Earworms of the Week
"Aces High" - Iron Maiden
I've been listening to a lot of Metallica over the last couple of weeks, but sometimes you can't get away from where it all began... and for me, that's Iron Maiden. They're a very different kind of band for Metallica. You could easily argue that Metallica lost their way about twenty years ago and have been trying to find themselves ever since (although, for me at least, Death Magnetic was a real return to form). With Maiden, things have been pretty consistent. They know what they are good at, and they generally stick to it. That's not to say that they don't take risks, but apart from the change enforced when Bruce Dickinson left the band and was replaced by Blaze Bayley, you pretty much know what you're going to get with Maiden. I love'em. Does it get much better than this song? Aces Hiiiiiiigh-Aye!
"Groove is in the Heart" - Dee-Lite
Let's speak frankly: songs don't come much more earwormy than this, do they? They recorded this in 1990, for goodness sake!
"Paparazzi" - Lady Gaga
I like Lady Gaga, but I have to be honest and say that I haven't bought her last album and I actually couldn't name or hum a single song from it. That clutch of singles from her first album though... well, that's virtually untouchable. As I said in my review for the singles of the year 2009:
"Perhaps I'm overthinking it, but I do wonder if Lady Gaga is somehow wasted on music fans. As she writhes and gyrates onstage in a succession of increasingly outlandish and seemingly impractical costumes before a backdrop of silent movies, it's hard to escape the conclusion that she's casting pearls before swine. She's clearly an avant-garde performance artist, so what the hell is she doing wasting her time in front of these hordes of screaming teenagers? Take the video for this song: it's nearly eight minutes long. Given that the song itself is over in 3m28s, that leaves an awful lot of room to spare for a beautifully shot mini film noir featuring a plotting boyfriend, hidden photographers, a plunge from a balcony and then some groovy cripple dancing on crutches. This is art, dangnabbit, and Lady Gaga is an artist. Of all her ubiquitous singles, this is the one that has stayed with me the longest. For starters there's the delicious juxtaposition of this often photographed performer using the paparazzo who must dog her every step as a metaphor for an unrequited love; comparing the obsessive nature of that love with the photographers looking to get that upskirt shot as she gets out of a car. She stops short of saying that the love between camera and star is mutual, but the sadness in her voice as she sings tells its own story. All this and it's absurdly catchy and nigh-on impossible to shift from your brain. 2009 was the year of Gaga and this was her best song. Art has never looked or sounded better.......... yeah, you're right: I'm definitely overthinking it."
My wife likes this song too, but I think that's because Alexander Skaarsgard is in the video.
"1 Thing" - Amerie
Oh come on! Who doesn't love a bit of Amerie now and again? Eh?
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" - Michael Jackson
One of my friends loathes MJ. I used to be entirely with him, and then I opened my ears. I don't like all of his stuff, for sure (and "Heal the World" is nearly enough to make me want to torture puppies), but he just made so much music that still sounds as fresh today as it did the day it was recorded. As a bonus, this particular song reminds me of travelling in the back of a truck in Namibia. Good times.
"I'm A Believer" - The Monkees / Neil Diamond
I've been listening to the Monkees version, but every time I hear it, I hear Neil Diamond's voice in my head. I saw him playing this at Glastonbury a few years ago, and I wondered then how much money he must have made from this one song, never mind any of the others in his sparkling back catalogue. Well, a lot, anyway. Quite right too.... it's an excellent song.
"I Want the One I Can't Have" - The Smiths
I listened to "Meat is Murder" the other day for the first time in a long time. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's really good, isn't it?
"A double bed and a stalwart lover for sure
These are the riches of the poor"
I see Morrissey is on twitter. Am I tempted? No. The man wrote some amazing lyrics, but he's long since shown himself to be an absolute clot, hasn't he? Eating meat is just like paedophelia? Yeah, right-ho, Moz.
"Line and Length" - The Duckworth Lewis Method
Novelty cricket music? Perhaps, but when you can nail a ridiculous 80s synth record like this, then what's to complain about?
"Gotta get the ball where it oughta be in the corridor of uncertainty
Gotta get the ball where it oughta be in the corridor of uncertainty"
Beautiful. Not long till the Trent Bridge test, now I think of it....
"Whiskey in the Jar" - Thin Lizzy / Metallica
Silly, but also perfect. Ultimately, the Lizzy version is definitive, but Metallica had a pretty damn good go at it, eh?
"U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
Timeless. In the car on the way back to Nottingham from the airport on Wednesday, I had a good singalong to this with one of my colleagues who wasn't even born when it was released. What more could any songwriter ask?
....it's perfect, isn't it?
Enjoy the long weekend, y'all.
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