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.
“Dreams” by Van Halen (from 5150, 1986)
This tune brings to mind two thoughts. First, how fucking thrilled is everyone to hear the new Van Halen tune? By the time you are all reading this, I’m certain that the internet will be flush with eye-witness reports from Thursday night’s gig at Cafe Wha?, which will only serve to fan the excitement. Second, how excited I was to listen to the new Chickenfoot record after reading the feature about it in this month’s Guitar Player. Satch and Michael Anthony talk a good game, but that record still bored me to (AOR)tears.
“Sara Smile” by The Bird and the Bee (from Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates, 2010)
Oh, Inara George, how I love your unaffected gaze. How I long to curl up in your voice and sleep for awhile. Singing the songs that I grew up loving, with only the slightest trace of irony; just let me … oh, sorry everyone. I digress.
“With or Without You” by U2 (from The Joshua Tree, 1987)
This takes me squarely back to my early, angst ridden, teenaged years. Was there ever a song more wrought with the type of heartbroken melisma that Bono delivers at the close of the song; ripe for use as the theme song for the adolescent heart?
“Wasted Years” by Iron Maiden (from Somewhere Back in Time – The Best of: 1980 – 1989, 2008)
I’d submit that this was the exact moment that Maiden lost millions of hardcore metalhead fans, and gained that many, and many more, hard rock fans. Listen to that chorus! That is straight out of the AOR handbook. Someone must have slipped Steve Harris a copy before he sat down to write ’86s Somewhere in Time.
“Top of the World” by Van Halen (from The Best of Both Worlds, 2004)
Bookend Van Halen tunes? I’d venture that my trusty iPod is trying to send a message. Okay, show of hands: how many of you know where the riff that kicks “Top of the World” quotes? Okay, now those of you that didn’t Google it just now, keep your hands up. Do you have your hands down? Good, use them to start up Van Halen’s “Jump.” Listen to the majesty of those keyboards! Revel in the jubilant chorus! When you get to the end, pay specific attention to the guitar and you’ll find your answer.
Oh, the rest of you can put your hands down now.
What’s on your shuffle today?