Welcome to the final post on my take on the 30 Days of Music Challenge, inspired by Mr Knitter! This post covers the final 9 posts of the challenge, and you can check out the day-by-day version on my Tumblr page, as well as all the other crazy stuff I tend to post on Tumblr.
Okay, here it goes…
Day 22: Song with a Number in the Title
“Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor
This song is most closely associated with Sinéad O’Connor, whose version became a #1 hit here in the United States, but its origins (and its quirky title) actually lie with the dearly departed and legendary Prince. Prince, who wrote this song, was well known for using numbers and letters in his song titles (a couple examples being “I Would Die 4 U” and “1999”), and this was no exception. Sadly, the controversy surrounding her Saturday Night Live performance in which she tore up a photo of then-Pope John Paul II as a protest against sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church (years before the allegations became widespread and accepted as common knowledge) derailed a promising career for her in the States, but this song remains one of the biggest and most-celebrated songs of the 1990s.
Day 23: A Summertime Song
“Cruel Summer” by Bananarama
Most summertime songs are supposed to sound happy and cheerful. This one is not so happy and cheerful. It’s one of a handful of summer songs written in a minor key, and I quite like the minor keys. (C-sharp Minor, if I’m not mistaken.)
Day 24: A Favorite Rock ‘n Roll Artist
“Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin
I’ve talked a bit about my love of Queen on here, but Led Zeppelin is another favorite rock band of mine. I love pretty much all of Led Zeppelin IV, and this song is no exception. Just a classic song from a classic album.
Day 25: Favorite Old Country Artist
“Jolene” by Dolly Parton
I don’t listen to a whole lot of country music, but I actually don’t mind Dolly Parton. I just admire how much moxie this girl who grew up poor in the mountain country in Tennessee had to get out there and share her songs with the world. She’s legendary as both a singer and a songwriter. What’s not to like about her?
Day 26: Favorite New Country Artist
“That Don’t Impress Me Much” (Shania Twain)
I’ll be honest with you: 1. I don’t really listen to any current country music, and 2. I initially wanted to put a Garth Brooks song on here, as he is one of the few country artists I actually get excited about. Unfortunately, Garth Brooks is practically impossible to find on YouTube (I think because he has an exclusive deal with Amazon for streaming his music), so I went with my second-favorite here. Shania was a pretty big deal here in the 1990s. I can’t begin to tell you how many times we had her album Come On Over playing on repeat as a tween and teen. I just found out she’s releasing her first album of new music in about 15 years pretty soon and that she’ll be touring, too. I’m glad to hear, after her various personal events (that included a cheating husband who cheated with her best friend, a divorce from said cheating husband, remarrying to the former best friend’s now-ex-husband, dealing with vocal problems, stage fright, and Lyme disease) that she’s finally getting back to her music and I hope she does well in her comeback.
Day 27: A Song That Moves You Forward
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
I must admit: I love disco. How can you move on from whatever crap has affected you in your life and not include this song? It’s both a dance classic and an inspirational song! Not a lot of those.
Day 28: Newest Song Introduced to You This Year
“Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
Well, I don’t think it was introduced to me, but it’s a new song, so in my mind it qualifies. I remember watching Harry and the rest of One Direction competing on the British version of The X Factor, and I always thought Liam Payne was gonna be the breakout member of the group (since he usually got the first vocal in almost all their competition performances), but Harry was memorable to me because he looked just like a guy by the name of Lee Mead, who had won a musical competition show a few years earlier called Any Dream Will Do, which sought to cast a Joseph for a West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. So I usually referred to Harry as “Mini Mead” (a pun on the Austin Powers trilogy character Mini-Me). I was surprised that Harry ended up getting the most fan attention in 1D. Me, personally, I did listen to some of their music when it would come on the radio, but my days of being an obsessive boy band fan are long behind me, so it was more of a polite admiration for me. When 1D went on hiatus, well having already heard former member Zayn Malik’s #1 hit “Pillowtalk” (and actually liking it), I got a bit intrigued about what kind of stuff the other members would put out in their solo efforts. Niall’s debut was pretty cool and unexpected. Louis and Liam’s debuts were just okay. Harry’s was…surprisingly good. I quite liked the Bowie-esque influence in the overall arrangement of this song. I did not expect the glam rock influence, but it surprisingly worked. And a ballad, at that. I wish him well in his solo career.
Day 29: First Song You Heard Today
“Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry
I kid you not, this was the song playing on the radio when I woke up one morning. I think the station was doing a “Flashback Friday” playlist that morning. It’s a fun ’80s song, and I think she and her half-brother Eagle Eye Cherry (the biological son of her adoptive father, Don Cherry) are the only brother and sister to have separate hit songs considered “one-hit wonders” in the United States (Eagle Eye had a Top 40 hit here in the late ’90s called “Save Tonight”, over a decade after Neneh had her one hit over here).
Day 30: Last Song You Heard on the Radio
“Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle
When we’re riding in Dad’s truck, he normally has NASCAR Radio (a sports talk radio station devoted to everything NASCAR) playing, so we don’t hear a lot of music playing unless we’re on a long drive. This is the most recent song I remember playing on the truck’s radio. It’s a song about a man telling the story of his grandfather and father as moonshiners and them dealing with the law. Then, when he tells his own part of the story, the narrator volunteers to fight in Vietnam (“…they draft the white trash first ’round here anyway…”). After returning, he takes some seeds he acquired while he was out of the country and starts growing marijuana near the title road, essentially doing what his moonshiner relatives did, but with marijuana instead of moonshine. This song also has a mandolin riff (played by Earle himself), a thumping bass drum, and driving guitar power chords, the latter two being unusual features in a song that is otherwise an example of the country and bluegrass genres.
And there you have it: 30 Days of Music! It was fun coming up with these songs (but a bit of a pain in the butt to draft, schedule, and publish). If anybody else is inspired to do this, go right ahead! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.