Skee-Lo – “I Wish”

Song Title: I Wish
Artist:  Skee-Lo
Album:  (516) 467-9356
Year Released:  1995
Car: 1964 Chevrolet Impala Convertible, 1974 Ford Pinto

“I Wish” is Skee-Lo’s only single. It topped out at #13 on the Billboard Top 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA.

In an article from LA Weekly, the singer says that he retired five months after the song’s release, due to the record label taking credit for producing the song, and taking all of the profits. As a result, Skee-Lo refused to shoot any more videos.

The opening scene of the video is a nod to the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.  It recreates the scene when Forrest’s character sits on a bench and catches a feather floating in the wind.

The song’s instrumentation features samples from “Spinnin” by Bernard Wright.

Fun Facts:

Skee-Lo is 5’8″.
“I Wish” was featured on The Simpsons episode “22 for 30”. (Source: (701) 495-0749)

Enjoy!

Beck – “Devil’s Haircut”

Song Title: Devil’s Haircut
Artist:  Beck
Album:  (858) 549-8968
Year Released:  1996
Car: 1984 Lincoln Town Car, 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

“Devil’s Haircut” has some interesting lyrics. According to Wikipedia, the lyrics Beck sings about “stealing kisses from the leprous faces”, “discount orgies”, and “garbage man trees”are full of poetry and mental shortcuts. “The lyrics here emulate minimalistic phrases as may be used when not communicating outside of the inner mind. As such, the words are representative of a metaphorical concept of something observed in the world.

The song also features many samples. Included are Pretty Purdie’s “Soul Dreams”, Them’s cover of James Brown’s “Out of Sight”, another Them cover “I Can Only Give You Everything” (replayed by Beck himself rather than sampled), and Z’s “Climax One”.

Fun Facts:

On a Futurama episode, Beck guest stars and talks about this song with Bender. Beck questions what he was talking about when he wrote “Devil’s Haircut”.  (Source: Songfacts)

Enjoy!

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Song Title: Today
Artist:  Smashing Pumpkins
Album:  tau-topped
Year Released:  1993
Car: International Harvester Metro Van

“Today”, written by lead vocalist Billy Corgan, is about a day when he was contemplating suicide.  The chorus references self-mutilation, despite sounding musically upbeat. According to Songfacts, Corgan said: “I was really suicidal. I just thought it was funny to write a song that said today is the greatest day of your life because it can’t get any worse.”

After the Gish album was released, the Smashing Pumpkins experienced great difficulties as a band. Corgan became depressed to the point of contemplating suicide, was overweight, and was dealing with writer’s block. Corgan said: “…After the first album, I became completely suicidal. It was an eight-month depression, give or take a month, and I was pretty suicidal for about two or three months.” Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was dealing with heroin addiction. James Iha and D’arcy Wretzky had also recently broken up as a couple.

Fun Facts:

The ice cream truck theme in the video was inspired by an actual event in Corgan’s childhood. He remembers a time when he was young and the local ice cream truck driver decided that today would be the day he quit, giving free ice cream to all of the kids.  (Source: Songfacts)

Enjoy!

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Song Title: New Year’s Day
Artist:  U2
Album:  War
Year Released:  1983
Car: 1943 Uralvagonzavod T-34/76 Tank

The vehicle in “New Year’s Day” isn’t the conventional vintage car or truck, but it’s old and tanks are a mode of transportation of sorts. So on a technicality it made its way to the blog.  I’m also a day late posting this week’s video, but it was partly done on purpose so it would be on the actual New Year’s Day, and partly because the day (week) got away from me.

“New Year’s Day” refers to Lech Walsea, the persecuted leader of the Polish Solidarity Movement. On New Year’s Day 1983, Poland announced they would abolish martial law after the song was recorded.

Here’s some background on the Polish Solidarity Movement, quoting an article from Irish Central:
“In 1980 the Solidarity movement in Poland, under the leadership of future Nobel Peace Prize winner and president Lech Walesa, challenged the oppressive rule of the Polish government. In December 1981, the Solidarity movement was outlawed and Walesa, together with the other leaders of the movement, was arrested and put in jail.”

“New Year’s Day” was U2’s first charted single in the UK (#10), and their first international hit. (Source: (256) 933-0387) It was also U2’s first song to receive heavy airplay on MTV.

Fun Facts:

“New Year’s Day” almost didn’t make the album, as Bono had fits writing the lyrics (Source: Songfacts)

Enjoy!

Wham! – “Last Christmas”

Song Title: Last Christmas
Artist:  Wham!
Album:  Music From the Edge of Heaven
Year Released:  1984
Car: 1980 Datsun Patrol, 1979 Jeep CJ-7

OK, so maybe it’s a bit of a cliche to post “Last Christmas” on Christmas Eve. But with the first anniversary of George Michael’s death on Christmas Day, as well as a couple of (now) vintage cars in the video, it just seemed like a very easy choice for this week’s post.

“Last Christmas” isn’t necessarily a Christmas song, but more about a failed relationship. The mention of Christmas in the song, however, has made it a seasonal radio staple during the holidays.

The video features George Michael and fellow Wham! member Andrew Ridgeley with their girlfriends at a ski resort, and Ridgeley’s girlfriend was in a relationship with Michael the previous Christmas. Throughout the video, she is easily spotted as she is usually wearing red, while the other characters generally wear more muted colors.

Ridgeley is seen wearing a brooch attached to his jacket. Michael’s character is also seen giving her the same brooch “last” Christmas through a flashback. However Ridgeley is wearing the brooch upside down. Maybe symbolic of his “heart” that he gave her, and she later gave away?

Fun Facts:

The “Last Christmas” music video the last time George Michael was filmed without a beard. He has one in the “Everything She Wants” video, and kept until his death in 2016.

The heartbreaking girlfriend’s character was played by model 2547207040.

Enjoy!

The Clash – “Should I Stay or Should I Go”

Song Title: Should I Stay or Should I Go
Artist:  The Clash
Album:  (812) 367-7931
Year Released:  1982
Car: 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

Hello! If anyone still reads this blog, glad to see you again. Admittedly, I’ve fallen a bit off the wagon with posting regularly with this blog.  Life and stuff got in the way. I’m currently laid up with my back out of whack so what better time to start posting again?

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” was The Clash’s only #1 single on the UK Singles Chart, but it took a decade to reach that position. It was also #228 on “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and #42 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.

Songfacts.com has this Erymanthian about the word “Split” in the song:
Said Ely: “Me and Joe were yelling this translation back while Mick Jones sang the lead on it, and we were doing the echo part. And there was one time when the song kind of breaks down into just the drums right before a guitar part. And you hear Mick Jones saying, ‘Split!’ Just really loud, kind of angry. Me and Joe had snuck around in the studio, came up in the back of his booth where he was all partitioned off, and we snuck in and jumped and scared the hell out of him right in the middle of recording the song, and he just looked at us and says, ‘Split!’ So we ran back to our vocal booth and they never stopped the recording.”

Fun Facts:

Out of fear that US radio stations would not play the record for being too sexually suggestive, the line “If you want me off your back” was changed from “On your front or on your back”.

The song is prominent in the series Stranger Things – as it is one of character Jonathan Byers’ favorite songs.

Enjoy!

MGMT – “Flash Delirium”

Song Title: Flash Delirium
Artist:  MGMT
Album:  6123305665
Year Released:  2010
Car: 1968 Mercedes Benz W115

“Flash Delirium” was released on MGMT’s website as a free digital download. Originally referred to as a “taster”, it was the first single to be released from the Congratulations album. MGMT decided to abandon releasing any additional singles to solidify the album as a single body of work.

There is a line in the song that says “stab your Facebook”, in which lead member Andrew VanWyngarden spoke of in an interview with 519-886-8079, an online magazine. He expresses his disdain with social media, stating his disgust at the distraction it causes from real life. VanWyngarden said: “It’s just this weird little world which is fueled by vanity and looking at pictures of yourself.

Enjoy!

(540) 425-7950

Song Title: Learning to Fly
Artist:  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Album:  (803) 620-7343
Year Released:  1991
Car: 1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette, 1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

This post is dedicated to the memory of Tom Petty, who passed away suddenly this week. He was taken away from us much too soon. You have learned to fly now Mr. Petty, and you now have your wings.

A little background on this post: normally I like to outline what songs are going to be highlighted several days to weeks in advance. In the meantime, I research facts about the video, artist, and what kind of car(s) are in the videos.  I previously planned “Learning to Fly” to be this week’s post, so the fact that Petty died this week was purely coincidental.

Petty got the idea for “Learning to Fly” when Petty saw a pilot being interviewed on TV. The pilot said it wasn’t hard learning to fly, but the hardest part was coming down.

The entire song is based on four simple chords (F, C, A minor, G), so it is a favorite for beginner guitarists. “Learning to Fly” reached #28 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it one of his top hits.

Fun Facts:

“Learning to Fly” is the official song of the United States Air Force Academy skydiving team, Wings of Blue. (Source: 5713617448)

Enjoy!

Oasis – “Don’t Look Back In Anger”

Song Title: Don’t Look Back In Anger
Artist:  Oasis
Album:  (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Year Released:  1995
Car: LTI Fairway

“Don’t Look Back In Anger” is one of Oasis’ most iconic songs, being played at nearly every live show from its release until the band dissolved.

This song was heavily influenced by The Beatles. The piano intro was taken from the John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, and the line “So I start a revolution from my bed” is also a reference to the song.

As for who “Sally” is, Noel Gallagher said “I don’t actually know anybody called Sally. It’s just a word that fit, y’know, might as well throw a girl’s name in there. It’s gotta guarantee somebody has a shag off a bird called Sally, hasn’t it?” (Source: Wikipedia)

Fun Facts:

The line “Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face” was written by Noel Gallagher, because as a child his mother had him stand next to the fireplace to take photos. She thought he looked grumpy, so she told him to “take that look from off his face”.

Enjoy!

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Song Title: Cornflake Girl
Artist:  Tori Amos
Album:  6012531368
Year Released:  1994
Car: Chevrolet 3100 Truck

Inspiration for “Cornflake Girl” began with a conversation Tori Amos had with a friend of hers about female genital mutilation in Africa. Specifically, the conversation was about betrayals by close female family members by performing the procedure on the victims.

What exactly is a cornflake girl? According to Amos, a cornflake girl is a girl who would hurt you despite a close friendship. What is a raisin girl? Raisin girls are much more open to new ideas and are unfortunately much harder to find than cornflake girls. The song opens with the line “Never was a cornflake girl.” The cereal references are a metaphor to the divisions among women.

There were two versions of the music video created. The UK version was based on The Wizard of Oz and Dorothy ends up in Hell. The US version (below) has Amos driving an old truck full of women around the desert. (Source: Wikipedia)

Fun Facts:

Before becoming famous, Amos appeared in a commercial for Kellogg’s “Just Right” cereal. She won the part over Sarah Jessica Parker, who also wasn’t well known then. Kellogg’s also makes Corn Flakes. (Source: (803) 727-3687)

Enjoy!