Happy Birthday to my lovely wife!
It’s a Random Weekend, so you know the drill. I spin the wheel and see what song shall forever be associated with her special day. Here we go…
Well, OK. ‘Love/Hate’ is a deep cut from Liz Phair’s 2003 self-titled album, which itself was something of a love/hate affair (probably tilting a bit more toward hate).
Liz Phair’s self-titled 2003 album has been ripped by longtime fans and music critics alike as a crass attempt to sell out.
Phair initially turned in a set of tracks produced by Michael Penn, but Capitol Records, as the saying goes, didn’t hear a single. They teamed her up with hit songwriting/production team The Matrix to come up with some more commercial material.
The Random iTunes Fairy seems eerily prescient lately.
Last week she served up a song from the Grease soundtrack the very day Fox aired its live performance of Grease. And this week, in the middle of my Pazz & Jop rundown, the Saturday selection is the opening track of Liz Phair’s 1993 album Exile in Guyville, which topped that year’s poll.
Liz Phair’s 2003 self-titled album was her most commercially successful but her most critically savaged.
Phair is the indie rock queen who was credited with starting a frank, feminist revolution within the alternative music scene through the release of her debut, Exile in Guyville. On this record, she teamed up with pop hit factory The Matrix to record songs that would have felt at home on an Avril Lavigne or Britney Spears album.
When preparing the songs for this week, I was shocked to see that I’ve featured Liz Phair only once on the blog to date.
That was more than two years ago when I chose ‘Stratford-On-Guy’ as Song of the Day #115.
It’s not that Liz Phair plays such a major role in my music collection that her absence on the blog is a surprise, it’s just that as I approach 1,000 songs of the day, I figured somebody like her would have at least found her way into two or three posts.
Liz Phair went from the ultimate indie rock goddess to the ultimate sell-out in the course of ten years.
Her debut album, 1993’s Exile in Guyville, was a barrier-smashing success that shook up the all-male independent music scene with its fresh sound and frank sexuality. Songs such as ‘Fuck and Run’ and ‘Flower’ were shocking both for their explicit lyrics and the deadpan manner in which Phair sang them. The album (which received a 15th anniversary reissue just this year) is deservedly considered by critics as one of the best albums of the past few decades.