Monday, December 31, 2007


It's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete

Do I care about the Oilers? Yes. If I didn't, I wouldn't be talking about them all the bloody time. Are they wearing me out, though? Hell, yes. So, instead of ranting about how my favorite hockey team is making me doubt the existence of God, and, because it's New Year's Eve, I thought I'd focus on another subject: my plan to create the single greatest piano-rock mix ever made.

I've already put in a bunch of groundwork. I have a PhD. in Rock Chemistry from BSU (Bon Scott University), so it's no surprise that I'm moving quickly. I rifled through my cds and iTunes files today, and came up with an early, and I believe extensive, list. It looks like this:

"Southbound"-Allman Brothers
"Up On Cripple Creek"-The Band
"God Only Knows"-The Beach Boys
"Hey Jude"-The Beatles
"A Day In The Life"-The Beatles
"Let It Be"-The Beatles
"Annie Waits"-Ben Folds
"Zak and Sara"-Ben Folds
"The Ascent of Stan"-Ben Folds
"Lean On Me"-Bill Withers
"Piano Man"-Billy Joel
"Only The Good Die Young"-Billy Joel
"She's Always A Woman"-Billy Joel
"Trust Yourself"-Blue Rodeo
"Old Time Rock & Roll"-Bob Seger
"Green Onions"-Booker T. & The MGs
"That's Just The Way It Is"-Bruce Hornsby
"Thunder Road"-Bruce Springsteen
"A Long December"-Counting Crows
"Holiday In Spain"-Counting Crows
"Rain King/Thunder Road" (live)-Counting Crows
"Layla"-Derek & The Dominos
"What A Fool Believes"-Doobie Brothers
"Light My Fire"-The Doors
"L.A. Woman"-The Doors
"Right Place, Wrong Time"- Dr. John
"Your Song"-Elton John
"Honky Cat"-Elton John
"Crocodile Rock"-Elton John
"Tiny Dancer"-Elton John
"Levon"-Elton John
"My Father's Gun"-Elton John
"Blueberry Hill"-Fats Domino
"November Rain"-Guns N' Roses
"Doctor My Eyes"-Jackson Browne
"Running On Empty"-Jackson Browne
"Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On"-Jerry Lee Lewis
"Great Balls Of Fire"-Jerry Lee Lewis
"Don't Stop Believin'"-Journey
"Separate Ways"-Journey
"Tutti Frutti"-Little Richard
"Long Tall Sally"-Little Richard
"Sweet Home Alabama"-Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Walking In Memphis"-Marc Cohn
"Paradise By The Dashboard Light"-Meat Loaf
"After the Gold Rush"-Neil Young
"Bohemian Rhapsody"-Queen
"Mess Around"-Ray Charles
"What'd I Say"-Ray Charles
"Hallelujah"-Rufus Wainwright
"Gimme Some Lovin'"-The Spencer Davis Group
"Reelin' In The Years"-Steely Dan
"Rikki Don't Lose That Number"-Steely Dan
"Superstition"-Stevie Wonder
"Higher Ground"-Stevie Wonder
"Jump"-Van Halen
"Right Now"-Van Halen
"Werewolves of London"-Warren Zevon

Rock aficionados will notice the presence of other keyboard instruments in the list. The clavinet, organ, harpsichord and synthesizer are all represented. But I've narrowed this list down to a first draft of a mix, which is 75 minutes long, and features only piano songs. It looks like this:

"Old Time Rock & Roll"-Bob Seger
"Mess Around"-Ray Charles
"Bohemian Rhapsody"-Queen
"Werewolves of London"-Warren Zevon
"Doctor My Eyes"-Jackson Browne
"Layla"-Derek & The Dominos
"Piano Man"-Billy Joel
"Walking In Memphis"-Marc Cohn
"That's Just The Way It Is"-Bruce Hornsby
"Hallelujah"-Rufus Wainwright
"Thunder Road"-Bruce Springsteen
"Zak and Sara"-Ben Folds
"Tiny Dancer"-Elton John
"A Long December"-Counting Crows
"Hey Jude"-The Beatles

I'm going to tinker with that mix. It's close, but not perfect. I'm eager to chat about three things: a) songs that are missing from the overall list, and why they should be included; b) songs that should make my final mix; c) your own final mix list, which must come in at under 80 minutes. As a bonus, here's video of Ben Folds performing "Tiny Dancer", Zevon doing "Werewolves", the air synthesizer in the "Separate Ways" video, and the late, great John Candy doing the Mess Around. Happy New Year's, everybody!


3 Van Halen tunes:
- Jump
- Right Now
- 316

Did you read my list, Marc? Cmon, now!

Oh, For F**ks Sake!

Sorry, early morning I guess.

hospital beds by the cold war kids might make this list in 10 years.

I have no aversion to putting it in the mix now if it rocks. I'll take a listen.

I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats is a must-include on any such list, IMO.

Good one, Matt. Excellent choice.

I think you need to complete the classic Gunners trilogy...wither Estranged and Don't Cry...and Civil War for that matter

no love for Baba O'Riley?

Misunderstood by Wilco

something from R.E.M, nightswimming maybe?

some Bob Wiseman era Blue Rodeo, such as Diamond Mine?


some Bob Wiseman era Blue Rodeo, such as Diamond Mine?

"Trust Yourself" is on the list. "Nightswimming" is an excellent suggestion. "Baba O'Riley," too.

The presence of Journey on any list besides "Worst band ever" makes me retch.

How about Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding by Elton John.

I may spend my evening looking up as many of these as I can on YouTube. Awesome list.

You need Jungleland by Bruce Springsteen. Not only is that his masterpiece, but the piano is really prominent, especially at the beginning and end.

Jungleland is a beauty, and should be on the list, but I consider Thunder Road to be his masterpiece.

Andy, if you haven't come across this yet, check it out:

They've also got a link to a site devoted exclusively to the mix tape. Should be right up your alley...

You need to keep Neil Young on there, and probably should give R.E.M. a spot. Then again, it's your mix not mine.

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