CSte Listen on Spotify. But sometimes mediocre songs make incredible records, and this is one: JL Listen on Spotify. Imagine a Mamma Mia 2! The Brutal Truth, in which the rakish rumoured father of the girl denies all responsibility. Bruised feelings are unlikely to be helped by the impossibly infectious Latin pop and jawdropping panache with which this hit was delivered. Fife folkie Kenny Anderson broods over the sombre realisation that time is of the essence as he falls under the shadow of a looming separation from his young daughter.
This much-covered Martin Gore classic was a major shock upon its release.
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Depeche Mode may have spent the 80s getting away from fey synth-pop, but still no one expected thundering stadium drums, rockabilly guitars and a Dave Gahan vocal of such depth and authority. Here he turns his attentions to the fridge, singing as a well-lunched middle-aged gent panting farewell to the last crumbling vestiges of his previously youthful, lady-killing self in the face of overwhelming physical evidence. Her date pulls her clear from the car stalled on the railway track, but she returns for his high school ring.
This mawkish tale was banned by the Beeb. Marc Bolan was surely taking notes. No stranger to the world of manual labour, Dorsey maintained his own sideline as a mechanic throughout his brilliant career. Nine months later, he was dead from an overdose of antidepressants. MW Listen on Spotify. Not On Top is less about the reality of middle age than the fear of it. Does death provide a welcome escape from earthly horrors, promising an afterlife of peaceful fulfilment? Or does it usher in another world of eternal pain and suffering?
The part where Dylan, now with newborn child, gets back together with the Band briefly to reveal a side of him free of acerbic intent. Fatherhood, they say, can do that to a man. Carroll was a black servant who died after a drunken assault by her boss, William Zantzinger, whose subsequent six-month prison sentence became a scandal, if only in liberal circles he lived a long, affluent life. Earle has written far more songs about the vagaries of the human condition than he ever has about politics, and this utterly convincing hymn to wretched solitude is one of the best.
Muttered over a sweetly plucked guitar and a rat-a-tat-tat martial drumbeat, it comes from a place where no solace can be found: A genuinely sombre, substantial sob song.
Chelsea Morning appears on:
G-funk dealt in pairing x-rated themes with universal tunes, and Regulate is the very embodiment of the Death Row records sound. The pair trade verses on a ditty that finds Warren G being mugged when Nate Dogg turns up and blows the thieves to bits. Nor did the hook, borrowed from Michael McDonald: The sharpest analysis of the psychological effects of a criminal lifestyle, created by an uncompromising Houston rap trio best known for their most high-profile member, Bushwick Bill, being a dwarf and having one eye shot out during a domestic.
In its Buddhist-derived acceptance of death and the impermanence of all things, it would have made a fitting end to their career: Hawkins makes incomprehensible chatterings throughout, which, when set against the discordant keys and dizzying backing vocals, can make even the calmest soul question their sanity.
Tales of vengeful, gun-toting lovers stalk American song, but Hendrix brought an unrepentant swagger to the role and a sonic guitar assault. In old-time ballads such as Little Sadie, the felon is usually brought to justice, but Joe seems destined to slip across the Mexico border and escape the hangman. These Important Years opened their final album, by which time the band was falling apart, and captures the ennui of being trapped in a life that somehow seems to have gone wrong, warning: One of the first rap tracks to confront the human reality of black-on-black violence, this thoughtful, heartfelt eulogy to the departed also seethes with anger and almost casually brilliant social commentary: Good Life, which swiftly followed his very similar Big Fun, was hedonism squared, a celebratory house record paying tribute to celebration itself.
Even the most cursory inspection of the lyrics reveals The Number of the Beast to be a Hammer Horror storyline set to metal, nothing more.
Not scary, just fun. Written by Jacques Brel in , and translated by Rod McKuen, this song was picked up by Jacks, Canadian leader of psychedelic band the Poppy Family, and offered to the Beach Boys before being released as a single. The bastardised, mawkish version of Brel became a monster hit, and the four-note guitar opening is an instant warning that it is probably hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky.
One from the heart. Jamaica in the early 80s was an economic and political basketcase, but as the music tilted towards the more hedonistic strains of dancehall, some remained committed to cultural lyrics.
One such was Anthony Johnson, whose classic Gun Shot was inspired by the police shooting of a Trenchtown man; not by the singular nature of the killing, but because it was an everyday event. The pared-back rhythm and muted horns made room for a pained vocal that owed much to Dennis Brown. GG Listen on Spotify. A deliberately ambiguous song about loss, Someone Great maps the demise of a significant relationship, though it is unclear whether the termination is the result of death or simply an irreparable breakdown in communication.
The end comes via a phone call, singer James Murphy nailing the anxious mood and putting the listener right next to the receiver with an ominous: Alone Again Or makes being alone sound like joy itself — a rare moment of lightness on a dark and disturbing album. A triumph of light and shade, it showed there was more to Metallica than sheer speed and served as a blueprint for breakthrough single One four years later. Not one to play when the vicar pops round.
PMon Listen on Spotify. On the phone to mentor Puff Daddy, the Notorious BIG suddenly spins off into depression, regretting a life of pretty crime and treating his dear old mum like dirt. In , his successful case against Biz Markie over a sample from this song changed the law and the course of hip-hop. The title came in response to a Kurt Cobain song: Ms Jackson was a song with an inbuilt soap opera.
Memory is unreliable, but it suggests this song was inescapable as turned into Either way, this was their first, and deserved, No 1. Of all the dinner party soundtracks of the 90s, Glory Box is, possibly, the most improbable. PM Listen on Spotify. Guitars twang in threatening agreement. This stomping version of his tale, driven by sax and doo-wop backing singers, topped the US charts but Price, after a campaign by the Legion of Decency, had to change the words when performing it on TV so that neither gambling nor killing took place.
Recorded shortly before his death, released just afterwards, its rumination on the tides of time made an exquisite, wistful epitaph to a talent that had yet to peak. A chilling work, words and music perfectly in tandem, the end result is truly haunting. He bids farewell to his girl Rosie, his home Corona, Queens and heads off.
Gay sex, claimed Truman Capote. But who remembers that version? This was a perfect match of singer to song: Sinatra shedding the ring-a-ding-ding to embrace gravitas as he looks back at a full life. With just piano, guitar and voice, Patti Smith created a terrifying portrait of a teenager confronting an adulthood that was not as she had imagined: It still sounds startling now — goodness knows how those hearing it in reacted.
For those who have yet to discover him, this poignant warning against sinking into matrimonial tedium is a great introduction to the wonderful and unsettling talent of Maryland misanthropist Bill Callahan. But it could be Chelsea in London. And, uh, they're coming over pretty soon.
So this is Chelsea Morning, rainbow sunshine song influenced slightly by the Mothers of Invention. You see, a long time ago I purchased some stained-glass windows that were about to be demolished because they were wrecking the house for unwed mothers that they were in.
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The unwed mothers were without, of course. So I put my stained glass windows up and I covered up all of the sky, which was about that much of one corner above the church — a postage stamp piece of sky. And, uh, I wrote a very different morning rainbow, sunshine and love song, noisy as New York City.
It sorta belongs to my musical childhood, to me, you know? Shadows and Light "the upbeat pop-ish "Chelsea Morning" [was] written during a visit to Philadelphia, after Mitchell and a group of women who were working in a club where she was performing had found chunks of brightly coloured glass discarded in an alleyway. They collected the glass and took it home to create mobiles with copper wire and coat hangers. Mitchell took hers back to New York and hung it in the window of her small apartment in Chelsea; when the glass caught the sunlight, the colours shimmered around the walls.
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