I had to include this track at some point this year. I don’t speak German and haven’t looked up the lyrics, but I love the way the vocals scan, I love the intro (turn it up before you start) and the air raid siren running through the song is awesome!
The track earns bonus points for being used in the film XXX starring Vin Diesel, which ends up in Prague, one of my favourite cities. Apparently Dee and I had a long chat about the fact this was on the soundtrack when we watched the film some months back, but I’d forgotten that.
I’ve not listened to much Rammstein, but this track is perfect for blowing the cobwebs away!
Rammstein – Feuer Frei
I guess it was fairly inevitable that this should end up on here at some point this year. It’s a massive rock classic, an iconic track. The bass intro alone (you can ignore Slash doing his guitar stuff, the true melody is in that bass line – but maybe I’m biased!) makes it worthy of inclusion.
The reason I’ve shared it this week is quite fun I think. The band I’m in were auditioning a new singer this week, and she’d prepared some songs, which we played and all was good. We then started talking about other numbers and she mentioned that she liked singing this one, so we said “OK, let’s give it a go”.
What I hadn’t appreciated was that it’s been around 2 years since the band last played it. What the band hadn’t appreciated was it’s probably twice that since I played it last. I’ve only ever played it twice in gigs, about 5 years apart, and only rehearsed it with any band a handful of times.
To cut a long story short, I skipped the intro because I couldn’t remember it, but what ensued was a fantastic jam. We all got really into it, played it pretty well considering, and our potential new recruit did it real justice as its not an easy song to sing well.
Guns ‘n’ Roses – Sweet Child o’ Mine
I mentioned earlier this year that I love the vocals on songs by the B52s, and this is a brilliant example of them. It’s not just the harmonies, but also the lyrics themselves that I like. The words and topics on their songs always seem to me to be “out there”, not quite what you’d call “normal”. In this example, who would have thought to use an umbrella to protect themselves from space dust falling from the sky? And where’s my umbrella anyway?
Their big breakthrough number the UK was Rock Lobster, and I pretty much got on board with their music then. Songs like Strobe Light and June Bug are just a load of fun, and of course Love Shack is now a classic. I’m glad to include something a little less well known here.
B52s – Channel Z
I don’t have much of a story for this track, though I know it’s only 10 years old. Put simply, it’s Dee’s birthday, she loves this song, so I thought I’d share this for her. Happy birthday Dee!
I’ve not listened to much Bloc Party, though I’ve heard the name over the years. Note to self, listen to more because this is really good!
Bloc Party – Hunting for Witches
Simple Minds are another one of those bands that I didn’t like, then I liked for a while, then I didn’t like them again. Now I can listen to a couple of their songs at a time, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to hear a whole album, and I doubt I’d try to see them in conert again. I went once, but was at the very back of the SECC in Glasgow and couldn’t really see them. And it took longer to get out of the car park than the gig had gone on for!
Anyhow, I chose this track because it shows that bass lines don’t have to be complicated to be effective, and I don’t think you can get much simpler than playing one note over and over!
I hope you enjoy this blast from the past: it doesn’t seem to get played on the radio as often as some of their other tracks but is very worthy. This is the only one of their singles I bought (on 12″) and I don’t think I’ve any of their albums on vinyl.
Simple Minds – Waterfront
It’s hard to believe that this song is 17 years old! It appears on Linkin Park’s first album, Hybrid Theory, and is a classic of the NuMetal genre, which appears to fuse heavy rock riffs with synth sounds and rap. Linkin Park are probably my favourites from that genre, because their lyrics and musicianship come together beautifully to produce eloquent and melodic songs, some with a real cutting edge. I loved the video for this too. Incredible imagination to come up with flying things that look like whales and ancient statues. Enjoy!
Linkin Park – In The End
Did you know that the first punk single released in the UK was New Rose by The Damned? Or that their brilliant double LP, The Black Album, had one side which was recorded live and which isn’t included in the CD version? I listen to that album a lot, and really missed the live side – until I found Spotify. Smash It Up (Parts I and II) is on there, and for as long as I can remember I’ve loved the bass line in Part I.
This version on the video is a studio version, but it’s almost as good as the live one.
I was lucky enough to see The Damned when I was in my teens. They released their Friday the 13th EP on the same day as I saw them, and the gig was memorable for a couple of reasons. There was a power cut during it, so Rat Scabies (the drummer) played a 10 or 15 minute solo while they got everything working again. Captain Sensible (guitarist) swapped his jacket with someone in the crowd because his original mohair one looked to be covered in spittle (not mine!) as was kind of customary (and gross) at punk gigs in those days. The support act was the Anti-Nowhere League, who found notoriety by having the B-side of their Streets of London single banned as an obscene publication, and they were very growls and menacing.
I still follow The Damned and Captain Sensible on Facebook, though I’ve not seen them since the very early 80s. Listen to the track, and see if you can hear why I think the bassline is brilliant.
Smash It Up (Parts I and II) – The Damned