Here are days 15-21 of the 30 Days of Music Challenge I’m doing, thanks to Mr Knitter! You can also watch the day-by-day version play out on my Tumblr page, but be warned: you may come across some adult language in my posts there (almost all the posts themselves are SFW, though).
Day 15: Favorite Song with a Person’s Name
“Jane” by Jefferson Starship
Jefferson Airplane usually gets most of the credit in influence, but its successor band, Jefferson Starship, had quite a few hits and memorable songs in its own right. This song showcases the vocals of its then-new vocalist, Mickey Thomas, who had previously sung with Elvin Bishop’s band (and is in fact the singer heard on the guitarist Bishop’s biggest pop hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”). Thomas, after a lengthy legal dispute with Paul Kantner, became the co-lead singer (along with Grace Slick) to this band’s successor band, Starship in the 1980s, when they had their greatest pop hits from any incarnation of Jefferson Airplane, including three number ones: “Sara”, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, and the oft-mocked “We Built This City”.
Day 16: Song About Drugs & Alcohol
“House Rent Blues/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” by George Thorogood & the Destroyers
There are so many great rock songs about drugs and/or alcohol (“Cocaine” by Eric Clapton immediately comes to mind), but this one is immediately memorable because of George Thorogood’s gravelly voice. The first part of the song details the narrator’s troubles in paying his rent, and after his landlady kicks him out, he finds himself at his favorite bar, continuously ordering the title trio of drinks: one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer. Only the last call ends his odyssey in getting drunk, getting high, and getting loose. “Bad to the Bone” was Thorogood’s biggest hit, but this pair of songs remains on the song list of classic rock stations everywhere.
Day 17: A Song with Meaning to You
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
You may have seen me reference Harry Chapin in relation to my dad in a previous entry. Well, if Harry Chapin makes me think of my dad, then Fleetwood Mac makes me think of my mom. My mom loves Stevie Nicks and the sound of her voice. This song, “Landslide”, is my mom’s favorite song. Whenever she hears it, it immediately makes her face light up. These last few years have not been easy on her. I prefer to keep the exact details of her condition private at this time, but she was diagnosed with a degenerative disease last year (only my closest friends know the exact details), and I basically am the one caring for her, especially when my dad is away at work. It hasn’t been easy, and at times it tests me, but at least I am getting time with her. It is gonna hurt me beyond belief the day she eventually leaves this planet, but this song is a way for me to connect with her. And I hope she can keep this song with her as long as she possibly can. (/sad)
Day 18: Song from an Artist No Longer Living
“Fashion” by David Bowie
Bowie had a lot of legendary songs in his catalog, but I absolutely love this one. It’s got a bit of a funk/disco rhythm to it (but was released in the early 1980s), and is just so much fun to listen to. And of course, the line “We are the Goon Squad and we’re comin’ to town…beep beep” gets me every time.
Day 19: Song You Would Play at Your Wedding
“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
I’m about as nonreligious as they get, so I’m not picking it for the reference to the deity in the title, but more for the overall lyrics and that beautiful baroque pop sound. It is one of the great enduring love songs of the pop era, and a legendary piece in the Beach Boys’ catalog (only “Good Vibrations” is a better song, in my opinion). This instrumental version by the Vitamin String Quartet would make a lovely recessional piece to play if I ever get married.
Day 20: Song You Would Play at Your Funeral
“Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
I’ve been a longtime fan of classic rock music, and that includes genres like hard rock, early heavy metal, and Southern rock (which, for those of you outside the United States, is a subgenre of rock music that originated in the Southeastern U.S. that is best described as hard rock music combined with influences from country, blues, and gospel). This song sounds more like a fond farewell than the band’s other goodbye song, “Freebird”, which I interpret as more of a heartbreaking goodbye than the sad, but wistful vibe conveyed in “Tuesday’s Gone”.
Day 21: Song with a Color in the Title
“Blue Monday” by New Order
I only discovered this song relatively recently. I quite like its unusual structure as a song: no discernable chorus, barely discernable verses, and a very monotonous vocal. It’s very unusual for a pop song. The hook is very catchy, and is quite a gem from the New Wave era.
Stay tuned for Days 22-30!