Monday, 22 April 2013

Animal Songs

Animals, don't you just love them? Pop stars certainly seem to, "The Birdie Song", "Hungry Like The Wolf", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", "Eye Of The Tiger", even "Ant Music" made it to the top of the charts. Then there are those throwaway songs such as The Who allowing bassist John Entwhistle to pen a song and he came up with the fairly execrable "Boris The Spider", or The Pogues doing their Tom Waits spoof "Worms" and tucking it away as the last track on the album. Pink Floyd did a whole concept album called "Animals" which in my opinion remains their best album despite the praise heaped on "Dark Side of The Moon" and "Wish You Were Here". But being a concept album, the tracks are too long to upload to the blog for your listening pleasure.

So here are ten animal songs for your delectation and petting.

1) Patti Smith - "Horses"
The queen of New York New Wave that brought a poetic and experimental sensibility to early US punk, here has an urgently driving and rumbling song that still holds up today in its power. The lyric "The boy looked at Johnny" was incidently the title of a short book on UK punk rock penned by teenage Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons in 1977 (their Johnny being Johnny Rotten). And to think what those two have become now... Punk rock RIP

2) Iggy And The Stooges - "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
And still on the subject of 'where did it all go awry?', that sallow faced man who sells you insurance on the TV used to be a bit of an all-out punk rocker who usually ended up bloodied on stage from the intensity of his performance. I used to know a music journalist who lived with Iggy in London.

3) The Cure - "Love Cats"
I have a love-hate relationship with this song. The love is that in my misguided belief that I would be a bassist in a band, when I bought my instrument and tried to teach myself, the bassline intro to this song was one of the few I managed to master. The con, was that this song seemed to signal the demise of The Cure as a cool low-fi post-punk/pop band and enter the world of Goth with bad make up and bombastic music arrangements. Robert Smith in his retreat from fame and adulation had sacrificed Camus' "L'Etranger" of the band's debut album and instead regressed into a child's world as represented by "Charlotte Sometimes" for his influence. "Love Cats" was of course a huge hit for the band.

4) The Birthday Party - "Release The Bats"
If you're going to do Goth properly, obviously you require bats, but you also need a bit of oomph in the music. And though they were never really a Goth band, Nick Cave's Birthday Party had twin drummers in their early incarnation and that gave this song oomph a plenty. "Sex vampire, horror bat bite": Quite.

5) The Beastie Boys - "Brass Monkey"
Hey it was this or "Funky Donkey". I think you all get off lightly! One of their more Frat Boy songs, even though I don't beleive they ever were...

6) Jefferson Airplane - "White Rabbit"
Far out man!

7) Genesis - "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway"
Double concept albums, twelve string guitars, costumes on stage, ah they don't make 'em like this any more. Phil Collins used to be in genesis you know!

8) The Cramps - "Human Fly"
The signature tune of the Cramps that announced their arrival as the swamp punk rock band supreme. Swaggeringly good. This music was grungy before anyone had heard of Kurt Cobain. The stage clothes however were not. Lux Interior RIP.

9) Jah Woosh - "Woodpecka Sound"
Dub heavy, reggae has lots of songs involving animals, not least the Lion of Judah.

10) Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven"
No idea what the song means but I do love it!

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