Tuesday, 20 December 2011

10 Great Songs. Period.

Just under a week now until Christmas day is upon us! I'm a generous guy, I like to see people close to me happy and fulfilled in every way imaginable. So I thought you all deserved your Christmas gift early. No inherent theme this week, just 10 songs that everyone needs to hear. Maybe you have heard them, maybe you haven't. If you have enjoy them again and think back to when you first discovered them...if you haven't get on acquiring them now!! 10 Great Songs! From me to you!

1. "Streetcar" - Funeral For A Friend

Funeral For A Friend are a hardcore group from the UK. I love the way this song starts out...a simple telephone call, she picks up the phone and all hell is unleashed. It never stops through the entire song either. The album this song is off of, Hours,  is worth picking up too if this tickles your fancy. It sure tickled mine!

2. "No Children" - The Mountain Goats

Here's a delicious and nasty song for those waking up on the shores of a terrible relationship and feeling relieved. "No Children" could have been included on a few future lists: "Songs without drums" and "Songs without choruses", but it's too good to hold on to.

3. "Mixtape" - Butch Walker

Butch Walker has enjoyed a long tour of duty in the music industry. Beginning back in the late 90's as the singer of the short-lived Marvelous 3, he'd go on to have underground success and following as a solo artist. He's even been known to write songs for other popular artists, one that comes to mind: Weezer. "Mixtape" is a great track off his equally great album Letters.

4. "Magic" - Ladyhawke

Ladyhawke is the stage name of New Zealander Pip Brown. She may have gotten a slow start to her musical career but she came in like a lion with her self-titled 2008 debut.  "Magic" is a great sampling of her talents, a mix of rock, pop and synth styles create a love song of dream-like proportions.

5. "From Now On" - Dikta

One thing I took away from my Iceland trip earlier this year was some great music by the locals. Dikta was a stand out that I heard on the plane's in-flight radio. "From Now On" has a relaxed and chill vibe, reminiscent of Damien Rice or James Blunt, but with a little more edge when it comes to lyrics.

6. "Freefallin'" - Atmosphere

I'm going to do a list about great rap songs and you can bet your sweet asses that Atmosphere will be included. "Freefallin'" is a great song about being thankful for what you have even though it's not what your dreams are made of. Singer Slug has a natural talent for word crafting. Often times it's just as good as master an instrument.

7. "Paris Is On" - Paul Brill

Here's another haunting simple song. Paul is almost effortless in his beautiful delivery of this  hypnotic track. The video is effin' sweet too, I couldn't squeeze it on to my Great Video list unfortunately...hey that gives me an idea!!

8. "Cut" - The Cure

I remember clear purchasing the Cure's album "Wish". I actually had to order it specifically from another record shop across town, because the one in my neighborhood didn't have it. I went through alot of trouble to get this album, based on a recommendation by a music fan whose opinion I trust, and I don't regret it. This track jumped out at me immediately upon first listening and to this day it remains my favourite Cure track. Get It!!

9. "The Rat" - The Walkmen

I ignored this song and this band for a long time, for really no reason but that I didn't like being told what to like. "You'll love it!!!" people would say, so I ignored it. One day it stumbled upon it by chance and couldn't believe i've been without it for as long as I was. Don't make the same mistake I did. Check this track out! You'll love it!

10. "Stop Whispering" - Radiohead

I kind of lost track of Radiohead, nothing against them. I'm sure they're still making excellent music. Every so often I hear a track off one of their newer albums and it's admittedly good. Just after OK Computer I found it difficult to keep up with their releases, I dunno. Thankfully there is plenty of ear candy on their earlier albums, like this gem from Pablo Honey.

Thanks again to all readers! The request lines are open so bring them in!
I May not post much during the holidays but do have my next list in mind for the end of the year! Be safe and keep those ears open!! Cheers


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Top 25 Best Christmas Songs Ever

Aww yeah. Had to happen. There are typically 2 types of people when it comes to christmas music. Those who admit they love it and those who are friggin' lying and say they don't..yet secretly they do. I am of the first camp and enjoy the music that is inspired by all the energy that amasses around the final moments of the year. Whatever Christmas means to you, music can make it a little more enjoyable. So if you're wondering what songs to include on a Xmas party playlist...or just need some comfort for your lonely Christmas soul, I present to you: The Top 25 BEST Christmas Songs Ever!

25. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" - Mariah Carey

This first entry might surprise some of you, but whats greater than a super-sexy diva singing about only wanting to be with you for Christmas. It gets off to a soft start, but give it a few moments and it kicks into an uplifting tune that is guaranteed to make your girl gyrate and swoon. Always been a shadowed Mariah supporter...craziness and all.

24.  "Driving Home For Christmas" - Chris Rea

British born Chris Rea is kind of like England's Johnny Cash. This one strikes a chord with me, because i'm always on the road around Christmas time. Driving back to my hometown from wherever in this country i'm living in at the time. Music definitely makes that trek easier...always has

23. "We Three Kings" - Wintersleep

I've not only included original Xmas songs, but even some traditional carols that have been performed by contemporary artists. Halifax's Wintersleep unleashed a haunting version of "We Three Kings". While i've heard the song played all year round, it's typically reserved for the holiday season with it's association with the birth of Christ.

22. "Step Into Christmas" - Elton John

A classic from 1973 by the legendary song crafting duo Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was released as a stand alone, meaning it didn't fit on any of Elton's records nor did he release an album of all Christmas music at the time. The recording procedure was meant to mimic Phil Spector's "wall of sound" technique. More on Spector later...

21. "Please Come Home For Christmas" - Bon Jovi

I've always thought this song was called "Bells Will Be Ringing". It was originally written in the 60s and has since been covered multiple times...most notably by The Eagles and Bon Jovi. I feel Bon Jovi's is the best treatment and obviously the most popular. Again about that feeling that it's just not the same without having that someone with you on Christmas...as we all know it's usually a whirlwind and a nightmare trying to untangle everyone's plans...but still one can wish.

20. "Seasons Greetings Felony" - Revenge Of The Egg People

Not every Christmas song is sappy and joyful. Revenge Of The Egg People tell a humourous tale of mistaking Santa Claus for a prowler and opening fire when he makes a move for his bag. It wasn't easy finding this track...i had to make a video for it myself on Youtube. Y'all better respect what I do for you guys around the holidays.

19.  "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" - Bing Crosby & David Bowie

One of the most iconic musical Christmas images is a young David Bowie visiting Bing Crosby's "home" on Bing's final Christmas special in 1977. "Little Drummer Boy" might be my favourite Christmas carol, but this version is special not only because of the star power, but the delightful harmonization of the "Peace on Earth" lyrics against the traditional ones. It's a pretty thing isn't it?

18. "Merry Christmas Baby" - Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band

It just isn't Christmas without the Boss. Featured on the 1987 album A Very Special Christmas which featured many various artists doing their holiday tunes and donating the profits to The Special Olympics. This song is actually a cover of an old R & B favourite, but Bruce's version has a nice energy and that infectious saxophone hook. Gets ME hooked!

17. "Early Christmas Morning" - Cyndi Lauper

Here's a fun little ditty from the fabulous Cyndi Lauper. Leave it to her to capture the sheer anticipation and frenzied joy we all remember from our youth the night before Christmas. Man, I remember having near anxiety attacks. This was only released in Japan I think, which is why some of the backing vocals sound like Japanese.

16. "Merry Xmas Everybody" - Slade

If you ask a Brit what their idea of the best Christmas song is, some might say John Lennon's "War Is Over" but the majority will say "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade. They are very proud of this export. It's a feel good, quasi-rock, yet not over the top Christmas song. And yes the 'X' is actually in the title. It was part of Slade's M.O to purposely misspell their song titles. Cheeky...

15. "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord" - Boney M

Legendary Disco group Boney M arrived at the Christmas party with a version of Harry Belafonte's "Mary's Boy Child" only they synced it with their own flavour "Oh My Lord". The result is a catchy and unforgettable song, beaming with positivity and joy. Just the right prescription for the winter blues. Seriously how can anybody be miserable watching this video??

14. "Christmas Day" - Dido

Here's a sweet and simple track one might not even distinguish as a Christmas song were it not for the tell-tale sleigh bells playing faintly in the background. It's a common trend in movies and art that Christmas Day is the constant and the absolute for many relationships. Dido's song plays on this well as her hero promises that he will return to his love on Christmas Day. I wonder if he did...I wonder if I would...

13. "Wonderful Christmastime" - Paul McCartney

This one has been tattooed on my memory for quite some time. Hearing those addictive first swells of the song as a youth on the radio, I knew I would soon be swarmed by AM Christmas favourites, though if they could all be like this I wouldn't complain. The Cute One's knack for songwriting has never left him like many thought would happen after The Beatles split. This song is so simple, so linear...so freaking good.

12. "Breath Of Heaven" - Amy Grant

Kind of off the beaten path of what most people's conceptions of a Christmas song is. "Breath Of Heaven" (also called "Mary's Song") is a powerful song told through the virgin Mary's eyes during her and Joseph's voyage to Bethlehem. Whatever your beliefs are, this song is impressive for it's honesty and it's magnificent ability to take you from wherever you are and put you directly in that position. It's sad, brave and inspiring all at once. Wrapped in a beautiful package of Amy's heavenly voice.

11. "Feliz Navidad" - Jose Feliciano

I'm sure there are some that would scream blasphemy for not putting this one at the top of my list, but trust me, we only go up from here. Here's the english translation of what Jose is saying here "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness"

10. "Little Drummer Boy" - The Jackson 5

Yes I know it's already been on this list but as I said, it's my favourite Christmas Carol. There's something about the way the Jackson 5 belt this one out and the way the song keeps rising and reaching to that peak vesre when the baby smiles at him. It's a touching moment in Christmas mythology, performed marvelously by one of Motown's legendary groups.

9. "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" - U2

U2 put their Irish tinge on a classic by Darlene Love and Phil Spector. Here's another song that's inspired by the memories within relationships Christmas tends to intensify. For some people it's just another day unless all the pieces fall together perfectly. They may be present at the celebration, but in their mind they're with someone else.

8. "Oi To The World" - The Vandals

Time for some Xmas punk. As a play on the typical Christmas anthem "Joy To The World" The Vandals craft a wonderful tale of brotherhood and good will towards man in "Oi To The World". It's since been covered by many bands, most notably by Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. More bands should try their hand at honest and unique Christmas music the way The Vandals did.

7. "Do They Know It's Christmas" - Band Aid

Band Aid was the brainchild of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. In 1984 Geldof was heavily effected by the famines in Ethiopia and wrote the song "Do They Know It's Christmas" to raise funds for it's relief. He amassed dozens of singers and pop stars of the era to provide vocals and music. Among those involved were Bono, Sting, George Michael,  Simon LeBon, Boy George and Phil Collins. Geldof went on to create Live Aid which raised further funds for the troubles in Africa and he has been on a similar crusade ever since.

6. "Christmas Is Coming" - The Payolas

Perhaps the greatest Christmas song ever forgotten in the pages of musical history is done by none other than Canada's Payolas! They sadly suffered from obscurity in other countries outside their own simply because DJs didn't like mentioning the word "Payola" on air. For some reason thats a touchy one for American Radio Djs...hmmm. Anyway, this song is great. About having nothing going for you, but it's still Christmas and the magic of the season can make all that go away for a few days at least. Christmas is coming, it's been a long year. I wish you were here...

5. "Snoopy's Christmas" - The Royal Guardsmen

As a kid I thought this was The Beatles under a different name...I also thought the song was about Snoopy in a dogfight with a red BEAR. I was kind of a dumb kid. This song speaks to the comradery that is an unspoken law around Christmas time. Even sworn enemies can put aside their differences for a night and enjoy a drink together. This song could have it's roots in a true event that happened one Christmas during World War I. When British and German soldiers agreed to a ceasefire on Christmas Day and met in between trenches, exchanging gifts, sharing photos and even playing a game of soccer.

4. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" - John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Though this song can make you look uncomfortably at yourself at a time when you're supposed to be celebrating and enjoying the holidays, it's still one of the all time greats in terms of Christmas Music. Lennon's simple poetry and gifted songwriting could coax a crowded room to join in the chorus of "War Is Over".
Simple. Moving. Effective.

3. "Last Christmas" - Wham!

In the future kids won't sing "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" or "Jingle Bells" they'll sing Wham!'s "Last Christmas" in school assembly's around the holidays. That's how much of an impact this song had, to this day dozens of artists cover it each year. Jimmy Eat World, Human Nature and Taylor Swift are a few that come to mind in recent history. I wouldn't be surprised if the leeches at Glee got a hold of it...this song would still be strong though...the soul and heart of George Michael's words will last the test of time no matter who attempts to capitalize on it's power.

2. "Christmas Eve /Sarajevo" - Trans Siberian Orchestra

Here we are at number 2 and this one doesn't even have any vocals. It doesn't need them. This whole list I was praising songs on their beautiful simplicity, which is a honourable merit, but being complicated can also be beautiful. The Trans Siberian Orchestra has their talents down to an art....each piece in the orchestra and member on the backing rock band are so in tune with one another it creates a chaotic tapestry that can weave a story without even speaking a word. They are known for their brilliant live performances...if you ever get a chance to see them DO NOT pass it up. This group will not be around forever...and that will be a very sad Christmas.

1. "Fairytale Of New York" - The Pogues

There was no doubt what was waiting at #1. Irish group The Pogues crafted this masterpiece in 1987, almost an anti-Christmas tune, it's a ballad for all of us who've ever been alone with a bourbon on Christmas Eve. Kristy MacColl joins the band, making it a wonderful back and forth vocal offering of a relationship being tested by the holiday season. This song will always take me back to my younger days, as i'm sure it does for many listeners. It's really a song for any time of year being about what could have been or once was, it just happens to occur during Christmas. I love the outro....conjures the image of the two walking off into the unknown. Hand in hand. Whether they like it or not.

I've been wanting to do a list like that for a long time! I had fun! Hope you guys enjoyed it!
Happy Holidays from your mate Johnny Zhivago...the original Jay-Zed.

Monday, 5 December 2011

10 Great Songs By Guy/Girl Duos

Yes men and women are different. Can't live with 'em can't live without 'em, AM I RIGHT??? We both have to coexist on this planet however and as such we have figured a way to tolerate each other's company. Also along the way we have realized certain things about the other that we rather enjoy and things we enjoying doing with one another. Making great music is no exception. 10 great songs by guy/girl duos!

1. "Relator" - Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson

There was a time when celebrities were expected to be masters of all the arts and not just a select few. Movie stars of old  were dancers, singers, actors and even writers. It should come as no surprise then that many modern day actors are quite capable singers and musicians. Pete Yorn is a well established musician in his own right, and Johansson certainly has some singing chops. This track is from their combined 2009 album Break Up, an album told through the perspective of a man and woman in a rocky relationship.

2. "Love Letter To Japan" - The Bird & The Bee

Consisting of members Irana George (the bird) and Greg Kurston (the bee), The Bird and The Bee came to be when George was working on a solo album with producer Kurston. The 2 got along swimmingly and decided to make an electro album together. That was 2006 and they are currently on their 3rd album with no signs of slowing.

3. "Steak For Chicken" - The Moldy Peaches

The Moldy Peaches were the brainchild of Adam Green. His unique brand of anti-folk, and quirky lyrics attracted a small following in his college years. Kimya Dawson was one of the contributors when he eventually took it to new heights and the two were collectively known as The Moldy Peaches. Their deadpan and honest vocal stylings demanded your attention whether you were a fan of it or not. They broke up in 2004, but enjoyed a short lived resurgence in 2007 when their songs were prominently featured in the film Juno.

4. "You Don't Know What Love Is" - The White Stripes

Probably one of the most famous man/woman duos at the moment. Jack and Meg White were once an item, in fact it was Jack who took Meg's last name of White. There are many songs that I could have chosen from, "You Don't Know What Love Is" from 2007's Icky Thump has always been a stand out favourite of mine however. Great guitar licks, honest lyrics and an actual interesting and fitting drumbeat, also some key backing vocals from Meg, make this one worthy.

5. "Hideaway" - The Weepies

It was one of those late night youtube scanning sessions of mindlessly clicking on one suggested video after another when I stumbled upon The Weepies. Husband and wife duo Steve & Deb from Cambridge, Massachusetts, have crafted a lovely version of heartfelt folk. What i've noticed about them though, as I do own one of their albums, is one song can sound completely different from the next. I love when bands have that ability and are brave enough to step out of their comfort zones. Other songs to check out "World Spins Madly On", "All Good Things" and "Can't Go Back Now".

6. "Heartbeats" - The Knife

Siblings Olof and Karin Dreijer from Sweden are also known as electro-clash duo The Knife. They have drawn comparisons to Daft Punk because of the nature of their music and their knack for wearing masks during concerts and in public. Critically and publicly acclaimed alike, The Knife took a break while Karin worked on her side project Fever Ray in 2010. Though they have announced a new Knife album will be released in 2012. Joy!

7. "Superstar" - The Carpenters

Another brother/sister duo. Though I don't know much about them I felt it would be a disservice had I not included The Carpenters. The classic story of burning out before fading away, The Carpenters shot to super stardom in the 60's and 70's. Enjoying success over a multitude of albums. In early 1983 Karen Carpenter died at the young age of 32, due to an ongoing battle with anorexia. Richard Carpenter has since kept his sister's legacy alive through producing some of their unreleased recordings.

8. "Rill Rill" - Sleigh Bells

The Electro scene seems to have it's share of duos, maybe because of the lack of multiple instruments needed to create the music, also a woman with a great voice can accompany a sexy beat perfectly. Here we have Brooklyn's Sleigh Bells. The pair met in a classic New York scenario: Derek Miller was waiting tables in a diner, making money for his DJing passion when he overheard Alexis Krauss and her mother talking about her singing career. Derek mentioned he needed a vocalist for his latest project and the rest is history...

9. "Dead Sound" - The Raveonettes

Denmark's Raveonettes actually started their journey with more members, and released 2 albums with four members on one and five on another. Through one circumstance or another members started dropping off leaving only Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo. Funny that I prefer their songs as a duo over their full band efforts.

10. "Here Comes The Rain Again" - The Eurythmics

Had to do it. Had to include the music world's most famous male/female duo. The Eurythmics. It's a formula for success when you put two free spirits in a room and get them to record an album., and when one of those people is the musical master Dave Stewart and the other is the textbook definition of a singer and stage presence in Annie Lennox. It's one for the ages. Any song by The Eurythmics could have been included here, they're consistently good.

Thats it for this time! Christmas is coming! Send me your list ideas!!!

Monday, 28 November 2011

10 Great Metal Songs

I've done punk songs, now it's time to pay tribute to it's older brother. Metal. I'm not going to attempt to classify every song here as Heavy Metal, Black Metal, Thrash Metal...fuck it! Just metal! It really was the first genre of music that i gave my heart to and it still reminds somewhere for me to hide my head in frequently. No other theme this week except awesome metal tracks...here's 10. Oh yeah...NSFW lyrics all over dis.

1. "Everything Ends" - Slipknot

Let's start off with the nine. Slipknot were brought into my world as I was leaving high school and entering college. Their album Iowa was released in 2001 and blew my mind. Track #5 "Everything Ends" had a large hand in that. Front man Cory Taylor wrote this about a young and misguided attempt on his own life over, what else, a girl. Metal has a very sharp and dangerous exterior, which is why many music fans tend to be skeptical, but underneath that are some great and heartbreaking stories.

2. "Run To The Hills" - Iron Maiden

Holy shit this song is so effin' good.  Britain's Iron Maiden are one of those bands that everyone knows, but not everyone can name one of their songs. This is for you. A cynical look at Europe's conquest of the Native American inhabitants of the New World, it's actually the rhythym section on full force here. The drums and rumbling bass conjure the image of a stampede of horses charging into the fog of war in the great plains of North America. Metal has a knack for epic lyrics...usually involving war or death in some way.

3. "Here To Stay" - Korn

Korn were one of the centre pieces of bringing a fresh sound to metal in the 90's. Using funk elements and at times a clear hip-hop influence they were able to reach an audience outside of the usual acid-washed, long-haired stereotypical metal crowd. Thats not to say the energy and power of metal wasn't there, Take "Here To Stay" which was actually off of Their 2002 album The Untouchables, a soaring and triumphant return to the ear shattering and mind bending music they were renowned for.

4. "Forest" - System Of A Down

I've mentioned System's political and socially conscious place in the music world before, but stripped down to their music they are a metal group. 2001's Toxicity catapulted them into the ionosphere without surprise. Every track on that record is a revelation. For some reason "Forest" always was one track from the album that I would constantly go back to.

5. "Cowboys From Hell" - Pantera

Pantera were prominent in the late 80's and 90's metal scene. Their musicianship, energy and unapologetic attitude toward critics made them the perfect metal poster children. "Cowboys From Hell" was what finally made the world turn and appreciate Pantera, it's a 5 minute lesson of riff-ography and general badassery. It really showed that metal can be loud, powerful and melodic. Almost perfect.

6. "Immortal Corrupter" - Gwar

Gwar take alot of heat for being a joke. While they're the first ones to accept it and give it right back, what they aren't known for is incredibly well written metal songs, which is a shame. So this entry is mainly on here to shine some light on the masterpiece that is their 2001 album Violence Has Arrived. Namely the song "Immortal Corrupter" from start to end it's a savage ride of metal power chords, machine gun drumming and clever and infectious vocals of Oderus Urungus (aka Dave Brockie). When I do my Top 100 Metal Songs this will be in the top 10. Truth. It's that good. And no, I didn't forget spellcheck, 'Corrupter' is spelt that way on the album sleeve. Who gives a fuck. When you record a song this important, spelling errors are the last thing you should be concerned with.

7. "Something Inside Of Me" - Wicked Wisdom

Something from the women of the metal world, of whom there are many and they are dangerous. Wicked Wisdom features non other than Jada Pinkett Smith on lead vocals, yep thats Will Smith's wife. She actually proves herself a very capable lead singer in the metal world. This song would always get wedged in my memory, it's hard to forget

8. "Her Ghost In The Fog" - Cradle Of Filth

This song is downright cool. Cradle Of Filth's albums weave stories that find their roots in all sorts of mythology and tales. "Her Ghost In The Fog" is actually a powerful and epic love story. A young, beautiful woman is raped and killed by men of the clergy. The woman's lover finds her and pieces the clues together to find those responsible. The 5 priests are later burned alive in their church in retribution. Some very impressive guitar work and drumming throughout this song, as well as very suiting male/female vocals in an almost operatic fashion.

9. "Waste" - Skrape

I honestly do not know much about Skrape, but if you're a metal fan and can track down a copy of their debut release New Killer America, for god's sakes do it. A buddy of mine at the old radio station found this gem buried under a pile of whatever cds we were sent free that week and we took a chance on it. Just well crafted, high-intensity metal. Exactly what we were looking for. "Waste" is just one of many good songs off the album. Try also "Sunshine", "I Know" and "Broken Knees".

10. "Invisible Kid" - Metallica

You're goddamned right I did it. Metallica is my favourite group, so how could I not include them? I also decided to include a track from the controversial album St. Anger hoping to get some comments. I know it's picked on often, but i have yet to hear a convincing reason why it's a bad record. And i'm not in denial.
"Invisible Kid" is one of many excellent tracks off St. Anger and album full of energy, rage, passion and about 9 million "Fuck You's" screamed right in your face.

Monday, 21 November 2011

10 Great Long Songs

Well it's parade season. Parades, long drown out attractions that inconvenient traffic and force on-lookers to stand in the cold for a minimal payoff. Especially this time of year. Theres something about them though that still brings the curiousity out in people. Got me thinking about songs that don't fit within the standard 3 and a half minute format convenient for radio stations and general mainstream. But they still deserve a listen. Here's 10 great Long Songs. (and no i'm not doing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida)

1. "Thin Blue Flame" - Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter never ceases to amaze me. Every song i've heard of his is different from the last. The advantage of writing a song without limits of time is to have the pacing and the ability to achieve the atmosphere you desire. A couple of the songs on this list build to a marvelous musical nadir. This one clocks in at 9:38.

2. "Dr. Phibes Rises Again" - Misfits

Coming in at 6:49 "Dr. Phibes Rises Again" is the longest Misfits song on record, and it's only found on an album of b-sides and demos, 2001's Cuts From The Crypt. It's a tale of murder and betrayal from beyond the grave, based on the movie it shares a title with. According to the liner notes the song was originally recorded by the Misfits side-group Kryst The Conquerer, and re-recorded with the new Misfits line up.

3. "Marquee Moon" - Television

In the 70's Television were harrowed as one of the forerunners of the punk movement. Then in 1977 they did the unexpected by releasing a near 11 minute, musically intricate track called "Marquee Moon". It blew critics away with it's craftsmenship and even required a few members of Television to be replaced due to their lack of skill for some of the guitar work. The whole second half of the song is pretty much a solo afterall.

4. "The Decline" - NOFX

Clocking in at over 18 minutes "The Decline" is this lists' champion of duration. NOFX had an idea to instead of making quick short punk songs, why not make one epic long one? They soon discovered that recording and mixing such a track was a nightmare. They vowed to never attempt it again. Apparently there is a rumour that "The Decline" syncs up with Pink Floyd's film "The Wall", i've never tried it.

5. "The Outlaw Torn" - Metallica

From Metallica's longest album is one of Metallica's longest songs. It's usually regarded as the best off of 96's Load. Back then CDs could handle 75 minutes of music on them, Load comes in at 74:59. The last 30 seconds had to be left off of this track just so it would fit. This song gets into my psyche so much it hardly feels like the 10 minutes it is....i find it difficult to pick a favourite Metallica track, I typically change my mind daily, but this one gets the nod in high rotation.

6. "Jesus Of Suburbia" - Green Day

Yeah I know this one is mainstream and has been played in it's entirety on radio, but goddamn it's a great fucking track. We all know the story of 2004's American Idiot, how their original album's worth of songs got deleted off their computer and lost forever. Thankfully. I feel this album was a return to form for Green Day and a very impressive step in a new direction. "Jesus Of Suburbia" is a flawless example of that. I mean flawless too.

7. "Bartender" - Dave Matthews Band

2002's Busted Stuff was compiled of songs originally recorded during the Lillywhite Sessions with producer Steve Lillywhite. The band opted not to release it as they felt the songs were too depressing, however after the positive reaction from fans at live shows and the leaked bootlegs got around the internet, DMB relented and released the songs on Busted Stuff. Dave Matthews Band are notorious for long songs and their extended jamming during concerts can make them even longer. Songs like "Bartender" however make it a welcome sin.

8. "When The Levee Breaks" - Led Zeppelin

I could've chosen from a multitude of Zeppelin tracks, i've always been rather fond of "When The Levee Breaks". Something about the intro and the way the music resonates throughout the song. I read it was actually a difficult track to lay down in the studio, which is also why they rarely played it live.

9. "The Mariner's Revenge Song" - The Decemberists

This one could've been included on a number of different themed lists....and i'm sure it will appear again at some point. Even if that is against my rules. It's just a great song that I can never get enough of. And at 8:47 that says quite a bit. It weaves a tale through the eyes of son seeking to avenge the death of his mother. The instruments used really capture the era the story takes place in as well. If you haven't been made aware of The Decemberists until now, you're very welcome.

10. "Konstantine" - Something Corporate

I was about to include this one on last week's list, but had the idea for Long Songs and saved it for here. The person who introduced me to it referred it as our generations "Stairway To Heaven". It's another one of those songs that builds and builds until the song's crescendo. Something Corporate were typically known for emo-esque love songs, and delivered a doozy with "Konstantine". It wasn't even included on an album until Songs For Silent Movies and even then only on Japanese import. It's an autobiographical song about singer Andrew McMahon's relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Most of the lines are about situations that actually happened to him. Enjoy it.

Monday, 14 November 2011

10 Great Songs With Girls' Names

Women are the best thing about being a heterosexual male. Seriously, they're sexy. Men write songs about women all the time...some are a little shy and hide the song's meaning behind metaphor and imagery. Others just come out and name the song after them. Here's 10.

1. "Valerie" - Steve Winwood

What ever happened to Steve Winwood? He was huge in the 80's and one day simply wasn't there anymore. It wasn't until Eric Prydz sampled this one in 2004 that people went "Oh yeah.....". Valerie's identity has never been revealed, but Winwood's lyricist insists she's real.

2. "Felicia" - The Constellations

Musicians love strippers. It's a fact. They make no apologies for explicitly including strippers in videos and stage shows. It's no surprise then that many songs have been written about the pole dancers. Chris DeBurgh, Van Halen and Akon are a few that come to mind. The Constellation's 2010 funky tune is about one named "Felicia".

3. "Rosanna" - Toto

For a long time it was common knowledge that this song was written about Rosanna Arquette, until a 2002 interview with Toto's guitar player revealed that while she was dating Steve Porcaro (keyboards) the song just shares her name and nothing else. This one takes me back.

4. "Angie" - The Rolling Stones

Another song where the titular girl's identity is shrouded in specluation. Many thought it was about Angela Bowie, David Bowie's wife. Jagger himself claims Keith Richards came up with the title after his own daughter's name. Either way it's a very sweet song and was uncharacteristic for the Stones at the time, as it's entirely acoustic.

5. "Kathleen" - Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter is one of the world's best modern songwriters. Hailing from Idaho he's had a huge following for most of the last decade and has yet to have any real mainstream success. "Kathleen" is off his 2003 album Hello Starling. The opening line caught me instantly "All the other girls here are stars; You are the Northern Lights". Other songs by Ritter to check out "Harrisburg", "Thin Blue Flame" and "Stuck On You".

6. "Suzanne" - Weezer

This song was used during the closing scene in one of my all time favourite flicks, Mallrats. In fact, the monkey in it's 2001 cousin Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, was named after this song. "Suzanne" features all of Weezer's dork poetry and classroom love letter mentality that you'd expect, but in an endearing way. Theses songs weren't an imitation of themselves yet.

7. "Judith" - A Perfect Cirlce

It's pretty clear what this song is all about. Someone having blind faith and calling themselves and others sinners for very small and petty reasons. Judith was Maynard's mother's name, she was paralyzed by a stroke and still held on to her faith.

8. "Sylvia Plath" - Ryan Adams

We all know who Sylvia Plath was, poet, authour of The Bell Jar and a seriously depressed woman. She committed suicide at age 30 by sticking her head in the oven and leaving the gas on. Odd that Adams is singing about wanting a woman like that, maybe he merely means a strong willed woman. Someone slightly eccentric and shows her love in different and imaginative ways...come to think of it...I want that too!!

9. "Veronica" - Elvis Costello

Love that there are many solid singer/songwriters on this list! This one came about during Costello's collaboration with Paul McCartney. Though Costello claims it's not one of his favourite songs for it's pop sensibilities and accessibility, it's definitely a great track. It's clearly about his grandmother wasting away in a retirement home. Grim places they are.

10. "Jane" - Barenaked Ladies

I seemed to have my choice of many songs named "Jane" or "Mary" or any combination of the two, The Barenaked Ladies' "Jane" always reminds me of my childhood and the lovely musical awakening I had there. So I picked this one to cap the list off. I always enjoyed BNL's more seriously toned tracks to their poppy pun-filled ditties. It's actually named after an intersection in Toronto, Jane & St. Clair. I guess since I was coming of age like the character in the song I identified with "Jane", though in my mind it was a different girl I was singing about. Who was that girl? I'll never tell.

Thanks for reading! Write a comment! Request a list!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

10 Songs About War

Here in Canada, the 11th Day of the 11th month is committed to remembering those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy daily. I am not a politcian. I am not a philosopher. Nor am I in any position to give a detailed and lengthy rant about the evils of war, but typically it sucks. Sadly almost every civilization has experienced it in one form or another. Their muses and artists have not ignored the subject either. Here are 10 great songs about war.

1. "Rooster" - Alice In Chains

Vietnam inspired many great songs. Funny how such a futile and seemingly pointless occupation could inspire so many. I guess it isn't funny when you think of it. This one is about Jerry Cantrell's father who's nickname in Vietnam was "Rooster". The lyrics really exemplify the horror the soldiers experienced over there and the backlash they were ambushed by upon returning home. The video features Cantrell's father telling it from his perspective.

2. "Fortunate Son" - Creedance Clearwater Revival

Americans are silly....and sometimes terrifying. Upon it's release many patriotic Americans hailed "Fortunate Son" as a new anthem for those proud to wave the red, white and blue and believed it was a tune in favour of their new war. If they listened to the lyrics however, they would see it was critical of how rich and powerful politicians start wars that the poor end up being sent to fight.

3. "White People For Peace" - Against Me!

Against Me! have never been shy about where they stand on the politics of war. 2007's New Wave feature "White People For Peace" which screams for a halt of unnecessary bloodshed in the Middle East. As the lyrics unfold it paints a picture that makes the current events of a war on terror so baffling you almost wish it was just words in a song.

4. "One" - Metallica

I almost did this list and forgot about this one...."One". Metallica usually try to keep music and their own personal alignments seperate. This song is actually based on the Dalton Trumbo novel Johnny Got His Gun, which takes place in the first world war. The lead in the story gets horribly wounded in the trenches, loses his arms, legs, face and voice but is still being kept alive. This song also was Metallica's first foray into the world of music videos, which features clips from the film adaption of the novel.

5. "B.Y.O.B" - System Of A Down

Lets keep the metal theme going. When this song was released I heard many people lamenting about how sad it was that System Of A Down made a party anthem. I found it sad that so many listeners missed the point so badly. It's a plea to us who blissfully ignore whats going on to our fellow countrymen over seas. Ignorance breeds ignorance. It also serves up the "respected" government officials who start this shit and expect those who voted them in to clean it up.

6. "Straight To Hell" - The Clash

I don't talk about these guys enough, but they were always so much more to me than "Rock The Casbah" or "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?". I'm sure you recognize the intro riff that MIA used in her 2008 track "Paper Planes". The song was written about the American soldiers having children with Vietnamese women. "Going straight to hell" is those kids expecting America and the "father" they find there to be their salvation.

7. "No More" - Eddie Vedder

Although it was included as a bonus track on the iTunes version of the Into The Wild Soundtrack, it wasn't on the original release and doesn't really jive with the rest of that album's vibe. It is a straight forward, kick ass, grass roots protest song. Which is what this generation needs more of.

8. "Hero Of War" - Rise Against

Rise Against do a good job here of describing how it must be to get trucked off to another country and follow orders you may or may not understand. People come back as heroes, rightfully so, but maybe they aren't so proud of the "heroic" acts they carried out while they were away. Too many stories have been told of prisoner and even fellow soldiers being treated less than humanely. Just important to view all sides of an issue.

9. "Born In The USA" - Bruce Springsteen

Another one of those songs that people kind of missed the point to. Sure many Americans are proud of the country they are born in. I'm Canadian and I thank my lucky stars for my nationality almost daily. But Springsteen's song was more about how the Vietnam vets were getting spit on upon their return from a lost battle, unlike the heroes welcome veterans from other wars have always received. Don't think I could have done this list without the Boss either. Just didn't feel right.

10. "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - The Pogues

I've said some things here and included songs that might not say the greatest things about the wars of this crazy world. What it all boils down to is the fact that there are men and women fighting everyday for a cause. Whether you support that cause or not, those soldiers, wherever they were born, deserve to go home and fulfill their lives. They all have families. They all have hearts and minds. Every last one of them deserves your respect and gratitude. That's what November 11th is all about. Not wars. This song speaks for itself.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The 50 Greatest Cover Songs Of All Time Part 2 (30-1)

30. "Astronomy" - Metallica
Original By: Blue Oyster Cult

Like many groups Metallica got their start covering songs of their influences. In the early days it was mainly NWOBHM songs imported by Dane drummer Lars Ulrich, in 1998 however they released a double album collection of all the songs they've covered over the years and even included 11 new ones. Garage Inc. featured songs by The Misfits, Discharge, Black Sabbath and this gem originally by Blue Oyster Cult.

29. "Love Rollercoaster" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Original By: The Ohio Players

The original saw a resurgence in popularity due to the urban legend associated with it, but thats another list for another day. It broke my heart to find out that was a cover, it genuinely felt like a Chili Peppers track with all their quirky staples. That in itself is a testament to how solid a cover it is.

28. "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" - Guns 'N Roses
Original By: Bob Dylan

This song also wins the award for most apostrophe uses in song title and band name. "Knockin' on heaven's door" has been covered by many artists: Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and even Avril Lavinge, it was Guns n' Roses' version that brought the masses to the threshold when it was used on the Days Of Thunder soundtrack and eventually their own record Use Your Illusion II.

27. "Hide Your Love Away" - Eddie Vedder
Original By: The Beatles

I just heard the original again today on the radio and made me really appreciate how good a job Eddie did on this. He's just a great songsman, whether he's performing his own song or someone else's EV can really step inside a song and make it his own. This was done for the I Am Sam soundtrack which was an album full of artists covering Beatle tunes....nothing topped this. Not even close.

26. "99 Red Balloons" - Goldfinger
Original By: Nena

It gives you a little taste at the beginning...a reminder of the simple pop tune it's honouring, then without warning becomes a full on punk assault. What's also great about Goldfinger's version is about halfway through John Feldman switches on the German vocals. Nena, the original artist, recorded 2 versions in both languages, Goldfinger paid tribute to where the song came from and knocked it out of the park.

25. "Sweet Dreams" - Marilyn Manson
Original By: The Eurythmics

In an instant a whole slew of teenagers became Marilyn Manson fans and those kid's parents became terrified of this man who took one of their beloved classics and turned it into Frankenstein's monster. Still one of recent history's best covers, Manson put his unique and undeniably brilliant spin on an already well-established tune. A move that definitely could have backfired.

24. "Blue Monday" - Orgy
Original By: New Order

There are some songs that I hope will never be covered...they are perfect in their own way and are not in need of an update. "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes to mind, Pearl Jam's "Black". Pretty much all of the Metallica library. The there are other songs that are begging to be covered like New Order's tinny and robotic "Blue Monday", maybe it was revolutionary in the 80's and something exotic, but I feel it came up short. Orgy did what they had to do and presented the song the way it was meant to be presented.

23. "Red Red Wine" - UB40
Original By: Neil Diamond

This really is UB40's song now. They took a song with sad lyrics and made it a sad song even with a reggae beat. Diamond's version was alright, but it's lounge feel never made me want to give it much of a chance. UB40's Robin Campbell actually sounds like he's singing and weeping to his drink at the same time. Tragic.

22. "Higher Ground" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Original By: Stevie Wonder

Here's an example of how you shouldn't try to out do someone else's cover. RHCP did a great version of "Higher Ground" on 1989's Mother's Milk (which also included a cover of Hendrix's "Fire"). It was funky, catchy, modernized and cool. Just the way you'd expect the Chilis to do things. Then in 2003 Eric Clapton released a tired and boring version of it. Why? It reached it's pinnacle in 1989. If you're not going to improve on it or change the song drastically, leave well enough alone and cover "Part Time Lover".

21. "Blinded By The Light" - Manfred Mann Earth Band
Original By: Bruce Springsteen

This really is a cool cover. Manfred Mann's version hypnotized a nation and also set them on a debate as to what the chorus' lyrics are, which aren't really confused if you hear Springsteen's version. The very fact that it's not common knowledge that this is a cover cements it's place on this list.

20. "Turn The Page" - Metallica
Original By: Bob Seger

 Metallica are brave when it comes to the covers they choose. Picking them for reasons of respect, and relatability instead of popularity and profit. 1998's "Turn The Page" is not the song fans were hoping for as the first single from an album of covers, but Metallica felt the song's themes mirrored their lives too perfectly. Singer James Hetfield has said he was reluctant to do the song, because he was never a fan of Seger's work, but couldn't deny that he related to "Turn The Page"

19. "Layla" - Eric Clapton
Original By: Derrick & The Dominoes

I hear you sayin' "But J.Z, Eric Clapton was in The Dominoes thats his own song! You don't know anything! Epic fail! LMAOSIX29" Shut yer feckin' yap! This version was recorded live during Clapton's MTV Unplugged session and the majority of the crowd didn't recognize it until he started singing.  Yes it's his own song, but he effectively changed it enough that there are now 2 clearly distinct versions. And I feel this one is slightly better

18. "Inside & Out" - Feist
Original By: The Bee Gees

I Have nothing against The Bee Gees, I feel they were unfairly crucified after the whole disco thing imploded. They were once very esteemed songwriters...well I guess they still are. I like what Feist did with this disco tune though, didn't have to tweak it too much to make it a splendid jazzy affair.

17. "Send Me An Angel" - Thrice
Original By: Real Life

I saw Thrice live in Toronto a few years back opening for Rise Against. They ended with this song and I knew I had just seen something special. The intensity and the energy the instruments gave off was almost cosmic. This song has also been covered many times, but jesus...this one is now Thrice's.

16. "Hey Ya!" - Matt Weddle
Original By: Outkast

See? Covers can go both way...a soft song made hard and fast. A Disco song turned jazzy. And here we have a hip hop favourite turned acoustic. This was used in an episode of Scrubs. I think.

15. "Landslide" - Smashing Pumpkins
Original By: Fleetwood Mac

I realize the song is special and very personal for Stevie Nicks, but theres something about the way Billy Corgan arranged his version. Not that it deviates much from the original, maybe the male spin on the song puts it in a different light for me. Love the solo too.

14. "Word Up!" - Korn
Original By: Cameo

Another classic hip-hop tune covered into a different format. Korn has always had ties with hip hop acts and have often been inspired by trends in the rap world, so this one wasn't too shocking. But the song is very well done.

13. "Across The Universe" - Fiona Apple
Original By: The Beatles

This has long been one of my favourite covers. Fiona Apple effortlessly creates a dreamlike representation to a Beatle song that's already slightly left of center. Her almost half-lipped drawl demands one to hear this song to the end. It's a shame she didn't get more attention than she did, but 400 letter album titles and public, furious outbreaks will have it's set backs to a promising career.

12. "Last Kiss" - Pearl Jam
Original By: Wayne Cochran

"Last Kiss" was originally released during that time in music when songwriting credits and artists often got blurred. You could release a song and then someone would put out a new version later that year. Pearl Jam are essentially redoing the version done by J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers. At the time it was Pearl Jam's most commercially successful track and probably the cover most people around my age identify as the quintessential. The Cavalier's version seems too happy to be a song about losing your high school sweetheart in a car crash. Leave it to Eddie's distinct melodies to bring the theme it's correct tone. This is still a staple at Pearl Jam shows around the world

11. "Wicked Game" - HIM
Original By: Chris Isaak

 Finland's HIM have been known to spin a cover or 2. They also do a rendition of "Don't Fear The Reaper" that's worth a listen. With Isaak's "Wicked Game" HIM served it up as a devastating barrage of unrequited passion. I can't listen to the original without wanting to hear this version halfway through it. Unless the original video is involved in some way.

10. "Smooth Criminal" - Alien Ant Farm
Original By: Michael Jackson

Here we go. The top ten ladies and gentlemen.

Before he passed and everyone was singing MJ's tunes Alien Ant Farm reminded us why he was such a unique specimen in the music world. The sign of a good song is it's seamless ability to be presented in any form and still be enjoyable. AAF kept the song's ass-shaking vibe intact and injected it with about 9000 ccs of adrenaline. Gotta love their inclusion of Jackson's signature "ows" and "Woos!" Perfect video too. The right way to revive a classic!!

9. "Thriller" - Imogen Heap
Original By: Michael Jackson

This is the top ten, of course you'll find some of the world's best songwriters up here. Back to back Michael Jackson covers, Imogen went the opposite way and slowed one of his best known tracks to a beautiful piano opus. Imogen has spent the majority of her musical career lurking around in obscurity and the underground, her interpretation here seems to creep up on you as well. Initially you may be put off....but the song's beauty will give you chills. Without doubt.

8. "The Man Who Sold The World" - Nirvana
Original By: David Bowie

Nirvana's MTV Unplugged album is littered full of weird and wonderful covers. I always thought those in attendance might have been disappointed at the time with the lack of classic Nirvana tunes played and about the 50% covers they heard. Looking back though, i'm sure those same people now realize and are grateful they were there on such a special night. This cover is so iconic of Nirvana, even the little mic feedback is great! Don't get me wrong, I love Bowie. In the future I predict a plethora of young artists covering classic Bowie stuff, but Nirvana's "Man Who Sold The World" is damn near perfect and it's live!

7. "The Messenger" - The Tea Party
Original By: Daniel Langois

Canadians covering Canadians, and the results are sublime. Daniel Langois is not only one of my country's most prolific songwriters, but also one of it's best exported producers. The Tea Party i'm sure recognized they were working with some rather sacred material on this one, and you can hear the care and effort in every strum of guitar. Jeff Martin's voice sounds like it's going to break under the pressure at any moment, or maybe his heart and mind is so in tune with the lyrics, he's singing them like they're his own. A masterpiece.

6. "Hurt" - Johnny Cash
Original By: Nine Inch Nails

Johnny Cash gets it man, he just fucking gets it. Where most artists from the golden age may be stuck in their ways or refuse to acknowledge the new stuff, Johnny embraced it. Nine Inch Nails of all bands!!  He took Trent Reznor's sombre words and painted them as his epitaph. Reznor even admitted he felt like the song wasn't his anymore after hearing Cash's version. The pain in his voice and years of addiction and suffering just scream from the speakers. Getting chills just thinking about it.

5. "Superstar" - Sonic Youth
Original By: The Carpenters

God I hated the Carpenters. Not sure why...maybe just never gave them a fair chance, hating was safer than liking. Then I heard this. Wow. Is this the same song? Sonic Youth invited a ghost into my head and it's been living there ever since. Just haunting....Thurston Moore's voice even sounds like it's echoing from beyound the grave, or somewhere etheral. The lyrics are timeless, but Sonic Youth gave a generation's sound nay, essence into a tired classic

4. "Easy" - Faith No More
Original By: The Commodores

Faith No More were known for wild stage antics, off stage feuds and experimental metal/rock music. So when they made this beautiful and masterful version of a Motown classic it turned the world on it's ear. They could have gone the expected way and butchered it through quick power chords and  machine gun drum beats. Instead they left the heart of it intact and painted their own likeness on it's canvas. It's going to be difficult to top "Easy".

 3. "Mad World" - Gary Jules
Original By: Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears had their version with synthesizers and typical 80's pop instrumentation, but the lyrics were so bleak. Maybe they were trying for satire, but I always found it confusing and hard to listen to. Come 2002 when Gary Jules put his spin on a dark song making it an isolated and haunting darker song. The moment is cemented in time when I first heard it: watching the end of Donnie Darko, sitting on my fireplace's hearth. I need to know what this song was. I'll admit I heard the cover first and the original second...of course I did, the original is buried.

Ok, before I get to numbers one and two i'll take a break and list some other good covers that didn't make the list. For one reason or another.

- "In The Air Tonight" - Nonpoint (Phil Collins)
- "The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkin Head" - Crash Test Dummies (XTC)
- "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" - Barenaked Ladies (Bruce Cockburn)
- "Army Of Me" - Helmet (Bjork)
- "Rivers Of Babylon" - Sublime (The Melodians)
- "I Believe I Can Fly" - Me First & The Gimme Gimmes (R. Kelly)
- "Wonderwall" - Ryan Adams (Oasis)

Alright, enough procrastinating. I debated a long time over what would be #1. Between these next two songs it was tough, both are great songs on their own and both are magnificent covers. Both are songs by legendary artists...all 4 of them. Both artists who covered them are no longer with us. I pray I did the right thing...

#2 "Hallelujah" - Jeff Buckley
Original By: Leonard Cohen

Cohen knew he was on to something special when he was writing "Hallelujah". Reportedly it took him months to come up with the right lyrics and had pages and pages of handwritten prose all over his house. A song with that much care and effort put into conceiving it cannot be approached lightly when it comes to covering it. Buckley's version is vulnerable, isolated and ageless. Like he walked out of a heavenly light with his guitar, stopped in front of a silenced and hushed crowd, sang this and moved on to places unknown to mortal minds.
Where Cohen's "Hallelujah" features the choir singing it's chorus one can't help but imagine it's lines being about religion and history, whereas Buckley's trembling voice and longing brings up images of the most intimate passion and sex. A better time gone by, frozen in one's own history. A prison cell of memory full of loss, regret but also gratitude that we were there to experience it. Once.

#1 "All Along The Watchtower" - Jimi Hendrix
Original By: Bob Dylan

From it's iconic first chords, through it's mesmerizing licks and riffs, Jimi's version of  "All Along The Watchtower" is not only the greatest cover ever put to tape, but a shining moment in music history period. Dylan's version is typical Dylan folk/poetry, which is all fine and good, but goddamn when Jimi comes out of that solo hollering "All Along The Watchtowerrrrr" it's about as good as it gets. Dylan himself has even said he's been doing Jimi's version during his live songs...when the original artist changes the way he does his own song, you know you've done something right.
There you go folks, my list of the 50 greatest covers of all time. Hope you enjoyed it!! I'll leave you with Mr. Hendrix. Doing what he did. The best.