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Sunday, May 22, 2016

#41: The Mt. Rushmore Series

Which four great songs that never mention their titles are on your Mt. Rushmore?

Influencing my distinctly baby boomer choices - aside from my age - is the fact that not many songs written before the mid-60's overlooked a basic tenet of songwriting. That is, if you want people to remember the name of a tune, say its title. But despite gleefully ignoring that guideline, each of these memorable gems pack a serious musical and lyrical punch. Chronologically ...

1.) Unchained Melody: "Oh my love, my darling ..." The only one of my four written before 1960 (from a 1955 movie called "Unchained"), though the most well known version of this gorgeous North/Zaret ballad landed in 1965 when Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield wailed it into posterity. That version also provided the best moment in the weepy "Ghost", arguably because Patrick Swayze stopped talking.    

2.) "Positively 4th St.": "You've got a lot of nerve ..." Dylan was famous for titling his songs with words that never appear in the lyric. "My Back Pages" ("And I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now") is also a serious Mt. Rushmore contender here, although I've always preferred Dylan when he rants vs. when he's wistful. And " ...4th St" is a world class rant.

 3.) "Meeting Across The River": "Hey Eddie can you lend me a few bucks and tonight can you get us a ride?" Originally titled "The Heist" - also not in the lyric - this winner from Bruce Springsteen's breakout album "Born To Run" would perfectly complement any film noir masterpiece. The moody trumpet - played by the estimable Randy Brecker - sounds just like Robert Mitchum looks.

4.) "The Last Resort": "She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island." Put aside his corporate approach to rock n' roll; Don Henley stands nearly alone among contemporary vocalists. I'm also a sucker for lyrics that handle unusual subject matter. This Henley/Frey composition from "Hotel California" has few equals in that category.

Did I give this too much thought? Silly question. Console my geekiness by chiming in with your four choices. Also, include at least one song less than a quarter century old, please?

1 comment:

  1. My four favorite titles, in alphabetical order, are:
    Annie's Song by John Denver
    Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
    Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
    Weekend In New England by Barry Manilow
    Two songs that I have always hated are: Ode To Billy Joe by Bobbie Gentry and
    The Rain, The Park And Other Things by The Cowsills
    Sorry I couldn't spend more time on this comment to your post, but I had to wash my hair and clean out my handbag.