Felt like spending some time in the 1990s this week on Throwback Tracks, although I do dabble a bit in the 1980s as well, largely sticking with upbeat, and dance-able stuff, because...I don't know I guess I feel like dancing?
You know, it's actually kind of hard to do a lot of upbeat songs from the 1990s, as many of them do not hold up very well (at all), plus a lot of the music of that decade is about how disillusioned and sad we all were.
The Guys From do not hold the rights to any of these songs, it is more our hope to expose our readers to new (*cough*) and different retro music, or re-expose them to things they may have forgotten about.
At the top of each section, will be the song name, followed by the artists' name linked to their website (if possible), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.
First Throwback Track this week goes to this 1997 Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) remix of idiosyncratic British indie band Cornershop. 'Brimful of Asha' is a tribute to Indian 'playback singer' Asha Bhosle, essentially a dubbing artist who would sing the songs in those showy, set-pieces in Bollywood films while the actors would lip sync along (she reportedly sang over 12,000 songs(!)). Essentially Cook took a slightly slower (but good, as you can hear here) song, upped the tempo and shifted the key, turning 'Brimful of Asha' into a number one hit-- Cornershop then re-released the single in it's original form and it hit #1 in the UK itself in 1998.
To be honest however, I tend to agree with NME when they named this version the second best remix of all time, and stating that it "does what the truly great remixes do – render you unable to enjoy the original".
Sexx Laws - Beck
Beck (another artist in the 'how have you not talked about him yet, you're you' pile) has seemingly been making music forever and I was having some trouble deciding which song to pick (in the end, there's a good chance there will be a Beck-only list here soon enough), but in the end I decided to go with one that I feel gets forgotten a lot of the time: "Sexx Laws". After the blockbuster success of his second official album, the Grammy winning Odelay, his fourth album, while appreciated, does tend to get overlooked. I know when I talk about Beck now, Morning Phase his latest album (and latest Grammy win) is usually what people mention, some might talk about "loser", and most of my friends will talk about Guero...as that was about a year of our lives driving to school...but Midnite Vultures is totally Beck: eclectic, fun, and just excellent music.
I picked "Sexx Laws" for here because it is perhaps the best known song from Vultures, and even featured in an episode of Futurama, but it's one of those songs of Beck's that I see as him at his best: funky, upbeat, and weirdly amazing.
Plus there's a little Jack Black in this video for you too.
The Impression That I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
You know, it seems to me that people are really down on Ska (and in this case skacore), like we want to whitewash the fact that we all totally listened to it at the time. I get it, you want to seem cool and 'with it' by saying that you never really liked "The Impression That I Get".
And I will then call you a liar.
Now that this track is 19 years old (indeed, it will be 20 next year), perhaps it is time to admit that this is one of those songs that you secretly have in your head (every time you hear it) for days, and that you had at least one roadtrip where the entire car was belting this out tearing down the road.
I know I did.
I also know that a lot of ska and skacore was awful, and it's crazy popularity was briefer than brief for a reason, but this song never gets old, and I will stand by liking it until it's used in some terrible movie and ruined forever (Boondock Saints 3 - The Saintening).
Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
It never ceases to amaze me that "Blister in the Sun" is an 80s rock song (folk punk? I think that's what VF calls it). This song was way ahead of its' time: released on their self-titled 1983 album, Blister in the Sun is still probably their most well known song, but I encourage you to dabble in the rest of their albums (and yes, they just released an album called We Can Do Anything this past March) because I am sure you will find another few songs that either a) you already like, and did not realize were by Violent Femmes or b) you really dig.
But let's not kid ourselves, this is the song we all think about, and that I know I wanted to hear right now...because it is still awesome, and somehow completely timeless.
What I Like About You - The Romantics
Released in February 1980, "What I Like About You" is one of those great songs that, I don't know about you, but I keep seeming to forget about, then I hear it (or some awkward pop-punk cover of it, looking at you 5SOS) and go "Oh Yeah!!" and then listen to it on repeat for a while. The Romantics' drummer, Jimmy Marinos' as the lead singer is just awesome (there's a real skill in being able to sing and play the drums at the same time--sure the drum part in "What I Like About You" is not a Neil Peart-style blur, but...), and the combination of simple late 70s-80s rock and harmonica is just so damn good.
Funnily enough, the song was only a moderate success when The Romantics was released (and the single version was released), however it was largely through its' use in media, specifically a Budweiser campaign, that "What I Like About You" finally got the wide recognition it deserved as a truly great rock song.
We will be back next Thursday with 5 more Throwback Tracks, and don't forget to check out our new music article every Tuesday!