WARMER MIXTAPES #474 | by Dale Goodridge
1. The Brothers Johnson | Strawberry Letter 23 (Shuggie Otis Cover)
My favourite 7" single and probably one of my favourite songs of all time. I play it so much I need to get a new one! This song just means Joy to me. I can NEVER get tired of listening to it. The Funk. The progressive nature of the writing. The smooth as silk vocals and harmonies. So much happens in five minutes. It takes people most of their lives to write songs as good as this one. I put this on whenever I feel sad or angry. It's my Blue Blanket.
2. Doves | Walk In Fire
This song is a regular play and just reminds me of the North of England. It also has the lyrical line It takes years to accept it all and to be yourself. So true! I moved to Australia five years ago and I'm from Yorkshire originally but moved around the North a bit in the early 00's until I moved to London in 2005 and this band has always stayed in my heart. I collect everything they have ever released on vinyl. I'm only a couple of pieces away from a full collection from this wonderful band. They are my favourite British band and still don't seem to get the attention and respect they deserve worldwide. Always atmospheric and this song has an amazing chorus that just creeps up on you during the song until that last anthemic sing along and chorus. See also nearly every song written by them. Even the B-sides and thrown away songs.
3. Stealers Wheel | Late Again
The best song about about being an alcoholic husband/boyfriend/loser ever written. The feel of the song is even boozy with that loose rhythm. The vocal harmonies and the first appearance of Gerry Rafferty's trademark saxophone make this a notable song of his. The first track on their first album and my favourite. My Dad had a copy of this and I would look at it when I was still a toddler because the cover is so mesmerising and strange. Little did I know it would still be my favourite album years later. I have bought and lost this album three times over the years and I'm still looking for a perfectly mint copy on vinyl. One of those albums I could have ten copies of just in case of... Erm... Needing ten copies of it.
4. John Carpenter | Main Title (Escape From New York Soundtrack)
I know this is not really a song but is one of my favourites right now. Just a simple melody and hook that stays with me for days. The drums in it are so crappy and basic, they are brilliant. I remember seeing on an interview with Mr. Carpenter somewhere where he said he couldn't afford a composer for one of his movies (may be Assault On Precinct 13) and then he just carried on doing it himself. I'm very glad he did. He has made some of the most memorable soundtracks. For me anyway.
5. Paul McCartney | Coming Up
The album this comes from, McCartney II is probably the reason I am a solo artist and do all the writing and recording myself. Not to be an egotist or anything, just to see if I could do it and make it sound good. This album is always an inspiration, this song especially. The video is fantastic and funny and the obvious inspiration for OutKast's Hey Ya! video. See also Temporary Secretary from the same album. They both have this joyful silliness to them that sounds like Freedom to me. Sir Paul gets some grief for what he does a lot of the time for some reason. I even love the frog chorus. There it is. I am UNCOOL.
6. Brad | Buttercup
This first song from their first album Shame is just all feel. I just love it and listen to it a lot. The fabulous vocals by Shawn Smith and that floaty, underplayed guitar line by Stone Gossard which just builds in each chorus. The only song I have heard that has the opening line And I love to tie you up that sounds like a love song. I still have no idea what the lyrics mean. Something about splitting up with someone? I don't care. A fantastic song which takes me right back to when it blew me away when I first heard it in 1993 and never ages.
7. The Coral | Walking In The Winter
I hadn't listened to this band for a long time until recently when I bought the Butterfly House album. The dreamy feel, the intricate finger-picked acoustic guitars that sound effortless, vocal harmonies and slightly Psych sound of the choruses make this an instant classic to me. They just get better and better. It reminds me of when I DJ'd for a short time in a club in Liverpool in around 2001. It was an exciting time for Liverpool bands and it's great to hear them just get better and better. The whole album is just astounding.
8. Eels | Climbing Up To The Moon (Jon Brion Remix)
The remix of a song from the under-rated Electro-Shock Blues (well, at the time anyway) by the ever great Jon Brion that just makes the song come alive. This one is pretty personal to me as I have a bipolar disorder and my struggle with it and the lyrics really resonate with me. I know the lyrics are about E visiting his sister when she is very ill and how he deals with it. It made me break down when I heard this version of it as I was pretty ill at the time. I'm much better now but I listen to it a lot to remind me how far I have come. What Jon Brion can do with strings and woodwind is genius. On a related but totally different note, I saw Eels when they came to Melbourne a while after I got here in a small theatre when they were in full-on rock mode with full crazy theatrics. One of the best gigs I have ever seen. Just face meltingly good!
9. The Who | Who Are You
I saw the video to this late on TV the other night and it just made me love the song again. The video is of them messing around in the studio whilst recording it. Keith Moon with Gaffa Tape around his head holding his headphones on is just diamond. On face value, it looks like a band having a lot of fun but they clearly weren't in real life and Mr. Moon died soon after the release of the album, unfortunately. Since I saw the video, I have been listening to the song a lot and it is a great mix of a Punky (to them) verse and a Proggy style. The lyrics also remind me of lurching around London, missing tube stops and ending up in a totally different part of London when I was totally drunk.
10. Del Amitri | Tell Her This
A beautiful sounding song with a twist in the tale. The lyrics are amazing in this song. Justin Currie really has a way with words and it is inspiring to me as a songwriter as well as a listener. I listen to this song a lot. It reminds me of a time in the late 90's when I was broken hearted and took it literally. I laugh at that now and see his humour in it. The way he plays with the idea of the broken hearted love song and turns it into black comedy is genius.
+11. The Hollies | He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother
I don't even have a brother but this song is perfection to me. The whole mournful mood of the song, mixed with the positive lyrics make this one of my all time favourite songs. When I think things are hard in music right now, I remember an interview I saw with the singer who was laughing about certain bands moaning about hard work and not being able to finish even 30 date tours without crying off with exhaustion. He said in the mid sixties, they were playing three shows a day, interviews, wrote and recorded up to three albums a year with barely Christmas off for some rest. That is hard work, passion and determination!