Songs You Should Listen To Part Five
The Doobie Brothers, "What a Fool Believes"
The Doobie Brothers were just another rock/vocal band that wrote good songs before Michael McDonald joined in 1975 and extended the life of the band by fusing The Doobies signature funk and rock with disco and soaring harmonies. Their biggest hits of the late 70's were all McDonald penned and lead from Takin it to the Streets to Long Train Runnin' to this one, What a Fool Believes ; my personal Doobie favorite. Co-written with Kenny Loggins and released on 1978's Minute by Minute (Warner Brothers), Believes has one of the catchiest choruses ever written (Go ahead. try not to hum or sing this after listening to it). It was also one of the few non disco songs to reach number one on the Billboard Charts in 1978. From the twinkling piano to the falsetto harmonies which blend in perfect synchronicity with McDonald's smooth baritone, Believes is the perfect blend of funk, disco and rock. One of the masterpieces of the late 70's.
"She had a place in his life /He never made her think twice /As he rises to her apology /Anybody else would surely know /He's watching her go."
Blind Melon, "Tones of Home"
Most people know Blind Melon from their kitschy debut single, No Rain , featuring the plump little bee girl on the cover of their self titled debut record (EMI, 1993). But, the best, most angst ridden track off that album is this one, Tones of Home . Shannon Hoon, who died of a heart attack caused by a cocaine overdose while on tour in New Orleans at age 28 in 1995, screams and whines at the top of his range and the 60's influenced r & b grunge vibe is at it's peak in this tune. The song seems schizophrenic, with a laid back, stopping and starting and somewhat mellow verse, that explodes into an angsty and intense chorus. Blind Melon is a band who's full potential was never reached after the early success of this album (selling over 4 million units) but this record, and this song, show this quirky band at the top of it's form. It touches on feeling out of place and homesick and the song has an urgent sense of longing that appealed to their largely teenage audience.
"What do you think they would say/If I stood up and I walked away/Nobody here really understand me/and so I'll wave goodbye/ I'm fine"
Billy Joel, "Captain Jack"
What could I say about New York's Billy Joel that hasn't already been said? Nothing. You all know who he is, you should all love and know his music. You all should already know that he's a great songwriter and storyteller. This isn't my favorite song of his, but it's one I really like and the story is great. I could have chosen Piano Man, We Didn't Start the Fire, Uptown Girl, She's Always a Woman, but I didn't. You know those ones. You may not know this one.The song tells the story of a real drug dealer and with the use of the word "Masturbate" and references to marijuana, it didn't get much radio play, being banned from most stations. That's a shame. It's a great song and I'm honoring it here.
"So you go to the village in your tie dyed jeans/And you stare at the junkies and the closet queens/It's like some pornographic magazine/And you smile."
I feel like I shouldn't like Paddington,London's Seal but when he writes such brilliant and timeless songs as this one (it was released in twenty years ago, off his self titled album [ZTT records, produced by Trevor Horn of Yes fame] and still sounds as if it could have been released yesterday.) you have to like him. (I know I've been bossy in this hub, but it's for your own good!) Apparently I'm not the only one. He's been bedding super models (He and wife Heidi Klum have three kids)and selling millions of records for three decades now. Sure, he's had terrific mega hits like Kiss From a Rose but, to me, Crazy is his signature song. This song and video are great and remind of sixth grade. It's dance, it's pop, it's r&b, it's brilliant. The hook is incredible and catchy, the groove is infectious and Seal's hoarse, soulful voice create an air of beauty and mystery around this song. A brilliant song from a brilliant artist.
"In a church by the face/He talks about the people going under/Only child know/A man decides after seventy years/That what he goes there for/Is to unlock the door."
It would be impossible to know if the success of Sublime's self titled record (their third, but first on a major label, released on RCA in 1996) came about because of the death of singer Bradley Nowell from a heroin overdose on May 25th, 1996, shortly before the album's release or because of the great songs on the record. Perhaps both? Quite frankly, it doesn't matter. Santeria tells the story of a jilted lover looking to shoot his competitor and offers Sublime's typical ska/reggae/punk sensibilities played over a driving bass line with a sweet melody that belies the dark message of the song. the video is haunting in part because vocalist Nowell is shown as a ghost. His famous dalmatian, Lou Dog (RIP) also stars in the video. Great song to kick back and drink a 40 oz. too!
"Tell Sanchito that if he knows/What is good for him/He best go run an' hide/Daddy's got a new forty-five/And I won't think twice to stick that barrel/Straight down Sancho's throat/Believe me when I say that/I got something for his punk ass"
Stone Temple Pilots, "Plush"
California's Stone Temple Pilots were in no way unique. Musically, they basically ripped off the Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and other heavy grunge bands and vocally, Scott Weiland sounded almost exactly like Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam). But, what they lacked in originality, they made up for with great songs. Plush, off of 1992's Core (Atlantic) spawned a wealth of hits from Sex Type Thing , to Creep ( a common theme in the 90's, with Radiohead also spawning a hit of the same name), to Wicked Garden , Plush is the one that stands out. It's got the right amount of grunge balladry that slowly builds to a crescendo of angst with the chorus and an ending that comes too soon (that's what she said!). It's a great song that is one of the top twenty grunge songs ever recorded.
"And I feel, so much depends on the weather/So is it raining in your bedroom?/And I see, that these are the eyes of disarray/Would you even care?"
Bread, "Make it With You"
David Gates was the primary song writer for Bread, one of the premier Adult Oriented Rock, jazzy rock bands of the 70's. He penned soothing love ballads that become dark and ironic when you look into the life of David Gates. This song is not about makin' love, but about literally making a relationship work. It's still baby makin' music. Soothing vocals, pleasant guitars. Everything about this song screams mushy, gooey love. It's a guilty pleasure and certainly a departure from their most famous hit, Guitar Man. Make it With You was released in 1970 on On the Waters (Elekra) and since then has gone on to be responsible for approximately 2,000,000 love making sessions, 75,000 70's style mustaches, 50,000 perms and 30,000 white people Afros. Those are impressive numbers and a commentary to the staying power of this song! Pure 70's cheesy yumminess.
"Hey have you ever tried/Really reaching out for the other side?/I may be climbing on rainbows/But baby here goes."
The Choir, "Love Your Mind"
The Choir has been around forever, writing amazing songs primarily in the Christian art rock/adult alternative arena. I generally don't like using the term "Christian" when describing a band, but with the Choir, it is very appropriate. They write about their beliefs without being cheesy or preachy.. Their lyrics are poetic without being obtuse and the music, especially the vocals or Derri Daughtery, has a totally calming effect on me. Love Your Mind, from 1994's Speckled Bird (R.E.X.) was produced by drummer Steve Hindalong, who is one of the premier producers of alternative rock around today, regardless of religious affiliation. If you go to their website (http://www.thechoir.net/), you can hear the original version of this track, and others as well. The version below is adequate and interesting from their recent acoustic tour. Check it out!
"And if I pull over/So you can have a turn/Will you take us both into oblivion/Do you really think the sun/Is gonna melt us, everyone/Do you blame the moon for hyper-tension."
Unfortunately, it's really hard to find a studio version in a video format that Hub Pages supports, but here's a good acoustic one
Metallica, "Welcome Home: Sanitarium"
Boy, back in the mid 80's, Metallica was an amazing thrash/speed metal band and no album better represented the genre then 1986's Master of Puppets (Elektra). Metallica has always had stupid lyrics; no one listens to them for the lyrics. Instead, we listen to the searing and fast guitars, and, until his death in a car accident while on tour supporting this record in 1986, Cliff Burton's incredible bass lines. By the far the best bassist of his era, he shines on this album, and on this song specifically. In their 30 year career, they've never come close to topping the brilliance of this song, which tells the horrifying tale of life in an insane asylum. It's brilliant, and, true to mid 80's Metallica form, has three guitar solos and they're all super fun to play.
"Welcome to where time stands still/No one leaves and no one will/Moon is full, never seems to change/Just labeled mentally deranged"
Michael Jackson, "Billy Jean"
How do you pick just one Michael Jackson song? You don't! That's why I do so many installments. but, Billy Jean has always been my favorite of Michaels and the album it appears on, Thriller (1982, Epic) is still one of the best selling albums of all time. His unsurprising yet tragic death in 2009 has only served to solidify his title as the King of Pop. Even though Michael's voice and hook is hard to get out of your head, this song is driven by the bass, which carries this r&b dance pop song. Producer Quincy Jones originally thought this song was too weak to appear on the record, but Michael insisted and the rest is, as they say, history. it was, of course, during a performance of this song that Michael Jackson introduced the now infamous Moonwalk to a stunned crowd on national television.
"People always told me, "Be careful of what you do/And don't go around breaking young girls hearts"/And mother always told me, "Be careful of who you love/And be careful of what you do /cause the lie becomes the truth"
My Poetry Collection
Thanks for Reading.
A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION, DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.
HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW Writing (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, THE WHISTLING FIRE, SEE SPOT RUN ANDTHE BELLWETHER REVIEW.
HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOST WRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.
Check Out the First Four Installments as Well:
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part One
Need some new music to listen to, or want to wax nostalgic on some previously heard tunes? Here's ten suggestions!
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part Two
another selection of ten songs suggestions. Includes Elton John, Circa Survive, Aerosmith, and others.
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part Three
another installment of ten eclectic song suggestions. Features The Goo Goo Dolls, Blue Oyster Cult, Ray Charles, Death Cab for Cutie, Kings of Leon, Smashing Pumpkin, The Chariot, Nirvana, Poor Old Lu and Thrice.
- Songs You Should Listen to Part Four
The fourth installment in a series highlighting ten songs you should download and listen to. features La Dispute, Dredg, Pearl Jam, Glassjaw, 2Pac, Glen Hansard, Gin Blossoms, Mumford & Sons, Further Seems Forever and Mae.
- Ten Songs You Should Listen To Part Six
A selection of ten songs you should listen to. Includes selections from Sponge, Bayside, Oasis, Dr. Dre,K's Choice, Live, Pantera, The Prayer Chain, Chiodos and Mana.
How Many of These Songs Had you Heard Before?
Which of These Ten Songs is Your Favorite?
All rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price, November 29th, 2011.
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