256. wild is the wind

“Pay your dues long before you pay the rent, finally catch a few breaks, rise to mega-supernova status, then crash and burn into an oblivion of ego, drugs, madness. Hardly an original scenario. But it takes a special talent indeed to pull off the crash and burn part without messing up creatively. Which is what David Bowie managed in 1976 with Station to Station, his Thin White Duke album, the one he’d later claim he had no memory of making. So yeah, here’s to madness and oblivion, particularly if it includes a cover as epic as Wild is the Wind, which I was certain was a Nina Simone original, but then my lawyer pointed out, it’s from a 1950s Anthony Quinn movie. Either way, it gets to feeling like life itself once that wind really starts a-blowing.” (Philip Random)

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315. circle sky

“In which the The Monkees prove that they really can write and play and record a song that’s actually pretty darned cool. Too bad it came so late, 1968, from the soundtrack to the movie known as Head, so weird that only people who hated the Monkees liked it, except none of them bothered to go. It took me decades to figure the whole thing out. We’re all just dandruff in Victor Mature’s hair … and something to do with Frank Zappa and a cow.” (Philip Random)

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362. clap hands

“I said my piece already on why there’s probably not enough Tom Waits on the list. Basically, I think of him as a character actor working a particular role (blue and boozy and nicotine infused), whereas in real life, he just mows his lawn and reads his morning paper and shouts at his kids like the guy next door, and the guy on the other side as well. But it is a strong act, I’ll give it that, and it really had me with Rain Dogs, in fact that whole prolonged mid-eighties moment he had. Like it’s 3am and you’re miles from home, polluted drunk, getting rained on. Except it’s not real rain, is it? It’s Hollywood rain, and Hollywood lights, too. Probably wasn’t even real whiskey. Am I allowed to say that? Clap Hands is great whatever the real story.” (Philip Random)

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