Friday Five

The Friday Five: February 10, 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:

N.T., Parts 1 & 2” by Kool & The Gang (from Cutmaster Swift Presents: The Breaks, Volume 2, 1999)

Prior to penning the wedding band anthem “Celebrate,” Kool & The Gang dropped some of the funkiest instrumental breaks this side of Parliament-Funkadelic. Originally featured on 1971’s Live at PJ’s, the “N.T.” actually stands for “No Title.” No points for originality there, but it more than makes up for it’s lack of an original title with its sprawling funk movements.

O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature (from Tommy Boy Presents: Hip Hop Essentials, Volume 11 (1979-1991), 2006)

I dare you to listen to this record without bobbin’ your head.

Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder (from Songs in the Key of Life, 1976)

Seems as if we’re shuffling between the bedrock of hip-hop breaks and a hip hop classic. Where Kool & The Gang’s nameless jam supplied the breaks for Kool G Rap’s “Truly Yours” and Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,” Stevie’s “Pastime Paradise” was the bedrock of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

Gratitude” by Beastie Boys (from Check Your Head, 1992)

Ha! Here’s a funky bit of irony: track 16 on the Beastie’s Check Your Head, it’s a groovy little track called “Live at P.J.’s.” That aside, I’ve always loved this track.

So Alive” by Love and Rockets (from Sounds of the Eighties: 1989, 1995)

Dammit, iTunes! You had me going.

What’s on your shuffle today?


  • Chris Holmes

    I finally got around to watching the excellent VH-1 “Soul Train” special that BET aired after Don Cornelius died, so it’s time for some classic soul, via Slacker Radio!

    1. “I Want You Back,” The Jackson 5 – Now this is the way to kick off a Friday! 

    2. “Let the Good Times Roll,” Bobby Bland – This sounds more like straight blues to me than soul, but it’s pretty decent. Wouldn’t seek it out again though.

    3. “A Love of Your Own,” Average White Band – I never get around to exploring much of the AWB catalog. I may have to rectify that one day. If you can’t get it on with this song, there may be no hope for you.

    4. “Fly, Robin, Fly,” The Silver Convention – I only know this song because of one of those “find the #1 song the day you were born” internet memes. Holy shit is this tedious. When people slam disco as being brainless and heartless, this is a perfect example.

    5. “Chain of Fools,” Aretha Franklin – Aaaaaah, everything is right with the world again. How’s this and J5 for unbeatable bookends?

  • Phil

    Extreme – “Kid Ego” (Extreme, 1989)
    Meh. I was never much of an Extreme fan. Don’t get me wrong, I like Cherone’s voice, I think Nuno is a talented guitarist, and together they make a good songwriting team. I also liked some of their big hooks, and the funky groove they tried to inject into their music. In theory, all of this should have worked for me, but the implementation never grabbed me.

    U2 – “The Unforgettable Fire” (The Unforgettable Fire, 1984)
    Nice driving bass and ethereal Edge soundscapes combine to make this one of the better tracks on the album. Unfortunately much of the rest is pretty forgettable to me.

    The Cure – “10:15 Saturday Night” (Staring at the Sea: The Singles, 1986)
    What’s up, iTunes?! You trying to bum me out? Why did you pick this song among all the other good material here? Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip.

    Yes – “Mood for a Day” (Fragile, 1972)
    In and of itself, it’s a pretty cool little acoustic guitar instrumental, but after awhile I start thinking, “OK, I understand that you can play. When am I gonna get some Chris Squire or Jon Anderson?” Just too much noodling and not enough of the rhythmic interestingness for me for such a short song. Sigh.

    King’s X – “Black Flag” (King’s X, 1992)
    “A year in the hole had taken its toll when I took a good look at me.” Now that’s more like it, iTunes. But sorry—too little, too late.

  • Anonymous

    “Blue Limousine (12″ Version)” by Apollonia 6 from Blue Limousine 12″ Single (1984). After “Sex Shooter,” this is probably the best song on the Apollonia 6 album. I love Brenda’s vocals and think she was the only one with actual talent in both Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6.

    “Better the Devil You Know (Live)” by Kylie Minogue from Kylie: Live in New York (2009). I would really love to see Kylie live one day. This album is the closest I’m probably going to get.

    “Rhythm is a Dancer (12″ Mix)” by Snap from Rhythm is a Dancer 12″ Single (1992). HAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHA 

    “Win in the End” by Mark Safan from Teen Wolf Soundtrack (1985). YES! This is what you listen to if you’re the under dog — or under wolf.

    “Mad About You (Extended Version)” by Belinda Carlisle from Mad About You 12″ Single (1986). I love this song so much. If I had been allowed to roller skate as a child, I would’ve done so while blaring this song on my boom box.

  • Anonymous

    1) Sheryl Crow — “If It Makes You Happy” (Sheryl Crow, 1996).
    2) Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama — “Picture Of Jesus” (There Will Be A Light, 2004).
    3) Tori Amos — “Putting The Damage On” (Boys For Pele, 1996).
    4) Patty Griffin — “Standing” (Impossible Dream, 2004).
    5) Bonnie Raitt — “Luck Of The Draw” (Luck Of The Draw, 1991).

  • Reverend Blerd

    1. “Leave My Body”-Florence & The Machine: I still have to give “Ceremonials” a fair listen. One crappy thing about listening to so much music on my iPod is that I often hear albums in piecemeal form. Ah, well. First world problems. She does the gothic soul thing very well.

    2. “The Long Goodbye”-Bruce Springsteen: Did Dave Lifton take possession of my iPod? This is the first time I’ve heard anything from the “Human Touch” album in ages.

    3. “Never No More”-Souls of Mischief: “’93 ‘Til Infinity” is one of the last great albums of hip-hop’s golden age. I think the bass on this track just shook my entire apartment building.

    4. “Eyes For You (Ain’t No Doubt About It)”-Daryl Hall: Yeah, he totally ripped off “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” right down to the parenthetical title, and he can’t bring the fire like he did in ’81, but this is still one of the better tracks on “Laughing Down Crying.” Stupid album title, by the way.

    5. “Touch My Body”-Mariah Carey: I forgot about this song. Now all I can think about is Kenneth from “30 Rock” cavorting with Mimi. Yikes.

  • Dennis Corrigan

    And a fine Friday evening to you all

    1. “Oh, Yoko” by John Lennon, originally from Imagine.  A sweet love song to one of the most reviled women in rock history2. “Feel” by Big Star from #1 Record – great!
    3. “In The Garden” by Van Morrison from No Guru, No Method, No Teacher.  To me, the best track of Van’s “later” career, and yeah, it’s 26 years old this year
    4. “All Mixed Up” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers from Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough).  This album has such a throwaway feel to it, but I love it.
    5. “Hope You Like the New Me” by Richard Thompson from Mock Tudor.  Those Richard Thompson albums in the 90’s always had a track or two that made me say “ugh”.  This is one of them.

    Hope you hear something great this weekend!

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