The A+ List: May 21st, 2014
1. Heaps Of Sheep – Robert Wyatt – Perhaps his single most accessible song to date, finds the paraplegic dreaming that he is wandering on the seashore. Insomniac Robert’s goose was cooked till finally the freedom of dreams lets him walk again.
2. Let Her Dance – The Bobby Fuller – A completely perfect mini-opera which uses minimalism and repetition to paint a different picture of abandonment.
3. I Can Change – LCD Soundsystem – The question for doubters of EDM is can you remove the E and the D and retain the M still? James Murphy’s greatest achievement is a straightforward pop ballad with Murphy on his knees begging for another chance.
4. Speedway – Morrissey – A lost album track for years and years until Morrissey resurrected it on last years tour and it is now revealed as perhaps his greatest. The iteration of “never said never said” is a hook and a stutter and the guilty as charged lyric evolves into a battled out mea culpa.
5. Lost Paraguayos – Rod Stewart – He’d be jailed in 2014, in 1972 this song of underage sex, rainy days, and exit strategies was just a cheerful singalong which, just in its easy good humor, is as good as “Maggie May” and “You Wear It Well”.
6. Go Rest High On That Mountain – Vince Gill – A great death song and Gill broke down in tears when he sang it at George Jones memorial. Hearing it again, it feels like the beginning of the Gill as our greatest country singer sweepstakes.
7. Square Dance – Eminem – In the midst of Dubya’s Iraq adventure, Eminem came out with a straight up agit prop political protest song.
8. Mean to Me – Billie Holiday – I’ve heard this song sung by many many people, it is part of the American songbook, but hers is the only version that makes me want to cry. There is so much sorrow here, it seems to be being sung to the world as a whole.
9. You Make Loving Fun – Fleetwood Mac – I know everybody thinks “Don’t Stop” is Christine’s greatest moment but it isn’t. This is. New love as a magical emotion, “sweet wonderful you” is one of the greatest calls to romance ever heard.
10. . Keep The Car Running – Arcade Fire – So paranoid it is hallucinogenic, Arcade Fire file political freedom (think of Chili) and fear of death, of going “missing” into an image that switches from dreams to nightmares and the song revs its engine with abandonment