Sunday, 14 December 2014

10 More Great Christmas Songs

I did a list a few years ago about the best Christmas songs ever. Of course as soon as I  posted it I wanted to immediately change it. Songs get forgotten or left off for one reason or another. New songs get released and discovered. So here's a few more Christmas songs to fill out your playlist over this holiday season. 10 More Great Christmas songs!

1. "I Believe In Father Christmas" - Greg Lake

Originally of Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame, this was Greg Lake's first foray into the solo musician world. It would actually be his only hit as a solo performer. It hit the perfect Christmas vibe right on the head. Capturing the wonder of the holiday season we all remember from our childhoods and giving the song a great build up to it's wonderful finale.

2. "A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn't So)" - The Flaming Lips

This song comes off The Flaming Lips 2003 EP Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell. This Oklahoma City college rock band is known for their songs with storytelling and fantastical lyrical content. Everyone gets a little soft side around Christmas.

3. "The Coldest Night Of The Year" - Hawksley Workman

This song is a cover of Bruce Cockburn's song of the same name, and while the original might not have been intended as a Christmas song, it fit very well on Workman's 2011 Christmas album Full Moon Eleven.

4. "Winter Wonderland" - Cocteau Twins

Not all bands opt to create a new song for the season, many others simply add their own distinct tinge to already beloved classics. Scotland's Cocteau Twins recorded a version of "Winter Wonderland" for a 2 song EP in 1993 called Snow. They added their distinct use of airy instruments and dreamlike vocals to put a more modern spin on the carol.

5. "The 12 Days Of Christmas" - Bob & Doug McKenzie

Good Day. Bob & Doug McKenzie gained fame from being part of SCTV a sketch-com television show from the late 70's and early 80's. It was created by a comedy troupe in Canada known as Second City and many Canadian comedians got their start from being apart of it. John Candy, Eugine Levy, Martin Short, Andrea Martin and Catherine O'Hara to name a few. Bob and Doug were portrayed by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas and became National icons for their over the top Canadian characterizations. This is their take on a perfect Christmas from the great white north.

6. "The First Noel" - Crash Test Dummies

Another contempory rendition of a classic Christmas carol from a few more Canadian icons. The Crash Test Dummies hailed from Winnipeg, Manitoba and were known for Brad Roberts very distinct baritone vocals.

7. "Thank God It's Christmas" - Queen

Though not being released officially on a Queen album until 1999, "Thank God It's Christmas" spent Christmas and New Years in UK at #1 on the charts when it was released in 1984. It also did not get an official promo video with it's release, because of this and the exclusion from being on an album, gets this song forgotten among great Xmas songs. But should really be up there with "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo".

8. "A Spaceman Came Travelling" - Chris De Burgh

Long before Chris De Burgh had a monster hit with "Lady In Red" he was broke and staying on his friend's couch. De Burgh spent alot of time reading and came across Chariots Of The Gods? by Erik Von Daniken. He started writing and playing with the idea that the star of Bethlehem was actually a space craft and thus this song was penned. It failed to chart initially but gained a second life around Christmas time after "Lady In Red" broke through in 1986.

9. "Last Christmas" - Jimmy Eat World

Just like some bands will give us their interpretations of classic Christmas carols, Jimmy Eat World recorded a version of another beloved festive tune. Originally released by Wham! "Last Christmas" has become the "Knocking On Heavens Door" of Christmas songs, almost everyone has done a version.

10. "Father Christmas" - The Kinks

One of the best known and sideways Christmas songs there are. "Father Christmas" is The Kinks making a song for the holidays the only way they know how. It's about a kid who always knew that Santa was merely parent's tricking their kids and ends up portraying St. Nick outside a department store. He then gets mugged by kids who are looking for money instead of toys. In a way it's a different to remind people that Christmas isn't always a joyous time of year for everyone and we should do what we can to make sure no one is forgotten.

Hope that will help plump up your Xmas song playlist.
Have a good holiday season everyone!
I'll be back soon to give you the Best Songs Of 2014!!


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

10 Great Songs About Blood

A little violent today? Perhaps. A quick story about the inspiration of this list before we get on with it. Watching the basketball game last night when play is stopped because a player is bleeding above their eye. The arena loud speakers begin playing "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. Clever DJ or happystance? Either way, my lady asks me what song I would play and before play even resumed in the game I had a handful of songs with some variation of 'blood' in the title. So here are 10 Great Songs About Blood

1. "The Bleeding" - Five Finger Death Punch

This was first included on Five Finger Death Punch's debut EP as well as an acoustic version of the track. For the life of me I cannot imagine this song done as an acoustic....that's going on the list. Another fact about this song that might come as a surprise is it was the song Ivan Moody sang for his audition to become the band's singer. Big tough, gravelly voiced Ivan Moody was so shy and nervous he had to sing with his back to his audience.

2. "Blood To Bleed" - Rise Against

More angry young men. From their blazing 2004 album Siren Song of The Counter Culture, Rise Against gives us a double shot of blood with "Blood To Bleed". It should tell you how incredible that album was because "Blood To Bleed" was not one of the 4 singles released from the album. Seriously, get it.

3. "Bleed Out" - Blue October

I may have talked about this song before on here, but it warrants constant discussion because of how good it is. Many casual listeners see Blue October as a one hit wonder mainly because of 2006's Hate Me" hit #31 on the charts. There is so much more to hear. On "Bleed Out" the band really wanted to be sure the crashing guitars of the chorus didn't overpower the drums quick hi-hat notes. Enter Tim Palmer who's worked with Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Porcupine Tree and HIM to name a few. I think the band was happy with the results.

4. "Only Women Bleed" - Alice Cooper

Many people obviously assumed Cooper was singing about menstruation in "Only Women Bleed". Some feminist groups actually protested the song because they felt it advocated domestic abuse. The song is actually a sympathetic view of the subject and is definitely one of Alice Cooper's softer songs, showcasing a gentler, caring side rather than the shock rock antics he's known for.

5. "Bleeding Me" - Metallica

Another double dose of blood. Metallica's "Bleeding Me" comes off of their 1996 album Load which features album artwork by Andres Serrano. The artist mixed his own semen with cow blood and sandwiched it between 2 sheets of plexiglass to get the resulting effect.

6. "Bleed It Out" - Linkin Park

Linkin Park returned to the hard rock arena in 2007 with Minutes To Midnight and especially in my native Canada it was very well received. Unlike their debut album, they decided if they wanted to curse they would. That decision didn't stop people from picking it up either as it sold around 3.3 million copies in it's first month.

7. "Cold Blooded" - Rick James

Before drugs and accusations of sexual deviancy would tarnish his life and image, Rick James was one of the top producers and song writers of the early 80's. Songs he wrote and performed would chart on both the pop charts and the R&B Charts. "Cold Blooded" landed at #40 on the US charts in 1983 and is apparently about Linda Blair, who was his girlfriend at the time.

8. "Wait & Bleed" - Slipknot

I'm sure every heavy metal band has a song with blood, or bleeding or something like it in it's title. Iowa's Slipknot's first big single was "Wait and Bleed" a quick, pulsing, punishing metal onslaught. It really showcased the raw energy that one would expect from a Slipknot show and had the musical promise that one would expect the 9 members of Slipknot to continuously create. And they have

9. "Same Blood" - The Academy Is...

The Academy Is... was a band from Chicago that performed from 2003-2011. They had 3 studio albums with several singles off of each. Their biggest being "About A Girl" in 2008, hit #88. "Same Blood" is a great song that didn't get the single treatment, but it caught my attention thanks to the band's involvement in the Vans Warped Tour in 2008.

10. "Bleed American" - Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World's first major song was "Bleed American" off the album of the same name. I was in radio when 9/11 took place and among the countless things that day changed, the music on the radio was one of them. While up in that small town in Canada, we weren't really forced to change anything we got wind of a list of songs that either were going to be pulled from rotation or their names would not be said on air or changed. "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "Imagine" were both on the do not play list. Same with "Tuesday's Gone" and "Great Balls Of Fire". Jimmy Eat World's album title and song title were changed to "Salt Sweat Sugar". In 2008 the band released a deluxe edition of the album with original titles restored. We still called it "Bleed American"... cant let terrorism win.

This list was a result of a request!!

You can comment and make a request and i'll do the list!!!