The A+ List 3-18-14
1. Roving Eye – James Chance – Not only does Chance blow like a dream that is emerging out of a nightmare, he sings like a white boy coked out yelping twitching basket case channeling James Brown in the best way and this is a Ze Records peak from the early years.
2. New York New York – Ryan Adams – Forever connected to 9-11 through the video, filmed opposite the World Trade Center the on 9-10-o1, the story of a lost love in a lost city hits even harder than this, Adams greatest moment, would have hit any way.
3. Glad To Be Gay – Tom Robinson Band – Unbelievably enough, homosexuality was considered a disease in the UK in the late 1970. This post-punk progenitor of rock against sexism is as tuneful and anthemic as imaginable and as direct a hit against gay phobia as imaginable and as sexy as a straight up protest can get
4. Pay It Back – Elvis Costello – An unwanted pregnancy leads a young Elvis to question the way in which life has caught him in its grasp “I may be crazy but I can’t complicate being stuck between a doctor and a magistrate”! And left with no options he can only promise revenge.
5. Sweet Season – Carole King – Her greatest post-Tapestry song, ticks away time passing and sure does appeal to the still in her 20s Carole, opening with a catechism “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose” and ends like a boat bobbing on the sea.
6. Miss You – The Rolling Stones – Disco Jagger records a song they might play, did play at Studio 54 and Keith hammers a riff so indelible that the Virgins have built a career around it,
7. Where Have All The Flowers – Pete Seeger – Where Have All The Flowers – Pete Seeger – A round robin of loss as girls pick flowers for their husbands, dead in wars, graves,
8. If I had A Hammer -Pete Seeger – Vicious and violent war cry as Seeger threatens what it will take to get justice and freedom.
9. Outfit – Drive-By Truckers – This began the process that would end in 2013 with the Southeastern album, but “Outfit” a taciturn father’s advise to his father, remains a personal best.
10. How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees – Perfect ballad that has lead to many, many worse versions built on the same template but, besides the three part harmonies and the wonderful probing question, simply don’t have Robin’s soul.
10. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees – In the battlefield of mid-1970s, this is not a metaphor for dancing to a steady beat but a metaphor for living in a world where the steady beat is the rhythm of life,