My feelings on the Monarchy and “celebrations” like this weekend just past are well known, so I decided to avoid any posts on the subject this time around. Instead, I got thinking the other week about songs about excitement, and things that might thrill me instead.
/Subject /Excitement, Thrills
/Playlists /Spotify / /YouTube
/Related /343/Song of Joy /Tuesday Ten/Index
/Assistance /Suggestions/65 /Used Prior/5 /Unique Songs/58 /People Suggesting/39
/Details /Tracks this week/10 /Tracks on Spotify Playlist/10 /Duration/45:01
It transpired that this was a far more difficult subject than I thought it might be. I had a much lower number of suggestions than I thought I might get, and perhaps the pool of songs that I wanted to use was thus lower, too.
That said, once I sat down and thought about it, there was a great set of songs to use, including some artists new to this series, and hopefully, this post and the accompanying playlists get across the feeling I was aiming for. Thanks, as ever, to everyone who offers song suggestions – they all get considered, even if I can’t use them all.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound me. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
/Let’s Go Crazy
I’m not sure that there is a more exciting, thrilling song, certainly by Prince and most likely by few others, that could possibly open this week’s /Tuesday Ten. The full-throttle opener to one of his greatest albums – and commercial breakthrough – Purple Rain, it ripples with energy from the first second, as the church organ just hints at what is to come, as Prince lays down a sermon urging the listener to live their life rather than just enduring it. Then the drums accelerate the song into the stratosphere, and four minutes of perfection follows, as Prince lets everything loose and encourages you to do the same, and he even faces mortality down in the excitement. It also opens the astounding 1985 concert film/album that has just been re-released, with an eye-popping remaster and the sense, from the crowd noise, that they were just as excited then as we are now to hear Prince at the peak of his powers.
/Shoot To Thrill
/Back in Black
Watch any live video of AC/DC, and the palpable excitement of what’s to come – even though everyone knows what is coming, and it isn’t exactly going to be a set of the new material, that’s for sure – crackles through every second. Having somehow not seen them live myself (to my eternal regret, and I should probably do something about that next time around, as who knows how many more chances I might have), the 2009 Live at River Plate release will do nicely. From that comes the charge of Shoot to Thrill, from an album that should have been in mourning following the death of Bon Scott, but instead Back in Black was both a celebration of life and a textbook example of hard rock that delivered everything listeners wanted.
Apparently inspired by a low-down British drug pusher who sold his product(s) to bored housewives in the suburbs (who then went out and found solace in one-night stands), the song roars forward with the energy of a fistful of narcotics as the users find short-term excitement through them.
/Don’t Stop Me Now
Talking of short-term thrillseeking, here’s Freddie Mercury leading one of Queen’s most exuberant songs, that flashes past at nearly the speed of light that the song mentions. Apparently, Brian May wasn’t exactly a fan of Mercury’s lyrics here (May’s concern at the “risks” he was taking in his lifestyle at the time that were reflected in the song), as this is hardly a subtle song: this is Freddie Mercury out to have fun with, er, lots of men, and damn the consequences. It was taken entirely out of context and then hilariously used in Shaun of the Dead as they beat zombies with pool cues in the Winchester, too…
/Top Gun OST
Talking of films…An apt mention of this, I suppose, with the rather belated sequel Top Gun: Maverick just hitting cinemas recently. This song, though, comes from the original, high-octane Top Gun, of 1986, and was one of a string of hit films that Kenny Loggins had great success performing the lead songs for, and has a frenetic pace that perhaps reflects the jet engines of the fighter jets roaring into the sky. For some, flying at such speeds would be a hell of a thrill – I’m a reluctant flyer most of the time, so screeching through the sky, ducking and diving, in a two-seater fighter jet, is not exactly my idea of fun…
Incidentally, I was today years old when I learned that Giorgio Moroder wrote the music for this song.
/Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
/Batman Forever OST
What might be considered U2’s last truly fantastic song (anything since rather pales in comparison) was a worthy lead track on yet another film, this time the third Batman film since his cinematic resurrection in 1989 by Warner Bros. Here, U2 throws the kitchen sink at the production, with synths and an orchestra backing the band in a song that has bombast and cinematic thrills from start to finish, while Bono reflects and sneers at stardom in the lyrics: but seeing as narcissism seems to be a key trait to succeed in Gotham City, it all works brilliantly.
/This Is Love
/Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
After the raw force, and then gothic gloom, of PJ Harvey’s 90s output, the warmth and positivity of her Mercury Prize-winning Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea was something of a shock. This song was simply PJ Harvey professing her love for someone, but it also ripples with that feeling that a friend (and onetime partner) introduced the term “New Relationship Energy” to me. That exciting buzz watching a new lover undress, or the buzz of touch with such a partner. It all leads to wanting it to happen again and again, and it is an amazing thrill.
/In This Moment
The first appearance in this series for US metal band In This Moment, a band that has perhaps passed me by a little over the years. But maybe, at least going on this song, I’ve maybe been missing out. Here, the band are a thrilling force led by Maria Brink, as she details in no uncertain terms the thrills she needs in her life (music, love and sex, broadly), to give her the adrenaline rushes that keep her going. Equally thrilling: the monstrous, epic breakdown that the song tears into, later on, that must be one hell of a kick live.
/Pet Shop Boys
/I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
It is remarkable to think that the duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been working together for the best part of forty years, and along the way have written genuinely groundbreaking songs, and most of all have simply been a very, very good synthpop group. With that in mind, I get a lot of suggestions for the group, but don’t always get to fit them in (as I like to include as wide a spread of artists as possible, rather than resorting to the same artists – I’ve never used any artist more than around 30 times in nearly five hundred posts).
This song, though, intrigued me through the title. Going on Tennant’s delivery, one of detached disdain, for the most part, this had to be ironic, right? Apparently not, as the song (a B-side to Heart, and later appears on the Alternative compilation) seems to be one of yearning and mutual attraction, as two people who aren’t exactly having the time of their lives in eighties London find solace in each other, which creates an exciting buzz, even if they aren’t exactly clear why they get this feeling.
/Cheap Thrills (feat. Sean Paul)
/This Is Acting
A massive hit for Australian artist Sia back in 2016, partly thanks to the fabulous video that became the latest to parody sixties “dance” shows where pop music of the time reached the teenagers of the time on TV – but came with a twist, as Sia – if it was her – obscured her identity with her by-now characteristic black/white wig and covered face. The song itself got a remix with Sean Paul guesting to exacerbate the distinct dancehall feel, and the catchier-than-hell melodies simply made clearer the overarching message of the song: going out dancing can be a cheap, but exhilarating thrill – and something, thanks to COVID, that I perhaps miss more than I’ve been admitting.
I close this week with a definitive message from folk legend Ewan MacColl, who sings a simple song that celebrates the excitement and thrill of life. He celebrates the country that he’s explored, the love of his life, his children whose life he bestowed, and the land that his ashes will be scattered over, never once regretting a moment. Life is to be lived, and even at the low moments, it is perhaps something to be excited about that we are still here, and that we still have things to do, and thrills to seek.