After a week hiatus, I have returned with a doozy of a blog post. I feel like while we do a music related post every week with our Tuesday Tunes (and be we, I of course mean Shaun, who does the bulk of the writing here) but we don't yet have enough articles on just music itself. So I'm righting that today. Well... by the time this gets published, I guess it will be yesterday.
I love music. (Side note, I was trying to find the clip for the Simpsons where Homer says "I love music!" but couldn't. What I did find upon searching "Simpsons I love music" in Google was a bunch of links to Jessica Simpson songs as well as this. So there you go.) I think we all know I love music. I've written about it several times on every incarnation of our website. I've spent a small fortune on CDs, concerts, etc.
This week's blog topic came to me when I was driving to Stage West. I was listening to my iPod because the intolerable Bruce Dowbiggin was on the Fan and I couldn't listen to him talk anymore. So for once, I elected to listen to music. A song came on and I was rocking out to it (as much as one can when they're dog tired) and right as it got to the end, I was expecting the next song on the album to pop on but it skipped to something completely different. I hated it. It was my own fault because I was the one who had the iPod on shuffle but that didn't mean I had to be okay with what transpired. I still hated it.
So that's what led me to this week's blog: songs that go hand-in-hand together. I don't just mean one song that follows another song. That's literally any track 2 following track 1 on any album. What I mean are two songs that fit so well together than when one ends, you HAVE to listen to the other one else you feel incomplete. This is what I'm writing about this week, starting with the song (and, I guess, the song that didn't come on) that started it.
The Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 -Pink Floyd
I remember The Happiest Days Of Our Lives for the first time in High School. We were in drama class, preparing for the Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day for those readers in the States) assembly and we were doing some scene set to music.
A guy in my class (despite the fact that he was a few years older than me) and I were in charge of the music. Billy suggested we use the helicopter part of this song to set the mood. (It wasn't until much later that I realized that there were no helicopters in WWI which is the one Remembrance Day is for. But that's neither here nor there.)
We used the first part and because we didn't play it all the way through, I still had no idea that it was the beginning to Another Brick in the Wall Part 2. It wasn't until I tried to download Another Brick in the Wall that I realized I was missing something at the front end. Imagine my surprise when I finally heard it all pieced together.
And now here we are. Leading off my list are these two songs.
We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions - Queen
It's been 24 years and a day (2 days when this gets published) since Freddie Mercury succumbed to illnesses brought upon by AIDS. The world misses him every day.
We Will Rock You is the ultimate ramp up song. There are so few rock songs that could start off with stomping and clapping and a single man singing a cappella which can elicit as much joy and amp a person up as much as this one. Granted, I'm not sure there are more songs that start this way. But even if there are, they wouldn't hold a candle to this one.
And then that guitar solo! My god! It's so bitchin! Then it just quits.
And you think that's it.
But it's not. Just around the bend we get "I paid my dues" and you go "YES! I LOVE this song." And all is well.
Now imagine hearing the end of that guitar solo and then having your iPod just skip to something random like this. You can't can you? It's just unnatural.
Eruption/You Really Got Me - Van Halen
I don't love Van Halen. I have nothing against them, I just don't love them. I do quite like this song. Mostly because of Eruption. But they can't really play just Eruption on the radio, now, can they? I mean they COULD, but who doesn't want to hear David Lee Roth sing?
Anyway. I still feel a void if You Really Got Me doesn't come next. So I added it in on this list. Though, if this was ranked, it would lank the highest of them all. (Lowest? Worst. It would be the worst)
Side note: Pearl Jam played Eruption followed by Ain't Talking About Love when I saw it in Hartford and that is what I think should now follow Eruption from now on. But only when PJ plays it.
Heartbreaker/Livin' Lovin Maid - Led Zeppelin
Well this one was obviously written to be played back to back. Why else would you end a song with "Heart..." unless it was supposed to flow into the next one?
Well... Zeppelin did a lot of drugs, so there could be that. But still! They just work so well together. I love it when I hear that song come on the radio. Those first long notes "bummm bummm bum ba ba bum" (you can totally hear it, can't you?) make me turn the radio up. You just know goodness is coming. And it does. In full force. And it's delightful.
Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns - Mother Love Bone
My brother was actually the one who came up with this one on Monday night when we were at the pub and I was telling him about this subject. We rattled off a bunch of the same ones but he caught this one. (Good call, Mick! Incidentally; Bayli, if you're reading this, I tried Suburbs and Suburbs Continued, but it didn't make the cut)
Mother Love Bone is such a tragic story. Nobody wanted to be an arena glam rocker more than Andy Wood. And they were starting to hit it. And then, like many rockstars before and after him, he died young. (Although, not at 27. He was 3 years shy...)
As awful as it is, it meant that we got Pearl Jam out of it, so there's that. Still sucks about Andy, though.
Anyway, on their album, they have Crown of Thorns twice. I'm not sure why because really, you only need this version. The song itself is pretty great but when you bring in the preamble about Chloe? It's rock and roll brilliance.
Side note: Pearl Jam also did this at that same concert in Hartford. I had seen them play Crown of Thorns before, but hearing that piano at the beginning of the song this go 'round made me just about die. Benny too. Mike had already seen it so he was... less... excited.
The Load Out/Stay - Jackson Browne
If I were ranking these, this would be my number 2, because Pearl Jam almost always wins. This is also why it's closer to the bottom. For the most part, these were done in descending order. (although, both Pink Floyd and Queen would rank better than Van Halen.)
I adore this song. Particularly The Load-Out. Stay is good - I love how Jackson Browne gets his voice super high pitched like that. But I prefer The Load-Out.
First of all; it tells such a good story. Being on the road, playing to all these venues, not remembering where you are, what day it is, where you just came from. No wonder musicians need to write the names of cities on the backs of their guitars...
The second reason I love the song is because I know a lot of people who tear down shows when the music is over. Friends of mine who take calls at the Saddledome and work their butts off to get stuff taken apart so the band can keep on truckin. I think it's cool that there's a song essentially dedicated to them. It's nice.
Plus, it just sounds so good.
Untitled/MFC - Pearl Jam
I told you there was a Pearl Jam song coming.
This one is tricky. I've never actually heard Untitled live. I've heard MFC but not Untitled. They don't have to play them in succession, but it's better if they do. The cool part is that Ed sings different lyrics to Untitled every time he plays it. The general feel of it is the same, but the lyrics alter slightly.
And then they bust into MFC. And the place rocks SO hard. It's so damned good.
This all stems from the album Yield in which they have a song Untitled, or Red Dot or whatever you want to call it and it comes in just before MFC on the album. (It can be listened to here, if you so desire.) And it's cool, but I'm glad they've started playing Untitled at shows and not Red Dot. Because Untitled is, well... perfect.
That's it, friends. A massive list of songs to listen to. They're all good and they should always have one follow the other. Otherwise you'll likely drive yourself crazy. And then have to blog about it.
Until next time!