Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekend Listomania: Special Pining for the Fjords Edition

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental fille de whoopie stenographer FAH LO SUEE and I are off to beautiful downtown NYC -- and more specifically, to Trump Tower. I'm gonna be checking out the apartment recently vacated by Keith Olbermann, who rightly decided that he couldn't put any more money in the vulgar talking yam's pockets. With any luck, also, I'll be able to pilfer some of the bathroom fixtures before we skedaddle.

In any case, as a result, posting by moi will necessarily be somewhat fitful for a few days, especially if law enforcement is involved.

But until then, as always, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:

BEST POST-ELVIS POP/ROCK/SOUL SONG ABOUT AN UNATTAINABLE ROMANTIC PARTNER!!!

This is pretty much open-ended, but one arbitrary rule: No death songs (teenage or otherwise) are eligible. So if you nominate something like "Leader of the Pack" or "Tell Laura I Love Her," I will come to your house and give you a stern talking to.

That said, my Totally Top of My Head Top Six is/are:

6. Del Shannon -- Hats Off to Larry



He wants her back -- he thinks she'll change. Yeah, right, pal.

5. The Beatles -- No Reply




"I tried to telephone/they said you were not home/that's a lie." Indeed it is, John. Indeed it is.

4. The Rolling Stones -- Just My Imagination



Yeah, yeah, I know this is actually a Temptations song. But as much as I like the original, as I've noted here before, it's terribly urbane -- you can practically see the tuxedos the Temps are wearing as they sing it. The Stones version, on the other hand, is pure aching romantic longing.

3. The Searchers -- Needles and Pins



What kind of sick, sadistic world do we live in where a truly great song can be co-authored by Sonny Bono?

2. Rick Springfield -- Jessie's Girl



A/K/A Othello with guitars, as somebody cleverer than I once described it. By the way, I love Rick Springfield and I don't care who knows it. And just because, I'm appending the song he wrote and recorded with Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters not so long ago, despite the fact that it has little if anything to do with the weekend's theme.



So there.

And the numero uno "If I can't Have You" song of all time -- it's not even close, so don't bug me about this -- is....

1. Fountains of Wayne -- Stacy's Mom



C'mon -- you KNEW it was gonna be that one.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

[h/t Brooklyn Girl]




40 comments:

Gummo said...

Visions of Johanna by some 75-year-old geezer whose name I forget....

Anonymous said...

my personal crushers:

Barry Manilow - Mandy

Cheap Trick - The Flame

Frampton's Camel - Just the Time of Year/Lines on My Face

Stu Daye - Sushi

cthulhu said...

The Who, "Bargain". Maybe the tightest performance they ever got on tape. And I'm seeing it performed live tonight! (Along with 20-odd other songs, but "Bargain" has consistently been in the setlist on this tour)

steve simels said...

Stu Daye is an old pal of mine, but I am unfamiliar with this Sushi song.

Blue Ash Fan said...

Ain't Got You -- Bruce Springsteen

Sleepin' with the T.V. On -- The Dictators

All of the Good Ones Are Taken -- Ian Hunter

Till the Next Goodbye -- Rolling Stones

If You See Her Say Hello -- Bob Dylan

She's the One -- Bruce Springsteen (Yeah, I know, I know)

I Touch Myself -- Divinyls

My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains -- Captain Beefheart (& The Tubes)

Your mileage may vary.

FWIW, Hole in My Heart off "Working Class Dog" is, to these ears, a candidate for greatest power pop tune of all time.




Shriner said...

Sylvia's Mother -- Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show

(tears me up every single time...)

Alzo said...

Ernie K-Doe: A Certain Girl (hats off to the Warren Zevon version)

Gummo said...

How could I forget:

Marie's the Name (of His Latest Flame) - Elvis

Young Girl - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

Blue Ash Fan said...

Damn, Shriner, you won't believe this but Sylvia's Mother was the first song that came to mind. I just thought it might be too, I dunno.

Anonymous said...

Jackson Browne "I'm Alive". Just about the entire damned album.
Hap

Dave said...

I'm worried about Del, too. I think that her girlfriend (I don't know her name, evidently it doesn't matter) just might not be seduced by his attitude.

For the past couple of years, I've been obsessed with an unreleased-at-the-time masterpiece of Tammi Terrell's. I first heard the song on Stevie Wonder's "Hotter Than July" but "All I Do Is Think About You" was finally released as a track on "A Cellarfull of Motown." Tammi's performance and the melody is so lovely that it's easy to forget that this is an ode to someone who probably doesn't know she exists. This YouTube video contains both T.T. and S.W.'s versions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flXHX0I1dL8

While searching for the video on YouTube, I found a contemporary version of this durable song, performed by a heretofore unknown-to-me vocalist with the spectacular name of Bluey Robinson, which knocks me out, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxkI2dbqv8w

Dave F

P.S. And just for the record, I'd have picked "Jessie's Girl" as #1 for this Listomania -- it's perfect.



J. Loslo said...

How about--

Since I Don't Have You-- The Skyliners

Walk Away Renee-- The Left Banke

edward said...

The Modern Lovers - I'm Straight
Billy Bragg - Mother of the Bride
Tom Waits - Closing Time
The Smithereens - Wall of Sleep

BG in Q said...

"Anna", "i'm A Loser", "Yesterday" --- The Beatles

"Stop! In the Name of Love" - Supremes

"Tracks of My Tears", "Tears of a Clown"- Smokey

"Leave the Biker" - Fountains of Wayne

"Brown Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison

"I'm Losing You" - Temptations

"Ruby Baby" - Dion

"Mr. Brightside" - The Killers

"Creep" - Radiohead

Anonymous said...

"Sushi" was the last song Side 1 of Stu's "Free Parking" album. I'm going on memory as to the lyrics because my vinyl isn't handy, but definitely remember it was an earlier version of The Flame. Only his version of "The Boxer" from that album seems to be on youtube.

btw if you see that record, always check the inner sleeve. mine came with a plain white sleeve, but a few had a great photo of a guitar "walking" past a pawn shop window, and Stu is hanging up for sale in the window.

Anonymous said...

To Love Somebody - The Bee Gees
Learning the Game - Buddy Holly
Have You Ever Loved a Woman - Derek & the Dominos
In Dreams - Roy Orbison
It Hurts Me Too - Elmore James
Long, Long Time - Linda Ronstadt
I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
I'm On Fire - Bruce Springsteen
Couldn't I Just Tell You - Todd Rundgren
I Want You - Elvis Costello
You Don't Know Me - Ray Charles
Layla

VR

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Since you're a big fan of Rick Springfield, you might want to check this out: in 1978, he was actually in an episode of NBC's classic detective show THE ROCKFORD FILES. In the episode, John Pleshette plays an obnoxious, spoiled show-biz hanger-on named Jay Rockfelt and Springfield plays the rock star to whose party Rockfelt and his girlfriend and Jim Rockford (the eternally cool James Garner) go to at about 20 minutes into the episode. The rock star Springfield plays is named Keith Stuart (an amalgam of Keith Richards and Rod Stewart, perhaps) and the title of the episode, "DWARF IN A HELIUM HAT", refers to one of the characters in Keith's then-current album.

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

Steve,
RE: my previous post
Strike the "to" between "go" and "at", it's redundant.
That ROCKFORD episode that Springfield is in is from season 4 of the show and was co-written by future SOPRANOS show-runner David Chase (!). It also features several good Rockford one-liners (he had a penchant for the sarcastic quip) and a great scene in which Rockford spars verbally with his nemesis on the LAPD force, Lieutenant Chapman (James Luisi).

J. Lag

Dan said...

If You Can Want by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. I know, he's insisting he'll win her over someday, but we all know he's fooling himself. Another few years and he'll be griping about "the friend zone."

"Pretty Flamingo" Manfred Mann... again he makes a show of confience, but I doubt he'll even even TALK to her.

"Walk on By," "My Little Red Book," "Always Something There to Remind Me," and who knows how many other Bacharach/David songs....

Anonymous said...

"Irene Wilde" - Ian Hunter
"Evangeline" - Matthew Sweet

Finchy

Dan said...

Also... Foolish Little Girl by the Shirelles. I Cried at Laura's Wedding, Barbara Lynn.

Peter Power Pop said...

From Australia:

Billy Field - "You Weren't In Love With Me" (1981)

Anonymous said...

Why, Muskrat Love - the C&T version, of course.

Because, in addition to being the very best song about unrequited love, the Captain managed to integrate synths into that song even more seamlessly than anything Pete Townshend ever accomplished. ;-)

buzzbabyjesus said...

All I can think about is how much I hate "Stacy's Mom".

buzzbabyjesus said...

Nobody mentioned The Car's "My Best Friends's Girl"?

Anonymous said...

Here's a few more: My baby just scored a mayonnaise jar full of cor-216's, which inspired me. That shit will keep us smooth and attentive for a long, long time. Fuck, yeah! The weekend will never end! Flyin' to Vegas for friends, and the other f's.

Love Untold - Paul Westerberg
Dream Lover - Bobby Darin
Winona - Matthew Sweet
Return to Sender - Elvis (it's post-Elvis Elvis)
Take This Longing - Leonard Cohen
Anthem - Deep Purple
Temptation Eyes - Grass Roots
Girl From Ipanema - Getz/Gilberto
Pretty Ballerina - Left Banke
Head Games - Foreigner
SWLABR - Cream
Catch the Wind - Donovan
We Could Be So Good Together - The Doors
CHEEZY ENTRY - Diary - Bread
Re-Make Re-Model - Roxy Music
Hot For Teacher - Van Halen
Ruby Tuesday - Rolling Stones
Letter To Hermione - David Bowie
Try Me - UFO

VR - get your ass on the plane

Anonymous said...

Ooops, forgot Midnight Confessions - Grass Roots.

VR

Anonymous said...

Does "David Watts" count?

VR

steve simels said...

David Watts?

I'd have to say no.
:-)

Mark said...

Finchy nailed it. IRENE WILDE, not only because she was unattainable by a young Ian Hunter, but because she inspired him to become who he is ("I'm gonna be somebody some day").

John F said...

fun Listomania, Steve!

A Flock of Seagulls - "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)", off of Listen. This one appears to have been mostly forgotten, in favor of 'I Ran'. I think this a much better song; the synths here are really gorgeous, an example of where New Wave style works. (Note, the link is to a video =without= visuals of the band, so you don't have to be subjected to haircuts.)

Amy Rigby - "Knapsack", off of Diary of a Mod Housewife. A sweet tune. Rigby is not as well known as I think she should be.

The Bangles - "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)", off of Sweetheart of the Sun. The initial song on their most recent album. The riff and harmonies here are as good as anything off of All Over the Place.

Tal Bachman - "She's So High", off of Tal Bachman. I don't know much about current pop music, although I have a couple of stations playing current hits on my car radio, and check them occasionally for stuff I like. This one is fairly recent, right in line with the topic, and I think it's a great One-Hit-Wonder. Turns out the guy is son of Randy Bachman from the Guess Who and BTO...

Blur - "She's So High", off of Leisure. Same title and general idea as the Tal Bachman tune, but not quite as good. Still, Blur's one of my favorite bands from the 90's.

A sub-category: An Unobtainable Former Romantic Partner
Prince - "When You Were Mine", off of Dirty Mind. Dammit, I'm still freaking sad that he's gone. But, one benefit is that quite a lot of awesome videos are making their way to Youtube. This one is well worth a watch.

Marshall Crenshaw - "There She Goes Again", off of his excellent debut album, Marshall Crenshaw. The link is to a clip from an '85 live show, it's great!

And, REALLY Unobtainable:
XTC - "Statue of Liberty", off of their debut, White Music. The young XTC!

Dan said...

"Emily Kane" by Art Brut

buzzbabyjesus said...

"Venus Of Avenue D" by Mink DeVille.

Anonymous said...

From the stripper angle:

Mainstreet - Bob Seger
Cherry - UFO
Pasties & a G String - Tom Waits

there are many more

Suggestion for a future Listomania - Best and Least Obvious Songs To Strip By

VR - hangin' at the Hideout twiddlin' knobs

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith said...

Help You Dream - The Blasters

M_Sharp said...

Great title, Pining for the Fjords!

A little late, but-

The Bottle Rockets - "Perfect Far Away" and "Nancy Sinatra"
Tom Waits - "Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You"

Anonymous said...

Matthew Sweet- Sick Of Myself

Pursuit of Happiness- Forbidden Fruit

J. Lag

steve simels said...

John F -- I couldn't agree more with you about that Flock of Seagulls song.

In fact, I have a theory about that song I'm going to expand on next week.

Remonster said...

Diamanda Galás - The Litanies of Satan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th1hLNoOjn4


Cus I am a little dark that way.