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!

19.10.05

Great songs, according to me (Part 13)

It's kind of a strange list today - unusual songs and bands you might not expect. But that's why this is fun to do - it's all about the controversy! Follow me into the next ten entries on my list of great songs, according to me:

121. D.M.S.R. (by Prince on the album 1999, 1983): There are a lot of good songs on this album, and this is one of them. Prince is still unbelievably funky these days, but he seemed to be having more fun back then (and yes, I own pretty much everything he's done since the mid-1980s). This song is just a celebration of, well, dancing, sex, music, and romance. There's nothing wrong with that. And, as Mr. Nelson himself points out, it ain't no sin to strip right down to your underwear. That's a fine Bible he's reading!

122. Daddy I'm Fine (by Sinéad O'Connor on the album Faith and Courage, 2000): I have always been a big fan of Ms. O'Connor's, even when she went crazy. She can still write damned good music. This is a triumphant howl justifying her life to her father, and it feels great. It starts off quietly then ramps up to full throttle, with the wacky Irish lass spitting out such great lyrics as "And feel real hot when my makeup's right like I wanna fuck every man in sight." Sinéad! So shocking! You might not agree with her very often, but she can sing a mean song.

123. Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta (by the Geto Boys on the Office Space soundtrack, 1999): The song is actually from 1992, but most white people, I would guess, know it from Office Space. And just because white boys know it doesn't make it any less awesome. It's such a great laid-back tune, and although it drops the "n-word" a little often, in rap songs I tend to overlook that. Mostly it's a relatively fun song, but there's that hint of darkness behind it, and that's what makes it great. Plus, it fits in well in the movie. Go watch Office Space if you haven't seen it! Holy crap it's a fine film.

124. Dancing With Myself (by Generation X on the album Kiss Me Deadly, 1981): This is the only Gen X album I own, and I haven't listened to it in years, because it's really not that good. However, the early version of "Dancing With Myself" is excellent - nice and raw and less polished than when Billy Idol took it when the band broke up and redid it. You all know the song - what else is there to say? A paean to the loneliness of punks. Poor punks.

125. The Day Before You Came (by ABBA on the album More ABBA Gold, 1982): I was just listening to this on my travels, and I was reminded again how good it was, and how incongruous. Yes, the music on this song almost kills it - it sounds like a Casio, seriously, and almost ruins the painful words poor Agnetha is trying to sing. Ultimately, it's a happy song, as presumably her life is a lot better now that it's a day after you came, but to hear her sing of the joylessness of life without love is to re-experience it yourself, and really, who wants to do that? That damned music, though ...

126. A Day In The Life (by the Beatles on the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967): I mentioned way back when I began this exercise that my great songs list would be woefully incomplete because of my lack of ownership of some of what many people would consider "the great bands." Hence, longtime readers may have noticed a lack of this Liverpuddlian group, as well as certain seminal combos like the Stones that Roll. It's not that I don't like them, I just never got around to buying their albums. I like the Beatles and the Stones a lot, but once you grow up listening to classic rock stations and hearing them six thousand times a day, your desire to actually buy the albums wanes a bit. This is a good album, though. This is an excellent song. 'Nuff said, I think.

127. Days That Used To Be (by Neil Young and Crazy Horse on the album Ragged Glory, 1990): See, Young's another guy I should like more, and whose work I should own more of. This is the only Neil Young album I own (with or without Crazy Horse), and it's decent enough, but nothing that makes me hurl myself out of my chair to the nearest record store and pick up his entire catalogue. That being said, this is a nice song, laced with bittersweet yearnings for lost friends and a sense of purpose. I'm kind of a sucker for songs laced with bittersweet yearnings for lost friends and a sense of purpose, so this hits me in the gut. Good job, Neil.

128. Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground (by the White Stripes on the album White Blood Cells, 2002): Ah, the White Stripes. I wondered if they peaked with this album when it showed up on Spin's Top 100 list. Even if they never approach this, White Blood Cells is a brilliant album, and this song kicks off the whole thing. That twangy, nasty guitar, those subtly creepy lyrics, Jack's weird, off-key, occasionally whispery singing - this was my introduction to the band, after hearing a lot about them, and I was blown away. It's a great song, but putting it first on the album was a masterstroke.

129. Dead Man's Road (by Cinderella on the album Heartbreak Station, 1990): By the time this, their third album, came out, Cinderella had pretty much left the big hair behind and were concentrating more on the blues. That's not to say they left all the trappings of Hair Metal behind - there's a power ballad on this album - but they were branching out musically and lyrically, and this song is a perfect example. It's a swampy little tune straight from the bayou, and even though Keifer snarls his way through it like he does the more metal stuff, it's with a bluesy sensibility missing from a lot of the other hair bands of this era. It's one reason I like Cinderella, despite the fact that they still had the hair working for them.

130. Dear Friend (by Fish on the album Internal Exile, 1991): Fish's second album is full of songs that showcase his brilliant lyrics and his occasionally maudlin romanticism, and this one shows off another side of him: his nostalgic longings. It's a song about an old friend whom he hasn't seen in a while, and how he has moved on from the craziness of youth but wonders if the friend still thinks about the "good old days." It's a clever song, not bogged down by how wonderful everything was when they were wild, but still remembering that once the world was their oyster. It also contains some nice references to old Marillion songs, the band from whom Fish split a few years before this album came out. It's a somewhat sad tune, but happy even through that.

As usual, if you have anything to say, I'm a tough guy - I can take it. I actually appreciate hearing about all these songs I may have missed, because it gives me something to shop for - like I need to spend more money. In case you're interested (I know people who read this blog have nothing better to do with their time), you can check out the first 120 great songs:
Part One.
Part Two.
Part Three.
Part Four.
Part Five.
Part Six.
Part Seven.
Part Eight.
Part Nine.
Part Ten.
Part Eleven.
Part Twelve.

8 Comments:

Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

Given the fact that the Beatles are my favorite group, and that they and thNeil Young have top 10 island albums on MY list...

But you ran out of gas on the PA turnpike, so...

20/10/05 6:15 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

"As usual, if you have anything to say, I'm a tough guy - I can take it."

I'm going to have to call you out, Greg, and I apologize for it.

Your comments on "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" about white people hearing it first on Office Space piqued my interest quite a bit. So I looked back at your past lists.

1 ) Two P.M. Dawn songs, a band that was rightfully physically thrown off of their own stage when KRS-One hijacked their concert, partly blaming P.M. Dawn for the death of hip-hop.

2) An admittance that you don’t own PE’s version of “Bring the Noise” which is on the album that most hip-hop critics would put in the top-3 albums of all time.

3) The props to “Booming System” being about stereo but missing the opportunity to reference LL’s first album, Radio, where in the titular song he repeatedly threatens to beat people up if they touch his radio, thus alluding to a longer history of freakish affection towards objects that play music.

Just those three facts alone forced my hand. I have to do this and I’m sorry.

I don’t think you heard “Damn it Feels Good To Be A Gangsta” before Office Space.

I’m sorry I had to do that, Greg, but someone had to.

20/10/05 12:53 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Jason, I'm not sure where you got the idea I did hear Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta BEFORE Office Space. That is, I will happily admit, when I first heard the song. I am, as you have pointed out, woefully bad when it comes to owning hip-hop - when I was a young lad, I didn't really like much of it, and by the time I started to enjoy it, gangsta rap had taken over and I'm kind of ambivalent about that subgenre. Most of my experience with what I would call "good old-school rap" - PE, BDP, LL - is from my friends in college playing them for me, and I never got around to buying the albums. An oversight, I'll admit, and one I ought to get around to rectifying. My point, I think, is still valid - most white people (including me) probably didn't hear the song before Office Space. I could be wrong.

And I still like P.M. Dawn, no matter what KRS-One says (is hip-hop really dead?). I don't really think of them as hip-hop, though.

20/10/05 1:10 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Foiled by the fact that I’ve never seen what you look like combined with your use of the word “white people”. Damn you, internet!

You win this round, Greg.

Seriously, though, my pretentious mocking aside, next week on my site I’m taking a look at how my neighborhood was affected by 1988 – the year hip-hop changed from local MCs that had a certain type of neighborhood ownership to an international phenomenon with all the commercialism, bad press and gun violence that came along with it. So, I’ve just been researching and writing and all of this stuff is a bit more prominent in my mind at the moment.

And hip-hop’s not dead. I thought it was for the past few year. Now I realize it’s cyclic and the music that I can’t stand on the radio now is moving towards the break-beats of old. And don’t worry about the KRS-One thing, he got a lot for that from his fans since up until that point he was very vocal in the anti-violence community – him and PE started that whole thing after DJ. Scott La Rock (BDP’s original DJ/producer) was killed.

I’ll shut-up now.

20/10/05 1:28 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Ah yes, Jason - I'm as white as they come. I just posted a picture of myself a few days ago! So I can speak thoughtfully on the awesomeness of white culture.

I'll have to check out your hip-hop post. I've been wasting time doing other stuff and haven't had the chance to surf like I usually do, but next week I'll be back to neglecting my children just so I can read blogs!

20/10/05 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Hi Greg,
Nothing about music, I'm the anonymous poster from the store review comments over at CSBG. I just wanted to say that your post didn't piss me off by any means.

I was suprised there was so much immediate heat about my original comment, about preferring the other stores, so I replied and then things went from there.

The galling thing was that so much resentment was spurred by the "comics stigma" remark, which was meant in more of a humorous than serious way, and I didn't think would be news to anybody. It seemed to really have touched a nerve, however.

I was accused of all the stereotypes that "ordinary" people attribute to comic fans, by comic fans, (Being accused of only reading superheroes and being juvenile for it, having self-esteem issues, being a "weirdo", obese, a nose-picker, having greasy hair, etc...)which was ironic and grimly amusing.

All my other comments, like the ASB&R analysis, the ways to improve and attract a market, defending the hole-in-the-wall stores, and shutting down the idiot "I've got a girlfriend" brag were pretty much ignored. Which is kind of to be expected when everyone reflexively defends their own immediate insecurities.

Anyhow, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I treated the forum like an ordinary discussion; if I disagree with an opinion I'll say so and argue why. Conversations where everyone agrees are boring, I stirred things up a bit. I don't regret doing it; strenuous debate shouldn't frighten anyone away, just get people talking. However, if you think my comments caused trouble and you preferred I not post there again I'll acquiesce to your opinion, seeing as how you were the original poster.

Thank you.

20/10/05 8:18 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Don't be silly, Phil. You brought up some good points, and I was surprised by the way it turned personal, but if you can handle it, that's fine. It's a fine line that specialty stores like comic book shops have to tread - do you stay "true to your roots" and promote the geekiness of it all, or do you try to branch out and attract a larger audience? The store I go to is the kind you like - as I mentioned, it feels like it's being run out of a garage - and I like the owner and the workers and feel like I can revel in my geekiness. Part of THEIR problem is that when I order stuff that's a little off the beaten track, which will put more money in their pockets, they think I'm bizarre. Which is weird, because it's all comics and it's all money for them - who cares if it's something from Speakeasy rather than Infinite Crisis?

I hope you respond to any posts you want to over there, because ultimately, it's all about something we all love and want to appreciate. I honestly didn't think I pissed you off, but apparently some people were a little angry. Live and let live is my motto - you should have seen the comments I got when I ripped Owly! So of course I don't mind if you make comments.

20/10/05 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Day BefoThe Day Before You came isn't a
happy song. Watch the video where
the hope is revealed as nothing
more than fantasy. Slowly the
'you' morphs from imagined lover
to ... well, in an interview,
Bjorn hinted that the 'you' who
came was death. In other words,
it's a post-factum suicide note!
And the bleak,masterfully
sequenced analog synth that you
deride as 'casio' accompanies this
sad Requiem perfectly, Frida's
final wailing lament, the closing
of ABBA.
re You came isn't a happy song. Watch the video where the hope is revealed as nothing more than fantasy. Slowly the 'you' morphs from imagined lover to ... well, in an interview, Bjorn hinted that the 'you' who came was death. In other words, it's a post-factum suicide note! And the bleak,masterfully sequenced analog synth that you deride as 'casio' accompanies this sad Requiem perfectly, Frida's final wailing lament, the closing of ABBA.

10/6/07 12:21 PM  

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