Random Ten

I used to be disgusted, now I just try to be amused

My Bloody Valentine, "What You Want"
Violent Femmes, "I Held Her in My Arms"
Elvis Costello, "Red Shoes"
The Waterboys, "The Whole of the Moon"
Lone Justice, "After the Flood"
Peter Gabriel, "Games Without Frontiers"
Sting, "Fragile"
Mirah, "Don't Die in Me"
T'Pau, "Heart and Soul"
Tom Waits, "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You"

If you're keeping score, that's eight songs from the '80s, one from the '90s, and only one from this century. I can offer no defense for the inclusion of that T'Pau track, and especially not for its one-note drum machine. I can't even point back to some relationship from 1987 that might provide a nostalgic halo of positive association to justify my liking this song.

I've been listening to "The Whole of the Moon" for 20 years now and I'm still not sure I could tell you who or what this song is about. (The lyrics are here.) To climb on the ladder with the wind in your sails is surely a mixed metaphor, but somehow in the context of the song it makes you feel as though you yourself are or could be climbing on the ladder with the wind in your sails and that this would be a glorious thing to be doing.

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  • Dave Lartigue

    I love that T’Pau song. I would totally consider it a guilty pleasure if I felt the slightest twinge of guilt about liking it.

  • pepperjackcandy

    I love “Heart and Soul.”
    It’s the same reason why I like (at least those) Linkin Park (songs that have been released as singles), with the back and forth between the spoken and sung parts and all. Whatever the technical term for that is called.

  • cjmr’s husband

    Bands named after Star Trek characters should be automatic downloads to any ipod.

  • andrew

    I had the good fortune to mention to Richard, the only one of my friends with his own record label (autoclave records), that this girl made this mixtape for me when I was, i dunno, fourteen? with these two songs on it that I’d never forgotten: “Spirit,” and “The Pan Within,” both by the Waterboys. I’d always filed that name away but had never pursued them. So Richard’s encyclopedic collection of course included a greatest hits album from the Waterboys, and I got to borrow it. “The Whole of the Moon” is indeed gorgeous, mixed metaphors and all.

  • Raina

    (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes is one of my favourite songs right now.

  • GeoX

    Hmm…I do believe both the Waits and EC songs are from the seventies, actually.

  • katster

    I’m fond of ‘This is the Sea’ from the Waterboys live album, but ‘The Whole of the Moon’ is pretty cool as well.
    ‘This is the Sea’ is fun to compare to ‘That Was the River’, the studio track of the same song. The live version seems so much more anticipatory, as in good things are just around the corner.

  • sushiesque

    can you recommend a waterboys album to start with? the only song I’ve heard is ‘the whole of moon’, but I like it so much that even the mandy moore cover seems redeemable.

  • jackd

    There could be something more subtle going on in “The Whole of the Moon”, but it sounds and scans to me as a plodder’s hymn to his friend the genius. The genius burnout implied by “too high, too far, too soon” further implies that it’s a memorial. Regardless, the song’s a gem.

  • old salt

    To “climb on the ladder with the wind in your sails” may just refer to climbing the rigging up to the yards, which, with the wind in your sails, is an exhilarating experience.

  • Ray

    You might also like The Glastonbury Song, by Mike Scott, post-Waterboys. “I just found God, where he always was…”

  • Fred

    sushi —
    I’m a huge fan of “This Is the Sea,” the 1985 album with “Whole of the Moon.” It’s got a kind of U2/Simple Minds feel to it. My favorite Waterboys record, though, is probably “Fisherman’s Blues,” which is much more Celtic-sounding — lots of fiddle and traditional instruments. The title track was used in the movie “Waking Ned Devine,” but it’s got a bunch of great stuff, including a gorgeous version of “Sweet Thing” and, if you like Yeats, “The Stolen Child.”

  • Jay

    Nothing random to offer; I’m Ipod-free anyway. But this has been sweet tonight:
    Lucinda Williams in concert at DC’s 9:30 Club On NPR.org. Should be archived shortly after the live feed ends.

  • jimmy

    I just ran into Tom Waits the other day at the county fair. Apparently he lives in my home town. I blogged about it here:
    grace and peace, jimmy

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