Quick Hitters: The ABC’s of Non-Singles XYZ

 

We’ve made it! We’ve made it to the end of our countdown. I hope that the jubilant expressions these historic figures have here are similar to what you felt during this run-through of oft-forgotten tracks

 

~X~

Jamie XX-All Under One Roof Raving

 

This catchy, British electronica song is representing the X category and it does it quite well. A song comprised of subtle effect, heart-thumping beats, and a multitude of people with British accents talking about various things. I’ve always liked these types of songs because they take little effort to enjoy. Since there’s not much going on and it runs for 6 minutes, you can sit back and enjoy it for its effective simplicity.

 

 

~Y~

Weird Al Yankovic-MoneyFor Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies

 

While Weird Al has definitely had some misses in his career, I’ve always admired his commitment to the spoof of modern mainstream music. I also really admire his originality when doing so. Some were pretty superficial and unimaginative, like “Amish Paradise” (still funny though). But then there were others where he really thought outside the box. Case in point, his spoof of Dire Straights’s “Money for Nothing”. He took two things that could not have been more unrelated and merges them into something that is pretty comical. Judge for yourself but I think you’ll have a tough time holding in laughter as the backing vocalist bellows out “Be-ver-ly, be-ver-ly, be-ver-ly hill-billy.”

 

 

~Z~

Zero 7-Passing By

 

This band has perfected the art of creating the song that fits the occasion of sitting down after a long/stressful/momentous day in the life of a generation Y’er. They don’t disappoint with the track “Passing By”. One could argue it sounds pretty similar to another of their songs, “In the Waiting Line”, but I feel there’s a enough difference to make it worth your listen.

 

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Quick Hitters: The ABC’s of non-singles R-W

“Grand Funk Railroad paved the way for Jefferson airplane, which cleared the way for Jefferson starship. The stage was now set for the Alan Parsons project, which I believe was some sort of hovercraft”

 

~R~

Real Estate-Easy

The opening track of their album, Days. It’s a vintage Real Easte Song; freely flowing but with a nice little hook. They have a way with coming up with choruses that feature Martin Courtney’s vocals blending in well with the subtle yet effective instrumentals that Real Estate provides.

 

 

~S~

Smashing Pumpkins-Geek USA

A longer, more heavier hitting version of another Siamese Dream track, “Quiet”. They have somewhat similar guitar riffs; the ones that made that whole album remarkable. But I like the way this tracks mixes with the pacing and goes from a fast, percussion driven song to a slower, head-rocking masher all within a matter of seconds. While it may not have the luster as “Today” or “Cherub Rock”, Geek USA was just as important to that album as any other track that was more featured on it.

 

 

~T~

Third Eye Blind-Graduate

I think the main reason this song didn’t receive hardly any radio play was because it was on an album that had countless other singles on it. If it hadn’t been on their breakout self-titled album, it likely would be more recognized. It’s nothing much different than everything else they’ve done, but you have like the angsty yet smooth tune this song carries. Stephan Jenkins delivers his noticeable style and along with some good lyrics, this made for another quality release on an album already chalked full of them.

 

 

~U~

Urge Overkill-Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon

I’ll admit that I know no other songs by this group. And I’m willing to bet this song did receive some airplay back in ’92 when it was released. However, I’m putting it in this posting for two reasons. One, there are few bands that start with “U” and two, even though you might recognize this song from “Pulp Fiction”, it’s unlikely you recognize this group. So perhaps you’re being reintroduced to this classic or you’re hearing it for the first time which works just as well.

 

 

~V~

Veruca Salt-Fosythia

This song starts out really chill but progressively gets heavier and concludes with a sweet guitar solo and chorus. Then it ends just the way it began. It’s the guitar/bass combo that makes this song stick out as vocalist Nina Gordon doesn’t seem to put much feeling into her vocals on this track. But I think that’s what the band was going for with this one and you’re left with a under the radar, cool song that doesn’t sound like it’s trying too hard.

 

 

~W~

Wavves-Nodding Off (featuring Best Coast)

My favorite song by this group was a collaboration effort that ended up appearing on the album Life Sux. “Nodding Off” has an amped up intro and the song never really lets up from there. The chorus is extremely catchy and the guitar solo kicks in just at the right time toward the closing of the song @2:40. My only complaint is that it’s ends abruptly making it too short in my opinion.

 

 

Quick Hitters: The ABC’s of non-singles L-Q

~L~

Luscious Jackson-Life of Leisure

 

Sure, everybody remembers “Naked Eye”. There was a lot more to this band than that song. In my opinion, they were a staple to great 90’s music. This was mainly due to their signature bass lines and their smooth, relaxing vocals. This was one of their songs I was lucky I stumbled upon. While many may consider a life of leisure to be desirable, the band is calling out those types in this song. I don’t think you want to be on their bad side…

 

 

~M~

Moby-Rushing

 

If you’re familiar with Moby’s best selling album, Play, then you’re well aware of the stockpile of great songs that are featured in the first part of the album. “Porcelain”, “Find My Baby”, and “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad” are the main ones that come to mind. You may have liked those so much that it caused you to skip through track #4 because there’s no lyrics and it doesn’t fit in that great with the rest of the hits. If you listen to on it’s own, I think you’ll find that it’s quite the work of art. A 3 minute journey into the ambient abyss is what “Rushing” can provide you with.

 

 

~N~

 New Politics-Dignity

 

While this Danish band has been emerging recently (I’d say more declining, based on the strength of their last few songs I’ve heard), one of their earlier releases that got a little airplay was “Dignity”. I’m partial to the chorus. The vocals during that part are what stick out to me. It has some lyrics that speak out against violence, oppression, or something else. Despite it’s somewhat whiny message, it’s a solid song.

 

 

~O~

Our Lady Peace-Happiness & The Fish

 

This is my favorite song off their similarly named album, Happiness…is not a fish that you can catch. It features some really high-pitched lyrics by Raine Maida. It’s his unique vocal delivery paired with some excellent guitar riffs that makes this song memorable. There’s also some peculiar lyrics that also add to the memorabledness.

 

 

~P~

The Postal Service-Brand New Colony

 

Yet another astoundingly great track of their first album, Give Up. This one never became quite as popular as the very commercially successful “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” and “Such Great Heights”. I’m not sure why; this song still boasts many listener friendly electronic instrumentals (the intro sounds like a level from Super Mario). Ben Gibbard gives us his usual vocals but it’s the backing vocals during the last sequence of the song that I feel are most appealing (@3:08).

 

 

~Q~

Queens of the Stone Age-The Sky is Fallin’

There are like 10 bands in the history of ever that decided to name their band something that started with “Q”. That said I am grateful for Queens of the Stone Age (Sorry Queen Latifah fans). “The Sky is Fallin’ is another quality song off of the album Songs for the Deaf. There’s more heavy, fuzzy guitar riffs on this album than you know what to do with. That is a great thing, though, and you get another large dose of that here in this song. But amidst all of the rock-outedness that would describe the general direction of this track, there’s a easy listening chorus and some obscure sounding moments in the song that make it more interesting than your typical masher.