Sunday, October 19, 2008

The 885: Essential Music, part 4

The 885 Essential XPN Song Countdown continues at WXPN, and as I write this, it seems as though only one of my top ten has been played (at this writing we are up to #485). So far only "The Magnificent Seven" from the Clash has made it...but we aren't even half way yet. Still plenty of time. I'm sure some of the songs I voted for won't make it, and I'm certain others WILL show up on the list.

Before I take you to my #2 song, I just wanted to comment on the countdown so far. It's been incredibly interesting, and I'm hearing songs that I've never heard before, or songs that I haven't heard in quite a long time. A great mix of classic tunes from classic bands alongside more obscure songs from artists who are either newer, or long gone. And even a few local bands from the Philly area thrown in for good measure. That's the beauty of XPN. You never know what you will hear. I've even heard a few jazz tunes.

Which bring us to the song I voted #2 - Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic." I'd have to say it's not my favorite Morrison song (not sure how I would pick a favorite), but it sure seemed to fit the criteria of a song that helps to define what WXPN is. I'm a big fan of Van the Man, and I've often said that I believe him to be incapable of putting out a bad album. Sure, some of his albums are more "accessible" than others, but so what? I love the variety. Rock, pop, soul, jazz, blues, standards, etc. Van does it all. And he's just as brilliant when he is covering an old standard as he is with his own songwriting and original pieces. The man is just amazing.

Can't seem to find a video of any of Morrison's performances of the song, but you might be able to hear it over at

Looking forward to the Countdown starting up shortly again on XPN, and continuing throughout the week. Tomorrow I'll tell you the song I voted as #1 for the countdown (and I'll be shocked if it doesn't make the final list), and I think I'll also mention a few of the artists for whom I wanted to vote...but didn't because I could only vote for ten songs.

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