Earworms of the week
“Madness” – Muse
I suppose this is a fairly atypical Muse tune in the sense that it is dominated by that bass line and not by a ludicrous guitar solo (compare and contrast with “Knights of Cydonia”, for example). On the whole, I prefer the guitar solos, but this song is so naggingly bloody catchy that it’s proving very difficult to shift. The album (“The Third Law”) is just like all their other albums in the sense that, although it’s pretty good, I like more Muse songs than I like Muse albums, if that makes sense. They’re brilliant live, obviously.
“In the Ghetto” – Elvis Presley
Until fairly recently, I wasn’t much bothered by Elvis Presley. In fact, the first time I heard this song was as part of the KLF record “Chill Out”, when it drifts ambiently in and out of hearing, as though blown in by a passing breeze. It’s one of the King’s best, actually. Social commentary, innit? He’s come quite a long way from itching like a man on a fuzzy tree by this point in his career. Have I ever mentioned that I have a friend who does an uncanny Elvis impersonation. He brought the house down with a rendition of “Suspicious Minds” at his own wedding. You might question the choice of song for a wedding, but you certainly can’t argue with the man’s performance…
“Call Me” - Blondie
Whoever chooses the music that is piped through our reception has got pretty reasonable taste. I was walking past this morning to be greeted by a distinctly invigorating blast of Blondie. Perhaps they choose songs based on their cost, but there’s been more than a few times when I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the music we play to those people nervously waiting to be brought through the barriers for an interview or whatever.
“Trouble” / “Don’t Panic” – Coldplay
As I’ve said many times before, I know they’re scorned by many serious (*strokes beard*) music fans, but I will admit to quite liking Coldplay. I’ve tuned out of their last couple of albums, but the first three are all pretty good. I put “Parachutes” on the other day and was very pleased to remember a time when the music was a little bit sparser and Chris Martin’s lyrical and emotional generalisations weren’t quite so grating. I’m in the “Fix You” video, you know.
“The Hallelujah Chorus” – George Frederick Handel
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I used to sing this at school back in the day and it’s a cracking little number. Perhaps Leonard Cohen’s lyrics to his similarly named song have a little bit more world-weary depth, but you have to take your hat off to Handel for this effort. Who says I don’t like classical music? I’m a huge fan of the Beatles. Etc.
“All My Life” – Foo Fighters
Friday night headliners at Glastonbury? Oh, go on then. He’s a born entertainer. Like Muse, I’m not sure if the Foo Fighters have ever done a great album, but they’ve certainly done some great songs and they put on a brilliant live show, so I’ll be standing down by the Pyramid that night. The rumour has always been that AC/DC would headline the Saturday night, but after Metallica last year, would Michael Eavis really go quite so ROCK this year? I’d be all over it, for sure, but I can hear the hippies complaining already. Spare a thought too for those poor Foo Fighters fans on social media this week who were so excited about this announcement that they started looking into how they could get tickets for this year’s Glastonbury….
“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Damn but I love this album. It’s not the most sophisticated album the band ever recorded (I think “By the Way” is their high water mark”), but for me this album is inextricably bound up in memories of a very formative time of my life. There’s a VHS home video of me from around 1991 where I’m singing a snatch of this song at some party somewhere. As I recall, about halfway through, I realised that I didn’t know the lyrics half as well as I thought that I did, so I ended up mostly singing gibberish. With the hair and glasses I had back then, it’s probably for the best that the tape is lost in the mists of time, eh? I
“Good Vibrations” / “California Girls” / “God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys
Because harmonies. Beautiful, beautiful harmonies from a more innocent time.
“The Needle and the Damage Done” – Neil Young
Neil Young! Again! Well, he’s been hovering around and about my internal jukebox for weeks, and I eventually gave up and gave the old man a listen. Such a subtle songwriter, but also capable of some stunningly thunderous guitar work. This song is at the more sensitive end of the spectrum, of course…. And it’s beautiful. The sense of sadness and loss is tangible. Which, of course, makes it all the more ironic that Kurt Cobain quoted another Neil Young lyric in his suicide note: It’s better to burn out than to fade away. My, my. Hey, hey. Into the blue, indeed.
See you next week, true believers.
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