The Stuff Between Hello and Goodbye
The mix has overall tones and themes: introspective but optimistic, schmaltzy but tongue-in-cheek. Just like me, really. Probably too much Paul McCartney for anyone's tastes but my own, but overall I'm very happy with this mix. It's got a good sound and a good flow to it. It comes to a big climax and then a conclusion, and then the last two "bonus" tracks count as an epilogue.
|Artist Name||Song Title||Album Title||Comments|
|The Rutles||Don't Know Why||Archaeology (1996)||The original Rutles album was clever and fun, and the follow-up album, 19 years later, was a pleasant surprise. No longer chained to the idea of doing direct song parodies, singer/songwriter Neil Innes came up with a lovely set of Beatles-influenced songs instead. Here we find him doing his Lennon impersonation to good effect in this rather lushly produced recording.|
|Badfinger||Carry On Till Tomorrow||Magic Christian Music (1969)||Badfinger was discovered and promoted by the Beatles when they started their Apple Records label in the late sixties. This is one of the songs they recorded for the Peter Sellers-Ringo Starr movie, The Magic Christian, a satire on what people are willing to do for the right price.|
|Vladimir Horowitz||Rondo Alla Turca (Mozart K.331-III)||Favorite Encores||This is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time, one of Mozart's catchiest little piano tunes.|
|Monty Python (Neil Innes)||The Background to History||Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1975)||This is yet another vehicle for Neil Innes, an on-and-off collaborator with Monty Python over the years. The short songs he does here are lots of fun, especially the crazy "Hey Jude" parody that presages his work with Eric Idle on the Rutles project two years later.|
|Blondie||Sunday Girl||Parallel Lines (1977)||I think this song has a terrific melody, excellently performed by Debbie Harry, and I like the switch to French in the middle. This one is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for a couple of days.|
|Devo||That's Pep!||Freedom of Choice (1980)||The first album I ever owned was a cassette of Devo's Freedom of Choice. Years later I bought the CD and was pleased to find that I still liked it. I went with an obscure track from it because it seemed to follow the Blondie song.|
|Paul & Linda McCartney||Dear Boy||Ram (1971)||One of my favorite McCartney tracks on one of my favorite McCartney, I've never heard another recording that sounds quite like it. It's at once crisp and vast and round and full and energetic, a quite powerful little song that was heavily speculated as being an attack on John Lennon after the rancorous break-up of the Beatles.|
|Gene Kelly & Donald O'Connor||Moses||Singin' in the Rain (1952)||If you've never seen the MGM musical comedy Singin' in the Rain, you should. Your reaction after the first ten minutes will be along the lines of, "Why didn't anyone tell me this movie was so funny and fresh and fun?" It helps if you're a fan of tap dancing, which this otherwise meaningless little ditty by Betty Comden and Adolph Green features prominently. Do see the movie, though.|
|Leon Redbone||Lazybones||On the Track (1975)||Maybe you don't know his name, but you should recognize Leon Redbone's distinctive voice, which appears all the time in commercial jingles. This is one of my favorite tracks from his debut album, and it's kind of a counterpoint to the Devo song.|
|Pipes of Peace (1983)
Flaming Pie (1997)
has a really good music video, really a short film, in which Paul
McCartney plays a dual role as both a British and a German soldier
in the trenches of World War I. They play this video sometimes;
look for it. Until then,
enjoy the song, produced with the usual crisp quality by Sir George
Martin, the former producer of the Beatles' albums.
What I like about "Somedays" is the little oboe melody that comes in during the bridge about two-thirds of the way through the song; to me, it's the best part of this second McCartney-Martin collaboration, their last before Martin's recent retirement.
|Wings||The Broadcast||Back to the Egg (1979)||There was a lot of experimentation on the last Wings album, Back to the Egg (1979), including this little spoken word piece backed up by a simple score. I've included it mainly as a segue to the big finish of this mix CD.|
|The Beatles||A Day in the Life||Imagine: John Lennon (1988)||The recording of this song, which was the famous ending to the famous 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, is not the original mix but the digital remix that George Martin did in 1988 for the Andrew Solt documentary, Imagine: John Lennon. Pay attention to Ringo Starr's drumming, an invaluable contribution to the song's tone and feel. Still a song of undeniable power, what's most remarkable are the twin orchestral climaxes at midpoint and endpoint. As George Martin once said in recollection, they left 24 bars blank during the recording of the basic tracks, and then "We knew we had to fill those with something sensational. And here's what we came up with." I'd agree that it's pretty sensational. That noise is what makes this track especially memorable, and this track is what makes the Pepper album especially memorable, in my opinion.|
|Thunderclap Newman||Something in the Air||Thunderclap Newman (1969)||A bit of a bookend to this whole exercise, this song was also included in the movie The Magic Christian. For years, I thought it was a Badfinger song, but it's actually by Thunderclap Newman and was produced by Pete Townshend of The Who.|
|(Scott Joplin)||Solace||Euphonic Sounds||Another one of my favorite piano pieces, Scott Joplin's "Solace" is a song for rainy Sunday afternoons and introspection. There is a certain mood that this piece captures precisely.|
|jrw||You and I||Dancing in the Falling Rain (1993)||This is my song; shakily and shyly performed, but sincere in its sentiment.|
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