I planned on taking this week’s playlist one direction, then some things happened in the music world, I realized it was a holiday weekend, and we ended our academic year, so I decided to mix things up.
“Lay Low” – My Morning Jacket
I watched a documentary on MMJ’s 2004 Bonnaroo performance the other night. Which means I spent the next hour listening to some of their best tracks. This seems like a good song to open any playlist with.
“Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
Steven Hyden posted another music list this week, this time his listing of The Cure’s best songs. Can there be any doubt about his top pick? One of the greatest song openings of its, or any, era. From the musical introduction to that first series of lyrics, it is perfect.
“The Headmaster Ritual” – The Smiths
Minutes after I posted last week’s playlist, news broke that The Smiths’ former bass player, Andy Rourke, had passed. I’m like a lot of people in that I don’t notice the bass line of songs much unless it is super interesting. Especially in The Smiths, which were all about Morrissey’s lyrics and Johnny Marr’s guitar. This appeared high on several lists of Rourke’s best bass lines. Now that I pay attention to it, I have to agree it’s pretty good.
“School’s Out” – Alice Cooper
Today is L’s last day as an 8th grader, and our family’s final day at St P’s after 13 years. C is done with finals but does have to turn in two papers this morning and then she will be done with her sophomore year. It’s getting summery AF in our house.
“Ball of Confusion” – B.E.F. and Tina Turner covering The Temptations
Oh man Tina… Such a massive loss. The greatest comeback in music history. One of the all-time great stories about overcoming adversity…shit, what she overcame went way beyond adversity. She deserved every ounce of success she earned in Act Two of her career. I loved every interview I saw of her. She had every right to be bitter about her past and always seemed like such an upbeat, happy person. She was so undeniable that even though she was really more of a middle of the road artist when she had her 1980s peak, I loved almost everything she put out.
This was one of the songs that helped her relaunch her career. B.E.F. featured members of Heaven 17 and Love and Rockets along with guest vocalists covering hits from the ’60s and ’70s. This was Tina’s first minor hit in Europe in 1982. 1984 brought the Private Dancer album, which made her one of the biggest stars in the world. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” is genuinely one of the greatest pop songs of the era. Those of us who were there for it will never forget Tina’s confident strut through that video.
“We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” – Tina Turner
This, though, was my favorite Tina track of that time. Again, why would a 14-year-old kid like a power ballad like this? Because it was Tina! So glad the second 40 years of her life were much, much better than the first 40.
“It’s Only Love” – Bryan Adams and Tina Turner
This song though? Makes total sense why the kids loved it. I’m always fascinated on duets like this, that bring together two musicians at the perfect time. That’s a lot easier these days, as you can write/record/release a song in a matter of days. But in the ’80s, when the production cycle for albums was much longer? Adams had seen Turner performing in small clubs as she was trying to claw her way back in the early ’80s. After “What’s Love Got to Do with It” hit #1, he invited her to join him on this song. I don’t get why it stalled out at #15. Maybe after five single from Reckless and seven from Private Dancer people were tired of both Bryan and Tina? If so, that just proves that people are stupid.
“My Friend Dario” – Vitalic
Happy Indy 500 weekend, to those who celebrate. Dario Franchitti hasn’t raced in a decade, but this song still seems perfect for race day.
“Summertime” – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince