Does it get more gentle than this?
In our recent Nitpicking thread, I picked a nit over Pink Floyd‘s most down-easy song, “Wish You Were Here,” for copping out with wind effects rather than find a more graceful end to the song. I am here to apologize for picking that nit.
Today, The Rolling Stones‘ “Wild Horses” started. It has a similar intro to “Which You Were Here,” which made me regret my nitpicking with that song and say to no one in particular, “I wish the Stones had cued the wind machine and left me wanting more!”
Maybe it’s just me, but I think “Wild Horses” goes on for a good 3 minutes longer than it has any business going on. The “plaintive,” on-bended-knee lyrics and delivery by Jagger are up their with “Lady Jane.” Or down there, I should say. It’s a charming, promising song at first – and I like the version by Flying Burrito Brothers a little better – but both bands should have had the good sense to cue the wind machine.
What song would you like to turn up the wind on?
I don’t know what compelled me to look up a live version of my least favorite song in the world, Blood, Sweat & Tears’ version of Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die,” but I’m glad I did. This live version is even worse than the studio version.
Let’s be real: Nyro’s version is almost as terrible as the better-known cover. At its songwriting heart, it’s like an outtake from a thwarted musical version of Gone With the Wind. Or Birth of a Nation. Blood, Sweat & Tears, led by the self-satisfied David Clayton-Thomas, milk the the Plantation Party vibe for all its worth. Yuck!
Have you ever found a live version of a song you can’t stand that maximizes all you can’t stand about the studio version?
Driving home after a wonderful anniversary dinner tonight, U2’s “New Year’s Day” came on the radio.
“There are enough U2 songs I like.” I said to my disinterested wife, “I wish this one would go away.”
She is expert in tuning me out when I go on such tangents, so I continued my conversation in my head.
“Why do you particularly dislike this song?” I asked.
“It’s nothing but the overly emotive crap that I can’t stand about Bono,” I said. Then I added, “And he ruins it right out of the gates with an unnecessary banshee wail.”
Bono has had more space to emote than any person in earth. He does a pleading banshee wail on every U2 song. Did he really need to start this one with a pleading banshee wail?
Then “we” (is, I and I) got to talking. Beside The Stooges’ “Loose,” does any song warrant opening with a banshee wail?
I don’t think Daltry, Lennon, Jim Morrison, or PJ Harvey, some of rock’s best wailers, opened a song with a banshee wail. I could be wrong.
Even in his prime, Van Morrison wasn’t ever accused of being remotely “hinged.” He hasn’t married his wife’s daughter yet, so for me, I haven’t quite reached the level of discomfort I feel over Woody Allen. I wonder if he’s fully losing his mind, maybe getting dementia or some other condition that people at his age can get.
I scanned through his new album, with some generic title and clip-art cover. It is as execrable as you might have read in reviews. It’s got that anti-Semitic single you’ve probably heard about. And another song calling those of us on Facebook idiots. All that’s missing is a duet with Clint Eastwood entitled “Get Off My Lawn.” It’s not worth discussing the music. It’s as generic as the album title and cover art. The lyrics are pathetic.
I wonder how much more of these meltdown albums we’re going to be subjected to as the first wave of rockers who wrote their own songs reaches their final years of fear and misery. Pre-rock artists like Sinatra could be spoonfed classics written by others as their personal worldview might have been caving in. That generation of artists didn’t stand for anything personal. They could “Put on a Happy Face” from the American Songbook with the help of a nurse.
Sadly, Van Morrison still has access to his original voice while bitterly rocking away on his porch and watching the world around him become a place that threatens him. He once had the ability to “Listen to the Lion.” I’m going to keep that part of the artist alive and let this present-day crank die off.
Self-described “Country Music Skeptic and Idiot” Mr Moderator is sold! This morning, he declared, to no one in particular, that Jimmie Dale Gilmore‘s Don’t Look for a Heartache the “greatest album the genre has ever produced.”
“Hands-down,” Mr Moderator said, when asked to expand on this statement, “it’s one of the only country albums that I’ve ever played twice in one day.”