Re: For me they're usually forgotten radio pop hits

1

For me it's a 70s-sounding funky disco version of "Im wunderschönen Monat Mai". No way to google it without wading through 60,000 Schumann hits.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:29 PM
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Is this the same as having a song stuck in your head for days, but not knowing a single lyric more than one word long, so you can't find out what the song is?

I wonder how many people have had that problem with Earth, Wind and Fire's "September". Or of course the notorious "Yellow Ledbetter".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:32 PM
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I have many songs like that due to my devotion to a Canadian radio station called 89X (despite being 88.7fm), which played offbeat songs even without the "Canadian content quota." But there's also a song that was a big radio hit in the Chicago area at least in like 2003 that I occasionally get in my head and can never find any trace of on the internet.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:33 PM
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What genre, Kotsk? This is our chance to help somebody.

Let the narrowing down begin!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:36 PM
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2: It's more like it's on the tip of your brain for months or years, but you either remember it well and no one's ever heard of it, or you can't remember enough of it to track it down. But basically yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:38 PM
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My mother swears to this day there was a radio hit in my adolescence with the refrain "Penis, swaying in the wind..."


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:42 PM
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Have you tried that iPhone application that you hum into?


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:43 PM
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And here I'd completely forgotten about that song, Heebie.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:45 PM
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For me it's versions of songs I've heard a few times but never learned the details.

1. Girl from Ipanema sings Love Will Tear Us Apart
2. A Dido-like covers Billy Idol
3. Some soul group covers Talking Heads' Take Me to the River

Kid who grew up with Napster have it easy collecting metadata to match sound with source. I often had no idea if I was listening to track 5 or 7 of a tape.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:46 PM
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Wouldn't it just pull up the Beach Boys song for mine?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:46 PM
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Blume, here ya go.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:49 PM
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Some soul group covers Talking Heads' Take Me to the River

That reminds me, who does that funk cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Higher Ground"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:52 PM
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No way to google it without wading through 60,000 Schumann hits.

I didn't know Schumann was *that* prolific.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:54 PM
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8: Yay! Which one?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:56 PM
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13: Not bad:

Results 1 - 10 of about 23,900 for "Im wunderschönen Monat Mai". (0.22 seconds)

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:56 PM
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14: For me, "Your Woman." I remember that song distinctly now, and couldn't have remembered it until this moment had you not directed my attention to it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:57 PM
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9.3: Umm.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:57 PM
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17, see 13. Since when did you start posting on Standpipe's blog?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:59 PM
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I've had three breakthroughs this year.

A) The "Bah-eee-yah, da da da together, Bah-eee-yah, da da da together" song turned out to be "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire
B) The "I wonder wonder wonder wonder" song turned out to be "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs. (I always expected him to sound like Ry Cooder, because of the similarly silly name)
C) The "Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh" song turned out to be "I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:01 PM
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There was an Italian song that haunted me for two or three years, and then, much to my own surprise, I found it! (It's "Vorrei Cantare Come Biagio" by Simone Cristicchi, and it really is quite awesome.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:02 PM
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18, see 13 12.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:02 PM
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18: Standpipe's all burned out, man. We all gotta pitch in.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:02 PM
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"I'm gonna gonna gonna go to Goona Goona"

Some group like the Four Lads ca. 1958.

"Please Mr Custer, I don't wanna go" was a pre-Vietnam joke anti-war song.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:03 PM
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To the original post...in lieu of the Beach Boys hip-hop remake, here's a hip-hop remake you may enjoy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:07 PM
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I had a related experience with "Frijolero". My host brother finally revealed the song and was surprised that I liked it (it's not exactly kind to the US). Made me wonder if earlier inquiries were intentionally answered with "don't know" so as to avoid a potentially awkward conversation.

But it was frustrating! And song-related. So it counts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:16 PM
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25: when living in Chile, that is.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:17 PM
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11: Oh, if only! The one I'm thinking of is much faster and funkier. I think it must have been by an East German artist, because I heard it in an Ostalgie play about a traveling salesman who sells water fountains in the shape of the Berlin television tower to nostalgic Ossis.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:22 PM
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99.1 WHFS in the DC area in the early 1990s had a song in their Christmas rotation I'd like to get my hands on, or at least identify, for completeness. But the lyrics are too inane to remember. Female, somewhat breathy singer, and the phrase "take her away" appeared. But it was a Christmas song, really.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:23 PM
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The one by Whitetown.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:26 PM
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I read in Rolling Stone that the guy in White Town (Jyoti Mishra?) was a total nerd who spent all his time on the computer and maintained his own website and stuff (this was around 1998), so I sent him an email saying I liked the song and it was the only Eurodance song I liked because it was so weird. He said "thanks mate" or something.

Wave of the future!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:30 PM
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Jyoti Mishra's blog


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:32 PM
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the Imperial March-esque hook

The Imperial March! That's what I was thinking of when I read this comment, but couldn't place it. Wow. That's so plate of shrimp.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:52 PM
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I was driving back from the airport at 3 am once after a much delayed flight and heard a creepy/haunting song called Hostile Baby Rocking Song on the radio. If someone has a mp3 of that, I'd be much obliged. Haven't been able to track one down. And you should send Heebie the link, too.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:16 PM
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I had the exact same experience with that White Snake song--and I couldn't shake it. Once it came on the radio and haunted me. It took me four months to figure out that the syrupy-voiced woman mumbling inscrutable lyrics was the Sundays' "Here's Where the Story Ends."


Posted by: belle lettre | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:22 PM
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35

Baby-Rocking Medley by Rosalie Sorrels is surprisingly hard to find online.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:29 PM
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36

But if you're that exacted about it It's a bargain on eBay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:30 PM
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37

Also, Shazam for the iPhone? Totally blows this whole thing apart. No more mythical songs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:32 PM
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38

that White Snake song

I knew a brother and sister in high school who walked in on their parents doing it to White Snake. They hated White Snake, even more after I pointed out they may have been conceived to those very same tunes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:34 PM
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39

Jesus christ you're young.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:35 PM
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40

36 is sort of a disaster, writing-wise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:38 PM
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41

39: I prefer the term "unaccomplished".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:40 PM
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42

Regarding 9, 17, etc:

Is there some sort of inside joke here that I'm missing? The Talking Heads covered Al Green's song Take Me To The River, not the other way around.


Posted by: Alex F | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:48 PM
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42 cheered me up, thanks.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:50 PM
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42: I would answer that but first I must find the Ute Lemper cover of the Doors.

I naturally infer that the first version I encounter is the original. Behavioural musicology !


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 12:34 AM
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45

The original version of a song is indeterminate until I hear it. Quantum musicology!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 12:47 AM
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re: 9

Are you kidding?

The Talking Heads is a cover of an Al Green song. [on preview pwned by Alex F and by Apo]

The Girl from Ipanema does Joy Division track will be Nouvelle Vague.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=u7OS30c2Fys
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=l4efME9Vnlc [same track live]

Nouvelle Vague's whole schtick is that they do punk and new wave covers in the style of French ye-ye pop/Bossa Nova of the 60s. Sometimes it really works. They've used a couple of different singers but some of them are great.

Their version of XTC's Making Plans for Nigel is great:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aH3x1PSYcm8
[better than the Joy Division cover]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 12:55 AM
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The singer on that XTC cover, btw, is Camille. Who is great/nuts. Does a lot of records which are just her voice multiply tracked.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqzv3nVEkeI
[live vid, worth watching until she starts properly singing]

Her voice is, imho, really affecting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 1:01 AM
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48

I listen to this on the train to work every morning


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 1:23 AM
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49

Thanks for nothing, y'all.


Posted by: Teenie Hodges | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 5:44 AM
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48: I have his version of "Paint It Black" on my iPod. Does the trick every time.

My brother and I were driving across the Md-Pa border (near Camp David) a couple of Thanksgivings back at 9pm one night when we heard a disco/80s euro-pop song whose only lyrics were dogs barking. We reminisce every holiday season.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 6:13 AM
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While driving in the Netherlands, Fleur and I once heard a song on the radio--sort of a male-female love duet--that contained the lyrics "We won't die of an infectious disease." That song has become for us the conversational shorthand for awful sappy pop music, but we know nothing of it beyond that one phrase.

After the advent of google, I figured I would surely find the source of this rare gem. But no, even google has no record of it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 6:29 AM
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So no one knows the R&B Beach Boys remix? That was totally my ulterior motive in writing this post.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 6:32 AM
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re: 48

Dsquared, if you like that, you might like some Amancio d'Silva. Indian jazz guitarist who made some very early 'eastern' influenced jazz records in London in the 60s and early 70s.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=14546

His stuff is pretty hard to get. One of his tracks, 'A Street in Bombay' was on one of Gilles Peterson's anthologies a couple of years back.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 6:39 AM
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Further to 53, D'Silva's stuff is really good -- reminiscent of late 60s Miles Davis [In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew] much more than it's reminiscent of the wank that had the 'fusion' label attached to it in the 70s and later.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 6:41 AM
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re: 9:

My first exposure to "Take Me to the River" (and a shameful number of other classics, like Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain") was the soundtrack to The Commitments, the movie about an Irish cover band. Maybe that's the version you're thinking of?


Posted by: usually a lurker | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 7:06 AM
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51: Maybe it was a PSA rather than a commercially produced song.

The version of Take Me to the River that I know is the Annie Lennox one, which I like.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 7:25 AM
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ttaM, fusion started off really good with Miles Davis and others. I distinctly remember Bitch's Brew being called that. Jimi Hendrix was going in that direction. But it turned into easy listening smooth jazz.

I've seen the stuff I like called jazz rock. Rock musicians who were actually quite talented, and jazz musicians who opened up some.

Weather Report was a lot of Miles Davis's people, but they had the exact opposite philosophy. His idea was to throw some skimpy charts at a bunch of top musicians and see what they could come up with, and edit out the parts that didn't work. Whereas they went back to being as tight as possible. No comparison.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 7:45 AM
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re: 57

Yeah, I know. I love all that very very early 'fusion' stuff. It's just everything it turned into post-Miles [often by people who should have known better] that I despise. Weather Report, and all that shite.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 7:56 AM
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Weather Report was a lot of Miles Davis's people, but they had the exact opposite philosophy.

Indeed. There is a release now of the entire session that Bitches Brew came from. Pretty interesting to see the raw(er) material.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:01 AM
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48 reminds me of these guys, one of my favorite bands.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:07 AM
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re: 59

Yeah. There's all the extended session discs from that period. Jack Johnson, Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way, On the Corner, the extended issue of Big Fun, etc.

Something happened to all those ex Miles guys, I think. I love McLaughlin with Miles Davis -- probably my favourite guitar player ever -- but pretty much only on those sessions. The vast bulk of all of the (electric) playing he's ever done since leaves me cold.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:11 AM
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Hilarious song named good vibrations. Not a cover.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:13 AM
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61: Yeah, I'm mostly the same way. A little while after these extended session disks started coming out I was obsessively listening to them over and over; I couldn't believe I'd forgotten how good some of this stuff was. Some of the musicians really had become too associated with later work in my mind, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:16 AM
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64

Camille is really terrific and I recommend her album Le Fil.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:21 AM
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re: 63

Yeah, ditto, I think. I came to Bitches Brew pretty early, it was one of the first things I listened when I got to about 17 and stopped listening to heavy metal all the time. Then for years, before I really started learning about the music, I'd pick up things by various sidemen from that project and be ... disappointed [to say the least].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:22 AM
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Jazz odyssey!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:23 AM
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re: 64

Yeah, it's a good album. Although I've let other people listen to it who couldn't get past that single note that runs all the way through it. It was just a bit too much for them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:24 AM
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I listened when I got to about 17 and stopped listening to heavy metal all the time.

We have weirdly parallel lives in ways.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:28 AM
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67: See, that was awesome (c'est le fil!). Except I am a sucker for a gimmick. I knew I would love Nouvelle Vague just for the nouvelle vague=bossa nova = new wave clevercleverness.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:28 AM
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re: 68

Yes, it does sound that way sometimes!

re: 67

Yeah, I quite liked it, too. The single continuous note.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:30 AM
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9: Oh the the "Dancing with Myself" cover is on the 2d (and vastly inferior) Nouvelle Vague album.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:32 AM
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72

If you like Camille you might like Françoiz Breut, too. Bit more orthodoxically French when compared to Camille.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:46 AM
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After seeing 12, 17, 42, and 46, I feel compelled to clarify to everyone that the Talking Heads' version of "Take Me To The River" was not the original.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:49 AM
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I had the riff to Tom Petty's "Nightwatchman" in my head for a while before finally placing it. An old roommate was going through his "Nightwatchman" period in his mixtapecraft.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 8:54 AM
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72: I love Françoiz Breut, too! (I embarrass my nearest and dearest with my French pop obsessions. I think I have 10 covers of "Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son" on my iPod.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 9:15 AM
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Two ye-ye style songs about Frankenstein available here

(one of my favorite websites...just remembered that AWB initially recommended it a year ago or so)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 9:24 AM
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I don't have a huge ye-ye collection but I did buy some Françoise Hardy vinyl a while back. The covers are very ... alluring.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 10:13 AM
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The Femmes de Paris compilations are pretty great for this sort of thing, with perfect songs like "Tu es le roi de menteurs."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 11:08 AM
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I came to Bitches Brew pretty early, it was one of the first things I listened when I [...] stopped listening to heavy metal all the time.

Me too. When my miscreant friends and I first started smoking pot, we'd play all four sides of that album, in order, pretty much every time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 11:13 AM
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Agharta was my special favorite. I've listened to Side Two hundreds of times. It became the soundtrack of my daily life.

I wasn't smoking dope so four sides would be too much.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-17-08 11:18 AM
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El Heebie, Gym Class Heroes did a cover of Good Vibrations, but I've never heard it, so I don't know if it contains a shout out to somebody's momma's sartorial skillz or not.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:25 AM
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But if you're that exacted about it It's a bargain on eBay.

That's unusual. I've looked for Rosalie Sorrels Cds on eBay a few times and mostly there's nothing offered.

That CD is great, I love the readings (from Archie and Mehetebel and from HST).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 3:09 PM
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I confess a secret love for Weather Report, at least the first three or so albums. It's clear that there's a point at which revolutionary fusion becomes horrible Kenny G smooth jazz, but I'd put it somewhere in the late 70s/early 80s and not with early WR, Return to Forever, or the 70s work of the Bitches Brew sidemen. Actually, I'd listen to 70s WR over 80s Miles.

Hiromi's Sonicbloom is an awesome, very recent, fusion group.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 3:23 PM
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84

Weather Report wasn't smooth jazz, but they reverted to that tight way of playing that Miles's electric groups got away from. I read an interview where someone said that the leader (Zawinul?) wrote charts so difficult that the players were barely able to play them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 3:45 PM
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85

Something happened to all those ex Miles guys, I think. I love McLaughlin with Miles Davis -- probably my favourite guitar player ever -- but pretty much only on those sessions. The vast bulk of all of the (electric) playing he's ever done since leaves me cold.

What about Things We Like?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 3:47 PM
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81: Thanks! It turns out that's not the right one, but at least someone's trying. The song in my head probably came out 7-9 years ago.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 3:52 PM
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87

Mahavishnu Orchestra is also pretty sweet, at least Fields of Fire and Inner Mounting Flame.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:00 PM
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88

Maybe there's a way to blame the destruction of good fusion jazz on that guy from Little Green Footballs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:03 PM
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Birds.

88: I tried, but he came along pretty late in the game.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:05 PM
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88, 89: Maybe he was the Angel of Death who showed up to tell fusion that it's time had come. What we have now is zombie fusion.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:14 PM
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91

zombie fusion.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:29 PM
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92

I'm having a tough time coming up with a worse (in the political sense) musician from another pop music genre. I guess Jeff Skunk Baxter probably is responsible for a few deaths through one of those weapon systems he worked on, but who knows.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:42 PM
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Nugent.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:49 PM
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re: 85

Not sure if I know that one. I quite like his acoustic playing, fwiw.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:56 PM
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Thanks! It turns out that's not the right one, but at least someone's trying.

It isn't going to be quick, but have you looked at AMG? They are frequently helpful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:05 PM
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Yeah, I guess Nugent is worse, certainly in terms of influence. On the whole, though, musicians come out looking pretty damn good.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:10 PM
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92: He's nowhere near as bad as the guy from LGF, but Doktor Frank from The Mr. T Experience was yer bog-standard obnoxious warblogger back in '02-'03. (Huh -- looking at his archives, apparently he got all worked up about the Danish cartoon flap a couple of years too. He doesn't seem to have posted anything other than YouTube clips recently, though.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:27 PM
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Actually, I think all of Earth, Wind and Fire's hits are like this for me. It's not that nobody else has heard of them, but that I don't know what they were called. The band's style and song structure were such that it could be hard to figure out what the titles of their songs were, but they were usually striking enough to stick in the brain for a long time.


Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:38 PM
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Does Anita Bryant count as a "musician"?

98: Bah-ee-ah, da da da together
Bah-ee-ah, da da da forever
Bah-ee-ah, da da da da day da daaaaaayyyyy


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-21-08 12:47 PM
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