has several neat little tricks like the best pop songs do. The flip side is called "We Go Together Well" and it's pretty good too, with its fuzzy guitars (or is it the bass?) ...
All of these tracks mentioned here were found on a 1969 LP called "Five Man Electrical Band", which is what the Staccatos had changed their name to. The LP contains both sides of the "It Never Rains On Maple Lane" / "Private Train" release which was the first under that name, but subsequent material followed a musical change of direction to what I would call "swamp rock" after that ghastly "Joy To The World" by Three Dog Night (ugh!), although "Signs" and "I'm A Stranger Here" at least had some lyrical smarts ... a CD of this stuff has been released but unfortunately the Staccatos material has not, apart from "Half Past Midnight" which showed up on a best-of-Canadian compilation.
A smart, funny rant -- half talking, half singing. Political as any of her music, but less angry and more mocking. Very cool. Even if you don't like Ani, this one deserves a listen.
"...all the radios agree with all the tvs, and the magazines agree with all the radios and I keep hearing that same damn song everywhere I go! Maybe I should put a bucket over my head and a marshmallow in each ear, and stumble around for another dumb, numb week for another humdrum hit song to appear."
A moment of silence, (and/or eardrum-shredding noise), please folks, for the memory of the late, great Mr. John Balance of Coil who passed earlier this month. This track is one of my favorite “songs” by this organization, the title track from their sardonic exploration of club culture in the early 1990’s. Coil were never an “industrial” band – though they could create tracks of brutal, grinding sound. They were always too musical, too playful, too smart. On this tune – and there is a really catchy tune here – Balance does his best Christopher Lee impression, growling/singing of love as sickness, mixing quotes from William Blake and Roy Orbison, over a backing track that sounds like H. P. Lovercaft does Esquivel. Brilliant stuff from a brilliant man, who will be missed.
Who could forget the rousing "woo-hooa-a-hooas" that helped define the Pretenders' 1984 smash hit "Middle of the Road"? In a decade that saw synthesizer-oriented pop music arriving on U.S. soil from England, singer/guitarist Chrissie Hynde and bandmates tear it up on this classic example of pure, unadulterated rock music. The Pretenders' offering successfully maintains a formulaic rock pattern, with drums that beat on at a driving frenetic 4/4 pace and guitar riffs that induce foot stomping by the most conservative crowd. By the time the harmonica solo kicks in toward the track's end, "Middle of the Road" has worked itself up into such a musical romp that it challenges anyone to remain sitting down. There is no technical or instrumental trickery to be found here, no "secret sauce"; the song is very much in your face. Its rollicking music and lyrics that paint a picture of a journey make anyone want to hop into the car and take off for the open road. "Middle of the road, is trying to find me/ I'm standing in the middle of life with my plans behind me." You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't identify with that sentiment. The Pretenders zeroed in on one of humankind's most basic, secret desire — to get up and go — and backed it with an equally driven musical arrangement. And that's what makes this recording a timeless classic.
This is ABBA's best song. The syncopated drum-track in the verse is smart and the general feel of the song is cool. But the best part is the harmonised singing in the chorus. The background harmony which drops down a tone or two (imagine Jonny Marr shifting his guitar down two bars in a chord progression and you're there) is total class.
I love the Clash. I love the way they were four disparate individuals each bringing their own stuff to the mix. Topper's excellent drumming, Simonon's cool, Mick Jones musicality and street smarts, and Joe Strummer's....umm...Strummer-ness.
I love the fact they didn't play Top of the Pops. I love the fact that Strummer admitted that this was mainly 'cos he was crap at miming rather than out of any significant political stance or anything.
I love how gooood they were live. And I love the fact that I was lucky enough to see them.
I love the fact that Strummer picked 'Crawfish' as his favourite Elvis song. I also love the fact that sometimes, to my mind, they got things badly wrong, sounded a bit gauche or wrongheaded or worse. I'm thinking of Red Brigade t-shirts, using Belfast as a photo opportunity, and maybe singing about ghettos and Brixton, for the 'romance' of it when they weren't necessarily the closest to either. I dunno. That side makes me feel uneasy at times, but that's fine - makes me think.
This song is great. Reggae influenced rock, Strummer belting out 'one more time in the ghetto...'.
Its been so sad losing Joe, Johnny (Cash) and John (Peel) over the last couple of years. Good men, you feel.
A beautiful, stripped-down acoustic ballad, the final song on Travis' finest album. This song has one of the most amazing chorus' I've ever heard, a comment on the messages of music in life: "There is no design for life/There's no devil's haircut in my mind/There is not a wonderwall to climb or step around" Smart, and lovely.
Looking at these three girls on the cover of their album (and the two shadowy, deadly-dull string-pulling guys on the inside) you'd never think that something so chock-full of bubblegum Brooklyn attitood could produce the smart, sexy sound that is this marvellous track.
It's class in a glass. Sidestepping the cuteness factor and packaged cool (both of which, to their credit, they also do very well) of other tracks on the album, So Stylistic bombs along with a real old-skool hip-hop feel. This is balanced nicely by more than a smattering of electropop and gratuitous use of the vocoder, making it seem relentlessly contemporary. This is a band so up-to-date that they don't bother sampling any of that old jazz or funk nonsense, but go straight for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (on Things, another album highlight).
A rare example of a band manufactured down to the last pendant and all the better for it.
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.