In most of these playlists, I try and find the actual version of the song I'm listening to. But, if I can't find it exactly, I'll go with something close, because I don't think it's necessarily that important that it matches exactly, and I don't want to go through the hassle of uploading if I don't have to. I hope that's OK with folks! Here's today's playlist, which does feature one of those "close enough" tracks.
Iron Maiden, "Total Eclipse"
The Number of the Beast is the album when Iron Maiden really became IRON MAIDEN, and laid out one of the prototypes for metal, a building block for so many bands that followed. There's something so elemental about Maiden that makes it hard to really discuss them. Much like going back and reading, say, Treasure Island, it's hard to not be struck by how cliched everything sounds. But it sounds cliched because we've all heard a billion other bands try and pull this stuff off. All of which is to say, everybody should really listen to some Maiden.
This song wasn't on the original release of The Number of the Beast, it was a b-side that was later included in the remastered version of the album.
Soul II Soul, "Fairplay (12" Mix)"
I loved Soul II Soul, and it was oddly a band that my father and I agreed on. We also both really liked the Fine Young Cannibals at the time. Anyway, there was a regrettable period of time when I used to buy too many singles of bands that I loved, and mostly the singles were terrible. You'd get these endless extended remixes of things that added absolutely no value. They were just lazy product to shovel onto the market. But my completist tendencies demanded that I pick them up anyway. There were some bands that would still put actual songs as b-sides, but they were unfortunately few and far between.
As I listen to this, I realize that I never actually re-purchased anything from Soul II Soul on CD, so I can't even go back and listen to that album that my dad and I used to both like. I should fix that.
(NB: I didn't put the endless 12" remix of the song on the playlist, but instead just put the original. Life is too short.)
Modest Mouse, "Lives"
There was a long period of time when I would have defended The Lonesome Crowded West as their best album, but I'll be damned if I don't think The Moon and Antarctica is maybe just a little bit better? Sorry Megan, don't hurt me! But even if I'm wrong (I'm not!), it's always a little remarkable when a strange underground rock band signs to a major label and manages to not only stay good, but even take things in new directions. It's distressingly common for the last great album for a band to be their last underground album.
Bob Marley & The Wailers, "Put It On [Version]"
Another gift from those Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers collections, this just a pure ray of sunshine. I wonder why I listen to this kind of thing mostly in the spring and summer, instead of during the dull, gray Seattle winter, when I need it the most? The lesson, as always: I'm dumb. Anyway, this is an instrumental version of "Put It On", which is a great tune.
Nickel Creek, "When In Rome"
Nickel Creek was at its heart a bluegrass band that was determined to push the boundaries of the genre all beyond recognition. On this, their third album, many of these songs aren't really bluegrass at all, but you can see bits and pieces poking through, in the instrumentation, the lack of drums, and some of the approach. Although one of the songs on here even has drums (heresy!). At any rate, I like this one the best out of their albums, although the previous one to this does have a Pavement cover, so there's that. But this album has an incredible Dylan cover. Well, whatever. They're a fascinating band, and one that I just discovered put out a reunion record. To the buying machine! Ahoy!
(looks at library)
(discovers he already owns it)
I'm the worst.