Finding new music to enjoy can be a challenge. Often, when I start my day, I reach for the songs that I know and love. That gets me into a good mood. I also have a habit of listening to songs to the point that I can’t hear them anymore. To my great regret, I ruined a perfectly good Steve Earle album that way.
To avoid burning out good material, I find it’s important to get some new music into the rotation. Sometimes that’s hearing a song on the radio, getting some kind of algorithmic suggestion from a streaming site or just having a friend ask “have you heard this one?” I find that last way to be the most effective.
In that spirit, I’ve started making some playlists of songs that I’d like other people to enjoy as well. The first playlist which I’d like to introduce is Vile Richard Never Stopped Loving You.
It’s a mellow playlist that spans musical genres, but it’s heavy on Americana, with some Scandinavian artists and other fun stuff added in as well. If you’re in a hurry and only have time for a couple of songs, I recommend starting with the following tracks.
Modern Love (The Last Town Chorus)
One of my favourite tracks on this list is a cover of David Bowie’s “Modern Love” by The Last Town Chorus. It’s mournful and understated. You could be forgiven for thinking that the guitar is speaking to you. If you listen to just one song on the list, it has to be this one. I’ve listened to this track on and off for years and it never gets old. In fact, I would love to get this artist to record some of this guitar on a Vile Richard track. Is there anyone who can put me in touch?
I will also include the original for reference here. It really is a very catchy song and this video really drives that home. I saw Bowie live once and it was a big production. He wasn’t just talented as a musician and songwriter – his sense of showmanship was impressive as well.
Dancing in the Dark (Eddie Berman and Laura Marling)
This is another cover which uncovers something in the song that I never heard in the original. It takes an upbeat pop song and turns it into a ballad. The sparse guitar, the perfection in the harmonies and the complete lack of a hurry make this a genuine pleasure to listen to. When I hear it, I’m not waiting for Courteney Cox to jump on stage. In fact, I’m not waiting for anything. I’m just letting this song take me wherever it wants to go.
For comparison, I include the original below, which is a finely crafted pop song and makes for a nice contrast with the cover. I say contrast, because I’d like you to hear the cover first and then come back to Mr. Springsteen’s performance. I think you’ll appreciate Berman and Marling’s version that much more if you visit the tunes in this order.
And with that, I hope you have a chance to listen to and enjoy Vile Richard Never Stopped Loving You.