Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Great songs, according to me (Part 5)

First - sign my GuestMap! I haven't been bugging you about it recently, but now I'm back!

It's been a little bit since I dazzled you with my musical tastes, but the various CDs I have been receiving through the mail put me in a musical mood. So let's get to it! Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 are in the books, and it's one to Part Five!

41. Bad (by U2 on the album The Unforgettable Fire, 1985): I forgot this last time, so I shoehorn it in here. Early U2 isn't really my thing, and this album isn't all that great, but this song rises above the mediocrity. That delicate guitar begins the song, and Bono starts in with "If you twist and turn away," and then ends the verse with "Surrender, dislocate," and we're off. By the time the song crescendos and Bono's wailing "Let it go," and then suddenly drops to almost a whisper: "I'm not sleeping, oh no," you know that this band had the potential for true greatness, which they fulfilled on their next album.

42. Battle Flag (by the Lo Fidelity Allstars featuring Pigeonhed on the album How To Operate With A Blown Mind, 1998): This is a good album, but this song blows the others away. Funky, nasty, a great groove, inexplicable lyrics - what more could you want? "Got a revolution behind my eyes." Oh yeah.

43. Battleship Chains (by the Georgia Satellites on the album Georgia Satellites, 1986): Krys hates the Georgia Satellites. HATES THEM! What the heck does she know, though? Okay, they're not a great band, but they were a fun band, and this album has some good songs on it. This is just a rollicking hootenanny of a tune, with the chorus "You got me tied down with battleship chains, fifty feet long and a two-ton anchor," just a fun way to describe a relationship that's not going the way the guy wants it (as in, his girl probably doesn't let him drink moonshine and hunt coons on a Saturday night - the nerve!). Fun, no-brainer music.

44. Be Mine (by R.E.M. on the album New Adventures In Hi-Fi, 1996): This is a brilliant R.E.M. album, the first one I liked from start to finish, and this song is one of my favorites. It's an unbelievably beautiful love song, and Stipe sells it so well, as he lists all the things he will do for his true love. He gets toward the end, and sings, "I'll be the sky above the Ganges; I'll be the vast and stormy sea; I'll be the lights that guide you inward; I'll be the visions you will see, visions you will see - you and me," and then Peter's guitars kick in, harder than you expect, and the whole thing soars out of sight - it gives me chills. The whole album is good, but this song ... wow.

45. Beat Me Up (by Mary's Danish on the album Circa, 1991): Mary's Danish is a good little band that released some albums and then fell apart. They were occasionally country, occasionally funky, and usually very good. This is a sad little song about a woman in an abusive relationship, and it starts out a little honky-tonk and then the guitar turns scratchy and mean. When the lead singer (they had two women, and I don't which one sings this) says, "Tomorrow you won't remember, and I won't remind you that you beat me up tonight," you feel her pain and suffering. Despite its few lyrics, it's a tough song that makes you uncomfortable (in a good way).

46. Beautiful (by Marillion on the album Afraid Of Sunlight, 1995): Marillion, as you should know, is the best band ever. I've said it before and I'll say it again. This song is a plea for beautiful things to remain unaffected by the dirty world around them. Steve Hogarth wants to know if beautiful things are "strong enough to be" in a world that gives bad names to them. It's a - dare I say it? - beautiful song.

47. Beautiful Girls (by Van Halen on the album Van Halen II, 1979): This is the last song of the ridiculously fun second album from the ridiculously fun rockers (and let's face it, they were the most fun band in the world from 1978-1984, when Diamond Dave left), and this is a perfect example of why Van Halen rose above the rest. Who can resist Dave singing, "She was a-seaside sittin' just a-smokin' and a-drinkin' on ringside, on top of the world, oh yeah; she had a drink in her hand, she had her toes in the sand, and whoa! what a beautiful girl"? No one! The Dave obnoxiousness is in full bloom too, but Dave could be as goofy as anyone, when at the end he says, "What's your name honey - hey! where you goin'?" Fun stuff from a formidable rock band.

48. Beautiful Ones (by Prince and the Revolution on the album Purple Rain, 1984): Prince can write some mean music, can't he? Another track from Purple Rain shows up on this list, and it's a killer. It starts out slow and somewhat sweet (about as sweet as Prince gets, I suppose), then builds to that awe-inspiring crescendo, when the Mr. Nelson starts to scream, "Do you want me ... or do you want him ... 'cause I want you!" If you've ever seen the movie, this is best scene, as he sings directly to Apollonia and she's riveted. Morris is, of course, blissfully ignorant.

49. Behind Blue Eyes (by The Who on the album Who's Next, 1971): Again, do I really have to explain? What a creepy song, if you think about it. It's like someone's going to go crazy, and then people will die, and there will be weeping. And yet it starts off so nicely. Ah, it's just like life that way, ain't it?

50. Behind The Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal (by Genesis on the album Duke, 1980): This is kind of a cheat, since these songs all run together, but all three of them are good. This began Genesis's first 1980s album, a decade that started well (with Duke and Abacab and even, sort of, Genesis) but then went to hell with Invisible Touch. Phil is, well, Phil, but the music easily slides from one song to another, and the first song's somewhat oblique lyrics segue into a tale of a woman who dreamed of fame and found it wasn't all she thought it would be (yes, the story is a cliche, but it's still a good song), and then, the last song becomes quiet and leads into other parts of the album. It's not really a concept album, but it's sort of one, and these songs show everything that made Genesis great - strong and complicated music, somewhat unintelligble lyrics, and a willingness to write about more than just L-U-V. And then Phil went all pop on us. It was the baldness, I'm sure of it.

Any shots you want to take at my excellent musical tastes? Go ahead - I fear it not!


Blogger N said...

No, no shots. It's all pretty damn good.

5/5/05 4:40 PM  
Blogger Roxy said...

I do love the Battle Flag song by Lo Fidelity Allstars... in fact, the first time I heard the song (1998?) I went out and bought the album. I didn't realize that the album version had so many uses of the word "Fuck" and I brought my new CD out to my boss one day to play really loud while he was washing his car (I worked for a plumbing company - they all washed their cars on Friday in the parking lot when the weather was nice). He cranked the sound system and the other business owners in the complex soon learned how to operate with a blown mind... good times, good times...

5/5/05 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Mike Loughlin said...

This entry featured more songs I know than any others. Word.

-"New Adventures in Hi Fi" is the most underrated REM album.
"Leave" is my favorite song on the c.d.; it's so loud, but so delicate.

-"Behind Blue Eyes"- in case you didn't know, it's about Frank Sinatra. My favorite Who recording (and oh do I love the Who) is on "Live at Leeds"- "Amazing Journey/ Sparks," in which John Entwhistle shreds through the transition between the tunes.

- "Battle-Flag" came out when just about nothing good was on the radio, and the tape-player in my car broke. It was a life saver.

6/5/05 5:01 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

I prefer hearing U2's Bad on live bootlegs from that time period often where Bono teases the Gloria.

6/5/05 9:17 AM  
Blogger tomthedog said...

Ah, yeah, beautiful girls -- I love 'em! I need 'em! Can't live without 'em! Diamond Dave at his best, I agree.

I love the Who, but I've never heard that "Behind Blue Eyes" was supposed to be about Sinatra. Are you sure about that? I do know their new song, "Real Good Looking Boy" is partly about Elvis.

6/5/05 10:28 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, I didn't know that either about Sinatra - Mike is full of arcane knowledge! Daltrey and Townshend have a strange view of Sinatra if it's true. I suppose this list is a little more "mainstream" - I kind of alternate between radio staples and stuff no one has ever heard, and the alphabet says this is more mainstream!

I don't generally like live versions of songs over the recorded stuff, but I do like the live version of "Bad," even though I like the recorded one better. And who knew "Battle Flag" would save a life? What a testimonial!

6/5/05 11:25 AM  
Blogger Krys said...

Sorry, sweetie. The Georgia Satellites will always suck ass, and I still think "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" will always be the best Van Halen Song, but I'm willing to go with you on the rest. Remember, I'm the one who went out & bought The Lo Fidelity Allstars CD after hearing Battle Flag on the radio?

You should also mention that there's an awesome Pigeonhed song on the "Hype!" soundtrack.

6/5/05 8:47 PM  
Blogger Roxy said...

Ahh, Krys a woman after my own heart

7/5/05 9:53 AM  

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