After the positive slant of last week, we’re onto the negative now.
No: an exclamation, a definitive statement, a determiner, a noun.
/Playlists /Spotify / /YouTube
/Related /520/Yes /Tuesday Ten/Index
/Assistance /Suggestions/45 /Used Prior/6 /Unique Songs/34 /People Suggesting/32
/Details /Tracks this week/10 /Tracks on Spotify Playlist/10 /Duration/37:19
But mostly, these are songs that say no unequivocally. As always, thanks to everyone who suggested songs, as this turned out to be a tough one.
Next week, we’re back to /Tracks of the Month for /Tuesday Ten /522.
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).
/Back To Black
The striking lead single to Winehouse’s second and final album before her untimely death, aged just 27, was Winehouse fighting against the inevitable. A punchy, soulful R&B song that showed a deep love of the genre, worked out as the track that truly broke her through to popular consciousness, and also laid bare some of the issues she was dealing with. Her heavy drinking and drug use had already resulted in her father suggest that she entered rehab, and the story goes that she flatly refused, along the way inspriring the awesomely catchy chorus and hook that this song has. Perhaps things might have worked out better for her had she entered rehab, but you can never change the past.
/Dog Eat Dog
/All Boro Kings
One of the slew of rap-rock bands to break through in the mid-90s, Dog Eat Dog are chiefly remembered in a wider sense for the singles from this album – although I was surprised to discover that they have continued to record to this day, but with quite a few changes to the line-up along the way. This song, though, was their mission statement – “no fronts, no tricks, no soapbox politics / no guns, just blunts, we kick this just for fun” – perhaps a dig at some of their more earnest rap-rock peers, maybe just making it clear that they really were just doing this for a laugh. They perhaps had the last laugh when this album sold hundreds of thousands of copies…
/The Wonder Stuff
/No for the 13th Time
/The Eight Legged Groove Machine
Miles Hunt would like to be clear, he says no, and he won’t do it. After various examples of people going through with things that they really didn’t mean or want to do, it is perhaps a portent of Miles Hunt’s prickly demeanour toward the music press in particular that he’s going to do no such thing – and like so many other Stuffies songs, it’s really quite entertaining along the way.
/Sexy! No No No…
I have to say that even with Xenomania’s often smash-and-grab, chaotic productions that somehow always paid off, I wasn’t expecting to note that this song features a Nazareth sample. In addition, it is another of their songs that breaks with pop convention and broadly ignores the idea that a chorus should follow the verse, but remains more hook-filled than a fisherman’s boat. As for the no? It’s making a suitor wait…
Another musical group of women also had things to say about their suitors, and what they don’t want from them. Just in case you didn’t know, let’s check Urban Dictionary for the definition of “Scrub”: “A guy who mooches off of everyone else and has nothing going for him in life., and TLC delivered a mighty smackdown to such men (apparently originally inspired by a disastrous past relationship), wrapped up in an instantly memorable song that brought the slang term to popular use, has been memed and referenced countless times since, and twenty-four years on, remains a flawless song.
It’s 1969, the band he’s part of have started the ball rolling on what would become punk in a few short years, he’s beginning his rise to being a rock god… and Iggy Pop is sneering into his mic about being bored. He’s alone, he’s got nothing to do, he’s not getting laid, and even if he does have company, he’s going to bore everyone. No fun, no joy… except for everyone else, as the early Stooges material, much like Iggy’s later seminal solo work in the seventies, crackles with electricity and verve. It’s certainly still fun to listen to…
/a modern tragedy vol.3
“Oh No!” – an exclamation that normally means things have gone to shit, or at least not the way that you’ve planned, and the intriguing artist grandson (who we saw supporting Deftones in London last year) was seemingly having one of those days when they wrote this song. The character they inhabit here is a screw-up, and no matter what they do, it goes wrong anyway, and then later on in the song, he shrugs his shoulders and accepts if even the President is a felon, everything is fucked anyway.
One of the many great, bracing songs on the first Soulfly album after Max Cavalera’s departure from Sepultura, this song opens every line with the word “No”, as he rails against politicians, irrational judgement, fakery, and shit music (the most memorable line, of course, being “No motherfucking Hootie & The Blowfish“). As with most of the best songs penned by Max, it is heavy as fuck and absolutely furious. The man from Belo Horizonte, he say No.
/Any Minute Now
You could say no, or like Soulwax, you could be paralysed by indecision. But at least, I guess, they recognise this, as they admit to being a mess, as they can’t get across their real intentions, either saying yes when they mean no, and no when they mean yes. Like pretty much any release by the Dewaele brothers, too, it is an irritatingly catchy song – I hear anything by them once, and it is in my head for days. Do I like that habit? Well, it’s difficult to say…
/Non, je ne regrette rien
Probably one of the best-known French language songs in existence, sung by one of the most legendary French singers, is a relatively clear song in meaning whether you speak French or not. Piaf doesn’t care about what has happened in the past, she regrets nothing, and no, she will not ever look back. With the messy upbringing – which was never fully unravelled or had many facts confirmed – and complex life generally, perhaps this was the way for her to deal with it. Although, such is the association of this song with her, it beggars belief that the writers of it initially thought of offering it to someone else!