30 Day Song Challenge #23

Day 23: a song that you think everybody should listen to.

What Part of My Body Hurts the Most (Bat Out of Hell The Musical)

Without contest, everybody needs to hear the latest Jim Steinman classic, “What Part of My Body Hurts the Most”. Ever since I first heard a bootlegged recording back in 2005 or so (not actually the one behind that link, but you get the idea), I knew this was going to be a classic. I my head, I could hear Meat Loaf nailing it, I could hear the arrangement, the piano and pounding drums — every little thing. And then it didn’t happen. There have been several sanctioned live versions and tributes, but no official release. Until last year, when it appeared in Bat Out of Hell The Musical. As there is no official digital release of the cast recording, I cannot offer Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton’s final version, so a bootlegged promo mix is the best I can do.

30 Day Song Challenge #22

Day 22: a song that moves you forward.

Bad Religion — Punk Rock Song

Love this song. It’s short (hi John!), currently topical again, and it has a sense of humor to it. If you look at the verses, they pull no punches:

Have you visited the quagmire?
Have you swam in the shit?
The party conventions and the real politic
The faces always different, the rhetoric the same
But we swallow it all, and we see nothing change
Nothing has changed

And then the chorus pays off:

This is just a punk rock song
Written for the people who can see something’s wrong
Like workers in a factory we do our share
But there’s so many other fuckin’ robots out there
And this is just a punk rock song

The world is going to hell in a handbasket, we as concerned individuals may bust our asses trying to make something of it, but hey, whatyagonnado? And this is just a punk rock song that ain’t gonna change the world either.

I also love how in the video singer Greg Graffin looks just like your dad (ymmv) trying to be cool, rocking out in his red dad-sweater. This becomes even more apparent when you look at a couple of live versions back to back. (1996, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017)

30 Day Song Challenge #21

Day 21: A song you like with a person’s name in the title.

Opeth — Face of Melinda

A non-exhaustive list of names that I found in my collection: Adam. Albertine. Alexander the Great. Alice. Amadeus. Andries Knevel. Angie. Anna. Annabel. Anne. Annelie. Anniek. Asherah. Bambi Woods. Betty. Billy. Cain. Carey. Cecilia. Domino. Damien. Dante. Desirée Diana. Dianna. Diane. Dracula. Eleanor. Elisabeth. Elise. Elvis. Emily. Emmanuel. Escher. Esmee. Eva. Eve. Flash. Frankenstein. Grace Kelly. Hitler. Jack Kerouac. Jake. James Dean. Jamie. Jane. Janie. Jeanny. Jef. Jeremy. Jesse James. Jesus. Jillian. Jimmy. Johnny. Mr. Jones. Joni. Jolene. Juliet. Gaia. Henk. Hitler. Kayleigh. Kees. Kevin. Lazarus. Lena. Lenny. Louise. Lucretia. Madeline. Marieke. Martha. Mary. Mrs McGrath. Melinda. Mephistopheles. Miranda Holgersma. Michelle. Najade. Nemo. Nils Holgersson. Noah. Pamala. St Patrick. Penny. Randy Newman. Richard Manuel. Robin. Mrs Robinson. St Robinson. Romeo. Rosalita. Rosanna. Rosie. Rooooooooooooooooooxannne. Ruby. Sam. Sandy. Sarah. Shiva. Simone. Sinéad. Suzanne. Stan Meyer. Sylvia. Thor. Tom. Tom Joad. Tom Waits. Veronica Guerin.

There are so goshdarn many of them, I made a playlist on Spotify. Feel free to expand upon that.

My favorite among them is Opeth’s “Face of Melinda”. It starts of slow and nice and calm and acoustic, and then develops into this heavy thing. Not as heavy as what comes next (that chorus!), but still, pretty heavy for what started out as a folky ballad. Mikael Åkerfeldt also saves one of his best lines for last.

Endlessly gazing in nocturnal prime
She spoke of her vices and broke the rhyme
But baffled herself with the final line
My promise is made but my heart is thine …

30 Day Song Challenge #20

Day 20: a song that has many meanings to you.

Dream Theater — Hollow Years (live at Budokan)

One: This live performance totally destroys the album version.
Two: When I say I don’t mind extended guitar solos as long as they serve the song, this is exactly what I mean.
Three: James LaBrie is on.
Four: Once the stone you’re crawling under is lifted off your shoulders / Once the cloud that’s raining over your head disappears / The noise that you’ll hear is the crashing down of hollow years …
Finally: I am clearly not the kind of person to whom a song has many meanings.

30 Day Song Challenge #19

Day 19: A song that makes you think about life.

Savatage — This Is the Time (1990)

It was the year of nineteen-ninety
And the Berlin wall was down
And a thousand years regretted
Now laid buried in the ground

And the prophets read the future
And the omens all seemed kind
In the classic world of Dickens
It surely was, the best of times

(…)

We placed our years in the hourglass
They were never unearned
And we seemed destined to watch them pass
It was never our turn

But this is the time
And this is the place
And these are the signs that we must embrace
The moment is now
In all history
The time has arrived
And this is the one place to be