Advantages I like them
Disadvantages That could be a disadvantage too
Despite the category I'm writing in here, these are not necessarily my favourite songs of all time. However, they all have something about them that either grabs my attention or holds a particular memory. Most songs pass me by and are instantly forgotten and there are even fewer I can listen to twice in quick succession, but all these easily pass the "two consecutive listens" test.They aren't in any particular order and I should warn you that my taste is not in the least cool or trendy. Right, if you could just give me a moment then I'll adjust my polyester slacks, slip off my Hush Puppies and press on.
1. WHEELS OF STEEL - SAXONApparently Judas Priest were considered the main inspiration for This Is Spinal Tap, the superb, much-quoted spoof documentary ("hey, rockumentary") of a heavy metal band. On the basis of this song, I think Saxon were robbed.
Wheels Of Steel is a not a good song, but it's so bad that it always makes me smile. I don't know much about Saxon and that's how I'd like to keep it, especially if this is a good example of their whole body of work. It opens with a sustained chord, then it's codpieces and clichés to the fore as we launch into the grinding, repetitive riff that lasts for most of the song. Some of the lyrics are hard to decipher, but basically he's banging on about how his car (with it's, ahem, Wheels Of Steel) is jolly fast and makes him irresistible to foxy rock chicks.Saxon appear to have made a detailed study of the How To Make A Heavy Metal Song manual. All the clichés are here, from excessive use of "huh"s, "yeah"s and the like to the guitarist's twiddly solo where he seems to get bored half way through. Topping things off comes the classic "false ending" ruse, where you think you've clawed your way to the end then back they come again "talking 'bout my Wheels of Steel". What, still?
2. AFTERGLOW - GENESISI really should have long hair to appreciate some of this music, but even before I started thinning on top that long, lanky-haired look remained beyond me. Looking back I'm actually kind of glad. My own hair always grew outwards in a sort of half-hearted affro. Not cool. Speaking of uncool, Genesis were never exactly hip but I liked their first four albums after Peter Gabriel had left to go solo. I could never quite see the appeal of his poncing about the stage dressed as a flower, so much preferred it when Phil Collins emerged from behind the drumkit and took over lead vocals, launching his bid for the world domination he achieved as a solo star in the 1980s.
Afterglow is on the album Wind and Wuthering ("Pretentious, darling? Us?") and has a wonderfully atmospheric feel, enhanced by the bass keyboards that run all the way through it. Lyrically it seems to be a fairly straightforward love song, but subtle lyrical nuances were never my strong point so it's probably something to do with driving a milk float down the M6. Afterglow was a popular live track at Genesis concerts, but the lights they used while playing it were so powerful that if they performed outside then local airports had to be warned first, just in case any passing planes tried to land on the stage.
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