Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekend Listomania's Greatest Hits: Special Changes We All Go Through Audio/Video Edition

[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?


Sinfonian said...

Bowie didn't make your top 11?! Gotta say, I'm surprised.

I'm less surprised to see Yes omitted (also "Changes"), but I still kinda dig that song.

Gummo said...

If you can describe "Changes," as performed by Ochs, or more recently, Neil Young, as "cloying," then I really have to worry for the state of your soul.

I mean, seriously.

The Kenosha Kid said...

The Jam - I've Changed My Address
The Kinks - Don't Ever Change

.. and that's all I've got. Pretty mod, though, innit?

Shriner said...

Little River Band -- Cool Change (this would be on my "best" list...)

Winds of Change -- Jefferson Starship (yes, I like this)

If You Change Your Mind -- Raspberries

Perpetual Change - Yes (on my "yuck" list...)

The Laws Have Changed -- New Pornographers (great, great song, so I stretched the rules here...)

Don't Change -- INXS (probably the only song by them that I really, really like...)

These were (basically) off the top of my head, but with a little help from iTunes...

steve simels said...

Two Yanks in England, not London.

I regret the error.

steve simels said...

Gummo --

Perhaps the Jim and Jean version is so bad it prejudiced me to the merits of the song itself.

And I worry about the state of my soul all the time, believe me.

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

Change Partners by Stephen Stills
Change Partners by Irving Berlin

Two different songs, both fine.

Oh...and as a bonus Small Change by Tom Waits. Note to self: haven't listened to this in a while...must rectify.


Brooklyn Girl said...

Gummo said...
If you can describe "Changes," as performed by Ochs, or more recently, Neil Young, as "cloying," then I really have to worry for the state of your soul.


"Change of the Guard" - Steely Dan

I also like The Band's version of "A Change is Gonna Come" from Moondog Matinee.

If you want to hear one of Chrissie Hynde's most beautiful vocals, listen to "One Thing Never Changed" from Break Up The Concrete (which was recorded in this century!).

Too bad we can't include album titles, because then I would obviously say Love's "Forever Changes" --- :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pithy "average is the new great" line; sums things up nicely.

My choice:
James Brown, "Money Won't Change You"

Anonymous said...

Uh... Moby Grape ... Changes ...

Vickie Rock

Mr. Minimac said...

Everything Changes - Matthew Sweet

(BTW, Vickie, you misspelled "Duh")

Anonymous said...


I never got the memo on John Mayer either. What a bore. The Taylor Swift of the blues. Though I think John has more ability.

Once when he was recording at Westlake Audio in Hollywood he left his bag behind. It was full of tranny porn dvd's.

Vickie Rock

Feral said...

Anyone else remember "The Voice of Change" by Mason Proffit?

"Change of Heart" - Tom Petty

"A Change Will Do You Good" - Sheryl Crow

Is "Changing" acceptable, as in The Times They Are A-? Well, not Post-Beatles either.

Anonymous said...

For the worst of Changes list:

Black Sabbath - Changes

Vickie Rock

For best of Change

Bob Dylan Things Have Changed

Mick Abrahams Winds of Change

For schmaltzy change

Scorpions - Wind of Change

also general purposes

Peter Frampton - Wind of Change

Joe Cocker - Change in Louise

The Doors - The Changeling

Vickie Rock

Billy B said...

I hadn't heard the Godfrey Daniel version of "Them Changes". Cool. To describe Buddy Miles' version as an annoyance is a bit much. My favorite version is Buddy's with the Band of Gypsies.

Anonymous said...

did you know Them Changes began life as Sing Lady Sing by the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble.

Buddy stole it.

Rockett Davey said...

John Waite
Fuck Never gonna CHange!
Dig It! So Cool

Anonymous said...

The Drive-by Truckers - Never Gonna Change from Live at the 40 Watt, which is the best concert DVD I've ever seen. Play it extremely loud, shake the house. They tip their hat and then make Neil Young and Crazy Horse look like pussy's.

But John Panty Waist's Holly Knight penned dreck, I don't think so. I get tired of that song even before it's done playing. 80's gloss production doesn't help either. John has done some good stuff elsewhere [for instance Love Don't Prove I'm Right with the Babys which has the punch of something Paul McCartney wouldn't be ashamed of writing]. Holly Knight is pretty cornball, cash register songwriting. Her best song, while also bordering on corny, is Love Is a Battlefield, which I'd do in a ragged voiced stripped down alt-country mode.

Also: Dave Mason - World In Changes.

With re: to Buddy Miles ripping off the New York Rock 'N' Roll Ensemble. Hell yeah. He must have seen them playing the clubs in NYC and appropriated the guitar licks, er, the whole melody almost. Naturally he didn't credit Kamen of Nivison, or it wouldn't be stealing.

I consider the Godfrey Daniel thing a novelty record. Buddy Miles Them Changes is what it is. His best and most well known song, even if he stole it completely. It's become a standard.

It may be third bill band music. But one that's paid its dues and knows a thing or two about putting on a good show.

If Clapton and Winwood covered it on their tour [and quite effectively], it says something about that song. Also, I don't consider Jimi Hendrix's wah wah guitar treatment and the Band of Gypsys performance an annoyance. And btw the original studio recording is pretty damn fine, as well.

Vickie Rock sparkling someone else's eyes

Gordy Guerrero said...

My Ever Changing Moods - The Style Council. It was off my favorite record in high school - at the time I'd never heard of The Jam!

uninvited guest said...

Loose Change - Springsteen of of the Tracks boxed set.

Don't Change Your Plans - Ben Folds Five

Sing the Changes - The Fireman (McCartney)

I think the Springsteen tune is a solid one and one of my faves of the fourth disc in that boxed set.

Dave said...

No love for Tyrone Davis? Don't worry. It's not too late to change your mind.

Dave F.

steve simels said...

Oh lord, I love that Tyrone Davis song.

Anonymous said...

In the Yeccch department:

Eric Carmen - Change of Heart

In the "At Least It's Not "Wonderful Tonight" department:

Eric Clapton - Change the World

In the "Hey, it's not cool to say it, but these guys were pretty good" department:

Loggins and Messina - Changes [from the underrated Motherlode album]

In the "I don't know, I was really drunk at the time" department

Jimmy Buffett - Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes

In the "Stevie does one too many Doyle Bramhall tunes" department:

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Change It

In the "flute and harmonica jam" department

John Mayall - The Laws Must Change

In the "Why don't you look me in the face, either that or leave my place" department:

The Animals - I'm Gonna Change the World

Changing Partners in San Juan Capistrano where the eagle flies with the dove. I'm using that other method of moisturizing to stay Young. Deep waters run Still. Plunge into the saturated delta and show me that southern cross Captain Manyhands. Flood my banks. Drown me in your deluge. Let it reign all over me.

Vickie Rock diggin that good old fashioned medicated goo

Mark said...

"Hold your fire and listen mister," from I'M GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD, by The Animals, with Eric Burdon declaiming the way things are going to be, and three howls in three minutes and thirty seconds, which led me to correct friends who asserted a year or two later that Clapton was God with, "No, not THAT Eric."

And "Changes, circles spinning, can't tell the finish from the beginning" -- the OTHER Moby Grape Changes song (from Truly Fine Citzen), "Changes, Circles Spinning." See

Anonymous said...

Something from this century ... I think.

The Young Veins "Change"

Stu in Taipei

jackd said...

I can't believe nobody else listed:

Money Changes Everything - The Brains

Really Should Get Mentioned Because What's the Name of This Blog Again?

Nothing Can Change You - Tommy Keene