Track 10 on today's Friday 10 got me thinking about the tag "One Hit Wonder." It's a rancid way to describe an artist or a band, and it shows a little laziness on the part of the speaker or writer or critic. The term has evolved to where it now implies that the act has only one song worth hearing, and in most cases, this is far from the truth. It's staggering how many bands I like (and I figure you do too) who can be labeled 1HWs, but don't deserve to be considered to have scarcity of great songs. Like Thin Lizzy, Luscious Jackson, Sinead O'Connor, Devo, Bow Wow Wow, Gang of Four, Richie Havens, T. Rex, Kraftwerk, Patti Smith, Nick Lowe... and on it goes. For every artist who gets called a 1HW, there's someone somewhere who calls himself their biggest fan
Today's Friday 10 was great. I'm sorry the notes are so spare, I am a little short on time.
01 Let's Submerge - X-Ray Spex: How many times can I write how wild I am for the Germ Free Adolescents record? Never enough, I don't think. It's mind-blowing, how many great songs are on there. Punk rock with a sax? Hells yeah.
02 Damaged 1 - Black Flag: Vocal by the great Dez Cadena, from the Everything Went Black super-comp. It's an alternate version of the song from the version that was released as the B-side of "Louie Louie." Damn, Greg Ginn wrote some great tunes.
03 Let's Dance - Ramones: I always dug how the Ramones never shied away from wearing their influences on their sleeves. And it's fun to imagine how everything that informed them, musically, is an ingredient in the soup that became punk rock. Stooges? Sure. Ronettes? Yup. Sonny and Cher, The Rivieras, The Trashmen? Yes yes and yes. "Let's Dance," as every one of you already knows, is a Chris Montez song from the early sixties. And the Ramones did it on their debut.
04 Jealous Again - WM3 All-Stars: The Black Flag classic, sung by Nick Olivieri -- the balls and soul of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. It's from the West Memphis Three benefit album Henry Rollins and Mother Superior did a few years ago.
05 Saduva - Miriam Makeba: From her Africa album. Makeba is a regular on these Friday 10s, and I'm real cool with that. Makeba, at 74 years old, wrapped up a 14-month farewell tour last year, and is supposed to have new recordings out soon.
06 Rattlesnake - Replacements: Whoa. THAT was a fucking segue! From Makeba into this one, which kicks in with the sound of a needle being pushed across a record. It was like a radio station undergoing a sudden, violent format change. This is early Replacements, from the first LP, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out The Trash. It still shreds anything of it's kind. That album is full-throttle from start to finish, like these guys had broken into the studio and were scared of getting caught in there. Relentless and great. (I haven't heard the remaster that's out there now. If you've got one, I'd love to know how it sounds.)
07 I'm Stranded - The Saints: I listen to the Saints song "Know Your Product" a lot. On average, I'd say once a week for the last 81 years of my life. Some days, it's like I can feel it in my gut -- how much I want to hear it. "I'm Stranded" was the title track of this Australian band's debut album; "Know Your Product" is from the follow-up, Eternally Yours. Singer Chris Bailey puts a great voice on this music. I have a couple Saints albums (Monkey Puzzle and Prehistoric Sounds) past the first two and they're great, but for me it's all about the first two and the 1-2-3-4 EP. It's all in print and worth checking out if you haven't already.
08 Where Did You Sleep Last Night? - Leadbelly: This is from an album called Broken Hearted Blues. I think there's a really short line between Blind Lemon Jefferson at the beginning of American folk, to Leadbelly, to Woody Guthrie, to Pete Seeger, to Bob Dylan. Sure, there are names missing in-between, but you cannot define folk music without those five names. You probably know this song well from the Nirvana unplugged performance. They really hit it out of the park. I hope it sent a lot of people back to the source to check out Leadbelly's versions (there are many different takes), they're extraordinary.
09 We're Desperate (1st version) - X: The ragged and rough first version. It's fantastic. Easy one to get, too, as it's on the Beyond & Back comp.
10 Long Arm - Wall of Voodoo: from the Wall of Voodoo EP that came out as a promo for the now hard-to-get Index Masters release. Both came out in 1980. Stan Ridgway was still singer then. There are a lot of great songs on these releases, tracks that I think would change many people's opinions of Wall of Voodoo if they got out there. Unfortunately, the songs and the band fell between the cracks, and the general assumption is one-hit wonder or novelty group.
Now you: Put your mp3 player or digital jukebox on "shuffle all songs," and let us know the first ten random tracks you hear.
[posted with ecto]
On iTunes right now: Public Image from the album Public Image (First Issue) by Public Image Limited