Mix Six: “Spell It!”

Written by Mix Six, Music

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE
First off, let me say that “Y.M.C.A.” didn’t make the cut on this mix. Yeah, it’s a fun song, but chances are you’ve heard it a million times, and it’s such an earworm that it really belonged on last week’s mix — but I didn’t have the heart to do that to you. Clearly, I did have the heart to foist Billy Joel and Neil Diamond on you, but that’s because I have so much love in my heart.

This week, we’re spelling it! Yep, for some reason songwriters will often spell words in their songs, and sometimes it works, and other times, well … no so much.  Oh, and for those of you who actually listen to the full mix  you’ll get some humorous drops culled from the wilds of You Tube that just helps me state the obvious in this mix.


“C.I.T.Y.,” John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (download)

This is the tune that started me thinking about songs where spelling seems to count for something.  For John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, “C.I.T.Y.” was from the follow-up album from that infamous movie, Eddie and the Cruisers — where Tom Berenger’s character was named “Wordman.”  Yeah, poor Tom has to live with that on his C.V. for the rest of his career.  But what about John Cafferty?  How did “C.I.T.Y.” do?  #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. Huh? Okay, if that’s the case, then why don’t I hear this song played on the radio anymore?  I mean, it’s not a classic, but it has a kind of Bob Seger “Breakdown” thing going on — and that song still gets airplay.

“Method of Modern Love,” Hall and Oates (Download)

There’s a certain editor in-chief of this magazine that has a deep love for this group.  So much so, that he had a t-shirt with a picture of John Oates, that said “Method of Modern Stache” on his old blog header. Yeah I know, the image is truncated (on purpose), but I swear that’s what the shirt says.

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“Nth Degree,” Morningwood (download)

I loved this song when I first heard it on my local alt rock station in 2005.  It was a breath of fresh pop air that had commercial viability all over it.  When I say “commercial” I mean it literally.  The song was used in a commercial to sell cars and, well, me being the old man I am, was turned off by Morningwood’s blatant sellout — so much so that I stopped listening to this song for a few years.  Time heals all wounds, however.  I was able to get over my opposition to the song, suck it up and enjoy it for the pop goodness that it is.

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“Your Dictionary,” XTC (download)

Wow! That was one ugly break-up Andy Partridge went through. But pain and strife have a way of bearing artistic fruit.  In the case of the “Your Dictionary,” we the listeners get treated to some wonderfully bitter pop music.

“Gloria,” Patti Smith (download)

I was listening the Doors’ version of “Gloria” and for some reason Jim Morrison’s vocal has an undercurrent of pedophilia to me, so I glommed on to Patti Smith for help.   It’s hard to believe that this version came out in 1975 ‘cause to my ears there’s a real early ‘80s vibe to it — especially when she sings “G-L-O-R-I-A”  by kind of clipping off the end of each letter.

“Fire in Cairo,”  the Cure (download)

Here’s another golden oldie that doesn’t sound all that old.  Maybe it’s because the Cure’s sound hasn’t changed all that much in 30 years.  Sure, “Fire in Cairo” has a rawer feel with nary a synth present, but that ever-familiar Robert Smith vocal whine comes shinning through!