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December 03, 2022

A Music Thread [Joe Mannix]

When the topic of one-hit wonders comes up, the assessment is usually one of two things:
1. That band got robbed! They're great and only had that one song anyone's ever heard!
2. They're a one-hit wonder for a reason.

One of my favorite examples of the second condition is the band Jesus Jones. They had the international mega-hit "Right Here, Right Now" in 1991. Later, I bought the album "Doubt," from which that song came. I found that it wasn't really worth listening to other than that song. As I was reading through the CD booklet, they had a little blurb about each track. From "Right Here, Right Now," they wrote the following:

Martyn coaxes a little professionalism from us. Interesting experiment.
This refers to Martyn Phillips who, according to the same booklet, was the engineer and producer for the album. Well, his experiment worked. If they had listened to him more, that album might have had more than one good song and one okay song.

What one-hit wonder bands do you think deserve their fate and which do you think got robbed?

NOTE: As always, the mini essay is just a conversation starter if needed. You're welcome to go off-topic, just please keep it to the world of music!


Exceptional Live Performances
In the late summer of 1991 - after the fall of the Iron Curtain but before the fall of the USSR - Metallica did a live show as a part of a larger rock festival in Moscow. By some estimates, more than a million Russians showed up for the concert. I don't know, but the scale of the audience is absolutely staggering, with cops and soldiers everywhere throughout the crowd. In this performance of "Enter Sandman" from that show, it is all on full display. It's worth paying closer attention around 4:10-4:25 because the number of people, the size of the speaker stacks, the energy level in the audience, the helicopters flying over the crowd, etc. are just astounding.


Great Covers
I Love Rock 'N Roll is an iconic song that was defined by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. When most people hear any part of it, their immediate thought is "Joan Jett." But it was a cover of a 1975 song from the British band Arrows. Jett's version remains fairly true to the original, just a little bit different and - in my opinion - just a little bit better.


Cool Music Videos
Rush released music videos for a number of older songs, usually animated. The video for "The Spirit of Radio" is an example, and I think it is very cool. It tells a brief history of radio by calling out legends in radio and the fun of music in an upbeat animated style. A lot of the animation is also pretty cool in its own right.


Arbitrary picks from my collection
In no particular order and no implications of quality, here are four songs I've heard recently.

Bitter:Sweet - The Bomb
This is an upbeat track.

The Hippos - When Will I Learn?
A surprisingly cheerful ska track about failing to get the girl.

Gin Wigmore - The Devil in Me
This New Zealander has an odd voice, but I find that I like it.

Kid Rock - Forever
There's a reason the album with this song is called "Cocky."


Bonus Fleetwood Mac
In case you haven't heard, Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac passed away this week at 79. Here's "Little Lies" off Fleetwood Mac's Tango in the Night.


Have a great rest of your weekend!

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posted by Open Blogger at 07:30 PM

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