Wednesday, 5 February 2014

8 Great Untitled Songs

Most musicians can be described as artists and the pieces of work they create are songs that are included on the albums they release, or whichever format the choose. They don't hang on walls, but linger in our ears and minds. They can't be walked around and inspected like sculptures. They can't be framed like photographs. Like most other works of art, however they are usually titled and cataloged under the artists' name. Every so often a song gets released without a title for whatever reason and some even make it to the album. Here are 8 Great Untitled Songs....i'm only doing 8 because a) I couldn't come up with 10 off the top of my head and 2) because fuck it....need to keep things fresh!

1. "untitled" - Social Distortion

This song comes from one of my favourite all time albums. 1996's White Light, White Heat, White Trash by veteran punk rockers Social Distortion. "untitled" is actually the longest track on the album and like many of the other songs appears to be very personal and introspective for vocalist and primary songwriter Mike Ness.

2. "Untitled 3" - Sigur Ros

Along with Bjork, Sigur Ros is Iceland's proudest musical export. Known for their vast experimental and instrumental approach to music, they have earned a global fan base. Really I could have picked any song of their 2004 album () which itself is essentially untitled, as none of the songs have an official name. Track #3 is usually referred to as "Samskeyti" which translates to "Expansion" but it's also known as "Untitled 3"

3. "(untitled)" - MAdE

Yes that is how the band stylized their name and this song, it's not my spastic typing. Bedazzler was MAdE's biggest album, which didn't really hit outside of their native Canada. Other songs on the album were "Carsick", "Smudge" and "Hairdown". According some YouTube comments of their songs from the album, MAdE are expected to be making a comeback some time soon.

4. "untitled" - D'Angelo

This one is definitely for the ladies. It sometimes gets subtitled as ("How Does It Feel") but fuck all that. If D'Angelo wanted it to be called that he wouldn't have released it as "Untitled".  The song became a hit, thanks in part to it's video i'm sure, and the record company didn't want fans only having to refer to it as "untitled". Though many female fans simply referred to the song as "The Video".

5. "The Color Red" - Pearl Jam

If you own Pearl Jam's 1998 album Yield you know about this queer little track. If you don't own it, here's a little breakdown. If you listen to the album track by track and follow along with the track listing on the back, you may get a little confused when you reach "MFC" track 8 by your count, but on the inside the booklet gives music & lyrics credit to Vedder. "Lyrics?" you might quip "There ain't fooking lyrics to this track it's just nonsense". That's because track 8 actually belongs to that little red dot between "Do The Evolution" & "MFC". It's name is essentially unpronounceable, Pearl Jam scholars have come to call it "Red Dot", "Red Circle", "War" or "The Colour Red". Pearl got us again.

6. "Untitled" - Silverchair

Why this song went untitled is unknown to me. Apparently it was written during the sessions for the Freak Show album Silverchair's 1998 release, but was left off the final pressing. It was then used on the soundtrack for the dreadful Godzilla remake. Thankfully that wasn't the only way Silverchair fans could get their hands on the song as it was finally included as a b-side to the single "Anthem For The Year 2000" off the Neon Ballroom album.

7. "untitled" - Neutral Milk Hotel

Neutral Milk Hotel were an indie band from the United States and quickly grew to be on the largest cult groups from the 90's. Without having much (if any) commercial success their albums were raved about by critics and their experimental sound and diverse use of instruments made them influences for many modern day bands. Their 1998 album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is widely viewed as one of the best from the 90's. The 10th track on the album was released without a name but was eventually titled "The Penny Arcade In California"

8. "Untitled 4" - Brand New

God & The Devil Are Raging Inside Me is Brand New's 2006 masterpiece. From start to finish it is a revelation of diverse musical styles and genuinely beautiful songs. In fact it has an untitled 10th track on it, but that's not the one i'm high-lighting here. In early 2006 nine demos from the then unfinished album were leak to the internet. None of the songs had names so each were labelled "Untitled" with a number. The band was mixed about the event and wound up writing new material and omitted all the leaked songs from the finished album. Lead vocalist Jesse Lacey admits being upset about it at the time, but would later regret that the songs had not seen the light of day. He feels the album will never be whole because of the incident and fronts most of the blame for the decision. Oddly situations like this are rarely brought up when people discuss the merits of illegal downloading. "Untitled 4" is regardless a fantastic song and is sometimes  wrongly titled as "Degausser" which is a song on God & The Devil Are Raging Inside Me.

Maybe I should have left this blog entry without a title...that may be going too deep here

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