Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Favorite Non-2016 Songs of 2016
I've been a fan of Public Image Ltd. for a number of years, but usually just with random tracks here and there. And then i got into the TV show "Mr. Robot" which makes wonderful use of music in every episode. PIL's "The Order of Death" played during an opening scene of one of season 2's final episodes to perfect effect, and i've been jamming it ever since.
When my wife went back to work earlier this year when her maternity leave was up, i spent a week away from work with my second son...and he spent most of that time sleeping on me. So, i watched a lot of movies, both old and new, and managed to catch Michael Mann's "Manhunter" for the first time in probably 20 years. It holds up quite well, and i'd forgotten how excellent the music is in it. Michael Rubini's instrumental synth track "Graham's Theme" is my favorite.
When David Bowie died earlier this year, i spent a few months posting tracks from the artist everyday, with occasional forays into cover versions. My favorite cover that i discovered was former Ultravox member Midge Ure's synthy, new-wave take on Bowie classic "The Man Who Sold the World."
The Rotary Connection's Minnie Riperton put out a pretty stellar album in the 70's called "Come to My Garden." "Les Fleur" sounds like soulful precursor to trip-hop. It's amazing.
A novelty track from girl group The Sham-Ettes, the backing vocalists for Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs, i'd posit that "(Hey There) Big Bad Wolf" is actually better than the original song that it references.
From a private press record from 1968, though it does feature The Byrds' Clarence White on guitar, Mistress Mary's lovely "And I Didn't Want You" is a country and folk indebted diamond of Americana. If country music still sounded like this, i'd have nicer things to say about it.
If you haven't already, get some Townes Van Zandt into your life. Start with the absolutely fantastic "Waiting 'Round to Die," and then just go from there.
Elements of soft rock, girl group, orchestral pop, country, folk, and just a hint of west coast psych makes Evie Sands' 1970 jam "Any Way that You Want Me" a must listen. It's been one of my go-to songs all year long.
All of these songs made 2016 better...even if they came out years before. Stay tuned tomorrow for my favorite album covers of the year.