Posted July 19th, 2011 05:10 PM IPTough, tough list there. Dark Is the Bark is probably a top 25 or so favorite song ever for me, but objectively speaking, I don't really know what I'll end up going with here.
And the Shondell vs. Shondell deathmatch should be interesting. I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
Posted July 19th, 2011 05:12 PM IPI actually dig that the single version of "Dark Star" has already gotten two votes. Are those kneejerk votes? Or considered, "wow that song's awesome" type votes? Either way, it's interesting, because who here kneejerks to the Dead? And if considered -- that's cool that two people went "Hey, Dark Star is a rad song!"
I'm having a tough one between that, Crown of Creation, Dance To The Music, BOTH Tommy James songs and Crosstown Traffic. Not to mention Cry Like A Baby and D.W. Washburn!I don't know why I ever believed the Chipmunks had the lowdown on punk.
Posted July 19th, 2011 05:13 PM IPDark is the Bark and My Friend Today are indeed my favourite Left Banke tunes - remind me of the Dennis Wilson nightmare pop of 'Be With Me' and 'Never Learn Not to Love'.
As singles though? Ehhhhhhh."Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."
Posted July 19th, 2011 05:13 PM IPAmazingly loaded list here.
Nice bang-up overture here with Delilah, a great murder story with Tom sounding lustfully bloodthirsty. I love these type of records, and this is one of the best.
Days is one of the most beloved and praised Kinks songs and Davies compositions, and I can see no reason why it should not be. It is a beautiful, beautiful piece of work which shows Ray in his usual outside, looking in position in the rock world. Unfortunately, this very outsider position makes this one not stick out from a pack of contemporary contenders. This one is best heard on its own, without comparison to anyone else.
You people voting for Dark Star realise this is the 2 and a half minute single version, right? Not the long concert staple? I hope you realise that. I put this on just for a lark, really, just cause it is funny that they even tried to make a radio-ready single from a song that totally depends upon improvisational space to work.
Dark Is The Bark is post-Michael Brown Banke, and though it isn't a particular favourite or a good single choice, I think the band did a remarkably good job of continuing in the face of losing their resident artistic genius. Very nice tune, ambitious. Steven Tyler contrinutes to the massed backing vocal choir. Apt transition from out of Dark Star, too.
Dance To The Music is one of the most important, influential, atom-splitting records in the history of modern music. That undeniable truth said, this is the lone Sly & The Family Stone record that has worn slightly for my ears only. I dunno why, because it is incredible. I don't want to be tired of it, I just am a bit.
DW Washburn only made it on at the last minute because I realised The Rascals' Easy Rollin' wasn't actually a single, and because some resident Monkeeknutz might miss it. I think it is the most prime example of how a great band can utterly destroy their commercial career with one record. Released after Valleri, which was already a bit on the shallow side, this wrongheaded old-timey record set a terrible stage for the band's next record, the progressive masterpiece Porpoise Song. Ahh well, that's what happens when too many creative cooks are in the kitchen.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Sigh. What can I say when confronted with perfection which laughs in the face of any attempt at critical dissection? When Tammy spells out the word "custody", listen to her upward swoop on the letter D. Just listen to that. Then you'll know why I am probably going to have to vote for this. If you get a chance, look for her spellbinding performance of this at the first televised Country Music Awards. It'll kick your ass when you see her melt down a world of phony glitz and backslapping with just the sound, the tone of her voice.
Crystal Blue Persuasion was originally just a track off of the Crimson And Clover album, but it demanded a single spotlight and became a huge hit in 1969. This one marks the beginning of Tommy James' fascination with Christian theme, as in the final verse, he describes the Rapture. This would be developed the next year in Sweet Cherry WIne. Just a great record, full of feeling, sonically looking forward to the early 70's soft-rock movement.
Cry Like A Baby is one of the Box Tops' solid-gold smasheroos helmed by producer/writer/arranger Chips Moman that has actually remained on the radio. And it is absolutely great, memorable, undeniable. Pop-soul never got more soulful than this. Session man Chip Young's electric sitar is bossaroonie.
I LOVE Crown Of Creation, which is textbook Kantner faux-revolutionarism and tri-chanted vocal arrangement. I hear it as a single, because I heard it a million time on The Worst Of Jefferson AIrplane before the album of the same time. The thing that always saves the Airplane from crashing is the rock-bottom heaviness of the rhythm section and garage guitar. Crunchy, brutal business, even with the Peter, Paul and Mary vocals. Go check out the Smothers Brothers TV performance of this, where Grace is in blackface.
I may be a bit burned out on Voodoo Child and Watchtower, the other two songs pulled ff of Electric Ladyland for single release, but Crosstown Traffic, that one I will NEVER fucking tire of. Maybe this is because it is less deep and menaingful, and more just a searing blast of space-sex jive in a radio-ready package. If someone asked for one definitive sample of Hendrix, I am as likely to reach for this as any other of his classics. Listen for the subtle bass piano power chord which underlies the record. And this guy was a fucking great singer, too. This is a soul record.
Interesting transition to another classic rock monster, Crossroads. Maybe it ain't hip, but I love the hell out of this. Yes, I think it does justice to Robert Johnson. Yes, these are English white boys at the Fillmore, all soloing at the same time with any and all questions of taste stomped into the dust. And yes, the middle section, the peak of the guitar solo, is an absolute rock orgasm. One question alone remains: DIDJA GET ANY ONYA?
Crimson And Clover is an all-time radio monster classic which sounds just as great on both AM and FM frequencies, both trippy-progressive and absolutely pop-accessible. Only thing: I like the long album cut so much more than this AM condensation edit. This, and the fact that Crystal Blue is just as great, takes Tommy out of contention for me.
Very, very glad that Jason reminded me to include Cowboys To Girls, which is a bit forgotten these days though it was a huge hit at the time and one of the definitive soul records of the year. Just beauteous in all regards. This type of lyrical metaphors always hook me in this genre. But I love to be properly manipulated. Amazing gospel sandpaper in the lead vocal, which really grounds the heaven-strings.
Another GREAT request closes this set out: (Kiss Me) Hardy's Comment Te Dire Adieu, written and produced by that dirty-uncle magic-man we all know and love, Serge Gainsbourg. Cool? Straight from the fridge, dad.
I'm going for Tammy here, but there are many worthy contenders. Dark Star isn't one of 'em!
Posted July 19th, 2011 05:18 PM IP"Comment Te Dire Adieu" = "How To Tell You Goodbye"
Fuck me, I thought her boyfriend Jacques Dutronc wrote and produced it... didn't realise Serge had anything to do with it! The things you learn when you think you know something. Thanks Ian, make me feel stoopid!"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."
Posted July 20th, 2011 06:07 AM IPWell, here we go then. I'm actually finding this one of the hardest to decide.
Delilah is a gorgeous cut, could almost be a century old Italian folk tune. It has that melodic feel, and lyrically of course it fits the bill. Instead, it was penned by the guys who wrote 'Here It Comes Again' and 'There's a Kind of Hush'. Funny that. Great manic vocal from Mr. Jones.
Days I'm very tempted to vote for - it's an anti-single, but it's a great single! Ray is one of my best friends and this is one of his most touching tunes. If I do vote for it, it's for the heartbreaking bridge: I wish today would be tomorrow, the night is dark it just brings sorrow let it rain... I'm pretty sure Picture Book had a single release down here this year, I'm sorry I overlooked it earlier.
Dark Star was alright - didn't really go anywhere. But two votes, over the previous two songs, really!? I must be nuts.
Dark is the Bark - NOW we're talking. As I've mentioned, I think this is cut from the same cloth as Dennis Wilsons heavily orchestrated, spooky as hell nightmare pop tunes from the 20/20 album (check the huge swooping staccato string parts at 1:23 - pure Be With Me). I love how nearly the WHOLE DAMN SONG is written in minor chords, then in the horn break it bursts into a B7, then in one of my favourite false endings, it beats you over the head with those three massive drum hits, bringing you right back into the depression. INCREDIBLE. Superbly arranged, I wouldn't hesitate in taking this over any of the Michael Brown led stuff.
Dance to the Music - I hope you all get up and dance, and mime along and have your own personal jam party with Sly - it's how the tune should be heard. Some music can only make sense is you're flailing around desperately to it. Don't be a square, dance to the music.
Monkees is alright, but Lovin' Spoonful did this sorta thing 1000 times better.
Tammy, oh Tammy. What a crushing song... can't really add to what Ian said, so this will more than speak for itself:
Crystal Blue Persuasion is pure loveliness. Great production, smooth without being saccharine. The high backing harmonies really make this one. He always has this plaintive yearning in his voice, whether he's pleading for Hanky Panky or whatever - one of my favourite vocalists.
Cry Like a Baby I love - like Days earlier the bridge is my favourite part of the whole song. The fact that it happens only once just makes it more special. I like this recording much more than The Letter, infact, it's my favourite Box Tops track. Great.
Crown of Creation is good - the spooky outro is my favourite section. Not so keen on the whole song compositionally, but it sure beats the fuck out of Dark Star.
Brevity isn't a word I would ever naturally associate with Jimi, but damn he could write a short, sharp, catchy as hell, effortlessly cool and smoking pop tune when he wanted. 2:13!!! Killer.
Crossroads is great. Bruce Clapton deathmatch, 9th round.
Crimson and Clover - the album version is a bit of a mess, but I do miss all the bits cut out for this single edit. LOVE this tune, I distinctly remember my first hearing of it - "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!?!" Quite a moving song.
Cowboys to Girls - GORGEOUS, quite similar to Crystal Blue Persuasion in its laid back beautiful feel. Incredible vocals. Great request Jason, never heard this one before.
Comment Te Dire Adieu - I just LOVE the way the trumpet doubles Francoises vocal melody. One of the cutest, bubbliest, most infectious musical confections I've ever heard.
Fuck it, I'm surprising myself and voting for the Left Banke - I don't even know if it works as a single, but it leaves me totally devastated. Sly, Tammy, Jimi, Francoise, Kinks, Tommy J close behind.
(Edited by Matinee Idyll (129))"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."
Quote: IanWagner wrote:
Dance To The Music is one of the most important, influential, atom-splitting records in the history of modern music. That undeniable truth said, this is the lone Sly & The Family Stone record that has worn slightly for my ears only.
But has it worn on your hips?? Mime the fucking horns as they usher in that gargantuan key change, bop around to the most mindfucking fuzz bass commited to wax, RIDE SALLY RIDE!!! DANCE, ya square!"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."
Posted July 20th, 2011 09:25 AM IPSo much great stuff here, but in the end I can't get past the loveliness of Crystal Blue Persuasion - one of my favorite instrumental arrangements. Perfect interaction between the organ, bass, acoustic guitar, horns, and vocals, especially the extra trippy reverbed vocals in the tag.
It also bears a striking resemblence to Groovin' by the Rascals, sharing the same I-IIm chord pattern throughout. The organ base only heightens the comparison to Felix, Eddie and gang."This one...is this one"
Posted July 20th, 2011 10:03 AM IPThree Dark Star votes. And when I start a thread on the Dead, I get SILENCE. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? Are you the same people that voted for Graceland and never copped?I don't know why I ever believed the Chipmunks had the lowdown on punk.
Posted July 20th, 2011 01:32 PM IPI finally voted -- for Crimson and Clover. Which wasn't even one of the ones I was really thinking about voting for. I think I like it best, though. Even moreso than Crown of Creation, which probably SHOULD have won on merits.I don't know why I ever believed the Chipmunks had the lowdown on punk.
Posted July 20th, 2011 03:29 PM IPDelilah - Tom Jones
Heh. Tom Jones can make even murderous rage sound sexy. This is like a Porter Wagoner song or something, just done in seedy European burlesque style. And I love that he sings it in his most top-of-range, hammy "Thunderball" voice, which sounds both a little ridiculous and fucking awesomely intense.
Days - The Kinks
It struck me listening to this how individualized Ray's melodic sense was. Even if played Muzak style, without vocals, I think this would still be identifiable as his work as a tunesmith. Which means it's beautiful and lilting, but with a certain element of toughness in the way the phrases are put together. Light and heavy simultaneously; the real Iron Butterfly. The lyrics to this one are beautiful as well, pulling against the rootsy chunk of the band. It's a shame Ray was writing such great stuff during a period when most people weren't interested.
Dark Star - The Grateful Dead
From the perspective of somebody who's not particularly a Deadhead, I think this short version of the song is pretty good. Just as a composition, the ghostly, jazzy vibe of this one sounds great to me. I don't think it sounds all that dissimilar to a slightly less haunted/more professional take on the same type of thing Roky was doing on "Will the Circle Remain Unbroken." If it had never been used as an improvisational springboard, and this single was all there was of this song, I think it would be notable on its own, just as a piece of beatific acid sound. That said, it doesn't sound like a single at all, and it's pretty lousy for that purpose.
Dark Is The Bark – The Left Banke
Okay, so we're all fairly diverse in our tastes here, and we all have a lot of different things that we love. I've heard stuff that deeply moved me in a wide variety of genres on these polls, and I'm happy about that. I don't necessarily have a "favorite" type of music anymore. But that said, you can have personal relationships with music of a certain type like you do with certain people, where it's not a question of critical facilities or "best;" it's simply a soulmate-level connection. I know this isn't probably even the best track in this group from a critical analysis standpoint, but of all the poll songs from this entire YEAR, it's probably the one I have the deepest connection with. It sounds like something I'd write. And I don't mean that in a boastful type of way, like "yeah, motherfucker, I could do that," but more in a way that, in a musical sense, this track sounds like it comes from the exact same internal place that I write from. I don't give a shit about the lyrics (or even title) in this case; just as long as they're not distractingly bad, they're irrelevant to me. It's just the overall effect of the tangible atmosphere it creates; the way it sounds like it's gliding in from somewhere that can't be seen, like it's not really there. I could go on about the bits in the arrangement I love, the orchestral envelopment at the end, the ghostliness of the guy's voice, the mystery inherent in the chord changes, but really the important thing is what it all adds up to emotionally for me. The way this song connects with me personally on a spiritual level, that's the exact same effect I'm trying to achieve when I write things of my own. It's hard to express adequately in words, I guess. I know this isn't necessarily a great single, not having the strongest of hooks and sounding ill-suited for radio play, but then, pop music was not initially something I naturally connected with. I like bubblegum music now much more than I did when I was a child; I hated it then, thought it sounded like obnoxious bullshit (of course, now I like it because it sounds like obnoxious bullshit). I had to LEARN to like pop music, just like I had to learn to like country, or any number of genres. A song like this, with evokes such an overpowering emotional cocktail of darkness flecked with hope, is something that never required any acquisition of taste, though; it was just inherently inside me already. I think I only heard "Dark Is the Bark" for the first time about four years ago or so, but it already felt very familiar then. There's a very small, select group of music that feels that way to me, but this song is certainly in that company.
All that said, I probably will end up voting for something else, but I just thought I'd spew that all out there in lieu of an actual vote.
Dance To The Music - Sly & The Family Stone
You've got to give it up for this one. It's seismic. Much like "Tighten Up," there isn't much in the way of actual songwriting going on here, mainly just a group-chanted chorus, and then another narrated from-the-ground-up groove construction. But in effect, it's so much more than the sum of these parts. The live-sounding, raucous performance, the dizzying ping-ponging between vocalists, the electronically farting fuzz bass, the eccentric touch of making a clarinet run the secondary hook in a soul stomper; all these things do so much to make this record an EXPERIENCE. I'd love to be able to go back in time and hear this track for the first time in context, because I'm sure that the assimilation of its sound has done much to blunt the impact it has listening to it now. But the sheer fact that Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and the guys at Motown all heard this record and re-thought their entire way of doing things attests to how immense an impact this had. If nobody votes for this, it'll be fucking retarded, so I might have to myself.
D.W. Washburn - The Monkees
Hmmm. Not all that different in intent from some of the old-timey things like "Dream a Little Dream" or "Tiptoe Thru the Tulips" that I really dig, but this one doesn't do it for me. I dunno; maybe they're just trying too hard or something. The sorta carnival barker vocal approach is a big part of that. I do like the harmonies and the horns, though.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E - Tammy Wynette
I've always thought this was a novel way to approach the subject of the effects on children (and parents) of breaking up a family, but also one that could have gotten saccharine and cutesy really quickly if they weren't careful. There's not much worse than super-cloying songs utilizing cute meta-language (think of that fucking "do you love me question mark" song). But the subject is handled so well lyrically here, and anyway, nothing Tammy ever sang could end up cloying. She could wring such exquisite pain from any subject she touched. Musically, it's fairly run-of-the-mill, lacking much of the cathartic power of "Stand By Your Man," but her voice is the real instrument anyway, so such concerns don't make much difference one way or another.
Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James & The Shondells
I heard the Rascals connection here too (this song reminds me of both "Groovin'" and "It's a Beautiful Morning" in its breezy subtely). But the spiritual (druggy?) element here takes it somewhere else. The sparseness of the arrangement is well-realized, as the entrance of each new instrument into the mix, from the acoustic guitar fills to the organ washes to the subtle horns, has maximum impact, even though nothing even approaches being loud or overbearing.
Cry Like A Baby - The Box Tops
This is the definitive electric sitar song for me; that instrument was heavily in vogue on the pop charts for a couple of years (by the time Steely Dan came around and used it in 1972, the instrument's sound was already considered so out-of-date that it was somehow novel again for them to use it), and nowhere was it put to better use than in the fills on the verses here. Excepting "Neon Rainbow," this is probably my favorite Box Tops single, with the catchiest melodic hooks of any of their hits. And Chilton, of course; I just listened to the whole Cry Like a Baby album for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and wrote this in a blurb in the What Are You Listening To thread, but it bears repeating: After all this time, I still can hear no similarity at all to the way his voice sounds here, and the way he'd sing a few years later in Big Star. Even when Dylan goes through his various different voices, you can usually tell it's the same guy putting them all on, but not with Alex. And given the fact that it's a complete put-on sham of a fake blues growl, he's still remarkably effective with it, and it doesn't sound forced most of the time.
Crown Of Creation - Jefferson Airplane
More Fuzz Bass! Sometimes the Slick/Balin vocal blend, where it occasionally sounds like they're trying to out-shout each other, can get kind of comical, but they keep it together here. Nice chaotic guitar solo; I like the way the tribal verse feel gives way to the more flowing rhythms there. It's heavy, but somehow not in the same way other bands get heavy. They sound more maniacal and unrooted than most bands when they do stuff like this. The spooky end part is indeed great as well, and adds a nice sonic variety to the track.
Crosstown Traffic - Jimi Hendrix Experience
This is as much Mitch Mitchell's song as it is Jimi's to me. As much shit as he gets (and at times, deservedly) for flying off into the rails instead of staying grounded, Mitch is a fucking rock here. His snapping, funky work is the real musical key to why this works so well for me, but as always, Jimi is the focal point. And it's not his guitar that's necessarily the chief attraction on this song; it's the hummed intro hook, the attitude-heavy lyrics (some of his best, I think), and the way he spits them out during the verses with a combination of bile and amusement. Also, kudos to whoever had the smartassed idea to invite Dave Mason to the session for the express purpose of doing nothing except to just sing the name of his band during the chorus. Ah, meta-humor among the psychedelic giants.
Crossroads - Cream
It's telling that for all their reputation for 20-minute blowouts, and all the extended live tracks released under this band's name, the best recorded representation of the power Cream had live clocks in at around four minutes. (And contrary to popular belief, this was not edited down for release; that was simply the standard length of their performances of this tune.) Comparable brevity does them a great service here, as they don't give themselves time to completely lose the plot. Honestly, although Clapton is stunningly great on here, as a bassist, I spend most of my time listening for Jack Bruce. This was one of the earliest songs I tried to learn when I took up the instrument, precocious snot that I was, and the bit at the beginning of the second solo (you know, where he goes "do-do-do-do-do-do-do-de-ne-de-do!" really high up) was the first ever "hey, check this shit out" thing I could play.
Crimson And Clover - Tommy James & The Shondells
Sensual. That's the word that keeps coming into my head when I listen to this one. It's clearly a 'making love' song, rather than a 'fucking' song. It keeps building, but almost imperceptibly, towards climax, but although the chunky riff sections threaten explosion, they always stop short before going overboard. Which in turn just keeps you wanting more. The long version probably is better, but the edited single is well-condensed, and sounds like a complete entity unto itself. If you didn't know any better, you'd never suspect this was the 'short' version.
Cowboys To Girls - The Intruders
I love these heavily orchestrated soul numbers that balance a joyous release with a bittersweet element. There's a sort of lost childhood vibe here. Yeah, things are better now, now that you realize that girls are for kissing, but there's still a bit of a nostalgic yearn I can hear in there. The orchestration is big and powerful, but doesn't overwhelm anything, particularly with the passion of the guy's singing.
Comment Te Dire Adieu – Francoise Hardy
For whatever reason, although the file for this song downloaded fine, I couldn't get it to import into my iTunes or open in any way. I don't know what's up with that. If I may ask a small favor, could somebody be a dear and upload this track for me? Thanks!
I'll be honest and refrain from voting until I hear the Hardy song, but I suspect I'll end up going for "Dance to the Music."
(Edited by halleluwah)I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
Quote: IanWagner wrote:
Man, after that amazing spiel on Dark, vote for that! Killer, killer, killer.
I'm just not sure I would be able to look the board fully in the eye anymore if Dance to the Music doesn't get a single vote. For me, that's like letting Satisfaction go voteless in '65. I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
Posted July 26th, 2011 12:51 PM IPAh, Crystal Blue or Crimson Clover--red vs. blue. Hell, let's get both in, shall we?
Left Banke, holy shit that's strong stuff. Then Sly all the squaresEHYEEEEEEAHAHHAH. organ, Jimi, the Dead--first time ever hearin' that tune (Jack Palance Believe It..........or not) and really liked it, Tammy (H E double hockey stick alt. version) Cream gets a 1/2/ star off for vocals and a 1/2/ star off for the crap editing at end and Kinks
Crosstown Traffic - Jimi Hendrix Experience Also, kudos to whoever had the smartassed idea to invite Dave Mason to the session for the express purpose of doing nothing except to just sing the name of his band during the chorus. Ah, meta-humor among the psychedelic giants.