Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Made a mix for my friend Tommy... the following is a track list, with selected liner notes:

1) “Happy Together” – The Turtles: Tommy and I have had conversations about the greatest pop song. He says it’s “California Dreamin’,” I say it’s this. Such a simple concept, simple structure, simple lyrics, but the chorus explodes, and I catch deeper layers of instrumentation with each listen. Plus, it just makes me smile.
2) “You Don’t Have To Mean It” – The Rolling Stones: I may be crazy, since my favorite Stones song is from the 90s and sung by Keith Richards. This also sounds nothing like typical Stones. But I love the calypso feel of it, and Keith’s voice sounds surprisingly sweet; Mick couldn’t pull off a song like this.
3) “Down the Road” – Mickey Hart
4) “Life on Mars” – David Bowie
5) “Tears in the Morning – The Beach Boys
6) “Eli’s Coming” – Three Dog Night
7) “Can’t Cry These Tears” – Garbage
8) “Something About You” – Level 42
9) “At My Most Beautiful” – REM: Another dulcet love song with great harmonies and orchestration. It’s like Michael Stipe’s best attempt to mirror the music of Pet Sounds. And he came close.
10) “Father & Son” – Cat Stevens: This song constantly sits in the shadow of “Cat’s in the Cradle,” but I think it’s far superior. The last verse is heartbreaking, with the son singing about leaving as the father cries out “Stay” in the background.
11) “Impossible” – Charlatans UK
12) “Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Instrumental)” – Dream Academy: For the longest time, I didn’t know this song had lyrics. Then I didn’t know it was a cover. Having learned all of this, I still think this is the best version. It manages to convey all the necessary emotion without words. Or maybe I just keep picturing Cameron in the Art Institute of Chicago. Either way…
13) “Time” – Pink Floyd: Am I too young for these words to have such a strong effect on me? Probably… damn this Peter Pan syndrome!
14) “Don’t Change Your Plans” – Ben Folds Five
15) “Wonderful” – Stone Temple Pilots: Although they started out as rockers, STP was great at writing ballads. I love the line “You’re the wonder in everything that’s wonderful.”
16) “Obsession” – Animotion
17) “Labour of Love” – Frente
18) “My Way” – Elvis Presley: Beyond the pelvis, the acting, the army, the “fat vs. thin” argument… Elvis simply had the best male voice in rock history. This cover proves it.
19) “Money” – Zebrahead: Zebrahead is not a great band by any stretch of the imagination, but they write catchy songs with clever lyrics and don’t take themselves too seriously. Additional points for the GnR reference at the end.

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