Sunday, January 04, 2009

I Got the Gift of Music

I got a couple of iTunes gift cards for Christmas. I've kinda sorta fallen in love with cherry-picking favorite songs. They don't have to be great songs, just songs that appeal to me. My number one criterion is they have to be mood-changers. Whatever mood I happen to be in, any one of those songs should be able to take me where it's going emotionally. I had $30 to play with this time, and here's what I've gotten so far:

1. The Weight-The Band
I honestly didn't even know about this song until the last few years, which is surprising considering how much 'oldies' radio my parents listened to as I grew up. As soon as I heard it, though, I knew why it was a classic.

2. The Worst that Could Happen-Brooklyn Bridge
I'm a sucker for songs like this. The guy is mourning his lost love, but glad that she is finding happiness. I'm pretty sure this was Brooklyn Bridge's only hit.

3. Oh Girl-The Chi-Lites
Another 'lost love' song. Nice and melancholy.

4. Fox on the Run (Live)-The Country Gentlemen
This is probably my favorite bluegrass song. If you'll notice, it also has a bit of a melancholy, lost love element. This was taken from a live concert from their tour of Japan.

5. Old Salty Dog Blues-Flatt and Scruggs
I first heard this bluegrass tune at my Aunt Sue's birthday party more than a decade ago. I loved it instantly, but never put forth the effort to track down a copy. The situtation has been rectified.

6. Sweet Child o' Mine-Guns 'N' Roses
Contrary to what Rex Queems might think, this song has one of the best opening riffs in rock music.

7. Don't Pull Your Love-Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds
Another one hit wonder, another 'lost love' song. I also really enjoy the harmony in the chorus. This one is very fun to sing along with.

8. With a Little Help From My Friends-Joe Cocker
There are not many Beatles covers that surpass the original, but Joe Cocker does it easily with this one.

9. The Letter-Joe Cocker
Hear me now: This is the definitive version of this song. Don't get me wrong; I liked The Box Tops' version. It's remembered for a good reason. However, Cocker's cover from Mad Dogs and Englishmen is powerful and dynamic in a way that The Box Tops can't approach.

10. Take Me Home Country Roads-John Denver
I'm from the WV, man! How can I not love this song?! Don't give me that "the song's really about Virginia 'cause the 'blue ridge mountains, shenandoah river' line." Almost Heaven, West Virginia.

11. Ave Verum Corpus-London Festival Orchestra
We did this in my 'Wayne Singers' class back in high school. Great harmony and beautiful in a way I don't have the musical vocabulary to describe

12. Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)-Looking Glass
A pure fun song. Great for singing at the top of your lungs in the car.

13. Mr. Bojangles-Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Probably one of the saddest songs I know. A true, tragic, story about a popular culture icon from the early 20th Century. NOTE: Thos ain't true. See comments

14. Sea of Love-Phil Phillips
I vacillated over whether I'd buy this version or The Honeydrippers' version, but I went with the original. I'm glad I did. Both are good, but I just like Phillips vocals more than Robert Plant's.

15. Handle With Care-The Traveling Wilburys
It was a shame Roy Orbison passed away so soon after The Traveling Wilburys recorded their first album. I would have loved to hear more from this most super of super groups.

16. Buddy Holly-Weezer
A '90s classic. One of the most fun songs Weezer ever recorded, though I can't say that I followed their career. Not a huge fan, but I appreciated what they did.

That leaves me with $14.39 to play with. I'm open to suggestions, but my list is going to be very idiosyncratic. Don't be offended if I don't pick songs you like!


Anonymous said...

Note on Mr. Bojangles. Did some research and its not really about him. The song had actually been recorded by different bands for about 20 years before TNGDB recorded it. It was written about a local guy, but, Mr. Bojangles just had a god ring to it so the writer of the song used that instead.

Rex Queems (the phony)

Joshua Duncan said...

Well there you go.

Anonymous said...

I said had a god ring to it. I meant "good ring". pardon my lack of editing

Rex Queems (the phony)

samuel said...

I vote for something from Doc Watson. "Windy and Warm" would do the trick nicely.