20 April 2009

Your 4 and 20 Songs That Last 4 Minutes and 20 Seconds Long, List

It's 4/20, also known as Stoner Christmas, here are 24 (aka 4 and 20) songs (culled from my collection) that last 280 seconds long (aka 4:20), just because.

Diamonds and Pearls, Prince (Diamonds and Pearls)
Given the ton of Prince songs I have on my hard drive, surprising that only one clocks in at 4:20. It's one of his crappier, sappier, efforts, I'm afraid. The less said, the better. (Prince is fanatical when it comes to takedown notices of his music on Youtube, so the only clip is of a Skating With the Stars performance).

Everybody Got Their Something, Nikka Costa (Everybody Got Their Something)
So long as you can accept the grammatically unacceptable, this song is fantastic. Without a doubt, you should own her last three albums, each is great, that none of her last three albums have cracked the US Billboard top 100, is a shame.

Good Times, Yaz (You and Me Both)
So the Youtube link above goes to a recording of a concert from last year. Alison Moyet still sounds great, Vince Clarke's beats still sound like they were created on a cheap little Casio kiddie keyboard, but it works great, anyway. Yes it's dated, but so what?

Goodbye, Alicia Keys (Songs in A Minor)
Hard for me to believe that album was released eight years ago. Her two follow up albums haven't really lived up to the promise of that first one, she's had a tendency to indulge the worst aspects of her vocal gift in later recordings, all that 'diva' crap gets old real quick, on this album her vocals are pure, later they get absurd.

Goodnight Ladies, Lou Reed (Transformer)
This is one of those, 'Lou Reed is trying to be Kurt Weil' songs that he recorded with some frequency during the early 70s. It's one of the better one, the horns really work in this song. The video mates Lou Reed with a ballet performance, it's a bit strange, but works.

Gravemakers and Gunslingers, Coheed and Cambria (No World for Tomorrow)
They are slingers of neo-prog metal. They sling it fairly well. It's an acquired taste, I suspect.

Have I Told You Lately, Van Morrison (The Best of)
Damn, great song, though the bones for some real horridly schmaltzy crap are there for lesser artists to expose (see: Stewart, Rod)

I Found Love, Lone Justice (Shelter)
I can't express in words how in love/lust/awe I was of Maria McKee back then.
(if I met her today, I'd still get flustered as hell, I'm sure)

I Get So Scared, Thelonious Monster (Beautiful Mess)
The first song on this list that's completely Youtube proof. The Monster were kings of the local scene for a time in the 80s and early 90s. Torn apart by the usual things that tear apart talented musicians, their frontman, Bob Forrest, was a force of nature some nights, and an incoherent mess, others. You never knew what you were getting when Thelonious Monster were on the bill. Now Bob can be seen on VH1s Celebrity Rehab as a drug counselor. Here's an extended version of Sammy Hagar Weekend, instead (in three parts) where Bob talks about the 'scene' back in the 80s. (part 1, part 2, part 3)

I'll Pray for You, Love (Love Story 1966-1972)
Another Youtube proof clip. Love were another L.A. scene band that was huge locally, but their internal demons destroyed their chance for wider success. If you don't have Forever Changes in your collection (or this Rhino Records compilation this track is from), you are doing yuorself a disservice. There's a documentary on Love, here's a promo clip, haven't seen it, don't know if it's worthwhile.

Jingo, Santana (Santana)
Probably the most 'fitting' song to make this list, so far. Dude can play guitar, that's for sure.

Killer in the Home, Adam & the Ants (Kings of the Wild Frontier)
Of all the ridiculous looks Adam Ant had over the years, I think the faux-Indian thing was the most ridiculous, but as a band, they were really tight, then. The look is dated, but the sound holds up better than most stuff from early 80s Britpop. Crunchy guitar chords, and two drummers, don't need much more than that, I guess.

Last Chance on the Stairway, Duran Duran, (Rio)
I waxed poetic about Rio, awhile ago, and I still stand by those words. The bass line really drives this song, sure it's dated, sure it's cheesy, but it's still a good listen.

Le Freak, Chic (Dance Floor Divas: The 70s)
Talk about dated, damn, disco. Great song, anyway. The story behind the song is pretty famous (at least famous enough to be on wikipedia). Also, if they ever add some disco songs to Rock Band, this wouldn't be a bad place to start (tough, drums, great bass line, decent vocals, and even the guitarist would have something to do).

The Limit to Your Love, Feist (The Reminder)
I blame those iPod ads for this being in my collection. This is my favorite song from that album, Feist ain't so bad, for a Canadian.

Mi Confesion, Gotan Project (Lunatico)
Can you successfully mate Tango with Hip-Hop beats? Yes, you can, Gotan Project shows the way (Lunatico is a great album, all around).

My Love is Growing, Marvin Gaye (Let's Get It On, Deluxe Edition)
Damn, what else can one say?

Send His Love to Me, PJ Harvey (To Bring You My Love)
Damn, I'm tempted to just say what I said for the song above. A Polly Jean at full power is an awesome thing to behold. This performance goes up to eleven.

Someday, Kylie Minogue (Body Language)
Couldn't be more different than the last song, yet Kylie is pretty remarkable in her own way. As a vocalist she understands her limits, and uses what she has as perfectly as just about any singer out there, plus she always surrounds herself with great producers, that doesn't hurt.

Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel, Todd Rundgren (Anthology)
The Todd is The Todd. This is from A Wizard, a True Star. Have to link something, so here's The Todd doing Hello It's Me, the less said about the outfit, the better.

Soon We'll Be Found, Sia (Some People Have Real Problems)
Her voice is a remarkable instrument. Most singers just sing, there are a few, though, whose voices are uniquely musical, she's one of the latter. You ought to own everything she's ever been on, whether it be her albums, or her work with Zero 7, go out there and seek it out, already.

This Land Flows With Milk, Isobel Campbell, Amorino
This is a delicate little vocal in a delicate little song, from a delicate little album. But, hey it's got a theremin going for it, so it can't be all bad. It pushes the limits of what 'twee' can be and still not be annoying (or not, depends on your tolerance level for 'twee' pop). No video, so have to go with another sweet little song from the same album, instead, gives you an idea of what this album is like, though.

Tokoloshe Man, Happy Mondays (Loads)
Ah, yes, the Madchester sound. I miss that, 24 Hour Party People is a good introduction to what that was all about. It's a b-side cover of a John Kongos song. How similar the two songs are, while being true to their respective genres, is interesting.

Windpower, Thomas Dolby (The Golden Age of Wireless)
Has it been 24 songs, already? Yes, yes it has. Early 80s synth-pop was not the most live performance friendly genre, was it? I remember seeing Howard Jones open for Eurythmics and he did the, 'lone English bloke behind a stack of synths' thing, and finding it all pretty ridiculous (Howard Jones, not Eurythmics, the Eurythmics may have also been 'new wave', but they toured with a real band). I think this stuff still holds up, but that's probably just cause I was around at the time, if I hadn't heard this stuff the first time around, it'd probably sound really strange, and really dated.

So there you have it, 4 and 20 songs, of 4 minutes and 20 in length, posted precisely at 4:20pm PDT. So sit back, follow the copious links, and enjoy your 'holiday'.

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