After the runaway success of my 2005 compilation not a crazy frog in sight, work has already begun on my 2006 compilation. I’m going to keep a running tally of the candidates, and then narrow it down when December comes. So while you’ll get a sneak preview here, you won’t know the final tracklist until you receive it. I even have a tentative title, but you won’t get that until then either.
Chelsea Morning – Joni Mitchell: I’ve been wanting some Joni Mitchell since Adam Duritz, lead singer of Counting Crows, mentioned her as a significant influence – in fact, her album Blue is his favourite album ever. So when I saw her best of at Kmart for $2.50, I figured it was money well spent…and how. Sure, it’s over-earnest 1970’s folk, but she has a voice like an angel and some really great tunes. And when the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning is your daughter Chelsea, and the cd alarm clock goes off and plays “Woke up it was a Chelsea morning and the first thing that I heard/Was the sun outside my window…” it just works.
Out of Control – U2: I’ve had to learn this year that life is totally out of your control, and the more you can come to grips with that and live into it rather than trying to desperately wrest control back, the more you truly live…not only is that true of life, but of concerts too. When U2 postponed their Australian tour scheduled for March, it was incredibly disappointing, but well and truly out of my control. They’ll be back in November though, and this song has been on regular rotation at their shows, so I’m hoping they’ll play it. Has a baseline and tempo to get the heart thumping.
In Bloom – Nirvana: “He’s the one who likes all the pretty songs, and he likes to sing along…” I found the Nirvana best of at the library and dang if it doesn’t bring back a whole lotta memories for me of high school and the moods that surrounded it. Although, as the conversation in The Simpsons went:
Lisa: It may be bleak, but this music is really getting to the crowd.
Bart: Eh, making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Give It Up – Hothouse Flowers: I’m seeing these guys tomorrow – woo hoo! – and have had their first three albums on heavy rotation as a result. They were pretty much the first band I got into, before U2 even (although U2 were partly responsible for making them famous), and so it reminds me of that time. The lyrics of this one are just great:
I’m coming face to face with my conscience
Coming to an understanding of myself
Clear out all the old cobwebs
Clear the old books from the shelf
This song is inspired by a good man and his tune
Thinking good of others, sing Amazing Grace to you
It doesn’t really matter if you’re all jumbled up inside
As long as you know love is as endless as the world is wide
Just so optimistic, and positive, and the music reflects that…and goodness knows they have their share of depressing songs, so it’s nice for a change.
Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn: It’s not necessarily specifically or exclusively a this-year song, although I’ve probably heard it more this year than any other year, it’s just a dead-set classic. Seriously, it’s one of the best songs ever written. I mean, if you have to have only one hit in your lifetime, like Marc Cohn, make it this good. Never fails to move me – the music just sounds like what it’s describing. A whole thesis could be written on the line, “She said ‘Tell me are you a Christian, child?’ and I said ‘Ma’am I am tonight!'”
I Can See Clearly Now – Hothouse Flowers: Ok, it’s a cover, but it’s a classic cover…this would probably be the Hothouse Flowers song most people would be familiar with. And seriously, when it goes to double-time, you just can’t help feeling like the world is an ok place to be.
More to come.