Written by Stevie Nicks to express the grief resulting from the death of her uncle Jonathan and the murder of John Lennon during the same week of December 1980, the song is still a stunner.
According to Nicks, the title came from a conversation she had with Tom Petty’s first wife, Jane, about the couple’s first meeting. Jane said they met “at the age of seventeen”, but her strong Southern accent made it sound like “edge of seventeen” to Nicks. The singer liked the sound of the phrase so much that she told Jane she would write a song for it and give her credit for the inspiration.
“Suspicious Minds” was written by American songwriter Mark James, and after his recording failed commercially, the song was handed to Elvis Presley by producer Chips Moman, becoming a number one song in 1969, and one of the most notable hits of Presley’s career. “Suspicious Minds” was widely regarded as the single that returned Presley’s career success, following his ’68 Comeback Special. It was his seventeenth and last number-one single in the United States. Rolling Stone later ranked it No. 91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
“Radio Free Europe” was released as R.E.M.’s debut single on the short-lived independent record label Hib-Tone in 1981. In 2010, it was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for setting “the pattern for later indie rock releases by breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio’s general indifference.”
“Superman” is a 1969 song by the Texas band The Clique, made more famous in 1986 when recorded by R.E.M. Lead singer Michael Stipe was not as enthusiastic about recording the song as the other band members were, and as a result bassist Mike Mills debuted on lead vocals with Stipe providing background.
Driver 8 was the second single from R.E.M.’s third album, Fables of the Reconstruction. Released in September 1985, the song peaked at #22 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song refers to the Southern Crescent, a passenger train operated by the Southern Railroad until 1979, and continues today (with fewer stops) as the Amtrak Crescent.
“These Days” is from From Lifes Rich Pagent, which the album title is based on an English idiom, but R.E.M.’s use is, according to guitarist Peter Buck, from the 1964 film A Shot in the Dark, minus the apostrophe. Now I’m not feeding off you
I will rearrange your scales if I can, and I can
Marching to the ocean, marching to the sea, I had a hat
I dropped it down and it sunk, reached down
Picked it up, slapped it on my head
..and from Accelerate, here’s “Living Well Is The Best Revenge”
R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” appeared on their 1987 album Document, the 1988 compilation Eponymous, and the 2006 compilation And I Feel Fine… The Best of the I.R.S Years 1982–1987. It was released as a single in November 1987, reaching No. 69 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and later reaching No. 39 in the UK singles chart on its re-release in December 1991.
Before the supposed Mayan apocalypse on December 21, 2012, sales for the song jumped from 3,000 to 19,000 copies for the week. A radio station in Calgary, Canada (CFEX x92.9 FM) on December 21, 2012 played the song 156 times in a row back to back to coincide with the Mayan apocalypse event.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by The Beatles. Released on June 1, 1967, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one in the United States. Time magazine declared it “a historic departure in the progress of music” and the New Statesman praised its elevation of pop to the level of fine art. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, The Killers’ lead singer Brandon Flowers said Somebody Told Me “…is the story of trying to meet someone in a club.” The single peaked at #51 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK it charted at number 28 upon its first release in March 2004 becoming the band’s first top 40 hit, it was then re-released in January 2005 and reached number 3.
“Money for Nothing” by British rock band Dire Straits is taken from their 1985 album Brothers in Arms. The song’s lyrics are written from the point of view of a working-class man watching music videos and commenting on what he sees. The recording was notable for its controversial lyrics, groundbreaking music video and cameo appearance by Sting singing the song’s falsetto introduction and backing chorus, “I want my MTV”. The video was also the first to be aired on MTV Europe when the network started on 1 August 1987.
It was one of Dire Straits’ most successful singles, peaking at number one for three weeks in the United States, and it also reached number one for three weeks on the US Top Rock Tracks chart. In the band’s native UK, the song peaked at number four. “Money for Nothing” won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1986 at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards.
I’m listening now to Roger Daltrey’s interview with Howard Stern, and dug a little bit on YouTube for this – what a balance between musical aesthetics and commercial aspirations this band had. “We couldn’t outstone The Stones, we couldn’t outpop The Beatles. We found our own way with a completely different kind of music.”
Turn these up and use your desk to be your own Keith Moon!
The Clash’s London Calling received unanimous acclaim and was ranked at number eight on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. London Calling was a top ten album in the UK, has sold over five million copies worldwide, and was certified platinum in the United States.
Isolated vocal by Joe Strummer:
Isolated guitar by Mick Jones:
Isolated bass by Paul Simonon:
Isolated drums by Topper Headon:
Instrumental (including piano by Mick Jones, no vocal):
ButterFly is a studio album by Barbra Streisand, recorded and released in 1974. The credited producer is Streisand’s then-boyfriend Jon Peters, with arrangements by Tom Scott. The album contains contemporary material from a diverse selection of writers, as well as interpretations of standards. In a 1992 interview with Larry King, Streisand cited Butterfly as the least favorite of her albums.
On ButterFly Streisand covered the likes of Bob Marley (Guava Jelly) and Buck Owens (Crying Time). But it’s Streisand’s treatment of Bowie’s Life on Mars that is the standout here.