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Thursday, June 3, 2010

What They SHOULD! Be Known For

Wang Chung - "Fire in the Twilight" : This song got plenty of airplay at the time and is a great upbeat tune which doesn't weaken over the years, thanks to a good production.  Not dated to the year it was released, this stand-out track seems to be only available on The Breakfast Club soundtrack. 

Instead of being known for the embarrasing "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight," this should be the tune played everywhere.  Of course, the first famous tune is good, "Dance Hall Days," but "Fire in the Twilight" could remind people what a good pop-rock song is all about.

Nena - "Just A Dream" : This is what a gold standard of '80's pop should be!  After "99 Luftballons" bleeds your ears numb, switch to this excellent tune from the same album.  A song this good deserves heavy rotation...now!!!

Song Similarities

The Kinks - "Catch Me Now I'm Falling":  A band whose catalog, along with The Beatles and David Bowie, is probably the most impressive rock music one can ever have the good fortune to come across.  But, a smile beams from me when I hear The Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash" jumpin' out at me.  This had to be obvious to listeners at the time.  The result = perfection.

The brothers Davies mined their own "All Day and All of the Night" for the balls-to-the-wall rocker "Destroyer." Another similarity one can't miss. The result = perfection.

Lest I forget, "Property" has the famous bass line from "My Girl" !  And, "Aggravation" has the guitar funk of "Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2" and "Can't Stop The Music" has the exact vocal phrasing as "Satisfaction". And "Welcome To Sleazy Town" takes Genesis' "Misunderstanding".

The Fixx - "Don't Be Scared": Certainly not a song that most people have heard, being that it is one of three songs that are new material on an otherwise live album of hits.  But being a child raised in the bubble called The Beatles, you know I'm gonna catch a melody similarity that wasn't intended to be.  The high crooning at the end of a phrase that finishes the main body of words in "Don't Be Scared" immediately conjures up the ending to Lennon's high notes that end "It's Only Love".  But fact is, it's only similar enough in my head.  Listening to it again, (from 3:27 to 3:32), I feel bad for even mentioning it.  This happens when you're singing a melody in your head from one song, then another song pops into your head.  Unfortunately for me, this happens every time I'm thinking of either tune.

The Rolling Stones - "It Must Be Hell": It took me years not to think of their own "Soul Survivor" when I hear this one.  It sounds like "It Must Be Hell" is created from the chorus of "Soul Survivor" and I love 'em both!

David Bowie - "What's Really Happening?": It recently dawned on me that the verses evoke "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes.  Seeing as this is a co-write between himself and a contest winner, I don't know which one of them is responsible.  No matter, I love the song anyway.  (One of only three songs I like from Hours.  The other two being "The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell" and "New Angels Of Promise.")

Power Station - "Living In Fear" : The greatest song from the same-titled 2nd Power Station album from '96. A masterful classic Hard Rock song that in one spot has a little wormy guitar lick that reminds me of the descending line from Mick Ronson on Bowie's "Width Of A Circle".  Listening side-by-side doesn't seem to prove the point, but alone it always takes me there. You'll find this line just before the big send-off of an ending.

The Vapors - "Silver Machines" : I didn't notice right away, but there seems to be a touch of The Who's "You Better You Bet" in a section.  Had that song come out first ?  Either way, it's a cute touch that obviously doesn't need the nod to make the song what it already its ... The Vapors' equivalent to Blondie's "Dreaming".  2 perfect songs from 2 great bands.

Trust Me, It's Not What You Think !

One should be able to name a song whatever they want, right?  Sure, but after a genre or band has a reputation for creating songs with certain titles, good luck changing the mindset. 

Example #1 ... The Beach Boys - "Surf's Up."  Fans of the band know it's a masterpiece and everyone else would probably roll their eyes if you tell 'em the title without playing the song.

Example #2 ... The Beach Boys - "All I Wanna Do". A sad-tinged classic from the Sunflower album, this gem is forever trapped by a mundane title every bit as uninformative as "Surf's Up".