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Heard It On The XM

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  1. That is, songs whose lyrics refer to the song itself. (For one example, Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body" - "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song".) You might even add a subcategory of songs that refer to themselves by their title. (For one example, "Yellow" by Coldplay - "I came along, I wrote a song for you... and it was called 'Yellow'".) These are just the first two that come to mind. I'm sure there are many more.
  2. My birthday #1 is, of all songs, "My Sweet Lord", the song George Harrison ripped off from The Chiffons' "He's So Fine". Great... just great.
  3. The second disc of Long Road Out of Eden by The Eagles.
  4. Here's an inspiring post for you all... Remember that "Endless Love" earworm I mentioned a few posts back, that had been driving me crazy for weeks? Well, I finally found a way, albeit a truly dangerous one that should only be tried as a last resort, to drive it out of my skull: You guessed it - by siccing another earworm on it! Namely, "Seven Bridges Road" by The Eagles. Having just listened to Long Road Out Of Eden for the first time, I started playing the group's older stuff and this particular song became lodged in my head, and soon the two earworms were locked in mortal combat, just as I had hoped, which "Seven Bridges Road" ultimately won. But the fight evidently took a lot out of this earworm, for it too eventually shriveled up and died in a few more days. So to "Endless Love" I can finally say, "Begone with ye, vile earworm! Back to the cinematic Hell whence thou camest!" [* pounds staff on ground in best Gandalf impression *] There is hope, folks... there is always hope.
  5. My earworm for the past couple months may not surprise you much, since I've brought this song up in two different recent threads: "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. Not the worst earworm to have... unless you either remember that song's original context, or you're like me and you were fool enough to look it up, thereby not only ruining an otherwise lovely song forevermore, but turning what used to be a fairly benign earworm into a voracious monster that's eaten into my brain and now threatens my very sanity.
  6. It's no easy feat for a band to come back from decades on hiatus and sound just as good as they did in their heyday. Just ask Donald Fagen and Walter Becker about that. But this past week, Steely Dan became mere pikers, having waited "only" 20 years (1980-2000) between studio albums. That mark has now been shattered by four of their '70s contemporaries, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit. After a 28-year absence (1979-2007) interrupted only by a few studio tracks on 1994's mostly live Hell Freezes Over, The Eagles finally have a CD of all-new material on store shelves. Actually, make that two CDs. Long Road Out Of Eden is a double set, a rarity for studio albums these days. The first CD is mostly country-oriented soft rock, reminiscent of the band's early years, while the second CD has a harder, more straightforward sound and sociopolitically laden lyrics, a la Hotel California or The Long Run, or much of Henley's solo material. The album begins on an unexpected note with the melancholy a capella "No More Walks In The Wood", quite a contrast with the song it leads into, the J.D. Souther rocker "How Long" which is the album's first single. Much of the rest of Disc 1 is devoted to low-key countrified tunes about lost love, growing older and finding hope in times of despair. I found Henley and Steuart Smith's "Waiting In The Weeds" to be especially poignant. Two other high-energy tracks, Walsh's "Guilty Of The Crime" and Henley and Frey's "Fast Company" keep the first half of the set from being too much of a downer. Disc 2 kicks off with the epic title track, a 10-minute critique of both the war in Iraq and the decline of the American way in the face of materialism and the demands of empire. The latter has been a recurring theme throughout Henley's songwriting career in particular, and turns up twice more on the second disc of this set, in "Frail Grasp On The Big Picture" and "Business As Usual" (the latter track also features a pointed jab at President Bush). Henley's sharp lyricism, polished over several solo albums recorded during the band's dormancy, abounds on both discs but really comes through on these three tracks. "I Dreamed There Was No War", its title notwithstanding, can't really be called an antiwar protest song because, well, it's an instrumental piece, and a very short one at that, clocking in at a mere 1:37. With no lyrics and an easygoing melody, the listener is simply left to take from Frey's composition what he or she will. Other highlights of Disc 2 include "Last Good Time In Town", which can only be described as vintage Joe Walsh, and the closing track "It's Your World Now", a farewell song that is kept from becoming too maudlin by the addition of a mariachi horn section (presumably Walsh's idea; when I heard it the first thing that came to mind was "Life Of Illusion"), but nonetheless would represent a fine sendoff for this legendary group, if indeed this is to be their final studio effort together. Fans of The Eagles, and of old-school classic rock in general, have literally waited a generation for this album to arrive. Long Road Out Of Eden won't blow them or anyone else away, but it should definitely leave them satisfied.
  7. While we're on the theme of songs ruined by links to underage sexuality, I'll revisit a song I brought up in a recent Films And Music thread. "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie is one of the biggest U.S. hit singles, and one of the most haunting, mind-blowingly beautiful love songs, of all time. But does anyone remember the movie it came from? Anyone?!? [* sound of crickets chirping *] Well, after hearing the song recently for the first time in a long while, it occurred to me that I didn't remember a thing about the movie either. So, out of sheer morbid curiosity, your intrepid investigator decided to look up the movie on IMdB. Big, big, *HUGE* honking mistake. In light of its original context, I can never think of the song in quite the same way again. Don't follow the above link unless you want the song forever ruined for you too. (Hint: The movie Endless Love was Brooke Shields' follow-up to The Blue Lagoon, both movies were made while she was still underage, and... let's just say the latter film should probably make anyone's short list of the most blatant typecasts in Hollywood history.)
  8. Don't forget "Rock & Roll Band". Then of course, there was ZZ Top's "Heard It On The X", a song about growing up listening to a pirate radio station out of Mexico... and whose title a certain SF member adopted for his username, with one small change in honor of his satellite radio provider.
  9. Supertramp, Breakfast In America Featured the NYC skyline recreated with milk cartons, cups, saucers, salt shakers, etc. in the background, and a waitress holding up a glass of orange juice in place of the Statue of Liberty Rush, Moving Pictures A still photo of movers carrying various framed art works into (out of?) a museum. Moving pictures... get it?
  10. I love "Time Table". I could actually see Elton John covering it. "Horizons" is actually my favorite track on the disc, but then again I'm a fan of guitarist Steve Hackett who wrote and performed it. He recorded a different version of it on one of his solo albums, and it also appears on a couple of his live albums. I could take or leave the rest of the album, even the Big Two tracks ("Watcher Of The Skies" and "Supper's Ready"). However there are better versions of those two songs on other albums: "Watcher" on Genesis Live and also on Hackett's Watcher Of The Skies: Genesis Revisited album he recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and "Supper's Ready" as sung by Phil Collins on the Seconds Out live album.
  11. As with a host of other washed-up singing stars before her, I see a Las Vegas act in Britney's future. Perhaps her near future.
  12. "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins (from the movie, well, Against All Odds) The movie's title song is remembered less for being just that, than for being the hit that really launched Collins's solo career into high orbit in the mid-1980s, and even took his Genesis bandmates with him for one album (Invisible Touch). Ironically though, this song wasn't even written for the movie, but was a reworked version of a song Collins recorded a few years earlier but never released. Unlike its theme song though, the movie Against All Odds itself wasn't quite so successful, grossing only around $21 million and getting merely a so-so reaction from viewers. But unlike the aforementioned Endless Love, at least its rights holders saw enough in that movie to bother releasing it on DVD.
  13. Sometimes even bad movies produce good songs, and even box office bombs can yield smash hit singles. This is what this thread is about. I'm sure you can come up with many more than this one, but I'll start things off with probably the most memorable song from a forgettable film: "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (from the movie, well, Endless Love) The song was a massive hit in 1981, spending 9 straight weeks at #1, and remains highly regarded to this day. The Brooke Shields movie it came from, not so much. But all things considered, that's probably just as well. The movie stars Shields as an underage girl who falls for - and, predictably, has sex with - an older teenager. (Been there, done that, of course.) When people play the theme song at weddings and such, somehow I doubt statutory rape is what they have in mind. Apart from that, judging from the user reviews at IMDB, the movie evidently just wasn't very good to begin with. In any case, it struggled at the box office, and to this day there is no sign of a DVD release. About the only reason Endless Love is still remembered at all today is for its theme song. (The film does have one other noteworthy distinction, though, as the first major film appearance for James Spader, known as Jimmy Spader back then, as Shields's brother. Not exactly an auspicious start to his Hollywood career, but he's obviously managed to recover from it. )
  14. Of course, Vaughan reprised his "Texas Flood" solo (in a different key) on "The Sky Is Crying". His instrumental version of "Little Wing" is great too, but Derek & the Dominos' version has always been my favorite.
  15. The studio versions of "Ridin' The Storm Out" by REO Speedwagon and "Do You Feel Like We Do" by Peter Frampton. "Storm" was originally sung by one of REO's band members (I forget which one), not their usual frontman Kevin Cronin. I've only heard the original "Feel" once, about a year ago on XM's Deep Tracks channel. Alas, no talkbox in that version.
  16. Whiskey bottles and brand new cars Oak tree, you're in my way - Lynyrd Skynyrd, "That Smell" Mother told me, yes she told me I'd meet girls like you She also told me, stay away You never know what you'll catch - Cheap Trick, "Surrender"
  17. "Signs": Original by Five Man Electrical Band, cover by Tesla "Remember (Walking In The Sand)": Original by The Shangri-Las, cover by Aerosmith "Knockin' On Heaven's Door": Original by Bob Dylan, cover by Warren Zevon (Eric Clapton and Guns 'N Roses also covered this song, but in Zevon's case it was quite literal; he recorded his version, and the rest of his final album, after learning he had terminal lung cancer) "Whiskey In A Jar": Original by Thin Lizzy, cover by Metallica "You Really Got A Hold On Me": Original by Smokey Robinson, cover by Mike & the Mechanics (their version is slow and spooky, entirely different from the original) I could go on and on, but it's late...
  18. The original version was also released on Fleetwood Mac's 1992 boxed set 25 Years: The Chain.
  19. Steve Hackett, former Genesis guitarist who has had a long solo career since the late 1970s, including a few ventures into classical guitar. Very talented as both a guitarist and a composer. He remains active today; his most recent studio album was Wild Orchids last year.
  20. And it was such an instant classic that it was just a matter of time before someone did a cheap knockoff of it. That someone was the Guess Who, in "Hang On To Your Life". In that case the spoken ending piece was a 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
  21. Many of my nominees have already been mentioned, but I would add "Burning Heart" by Vandenberg, in my book the most underrated power ballad of the '80s (and not to be confused with Survivor's song from Rocky IV).
  22. "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" by Elton John - about John Lennon "My Sharona" by The Knack - about Sharona Alpern, girlfriend of band member Doug Fieger "Boom Boom Mancini" by Warren Zevon - about the famous lightweight boxer, who was a friend of Zevon's "Death On Two Legs" by Queen - about the band's ex-manager, Norman Sheffield "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" by Peter Gabriel - about famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram and his infamous experiment on obedience to authority, and the 37 subjects (out of the original 40) who remained obedient in one of the trials
  23. I have a soft spot for pretty much anything from the first half of the 1980s, except for Michael Jackson and Madonna.
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