Song of the Day #4,091: ‘Afterglow’ – Taylor Swift

After the two week Quentin Tarantino countdown, I’m still in the mood to rank things. So I thought I’d try something new and comment on a new album by ranking all of its songs in order over the course of a week.

Taylor Swift’s Lover gets the honor. Released a few weeks back, this album has gotten better with each listen. It feels like a natural synthesis of Swift’s country and pop periods, as well as her most mature and best-sounding album yet. I’ve always had a soft spot for Speak Now, but Lover might surpass it as my favorite Swift album.

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Song of the Day #4,090: ‘Restless’ – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ sophomore album, You’re Gonna Get It!, was released in 1978, between the band’s 1976 debut album and 1979’s classic Damn the Torpedoes.

As such, it suffers a bit from middle child syndrome, and was received rather tepidly by critics. It produced two singles, ‘Listen to Her Heart‘ and ‘I Need to Know.’

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Song of the Day #4,089: ‘Walking On Thin Ice’ – Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello and the Attractions recorded this cover of Yoko Ono’s ‘Walking On Thin Ice’ for a 1984 Yoko tribute album titled Every Man Has a Woman.

It was later released on Costello’s compilation Out of Our Idiot and finally on the reissue of Punch the Clock, where I first heard it. It’s pretty great.

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Song of the Day #4,088: ‘Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)’ – The Delfonics

Concluding my countdown of the films of Quentin Tarantino:

#1 – Jackie Brown

1997’s Jackie Brown is the least Tarantino movie Quentin Tarantino has ever made, making it rather ironic that I consider it his best.

This is the only film Tarantino has adapted from existing material (the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch), though he changed the name and race of the title character in order to cast blaxploitation mainstay Pam Grier as his lead.

This period in the mid to late 90s was a goldmine for Elmore Leonard adaptations. Get Shorty came out in ’95 and Out of Sight in ’98, with Tarantino’s film sandwiched between them.

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Song of the Day #4,087: ‘Cat People (Putting Out Fire)’ – David Bowie

Continuing my countdown of the films of Quentin Tarantino:

#2 – Inglourious Basterds

Tarantino cheekily ends his 2009 World War II fantasy Inglourious Basterds with the line “I think this just might be my masterpiece.” He was on to something.

That line is spoken by Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine, after carving a swastika into a Nazi’s forehead so the man will never be able to blend into polite society after the war. That uncompromising thirst for justice drives this film, which rewrites history in brazen and thoroughly satisfying ways (much as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would a decade later).

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Song of the Day #4,086: ‘California Dreamin” – Jose Feliciano

Continuing my countdown of the films of Quentin Tarantino:

#3 – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

This is Tarantino’s newest film, and therefore the hardest to rank. I want to avoid ranking it too high due to recency bias, but on the flip side it suffers from not having sunk in as deeply over time as some of these other titles. A few years from now, after a few more viewings, I’ll probably know how I really feel.

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Song of the Day #4,085: ‘Little Green Bag’ – The George Baker Selection

Continuing my countdown of the films of Quentin Tarantino:

#4 – Reservoir Dogs

The movie that started it all. 1992’s Reservoir Dogs is one of the most exciting and assured cinematic debuts in history, a brutal but clever bit of cool-guy showmanship.

I remember seeing this movie in a theater where they had posted a note in the box office window saying the film contained intense scenes of violence and refunds would not be granted to people who walked out. That was an eye-opener.

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