Good Clean Fun to Over the Rainbow – The Blogger’s Playlist – Revealed

A couple of weeks ago I had the (semi) bright idea of soliciting songs from fellow bloggers to put together a combined playlist. The restrictions – such as they were – were that they had to submit three songs from the rock, soul, blues, jazz, pop, folk, reggae, funk category and they couldn’t be longer than six minutes.

I’m happy to report that nine bloggers (plus me, of course) responded to the call. I put together a Spotify playlist which runs a tidy 2 hours, 11 minutes. Of the 30 songs, I would say fully half come from classic rock (including the Beatles), the rest a nice mixed bag of alternative, prog-rock, funk, metal, post-rock, blues, jazz, folk, hip-hop and the ever-popular catch-all, indie. And Springsteen “wins” with 2 (count ’em) songs.

The only thing I would suggest is to listen without prejudice. Not every genre here floats my boat, a few songs I’ve heard one time too many. But I tried to listen with fresh ears and I discovered something I dug in each one. I wasn’t looking for a list that reflected my taste; you shouldn’t be looking for one that reflects yours.

The big revelation for me on this list was Genesis’ “Carpet Crawlers.” Not as big a fan of theirs as some so I missed it. Nice, if odd, tune. And as soon as I heard Keith Jarrett’s “Over The Rainbow,” I knew that would be the closing tune.

Anyway, enough with the waiting. (Which, they tell me, is the hardest part.) The honor roll (all quotes from contributors):

From MusiCommentator: “Mr. Brightside,” The Killers; “Bohemian Rhapsody,” (“It is actually my favorite song of all time. Its musical and operatic influences blend in perfectly with the rock flavor Queen can bring to anything”); and “Am I Wrong,” Anderson.Paak, who “is a newer artist that is able to bring old soul/funk to contemporary mediums.”

Our man in Canada Mr. Cincinnatti Babyhead clocks in with Van Morrison’s “Blue Money;” “Chest Fever,” by The Band; and “Lost in the Flood,” by Bruce Springsteen. “Other than Jazz (Blues close second) I probably have listened to these guys (and a few others) the most in my lifetime. They all brought the influences that shaped their music, rock n roll, blues, jazz, country. They turned it into their unique sounds.  Great stuff. I still get jacked when I hear it.”

Our regular contributor Christian’s Music Musings (NYC by way of Germany) checks in with “If I Needed Someone,” (there’s yer Beatles); “Carry On Wayward Son,” Kansas; and “Tush,” ZZ Top. “Perhaps the ultimate blues rocker,” he tells us. “Love the main riff and how tight the song is played. It gets me grooving every time I hear it!”

My very first commenter more than two years ago was Musicophile over in Switzerland who forgot more about classical and jazz than most of us know. His picks are “You Must Believe In Spring,” Bill Evans; “Carpet Crawlers,” Genesis; and “Over the Rainbow,” Keith Jarrett. “Notice a pattern here? Another Jazz piano legend, another slightly cheesy movie song, but again played in a way that is so spectacularly beautiful, I couldn’t resist.”

Our guy from “The Jerz” by way of Australia, Runaway American Dream clocks in with a couple of mellow but intense tunes: “When It Don’t Come Easy,” Patty Griffin; “Riverswim,” The Decemberists; “Sea and the Dunes,” Pony Face. “I’m choosing songs that I think are just straight up gorgeous.” And, he advises, no Springsteen. No worries, mate, you’re covered.

Another long-time follower (in the UK) is Crotchety Man who checks in with “The Trees They Do Grow High,” Pentangle (“simply the most beautiful song ever written – it brings sentimental tears to my eyes every time I listen to it.”); “Annie Let’s Not Wait,” Guillemots; “Virtually Part 1,” Soft Machine (“a wonderful example of tuneful improvised jazz, recorded around 1971 and never bettered.”)

Tony from the UK (Mumbling About Music, Books, etc.), another long-time follower, sends a couple of strong tunes across the pond from Old Blighty: “Corduroy,” Pearl Jam; “Trembling Hands,” Explosions in the Sky; and “Gypsy Biker,” Bruce Springsteen. (“It’s the revitalised E-Street Band in full power, Bruce writing with a bite and anger that’s genuine and it thunders along with Brendan O Brien’s production. That it lyrically references the earlier “Shut Out The Light” and updates it to carry across that anger Bruce was channeling over the loss of lives in Afghanistan / Iraq is brilliant.)

Forgotten Rock Classics kicks it out with some songs too recent to be forgotten: “Smooth Criminal,” Alien Ant Farm, “Miss Murder,” AFI; “Rescue Me,” Y&T. All, he advises us, from his home state of California. “Picking three tunes is impossible after any three songs by some band named Pray for Sound” for which my son humbly thanks him.

Scotland is represented by blogger J from Resurrection Songs. “Life is Fine,” Rainer Ptacek (“This chap was quite something. A real one of a kind talent not only lauded by Robert Plant but described by Billy Gibbons as “one of my favorite guitar men.” “Life is Fine” is a highlight from Worried Spirits, which is a flawless dusty country blues masterpiece.) “Resurrection Song,” Mark Lanegan; “St. Andrews Hall,” Blind Melon. (“quite possibly the most underrated/underappreciated band of the whole 90s alternative rock thing.”)

And lastly, yours truly brings the heat with “Good Clean Fun,” Allmans (their comeback tune, 1989. Dickey Betts/Warren Haynes version of the band that I followed around), “Show Some Emotion” Joan Armatrading (one of my wife and my favorite singers ever), and “Empty Arms,” Stevie Ray Vaughan (because I’ll be damned if a list of mine goes out without enough blues.)

As Jeff Beck said on the back of the Truth album, “well, that’s it, honeys.” Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I tried sequencing the unsequencable in a way that made sense so maybe try that first before putting it on shuffle.

Speaking of shuffle, let’s have some good clean fun.

 

 

 

 

 

39 thoughts on “Good Clean Fun to Over the Rainbow – The Blogger’s Playlist – Revealed

  1. Great list! There are some ingenious choices here, such as “If I Needed Someone”, “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Tush!”😜

    On a more serious note, I don’t know most of these songs, which is great, since it gives me a lot of stuff to explore.

    Thanks again for the fun and cool idea, Jim!

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    1. That’s hilarious, especially when we know that “Good Clean Fun,” “Show Some Emotion,” and “Empty Arms” are the best ones. 😂 I knew 8 of them, the rest were a mystery. I look forward to hearing your faves.

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  2. Great lists, and a fun idea (I didn’t participate because I had trouble limiting it to three). I like all the lists, but kudos to CROTCHETY MAN and MUSICOPHILE. Pentangle, “Carpet Crawlers,” Bill Evans, Soft Machine… now you’re talking!

    But, Jim, you’ve GOT to learn how to spell “Cincinnati.” I live there, and it’s CB’s formal name!!

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        1. This one was a bit of a test run, Pete. Maybe next year we go to 4 songs, max 8 minutes or something. Trying to avoid the 12-hour playlist. Unless that’s what people want! Who knows?

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  3. Making soup ( CB’s everything in the pot gumbo) listening to the tunes and digging it. It’s working Doc, sort of a musical gumbo. Great idea Doc. On a different day I might choose 3 different tunes but you know the old inspiration game. So much good stuff on here. Thanks to all the great songs that folks sent in. I will listen to this to death. CB is getting his musical needs met. Lets do it again. (A CB note : I think the length is perfect)

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    1. I chose my tunes 6 different times! This set might be good for one of your walks. As to length, yeah that was a numero uno concern. Look forward to hearing if you had any musical epiphanies.

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      1. I didn’t want to over think the choices ( That would have drove me nuts). Like I said they came to me in a flash. Don’t want to question that stuff.
        It’s a real good mix and I like the comments on the choices. Two of Jersey’s cuts were new to me and I dug them right away. Could mouth off about all of them. Cool that ‘Carpet Crawalers’ is catching you. That sounds real good in the mix.
        Yeah it’s awalking set for sure. Thanks for the work fella.

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        1. No work, all pleasure. As to ‘Carpet Crawlers’, it’s funny but Christian just mentioned it over at your spot and by then I knew it was on this list. Synchronicity. Between your pad and Musicophile’s encouragement, I’m gonna go back and check out some of those early albums. I was more of a Yes fan, not that they’re mutually exclusive. I think I just burned out on prog eventually. The punks fucking detested it.

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        2. BTW, I should also add that my situation was a little different. I wanted to wait to finalize my choices based on an overall feel about what we had on the list. I had a choice between Armatrading and a better-known artist. I finally went with her because I wanted another female voice plus her tune is jazzy, so perfect. And sadly, I had to forego a Sly song with some nice horns because there just weren’t enough blues .That Sly tune may resurface somewhere one day.

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  4. Loads here to enjoy, Jim. Lots I’m familiar with, a few that are over familiar, and loads that I don’t know. All in all, a good mix… I look forward to next time!

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  5. A bit late, perhaps, but yeah it worked for me, too, and I’m off centre here. It got off to a rocking start and there wasn’t one song that had me reaching for the skip button. Least liked: Anderson.Paak. Favourite: Stevie Ray Vaughan. Let’s do it again!

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    1. Glad to hear you dug it. It surprises me a bit to hear your fave was SRV as I haven’t seen much blues on your site. I thought for sure you’d go for Genesis or one of the jazzier tunes. Anyway, yea, we’ll do it again at some point. Sounds like you’ve already got your first pick, ‘Let’s Do it Again’, by the Staple Singers. 🙂

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  6. Love the way the playlist plays out. Like others have said it’s a nice way to learn more about songs that we have never heard before or haven’t heard in a while. Instead of putting to much thought into it (could have taken days) it was decided that three songs from bands from California would fit the bill. I’m hoping that you do this again. Great job!!!!

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    1. Yeah, that playlist order wasn’t an accident. Every time I got a new batch I’d reorder it. I spent a fair amount of time trying to get a flow out of a bunch of random songs. The reaction has been pretty good so yea, we’ll do it again at some point. Watch these pages!

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