Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekend Listomania (Special I Came to Casablanca For... Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manservant Hop-Sing and I are off to join Sen. John McCain in scenic Holland, Ohio, where we'll be doing a weekend tour of area Roto-Rooter franchises in the company of Joe "The Plumber™" Wurzelbacher. The high point of the weekend happens Sunday afternoon, at the local Hooters, where Joe will be returning his Social Security checks. With Special Guest Star: Joe "The Unemployed Truck Driver Thinking About Calling the Sean Hannity Show™" Wurzelbacher, JTP's developmentally challenged older brother.

In any case, as a result, posting by moi will obviously be fitful for a few days.

But in my absence, here's a fun project for us all to contemplate:

Best Post-Elvis Song or Record Whose Title References Water in Some Way!!!!!

No arbitrary rules here. Just stay wet, I guess.

Anyway, here's my strictly off the top of my head Top Eight:

8. Creedence Clearwater Revival -- Walk on the Water

From the first album, if memory serves, and wonderfully spooky. I think Richard Hell and the Voidoids covered it in the 80s, and quite well.

7. Bruce Springsteen -- Lost in the Flood

"And everybody's wrecked on Main Street from drinking unholy blood
Sticker smiles sweet as Gunner breathes deep, his ankles caked in mud
And I said, "Hey, gunner man, that's qucksand, that's quicksand, that ain't mud
Have you thrown your senses to the war, or did you lose them in the flood?"

Early Bruce too wordy by half? How the heck did that impression ever get around?

Honorable Mention: "The River."

6. Lou Christie -- Rhapsody in the Rain

The dirtiest top 40 song of 1966.

5. Smashing Pumpkins -- Porcelina of the Vast Oceans

Okay, that song title is even stupider than the title of the album it's from, but it does prove yet again that there is no Listomania subject so obscure that we can't find an appropriate video featuring Billy Corgan's pretentious cueball noggin.

4. Led Zeppelin -- When the Levee Breaks

For obvious reasons, not the least being the musical onomatapaiea.

3. Joni Mitchell -- River

Said it before and I'll say it again, but if this song doesn't make you weep I don't want to know you. BTW, I posted Joni's version last week in another context, so I thought this one by Robert Downey Jr. -- from an episode of Ally McBeal (it's on the soundtrack CD) might wake you up. Seriously -- apart from being one of the two or three most interesting actors of his generation, the sonofabitch is also a great singer.

2. The Velvet Underground -- Ocean

Because a watery Lou Reed is a terrible thing to waste.

And the number one H20 related song, it's not even a contest you knuckleheads so if you contradict me on this I'll come to your house and hurt you real bad, obviously is ---

1. Julie London -- Cry Me a River

A brilliantly written song, an amazing minimalist production (that guitar! that echo at the fade out!), and (as directed here by Frank Tashlin in his hilarious The Girl Can't Help It) perhaps the first and greatest music video ever.

Awrighty then -- and your choices would be...??????

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Weekend Cinema Listomania (theme: Great Gimmick Films!) is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could go over there and leave a comment, an angel gets its wings.]


Brooklyn Girl said...

Two Smokey songs: "Tracks of My Tears" (kills me every time I hear it) and "Tears of a Clown"

Talking Heads: "Take Me to the River"

Ike and Tina: "River Deep, Mountain High" (Phil Spector at his finest)

Jim said...

#4: Perfect harmonica. Perfect.

TuneLovinJacket said...

The Rain, The Park, and Other Things - The Cowsills
South Central Rain - REM
Rain = Ian Hunter
Wish It Would Rain - Roger Joseph Manning Jr
Purple Rain - Prince
Thunder & Rain - Graham Parker
Walking in the Rain - The Ronettes
Rainin Like Soft Fun - Orange Humble Band
Ocean of Doubt - Jason & teh Scorchers
River Deep, Mountain High - Ike & Tina Turner
Waters Part - Let's Active
Underwater Moonlight - The Softboys
Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks (kinda cheatin, but love the song)
Ice Water - Peter Case
Stream running Over - Apples in Stereo
Tears of a Clown - English Beat

steve simels said...

I just knew somebody was going to nominate the Cowsills.

What kind of a sick, sadistic world do we live in where such a thing is possible?

Anonymous said...

"Dirty Water" - Standells (National anthem of my town, even though they were an LA band...)
"I'm The Ocean" - Neil Young/Pearl Jam
"The Rain Won't Help You When It's Over" - True Believers
"Lonely Teardrops" - Jackie Wilson
"River of Fools" - Los Lobos
"Kern River" - Merle Haggard
"Raining In My Heart" - Buddy Holly
"It's Raining" - Irma Thomas
(And, of course, the Fab 4's "Rain" - Ringo's favorite performance, IIRC...)
- bill buckner

Sal Nunziato said...

"Crying To The Sky" - Be Bop Deluxe.

Great ballad, KILLER guitar solo!
Interesting tidbit, one of the ONLY Bill Nelson guitar solos that does not come at the END of the song. (ok, interesting to me)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


steves said...

Down in the Flood - Bob Dylan
Red River Shore - ibid.
Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 - ibid.
Big River - Johnny Cash
Cool, Cool Water - Beach Boys
Have You Seen the Rain - CCR
The River - Springsteen
(Would Thunder Road count?)
River of Dreams - Billy Joel (eh...)
Fountain of Sorrow - Jackson Browne

Anonymous said...

96 Tears (question mark & the mysterians)
Cryin in the chapel (elvis)
tears on my pillow (little anthony)
as tears go by (rolling stones)
beyond the sea (bobby darin )
down by the river (neil young)
sea cruise (frankie ford)

Noam Sane said...

Of course, Joe Cocker's unlikely version of "Cry Me a River" is pretty great too. And is there any other pop song that includes the word "plebian"? I think not.

I think he greatest song ever written on the topic of water is "And It Stoned Me"...but, no water in the title. Drat.

Crazy Water, Was/Not Was. Great R&B song, and their new album is fantastic.

Cleveland Bob said...

Hi Steve,

I've been busy and haven't stopped by for a long while. You're looking well.

The one song that always stops me in my tracks as it relates to water themes is, and always will be, Peter Gabriel's Here Comes The Flood.

Whenever I hear it, I immediately stop what I'm doing, stare blankly into the ether and just listen. I'm kinda like that guy that Elaine is dating on a particular Seinfeld episode when he hears, The Eagles-Desperado.

My's an original Karl Farbman

Brooklyn Girl said...

"Before the Deluge": Jackson Browne

"Drinking Muddy Water": The Yardbirds

Michael said...

In the otherwise forgettable 60's movie Hootenanny Hoot, folk singer Judy Henske does an intense version of the gospel song "Wade in the Water" (with the memorable line in the chorus being, "God's gonna trouble the water." Her version falls somewhere between ridiculous and spine-tingling. It's a must-see, and it's on YouTube. I don't know if she ever recorded it, though Eva Cassidy apparently has a version on CD.

Anonymous said...

while my guitar gently weeps (beatles)
rainy night house (joni mitchell)
saddle in the rain (john prine)

Brooklyn Girl said...

"Who'll Stop the Rain" and "Green River": Creedence ClearWATER Revivial

MBowen said...

Neil Young - "I'm The Ocean", from Mirror Ball, the album he did with Pearl Jam. One of Neil's best songs ever, kind of buried on one of his middling albums.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - "Big Tears", a b-side from the This Year's Model period. Featuring Mick Jones on guitar, it has Elvis' most vicious (and drunken) vocal track.

The Soft Boys - "Underwater Moonlight", from the most perfect post-Beatle power-pop LP.

Richard Thompson - "Tear-Stained Letter". Not one of his best songs, but the version on the live album Two Letter Words is 9+ minutes of hurting other guitar players' feelings.

R.E.M. - "Find The River", with the most beautiful melody James Taylor never wrote. Not long before this album came out, Michael Stipe shaved his head, and between his strange new appearance and this song, I was very much afraid that he'd contracted AIDS and that this song was his farewell. Boy, am I happy I was wrong.

The Ronettes - "Walking In The Rain", *melt*

Fotheringay - "The Pond and the Stream", one of Sandy Denny's most beautiful songs.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

And when Ry Cooder dims the lights in his room tonight – well, you know what kind of drops will fall.

dave™© said...

What, no "Walk on Water" by Neil Diamond? Do I have to do everything around here???

steve simels said...

Neil Young - "I'm The Ocean", from Mirror Ball, the album he did with Pearl Jam. The Soft Boys -

"Underwater Moonlight", from the most perfect post-Beatle power-pop LP.

Multiple nominations for these.

Hmm. I vaguely remember the first (liked the album) and feel guilty I don't remember the second.

Anybody motivated to send me

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Dave, re Neil Diamond:

That's definitely a towering classic as far as the interplay of shoes and water go, but as I think the Leningrad Cowboys have made clear, all the really best songs are about the relationship of smoke to water.

Mike said...

Hey, my first NoPrize! Got the perfect place for it, too.

Riverside - Beat Farmers
You Don't Miss Your Water - The Byrds (also Otis)
Too Many Fish In The Sea - The Marvelettes
Madman Across The Water - Elton John
Many Rivers To Cross - Jimmy Cliff
The Sea Refuses No River - Pete Townshend
Water, Sea And Sand - The Who
Let's Make The Water Turn Black - Frank Zappa
Tales From The Riverband - The Jam
Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
Pouring Water On A Drowning Man - James Carr
Tears Of Rage - The Band

For some obscure Neil Young, how about Deep Forbidden Lake?

TJWood said...

Water of Love--from the first Dire Straits album

Anonymous said...

clearly the best post-elvis h20 song is the gorgeous "it's raining today" written and sung by scott (engel)walker, formerly of the walker brothers, from his solo album "scott3"

a few others include:
1. "blessed is the rain" johnny maestro and the brooklyn bridge.
2."summer rain" Johnny rivers.
3."rainy night in georgia" the b j thomas version.
4. "walkin' in the rain" jay & the americans.

dSmith said...

Eddie Money did a song about water but it sucked. Forget that I brought it up.

Anonymous said...

i'd be glad to send you high quality mp3's of my top 5 "rain" songs from above 10/18 2:49 pm. what email addy should i send to? or is there another way?

Mike said...

steve simels said...

"Underwater Moonlight", from the most perfect post-Beatle power-pop LP.

Multiple nominations for these.

Hmm. I vaguely remember the first (liked the album) and feel guilty I don't remember the second.

Anybody send out Underwater Moonlight yet? If not, grab it here:

When's the next bus to Oswego? said...

and now for a great obscure power pop gem, by a not so obscure power popster --

waves, by juliana hatfield

(one of her two or three best ever, imo)

Anonymous said...

"Deeper Water"-Paul Kelly
will break your heart