Friday, March 09, 2018

Weekend Listomania: Special Brevity is the Soul of Wit Edition

This one originally ran in 2009 (and then got updated in 2015) which for some reason now lost in the mists of time were the high points of my I Hate Smashing Pumpkins period.

But it turns out that this week is the NEW high point of my Smashing Pumpkins hate jones.

So I've rewritten it -- added some songs and changed the blurbs for some others, to avoid seeming like the slacker I obviously am.

And why, you ask?

From The Guardian (click on the graphic to be able to read it):

Alex Jones? Really, Bill?

Yeah, well, fuck you, you fat baldheaded crypto-fascist libertarian piece of shit for brains.

But in the meantime, please enjoy, if at all possible, and without further ado, the Listomania topic for this weekend:

Best or Worst Post-Beatles Song or Record With a One Word or One Number 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 Thirteen:

13. Steppenwolf -- 28

From their second album, which by the way is one of the great overlooked masterpieces of its era.

12. 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."

11. 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 the 60s hit of the same name by The Association.

10. 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.

9. 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.

8. 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.

7. Smashing Pumpkins -- Disarm

A very good song, but for obvious reasons limned above -- fuck them and lead singer Billy Corgan where they breathe.

6. 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... the best one evah.

5. 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.

4. 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.

3. Jefferson Airplane -- Today

Great song, great album. Too bad the stereo version sounds like it was recorded in an echoey airplane hangar.

2. Foo Fighters -- Everlong

From an article in MOJO:

November 2007: The Foo Fighters are in Canada, supporting Bob Dylan on the latter's Modern Times tour. [Head Foo and former Nirvana drummer] Dave Grohl is in his dressing room when he gets a message that Mr. Dylan wants to see him.

"So I walk out," says Grohl, "and he's standing like a silhouette in a dark corner -- black leather boots, black leather pants, black leather jacket. He said 'What's that song you got, the one that says "The only thing I ever ask of you is you gotta promise not to stop when I say when"?' I said, oh yeah, 'Everlong.' He said, 'Man, that's a great song, I should learn that song."

Grohl laughs loudly. "So I don't give a fuck what anybody else thinks. Bob Dylan likes one of my songs. That right there is enough for me."

And the all-time coolest one word song, it's so obvious why are we even discussing this, is --

1. Soupy Sales -- Pachalafaka

Pachalafaka, pachalafaka
They whisper it all over Turkey
Pachalafaka, pachalafaka
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?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!


cthulhu said...

The Who, Bargain. Possibly the 2nd best song on “Who’s Next”. ‘Nuff said.

Ok, a few others:
“Stand”, Sly and the Family Stone
“Bordertown” (yes, it written as one word on the track listing), the late and very lamented Chris Whitley, from his brilliant first album “Living With the Law”
“Weightless”, another Chris Whitley gem, off his criminally underrated third album “Terra Incognita”
“Aerial”, Chris Whitley again, also from “Terra Incognita”
“Accordingly”, yet another Chris Whitley gem, from his fiercely beautiful fourth album “Dirt Floor”
“Superfly”, Curtis Mayfield
“Carmelita”, Warren Zevon
“Heaven”, Talking Heads, from “Fear of Music” (lots of one-word titles on that one)

On the “worst” side of things:
“Roundabout”, Yes

M_Sharp said...

Soupy’s the man! Always was, always will be.

“Thirteen” - Big Star
“Monster” - Steppenwolf
“Ramona” - Ramones
"Commando" - Ramones
“Arthur” - Hoodoo Gurus
“Bittersweet” - Hoodoo Gurus
“Psycho” - Jack Kittel
“Rumble” - Link Wray
“Jailbait” - Andre Williams
“1955” - Jim Roll
“Drunk” - Jimmy Liggins

steve simels said...

Ah, “Bittersweet.” Love that one.

Blue Ash Fan said...

Clampdown -- The Clash
Debris -- The Faces
Surrender -- Cheap Trick
Welcome -- Dan Bern
Win -- David Bowie (Sorry, Steve)
Protection -- Graham Parker and the Rumour
Undun -- The Guess Who
Boy -- Ian Hunter
Backlash -- Joan Jett w/Paul Westerberg
Innocence -- Kevin Salem
Roam -- B52s (and The Yayhoos)
Losering -- Whiskeytown
Insider -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Glory -- Television
Someday -- Steve Earle
Tempted -- Squeeze
Sway -- The Rolling Stones
Satellite -- The Replacements
Happy -- The Rolling Stones
Jagged -- Old 97's
Reasons -- Nick Piunti

I think I'll stop now.

Billy B said...

Corrigan is a wingnut? Ugh. He has a whiny-@$$ed voice.

Hallelujah - Sweathog
Urgent - Foreigner
Hush - Joe South/ Deep Purple
Apostrophe - Frank Zappa

steves said...

I got two off the top of my head. And while I wouldn't consider either one the "best," I still like them a lot:

The aptly (though not terribly relevantly) titled "45" by Mr. Costello.

And the not aptly titled, but still relevant "Zombie" by The Cranberries

steves said...

P.S. To cthulhu...

I knew Chris in his Washington Square Park days (1979-81)...he was a humble, sweet guy with terrific chops. Ran into him years later, after he became known, in the Village one night...he was the same great guy. Gone way too soon.

edward said...

Gloria - Them or Patti Smith
Badlands (or, depending on your mood, Jungleland) - Bruce Springsteen
Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers
Shout - The Isley Brothers
Days - The Kinks (or about 500 covers)
Lodi - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Time - Tom Waits
Why - The Byrds
Tonight - Nick Lowe
Heroin - The Velvet Underground
Hallelujah -Leonard Cohen (prefer John Cale) or a million covers.

Billy B said...

Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones

J. Lewellen said...

Chatterbox - New York Dolls
Quits - Gary Stewart
Loose - The Stooges
Head - Prince
Psycho - The Sonics
Bulbs - Van Morrison
Mannequin - Wire
Sunlight - The Youngbloods

Anonymous said...

The other “Think” by The 5 Royales and “Payday “ by The Broadcasters.

Captain Al

BG in Q said...

No names, huh? okay.

"One" - U2
"Backstreets" _ Springsteen
"Drive" - The Cars
"Heroes" - Bowie
"Skateaway" - Dire Straits
"Barrytown" - Steely Dan
"Desperado" - The Eagles (so sue me!)
"Darlin'" - Beach Boys
"Taxman" - Beatles
"Bluebird" - Buffalo Springfield
"Truckin'" - Grateful Dead
"Substitute" - The Who
"1999" - Prince
"Dandy" - The Kinks

And yes, I'll say it: "Satisfaction" ...

BG in Q said...

Oh, sorry about "Barrytown" --- that's a place, I guess. :-)

Mark said...

A couple of things. First, thanks for the shout-out to Steppenwolf, a longtime guilty pleasure of mine. I always though that John Kay has one of the great voices in rock, along with Eric Burdon, Mitch Ryder, Ian McCulloch, Lou Reed, Stan Ridgway and many others.

Second, as a student of televised pro wrestling, watching Billy Corgan on TNA (now Impact) Wrestling performing as a "TNA executive" (he actually served as a scriptwriter) was one of the most excruciating visual experiences I've ever ... umm ... experienced. See a Corgan on-screen sample at The real interesting part of pro wrestling, for me, anyway, is when wrestlers become orators and talk directly to camera or when wrestlers declaim in character. Some, like John Cena, are great and unscripted rhetoricians. Corgan was stiff and awful at this.

And finally, I just came across a great cover of Bittersweet done by The Flamin' Groovies on their 1986 album, ONE NIGHT STAND. You can hear it here at

pete said...

Couldn't agree more about "Think." That whole Aftermath album (except the execrable "Going Home") is a tribute to Brian Jones.

I expect over the course of the weekend the assembled multitudes will mention every one-word title in existence but so far we haven't heard from "Bhodissatva" by Steely Dan or "Mother" by John Lennon, occupying the Best and Worst examples, respectively.

danny1959 said...

"One" by the great Harry Nilsson and Three Dog Night.