Songs to the Siren

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Weekender

Flowered Up

April 1992

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The third in a series of “big songs” - although this has plenty of variety through its near-13 minute length, it sounds more like one song that the previous two, which were constructed from separate initial ideas merged into one.

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Paranoid Android

Radiohead

26th May 1997 (single), 21st May 1997 (LP)

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The second in a trio of “big songs” - long, relatively complex songs that sound like they were the product of putting together separate pieces into one. Like Jesus of Suburbia, Paranoid Android was also made exactly that way.

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Jesus of Suburbia

Green Day

21st September 2004 (LP), 25th October 2005 (single)

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The first in a trio of “big songs” - long, relatively complex songs that sound like they were the product of putting together separate pieces into one. Jesus Of Suburbia was made exactly that way.

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E-Bow The Letter

R.E.M.

August 1996 (single), 9th September 1996 (LP)

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This is the song that actually triggered the idea of doing a songs blog. I declared on ^link(twitter) that this is a song that I felt I could never truly tire of, and that inspired the idea of a “Songs I’ll Never Tire Of” blog. The crap blog name held me back from actually starting something, but eventually I got around to it, renamed it, and here we are.

This tune was released after R.E.M.’s popularity peak, but to me it still stands out as the highlight track from a pretty-decent catalogue.

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I Trawl The MEGAHERTZ

Paddy McAloon

27th May 2003 (Paddy McAloon), February 2019 (re-release as Prefab Sprout)

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Prefab Sprout were a pretty popular band in the 80s that, to be honest, I didn’t really like that much. But 20 years later I heard about singer Paddy McAloon’s solo record and it’s a fascinating story, which resulted in an amazing album. In 2019, this album was re-released under the Prefab Sprout banner.

I Trawl The Megahertz is the second in a pair of “spoken word” records.

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The Gift

The Velvet Underground

30th January 1968

🇺🇸 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

The first of two “spoken word” songs, this is the tale of Waldo Jeffers, who misses his girlfriend Marsha after she returns home when school ends. He decides to post himself in a box to see her.

It doesn’t end well for Waldo. “That schmuck.”

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Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfionetta

1992

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I’m definitely not an aficionado of classical music, so it’s probably inevitable that my tastes in contemporary classical are at the more populist end of the scale, but this is a beautiful, emotional, piece. You probably wouldn’t file it under “easy listening”, though.

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Private Life / She’s Lost Control

Grace Jones

? 1980 (Single), 9th May 1980 (LP)

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After a disco period, Jamaican model and singer Grace Jones brought out a dub-heavy reggae album of covers in 1980, and had a hit single with her version of The Pretenders song Private Life.

Arguably even more astonishing is her take on Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control, which formed the B-side of the single.

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Number One Song in Heaven

Sparks

23rd March 1979 (single), ? March 1979 (LP)

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After a period as a guitar-based rock band that saw Sparks earn considerable commercial success, they teamed up with Giorgio Moroder to execute a complete change of direction. As it turns out, there would be several more such big changes throughout the band’s career - which is still going strong.

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