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!

13.9.05

Great songs, according to me (Part 11)

Ah yes, we're into the second 100 songs that are great, according to me. I can't keep directing you to each previous post in this illustrious series, so I'll just say that Part Ten is right here, and from there you can find the others. If you're interested. Your tastes, after all, should mirror your future ruler's.

Let's get right to it!

101. Christmas Wrapping (by The Waitresses on the album I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Find The Parts, 1981): Remember The Waitresses? They did the theme song to Square Pegs, that great show with Sarah Jessica Parker and Jami Gertz which is sadly not on DVD yet, and they did this great proto-rap song. Yes, it's goofy, and yes, it's less of a good rap than Blondie's "Rapture," but it's a fun song, and it's heartfelt, and it just puts you in a good mood and actually makes you want Christmas to come. Nothing fancy, just a great song.

102. Cinderella Search (by Marillion on the remastered version of Fugazi from 1984, as well as the album B'Sides Themselves, 1988): Yes, I know I have a lot of Marillion songs on this list, but that's because they're the greatest band EVER! This is a b-side, but it's still a great song, as it starts out as a lilting little love song about a fumbling man trying to find his true love, but at the end, the music ramps up and Fish gets evil with the lyrics, which is always a good thing. When he gets to "Maybe it was infatuation or the thrill of the chase; maybe you were always beyond my reach and my heart was playing safe; but was that love in your eye I saw or a reflection of mine? I'll never really know for sure, you never really gave me time" I get chills, and the song crosses from a nice song about looking for love to a great song about a nasty obsession.

103. The Cinema Show/Aisle Of Plenty (by Genesis on the album Selling England By The Pound, 1973): Another weird Genesis tune from before they became pop superstars, this one is from the penultimate Gabriel album, and these two songs, which flow together, end the album strongly. The songs have the usual oblique lyrics, but unlike other Genesis songs, like "I Know What I Like," the whimsy that overwhelms that song isn't in evidence here. This means that the lyrics, although weird, don't annoy us. And that makes the song great.

104. Classic Girl (by Jane's Addiction on the album Ritual De Lo Habitual, 1990): A great band that flamed out way too soon and whose comeback was rather weak, Jane's Addiction released three of the best heavy metal albums (yes, I know we don't call them heavy metal, but they are) of all time. This was the last one, and this song ends it on a somewhat sad, but ultimately uplifting note. Perry Farrell, always a bit on the wacky side, tones it down a bit to tell a simple tale about being in love. The music veers between somber and rollicking, which suits the song, and it's just a grand way to finish a wonderful album.

105. Close To The Borderline (by Billy Joel on the album Glass Houses, 1980): Yes, this is Joel's "rock" album, which draws scorn from many people, but I ain't one of them. Sure, his piano-based stuff is very good, but he can write a mean rock song if he puts his mind to it, and if you get past the preconceived notion that he shouldn't be doing this, the songs on this album are excellent. This track stands out as Joel's rant about the state of the world and how sucky it all is. Yes, it's been done before and with more anger, but rarely with such verve. "I don't know why I'm still a nice guy but I'm getting close to the borderline" sings Billy. We all know how he feels.

106. Come Home (by James on the album Gold Mother, 1990): Another great song by an underrated band. This song starts off this excellent album strongly, with the typical James hardness edged with funkiness. Tim Booth is in fine form on this song, practically spitting lyrics like "After thirty years, I've become my fears, I've become the kind of man I've always hated." Despite this, it's not a bitter song, but it is slightly nasty.

107. Come On Home (by the Indigo Girls on the album All That We Let In, 2004): One of the recent entries, this song rises above the rest of the Girls' repertoire (and I like most Indigo Girls songs, mind you) with its passionate yet bitter lyrics. The Girls' music is always strong, and usually, for me, the song is great or just good depending on the lyrics. This is an Emily song, which usually means it's a little more sappy than an Amy one, but this is not one of those. All the lyrics are beautiful, painting a picture of a woman waiting for someone she knows is either bad for her or, conceivably, insane, but she can't let go. It wrenches your heart to hear her sing.

108. Coming Home (by Cinderella on the album Long Cold Winter, 1988): Yes, it's another Cinderella song. You got a problem with that? How can you not like this song? Just a simple little tune about, well, coming home. Listen to the yearning in Tom Keifer's voice! Listen to the straightforward beauty of the guitar solo! Listen to the nostalgic twang of the opening guitar introduction! Tell me you don't love it!

109. Common Ground (by Midnight Oil on the album Breathe, 1996): I've mentioned that this is the last great Midnight Oil album, and this is one of the strongest tracks on it. It starts with the thud of death, but transforms into a song that pleads for, you guessed it, common ground. Garrett's politics are welded onto a cry for compassion, which is always better than straight polemic, and it makes the song a great one.

110. Common People (by Pulp on the album Different Class, 1995): I'm really not that big a fan of Pulp, but this song is brilliant. Jarvis Cocker really nails what infuriates the little people about the rich - not their money, but their condescension. It's a mean-spirited song, but that's okay, because it wants to be mean-spirited and it's so snotty you can't help but love it. I'm not sure which side of Cocker's divide I'm on, but I completely understand what he's saying. The cover version by The Shat is just, well, bizarre. Truly surreal.

That's all for this edition. I enjoyed the shots some of you took at Oasis last time, so bring it on! And sign my GuestMap - the latest person to chime in is from Uruguay! Uruguay is awesome.

9 Comments:

Blogger B2 said...

Love the Waitresses, but I also love the Jewish version of their song by Save Ferris. Also -- you skipped Oingo Boingo's "Cinderella Undercover"!

13/9/05 10:16 PM  
Blogger N said...

I too am a big fan of "Christmas Wrapping."

What is it about that song?

souvq - a type of headgear worn in Arabic countries

13/9/05 10:33 PM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

I loved Square Pegs. When I see SJP, I have a hard time thinking of her as glamourous because I still see her with oversized glasses and knock-kneed.

14/9/05 2:20 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sorry, B2 - I never got into Oingo Boingo.

I don't know, N - it's just a great song that owes a lot, I think, to nostalgia, at least for a certain generation. You'r doing well with the word verification.

14/9/05 7:29 AM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

But Christmas Wrapping was not nostalgic for me - I liked it for what is was. wonderful wordplay in a holiday proto-rap motif.

14/9/05 7:57 AM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

Congrats on winning Lefty's contest. I thought it might be Gordoon (and told him so).

14/9/05 11:50 AM  
Blogger tomthedog said...

If you like Indigo Girls, have you heard Amy Ray's solo album Prom? (Or I guess her second solo album; I haven't heard the first.) It's fantastic, a lot more rocking than her Indigo Girls stuff. I like it a lot more than most of the last two or three Girls albums.

14/9/05 11:01 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I think the song from Eddie's Mixed CD is the only one I've heard, Tom, and I like it. Ray's album is on my list. Now that I've gotten the latest Beck album, I'll have to track it down.

15/9/05 6:28 AM  
Blogger Roxy said...

Bah Humbug! No that's too strong because it is my favorite holiday...

Ahh, I LOVE that song. Get's me dancing every time. And it reminds me of one year that played itself out in a strangely similar way for me...

And can I just say I love N's little game of coming up with definitions of the word verification? I'd like him to try mine: zfuzklaw. My definition? A new derogatory nickname for my mother-in-law.

18/9/05 9:17 AM  

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