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025: The Zombies, ‘Care of Cell 44′

The music of 1968 as un embarras des richesses, an embarrassment of riches, almost too much of a good thing. I just looked at a dozen lists of ‘The Best Albums of 1968’, and I’ll admit that the following one (mine) omits a lot of seminal works by a lot of stellar artists. But when […]

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185: Frank Sinatra, ‘High Hopes’

‘Lyrist’ Sammy Cahn and his composer partner Jimmy Van Heusen wrote 87 songs for Frank Sinatra.
Asked “Which comes first, the words or the music?” Sammy answered “The phone call.”

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184: Arik Einstein, ‘Ruach Stav’ (‘Autumn Breeze’)

Arik Einstein died this week. You can’t talk about him without talking about our brand-new little old-fashioned country with its oh-so-long history, its pain, its optimism and its cynicism, its utter belief in itself and its vehement denial of that belief.

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058: Dave Frishberg, ‘Van Lingle Mungo’

Here’s an unpredictable gem of a song – the lyric consists entirely of names of obscure baseball players from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Trust me, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this song, the magic that only music can create, this poignant statement about how we perceive the treasures of our childhood.

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183: Love, ‘Alone Again Or’ (Bryan MacLean)

An obscure legend: the beautiful Bryan MacLean demo, of the indelible opening cut of Love’s “Forever Changes”, a gift that justifies all the mothers of the world cleaning out their garages and discovering their little boys’ lost treasures.

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SoTW 28: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, ‘The Tracks of My Tears’

Go on, take a teenage trip. Listen to this song like a 17-year old burger-flipping cretin out on a Saturday night, overdosing on hormones, bopping down the boulevard, bouncing in the driver’s seat, pounding the steering wheel in time, shouting out “Take a goo-ood look at my face!” Nobody will know, and you’ll feel better than you have in a long time.

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032: Duke Ellington, “Take the ‘A’ Train” (Billy Strayhorn)

When young Billy Strayhorn played for him backstage, the legendary Duke Ellington was very impressed: “I’d love to have you in my organization. I’ll call you.” But no call came, so Billy, literally hungry, took the chance of showing up at the Duke’s door. Not wanting to go empty-handed, he took the note the Duke had written: “Take the ‘A’ train…”

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182: The Shirelles, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’

When seventeen-year old Carole King found herself pregnant, she wrote ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ for The Shirelles. Girls (and apparently now also guys) have been singing it ever since.

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