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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Jian Ghomeshi is hosting 50 Tracks on CBC - an effort to assemble the greatest songs of century, 5 per decade.
This is a great exercise and one that could only happen on public radio - private, broadcast radio is far too format limited these days to be this interesting.
Last week was the 70s and this week is the 80s - my generation of music; the stuff that I know very well.
The goal is to trim this decade (and all others) down to 5 songs - a brutal, but necessary, exercise. Jian is suggesting “With or Without You” from the Joshua Tree, I suggested Bad in part because it is in my opinion the greatest rock and roll song of the 80s, but also because it was a highlight of the Live Aid festival which was one of the pinnacles of rock and roll in the 80s.
Lobbying for the Police is heavy, but the reality is that I can’t go back to a single song as essential; album for sure (Ghost in the Machine? Synchronicity?) but not a song - the Police is an essential body of work; the Smiths “How Soon is Now” could probably make my list; Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart has been proposed, but I think I’d put the Smiths on there instead. I’m torn.
On the rap side, Public Enemy with Fight the Power’ is absolutely the right choice, without a doubt. The best rap is political; this faux-gangster Eminem stuff is really no different than Vanilla Ice. Fight the Power rules.
Prince definitely deserves to be on there; “When Doves Cry” is a killer tune, one that was in heavy heavy rotation and the album it comes from was enormous on a level that can’t really be easily characterized. For at least a year, it was the source of a lot of good moment.
Given his commercial success and longevity, something from Bruce Springsteen should be on this list too; I’ve been listening to “Born to Run” lately (I like my Bruce live and acoustic) but Bruce ruled the 80s in North America, at least until the Joshua Tree hit.
No Madonna? Nah - its bubblegum. Tragically Hip? Tough one, but internationally I don’t think so.
But maybe Moxy Fruvous?