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Throwback Tracks -- January 26, 2017


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- January 26, 2017

David R. Smith

Oh hello there! As Shaun promised last week, I've taken over duties as curator for Throwback Tracks. We all know I've done the odd one, but I'm going to have to be a lot more vigilant now, as it's - apparently - my baby moving forward.

In the past when I had done TBT, I would have some sort of theme to my selections. I've basically eliminated that, as I can't come up with a theme week in and week out. I mean; I probably could but that seems like more work than I'm prepared to put in on a weekly basis. I'm sure if the mood strikes, there will be still be a theme but today is not that day. 

I guess, theoretically, this week could be a theme; all these songs came out in the 90s. That wasn't the original goal. I had one song in mind for this week and then the rest of the ones I was going to piece together with it didn't seem to fit. So it's an all-90s playlist this week!

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...which is totally hit and miss with oldies), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig. 

Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Such a simple, yet haunting song. When this one first came out, I was pretty young (the album - Blood Sugar Sex Magik - dropped when I was only 8 years old) so I definitely didn't understand it. I legitimately thought Anthony Kiedis was singing about a city where angels were just hanging out. Despite not knowing what he was actually singing about, I loved the song almost instantly. Musically, it's just gorgeous. 

Guitarist John Frusciante left the band shortly after this album came out, as he felt like they had gotten less underground (Under the Bridge sort of catapulted RHCP into mainstream music) and he didn't love that. But his guitar riff on this song is really what makes it. 

Of course, once you're old enough to actually grasp what the lyrics are saying, it's a pretty haunting tune all-around. Kiedis has a gift for the written word (if you haven't you should read his autobiography, Scar Tissue. It's a tremendous, telling read and very well-written, to boot.) and his allusions in this song are very well conceived. After the success of this song and album, it's no wonder the Chilis have enjoyed tenure as one of the United States best modern rock bands. 

Nautical Disaster - The Tragically Hip

(Note: I called an audible. I originally had Grace, Too as the song in this slot, but after it played out, this song auto followed on YouTube and I had to go with it instead. But you should listen to Grace, Too… too.)

It's been a year since Shaun decided to start Throwback Tracks and we have yet to have a song by Canada's favourite band. I blame myself, as I'm a wayyyyyy bigger fan of them than Shaun is, so really I have nobody else to blame but myself. 

So now I'm making it right by adding one of my favourites of theirs. 

From the album, Day for Night (released in 1994,) this song just rocks. Gord (HA! I just about missed the "r" there. God Downie is not far off…) Downie is such a tremendous songwriter and this song just scrapes the surface of his writing ability. He paints the picture so well of the dream he had. It also just really reminds me of the Titanic. Maybe it's just because of the fact that it was a shipwreck. I don't know. 

All I do know is I absolutely love this song. And it's ridiculously fun to play on guitar. 

The Oaf - Big Wreck

Our tracks this week are starting to pick up some steam. It was kind of the way I designed this week to go. A bit of a slow burn but by the end, we're all fired up. This song is a nice bridge for that. 

Big Wreck has made something of a re-emergence in the music world. They first hit the scene in 1998 with the album In Loving Memory Of… and had a few massive singles on that disc. This was one of them. While probably not their most accessible song from the album (that honour would go to that song… what's it called? Oh right. That Song.) it's an incredible way to start the album. And with a guitar solo right in the middle that mirrors the opening riff, it just gets me every time. 

Big Wreck broke up in 2002, so that Ian Thornley could start a solo band called Thornley. I remember when it happened, he was interviewed and in one of his statements said something along the lines of "I kept singing 'I love that song' and just couldn't keep singing it because I don't love 'That Song' anymore." Or something to that effect, anyway.

I'm just glad that Big Wreck have gotten back together (they reunited in 2010) because it means more great music and I got to see them live again recently.)

Tomorrow - Silverchair

This was the first song I was planning on using this week. I was listening to this album the other day and thought "I think this is going to be on this week's TBT" and now here we are. 

Frogstomp was such a mammoth album in the 90s. And what's even more impressive is that it was released by a bunch of teenagers. Guys; they released this album when they were fifteen! FIFTEEN! Unbelievable. I was still playing Turkish March on the trombone when I was fifteen and they were playing heavy riffs and writing lyrics like "You say that money isn't everything, but I'd like to see you live without it." Maybe not the most prolific lyric ever. But pretty poignant for a damned 15 year-old. 

Apparently this song was written as part of a songwriting competition and as a result the group were given a three album deal. Frogstomp came out shortly after and history was made. 

It's hard to believe this album has been out for 22 years and the guy(s) who wrote it were only born 4 years before me. Yeesh. I need to do something with my life.

Deep - Pearl Jam

Are you at all surprised? While not the first PJ song on Throwback Tracks, it's my first song of theirs on TBT. So that's something.

This song is also just incredible. The guitar is so gnarly and the lyrics… Well... it took me many years to decipher what Eddie Vedder was singing in this song. I love Pearl Jam (What?!? We're so shocked…) but even I'll admit that they sometimes have songs where one can't grasp what it is Ed is saying in his gravelly, mumbling, quintessential 90s voice. But if you look up the lyrics (which you can actually do on that particular version of the YouTube video) they're pretty hairy. 

From their debut album, Ten, this is one of the songs that made the cut and propelled Pearl Jam into the band they are known to be today. Ten was just so full of angst, anger and dissent, that any disenchanted youth would have responded to it immediately. And Deep was a terrific song to help make teenagers more depressed. 

Like shooting fish in a barrel

Like shooting fish in a barrel

That's it for this week, gang. Thanks for coming along with me on our sojourn back through the 90s. Some killer tracks on there, am I right?

I feel like next week we might go further back into the 20th century, but that's for future Dave to figure out. 

In the meantime, here is the November 2016 Throwback Playlist--again we're lucky enough to get every track on the list, which is one helluva 90 minute experience (little bit of everything, and some epic swings).

In case you missed our previous Throwback Track playlists, here they are:

October 2016 Throwback Playlist,

September 2016 Throwback Playlist

August Apple Music Playlist

July 2016 Throwback Playlist

June 2016 Throwback Playlist

May 2016 Throwback Playlist

April 2016 Throwback Playlist

Until next week!

-D (@davidronn)

photo credit: Stefan-Mü (Thanks for 1Mio views) Dave O'Brien | Peter and the Test Tube Babies via photopin (license)