Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental amanuensis Hop-Sing and I are off to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the first annual Cindy McCain Just Say Yes! Foundation dinner. I'm not sure what exactly Ms. McCain's cause is, but I'm sure it's something wonderfully positive and I'm proud to be a part of it, however small.
Of course, that means that posting by moi will necessarily be somewhat fitful for a few days.
But until then, as always, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:
BEST USE OF BELLS ON A POP OR ROCK RECORD!!!!!
By "best" we mean the most creative, or the spookiest, or the most atmospheric or whatever works. And by "bells" we mean chimes of the tubular variety. Mostly. Sleighbells or alarm bells are okay too.
But no fricking cowbell!!! That's another list and/or joke. Seriously -- you try sneaking some of that "Don't Fear the Reaper" or "Time Has Come Today" crap past me and I swear to god I'll take a hostage.
Okay, that said, here's my totally top of my head Top Eight:
8. The Weepies -- All That I Want
Attentive readers already know of my fondness for this; the sleighbells are sort of subliminal, but the record wouldn't be near as good without them
7. Procol Harum -- Pilgrim's Progress
Sorry no video or audio link, but trust me -- when the chimes on the fadeout of this one (it's the closing song on A Salty Dog) seem to appear out of nowhere, it's guaranteed to take your breath away.
6. Spike Jones -- My Old Flame
The great Paul Frees (Boris Badenov on Rocky and Bullwinkle) steals this one as Peter Lorre, but those fire alarms in the band freakout section are pretty hilarious, you'll have to admit
5. The Dixie Cups -- Chapel of Love
Wedding bells, natch. Did producers Leiber and Stoller arrange this one?
4. The Lovin' Spoonful -- You Didn't Have to Be So Nice
Zally's signature guitar riff doubled by the chimes still gives me chills. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that's the first time that particular trick was used on a pop record....
3. Bruce Springsteen -- Your Own Worst Enemy
The Iraq War subtext notwithstanding, Bruce's 2007 album is his poppiest in ages. The chimes here are a wonderful Brill Building touch, no? God, I love this song....
2. The Hollies -- Pay You Back With Interest
Sorry no video, but you can listen here -- it's one of their absolutely best songs, and the chimes at the end are gorgeous...
And the number one, nobody even comes close, use of bells on a pop or rock record is ---
1. Nick Cave -- Red Right Hand
This has been appropriated as background music for countless TV dramas -- actually, I think the first time I heard it was on an episode of The X-Files -- but it's still one of the eeriest pop records in memory, and those solitary chime hits after the choruses just slay me.
Alrighty now -- what would your choices be?
[h/t Brooklyn Girl]