Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The 885: Essential Music, part 3

As WXPN continues its countdown of the 885 Essential XPN Songs, here are a few more songs from my list.

4. The Clash - The Magnificent Seven. The Clash, like many of my choices, were a college discovery for me. In fact, the album London Calling continues to be one of the most important albums in my collection. Having said that, I decided NOT to pick a song from that album. I knew The Clash would make my top ten, but I wasn't sure whether to do the obvious "Train in Vain," which was their first big commercial hit, or try something else. The Clash rose up out of the British punk scene in the 70s and while much punk music wasn't very "accessible," the band confounded conventional wisdom by making their mark with a double-album. And then they did the unthinkable: they followed it up with a triple-album, Sandanista. Whereas London Calling was a mix of punk, reggae, ska, and other styles of music, Sandanista threw in some dub and rap. A great album, and a great song.

3. Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere. Full disclosure: I am not now, nor have I have ever been, a Springsteen fan. I grew up in the Philly area in the seventies when Springsteen was sort of a regional legend and everyone I knew played him to death. It wasn't where I was musically at the time, and I think I OD'd on him. And I've never really gotten into his stuff. Which is what makes this selection all the more interesting for me, espeically at #3. But having said that, I do appreciate him and his music. Springsteen is a legend. A true rock star. And yet when his latest album, Magic, was released, radio didn't seem to notice. Actually, they noticed, but commercial radio giant Clear Channel reportedly told its classic rock stations NOT to play the album, but instead to play only the tried and true Springsteen classics that everyone knows. Interesting.

But XPN played the album, and I actually kinda, sorta fell in love with this song. Nice catchy tune, nice lyrics, and it grew on me. YouTube has disabled embedding of this video, but you can view it here.

I'll give you my final two songs on Monday. But stay tuned to XPN, and let me know what your Essential songs are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admire how you were able to set aside your personal prejudices and give Springsteen's song the props it deserves.

In "Radio Nowhere," he sings

"I want a thousand guitars
I want pounding drums
I want a million different voices
Speaking in tongues"

I think that's a really profound and powerful cry coming from Springsteen. After all he has done, especially recently--in the 2004 election, with Devils & Dust--he comes back to professing his unexplainable love for good, loud, rocking music. I think that in a way it's one of his visions of what world peace would look (sound) like.