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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #1 
A couple weeks ago, I asked some people if they had a favorite song. I got eleven answers. Four of the songs could have competed this week, except that:
 
The only Beach Boys song in the eleven is retired from the Battle;
 
I didn't want to use a Beatles song;
 
One is an instrumental classical music piece;
 
Two have already been in the Battle;
 
And four of them I don't really care for.
 
So this week's four favorites are two of theirs and two of mine.
 
 
The Jim Carroll Band, "People Who Died", Catholic Boy, 1980 -- To quote the song, this was picked by "a friend of mine". First time in the Battle for the Jim Carroll Band.
 
 
 
k. d. lang, "Hallelujah", Hymns of the 49th Parallel, 2004 -- Another friend picked this cover of the Leonard Cohen song. First time for both "Hallelujah" and Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC (Order of Canada).
 
 
 
The Who, "Sunrise", The Who Sell Out, 1966 -- It's the first time for my favorite track from my favorite Who album.
 
 
 
Brian Wilson, "The Last Song", No Pier Pressure, 2015 -- My favorite Brian Wilson song that hasn't been in the Battle yet.
 
 
 
Note: This week was and is meant to be looser than Al's Essentials week (which is still in progress tonight). For example, I could have picked my favorite song under two minutes or my favorite Bulgarian folk song. In posting your favorites, you might pick your favorite song about international diplomacy or ceramics. Or your absolute favorite, of course. The sky's the limit as long as there's an element of favoritism involved.

Ok, let's play favorites!
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Larry.  You picked an unbeatable Brian song (in my opinion).


My favourite indy band right now, introduced to me by the one and only ... Larry Franz!

TOPS, "Way To Be Loved"...  (the one Mr Franz posted that got me on to them)




And also from them, "All The People Sleep".




[smile]


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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #3 
Wow, Larry. Now this is a battle! Give me at least until midweek to sort. I have my leanings going already.
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Cindy Hood

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Reply with quote  #4 
Larry, I've only heard one of these songs before and the one I had, I thought would be my number one... that is until I heard this one:

GOLD: Brian Wilson for The Last Song.  It had me at the first chord and kept getting better.  A soft instrumental at the beginning and developed into a very sentimental lyric, sounded like he was speaking to those he lost.  Brian's vocals are perfect in this one.

SILVER:  K.D. Lang for Hallelujah.  I've heard the Leonard Cohen version and loved it and this one is just as good.  I was going to give it the gold, but Brian's surpassed it for me.  Yesterday, Mother Teresa was canonized at the Vatican for sainthood.  She came to mind immediately when I saw this in the mix.

BRONZE:  The Who for Sunrise.  Very nice one and unexpected for the Who.  I usually think of them as playing loud rock songs.  Lovely.

TIN/PEWTER:  Jim Carroll Band for People Who Died.  All I can say is that it reminds me of the song that was playing on the radio in the film, High Anxiety when the doctor's head exploded because of the volume that kept getting louder and louder.  

My final answer.

Some nice choices in this battle, Larry.  I have a new favorite song now.


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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Bonnie, Al and Cindy - - It's good of you to drop by on our great national holiday, Labor Day, which is known as the unofficial end of summer (although it would be winter in bonnie's case). I can't record votes yet or post any more songs because I'm on the road myself, but I can say that the Beach Boys favorite that wasn't eligible this week (or any future week) was "Don't Worry Baby".

And I'm glad you've discovered your new favorite, Cindy. Maybe it will be unbeatable as Bonnie says!
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Peter Simpson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Gold - Brian
Silver KD
Bronze - The Who
Tin - Jim Carroll Band

I'm afraid I wasn't particularly taken with the choices this week. Sorry!
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #7 
Golden-Brian.  Easy
Silver-KD...nice version
Bronze-Who-Who else?
Almost-Jim
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kds

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Reply with quote  #8 
Gold - The Who - Nice deep cut selection from a sometimes overlooked Who album.  

Silver - Brian Wilson - Almost a bronze.  I really liked this song the first time I heard it, but after many repeated playings of NPP, it hasn't really stuck the way previous album closers Southern California and Summer's Gone have.

Bronze - KD Lang 

Tin - Jim Carroll. 

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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #9 

Yes, it's good to be home again and all's right with the world, except for things like what the International Union for Conservation of Nature describes as the "truly staggering" warming of our oceans. They think the oceans have "absorbed more than 90% of the extra heat created by human activity". If the oceans hadn't absorbed all that heat, "the surface of the Earth would have warmed by a devastating 36 C (97 F), rather than 1 C, over the past century". So much for surfin' without proper insulation.

But back to business:

bonnie -- I didn't remember that TOPS song, but enjoyed hearing it and the other one too. 

And thanks for your votes Cindy, Peter, Lee and kds. No problem, Pete, they can't all be gems! I just hope you, Cindy and Lee weren't looking at each other's ballots.

kds -- As a Who fan, you're probably familiar with this song "Eminence Front" (It's Hard, 1982). I'd never heard it before it was named as his favorite song by a 20-something young man named Jeremy.



In addition, two favorites from last night's drive. The New Jersey Turnpike isn't bad at all if the truckers have the night off.

Elliott Smith, "Bled White", XO, 1998



The Beach Boys, "Noble Surfer", Surfin' USA, 1963



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kds

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Reply with quote  #10 
Larry, yes, Eminence Front is one of the few highlights on the otherwise poor 1982 album It's Hard, which proved to be the final Who studio album until 2006.  

It's also a song that actually sounds very little like The Who IMO.  Great song though.  
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #11 
Listening to a friend's tracklist last night, I picked a couple of favourites out of it.


"Way Down We Go"  Kaleo (2016).





O.A.R "Heard the World" (2011).





Bob Moses "I Ain't Gonna Be the First to Cry" (2014).  This is a Bobbly Bland cover, but until today I'd never linked it to the original.





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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #12 
bonnie -- I really liked that Kaleo song and the Bob Moses one too. I'm going to listen to Kaleo's album A/B. Everyone needs a favorite band from Iceland. [smile]


Two favorite songs that didn't make the cut this week, both from people who remember the 60s and 70s and even the 50s:

The Beatles, "Good Day Sunshine", Revolver, 1966 (with helpful subtitles)



Cheech and Chong, "Basketball Jones", Los Cochinos ["The Pigs"], 1973 (the message naming this as an all-time favorite included the word "seriously")




A favorite whose name came up a few times last week: Buddy Holly. Born Sept. 7, 1936, in what was then the small town of Lubbock in northwest Texas, he would have been 80 years old tomorrow.

"Think It Over" and "Fool's Paradise", two sides of a 1958 single by the Crickets:





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kds

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Reply with quote  #13 
Larry,

Here's my dark house Who track from Sell Out - Silas Stingy

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John B

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Reply with quote  #14 
'Don't Worry, Baby' is my favorite song.

but of these choices (I own 3 of the 4), and as usual, Larry's battle features 4 very good songs:

1) 'Hallelujah' by k.d. lang

    which is Leonard Cohen's best song.  Representing the lyrics matters folks, gotta go with this one.  Growing up in Texas and Oklahoma, I sang that odd foreign word more times than I care to remember... Wish Elvis would have sung it.  Probably didn't only because of the agnosticism.  to love a person is more difficult than to love God.  Is that the theme?   doesn't matter.  'Let everyone live, let everyone die, here it is': first place!

2) 'Sunrise' by the Who.   

  so uncharacteristically jazzy for Pete, huh?   who else but Brian could have influenced the uh, Birdman in this manner?  no windmilling here.  great song!  from a very good album.  My vote? the Who's 4th best. 

3) 'People Who Died' by the Jim Carroll band. 

I believe I have played this one myself more often than the other 3.  It fit the time period.  The lyrics are excellent, compassionate and critical at the same time.  rocks, doesn't it?   kds will say 'no...Iron Maiden and black Sabbath rocks more.'  and I will say.  huh?

4)  sorry, the greatest artist and best singer here gets 4th place, largely because of the lyrics which are an unsettling combination of melodrama and Hallmark greeting card slogans.  I think the lyricist (s) badly misinterpreted Brian's personality, which is not melodramatic at all.  Think of songs like 'In My Room'.  Brian is not histrionic, he's calm even when writing 'big'.  I will stand up and defend most any Brian lyric, such as 'When Girls Get Together' and 'Let's Put our Hearts Together' and 'I want to pick you Up' and  'Roller-skating Child' etc.  But not once did these so-called 'naïve/childlike' lyrics ever grab onto greeting card clichés such as 'There's never enough time for the ones that you looo--ove'.   I suspect if that cliché was substituted with the "Love Story' line, 'Love means never having to say you're soo---ory, sooorr---ry, never having to say that you're sooorrr---rry'  there would be no appreciable difference.  ug.  Very embarrassing to pretend you're a lyricist and you just trot out a hallmark cliché to end your song.

by the way, Larry.  'Noble Surfer' is no one's favorite song. 
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #15 
kds -- I went for a long time not being that impressed by "Silas Stingy", and then some years ago I began to appreciate it more. There's no bad track on that album.

Speaking of which, Petra Haden's a cappella "The Who Sell Out" (2005) is amazing too. Here's her "Sunrise":




John B -- Thanks for your votes and thoughtful analysis. It never occurred to me that the lyrics to "The Last Song" are too sappy. (But then I remember a good teenage friend of mine cringing at the lyrics to "In My Room".) The lyrics seem heartfelt to me, addressed to the other (ex-) Beach Boys. In fact, I expected the main criticism of that song to be that there is way too much "la la la"-ing! 

It may be true that "Noble Surfer" is nobody's absolute favorite song, as you say, but this week we are considering both absolute favorites (what can be called "essentials") and favorites in any off the wall category that come to mind.

For example, other people's favorites, one of several favorites while driving on the NJ Turnpike one night, favorites on the 2nd side of the album you most regret buying, etc. I especially like how "noble" sounds like "no bull". [smile]


Going back to bonnie's mention of Kaleo, I now have "two favorites from their A/B album after one listen". If someone had asked you where these guys were from, and you didn't already know, would anyone think "just outside of Reykjavik"?

Kaleo, "Broken Bones" and "Glass Houses", A/B, 2016






In the category of other people's favorites that didn't make it this week, here's one from an extremely close associate of mine from the year we got married:

Electric Light Orchestra, "Rockaria!", A New World Record, 1976 (never trust a song that comes with its own exclamation point)




Lastly, for further consideration if necessary, Brian and JT's lyrics to that song:

Hold on tight and everything will be alright
I've never really felt this way before

Don't let go
There's still time for us so let's take it slow
I wish that I could give you so much more

La, la, la, la, la .....

Far away
And maybe we'll be coming back someday

Together in the end
To sing with you again

I've never really felt this way before

Don't be sad
There was a time and place for what we had
If there was just another chance for me to sing to you

La, la, la, la, la, la....

There's never enough time for the ones that you love...

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