My Sunday Song #61 is Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. I needed to crank things up a bit and this is great song to turn up to 10 and blast out some windows and shake some walls. A good song to test out my new speakers on. The song is off the 1991 album, Metallica (or The Black Album) and was the song that made Metallica mainstream and helped turn them into megastars. The song was released two weeks before the album and helped the album debut at #1 and go on to sell well over 22 million copies.
If you are not familiar with this song, it just might be one of the most recognizable metal songs of all time and one of the scariest. The song is about children’s nightmares and what might be lying under your bed. I think what helps give it that eerie feeling is the child’s prayer that is in the song:
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take
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For My Sunday Song #60, I am highlighting my favorite Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Southern Cross”. The song was released in September 1982 and was featured on the album ‘Daylight Again”. I remember seeing the video on MTV as it was in heavy rotation for awhile. I just loved the laid back feel of the song and of course watching the boat sail across the water. It seemed so relaxing. I really enjoy the phrasing of the lyrics and the song flow. It is the song that actually made me a little fan of the group.
The song is about a man who decided to take a journey by sailing across the Pacific due to a failed relationship. He determines all he needs is a boat and his music. He hopes he will find that woman on his trek that will make him forget his past relationship and find a love that will endure (and you know it will).
In researching the song, I now know what the Southern Cross is. I thought it was the boat as that is what the video would have you believe. No. The Southern Cross is a star constellation that is only seen in the Southern Hemisphere and some of the tropics. Sailors in the Southern Hemisphere use it to navigate by. The constellation is called Crux which means cross (thanks wikipedia).
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For My Sunday Song #59, I have to go with Joe Walsh’s classic song “Life’s Been Good”. The song is off his 1978 album ‘But Seriously, Folks…” and was released as a single in May of that year. The song has two versions, the album cut which is an epic 8:56 and the radio edit which is only 4:35. The radio edit is great, but the full version is where all the magic happens.
“Life’s Been Good” is song that speaks to the excess of the rock gods of the 70’s. Lyrically, it paints a beautiful picture of how everyone thinks the huge Rock Stars live and probably resonated because everyone wants to be that Rock Star. The song hits all the high points, the mansion, the exotic sports car, the hit records, the fans and the money. What’s not to like.
The song is a mid-tempo beat with almost a reggae feel to it. It has a great guitar riff throughout and includes a bizarre little inside joke about 10 seconds after the song ends. Walsh very humorously goes “uh-oh, here comes a flock of wah wahs” followed by a chorus of duck or geese noises. I have no idea what the inside joke was, but it is quite funny regardless. I wonder what they were smoking?????
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For My Sunday Song #58 I am going to tackle my favorite Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun”. Notice I said my favorite and I did not say the best. I don’t want anyone getting a hair up there tail because I said the best. My intention is to not start an argument as I know there are many people passionate about their Beatles.
The song was recorded in 1969 and released on their album ‘Abbey Road’ the same year. The song only features three of the Beatles, George, Ringo & Paul as John was recovering from a car crash.
Lyrically, it is a very simple song but musically there is a lot going on. Paul did the bass, of course and Ringo on drums while George did everything else, and I mean everything else. He is credited with both the acoustic and electric guitars, the harmonium, and introducing the band to a Moog synthesizer (which might have looked like something below).
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For My Sunday Song #57, I am going with “Renegades of Funk” by Rage Against the Machine. The song was released on election day in 2000 and with George W. Bush winning I am sure RATM had a lot more to “Rage” about. The song is off their ‘Renegades’ album and was produced by the great Rick Rubin.
What I never knew, or had just forgotten, was the song was actually a Cover of a song performed by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force and released back in 1983. These two songs really sound nothing alike and Rage has turned into a funked up metal song that fits my taste nicely. Not only is it a cover, Rage has included a percussion piece of the song “Apache” by the Incredible Bongo Band.
I had never really listened to Rage Against the Machine as the late 90’s were not a great time for me so had overlooked them. It was playing Guitar Hero or some video game where the song was featured and I was like…WOW!!…how have I missed this song. Ever since then I have been a fan of the band. Tom Morello just absolutely slays it on the guitar and he is one of the best out there. The sounds and riffs he does are so his own style there is no mistaking when he is on lead guitar.
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For My Sunday Song #56, I have gone with one of the greatest John Lennon tribute songs ever written or performed…”Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny)” By Elton John. The song was released in 1982 which was about 18 months after Lennon’s death. It is off the album ‘Jump Up!’ and was not one of his best albums, but this was the best song on it. It was a minor hit and only reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
However, for me it resonated as such a beautifully written song. Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics (as he did for all of Elton’s songs) and Elton did the music. The lyrics tell such a touching story and the metaphor of an empty garden fort he absence of Lennon is brilliant. Put that along with the beautiful piano and Elton’s vocals and you have a song that can touch you on so many levels. Knowing that Elton John was such good friends with Lennon (including being Sean Lennon’s godfather), you could feel Elton’s true feelings of how much he missed his friend and that even adds more to the song.
In researching the song (wikipedia mostly had the better information), I found that the “Garden” was also a reference to John Lennon’s last performance which was at Madison Square Garden in 1974 with Elton John. The line “Can’t You Come Out to Play” is a reference to the Beatles’ song “Dear Prudence” which is cool. I love finding those things out as I never made that connection so now it adds to the song for me.
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For My Sunday Song #55, I am going with Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie”. The song features Rihanna and is one of my favorite Eminem songs and favorite songs period. The song was released on June 25, 2010 and is on the album ‘Recovery’. It is one of Eminem’s most successful song selling over 6 million copies, hitting #1 on almost ever chart, receiving numerous Grammy nominations and winning the Billboard Award for Best Rap song in 2011. To say this song struck a chord with a lot of people is an understatement.
Why do I like this song? Easy…it is bringing to light a very dark subject matter that isn’t talked about enough. Domestic Violence. The song is about a couple in an abusive relationship that refuses to separate despite the dangerous situation they are in. The song is very graphic and so is the video which I will discuss shortly. The song’s dark theme and powerful music along with the combination of Rihanna’s vocals and Eminem’s aggressive rap encapsulates every emotion that you would imagine this kind of relationship would garner. I also love how the song jumps from pleasant views to the violent aspects and back and forth. It really makes the song impactful.
What I also find interesting about the song is that it actually mirrors both singers life. Eminem was in an abusive relationship with his ex-wife Kim and of course every one knows Rihanna’s history with her former boyfriend Chris Brown. Knowing their history adds so much credibility to the song.
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My Sunday Song #54 is by the one and only Heart. The song is “Barracuda” off their 1977 album ‘Little Queen’. The song was their second highest charting song at the time and it was their second Top 20 hit peaking at #11. “Magic Man” was their only song higher charting at #9.
Why do I like this song? Easy, that guitar riff that opens the song and is played throughout is enough!! It was one of their heavier rock songs and showed they could kick some serious ass. The aggressiveness of the music and the lyrics made them a powerhouse and I think made people take note of how great they can be. This was the song that made me a Heart fan.
From what I can find on the song, it is mostly about Ann Wilson’s disdain for their former label Mushroom Records. Apparently Mushroom Records had placed ads in magazines/papers that hinted that Ann & Nancy were lesbian lovers having an incestuous relationship. Needless to say, this angered her greatly and from great anger comes great music. (thanks to Songfacts.com). You can see the add that was placed by clicking on HEART AD. That would have pissed me off as well. The band left the label shortly thereafter and the rest is history.
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For My Sunday Song #53, I have gone with “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots. This is one of my favorite STP songs…one of many. The song was the second single off their second album ‘Purple’. It is also the second most successful song they had. It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Album Tracks chart for two weeks. The most successful song was “Interstate Love Song”.
What do I like about this song? That opening bass part is flat out amazing. The best part of the song. I also dig the uptempo, fast driving feel to the song. The guitar solo is also fast, but impactful. And of course, Scott Weiland’s vocals. The song is short at under 3 minutes, but what an impression it leaves.
In researching the song, I found out how they came up with that sound effect on the bass. Robert DeLeo ran his bass through a wah wah pedal. As I am a fan and not a musician, I had to look up “wah wah pedal”. Here is what wikipedia says…
A wah-wah pedal (or simply wah pedal) is a type of electric guitar effects pedal that alters the tone and frequencies of the guitar signal to create a distinctive sound, mimicking the human voice saying the onomatopoeic name “wah-wah”. The pedal sweeps the peak response of a frequency filter up and down in frequency to create the sound, a spectral glide, also known as “the wah effect”.
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For My Sunday Song #52, I have gone with the peppy little jaunt called “Do You Love Me” by the band Guster. The song is from the 2010 album called ‘Easy Wonderful’ which was their sixth studio album. The song is their biggest hit which reached #9 on the Adult Album Alternative chart. They have not had a Hot 100 hit.
For those out there that don’t know Guster, they are an American alternative rock band. They are also labeled as a Jangle Pop band. Jangle pop is defined as follows (per wikipedia)…
Jangle pop is a subgenre of pop rock that emphasizes trebly, ringing guitars (usually twelve-string electrics) and pop melodies reminiscent of those from the 1960s.
That definition would describe this song. What I love about the song is twofold. First, the music and melodies of the song are so catchy, poppy and just plain fun. You can’t help but feel good when you hear the song. It is very infectious.
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