Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.
“So Into You” by Shudder to Think (from Pony Express Record, 1994)
Bringing post-hardcore though pop colored glasses, Shudder to Think brought something different to the oversaturated, grunge-fueled alternative scene in ’94. A cover of the 1977 hit by Atlanta Rhythm Section, the track is angular and tense; singer Craig Wedren croons in a devilish falsetto taking the track in a darker direction than the original.
“Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen (from 1984, 1984)
Like many burgeoning guitarists of the day, I spent months dissecting the legato tapped intro of this classic. I was convinced that somehow, Eddie Van Halen was in possession of extra digits on each of his hands to be able to play the impressive passage. All this before the tune even kicks off into its school-boy crush inspired shuffle. While many will point to his signature cadenza, “Eruption,” as his finest moment, I have to point to this track as the defining track of the David Lee Roth era.
“Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin (from In Through the Out Door, 1979)
I may have mentioned it here before; I am not a huge Led Zeppelin fan. This is immediately apparent when I say that “Fool in the Rain” — possibly the least “Zeppelin” tune in the band’s oeuvre — is my favorite tune by the band. From the slow shuffle, building up to the samba breakdown and Jimmy Page’s super-processed octave guitar solo, the song has long been on my “desert island” list.
“Pink Cashmere” by Prince (from The Hits/The B-Sides, 1993)
His Purple Badness shows up for a second week in the number four slot. “Pink Cashmere” was one of three ‘new’ tracks included on The Hits/The B-Sides, and by far the most solid of the bunch. Recorded during around the time of Lovesexy, the song bears only a passing resemblance to the other tracks recorded during that cycle. As the story goes, Prince wrote this track for his special woman of the moment, to whom he presented with a rather expensive custom pink cashmere and black mink coat.
“If 6 Was 9” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (from Axis: Bold as Love, 1968)
The shuffle has hit the trifecta this week. Starting with Eddie, followed by Prince, and closing with Jimi; three of my favorite guitarists turn in appearances on this week’s Friday Five. The psychedelic blues-rock jam of “If 6 Was 9” is a truly a headphone masterpiece. If you doubt this, grab your favorite set of cans — and those earbuds do not count — and click on the little blue arrow above.
What’s on your shuffle today?