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Throwback Tracks -- January 4, 2018


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- January 4, 2018

David R. Smith

Happy New Year, friends! I don't know how the rest of your respective New Years went, but I got lucky enough to be stricken with the flu. So that was fun. Who doesn't love starting the new year being ill? But it was the first time I'd had the flu in about 20 years, so I suppose I was probably due. 

However, because I was down and out, I was not able to get this week's TBT done early like I had planned. As such, it's another of my patented last minute throw togethers. That's not to say that it's going to be bad, but maybe just not as thorough as normal. And also, there's no way that last month's playlist is going to be ready. 

But it's the end of the holidays and we're all trying to regain a sense of normalcy, so we'll get back to our old ways soon enough, am I right?

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.

No Brakes - The Offspring

As I was driving back to Lethbridge, one of the songs from this album came on. I listened to a good proportion of the song, while considering just how awesome that entire album was. Well I then decided that I needed to listen to it in its entirety. And boy am I glad I did.

If this isn't considered one of the last great punk albums, I would definitely go so far as to say it's the last good album the Offspring made. Or at least the last good punk album. 

While listening to it, it occurred to me that while Pretty Fly For A White Guy was a monster mainstream success, it was without question the worst song on the album. And that says something because when that song came on, I was still rocking out to it, because I still love that song too. That's the nature of the music industry, though: the real solid albums are the ones that the singles are the lamest songs and the rest of the album is what ends up being the gold. 

Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai

If nothing else, this song has one of the greatest all-time videos. But on top of that, it's just a fabulous song. 

With a mix of both funk and disco, Jamiroquai erupted onto the mainstream market with this song in 1996. (I just realized that was now 22 years ago and all of a sudden I feel really old.) With a video like this (fun fact, they actually moved the set around him, not the floor. Thanks Pop Up Video!) it was hard for him not to garner some success. Plus the guy can dance and has a cool voice. I wouldn't say it's conventional for pop music, but it's unique and that was a nice draw. 

Obviously he then capitalized on his success by being featured in the sleeper hit Napoleon Dynamite but hasn't really done much since. Although it looks like he's still going, since his website is up and running. So that's comforting!

In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins

I honestly don't know how we got from the Offspring to Phil Collins in 2 moves, let alone in the same playlist, but here we are. This is a veritable grab bag of song this week, let me tell you! 

I don't pretend to love Phil Collins. There are some of his songs that are decent, and then some that are awful. I did a show a couple years ago which featured an all Phil Collins set and it was the worst part of that show, hands down. But that's because they didn't add this gem. 

I don't know anybody who doesn't get excited when this song comes on, simply because it is the slowest of burns. This song is all rise. It starts off so eerie and slow. And it builds. And builds. And builds. And then: WHAM! Drums. And it's the best. 

It's also the best when this gorilla plays it.

Don't Look Back - Boston

Man. Boston has some absolutely unbelievable songs. So often on TBT, I feel like I could just put the biggest hit for the band and leave it at that. In this case, it would be More Than A Feeling. And someday I probably will throw that on here.

Oh. Or not. Because it's already been done a year ago


Part of the reason we're doing this is to make people realize there's more to the band than just their biggest song. And this song is great. It kicks off with that guitar sound that Boston is notorious for. Almost a muted distortion. Something about it that gives them a different sound than anybody else. But when you hear it? Man, you know you're listening to Boston. And you know you're in for a treat. 

Dream On - Aerosmith

Speaking of a band's biggest song... I don't know what that one would be for Aerosmith. They've been around for so long and their sound has changed so many times. It's like comparing goalies from different eras. How can you compare Jacques Plante to Patrick Roy? It's the same with Aerosmith. How can you compare Sweet Emotion to Dream On to that stupid Armageddon song?

This song is spectacular. While I don't love modern Aerosmith, it's hard not to love their early stuff. If I owned the album "Big Ones" on tape and not CD, I likely would have burned through it by how many times I listened to it. And that wasn't even early-early stuff like this. 

I just don't know how the man who sings this song can also have the same voice as the guy who is responsible for some of their later stuff. What happened to Steven Tyler?? Well. Drugs. That's what happened. But still. I have no desire to see Aerosmith live. Not now, anyway. 30 years ago definitely. But not now. However, that doesn't stop me for cranking it to eleven when this song comes on the radio!

photo credit: Stefan-Mü (Thanks for 1.25Mio views) Would you stage dive if you saw these claws? | First Blood via photopin (license)