In any case, posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a few days.
But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:
Most Memorable Post-Beatles Song Either About Death or With the Words Death or Dead In The Title!!!
Self-explanatory, obviously, so no arbitrary rules this time.
Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Seven:
7. Dead Flowers -- The Rolling Stones
This has nothing to do with anything, but when Charlie Watts hits the bell of his cymbal twice on the last line of the last chorus, I just go all gooey.
6. About to Die -- Procol Harum
They had a million of 'em, actually. In fact, I seem to recall they scrapped an entire album around this time until lyricist Keith Reid agreed to come up with something not so obviously sicklied over with a graveyard cast, if you know what I mean.
5. Death of Caroline -- Nelson Bragg
Bragg is a member of Brian Wilson's touring band, and this song, appropriately enough, puts a somewhat depressing spin on Wilson's classic "Caroline No." (In the clip above, it's the eighth song in, BTW). Included because I wanted something recorded in this century and because it's a gorgeous song from an album that deserves a wider audience. [I reviewed it here in 2007.]
4. I Walked With a Zombie -- Roky Erickson
Cheating on my part perhaps, but you have to agree the song is a sublime and perfect realization of the titular narrative.
3. Run For Your Life -- The Beatles
"I'd rather see you dead, little girl." I'm sure John regretted the sentiment later in life, but it's still a great song.
2. Life'll Kill Ya -- Warren Zevon
A haunting Aaron Copland-ish American plain song melody mated to one of its auteur's funniest and most mordant lyrics adds up to one of my favorite songs of the decade; ironically, it was NOT written when Zevon knew he was dying. "From the President of the United States to the lowliest rock n roll star...the doctor is in and he'll see ya now -- he don't care who you are."
And the number one song about biting the big one, there's really no argument about this remotely possible, obviously is --
1. Wall of Death -- Richard and Linda Thompson
Thompson's another one who's got a million of 'em, and actually I was going for "When I Get to the Border," which is a much subtler metaphor, but there was no video, alas. WOD, of course, is an equally killer (you should pardon the expression) song, and this unreleased version is quite gorgeous in a poppy folk-rock kind of way, no? Not sure where it's from...possibly from the legendary Gerry Rafferty sessions that produced the definitive "Shoot Out the Lights." Any Thompson afficianados out there have any idea?
Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?
[Shameless blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: most erotic movie star pairings -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see it clear to go over there and leave a comment, it would help convince management I'm worth the vast sums of money they're paying me. Thanks.]