Tuesday, June 26, 2007

While Paris rots...I didn't write

Apologies to all faithful narrator readers, Paris Hilton was in prison while OJ Simpson continued to look for the "real killers" on the golf course, I had my own self imposed exile. Or I was just too lazy to write, one or the other.

Paris is going to be on Larry King Wednesday night. She needs the 24 hours to meet with her new publicist first to prep her for what I am sure will be a solid hour of softball questions like "So what's next for Paris?" and "really, what was it like in prison?"

Okay, back to the real reason I am writing. The website Retrocrush has released a list of the 100 worst cover songs of all time. As I have written before, cover songs are an interesting concept. Do you re-record a song that everyone already knows like Wilson Pickett's Hey Jude or Otis Redding's Satisfaction. Or do you take a song that is a little more obscure like Rod Stewart doing Tom Waits' Downtown Train or Three Dog Night doing Hoyt Axton's Never Been To Spain. Do you record it note for note the same like Cheap Trick did with Elvis' Don't Be Cruel or do you completely rework it like Aretha Franklin did with Otis Redding's Respect.

The list from retrocrush is interesting as it includes, whenever possible, links to youtube with the actual videos. The list has stuff you've never heard of like Mae West doing Twist & Shout or stuff you heard too much like I Got You Babe by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde. The aforementioned Paris Hilton makes the list. However, most interesting is #1 on the list. Trust me, it is a shocker.

Top 5 Beatles' Albums
1. Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. The Beatles
3. Abbey Road
4. Let It Be
5. Revolver

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The biggest super-group ever!!!

I know with biggest super-group ever, I probably should be talking about Blind Faith. I mean come on, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker...that's pretty big. But since they lasted for less than a year and their only album featured 7 songs, their output was pretty limited.

My pick for the biggest supergroup ever would be The Travelling Wilburys. The Beatles' George Harrison, Bob Dylan, ELO's Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty and Roy Orbision...it doesn't get much bigger than that!

Top 5 Travelling Wilbury Songs
1. Tweeter And The Monkey Man
2. Handle With Care
3. Wilbury Twist
4. End Of The Line
5. She's My Baby

The band originally got together to record a B-side for Harrison's single This Is Love. The song they recorded ended up being the Wilbury's first single Handle With Care. Once the record company got hold of it, a deal was struck for the band to record an album, entitled Volume One.

Two years later, after the death of Orbison, the band recorded a second album entitled Volume Three. Why it was entitled volume three is up to some speculation. Some say it is an inside joke. Some say there was a volume two that had never been released. Some say that since most of the Wilburys worked on Tom Petty's Fool Moon Fever, that it is considered Volume Two.

Here is the video for their first single Handle With Care.

I suppose the only bad thing you can say about the band is that considering all five of the singers are guitar players, there really isn't any spectacular guitarwork on either album. The problem is that most people don't even remember these albums as they have been out of print since the mid-90s. However, this is about to change as their is a Travelling Wilburys box set due out this month. Both albums, bonus tracks and DVDs of their videos will all be included.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tony Soprano (and David Chase)...you broke my heart

So with tempered expectations, I watched the series finale of The Sopranos.

I realize that this show is one of the most popular in the history of TV. Its groundbreaking nature has revolutionized the industy blah blah blah. But I have never loved it. I've liked it, but it never draws me in enough.

To me the problems with the show range from the oh-so numerous rip offs from The Godfather to the fact that not much really happens. Events occur and you think they will lead to something more dramatic but then they are just ignored. It builds up suspense every season but you never have the major payoffs that you feel should be coming.

Since the finale aired on Sunday night, it has been ripped by the fans and media alike. The only positive article I have seen about the show was the fact it outdrew the NBA playoff game. Even though the game was available in more homes than HBO.

Speaking of HBO, some people in the United States are trying to organize a boycott of that network because of the Sopranos finale. Considering what HBO offers, I don't think that this boycott will go very far.


Someone emailed me a theory that the ending is actually quite dramatic but subtle. I don't want to give it away for people who haven't seen it but the theory is that Tony actually gets killed in that last scene. Bobby Baccalieri told him earlier in the season something about being killed where he won't hear anything, he won't see anything...but everything will go black. This describes exactly what happened at the end of the show. Not sure I buy that theory...it is a bit of a cop out.


For me, I think the ending was vague for one simple reason. Money. Leave it open so they can make a film. Show creator David Chase denies this...but we all know what really makes decisions for film and TV...the almighty dollar.

Though the one nice thing I can say about the final scene from Sunday's episode of The Sopranos was the great use of a Journey song.

Top 5 Journey Songs
1. Feeling That Way
2. Faithfully
3. Don't Stop Believin'
4. Any Way You Want It
5. Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'


Thursday, June 07, 2007

music and movies

We all know of the marriage of music and movies. It started with the use of Bill Haley & The Comets in the film Blackboard Jungle. The use of that music helped jump start a music genre for the masses.

AOL has a list of the 77 best uses of pop music in film. Check out the link as the list includes youtube links of the scene in the film where the music was used or the video itself.

The list is pretty good as it includes obvious classic rock nods like Lou Reed's Perfect Day in Trainspotting as well as newer stuff like the use of the Shins' song New Slang in the 2004 film Garden State.

The list does include the bizarre inclusion of BJ Thomas' Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head in Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. I like the film but the use of that song in a turn-of-the century film is one of the weirdest use of music in the history of film.

I won't talk about the #1 song on the list but I completely disagree. It was a song I loved but after it was included in that film, I have never been able to listen to it since.

As you can see from the picture I have included in this entry. #1 should have been Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes in the film Say Anything. It is high on the list...but not enough.

Top 5 Peter Gabriel songs
1. Family Snapshot
2. Shaking The Tree
3. Solsbury Hill
4. Games Without Frontiers
5. Party Man (with the Worldbeaters)

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