The introduction is always important…
It’s never anything short of a total joy to hear from one of the Interestment family, and today fantastic writer and observer of humans, Debs, has turned her golden magnifying glass onto excellent pop songs. Her quest – to see which ones grab us by the ears the quickest. She had this to say…
An intro is not to be underrated. After all, how would we ever get to the middle bit or the end without it? They inspire us to hurry drunkenly to the dance floor, buy certain brands of mobile phone, watch gritty BBC dramas and scrabble excitedly for the pen during particular pub quiz rounds. And there are some intros so good that arguably they don’t need the rest if the song. Here are the classics that shoot their bolt in those first, epic opening bars…
1. Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Geno
Only the utterly deaf could cease to be roused by the triumphant trumpets calling us to ‘pogo’ maniacally… the downside being that you get all wound up and excited, then have to resort to an aggressive chicken dance when it slows down. Great stuff though.
2. The Who, Baba O’Reily
Crazy-fingered-organ-slapping opening foray that makes you want to stand up and punch the air – even if you are sitting at home quietly watching CSI New York with Mum.
3. Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song
Is it just us or does this inspire everyone within earshot to want to dress as a Viking, jump on horseback and go out looking for sheep/women to kill?
4. House of Pain, Jump Around
Possibly the joker in this hand of classics but undeniably the most provocative four first notes in pop rap-dom. Even before the squealing brass drags us from the bar we’re turning our caps backwards and throwing gang-signs like billy-oh.
Generation X, Your Generation
Presumably performing a punk rock response to The Who, this is Billy Idol’s first band. It was brilliant, even though one of the members – Tony James – went on to form the futuristic atrocity Sigue Sigue Sputnik, who were decidedly less good, and wore fishnet stockings on their faces.
This man does not count
There is an enormous difference between a film produced/executive produced by a pop star, and a film that stars them as well. Most of the latter category feature rap music’s force of nature, Will Smith – a man who will surely direct himself playing the parts of God and Jesus in the same film one day. We can hardly wait. But until that day comes, we’ve decided to quench our thirst by looking at some of the greatest films produced by people in the music industry. These are the ones we like best…
1. Repo Man
A totally weird/brilliant film, what makes this punk-fuelled tale of car reposession, drugs and aliens even more surreal is that it was produced by Mike Nesmith from The Monkees. It stars Emilio Estevez – possibly at his peak – and Harry Dean Stanton, who is one of our favourite actors ever. Probably our sixth favourite to be precise.
Hey man, it’s some people pretending to be hippies
Nothing sticks in the craw more than missing out on a cool party. You might have been sick in bed, or perhaps you just weren’t invited. Still, don’t mope around whining, get on with your life, soldier. Let it go. And do not, under any circumstances, attempt to recreate the amazing party, because it definitely won’t be the same, and you’ll invariably end up looking like a plonker. Take the Summer of Love in 1967, for example. The Beatles were there from the start with their hairy sideboards and little spectacles, brandishing Sergeant Pepper. Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane all gave a kick-ass show at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. And The Rolling Stones pretty much missed the lot. Sensing that they might have just failed to catch a very important flowery train, they hurriedly threw together this album, just in time for December 1967 – the winter of the Summer of Love, if you like. Awash with songs about crazy futuristic people, rainbows, and citadels, the cover shows the five band members dressed up like technicolor druids in a magical land – their way of saying “sorry we’re late world, we’ve been tripping on mushies… being as we’re far out and everything!” Unfortunately, as a statement of hippydom, it’s up there with putting on a bowler hat and telling the world you’re a cowboy. Unconvincing.
Enjoy one of the cuts from the record after the jump…
The Who, The Kids are Alright
In the days before they went berserk and started smashing up their instruments, The Who were just four well dressed mods, awkwardly singing pop songs in the park.
Oh Dad, no!
For all that was completely brilliant about the 1980s, they were an awful time for bands formed in the 1960s. Jefferson Airplane had morphed into Starship, who were preposterous, The Who disappeared up their own bums, and The Rolling Stones should have been crucified for this. The album sounds great on paper – they were collaborating with Bobby Womack, Tom Waits and Jimmy Page – but unfortunately Mick Jagger was too busy thinking about his solo career to make an effort, and Charlie Watts was reportedly going through a pretty enormous heroin phase and could barely drum. All these things are forgivable of a rock band, especially such a great one, but unfortunately, the artwork on the cover just adds insult to injury. Falling into the old trap of attempting to appear current, they opted for the garish colours of the time (1986), which, combined with their craggy drug ridden faces, gives them the look of aging male prostitutes. By all accounts, such magnificent colours should be uplifting and fun, but instead it’s completely depressing. Akin to watching your grandfather trying to rap.
Enjoy one of the singles from the album after the jump…