Category Archives: Music: 52 songs for 52 weeks

Each friday – a new song you should download to your music library – trust me

52 Songs for 52 weeks: Week 52 – Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

This 52 week journey started a year ago with a Peter Gabriel and today it ends with Peter Gabriel.

Solsbury Hill, Gabriel’s first hit after leaving Genesis is the perfect way to end this list.  A great song full of hopefulness.  The imagery is outstanding and it is one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night

It’s just a wonderful song.

And this live version – where Peter Gabriel sings Solsbury Hill while riding a bicycle is a clip that always puts me in a good mood.  gabriel is a guy who knows how to entertain and actually uses his music to make people feel happy.  What’s wrong with that?

Of course if you prefer the studio version – here it is:

That’s a wrap – 52 songs.  Get them in your music library.  Life is short – spend your day singing.

-cj cheetham

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends

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52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Redemption Song by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, None but ourselves can free our minds”.

Week 51.

Joe strummer is an all-time favorite and is the former lead singer of the Clash.

The Clash were a favorite band of my younger days and remain so today.  They had a way of singing about important issues – but did it while having fun.

This song was actually originally recorded (and written by) the late great Bob Marley.  Marley recorded this after he had been diagnosed with cancer – and it is a sad reflective song, but it remains so uplifting and positive.

Strummer’s treatment here is incredible – and ironically this song was released after Strummer had died of a heart attack (too young at age 50 in 2002)

“Without people, you are nothing”

R.I.P. joe Strummer.  Thanks for filling my life with songs.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom
‘Cause all I’ve ever had is:
Redemption songs;

– cj cheetham

P.S.

No – I don’t have any idea why Steve Buscemi is in the tribute video.  Apprently he was a big fan.

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 50 Save It For Later – The English Beat

If anyone ever asks you why were the 1980s so great?  You wouldn’t be wrong if you answered:  “Because of the English Beat”

The ska-influenced Beat recorded some great albums.  Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger on vocals backed by outstanding musicians.   I considered choosing one of their lesser known tunes (End of the Party) but ultimately settled on Save it For Later which was probably their biggest hit in the USA.

The English Beat ended up splitting into two bands that you probably have heard of:  Wakeling and Roger went on to form General Public (and release infectiously happy albums and the massive single:  Tenderness.)  Andy Cox and Dave Steele (guitar and bass respectively) went on to form the Fine Young Cannibals (She Drives Me Crazy); both fine bands.

But it was when all 4 of these guys were together that they recorded their best stuff.  Pick up their album Special Beat Service and you’ll get what I mean.  And yes the video here is great too – forcing bored psuedo-intellectuals to the dance floor.

Happy Music!  We need more of it!

-cj cheetham

P.S.

Check out General Public and Fine Young Cannibals too.  More happiness!

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 49 – Dream On by Aerosmith

Week 49 – we are getting down to the wire now.

From about 1965 through 1980, that’s the era that I would say is the “Greatest Rock and Roll era.”  I’m talking about straight forward rock and roll music with the big guitar, great vocals and huge sound that demanded you turn up the volume.

From that 15 year period there were so many great  bands the Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc.

In 1976, Aerosmith recorded the best rock song of that 15 year period.  I know – you are thinking, “wait a minute.  That can’t be right!  Aerosmith was that showy band on MTV.”

Trust me – I am not crazy.  Forget the MTV Aerosmith.

I’m  talking 1976.   Check out Joe Perry’s guitar and Steven Tyler’s voice on this song.  And on top of all that – the lyrics (below) are great too.  Working hard, clinging to your dreams, and enjoying today because who knows what tomorrow brings?

Perfection.

Really listen to this song today.

-cj cheetham

Dream On:
Everytime that I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face gettin clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dust to dawn
Isnt that the way
Everybodys got their dues in life to pay

I know what nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know its everybodys sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life is in books written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know its true
All the things come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if its just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away
(x2)

Dream on, dream on
Dream yourself a dream come true
Dream on, dream on
Dream until your dream come true
Dream on, dream on, dream on…

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter and sing for the tears
Sing with me, if its just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Omega Man by the Police

A forgotten song from the Ghost in the Machine Album – but probably my favorite song by the Police.  At the time they released Ghost in the Machine the Police were at the beginning of their super-stardom, which would be confirmed when they released the massively successful Synchronicity album.

Omega Man is a short, driving song and it always made me wonder how Stuart Copeland could maintain that drumming pace.   The story of the song is straight out of a Charleton Heston movie – The Omega Man.  Based on a great book “I am Legend” by Richard Matheson (you may have seen the Will Smith film of that name).

Heston is the last man – battling a bizarre cult of vampires.

Omega Man the song is even better than that classic (and somewhat cheesy) film.

I’ll be shocked if you don’t love this song:

-cj cheetham

P.S.

Check out the trailer for Charleton Heston in the Omega Man

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 47 – See the Lights by Simple Minds

I’m in a broken dream I stare out into space
You know I called you up cos nothing takes your place
I’ve got a heart of stone and it’s sinking deep inside
I want to tell you love I’m too proud to cry

Simple Minds literally has it all – great musicians, a strong guitarists, huge production, chorale singers – and Jim Kerr’s booming vocals.

They continue to record – and word has it they will tour America in the coming years and play their greatest hits.  They had many hits in the UK and the USA – but of course are best remembered for Don’t You Forget About Me.  A fine song – but there are many others I like better – and this is one of them.

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Is it Really So Strange? by the Smiths

Week 46

The Smiths – despite a relatively small body of work, remain one of the most influential and critically acclaimed bands on the 1980s.  Morrissey’s lyrics are perfectly complimented by the amazing guitar talent of Johnny Marr.

The Smith’s are of course known for being eternally gloomy – an unfair characterization in my opinion.  While they certainly take life seriously – the music is energetic and ultimately fun.

So, just in time for Valentine’s Day – it’s a sort of love song by one of my favorite bands.

Oh yes, you can kick me

And you can punch me

And you can break my face

But you won’t change the way I feel

‘Cause I love you

See what I mean?  That’s serious and funny at the same time.

-cj cheetham