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  #1  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:08 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Your favorite ,most evocative song (s)

Pretty self-explanatory (I hope) but to clarify, I'm not neccessarily talking about songs that are personal reminders of a time or situation in your life, but songs that really grab you and drag you into them, mood and/ or imagery wise. Not sure how to explain it so I'll name a couple of my favorites:

"Under The Milky Way" by The Church. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, this song makes me stop and take notice. The combination of the melody and the singer's baleful voice is . . . dark and swirly. I hear this song and I'm suddenly picturing myself alone, staring up at a starry sky. Goodness knows it's hardly the first song to mention the night time sky, but this one positively envelops me with it.

"Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty. I think the combo of the sax and Mr. Rafferty's silky smooth voice is what makes this song so effective for me, but not knowing much about music I find it hard to define. It's melancholy and comforting at the same time. There's a lightness (somehow tropical?)that belies the narrator's regret.

Hopefully you have an inkling of what I'm rambling about and you will share the songs that you feel really convey the artist's vision and what elements help accomplish that.
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:18 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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"Mother" by John Lennon.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:20 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Originally Posted by postcards View Post
"Mother" by John Lennon.
Could you share what it is about it that effects you? I hate to admit it but I've never heard it (I don't think)
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:44 PM
It's Not Rocket Surgery! It's Not Rocket Surgery! is offline
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"Mother Russia" by Renaissance. That song just screams "winter" to me.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:53 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Originally Posted by It's Not Rocket Surgery! View Post
"Mother Russia" by Renaissance. That song just screams "winter" to me.
Wow, that is beautiful and does indeed make me shiver. Good example.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:59 PM
Mr. Excellent Mr. Excellent is offline
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"The Latin One", by 10,000 Maniacs. Adaptation of the poem of the same name by a WWI soldier who died in the trenches. Harrowing portrayal of the retreat from a gas attack, set to a poppy 80s beat, utterly with the singer (Marchant) utterly cool and detached throughout the thing. I'm not doing it justice - but youtube can! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOEcl-9yNhg
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2010, 04:06 PM
Enginerd Enginerd is offline
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Black Haired Girl by Dave Alvin (caution - link opens audio player in new window). The lyrics describe a lonely, rainy night pretty well, but it's Alvin's guitar that really sells the song.
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2010, 04:07 PM
Gordon Urquhart Gordon Urquhart is offline
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I have two:
1. Roxy Music's More Than This, because the very tasteful synthesizer and sax put a timeless spin on the 80s, and Bryan Ferry's lyric interpretation is beautiful.

2. Nestle's Alpine White commercial from the mid-80s: whenever I hear it, no matter what I'm doing, it transports me to the mountains, which is a very nice place to be.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2010, 04:16 PM
John DiFool John DiFool is online now
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
"Under The Milky Way" by The Church. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, this song makes me stop and take notice. The combination of the melody and the singer's baleful voice is . . . dark and swirly. I hear this song and I'm suddenly picturing myself alone, staring up at a starry sky. Goodness knows it's hardly the first song to mention the night time sky, but this one positively envelops me with it.
Oddly there's a cover version being used on a recent US ad, with, even more oddly, a female singer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Not Rocket Surgery! View Post
"Mother Russia" by Renaissance. That song just screams "winter" to me.
I have storyboarded this song from beginning to end in my head with the saga of an imprisoned writer and his attempted escape from a winter/Siberian gulag. Also includes Mother Russia as a sad-eyed yet statuesque blonde in a flowing robe. The actual escape sequence occupies the middle instrumental section, and in the end he finds Mother Russia out in the middle of the wilderness as the men with machine guns and the dogs find him and riddle him with bullets.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2010, 04:25 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Both of these songs make me ache inside in a way no others do, and I can't really explain why because it's not that I relate to them on some deep level: "Happy Apple Poison" by Lovedrug and "Make it Last" by Stroke 9.
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2010, 10:10 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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The Ronette's "Be My Baby," when I was younger and had little experience in the ways of these things always made me think of how it would feel to be in love for the very first time. And now that I'm older, I still do.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2010, 12:28 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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"Here Comes the Rain Again" -Eurythmics
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" -Eurythmics
"Loser" -Z
"priest=aura" -the Church
"Requiem" from the Akira soundtrack -Geinoh Yamashirogumi

Last edited by foolsguinea; 02-11-2010 at 12:29 AM..
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2010, 01:59 AM
Cuckoorex Cuckoorex is offline
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Several songs from The Gathering fill the bill for me, especially Waking Hour, Morphia's Waltz, and My Electricity (this one being the only official video of the ones I listed)

Nightwish has a song, The Islander, that I think perfectly captures my landlocked romantic notions of the subject of the song.

Last edited by Cuckoorex; 02-11-2010 at 02:01 AM..
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2010, 03:58 AM
GESancMan GESancMan is offline
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A Flash Before My Eyes by Spock's Beard. It's about a guy who is killed in a car accident, and the song spends 30 minutes describing the instantaneous, well, title of the song. The best part is where he describes meeting his wife; you really get a sense that he is less concerned with losing his life than what his death will do to his family. Sends shivers down my spine every time.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2010, 05:14 AM
Face Intentionally Left Blank Face Intentionally Left Blank is offline
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
"Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty. I think the combo of the sax and Mr. Rafferty's silky smooth voice is what makes this song so effective for me, but not knowing much about music I find it hard to define. It's melancholy and comforting at the same time. There's a lightness (somehow tropical?)that belies the narrator's regret.
A great tune. Rafe Ravenscroft's sax work in that is just epic, and while he only had a couple tunes that I know, Gerry Rafferty (and Stealers Wheel)didn't go halfway - what I know of ain't weak by a long shot.

I guess I'll trot out my usual suspects. Can't help it, I love these tunes.

One song I always think of in this way is "Can't You See" by The Marshall Tucker Band. Southern Rock doesn't get much respect, I guess, but this piece of work, sung by writer/guitarist (and not the usual lead singer) Toy Caldwell is a piece of Southern Rock poetry. I love the blues, and I think this rivals any blues tune you could ever think of for emotion. Some might argue that the imagery is a bit hackneyed, but I prefer to think of it as simple, direct, and to the point, painting a mood with as few words as possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoCmk...eature=related

What a WONDERFUL performance here. I feel lucky to have found this on Youtube. I can't imagine there's a lot of good quality audio & film of their early performances, and I'm glad someone posted it. I'd buy this DVD in a heartbeat.


A bit of a switch from the MTB is this pop tune from the early 80's. "Only the Lonely" by The Motels. Martha Davis has a voice that might annoy me on anything else, but seems purpose-built for this song. The way the song is so restrained (particularly the achingly understated guitar), building slowly to the screaming sax climax - It's like slow, tender, aural sex, and what an interesting compliment to the lyrics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaPTELylZ1s


I don't really have a comment on it, but I thought I'd throw one final song up. "When the Rain Comes Down" probably stands on it's own without comment. Thanks to Equipose for posting it and introducing me to Happy Rhodes. Oh, I will say that I originally thought she did some sort of digital effect to get the Kate Bush-like vocals, but if you look around Youtube, you can see her do it live. No studio trickery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_tmRnK4yM
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2010, 09:13 AM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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Samba Pa Ti, by Santana. Can't link to it from work, and it's not so much a "song" in that it's not sung (instrumental), but Carlos' guitar work is so emotional you can practically hear the guy pleading his love for the girl. At least, in my mind that's what's going on. If I'm in the right frame of mind, this track can bring tears to my eyes, it's so beautiful.
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2010, 10:51 AM
Milossarian Milossarian is offline
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"Muzzle" by The Smashing Pumpkins has always been strongly evocative for me, and that's held up over thousands of plays of the song.



"The Breaking of the Fellowship/In Dreams" and "May It Be" from Enya (It's a package deal that needs to be played back-to-back) from the Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Soundtrack never ceases to strongly evoke.

Another that comes to mind is the song "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits.
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2010, 10:59 AM
stolichnaya stolichnaya is offline
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I can't find the original on the webs at the moment, but I love the short piano theme "Fold" from the movie "Rounders". The original version has a nice string accompaniment that puts me over the top into shiversville. This guy does a pretty good job on the piano though...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w632v2TReU

For me it sets the mood perfectly of that period when desperation becomes acceptance becomes hope, "all is lost" but the resolve remains.
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  #19  
Old 02-11-2010, 11:26 AM
lost4life lost4life is online now
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Oddly there's a cover version being used on a recent US ad, with, even more oddly, a female singer...
The ad, Lincoln MKT. The singer, Sia. The FREE download, here! You can also get Shiny Toy Guns version of Burnin' For You (Blue Oyster Cult).

Love Under The Milkyway. We would play it while driving through the woods at night, like it was a soundtrack for the evening.

It really made the movie Donnie Darko when they played it during the party scene, but alas, the director's cut has replaced it and you only hear it briefly during a different scene.
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2010, 11:30 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Tonight from West Side Story. Such passion and exhiliration - I want to jete like a ballerina down the street when I hear it.

Sara by Fleetwood Mac - sad, misty, heartbreaking reminder of my big sad breakup long ago. I picture a white bird flying ahead of a storm.

Black Water by the Doobie Brothers - joyful harmony on a hot summer evening with friends at a concert in the park.

Love Shack by the B-52s - I can't hear this without my spirits being raised up, just a little bit.
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2010, 11:34 AM
control-z control-z is offline
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"Seasons in the Sun" (yeah I know!) always reminds me of hanging out in my grandmother's back yard in the 70's, listening to my nifty transistor radio.

"Comfortably Numb", Pink Floyd. I'm not into drugs and I didn't appreciate Pink Floyd until my late 20's, but they are a great band to unwind to.

"Lyin Eyes" reminds me of a good/bad relationship I had.
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  #22  
Old 02-11-2010, 11:41 AM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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A couple by Pink Floyd--San Tropez brings up memories of every lazy day I've ever spent at the beach. Grantchester Meadows does the same for the times I've relaxed in an open field somewhere; listening to the birds, the burbling of a stream, and wind in the trees.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2010, 12:23 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
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Thirding Under the Milky Way - very evocative, true.
Other songs that capture a mood for me:
Nightswimming by REM - one of those songs that screens little film clips in your head, IYKWIM? The lake, the moonlight, the raft, the oil slick creature...OK, maybe not that last bit.
Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins - unintelligible words but again, they paint pictures in the head - English woods and wild flowers...
Bird Dream of Olympus Mons and Velouria by Pixies kinda forms the soundtrack to half the SF short stories I read nowadays - before I read them!
Raping a Slave and A Screw (Holy Money) by Swans evoke, alright - they evoke anger, like a motherfuck.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2010, 12:36 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
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Oh, and I was just listening to Dead Can Dance's Severance - now there's a song that evokes sadness mingled with a weird worldweariness.
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  #25  
Old 02-12-2010, 11:33 AM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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There are a million of them -- I'll list a few off the top of my head.

First off, this is an excellent opportunity for me to mention one of my all-time favorite songs ever ever: "Soul Coaxin' (Ame Caline)" by Raymond Lefevre. It's an old-fashioned instrumental (came out in 1968 but sounds like it could have been from 1958), and is, I guess, frankly mawkish and cloyingly sentimental... but it just totally grabs me, just like it was designed to do. It makes me feel like I am soaring over the rooftops in pursuit of my dream, or something.

I'm a sucker for a lot of stuff like that. Like, any of those old theme songs to Western movies -- especially the theme from The Magnificent Seven, which still gives me chills even though it got ruined by becoming the theme for the "Marlboro Country" ad campaign. It puts me right out in the wide open spaces of the Old West.

"Kind of a Drag", by the Buckinghams, and "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)", by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars, are two songs that instantly take me back to my adolescence, not because of association with any specific event, but just because of something about the way they sound.

Brian Eno has a lot of very evocative stuff, especially on Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, Another Green World, and Before and After Science. Listening to Another Green World is like taking a 45-minute trip to the Caribbean -- and not in a rowdy, Margarita-drinking Jimmy Buffett sense, but like when you've been there awhile and the tranquility just settles down on you and everything seems to glow.
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  #26  
Old 02-12-2010, 12:01 PM
fuzzypickles fuzzypickles is offline
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Devin Townsend, "The Death of Music"
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  #27  
Old 02-12-2010, 04:13 PM
Slow Moving Vehicle Slow Moving Vehicle is offline
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Call me cheesy, but I have a whole story imagined for the Dan Fogelberg's Another Auld Lang Syne. When I got familar with it as a kid, I could see the locations in my hometown, picture the characters, everything.

I also agree with Baker Street, and I would throw in as well On And On by Randy Van Warmer (It's the one that starts "Down in Jamaica they got lots of pretty women..." You've probably heard it a million times), The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot, and - believe it or not - the theme songs from Welcome Back, Kotter and Taxi.

What can I say? I'm a child of the 70's...
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:24 PM
AllShookDown AllShookDown is offline
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Eveybody's talkin' at me
I can't hear a word they're sayin'
Only the echoes of my mind

Love this song. The older I get the more it applies.
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  #29  
Old 02-12-2010, 11:18 PM
movingfinger movingfinger is offline
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Al Stewart's Roads To Moscow which captures a feeling of the weariness and pain of an endless war in the winter.

Last edited by movingfinger; 02-12-2010 at 11:19 PM..
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  #30  
Old 02-12-2010, 11:24 PM
kelly5078 kelly5078 is offline
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This week it's definitely Beeswing
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  #31  
Old 02-12-2010, 11:28 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Two:

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The Green Fields of France.
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  #32  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:57 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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"Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones

"Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin

and my odd pick, because I'm an orchestral nut:

"Jupiter" from The Planets Suite by Holst. The entire song seems like sex to me, happy energetic foreplay at the beginning, slows into a romantic theme in the middle, then it builds into an exciting, erupting climax at the end. He can bring the Joviality for me.

Last edited by Serenata67; 02-13-2010 at 10:57 AM.. Reason: typo
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  #33  
Old 02-13-2010, 11:05 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Soo...this Jupiter thing by Holst is like the Doors? "Light My Fire"?
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  #34  
Old 02-13-2010, 11:12 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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Soo...this Jupiter thing by Holst is like the Doors? "Light My Fire"?
Ish... but longer, and with more contrasting moods and themes...
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  #35  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:51 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Oh, I know, I'm familiar with Holst. "Light My Fire" has, to me, a definite rhythm as background to the sexxxy.
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  #36  
Old 02-15-2010, 01:10 PM
FallenAngel FallenAngel is offline
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Bonnie Raitt's, "I Can't Make You Love Me." The sheer resignation in her voice conveys at least as much as the lyrics.

Warren Zevon has two. Both, "Keep Me in your Heart," and "Don't Let Us Get Sick," are a couple of the most touching, tear-welling songs I've ever heard about dying and moving out of your life.
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  #37  
Old 02-15-2010, 01:54 PM
unwashed brain unwashed brain is offline
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"Desperado"

:-)
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  #38  
Old 02-15-2010, 02:26 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Oh, there are many. This list is just the tiny sample that occurs to me at the moment:

"Signal to Noise," Peter Gabriel. I adore this song. The crescendo at the end is positively orgasmic. I've been lucky enough to see him perform it in concert, and it was absolutely amazing.

"Christmas Eve/Sarajevo," Trans Siberian Orchestra. Powerful stuff. Just hits me in the gut every time I hear it.

"Winter," Tori Amos. I can't listen to it without puddling up. Not sure why. My dad is still alive and healthy, but...yeah.

"Approaching Lightspeed," Wolfsheim. I can't hear it without visualizing a music video showing a montage of space-shuttle video, and culminating with the footage of the Challenger explosion. I doubt that's what they had in mind, but that's what I see.

"30KFT," Assemblage 23. Another one I can't hear with out getting all choked up.

"Oh Life (There Must Be More)," Alan Parsons. Beautiful song, very sad.

"Subdivisions," Rush. Love the music, and the message is spot-on for every high school misfit who ever lived.

"Might As Well Be On Mars," Alice Cooper. Especially the part about "Maybe I should try..." Another song that I have a music video (of my own imagination) playing in my head.

Last edited by Infovore; 02-15-2010 at 02:27 PM..
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  #39  
Old 02-15-2010, 02:41 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is online now
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A lot of Al Stewart's stuff. My personal favorites are Time Passages and Song on the Radio. The combination of guitar and sax on both is outstanding.
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  #40  
Old 02-15-2010, 02:55 PM
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Another Al Stewart - On The Border

George Harrison's - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Van Morrison's - Moondance
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  #41  
Old 02-17-2010, 10:23 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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A lot of Al Stewart's stuff. My personal favorites are Time Passages and Song on the Radio. The combination of guitar and sax on both is outstanding.
Whenever I hear "Time Passages" I INSTANTLY flash back to a trip to NY I made with my family when in my early teens. We got on the train in Westchester County to go into the Big City and there were two cute, well dressed, young gay guys chattering away ahead of us. I felt such a stab of envy! There they were, happy, free as birds, off to what kind of adventures, and I was stuck schlepping around department stores all day with my bitch of a mother.
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  #42  
Old 02-17-2010, 11:24 AM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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I associate those Al Stewart songs with the time I worked for the shipping company that distributed vinyl for GRT/Janus Records. We sent out thousands of boxes of "Year of the Cat" in the fall of '76. My room mate ripped off a case and gave out albums to all his friends; I called him on it, which resulted in a huge shouting match, him getting fired, and me needing a new room mate.

Last edited by blondebear; 02-17-2010 at 11:25 AM..
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  #43  
Old 02-17-2010, 03:09 PM
mo50 mo50 is offline
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"Fire & Rain" James Taylor
Think I know what you're getting at about "Baker Street" & "Under the Milky Way" though. Both very evocative.
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  #44  
Old 02-18-2010, 07:43 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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A song I had totally forgotten about: "Book of Love" by Peter Gabriel. I heard that song this weekend... and I almost started to cry. It's such an emotional song.
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  #45  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:05 AM
fiddlesticks fiddlesticks is offline
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Sigur Rós - Glósóli

Baker Street sends me right back to being about 4 years old and first taking notice of songs on the radio (a local Top 40 AM station in all its mono glory). It's always summer. Magical song, that one.
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  #46  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:33 AM
Electric Warrior Electric Warrior is offline
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Looking forward to listening to all the songs in this thread.

For me the one is the recording of the shapenote hymn Idumea from Cold Mountain. (To be accurate I think this is not from the Sacred Harp but is a modern shapenote arrangement of a folk song. But, details, details.) Raw and gorgeous.
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  #47  
Old 02-18-2010, 11:08 AM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Wow, great examples everyone. Thanks for adding links to the more obscur ones, as I'd otherwise probably never have the pleasure of hearing them.

I just remembered another one: " Sunny Came Home " by Shawn Colvin. For anyone not familiar it's the story of a woman who's plotting to burn her house down. It's never explained what made her that way but you really get a visceral idea of just how unbalanced she is.

The mandolin is so haunting and for me really conveys the title character's loneliness and then the chorus is upbeat and suggests her tenuous grasp on sanity. At the start of the bridge(?) she sings in a kind of a whispery voice as "Sunny" starts to put her plot in motion

". . .get the kids and bring a sweater. dry is good and wind is better" then rises to the final chorus and ends with those same haunting mandolin notes that are so perfect for the end of a tragic story.

Now that I've subjected you to more than you'd ever want to know about this song, shall I take a stab at "Ode to Billy Joe" ?
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  #48  
Old 02-18-2010, 11:38 AM
Boulter's Canary Boulter's Canary is offline
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Who Knows Where the Time Goes

Richard Thompson's Woods of Darney - A love story, a ghost story and a war story, all in under eight minutes.

Meet on the Ledge. Oh God, Meet on the Ledge..... "Too many friends who tried, blown off this mountain by the wind." - How they can get through it each time without breaking down completely, I don't know. There's always plenty of tears in the audience.

Never Any Good - Martin Simpson. A son's 'warts and all' tribute to his father.
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  #49  
Old 02-18-2010, 11:45 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is online now
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Don't You Want Me Baby, Tainted Love, and Werewolves of London were on constant rotation in the student center cafeteria when I was in college. I cannot emphasize the word "constant" strongly enough. They may have been the only three songs on the jukebox.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight was at its peak the summer we drove from Ohio to Maine. And there was ONE radio station that would come in, and that was the ONE song they were playing. I hear that song, I think Aroostook, Maine.
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  #50  
Old 02-18-2010, 12:04 PM
Haunted Pasta Haunted Pasta is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
As a sucker for nostalgia, I'm quite susceptible to songs that recall, with fondness and sadness at the same time, childhood and adolescence, or simpler times long gone by. Bob Seger really evokes those feelings with "Main Street", with that sad, wailing guitar, and with "Against the Wind." "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then"- tell me about it.

Another highly evocative tune is also, in my view, the saddest song ever: "What Sarah Said" by Death Cab for Cutie. It pretty much makes me feel what I imagine it's like to be in a hospital waiting for someone you love to die. For those not familiar with the song, we don't know who Sarah is, exactly, but what she said is "Love is watching someone die." Devastating.

It's cool to see the Al Stewart love in this thread.
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