Hey, folks…after having guests for a few weeks, I’m back in control of the Sunday Seven and it feels good! So without any further ado, here’s a random trip through my iPod, where I pull seven musical selections and talk about them.
Track 1: Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode (1981)
This was Depeche Mode’s first “hit”, I guess. Well, considering it didn’t do much in the States when it was released, let’s just say that it’s the band’s oldest popular song. This dates back from when Vince Clarke (later of Yaz and Erasure) was in charge of the band. Although Clarke split really quickly, DM kept his sound and, in a move uncommon when it comes to breakups, both parties went on to super-successful careers.
Track 2: Brass Monkey by The Beastie Boys (1986)
I knew the time would come when a song came up that I’d already discussed. Needless to say, I love Licensed To Ill, I love Brass Monkey (the song, never tried the concoction), and I wish I had a beer right now because this song always makes me thirsty.
Track 3: I Was a King by Eddie Murphy feat. Shabba Ranks (1993)
OK, I need to explain why this song is on my iPod. About a year and a half, I was visiting our own GG back in his home in the Garlic Capital of the World. Looking through his CD collection, I noticed he owned two of Eddie Murphy’s three non-comedy albums (well, OK, his three unintentionally funny albums). I figured there was tons of joke material to be found, so I burned them onto my laptop. Remember when the video for this premiered on Fox? Did Eddie think he was Michael Jackson or something like that? Ooh, and the video’s on YouTube! You guys are in for a treat.
Track 4: For You I Will by Monica (1997)
This earnest ballad was written by (you guessed it) Diane Warren and wound up on the soundtrack to the Michael Jordan’s Space Jam. Monica’s one of those singers who had so much potential, and she wound up taking what was probably a too-long break from recording followed by a couple of sub-standard albums. Her last album, The Makings of Me, was a chore to get through. Here’s hoping that she ditches Jermaine Dupri and Missy Elliott and make the album her voice is capable of. I was going to say that this song was originally recorded by All-4-One, but i’d be getting my big-voiced divas confused. That song would be I Turn to You, later recorded and turned into a smash by Christina Aguilera.
Track 5: Now I’m Here by Queen (1975)
It’s widely acknowledged that Freddie Mercury had one of the most unique and powerful voices in all of music. I think that voice was used to best effect on hard rocking songs like this. Brian May’s guitar work is fantastic, and Freddie delivers (for him) a restrained vocal performance, complete with those stacked harmonies and a weird screaming effect (is that someone’s voice or is that a guitar?)
Track 6: Stan by Eminem (2000)
Stan was the song that convinced me that Marshall Mathers was a genius. I remember listening to this song on a cassette Walkman on my way home from work (I’d bought the tape the day it came out) and being completely bug-eyed by the end of the song. I rewound that tape God knows how many times after the first listen. It’s easily one of the best rap songs of all time, and worth listening to for the simple fact that it makes you remember how talented the guy was. I still get lost in this song when I hear it. Hell, this song made Dido’s career.
Track 7: Any Foolish Thing by Michael McDonald (1985)
We end this week’s Seven with a favorite of my buddies over at Popdose, Michael McDonald. This is also the only song in this week’s Seven without video accompaniment. Ah, well. I say this with no snark whatsoever-Michael McDonald is the fuckin’ man. Have you ever tried to sing What a Fool Believes? How does he get his voice up that high? This song’s not one of his best, but it has a pleasant midtempo bounce and a twinkly synth arrangement that makes it perfect to close up shop for the week…
…Till next time. And as a reminder, if anyone wants to guest-write this column, just email email@example.com and let me know.