Friday, October 26, 2007

Last orders: the Play It LOUD addendum

When compiling my huge, would-be definitive list of favourite songs to PLAY LOUD the other week (in two parts, of course: here and here), there were - inevitably - a few which really, really should have been included, but which somehow slipped my mind just then. The time has now come to rectify these unforgivable omissions.

So, this is the final supplement to the Play It LOUD list, bringing me up to 50 (or so) PLAY LOUD classics in all.

I treated myself to a few of these to wake myself up before heading out for dinner this evening.

Shoot Shoot - UFO
Got to have a 'metal' track in the list somewhere; and I've always loved Michael Schenker's guitar. (It would either have to be this or Rock My Nights Away from the Michael Schenker Group album 'Built To Destroy'.)

Dirty Boulevarde - Lou Reed
My favourite song from the great 'New York' album - which actually includes the exhortation "Play Loud" on the sleeve notes.

Road To Nowhere - Talking Heads
Nihilism was never done better. I've never been that much of a fan of David Byrne, but it's impossible not to love this track: a gospel intro, cowboy yells at the end, and that accordion.

Every Breath You Take - The Police
For sheer head-banging, I'd take Synchronicity 2; but Every Breath is such a compellingly obsessive love song, and the bass line demands to be played LOUD.

Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea - Genesis
I was never much of a fan of this group - either pre- or post-Peter Gabriel - but they were rather foisted on me by some friends at University. And the 'Genesis' album had a much broader appeal than most of their other stuff - it was one of those records that just about everyone seemed to buy. Side 1 ends with this very creepy two-part song (a kind of geriatric Hotel California); and - after a quietly atmospheric, suspense-building bridging passage - the closing instrumental section kicks off with a ferociously punchy drum pattern, a real floor-shaker; my hi-fi nerd buddies regularly used to use it as a speaker test (and I think on at least one occasion we managed to blow a woofer). I get tinnitus all these years later, just thinking about it.

I Fought The Law - The Clash
Had to have something by The Clash, the best English punk band - and this gets the nod narrowly over Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Mind you, the early version by The Bobby Fuller Four is pretty darned good, too.

Oliver's Army - Elvis Costello
Elvis really, really irritates me. I know he's terribly bright and his heart's in the right place and he writes some great music - but he is way too full of himself, his lyrics tend to be either perversely obscure or oafishly literal, and I find his voice almost impossible to listen to. Having said all that, this is just an irresistibly catchy song (maybe it's the piano?) - one of my favourite singles of all time. Great, great opening lines, too:
Don't start me talking;
I could talk all night -
My mind just sleepwalking
While I'm putting the world to rights.

She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
I liked the name of this band more than most of their music - Roland Gift's thin falsetto got on my tits rather. But this song..... well, it just rocks. It's the guitar.

There She Goes - The La's
I don't know anything about this group, or about when this song was first released. I just know they often used to play it before the films started at my favourite cheapo arts cinema in London, the Prince Charles, when I was going there a lot in the late '90s, early '00s, and it instantly got under my skin. A perfect pop tune: sounds as if it comes from an earlier generation, sounds kind of like a Kinks song. And, of course, the theme of lingering infatuation struck a chord with me: I've never quite been able to rid myself of my fixation on the two great failed loves of my life.

Scapegoat - Chumbawamba
The final track on their awesome 'Tubthumping' album - I have come to think of it as my 'China theme song'. Sing along with me: "Scapegoat, looking for a scapegoat..... There's always someone else for you to blame." Oh yes, play it LOUD.

OK, that's it for the music recommendations. I promise. Well, for another month or two, at least.....


Anonymous said...

"Every Breath You Take - The Police"

I am surprised to see this on your list, but yes, what a fantastic song! I met him once years ago - very very charming.

"There She Goes - The La's"

This song brings back wonderful happy memories too. I don't know where they came from or where they went too but I saw them live because of this song.

You have yet to convert me to Chumbawamba. Ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous said...

You must be my single greatest Western music influence. I spent a full 7 seconds pondering this proclamation and I can't think of anyone who could top you in this category.

Many thanks, Froog.

Froog said...

Glad to be of service, T - but you really need to get out more.

Or perhaps, just to stay in more, listening to music!

Froog said...

Ooooo - I just remembered I do have Rock My Nights Away with me here in BJ (on a Best of Michael Schenker CD that also includes Shoot Shoot). Trite lyrics, perhaps (but maybe self-consciously so?) - it does the old fire/desire rhyme in the first line! - but a fantastic song, nonetheless. It's one of those where the closing solo is so good, you hover next to the amp, gradually winding up the volume to try to compensate for the fade-out, every fibre of your being vainly screaming: "Don't end it now. He's only just getting going!"

And FG, you do need to give the Chumbawamba a chance. High energy music, intelligent lyrics, political engagement, and very canny use of pop culture soundbites linking the tracks - I don't know about the rest of their stuff, but that album is a work of art, easily one of the best half dozen releases of the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, staying in is the problem. I don't really have any holdbacks in the "getting out" department.

Though, I am practicing not going out quite so much, this weekend.

wavering - shall i go? shall I stay? - we shall see what whimsy decides tonight's activities.

how's your weekend been? peaceful?

The British Cowboy said...

You are officially dead to me.

Froog said...

Was it the Elvis Costello remarks? I thought you'd throw your toys out of the pram about that one, Cowboy.

The British Cowboy said...

Dead to me!

Froog said...

And I thought I was so nice about him. I didn't say he was a whiny little poser who managed to knock out one good song in twenty, on the infinite-number-of-monkeys principle.