A Song for Every Year Part 1


Gen 9 2008, 5:52

I was born in 1965, and I'm sitting at 1,964 played tracks. A song for every year of my life, corresponding with the number of plays?

Of course it's ridiculously geeky, but it'll be fun, too. And I'll never have this opportunity again.

(Using Windows Media to sort my albums by year)

Most choices: 2006, 12.1 hours
Least choices: 1973, 2 songs, 6 minutes. And that's OK because I like them both.

Oh, I don't intend each song to represent anything special about my musical journey or anything. And I'm constrained by what's on my computer. So what. Fun project. Live blog, more or less, and I have the time to kill.

1965: The Beatles are the first grownup music I can remember liking. Nowhere Man is typical of the kind of great pop melodicism that first turned me on to this stuff.

1966: Cream. Didn't want to do two Beatles songs in a row, and I Feel Free is the only other choice. Man, they loved extreme stereo separation in the 60s, didn't they?

1967: Pink Floyd. Lucifer Sam is such a cool song. My band Sleepy Company used to do a cover of this live, which I would sing kinda twangy and country. It worked, for real.

1968: Happiness Is a Warm Gun. I love unconventional song structures, especially when they can be made so palatable. Very psychedelic, but short and to the point. No jamming to nowhere.

1969: I have a near-lifelong relationship with Led Zeppelin. When I was a kid and into my teenage years, Zep was so popular, and I heard so much of them, that I got burned out on them by the time I hit my 20s. I never had the urge to listen to them anymore, but I still liked hearing Zep whenever it happened to float through my environment. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You holds up better than most of the music from this time period; love the acoustic/electric interplay anticipating Nirvana. Yep, I went there.

1970: I got into Black Sabbath fairly young. Had never heard anything so spiky and dark. Paranoid is a great representation of that style. I believe this prepared my for punk, in some ways.

1971: One of my oldest dreams is to have a high school marching band perform Bitch. I'm still waiting to meet a cool high school band director who loves the Stones who can make this happen. It would be perfect for Mardi Gras.

1972: I'm not planning ahead, obviously, or I wouldn't have two Stones songs in a row. Trying to repeat bands as little as possible, but there is no choice here. I ONLY have Stones from 1972. That said, Exile on Main Street is one of my all-time favorites, and Torn And Frayed is maybe my favorite song on it. Often when the Stones try to do country, they end up sounding like they consider themselves superior to this cornpone shit, but they avoid that trap here.

1973: ZZ Top is so damn underrated. The Sharp-Dressed Man-era band is just a cartoon version of this hyper-sharp electric blues power trio. I don't know what Master of Sparks is about, but I imagine it involves peyote and fireworks.

1974: Back in the mid-80s, I played a bunch of early Blue Oyster Cult at some punk rocker friends and they loved it. These guys ONLY listened to punk, so I was a little surprised, but seeing how the Ramones stole the riff from Dominance and Submission, I guess I can understand. Unlike many of their 70s hard-rock contemporaries, BOC always seemed to have a sense of humor about what they were doing. And the guitar solo on this track kicks so much ass.

1975: When I was in grad school, a hippie chick named Rhiannon lived across the street from me. She was hot, but never bathed, which really diminished her hotness. Lots of patchouli. Anyway, I'm not ashamed to admit that I like anything, so why would I be ashamed to admit I like this mellow California-era Fleetwood Mac?

1976: Golden Years is such an amazingly uncoventional pop hit that it makes my head spin, which is probably the intended effect. I have a whole post on this song which will eventually end up here. David Bowie says come, rub up the baby.

1977: That little collage of albums next to Recently Played Tracks is all old stuff now. Cool. Part of the fun of this is watching that sucker change. Anyway, 1977! Welcome, punk! Hooray, punk! Thank god you got here! What the hell took you so long? We've been dying over here. Complete Control, mmm hmmm. You know the dirty little secret of this song? It's got some of that classic rock DNA coursing through its veins. Not that anyone thinks that's a terrible thing these days. But back then, people on both sides were terrified of being influenced by the other. Bollocks.

1978: Wow, thin here in the late 70s. I adored Judas Priest when I was in junior high, and in particular this drama-queen cover of Diamonds and Rust. Check out the disco pulse on this one. That was another unmentionable influence in those days.

1979: I remember buying first albums by The B-52's and Devo on the same day, and being mocked for it. Dude had no clue. 52 Girls has that great propulsive guitar, nice simple drum fills, and is irresistable.

1980: There was a time (mid-80s) when the kind of musical divisions I've been talking about stopped mattering quite as much, and during that time, Talking Heads was the one thing you could always safely put on at a party without pissing somebody off. I'm not even sure if that's an original observation, but I've said it so many times I've stolen it for myself. Crosseyed and Painless: funky. Ha ha, he's rapping about facts. The concept of facts, I mean, not actual facts.

1981: God, did I ever love Elvis Costello. Big Sister's Clothes is the kind of thing Declan used to just toss off. Kind of a proto-Robert Pollard in that regard, although Bob has everyone beat in productivity.

1982: Sailin' On is pure adrenaline. Occasionally someone at a party (usually a metal guy) would object to whatever black music I might have on, and in cases like that, I invariably put on Bad Brains. Ah, enlightenment.

1983: Tom Waits first occurred to me when I conceptualized the whole thing as post-apocalyptic music, old and new technologies all mixed together in a dirty and broken-down world. Swordfishtrombones is just a tall tale, but it's got an American magical realist vibe too.


  • RadioEris

    You gonna do part two of this?

    Apr 5 2008, 22:36
Visualizza tutti
Aggiungi un commento. Accedi a Last.fm o registrati (è gratuito).