Tuesday, March 22, 2011

90's Hit Parade #78

Jonathan Richman - Velvet Underground

I saw Jonathan perform a few times in the early 90's, when he was minting a new set of should-be-classic rock n roll songs like "She Doesn't Laugh at my Jokes," "I Eat With Gusto, Damn You Bet!," "I Was Dancing in a Lesbian Bar" and my favorite, this tribute to his favorite rock n roll band. I always love songs people write about their favorite bands, but this one is a little different. Most such songs, like The Replacements' "Alex Chilton" for instance, are written like mash notes from fans. "Velvet Underground" sounds more like it was written by a rock critic. When he describes "Sounds as bold as black and white stripes" or how they "played less notes and left more space," you realize this guy could have had a career as a rock crit if he wanted (although, since all rock crits want to be rock stars, there's no reason why he would have wanted). Listen closely and you'll hear a nice echo on Jonathan's voice.

Bonus Beat: Jonathan Richman - A Higher Power

From the same album (I, Jonathan). I hate to make grand, hyperbolic statements like "this is the best rock n roll love song ever recorded," but can you think of a better one? (Embedded audio--is it showing up in your browser?)


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