Monday, January 02, 2006

Listen up. I know of what I speak.

I have a degree in Music from North Texas, which is regarded as one of the top music programs in the nation. I am going to give my opinions on some great moments in recorded music here. Since I have a music degree, it could be argued that I am a music expert, so therefore these become "expert opinions." Hopefully this will cause you to check out a song or style of music that you might not have been exposed to otherwise.

Some Great Moments in Recorded Music:

C.C. Rider -- Elvis Presley, live version (sometimes spelled See See Rider) This has the classic "Elvis has left the building" horn line. Ronnie Tutt on drums starts with all four limbs going crazy, then ramps it up from there. (He was the inspiration for Animal on the Muppets) Some people forget, because of the caricature that he became of himself, that Elvis kicked ass.

He Stopped Loving Her Today -- George Jones. So famous it is almost a cliche. The saddest song ever recorded. Great premise "He said I'll love you till I die. . ." and he did. The soaring strings, the haunting vocals behind the spoken verse. Put it on your headphones, sit in a dim room, do a shot of Dickel, and prepare be reduced to a whimpering, sniffling shell of your former self. Truly one of the most important recordings in American Popular music.

Back in Black --AC/DC. Enough said.

Mas Que Nada--Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. (Sometimes spelled Mais Que Nada) Instantly transports you to the Beach in Rio. I don't really know anything about the individuals in the band, but they all kick ass. This song will put you in a good mood, no matter how bad things are going. Plus, I don't speak Portuguese, but I'm pretty sure the lyrics roughly translate to: "All the hot Brazilian women want to have sex with the Nashville Knucklehead."

Me and Mrs. Jones -- Billy Paul. Philly soul at its finest. Best cheating song ever.

Iris -- Goo Goo Dolls. Apparently this song broke a severe case of writer's block for Johnny Rzeznik. What a way to break through. It is damn near impossible to switch time signatures in a pop song. This goes from 6/8 to the breaks in 4 in the middle and back without being contrived. Great song.

Hey Pocky Way -- Neville Brothers. For such a slick studio production, this song is still pretty greasy. Get up off your ass and dance around the room.

The Last Thing I Needed -- Willie Nelson. I didn't "get" Willie Nelson when I was growing up. Now I believe he is an American Musical Legend. This song has everything you want from Willie, the quirky, unique vocal delivery, the emotion behind the lyrics, and even the solo on the beat-up guitar of his with the hole in it.

The Rain Song -- Led Zeppelin. Even though I don't smoke pot anymore, I still maintain the opinion that it is right up there as the best 4 minutes in recorded music history.

Late in the Evening -- Paul Simon. The hybrid pop/samba groove provided by Steve Gadd has confounded and delighted drummers since the day the song was released. The horn section solo at the end is worth the the price of admission.

What A Wonderful World -- Louis Armstrong. I have this on a CD for my 4-year-old daughter in the car. Whenever it comes on, we hold hands. She mis-heard the line "the dark sacred night" as "the dogs say goodnight" when she was three. I can't hear it any other way now.

When Blue Was Just A Color -- Hal Ketchum. Back around '97, Hal owed Curb one more record, so he said, "I'm going to use my own producer, my own band, and do whatever I want." Fortunately the label said OK. Hal was in between wives and twelve-step programs. What resulted was one of the most honest records to ever come out of Nashville ("Awaiting Redemption"). Problem is, nobody bought it.

And finally, one you'll probably never hear. I was in a band in college called The Cartoons. We were pretty big around the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Denton area. We recorded a demo tape we sold at our gigs. On it was one of our most popular songs, one that I wrote, called "You Wouldn't Be So Lonely If You Weren't Such a Bitch." If you happen to own one of those tapes, you are a very lucky person.

3 Comments:

At 10:39 PM , Blogger Glen said...

Regarding your band's song, I think Webb Wilder said it a little more, uh, tastefully on his latest CD with his song called "You might be lonely for a reason."

Surely you still have copies you could digitize and at least post a sample?

 
At 2:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can send you an mp3 of that song. Contact me at thatbevoguy@yahoo.com.

As to the original posting...JIMMY email me your email address!. I worked with you at MTM!

 
At 3:57 PM , Blogger Spork In the Eye said...

Holy crap. Yeah, this post is almost 10 years old. But, yes, I *DO* own one of those Cartoons tapes from the wayback years. (I was actually googling for the lyrics of "Damned Buck Teeth" when I accidentally landed here.)

 

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