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Middle Aged Dummies!! Artists #1's have been posted!! (3 Viewers)

Was that Pointer Sisters claim stake for reals? Are we doing that already for Vol. 2.0? I'm already getting some artist ideas if we do this again.
I don't think we are doing that yet, but I am. Don't make me arm wrestle for this. The Pointer SIsters have 18 albums. I need to start early.
 
28. What's This World Comin' To
Album: Chicago VI (1973)
Writer: James Pankow
Lead vocals: Robert Lamm, Peter Cetera and Terry Kath
Released as a single? No

For our first three songs from Chicago, we have had hard rock, country rock and Beach Boys-style pop. Now we get R&B. This James Pankow-penned tune is one of the band's funkiest and most soulful songs, and features dynamite performances from all three vocalists, who trade off seamlessly like the members of Sly and the Family Stone did. (The interplay also reminds me of The Band's "We Can Talk".) It gets particularly transcendent when Terry Kath comes in with the title phrase. The groove set by Peter Cetera and Danny Seraphine is on point the entire time, the horns swing without overwhelming the rhythm section, and Robert Lamm's organ solo that closes out the song is a hell of a ride. Despite the serious nature of the lyrics, few of Chicago's songs convey as much unbridled joy as this one. For some reason, only two singles were released from this album, but this would have been a logical choice for a third.

Live at the Caribou Ranch studio, featured in the 1973 ABC special Chicago in the Rockies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pDZqW8-O00
As far as actual concert performances go, there weren't many and none are on YouTube.
Leonid and Friends version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIOxXqfkbhw
Speaking of Chicago in the Rockies, for those of you who missed when I posted the clip from that special of them playing Tired of Being Alone with Al Green, here it is again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-F4janxKEw (this later showed up as a bonus track on a reissue of Chicago VI)

Chicago VI began several patterns -- the first of five straight albums recorded at Caribou Ranch, the first album to have all its singles sung by Peter Cetera, the first that sounded like an amalgamation of styles without a consistent vibe, the first that didn't have anything you'd consider particularly "experimental," and the first where the preponderance of the best songs weren't written by Lamm (that honor went to Pankow). Lamm wrote a bunch of political/philosophical tunes on the first four studio albums, but starting with this album, and perhaps because of drug use that escalated around this time ("I've not been feeling right, I've not been feeling right, I've not been feeling right," he sings at one point), and got out of control by the early '80s, his writing got more personal, and many of his songs from here on out would be about the pressures of fame and the expectations of the industry and the music press. The album opens with Lamm asking the music critics "What do you want?" While I side with him over them, it doesn't make for very compelling listening. More successful are the songs that tackle the broader implications of how outside forces bear down on people. The album more often leans into pop than its predecessors, but it does so while usually maintaining interesting arrangements. And it certainly kept their fans happy, as it was their second consecutive disc to reach No. 1 on the album charts.

At #27 we have our first song penned by Robert Lamm, who has the most songwriting credits on my list (13). It is not a screed against music critics, and as far as I can tell, he was feeling right when he wrote it.
 
Was randomly watching the King of Comedy this evening and forgot it was Ray Charles' Come Rain or Come Shine over the opening credits. Probably not on your 31 but again, what a tough time whittling that list down must have been.
I'm sure everyone had a tough time whittling their list down, but I'm not sure why you would think one way or another on what is or is not on my 31 list.
I said probably. Fun conjecturing and nothing to get bent out of shape about.
 
28 - Sigur Ros - Ísjaki (Iceberg) - Kveikur - 2013

At this point in the countdown through to about the beginning of the top 10, this is less a ranking of least to most favorite. A lot of the songs in this range are all what I would consider "good" and are more or less ranked equally. The order is mostly my attempt to try and keep a variety of styles from day to day.

This one comes off their latest album, Kviekur from 2013. This album was fairly dark and aggressive, but more rhythmic overall than most previous albums.

This track, however, is an outlier in that it isn't so dark or aggressive. Just a nice catchy tune and one of the poppiest songs they've produced. I particularly like the screeching guitar at the end of the chorus.

Link to lyric translation
My favorite by them so far - which I guess makes sense, in theory.
 
Big Thief and Elliot Smith are artists I remember hearing songs from and liking in past drafts but not really exploring. I’ve loved what I’ve heard so far and since they’re the two “unknowns” that fit most into my wheelhouse, I’m looking forward to their final playlists and then jumping in more from there.
 
Was randomly watching the King of Comedy this evening and forgot it was Ray Charles' Come Rain or Come Shine over the opening credits. Probably not on your 31 but again, what a tough time whittling that list down must have been.
I'm sure everyone had a tough time whittling their list down, but I'm not sure why you would think one way or another on what is or is not on my 31 list.
I said probably. Fun conjecturing and nothing to get bent out of shape about.
I'm not bent out of shape, kupcho1.
 
28. Can't Make a Sound- Elliott Smith

From the Figure 8 album



"Spinning the world like a toy top
Until there's a ghost in every town
Can't make a sound
Eyes locked and shining
Can't you tell me what's happening?
Why should you want any other When you're a world within a world?"


Another song on repeated listening that I wonder why I ranked so low. this song has it all, great layering and composition, harmonies, textures, lyrics. the build is the best part imo. Just an incredible crescendo and outro.

Elliott's music can for sure be depressing or sad, but there is a beauty to it that makes it worth it. He puts enough of himself into the songs that you can feel his struggles and pain, but its not totally autobiographical... he leaves enough space for the listener to make the emotions relatable to themselves, each in our own way. That is, to me, one of the best things an artist can do.
 
Random thoughts on some of the #28s that I know:

After 1972's Something/Anything? Todd had no interest in putting out straightforward pop albums anymore, until in 1978, when he did. The Hermit of Mink Hollow appeared after his fans had stopped asking for something like that -- a very Todd-like thing to do. Too Far Gone is one of its catchiest and most successful songs, and I believe is his only tune that shares a title with one of Neil Young's songs. (I am the only person in the world who would try to keep track of something like that.)
Murder by Numbers is a good album closer. I don't care if it didn't appear on the vinyl version. It's an album closer.
Home by the Sea is the best song on Genesis s/t (especially if you consider it and Second Home by the Sea as one track; I got to hear them played together at my 1987 and 1992 shows).
Witch Hunt is dynamic and chilling and unfortunately still relevant today. It's part of a series called Fear, the original trilogy of which were released on consecutive albums in reverse order. :nerd:
Anything from Innervisions is automatically a good choice.
Billy Breathes is a very atypical Phish song. One of my friends hates Phish but loves this song. It's basically a lullaby. On his first solo tour, Trey Anastasio started his shows with a solo acoustic set. For that, he learned Billy Breathes on piano, taking advice from Neil Young, who told him that every solo acoustic set should have at least one piano song to mix things up.
All Over the World is a jam, and doesn't seem to get as much attention today as most of ELO's other big songs between 1973 and 1981. Because it's from the Xanadu soundtrack? Don't let that stop you.
I love how the Raelettes are used on Night Time (Is the Right Time).
SUGAR BEAR!
 
Randomness list:

Roadblox - The Prodigy. Immediately gives that EDM vibe. Definitely has its catchy moments, being rather subdued through most of the lyrics but then dropping the beat (am I allowed to use that phrase) for the chorus.

The Witch - Heart. I think this is the first Heart song I hadn’t heard. It’s definitely a rocker, though! Competing with AC/DC, Slade and the like for the top energetic fast-paced song of today.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John. Yeah, this one I definitely know. Upbeat from the start and up-tempo part of the way in. I’m not afraid that I’m a sucker for the parts with Fly Away/High Away/ Bye Bye

Home by the Sea - Genesis. This is a bit of a flashback! Genesis (or “Shapes”, to distinguish from the band) wasn’t an album I listened to much. Partially because I’d heard like four songs often enough from radio play. But I enjoy this one.

Right This Second - deadmau5. This is definitely a good distance from my wheelhouse, but I can appreciate a smooth instrumental. Felt like a song perfect for background music.

All Over the World - ELO. Back to familiar songs. A deeper cut, caught in the disco trappings of Xanadu. It certainly carries their style throughout the song, that vibrant and uplifting tone.

Since I hit some well-known (to me) artists in this grouping, let me add that I also enjoyed today's songs from Brandi Carlile, Doves and Todd Rundgren.
 
Home by the Sea - Genesis. This is a bit of a flashback! Genesis (or “Shapes”, to distinguish from the band) wasn’t an album I listened to much. Partially because I’d heard like four songs often enough from radio play. But I enjoy this one.
The FM stations in Philly played every track from this album except Silver Rainbow and Second Home by the Sea regularly (and at night sometimes they'd play both Home by the Seas together).
 
Witch Hunt is dynamic and chilling and unfortunately still relevant today. It's part of a series called Fear, the original trilogy of which were released on consecutive albums in reverse order. :nerd:
Also, I got this at my one Rush show despite the band at the time of recording it never intending to play it live. They had a "tradition" whereby the second-to-last song on each album was not planned to be performed live so that the band could record it however they wanted to without having to worry about how it would translate to the stage. Eventually Witch Hunt broke that tradition because after two more albums, the band decided to perform the original Fear trilogy live in its entirety. It remained in setlists for most of the '80s and then returned on the 2007-08 tour, when I saw them.
 
I finally had a chance to listen to the #30 playlist.

Excluding my own song, I already knew that I loved this song:
  • Bruce - Born To Run
On first listen to this playlist, one unfamiliar song stood out to me:
  • Decemberists - Midlist Author
I suspect if I gave some of the other unfamiliar songs multiple listens, they would grow on me. Alas, no time for that... I'm only just now done with the #30 playlist. 😬
 
Foo FightersJust Win BabyWhat Did I Do? / God As My Witness

This is the first of 3 songs I chose off Sonic Highways. As I mentioned in my Foos introduction post, Sonic Highways is a project different from most albums. From Wikipedia:

In writing the album's eight songs, singer and guitarist Dave Grohl traveled to eight cities across the United States to conduct interviews with musicians, recording engineers, record producers, and other individuals discussing each city's musical history, which he used as inspiration for the songs' lyrics. The band and Vig then traveled to a different recording location in each city to record the songs. Each track features contributions from one or more musicians with ties to that city's musical history. The process was filmed for a companion television series, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which was broadcast on HBO in the months surrounding the album's release.

The city for this song was Austin, TX and features a guest appearance by Gary Clark, Jr., who is local to Austin (and extremely talented)... Clark plays the solo in the final minute of the song.

Personally, I loved the HBO series. Here is a relatively short video about the making of this song: Making of What Did I Do, God as My Witness - Foo Fighters. Clark recording his solo in this video (around 8:30) is awesome.

Here is the official video: Foo Fighters - What Did I Do? / God As My Witness (Official HD Video)

Music Times said this about the song:

"What Did I Do/God As My Witness" begins with a short, snippy explosion of guitars. All at once, it sounds like a beginning and an ending as the blast of music sets the scene. After a short moment of silence, Grohl comes in unaccompanied, "There you go again, putting words into my mouth / This one's for you to know and for me to find out," he sings eventually backed by twinges of piano.

The song is thus far unlike anything else in Foo Fighters' discography. It's a bit theatrical, with plenty of starts and stops in the first half "What Did I Do," clearly pulling in the influence of the southern city Austin.

During the "God As My Witness" half of the track, there's a more distinctive Foo sound. "God as my witness / Yeah, it's going to heal my soul tonight," Grohl croons in the slowed down jam with a notable scratch and growl in his voice. This recalls some of the slower yet still more epic sounds of the Foo Fighters discography, bringing the song home with a strong note.

Billboard said this:

“What Did I Do?” is a driving, inviting rocker with a tasty riff, while “God As My Witness” is an anthemic (borderline Meat Loaf operatic) song that builds to a massive peak before quickly fading out.

Interesting characterization as "Meat Loaf operatic". Perhaps another way to identify the variety in the Foos catalog.
 
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I've always loved the line "Sittin' like a princess perched in her electric chair," on Someone Saved My Life Tonight.
I haven’t really had a lot of time to post and I’m leaving pretty shortly for Europe so I doubt I’ll be posting at all. And I don’t usually post about my selections if I haven’t had time to listen to other picks (and for the most part I haven’t.)

But I will say that “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” is about Long John Baldry, the blues singer who first discovered Elton John and who talked him out of suicide. Elton’s autobiography is dedicated to him, but strangely enough he’s not a major character in the movie.
 
Green Day's Macy's Day Parade opening was very Decemberist-esque
Yep, just revisited song #20 on my Decemberists list (which we'll get to sometime in July I think) and damned if the opening riff isn't very similar (although it goes on a little longer in the Decemberists song).
I think Colin owes Billy Joe a beer at the least. ;)
 
Made it to Detroit. They don't make suburban highway La Quinta Inns like they used to. Or maybe this one is exactly like they used to be, cigarette smoke and all...
What are you doing in Detroit?
Just a stop on the way to Tennessee. We left last night at 8 and got here around 1. Crossing the border that late meant no line and now today will be a relatively okay travel day.
 
Along with Marshall Faulk these my favorite #28s:

Genesis - Home by the Sea
...And You Will Know Us - Insatiable (Two)
Slade - It ain't Love But it ain't Bad
ELO - All Over The 🌎
Damon Albarn - The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Spoon - Do I Have To Talk You Into It
S &G - The Dangling Conversation
Bauhaus - The Three Shadows
deadmau5 - Right This Second ⌚
 
#28 Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be (Let There Be Rock)

Again, I am linking the live version off of If You Want Blood. It actually follows Riff Riff on that album and just felt right to include it here in the same location. I don’t often wish I were older but if it meant having a chance to see them live with Bon it might just be worth it. What a show this must have been.

Next up: one of the most well known songs from the early days.

Album breakdown
0 74 Jailbreak
0 High Voltage
0 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
1 Let There Be Rock
1 PowerAge
0 Highway To Hell
1 Back in Black
1 For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
0 Flick of the Switch
0 Fly On The Wall
0 Who Made Who
0 Blow Up Your Video
0 The Razor’s Edge
0 BallBreaker
0 Stiff Upper Lip
0 Black Ice
0 Rock or Bust
0 Power Up
 
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Finished the 30's last night and, as mentioned, had a number of songs that were new to me that I enjoyed. Many more than usual, for me.

In no particular order

Redesigning Women - The Highwomen (with Brandi Carlile)
So Excited - SRV. I've liked all of his so far so must be time to look into his material more.
Peacemaker - Green Day
I'm. Rocker - Slade
Valentine and Garude -Frank Black &...
Gone Cold - Clutch :love:
Garden - Dinosaur Jr.
I Was In the House... - Zevon
Barfruit Blues - The Hold Steady
Aim't That Love - Ray Charles
Knock, knock, knock - Spoon


Although not new to me, Telephone Line is one of my top 2 or 3 ELO songs, Born To Run my favorite Bruce song, and Good bye Yellow Brick Road is an Elton masterpiece. (y)

Beauty round!
 
28. Can't Make a Sound- Elliott Smith

Elliott's music can for sure be depressing or sad, but there is a beauty to it that makes it worth it. He puts enough of himself into the songs that you can feel his struggles and pain, but its not totally autobiographical... he leaves enough space for the listener to make the emotions relatable to themselves, each in our own way. That is, to me, one of the best things an artist can do.
Like Elliott, Townes Van Zandt wrote a lot of depressing/sad songs too. He once said "Not all of my songs are sad. Some are hopeless." :lol: I'm a fan of sad songs.
 
Made it to Detroit. They don't make suburban highway La Quinta Inns like they used to. Or maybe this one is exactly like they used to be, cigarette smoke and all...
What are you doing in Detroit?
Just a stop on the way to Tennessee. We left last night at 8 and got here around 1. Crossing the border that late meant no line and now today will be a relatively okay travel day.
There is nothing relatively okay about !-75 between Toledo and Dayton. It's a stress filled 2 lane migraine full of vehicles in both lanes running side-by-side at about 57 miles per hour for seemingly eternity. Enjoy the hills once you get through the south Cincy burbs though!
 
Made it to Detroit. They don't make suburban highway La Quinta Inns like they used to. Or maybe this one is exactly like they used to be, cigarette smoke and all...
What are you doing in Detroit?
Just a stop on the way to Tennessee. We left last night at 8 and got here around 1. Crossing the border that late meant no line and now today will be a relatively okay travel day.
There is nothing relatively okay about !-75 between Toledo and Dayton. It's a stress filled 2 lane migraine full of vehicles in both lanes running side-by-side at about 57 miles per hour for seemingly eternity. Enjoy the hills once you get through the south Cincy burbs though!
Sounds like I-95 between DC and Richmond. Everybody spread out and crawl.
 
Insatiable (Two) is the first of four from 2009’s The Century of Self. If you like the first half, good news, there’s more soon, though a technical glitch will throw us off with the naming. The other two tracks are among their best and will come much later, long after everyone has thrown in their dibs on the next round!

“I’m the monster and I exist” is a killer line
 
Here are few new to me favorites, but I liked everything new to me on the #28 list, and there were a lot of new to me songs.

Paul
The Poison Tree
The World at Large
The Sweet Part of the City - My favorite so far by THS
Insatiable (two) - My favorite so far by ...
Bebeto Vãobora
Lose Yourself to Dance - My favorite so far by DP
The Three Shadows Part 1- My favorite so far by Bauhaus.
Billy Breathes - My favorite so far by 🐟
Andalucia
Witch Hunt
Do I Have to Talk You Into It
Too Far Gone
Hard Way Home
Can't Made a Sound
It Ain't Love But It Ain't Bad
 
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#28 Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be (Let There Be Rock)

Again, I am linking the live version off of If You Want Blood. It actually follows Riff Riff on that album and just felt right to include it here in the same location.
The live version is really good.
 

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