10 songs, 10 John Lennon References

Time for the list of the next ten songs I hear on iTunes.

Long Shadow – Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros: a nice little acoustic folk ditty by Joe et al.  Has kind of a Latin American rhythm to it.  I read some survey that said John Lennon had the best rock voice ever.  I’d put Joe Strummer right up there.  A fantastic voice.

Save the Last Dance For Me – Harry Nilsson:  This is an incredibly gentle demo version of that song we all know and assume we don’t like.  Just Harry and a heavily tremaloed keyboard.  Simply done and all the better for it.  To keep the John Lennon references going, Harry and John had a drunk weekend in LA that lasted a year or so.  If you can find this song, I’d recommend you get it.  If you don’t like it, I’ll pity you.

54-46 Was My Number – The Maytals: Oh yes, I like the ska.  I do.  60’s, 70’s, 80’s ska especially.  It’s a genre of music that dares you not to dig it.  This is a great song.  Not sure if Toots is involved in this or not.  He must be.  Wouldn’t that be like The Crickets without Buddy Holly?  Or The Beatles without, I don’t know… John Lennon (see the clever way I referenced him this time.)

To Sir With Love – Lulu: Oh Lulu, you troublesome high school student, you.  Tough molly, wa’n’t she, guv’nah?  Oh but this song tells us all how much Sidney Poitier means to White British Youth.  What a great song, says I.  Rumour has it that John Lennon and Lulu and Yoko Ono were going to produce some records, and they were going to call the record label Lulennono.  Not really.

Children Go Where I Send Thee – Ralph Stanley/Keith Whitley:  Even more than ska, I love me those high, tight bluegrass harmonies.  This song follows the acapella "O Death" from O Brother Where Art Thou style of bluegrass.  Seriously, does anyone sing as plaintively as Ralph Stanley.  Speaking of O Death, John Lennon is dead.

Omobolasire – Prozzak:  Yeah, that song that was on the radio there a few years ago.  I’m not a big Prozzak fan, but my wife likes ’em.  They’ll show up in the shuffle every once in a while and I’m no worse for wear for hearing them occasionally.  I bet John Lennon would think these guys are okay, but probably wouldn’t fancy the fake British accents.

California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas:  This is one of those songs that you have in your collection and you think "should I delete it?" because, you know, it speaks for the boomers, man, not to me.  But then you listen to the harmonies and you say "You’ll do pig.  You’ll do."  John Lennon and the Papas toked a lot together I’m pretty sure.

High Class Music – Roddy Frame:  I was an intermediately sized fan of Aztec Camera.  Mostly for the neat voice of the lead singer, Roddy Frame.  I came across an album of his last year and had to check it out.  There are some really nice songs on it.  This is one of them.  I’m afraid the John Lennon reference well dries up here, friends.  No wait.  Roddy Frame was born in Liverpool.  Yes he was.  Go and prove me wrong.  Provide me the link.  You can’t. No.  You can’t.

The Ballad of Hollis Brown – Bob Dylan:  Early Bob Dylan is the best for me.  I love ballads like this. Back when I was a teenager, my father and I bonded a bit because he appreciated these kind of Dylan songs.   Bob supposedly introduced the Beatles to dope.  I don’t believe that.  I can’t imagine the lads wouldn’t have experienced some of that in Germany.

Money’s Too Tight To Mention – The Valentine Brothers:  I’ve never heard this song.  I don’t know where it came from, but I assume I downloaded it from some music blog somewhere.  Sounds like a 70’s jazzy soul/funk type deal.  Farty disco bass and some tootin’ sax.  But I tell ya, when the Valentine Brothers start singin’ the woes of lovin’ on a tight budget, well, I can feel it, bro.  A quick trip to allmusic tells me the brothers Valentine had appearances in the touring company of The Wiz. And that was pretty much a highlight.  So.  There ya go.  Oh.  And John Lennon.

And.  There you go.  Another random mix of songs.  Not a bad apple in the bunch.

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