Gettin' whacked today in a Yacht Rock showdown: "China Grove" by The Doobie Brothers. "Nothing against 'China Grove', really, but if I had heard more of Doobie tunes like 'Clear As The Driven Snow' and less of the offerings given out on the radio, I would have been a fan sooner.
The Hot 106 is a list of 106 “classic rock” songs that should be banned from radio airplay forever. In an effort to be fair, and to flaunt their quasi-music-snobbishness, Kent and Jen have tasked themselves with finding replacements for the overplayed tunes.
The Doors get their most iconic track booted this week. “Good,” says everyone not still in high school or college.
Kent: “5 to 1″
With The Doors you get a variation of two flavors: Moonlight Drive and Midnight Violence, each variation sung by the speaker of the lyrics (PLEASE NOTE I DID NOT REFER TO THE LYRICS AS “POETRY”) to a female listener; my replacement choice the sinister closer “5 To 1″, is clearly Midnight Violence flavored, yet the song starts out with Jim cultishly cooing, “I love my girl…”.
Seeing as how Jim Morrison was not interested in getting into my pants, I tend to gravitate towards the darker songs anyway, but the perfect mix of sex/violence in side two songs of “Waiting For The Sun” help me appreciate the importance of both mindsets; the romance of “Spanish Caravan” and seductive transformative lyrics of “Yes, The River Knows” helps establish the feminine muse that gets stomped to death with the tantric beat of “My Wild Love” and is asked to stay in the car while the world gets destroyed in the closer, “5 To 1″, my favorite expression of The Doors’ lyrical dichotomy. Also, there’s this:
“5 To 1″ doesn’t get edited.
We can’t fairly have a conversation about Classic Rock Radio without talking about song editing for length or content. Nothing is worse than hearing “Light My Fire” and hearing the keyboard solo trimmed away, but for The Doors, editing content is worse. The idea of mixing sex and violence doesn’t work if the extremes of the ideas are diminished, and I’m not even talking about Ed Sullivan’s disdain for the “get much higher” line; the rocker “Break On Through(To The Other Side)” routinely gets the line “she gets high” edited out, a line that Morrison yells out with violent gusto. The sex in “The End” comes from an Oedipal f-bombing, necessary for the sentiment of sex/violence to get across. Curse words are routinely edited, but many of them do not add to the music. The Doors, however, talked about fucking with a Capital Eff.
Don’t trim the fat, Classic Rock Radio. Fat is also flavor.
Jen – “Peace Frog”
I don’t dislike “Light My Fire” at all. Every time I hear it, I stop for a minute and consider how ominous this song must have sounded in early 1967. Sure, “Tomorrow Never Knows” was in the musical landscape at this point, as was Frank Zappa, but guys like Jimi Hendrix and Captain Beefheart were still months away, and much of what was played on the radio still sounded very friendly indeed.
“Light My Fire” is one of those songs that should be put away not because it is a cop-out song in an otherwise impressive catalog, but because its power is weakened by its overplay. While it’s doubtful that teenagers forty years from now would ever find a song like “Light My Fire” in any way intimidating, I do believe it will always benefit from being heard, out of the blue, for the first time out of any context whatsoever. Unrealistic? Probably. But I speak only of what this song deserves, not necessarily what it will get.
“Peace Frog” is fairly well-known, but it’s a great little tune that needs to be heard more often. The fucking guitar riffing alone is killer. The bass and keys follow one another perfectly. The lyrics are dark as hell for such a jaunty tune, and they’re delivered in the style that is quintessentially Jim Morrison. In fact, I’d argue that this song is more The Doors than “Light My Fire”, if that makes any sense.
Well, whatever. Classic Rock radio needs to get on this one.