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!

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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!

21.6.05

Great songs, according to me (Part 7)

I hope you enjoyed the links on Sunday, because I may have to skip a few weeks. We're still waiting on Krys to pop the kid out, and I'm busy doing stuff to get the house ready, so I may have less time to surf the Internet for your edification. I will try to keep up, but it might be difficult for a while. I sort of have a life, you know!

That doesn't mean that I will neglect my own blog, however. No sirs and madams! You need to know what my great songs are, don't you? Check out Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six. Because work can wait!

61. Black (by Pearl Jam on the album Ten, 1991): Pearl Jam rose from the ashes of Mother Love Bone (see #70 below), a band that is better than they are (sorry, Eddie - it's true). Pearl Jam, however, was the best band in the world for a while, and Ten kicked off a remarkable run of three albums that rank as some of the best rock and roll in the last 20 years. "Black" is one of those songs that carries you away, and you can't help but belt out the lyrics along with Eddie, and you don't even realize how sad a song it is until you get to the end, when you're practically screaming "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's sky, but why, why can't it be, why can't it be mine?" Chills, I tells ya! When I saw Pearl Jam in concert in 1991, they did every song from this album EXCEPT "Black." That still pisses me off, because I can only imagine how incredible this song would be live.

62. Black Country Woman (by Led Zeppelin on the album Physical Graffiti, 1975): Another reason why Zep is so completely excellent, Black Country Woman starts off with that funky little honky-tonk that Page does so well, with Plant's snotty lyrics complementing it nicely. No one can sing lines like, "But that's all right, I know your sisters too," and make it sound so smooth yet evil like Plant can. And then the harmonica kicks in, and the stomping, and you're bopping along, and you forget that Zep is one misogynistic band. Who cares - they're awesome.

63. Blasphemous Rumours (by Depeche Mode on the album Some Great Reward, 1984): "I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours but I think that God's got a sick sense of humour and when I die I expect to find him laughing." What more do you need? The chorus makes this a great song. Okay, like most Depeche Mode songs, it's kind of depressing, but still. It has that weird scissors sound in it, too, which always freaks me out.

64. Bleed The Freak (by Alice In Chains on the album Facelift, 1990): This is the only Alice In Chains album I own, and apparently I haven't missed much. This is a decent enough album, but "Bleed The Freak" is one of those songs that makes it worth it. Musically, it's fine - typical 1990s grunge, if that's your thing. As usual with me, lyrics can make or break a song, and "Name your God and bleed the freak" is a spectacular line. Staley and the boys were not often great, but this time they were.

65. Blissed (by Jesus Jones on the album Doubt, 1991): "Blissed" is the last song on Jesus Jones' breakthrough album, and although most of the songs on the album are good, a few rise above, and this one is a fabulous way to end it. It's a joyful song about being happy with yourself, and it has a nice, funky, sort-of techno beat going on. I like uplifting songs to finish albums, and this is a great one.

66. Blood Of The Wolf (by Hamell On Trial on the album Big As Life, 1996): Ed Hamell is a very interesting musician - he plays kind of punk-folk stuff, and throws in some musical poems too, one of which is this riveting tale of his childhood friend who robs a Kentucky Fried Chicken with a fork. The song alternates between insanity (he robbed a KFC with a fork, after all) and beauty of friendship . If you have a chance to check out Ed Hamell, do so. He's totally worth it.

67. Blood On The Rooftops (by Genesis on the album Wind And Wuthering, 1976): Another nice quiet song by Genesis before they went all pop on us, from the second Phil-on-vocals album. The typical Genesis stuff is here - some coy music that slips into a sort-of nostalgia for Owld Proper England, and impenetrable lyrics ("Hypnotized by Batman. Tarzan, still surprised! You've won the West in time to be our guest - name your prize!"), but a melancholy tune that simply works when you let it sink in.

68. Blow Up The Outside World (by Soundgarden on the album Down On The Upside, 1996): Soundgarden was a pretty good band, weren't they? They seem to get left behind in the 1990s grunge explosion, even though they had some success. This is their last album, and it's really very good, as they leave the world of "Black Hole Sun" (blech) behind and get tougher again. Of course, they can be "sensitive" and "Blow Up The Outside World," although not a ballad by any stretch of the imagination, slows things down a bit. You know you're in for a downer when the first line is "Nothing seems to kill me no matter how hard I try," but it's more than just a depressing song, it's a powerful statement about alienation. Fine stuff, and it gets under your skin in a good way.

69. Blueman's Daughter (by The Horse Flies on the album Human Fly, 1987): The Horse Flies are a sort-of folk band who show up occasionally with a new album. I first picked up their brilliant 1992 album Gravity Dance, still one of my favorites records, and then learned that my thesis advisor in grad school liked them and knew a few of the band members. This either proves that she's cool or I'm a hopeless nerd (probably the latter). Anyway, this album is decent, but not great, with "Blueman's Daughter" one of the highlights. It's a nice little folk tune with quiet banjos and fiddles and soft lyrics about being in love with, you guessed it, the blueman's daughter. Nothing life-changing, just great musicianship.

70. Bone China (by Mother Love Bone on the album Apple, 1990): Andrew Wood, the amazing singer/songwriter of Mother Love Bone, died overdosing heroin before this album came out, and the band broke up, with two of the members (Ament and Gossard) going on to fame and fortune with Pearl Jam. Too bad, because Apple is a truly brilliant rock and roll record, and who knows what MLB might have accomplished. "Bone China" is an example of the band's brilliance - powerful guitars driving the song forward, and Wood's inexplicable lyrics that somehow make sense when you listen to the song. Come on, "Ugly morning - she's Jezebel's daughter; she's like a Brunhilda, a child of the water"? WTF? It doesn't matter, because at the end, when Wood sings "I'm just waiting on that dream, 'cause the fast ones, the fast ones always ride for free," you just feel it deep in your soul and know that he snuffed out his greatness too soon. Stupid bastard. I challenge you to listen to Mother Love Bone with shouting out every song at the top of your lungs. A great band.

Well, that's another batch of great songs, according to me. Any criticisms you want to make? They're welcome! It's all subjective, people!

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't heard most of these songs but I'll look them up. Here are some picks from me:
1) The Seed by Cody Chestnutt and the Roots. An old-style R&B song, but with more explicit lyrics. Also check out Look Good in Leather and Boylife in America by Cody Chestnutt. Insanely good and hilariously clever.
2) Can I Buy You A Drink? by Kool Kieth. Kool Kieth is direct, lyrically clever, and the beats are amazingly catchy.
3) Schools Are Prisons by the Sex Pistols. Just for the downer line "these are the best years of my life."
4) Liberation Frequency by Refused. Refused are a Swedish punk band, which sounds odd, but this song will grab you. This song sounds soft at the beginning, but don't let it fool you into turning it up louder.
5) Champagne by Millionaire. Millionaire is a Belgian band. Their music is a little odd, it sounds very fresh and worth checking out, just for the novelty.
6) Medication by Queens of the Stone Age. This is an awesome song! Every time I hear it I realize I just can't dance fast enough.
Download these sometime and post what you think.

21/6/05 6:28 PM  
Blogger B2 said...

This will be a long series of posts, won't it? If it's truly alphabetical, how about "Blackhole Sun", "Blister in the Sun", and "Blue Monday"?

21/6/05 9:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Phew! More song suggestions! If I ever get the chance, Mr. Anonymous, I will have to check those out.

And yes, it's alphabetical, and it's only stuff I own. "Blister in the Sun" is fine, but I don't consider it a "great" song. I don't own "Black Hole Sun" (which I don't really like anyway, if you're talking about the Soundgarden song) and "Blue Monday." I am sadly deficient in my music ownership!

22/6/05 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Mike Loughlin said...

Good choices- I was disappointed by "Down on the Upside," after the stellar "Superunknown" and pretty good "Badmotorfinger," but I like "Blow up..." My favorite Soundgarden songs are "Drown Me" (tight, tight, tight kickass rock) and "Rusty Cage" (call & response guitar, super-heaviness, tempo & time-signature changes).

I just listened to "Physical Graffiti" again yesterday. What an album! I think "Kashmir" is an overblown, overrated bore, but there it has so many good songs.
Have you heard Jeff Buckley's cover of "Night Flight?" Truly awesome.

22/6/05 12:52 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I absolutely love Rusty Cage - it will show up some day, when I get to the Rs. I have not heard Buckley's Night Flight - damn, something else I need to listen to.

22/6/05 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Mike Loughlin said...

Get "Live at Sin-E," a double cd set of Buckley goodness. I know you don't dig live cds, but this one is killer acoustic goodness.

23/6/05 5:22 AM  

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