Thursday, December 29, 2011
"Sal's Self-Indulgent But Hopefully Entertaining Top 10 Project Realized, Parts 1-3" : THE WEEKEND MIX(ES)
Back when I was a much younger music dork making mixtapes on those sexy Memorex Chromium Dioxide cassettes with the switchblade-style case and that killer, new tape smell, I'd go absolutely mental when a great idea for a theme would come to mind. I couldn't wait to lock myself in my room with a big glass of Hawaiian Punch, a box of Milk Duds, and my air traffic controller-size Koss headphones carefully balanced on my head. Of course, looking back at some of those old tapes, those "great ideas" were mostly just ideas.
"B-Sides." "Girls' Names." "All Instrumental."
One theme was a series called "Top 10," where I chose my ten favorites songs by one artist and compiled them in ascending order. Chillingly brilliant, no?
A few years ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was getting rid of almost all of his CD collection. I mean, thousands of CDs, just packed and ready to move. I understand that feeling. I've been there, and am actually there now. (I have about 4,000. I'd like to have about 500. Any interest? Let's talk.) What bothered me about my friend was this statement, "All I need are the 'greatest hits' of everyone." I wanted to slap him with a pike. Suddenly, all these fabulous artists, these brilliant singers and songwriters, these stellar musicians, were no longer necessary to this long time music fanatic. His words, "'I Want You To Want Me' and 'Surrender' are Cheap Trick's only good songs anyway," caused my heart to attack me.
I was so taken by his change of heart about all of his music, I offered to make CDs...an endless supply...each featuring 20 songs that weren't greatest hits by, well...everyone. I just couldn't accept the fact that someone who claimed to love music, could be satisfied with a lone Bob Dylan CD that had ten songs, one of which was "Lay Lady Lay." Or worse, that he passed judgement on bands that I considered my all time faves like Cheap Trick, Queen, and Hall & Oates, based solely on radio hits like "The Flame," "We Will Rock You" and "Maneater."
(You still with me?)
I married these two stories and came up with a project I've been wanting to attack for years. For this "WEEKEND MIX," here are the first three of what I hope to be many, Top Tens, featuring the not so obvious. Maybe the naysayers and the uninterested will find something they never knew existed. And for the fans, maybe you'll just have some fun comparing my fave non-hits with yours.
Up first, David Bowie, Cheap Trick and Hall & Oates. (We'll save Queen for the new year.)
In the case of Bowie, I focused solely on his last 4 albums. Too many people gave up after "Scary Monsters," which is one of my least favorite Bowie records by the way, and didn't even bother after he released such 80's dreck like "Tonight" and "Never Let Me Down." As for Cheap Trick and Hall & Oates, well as I said, I love these people, so it wasn't easy to narrow it down to ten. But I did, keeping your ears and three years of your comments in mind while editing.
New Killer Star
Something In The Air
Seven Years In Tibet
5:15 The Angels Have Gone
She'll Drive The Big Car
You've Got A Habit Of Leaving
Fall Dog Bombs The Moon
Everyone Says "Hi"
Back 'N Blue
Everything Works If You Let It
I Don't Love Here Anymore
That Means A Lot
Closer, The Ballad Of Burt & Linda
Southern Girls (Steve Albini Mix)
Grounds For Separation
London, Luck, & Love
Someday We'll Know w/Todd Rundgren
Head Above Water
Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid