Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 11-18-23

In early 1980 newspaper The Village Voice published the results of its poll of 155 music critics. Voted the best album of 1979 was Graham Parker & The Rumour’s Squeezing Out Sparks. The rest of the top ten was:

Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps

The Clash – The Clash

Talking Heads – Fear of Music

Elvis Costello – Armed Forces

Van Morrison – Into the Music

The B-52s – The B-52s

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes

Pere Ubu – Dub Housing

Donna Summer – Bad Girls                                                                                                                                                                  Graham Parker was born on this date in 1950. A handful of his songs are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-2-23

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.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 7-28-23

Devo’s “Whip It” was inspired by a magazine article about how to be a better wife. The song’s cowriter and bassist for the band, Gerald Casale, said he’d found that story in a 1962 issue of The Family Handyman and thought it was funny. He decided to write a song that parodied the idea of whipping your problems away. Casale also drew from communist propaganda posters and a 1973 novel by Thomas Pynchon called Gravity’s Rainbow, which mocks capitalist slogans with satirical limericks.He wrote lyrics that taken out of context sound like motivational clichés: When a good time turns around, you must whip it. Give the past a slip. Whip it into shape. Get straight. Go forward. Move ahead. And my personal favorite: Before the cream sits out too long, you must whip it.

Jerry Casale turns 75 today. A couple of Devo tracks, including their biggest hit, “Whip It,” are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 6-5-23

“Pretty In Pink,” The Psychedelic Furs’ 1981 song about a woman named Caroline who sleeps with different men who mock her for being so “loose,” became the title song to a 1986 movie scripted by John Hughes about a teenager named Andie who “must choose between the affections of dating her childhood sweetheart or a rich but sensitive playboy.” I pulled that from IMDB, as I’ve never seen the movie. At the time of this movie’s release I had already seen two other movies based on Hughes scripts, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, both of which he also directed, and didn’t care much for either, the performances of Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall notwithstanding. (Make that three previous Hughes scripts. Looking at IMDB, I notice that he wrote Class Reunion, a movie I saw only because my dad was an investor in it. It wasn’t good.) I’ll give Hughes this – the music used in his films was, for the most part, winning. So while the song “Pretty In Pink” resembles the storyline of the movie Pretty In Pink as much as I resemble Janelle Monae, it is a good one.

The Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler turns 67 today. A couple of his bands songs are included on today’s playlist, including the original mix of “Pretty In Pink.”

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