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Another for my Song Hall of Fame... "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen

From the great poet and philosopher. Long may he live.

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

Aug. 2nd, 2014

Bought some inexpensive 2nd-hand CD's today at a few charity shops and a local independent music store... helped the economy. Byrds, Sex Pistols, Connie Francis, Ian Dury, Steve Miller Band, Leonard Cohen... and 1910 Fruitgum Company. That last one, I wish I hadn't bought, as I made a mistake and assumed that "Yummy Yummy Yummy" was on it, as it was a greatest hits compilation. Realised my stupid STUPID mistake after the fact, as the song is from Ohio Express, not 1910 Fruitgum Company. Oh well, I'll live.

"Yummy Yummy Yummy" is a favourite song of Adam's, except he knows it from a Disney CD we have, which has a video of Timon and Pumbaa singing "Yummy Yummy Yummy (I've got bugs in my tummy)"

This video:

In the following list are the music artists that I rank in my top 100 but that this website ranks between 100 and 200 places lower than me. (see previous posts for artists in my top 100 with an even greater discrepancy with the website rankings)

Diff in rank My rank Artist

196 12 Donovan
194 77 Neil Diamond
186 70 Steve Miller Band
182 35 The B-52's
157 20 Weezer
153 78 Jimmy Cliff
148 10 George Harrison
127 7 Leonard Cohen
116 76 The Mamas & the Papas
108 43 Jackson 5
108 72 Cat Stevens
107 87 Cheap Trick

Top 25 Favourite Recording Artists

Last time I made a list like this was back in 2010 and it was the top 100.  Three years ago.  Well, things can change in three years...  not TOO much, but a bit.  The artists in the top 25 are all the same but I've changed the order a little, mainly based on how many songs have been added to my favourites list in the past three years (but not ONLY based on that).

So here is the new list:

1 The Beatles (Still at number 1, more highlights are noted below)
2 Bob Dylan
3 The Doors
4 The Beach Boys (up 2 places... tied with the Beatles with 17 songs)
5 John Lennon
6 The Clash (up 3 places, have 8 songs)
7 Leonard Cohen
8 Johnny Cash
9 Ramones (down 4 places... just 5 songs on list, less than others)
10 George Harrison
11 The Kinks (down 3 places, have 6 songs)
12 Donovan
13 Neil Young
14 The Sex Pistols
15 T. Rex
16 Chuck Berry
17 Brian Wilson (up 4 places)
18 Frank Black
19 Nirvana
20 Weezer
21 Run-DMC (down 4 places, still no HoF songs)
22 Elvis Costello
23 Pink Floyd
24 Joni Mitchell
25 Bruce Springsteen

(others have moved only two places or less either way)

Last Year's Man

For the SHoF... "Last Year's Man" by Leonard Cohen

A great poem, set to great music... by the GREAT Leonard Cohen.


The latest additions to my useless list of newsmakers who have been inducted into my "Newsmakers Hall of Fame":

Leonard Cohen May 23

Usain Bolt Aug 25
Mick Jagger Aug 26

Neil Armstrong Sept 4
Taliban Sept 5

Jimmy Savile Oct 30

Personal Favorite Rock Artists List

A website I look at asked people to compile their lists, so I spent some time this morning arranging it thusly  (as well as a short early influence list at the bottom):

ranking of my 100 favorite "rock" artists (Oct 26, 2010)

1 The Beatles
2 Bob Dylan
3 The Doors
4 John Lennon
5 Ramones
6 The Beach Boys
7 Leonard Cohen
8 The Kinks
9 The Clash
10 Johnny Cash
11 Neil Young
12 George Harrison
13 T.Rex
14 Donovan
15 Chuck Berry
16 The Sex Pistols
17 Run-DMC
18 Nirvana
19 Frank Black
20 Weezer
21 Brian Wilson
22 Joni Mitchell
23 Elvis Costello
24 Pink Floyd
25 Bruce Springsteen
26 Big Audio Dynamite
27 Gang of Four
28 Public Enemy
29 Van Morrison
30 The Rolling Stones
31 The Who
32 Elvis Presley
33 The B-52's
34 Sly & the Family Stone
36 Creedence Clearwater Revival
37 Derek and the Dominoes
38 Jerry Lee Lewis
39 Eddie Cochran
40 Jackson 5
41 Paul McCartney
42 Led Zeppelin
43 James Brown
44 REM
45 Byrds
46 Pixies
47 Ike and Tina Turner
48 Janis Joplin
49 Richard and Linda Thompson
50 Michael Jackson
51 Paul Simon
52 Devo
53 Jimi Hendrix
54 Blondie
55 Talking Heads
56 Al Green
57 The Muffs
58 James Taylor
59 Marvin Gaye
60 David Bowie
61 Prince
62 Beck
63 Moby
64 The Jam
65 Curtis Mayfield
66 Stevie Wonder
67 Temptations
68 Grateful Dead
69 Squeeze
70 Steve Miller Band
71 Cat Stevens
72 Radiohead
73 NWA
74 Alice Cooper
75 Jimmy Cliff
76 Green Day
77 Arctic Monkeys
78 The Hives
79 The Mamas & the Papas
80 Neil Diamond
81 Isley Brothers
82 Rod Stewart
83 Keith West
84 The Band
85 Everly Brothers
86 Buddy Holly
87 Cheap Trick
88 Otis Redding
89 The Damned
90 Madness
91 Manic Street Preachers
92 Barry White
93 Shonen Knife
94 Sweet
95 Eric Clapton
96 Dead Milkmen
97 Alanis Morissette
98 The Waterboys
99 Adam Ant
100 Norman Greenbaum

early influence:
1 Hank Williams
2 Carter Family
3 Woody Guthrie
4 Nat King Cole
5 Frank Sinatra
6 Dean Martin
7 Richard Wagner
8 Bill Monroe
9 Robert Johnson
10 Bing Crosby
11 Flatt & Scruggs
12 Billie Holiday
13 Huddie William "Lead Belly" Ledbetter
14 Al Jolson
15 Slim Whitman



"Songs You Didn't Know Were Cover Versions"

I see that Spinner UK has a list of 15 songs "you didn't know were cover versions" which I have just looked at via AOL....  OK, let's see, many of them I DID know were cover versions, as I am not a moron.  Here's the list, with my comments in bold purple...

Jeff Buckley'Hallelujah,' Jeff Buckley

Buckley recorded his signature song for 1994's 'Grace,' the only album released during his brief lifetime. Accordingly, he never lived to see dozens of television shows using the song to underscore some sappy moment. The song was originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen 10 years earlier,

I HOPE most people already knew that.  And when I read this first one on the list, I knew to expect a pretty crappy moronic list, but let's see...

but Buckley actually based his rendition on John Cale's version from a tribute album to the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter. 
THAT, I didn't know...  John Cale, huh ?

Click here to see the full list.... there"s 15 all togetherCollapse )

James Taylor'You've Got a Friend,' James Taylor

Taylor reached No. 1 on the US singles charts and Top 5 UK in 1971 with 'You've Got a Friend,' also garnering a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Carole King wrote the song and released it just months before on her mega-selling 'Tapestry' LP. King didn't begrudge Taylor's Grammy win one bit, as she received one herself for 'Friend,' as author of the Song of the Year.

Ummm, no I guess I though JT wrote this.

Final tally: I knew 8 out of 15.  Oh well.  Harder than first thought.

Janis Joplin


For my Recording Artist Hall of Fame...       Janis Joplin

I've always been a bit 1960's - orientated probably more than any other era.  That's the music that was around when I was young in the 70's and 80's.  Janis Joplin was one of those '60's icons who died too soon. Made immortal by an early death like the Kennedies, MLK, Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Malcolm X, Brian Jones, etc etc etc ...

When I think of Janis Joplin, I think of her great Monterey Pop Festival performance of "Ball and Chain".   I could watch that over and over (and I have).   I also think a bit about Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel no. 2".... "we are ugly but we have the music"...     She wasn't a typical glammed-up beautiful pop star, not prefabricated for mass consumption, she was a hard-drinking, drugged up hippie blues singer.    One of the greatest the world has seen.

Closing Time

For the Song Hall of Fame... "Closing Time" by Leonard Cohen

Love the feel of this country-esque ode to closing time at an old-person's honky tonk.


Phil Spector was convicted of murder. Here are some excerpts from the Telegraph:

It has taken six years finally to bring to a conclusion the saga that began on the night of Feb 2, 2003, when Spector walked into a Hollywood night club, the House of Blues, and invited the VIP hostess, 40-year-old Lana Clarkson back to his mansion in the nondescript Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra for a drink. Less than three hours later, Clarkson died from a single gunshot to the mouth.


Dictatorial, quixotic, driven by an unswerving belief in his own genius and an unquenchable hunger for success, Spector became, uniquely, a bigger star than any of the artists he produced - 'the first tycoon of teen' in the memorable phrase of the writer Tom Wolfe. And he played the part to the hilt, acquiring the obligatory Hollywood mansion, a retinue of bodyguards, and a reputation for wayward eccentricity.

By 1966, Spector's reign at the top of the American charts was over, his 'Wall of Sound' an anachronism. When his most grandiloquent and extravagant production ever, Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep Mountain High, failed to dent the American charts, he was crushed. He retired to his mansion to brood; married his protege Ronnie Bennett, the lead singer of the Ronettes, and, consumed with jealously, kept her a virtual prisoner in the home. According to Ronnie, he would pass the days, watching over and over again Citizen Kane, Orson Welles' parable of ambition, hubris and spiritual desolation, weeping at the climactic moment when Rosebud, Kane's sled, the symbol of childhood joy and innocence, is incinerated.

It seemed that Spector's career was over, but In 1970, his career was briefly given a new lease of life when he was invited to finalise production on the Beatles' last album, Let It Be. He went on to produce George Harrison's multi-million selling All Things Must Pass and to co-produce three solo albums with John Lennon, including the classic Imagine.

Through the Seventies, Spector worked only intermittently, producing albums by Leonard Cohen, Dion DiMucci and, finally, in 1979, the Ramones. By now his reputation for waywardness had all but eclipsed any acknowledgement of his extraordinary accomplishments as a producer. Stories abounded of his drinking, of scenes in restaurants, of, most ominously, of his predilection for guns. He would habitually wear a shoulder-holster around the home, and he seldom left home without one. 'Phil wanted to be Elvis and Sinatra combined', one friend would remember. 'The cool, aloof thing, the entourage, all that protected crap.'

Recording with John Lennon he let off a live round into the ceiling of the studio. Recording Leonard Cohen, he approached the singer clutching a bottle of Jewish ritual wine in one hand and a pistol in the other, which he shoved into Cohen's neck, whispering 'Leonard, I love you.'

Cohen with admirable aplomb, simply moved the barrel away, saying 'I hope you do, Phil'.



Another song for the Hall of Fame... "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen

What a great songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen is. We saw him in concert a few months ago, in the summer I guess it was, at Edinburgh Castle.

This song was probably made more popular when Jeff Buckley did it, and recently there was a hit version at Christmas by the X Factor winner.


From AFP:
Hallelujah! Cohen classic is Christmas No.1... and 2

LONDON (AFP) - Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" has made music chart history when it became both number one and number two in the Christmas singles charts -- although both versions were covers.

Alexandra Burke was almost guaranteed to take the top slot with her version after winning television talent show X Factor this month, and the song became the fastest-selling single by a female solo artist, figures show.

But in what appeared to be a protest at the manufactured music industry, fans of US musician Jeff Buckley kicked off an Internet campaign to get his classic version to number one instead, through downloads.

It reached number two, making it the first time in 51 years -- and the first time ever at Christmas -- that the same song has held the two top spots in the singles charts, the Official Charts Company said.

The last time was in January 1957, when Tommy Steele and Guy Mitchell held the top two places with Singin' The Blues.

In another twist, Cohen's own version of the song -- which he first released on an album in 1984 -- entered the charts as a new entry at number 36.

The tune has been covered numerous times, but Buckley's haunting version is widely considered the best. It remains strongly associated with the singer-songwriter, who drowned in Memphis in May 1997 aged 30.

Gennaro Castaldo of music store giant HMV said: "It's unprecedented to have two versions of the same song at number one and two in the Christmas charts.

"And it's ironic that it's taken the X Factor to get a lot more of us to appreciate the music of Leonard Cohen and the talent of Jeff Buckley."

Pennyroyal Tea

For the Song Hall of Fame... "Pennyroyal Tea" by Nirvana

This is a great song to sit back with a cup of tea and listen to as you're watching the world fall apart.

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld
So I can sigh eternally

Kurt Cobain shot himself soon after this one.

Tower of Song

For my own personal little Tower of Song: the Song Hall of Fame... it's "Tower of Song" by Leonard Cohen

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I'm crazy for love but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
In the tower of song

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasnt answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the tower of song

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the great beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the tower of song

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