So, given it’s Monday evening, it’s time for one of my favourite weekly blog events: Jen Kehl’s Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesdays.
Generally, she gives us a theme, but this week is dealer’s choice. So five songs on a theme of our choosing. This was the assignment the first week I ever did this hop, so I get a wee bit sentimental every time it comes around. Do check out others on the hop here:
So where have I gone with all this freedom? A few weeks ago I got caught up thinking about some of my favorite songs that never get played on the radio. So I started this post aiming to call it “My Favourite B-Sides“.
But then I looked up the term, and realized that wasn’t really accurate. And I certainly didn’t want to be any less than accurate with a music term on a music hop.
What I really mean is, those songs on the album (once you FINALLY got around to listening to the whole album rather than just the one song you bought it for) that jump out at you, and stick with you for whatever reason, that weren’t the album’s main hit.
Sure. Sometimes they were on the B-Side of the album back in the days of vinyl and cassette. Sometimes not. Either way, they aren’t the songs that most people remember the artist for. But I love them. And I love that Jen’s hop gives me a reason to post them with what I suspect is my flimsiest excuse for a “theme” yet.
So with that said, I give you:
1. Colleen, I Saw Him First – Amanda Marshall
So I’ve featured Amanda Marshall a few times already on this hop so by now it is likely no surprise that I have a rather huge soft spot for anything she does. This one is from her 2001 Album “Everybody’s Got a Story” and I love it for the dynamic it paints between girlfriends. I also (maybe?) love it given I tended to spend a large part of my younger years in … supporting roles to Queen Bees or trying to figure out why they didn’t like me. And, really? Who doesn’t love a good underdog story?
2. Blue Dress – Depeche Mode
So this is from the second side of Depeche Mode’s 1990 Violator album. While this was the first album I ever bought from them (and I liked it), I didn’t really glom on to the wonder of them until finding (the second) half of Depeche Mode 101 (on cassette) in a Orillia thrift shop at 15 (about three years later).
That said, given my now rather fulsome knowledge of much of their entire repertoire, I have to say I think Violator is one of my favourite albums, and I think THIS SONG is one of the more underappreciated of songs on that rather fabulous album.
In simplest terms? It’s straight up sexy.
More detail? I think it goes to the very basics of the whole attraction/appreciation dynamic. And at the basest of levels? While I don’t want to in any way speak for menfolk, this song is about telling the object of his affection and attention that making him happy really isn’t that complicated. He likes what he likes. Please please him. In this song? Please just wear the dress he likes. And do it because you understand it makes him happy.
Because when you learn, you’ll know what makes the world turn.
3. Ordinary Boys – Morrissey
Next up I give you something from the flip side of Morrissey’s (originally of The Smiths) first solo album – 1988’s Viva Hate.
I discovered this album at 16 (so circa 1993) when someone who knew I liked Depeche Mode suggested I might like this fellow. So very right. And this song sums up so much of, well, what I aimed to avoid (in both genders – I was equally for avoiding the ordinary girls who were “supermarket clones, who think it’s very clever to be cruel to you”). May I always appreciate, but still see further, than my cold, small streets.
4. Hold an Old Friend’s Hand – Tiffany
This one really shouldn’t count given it “eventually went platinum” (based on my Wikipedia research). But I wanted to feature a Tiffany song. And, honestly? I figure everything after “I Think We’re Alone Now” and (maybe) “Could Have Been” from her debut album fall into anybody but the hardest fan’s vault of “fuzzy”. I really liked her second album. The hit was “All This Time” so, in (sort of) keeping with my theme, I really couldn’t feature that one, so I give you this one.
In searching for a video for the song, I almost think I fell in love with Tiffany just a little bit more, because I found this recent version of it, in front of an (obviously still active) fan base in Signapore. And after all this time, she just looks so wonderfully normal. ‘Cause there she is, as she is, with little pretence. Just enjoying performing. Maybe that’s a misread – and some of the poses and moves made me laugh a bit for looking dated – but she seems pretty genuine to me. I read about all the drama with teen pop stars today, or the drama with former teen icons, and she’s one that really seems to have avoided most of that. She was my first teeny bopper icon. I think I had good instincts.
5. I’m Not the Guy – Dan Bern
I discovered Dan Bern in a haphazard fashion about 10-years-ago now. I had a friend visiting from England; his two friends who were also out with us were fans; and he was playing that night at the Black Sheep Inn, which is about a 40 minute drive from Ottawa. So out we all went, and I discovered Dan Bern. I’m so much the better for the trip. I featured one of his songs on this hop a few weeks ago and I give you another one tonight.
Tonight’s pick I love because … isn’t this song just everything that every woman previously wounded by love would love the good guy she’s now with to just say to her so she can nod, take it in, and then they can happily move on together? I get we women sometimes don’t work that way, but I still love the sentiment of the song. It’s from his 1997 self-titled album.
So that’s my mix for this week.
What songs do you love that you feel don’t get the attention they deserve? Post them in the comments so I can check them out (and let me know why you love them).