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!

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!


Great songs, according to me (Part 20)

Despite the fact that some people like Chance have bad things to say about my taste in music (a failing for which he'll pay when I'm dictator, just you see if he won't!), I'm going to keep enlightening you. So let's git it on!

First, the history: An archive of parts 1-15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, and Part 19. Okay, now let's git it on!

191. Follow You Follow Me (by Genesis on the album ... And Then There Were Three, 1978): This song ends the album, and it's a departure for Genesis in that it's a straight forward love song, and a great one at that. Phil's vocals mesh well with the strange ethereal music of Banks and Rutherford, and it's all very hopeful about love in a world that doesn't always appreciate it. It's really the first song in the assault on the pop charts that Genesis would make in the 1980s, and when you listen to some of that junk, you wonder why they didn't keep writing songs in this vein, because it's poppy but still deep. Kind of a shame.

192. The Fonz (by Smash Mouth on the album Fush Yu Mang, 1997): My sister-in-law (who still hasn't responded to my special post addressed to her) bought this album for me, and while it's certainly not a great album, it's relatively fun, and it has a few great tunes on it - this being one of them. It's a fun song about how the singer can never get people to appreciate him, because he's a loser and a guy he knows is, well, the Fonz. Goofy, yes, but just poignant enough to elevate it to greatness.

193. Foolin' (by Def Leppard on the album Pyromania, 1983): I have mentioned before that Operation: Mindcrime is the best metal album of the 1980s, but this might be second. This song is typical of the album - eerie, haunting, hard, fun pretentious metal lyrics, and crunching guitars. Def Leppard is often a misogynistic band, true, but when they're on, they're excellent. Come on, sing along: "Is anybody out there? Anybody there? Does anybody wonder? Anybody care?"

194. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (by Styx on the album The Grand Illusion, 1977): Remarkably, this is the first time Styx has appeared on this countdown, but that's the way alphabetizing works! It's remarkable because I really like Styx (something I share with Adam Sandler, apparently, which makes me sad). This song is on their masterpiece, The Grand Illusion, and it has those great late-1970s keyboards and that great musical interlude in the middle, and Tommy Shaw is singing about portentous stuff about not allowing yourself to lose your ambition in this cold, bitter world. Another song you know by heart - you know you do!

195. For My Lover(by Tracy Chapman on the album Tracy Chapman, 1988): Tracy Chapman kind of fell off the map after this album, didn't she? I know she still makes music, but she never really achieved that commercial success everyone thought she would. Which is a shame, because she's very good, and this, her debut album, is excellent, with several good songs. "For My Lover" is such a nastily evil song that it just gets under your skin and digs in. It's a deceptively simple song (the great ones often are) about the price of love and how people just don't understand what others do for it. And it has that great line: "They dope me up and I tell 'em lies for my lover, for my lover." You tell 'em, Tracy!

196. Forgotten Years (by Midnight Oil on the album Blue Sky Mining, 1987): Another Midnight Oil entrant on this list, and although Peter is singing about something that remains a mystery to me (anyone know?), I still think this is a great song. I know he's singing about Australia, but beyond that, beats me. Still, his growl is in full force, and the music propels the song on with urgency, and he's so full of bloody conviction that you just have to dig it. Is he talking about the past, or the present? Beats me. I don't care. It's still great.

197. Foxy Lady (by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on the album Are You Experienced?, 1967): Another song you know by heart, and if you don't, shame on you! That great guitar intro, that hoarse whispering, that sly Hendrix pseudo-singing - you can just picture him getting laid as he sings! There's not much else to say about this tune - it's nasty, and it knows it, and it doesn't care! Sing along with Jimi, y'all!

198. Friend of the Devil (by The Grateful Dead on the album Skeletons From The Closet, 1974): I must admit, I dislike the Dead. Not as much as I loathe The Doors, but still - there's very little to like about Jerry and his boys. However, I can admit when they write good songs, and "Friend of the Devil" is one of those. It rambles along, but not for too long (a big problem I have with a lot of Dead songs, especially when they're live), and even thought Jerry (that is Jerry singing, isn't it?) is singing about somewhat serious subjects (his lost love, prison, a kid who may or may not be his, and of course, chasing the Devil), he has that little goofy lilt in his voice that lets you know it's all in fun. The Dead certainly don't take themselves too seriously, which is nice, but generally - yuck. This is still a great song, though.

199. Fugitive (by Indigo Girls on the album Swamp Ophelia, 1994): The Indigo Girls begin this album, a departure from their previous folksy ones, with this dark tale of fear and redemption. The music is bold and brooding, but ultimately there is a reconciliation of the singer's two halves and a hope for the future. It's a creepy song from the girls, and it signaled a shift in their style to darker and more introspective music (yes, they were introspective before, but not terribly dark).

200. The Full Bug (by Van Halen on the album Diver Down, 1982): Diver Down is notable for having a bunch of covers on it ("Pretty Woman" and "Dancing In The Streets," both of which are kind of lousy), but for my money, the best songs on it are the boys' originals, one of which is this song, which ends the album (except for a brief rendition of "Happy Trails," that is). It's a mean little song, with Diamond Dave mumbling through a bluesy introduction and then letting us have it full blast, and Eddie's guitars keeping up with full fervor. All Dave wants to give the woman is the best part of a man - is that so wrong? This is one of those songs that makes Van Halen great. And yet they always play "Pretty Woman" on the radio. What the crap is up with that?

So another ten songs are in the books. I know I have lost your respect for my musical tastes long ago, but if you want to tell me I'm an idiot, I'd be happy to listen. Have at it!

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Blogger Chance said...

Wow! It's a new record! Three --- count them (3) --- songs on one "GS,AtM" post that I would not, if I accidentally heard them on the radio, turn off said radio by smashing it with a huge frickin' brick while screaming as blood shot out my ears!

(195, 197, and 198.)

9/4/06 3:44 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

That's what I'm here for - to keep you from smashing the radio with a brick as blood shoots out of your ears. You're still paying for it when I become dictator, sir!

9/4/06 5:29 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Just kidding! I kid because I love.

And I apologize later because I'm scared of dictatorial comeuppance.

Come to think of it, Midnight Oil's pretty damn good.

9/4/06 10:34 PM  
Blogger Ragnell said...

Actually, For My Lover is one of my favorites.

And Friend of the Devil isn't too bad.

10/4/06 1:14 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Great songs, except for the Smash Mouth inclusion. Ugh.

Gotta love a guy that's not ashamed to give Genesis some props tho!

10/4/06 2:04 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

hmmmm... "Let's Destroy the United States" followed by a post extolling the virtues the likes of Van Halen, Smash Mouth, and Def Leppard. Greg, you are doing a good job of it all by yourself.

Hooray for some props to the Dead... from someone who dislikes them. At least there was that.

To the future days...

Uncle Monster

11/4/06 12:30 PM  
Blogger T. said...

"hmmmm... "Let's Destroy the United States" followed by a post extolling the virtues the likes of Van Halen, Smash Mouth, and Def Leppard. Greg, you are doing a good job of it all by yourself."

Okay, that made me spray my drink all over my screen.

11/4/06 6:40 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm just doing what I can!

12/4/06 7:50 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

Now, I kid because I love (in a strictly phillial sense).

But, for clarification, the songs that make your list are on it because they are "in your collection"... meaning, some songs don't make it because they are not in your collection?

Meaning... I better get my CD burner working (or buy a new one) and send you some music (and perhaps force you to edit or make addendums to your list).

Uncle Monster

12/4/06 9:21 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

You are correct, John. I don't bring this up every time, but these are songs I own on CD or tape. That's why some songs aren't on there. That's also why some songs that I think are great aren't on there. I think a lot of Beatles songs are great, but I only own Sgt. Pepper's, so the Liverpool boys aren't on the list a lot.

New music is always welcome!

12/4/06 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies if you have seen this already, but some Googling about 4 pages down :-(
found this:

"Forgotten Years" " is a story how the older generation of aboriginals fought in World War II, lost the rights to their lands ("contracts torn at the edges/old signatures stained with tears") had it tougher than the younger generation, who have it easy. This is a call to never forget those years, "the hardest years, the darkest years/the roarin' years, the fallen years".

23/4/06 9:36 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks, jingyang! I knew it was about World War II, but I didn't know about the aboriginal aspect. Very cool to know.

23/4/06 1:40 PM  

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