This week we look at one of the coolest things anyone ever thought to do with a guitar—lay down that jangle! Anyone can jangle—from the lowliest punker to a hoity-toity singer-songwriter. Ever since the Byrds—or was it ‘nem Beat Boys?—lay down the first jangle, tons of guitar bands have been throwing it down on their records. Today I’ve assembled my favorite jangles—from shaggy lo-fi (GBV) to DIY (Dream Syndicate an’ Orange Juice) to arena rockers (the Mac and the Petty). Oh, and there’s also a very famous up-and-coming (up-and-cummers) that you may recognize if you’re a fan of the site. Just sayin’.
Read on for link and track list …
Click here or use the embedded player:
01. The Queen of Eyes / The Soft Boys One of my favorite jams from the Boys’ 1979 classic, Underwater Moonlight.
02. The Haircut Song / Baby Talk Oh, just a little band featuring yours truly! Although, truth be told, I didn’t technically play on this particular song. Unless I was really drunk and don’t remember. Which is possible. But no, this is a Pe-Pe jam. It’s blowing up on Myspace!!!
03. Pretty Persuasion / REM The band’s jangliest song, and that’s sayin’ a bit!
04. Bus Stop / The Hollies One of my favorite oldies as a kid!
05. Don’t Go Away / The Zombies This song always sounded strange to me as a single (OK, it was a B-side). It just kind of drifts about, but there’s something appealing about its lack of focus. The Zombies always killed.
06. If I Needed Someone / The Beatles From what I could grudgingly call the Beatles’ best album (though Revolver is my favorite). Rubber Soul is definitely their straight-thru solidest album.
07. Couldn’t I Just Tell You / Todd Rundgren The Rund plays all of the instruments on the Something/Anything? album, which in 1972 must’ve been a bitch.
08. Whatever Happened To Fun / Candy Yeah, hey … what happened to fun?
09. Jackson Cage / Bruce Springsteen If I haven’t mentioned it before, buy The River now.
10. Eyes Of The World / Fleetwood Mac A weird little nugget from Mirage, kind of a watered-down Tusk-style jam.
11. You Must Have Crossed My Mind / The Toms This Tom Marolda dude recorded a classic album under the name The Toms all by himself, and he also played on some Ritchie Sambora solo albums. The sweet life!
12. Consolation Prize / Orange Juice Edwyn Collins really lay the template for that indie wuss attitude.
13. He’d Be A Diamond / Teenage Fanclub A great cover of the Bevis Frond jam.
14. Going Back / The Move A Goffin/King cover from the Move’s BBC Sessions.
Click here or use the embedded player:
15. Starry Eyes / The Records This is the good version.
16. The Waiting / Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Oh man, could this dude write himself a jam. There’s a way that Tom Petty, though you can sniff out the influences a mile away (Springsteen, Dylan, Byrds), but he has a way of making his music his own, unlike contemporaries who just sound like hopeless wannabes (John Mellencamp, Billy Joel …).
17. 5D (Fifth Dimension) / The Byrds I really dug this album back in sophomore year of high school. All that jangly psychedlic stuff.
18. Tell Me When It’s Over / The Dream Syndicate One of the albums I got into after getting a DJ gig at KCOU digging through the stacks and trying to be one of the coolies.
19. The Mayor of Simpleton / XTC I don’t think I’ve ever made it through the overlong Oranges and Lemons album, but it has some of my favorite XTC songs on it, this one included.
20. Busy Bodies / Elvis Costello Elvis didn’t jangle much, but here’s a rare example.
21. Barrytown / Steely Dan An oddly straight-faced Dan song, a fairly even imitation of Dylan. I likes.
22. Pleasant Valley Sunday / The Monkees There’s something strange about this so-called Pleasant Valley … what is it, Monkees?
23. Tu Non Ridi Più (Look Through Any Window) / Roby Matano e I Campion A cover of the Hollies hit …
24. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better / The Flamin’ Groovies … And a groovy Groovies cover of the Byrds.
25. I Don’t Wanna Cry / The Keys I don’t know who the Keys were, but they certainly hold the “keys” to my heart with this tender power pop jam!
26. The Boy With the Thorn in His Side / The Smiths I hope he found that thorn and had someone pull it out. It doesn’t say in the song.
27. Queen of Cans and Jars / Guided by Voices She rules the cans and the jars from her queenly throne.
28. That’s Not Right / Utopia This is from the fantastic Utopia sendup of the Beatles, Deface the Music, where Rundgren and the boys basically run through every era of the Beatles career through 13 tracks. Fans of stuff like the Rutles should pick it up in any bargain bin; it’s worth it.