the 90’s

Bjork It's Oh So Quiet SOTD

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk

Day 2 of June’s Song of the Day theme – Women in Music in the ’90s – features one of the most danceable, addictive, theatrical, feel-good songs from the ’90s, “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk. “It’s Oh So Quiet” is tied with “Army of Me” as my go-to Björk track, tied for favorite, a tune that will always put me in a better mood. Always.

The song is track 4 from Björk’s 1995 album, Post, her second solo release. Something new that I learned about the song today is that it’s a cover. I’d always assumed it was an original. But no, it was Betty Hutton who recorded and released the catchy tune in 1951 as the B-Side to her single, “Murder, He Says”. But that isn’t the original either. Betty’s is a version of a German song, “Und jetzt ist es still”, performed by Horst Winter in 1948, with music composed by the Austrian composer, Hans Lang, and lyrics by Erich Meder. The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld. A French title, “Tout est tranquille”, was performed in 1949 by Ginette Garcin and the Jacques Hélian Orchestra. (from Wikipedia)

Damn, this song has made its way all over the world. I think it’s time to have a listen, don’t you think? Let’s start with Today’s Song of the Day, Björk’s 1995 version.

“It’s Oh So Quiet” by Björk
from the album, Post (1995)
Song of the Day

“The sky caves in.
The devil cuts loose.
You blow blow blow blow your fuse.
When you’ve fallen in love.”

Listening to “It’s So Quiet” this early Sunday morning I immediately remember a local bar my friends and I used to go to, in the mid-90s, that had this very cool jukebox (oh how I love jukeboxes). This was one of my favorites to play. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was always part of my rotation when I slid my money in to pick a handful of songs.

Bjork SOTD LD

It also reminds me of an apartment I had, my stereo in the living room, this song blasting out of the speakers while I danced around, bouncing up and down to the loud and soft (shhhh) intervals of “It’s Oh So Quiet”.

I’m getting that urge to dance around my living room right now, but I’m trying to “quiet” the desire and keep on writing. I mean, really, how can you not want to dance to this?

“It’s Oh So Quiet” became Björk’s biggest hit in the UK. It led to the Icelander’s subsequent single releases “Hyperballad” and “Possibly Maybe” also reaching the UK Top 20. Björk later virtually disowned the song by not including it on her 2002 greatest hits album. It is thought that Björk was disappointed that her most popular song is an unusual cover done in a style totally different to anything else she has recorded.

Bjork sotd lyriquediscorde

Björk was quoted as saying this about the song, in Record Collector, August 2002:

“It was sort of a joke really. It was a song Guy Sigsworth used to play on the bus when we were touring. Ever since I almost regret doing it because I wanted to put so much importance on making new music. So many people are doing old music and you’ve even got new bands doing old music. If I put something out in this world, it would be the courage to go ahead and invent things, so it’s ironic ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ became my biggest song. The best bit was the video.” (from Björk.com)

The music video (see above) was directed by Spike Jonze and was inspired by musicals of the ’40s-’60s, notably the 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Björk was ill with a fever and could only speak in a whisper during the shoot. (from Songfacts)

Let’s have a listen to Betty Hutton’s 1951 version now:

What do you think? Björk’s version is definitely a loyal cover of the high energy, musical-style tune.

Björk Song of the Day LD

I hit play on Björk’s take on the song again, and I inhale those feelings of listening to it back in 1995. I was 26. I remember really feeling this song, singing it with that glow and shine that usually accompany that first falling for someone feeling.

I’m reminded, too, that this was the year I’d see Björk play live for the first time. She played it then. My friend and I danced around in the crowd, my head spinning in that drunk and a little delirious kind of way.

Do you have any specific memories attached to “It’s Oh So Quiet”?

Let’s end today’s trip back to 1995 by going back to the 40’s, with the actual original.

“Und jetzt ist es still” by Horst Winter

Wait. I changed my mind. Let’s end instead with Björk performing the song live. Okay?

“It’s Oh So Quiet” (live, 1995) by Björk

The Cranberries Song of the Day Lyriquediscorde

“I Can’t Be With You” by The Cranberries

“I Can’t Be With You” by The Cranberries is my Favorite Track off of their second Studio Album, No Need to Argue. The Single was the third from the Album everywhere except North America where it was released as the fourth, and final Single. (from Wikipedia)

Song of the Day Lyriquediscorde Header

I bought the CD of No Need to Argue the day it came out, and “I Can’t Be With You” was my First Listen Favorite. It has remained my Favorite from the Album since then, and is in my Top 5 Favorite Cranberries Songs list, as well. Oh, and the Album, No Need to Argue, is my Favorite of The Cranberries, followed very closely by Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?.

“I Can’t Be With You” by The Cranberries
from the Album, No Need to Argue (1994)
Song of the Day

“Put your hands in my hands,
and come with me,
we’ll find another end.
And my head,
and my head
on anyone’s shoulder,
’cause I can’t be with you.”

The Cranberries I Can't Be With You Single

“I Can’t Be With You” as a Single achieved minor chart success in most of the European countries where it was released, peaking at #21 in Ireland, its highest position in the various charts. This Single was less successful than the previous Cranberries’ Singles.

I had the CD Single, and played it Obsessively, as I did the entire Album. It was 1994. It was the year I would see The Cranberries play live with the man I would marry years later, in 2000, and have two kids with. We were both in love with Dolores’ Voice and The Cranberries’ first two Albums, and we were both in love with each other.

“I Can’t Be with You” (live, 1994) by The Cranberries

He would end his lie in 2009. We would lose Dolores this year. I hope somewhere they’ve met up, or he’s gotten to see her play live again. They are both missed.

The Cranberries I Can't Be With You Song of the Day

The Music Video (see above) was directed by Samuel Bayer, who also directed Nirvana’s iconic Video, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, several others of The Cranberries’ Singles, including “Zombie”, and a whole lot more from other Bands and Artists.

The Cranberries I Can't Be With You Video

I’m crazy Obsessed with how Dolores looks in this video. I want both of her outfits, especially the crocheted beret and that suit. I’m also sitting her contemplating her hair color. I’m crazy about both looks she has in this Video.

The Cranberries I Can't Be With You Dolores Look

The CD Single for “I Can’t Be With You” included The Cranberries’ dreamy cover of The Carpenters’ “(They Long To Be) Close To You”, originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis. I love this Version.

“(They Long To Be) Close To You” by The Cranberries

Until right now I’d forgotten that that Cover was on the CD Single. I need to dig through a stack of CD’s that I gave to my younger daughter and see if I still have the Single. I’d love to play it again.

What do you think of The Cranberries’ “I Can’t Be With You”? What is your Favorite Cranberries Song from the Album No Need to Argue?

Uma Thurman Where Were You in 1994 Throwback Thursday Lyriquediscorde

Where were you in 1994?

Throwback Thursday Playlist Lyriquediscorde

Where were you in 1994?
A Throwback Thursday Playlist

Listen on Spotify or YouTube

Uma Thurman Where Were You in 1994 Throwback Thursday Lyriquediscorde

“Pretty Good Year” by Tori Amos
“Violet” by Hole
“Strange Currencies” by R.E.M.
“I Can’t Be With You” by The Cranberries
“Your Ghost” by Kristin Hersh
“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star
“Do You Sleep?” by Lisa Loeb And Nine Stories
“Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails
“Nothingman” by Pearl Jam
“Far Behind” by Candlebox
“Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden
“All That She Wants” by Ace Of Base
“Feel the Pain” by Dinosaur Jr.
“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
“Love Spreads” by The Stone Roses
“Girls and Boys” by Blur
“Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa featuring En Vogue
“Live Forever” by Oasis
“Babies” by Pulp
“Whip-Smart” by Liz Phair
“Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer
“Until I Fall Away” by Gin Blossoms
“Something’s Always Wrong” by Toad The Wet Sprocket
“Sour Times” by Portishead
“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill
“A Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins
“Here and Now” by Letters To Cleo
“Seether” by Veruca Salt
“Glycerine” by Bush
“Mockingbirds” by Grant Lee Buffalo

Where were you in 1994?

It’s all too much :: SOTD

Paul and Joan.jpg

“Kiss me.
Would you, would you,
kiss me.
Would you, would you,
kiss me,
lift me,
right out of this world.”

Come Together (Farley Mix) :: Primal Scream
from the album, Screamadelica (1991)

About the song:

“Come Together” (above) is from the album Screamdelica. The primary DJ’s of the album were Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley. The Weatherall mix was released on the UK pressings of Screamadelica, but Farley’s version (above) was released on the US pressings.

(Note: This is the only version I ever remember hearing of the song).

“Come Together” is the longest track on the album. For the US version (above), the sample of the woman saying “That’s beautiful…that’s really beautiful…I like that” was taken from the film Sex, Lies and Videotape, and is spoken by Andie MacDowell.

The song’s chord progression is based on Tommy McCook and The Aggrovator’s 1975 song, “The Dub Station”.

My Thoughts:

As I was looking through old journal postings elsewhere, looking for a character inspiration for something I am writing, I came across this photograph of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. This song, “Come Together” was playing in my ears, as I’ve had Primal Scream’s Screamadelica playing most of my early morning. Something about the two, the song, and the photograph, feel connected. I had to stop what I was doing and listen to the song again, and then one more time after.

I am reminded of an apartment I once lived in. The cold that seeped in through windows that never seemed to close just right. A worn out mattress on the floor near said windows. We were always cold, and never cold, in that apartment, together. At least that is how I am remembering it this morning.

We never listened to this song together, though I can imagine we did. I think it was probably one we both liked, on our own, at some point. We probably spun around to it on dance floors, miles and state lines away from each other, chemicals buzzing just under our skin. Not “coming together” until years later.

I know I spun around to this song. I know I was spun to this song…once upon a music time ago.

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Let’s take it back to 1990 :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist

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Let’s take it back to 1990 :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist
Listen here on Spotify

Enjoy the Silence :: Depeche Mode
Pictures of You :: The Cure
Candy :: Iggy Pop, featuring Kate Pierson
Suicide Blonde :: INXS
There She Goes :: The La’s
It Must Have Been Love :: Roxette
Classic Girl :: Jane’s Addiction
Joey :: Concrete Blonde
Groove is in the Heart :: Deee-Lite
Vogue :: Madonna
Heaven or Las Vegas :: Cocteau Twins
Here’s Where the Story Ends :: The Sundays
Freedom ’90 :: George Michael
Cradle of Love :: Billy Idol
Birdhouse in Your Soul :: They Might Be Giants
Dig for Fire :: Pixies
Man in the Box :: Alice In Chains
Vision Thing :: Sisters Of Mercy
The Only Time :: Nine Inch Nails
Step On :: Happy Mondays
Hard to Handle :: The Black Crowes
Ball & Chain :: Social Distortion
The Emperor’s New Clothes :: Sinead O’Connor
I’m Free :: The Soup Dragons
Way Down Now :: World Party
Kool Thing :: Sonic Youth
The Only One I Know :: The Charlatans
Metropolis :: The Church
Butterfly on a Wheel :: The Mission
Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning :: Cowboy Junkies
Special One :: Ultra Vivid Scene

Come to me :: the 90’s

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“You know i’m waiting –
I love you endlessly.”

About the song:

“C’mon Billy” was the second single released on PJ Harvey’s 1995 album, To Bring You My Love.

Considered one of the more solemn tracks on the album, the song depicts a woman begging for the aforementioned Billy to come home and meet his son.

The song #29 on the U.K. Charts and had moderate airplay in the U.K.

The music video (see below) shows PJ Harvey in a saloon setting. While there she attempts to seduce a man there implied to be Billy. The video then shows imaginary home movies of Harvey, Billy, and a baby boy playing together in a park. Although the video impressed VH1 executives, they rejected it from being able to play on their channel because the video was seen as scary and off-putting.

PJ+Harvey+Cmon+Billy+49388

My thoughts:

To Bring You My Love was my first falling-in-love-with-PJ album. I would later fall for earlier releases, but THIS was the album that did it for me. This song was one of my early favorites, and I still love it. I have clung to it a few times for inspiration, and a character I am writing in a novel got his name from this song.

There is desperation in this song, there is anger and passion and love, loss and a sense of betrayal. PJ’s voice travels across that emotional landscape, not missing a one. There is an old Western feel to the music, something incredibly cinematic, which is also why I think I’ve turned to the song as muse for my own writing, and creating.

C’mon Billy :: PJ Harvey
from the album, To Bring You My Love

Because he’s all I ever knew of love :: the 90’s

5

“Don’t you tell me to deny it.
I’ve done wrong,
and I want to suffer,
for my sins.”

About the song:

“Criminal” is a song by Fiona Apple. It was released as the third single from her 1997 album, Tidal.

Fiona has said the song is about “feeling bad for getting something so easily by using your sexuality.”

“Criminal” is Fiona’s biggest hit, peaking at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as #4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 40th Grammy Awards, and was also nominated for Best Rock Song that same year.

The song’s music video (see below) was directed by Mark Romanek with cinematography by Harris Savides. The video features Fiona sulking in various states of undress.It is said to explore themes of voyeurism and adolescence.

In 1998, the video won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography.

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My thoughts:

Seriously, how good is Fiona Apple’s album Tidal? Fuck, it just blows me away, even know, twenty years later, and a gazillion listens. Every song cut into me like a razor-sharp blade, bleeding me out, making me feel vindicated, saved, and understood.

This song, sometimes its a hard one to feel. It picks at those unhealed scabs of regret for lovers left too soon, or because of my own issues, and messed up heart and mind. It reminds me of those acts of cruelty, that may not have seemed cruel at the time, just careless, or based in fear. But, someone was hurt, and usually, one of those someone’s was me, too.

Criminal :: Fiona Apple
from the album, Tidal

I get defensive :: the 90’s

4

“And if I seemed to be confused, 
I didn’t meant to be
with you.
And, when you said I scared you,
well I guess
you scared me, too.”

About the song:

“Joey” is the ninth track from Concrete Blonde’s third and most commercially successful albums, Bloodletting. The song was released in 1990, and was sung by lead singer, Johnette Napolitano.

One interpretation that’s been made of the song is that it’s about a man who is in love with alcohol.

Johnette mentioned in her book, Rough Mix, that the song was written about her relationship with Marc Moreland of the band Wall of Voodoo (who would eventually die of liver failure).

It became the group’s biggest hit, spending  4-weeks atop the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, and crossing over to pop radio, reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song was written in the cab on the way to the studio; it was the last vocal recorded on the album due to Napolitano’s reluctance to record the lyrics, which were hard for her to deal with.

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My thoughts:

I’m with Johnette on this one – sometimes these lyrics are really hard to deal with. They resonate with me in a way that is painful and raw, but real and poetic and evocative, too. Sometimes the pain is okay to feel, sometimes, I suppose, it may even be necessary, cathartic even.

To me, I’ve always interpreted the song to be about dealing with a lover with an addiction issue, and wanting to be with them, wanting to forgive them, and doing so, over and over again. There seems to be so many complex emotions going on – guilt, love, frustration, hope, doubt, compassion, anger, and a sense of resolve, too.

I don’t know what happens with these two, though. I fear a repeating cycle, but maybe they find their way out – together.

It is definitely among my list of favorite songs.

Joey :: Concrete Blonde
from the album, Bloodletting

Just listening to records and watching the sun falling :: the 90’s

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“And anyways,
I’d rather listen to Coltrane,
than go through all that shit again.”

About the song:

“Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning” is the first track off of the Cowboy Junkies’ album, The Caution Horses. The Caution Horses is the band’s fourth album that was released in 1990.

The Caution Horses was first album following their 1988 breakthrough The Trinity Session.

The Caution Horses features a more conventional, polished sound than that album’s spare, haunting country blues. As a consequence, the album was savaged by music critics, who charged that the band had sacrificed their distinctive style.

However, the album’s accessibility to mainstream pop and rock audiences also meant that it received more radio airplay and spawned bigger chart hits (“Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning” and “Rock and Bird”, which featured Bruce Hornsby on the piano on the single version) than The Trinity Session had.

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My thoughts:

On my ultimate break-up song list, “Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning” is one of those songs that tries to celebrate a new single status. The voice of the song seems to be talking herself into the happy sides of having the bed, and the movie popcorn, all to herself…but…there is sadness, there is an undercurrent of loss and mourning, and missing, but there is that persistence to survive, too. The song isn’t jaded, it isn’t angry, but it is determined.

I’ve played this song loudly when trying to get over a love gone. I think, too, sometimes I have sung-a-long feeling more of the sadness and grief, and other times, I have sung-a-long truly rejoicing the extra space in the bed, the control of the movie choices, and the time to think on myself.

Break-ups are hard, no matter whose idea it was, and we need songs that hit on all the ways they feel, sometimes all wrapped up in one song even.

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Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning (1990) :: Cowboy Junkies
from the album, The Caution Horses

Makes me feel blue :: the 90’s

1

“What’s gonna happen?
How will I know,
when things are back
the way they used to be before?”

About the song:

The song, “Sight of You”, is track 10 off of the 1990 album, The Comforts of Madness, by the band Pale Saints.

The Comforts of Madness was the debut studio album from Pale Saints, released by 4AD on February 12, 1990. The album set Ian Masters’ dreamy, choirboy-like vocals against dark and slightly experimental noise pop.The album reached the Top 40 of the U.K. Albums Chart.

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My thoughts:

This song is actually a new discovery of mine, found on a massive 1990’s compilation that I found via  a friend who shared the Spotify playlist. It reminds me of so much of the music I was listening to in the early 90’s, especially Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Ocean Blue and even some of New Order. Shoegaze (was that even a “thing” in 1990?) meets dreamy pop meets noise pop meets alternative, this is still so my “cup of tea” (or coffee), so to speak.

I feel like I need to dive in and get to know Pale Saints more. Its never too late to discover new music, even when its only “new” to you.

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Sight of You (1990) :: Pale Saints
from the album, The Comforts of Madness

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