Monday, May 17, 2010

Four Through Nine

It has been recommended to me repeatedly that I listen to Wilco's "Hotel Yankee Foxtrot".  I finally gave in today, and while I enjoyed it, the overall tone struck me as more than somewhat melancholy and not something that I could listen to on a daily basis.  There were 2 or 3 songs that I wanted to listen to a second time, mainly Jesus Etc., and I'm The Man Who Loves You, but most of it passed by in a fairly nonchalant manner.  Perhaps the fact that I didn't hate or feel the need to skip over any song is an indication that this is at the very least, a good album, but this is where music causes us all to differ.  It's the beauty and the bane of music, that most of us are given enough to push an album either above or below the average meter, but rarely are there 5 tracks in a row that are a standout.  Which also brings up the idea that very few artists make entire albums anymore; an idea I've struggled with for a while now, in this age of instantly downloadable singles and constantly changing billboard places; but what essentially came out of this discussion of Wilco's "modern classic" was the idea of which albums have the best 4 through 9 tracks?  I mean, let's face it, 4-9 is where you're going to be spending most of your album time, right?  If you're going to work, you're probably just hitting the highway entrance at track 4 and it's up to the selected album to make sure you don't veer off the road.  If you're exercising, you're literally just hitting your stride by track 4 and it's up to tracks 5,6,7,8, and 9 to push that cardio to its breaking point.  If you're in the middle of other physical activities that don't involve a treadmill...or they may, I'm not passing judgement, it's up to the heart of the album to well, convey those feelings best right?  So what are the best 4-9 tracks of any album?  Here are my requirements:

A.  It has to be an album where all of the cuts appear in their original form (aka no greatest hits or soundtrack compilations)-this requirement alone was a severe blow to my cd collection.

B.  Kind of goes with A, it can't be a soundtrack in any way shape or form, no Rodgers & Hammerstein, and even though some might complain, no Bee Gees for Saturday Night Fever.  It has to be an album written only out of a desire for musical expression

Several suggestions were made, mostly under the hip hop category, which I find myself in no position to make a decision on, since I'm just beginning my musical journey down the hip hop rabbit hole.

Here are my initial choices:

The Beach Boys-Pet Sounds:


4. Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
5. I'm Waiting for the Day
6. Let's Go Away for a While
7. Sloop John B
8. God Only Knows
9. I Know There's an Answer

I'll be honest.  I mainly chose this one because God Only Knows is, if you haven't been reading carefully enough or haven't known me long enough, or just have short-term memory issues, my favorite song of all time.  It's a little padded here with Let's go Away for a While and I Know there's an Answer, so I kind of cheated at my own game, but I felt not including it would make me even more of a hypocrite.

Fleetwood Mac-Rumours


4. Don't Stop
5. Go Your Own Way
6. Songbird
7. The Chain
8. You Make Loving Fun
9. I Don't Want To Know

This is not bad, not bad at all.  For sheer listenability, no wonder these guys dominated for a fair few years in the 70s.

Michael Jackson- Thriller


4. Thriller
5. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
7. Human Nature
8. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
9. The Lady in My Life

Again, there's a reason this is the best-selling album of all time, mainly because it's 4-9 rocks.

And just for good measure

John Mayer- Room For Squares


4. Your Body is a Wonderland
5. Neon
6. City Love
7. 83
8. 3x5
9. Love Song for No One


I know that this will be my more controversial choice, and I'm not bothered by that.  In the same way that I didn't hate Terminator Salvation like most of the rest of the world griping about James Cameron's non-involvement and "break from origin story" (although how you can break from a story about a killer robot from the future is still baffling to me) none of that bothered me. Similarly, James Cameron was not involved with the making of Room for Squares (at least that I'm aware of) and while Neon did appear on the previously recorded but secondarily recognized Inside Wants Out, this specific 4-9 is responsible for getting me through sophomore year of college.


So what can you come up with, I'm seriously curious, so this time I'm begging, please, please please leave your 4-9s in my comment box, I look forward to them.  Seriously, comments make me feel more connected to the world.

2 comments:

blackmass said...

Ok, here's what I have:

Veruca Salt "American Thighs"

4. Spiderman '79
5. Forsythia
6. Wolf
7. Celebrate You
8. Fly
9. Number One Blind

My favorite album at age 12, and I still listen to it regularly. I actually like every single track on this album, which is somewhat insane.

Everything But the Girl "Amplified Heart"

4. Walking to You
5. Get Me
6. Missing
7. Two Star
8. We Walk the Same Line
9. 25th December

Ok, so this is my absolute favorite album of all time, and I'm willing to get past the fact that they made a creepy techno remix of Missing that became more popular than the original. If you haven't listened to this album, please please please do.

The Zombies "Odessey and Oracle"

4. Beechwood Park
5. Brief Candles
6. Hung Up on a Dream
7. Changes
8. I Want Her, She Wants Me
9. This Will Be Our Year

The Zombies can do nothing wrong.

Black Sabbath "Paranoid"

4. Iron Man
5. Electric Funeral
6. Hand of Doom
7. Rat Salad
8. Fairies Wear Boots

This album is only 8 tracks long, so it falls a little outside this category, but still it must be included.

The Clientele "Strange Geometry"

4. K
5. E.M.P.T.Y.
6. When I Came Home From the Party
7. Geometry of Lawns
8. Spirit
9. Impossible

The dreamiest of the dream pop albums, these songs feels like rainy days, and break ups, and the smell of old books.

Sonic Youth "Goo"

4. Kool Thing
5. Mote
6. My Friend Goo
7. Disappearer
8. Mildred Pierce
9. Cinderella's Big Score

This is genius.

That's all I have for you at the moment.

Mizzy said...

Exile on Main Street:

4. Casino Boogie
5. Tumbling Dice
6. Sweet Virginia
7. Torn & Frayed
8. Sweet Black Angel
9. Loving Cup

Or how about Exodous?

4. the Heathen
5. Exodous
6. Jamming
7. Waiting in Vain
8. Turn your lights down low
9. Three little birds