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!

Name:
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!

23.8.05

Great songs, according to me (Part 10)

It's been a while since I did this. Other things kept coming up. But now it's back, and I finally reach the magic number of 100. I still have plenty o' songs I think are great, though, so 100 is really only a small signpost along the way.

Oh, by the way, I'm having a contest. See all the details and then enter. I have a few entries so far, so you'll have some competition. I'd also like to thank all the people who have been publicizing it. I know Gordon and Jim and Roger did, so thank you, guys. Good swag will be won - why shouldn't you win it?

Anyway, if you're dying to know anything about the first 90 songs I think are great, check them out: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, and Part Nine. One of the things I like about having a blog is finding out what my readers like, so maybe you'll find something to listen to there you might not have considered.

Onward!

91. Cassandra (by ABBA on the album More ABBA Gold from 1993, but the song dates from 1982): This is a beautiful late-ABBA song, one of many that should shut up anyone who thinks the band only did disco crap (although I love their disco stuff). It's about the seer of Troy, for crying out loud! Remember? She predicted all the crap would happen, but she was cursed so that no one would believe her? And ABBA wrote a song about her! It starts off quietly and sadly, then builds to a powerful chorus, while the music haunts the song like the musicians of Troy playing of a happier time, before the dirty Greeks got there. It's really all a metaphor about failed relationships. Yes, a metaphor. So many levels to a simple pop song. That's why ABBA is genius. Kneel before ABBA!

92. Cast No Shadow (by Oasis on the album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, 1995): I really like this album. Yes, I know Oasis is all pompous and shit, and I don't own Definitely Maybe, which is supposedly better, but most of this album is sheer unmitigated pop wonderment. This song doesn't do anything except plow through somewhat vague lyrics, but when Liam sings in his scratchy, occasionally off-key voice, "As he faced the sun he cast no shadow," I get chills. That's just the way I am!¹

93. Cathedral Wall (by Marillion on the album Radiation, 1998): Marillion can write some quiet, creepy music, and this is one such song. Steve Hogarth almost whispers the first part, as the tension builds and then explodes in the chorus. It's a sad song about loneliness and craving something bigger than you are to take care of you. It's (dare I say it?) even a political song, in some respects. A good way to cap an album (it's not the last song on the album, but thematically, it caps it).

94. Chain, The (by Fleetwood Mac on the album Rumours, 1977): "Damn your lies!" Sing it, ladies! I'm not the hugest Fleetwood Mac fan, but this is a good album with some kick-ass songs, and "The Chain" is probably the strongest track on the disc. Yeah, the lyrics are nothing that special, but the way Christine and Stevie sing 'em - that's power. And Lindsey harmonizes! Good stuff.

95. Champagne Supernova (by Oasis on the album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, 1995): Now this is a great way to end an album - 7½ minutes of sonic glory. The boys pull out all the stops with this one and crank it up to 11, and although I'm still not sure exactly what a champagne supernova actually is, who the hell cares? The song just keeps piling up the power chords and finally fades into the ether, and it's just magnificent. And really - where were you while we were getting high, huh?

96. Changes (by Yes on the album 90125, 1983): Yeah, not the best album, but a few good songs. This is really a classic Yes-type song, cut down to a little over 6 minutes and glammed up for the 1980s. It has that weird keyboard in the beginning, and then Rabin's hard rock guitars slam in, but it's Anderson's creepy voice that holds it all together. When he begins with "I'm going through some changes," for a minute you think he means puberty, but then you settle down and just enjoy it. The members should have all joined monasteries after this, because it was pretty much over for them.

97. Charting the Single (by Marillion on the album Script for a Jester's Tear (the remastered version, at least), 1983, as well as B'Sides Themselves, 1988): This is a strange little tune that ended up on the B-side of a Marillion single in 1983, and I can see why. The lyrics are Fish being goofy with wordplay ("Chianti see you with me, so just let him wine"), but it really is a neat song about trying to find romance, and the music slowly slides into a sentimental kind of mode, but not the kind that makes me puke. Interesting tune.

98. Childhoods End?/White Feather (by Marillion on the album Misplaced Childhood, 1985): Sorry for all the Marillion songs - that's going to happen when you do these alphabetically. These are the final two songs (they run into each other, just like the whole album) of the best album ever released. I'm serious. Buy it now just to hear its super-duper goodness. It's a concept album, but don't let that scare you off. The lyrics are topnotch, the music is powerful and emotional, and all the songs fit together brilliantly. In "Childhoods End?" Fish sings about leaving the past behind and making a new world for yourself, while "White Feather" is a proud, anti-nationalist song that pulls no punches. As the music fades, you know you've just listened to a great album. I'm totally serious. Buy it, and if you don't love it (you don't have to think it's the greatest album ever, because that would be pushing it), I'll send you the money for it. Think I'm joking? Try me.

99. Children of the Revolution (by the Violent Femmes on the album The Blind Leading the Naked, 1986): You know, I just don't like the original of this song (by Marc Bolan). It's strange - usually covers are weaker than the original, but not always. Here, I think Gordon's weird voice pushes it into greatness - the lyrics are fine, but nothing spectacular. Gordon and the twangy electronic music make it really memorable, though. Cool stuff,.

100. Christmas at Ground Zero (by "Weird Al" Yankovic on the album Polka Party, 1986): Yes, it's a "Weird Al" song - there are a few that are so bizarre, so twisted, and so fun, that they must be considered "great." This is one of his "originals," meaning he's not parodying any song, but he is parodying the whole notion of Christmas carols. How can you resist lyrics like: "Well it's Christmas at ground zero, there's panic in the crowd; we can dodge debris while we trim the tree underneath the mushroom cloud"? Answer: you can't! And the cheery holiday music just makes the song even more bizarre and, frankly, better. Fun stuff from the master of fun stuff.

Well, we have come to the end of another list. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to rip into my musical tastes at your leisure. I'm tough - I can take it!

¹ It has been over four years since I heard this album. When we visited Vancouver in 2001, our car got burglarized in the hotel garage!!!! This album, along with a bunch of others, was stolen. It almost ruined an otherwise wonderful trip. Layne and Walker live in a lawless, evil land, I'll tell you that much.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Champagne Supernova is a HORRIBLE, torturous song that drones on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on..and the vocals are all nasal and whining.

23/8/05 8:34 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Tell me how you REALLY feel.

23/8/05 8:40 PM  
Blogger somewaterytart said...

You have to admire the tenacity required to type all that.

23/8/05 10:48 PM  
Blogger Gordon said...

You know, I like Champagne Supernova - the sneering, nasal vocal; the us against the world attitude.

I guess "Anonymous" is Noel Gallagher in disguise.

24/8/05 4:36 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm sure it is, Gordon, I'm sure it is.

24/8/05 7:55 AM  
Blogger tomthedog said...

I don't think it's tenacity so much as it is knowing how to copy and paste. Nice use of the word "torturous," though.

Whenever I hear "The Chain" I think of Cerebus, oddly enough. One of the earlier issues, before Dave Sim went completely insane, was titled "Never Pray for Change". In the notes to the comic, Sim says that he got the title from mishearing the Fleetwood Mac lyric ("Never Break the Chain").

24/8/05 9:55 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

That's interesting, Tom. Weird facts like that are neat. I do like how we can't refer to Sim these days without saying whether it was before or after he went insane. The same thing applies to John Byrne, I think.

24/8/05 1:06 PM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

So, I've been out of touch - how/when did Dave Sim go insane? This is not just a matter of curiosity; it ties into something I'm writing and want to get right. Oh, and "The Chain" is my favorite FM song, written by all of them, if memory serves.

24/8/05 4:03 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Roger - I never read Cerebus, so I'm not quite sure, but from what others say, at some point it stopped being about a fantasy aardvark and started being about how Sim hates women and loves God. Today, he occasionally makes crazy anti-women remarks, so he's insane right now, but when it happened ... I don't know.

24/8/05 4:20 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Just when I was beginning to develop an innocuous blogger crush.... you were topping my list of favorite bloggers in the entire universe. Witty, charming, intelligent.... Too good to be true....You just *had* to put an Oasis song in your top 100 favorite songs.

I am disillusioned.

24/8/05 4:43 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Ah, I am sorry, Ashley. Oh, the sorrow! However, the Oasis songs just make it into my top 600 or so songs. These are in alphabetical order. I doubt if those two songs would make my top 100. I stand behind them, however - they're still great songs. Please forgive me!

24/8/05 5:25 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Ok.. if it's the top 600 that's not so bad.... I may recover from the disappointment...

24/8/05 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I have a crush on tomthedog due to his complimenting my use of the word torturous in my previous posting. Oh, and by the way you should all know that this IS Noel Gallagher.

24/8/05 9:29 PM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

But I DON"T have a crush on Noel Gallagher, I don't care WHAT you say.

25/8/05 2:18 PM  

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