We here at AP know you internet denizens love lists. And we know that folks in bands have other interests beyond cranking out decibels. So here’s Friday Fives, a column that solicits a list of five subjects from a number of various rockers.
Sometimes musicians break all the rules. These five songs took a traditional way of looking at music and flipped it inside out. The first time I heard each of these songs my musical life was forever changed.
5. The Velvet Underground – “Sister Ray”
To think that this song was recorded in 1968 really blows my mind.It was “punk” or “indie” or whatever you want to call it before anyone could even put a name to it. This song pushed the limits in every way possible; it’s 17 minutes and 27 seconds and pretty much never leaves the G chord. It sounds like you are listening to a band jam in a small room. No single instrument is the lead—everything is just fighting to be heard. While recording this record, the sound engineer would press “record” and then leave the room because every track just sounded distorted and way too loud. The band told him to press record and fuck off. If that isn't rock ’n’ roll, I don't what is.
4. David Bowie – “Sound And Vision”
This song is on the album Low, which was recorded in 1976 and was part of the famous Berlin trilogy. After coming out of a couple drug-filled years, Bowie moved to Berlin to start over fresh with a brand new sound. Low is much different than his past “Ziggy Stardust” glam-rock sound. It’s filled with keyboard sounds never used before, drum loops unheard of and not many vocal lines. If it wasn't for this record, the sound of the ’80s would be very different. If you want to know how to get that classic ’80s sound, check this album out.
3. The Replacements – “I Will Dare”
If I had to pick one band who explain me pretty well, I'd have to choose the Replacements. With hints of punk rock, alt-country, the blues and even jazz, this band has it all. “I Will Dare” is the first song off the record Let It Be, and what a way to kick it off.
Coming out in 1984, it's difficult to think that they weren’t the biggest band of the ’80s. The attitude, the hooks, just great fucking songs—maybe they were just ahead of their time. All I have to say is stop whatever you are doing and go get this record. It will change your life.
2. The Rolling Stones – “Fingerprint File”
Every single person on Earth has heard the Rolling Stones, but there are so many people my age who have never heard more than five songs from them. If you don't know much from them, this song is the place to start. Keith Richards' guitar riff on this is mind blowing. The song is built around one groove while Mick Jagger is yelling about the CIA watching his every move. It's hard to pick a favorite song from the greatest rock ’n’ roll band of all time, but this is in my top three for sure.
1.Wilco – “At Least That's What You Said”
With the song starting with just vocals and piano, you really have no idea what’s about to come next. Then all of sudden, the guitar gods send the most badass guitar solo of all time to your ears. When Jeff Tweedy talks about this guitar part, he explains it as a “panic attack,” and he couldn't have nailed it better. How he makes his guitar sound the way it does on this song I will never understand. Thank you, Wilco, for still pushing the limits of rock ’n’ roll.