[This one originally ran in 2009, which for some reason now lost in the mists of time was the high point of my I Hate Smashing Pumpkins period. In any case, I've done a little rewriting, added a new entry, and most important changed some of the permissible parameters, if you will pardon the alliteration. Please enjoy, if at all possible.
Oh, and I'll have something to say about the sad news regarding the Left Banke's Michael Brown on Monday. --S.S.]
Best or Worst Post-Elvis Song or Record With a One Word Title!!!
Self-explanatory, I think, but I should add that any one word title comprised of the names of men and women or those of geographical places is disqualified. So, fuck you, CSNY and "Ohio." Blow me, Sue Thompson and "Norman."
Okay, with that out of the way here's my totally top of my head Top Ten:
10. Collective Soul -- Gel
A great kick-ass rock song featuring a lead singer who I always found charmingly unhinged. Plus, let's face it, "Let's gel" is possibly the most imaginative sexual euphemism since the young John and Paul wrote "Thinking of Linking."
9. Madonna -- Cherish
Not the crappiest or most reprehensible Madonna single -- that would be most of the others -- but I for one have never forgiven it for sullying the good reputation of 60s hit of the same name by The Association.
8. Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs -- Stay
I actually prefer the completely over the top cover by the Four Seasons, but everybody is probably sick to death of my carrying on about those guys. In any case, the original is one of the sublime glories of early rock, and at a terse 1:39 an obvious candidate for All Time Best Single Under Two Minutes Long.
7. The Beatles -- Help!
C'mon -- according to George Martin, they learned the title of the movie was going to be Help! on Monday, they wrote the song on Tuesday, and they had figured out the entire arrangement and recorded it by the end of Wednesday. It doesn't get any more brilliant.
6. The Rolling Stones -- Think
The Aftermath song the Stones had previously given to Chris Farlowe, who had the hit. One of the best of the early Jagger-Richards collaborations, I think, and the riffage between the acoustic guitar and the fuzz electric is inspired and haunting.
5. Smashing Pumpkins -- Disarm
Still not a fan of this band, and Billy Corgan remains one of the most pompous putzes in the popular music field, but this is really good nonetheless. The Pumpkins waxing anthemically White Album-ish, and quite convincingly too, I think.
4. Fleetwood Mac -- Tusk
The original of this is Lindsay Buckingham at his most wacky and wonderful, but I still think this MST3K sort-of version is the best one evah.
3. The Loud Family -- Aerodeliria
My favorite song from perhaps my favorite album of the 90s, and only one of the reasons PABARAT was the only genuinely psychedelic experience legally available in that decade. And if you've ever heard the EP they did right after, you know these bastards could nail the damn thing live.
2. The Moody Blues -- Stop
The follow-up to "Go Now," and in some ways even more sad and beautiful; Denny Laine really is one of the most underrated figures of the British Invasion.
And the all-time coolest one word song, it's so obvious why are we even discussing this, is --
1. Soupy Sales -- Pachalafaka
They whisper it all over Turkey
It sounds so romantic and perky
Oh, I know that phrase
Will make me thrill always
For it reminds me of you, my sweet
Just the mention of
That tender word of love
Gives my heart a jerkish, Turkish beat
I won't say c'est si bon
Or l'amour toujours
For they can't express what I'm feeling
Even mairzydoats or
Other foreign quotes
Don't seem to be quite so appealing
But pachalafaka! pachalafaka!
Takes me back with you to passionate desert scenes
And it's there we'll stay
Till the very day
We find out what pachalafaka means!
That, my friends, is true poetry.
Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?