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 6)

Be the latest to sign my GuestMap! Just recently Latigo Flint signed it, after giving me some interesting advice on how to help my flea bites (which weren't fleas, but something weirder - ooh, spooky!). And the latest to sign it is Astrid, whom I have mentioned before. Check out both their sites - more fun stuff to read instead of doing, you know, meaningful labor.

It's been a while since I did this, but let's jump right in! If you're so inclined, you can read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. But now it's time for Part Sechs!

51. Behold! The Nightmare (by Smashing Pumpkins on the album Adore, 1998): This is a strong track from the Pumpkins' worst album (it's not bad, but it ain't great), because on this song, all the weird orchestration that wrecked some of the other tunes helped it immensely. It has the typically bizarre lyrics that makes Corgan more pretentious than your average rock star, but it soars. That's what pushes it over the top.

52. Being So Not For You (I Had No Right)(by P.M. Dawn on the album Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry For Bringing You Here. Love, Dad, 1998): Okay, the name of the album reeks of pretension. But this is a beautiful song about the pain that occurs when we try to impose our will on someone we love. Excellent lyrics, gorgeous melodies - everything that's fantastic about P.M. Dawn. When Prince Be sings, "What's the easiest way to hurt a man - give him all he's ever wanted," you feel his heart breaking.

53. Believe (by Lenny Kravitz on the album Are You Gonna Go My Way, 1993): Yes, it's the fourth Lenny Kravitz tune so far on my list, and he's not even close to my favorite musician. Even though a lot of his stuff is dull and clichéd, when he's on, he's totally on. This is a nice song about having faith in God, which is nice, and it's going along nicely, and you're thinking, "This is a nice little song" (I'm being deliberately obtuse with my choice of adjectives, by the way), and then he stops singing and the guitar kicks in and the song just soars (apparently that's my verb of choice today). It just keeps getting higher and higher until it reaches the greatness plateau. And then you have to listen to the rest of the album, which doesn't come close to this or the title track (this is the second song on the album).

54. The Best Of Times (by Styx on the album Paradise Theater, 1980): Styx was such a cool band until Tommy joined up and the tension between he and Dennis wrecked them. This album and Mr. Roboto showed the cracks. This is still a good album, and this is the centerpiece. All of Dennis's yearning for a long-gone Golden Age, not only between he and the woman (presumably) he's singing to but for the world itself is evident. It's such a sad yet triumphant song, and interestingly enough, marks the passing of an age of music, if you want to interpret it that way. So many levels from a Styx song! Who'd a thunk it?

55. Better Or Worse (by Liquid Jesus on the album Pour In The Sky, 1991): I put this on my first CD for Chris "Lefty" Brown's Mixed Bag CD exchange because it's so freakin' excellent. Liquid Jesus never made much of a splash, but they were a really great band. This song starts quietly, with a flute (!) and some acoustic guitar and a nice lyric - "It's a crazy love, that first feeling, you take your chance now for better or for worse." Then it gets quiet and strange, and then turns again into a joyful song about taking chances in love. Bruce Hornsby plays piano on it, which always struck me as weird. A great song by a great band.

56. Between You And Me (by Marillion on the album Anoraknophobia, 2001): The people to whom I sent my mix CDs were lukewarm about Marillion - some loved the band, others not so much. Philistines! When I am dictator of the world you will all love their music! Bwah-ha-ha-ha! This is a perfect album starter - rocking and rollicking and powerful. There's a little interlude in the middle when it gets almost playful, and then it kickstarts again. Great stuff.

57. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) (by Van Halen on the album Diver Down, 1982): Most of this album is cover tunes, and while some don't work ("Dancing In The Street" - blech), this song is just pure, unadulterated fun. Sing it with me: "Well way down yonder in Louisville lived a cat named Big Bad Bill ..." And there's a freakin' clarinet solo by Papa Van Halen, for crying out loud! How can you not love that???? "Big Bad Bill don't fight anymore ... He's doin' the dishes, and moppin' up that floor (yes he is!)" Sing it, Dave!

58. Big Time Operator (by the Dead Milkmen on the album Bucky Fellini, 1987): What a bizarre band the Dead Milkmen were (are?). What a bunch of fantastic songs, of which this is a classic. It's a fun groove, with goofy guitars that allow the boys to take shots at "blues guitar gods" with shout-outs like "Look out Stevie Ray Vaughan, look out Charlie Sexton, look out all you cheesy Texas motherfuckers!" Remember when Charlie Sexton was someone you could pick on?

59. Billy Jack Bitch (by Prince on the album The Gold Experience, 1995): This was the first album Prince put out under his new, goofy name, and if you ignore that, you can get into his best album since Sign O' The Times. This is a funky snarky tune (Prince does them so well) with some great horns and his trademark whiny guitar (that's a compliment - I love how Prince plays guitar). Prince fell off the map in the 1990s, which is a shame because he put out some fabu music. This is just an example.

60. Bitchin' Camaro (by the Dead Milkmen on the album Big Lizard In My Backyard, 1986): Holy crap, it's two Dead Milkmen songs within three spots! Is this their famous song (before "Punk Rock Girl")? I don't know - it was famous in my school, but that's because was from the Philly area. This is a classic - it starts off with that goofy bass line, with the two dudes talking about going down to the shore, all a set-up for one of them asking what kind of car he has. Guess what kind? Can you resist: " 'Ah wow, how'd you get a car?' 'My folks drove it up here from the Bahamas.' 'You're kidding.' 'I must be, the Bahamas are islands.' " Give up the love!!!!

Well, that's all for now. Comments about my musical tastes, as always, are welcome. Comments about where to put my musical tastes - let's be civil, people!


Blogger Chris Cope said...

No. 57 -- One of my all-time favorites. It would fall in top 20 for me, or at least fight for the spot against "Ice Cream Man" or "Gigilo."

Why, yes, I am a dork.

3/6/05 3:38 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

It's a great song. Most of early Van Halen is. I'm doing these in alphabetical order (yes, I too am a dork), so number 57 does not indicate its place in the hierarchy.

3/6/05 6:23 PM  

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