Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath (from We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1976)

Proof that you don’t need to hide behind a wall of distortion to produce building-leveling, absolutely heavy-as-fuck music. “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath” is, for me, the consummate Sabbath song. It contains just about every element that made them the forefathers of Heavy Metal, and in perfect measure.

“Hangin’ on a String (Frankie Knuckles remix)” by Loose Ends (from The Original 80s Remix Box Set: Massive Eighties Hits Extended and Remixed (disc 2), 2007)

I have zero recollection of this song, so we’re going solely on first impressions. Based on what I’m hearing I’m shocked that I’m not familiar as it’s right up my alley. Mid-tempo, acid-jazz, with a strong female lead and some tasty piano and guitar work. Okay, off to Wikipedia! Wait a second… I smell a rat! According to the good (and always correct) folks of Wikipedia, this Frankie Knuckles remix was commissioned in 1990 for a greatest hits project.

“Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book” by Dead Can Dance (from Aion, 1990)

I’m just going to say it: I kind of feel like a pretentious asshole for listening and enjoying Dead Can Dance. I mean, they aren’t a ‘band,’ they are a ‘project’; they perform neoclassical music that they record in Brendan Perry’s Quivvy Church; the cover of this record is a panel from a Hieronymus Bosch painting; it’s the fucking epitome of pretension, no?

“You Might Think” by The Cars (from Greatest Hits, 1985)

The degree of shuffle-related whiplash experienced this week is heading for an all-time high.

Okay, so “You Might Think,” I mean, what is there to say? It was my (conscious) entry into The Cars and always seemed a bit goofy to me. I didn’t have MTV in those days, so I had no clue just how goofy it was, really. I recall catching the video on whatever video show they had on channel 5 after He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, and before The Facts of Life. It wouldn’t be until later that I’d work my way back through their catalog and discovered the less goofy material.

“You Really Got Me” by Van Halen (from The Best of Both Worlds (disc 1), 2004)

In retrospect, I don’t get why Van Halen leaned on covering so many tunes across those early records. I mean, I get “You Really Got Me” as an introduction; it sets the tone, and when paired with “Eruption,” showcases the band perfectly. Did I just answer my own question?

What’s on your shuffle today?