John Dougan (voidrandom) wrote,
John Dougan

  • Music:

Playlists #1 - Melody is King, Volume 1

A few years ago now, my housemate decided that he wanted to listed to all of the great Pop and Rock n' Roll. Being the obsessive that he is, he spent a bunch of money on books on the music, and even more on CD's, ending up with several thousand CD's and an encyclopedic knowledge of the music. Towards the end of this process, I asked him if he could share some of this knowledge with me, in the form of music I probably hadn't heard, but in a just world would have. Over the next year he assembled 24 themed playlists for me, and gave them to me under the condition that I share them with anybody. So inspired by xthread's recent playlist postings, I'm going to present them here.

Update: Wrong version of playlist was posted, corrected below.

Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 11:36:04 -0800
From: Al Christensen <>
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To: John Dougan <>
Subject: Pop Till You Drop


Here's the first installment of the themed CDs from my mighty collection,

Today I present 'Melody is King, Volume One.'

Before we begin, I'd like to lay down a few guidelines. 1/ I will pull the CDs and reshelve them. It's just too easy for something to get lost otherwise. 2/ You will find each week's selections on top of the turntable in the downstairs A/V room. When you're done please put them back there, preferably alphabetized. 3/ No CD is to leave the house or be passed on to someone else without my permission. I ask this 'cause some of these discs are not replaceable. 4/ Encourage others to hear this music. In these dark days of popular music, the only way things will turn around is if the 'great' music is rediscovered.

Okay, shall we begin?

To start, I think we have to listen to some examples of melodious pop songs of the highest order. I would even go as far as to say these songs will survive into the next millennium.

1/ The Association, Greatest Hits from the Original Master Tapes, Along Comes Mary
2/ The Association, Greatest Hits from the Original Master Tapes, Windy
I had to include two songs from the same band as, other than the Beatles, no band has released two pop singles of such a magnitude in a row.

3/ Various Artists, ...And Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain, Wichita Lineman
A perfect song, containing a melody as unique and pure as any in history, with perhaps the greatest two lines ever in a pop song. I'll let you find them.

Now we turn to the merely wonderful.

4/ The Beatles, Beatles for Sale, Every Little Thing
My vote for best obscure early Beatles' song.

5/ Badfinger, Straight Up, Baby Blue
My vote for the best obscure Badfinger song. Badfinger is the best band ever to do a Beatles' impersonation, so that's saying a lot.

6/ Todd Rundgren, Something/Anything?, Hello Its Me
A song so good it charted three times.

7/ Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson, Gotta Get Up
Has got me up and singing more than once.

8/ The Monkees, More of the Monkees, Mary Mary
Yes, the fuckin' Monkees. It's that good. Every time I see the beautiful Mary at work, I can't help but think they were thinking of her.

9/ The Beach Boys, Holland, Sailor, Sail On
This is the '70s Beach Boys; not what they were but still capable of incredible vocal harmonies and melodic invention, when they weren't sucking wind.

10/ Chris De Burgh, At the End of a Perfect Day, Broken Wings
Chris will some day be remembered for his first five albums. This is my favourite, as its stories are tinged with a wistful melancholia that seems to be coming from an old man looking back at his world and times.. We'll be revisiting this album in the future.

11/ XTC, Apple Venus - Volume One, The Green Man
What's wrong with people? This album, from last year, is a melody feast. They do make 'em like they used to.

12/ The Raspberries, Power Pop Volume One, I Saw the Light
The second best Beatles' impersonators, though their first stuff is a lot better than the last.

13/ Counting Crows, August and Everything After, Omaha
God, I love the way Adam Duritz writes songs. The album is my favorite of the '90s. And it's an Ultradisc!

14/ Pink Floyd, Relics, Julia Dreams
Sometimes Roger Waters just likes to show us beauty.

15/ The Hollies, For Certain Because..., Pay You Back With Interest
I've really started to appreciate the Hollies' middle period. Great harmonies, very catchy.

16/ Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule, I built This Garden for Us
Lenny is slagged in the press for being an imitator. Try imitating his best melodies, motherfuckers.

17/ Gram Parsons, GP, She
Gram breaks my heart. All that talent gone so young. And he knew something about women.

18/ Radiohead, OK Computer, Karma Police
From the last great rock album of the millennium. I hum this selection all the time.

19/ Love, Love Story 1966-1972, 7 and 7 Is
No one writes songs like this band. Another collection we'll be revisiting

19/ Sagittarius, Present Tense, My World Fell Down
When I posted the last list I'd forgotten that the CD for "7 And 7 Is" was unreadable. So Al substituted this track instead.

20/ The Kinks, Something Else by the Kinks, Waterloo Sunset
My vote for greatest '60s song that was never a hit. Let the song flow over you ten or twenty times. It says so much, is so beautiful and longs for so much.

I'm going to limit each themed collection to twenty songs, since they are designed to complement each other, and even the loss of one song throws off the balance.

I know you'll enjoy most of these songs.

Ramble On, Sing the Songs,

Tags: playlist

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