Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Morning Shuffle

After spending several weeks feeding my CD collection and various downloads into iTunes, my music library is tipping the scales at a whopping 5868 songs, which translates into 13 days worth of music.

So why does my shuffle keep playing Elvis and the Hoodoo Gurus this morning? Don't get me wrong, I love Elvis (both Presley and Costello) as well as the Gurus, but this is ridiculous.

Guns & Roses - Don't Cry (Alt. Lyrics)
I'm not sure what's "alternate" about these lyrics, it may just be an edited version of the tune. I had a very strong 70s/80s hair metal thing going on this week, including downloading "best ofs" from Poison, KISS (non-makeup era) and GNR to go along with the copy of Paul Stanley's 70s makeup era solo LP that I was in the process of burning to disc. What surprised me is that despite a relatively large output to choose from I could only find about a half dozen GNR songs that I ever wanted to hear again. This was one.

Elvis - Stuck On You
Not sure how anybody can listen to this and not love early Elvis. I can understand not digging the Hollywood version or the Vegas Lounge version, but early installations of The King rule.

Turkish Delight - I Want Your Love
Australia's Hoodoo Gurus may be my second favorite band of all-time behind The Replacements, but their post-Gurus incarnation as Turkish Delight (which they left behind when they rebooted the Gurus a couple years ago) isn't particularly memorable. The LP has a few good tracks, but nothing that sets my toe tapping like "Come Anytime" (see below) or "A Thousand Miles Away." (I just checked and according to iTunes I have more Gurus in my collection than anything -- almost 200 tracks, not including the Turkish Delight disc as opposed to 135 Replacements tunes.)

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Talking in the Dark
Great EC tune that I first became aware of during an adolescent Linda Rondstadt faze/crush. I can state with some conviction that his version is better but she had a nicer body.

Bay City Rollers - I Only Want to Be With You
I have no trouble admitting that I love 70s bubblegum and the Rollers were among the best of the bunch. Some have mocked this band being in my collection but I have an easier time defending this than, say, Shaun Cassidy's Greatest Hits (hey, Tood Rundgren produced some of it!).

Fabio Frizzi - Leaving Hell (Cab Ride)
From the soundtrack to Umber Lenzi's amazing cannibal gut muncher MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY (aka CANNIBAL FEROX), probably my favorite jungle cannibal flick ever made. While my American soundtrack taste runs more towards 80s teen sex comedies, my Eurosoundtrack collection is largely Italian horror flicks, Klaus Kinski films and Italian crime dramas that are heavy on the bass (and make my dog leave my office).

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Riot Act
More Elvis, bespectacled Brit version. I know people love his stuff, but has any artist ever peaked earlier (his first three LPs remain flawless classics) and then had a more critically acclaimed but ho-hum (from a listener standpoint) next twenty or so years? The only person I can equate it to is Springsteen whose output from his debut up to 'The River' ranks among my all-time favorites, then peaked commercially with 'Born in the USA' and then became a critical darling with moody reflections on the dark side of America that sounded like he was trying to make up for stuff like "Glory Days" and "Dancing in the Dark." More "Candy's Room" less "Nebraska" please.

Elvis - You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)
Though people tend to mock the Hollywood Elvis as some big joke, folks tend to forget that his pre-Army cinematic output was pretty impressive and not just from a musical standpoint. KING CREOLE is a superb flick (and his last before entering the Army and becoming marginalized by a combination of distance, the British Invasion and Col. Parker) and JAILHOUSE ROCK is one of the great rock and roll films ever made. Even when they tried to make The King more palatable to a mass audience -- by putting him poolside in a sweater and loafers! -- he still rocks. Check out the clip below of him performing "You're So Square" from JAILHOUSE ROCK. (Then go here to see a bloated, drugged out Elvis blowing the words to "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and get very, very sad. What a waste.)

Hoodoo Gurus - Come Anytime
Dave Faulkner and Co. sure as hell knew how to concoct a near perfect three-and-a-half minute pop song. I only got to see them twice (once at the beginning of their career and once near the end) and would love for them to come back to the States, though I'm not holding my breath. Their failure to become more than a beloved cult act here perplexes me to no end.

Naked Raygun - Holding You
When most people think of this brilliant Chicago band they think of their pounding rhythm that can be traced back to other Windy City bands like the incredible Big Black, their trademark melodic hardcore sing along choruses, and an undercurrent of pop culture that lifted their songs above the generi-core of many mid-80s American bands. This track breaks from the norm with horns (?!) and lyrics that are more about loss and longing than about, say, a Batman comic.

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