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7:29 a.m. - August 12, 2006
A Random CD From Work
In my office, I have all of the mix CDs that all of you wonderful people have sent to me, plus another stack of mix CDs that I have made for myself, just in case the iPod wants to take a vacation from working properly or something.

Some of them are full of tunes that I had just purchased, and some I went through my 5-star songs alphabetically and just threw them together on a CD. They don’t have any track listings on them – they’re just random tunes and I don’t know what’s on the CD that I grab.

Well, I have decided to pick one of these here CDs at random and listen to it, and give you all a random review of the random tunes. The one I just picked has 20 tracks, so there should be plenty of gristle to chew on.

Shall we? We shall:

1. Shattered – Rolling Stones. Oh, hell yeah! What a way to start a disc! From the tremendous Some Girls album, this is one of THE best Stones songs ever. What was Mick really saying in the lyrics? Does it matter? Doo-shoo-doo-be, shattered! If I remember reading the credits right, Keith Richards plays the bass, and it’s a tremendous bass line.

2. Burned Beyond Recognition – Rollins Band. Obviously, this is an R-S disc. Ah, Hank is always an upbeat and cheery guy, eh? This song absolutely cooks, though, even though, as usual, Henry Rollins is wallowing in his own squalor about some chick that’s done him wrong. Self - immolation is just a phase that some kids go through, though.

3. Hung On You – The Romantics. Long before they sold their soul to MTV and the top 40, the Romantics made an album of smart, fun, classic power pop. Their best known song is on the same record, but all of the tracks shine and sizzle, like this one. For the longest time, it was out of print on CD but I found it on iTunes. It’s a must have.

4. Tell Me Something Good – Rufus. This was the first anyone had really heard Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan. This has a very funky bass synth part, some pretty hot guitar, a talk box (paging Mr. Frampton – it’s not him, but they use it just as well as he ever did) oh, and the aforemented Ms. Khan. I did not know that Stevie Wonder wrote this for Rufus. Outstanding!

5. By-tor And The Snow Dog – Rush. I don’t know who we’re supposed to be rooting for here, Prince By-tor or the Snow Dog? Neal Peart, can you help me out? Ah, in reading the lyrics (sometimes you can’t really understand Geddy, especially in the early stuff when he wails like a demented banshee) I take it By-tor is the bad guy. And he loses. Yeah, snow dog! There’s some neat bass guitar effect (I think) of the snow dog in battle. This is a multi-parter, shades of Yes, except that unlike Yes, it actually rocks for more than 30 seconds at a time.
6. Love Is Hell – Ryan Adams. Geez, I love this song but I couldn’t place the title until I got to the chorus. Ryan has a knack for sad sack songs like this. He’s got a knack for most everything, though. Oh, and yes, since iTunes stores Ryan Adams with the “Rs”, then he’s here, though when I file Ryan Adams in my CDs, he goes under A. Just so you know, in case you were checking up on me.

7. No One Like You – The Scorpions. Oh, hell yes, part two. Excuse me, I need to play the opening solo on the air guitar…..there I’m back. I think I’ve said many times before that this is the ultimate high school song from my era. It’s heavy for the guys, and has a melody and a soft part about love for the chicks (the non metal head chicks, of course). Plus, it teaches that you, too, can play simple power chords and rock out convincingly.

8. Goodbye To You – Scandal. Mmmm, Patty Smyth. She really made my 16-year old blood boil back in the day. Then she married Richard Hell and now John McEnroe. You cannot be serious! And another thing, according to Wikipedia, Eddie Van Halen tapped her to replace David Lee Roth in Van Halen. You CANNOT be serious! Why did you say no, Patty? Why? We were stuck with Sammy Headache instead of you! Could you imagine her singing songs like “Beautiful Girls” or “Hot For Teacher” or “Everybody Wants Some” or “Panama” or “Unchained”. My head, it spins.

9. Nearly Lost You – Screaming Trees. One of the funniest lines in the movie “Hype” (which was about the Seattle grunge scene) was when one of the Connor brothers said, “We’re a ton of band!” And they almost were, too. I love this song, as it’s a perfect grungy pop single for a summer day, but they only had a few of these in them.

10. Just A Smirk – Seaweed. I really like this one, obscure as it is. It’s an early single from this band o’grungers. They held a lot of promise back in the day, but after they hit the ‘big time’ they released a couple of so-so records. I guess they didn’t have the fire inside them or something.

11. On My Radio – The Selecter. Back in the late 70s, there was a ska revival in Britain which produced bands like Madness, The Specials, the English Beat, and this bunch. This is a tremendous song about the same old stuff on the radio, which is funny because if the radio would have played songs like THIS, it would have been awesome.

12. Submission – The Sex Pistols. As much as they were loath to admit it, Glen Matlock was a pretty heady songwriter with the Sex Pistols. The bass line is heavy, the guitar isn’t as laden with overdubs as on other cuts by them, and generally it rocks.

13. I’m Gonna Make You Mine – The Shadows of Knight. They had a hit with “Gloria”, but who didn’t in the 60s? This is a pretty heavy song for the time, with a deliciously dirty fuzzed guitar, a confident sneer and a drummer that just wants to pound on stuff.

14. Shake Your Halo Down – Shudder To Think. Google the lyrics, and try to make sense of them, I dare ya! This is pretty art damaged, lyrically, and Craig Werden’s operatic voice is all over the map, but somehow it works. It really does, especially if you just ignore the part about sticking fish in a tattoo gun.

15. I Am Stretched Out On Your Grave – Sinead O’Connor. In retrospect, perhaps she shouldn’t have ripped up the Pope on national TV. Actually, I kind of like that rock and roll attitude and spunk, it’s just a shame that they’ll never show the clip again, as I believe NBC has excised that from all repeats. Chickens. As for this song, I enjoy the mesmerizing, hypnotic feel of it.

16. Little Babies – Sleater / Kinney. This record, Dig Me Out, was the first Sleater / Kinney record I bought, and it really had an effect on me. I think it’s powerful and evocative, and they have gotten better with each release. I’m sad that they seem to be breaking up (or going on hiatus, as it were), but such is life.

17. Itchycoo Park – The Small Faces. Gee, you think this is about drugs at all? “What did you do there? I got high!” They didn’t BAN this one, yet they banned all kinds of other tunes. Nice phase shifting, by the way. Legend has it that this is the first song using that effect.

18. I Am One – The Smashing Pumpkins. Oh, before Billy Corgan got all Marlon Brando bald (the horror!) they released some fine, kick butt rock and roll songs with only a mere dabble of pretensions. This one, in fact, isn’t pretentious at all, but kicks butt and takes names. D’arcy plays a nice bass line (or was it really Billy?) and James Iha and Corgan’s guitars (or was it all Billy?) shine. Jimmy Chamberlin is a phenomenal drummer, and I know for a fact Billy didn’t play the drums!

19. Strangers When We Meet – The Smithereens. Oh, this is a groovy song, but it’s harsh and cold, lyrically. You really feel sorry for the dude, and that’s what makes this a great record.

20. What Difference Does It Make? – The Smiths. This is probably my favorite Smiths song, as it shows exactly what the band was about. Johnny Marr was spinning classic guitar, the rhythm section was solid and locked on, and the music is upbeat and cheerful. And of course Morrissey is all dour and morose in front of it all.

Well, that was a fab collection I put together if I do say so myself. Rock and roll is all you need, kidlets!

 

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