The Friday Five: November 20, 2009

Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ)dā,-dē ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have 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.

The Five:

Foo Fighters – “This Is a Call” (mp3) (from Foo Fighters, 1995)

From the “Fraiser” of spin-off bands, this single was the official death knell for Grunge and the launch of a wave of the radio-friendly post-grunge alternative music that still rules the airwaves today. The thing that gets most often overlooked is the fact that, outside of some small guitar parts by Afghan Whigs mastermind Greg Dulli, the entire record was written and performed by Dave Grohl himself.

Prince – “Temple House Dub (fade)” (from Thieves in the Temple, 1990)

Once upon a time Prince would release singles. These singles would include, at minimum, three to four remixes and alternate versions, not to mention b-sides. The b-sides were often as good (see: “Love or $”, “17 Days”) and oft times better (see: “Erotic City”, “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore”) than the single itself. By the early ‘90s he was swept up with the advent of the ‘CD Maxi Single’ and used the format to its fullest extent creating EP length masterpieces. I miss those singles.

Joan Osbourne – “Midnight Train to Georgia” (from Breakfast in Bed, 2007)

In his last installment of Chart Attack!, Jason Hare exposed the true inspiration behind the Motown classic. I’m a huge fan of the original and had the pleasure of seeing the Indigo Girls perform it with Spearhead and (ironically) Joan Osbourne as guests. This version, however, is far too mellow and feels forced and utterly lacking in the soul that is tied to the very fabric of the tune itself.

Gary Moore – “Still Got the Blues” (mp3) (from Still Got the Blues, 1990)

Okay, listen to this (Ex. 1). Now, listen to this (Ex. 2). Sounds a bit similar, no? I remember learning this song earlier on in my bedroom rock star days and thinking “how the hell did he get away with that?” And in researching the track for this post, it turns out that he didn’t. What’s worse is it wasn’t even Lionel that took him to court, rather an obscure German band who claimed – and won a settlement in 2008 – that their 1974 single “Nordrach” was the track that Moore allegedly plagiarized.

Band of Horses – “Our Swords” (from Everything All the Time, 2006)

As the hordes of decade end lists come pouring in – you can follow the action at largehearted boy – the one omission that I’m most consistently surprised by is the debut record by Band of Horses. Taking elements of country, folk, southern rock and an indie rock ethos the band were darlings of the music blogs in 2006, and their follow up Cease to Begin only cemented them as a band to watch in the coming years. Perhaps their upcoming release will bring them the mainstream success they so richly deserve.

That’s my five, what’s spinning you right ‘round this week?