Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Forgotten great songs part one

This is going to be a new "feature" I do from time to time, focusing on wonderful songs by well known artists that don't get the same amount of notice as some of that artists other songs but deserve it. I'll try to do at least one of these a week.

Snow In San Anselmo by Van Morrison. Album: Hardnose The Highway

I've always thought it was a shame that the general public never delved into Van Morrison's work beyond Brown Eyed Girl and Moondance. Those are great songs, to be sure, but there countless other gems in his catalog that many people will never get to hear and honestly don't care to, because they aren't bouncy pop songs.

One such song is Snow... It tells a simple story of people sitting in a 24 hour pancake house in a desert town, watching the first snowfall the town has seen in about thirty years. The music and mood has a tenseness and anxious urgency that seems to imply that there's more going on here than meets the eye. Almost like we're missing half the story, the characters in the song seem relived for the distraction of the freak snow storm...but a distraction from what? We're offered few clues, perhaps only "a madman looking for a fight" or "if you suffer from insomnia/you can spend your time away." Morrison himself has said this song is just a sketch of a moment in time and doesn't have any deeper meanings. I like to think this song is an example of a piece taking on life beyond what it's creator intended.

Here's a peek at future songs I plan to cover on here:
Bob Dylan-Jokerman
Elvis Presley-Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues
Pink Floyd-If
David Bowie-The Motel
The Beach Boys-Disney Girls (1957)
Frank Zappa-Catholic Girls
The Talking Heads-The Facts Of Life
I'll try to think of even more soon!

1 comment:

  1. Cool idea for posts Brian. Van Morrison's a great pick too. You could spend a day going through his catalog picking up overlooked gems. Great suggestion with Snow. I'll give that a fresh listen.