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Musical Chairs
2004-06-24 00:07
by Mike Carminati

It seems that we are having a musical Rashomon day at Will Carroll's site has three articles on the topic of music. Then Jon Weisman followed up with the listings from an old compilation tape of his.

That reminded me of an old tape that I copied from my friend Doug in college that he had gotten from a friend who is long forgotten. It was dubbed "Never on the Radio" and was supposed to collect fringe songs that you would never hear on the radio in those days. Of course, it predated the college radio revolution of the '80s led by REM and Husker Du. And there were those fringe stations like WLIR in Long Island and WFNX in Boston that would actually put these types of artists on mainstream radio.

However, this was perhaps the last point in time in which music still seemed revolutionary, aside from the short spasm during the anti-establishment grunge era. Punk was giving way to New Wave, and this was when that term was supposed to harken back to the last British invasion and the musical revolution it brought about. This was about when the Clash released their era-defining London Calling album. The Clash went from a punk group to one that embraced the full spectrum of musical styles of the day (ska, reggae, rockabilly, etc.). The Clash knew they were doing nothing less than redefining what rock music was when the put bassist Paul Simenon on the cover just about to smash his instrument while the album title scrolls across the left and bottom of the cover a la Elvis Presley's debut album. Compare:

It was a tribute and a statement of devious in one fell swoop. And it worked. The Clash presaged/captured the musical potpourri that would define the era. Little did we know that the what would follow would be years of synthesizers, big hair, and the calcification of corporate rock.

Anyway, here are the tracks from the 21-year-old tape:

Side A:

U2-I Will Follow
U2-Stories for Boys
Oingo Boingo-Only a Lad
Oingo Boingo-Violent Love
Madness-House of Fun
Madness-One Step Beyondů
Fear-I Don't Care About You
Fear-New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones
Anti No-Where League-I Hate People
Anti No-Where League-Let's Break the Law
Black Flag-Louie Louie
Black Flag-TV Party
X-Los Angeles
X-Johnny Hit and Run Pauline
Kingbees-Sweet Sweet Girl
Kingbees-Shake Bop
Dead Kennedys-Police Truck (Live at the Deaf Club)

Side B:

Chron Gen-Lies
Chron Gen-Jet Boy Jet Girl
Dickies-You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)
Dickies-Manny, Moe, and Jack
Dickies-Knights in White Satin
Dickies-(I'm Stuck in a Pagoda with) Tricia Toyota
Oingo Boingo-Little Girls
Oingo Boingo-You Really Got Me
Madness-My Girl
Madness-(They Call It) Madness
XTC-Life Begins at the Hop
XTC-Making Plans for Nigel (with the out-tro from the previous song Helicopter)
Fear-Gimme Some Action
Fear-I Love Livin' in the City
Oingo Boingo-Private Life
Adam and the Ants-Fall In

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