Strategist Pedro de Gouveia brought you the Lockdown playlist: 35 songs for 35 days of solidarity. DJ Peds will continue adding a song a day to this playlist to keep us positive and dancing through the next levels of lockdown. Stay safe and enjoy!
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01/05: The Eagles, Take It Easy
- As we head into the long weekend, here’s the first of a country-tinged threesome over the next three days.
- It’s the first single released in 1972 by the hugely successful country rock band, The Eagles, with their Worker’s Day words of wisdom: Take It Easy.
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.
02/05: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
- This song was released in the US 2010 and reached no 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Song charts.
- It went onto to become a global hit and received plenty of airplay in SA.
03/05: Glen Campbell, Witcha Lineman
- Herewith the last of this weekend’s country threesome.
- About a guy workling on the telephone lines in rural Witcha, Kansas.
- Yip decades before cellphones…
- In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” ranked “Wichita Lineman” at number 195.
- The BBC referred to it as “one of those rare songs that seems somehow to exist in a world of its own – not just timeless but ultimately outside of modern music.
- It has to be good when even Homer Simpson sang it in one of The Simpsons episodes.
- Have a spin and see if you agree.
04/05: Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit
- Time for a detour from our three day country crawl.
- Time for an early nineties mega hit.
- One which defined a decade and a generation.
- Generation X.
- NME ranked this song number two on its list of “100 Greatest Singles of All Time”.
- Rolling Stone ranked it 9th on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.
- One thing for sure, it’s sure to wake up anyone on this planet on any given Monday morning.
- Even in Macao, where it achieved Platinum status.
05/05: U2, Where The Streets Have No Name
- The opening track off their best selling album the Joshua Tree, this song took 40% of the time it took to record the entire album.
- U2’s 1987 hit.
With a classic opening organ and guitar solo building up to a great wall of sound fronted by Bono’s vocals.
It’s release was supported by a memorable music video which paid homage to the Beatle’s 1969 Apple Studios roof top concert, winning U2 a Grammy in 1987.
06/05: Linkin Park, In The End
- Today’s song was released in 2001 and went onto to become Billboard’s second most played song of the decade.
- VH1 ranked it 85 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songs of the ‘00s.
It reached number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart for 5 weeks.
Yes, it even got to number one in Poland.
Keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars. As it always matters, how hard you try.
07/05: Isaac Hayes, The Theme From Shaft
- Written and recorded by him in 1971, it’s a soul and funk-styled theme song to a MGM film.
- Reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 by November that year.
The following year it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Rerecorded for the 2000 sequel.
Played or parodied on TV shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Sesame Street, The X-Files and The Wire.
- Burger King even used it in a 1998 commercial.
08/05: Outcast, Hey Ya!
- Today’s song has been described as an “electro/folk-rock/funk/power pop/hip-hop/neo-soul/kitchen sink rave-up. Spot on.
- This song sat at number on the US Hot 100 for nine weeks from December 2003 to February 2004.
- Rolling Stone ranked it at number 4 on their list of 100 Best Songs of the Aughts.
- It even helped revitalise the Polaroid Corporation.
- Although shaking a Polaroid picture has no effect on the film’s development. It may even do some damage…
- Nonetheless they capitalised on this allusion.
- Sponsoring parties for the band at which Polaroid cameras were distributed.
09/05: Randy Crawford & The Crusaders, Street Life
- Many songs have the word street in their title. On Tuesday we had the Streets with No Name.
- There are these songs: Across 110th Street, Dancing in the Street, Streets of Philadelphia, In the Street You Live.
- Then we have bands like The Streets and The E Street Band.
- There’s a reason for this.
- A city, town, village, neighbourhood and community, is defined by its streets.
- Together with their sounds, sights, smells, character and characters.
- It’s something we’re not experiencing much of right now.
- Bringing me onto today’s song. The timeless 1979 release.
- Used at the end of Tarantino’s 1997 release, Jacky Brown.
- Weirdly the song’s 79 release marked the end of The Crusaders.
- And the launch of Randy Crawford’s career.
- Who initially, wasn’t even credited on the single….
- That’s Life.
- Here’s to us enjoying the return of Street Life in the near future.
10/05: Josh Groban, You Raise Me Up
- There’s only one song to celebrate this special day.
- A song originally composed by the Norwegian-Irish duo Secret Garden 2002.
- I know, who knew…
- The song has since been recorded by more than a hundred other artists.
- Including Irish boy band Westlife in 2005.
- Today’s version made it to number one on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in early 2004.
- Staying there for six weeks.
- We Raise a Glass to All Our Mothers. Today. Happy Mother’s Day Moms.
11/05: Soft Cell, Tainted Love
- Today’s song composed by Ed Cobb, formerly of American group the Four Preps, which was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964.
- Buoyed by the then-dominant synth-pop new wave sound of the time and a memorable performance on the BBC’s Top of the Pops, this song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
- Becoming the best-selling single of 1981 in the UK. It also become a number one hit in South Africa.
- It has since been covered by numerous artists.
- From Grace Jones to Marilyn Manson.
12/05: Vangelis, Chariots of Fire
- This week we’ll listen to some of the all-time classic movie themes, on alternate days.
- So it’s time for another instrumental.
- In a year in which the Summer Olympics have been postponed, today’s theme comes from a movie based on the true story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics.
- It went onto to win an Oscar whilst the movie won four in total.
- It became the only song by a Greek artist to top the US charts.
- An artist who’s many memorable movie themes could easily fill up a week of daily tracks.
- From the 1981 movie of the same name
- So jump onto your chairiot (see what I did there), push on and go for gold.
13/05: Tom Petley, I Won’t Back Down
- Today’s song was released in April 1989 as the lead single from the artist’s first solo album, Full Moon Fever.
- The song was co-written by ELO’s Jeff Lynne, his writing partner for the album.
- It reached number 12 othe Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Album Rock Tracks chart for five weeks, starting the album’s road to multi-platinum status.
- Petty recalled the recording of this song to Mojomagazine: “At the session George Harrison sang and played the guitar. I had a terrible cold that day, and George went to the store and bought a ginger root, boiled it and had me stick my head in the pot to get the ginger steam to open up my sinuses, and then I ran in and did the take.”
- He didn’t back down to the flu.
- We won’t back down to COVID-19.
14/05: Underworld, Born Slippy
- Released in 1995, today’s song was featured in 1996 Danny Boyle film Trainspotting, where it could be heard in the final scene.
- The movie highlighted the horrors of drug abuse and the band in question initially said no to producer Danny Boyle’s request to include it in the movie.
- After seeing it in the editing suite, they realized it was the opposite of glorification.
- It perfectly put the song back into context.
- The song was a cry for help.
- The movie stoked immense public interest in the previously little known track, helping the single peak at #2 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1996.
- Fun fact: the title came from the name of a greyhound, which the band had bet on and won.
15/05: Evanescence, Bring Me To Life
- Today’s track was recorded in 2003 for this US rock band’s debut album.
- The song went onto win in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards where it was also nominated for Best Rock Song.
- It peaked within the top 10 of more than 15 countries, and within the top 20 of several other countries, making it the band’s most successful single to date.
- It was certified Platinum in 2003 for selling more than one million copies in the United States.
- Topping the charts of Australia, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom.
- In June 2011, the song returned to the top of the UK Rock & Metal Singles Chart, eight years after its original release, remaining at number one for two weeks.
- Have rocking Friday everyone.
16/05: The Allman Brothers Band, Jessica
- Today’s instrumental won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards.
- Even though it was released back in 1973. It became a standard in rotations for classic rock radio stations in the following decades.
- A 2006 Wall Street Journal article deemed it “a true national heirloom”.
- Better known locally as the opening theme to the global hit BBC TV show, Top Gear.
- First featured in 2002, it has outlived numerous presenters who’ve since come and gone.
- Continuing into the most recent 28th Series.
- With a slightly updated version of the tune.
- The song has also featured in the movies Field of Dreams, Did You Hear About the Morgans? Fear and even Lassie…
17/05: Al Stewart, Year Of The Cat
- Today’s song was released in the UK & US in 1976.
- It only reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1997.
- Yet it remains this little known UK artist’s signature track.
- Receiving regular airplay on both classic and folk rock stations.
- It’s quirky title came from a girlfriend’s book on Vietnamese astrology, which was open on the chapter: The Year Of The Cat.
- Yet the song’s lyrics were inspired by the movie Casablanca.
- Today’s song has four lengthy music solos, encompassing cello, violin, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer and saxphone.
18/05: Kings of Leon, Use Somebody
- Today’s song was the second single from this US band’s fourth studio album Only by the Night (2008), released in December, 2008.
- The single received heavy airplay in Scandinavia, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, where it was number one on the Official Airplay Chart for six consecutive weeks.
- It was a huge success in the U.S., where it topped multiple airplay formats and reached number four on the Hot 100 and number one on the Pop Songs chart.
- The song received positive reviews and won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song.
- It was also nominated for Song of the Year.
19/05: The Orb, Little Fluffy Clouds
- It was originally released in November 1990 and peaked at #87 on the UK Singles Chart.
- It ranked number 275 in UK music journalism website – NME’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- The song makes extensive use of clips from an interview with American singer Rickie Lee Jones in which she recalls images of her childhood.
- Enjoy this interesting track in the comfort of your ambient house.
20/05: Boston, More than a Feeling
- This single peaked at number five on USA’s Billboard Hot 100 in 1976.
- The track is now a staple of classic rock, and in 1999, it was named the 39th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
- It was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
21/05: Simon & Garfunkel, Mrs Robinson
- During the filming of the 1967 film The Graduate, director Mike Nichols, who had become a fan of Simon & Garfunkel’s work, asked for permission to use their music in the soundtrack, and for them to write a new song.
- Originally, they pitched “Punky’s Dilemma” and “Overs”, but after Nichols rejected them, they showed him what became “Mrs. Robinson”.
- An early, shorter version of the song is what’s included in the film.
- The complete song debuted on their album Bookends, a few months after the release of the film soundtrack.
- As the song already existed before being included in the film, there’s no apparent connection between them; the lyrics suggest a mental hospital setting where Mrs. Robinson lives. Some critics consider it an epilogue to the film.
- “Mrs. Robinson” was released as a single in April 1968, and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, while it also helped to keep The Graduate soundtrack as #1 on the Billboard 200 for about a month and a half, until Bookends superseded it.
- The song won the 1969 Grammy for Record of the Year as well.
- It has also featured in the soundtracks of Forrest Gump & romantic comedy, Rumor Has It.
- In 2013, a cover by the Lemonheads was used in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
22/05: UWA (translation – UWHAA!), Pongo
- Thanks to fast tracks, infectious grooves and crazy percussion.
- Gaining her fans from France to the US and regular airplay on BBC Radio’s 6 Music.
23/05: Paolo Conte, Via Con Me (Come Away with Me)
- So we can’t go out to our favourite Italian restaurant.
- Visiting Italy is a long, long way off.
- Here’s the next best thing. A classic Italian number.
- A prominent Italian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter.
- Whose most famous works often evoke his love and admiration of classical American jazz and swing.
- His most famous song, and arguably one of the most internationally well-known Italian songs of all time, is a song about romance and runaway lovers that is at once passionate and harrowingly disenchanted.
- It’s been featured in such films as Lawrence Kasdan’s French Kiss (1995), and the George Clooney-starring crime comedy, Welcome to Collinwood (2002).
24/05: Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry, 7 Seconds
- Today’s duet was released in 1994 and reached number one in numerous countries.
- In France it stayed at number on for 16 weeks.
- It also won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song of 1994.
- The song is trilingual as the lead singer sings in 3 languages: French, English and the West African language Wolof.
- A true World Music classic it also reached number one in Finland, Iceland, Italy and Switzerland.
- In 2012 Youssou N’Dour was appointed Minister of Culture and Tourism in his home country, Senegal.
- Neneh Cherry continues to record and perform.
- Last year saw the 30th Anniversary of her internationally acclaimed debut album, Raw Like Sushi.
- With it being remastered rereleased early in January 2020.
25/05: Blondie fronted by Debbie Harry, Call Me
- This song, performed by the pioneers of American punk and then new wave in early 1970s New York, spent six consecutive weeks at No.1 in the US.
- Until it was knocked off by Lipps Inc.’s Funkytown.
- It also reached number one in the UK and Canada, and got to no 2 in SA.
- Today’s number was the main theme song to the 1980 film American Gigolo.
- Produced and co-written by Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder.
- Yip, 40 years ago…
26/05: The Killers, AIl These Things That I’ve Done
- Today’s song was released as the third single from this Las Vegas band’s debut album Hot Fuss, in 2004.
- It features gospel choir The Sweet Inspirations.
- Although not their biggest hit, the song was critically acclaimed.
- In December 2005, the song was nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 48th Grammy Awards, but lost to “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” by U2.
- In 2009, The UK’s Daily Telegraph listed it among the 100 Greatest Songs of All Time.
27/05: The Police, Don’t Stand So Close to Me
- Released in September 1980 as the lead single from their third album Zenyatta Mondatta (the coolest album title of all time!), today’s song was this British band’s third No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.
- It was the best selling single of 1980 in the UK.
- The band won the 1981 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for this song.
- Written and sung by ex-school teacher, Sting.
28/05: The Police, Don’t Stand So Close to Me
- Today’s song comes from Canada.
- A one hit wonder from the early 80s.
- From a new wave/synth-pop band who released the song in 1982.
- The song was written by their lead singer after he had been kicked out of a club for pogo dancing.
- A number one in SA and on the US dance charts
- Writer/lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that “The Safety Dance” is a protest against bouncers prohibiting dancers from pogoing to 1980s new wave music in clubs when disco was dying and new wave was up and coming.
- New wave dancing, especially pogoing, was different from disco dancing, because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about.
29/05: The Who, My Generation
- Today’s song was named the 11th greatest song by Rolling Stone on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and 13th on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll.
- It is also part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value.
- The song has been said to have encapsulated the angst of being a teenager, and has been characterised as a nod to the Mod counterculture.
- Containing the famous line, “I hope I die before I get old.”
- The Who drummer Keith Moon did, dying of a drug overdose in 1978 at age 32.
- The rest of the band found themselves still playing the song 55 years later, giving that line more than a hint of irony.
30/05: Elton John, I’m Still Standing
- Here’s a song from a knighted British rock musician who’s been performing since the early 1960s.
- The song’s title was his reaction to still being relevant and successful in the early 1980s, post-punk and with the New Romantics creeping in.
- Yip it’s another 80’s hit.
- The title is apt for all who’ve worked hard, coped with the mental stress of lockdown, the gloomy news headlines, the inability to visit family or friends, the ban on visiting the beach, dining out, buying some booze, gyming, getting a haircut or taking the kids to the park.
- For 65 days in a row.
- That’s 18% of the year.
- 43% of the year so far.
- Spent under lockdown.
31/05: Duran Duran, Ordinary World
- By the early 1990s, Duran Duran’s popularity had faded. Their album Liberty had proved a commercial failure, its two singles failing to make a significant showing on the British or American charts.
- It was not until Capitol leaked “Ordinary World” to a radio station in Jacksonville, Florida during the second half of 1992 that it seemed like Duran Duran would find a resurgence in popularity.
- To their surprise, the single proved so popular that Capitol had to push the US release date up, ultimately releasing it in December.
- The single reached number one on the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40, the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and the Italian Singles Chart.