My Sunday Song #83 is “Whistle for the Choir” by The Fratellis. The song is off their debut album ‘Costello Music’ which peaked at #2 on the UK charts and gave us a few hits including “Chelsea Dagger”. However, I really liked this song the best. “Whistle for the Choir” was their third single off the albums and it reached #9 giving them their 2nd Top 10 hit in the UK. I don’t see where they did very well in the States which is a shame.
The Fratellis are a Scottish trio with a very retro feel and garage rock sound. This song for me is more of the retro feel as it is a slow ballad using only an acoustic, bass and drum (well it’s a trio – what else are they going to use). The song has a Beatlesque quality to it and even a little Ray Davies vibe. I think for those reasons, the song struck a chord with me. The simple sound and hypnotic beat pulled me in and put me in a trance where I swayed back and forth while listening. It was encapsulating. There is a little guitar solo, but also a nice whistle solo as well.
The song tells the story of a guy, who after a night out on the town, meets a girl that is way out of his league. This doesn’t stop him. He is going to try and get her anyway. The nice thing is it doesn’t tell you if he gets the girl or not.
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For My Sunday Song #82, “Angels on the Moon” by Thriving Ivory is the one I wanted to share this week. The song was the first single ever released by Thriving Ivory back in March 2008 and actually went Gold in the U.S. It was a minor hit, but it was a song that stuck with me and moved me in someway. I became a huge fan of their music as a result.
The song itself can mean so much and people can interpret the meaning differently as there is no set meaning I can find. For me, it feels like the person is struggling with life and they are in a dark place. He seems lonely, but wants to live and hope people will know his name or at least who he is. He is ready to break free and live, enjoy life and feel that sunshine on his skin.
The person also talks about people leaving us too soon and when he dreams he sees those that have left before us. He even shouts out those that were lost in the 9/11 attacks with the line “This is to New York City angels /And the rivers of our blood”. The loss of those before him, make him want to live that much more. The song could mean something different to someone else, but this is my take.
The song is a ballad and what I really love about the sound is Clayton Stroope’s vocals. He has such a unique quality to his vocals. They are so soothing and inviting to me and you can’t help but feel everything he is singing. It is also one of those voices you either love or you don’t, but for me I love his sound, his delivery and everything about it.
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For My Sunday Song #81, I bring you one of my favorite songs off the Bon Jovi album ‘New Jersey’. That song is “Blood on Blood”. Back in the day, Bon Jovi actually wrote songs with heart and songs that told great stories. Stories you cared about and became connected with such as Tommy and Gina in “Livin’ On a Prayer”. “Blood on Blood” was the song that really connected with me.
The song was never released as a single, but I probably listened to it more than any other song on the album. The song was based on the movie “Stand By Me”. Jon was so inspired by that movie, he got with Richie Sambora and Desmond Child and they crafted this gem.
The story is about three childhood friends, though not related, were like brothers to each other. They cut their hands and then shook to signify they were blood brothers, lifelong friends and friends you could call at any time and they would be there to help.
That theme resonated with me. It resonated so much, I started outlining a book based on that very concept. Sadly, I never finished that book (or really ever started other than the outline – maybe some day). Anyway, take a listen to the song and read the lyrics and hopefully you will see what I mean. It is a powerful song about friendship and if you have a friend or friends like that, then this song is for you!
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For My Sunday Song #80, I chose the song “Hazard” by Richard Marx. The song was off Marx’s third album ‘Rush Street’ and went on to become his third #1 song on the Adult Contemporary charts.
I love a song that tells an interesting story and this is one of those songs. We all know Marx is an incredible songwriter and if you don’t you must live under a rock. The song “Hazard” tells a great story. It tells the story of a young man, who is an outcast in the town of Hazard, Nebraska. No one seems to like him and they all feel he is a little strange. He meets a girl, Mary, and falls in love, BUT…Mary ends up dead and he is the prime suspect. What also is great about the story is you don’t find out if he did it or not. It leaves you as the listener deciding on your interpretation and whether you feel he did it or not. What do I think? I might tell you later.
The song is at a ballad like pacing, but definitely not a love song. The music and pacing give the song an eerie, dark tone to it which adds to the drama of the song and makes you feel the sadness the main character is feeling at the loss of his love and trying to convince everyone he is innocent. I think it is beautiful.
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For My Sunday Song #79, “Silent Lucidity” by the progressive metal band Queensrÿche will be the point of discussion. The song was released on Valentine’s Day in 1991 and was on their triple platinum selling album ‘Empire’. “Silent Lucidity” was the band’s top selling single ever in the U.S. where it reached #1 on the Album Rock Tracks and all the way to #9 on the Billboard Top 100. The song was even nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song.
“Silent Lucidity” was a ballad, which was not something the band was known for doing. The song is absolutely beautiful with the whole lullaby feel to the song, the wonderful orchestration added and lastly, Geoff Tates vocals perfectly fit the mood of the song. It felt like you were in a dream state while listening to the song which was exactly the impact the band was going for with the song.
The song was supposedly inspired by the book ‘Creative Dreaming’ by Patricia Garfield, PhD which explains how to control your dreams…which I don’t think I have ever been able to do that. The song is about lucid dreaming which is the where you are actually aware that you are dreaming and as the book states, you can actually have control over parts of the dream. During the song, there is actually a voice that is explaining how to do just that. They state…”Visualize your dream. Record it in the present tense. Put it into a permanent form. If you persist in your efforts, you can achieve dream control.”
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For My Sunday Song #78, I am going with one of my favorite Squeeze songs “Black Coffee in Bed”. The song didn’t do that great in the U.S. (#103 on Billboard) and for some reason the band never really broke it big here either, but I always loved their songs and this one in particular.
“Black Coffee in Bed” was released in 1982 and was from their fifth album .Sweets from a Stranger’. The song really wasn’t a big hit. It only reached #52 in the UK and only #23 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. It never broke the Top 100 on the Billboard Pop chart. However, there was something about the song that I liked whether it was a little bit of Glenn Tilbrook’s vocals or the lyrics or the slow pacing of the music and the jazzy little feel to the song. It all worked.
The funny thing is that Glenn really didn’t like the song. According to Glenn from his interview with songfacts.com:
“It’s far too ponderous. It could never be a fast song, but it certainly had the opportunity to be slightly perkier. My vocal is mannered and not very good at all, and I can’t stand to listen to it now. It was influenced by what Paul Carrack had brought to the table but without Paul’s voice it didn’t sound right. We recorded a great demo with Gus Dudgeon but we really f–ked it up for the record, which was entirely down to me. This is one of the few Squeeze songs I’d happily re-record because I think I could do a better version.”
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For My Sunday Song #77, I am going with one of my favorite songs by Joe Satriani called “I Believe”. The song is off one of his best albums called ‘Flying in a Blue Dream’ from 1989. Joe is known for his guitar playing and making it sing. Well for this song, Joe is actually singing. One of the very few songs he has ever done that on which was the first reason I was drawn to this song. It was nice to hear him sing.
The song is a ballad and a much slower pace than you are used to getting from him. I was enthralled by the dark tone to the song and even the dark lyrics. The lyrics discussed how hard life is, but it is inspiring to as it was still filled with so much hope. I will let Joe tell it better from an interview he did with Songfacts.com…
“It was a difficult period in my life, where my father was in the process of passing away, and I was struggling with finishing up the Flying in a Blue Dream record. I was actually writing other songs that were instrumental pieces for the album. I’d be taking breaks during those periods, and I’d pick up the acoustic guitar and would start playing music.
There was a big painting in our apartment that a friend of my wife’s had done. She had worked my wife’s face into this figure, and I used to look at that quite a bit when I would take breaks from working on the album. So I wrote a song really about how difficult life is, but how ultimately, you have hope and you can change things for the better. It was really about writing that song and looking at that picture.”
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For My Sunday Song #76, I bring you the Kiss classic, “Detroit Rock City”. The song was the opening track to the album ‘Destoyer’ and it was also the third single in support of the album. However, the song never charted due to the little B-Side on the back called “Beth” (which is a story for another time).
A fan favorite and still played at shows today, “Detroit Rock City has become one of the band’s most recognizable songs behind “Rock & Roll All Nite”. The song was so popular, there was even a movie made called “Detroit Rock City” that Kiss actually appeared in.
The song does mention Detroit, but is really about a young fan that is killed why he was on his way to a Kiss concert. The story is based of an actual event that occurred outside a Kiss concert in Charlotte where a fan was hit by a car and killed outside the arena. Knowing it is based a real life event adds a little extra to the impact of the song.
The song opens with a radio broadcast (the broadcaster is played by Gene Simmons) of the death of a driver killed in a car crash then seques in to the young man getting into his car and heading to the concert playing Kiss’s “Rock & Roll All Nite” on the radio. During the song, you go back and forth between the song and hearing the car drive down the road getting closer to the show. The song ends with the car crashing and immediately goes into the next song on the album “King of the Night Time World”.
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For My Sunday Song #75, I am bringing you the song that started it all for me…”Photograph” by Def Leppard. It was the first single off the massive hit album ‘Pyromania’ and it was the song that started my obsession with Def Leppard. From that point on, music took a whole new direction in my life. It was my passion. I tried to play guitar (rather unsuccessfully) and I couldn’t sing, but I could listen to music.
The song was perfect in my book. The video was mesmerizing. The two together captured my attention like nothing ever had. The song has such a melodic melody and the guitar solo and background vocals were all spot on thanks to Mutt Lange behind the boards. The guitar riff on the song that is played throughout is instantly recognizable.
I had heard of Def Leppard as my brother had one of their albums, but it was this song and this album that made me a fan…no a fanatic with this band. I had to have the albums, the singles, the shirts, the posters, the pins…you name it, I had to have it. And it still goes on today. They release a video and I own it; a live album and I gotta have it; a deluxe version of an album I already have, yep, I get that as well. It doesn’t matter.
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My Sunday Song #74 is “I’m Not Alright” by Sanctus Real. This is the 2nd time Sanctus Real has made this list and it is another impactful song. This song is off their 2006 release called ‘The Face of Love’. It was a #1 song for them on the Christian charts and garnered them a Dove Award nomination for Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. Sadly, they didn’t win.
The song spoke to me in the fact that we aren’t all alright. We are all broken in mind and spirit. We are sinners. The song is his confession that he is broken and that only through God, he is healed and he feels safe. I can so relate to this song. I think we all feel broken sometimes. I know for me when I feel this way, I find that Christian music and God help me get through it. Sanctus Real delivers songs that are meaningful and relatable. They are going through the same thing I am going through and it has helped me so many times.
In an interview with 1cubed.com, the band talked about the recording of the song and how the song was originally titled “I’ll Be Fine”. They felt they were lying to themselves and being fake. They felt the need to be honest with themselves and everyone that you won’t always be fine. It turned into this wonderful confession.
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