Song of the Day #4,145: ‘Country Road’ – James Taylor

‘Country Road’ appeared on James Taylor’s great 1970 album Sweet Baby James. It was inspired by the area surrounding a Massachusetts hospital where Taylor sought treatment for depression.

‘Country Road’ reached the top 40 at #37, while the album’s first single, ‘Fire and Rain,’ made it all the way to #3. The album was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy but lost to Simon & Garfunkel’s final studio release, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

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Song of the Day #4,139: ‘Colors’ – Halsey

‘Colors’ is the third single from Halsey’s debut album Badlands, released in 2015. Since then Halsey has become a pretty big deal, releasing nine Top 20 singles, five of which reached the Top 10 and two of which hit #1.

My older daughter has been on the Halsey train since before this album dropped. I’m half a fan through osmosis, though I’ve never really been grabbed enough by her music to listen to either of her albums all the way through.

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Song of the Day #4,138: ‘Half a Mile Away’ – Billy Joel

The Random iTunes Fairy has been peeking in on the weekday conversation, as she is wont to do.

Just the other day I proposed a theme week on Billy Joel songs that would make good fodder for a Netflix anthology show. And she serves up ‘Half a Mile Away,’ a very strong candidate. With street smart characters like Little Geo and Angelina circling our restless narrator, this song could make for a great little New York-set character sketch.

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Song of the Day #4,132: ‘Take Me to the River’ – Talking Heads

This cover of Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’ was the top single from Talking Heads’ 1978 sophomore album More Songs About Buildings and Food (I love that title!).

The song hit #26 on the singles chart, making it their third best performer ever, behind ‘Burning Down the House’ and ‘Wild Wild Life.’ The band also released a terrific live version of ‘Take Me to the River’ on their 1984 concert album/movie Stop Making Sense.

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Song of the Day #4,131: ‘Let Me Roll It’ – Paul McCartney & Wings

It’s appropriate coming off three weeks dedicated to 1973 that today’s Random Weekend selection appears on another album from that year.

Band on the Run was the third album by Paul McCartney & Wings and their most successful. It is also the top-selling album of McCartney’s career outside The Beatles, reaching the #1 spot in five countries.

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Song of the Day #4,125: ‘Don’t Touch My Hat’ – Lyle Lovett

This is the ninth track I’ve featured from Lyle Lovett’s excellent 1996 album The Road to Ensenada, still his finest ever moment on record and one of my all-time favorite albums.

This is where I have to express my incredulity and dismay that Lovett hasn’t released an album of any sort in seven years, and no album of largely original material in 12. I’d like to think he has another Ensenada in him, but I don’t know if he’ll ever record again.

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Song of the Day #4,124: ‘Summer Kitchen Ballad’ – Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse’s third album, 2002’s Under Cold Blue Stars, is a loose concept album about a suburban couple in the 50s, modeled after Rouse’s own parents. The record traces the highs and lows of a lifetime spent together.

This track, ‘Summer Kitchen Ballad,’ comes late in the album and offers an impressionistic look at what I imagine are a handful of days spent in the kitchen watching the summer turn into fall.

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