Song of the Day: Hazy Shade of Winter (by The Bangles)


Bangles

Another song from my youth during the 80’s is the classic rock song from the all-girl rock band The Bangles. It makes an appearance in a later episode of Netflix’s Stranger Things, but it’s better known as the unofficial anthem for the drug-fueled drama Less Than Zero starring a very young (and rumors abound of being very drugged out) Robert Downey, Jr.

Less Than Zero was adapted from a novel written by the 80’s agent provocateur Bret Easton Ellis. It definitely was part of the list of 80’s films that all the teens wanted to see. It being rated-R meant double the temptation. It was a film that both celebrated and condemned the Reagan-era yuppie culture that was fueled by excess amount of drugs, alcohol and sex.

The song “Hazy Shade of Winter” would become part of the film’s soundtrack and The Bangles had been tasked with covering the Simon & Garfunkel song of the same title. Where the former was more attuned to the duo’s folk sensibilities, the cover by The Bangles would put a harder edge to the song which made for a nice complement to the rough edges of the film.

Oh, I still have a major crush on Sussana Hoffs to this very day.

Hazy Shade of Winter

Time, time, time
See what’s become of me…

Time, time, time
See what’s become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Hear the Salvation Army Band
Down by the riverside
It’s bound to be a better ride
Than what you’ve got planned
Carry a cup in your hand

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Hang onto your hopes my friend
That’s an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again

Look around
Grass is high
Fields are ripe
It’s the springtime of my life

Seasons change with their scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground

 

Song of the Day: 1980’s Edition

  1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World (by Tears for Fears)

Song of the Day: Turn the Page (Metallica)


MetallicaTurnthePage

Through good times and bad I have always been a huge fan and follower of Metallica. Even as they foolishly went off track following the path Bob Rock set for them throughout most of the 1990’s through the disastrous St. Anger debacle as they tried to return to their earlier sound, I have always followed this band which made up the original Big 4 of thrash metal (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth).

It was on their 1998 cover album, Garage Inc., that the band released one of their most popular songs. It wasn’t an original, but a cover of the classic Bob Seger hard rock song about the hard road and life of a musician. Seger’s “Turn the Page” is just one of those hard rock tunes that latches onto the listener and forces them to listen and understand. Most such songs tend to be quite pretentious with nothing much to say once the listener really pays attention. The same cannot be said about Seger’s song.

Metallica decided to cover this song for their Garage Inc. album which was all about them covering their own favorite hard rock and metal songs of the past. While Metallica kept the original’s tempo, they added their own heavier and harder edge to song that straddles the line between hard rock and heavy metal. Even James Hetfield’s alcohol and cigarette ravaged vocals lent a sense of the hard road and life the track sings about.

The biggest change from the Seger song to Metallica’s cover has to be the accompanying music video which still remains one of the most controversial in MTV’s music video history (well, when they still played music videos). Seger’s song was released in 1973 when the concept of music video was nonexistent. With Metallica’s cover it was almost a guarantee that it would get a music video and what a video it was and still is.

The video was directed by Jonas Akerlund who had made a name for himself directing some of the most creative and innovative music videos of the day. His take on the song switches from a musician’s hard road and life on the road to that of a single mother trying to make ends meet as an erotic dancer by day and a prostitute by night to provide for her young daughter. The video was banned from receiving any sort of airplay on MTV as it dealt and showed the disturbing side of such a life. The fact that the tamer version of the video (below) still couldn’t make it on the airwaves just showed how much more haunting and controversial the uncensored version turned out to be.

Turn the Page

On a long and lonesome highway,
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engines
Moanin’ out it’s one note song
You can think about the woman,
Or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wanderin’,
The way they always do
When you’re ridin’ 16 hours,
And there’s nothin’ much to do
And you don’t feel much like ridin’,
You just wish the trip was through

(Chorus)

Here I am, on the road again,
There I am, up on the stage
There I go, playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page

So you walk into this restaurant,
All strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you,
As you’re shakin’ off the cold
You pretend it doesn’t bother you,
But you just want to explode
Yeah, most times you can’t hear ’em talk,
Other times you can

All the same old cliches,
Is it woman, is it man
And you always seem outnumbered,
You don’t dare make a stand
Make your stand

(Chorus)
Ah But here I am, on the road again,
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, ah playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page
Woah

Out there in the spotlight,
You’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy,
You try and give away
As the sweat pours out your body,
Like the music that you play

Later in the evenin’,
As you lie awake in bed
With the echoes of the amplifiers,
Ringin’ in your head
You smoke the day’s last cigarette,
Rememberin’ what she said

What she said

Yeah, and here I am,
On the road again,
There I am, up on that stage
Here I go, playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page
And there I go, turn that page

There I go, yeah, Here I go, yeah, yeah
There I go, yeah, Here I go, yeah
Here I go, There I go
And I’m gone

Song of the Day: The Thrill Is Gone (by B.B. King)


 

BBKing

“When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.” — B.B. King

The blues is a music style that has always pulled me in from the very moment I first heard it. I probably didn’t even realize it was the blues, but as I got older it became the one type of music that would always spoke to me.

So, it’s one of profound sadness when I read that B.B. King, one of the giants of the blues, has passed away at the age of 89.

B.B. King stands tall and his influence on electric blues and blues rock musicians over several generations looms large. He now joins the other two Kings, Albert King and Freddie King, who with B.B. King were called the Three Kings of the Blues Guitar.

The thrill is gone. The thrill will live on forever.

The Thrill Is Gone

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday

The thrill is gone
It’s gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although, I’ll still live on
But so lonely I’ll be

The thrill is gone
It’s gone away for good
The thrill is gone baby
It’s gone away for good
Someday I know I’ll be open armed baby
Just like I know a good man should

You know I’m free, free now baby
I’m free from your spell
Oh I’m free, free, free now
I’m free from your spell
And now that it’s all over
All I can do is wish you well

Song of the Day: You Are So Beautiful (R.I.P. Joe Cocker)


joe-cocker-you-are-so-beautiful-1984

A rock legend passed away today. Joe Cocker had one of those very unique voices which most everyone recognized. A blues and soul rock singer who performed with some of the rock legends of the 60’s and 70’s, he would become a mainstream hit with songs such as “Up Where We Belong” and his covers of Beatles songs.

It was in 1975, covering a ballad written and composed by Billy Preston, Bruce Fisher and Dennis Wilson that he truly burst into the mainstream scene. The song was “You Are So Beautiful” and while the album it was a part of never truly took off the single itself reached No. 5 on the Billboards chart of that year.

Cocker’s version was much slower in tempo than the original song and this worked well in concert with his gritty, bluesy voice where each word and lyric felt full of emotion that blues and soul singers have become well-known for.

Joe Cocker might have faded away from the mainstream consciousness after the 80’s but rock and blues aficionados always remembered and admired him right down to his last days.

Time for the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame to heed the words of Billy Joel and induct the man in it’s hallowed halls. He’s more than earned it.

You Are So Beautiful

You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me
Can’t you see
Your everything I hoped for
Your everything I need
You are so beautiful to me

Such joy and happiness you bring
Such joy and happiness you bring
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heavens gift to me
You are so beautiful to me

Song of the Day: Make It Rain from Sons of Anarchy (by Ed Sheeran)


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Tonight was the penultimate episode of Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy on FX. It was an episode that truly earned it’s label of being a modern Shakespearean tragedy (a label many shows have been given but rarely live up to). It also unfolded like some of the best Coppola and Scorsese gangland epics with accounts being settled in disturbing, bloody fashion.

SAMCRO was a group that for some reason legion of fans have taken a ride with and despite the man downs the show took with it’s many highs people didn’t get off the ride (or couldn’t). They wanted to see how this outlaw band of brothers and their loved ones will survive (or who will survive) to the end.

We now know that three more names have been struck off the show’s ledger. With one more episode left in the series it’s either going to go out in a blaze of glory or end in a whimper.

To make tonight’s episode even more memorable we got to listen to Ed Sheeran drop his latest song that perfectly encapsulates the events of Sons of Anarchy tonight and all the way back to the beginning.

Make It Rain

When the sins of my father
Weigh down in my soul
And the pain of my mother
Will not let me go

Well I know there can come fire from the sky
To purify pure as the canes
Even though
I know this fire brings me pain
Even so
And just the same

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

And the seed needs the water
Before it grows out of the ground
But it just keeps on getting hotter
And the hunger more profound

Well I know there can come tears from their eyes
But they may as well be in vain
Even though
I know these tears bring me pain
Even so
And just the same

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

Make it rain x8

And the seas are full of water
That stop by the shore
Just like the riches of grandeur
That never reach the port

So let the claps fill with thunderous applause
And let thy death be the veins
And fill the sky
With all that they can drop
When it’s time
To make a change

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

Make it rain x4

Make it rain
Make it rain down low
Just make it rain
Make it rain

Song of the Day: Blumenkranz (by Hiroyuki Sawano feat. Paperblossom)


Kill la Kill is one of the more recent anime to come out of Japan to become a major sensation both in and out of the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s a series that some have called as too much of a slave to it’s fanservice scenes while some have called the series as much deeper than it’s visual surface has shown. Whatever the case, the series sports one of the best anime soundtracks of the past year due to the work by composer Hiroyuki Sawano.

It’s from this series’ soundtrack that the latest “Song of the Day” arrives from. “Blumenkranz” is the theme song for one of the series’ integral characters. It plays as a sort of walk-up theme music and it has become a favorite of pretty much every fan of the anime.

While the original song as sung by Japanese artist Rie was still in German it was heavily accented and has even confused some German speakers. An anime fan and native German speaker, singer Paperblossom has done the best cover of the song which has all the German lyrics spoken properly. It’s this version of the song that has become my favorite version of the song. I actually think it’s the superior version with all due respect to Rie’s original performance of the song.

One thing I’m sure of that this song would make for a killer entrance music for anyone looking to enter a room with much haughty and superior attitude.

Blumenkranz

Ich möchte stärker werden,
weil unsere Welt sehr grausam ist
Es ist ratsam, welke Blumen zu entfernen

Du fragst mich, ob ich mit dir komm
Du flüsterst mir in mein Ohr
Du fragst mich, ob ich deine Hand nehm
Ich hab keinen Grund, dich abzulehnen

Du fragst mich, ob ich mit dir komm
Du flüsterst mir in mein Ohr
Du fragst mich, ob ich deine Hand nehm

(Du flüsterst mir)

Ja, ich bin viel stärker, als ich je gedacht hab
Fliege höher!
Laufe viel schneller!
Vergiss die Wahrheit nicht!
Ja, ich bin viel stärker, als ich je gedacht hab
Ich entferne welke Blumen
Wieso siehst du so traurig aus?

Diese Welt ist grausam
Es ist traurig aber wahr
Diese Welt ist seltsam
Es ist fraglich aber wahr
Ist der Blumengarten echt oder falsch?

Ich möchte stärker werden,
weil unsere Welt sehr grausam ist
Es ist ratsam, welke Blumen zu entfernen

Ja, ich bin viel stärker, als ich je gedacht hab
Fliege höher!
Laufe viel schneller!
Vergiss die Wahrheit nicht!
Ja, ich bin viel stärker, als ich je gedacht hab
Ich entferne welke Blumen
Wieso siehst du so traurig aus?

Was willst du von mir?
Ich mag wollen oder nicht, ich muss den Feind verfolgen
Ich bin nicht frei von dieser Welt

Was willst du von mir?
Ich mag wollen oder nicht, ich muss den Feind verfolgen
Ich bin nicht frei von dieser Welt

Egal wie hart du auch bist
Fliege höher!
Laufe viel schneller!
Du bist sehr stark
Du bindest einen Blumenkranz
Wieso siehst du so traurig aus?