Day 01 – Your favourite song
Crikey, that’s a tricky one. I’ll probably have to go with Stray Cat Strut by Stray Cats. Everything a good rockabilly song should have- slap bass, perfect drums, and a big orange Gretsch solo!
Day 02 – Your least favourite song
Dickhead by Kate Nash. Whiney, nasal, false-mockney voice that makes you sound like you’re a private schoolgirl trying to be cool. Meaningless swearing in a “ooh, look at me, I’m swearing into a recording device, how delightfully middle-class-rebellion *obligatory giggle*” type way. Sorry Kate, this piece of recording gets right up my nose…
Day 03 – A song that makes you happy
20 Flight Rock by Gene Vincent. Right from the rockabilly beginnings, in a much more innocent time. All the guy wants to do is dance with his girl, but the lift is broken and he’s too tired to rock. The radio should have more Gene Vincent on- today’s artists would benefit from listening to him (are you reading this Kate Nash?)
Day 04 – A song that makes you sad
Feels Like Home by Bonnie Raitt. A performance full of emotion, giving over the great writing of Randy Newman. It makes me sad that I’m unlikely to write anything like that, and it makes sad to even contemplate that whoever Mr Newman wrote this song for doesn’t know it. I really hope they do.
Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone
Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon. I covered this with a band I played with, and the drummer, the one and only Neil King, thumped seven shades of out the kit. Loved it! It may be my memory playing tricks but I think his old kit actually broke during rehearsal for this song…
Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere
Roll Away by Back Door Slam. When I go to ‘my place’ down at the south of the island, this song is the soundtrack in my head. On a hilltop, overlooking the whole southern coastline. At sunset, it feels like the best place in the world. See also my blog on the main page from June: https://barljo.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/o-gem-of-gods-earth/
Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event
Anthem from Chess. It reminds me of when I was lucky enough to be in Chess when the Manx Operatic Society put it on.
Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to
Too many to name! Haha. I think I’ll go with a Queen song as I’m in danger of doing the whole list without them. In particular I’ll choose Breakthru. Brilliant tune, drives like a steam train all the way through. Frickin awesome!
Day 09 – A song that you can dance to
Every Little Thing by The Police. I don’t really dance as a rule, but the beat and everything else combined about this song is just un-keep-still-able. Yes it’s a word!
Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep
River of Tears by Eric Clapton. Mellow guitar work from Mr Slowhand- a lush production of lilting 12:8 to sway you to sleep. A song of emotion- at point the vocals get a little strained, but they always fade back to blend with the tone.
Day 11 – A song from your favorite band
Millionaire Waltz by Queen. Bit of everything from the scholarly ones- classical piano from Freddie, layered guitars in the style of a ‘cello ensemble from Brian, Mr Deacon styling between classical bass and rock lines, and Roger in that golden period before the kettle drums took over. All with the layered operatic vocals of Day At The Races era Queen. Fantastically grand and self-indulgent production!
Day 12 – A song from a band you hate
I can’t really add anything to Day2’s Kate Nash diatribe. That’s about it really!
Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure
5 Colours in her Hair by McFly. Great piece of pop-rock writing from some nice young guys. If you see me playing steering-wheel-bongos anytime in the summer and grinning like an idiot, it’s probably to this! I’m not overly guilty about it though!
Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love
A Grand Don’t Come For Free by The Streets. Not so much a song as a story in album form, so I apologise for technically cheating. Not sure if Mr Skinner falls under Rap or Garage, but either way it’s not really me. I like the story that runs through the album, and the way it’s all tied together. Spiced with gems of musicality (in particular, listen to the strings on Dry Your Eyes), I can get past the swearage as it seems genuine.
Day 15 – A song that describes you
Watching The Wheels by John Lennon. “People say I’m crazy, doing what I’m doing… Don’t you miss the big time boy, you’re no longer on the ball”.
I don’t miss it, and as he says “they shake their heads and look at me as if I’ve lost my mind. I tell them there’s no hurry- I’m just sitting here taking time”.
Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate
Under Pressure by Queen. Just because I have it on 5 separate releases. When I was in training for the Parish walk, this popped up on shuffle all too frequently. On one occasion, three times consecutively. That’s just too much!
Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio
Candyman by Sammy Davis Junior. Tune! Voice! Great piece of songwriting, a weekly institution thanks to Mr Christopher Evans…
Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio
Let There Be Love by Nat King Cole. If a voice had texture, this man’s voice would be velvet. Simply backed with flawless piano from the man himself, you can almost feel that he means and feels the joy in every word. Check this one out if you can. All time classic.
Day 19 – A song from your favourite album
You Take My Breath Away from A Day At The Races by Queen. I remember accidentally going on holiday with only this tape when I was younger, but I never tired of the album or of this song. Just a straight ballad love song, with all the Freddie harmonies and production.
Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Mr Brightside by The Killers. Guitar, Bass, Drums all thumping and driving forward. Great to snarl along to, pretending you’re on an american freeway being filmed for the video. I take this song to be about missed chances, and it’s easy to be angry about missed chances so it helps get the emotion out. Not all chances are missed, and I try to remember those that weren’t.
Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy
Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. Turn it up, open the windows, drop down a gear, and accelerate. Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run. If it wasn’t good enough that it portrays the exuberance of a youthful love affair, it’s got a kick-ass sax solo by a man called Clarence.
Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad
Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. Just a very literal reminder that however bad things may be, they will get better. Can be used as a metaphor for the weather, emotions, or people. Whichever way you look at it, the sun is there. Also, sometimes the sun comes up just as you need to catch some rays.
Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding
Oooh, tough one. I’d have to go with the Transvestite Medley as played by StoneChase! Something we never really thought would catch on, but always gets people dancing. Let’s not add anything more to it though lads- I haven’t got the stamina!
Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral
Rock This Town by Stray Cats. I want a party at my funeral, and this is how to get it started as the curtains close behind me. Then head straight for the Jack, and the Bacon and Sausage Baps. Ketchup for those who want.
Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh
Inflatable You by Tim Minchin. I’m not going to mess this song up by trying to explain it, please just listen to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6raVzrbqrM
Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument
As Long As You’re Mine by Stephen Schwartz, from the musical Wicked. It’s a duet, but I’ve messed with the key, and managed to make it a solo. It’s for full orchestra, but I’ve messed with it and managed to play it on guitar. An emotional song. I guess that whatever place my head is in, I’m just a hopeless romantic.
Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play
Guitar Rag, as performed by Brian Setzer. A great pieces of rockabilly not-quite-bluegrass-country mix of fingerpicking and plectrum use which takes Chet Atkins and makes it a little bit crunchy. Technical, fast and impressive. If I could play this, I’d be happy.
Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty
Fill My Little World by The Feeling. It just does…
Day 29 – A song from your childhood
Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles by Shakin Stevens. From my (only but…) favourite album of the time, I always had a great time listening to a bit of Shaky! An early foray into (albeit radio friendly and sugar coated) rockabilly. Good times!
Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year
No contest for this- Something Wonderful from the King & I, as performed by the peerless Mandy Griffin. It was an honour to conduct the rehearsals and performances I did of the show. A voice to sooth the stormiest head!