Ginger Wildheart - "The Beat Goes On" (Albion, 2014)
We start off today’s Five with a slab of pure power-pop from Ginger’s latest PledgeMusic-backed album. Of course, with Ginger, he just can’t resist the urge to change the key or time signature a couple of times or to insert a little weirdness into the mix. This track is light on the weirdness, but there are other tracks on the album that seem to go in several different directions all at once. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Rage Against the Machine - "Renegades of Funk" (Renegades, 2000)
I can usually only take RATM in small doses. While others might consider this Afrika Bambaataa cover track Rage Lite, I could listen to more of their stuff if everything was like this.
Keaggy, King, Denté - "Angel Treads" (Invention, 1997) Invention is a Dove award-winning, mostly-instrumental collaboration between CCM guitar wizard Phil Keaggy and fellow CCM artists Wes King and Scott Denté of the husband-and-wife duo Out of the Grey. Keaggy is a criminally underrated and overlooked guitarist (if you don’t believe that, just spend a little time on YouTube watching live performance videos of Keaggy playing along with himself by means of a looper) who has been on the music scene since the mid-60s. Apparently urban legends abound of Hendrix crediting Keaggy as the best guitarist in the world. Lest you think this is simply a vehicle to showcase Keaggy’s six string prowess, King and Denté are both amazing guitarists in their own right, and each of them brings a different approach to the instrument. It was interesting to me at the time to hear how King and Denté responded to the opportunity to show off and shine on the guitar in a way that was different from what I had heard previously as part of their “day jobs.”
Faith No More - "The Morning After" (The Real Thing, 1989)
I love this song—I think Billy Gould’s thumping, driving bass is what does it for me—and I love this album. I had a hard time getting into FNM’s subsequent releases, but The Real Thing was the perfect mix of weirdness, heaviness, and pop sensibilities, and it was way more approachable and accessible than some of their other work. I wonder if things might have gone better for them had “Epic” not completely blown up the MTV airwaves.
Tony Bennett - "Indian Summer" (Perfectly Frank, 2006)
Tony sings Frank. This was a purchase for my wife, whose musical tastes run completely different from mine. She’s not a huge fan of vocal standards like this, but she often likes to chill out to laid-back older tunes like this one. And it just might surprise you to learn that I’m not completely put off by this.
Led Zeppelin - “I’m Gonna Crawl” (In Through the Out Door, 1979)
Short of “Fool in the Rain” and “All My Love,” I have always had trouble getting into In Through the Out Door. I have to be in the right mood for “I’m Gonna Crawl,” so it usually gets skipped when it comes up.
Cheap Trick - "Takin’ Me Back" (Heaven Tonight, 1978)
It’s classic Cheap Trick. What’s not to like?!
U2 - “Crumbs from Your Table” (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004)
I was hopelessly infatuated with this song for a few months, especially this stripped-down version from the bonus DVD.
Faith No More - "Easy" (Songs to Make Love To, 1993)
This one’s for the ladies in the house. Unexpected but excellently executed Commodores cover from the most recognizable (if not best) version of Faith No More. Mike Patton’s voice is a good fit for this one, and I love Big Jim Martin’s guitar solo.
Minutemen - “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love” (The Blasting Concept, Volume II, 1990)
I bought this SST compilation sight unseen (and unheard) from an SST catalog I got as a teenager based on an ad in Hit Parader or Circus or one of the other music rags available at the grocery store my family shopped at 10 miles away in the middle of nowhere Mississippi. Boy am I glad I did. Even though this particular comp often is seen as the point at which SST jumped the shark, it introduced me to a whole new world of music and bands like Saint Vitus, Black Flag, and Hüsker Dü. The Minutemen’s irreverent take on this classic Van Halen tune was one of my favorites, along with Hüsker Dü’s “Erase Today,” but it had to be listened to a low volumes due to the 2 F-bombs it contains. And clocking in at only 1:19, it took me longer to write this mini-review than it took to listen to.
You’re perfect, yes it’s true
But without me you’re only you
Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention post-Jim Martin, but in my opinion, this is the last really good song from Faith No More (although “A Small Victory” was pretty good in a completely different kind of way) off their last really good album.