Lists · Music

The I, Omnibus Top Ten Underrated Aerosmith Songs

“I’m a real fat city
I’m an aero delight”

–  Aerosmith, “Let The Music Do The Talking”

It’s difficult to call a legendary band that has been around for over four decades underrated. Considering how ubiquitous they were throughout the entire 1990s, it’s very easy to snobbishly dismiss them as overrated. You wouldn’t be completely wrong – most of their stuff during that decade was not… to put it kindly, not their best stuff. To be more blunt, they sold out to become the world’s oldest teeny-bop bubblegum pop band. To their credit, they went back to their hard rock roots in the 21st Century, but the damage has been done to their reputation.

But I’m not here to bury Aerosmith. I’m here to praise them. Forty seven years in the business, and they have had their original lineup for most of them. And they are still going strong in their concerts.

Anyone unfamiliar with the band’s history can easily go their Wikipedia entry. In the fewest words possible – years of hard drugs and hard living took its toll on lead singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry, that by the mid 1980’s, they were on the verge of breaking up and were considered irrelevant just when hard rock / glam rock / heavy metal had crossed over the mainstream and dominate the radio and MTV airwaves. Then, Run DMC collaborated with Tyler & Perry to do a rap version of “Walk This Way,” and Aerosmith received a second wind.

To get back to the “overrated” reputation; if you listen to a classic rock station, you will hear the same five Aerosmith songs over and over, with little to no variance. They are; “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” “Rag Doll,” and “Dude (Looks Like A Lady).” In essence, it’s more akin to say that because their biggest hits are so overplayed, the casual fan can not appreciate the band’s versatility. But it gets worse if you listen to an Adult Contemporary, Easy Listening, “Best of the past few decades” station. These stations bombard you with the band’s power ballads: “Cryin’,” “Crazy,” and “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.”

The fact that these power ballads, which are clearly the band’s “Kangaroo Men” moment, didn’t completely derail the band’s career, is a testament to their greatness.

Continue reading “The I, Omnibus Top Ten Underrated Aerosmith Songs”

Lists · Music · Omnibus

Nine (more) songs that were ahead of their time

animaniacs

Pop music has been going through a long, continuous drought of protest songs. This dearth of message music goes back the 1980’s. This, not coincidentally, coincides with the advent of hip-hop to the top of the charts. While this is no surprise to millennials, this is counter-intuitive to Gen Xers who grew up on old-school hip-hop and rap, whose roots and early history was almost exclusively built on critical commentary of modern urban life.  Continue reading “Nine (more) songs that were ahead of their time”

Music · Omnibus

The I, Omnibus 2016 music year in review

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Sorry about being two months late. It took me that long to get over the worst year in modern pop music history. There are so many ways and so many times to say, “this year sucked,” so instead I will say, “in 2016, we got what we deserved.” And what we deserved was bland, slow, boring, auto-tuned mumble core, third-rate derivative blues-esque noise, packaged to us as pop music. The worst part is that I just described the alternative-rock scene. Don’t even get me started on the Top 40 crap.  Continue reading “The I, Omnibus 2016 music year in review”

Music

Pop Song ’09 – Which ones have become classics?

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One of my earliest blog posts was about the definition of the word “classic” within the realms of pop culture. I never did answer my own question. More accurately, I never answered it within my article. I am going to rectify that. Continue reading “Pop Song ’09 – Which ones have become classics?”

Lists · Music · Podcast Unlimited

The Top Ten Favorite Billy Joel Songs

photobjoel

“I am the entertainer
And I know just where I stand
Another serenader
And another long-haired band.”

Billy Joel – “The Entertainer”

Perhaps it’s because he is a native Long Islander, but the this Baby Boomer was the voice for many Busters and GenXers growing up in the late 70’s/early 80’s. He dominated the FM and AM airwaves (when AM radio was still playing music). He was a mainstay in the early days of MTV (when MTV played only music videos). He has a monthly residency at Madison Square Garden that is going into its 4th year, and is still going strong. When he is not at MSG, he has a tour of major league baseball stadiums in the summer of 2016.

His discography is so strong, you could compile a Top 10 list with just 2 album sides (e.g.: Side A of “Glass Houses” and Side A of “The Stranger”; or Side A of “52nd Street” and Side A of “The Nylon Curtain.”) And I wouldn’t blame you. Unless you go with the “River of Dreams” album – then we have a problem. Continue reading “The Top Ten Favorite Billy Joel Songs”

Music

The I, Omnibus 2015 music year in review

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If I had to sum up pop music in 2015 as a whole, it would be, “meh.” You might perceive that to be an insult, but that is a tremendous upgrade from the prior two years, which were simply abominable. The year was dominated by Mark Ronson (“Uptown Funk”), Taylor Swift (“Blank Space”), Adelle (“Hello”) and a whole bunch of Canadians, one of whom can not spell the word “weekend” in any version or variation of English. (And I already used my “invisible letter” joke back on my podcast).

It doesn’t help that not only does most pop music continues to sound unremarkably similar, but in 2015, the music was low-key, and the lyrics were dour. If the pop music scene is supposed to represent the general mood of the populace in regards to the political and economic landscape, then they are six or seven years too late. Thankfully, last year was the least amount of time I spent listening to pop music in the past seven or eight years.

God damn, I need a drink.  Continue reading “The I, Omnibus 2015 music year in review”

Lists · Music

5 more songs from the 80’s that were ahead of their time

As a GenXer, I find it difficult, and sometimes frustrating talking about music to Gen Y-ers and Millenials. They are perfectly content to remain blissfully ignorant of anything before their time. But at least those conversations are cut short. Those with a sense of history, tend to dismiss the 1980’s culture as a whole. (Any argument given against the 80’s can also be applied to the 90’s, the aughts (’00’s), and even the 70’s.) But beneath its glitzy surface, and beyond the burning neon lights, were some hidden gems that have aged remarkably well. In fact, if they were remade today, many millennials would be hard pressed to believe the lyrics were more than double their age. I previously mentioned 5 such songs in a previous post.

Here are five more. (In no particular order) Continue reading “5 more songs from the 80’s that were ahead of their time”