Hamlet, the Musical

I’ve been puzzling mightily over two musical choices. The first involves the tracks for Gordon’s mixed CD thing. When he announced it, I knew immediately the theme would be murder – it was near 9/11 at the time – but in what form?

My first thought was to show the range of murder from comedy to tragedy, but there simply wasn’t enough comedy: Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Beatles), The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun (Julie Brown), Lizzie Borden (some folk duo). Then I thought to do that murder ballad thing I had thought of years ago, with Delia’s Gone (Johnny Cash), Pretty Polly (Judy Collins), any number of songs from Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads CD, and others. But then I got my disc from Lefty, which contained two of my choices: Down By the River (Neil Young), and Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix). OK, scratch that.

I’m now working on a new concept, but Gordon himself stole Somebody Got Murdered from me. What to do, what to do? Anyway, I THINK my burning issue is solved, but the discs probably won’t go out until the end of next week. Those not involved in the exchange can still get whatever homicidal package I put together.

The other musical topic is the fact that someone (to whom I owe a picture of myself, but I haven’t had a chance for my wife to take it; I haven’t forgotten) gave me a $25 iTunes card. While I know I could use it on a number of things, I’ve decided that I want to get songs of artists that are one- or two-hit wonders, for whom I don’t need their whole album. So far, I’ve selected:
But It’s All Right (J.J. Jackson), not, as I understand, the late original MTV VJ, but one of the few black artists on Warner/Reprise in the 1960s, along with Bill Cosby.
I Fought the Law (Bobby Fuller Four) in Gordon’s honor.
Expressway to Your Heart (Soul Survivors), with that insistent bass line. Maybe my sister owned the single.
And because I suppose every music-loving boomer is supposed to have it:
Incense and Peppermints (Strawberry Alarm Clock)

But what else? Here are some examples:
I Can Help (Billy Swan) – possibly the least well-known #1 of the era (1972), at least until ServiceStar used it in a commercial.
Why Can’t We Live Together (Timmy Thomas) – so of its period, and yet still relevant.
The Ballad of the Green Berets (S/Sgt. Barry Sadler) – not that I’d actually buy it.

As I pondered this aloud at work, my boss said, “Why don’t you ask the people reading your blog?” What a swell idea! What singles, or for that matter, tracks of albums where the album’s not all that hot, but has one killer cut (“killer cut”? – back to the murder theme?), do you think I should own? I have the Nuggets CD, so I have Wild Thing by the Troggs, e.g.

And while I’m thinking about it: iTunes does NOT have the 12″ (about six-minute)version of Paul Simon’s Boy in the Bubble. Nor does it appear on Simon’s box set, much to my annoyance. Anybody out there know where I can find it in a digital form? (I borrowed my friend Rocco’s vinyl, and put it on a cassette tape about 20 years ago.)
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I mentioned Mario Puzo yesterday, and while looking for something completely different, came across this piece about Superman.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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