This week’s edition of Uncommon Oldies is from CKLG’s 730 AM January, 1965, survey in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Chuck Berry wrote this song while in prison, and the tune was taken from the song, “Wabash Cannonball”. The singer tells of his journey from Norfolk, Virginia to California, mentioning various cities along the way.
This song has been covered by many artists including Johnny Rivers, Dave Edmunds, The Band and Elvis Presley. It was Elvis’ version that was used in the movie, Men In Black.
One of my favorite discoveries of 2014 was the band Future Islands. The song “Seasons (Waiting On You)” seemed to be the song of the Summer (if not the whole year), and it was pretty much a dead heat between this song, St. Vincent’s “Severed Crossed Fingers” and Spoon’s “Inside Out” as my favorite song of the year.
I had heard “Seasons…” on the radio (Sirius XMU was playing it quite a bit) and was aware of their now infamous David Letterman performance (3 million views and counting on YouTube) before I had ever even listened to the album for the first time. My wife and I were heading up to L.A. on the Metro and I needed something to listen to during the trip. By the time we got to our destination (Amoeba Records), I already loved the album so much that I thought about buying it on vinyl while we were there, but I thought that would be crazy after only listening to it one time through.
2014 was a huge year for St. Vincent. She released her self-titled album St. Vincent, she got a lot of national exposure as musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and her album has been included in several high-profile year-end lists. If you’ve never heard her music, I put together a Best of St. Vincent Spotify playlist back in March with some of her best songs (leading up to the newest release).
While I’m not sure that her self-titled 2014 release is the best album she’s done as a whole, it definitely had a lot of great songs. Most of the focus went to the “singles” that were released from the album (“Digital Witness” and “Birth In Reverse” got a lot of attention), but from the moment I heard the song “Severed Crossed Fingers”, I knew that it would be near the top of my own year-end list of songs.
I originally posted one of these playlists at mid-year, but it’s been a huge year for new music, so it was time to update the playlist. Now, I don’t know how you felt about 2014, but for me, it was probably the best year of the decade so far for music.
When I put together playlists, or just lists of songs, I don’t normally take the time to rank them. This time around, I had some pretty strong opinions, so at least the top 10 songs here are in the order that I think they deserve to be. I also tried to limit my choices to only one song per artist. Would some of these artists have had more than one song on this list otherwise? It’s definitely a possibility.