In keeping with the teen nostalgia theme I’ll go with this weekend, another track that is permanently burned on my musical memory from that time period.
Back when Muchmusic still played videos (and to give them credit, they played them regularly for years beyond MTV), they also began releasing a series of compilations entitled Big Shiny Tunes, a sort of ‘hits of the year’ deal that slanted in favour of rock. The first five were a fantastic way to avoid paying for CD singles in the pre-Napster days. The very first compilation was incredible: Garbage, Poe, No Doubt, Filter, Bush, I Mother Earth… and this song by Better Than Ezra.
Something about the lyrics, about the images they conjure, breaks my heart into pieces and leaves me rapt with awe. It’s not that the metaphors are ingenious or worthy of a writing award for technical skill; it’s more the notion of watching a man be kicked to the ground, of that sort of scene where people are desperate for money, desperate for more than money… It always struck me deep down. I cannot listen to this song at home without singing along; in fact, it’s one of my favourite songs to sing. I go right to town, drumming away and belting at the top of my lungs. It belongs in Rock Band, as far as I’m concerned.
God save the King of New Orleans, indeed.
Day Thirty-Two: King Of New Orleans – Better Than Ezra