Song of the Day #3,187: ‘Clean Money’ – Elvis Costello

‘Clean Money’ is an outtake from Elvis Costello’s album Armed Forces. It was later reworked with portions of its lyrics ending up in the song ‘Love For Tender,’ the lead-off track of his next album, Get Happy!!.

In this form, the song was at one point the opening track of Armed Forces, as Costello explains in the voluminous liner notes of the deluxe edition.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,186: ‘Port of Morrow’ – The Shins

The Random iTunes Dairy has been reading the blog again. How else can we explain today’s “random” selection from The Shins’ album Port of Morrow just two days after I sang its praises?

This is the title track and the album’s final song, and it has a much more ethereal quality than the rest of the record. James Mercer sings in a falsetto reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,180: ‘Under the Sheets’ – Ellie Goulding

My only association with this Ellie Goulding song, from her 2010 debut album Lights, is my impersonation of its opening lines. My wife was (is?) a fan of this album, while I would pass up no chance to make fun of it.

My schoolyard taunts included saying Goulding sounds like a “wispy unicorn,” mocking her pronunciation of “this love” as “this loaf” and singing the beginning of this song as “a toy a too a tee a toe” in my best Ellie Goulding accent.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,179: ‘Camping Next to Water’ – Badly Drawn Boy

Badly Drawn Boy’s 2000 debut album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, remains a remarkable collection of baroque pop and acoustic loveliness with a level of quality that Damon Gough sadly hasn’t approached since.

Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with everything he’s released over the past 17 years (which includes a couple of movie soundtracks and five more studio albums) but the few I do have pale in comparison to this beauty of an album.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,173: ‘Houses in Motion’ – Talking Heads

remain_in_lightI’m currently digging into the albums of 1990, and I’m not very impressed with the selection.

Today’s Random iTunes Weekend selection is a reminder that 1980 was a much stronger year. So strong that Talking Heads’ Remain in Light managed only the third slot on my personal list of favorite 1980 albums.

Only Billy Joel’s Glass Houses (#2) and Elvis Costello’s Get Happy! (#1) topped it, and the Billy Joel pick is a sentimental one. Remain in Light probably deserves the second spot.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,172: ‘Gimme Some Truth’ – John Lennon

john_lennon_imagineJohn Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ (the song) is such a classic that it’s easy to overlook how great Imagine (the album) is, too.

In addition to the iconic title song, you have ‘Jealous Guy,’ ‘Oh Yoko,’ ‘Crippled Inside’ as well as the lesser-known ‘It’s So Hard,’ ‘I Don’t Want to Be a Soldier,’ ‘Oh My Love,’ ‘How?’ and ‘How Do You Sleep?’ That last one is a scathing takedown of Paul McCartney (“those freaks was right when they said you was dead”), which Genius.com calls one of the “first diss tracks” in pop music.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,166: ‘A Song To Sing’ – Hanson

hanson_get_the_girl_backEvery few years I remind my readers that I have a soft spot for the band Hanson, particularly their 2000 album This Time Around. This time, the Random iTunes Fairy did the honors.

Scoff all you want, but if you haven’t listed to this infectious batch of power pop and melodic ballads, do yourself a favor and give it a try. Lead singer Taylor Hanson, in particular, is a true talent. In 2009, he formed the supergroup Tinted Windows with another wickedly good pop songwriter, Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, and members of Cheap Trick and Smashing Pumpkins.

Continue reading