Top 50 Favourite Songs: Don Allred

Making this list was too much like an evening spent looking at the mirror. B-but I really do like and listen to and remember a lot of other kinds of music, honest! Most of it I get better in the context of an album, however uneven, as I imagine making a mix, a playlist, and now I see that habit in the segmentation and subsets of this list.


*childhood favorites
—Rosemary Clooney:
* 1.Come On-A My House” (1951)
* 2. “Mambo Italiano” (1954)

3. King Pleasure ft. Blossom Dearie: “Moody’s Mood For Love” (1954)

Mom:
* 4. “The Party’s Over” (1959) – She probably heard Nat King Cole’s 1957 version; he was my Dad’s favorite singer, and Cole’s version turns out to be just the way I remember her singing it.

* 5. Henry Mancini: “Peter Gunn Theme” (1959)
* 6. Johnny Horton: “Battle of New Orleans” (1959)

—Bob Dylan:
7. “Tombstone Blues” (1965)
8. “Desolation Row” (1965)
9. “Dear Landlord” (1967)

—Nico:
10. “Chelsea Girls” (1967
11. “These Days” (1967)
12.Eulogy To Lenny Bruce” (1967)

13. The Beatles: “I Am The Walrus” (1967)

—Fairport Convention:
14. “Nottamun Town” (1969)
15. “I’ll Keep It With Mine” (1969)

16. Flying Burrito Brothers: “Sin City” (1969) – More timely than evah, of course, but what are these righteous harmonists doing in this den of iniquity? The Louvin Brothers on tour? Swapping places with those hotel hallway twins in The Shining? Na. Some say the tape was recorded or mastered or some shit at the wrong speed, a little higher than intended. It works, and never again would Parsons or Hillman sound like they did together, on this album and the relatively disappointing follow-up. (It’s okay, though: Gram was even better while stepping back for Emmylou.)
17. Dusty Springfield: “Willie and Laura Mae Jones”(1969) – Living, working so far out in the country back then that interraciality was a necessity, and fine, ’til “The years rolled past our land, They took back what they’d given,” and Dusty’s silver voice keeps the eerie temporality of beauty rolling on, for a while.
18. Bob Dylan: “If Dogs Run Free” (1970)
19. Velvet Underground: “Rock & Roll” (1970)
20. Janis Joplin: “Mercedes Benz” (1971)
21. Jimi Hendrix: “Pali Gap”(1971) – From the Rainbow Bridge soundtrack, a moonlit instrumental of tiny lifeforms, vibrating faster and faster in the steady change, moonlight guiding waves of phosphorescence.
22. The Kinks: “The Way Love Used To Be” (1973, The Great Lost Kinks Album audio; the 1971 Percy soundtrack crowds the vocal w. instrumental sound)
23. Judy Collins: “Famous Blue Raincoat” (1971)

—Lou Reed:
24. “Wild Child” (1971)
25. “Walk On The Wild Side” (1972)

26. John Cale: “Hanky Panky Nohow” (1973)
27. Phil Everly: “The Air That I Breathe” (1973) – Written by Mike Hazlewood and Albert Hammond (Sr., that Stroke’s Dad), first appeared on AH’s It Never Rains In California (1972), and was covered the next year by Phil—of this version, wiki sez: The Hollies copied the arrangement in its entirety and later acknowledged the producer, Duane Eddy. The Phil Everly version was arranged by Warren Zevon. (Zevon was then the Everlys’ touring pianist, I think.) Late night revelation comes again, with all the power one Everly Brother can generate, which is plenty in this case, and sometimes all that I need. Wiki continues: The 1992 Radiohead song “Creep” uses a similar chord progression and shares some melodic content with the 1972 version of “The Air That I Breathe.” As a result, the song’s publisher sued Radiohead for copyright infringement and a settlement was reached in which Hammond and Hazlewood were given co-writing credits and a portion of the royalties. Would that Phil had sung both/”both” songs, one into the other and back again! Somebody should.


28. Sir Douglas Quintet: “Doin’ It Too Hard” (1973)
29. Bonnie Raitt: “I Feel The Same” (1973)

—Gram Parsons ft. Emmylou Harris:
30. “Hearts on Fire” (1974)
31. “Love Hurts” (1974)
32.$1000 Dollar Wedding” (1974)

33. KC and the Sunshine Band: “I Get Lifted” (1975)

—Richard & Linda Thompson:
34. “Night Comes In” (1975)
35.Hard Luck Stories” (1975)

—John Cale:
36.Mr. Wilson”(1975)
37. “Pablo Picasso” (1975)
38. “Walkin” The Dog”(1979)

39. Chic: “I Want Your Love”(as first heard on 1982’s Soup For One soundtrack, which may or may not be exactly the same as the 1978 12-inch single)

40. Lone Justice: “Don’t Toss Us Away” (1985)
41. Texas Tornados: “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of” (1990) – “When we were makin’ love, last night. You got more out of it, than I put into it—”
42. Giant Sand ft. Pappy Dailey: “Welcome To My World” (1991)
43. Gillian Welch ft. David Rawlings: “Elvis Presley Blues” (2001) – Mountain blues, that is, keening up through mourning and memory to one more time for me and you and P., awright.
44. The Carolina Chocolate Drops: “Hit ‘Em Up Style” (2010)
45. The Bangles: “Open My Eyes” (2015)
46. Willie Nelson ft. Mavis Staples: “Grandma’s Hands”(2013)
47. Kinky Friedman: “My Shit’s Fucked Up” (2015) – One of Warren Zevon’s final headchildren, perfectly delivered by Dr. Kinky.
48. Sunny Sweeney: “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight” (2017)

—Elizabeth Cook:
49.Half Hanged Mary” (2020)
50. “Mary, The Submissing Years” (2020) – From late in Cook’s silver spacesuit, tequila sunrise, unmistakably country—that voice, them tales—Aftermath comes the cotton-chopping rhythm guitar and story of post-hickhop infectiousness inspired by a Margaret Atwood poem, followed by an acoustic homage, prequel, parallel and (possible spoiler) possible sequel to John Prine’s “Jesus, The Missing Years.” Results: more than semi-beautiful.


9 thoughts on “Top 50 Favourite Songs: Don Allred

  1. Yes. Mom is the one I remember singing “The Party’s Over” (after a big party, long in the making); Nat King Cole’s radio hit was her likely source.
    Thanks for adding all the links?

  2. “Thanks for adding links” meant to end w exclamation mark, not question mark, sorry!

  3. Funny, Don, I almost responded yesterday by saying “You’re welcome?” I figured we could start a dance or something. (I only just saw your correction today.)

  4. I love this. My inner-15-year-old self is nodding in deep appreciation of the multitude of VU-related picks. Salute.

  5. Thanks, Ioannis! I should have found room for Moe Tucker’s tremulous, determined, forever young “Waiting For The Man”: whatever else is in this crazy place, she ain’t leaving ’til he gets here and delivers, ditto tomorrow. (On the aptly titled I Spent A Week There The Other Night.)

  6. oops, left out the link for Moe! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d66SbEYAnBI

    One more I wish I’d found room for: Bruce Springsteen labored for years on Born To Run, as the title became ironic, but a lot of it worked, to varying degrees–most of all, for me, in “Meeting Across The River,” which still sounds like a magical one-off: a seemingly basic scenario, with no purple passages, as written, sung, and played. Roy Bittan’s keys get room to breathe, Richard Davis’s bass slips through shadows, as it did on Astral Weeks, and Randy Brecker, having left his own purple passages far behind in Blood Sweat & Tears and The Brecker Brothers Band, leans his trumpet waaay out of
    Cherry’s nightside window and fireescape (I don’t think she’s home). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6OAtvjSf1Y

  7. As someone else once pointed out in Why Music Sucks (or whatever its title was for that issue): for the benefit of all music writers and other stans, sick Lennon twists and screams his way through Larry Williams’ “Bad Boy,” to wit, “Aw BUUUUUYYYYYYYY evah rock-n-roll book, on tha magazine stand—“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8hOfWs2Xmw Which I know best from the all-highlight, cobbled-for-America Beatles VI, but this Past Masters ’09 remaster should give right wrong idea.

  8. From the trenchant No Dirty Names (1970, crispy year), here’s one of Dave Van Ronk’s jazziest (and even Beefhearty, on some of the scatting) studio performances: “One Meat Ball” is still too plainspoken for my bare head—special delivery of home truth, as friends Down Under would put it: “In his/Dreams he/Hears them call/”HE GETS NO BREAD WITH ONE MEAT BALL.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G2iyR7B-cE

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