Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Random 10: Breaking Hearts, and Other Things We Can Do

(This post has been edited since it first appeared.)
On my laptop computer at the moment are 849 songs, 63 hours of music, 2.5 gigabytes of toonage, as we called it in college. Every once in a while on a Friday I'll fire it up, hit "play all" and "shuffle," and see what comes out. Today, we can make broken hearts, mend broken hearts, show respect, search our souls, do magic, and get ready, although there may also be nothin' we can do. Here's today's list:

"Still Soul Searching"/Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters/Grateful Heart: Blues and Ballads. I've run out of things to say about Ronnie Earl, except to reiterate that you ought go out and buy or download some of his stuff post haste. You won't be sorry.

"Respect Yourself"/Staple Singers/Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Vol. 6.
Early 70s self-empowerment rhetoric in the lyrics, which are laid down over smokin' Southern soul music. Essential.

"The Way We Make a Broken Heart"/Rosanne Cash/King's Record Shop. Another one of those sneaky Rosanne Cash tunes--you may not notice it while it's playing, but you'll sing it to yourself the rest of the day.

"People Get Ready"/Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck/Storyteller: The Rod Stewart Anthology.
The greatest guitar-playing ever on a Stewart solo tune, I think, thanks to his old mate Beck. Great video too, in which the old friends take obvious delight in being together again.

"How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"/Al Green/Let's Stay Together. In Green's hands, this is an entirely different song from the one the Bee Gees took to Number One.

"You and the Night and the Music"/Bill Evans and Stan Getz/But Beautiful. Begins with a breathtaking Getz solo--if you want to know why jazz experts praise Getz's tone on the tenor saxophone, listen to this.

"You Can Do Magic"/America/The Complete Greatest Hits. When America hit Number One with "Sister Golden Hair" in 1975, there was no reason to expect that the hits would cease. And they didn't, although it would be seven years before they returned to the Top 10 for the final time, with this.

"Ain't Nothin' You Can Do"/Van Morrison/It's Too Late to Stop Now. By the time this album was recorded in 1973, Morrison had become one of the more soulful white guys around, as his performance of this R&B tune by Bobby Blue Bland attests.

"Wrapped in the Arms of Another"/Susan Tedeschi/Wait for Me.
No soul shouting here, no searing guitars--just the power of Susan's voice to convey the blues, and it works.

"Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes"/Edison Lighthouse/Super Hits of the 70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 2.
This tune appears pretty regularly on these lists, even though they're supposed to be random. The laptop and I spend so much time together that I guess it's figured out what I like.


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