Friday Five

The Friday Five: January 6, 2012

Friday Five

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.

The Five:

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?


  • Phil

    Spock’s Beard – “Thoughts” (Beware of Darkness, 1996)
    A 7:10 nod to old-school prog by one of the bands responsible for the prog revival of the 90’s and early 00’s.

    The Police – “Can’t Stand Losing You” (Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings, 1993)
    One of my favorite Police tunes.

    Def Leppard – “Too Late for Love” (Pyromania, 1983)
    I very nearly wore this cassette out playing air guitar in my room. I was so obsessed with this pastime that I got my dad to help me make a plywood fake guitar that was very similar to Phil Collen’s black Ibanez Destroyer, although I still much prefer Pete Willis era Leppard.

    Soundgarden – “Slaves & Bulldozers” (Badmotorfinger, 1991)
    Mostly uninspiring sludge-rock track from what is otherwise one of my favorite Soundgarden discs. It doesn’t get good until Cornell lets loose and starts screaming.

    Teenage Fanclub – “December” (Bandwagonesque, 1991)
    This short and sweet ditty reminds me a bit of Big Star’s “13.” I bet these guys got this alot, huh?

  • Phil

    > “Wasted Years” by Iron Maiden …
    > 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.

    Except that “Wasted Years” is an Adrian Smith tune. And it’s one of my favorite Maiden tunes. Ever. And the artwork for the single features Doctor Who’s TARDIS, which also gets a thumbs-up in my book.

    I think Adrian was always more interested in the melodic side of things.

      • Phil

        I guessed that from your “Listen to that chorus!” statement. No worries.

        And I didn’t mean for it to sound like I was calling you out. “Wasted Years” is a excellent (although a tad overplayed at this point) song, and most folks don’t know Adrian Smith wrote it, assuming that Steve Harris writes everything. Actually, he only writes exactly 99.925% of the Maiden material. 🙂

        Just wanting Adrian to get his props.

        Have you heard the Ryan Adams cover? Pretty good.

  • Anonymous

    “Backstabbers” by Lyn Collins (feat. James Brown) from Check Me Out If You Don’t Known Me By Now (1974). This is one of my favorite covers by anyone. The back-and-forth between Lyn and James is the best.

    “Heartbeats” by The Knife from OneMusic Session (2005). When we were voting on our favorite songs of the last decade over at Popdose a while ago, this was my number one. I may like this version of the song more than the studio version. It’s a tough call. 

    “Struggle” by Ringside from Ringside (2005). This is Balthazar Getty’s band and this song is actually really good.

    “Bold Soul Sister” by Ike and Tina Turner from Respect: A Century of Women in Music (1999). I love this song so much it hurts. “It’s my thing, I’m gonna do what I wanna do!” Sing it, Tina!

    “Killer Queen” by Queen from Sheer Heart Attack (1974). I think this may be my favorite Queen song. Yes, yes, I think it is.

  • dslifton

    “Something Broken” – John Hiatt. He was already losing steam by this point, but this is still a classic Hiatt ballad.
    “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further” – Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint. Elvis wisely steps aside and lets the master work.
    “Rockin’ In The Free World” – Neil Young. It hasn’t aged lyrically as well as some of Neil’s other classics for obvious reasons, but Crazy Horse still kick ass.
    “French Quarter” – Delta Spirit. Not bad, but I haven’t really gotten into these guys despite the Middle Brother connection.
    “You’re Not Where You Think You Are” – Graham Parker. From an album he did a year or two ago of theme songs for imaginary television shows.

    • Pete

      Dave – spend some time with Delta Spirit’s ‘History From Below.’ It  had me hooked halfway through the first tune (“9/11”). “Bushwick Blues” and “Salt in the Wound” are also tops.  Great album..

  • Anonymous

    1) Joe Lovano — “This Is All I Ask” (Quartets: Live At The Village Vanguard, 1994).
    2) Steve Earle — “Billy And Bonnie” (I Feel Alright, 1996).
    3) Bob Dylan — “Love Sick” (Time Out Of Mind, 1997).
    4) Aimee Mann — “Great Beyond” ( #%&*! Smilers, 2008).
    5) Kasey Chambers — “For Sale” (Wayward Angel, 2004).

    I was thinking about checking out some more recent Kasey Chambers releases. I think she released a new one last year. Has anyone heard some of her new stuff? Just curious.

  • Dennis Corrigan

    I’m feeling a little nostalgic this week, so I set the wayback machine on the iPod to 1966:
    1. “Down on Me” by Big Brother & The Holding Company, originally on their self-titled debut.  This one from the Janis box set
    2. “Tennessee Waltz” by Otis Redding from Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul.  You put this album on, and good days get better
    3. “Think” by the Rolling Stones from Aftermath
    4. “Here, There and Everywhere” by the Beatles from Revolver.  I love this album so much
    5. “That’s Not Me” by the Beach Boys from Pet Sounds.  A masterpiece
    ’66 – a pretty good year…

  • kshane

    1. The Rolling Stones – “Empty Heart”
    2. The Kinks – “Set Me Free”
    3. The Intrigues – “In A Moment”
    4. Otis Taylor – “Prophet’s Mission”
    5. Lindsey Buckingham – “Stars Are Crazy”

  • Fitch6273

    My first five shuffle songs are:
    1) The Power of Love- Huey Lewis and The News– must be a tribute to my friend, Julie.
    2) Rehab- Amy Winehouse–Rest in Peace!
    3) Get Back (Love Version)-Beatles
    4) Wonder Christmastime-Paul McCartney–yes the Xmas music is still on the iPhone!
    5) Drake-Best I Ever Had

  • Anonymous

    1.  “Setting Me Up” – Eric Clapton – Just One Night, Disc 2
    2.  “Daddy, Goodbye Blues” – Allison Moorer – Mockingbird
    3.  “Warm Ways” – Fleetwood Mac – The Collection
    4.  “Out Grindin’ The Grindin’ Man” – Poonanny – Southern Shades Of Blue
    5.  “Shake It – Ian Matthews – Pop Annual 1955 – 1999

  • Mike

    1) “Caribbean Festival” by Kool & The Gang: Your shuffle starts with Van Halen, mine starts with Van Halen’s proposed opening act. Seriously, though. WTF?

    2) “Do You Knwo (sic) What?” by Sly & The Family Stone: An instrumental track added to the version of “There’s A Riot Goin’ On” that came out a few years back. I love the drum machine sound on these records. So primitive.

    3) “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)” (Party Line Remix) by De La Soul: I found a De La Soul remixes import CD on Record Store Day last year. Completely by surprise-had no idea this even existed. This particular remix is only very slightly tweaked from the original, and has some sax sprinkled throughout.

    4) “Janie’s Got A Gun” by Aerosmith: Might be my fave Aerosmith song.

    5) “No Right Angles” by Ben Lee: I was kinda cool with his hippy-dippy mysticism thing for a while. It’s gotten a little tiring though. The album this comes from (“Awake Is The New Sleep”) is still by far his best album, though.

  • Mike Duquette

    1. Michael Jackson, “They Don’t Care About Us”: one of those MJ songs where the “mechanical groove” thing works pretty decently, but who on Earth though Michael could get away with using the J-word and the K-word in the second verse? I’m not sure what he was getting at, but seriously.

    2. The Police, “Wrapped Around Your Finger (Live @ The Omni, Atlanta – 1983)”: I was just revisiting two Synchronicity concerts I have on my iPod, and boy are they terrible. For records very much produced by Hugh Padgham, they sounded amazingly synthetic in concert.

    3. Ben Folds, “Lovesick Diagnostician”: from the “fake” version of 2008’s “Way to Normal” that Ben leaked. I’ll never forget how crazily it seemed Ben was trolling his audience at the time.

    4. James Brown, “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved”: as good a resolution in song as I’ll likely get in 2012.

    5. The Jacksons, “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) (Live)”: I love, love, love “Destiny” and “Triumph,” but the 1981 live album always struck me as staid. Everyone clamors for live bootlegs around this time period; maybe they’re better mixed or something, because I always thought something was off here. A killer of a song, though, don’t get me wrong.

  • EightE1

    A little late (it’s technically Saturday), but here goes:

    Teenage Fanclub, “Alcoholiday.” Sounds like my New Years Eve. I’m at the stage in life when I can still put away liquor, but I lose the next day. Completely.  Anyway, this is sweet midtempo power pop goodness.

    Bee Gees, “Haunted House.” How the fuck did THIS get on my hard drive? I love the bruthahs Gibb, but not this song.

    Cheap Trick, “Southern Girls.” God, I’m so glad I made the drunken purchase of the Cheap Trick box, like, 15 years ago.

    Laura Marling, “My Manic and I.” Brit folk.

    Counting Crows, “Time and Time Again.” Fucking awesome. When you comin’ home, sweet angel?

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