Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sonic Sunday: B-Side Bonanza Vol. 3

The B-side project rolls along this week with five more great tracks. And the Brits are still dominating!

Next week will be the last installment in this theme, and I'm running out of ideas! So, please email me with any suggestions and requests.

(Click any link, arrow, or tab on left side of page to launch the media player; CTRL-click to download.)

1. "1963," New Order - And though he was ashamed that he had took a life/Johnny came home with another wife/And he often remembered how it used to be/Before that special occasion, 1963/There was too many ways that you could kill someone/Like in a love affair, when the love is gone

This was the b-side to my favorite New Order song, "True Faith," and I think it still qualifies for this list despite the fact that it was released as a single eight years later. Apparently, it's an imagined Jackie/JFK/Marilyn bizarre love triangle/murder plot conspiracy theory that has been described by producer Stephen Hague as "the only song about domestic violence you can dance to." Hmm. Well, I bet if we give Chris Brown time, he'll come up with another one.

2. "Casa Dega," Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - Oh baby, now I think I'm starting to believe the things that I've heard/'Cause tonight in Casa Dega I hang on every word/That she said to me as she holds my hand/And reads the lines of a stranger/Yeah, and she knows my name/Yeah, she knows my plan/In the past in the present and for the future

Relegated to the back side of "Don't Do Me Like That," I can't figure out how this one never made it on to Damn The Torpedoes. There are only nine tracks on that album. Surely, Tom and the gang could have added it to the slightly weaker second side. The song is a nod to Cassadaga, Florida, "The Psychic Capital of the World." I wonder if Miss Cleo retired there?

3. "Halo," The Cure - I never felt like this with anyone before/You only have to smile and I'm dizzy/You make the world go 'round a thousand times an hour/Just touch my head and send me spinning

Ah, The Cure. They've always been one of those bands that I've never put in my "favorites" list, yet I love 90% of their songs. Unlike The Smiths and Morrissey, somehow Robert Smith manages to evoke dreariness without sounding like a whiny little bitch. As for his love songs, they always have an ethereally beautiful quality to them. And this one, the b-side to the great "Friday I'm In Love," is no exception.

4. "Janey Don't You Lose Heart," Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - Well, you say you got no new dreams to touch/You feel like a stranger, babe, who knows too much/Well, you come home late and get undressed/You lie in bed, feel this emptiness

It's really strange that this tune never made it on to Born In The USA, because it's SO Bruce and Janey would have been a nice little friend for Bobby Jean. It's hard to think of changing anything about that iconic album, but I think Bruce could have easily dumped "Cover Me" in favor of this one.

5. "Raw Ramp," T.Rex - Woman, I love your chests/Ooh baby, I'm crazy 'bout your breasts/Woman, you think you're a champ but girl you ain't nothin' but a raw ramp

As many glam rock songs tend to do, this one cracks me up. That's why I love glam so much - it's so good and so ridiculous at the same time. And Marc Bolan was just fabulous. I have great appreciation for any man who can rhyme "chests" with "breasts." This was the flip side to the huge hit, "Bang A Gong (Get It On)," of which I've never been a huge fan. It's kind of a fun, rockin' ode to a sexy lady for the first two minutes, and then for about the last two, it morphs into a raunchy riff eerily similar to "Bang A Gong" but that somehow sounds much better. I'm not exactly sure what "raw ramp" means. Of course, I assumed it was a dirty term for a certain lady part, but I found a few references online to "ramp" being another name for "onion," and that to call a woman a "raw onion" would basically mean that she's hot but too much of a bitch to bother with. Makes sense, I suppose.

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9 comments:

The Vegetable Assassin said...

1963 is an awesome song. I always found it quite poignant. Why is Johnny pointing that gun at him? Maybe it was a secret shout out to Kennedy or something, being 1963 and everything. Or not. However, I always thought that song was way more Pet Shop Boys-esque than New Order though. It's pretty poppy.

I also always liked James's "The Sky is Falling" which was the b-side of the original "Sit Down". One of those excellent songs that wasn't an album track or anywhere else, just on the b-side of that single.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Although, I don't quite remember JFK pointing the gun or anything. I didn't think that through at all. I just got up, shut up.

Dr Zibbs said...

Tom Petty rocks.

(and I wrote a post about being in movie theaters today. Would love to hear your comment.

red said...

I like the Bruce song, but the Cure and New Order just make me want to kill myself.

words...words...words... said...

What Red said.

carissajaded said...

The cure and Tom Petty Rock My world... seriously...And love Halo...

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Aaaah, 1963! It was a crime that got released as a b-side! But, like you said, it was rereleased in its own right in the early 90s.

I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to work out the logic of the lyrics: who's Johnny (not JFK, surely). None of JFK, Jackie or Marylin had a birthday in January...

I think I tend to overthink these things!

Love The Cure, too (well until 1992--everything after then lacked a certain zest, I feel).

LiLu said...

My girly onion takes offense to this.

Shelly said...

The onion song sounds very weird.

 

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