Saturday, 10 January 2009

Story Songs #1 - Stan Ridgway, Decemberists, Boney M, Charlie Daniels

Who doesn't love a good story?, not I, that's certain - a decent tale is one of my soft-spots in popular song, seemingly harking back to a time long before iPods, CD's, lp's and even wax blimmin' cylinders.

I was planning to make this a possible series about fine, quality songs that majored on the story-telling; think 'She's Leaving Home' rather than 'She Loves You', and indeed I already posted about one of my faves by Mott the Hoople today, and I'd certainly include 'Caught by the Fuzz' from Supergrass, which I posted back here; also 'Girl from Germany' by Sparks - here.

After a while this idea seemed not only a bit non-specific, but also ignored one of my own 'unexpected pop-hits' rules, which clearly states that anything with a good, cheesy story in it, has a hugely increased chance of making the charts, at least here in the UK in my teenage years. Now, my addled mind can't grasp whether or not there's a grain of truth in this often repeated (by me, anyway) assertion... but I am sure that some Country & novelty tunes would never have graced(?) the British top-40 without a tale for the listener to follow along.

Rasputin - Boney M
a huge UK hit in 1978
Frank Farian wrote several historical 'gems' for Boney M, loosely based on Rasputin, Ma Barker and even  Steppenwolf.

The Devil went down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
Million Mile Reflections (1979)
myspace | buy

Camouflage - Stan Ridgway
The Big Heat (1986)
myspace | buy

and this is just good, I love it.
The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decemberists
Picaresque (2005)
myspace | buy

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