Back in 2012, I posted a track from Hootie and the Blowfish’s 1994 smash Cracked Rear View, marvelled at the meteoric rise and just-as-quick fall of the band, and suggested that “it’s about time it became cool to like Hootie again.”
I guess I was on to something. The band is currently packing arenas on a reunion tour, and recently the New York Times’ pop music critic Jon Caramanica published a piece titled ‘Hootie & the Blowfish, Great American Rock Band (Yes, Really).’
(I interrupt the normally scheduled Random Weekend for some thoughts on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Warning: Spoilers follow!)
It’s been a decade since I saw a Quentin Tarantino film I really loved. That was 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, a masterful blend of tension, action and melodrama that burst at the seams with daring creativity. It’s up there with Pulp Fiction as the most Tarantino movie Tarantino has ever made.
In contrast, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — for most of its running time — is the least Tarantino film he’s ever made. It’s also one of the best.
The White Stripes aren’t generally known for their quieter songs, but they have recorded a few beauties.
Today’s track appears on the 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan and is a lovely song featuring Jack White on acoustic guitar and Meg White (for the first time ever) on hand-hit drums.
I found a site comparing the melody of this song to Bob Dylan’s ‘I Believe in You,’ a track from his born-again Christian album Slow Train Coming (yes, they are similar).
Here’s where I admit that my Elton John deep dive become a lot more like dipping my toe in the pool once I got past 1974. John has released 22 albums since Caribou and only three of them are represented on my playlist.
Did I listen to all 22? No, I did not. Taking my cue from Rocketman, I stopped with ‘I’m Still Standing’ and the 1983 album Too Low For Zero on which it appears. If he found nothing in the 13 albums that followed worth putting on screen, who am I to argue?
Elton John followed 1973’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road a year later with Caribou, a rushed effort that the album’s producer dismissed as a “piece of crap.”
This album contains the hits ‘The Bitch is Back’ and ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me’ but little else that caught my attention. The latter song, though, is one of John’s very best so it’s hard to call this album a bust.
Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road landed seven songs on my personal playlist, including yesterday’s SOTD (‘Grey Seal’) and the expected hits: ‘Candle in the Wind,’ ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,’ ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ and ‘Harmony.’
The final track to make the cut was entirely new to me. ‘Sweet Painted Lady’ is a whimsical tune about prostitutes who sleep with sailors on shore leave.
In 1973, Elton John released the double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and capped off one of the most extraordinary runs in popular music history.
Six albums (one of them a double record) recorded and released over the course of four years, featuring some of the most beloved songs ever written. Twenty-seven of the 37 songs on my personal Elton John playlist come from those four years, his first four as a recording artist.