What
 · Song of the Day

SotD: What a Wonderful World · That’s al­l, folk­s. Wel­come to the last Song of the Day. I knew pret­ty ear­ly what I want­ed it to be, be­cause ev­ery ex­tend­ed en­deav­or should en­deav­or to end on a high note. And What a Won­der­ful World fit­s, al­beit in­di­rect­ly, in­to the ex­it the­me, wor­ship and rev­er­ence ...
 
SotD: It’ll Shine When It Shines · At the end of the day, the pur­suit of the di­vine is sup­posed to of­fer up wis­dom and, prac­ti­cal­ly speak­ing, teach you how to live life bet­ter. But for me, the sa­cred scrip­tures are songs; not that I lis­ten to them look­ing for life lesson­s, but some­times they’re there any­way. It’ll Shine When It Shines is by the Ozark Moun­tain Dare­dev­ils, and it’s up-front about its mes­sage; one that I feel good about pass­ing along ...
 
SotD: The Return · I in­tro­duced Fer­ron to the Song of the Day a cou­ple weeks back with Belly­bowl, and I’d like to use her beau­ti­ful The Re­turn in this clos­ing focused-on-the-divine se­quence, to help talk about my own ex­pe­ri­ence of wor­ship ...
 
SotD: Graceland · In case it wasn’t ob­vi­ous from yesterday’s piece, Grace­land  —  the re­al one I mean, Elvis’ man­sion in Mem­phis  —  is a place of wor­ship. The vis­i­tors are serene, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing be­lief not faith; a lot of them saw Elvis on TV or even in the flesh. They know that, as Paul Si­mon sings, in his love­ly, love­ly song al­so called Grace­land, that there’s rea­son to be­lieve that they’ll all be re­ceived there. And al­so just the name “Graceland” is the pret­ti­est word imag­in­able ...
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SotD: So High · More mu­sic on the sub­ject of God (and Heav­en too); a tra­di­tion­al spir­i­tu­al ar­ranged by Elvis Pres­ley for his 1967 Gospel al­bum How Great Thou Art, which was a triple-platinum hit and won the 1967 Gram­my for Best Sa­cred Per­for­mance. So High is a fine, rous­ing tune with a good ar­range­men­t, and just ter­rif­ic singing ...
 
SotD: O vis aeternitatis · Ladies, gen­tle­men, and oth­er­s, wel­come to the 2018 Song of the Day clos­ing se­quence. This has been a lot of work and I thought I should try to end it with more than just a set of ran­dom tunes, so I picked a the­me: Wor­ship, the sa­cred, and the di­vine. To start, from Hilde­gard von Bin­gen, the old­est song to ap­pear, first sung some­time in the years around 1150: O vis ae­ter­ni­tatis means “The Pow­er of Eternity” ...
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SotD: Live at Leeds · I love rock mu­sic, and I love live al­bum­s, and this might be the best live rock&roll record­ing ev­er. I’m not claim­ing the whole album’s a Song of the Day (and any­how, there’s been a baf­fling pa­rade of re-issues and re­mas­ters and so on). But I am go­ing to dou­ble up and rec­om­mend two songs: I Can’t Ex­plain and the My Gen­er­a­tion Med­ley. The first be­cause it’s a pure pop gem, the sec­ond, even though it’s way long, be­cause in­hab­its the joy­ful heart of the mu­sic I love ...
 
SotD: Subcode · By ap­pear­ing twice in this se­ries Jah Wob­ble joins lu­mi­nar­ies like Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. I’m not go­ing to claim that he looms as large on the mu­si­cal land­scape; just that he writes and plays nice tunes fea­tur­ing di­vine­ly great bass lines. And, well, I just can’t say no to that. Sub­code is a slith­ery, icy-cool riv­er of funk ...
 
SotD: One More Cup of Coffee · This is my fa­vorite Bob Dy­lan song, by a mile. Maybe it’s Scar­let Rivera’s vi­o­lin that grabs me. Maybe it’s Em­my­lou Harris’ har­monies. Maybe it’s the fear­some chord hook when he sings “To the val­ley below”. It’s just great ...
 
SotD: I’m Not Afraid · If this se­ries brings one or two of you one or two re­al­ly hot rock-n-roll tunes you nev­er know ex­ist­ed, then I can go home hap­py. Maybe this is one: I’m Not Afraid is by Flem­ing and John, a husband-and-wife tune who have nev­er been big stars or any­thing like that, but should go down in his­to­ry for this song ...
 
SotD: Steady, As She Goes · This is off Bro­ken Boy Soldiers by the The Ra­con­teurs, bet­ter known as “Back when Jack White did a cou­ple of records with Bren­dan Ben­son.” Steady, As She Goes (why that com­ma?) was the big sin­gle on that record, co-written by White & Ben­son, and is just an out­stand­ing pop tune, al­though Jack has his own ideas about where to take it ...
 
SotD: Bellybowl · At one point in my life, I found my­self mar­ried to a les­bian. It’s a long sto­ry, not ter­ri­bly hap­py. This ar­range­ment had im­por­tant dis­ad­van­tages, but a pret­ty big up­side: I dis­cov­ered women’s mu­sic. It’s not ac­tu­al­ly a gen­re, it’s just that the per­form­ers are most­ly les­bian and the au­di­ences are most­ly, wom­en (although men were per­fect­ly wel­come; I have yet to en­counter any class of mu­si­cian who ob­ject­ed to any class of per­son en­joy­ing their mu­sic, and (e­spe­cial­ly) pay­ing for it. If you’re won­der­ing what kind of mu­sic I’m talk­ing about, lis­ten to Belly­bowl by Fer­ron, and you’ll know; most­ly, ex­cel­len­t ...
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SotD: Crazy Fingers · I’m sad that I nev­er saw the Grate­ful Dead live; they’ve left marks on the col­lec­tive mu­si­cal con­scious­ness that will be there as long as such a thing ex­ist­s. But Blues For Al­lah is my fa­vorite of their stu­dio record­ings, and Crazy Fingers by a wide mar­gin the best song there ...
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SotD: High · High by Sir Sly (cool name) will be the last 2018 Song Of The Day in the current-hit cat­e­go­ry. The usu­al thing: I heard it on the car ra­dio and it sound­ed good and then kept sound­ing good even on heavy ro­ta­tion. While there’s a se­ri­ous prob­lem with this work, it’s still a mas­ter­ful piece of song­writ­ing ...
 
SotD: “Little” Fugue by Stokowski · What hap­pened was, in the time of J.S. Bach there were no big or­ches­tras, so most of his mu­sic em­pha­sizes that bor­ing stuff like in­ner de­tail and emo­tion­al ten­sion and shift­ing sound­scapes. When he want­ed to write Big Loud Mu­sic, he wrote or­gan mu­sic. Which left mod­ern or­ches­tra con­duc­tors who re­al­ly liked Bach with not much to play. So Leopold Stokows­ki (1882-1977) solved that prob­lem by ar­rang­ing lots of Bach com­po­si­tions  —  mostly or­gan pieces  —  for big mod­ern or­ches­tras. This hor­ri­fied a lot of Bach purist­s, but the ar­range­ments are most­ly pret­ty great, and that Fugue, prop­er­ly called BWV 578, is a fine ex­am­ple ...
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SotD: Somnambule · I’d ev­er heard of Cœur de pi­rate un­til she popped up on my ra­dio a few weeks ago. She’s from Québéc and I think the name best trans­lates as “Pirate’s Heart”, but she’s bilin­gual and at one point re­ferred to her­self as “Her Pi­rate Heart”, which is cool too. Any­how, the singing is in French and is very beau­ti­ful, and al­so an oa­sis of peace in among all the loud male mu­sic I’ve been host­ing here re­cent­ly ...
 
SotD: Badlands · I was nev­er that huge a Spring­steen fan, right through Born to Run; I think I was just too much of a head-banger at the time. But when Dark­ness on the Edge of Town came out I snapped it right up and went and saw the tour in Toron­to. A lot of his songs over the years just go right by me. But Dark­ness is a hell of a col­lec­tion of songs, and that tour… OMG ...
 
SotD: Heart To Hang Onto · Heart To Hang On­to is a song by Pete Town­shend and Ron­nie Lane on their 1977 al­bum Rough Mix. This piece is re­al­ly a rec­om­men­da­tion for the whole al­bum, which is an out­stand­ing col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful songs beau­ti­ful­ly per­formed; it’s been played as of­ten as any­thing in my col­lec­tion, over the years. Heart To Hang On­to is one of Pete Townshend’s finest com­po­si­tion­s, which is a strong state­men­t ...
 
SotD: Little Wing · Yes­ter­day I quot­ed Dvořák say­ing (in 1893) “I am con­vinced that the fu­ture mu­sic of this coun­try must be found­ed on what are called Ne­gro melodies. Th­ese can be the foun­da­tion of a se­ri­ous and orig­i­nal school of com­po­si­tion, to be de­vel­oped in the Unit­ed States. Th­ese beau­ti­ful and var­ied themes are the prod­uct of the soil. They are the folk songs of Amer­i­ca and your com­posers must turn to them.” Some­how he failed to pre­dict that America’s com­posers would be what they called “Negros” back then. I want to rec­om­mend one piece by such a com­poser: Lit­tle Wing, by Ji­mi Hen­drix ...
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SotD: Dvořák Symphony No. 9 · On the ti­tle page of his 9th Sym­pho­ny manuscrip­t, Antonín Dvořák wrote „Z Nového světa“ „From the new world“; it’s thus be­come pop­u­lar­ly known as the New World Sym­pho­ny. And by “popularly” I mean re­al­ly, right up there among the most-played clas­si­cal work­s. I can pret­ty well guar­an­tee that al­most ev­ery­one will have heard, and re­mem­ber, the big swooshy melody at the front of the 2nd move­men­t ...
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SotD: Any Time · This was writ­ten in 1921 by Her­bert “Happy” Law­son and was a coun­try hit for oth­ers in­clud­ing Pat­sy Cline, but today’s song is a 2001 per­for­mance by Leon Red­bone. It’s an ab­so­lute­ly fab­u­lous piece of singing and a guar­an­teed four min­utes and two sec­onds worth of smiles ...
 
SotD: Love To Burn · This is a ten-minute-long guitar-heavy love rum­bler from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, from the 1990 al­bum Ragged Glo­ry. It’s a beau­ti­ful song, with strong mes­sage and great tune; about half the run­ning time is one of a set of in­can­des­cent gui­tar break­s ...
 
SotD: Shenandoah · This song is so old no­body knows where it came from. It was doc­u­ment­ed as an At­lantic sea shan­ty in 1876, and there are sug­ges­tions it grew out of an old Afro-American spir­i­tu­al. So you can bawl it out in a rum-flavored roar, or you can take a twangy camp­fire twist, or you can do some­thing dif­fer­en­t, as with the soft, con­tem­pla­tive ver­sion I’m rec­om­mend­ing by Kei­th Jar­rett ...
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SotD: Ball and Chain · Hav­ing in­tro­duced Cheap Thrills to this se­ries, I can’t pos­si­bly leave it be­hind with­out fea­tur­ing Ball and Chain. Is it just Ja­nis Joplin’s great­est vo­cal per­for­mance, or maybe the finest live cap­ture of a blueswom­an ev­er, or maybe (not stretch­ing very far) the hottest vo­cal per­for­mance ev­er record­ed by any­one? Prob­a­bly not, but it’s to­tal­ly not an in­sane line of in­quiry. In the very un­like­ly event you don’t know Ball and Chain, turn this up loud. But get a grip on some­thing firm first ...
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SotD: Oh, Sweet Mary · This is from Cheap Thrills, by Big Brother and the Hold­ing Com­pa­ny, fea­tur­ing Ja­nis Jo­plin. This song’s a band ef­fort with song­writ­ing cred­its to all the mem­ber­s; Ja­nis is not front and cen­ter. I’m not sure it’s the best per­for­mance on the al­bum  —  you’d re­al­ly have to give that to Ball and Chain  —  but it’s maybe the best-written song. And it’s a hell of a per­for­mance: Hard, melo­di­ous, well-crafted rock and rol­l ...
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SotD: Colours · To­day we have an adorable lit­tle girl/boy-duet pop song called Colours off a very pleas­ing al­bum of the same name by Devon Sproule and Mike O’Neill. You can tell she’s Cana­di­an by the ac­cent and the “u” in “Colours”. The song has a mem­o­rable tune and evey mo­ment of it is full of smiles ...
 
SotD: Built For Comfort · I saw most of the old blues guys per­for­m, but Wil­lie Dixon was the on­ly one I ev­er had a con­ver­sa­tion with; in maybe 1974 as a teenager, when I was a writ­er for the stu­dent pa­per at my col­lege, and Wil­lie was play­ing a show and I asked him what he thought about all these white kids lik­ing the blues. He looked at me like I was an id­iot  —  too po­lite to point out that you play for whoever’s gonna pay  —  and said some­thing like “Blues is for ev­ery­one, man.” Any­how, he wrote like 500 songs, and I’ve al­ways thought Built for Com­fort was right up there ...
 
SotD: Dread River · You know, we’re ap­proach­ing a half-year in­to this and haven’t dipped in­to any pure Dub, which is clear­ly un­sat­is­fac­to­ry. Win­ston Rod­ney a.k.a. Burn­ing Spear has al­ready con­tribut­ed a Song, but if you’re gonna dub, you just can’t dub any deep­er than Burn­ing Spear. Dread Riv­er (Jor­dan River) came up on ran­dom shuf­fle while I was walk­ing to the train the oth­er day, and I smiled heav­i­ly for 3:13 ...
 
SotD: The Beat and the Glide · This is a two-song med­ley, This Beat Goes On and Switchin’ to Glide, by Cana­di­an rock­ers The Kings. Most peo­ple couldn’t pick them out of a line-up, but a whole lot will have heard this song on the ra­dio at some point or an­oth­er ...
 
SotD: 13 · Hav­ing spent a cou­ple of days in 1958, let’s jump fifty-nine years for­ward to 2017, and en­joy 13, a moody, soul­ful num­ber by Toron­to­ni­an Al­lan Ray­man. It’s here be­cause I heard it on the ra­dio and liked it. I still haven’t man­aged to get a 2018 song in­to the 2018 Songs of the Day, but I’m get­ting closer ...
 
SotD: Willow Indigo · Yes­ter­day I took you back to 1958 and that worked out pret­ty well, so let’s stay there. The ti­tle above is a lit­tle con­fus­ing; it refers to Duke Ellington’s awe­some al­bum Elling­ton Indi­gos, and its ti­tan­ic take on Wil­low Weep For Me; but pick­ing just one song is es­pe­cial­ly tough in this case ...
 
SotD: Fast Freight · My Dad, back when I was a re­al­ly lit­tle elementary-school kid, used to play mu­sic by The Kingston Trio, and they stuck to me the way things you hear as a kid do. This is mu­sic of a dif­fer­ent er­a, but there’s this one song, Fast Freight, that I think is time­less ...
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SotD: Angel From Montgomey · This is one of John Prine’s great­est, and that’s re­al­ly say­ing a lot. It’s a surg­ing, pas­sion­ate song about be­ing old and feel­ing emp­ty. It’s got a lit­tle nov­el in the lyrics and a tune any­one can hum along to, so great that you don’t no­tice how sad it is ...
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SotD: The Longships · This is off Enya’s Water­mark al­bum, which sold a zil­lion copies and put Orinoco Flow on a few people’s can-never-hear again list be­cause ev­ery ra­dio in the freak­ing world played it all the time in 1988-89. Even if you’re one of those, there are lots of oth­er things on this record to like, and this one I like es­pe­cial­ly ...
 
SotD: Walk Away · Way back in the Songs of the Day, in Fe­bru­ary I wrote about a Joe Walsh tune and added “If I keep do­ing this, he’ll get a rock­er in­to Song of the Day.” I have, and now he has: Seems to me / You don’t want to talk about it / Seems to me / You just turn your pret­ty head and walk away. Great stuff ...
 
SotD: Attention Please · We’re go­ing a lit­tle off the beat­en track here; At­ten­tion Please is the ti­tle track from the 2011 al­bum of the same name by Boris, which Wikipedia de­scribes as an “experimental band”, what­ev­er that mean­s. They are from Ja­pan and play most­ly ex­treme­ly loud drone met­al, but with oc­ca­sion­al ex­cur­sions in­to soft moody stuff, for ex­am­ple this song; they are fab­u­lous mu­si­cian­s ...
 
SotD: Steve Reich’s Sextet · Steve Re­ich is one of the larg­er fig­ures in Twentieth-century “New” (as in non-pop) mu­sic, and has done well be­cause his works are tune­ful, dreamy, and en­gag­ing. Sex­tet is my per­son­al fave be­cause, along with all those oth­er things, it’s got loads of en­er­gy. It’s 25-ish min­utes long; the five min­utes of the last move­ment are the high­light and a re­al­ly great in­tro­duc­tion to Re­ich, if this is new ter­ri­to­ry to you ...
 
SotD: With You There to Help Me · I’m go­ing back to the ones that I know / With whom I can be what I want to be… This is the open­ing num­ber of Jethro Tull’s 1970 al­bum Ben­e­fit. I don’t know if it’s ab­so­lute­ly the album’s high­light, but it’s a fine song ...
 
SotD: du Pré Plays Elgar · I have heard sober-minded peo­ple ar­gue that Elgar’s Cel­lo Con­cer­to played by Jac­que­line du Pré is the sin­gle great­est in­stru­men­tal per­for­mance of any piece of mu­sic, any gen­re, any in­stru­men­t, ev­er. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but the claim is not crazy at al­l. For­tu­nate­ly for us, it was cap­tured beau­ti­ful­ly, sound and pic­tures too ...
 
SotD: You Really Got Me · Oop­s, we’ve been too long with­out a Max­i­mum Rock and Roll song; thus this Kinks clas­sic. The Kinks are cool but to be hon­est, there are on­ly a cou­ple of their songs that stick in your head from one year to the nex­t; this is one of them. But if you’re too young to have seen them per­form at their peak, you missed some­thing spe­cial ...
 
SotD: BWV 131 · This is by Bach. You’ll some­times hear it spo­ken of as “Cantata no. 131” but that’s mis­lead­ing, be­cause it’s among the first  —  maybe the first  —  of his can­tatas. The 131 is its en­try in the “BWV” works-of-Bach num­ber­ing sys­tem. It doesn’t ac­tu­al­ly have a name, but the text is from the 130th Psalm in Ger­man and be­gins Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Her­r, zu dir “Out of the depths I cal­l, Lord, to you”. It’s exquisite. As I write this, it’s 310 years old ...
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SotD: Stone Flower · Th­ese es­says have been love let­ters to songs, but in this case it’s re­al­ly to an al­bum: Santana’s Car­a­vanserai, from 1972. I it’s not just a disc-full of songs, it’s a 51-minute ex­plo­sion of rhythm and pas­sion, the songs are just pieces of the puz­zle. Since it’s the song of the day, I have to pick one: It’s Stone Flow­er, writ­ten by Antônio Car­los Jo­bim, who’s ap­peared here be­fore ...
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SotD: Norwegian Wood · Ah, a Bea­tles clas­sic, ev­ery­body loves those. But I ac­tu­al­ly want to high­light a per­for­mance by Pa­tri­cia Bar­ber, who takes this song fur­ther than any Beatle, liv­ing or dead ...
 
SotD: Gone, Gone, Gone · Or, in ful­l, Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On), writ­ten and record­ed by the Ever­ly Brothers in 1964. I ran across it on the Robert Plan­t/Ali­son Kraus col­lab­o­ra­tion Rais­ing Sand, which is re­al­ly a fine piece of work. I’d nev­er re­al­ly lis­tened to the Everlys till I start­ed writ­ing this, but that ver­sion is ex­cel­lent too ...
 
SotD: It’s Wonderful · The full ti­tle is They Say It’s Won­der­ful, writ­ten in 1946 by Irv­ing Ber­lin, and since then cov­ered by more or less ev­ery croon­er liv­ing and dead. The ver­sion I want to write about is off the awe­some John Coltrane and John­ny Hart­man, record­ed in 1963. I have read more than one crit­ic claim­ing that this is the best al­bum ev­er record­ed. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it re­al­ly is very very good mu­sic in­deed ...
 
SotD: Falling · This is Julee Cruise singing the Twin Peaks Theme, com­posed by An­ge­lo Badala­men­ti; David Lynch gets a song­writ­ing cred­it so I sup­pose he con­tribut­ed lyric­s. Like Au­drey Horne said, “I love this mu­sic; isn’t it too dreamy?” Some dreams are night­mares ...
 
SotD: S.O.B. · This is by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, out­ta Den­ver, from 2015. You’ve prob­a­bly heard it on a ra­dio near you. It’s a fine, stir­ring, up­lift­ing tune that hap­pens to be about detox ...
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SotD: Immigrant Song · Wel­l, there has to be some­thing here from Led Zep, and I’m pick­ing this be­cause, when I was six­teen and just feel­ing my way in­to the mys­te­ri­ous for­est of pop­u­lar mu­sic, some­one said “Hey I got this new record” (that would be Led Zep III) and he dropped the nee­dle on Im­mi­grant Song, and in that in­stant I be­came a hard-rock fan; and I’ll be proud to die one. It’s a to­tal­ly great tune ...
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SotD: Stolen Moments · Oliv­er Nel­son died in 1975 at 43 of a heart at­tack; he’d be a leg­end if he’d lived a lit­tle longer. Nowa­days he’s most­ly re­mem­bered for The Blues and the Ab­stract Truth from 1961, and Stolen Mo­ments is the song on that record that’s al­ways stuck to the back of my brain ...
 
SotD: Mahler #9, Adagio · In yesterday’s song, Lou Reed de­claims Sittin' down by the fire / Ooo, the ra­dio does play / A lit­tle clas­si­cal mu­sic there… Hey, good idea! The fourth move­ment of Sym­pho­ny No. 9 by Gus­tav Mahler is la­beled IV. Ada­gio. Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend. The Ger­man means some­thing like “Very slow­ly, with reserve” and it’s slow all right but it’s not re­served at al­l, it’s full of wrench­ing howls of emo­tion ...
 
SotD: Sweet Jane · Some peo­ple just go out danc­ing / oth­er peo­ple like us we got­ta work. Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane has been spe­cial to me since the first time it crossed my radar, which I don’t re­mem­ber since it was in the Seven­ties. This may be Lou Reed’s mas­ter­piece ...
 
SotD: Working Class Hero · It’s May First which is to say Hap­py Com­mie Day! Let me look for a Song of the Day in that spirit… oh hey, that wasn’t hard: There's room at the top they're telling you still / But first you must learn how to smile as you kil­l.  —  John Len­non ...
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SotD: Sleepless Nights · This was writ­ten around 1960 by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (an in­ter­est­ing song­writ­ing team I’d nev­er heard of be­fore) and made a hit then by the Ever­ly Brother­s. But the ver­sions I care about are by Em­my­lou Har­ris, es­pe­cial­ly her ver­sion with Gram Par­son­s ...
 
SotD: Ain’t No Sunshine · So sad, Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers died. I’ve been want­ing to do a song from the Brothers but I went look­ing for good live video and turned up their su­perb take on Ain’t no Sun­shine which ob­vi­ous­ly de­serves a spot, so re­al­ly to­day be­longs to Bill Wither­s, but I’m go­ing to use that Nevilles video’ which, ap­pro­pri­ate­ly, fea­tures Charles ...
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SotD: Third Degree · It’s been a while here since the Song of the Day was a straight-up no-foolin’-around blues num­ber. Let’s let Ed­die Boyd fix that prob­lem. Third De­gree was co-written by Ed­die and Wil­lie Dixon in 1953 and was some­thing of a hit ...
 
SotD: Silver Dagger · It’s an old folk song, old enough in Amer­i­ca to per­haps have come from Bri­tain; there are vari­ants aplen­ty. But for most peo­ple to­day, in­clud­ing me, Sil­ver Dag­ger is that Joan Baez song. Ms Baez has a beau­ti­ful voice, great skill in us­ing it, and (maybe most im­por­tan­t) fab­u­lous­ly good taste in pick­ing what to sing ...
 
SotD: Gloria · The last time I plugged a song called Glo­ria, it was a set­ting of litur­gi­cal text from the Mass. Pat­ti Smith’s isn’t; it be­gins Je­sus died for someone’s sin­s, but not mine. So, pro­fane not sa­cred, even though the full ti­tle on the al­bum says Glo­ri­a: In Ex­cel­sis Deo. Al­so, one of the great rock vo­cals ev­er record­ed by any­one ...
 
SotD: Fascination Street · This is my fa­vorite Cure song, and the ver­sion I’m rec­om­mend­ing is one of the best-sounding electric-music record­ings ev­er. I like the mu­sic even though I nev­er re­al­ly un­der­stood the whole emo/­goth thing; that’s OK, I can like Dub with­out get­ting Rasta­far­i­an­is­m, and Bach while puz­zled by Lutheranis­m ...
 
SotD: Nulla In Mundo Pax · The full ti­tle is Nul­la In Mun­do Pax Sin­cera, which will leave many blank. A bet­ter way to put it is “Em­ma Kirk­by singing Vi­val­di”, a com­bi­na­tion that will bring a smile to the faces of many who lis­ten to any clas­si­cal mu­sic at al­l ...
 
SotD: All Blues · Ob­vi­ous­ly there’s noth­ing ob­scure about Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, prob­a­bly the best-selling (and one of the most-praised) jazz al­bums ev­er. But All Blues is a lit­tle more sub­dued than the rest of the songs and it’s got a spine-chilling lit­tle high­light that I’ve nev­er no­ticed any­one else point­ing out. With that, and with some notes from Miles’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, I might have some­thing new even for long-time Miles fan­s ...
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SotD: Just Like This · Once again a Song of the Day that’s a song from to­day, more or less; there is ac­tu­al mu­si­cal life out there on the pop chart­s. And Some­thing Just Like This isn’t just pop, it’s par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­py pop fea­tur­ing teen sen­ti­ment and min­i­mal struc­ture; but hey, it’s a pret­ty tune and it’s got a beat, you could dance to it. It’s a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Cold­play and The Chainsmok­er­s, and I don’t know the first thing about ei­ther of them ...
 
SotD: Elizabeth Reed · The full ti­tle is In Me­mory of El­iz­a­beth Reed; it was writ­ten by Dick­ey Betts of The All­man Brothers Band and is a high­light on their live al­bum At Fill­more East, a col­lec­tion of songs that is very spe­cial to a lot of peo­ple, in­clud­ing me. It’d be pret­ty ob­vi­ous­ly jazz if it weren’t for all the bril­liant rock-guitar im­prov ...
 
SotD: Moustaki · After all that hardass rock the last cou­ple of days, I feel the need of some­thing soft­er. Alors, prof­i­tons d’une très douce chan­son française de Ge­orges Mous­ta­ki… oh wait. I’m talk­ing about Ge­orges Mous­tak­i, a fran­co­phone singer-songwriter of gen­er­al­ly Mediter­ranean ex­trac­tion who was hot stuff when I was in high school a hun­dred years back. This is se­ri­ous­ly sweet sonorous stuff ...
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SotD: Hoochie Koo · Yes­ter­day I veered glee­ful­ly off the road of High Cul­ture in­to the mu­si­cal gut­ter. So, let’s hang out down here one more day. For your plea­sure I of­fer “Rock & Rol­l, Hoochie Koo”. It was writ­ten in 1970 by Rick Der­ringer, who is OK by me, orig­i­nal­ly for John­ny Win­ter. Rick’s laid down some ace record­ings both on his own and with one or more Win­ter­s ...
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SotD: Sharp Dressed Man · This se­ries has been get­ting kind of re­fined and in­tel­lec­tu­al in re­cent days, so we’re go­ing to fix that right now. I don’t think I’ve ev­er heard a ZZ Top song I didn’t like, and Bil­ly Gibbons’ gui­tar sound is un­equaled in its grit and its steel-spined groove. You al­so have to love the per­for­mances; the guys clear­ly don’t take them­selves too se­ri­ous­ly (I once de­scribed their moves as “a back-beat pa­vane”). Sharp Dressed Man is pure fun ...
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SotD: Mishima · This isn’t a song, it’s a movie sound­track, I hope that’s OK. It’s by Philip Glass, and the movie is Mishi­ma: A Life in Four Chap­ters from 1985. The name refers to Yukio Mishi­ma, a Ja­panese nov­el­ist who went crazy and tried to lead a restore-the-sacred-Empire putsch against the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment in 1970 and, when it pre­dictably failed, com­mit­ted sep­puku ...
 
SotD: Misa Criolla · Writ­ten in 1964 by Ar­gen­tini­an Ariel Ramírez, Misa Cri­ol­la is the Mass in Span­ish set to mu­sic with a sound and struc­ture that com­bines sev­er­al in­dige­nous styles. You know those buskers that set up in pub­lic mar­kets ev­ery­where in col­or­ful South-American out­fits with gi­ant Pan-pipes and gui­tars both huge and tiny? That style of mu­sic. Misa Cri­ol­la is great stuff, sold a zil­lion copies back there, and I can’t imag­ine any­one not lik­ing it ...
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SotD: La Isla Bonita · This is a beau­ti­ful and sim­ple lit­tle Spanish-inflected melody, writ­ten by Madon­na, Pa­trick Leonard, and Bruce Gaitsch. It sold a lot of records for her and is a sta­ple of her live shows ...
 
SotD: Hurt · No, not Trent Reznor singing the moany over­wrought Nine Inch Nails ver­sion; I mean John­ny Cash’s take on Amer­i­can IV: The Man Comes Around, his last stu­dio al­bum. It’s grainy and sad and gen­er­al­ly awe­some. To his cred­it, Trent Reznor said “that song isn’t mine anymore.” ...
 
SotD: Roads to Moscow · Even on the oldies sta­tion­s, you nev­er hear Al Ste­wart any more. In my youth he was a pret­ty big deal though, and had mega-hits with Year of the Cat and Time Pas­sages. Roads to Moscow wasn’t a big hit but it was al­ways my fave among his songs. I lis­tened to it again the oth­er night for the first time in years, and I was moved again by its sto­ry, and by its melod­ic grace ...
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SotD: Doin’ Summertime · I’ve al­ways liked Doin’ Time by Sublime which is (gasp!) ap­proach­ing twen­ty years old. But I have a se­cret rea­son, be­cause the breathy back­ing track is off a record ap­proach­ing six­ty years old by Her­bie Mann that my Dad bought when I was still in short pants, and I still have the orig­i­nal, and love it. Wel­l, and al­so be­cause it’s based on Sum­mer­time; I’ve been in a musically-literate room where some­one called it the great­est song ev­er writ­ten and while some­body else said “What about Good Vi­bra­tions?” a few heads were nod­ding. Let’s take a trip through the times ...
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SotD: White Room · Let me tell you a sto­ry. In 1968 when I was 13, my then-43-year-old Dad, a Pro­fes­sor of Agri­cul­ture, had a busi­ness trip to Lon­don, which was a white-hot cen­ter of the whole Six­ties thing. He walked in­to a record store and asked them to sell him a cou­ple of records for his son, what­ev­er was hot. He came home with two Cream sin­gles: White Room backed with Those Were the Days, and Badge b/w What a Bring­down. Was your Dad ev­er that cool? Any­how, that means I’ve loved White Room for fifty years ...
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SotD: Allegri’s Miserere · The work’s ti­tle is re­al­ly just Mis­erere (“have mer­cy on us”), but since so many com­posers have asked for mer­cy, and since Gre­go­rio Al­le­gri was sort of a one-hit won­der, ev­ery­body says it like in the ti­tle above. I think that we can each use all the di­vine mer­cy we can get, but maybe your need is less than mine. The (Lat­in, of course) text is Psalm 51. It’s a lit­tle over twelve min­utes of sim­ple soar­ing melody, built of a short choral frag­ment re­peat­ed five times, with a vari­a­tion last time around. It’s got a col­or­ful his­to­ry ...
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SotD: Middle of the Road · In case no­body no­ticed, I have a thing for loud-voiced wom­en singing in front of heavy electric-guitar noise. Any list of those has to have Chrissie Hyn­de near the top. She wrote and sings this, pro­vides some of the gui­tar noise her­self, and throws in a tri­umphant har­mon­i­ca break ...
 
SotD: The Boys of Summer · This was re­leased by Don Hen­ley of the Ea­gles in 1984, his words to mu­sic by Mike Camp­bell. It’s on­ly a mi­nor mem­ber of the California-rock canon but it’s spe­cial to me, and I still love to hear it ...
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SotD: Feel It Still · Another con­tem­po­rary  —  well, a year old  —  Song of the Day. What hap­pened was, I liked Feel It Still on the ra­dio, and liked that it quot­ed from Please Mr. Post­man, and when I went look­ing for video to see what Por­tu­gal. The Man were like live, the first I found fea­tured a stage sur­round­ed by pro­ject­ed words read­ing “NO COMPUTERS UP HERE, JUST LIVE INSTRUMENTS”. So I was hooked ...
 
SotD: Plutonian Nights · The Nu­bians of Plu­to­nia was record­ed by Sun Ra and his Arkestra be­fore 1960 and re­leased in 1966, but it’s not re­al­ly mu­sic of ei­ther pe­ri­od, it’s of the dis­tant fu­ture. Or at least that’s what Sun Ra claimed; mind you, he al­so claimed he was born on Saturn and that aliens were go­ing to be ar­riv­ing any min­ute. Hav­ing said that, Plu­to­ni­an Nights is one of the coolest jazz tracks ev­er record­ed in any galaxy; I’m glad it was this one ...
 
SotD: Crazy on You · Back in the Seven­ties when di­nosaurs walked the earth, Heart was a pret­ty big one, and unique among hard (oc­ca­sion­al­ly) rock bands in be­ing woman-fronted, by sis­ters Anne and Nan­cy Wil­son. Crazy on You was their de­but sin­gle and for my mon­ey their best song ev­er, and one of the bet­ter ar­gu­ments why Rock & Roll at its peak reach­es above all oth­er forms of mu­sic ...
 
SotD: Up On Cripple Creek · This is a chest­nut from The Band, writ­ten by Rob­bie Robert­son and sung by Levon Helm. It’s from 1969 but sounds like it’s hun­dreds of years old, part of the un­der­ly­ing fab­ric of ev­ery­thing. I sup­pose near­ly everyone’s heard it, but it’s worth an­oth­er lis­ten ...
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SotD: Nocturne No. 1 Op. 9 · This is the first of Chopin’s Noc­turnes, writ­ten when he was on­ly about twen­ty. My love is not specif­i­cal­ly for this piece but for all twenty-one Noc­turnes, but that’s hours of mu­sic and you have to start some­where. No more beau­ti­ful mu­sic for pi­ano has ev­er been writ­ten ...
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SotD: Let’s Go Downtown · The Song of the Day needs a rock­er ev­ery so of­ten to keep up the en­er­gy lev­el, and it’s nev­er had any Neil Young ev­er, so let’s solve both prob­lems with Come On Ba­by Let’s Go Down­town, co-written with the late Dan­ny Whit­ten. A tri­umphant rock holler car­ried on arch­ing gui­tar lines, it’s a cen­ter­piece of Tonight’s the Night, which is a tri­umph and a tragedy ...
 
SotD: Desafinado · This is a 1959 bossa no­va by An­to­nio Car­los Jo­bim and New­ton Mendonça; the ti­tle means some­thing like “Out of Tune” and is exquisite­ly in­cor­rec­t. It has been record­ed a stag­ger­ing num­ber of times. I’m here to talk about my fa­vorite ver­sion, with Jo­bim guest­ing on a record­ing by Stan Getz and João Gil­ber­to ...
 
SotD: Moana Chimes · Dear Read­er­s, as I write this I am sit­ting near the blue Pa­cif­ic in a place called Napili on the is­land of Maui. When I post this, it will be from Van­cou­ver on the morn­ing af­ter this Pa­cif­ic ex­pe­di­tion. Moana Chimes is Hawai’ian mu­sic, per­formed by Led­ward Ka­panaa and Bob Broz­man. It swings soft­ly and com­plex­ly and yeah, sounds like Hawai’i feel­s ...
 
SotD: Highway Star · Ah… Deep Pur­ple, now that’s what I call Max­i­mum Rock And Rol­l. And High­way Star is the max­i­mum max­i­mum. Al­so, it comes with a per­fect live record­ing. When I say “Deep Purple” I refer, of course, to any it­er­a­tion of the band that in­clud­ed Jon Lord, Ritchie Black­more, and Ian Gil­lan ...
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SotD: Blue Moon · Blue Moon was writ­ten in 1934 by Rogers and Hart, and has been per­formed since then by more or less ev­ery­one. It makes any­one sound good, good per­form­ers sound great, and great per­form­ers melt your heart. No­body could ev­er say whose ver­sion is the best, but to­day I’m shout­ing out to Bil­lie Hol­i­day, Elvis, and the Cow­boy Junkies ...
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SotD: Pork Pie Hat · Good­bye Pork Pie Hat is a Charles Min­gus jazz stan­dard, first record­ed by his band in 1959, and since then per­formed by many oth­ers, with voice and with­out. The ver­sion clos­est to my heart is a Jeff Beck electric-guitar in­stru­men­tal. [Wait, didn’t you have one of those yes­ter­day!? -Ed.] [You say that like it’s a bad thing. -T] The song was orig­i­nal­ly con­ceived of as a trib­ute to Lester Young, a sax­o­phon­ist, re­cent­ly de­ceased back then, who had worn one ...
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SotD: Ended as Lovers · The full ti­tle is Cause We’ve End­ed as Lovers and for al­most ev­ery­one it’s that beau­ti­ful slow in­stru­men­tal on Jeff Beck’s fab­u­lous Blow by Blow al­bum, with a ded­i­ca­tion to Roy Buchanan, who’s al­ready con­tribut­ed a Song of the Day. That was my take un­til I start­ed writ­ing this and found out it was not on­ly writ­ten by Ste­vie Won­der, but was record­ed on Ste­vie Won­der Pre­sents Syree­ta, fea­tur­ing his then-wife. I’m most­ly here to talk about Jeff’s ver­sion but Ste­vie and Syree­ta do it up very nice­ly too ...
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SotD: Sour Times · In the ear­ly Nineties there was sud­den­ly this thing called Trip hop, which man­i­fest­ed out of an­oth­er di­men­sion and came to earth in Bris­tol, not oth­er­wise fa­mous for very much. Its dis­tin­guish­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic is be­ing slow and dreamy and, I al­ways thought, kind of sexy. Sour Times is prob­a­bly the most fa­mous Trip-hop song ev­er, by Por­tishead, along with Mas­sive At­tack the canon­i­cal trip-hopheads ...
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SotD: At the 100th Meridan · Al­most ev­ery Canadian’s list of Songs-of-the-Day is go­ing to in­clude a Trag­i­cal­ly Hip num­ber or two, and I’m no ex­cep­tion. They had a lot of great tunes and this one is right up there. Can’t write this with­out get­ting kind of damp, be­cause we lost Gord yes­ter­day it feels like. If you’re not Cana­di­an and have no idea who The Hip are or who Gord was, lis­ten to this any­how and if you like rock mu­sic you’ll prob­a­bly like it a lot ...
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SotD: A Love Supreme · I’m talk­ing two tracks to­day, named Ac­knowl­edg­ment and Res­o­lu­tion, but there are mil­lions of peo­ple who love them but don’t know their names. They are the “A Side” of A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, record­ed in 1964 and one of the best-selling jazz records of all time. Thing is, most peo­ple just start at the be­gin­ning of the al­bum and stick with it till the end. Or if you’re a tra­di­tion­al­ist like me, the LP. Either way ev­ery­one just thinks of it as A Love Supreme ...
 
SotD: Appassionata · For­mal­ly, Piano Sona­ta No. 23 in F Mi­nor, Op. 57, by Lud­wig van Beethoven. The name “Appassionata” was at­tached not by Lud­wig but by a mu­sic pub­lish­er ten years af­ter his death. But it’s stuck be­cause well, the mu­sic is re­al­ly pas­sion­ate; soft and in­ti­mate then loud and fast. It’s usu­al­ly the high­light of any con­cert where it’s per­formed. I heard some­one say on the ra­dio on­ce, about Beethoven: “Maybe not the best melodist or or­ches­tra­tor to have ev­er com­posed, but unique in cre­at­ing the feel­ing that each suc­ces­sive note is ab­so­lute­ly the on­ly one that could pos­si­bly have been chosen.” This is like that ...
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SotD: Barton Hollow · The Civ­il Wars were on ev­ery ra­dio for while there around 2010, and I liked it when they were; a re­fresh­ing break from elec­tric noise (hey, I like elec­tric noise, but stil­l) and es­pe­cial­ly from synthetically-constructed pop sugar-candy. Bar­ton Hol­low is def­i­nite­ly my fave track, and I can’t imag­ine any­one not lik­ing it ...
 
SotD: The Man Who Sold The World · This is a David Bowie song that I gath­er was most­ly for­got­ten  —  I’d cer­tain­ly nev­er heard it  —  until it popped up on Nirvana’s MTV Un­plugged In New York. This was in 1993, af­ter which Bowie ap­par­ent­ly added it to his reg­u­lar live set; which is cool ...
 
SotD: That’s Right! · This is a cheery bright fast polyrhyth­mic acous­tic gui­tar in­stru­men­tal by Jesse Cook. Like a few oth­er num­bers here at Song of the Day, I dis­cov­ered this one by killing time in a record store; mind you, this was HMV in its de­clin­ing days, not one of the cool-magnets of yore. But I loved the tune and asked the clerk and bought the record ...
 
SotD: Persephone · My fa­vorite liv­ing jazz mu­si­cian, and some­times my fa­vorite liv­ing mu­si­cian, is Pa­tri­cia Bar­ber, a Chicagoan song­writer, singer, pi­ano play­er, and ban­dlead­er. She’s re­al­ly good at all four of those things, and an evening with her band is one of the most in­tense mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ences you can track down at this point in the twenty-first cen­tu­ry. Modern jazz­bos don’t have “greatest hits” as such, but if they did, Perse­phone would prob­a­bly be her­s ...
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SotD: I Put A Spell On You · This song was writ­ten in 1956 by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins as a bal­lad, but he claims the pro­duc­er got him drunk in the stu­dio and that’s when he start­ed Screamin’, and peo­ple loved it, so he nev­er stopped. Since then, it’s been record­ed a whole lot. I’m here to rec­om­mend a mi­ni video festival’s worth of takes, and one record­ing, and this may be a lit­tle weird but I think it’s the best out there, by Cree­dence Clear­wa­ter Re­vival ...
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SotD: Spanish Pipedream · John Prine, now there’s an orig­i­nal. He’s an or­di­nary guy with a beat-up face and a beat-up voice, and his songs get played by folkies and rock­ers in bars and base­ments across Amer­i­ca. Not out­side it though I bet, he is just so Amer­i­can, and I mean that in the best pos­si­ble way. Span­ish Pipedream is a cheer­ful lit­tle up­tem­po num­ber that’ll make you smile. It’s from a long time ago but the sen­ti­ment is fresh: Blow up your TV / throw away the pa­pers / move to the coun­try / build your­self a home. ...
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SotD: The Dry Cleaner · I al­ready blogged about The Dry Clean­er From Des Moines, by Joni Mitchell and Charles Min­gus, eleven years ago, so if you want a deep-dive on the mu­sic and con­tex­t, go read that. To­day, just lis­ten to it, and if it doesn’t get you smil­ing and bop­ping, there’s noth­ing I can say that will help you ...
 
SotD: Downpressor Man · In the ear­li­est days, The Wail­ers were Bob Mar­ley, Bun­ny Wail­er, and Peter Tosh. Peter was the guy in the band who was a foot taller than ev­ery­one else; al­so the on­ly one who could play any in­stru­ments. A huge guy with a huge voice, his songs nev­er in a hur­ry, and there are a few that peo­ple will be lis­ten­ing to cen­turies from now. For in­stance, Down­pres­sor Man ...
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SotD: Barrett’s Privateers · I sus­pect ev­ery Cana­di­an of a cer­tain age has heard this, prob­a­bly on CBC or maybe sit­ting up late of a hazy evening. It’s a sad bois­ter­ous sto­ry of ru­in at sea, men’s mu­sic writ­ten for men’s voic­es, and you’ll nev­er for­get it once you’ve heard it even on­ce ...
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SotD: Gimme Sympathy · I think I’m prob­a­bly a big Met­ric fan even though I’ve nev­er ac­tu­al­ly sent any mon­ey their way, be­cause when­ev­er a song comes on the ra­dio I find my­self hum­ming and smil­ing. Espe­cial­ly Gimme Sym­pa­thy ...
 
SotD: K.515 · I be­lieve its of­fi­cial name is Mozart’s String Quin­tet No. 3 in C, but say­ing “K” then a num­ber tells ev­ery­one that it’s by Mozart, and since he wrote like fifty in­stances of ev­ery known form of clas­si­cal mu­sic, it’s eas­i­er to just re­mem­ber your fa­vorite K-numbers. 515 is right up there among mine; strong Mozart, which is all you need to know ...
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SotD: After Midnight · After mid­night, it’s gonna be peach­es and cream… mm­m­m­m. This, orig­i­nal­ly by J.J. Cale, is one of the Twen­ti­eth Century’s sweet­est lit­tle electric-music out­ings, gen­tle, sexy, and fast. Now, J.J. made a whole lot of mon­ey on this song when Eric Clap­ton de­cid­ed to put it on a cou­ple of al­bums and play it at a whole lot of con­cert­s, and both ver­sions are worth hear­ing ...
 
SotD: Atomic · Oh… your hair is beau­ti­ful  —  well, that lyric di­vides peo­ple. I’ve read high-falutin’ rock crit­ics slam its su­per­fi­cial­i­ty, em­bed­ded in a track that hard­ly has words any­how, and cer­tain­ly none that make sense. But you know, ev­ery time she sings that phrase, I melt. And love the whole song ...
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SotD: Phase Dance · So back in the Seven­ties, if you were a col­lege stu­dent and it was sum­mer, you’d sit around smok­ing weed and then some­one would say “Let’s go to the record store.” And in those days the peo­ple who worked there knew all the coolest mu­sic. So in the mid­dle of the head-banger er­a, you’d float in­to the record store and there’d a fast bril­liant jazz-guitar in­stru­men­tal, and you’d sud­den­ly find you’d be­come a fan of Pat Metheny ...
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SotD: Love Me Like a Man · This was com­posed by Chris Smither (no, I’d nev­er heard of him ei­ther) but was a hit for, and is now sort of a trade­mark of, Bon­nie Raitt. Bonnie’s record­ed a lot of good mu­sic over the years, but the thing with her is you need to see her play live, it’s at an­oth­er lev­el en­tire­ly ...
 
SotD: Riding On The Rocket · I’ve prob­a­bly seen Sho­nen Knife (Wikipedia if you don’t read Ja­pane­se) more than any oth­er currently-performing rock band. When they get on stage you can count on a cou­ple of hours of pure high-energy high-melody high-rhythm hard-rockin’ fun, and you just can’t have too much of that. Rid­ing the Rock­et is just one of a cou­ple of dozen to­tal­ly great as-good-as-Rock-gets tunes ...
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SotD: Ashes to Ashes · It’s hard to pick a Bowie be­cause, ob­vi­ous­ly, there were so many Bowies. One time my son and I, he then fif­teen or so, were driv­ing some­where, and he asked me “Dad, who’s David Bowie?” and I said “A mu­si­cian who…” then I was stuck. For me, there are re­al­ly two big Bowie songs, Heroes and Ash­es to Ash­es, and while the for­mer has more emo­tion, I think Ash­es has more mu­si­cal depth. Oh, yes, and This Is Not Amer­i­ca, but that’s a niche taste ...
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SotD: Brothers in Arms · Dire Straits’ records have al­ways been no­tably good-sounding, and Brothers in Arms be­came the oc­ca­sion for the pur­chase of a brand-new CD play­er back in the day for many mu­sic geeks  —  I was one of them. The ti­tle song sounds good too, but to­day we’re ac­knowl­edg­ing its beau­ty and sad­ness and mes­sage ...
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SotD: Am I Blue? · Wel­l, since yes­ter­day I reached all the way back to the Nine­teen Twen­ties for a show tune that went through many hands in­clud­ing Wil­lie Nelson’s, let’s do it again to­day! Am I Blue was writ­ten by those big stars Har­ry Akst and Grant Clarke (Who? A cou­ple of Tin Pan Al­ley type­s) in 1929 for the screen, and Wikipedia says it’s made it on­to 42 dif­fer­ent screen­s. It’s a cool tune and up to the Song of the Day stan­dard, but most­ly here be­cause I was charmed by video ...
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SotD: Blue Skies · From waaaay back in 1926, this one. What hap­pened was, I want­ed the se­ries to drop by Wil­lie Nel­son, and my fave Wil­lie al­bum is Star­dust, and song on it is Blue Skies. That whole al­bum is salve for the wound­ed soul I think, and Blue Skies maybe the sweet­est and strongest. But, boy, does this one ev­er have a his­to­ry ...
 
SotD: I’m a Man! · “Wait…” you say, “that’s two Steve Win­wood songs in a row!” In­deed. On­ly, this one is short­er and hot­ter. And any­how, it’s a Spencer Davis Group song, so there ...
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SotD: The Low Spark · The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys was the al­bum and the song, and it’s a song that’ll nev­er die. It was record­ed by Traf­fic, writ­ten by Win­wood/Ca­paldi, and last time I checked, Win­wood still goes out on the road and plays it for peo­ple. Play it for your­self, but sit back and lis­ten care­ful­ly, there’s a lot hap­pen­ing ...
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SotD: Wish I Knew You · Another Song of the Day that got here be­cause it’s on the ra­dio right now, and I smile ev­ery time they play it. The lyric in full says “I wish I knew you when I was young.” It res­onates pret­ty deep for some­one of my age. Of course, the guys in the band (The Re­vival­ists) are young, but that doesn’t seem to get in the way ...
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SotD: Can’t Get There From Here · For a lot of band­s, there’s one song that’s spe­cial be­cause it’s the first one you heard on the ra­dio and you thought Who’s that?! I don’t know if Can’t Get There From Here is my ab­so­lute fa­vorite R.E.M. song; Man on the Moon has great surge-and-flow, Los­ing My Reli­gion is the great­est car sin­ga­long ev­er. But any­how, it’s a fine piece of work ...
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SotD: Cello Suite #5 · To­day fea­tures the first artist to make a re­turn Song-of-the-Day ap­pear­ance: J.S. Bach. The mu­sic is the Cel­lo Suite #5, a show­piece for ba­si­cal­ly ev­ery cel­list who’s ev­er per­formed, and an ob­ject of study for ev­ery se­ri­ous stu­dent who gets a cou­ple of years in­to the in­stru­men­t ...
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SotD: Mannish Boy · This even­tu­al­ly be­came Mud­dy Waters’ sig­na­ture tune, which is sort of a pity be­cause there were usu­al­ly more in­ter­est­ing songs in his set, but he seemed to gen­uine­ly love it, and brought so much to each per­for­mance that you had to join in the love ...
 
SotD: Cream · This my fave Prince song, by a mile. I sus­pect that makes me a heretic, and is al­so wild­ly in­con­sis­tent be­cause it’s got none of his gui­tar shred­ding on it, which al­ways makes me grin ear-to-ear. But it’s a pure pop gem, a thing no song should ev­er apol­o­gize for in any com­pa­ny, no mat­ter how au­gust ...
 
SotD: Spinning Centers · This is from Un­known Rooms, a very beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion by Chelsea Wolfe. It’s a lit­tle un­usu­al for this se­ries in that it’s hard­ly a song al­l, just a float­ing, ethe­re­al mu­si­cal mo­ment three min­utes and nine sec­onds long. But you won’t re­gret lis­ten­ing to it ...
 
SotD: Submission · Sub­mis­sion was a late ad­di­tion to (most ver­sions of) Nev­er Mind the Bol­lock­s, Here’s the Sex Pis­tols, which any­one will tell you is Cul­tur­al­ly Im­por­tan­t. But most­ly it’s just a re­al­ly great rock song, which re­veals that in among be­ing Cul­tur­al­ly Im­por­tan­t, the Pis­tols were a high­ly com­pe­tent and heav­i­ly re­hearsed hard-rock band ...
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SotD: Walk Like an Egyptian · By The Ban­gles; OK, one of the most cheer­ful songs ev­er record­ed, with a hi­lar­i­ous video. But it’s got a good beat, you could dance to it. And at 50° North Lat­i­tude where I live, we’ll take any Fe­bru­ary smiles we can get. Se­ri­ous­ly, lis­ten to the song, watch the video, you’ll smile, how could that not be a good thing? Even bet­ter, stand up and do the dance around the of­fice ...
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SotD: Take Me To The River · You can call this one of the great songs in just about any mu­si­cal con­ver­sa­tion and you’ll get no ar­gu­men­t. A great big swirl of the sa­cred and the sen­su­al, with a ra­zor rhythm and lots of chances to show of­f ...
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SotD: Into the Dark · In ful­l, I Will Fol­low You In­to the Dark, by Death Cab for Cu­tie off their al­bum Plans. This is a so­lo acous­tic thing, stripped down to noth­ing but a love­ly tune and a haunt­ing mes­sage; both will stick to you, even if you heard them a mil­lion times on the ra­dio a decade back ...
 
SotD: Do You Love Me? · Nor­mal­ly I write Song of the Day a few days ahead, and to­day I woke up on Valentine’s day and re­al­ized that day’s “song” was sym­phon­ic stuff by Brahm­s, which is great but not per­haps the Lan­guage Of Love. To make up for that, I’ll send you all along a Hap­py Valentine’s for a few days back with a song that’s about noth­ing but love, by Nick Cave ...
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SotD: Fine and Mellow · This is a song not on­ly per­formed but writ­ten by Bil­lie Hol­i­day; it was a hit in 1939, the flip side of the beau­ti­ful but grue­some Strange Fruit (the fruit was a lynch­ing vic­tim). Fine and Mel­low is sad too, but a fair­ly stan­dard man-treats-me-bad blues. It’s a treat for the ears and the heart ...
 
SotD: Death Don’t Have No Mercy · Death Don’t Have No Mer­cy is a very old, very dark blues by Rev. Gary Davis which has been cov­ered lot­s, by Dy­lan and the Dead among oth­er­s. But to­day I’m plug­ging a live ver­sion record­ed by Hot Tu­na in 1992 ...
 
SotD: Ashes the Rain and I · The James Gang was a stripped-down band that most­ly played prim­i­tive rock and roll (which I love) very well, and Rides Again is an ex­am­ple of that, but Ash­es the Rain and I isn’t prim­i­tive at al­l; five min­utes of con­tem­pla­tive beau­ty ...
 
SotD: Brahms’ Variations · To­day, let’s do clas­si­cal mu­sic, as in a great big splodge of or­ches­tral goo by a dead Ger­man. Brahms op. 56a and 56b is a set of vari­a­tions on a the­me; he thought the theme was Haydn’s, thus called it Vari­a­tions on a Theme by Joseph Haydn. But now they think the Haydn at­tri­bu­tion on the theme is sketchy, so now you’ll see ’em la­beled some­times as the Saint An­tho­ny Vari­a­tions. Any­how, this is a su­per tasty splodge of goo, the kind of thing or­ches­tras ex­ist to play ...
 
SotD: Jah Glory · Third World have al­ways had had a dif­fer­ent sound, lean­ing quite a bit on sweet har­monies and in­stru­men­tal fla­vors. It’s reg­gae all right, but im­pure like most great mu­sic, and sounds as tasty as any­thing you can imag­ine. Jah Glo­ry is such a sweet wel­com­ing thing, a soar­ing song of wor­ship. (You don’t have to be­lieve in Jah.) ...
 
SotD: Dear Darling · Mary Mar­garet O’Hara, a daugh­ter of Toron­to, hasn’t record­ed much and hasn’t had hits and these are ter­ri­bly sad things be­cause she’s a gem, a won­der­ful un­con­ven­tion­al song­writ­er and singer. Her stuff gets pret­ty far out over the edge some­times, but Dear Dar­ling is a love­ly straight-up coun­try tune, hard­ly weird at al­l, or on­ly in places ...
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SotD: Mercy Street · No­body could call this ob­scure; Peter Gabriel’s So sold a kazil­lion copies and was right in the cen­ter of the zeit­geist for months back in the late Eight­ies. The songs were good, the sound was good, and (e­spe­cial­ly) the videos were good, which re­al­ly mat­tered in 1986. Mer­cy Street was not one of its big hit­s, which al­ways as­ton­ished me; I thought it by far and away the album’s high­light ...
 
SotD: Fantaisie Impromptu · After the hot gui­tar a cou­ple days back, I thought some more flashy solo­ing would be fun, and the world cur­rent­ly has no­body flashier, on any in­stru­men­t, than pi­anist Yun­di Li, who seems to have re­brand­ed him­self as YUNDI. But I end­ed up at this Frédéric Chopin Fan­taisie which has, yes, flash, but lots of mu­sic among and be­tween it, and Mr Li re­al­ly seems to un­der­stand Mr Chopin ...
 
SotD: Broken English · This the ti­tle track from Bro­ken English, an al­bum by Mar­i­anne Faith­full, on which ev­ery song is good and some are ter­ri­fy­ing (not this one) ...
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SotD: Pride and Joy · It’s been most­ly gen­tle and so­phis­ti­cat­ed around here re­cent­ly. Let’s turn to Texas and fix that; Pride and Joy, by Ste­vie Ray Vaugh­an, is about the sim­plest blues holler you can imag­ine, with a hap­py mes­sage and some smokin’ hot gui­tar ...
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SotD: Sodade · Cesária Évora is prob­a­bly the on­ly per­son you’ve ev­er heard of (now that you’ve heard of her) from Cabo Verde, which is an is­land group 570km west of Africa’s west­ern­most point. She was a re­al­ly great singer and record­ed lots of fine col­lec­tions of mu­sic. It’s hard to pick from among them, but So­dade is a fine ex­am­ple ...
 
SotD: Both Sides Now · Anyone’s list of top song­writ­ers would in­clude Joni Mitchel­l, and any list of her top songs would in­clude Both Sides, Now. There’s lit­tle I can say that will add val­ue here, just give it a lis­ten and it’ll im­prove your day, any day ...
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SotD: Joan of Arc · This is a song by Leonard Co­hen, but I’m talk­ing about it as per­formed by Jen­nifer Warnes. It may not even be Warnes’ best cov­er of a Co­hen tune, but it’s good enough to be any day’s song, and the record­ing is spe­cial ...
 
SotD: Diaraby · Today’s song comes from Africa (first in the se­ries); Diara­by is a slow dreamy elec­tric African blues with exquisite singing and gui­tar, by Ali Far­ka Touré; sev­en min­utes of pure mu­si­cal joy ...
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SotD: Happy · The song-of-the-day re­cent­ly has been trend­ing a lit­tle bit to the eclec­tic and the ob­scure. Enough of that, let’s dish up a hearty serv­ing of meat-and-potatoes rock-n-roll. Hap­py is a sim­ple stripped-down hard Stones rock­er, vo­cals by Keef, with a nice tune, tasty chord changes, and you know what? I need a love to keep me hap­py too ...
 
SotD: Ne Nehledej · I’m pret­ty sure Ne Nehledej, which is said to mean “Stop Searching”, is in the Czech lan­guage, be­cause Iva Bittová is Czech. I don’t know that much about her and frankly this Song of the Day most­ly ex­ists to high­light re­mark­able video, but Ne Nehledej is a nice song and Bittová is a great en­ter­tain­er while al­so be­ing out there on the edge. She sings and plays vi­o­lin, and is as much per­for­mance art as mu­sic. But (un­like some per­for­mance artist­s) this per­for­mance is all about mu­sic ...
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SotD: More White Flags · Yesterday’s White Flag isn’t the on­ly song of that name. I want to share one in par­tic­u­lar, a mi­nor hit by a mi­nor band (“one-hit wonder” would be char­i­ta­ble) called the Leg­gatt Brother­s, be­cause I think it’s bril­liant, a for­got­ten gem. But there’s no live video and it’s not for sale dig­i­tal­ly, so I load­ed up the en­try with a few ex­tra White Flags ...
 
SotD: White Flag · Here we have a sweet sad love song by Di­do (full name Di­do Flo­ri­an Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Arm­strong) who was born in 1971 and is thus younger than many oth­er Songs of the Day. It was a huge hit, hard­ly ob­scure (the al­bum Life For Rent sold 10+ mil­lion copies). It’s OK to be main­stream some­times, and White Flag is more than OK, it’s bril­liant ...
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SotD: If I Had a Rocket Launcher · Bruce Cock­burn is suf­fi­cient­ly Cana­di­an that his name may ring no bell­s. But I think If I Had a Rock­et Launch­er made a few waves back in the day and may jog a mem­o­ry. He’s an in­ter­est­ing guy, and this is a nice, lilt­ing melod­ic song about want­ing to kill peo­ple ...
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SotD: Canones Diversi · Al­most a month in, and we haven’t had a vis­it with J.S. Bach yet. Long past time, and we’ll be back a lot too, if this se­ries stretch­es out much. We’re go­ing to start out with min­i­mal Bach; we’ll get around to thun­der­ous Bach, pas­sion­ate Bach, and show-off Bach in lat­er in­stall­ments. To­day we’ll sam­ple from a small se­ries en­ti­tled Canones di­ver­si su­per The­ma Regium, part of a larg­er work called Musikalis­ches Opfer, or in English The Mu­si­cal Of­fer­ing, com­posed in 1747, BWV 1079. To­day we’ll take on the Canon a 2, per aug­men­ta­tionem, con­trario mo­tu and the Fu­ga canon­i­ca in Epidi­a­pente. They’re not the two deep­est frag­ments, but they’re a good place to start. This is se­ri­ous­ly beau­ti­ful thought­ful, pa­tient mu­sic ...
 
SotD: Slavery Days · I sure do love me some reg­gae; my island-music tastes are main­stream, but once you get past Mar­ley, the names are fad­ing from mem­o­ries. Maybe I can re­verse that a bit. Let’s start with Win­ston Rod­ney; his first band was Burn­ing Spear, then he just adopt­ed the name for him­self. His mu­sic is a lit­tle deep­er, his singing a lit­tle edgier, his horn ar­range­ments ex­cel­len­t. Slav­ery Days has all of those things, and de­serves to live forever ...
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SotD: Beck + Call · I run a lot of old mu­sic but I’m not some­one who re­al­ly thinks it was all bet­ter back in the day, or is all trash now. So from time to time, the Song of the Day is go­ing to be some­thing I liked on the car ra­dio while I was driv­ing around to­day. To­day, it’s Beck + Call by Ju­ly Talk. Who knows if it’ll still have lis­ten­ers decades from now like most of the se­lec­tions here, or even cen­turies like some. Who cares? It’s a nice tune, needn’t hang its head in the cur­rent com­pa­ny, and Ju­ly Talk are hot stuff live ...
 
SotD: Habanera · The full ti­tle is L’amour est un oiseau re­belle (“Love’s a rebel bird”), a big so­pra­no aria from Car­men, writ­ten by Ge­orges Bizet in 1875. That’s right, an opera! We’re in­to scary ter­ri­to­ry here, at risk of chas­ing away fol­low­ers of this quixot­ic New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion. But bear with me, it’s quite a song ...
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SotD: I Thank You · Mr Moore and Mr Prater dropped their last names and were big soul stars as Sam & Dave be­tween 1961 and 1981. That kind of mu­sic has been pret­ty far off the charts for a lot of years, al­though they got some help from the Blues Brother­s. They’ve got two or three per­for­mances that be­long in this se­ries. I think that I Thank You was the first ev­er soul song that pen­e­trat­ed my con­scious­ness, and is maybe still my fa­vorite ...
 
SotD: The Heart of the Sun · In ful­l, Set the Con­trols for the Heart of the Sun by (the very ear­ly) Pink Floy­d. While Floyd writ­ten some beau­ti­ful mu­sic, if you want some­thing that’s new to, well, any­one, you pret­ty well have to go way back in time to be­fore Dark Side of the Moon. Set the Con­trols is an easy, pleas­ing, soar­ing lis­ten, with or with­out the help of hal­lu­cino­genic drugs ...
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SotD: Visions of You · Jah Wob­ble grew up in East Lon­don with the Sex-Pistols-to-be, and his han­dle comes from a drunk­en Sid Vi­cious at­tempt­ing to pro­nounce his re­al name (John Wardle). He joined John Lydon’s post-Pistols Public Image Limit­ed and then formed In­vaders of the Heart. Vi­sions of You is the lead-off track on the Invaders’ Ris­ing Above Bed­lam disk, which I of­ten play end-to-end. It’s a lightweight pop song with an icy slow-funk back­ground, a re­al treat for the ears ...
 
SotD: Lust For Life · I sup­pose that in 2018 Lust For Life is an ob­scu­ri­ty, some­thing you might have heard on the ra­dio or in an ad. That’s in­sane, it’s ob­vi­ous­ly one of the great rock songs of all time, and has giv­en Ig­gy Pop, who co-wrote it with David Bowie, a per­for­mance ve­hi­cle that he’s tak­en a long, long way ...
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SotD: Cry Me a River · Oc­ca­sion­al­ly, the Song of the Day idea starts with a Greatest-Hits record that has mul­ti­ple can­di­dates, and I pick based on which turns up the best live video. Today’s Great­est Hits are those of Julie Lon­don, and it was a tough choice, but what a beau­ti­ful piece of singing Cry Me a Riv­er is ...
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SotD: Israelites · The sum­mer I turned four­teen, Is­raelites by Des­mond Dekker and the Aces was the biggest hit in the world. I thought it was the best song of that sum­mer and maybe the next sum­mer too. I’d go to the beach, where ev­ery­one had a ra­dio, and as you walked along you’d hear Is­raelites com­ing at you in super-stereo from a dozen di­rec­tion­s; it sound­ed so great ...
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SotD: Travelin’ Prayer · In the mid-Seventies, a wom­en we found with a clas­si­fied ad moved in­to my stu­dent house, and of course brought her record col­lec­tion. It in­clud­ed some­thing called Cold Spring Har­bor by a guy I’d nev­er heard of, Bil­ly Joel. We were pret­ty well a heavy-music joint that didn’t lis­ten to fluff with­out gui­tar solos, so Bil­ly got no re­spect then, just like he gets no re­spect now. But, in among the cheesy bal­lads there was this song that got way un­der my skin, and still does: Travelin’ Pray­er. It’s great, pret­ty well flaw­less ...
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SotD: No Woman, No Cry · Bob Marley’s been gone a long time; longer than most peo­ple read­ing this have lived, I bet. But more than most de­ceased mu­si­cian­s, it feels to me like he’s still out there; a qui­et dub track wo­ven in­to the uni­ver­sal quan­tum back­ground hum. Try to prove me wrong. No Wo­man, No Cry is a good first en­try for reg­gae in Song of the Day; Warm-sounding warm-heartedness; what could be bet­ter in a Northern-hemisphere win­ter? ...
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SotD: Pärt’s Cantus · Since I’ve been rock­ing the house the last cou­ple of days, let’s do seren­i­ty in­stead. Specif­i­cal­ly, Can­tus in Me­mo­ri­am Ben­jamin Brit­ten, for string or­ches­tra and bel­l, by Ar­vo Pärt, one of my mu­si­cal heroes. Here’s how good this is: It just about got me killed, the first time I heard it. Which was on a rent­ed car’s ra­dio in Eng­land, head­ing up the M3, where they drive fast; I was jet-lagged and I caught my­self clos­ing my eyes at 85mph to sa­vor the fad­ing tones of the church bel­l ...
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SotD: Clampdown · Yes­ter­day, I used the phrase “best Rock song ev­er recorded”. Wel­l, why not two days in a row? Be­cause an­oth­er fine can­di­date is Clam­p­down from the Clash’s won­der­ful Lon­don Calling al­bum. That record was a high­light of 1980 and Clam­p­down was a high­light of the record ...
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SotD: Day Tripper · If some­one asked me what the great­est rock&roll song of all time was, I wouldn’t be able to pick. But if they kept ask­ing, and you got a se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion go­ing, Day Trip­per would be in that con­ver­sa­tion ...
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SotD: Missionary Man · If I ac­tu­al­ly had any se­ri­ous mu­si­cal tal­en­t, I would have cho­sen rock&roll over all oth­er pro­fes­sion­s. I guess I haven’t been run­ning that many pure sim­ple rock songs here, and that’s wrong. So let’s turn today’s space over to An­nie Len­nox, Dave Ste­wart, and Joniece Jami­son of the Eury­th­mics for some nice pol­ished pas­sion­ate BritRock ...
 
SotD: Gravity’s Angel · Pos­si­bly you haven’t en­coun­tered Lau­rie An­der­son, and pos­si­bly if you did you wouldn’t like her, be­cause she’s pret­ty far out there. Gravity’s An­gel is at the near end of out-there, a simple-ish song with a love­ly tune and a cool ar­range­men­t; a good place to start ...
 
SotD: Please Don’t · I mean Baby, Please Don’t Go of course, the blues chest­nut to end all blues chest­nut­s. No­body knows who wrote it, al­though ap­par­ent­ly Mud­dy Waters first made it a hit; Wikipedia of­fers sev­er­al plau­si­ble back­grounds dat­ing from slav­ery days up to about 1925. The ver­sion I’m chiefly rec­om­mend­ing was record­ed by Lightnin’ Hop­kins in the ear­ly Six­ties ...
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SotD: The Other 5:15 · No, I’m not talk­ing about the Who song from Quadrophe­nia (though it’s a fine tune), I’m talk­ing about the song by Chris Isaak. No, I’m not talk­ing about Wicked Game ei­ther, which I may fea­ture here some day. I’m talk­ing about Chris’ 5:15, one of the sev­er­al ex­cel­lent songs on San Fran­cis­co Days, one of the sev­er­al ex­cel­lent al­bums Mr Isaak has re­leased ...
 
SotD: Troy · I bought Sinéad O’Connor’s de­but, The Lion and the Co­bra, be­cause Mandinko was on the ra­dio and I liked it. The first time I played it, not hav­ing looked at the track list­ing, I no­ticed some med­i­ta­tive croon­ing about “Dublin in a Rainstorm”; the next time, a gut-grabbing throaty chan­t: “You should have left the lights on”; and then an­oth­er time a howl­ing dec­la­ra­tion about ris­ing, a phoenix from the flame. It took me a while to no­tice that all of these were from the same track: Troy. It’s a hell of a song ...
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SotD: Temporary Ground · This is the best song from Jack White’s 2014 Lazaret­to al­bum, and it was the cen­ter­piece of the show last time I saw him play. It’s most­ly acous­tic, thus has to stand on its own sans bom­bas­tic gui­tar flour­ish­es. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jack’s bom­bas­tic­s, but it’s good to let a song speak for it­self, and Tem­po­rary Ground has a lot to say ...
 
SotD: Voodoo Runner · Today’s song is Miles Runs the Voodoo Down, from Bitch­es Brew. In the se­ries in­tro I said “I won’t be rec­om­mend­ing abra­sive free-jazz jams…” and well, this is kind of abra­sive and while it might not be free jaz­z, it’s pret­ty loose. But it’s won­der­ful im­pro­vi­sa­tion and pro­duc­tion, full of deep mu­si­cal in­tel­li­gence, and if you like any­thing at all in the electric-jazz space, you’ll prob­a­bly like this a lot. If you’ve nev­er checked the space out, this might be a good place to start ...
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SotD: Solveig’s Song · Hey, there are songs in Clas­si­cal Mu­sic, too! Maybe you think you don’t like that stuff? Stick around and give this one a lis­ten. This Song is the last move­ment of Peer Gynt Suite #2 by Nor­we­gian com­pos­er Ed­vard Grieg, dat­ing from 1876. It’s ex­cep­tion­al­ly beau­ti­ful, one of the great melodies of all time. I en­coun­tered it some decades ago, when my cel­lo teach­er as­signed it to me, and it works well on that in­stru­men­t. I loved play­ing it and now I love lis­ten­ing to it ...
[2 comments]  
SotD: Pete’s Blue · This is a min­i­mal­ist gui­tar in­stru­men­tal by Roy Buchanan (1939-1988). Gen­uine­ly ob­scure stuff, but I’m pret­ty sure you’ll find it worth sev­en min­utes and sev­en­teen sec­onds of your time ...
 
SotD: Cannonball · Mu­sic comes in lots of fla­vors, most of which I’d hate to have to live with­out, but the ones clos­est to my heart in­volve well-played elec­tric gui­tars, fe­male voic­es, and raw rock en­er­gy. The Breeders’ Can­non­ball has all three in­gre­di­ents ...
[4 comments]  
SotD: Ooh La La · This by The Dit­ty Bops, from their self-titled de­but al­bum in 2004. I’d nev­er heard of them be­fore, nor have I since; but this is a re­mark­able song and more than one friend, hear­ing it in the back­ground, has stopped talk­ing and asked “What’s that?” ...
[3 comments]  
SotD: Identikit · This is from Radiohead’s re­cent A Moon Shaped Pool, which I’ve been lis­ten­ing to a whole lot, and oh my good­ness what a beau­ti­ful song ...
 
SotD: Western Stars · No­body, and I mean no­body, brings more to a per­for­mance than k.d. lang. But she’s not on the road that much, so you might have to set­tle for record­ings. A good record­ing to set­tle for would be Shad­ow­land, fea­tur­ing pro­duc­tion by country-music leg­end Owen Bradley and guest ap­pear­ances by oth­er divas-with-twang. This is prob­a­bly the best song on Shad­ow­land ...
[2 comments]  
Songs of the Day · Here’s my New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion: I’ll try to try to pub­lish a short piece ev­ery day rec­om­mend­ing a song that I think is ex­cel­len­t, and apt to please at least some read­er­s. Let’s see how far in­to 2018 I get; a quick run through the col­lec­tion turned up around 240 can­di­dates, so a whole year’s worth of songs would be a stretch goal. Read on for mo­ti­va­tion, lo­gis­tic­s, and me­chan­ic­s. Or just read the song notes, start­ing to­mor­row. Or don’t ...
[4 comments]  
SotD: New Year’s Day · Back in the late Eight­ies, for a few months I went to aer­o­bics class, and once ev­ery ses­sion the in­struc­tor put this U2 chest­nut on and ev­ery time my beats-per-minute cranked right up. Not in the slight­est ob­scure, but worth re­vis­it­ing at least once a year, ide­al­ly on this day ...
 
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