Some all-time greats today. And, I suppose, the Beatles.
The Beatles, "I'm Only Sleeping"
I think Revolver is The Beatles' best record. But can we talk about that cover? Terrible. And it won a Grammy for "Best Album Cover", which is a thing they apparently hand out awards for! Apparently it wasn't just the Beatles who were high all the time.
(NB: of course it's impossible to find the original on YouTube. So, I picked Elliot Smith doing a cover.)
J-Live, "A Charmed Life"
J-Live made hip-hop in the vein of New York icons going all the way back to the start of the scene. The focus is on his torrent of lyrics, but special mention here for the lovely jazz-inspired beat on this track. His first couple albums are really great, although I kind of lost touch with his work.
Elvis Costello, "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea"
A friend of mine has a thing where he rewords lyrics and song titles using synonyms, a gag which always kills me. You know, "Softcover Author" instead of "Paperback Writer". That kind of dumb thing. Anyway, his song titles for This Year's Model killed me, and have stuck with me. So, "Pump It Up" is always "Inflate It" in my brain, and this song (which is great!) is "Chelsea (Fuck It)".
Squirrel Bait, "Slake Train Coming"
I briefly mentioned Squirrel Bait when talking about David Grubbs, but it's time to talk about the band itself. Squirrel Bait came together in Louisville as teenagers to play post-hardcore inspired by bands like Hüsker Dü. And they were great, playing a furious and tense take on punk music, with impressive skills for such a young band. In addition to being inspiring on their own, the Squirrel Bait family tree includes some tremendously influential bands, most notably the fantastic Slint and Bitch Magnet. Squirrel Bait's (short) discography would be enough of a legacy for any band, but they all collectively did so much more.
Action Bronson & Statik Selektah, "Terror Death Camp"
Action Bronson is the non-union equivalent of Ghostface Killah. Basically, if you really want more Supreme Clientele era Ghost, and don't mind buying the musical equivalent of a Romex, well, here you go. Now, I love that era, so I enjoy Action Bronson just fine.