Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm not ALL Beatles/Beach Boys!

Since I got a promotion at work (I am now the A&E editor for the Cox Ohio Southwest Group of Newspapers) I have been feeling newly energized and prolific. So I bring you the first of a multi-part series that will dive and delve into my musical catalog.

A little background - most people know me as a Beach Boys fan and particularly as a Beatlemaniac. So obviously, my MP3 player (a Toshiba Gigabeat) is loaded with their music. Some time back, however, I was having trouble with the player, and, heeding appallingly bad advice, I reformatted the player and erased everything. 

After panicking (and then growing my hair back) I restored the tracks and  began rebuilding my playlist of my very favorite songs. At that time, I was about to see a friend, who, for some unfathomable reason, is not a particular fan of either the Beatles or the Beach Boys. Strange, as she has such good taste in everything except 60s rock, but I adore her nonetheless.

That being the case, I decided to reload my favorites playlist with everything EXCEPT the Beatles and the Beach Boys. I never completely rebuilt the list, as it was quite immense, but, this should still give you some idea of what songs I like that did not appear on the Capitol label in the 1960s and start with "Bea."

I'll break the list up into about 12 tracks a piece. They appear in the random order my player sorted them into after my reformat. 

"Be My Baby"  by The Ronettes -   Screw saving the best for last. This is probably my favorite song of all time that is NOT by the Beatles or Beach Boys. That opening precussive THUMP jolts me every single time. Doesn't hurt that the song also helped launch my favorite director Martin Scorsese's career, via its opening of Mean Streets.

"Beautiful City/Day By Day" by  Laura Benanti: A Godspell mashup from a Stephen Schwartz compilation sung by Laura Benanti, whom I believe was only 19 at the time. Hell of  a set of pipes. 

"Falling Slowly"  by Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova - So justly won the 2008 Best Song Oscar, from one of my very favorite films of the year, Once. Achingly lovely. 

"God Give Me Strength" by  Elvis Costello - Another movie song, co-written by Burt Bacharach, this one is from the very underrated film Grace of My Heart, which is a mashup (I like that word) of Brian Wilson/Carole King types. Should have been Oscar nominated. I only wish the soundtrack also included the version in the film sung by Kristen Vigard, who I learned later was one of the original Annies (as in Little Orphan).

"Hung Up" by Madonna - How do you make ABBA tolerable outside of Dancing Queen? This girl knows.

"Let Yourself Go" by Kristin Chenoweth - My second favorite Broadway actress let's 'er rip on this Irving Berlin classic. Tap dances, too. 

"Like a Prayer" by Madonna - My favorite Madge song. Most people don't pay attention to bass lines, but as a former bassist, I would LOVE to be able to play this groove. 

"Mustang Sally" by The Commitments - The more I think about it, the more I think I should have placed this movie in my 1991 ten best list. Have a great time whenever I watch it. 

"My Favorite Mistake" by Sheryl Crow - Favorite song of hers. Can't say I've had my own favorite mistake, but I can definitely relate to the feelings of fond regret that are in this song. Another nice bass line, and I think Sheryl plays it, actually. 

"Misirlou" by Dick Dale - From the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. This is one that made me wish I could play six strings as I once played four. 

"Singin' in the Rain" by Gene Kelly - Ya know, whenever I hear this, it actually sounds wrong without Gene's splashing. 

"Steve McQueen" by Sheryl Crow - Sheryl combines Beck and Steve Miller (and McQueen) to smashing effect. 

See? I'm not THAT shallow! To be continued ...


  1. Where are the Dave Clark 5?

  2. Wow! We have such vastly different tastes in music, but I also love many of these songs too. Agree completely on Falling Slowly. Really, that whole soundtrack is amazing.

  3. Misirlou by Dick Dale was a hit in LA decades before "Pulp Fiction." Surf's up! And I didn't know you played bass.

  4. Andy: I'm somewhat ashamed to say I don't have ANY Dave Clark 5 in my collection. I should at LEAST have "Glad All Over."

    Dave: The Beach Boys covered Misirlou. Didn't have nearly as much bite, though. And yes, I was actually somewhat passable on the bass in my late teens. My mistake was trying to play McCartney's lines. I gave up not long after trying "Taxman."