The song’s opening riff was apparently inspired by the Stevie Wonder song ‘I Wish,’ which appeared on Songs in the Key of Life a year earlier. It was sampled by The Fugees, quite effectively, on their 1996 track ‘Rumble in the Jungle,’ the first time ABBA allowed another act to sample their music.
Given the time of its writing and recording, this song was widely interpreted as a comment on the Vietnam War, and released as an unlikely single for that reason. It was backed by the far more accessible (and a favorite song of mine) ‘This Will Be Our Year.’
In response, Mellencamp delivered a follow-up album that he recorded in just two weeks, with few instruments and little attention to the production. You want the format, he was saying, I’ll give you the format. That album was 1984’s Dance Naked.
After the Disco is the band’s sophomore effort, and it’s a blast. As you’d expect from this pairing, the songs combine the sticky, off-kilter melodies of The Shins with some novel production techniques. It’s cerebral ear candy.
Miseducation is definitely one of the best albums of the 90s (I ranked it at #19 on my own decade list) and perhaps the greatest album ever that was the first and last studio release by an artist.
The RIF must really like Elliott Smith. He is outperforming the percentages considerably. The law of averages would predict about half as many Smith posts as we’ve gotten.
Guns N’ Roses 1997 debut, Appetite For Destruction, is a good example. It features an all-time classic in ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and two other greatest hits-worthy tracks in ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and ‘Paradise City.’ The rest of the songs are entirely forgettable.