The Friday Five: November 15, 2013

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:

“Power of Love” by Deee-Lite (from Groove is in the Heart, 1990)

“Power of Love” is the follow up to the group’s breakout single, “Groove is in the Heart.” While not as ubiquitous as the former, it certainly held its own among the club kids that Lady Miss Kier and crew built their brand upon. I definitely recall spinning this record nearly as much as “Groove” during my ’90s DJ sets.

“Big Apple” by Urban Dance Squad (from Mental Floss for the Globe, 1989)

Urban Dance Squad is about as highly underrated as they come. They were just as funky as Red Hot Chili Peppers, and laid the groundwork for the future Rap-Rock amalgamations of the next decade.

“Sara” by Fleetwood Mac (from 25 Years: The Chain (disc 1), 1992)

Hey, who let this goat into the party?

“Into the Groove” by Madonna (from Celebration (disc 1), 2009)

It would seem that iTunes is in an ’80s sort of mood, eh?

Okay, here’s a question for the Fivers': is “Into the Groove” officially Madonna’s breakout hit? I’ll reserve my opinion for the comments section, for fear of tainting the results of this little informal poll.

“A Means to an End” by Joy Division (from Still (bonus disc: Town Hall, High Wycombe live 20 February 1980), 2007)

An appropriate end to this week’s Five.

What’s on your shuffle today?

  • Phil

    Bad Brains – “Leaving Babylon” (Bad Brains, 1996)
    This is definitely not what I expect to hear when I think of Bad Brains, despite the fact that the song has been covered by quite a few artists. Where are the fuzzy guitars and the breakneck pace? That’s the Bad Brains I’m more familiar with.

    Queensrÿche – “Queen of the Reich” (Queensrÿche, 1983)
    My introduction to Queensrÿche was this track battling against the static of the nearest AOR FM radio station in rural Mississippi via a syndicated hard rock program called Metal Shop. Heavily influenced by the NWOBHM movement, the band’s debut EP and followup full-length album The Warning are still two of my favorites from the ‘Rÿche.

    Yes – “Miracle of Life” (Union, 1991)
    Despite poor sales and lukewarm critical reception (c’mon Rolling Stone, 2 stars?!), Yes’ Union was in heavy rotation in my CD player back in the day. I love the amalgamation of the 90125-era lineup with classic Yes members Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe (and a whole host of session players). Nearly every track is solid, including this one, and Anderson’s voice is in fine form throughout. My favorite part is the 2-minute intro with its cyclical melody and odd time signature. No, this isn’t Fragile, but give me a break–the early 90s was a strange time for most classic rock dinosaur acts like Yes.

    Mae – “Goodbye, Goodnight” (Destination: Beautiful, 2003)
    It’s hard to put into words why I like Mae’s music so much. While not my favorite, this song is a good start. As much as I enjoy Dave Elkins’ new project Schematic, I wish Mae were still around.

    The Hold Steady – “Barely Breathing” (Heaven Is Whenever, 2010)
    Heaven Is Whenever is the first (and only) album I’ve heard from The Hold Steady. I was skeptical at first when a rock ‘n’ roll snob friend of mine introduced me, but I was surprised at how much I liked it. There are a couple of clunkers, and this particular song is not one I play often, but the remainder of the album is solid.

    Quite an eclectic mix today. Hope you have a good Friday!

  • EightE1

    Manic Street Preachers, “30-Year War.” A bit of a screed from their otherwise fine new record.

    Spin Doctors, “Can’t Kick the Habit.” An actual, affecting Spin Doctors song. It exists, I swear.

    Patty Griffin, “Not a Bad Man.” God, I love this woman.

    Christian McBride, “Cherokee.” Not the Europe song. Though I think McBride would make THAT “Cherokee” sound cool.

    REM, “Fall on Me.” There’s a problem …

  • Rock_dawg

    “Holiday” is what I’ve always considered Madonna’s breakthrough, but thinking about it, it was the singles from Like A Virgin that made her a star. “Into The Groove” came after “Like A Virgin” and “Material Girl” which were pretty massive in ’85. And according to Wikipedia “In the United States, the song was only available as the B-side of the 12-inch single of “Angel”, therefore it was ineligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 according to the rules of the time.”

    Now, to the Five!
    “Tell It Like It Is” – Don Johnson, Grandes Exitos
    Not off to a good start here. “Tell It Like It Is” is an amazing song and Don doesn’t embarrass himself on it, but you’d probably hear a better version in a karaoke bar. I downloaded this disc out of curiosity and for cheese value. Oh! And the hilarity that is Johnson struggling to make the key change in “Heartbeat”!
    “Discipline” – Nine Inch Nails, The Slip
    That’s better. While not NIN’s strongest release, I would have paid for this free album and would have rather not paid for Year Zero.
    “Kings” – Steely Dan, Can’t Buy A Thrill
    Never one of my favourite Dan tracks, but I’m kind of enjoying it right now.
    “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” – Willie Nelson, Phases & Stages
    No one sings a sad country song like Willie.
    “The Happy Song (Dun-Dum)” – Otis Redding, The Very Best of…
    And no one sang a soul song like Otis. (Certainly not Don Johnson!)

    Now, to the weekend!!

  • Michael Parr

    Interesting, though still not the track that I’d consider to be her breakthrough. (That said, I concur that “Into the Groove” is not it, either.)

  • jhallCORE

    1) Don Braden — “All Or Nothing At All” (The Fire Within, 1999).
    2) Branford Marsalis Quartet — “As Summer Into Autumn Slips” (Four MFs Playin’ Tunes, 2012).
    3) Indigo Girls — “Southland In The Springtime” (Nomads Indians Saints, 1990).
    4) Bonnie Raitt — “Kokomo” (Road Tested, 1995).
    5) John Mellencamp — “Check It Out” (Words & Music: John Mellencamp’s Greatest Hits, 2004).

    Enjoy the weekend.

  • jhallCORE

    Rob, check out Dee Dee Bridgewater’s version of “Cherokee” on her stellar “Live At Yoshi’s” disc circa 1998. Hope all is well.

  • Phil

    is “Into the Groove” officially Madonna’s breakout hit?

    I forgot to answer the question. I know squat about what would have been Madonna’s breakout hit. I remember thinking she was kinda cute in a trashy sort of way, but as a reformed metalhead, I wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss was about. And then she started humping the stage…

    She definitely had some catchy songs, though.

  • Ernie G

    “634-5789″ – Otis Redding
    “Being Boiled” – Human League
    “Pretty Belinda” – Bernt Spier
    “Scissor Runner” – Jenny & Johnny
    “Angel From Montgomery” – John Prine

  • dwalsh76

    1. Paul McCartney – “The Christmas song (chestnuts roasting on Jeff Giles chest hair).” Just kill me. Wow, what a terrible start to the 5.
    2. Big Country – “Chance (12″ Version)” Not a favorite track, but hard to dislike this.
    3. No Doubt – “Dreaming The Same Dream” From the snoozefest known as Push & Shove.
    4. Foster The People – “Don’t Stop” What the hell happened to these guys? Solid debut record and then they disappeared.
    5. Ben Lee – “Nothing Much Happens” A lot goes on, but nothing happens.

  • Mordalo

    Another? At my age, it takes more time between Fives, but I’ll give a try…

    1) Everything But The Girl – Missing
    Yes, they’ve made other music, but I like this song, damnit.

    2) The Offspring – Why Don’t You Get a Job
    Holy 90’s Flashback, Fiveman! I haven’t heard this one in awhile.

    3) Usher – Yeah! (ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris)
    I hear this song nowadays and all I think of is The Hangover.

    4) Electric Light Orchestra – Telephone Line
    I remember those things. Kids today, what kind of songs will they write about? No cell service?

    5) Jimmy Buffett – Cowboy in the Jungle
    One of my favourite Buffett tunes. Plowing straight ahead, come what may. Words to live by.

    Okay, I’m done. I need a sammich.

  • Mordalo

    Union was big in my rotation as well, back in the day. Every once in awhile, I’ll dig it out and give it a listen.

  • MC_Snocap

    Madge’s breakthrough? Either Lucky Star or Borderline. Can’t remember which was first; I think Lucky Star charted higher, but came after Borderline? Maybe the deciding factor is what part of her persona was most important to get across in a video: Lucky Star for her dancing, Borderline for her “acting”.

    1. “Le Grind” by Prince (1987, The Black Album)
    A shout-out is due my uncle, who shipped me a booted cassette in 1990 when I was overseas, alone, and miserable. Seems quaint today that getting a rarity three years after availability was a huge deal, but the gift was unexpected and started a recovery rolling.

    2. “Baby You’re a Rich Man” by The Beatles (1967, off Yellow Submarine songtrack)
    Wonder if, when this song came out, anyone questioned Lennon’s sneering at the subject on account of wealth.

    3. “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby (1982, off Living in Oblivion, vol. 1)
    Shame that this version loses the drum machine run-out. Song’s ubiquity is far enough past that this seems ripe for a cover.

    4. “If the Dream Was a Dream (Yume ga yume nara)” by Kenji Ozawa (1997?, off Modern Tokyo Connection)
    It’s been a crummy week, so a bright song like this was desperately needed …

    5. “Startime” by Tsar (2005, Band-Girls-Money)
    … and this was the right way to blast into the end of a beleaguered work week. Good weekend to all.

  • Phil

    5. “Startime” by Tsar (2005, Band-Girls-Money)

    Great song by a great, overlooked, under-appreciated band. Not as good as most of their debut album and a little harder-edged, but good nonetheless.

  • Dumbangel

    “New Age” – The Velvet Underground
    “If This Is Love” – Glen Campbell
    “I’m Not Living Here” – The Ballroom
    “Let’s Dance” – Ramones
    “Save A Prayer” – Duran Duran

  • B-ROCK

    Emerson, Lake & Palmer – “Still…You Turn Me On” (Brain Salad Surgery)
    Not a fan of the prog as a teen, but I’ve learned to enjoy it of late. This one’s a favorite.
    Albert King – “Blues Power” (The Very Best of Albert King)
    The blues, baby!
    James Taylor – “Honey Don’t Leave LA” (The Essential James Taylor)
    Sweet baby James! Nice collection.
    Howlin’ Wolf – “I Asked For Water” (His Best)
    Another dose of the blues for this dreary Friday.
    Ringo Starr – “I’m The Greatest” (Photograph…The Best Of)
    Lennon did this one best, but Ring’s version is adequate.