You know, sometimes it's really hard to write these. I get stuck for ideas on songs, I have no motivation. But then sometimes people reach out and they give us suggestions on what we should write about.
Today is one of the latter. About a week ago, a reader named Keira messaged us here at The Guys From. It appears as though she's a somewhat loyal reader (which is super awesome!) and just asked if maybe we would do a bit of a memorial to John Perry Barlow.
Now, for those of you who don't know (myself included) John Perry Barlow was one of the primary lyricists of the Grateful Dead. Now, anybody who knows anything about rock music knows that Jerry Garcia was the guitarist for the Dead. But does anybody beyond die hard fans know anything else about the band? I sure don't, and American Beauty is one of my favourite albums! (Now, it appears as though Barlow didn't hook up with the band until after American Beauty came out, but my point remains the same: I know shit about this band.)
I could spend an entire article writing about Barlow, but it would all just be regurgitated from Wikipedia, so I suggest you just go there to discover a man who truly did it all! And in the meantime, we're kicking this week's TBT off with a John Perry Barlow track from 1980.
RIP, good sir. I'm sorry I didn't know anything about you before. But I sure do 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.
Feel Like A Stranger - The Grateful Dead
What a great song! I know up top I mentioned my love of American Beauty but, admittedly, don't know a lot beyond that. I know Touch of Grey because it's about their most accessible song and gets - from what I can tell - the most amount of airplay for their singles.
So this track was one I'd never heard before. And I sure did love it. Maybe not American Beauty love it, but enjoyed it all the same!
This song has a perfect blend of funk and southern rock. It feels at times like Lynyrd Skynrd but also has the funk feel that seemed rather prevalent in the early 80s. I went through a couple songs of the Dead's before I picked this one. But as soon as I heard that opening bit, I knew this was the one we were playing today on Throwback.
Winter - Tori Amos
Not gonna lie, the only reason I thought about putting a Tori Amos song on here was because I watched the first episode of Everything Sucks and one of the characters was waxing poetic about Tori Amos.
(Incidentally, if you haven't started watching Everything Sucks, do. It's like Freaks and Geeks set in the 90s. I love what I've seen so far.)
Tori Amos never really flew across my radar when I was growing up. I certainly wasn't her target demographic, but I can appreciate the musician she is. This song is wonderful.
It is no secret here at Throwback Tracks that I am a sucker for songs with strings in them. There's something about the use of classical instruments in pop music that makes me tremendously happy. This song uses them very well. It starts with just a piano, but it builds and builds and employs more violins, other strings and, I believe, other orchestral instruments as well. (I'm not unconvinced I heard a timpani drum.) Really, this song is basically one long crescendo. You can hear the emotion in the entire song, and that, dear readers is the sign of a good one.
Shiny Happy People - R.E.M.
I didn't really have any reason for putting this song on here today. Mostly I just like it, was in the mood for some R.E.M. and felt like this song represented my mood fairly well. It's been a busy couple months and while I'm grateful for the work, I'm finding myself tired. This song is great because it just helps me stay happy.
I mean, how can you not feel good when you hear this song? I feel like it's a song you can put on and just go about your day. The song is your head all day, and it just makes things good. If I was listening to this song while walking down the street, I can almost guarantee that I'd be bobbing along, or strutting to it. It just evokes those sort of feelings in me.
It makes me sad that R.E.M. is no longer together because I never got a chance to see them, and they also won't be producing any tremendous songs like this, but that's okay. We have songs like this to get us through and for that I'm forever happy. And shiny. And a person.
Three Angels - Headstones
I was going to put the Meat Puppets' Lake Of Fire here, but I thought that would be inappropriate considering we kicked it off with a song by somebody who just recently passed away. So instead I went with a better song about death.
The Headstones are a Canadian punk band who are most well known for their cover of the Travelling Wilburys' Tweeter and The Monkeyman. That was the song of theirs that made me start to pay attention to the band. But it wasn't what kept me around.
Tweeter, etc. was on the same album as this song (Picture of Health) and I first heard it on my way to a wrestling tournament. I wasn't wrasslin' that day, I was coaching another member because our actual coach was reffing that weekend. Anyway, on the way, my coach put this album on and I was hooked immediately. Partially because of the aforementioned cover, but it was also just music I had yet to discover. At that time I wanted to listen to anything and everything.
It was less than year later, on another trip to Edmonton, that I remembered this album and thought it should be a newly adopted member of my CD family. Fast forward 20 years and it's still one of my favourite Canadian (if not all-time) albums.
Oh. Three Angels is on it, is really lovely and really well written...
Sweet Surrender - Sarah McLachlan
Okay. We all know how insufferable those ads where I Will Remember You start playing, and then we all feel crappy about how few pets we've adopted. And because of those commercials, Sarah McLachlan has been given a bit of a band deal.
This song is awesome. And so is Sarah McLachlan's voice. This song came out right in the height of my music video watching phase.
And, let's be honest, I'd still be going through that phase if MTV and MuchMusic actually still played music videos. But I digress.
This song was massive when I was a teenager. (I checked. I was 14. Right in my prime.) It got a ton of radio play, but also play on Much. Because it was that good and she deserved all the success that was given to her. 21 years later, upon hearing the first notes of this song, I still got happy because it is that good a song.
I promise to never put I Will Remember You on a Throwback Tracks. That song has been overplayed and, well, it's become a bit of a joke. And that's legit. But stop throwing shade at S-Mc. She doesn't deserve it. (Also, S-Mc just doesn't have the same affect as, say Scar-Jo, or J-Law, does it?)
A couple housekeeping things;
1) In true Dave fashion, I haven't gotten the February playlist finished yet. To be honest, I forgot there were only 28 days this month. (And good riddance too. I'm glad March is here) But as such, the end of the month snuck up on me and I legit thought I had one more week of February TBT. BUt that's not the case, so you'll have to wait until next week to get the February playlist. But I'm sure the wait will be worth it. And also, there's all the following playlists you can listen to if you're hard up. Surely you haven't listened to them all?
December 2017 TBT Playlist (or the December 2017 Spotify), 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 Playlist, April 2017 TBT Playlist, March 2017 TBT Playlist , February 2017 TBT Playlist
Throwback Playlist for Dec 16/Jan 17, October 2016 Throwback Playlist, September 2016 Throwback Playlist, August 2016 Throwback Playlist, July 2016 Throwback Playlist, June 2016 Throwback Playlist, May 2016 Throwback Playlist, April 2016 Throwback Playlist
2) Hip hop month has been pushed to May. Because there are 5 Thursdays in May, which means I can get 25 songs, not 20. Because there are just that many awesome hip hop songs. There's still room for requests if you want to get a song in there. I've already had 2 requests, so it's a legit thing!
3) Happy Thursday.