[I originally posted this one in 2010, which I look back on, for other reasons than this, as one of the worst years ever. In any case, I repost it here with some rewriting (I deleted the gratuitous David Bowie references out of deference to friends who know who they are) and substitutions, as is my wont. You know -- just so I won't be accused of being a slacker. -- S.S.]
Okay -- here's a fun little project for us all:
Best or Worst Post-Beatles Pop/Rock Song or Record With the Words "Change" or "Changes" in the Title or Lyrics!!!
Self-explanatory, I think, and as a result no arbitrary rules of any kind here, you're welcome very much.
And that said, my totally top of my head Top Eleven is:
11. John Legend -- It Don''t Have to Change
Because, as you know, we like to have something recorded in this century. Other than that, what a bag of gas, and more proof -- as if it was needed -- that our friend's Sal Nunziato's assertion that "average is the new great" is right on the money.
Seriously, and I've said this before, but if you're gonna give yourself the last name Legend, you damn well better be pretty fricking incredible.
10. The Zombies -- Changes
From the gorgeous Odessey and Oracle album, obviously. One of my favorite tracks from said album, not so obviously.
9. John Mayer -- Waiting On the World to Change
Rory Gallagher dies, yet this embarrassing poser gets to play his crappy song in a party scene on CSI. I don't get it.
8. The Hollies -- Signs That Will Never Change
The B-side of Carrie Anne, and its own poignant way, almost as good. The Clarke-Hicks-Nash songwriting cartel was really at the peak of its game at this point. BTW, there's a very nice cover of this on the Everly Brothers' wonderful TWO YANKS IN LONDON album.
7. Sugar -- If I Can't Change Your Mind
The great Bob Mould, at his most ecstatically Byrdsian.
6. The Poor -- She's Got the Time (She's Got the Changes)
Randy Meisner's pre-Eagles psych garage band; the song is by either Brewer or Shipley (of "One Toke Over the Line" fame) but all these years later I'm too lazy to look it up. This was actually a minor hit, at least in NYC; the 45 was on the Atlantic custom label run by the same Greene-Stone management team that mishandled the Buffalo Springfield.
5. Jim and Jean -- Changes
The Phil Ochs song, obviously, which was cloying enough on its own, but here given one of the lamest folk-rock arrangements of the 60s. Any similarity between this duo and Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara, as Mitch and Mickey, in A Mighty Wind is purely coincidental, I'm sure.
4. Jefferson Airplane -- Spare Chaynge
And just think -- years later, Slade and Prince thought they were sooooo cool for deliberately using dopey misspellings in their song titles.
3. John Waite -- Change
The video is embarrassing, and some of the lyrics are cringe-worthy, but everything else about this, including the arrangement and Waite's vocal, just kicks all sorts of ass. Perhaps my favorite guilty pleasure of the Big 80s era.
2. Sam Cooke -- A Change is Gonna Come
Sublime on every level.
And the Numero Uno track delineating how life differs from the rocks is, no question about it, the one and only....
1. Godfrey Daniel -- Them Changes
The often-covered Buddy Miles annoyance of the early 70s, performed (rather drolly) here in the manner of some late 40s blues shouter or...well, actually I'm no quite sure who this is a pastiche of. Roy Brown or Wynonie Harris, maybe. In any case, clearly the definitive reading of the song.
Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?