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The A+ List 5-31-14

post-Joy Division

post-Joy Division

1. Age Of Consent – New Order – “I’ve lost you, I’ve lost you…” A hard tough break up song true, but it makes me think of their earlier band. “Age Of Consent” was New Order’s second album and their big break through and the album where they, indeed, surpassed Joy division. But this beautiful, lively but deeply depressing song is a Joy Division concept (without the Curtis poetry) added to a dance band concept. It changed New Order’s world but Curtis was lost finally and forever.

2. Fantastic Planet of Love – Marshall Crenshaw – from debatably his best album, this is a bristling with energy power pop with less affinity than you might expect to his rock and roll roots: it is rock and roll, but the gleam is pure modernism and the declaration of love and joy is just a layer above a real depression and sorrow.

3. Some Kind Of Wonderful – The Drifters – Three point harmony under a baritone enhanced by a full orchestra: there’s money in it and this Goffin-King masterpiece is the sort of the song built for it. It is easy to lose track of Goffin when King wrote such indelible melodies, however “some kind of soft sigh”is poetry worthy of any one… worthy of Irving Berlin.

4. I And I – Bob Dylan – From the mid-1980s, Bob Dylan’s lilting reggae finds the apocalypse and an identity crises after a one night stand.

5. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care – Elvis Presley – Teen bopper haters might wanna remember that Presley was a teen bop hero, that’s how he began his career, and here he lends his sizzzling vocal to puppy love.

6. Solid – Ashford And Simpson – Back in the 80s, I was sent a review copy meant for another writer and Robert Christgau told me to listen to it with a “You might learn something”. One of the great Nick Ashford’s greatest moments with his wife and partner Valerie performing a pure disco “hot hot hot hot” masterwork that went on to rule the charts.

7. Your Make Me Feel Might Real – Sylvester – This is the nine minute Frankie Knuckles masterpiece, so great it sounds like the way House was built to so sound like.

8. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out – Cat Stevens – The theme from Helen Bach’s fave movie “Harold And Mude” it is like the simplest of nursery rhymes written by God as a benediction to mankind. An ultimate freedom.

9. Good Morning, Morning – Judy Garland And Mickey Rooney – Brown And Freed had many big songs, “Singin’ In The Rain” was another, and while Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynold’s version of “God Morning” is the version of this song everybody goes for, this original from the movie “Babes In Arm” is my youth because, well, because the kids were barely out of their teens and not 30 somethings.

10. I’ll Keep It With Mine – Bob Dylan – “We will search, babe, at any cost, but how long can we search babe, for what is not lost?” is one of those Dylan aphorisms that mean more and not less the more you think about it. You can hear the line  on the Witmark demo and not on the superior Bootleg Vol 1 version.

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