Song of the Day #5,196: ‘Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter’ – R.E.M.

Today’s random selection is a track from R.E.M.’s 2011 album Collapse Into Now, their 15th studio release and the last album they released before breaking up later that year.

Hard to believe it’s been more than a decade since the band split. And any hope of a reunion is likely fruitless, as just last year, Michael Stipe had this to say about the prospect: “We decided when we split up that that would just be really tacky and probably money-grabbing, which might be the impetus for a lot of bands to get back together.”

Honestly, I’d be fine with a tacky, money-grabbing new release from R.E.M.

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Song of the Day #5,195: ‘Heart’s Desire’ – Ron Sexsmith

After my series on second hits by one-hit wonders, frequent commenter Dana suggested I feature some artists who have had long career despite never having a single hit. It’s a good idea I will add to the list.

In the meantime, the Random iTunes Fairy has made one such selection today, offering up a song from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith’s 2002 album Cobblestone Runway.

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Song of the Day #5,194: ‘Somebody to Love’ – The Great Society

Today we have our second example of a band kinda sorta covering itself (The Mamas and the Papas’ ‘California Dreamin’‘ was the first).

In this case, the two songs share lead singer Grace Slick, who took ‘Somebody to Love’ to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Jefferson Airplane in 1967. But before that, she recorded the song with her previous band, The Great Society.

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Song of the Day #5,193: ‘The Game of Love’ – Gregg Alexander

Today’s song isn’t like most of the others I’m featuring, in that it was never officially released in its original form. It has that in common with ‘If I Were a Boy,’ the song that kicked off this series on ‘Covers You Didn’t Know Were Covers.’

‘The Game of Love’ is best known as a 2002 song by Santana featuring Michelle Branch on vocals. The track reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, a great showing, though somewhat in the shadow of Santana’s 1999 #1 singles ‘Smooth‘ and ‘Maria Maria.’

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Song of the Day #5,192: ‘Tainted Love’ – Gloria Jones

I’ve mentioned that ‘Tainted Love’ is a cover a couple of other times on the blog, but it’s too good an example not to include here. Besides, this is the first time I’ve featured the excellent Gloria Jones original.

English new wave band Soft Cell took their version of this song to #1 in the UK and #8 in the United States in 1981, putting them high on any list of one-hit wonders. It’s hard to argue with the greatness of their slowed-down, synthed-up treatment. But there is more ‘Tainted Love’ to go around.

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