In the same room where Ian Fleming wrote James Bond novels Sting of The Police wrote what he called a “nasty little song” about his feelings of jealousy and obsession over his first wife following their divorce. I’m not sure if hearing the song everywhere helped him get over those feelings, but the money the song generated may have lifted his spirits.
Sting was born on this date in 1951. Lotsa Police songs on today’s playlist.
When first presented with his brother Noel’s composition “Wonderwall,” Oasis’ usual lead singer Liam Gallagher didn’t care for it. Of course, the song became a worldwide smash. Did Liam come around? In 2008 he told MTV News “I can’t fucking stand that fucking song! Every time I have to sing it I want to gag.” Guess not. What about Noel, the song’s writer? He must like it, right? Here is what he said: “Outside of England, it’s the one song we’re famous for all over the world, and it annoys the fuck out of me. It’s not a fucking rock’n’roll tune. There’s quite a vulnerable statement to it. When people come up to me and say it’s one of the greatest tunes ever written, I think, ‘fucking hell, have you heard “Live Forever”?’”
Oasis’ “Wonderwall” is one of the 1996 songs on today’s Throwback Thursday playlist.
The Avalanches’ Robbie Chater estimates there are around 3500 samples used on the group’s Since I Left You album. As someone who negotiates sample uses, I pity the poor soul who had to secure and track those licenses!
Robbie Chater celebrates a birthday today. Or maybe he doesn’t celebrate it. I don’t know. I don’t know him. Either way, I celebrate. Lots of cuts by The Avalanches on today’s playlist.
Richard Ashcroft’s original plan was to release the songs he wrote for Urban Hymns under his own name, but he got cold feet. Shortly after the album’s release The Verve broke up, briefly reforming in 2007.
The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft was born on this date in 1971. The singles issued from his band’s Urban Hymns are included on today’s playlist.
The album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was rejected by Reprise Records, Wilco’s label at the time, for being too experimental and uncommercial. Wilco bought back the rights to the album for $50,000. The band subsequently signed with Nonesuch Records, which, like Reprise, is distributed by Warner Music. Nonesuch put out the album in 2002. It became Wilco’s best-selling album, despite the band making it available to stream for free on their website following their departure from Reprise.
Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy was born on this date in 1967. Lots of Wilco on today’s playlist.
Beck Hansen came up with a nifty guitar lick, to which a friend of a friend added beats. The beats inspired Beck to recite an improvised poem, on which he attempted to sound like Chuck D of rap group Public Enemy. Listening to the playback, Beck thought “Man, I’m the worst rapper in the world. I’m just a loser.” He started singing “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?” That became the chorus of his song “Loser,” along with “Soy un perdedor” – “I’m a loser” in Spanish.
Today is Beck’s birthday. A smattering of his work is included on today’s playlist.
My favorite Weezer song is “Buddy Holly,” from their 1994 album titled Weezer, not to be confused with their 2001 album titled Weezer, their 2008 album titled Weezer, their 2016 album titled Weezer, or either of their 2019 albums titled Weezer. My second favorite Weezer song is “Hash Pipe,” from their 2001 album titled Weezer, not to be confused with their 1994 album titled Weezer, their 2008 album titled Weezer, their 2016 album titled Weezer, or either of their 2019 albums titled Weezer. In third place I’d probably put “Island in the Sun,” also from their 2001 album titled Weezer, not to be confused with their 1994 album titled Weezer, their 2008 album titled Weezer, their 2016 album titled Weezer, or either of their 2019 albums titled Weezer. Next for me would be “Beverly Hills,” from an album not titled Weezer, which I find confusing.
Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo was born on this date in 1950 and has never been the governor of New York. To celebrate a handful of Weezer songs are on today’s playlist. Oddly, I didn’t include any of the favorites I mentioned, which is the most confusing part of this post.