John Dougan (voidrandom) wrote,
John Dougan

  • Music:

Playlist #2 - Melody Is King, Volume 2

It probably should be mentioned that when these playlists were produced, Al had to take into account my then deep ignorance of most rock and pop music. So most people will find some of these to be more obvious than the "should have heard but didn't" category these playlists are supposed to be.

Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 11:23:59 -0800
From: Al Christensen <>
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To: John Dougan <>
Subject: REVISED-DISREGARD FIRST MESSAGE-Roxy, Jellyfish and the Other Disciples
of Melody

Welcome to "Melody Is King, Volume Two.'
1/ The Left Banke, There's Gonna Be a Storm, Walk Away Renee
One of the greatest songs of the sixties, written by a lovestruck sixteen year old. This style of music came to be known as 'baroque rock,' Its time in the sun was brief and is in desperate need of revival.

2/ Del Shannon, Greatest Hits, Runaway
I'm sure you've heard this one. Has there ever been a better falsetto or more eerily beautiful organ break within the same two minutes? I think not.

3/ Quarterflash, Quarterflash, Harden My Heart
One of the best pop songs of the eighties. The sax line is haunting. I really thought this band would go on to even bigger things. Oh well, long live Portland rock.

4/ Elliott Smith, Elliott Smith, Needle in the Hay
Speaking of Portland, Elliott gets my vote for best contemporary singer/songwriter. I don't think he's even thirty-three yet, but has already produced five sterling albums of acoustic guitar confessionals.

5/ Ron Sexsmith, Ron Sexsmith, There's a Rhythm
The Canadian equivalent of Elliott Smith. Very big in Europe, unknown in Canada. Some say he is the greatest contemporary pop songwriter. I'm not convinced. He suffers from that most Canadian of afflictions -- all his stuff is excellent, but nothing takes that next step to greatness. But he still has lots of life left in him, and I will continue to buy his albums as soon as they appear.

6/ Roxy Music, Stranded, Mother of Pearl
I've found myself humming and chanting the chorus of this song many times.

7/ The Kinks, Arthur or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Shangri-La
Its almost a law that a Kinks song has to go on any collection. When I think of the music my fictional musician Jamie Jessop might have produced, this song comes to mind. It's great satire, at the same time longing for just such a place.

8/ Teenage Fanclub, Bandwagonesque, The Concept
This Scottish group loves to sound pretty, an unusual occurrence in the nineties. They have written some great songs over the past five albums, and, of course, no one listens to them anymore.

9/ Jellyfish, Bellybutton, She Still Loves him
From the same vintage as Teenage Fanclub. I love how these guys can be such tunesmiths yet write such off kilter songs. They produced two wonderful albums, which in its own way makes them a perfect pop band.

10/ Jason Falkner, Can You Still Feel?, Holiday
Jason was the bassist for Jellyfish. He was not encouraged to write songs for that band, as they were dominated by the singer and guitarist. The band failed to take advantage of some serious talent, as this 1999 release attests.

11/ Tommy James and the Shondells, Anthology, Crystal Blue Persuasion
One of my favorite drug songs. Once oldies AM radio found out what it was about, you rarely heard it played.

12/ Jill Sobule, Things Here Are Different, Too Cool To Fall in Love
Jill is one of my favorite of the new breed of singer/songwriters. Her vocals are a tad Betty Boop, but her four albums are ethereal pop at its best.

13/ Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes, China
Tori is the artist Sarah McLachlan can only dream of being. She really can play all those instruments and is that weird sexy, dynamic and prolific. Kats and I named one of the main characters of the Westerlund saga Tory, as an ode to this lady, as well as the porn star Tory Welles, of course.

14/ Aimee Mann, Magnolia Soundtrack, Save Me
Speaking of great female singer/songwriters. This 1999 release is near genius. The director of the movie, Paul Thomas Anderson, is good friends with Aimee. He asked her to write some songs for a future movie. He then structured his screenplay around her lyrics and the mood her songs created. Wow.

15/ The Move, Shazam, Beautiful Daughter
One of these unabashedly gorgeous songs that is playing non-stop on an parallel world's greatest hits of all time jukebox.

16/ The Grapes of Wrath, Now and Again, All the Things I Wasn't
From one of the greatest albums ever produced by a group of British Columbians.

17/ Jenson Interceptor, Jenson Interceptor, Tiny Thing
A world class song from a group of Southern Albertans who sold less than thirty thousand albums. My friend and I may have the only two CD copies, since this is a CDR of the hard to find vinyl.

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