Run-D.M.C., "Walk This Way"
Run-D.M.C. had already declared themselves the Kings of Rock before 1986's Raising Hell was ever released, but it took "Walk This Way" being a massive hit on both the radio and, more importantly, MTV for Run-D.M.C. to really actually take that throne. This crossover song not only brought rap into countless homes in America for the first time, it also was responsible for resurrecting Aerosmith's career, so it also has a lot to answer for.
On a personal note, this song was really the song that started me on my musical journey. There are a lot of landmarks in my history, but this is the first. I was riveted by this song on the radio, most especially the second verse where it's just the MCs and the drums and a little bit of scratching. That song was fascinating, and it became the first album I ever bought with my own money. I bought it on cassette, being careful to hide the purchase from my parents as I didn't think they'd like the name of the album. I was a pretty damn square kid. And, my god. "Peter Piper" opens that album. The little keyboard bit from "Take Me To the Mardi Gras"? The 808 kick? My head fell clean off. It turned out that "Walk This Way", the song that got my attention, was probably the worst song on the album. I could not believe my luck! Music is awesome, y'all.
Slant 6, "Victim of Your Own Desires"
Slant 6 were on Dischord records, coming out of DC, with their first album produced by Ian MacKaye, so I was of course on board. And they do sound like a Dischord band, sounding a fair bit like Shudder to Think. This comes from their second album, Inzombia, which I like better than their first.
NoMeansNo, "So low"
All Roads Lead To Ausfahrt is a great album name. More than twenty years into their career, NoMeansNo had a bit of a renaissance with this 2006 album, sounding more energized than they had in probably ten years. Clearly, they were still capable of cranking out their wry, dextrous hardcore, and the world is a better place for it.
Pardoner, "Outdoor Excursion"
So, every year, I read a bunch of year end lists of best albums, and go into a buying frezy to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. I always find some favorites from this exercise, but there are also always albums that fall in the gaps, ones that I get but forget to actually, you know, listen to.
Yeah, uh, Pardoner...this song is pretty good! Maybe I should listen to this album!
Has-Lo, "Well Done"
From Has-Lo's tribute to Prince Paul, The Paul Tape, you can hear several classic loops that Prince Paul has used popping up on this track. For somebody who's been listening to Prince Paul for decades, this is beautiful nostalgia for me.