Little Boxes – Song Of The Day

Malvina

Written by Malvina Reynolds back in 1962, “Little Boxes” was a satiric protest song about suburbia and it was initially a hit for Pete Seeger. The Reynolds version would become the theme song for the TV series Weeds in 2005 which would lead to various covers from the likes of Elvis Costello, Linkin Park and Death Cab For Cutie. This is not only a catchy little tune but its lyrics still resonate and are still very relevant today which makes it a timeless classic we’ll probably hear for many more years to come.

Tin Machine – Album Review

Tin Machine Album

Formed in 1988, Tin Machine was a rock band fronted by David Bowie with Reeves Gabrels on guitar, Tony Sales on bass and Hunt Sales on drums. The project was a way for Bowie to get back to basics with a more raw sound and put his jamming sessions with Gabrels to good use.

The band released their debut, self-titled album in ’89 along with four singles. They would make one other album after that before Bowie returned to his solo work.

How did this debut fare?

The opening track, “Heaven’s In Here”, boasts a very bluesy rhythm and riff throughout and it builds to some excellent guitar solos. It’s refreshing to hear Bowie giving so much freedom to a band and serving as simply the frontman, for once. Hard not to move your feet to this one. The title song “Tin Machine” is a faster-paced punk track that’s a hell of a lot of fun. It was the third single to be released from the album.

“Prisoner Of Love” is next and it’s a slightly darker track that’s also slightly more glam and, by extension, more Bowie. It’s a beautiful song with a catchy hook, great lyrics and first class work from the entire band who already prove themselves to be pretty damn awesome. “Crack City”, like “Heaven’s In Here”, really feels like a 70’s song. It’s very much a track built for live performances with its loud chorus and its buckets of swagger and energy. Expect more fab solos from Gabrels and a bit of a soul vibe throughout as well.

“I Can’t Read” follows and this one feels much more playful yet experimental, almost improvisational even. The screeching guitars are all over the place as the rest of the band figures out the track little by little. It’s not the catchiest of the lot but it still carries that demo-esque raw energy the project promised plus Bowie seems to play a kind of desperate character here, which is entertaining.

You simply can’t go wrong with “Under The God”: it’s the first single to be released from the album and it’s a cracker. Written by Bowie, this is a rocky, punky track worthy of Iggy & The Stooges. With its best-screamed chorus and its bluesy hook, it’s easily one of the best tracks from the band, and that’s saying a lot. Next is “Amazing”, a more chilled-out song with a timeless quality to it. It taps into a vintage rock sensibility which makes it feel like a cover of an old, classic track despite being original. Pretty amazing, indeed.

Speaking of covers, next we have “Working Class Hero”, a cover of one of John Lennon‘s most well-known tracks and one of Bowie’s favourites from the artist. The band does a good job at doing something different with it, not simply imitating the original. This version’s much more dancy and upbeat. While it’s basically impossible to outdo Lennon’s own, this is given the Tin Machine treatment and it works well both as a cover of a classic and as a song from Bowie’s band.

“Bus Stop” opens with a punk riff and, in fact, it feels like a song you could have seen the likes of The Clash come up with. A Joe Strummer cover of this one would have been cool to hear. Gotta love how short and sweet this song is, makes it just perfect. A country version of the track also exists but it doesn’t beat the one described above. Up next is “Pretty Thing” and it’s an erratically-rhythmed rock song with loads of energy and Bowie breaking up the constant beat with his vocals much like John Lennon does in “Cold Turkey”. It’s yet another terrific, fast-paced song which must have kicked ass live.

“Video Crime” is a slower, bluesier track with hip-hop-style vocals and, while it’s a good song with some superb guitar work, you could see a punk version of this one giving it a welcome extra layer of attitude, though you might then miss out on some of Gabrels’ best solos from this album. “Run” has more of a Stranglers vibe to it with the darker toned riffs and moodier vocals. Armed with a catchy chorus, genial solos, some clever breaks and fantastic vocal work from Bowie, this is easily one of Tin Machine’s finest.

“Sacrifice Yourself” is another live-friendly anthem with a faster rhythm and an ingenious mix of hard rock, soul and blues. It’s a short one but it makes for two extremely entertaining minutes. Final track “Baby Can Dance” feels very much like a Bowie effort and, indeed, he wrote this one which bears his trademark unexpected key changes and experimental vocal work. It’s a good choice to end the album on as it leaves us on a high note with its memorable chorus and epic scale. It’s the kind of big finish Bowie usually avoids but he has a ball with it here.

What can I say about Tin Machine’s debut album except…

Mission accomplished.

If Bowie’s core plan for this band project was to get back to basics and deliver an incredibly fun rock album which would showcase his collaborators’ talents then his plan certainly worked out. But Tin Machine feels more than just an enjoyable side project, it’s an experiment that, as a whole, doesn’t feel so much experimental as it does fundamental. It’s a homage to different styles of rock n’ roll from a group of guys who can deliver original work which still feels timeless and classic to this day.

Tin Machine gets a very high 4 Ziggies out of 5 from us and we recommend it as a must for any Bowie or rock fan.

Brilliant stuff.

Ziggy MAskZiggy MAskZiggy MAskZiggy MAsk

You’re Lost Little Girl – Song Of The Day

Doors

From The Doors‘ 1967 album Strange Days, which was comprised of songs that didn’t make it onto their debut, self-titled album, is “You’re Lost Little Girl”, a song written by guitarist Robby Krieger. While the track was not released as a single, it was still one great, underrated tune from the iconic band. It’s a bittersweet ballad with a sinister feel and the usual otherworldly tone set by Jim Morrison‘s haunting voice.

Jaan Pehechan Ho – Song Of The Day

Jaan Pehechan Ho

Many will know this tune from the opening scene of the film Ghost World but Jaan Pehechan Ho” is more widely known as the hit song from the 1965 Bollywood thriller Gumnaam starring Nanda, Manoj Kumar and Pran. To say that the scene in which the song is depicted is pure 60’s bliss would be an understatement. With its genius choreography, its catchy chorus and its mostly masked (a la Green Hornet) cast, this is just a bloody good, very fun song delivered with tons and tons of energy.

The song is sung by Mohammed Rafi and the main dancer in the scene is Laxmi Chhaya.

Purple Haze – Song Of The Day

Purple Haze

Released back in 1967, the explosive “Purple Haze” introduced the world to the genius of Jimi Hendrix and it remains, to this day, one of his most well-known tracks. The iconic song is a psychedelic masterpiece with a very distinct, unique, guitar-led sound no-one has ever managed to match. A sound so distinctive, in fact, that the vocals are almost not needed here, even if they are also perfect.

Those who call the man a legend aren’t kidding around.

The footage below should confirm that for you if you still have doubts.

Ramblin’ Man – Song Of The Day

Martin

Here’s another classic Steve Martin tune for you guys: “Ramblin’ Man” (or Ramblin’ Guy) was often played in the comedian’s early stand-up shows but it also made an appearance when Martin was a special guest on The Muppet Show. It’s a hilarious banjo-led nonsense song which can be found on the brilliant album Let’s Get Small.

Hey, this guy is good!

Matchbox – Song Of The Day

Matchbox

Here’s a cool song first recorded by rockabilly legend Carl Perkins back in 1956 and, later, by The Beatles (sung by Pete Best and, eventually, Ringo Starr). A take on 1920’s blues singer Ma Rainey‘s “Lost Wandering Blues”, “Matchbox” is not only a great track by itself but you can see how it inspired a lot of artists throughout the decades from Jerry Lee Lewis to Jack White. The White Stripes‘ “It’s True That We Love One Another” always sounded suspiciously familiar…