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Throwback Tracks -- January 18, 2018


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- January 18, 2018

David R. Smith

I honestly don't know how to start this week. I've been staring at my keyboard for the past 5 minutes, typing intros and then deleting them. 

We've lost another great. 

Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries passed away Monday, surprising the whole world. Nobody expected that. And I think that's been the issue with so many of the deaths from the past few years. They've all been people who have shocked the world. Now, Gord Downie dying, while extremely tragic (and one I have yet to really come to terms with) was less shocking than, say, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. The shocking ones almost hurt more because you didn't get a chance to prep for it. It just happens. I was readying myself for the news about Gord Downie for a year and a half. I knew it was coming. I didn't think it would happen to Chris that early. 

And that's how I felt about Dolores. Nobody knew that anything was amiss. Apparently a postmortem is to come out in the next day or two, but for now, I have no idea what happened. Nor does anybody else. And that's tragic. Because she could sing like nobody else. When you heard a Cranberries song, you knew exactly who it was because she had such a recognizable voice. 

While it's hard to rate scales of sadness, I would put this one up there just shy of Levon Helm. I thoroughly enjoyed the Cranberries as a teen. And while I didn't know if they were even up to anything of late (apparently they were,) I am saddened to know I'll never be able to see the Cranberries.

To the faithful departed, indeed. RIP Dolores; thanks for the music.

As a tribute to her, this week Throwback Tracks will lead off with The Cranberries and the rest of the list will be bands with awesome female vocalists who kick as much ass as Dolores did.

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.

I just felt like Linger might just basically make everybody cry. Although this song might not be far off. When people talk about the Cranberries, Zombie is always the first song to come up. Which makes sense. It's awesome. But after that, people always have trouble coming up with songs by the Cranberries. They'll suggest Linger, sure. But Dreams never comes to mind. And I'm guilty of this too. I can never remember this song. And I should because it's arguably my favourite song by them!

God. The harmonies in this song give me perpetual shivers. The backup singer who harmonizes with Dolores (or maybe it's her recording her own backup? It could very well be?) nails it. It's just such a perfect blend. I love it so much. And then when Dolores starts in with the almost tribal-like aaaaahhhhs, it just creates perfection. This song is gorgeous. And now I'm sad. But happy that we got this song at all.

More Than This - 10,000 Maniacs

I did not know until recently that Natalie Merchant was the lead singer of this band. I knew some of her solo stuff, but never realized she was also with these guys. When you listen knowing that she was, it makes sense, but until you know... who would even piece that together??

This song was not originally a 10,000 maniacs song. Originally released by Roxy Music in 1982, and then covered by the Maniacs in 1997, this is one of those situations where the cover is almost as good as the original. I am rather familiar with the original and am quite fond of it. But the cover does a good job of making it its own while still paying homage to the original. I think having a female vocalist helps, because it gives a different spin to the song, even though Natalie Merchant has kind of a smoky sultry voice anyway. 

Don't Get Me Wrong - The Pretenders

The first thing I thought of when I started listening to this song, was that the bass line reminded me a lot of the bass line for Last Nite by the Strokes. There's nothing overly complicated about it; it's just a steady dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum that helps drive the song. But it's super prevalent and makes the song fun.

And therein lies the charm of the Pretenders. They have songs like I'll Stand By You which kind of rips your guts out, but they also have songs like this one, which are fun and just make you happy. And my god, do I love the sound of Chrissie Hynde's voice. Every time I listen to the Pretenders (and I definitely said this the last time I had them in TBT) I know I need to listen to more. So that's a good project for this year. Learn more about the Pretenders.

Heart of Glass - Blondie

Oh Debbie. What a fox. And what a voice. 

The cool thing about Blondie is they started off in the punk-type world, getting to play at CBGB and kind of catapulting from there. But then they do a song like this which has a disco-type feel. They had an ability to evolve and that's cool. 

This song (along with the video) is just so damned seductive. And I don't know why. It's not like it's an overly sexy song but listening to Debbie's voice just makes you fall in love with her. There are some people that have just the greatest voice and even if you don't know what they look like, you know that they're charming and that you'll love them. Now; I am familiar with what Debbie looks like but even if I wasn't, I find this song so charming, that I know I would love her. 

But then you find out they used to be part of the punk scene and you know that smooth voice aside, Blondie are not a group you'd want to mess with. And that makes them even cooler. 

Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac

This song came out significantly later than Rumors and all the songs that catapulted Fleetwood Mac to stardom. But that doesn't take away from the fact that it's a brilliant song. 

The funny thing is that even though Fleetwood Mac is most notorious for having Stevie Nicks sing for them, some of my favourite songs they play are sung by Christine McVie. And this is one of them. I just love the feeling and message of this song. Sure, there's a definite 80s feel to it and that kind of takes away from the phenomenal instrumentation that Fleetwood Mac is notorious for, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this song is just great. And really, isn't it everybody's dream to have somebody say "I wanna be with you everywhere" to them? This is a perfect love song without being an over-the-top love song. And it's a great way to round out our list this week.

Once again I have dropped the ball on the playlist because I suck. Also, as I told Shaun when we were getting ready to record this week's podcast, I'm getting back into the routine of work. I'm almost caught up, but I feel like I still have yet to get my feet underneath me. When that does, I'll be able to devote a bit more time to this and, hopefully, more articles. I've got a lot of things I want to talk about. But in the meantime, you're just going to have to wait another week (at least) for December's playlist. Sorry kids.

-D (@davidronn)


November 2017 TBT Playlist (and the November 2017 Spotify), 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

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