Friday Five : |ˈfrÄ«dā – fÄ«v| : 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:

“I Did It My Way” by Jay-Z (from The Blueprint²: The Gift & The Curse (disc 1: The Gift), 2002)

Is it Friday already? Damn.

Well before taking on Sinatra’s “New York, New York” with his “New York State of Mind” Hov was sampling Ol’ Blue Eyes’ signature tune—performed here by Paul Anka—on this cut, and even invoking the rat pack with the line “Black entrepreneur, nobody did us no favors. Nobody gave us shit, we made us. The Rap Pack, I’m Sinatra, Dame’s Sam Davis, Biggs the smart one on the low like Dean Martin.” Jay in his ascendancy to the throne was no joke. The way back down is proving a more tricky prospect. There’s no real template for the aged hip-hop star as most of his predecessors are either actors, dead, or irrelevant.

“Steps and Numbers” by The Appleseed Cast (from Low Level Owl, Volume 1, 2001)

Low Level Owl, Volume 1 is a difficult record to break through. The band purposefully obscured the vocals beneath layers of jangling guitars and intricate drum performances (seriously, if you are a fan of crazy drums, check this record out). Here’s the rub: the vocals arrangements are awesome, and the lyrics are wrought with emotion and yet you have to wade through the waves of sound to get to them.

“Celebration” by Kool & The Gang (from The Disco Years, Volume 2: On the Beat (1978-1982), 1990)

Fudge. I damn near fell out of my chair when the song switched. The swirling ambiance of the Appleseed Cast tune had me so wrapped up that the abrupt horn blast was a bit like a splash of cold water.

So… what to say about this cut? We’ve all danced to it at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and that weird party your cousin had for your Aunt’s gall bladder surgery.

“Until My Dying Day” by UB40 (from The Very Best of UB40 1980-2000, 2000)

I have zero knowledge of what era of the band this tune comes from, but I can say that it is lacking in all the reggae-lite flavor that I know UB40 for.

“Under a Glass Moon” by Dream Theater (from Images and Words, 1992)

This has been one strange shuffle.

This first Dream Theater album is such a brittle hodgepodge of virtuoso wankery that it borders on unlistenable; then a song like “Pull Me Under” comes on and reminds you that they were just getting started. The production on this record is pretty abysmal, though—it’s not the band’s fault, I doubt any producer knew what the hell to do with them and just applied the hair metal techniques of the day.

What’s on your shuffle today?

About the Author

Michael Parr

Husband, Father, Writer, Musical Voyeur, Pop Culture Glutton, Gourmet in Training. I'm the tall guy behind all these short guys. You can find me on the Twitter.

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