Friday, July 06, 2007

Weekend Listomania (Special Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental houseboy Kato and I are off to a certain Swiss clinic (reputedly frequented by Keith Richards) to have our annual blood change and some bonus high colonics. Should be cleansing, to say the least. But as a result posting by moi will necessarily be a bit sporadic for a day or two.

In the meantime, here's another little project for you folks:

Best Ever Rock Song That Works Despite the Seemingly Fatal Handicap of Truly Atrocious Lyrics!

My own personal thoughtfully considered nominee:

All Right Now -- Free

Does this song rock authoritatively?

You betcha!

Is the spare minimalism of it absolutely brilliant?

Mais certainement.

Are the lyrics really cringe-worthy macho nonsense?

All signs point to yes.

Does that last little detail matter?

No fucking way, Jose..

But enought of my yakking -- join in, won't you?


NYMary said...

Whiter Shade of Pale.

To quote Roddy Doyle: "Poxiest bleeding lyrics ever written."

Anonymous said...

I should be able to come up with something because I just watched a one hit wonder best of show...but I am still shaking off the booze from last night...bbl

billy b said...

Great tune, swami. Koss is a genius.

The boy was a master at the "Spare minimalism" thing.

Andy Fraser was also in the same class with his "tuba" bass.

And then we get to Paul R. One of the best rock singers, bar none. The boy's always been on my short list.

As to the lyrics - I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to them at the time except as to how the words fit the song. Rodgers managed to do that nicely.

An aside: On the old mono car radios of yore, the words didn't come thru so well - we thought Rodgers was singing "let's move before they raise the fucking rent" instead of the "parking rate".

I still like the former phrasing better...

Anonymous said...

By sheer coincidence, I'm listening to Elton John's Levon as I'm reading this. You gotta figure that Taupin has a entries in this category.

Kid Charlemagne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid Charlemagne said...

Your listomania this week could describe nearly the entire Led Zep back catalog. They rocked righteously, but you really had to ignore the cringe inducing lyrics. To wit from "Black Dog":

I gotta roll, cant stand still,
Got a flame in my heart, cant get my fill,

Eyes that shine burning red,
Dreams of you all thru my head.

Steve, gotta part ways with you on "All Right Now." That song is the genesis of thousands of lame butt rock bands.

Kid Charlemagne said...

Re: My Last Post:

Q: What is the difference between Free's "Alright Now." and Billy Squier's "The Stroke"?

A: Nothing.

dave™© said...

"Get It On (Bang a Gong)" by T. Rex.

"Blockbuster" by Sweet.

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to Under My Thumb, but there's gotta be something even better.

Kid Charlemagne said...

Well, here's two misogynistic faves: the Stones "Stupid Girl" and let's not forget the Beatles' "Run for Your Life."

Anonymous said...

C'mon, people, let's go space truckin'! How can you miss with lyrics like "We danced around with Borealice - we're space truckin' round the the stars"?

But for sheer rocking goofiness my favorite still must be Highway Star:

"Oooh she's a killing machine - She's got everything
Like a moving mouth body control and everything

I love her I need her
I seed her
Yeah She turns me on
Alright hold tight
I'm a highway star"

Undoubtedly rocktastic, but I seed her?

Not mention rhyming "everything" with "everything."

Kid Charlemagne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid Charlemagne said...

Jeffco, DP was obvious but totally missed by everyone! Tanx for straightening us out!

I always thought it was "I bleed her"? Also, isn't it is "borealis" as in "Aurora Borealis."

I must have listened to that disc like a million times when I was 13.

I always loved what Lester Bangs said about the LP:

Frankly, I am not offended at all by the offhand nature of those songs. Rather than either condemn or apologize for their triteness, I will merely refer you to the current issue of Who Put the Bomp magazine, where Mark Shipper makes note of the fact that Sky Saxon wrote "Pushin' Too Hard" for the Seeds in ten minutes while waiting for his girl to get out of a supermarket -- and comments that he'd rather not publish a review of any album that contains a song that took longer than ten minutes to write.

Now, I can't be that much of a purist, because I'm sure that "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'" took at least 20 minutes to compose, but I do know that this very banality is half the fun of rock'n'roll. And I am confident that I will love the next five Deep Purple albums madly so long as they sound exactly like these last three.


7/06/2007 7:17 PM

Feral said...

"Shining, flying purple wolfhounds show me where you are".

The arguement could be made that most of Yes's catalog belongs in this catagory.

Anonymous said...

I posed this Listomania question to my huzband over dinner - he sez, "Anything by Steve Miller".

dave™© said...

The lyrics aren't "atrocious," but Harrison's "Bangladesh" is a weird one. Really rocks - one of George's best in that regard, IMO - but you're rocking out to lyrics about a huge disaster: "Bangladesh, Bangladesh / Where so many people are dying fast / I've never seen such distress / It sure looks like a mess."

Anonymous said...

Crimson and Clover
Ah, well if she come walkin' over
Now I been waitin' to show her
Crimson and clover, over and over

Break on Through, The Doors
Everybody loves my baby
Everybody loves my baby
She get
She get
She get
She get high

and finally,
La Grange, ZZ Top
"A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw.
A haw, haw, haw."

Anonymous said...

"virgotex said...'Crimson and Clover"

Tommy James must be The Man in this category. I was thinking "Mony, Mony."

steve simels said...

dave™© said...

The lyrics aren't "atrocious," but Harrison's "Bangladesh" is a weird one. Really rocks - one of George's best in that regard, IMO - but you're rocking out to lyrics about a huge disaster

Byrds publicist Billy James famously had cognitive dissonance watching the hippies dance to the Byrds playing "Bells of Rhymney."

A song about a tragic mining disaster...

shrimplate said...

"The Boiler" by Rhoda and the Special AKA is certainly the most cringe-worthy thing I've ever heard outside an opera house, but it's way the opposite of macho, as you must know.

The music is sensational, in the good way, but the words are devastating and very difficult to listen to.

In my entire life I've heard the song three times: once when I got the 2-Tone compilation, then again playing it for my spouse who swore never to listen to it again, and then once more just to convince myself it was real.

It's too real.

Anonymous said...

Deep friggin' Purple.
smacks forehead
Of course.

Now that reminds me of the rockin' nonsense of Cream. Your bearded rainbows, your dawn surprises, yellow tigers crouched in jungles, strange brew killing what's inside of you, elephants dancing on the graves of squealing mice.

TMink said...

Stupid lyrics can actually help a rock song. I like to think of it as intelluctual compression. Music, good music, goes to parts of the brain that a good book has trouble touching. The timbre, the beat, the energy, this song has it all.

And Paul Rodgers was really one of the great male vocalists of several rock eras.