Great songs, according to me (Part 26)
As always, here are the rest of them: Parts 1-15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, and Part 25. But that's in the past, man - let's move on!
251. I Better Be Quiet Now (by Elliot Smith on the album Figure 8, 2000): Elliot Smith killed himself a little over three years ago, and the tragedy is made even worse, possibly, when you go back and listen to his songs and realize what a mess he was. It's still great music, but one wonders why people close to him didn't see it coming. This song is an example, as Smith's lighter-than-air vocals float over barely-there music, singing a beautiful song about not taking any chances and simply fading away. Like a lot of Smith's songs, it simply exists for a few minutes, then disappears, like a dream that you want to recapture but can't. Kind of like Smith himself.
252. I Can't Explain (by The Who on the album Who's Last, 1984): Speaking of not being able to explain, this song doesn't seem to appear on any album until 1984, even though it was one of the band's earliest singles. It didn't show up on their first album, for instance. That's weird. Anyway, this may have been the first Who song I ever heard (or the first Who song I heard and knew it was The Who) and it's still a great one. It's simple and powerful, with all the jangly Sixties guitar that makes those songs memorable and Daltry whining those lyrics in front of the horrible back-up vocals (really flat are the boys). The back-up vocals don't ruin the tune, though, which is just one of those trademark singles from back in the day. Sing along!
253. I Could Have Lied (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, 1991): I'm not sure if I've written about my love/hate relationship with this album. It's too long, and contains some truly awful songs, and I really wish the Peps had cut about half of it to make a really tight rock album, but they didn't. Boo, Anthony and Flea! But this song about lost love is very nice, and Anthony's lyrics, despite the soulful way he sings, cut into you harshly, as all songs about lost love do. Musically it's not on par with some of the other Peppers' stuff, but this album marked the beginning of the band's move toward more middle-aged rock, and although a lot of what they've released since then has been coma-inducing, this song, with its cruel little edge, makes the subsequent ones pale in comparison.
254. I Don't Want That Kind Of Love (by Jesus Jones on the album Liquidizer, 1989): This is Jesus Jones' first album, before they blew up in 1990, and although it's not as good as Doubt, it's still a pretty decent disc. This song, with its rumbling bass and disco feel, keeps you bopping your head, and Mike Edwards' smooth vocals combined with the rather snide lyrics get under your skin (in a good way). A neat little song.
255. I Don't Want To Be Alone (by Billy Joel on the album Glass Houses, 1980): This is one of those songs that Billy Joel does really well - slightly funky (yes, funky) but smooth enough for radio play, and those lyrics sung with a kind of tired resolve that this is the way the world is and we need to muddle through as best we can. It seems like an upbeat song about two people forgetting past mistakes and getting back together, but it's not really - it's simply about people grabbing a moment even though they know it won't lead anywhere. Both of them have hurt and been hurt, but for the moment, it doesn't matter. A sweet yet ultimately sad song - the best kind!
256. I Don't Want To See The Sights (by the Charlatans on the album Between 10th and 11th, 1992): This album is one of those hidden classics, and this song, which kicks it off, sets a great tone for the rest of the disc. It starts with a crunchy guitar that brings us in and doesn't quite rock, but gets you bobbing your head with its groovy rhythm. It's actually a depressing song, as we're treated to a sight of gray despair in England, but the lyrics also offer a way out - we can make things better for ourselves, if we only want to. And isn't that a nice message?
257. I Hear A Symphony (by The Supremes on the album I Hear A Symphony, 1966): I'm not sure if I've ever spoken of my love for the Supremes on the blog, but I love them. They are, in my mind, the perfect Motown group, and their songs are simply fantastic, even the weirdo ones ("Dr. Goldfoot And The Bikini Machine" - really?). This is just a standard Supremes love song, but that doesn't matter - it's just great! Admit it! Bow down to Lady Diana! Those smooth vocals blending - "Whenever you're near I hear a symphony" - how can you resist? Answer: you cannot!
258. I Held Her In My Arms (by the Violent Femmes on the album The Blind Leading the Naked, 1986): After their first album, the Femmes had a bit of an uneven career, but I really like this, their third offering, and this song is a big reason why. It begins with horns, and we expect a jazzy, upbeat kind of thing, but Gordon's lyrics bring us back down - "I can't even remember if we were lovers or if I just wanted to, but I held her in my arms, I held her in my arms, I held her in my arms but it wasn't you." Because the music remains jumpy and fresh throughout, the lyrics bite deeper, and even though they're not super-duper profound, they have a nice emotional impact. Fine stuff from the snotty Milwaukee punks.
259. I Melt With You (by Modern English on the album After the Snow, 1983): Yes, we should all know this song from Valley Girl, with the most excellent Nicolas Cage, but man! it's a good song. I bought the album long ago and listen to it seldom, even though it has plenty of good tunes on it, but this song stays with me. It has that great New Wave sound, with the keyboards substituting for other instruments, but still sounding great, and those great lyrics: "Moving forward using all my breath, making love to you was never second best." Of course, when they stop and hum for a while, before kicking it back up with the great chorus, that just seals the deal. Fine, fine music.
260. I Remember You (by Steve Earle on the album Jerusalem, 2002): For a country singer with a raspy voice, Steve Earle writes some damned fine love songs, and he sings them with some damned fine emotion. And he gets Emmylou Harris to sing duets with him, which makes them even better (I really have to get some Emmylou Harris albums, don't I?). This song begins with Earle's growly voice, and then Harris' twang, and then they both sing, and they make beautiful music together. They both invest such longing in relatively simple lyrics that we're swept along, and we root for these two to get back together. Well, the people in the song, not Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris. I don't really care who they hook up with.
So there we have another ten songs. Yes, I'm slow with these. I've lost all my readers, so it doesn't really matter, does it? Although I would like to thank Eddie for his Christmas gift, which was unexpected. He sent me a couple a mix CDs and some treats, and if I could find his e-mail address anywhere I would thank him that way, but I can't. So thanks, Eddie! I hope you had a great holiday!
Anyway, thoughts are welcome, as usual. How kooky is my taste in music? You can tell me!