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!

29.9.05

Great songs, according to me (Part 12)

It's another installment of songs that I think are great! Aren't you excited???? If not, why not? Don't you trust my judgment????

If you're interested, here is Part 10, plus links to Parts 1-9. We have moved on to the second 100 songs on the list, and here's Part 11. I'm nothing if not thorough!

Onward!

111. The Company (by Fish on the album Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, 1990): This is not Phish, it's the ex-lead singer of Marillion, who went solo in the late 1980s and tried to become a pop star. His solo work is decidedly more poppy than Marillion's, which doesn't make it bad, but occasionally makes it less worthy. This song, however, from his first album, is excellent. Fish is Scottish, so a lot of his songs have a Highland vibe to them, and this one uses it very well. The lyrics, as usual with Fish, are the highlight of the song. This song is about not selling out (unusual, since Fish tried to) and staying true to your friends. "The company I choose is solidly singular, totally trustworthy, straight and sincere, polished, experienced, witty and charming, so why don't you push off, this company's my own." Amen, brother!

112. Cool the Engines (by Boston on the album Third Stage, 1986): Boston is one of those bands that people seem to like in secret but degrade openly. They're like Jesus when Peter denies them! I think I must have grown out of them, because since 1986 they've released some albums, but I haven't been interested. This album, then, is the last one by them I own, and I really like it. Maybe it's the liking of a 15-year-old, but what the hell. This song completely rocks, and yes, the metaphors are goofy, but the rockin' aspects of it carry it along. When it slows down just a bit and Brad Delp sings, "We don't have to run that hard to get where we can go," it just makes the song even more awesome.

113. Counting Out Time (by Genesis on the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, 1974): This is one of those weird songs that Peter Gabriel-era and early Phil Collins-era Genesis used to do, before they got all serious (somewhere around 1985). This is from the last Gabriel album, and it's just a goofy little tune with totally trippy music. It's about seduction (or maybe masturbation?) but you wouldn't know it from the happy, plinky music and Gabriel's weird sing-songy way of singing. It's still about sex, damn it!

114. Cover Your Face (by Mary's Danish on the album Circa, 1991): This is the last song off the last great Mary's Danish album, and it doesn't leave you happy. That's okay - it's still excellent. It's a quiet song about the loneliness of a relationship built on lies. Not the kind of tune you want to listen to when you've had too much whiskey and are thinking about the girl who just left you, but a powerful song nevertheless.

115. Crash (by James on the album Millionaires, 1999): This is the first song on this album, and it sets a wonderful tone for the rest of it. The lyrics are almost incomprehensible, but the music powers the song along and Tim Booth's whining (a good whining, but still) gives a slight sadness to the words, which pushes the song to greatness.

116. Crazy (by Seal on the album Seal, 1991): I would imagine that this is the first song most people heard by Seal, and damn is it good. It has that spooky vibe at the beginning, and then Seal's mellow voice coming in, singing about insanity. Who could have guessed insanity would sound so smooth? Of course, the excellent message of the song helps: "In a world full of people only some want to fly, isn't that crazy?" You're damned right it is, Seal. Now go bang Heidi Klum.

117. Credo (by Fish on the album Internal Exile, 1991): Sorry, it's another Fish song - the curse of alphabetizing! This album, Fish's second, is truly excellent - not too poppy, not too weird, driving, lilting, lyrical - everything you could want from a big Scottish dude! This song is powerful and the lyrics sound depressing, until you listen to it and realize that for all the sadness in the world, Fish still finds hope. Awwww.

118. Crown of Thorns (by Mother Love Bone on the album Apple, 1990): I have spoken of the genius that is Mother Love Bone before, and this is just another song that proves it. This ends their only album, and it starts softly and builds to a powerful and beautiful chorus, with Andrew Wood rasping out his marvelously weird lyrics: "I used to treat you like a lady, now you're a substitute teacher ..." Wha-huh? It doesn't matter, because it's gorgeous. This is one of those albums that never gets old. It's out of print, but the compilation (with their EP Shine included) is still around, so if you see it, buy it.

119. Crucify (by Tori Amos on the album Little Earthquakes, 1991): Boy, this is a nasty little song, isn't it? Brilliant, though. It really gets Tori's "first" album off to a nifty little start.¹ The music is very nice, but the lyrics are what really gets under your skin. "I've been raising up my arms, drive another nail in, just what God needs - one more victim" and "Got enough guilt to start my own religion" are just two examples of the brilliant barbs she throws at organized religion. Tori has some issues with God, it seems. That's okay - more good music for us!

120. Cult of Personality (by Living Colour on the album Vivid, 1988): Ah, Living Colour. What a cool band. They're back these days, but I haven't bought their latest album. I'm scared to, actually. I have a feeling they won't be as close to greatness as they once were. This song kicked off the Living Colour experience, at a time when metal needed it. They weren't a hair band, but they weren't speed metal either - the two genres that dominated the late 1980s. So the hard core metal guys liked them, but they were melodic enough for the hair band aficionados. This song still holds up, too - it has a great message, Corey Glover equates Stalin with Gandhi (!), and even though for parts of it Vernon Reid sounds like he's dragging a jar of peanut butter across the guitar strings, when he hits those power chords at the end of the solo - man, that's a great rock and roll moment. Excellent, excellent song.

That's it for this batch. Questions? Comments? Angry rants about how I know nothing about music? It's all fair in music reviewing!

¹ Everyone knows, I trust, that Tori released a "heavy metal" album back in the late 1980s called Y Kant Tori Read, which Ms. Amos herself was ashamed of later on when she became a moody, introspective singer about all that sucks in the world. (She does not include the album on her web site.) Read more about the album here and here. Both sites include the excellent album art, with Ms. Amos and her big hair.

3 Comments:

Blogger Roxy said...

Beloved Tori - with big hair. Throw in a little Mother Love Bone and the gem by Living Colour and I think you got a good list there...

29/9/05 8:45 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Is "The Weight" by The Band going to be on your list, Greg?

30/9/05 11:44 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Well, I certainly like the song, Thomas, but no, it's not going to be on my list, for one simple reason: I don't have it in my collection. These are songs that I have on CD or tape, and there are several thousand that I think are great but don't own. So there you have it. Good song, though.

30/9/05 12:40 PM  

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