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Throwback Tracks -- November 9, 2017


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- November 9, 2017

David R. Smith

Happy day to you music fans! It's cloudy and gloomy here in Lethbridge, so if you're reading this somewhere warm, well... just know I dislike you at the moment. But here we are and it's another Thursday, so I could think of worse things than being here all together, enjoying some classic music.

So do that. Enjoy. Do it now. 

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.

Modern Love - David Bowie

David Bowie is one of those artists who will generally make an appearance on TBT every couple of months. Because he was that prolific and that talented. When he died a year and a half ago, it shook the world because nobody was expecting it. 

But, like when every other great musician dies, I spent a lot of time listening to his music after that. And why not? He had such versatility. He could write/create deep, heartfelt and thoughtful songs, but he could also do the same for goofy, weird psychedelic songs. 

This song, in my opinion, walks the line between both deep and heartfelt, but also has a fun feel to it. And that was the true genius of Mr. Bowie; he could make you feel all the feels, even with random songs like this. Which, incidentally, is one of my favourites of his. 

First We Take Manhattan - Jennifer Warnes

When we talk about people who are incredible and prolific, I feel like we have to talk about Leonard Cohen who actually wrote this song. It's cool, because even listening to this song, you can hear his lyrics coming through. But I can also hear his raspy, gravelly voice and think, "Hell yeah, I could hear him singing this." 

So yes, I could technically have put his version on here. However, Jennifer Warnes' version was the first I'd ever heard; my parents had The Famous Blue Raincoat on CD so we'd hear that song fairly regularly. And, as I'm making an effort to get regular female representation on here, I felt like Jennifer Warnes' version was probably a good idea. PLUS; she has a killer voice! So there you go. Enjoy this song!

House of the Rising Sun - The Animals

We've had 2 songs by the Animals on here, yet not this one. Which is surprising because I would contend it's their most famous song. But it's famous for a few reasons; partially because it's a friggin' phenomenal song, but also because of its use in pop culture, such as Casino. (Warning, spoilers if you've never seen the movie.)

This song was recorded well before the Animals got their paws (heh) on it, but I truly believe they made it famous. 

On a very basic level, it's super simple. 4 chords, and minimal instrumentation. But Eric Burdon has the perfect voice for this song. He sounds ominous. When he sings "Oh mother, tell your children, not to do what I have done..." you take him seriously!

And that organ solo. There aren't enough organ solos anymore. Unless you're Pearl Jam

Violet - Hole

I'm saying this right now: I think Courtney Love is a repugnant human being. I've never been a fan of hers as a person. 

But Hole. Hole has some pretty awesome songs. As long as it's the studio versions. And I say this because there have been a few times in recent history where Courtney Love has reprised her role as a singer and done some appearances that have been awful. But a hard life of drugs and (probably) smoking will do that to a person. 

However. I absolutely love this song. My cousin Sean had me make him a slough of CDs a long time ago (when I was the only one in the family with a CD burner) and this was one of the songs that had me put on. It was the first time I'd ever heard this song. I'd heard other Hole songs, but never this one. And when I heard it for the first time, I loved it. If Courtney Love could have just been this badass, rad singer who could howl like a banshee (and I do not mean that at all disparagingly, it's 100% complimentary) then I would have less issues with her. Because this song wails. It's all the other bullshit that I can't handle. 

Anyway. This song is awesome.

Down By The River - Neil Young

I would argue this is one of the longest songs ever to appear on Throwback Tracks. Which is okay. They can't all be 2 minute songs. Also, it's just a great tune. Easily one of my favourite Neil Young songs. 

I heard it for the first time when I got his greatest hits CD. (Neil Young being somebody with such a massive discography that it was cheaper to start with a Greatest Hits and expand slowly from there.) It's got such a chill sound to it; this song has helped me fall asleep on many restless evenings because of it's quiet, jam-session nature. 

The other thing I love about this song is the solo(s). The first guitar solo comes in at just shy of the 2:00 mark. While most people thing a lot of guitar solos have to be fast and full of reverb and distortion, this song is the complete opposite. It's so simple, it's almost stupid. The first two measures of the solo are sixteenth notes of the exact same note. And the guitar is literally just plugged into the amp; no distortion, no effects, just pure musicianship. And it's amazing! I don't know who is playing the solo on the song - I assume Neil, but don't know for sure - but whoever it is, is no slouch when it comes to music theory. 

If you're having a tough day, or you just can't turn your brain off, I highly recommend you listen to this song to try and fall asleep. It's perfect for that. (It's also perfect to just mellow out in general.)

There you are, my friends. 5 songs from various decades, with many varying feels to them. This month is shaping up to be a good one, for the TBT playlist. But you won't get to see that until December. So to tide you over, here are the other playlists since TBT was a thing. 

October 2017 TBT Playlist (and the October 2017 Spotify), September 2017 TBT Playlist (and the September 2017 Spotify), August 2017 TBT Playlist (and the August Spotify list), July 2017 TBT Playlist (and the July Spotify List), June 2017 TBT Playlist (and the June Spotify List), May 2017 TBT PlaylistApril 2017 TBT PlaylistMarch 2017 TBT Playlist February 2017 TBT Playlist


Throwback Playlist for Dec 16/Jan 17October 2016 Throwback PlaylistSeptember 2016 Throwback PlaylistAugust 2016 Throwback PlaylistJuly 2016 Throwback PlaylistJune 2016 Throwback PlaylistMay 2016 Throwback PlaylistApril 2016 Throwback Playlist

-D (@davidronn)

photo credit: Igorza76 Capsula. Mundaka Festival via photopin (license)