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Heard It On The XM

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Posts posted by Heard It On The XM

  1. Today was a big day in satellite radio as the recently merged XM and Sirius finally combined their channel lineups. Not surprisingly, the move was aimed at cutting costs by combining and/or eliminating redundant channels.

    Needless to say, as an XM subscriber (what, you didn't know?) for almost seven years now, this is going to take a lot of getting used to. Even many of the channels that are sticking around have been rebranded (e.g. the channel once called "Top Tracks" is now "Classic Vinyl" but has more or less the same radio-oriented classic rock format) and/or moved to another spot on the dial.

    Anyone else here subscribe to Sirius or XM? What do you think of the changes?

  2. U2 usually opens their shows with "Where The Streets Have No Name".

    Rush's opening number changed from tour to tour, but they've typically used "Three Blind Mice" followed by the Three Stooges theme as their intro music as they took the stage.

    Yes used an excerpt from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" for the same purpose.

  3. I bought a PS3 a few months ago, mainly for use as a Blu-Ray player, and have been slowly building up a Blu-Ray library, so far mainly upgrades from my standard DVD collection. My latest acquisition is U2 Rattle And Hum, which has always been my favorite music-oriented film, and has recently been released in the Blu-Ray format.

    As one would expect, the film itself is just as good as it's ever been. For those unfamiliar with the film, it depicts U2 at (IMHO) their peak, during the Joshua Tree tour of 1987-88. The music is a tour de force through the band's 1980s catalogue, plus a few "new" songs like "Desire" and "When Love Comes To Town", consisting mainly of live performances filmed at various venues. Interestingly, most but not all of the film is in black-and-white (more on this later); only the Tempe concert footage is shot in color. The concert footage is interspersed with conversations and vignettes with the band members, including backstage with B.B. King and a visit to Graceland. If you're like me and enjoy U2's early material but couldn't care less about most of their later stuff, Rattle And Hum is an essential film. (20 years on, I still get goosebumps watching the intro to "Where The Streets Have No Name".)

    But is the Blu-Ray version itself essential? I'm not so sure about that. The HD capabilities of the Blu-Ray format seem wasted on a movie shot mostly in grainy B/W to begin with. Visually, only the Tempe color footage is a marked improvement from the standard DVD. Now, that footage does look awesome, but then again we're only talking about roughly one-fourth of the whole film here. The one key feature added to the Blu-Ray version that's not on the standard DVD is a 6.1 DTS soundtrack, but unless you have a high-end home theater system that doesn't mean much, and in any case the 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack (also available on the standard DVD) sounds just fine.

    My verdict: a qualified thumbs-up. Again, if you're a fan of early U2 first and foremost, Rattle And Hum is a much better choice than U23D - but if you already own the standard DVD, there's really no need to upgrade to the Blu-Ray version unless you're a completist, an audiophile or, like me, just a big fan of this particular film.

  4. I like protest songs too. I went to an anti-war rally in Chicago last year with SDS and made a CD, but most of them didn't really like it because it was mostly "hippie music." Other people didn't care because they were high and everything was good...

    Q: What do Deadheads say when they run out of drugs?

    A: "My God, what is that awful music?" :P

  5. I would never villify Phil Collins as a drummer, he was an integral part of what was possibly the best band in the world at that time. He just can't come close to Peter Gabriel on the lead vocals front.

    Or the songwriting front, for that matter.

    Back on topic, don't forget the drum solo in Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".

    Also, someone mentioned "Moby Dick", but an even better John Bonham drum song is "Bonzo's Montreux" (from the Coda album).

    And I'm not sure if this counts, but Frank Beard is tapping his drumsticks on something (probably the edge of one of his drums) during the first part of ZZ Top's "LaGrange".

  6. "Hang On To Your Life" by The Guess Who ends with a spoken quote from Psalm 22:

    They gaped upon me with their mouths

    As a ravening and a roaring lion

    I am poured out like water

    And all my bones are out of joint

    My heart is like wax

    It is melted in the midst of my bowels

    My strength is dried up like a potsherd

    And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws

    And thou hast brought me into the dust of death

  7. "Watcher Of The Skies" by Genesis, with its unmistakable and unforgettable Mellotron intro, leads off not one, not two, but three different albums.

    The original version leads off Foxtrot, and a live performance of the song leads off Genesis Live. But to me, the best version of the song is the one that opens (and is the title track for) the 1996 orchestral Genesis tribute album by the group's ex-guitarist Steve Hackett. In this case the Mellotron is replaced by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

  8. Sometimes misheard lyrics actually make a lot more sense than the real ones. Case in point: U2's "When Love Comes To Town".

    Actual lyric:

    Ran into a juke joint

    Where I heard a guitar scream

    The notes were turning blue

    I was dazin' in a dream

    My misheard lyric:

    Ran into a juke joint

    Rammed my head against a screen

    The notes were turning blue

    I was dazin' in a dream

    Before I first saw the printed lyrics, I thought Bono was singing about hitting his head and knocking himself silly. But at least that makes more sense than the real verse, which don't clearly explain why Bono ends up in an altered state.

  9. "Great Gig In the Sky", "Any Colour You Like", and "Interstellar Overdrive" (all by Pink Floyd) are my favorites.

    "Great Gig In The Sky" wasn't an instrumental, unless of course you consider what amounts to an extended fake female orgasm to be an "instrument". :P

    Anyway, here are my favorites:

    Jeff Beck Group, "Beck's Bolero"

    Genesis, "Los Endos" (especially the live version at the end of Seconds Out)

    GTR, "Sketches In The Sun" (actually a Steve Howe solo, but it appears on the one-off GTR album)

  10. I LOVED listening to Casey Kasem's Countdown!!!!

    I don't suppose you subscribe to XM? Their '70s and '80s channels have been running an old AT40 episode each week for about two years now. As far as I can tell, they pick a random year from that decade and play an episode from the current month. (For example, even as I type this, the '80s channel is playing a countdown from May '86.)

    Anyway, I see there are a few bottom-feeders from that era that are missing from Junior's list:

    • "Video Killed The Radio Star" by The Buggles - reached #40 for a single week in late '79, two years before its video was famously used to launch MTV
    • "Train, Train" by Blackfoot - #38 in late '79
    • "Atomic" by Blondie - #39 in June '80; three out of her first four '80s singles hit #1, and this song happened to be the one misfire in the bunch
    • "Just So Lonely" by Get Wet - this may well be the decade's most obscure one-hit wonder, reaching #39 in the spring of 1981 before promptly dropping back off the face of the Earth
    • "(Me) Without You" by Andy Gibb - his last hurrah, barely cracking #40 for one week in '81
    • "Jones vs. Jones" by Kool & the Gang - granted, it's not easy to follow up a #1 song like "Celebration", but only #39 in spring '81? C'mon...

    I'd come up with more, but I'm almost ready to turn in for the night.

  11. "Live is Life" -Opus

    " A Criminal Mind " - Gowan

    " Those Old Emotions " - The Spoons

    A bunch of '80s crap that likely could've made their mark on th pop charts with a bit of a push ...

    Actually "Live Is Life" did reach #32 in the US in the spring of '86 (as a live recording, fittingly enough). Not exactly a massive hit song, but enough to get it some love from Casey Kasem for a few weeks.

  12. Joe Jackson, especially his more recent material. In the peak years of his career (late '70s/early-mid '80s) Jackson had a distinctive baritone, but as he got older his singing voice grew harsher and higher in pitch. On his 2003 "comeback" album Volume 4, I could barely recognize the man - it was as though some other guy was singing a bunch of songs that Jackson wrote (thankfully his songwriting was still recognizable and sharp as ever).

  13. OK, thanks for the info!

    BTW, still waiting on "Shattered Dreams", but I also just submitted Songfacts for "Fort Hood" by Mike Doughty. I also submitted an additional one for The 5th Dimension's "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" (which already has a page) - namely, that Doughty used that song as the basis for "Fort Hood".

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