Thursday, January 5, 2012

"The Top Ten Project, Parts 4-5" : THE WEEKEND MIX(ES)

The Not-So-Obvious Top Tens continue with two artists; a band I promised last week and a challenge from a reader.

The point here is to hopefully introduce some songs that may have gotten lost in the shadows of the often inferior hit recordings by major acts. Here's the link for the original post if you'd like some background.

Queen is a hard sell, but I love this band, and I've made it an ongoing mission to get "We Will Rock You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Another One Bites The Dust" and...okay, "Radio Ga Ga" out of the collective craws of the Queen haters. (I have little hope.)

The challenge from one reader was a Top Ten of post-"Diamonds & Pearls" Prince tunes, implying that the man hasn't made a good record in 20 years. Well, at the risk of ruffling some purple feathers, aside from 1995's "The Gold Experience" and 1997's "Emancipation," two albums I'll put up against anything in Prince's catalogue, he hasn't. But there have been a handful of killer tracks. My 10 faves are below.

If you're fans of either Prince or Queen, the songs will be familiar. If you're not, maybe these selections will change your mind just a bit.

Chaos & Disorder
The Work Pt. 1
Sweet Baby
When I Lay My Hands On U
The Holy River
When Will We B Paid
U Make My Sun Shine
The Love We Make

Long Away
Tenement Funster
Hammer To Fall
The Millionaire Waltz
It's Late
She Makes Me
The March Of The Black Queen
Funny How Love Is
Seven Seas Of Rhye




Chris Collins said...

Oh god I love this!

I'm a Prince fanatic, but I agree that he hasn't made a great album since "Emancipation". But there's almost ALWAYS something worth hearing on any album. And "The Holy River" is one of my favorite Prince songs ever.

But I love this series in general. And thank you for not calling these songs "deep cuts".


elizabeth said... not a fan of "Rainbow Children" or "Musicology"? "One Nite Alone.." probably doesn't qualify since it's a live album but would be the one I'd play if attempting to convert Prince detractors. No matter how good his recordings are, his live performances are even better.

The Queen selection will be new to me, so I'm looking forward to listening to it.

Sal Nunziato said...


No and no. And not "3121," or "20Ten" or "NPG." He traded his muse for a seat closer to God. Happy for him. Tough luck for us.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Prince, Queen, and what no Elvis? The Queen collection seems to be missing "Now I'm Here", otherwise looks spot on. Thanks for thinking of us.

Christine said...

Great choices for the Queen mixes! Really shows their diversity and genius. If The March of the Black Queen doesn't work--then off with their heads!

Of course I know and love all of the Queen songs you chose, but I'm excited about listening to the Prince stuff.

Mace2theO said...

Good to see 'Emancipation' get some love - still takes flack from both detractors and fans.

cmealha said...

Great selection for Queen especially "Funny How Love Is" which is one of my favorite all time tunes period. So many people are unaware of this stuff as well as some other unbelievable cuts such as "Seaside Rendezvous" with its vocal "horn section" or "Good Company" and the guitar "dixieland band". They still amaze me.

Thanks for taking up the challenge on Prince. Don't know most of the cuts on the list and can't wait to dig in until I get home.

Keep 'em coming!

itsok2beright said...

Some great choices. Though, for the Queen stuff, none of their music is 'Not-So-Obvious.' Any real Queen fan, or fan of any band for that matter, has to listen to full albums to formulate opinions, and not just the radio gaga, (sorry). Queen I was absolutely ground breaking, yet the Queen haters probably never heard anything from it.

Haven't listened to the Prince songs yet, but, I do look forward to it.

As a suggestion, try some early Blue Oyster Cult, The Clash and Sweet. They have many haters that might be otherwise surprised.

Sal Nunziato said...

Where have you been, itsok2beright? Glad to see you.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea but I'd like to see it expanded to twenty. If the Cheap Trick had come out closer to my tastes I might have bought in completely. So far you haven't sold me but that's alright, I'll stay for the next round.

My issue is that I'm also at the stage where I'm trying to go from several thousand to five hundred. I'm not sure that I want to like any more artists than I do already.

I haven't any suggestions for artists, so I'll be eagerly anticipating your next surprise.

A walk in the woods said...

Um, WOW! That Queen mix is really making me re-evaluate that group. Like cmealha said, "Funny How Love Is" is kind of a mind-blowing pop song. Great call Sal.

cmealha said...

I got a chance to listen carefully to the Prince and David Bowie cuts over the weekend. I found myself bored with the Prince tracks. With the exception of "Gold" and, to a lesser extent, "Chaos & Disorder" and maybe "Holy River", they all seem so uninspired, as if he just cranked them out because he had to. Just seems like I've heard it all before. His playing on all instruments is still impeccable but nothing really made me go "Wow!".

I consider myself as much of a Prince fan as a Bowie fan but I
found the Bowie stuff more intriguing. Even though he's also treading familiar territory, I found it compelling enough to go back and start exploring.

A walk in the woods said...

Wow... Prince's "When Will We B Paid" is towering, huge... what a song! Deserves to right up there alongside Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black?," Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'" and even Curtis Mayfield's "Choice Of Colors." It's that good.

Maybe Prince made a misstep in going off a regular record label. I can only assume that is why this song went unheard, even by a big Prince fan like me, until right now. I just never knew it existed.

Sal Nunziato said...

When Will We Be Paid is a Staple Singers cover, which may even be a cover of something traditional. I have to look that up. But yes, Prince's version is amazing.

A walk in the woods said...

I just found that out and was about to post - that it's a Staples cover. But, the Staples version is a tame, "let's play nice" version - Prince's is searing. Amazing stuff. (In fact, I already had the Staples version and had never noticed it.)

Apparently it was just on a one-off single with Angie Stone in 2000. Amazing Prince's version didn't get wider coverage.