Certain Songs #263: Curtis Mayfield – “Superfly”

220px-CurtisMayfieldSuperfly Album: Super Fly
Year: 1972.

Back in the mid-70s, whenever this song came on KYNO 1300 AM, it always kinda weirded me out.

While the Super Fly soundtrack was a huge enough cultural phenomenon to land two hard funk songs into the pop top ten, the first of those singles, “Freddie’s Dead,” at least felt like other R&B hit singles I’d heard by folks like Marvin Gaye & Isaac Hayes.

But “Superfly” made no damn sense to me at all.


Certain Songs #262: The Cure – “Just Like Heaven”

JustlikeheavenAlbum: Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Year: 1987

If The Cure’s reputation was based in part upon the massive gothic movement spearheaded by Joy Division (which is a totally reductive thing to say), then some of my favorite Cure songs were based upon the dancey guitar music created by New Order.

Which is also pretty reductive thing to say, but the fact is that two of my all-time favorite Cure songs are what I call The Cure’s New Order songs: “In Between Days” (which I didn’t write about because I really didn’t have much to say beyond this New Order thing) and of course, “Just Like Heaven.” One time is an experiment, but two times is a concept.


Certain Songs #261: The Cure – “Push”

The_Cure_-_The_Head_on_the_Door Album: The Head on The Door
Year: 1985

Even at my mid-20s gloomiest, I never fully bought into Robert Smith’s persona. And while I could tell that he was a pretty great — and eclectic as hell — maker of radio-friendly pop songs, I never really got past enjoying them on the radio.

So I was neither surprised, offended or cheered when The Cure became gigantic international superstars on the back of Smith’s outsized goth persona and right-sized songwriting acumen. Even in the 80s, the audience was already fragmenting, I could respect the hell out of what he did without ever fully loving it except for a song here and a song there.


Certain Songs #260: Culture – “Calling Rasta For I”

37 Album: Two Sevens Clash
Year: 1977.

One of the great pleasures of doing “Certain Songs” — especially right now, when I have an insane amount of time to devote to each post — is listening to and doing research on albums that I’ve always loved but I haven’t heard in full for a very long time.

I always get reminded what attracted me to these records in the first place as well as being reminded of their place in history.


Certain Songs #259: Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Live at Woodstock)”

Woodstock_-_Music_From_The_Original_Soundtrack_And_More Album: Woodstock – Music From The Original Soundtrack
Year: 1969

We never really described it as such, but during the late 70s and early 80s Tim & I were on a quest to see every rock n roll performance that had ever been captured on film. It was secondary to our quests to see every concert and buy every record, but it was still definitely a thing.

In practical sense, this usually meant going to the midnite movies at the Tower Theater, where we’d saw everything from Jimi Plays Berkeley to D.O.A., but it also meant seeing a double bill of Rust Never Sleeps and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School at the Moon-glo Drive-in and renting a VHS of Blow-Up just to fast-forward to the part where Jimmy Page & Jeff Beck were playing together.