Yes, Fingertips is on hiatus. But here’s a playlist, which I had started previously, and just seemed to want to be released into the world. It’s suitably eclectic, as always, and manages to feature 16 artists, of 20, that have not previously been playlisted here, even as we are now in the middle of the fifth year of playlists. Some random notes:
* There are two 2018 songs on the list, from two albums that are likely to be among my favorites this year—Beach House’s aptly-titled 7, and the Arctic Monkeys’ strange but endearing Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.
* There are two old songs I’ve only recently discovered:
1) The Northern Soul-reclaimed gem “Please Stay,” from a Chicago group called The Ivories (in its original pressing on tiny Despenza Records, the band was identified simply as “Ivorys”), another song that demonstrates the fine fine line between a huge hit and an ignored piece of vinyl.
2) The gorgeous Dylan song “Born in Time,” in a version that is far more successful, to my ears, than the one that was originally released, in 1990, on his puzzling Under the Red Sky album. This notably altered 1989 incarnation was recorded for the much more successful Oh Mercy LP, but left off it because, well, Dylan routinely left off some really good songs. That’s how he rolled. You can find it on the terrific Tell-Tale Signs compilation.
* Yes, that’s Twiggy, the model. The 1960s were known, among many other things, as an era when anyone who was famous for pretty much anything would eventually end up in a recording studio making an album. Occasionally the end result was a pleasant surprise, as this one is.
* Ian Hunter recently turned 79 and is still out there recording top-notch music. This one is from back in his relatively youth—he was 36 at the time, and had just left Mott the Hoople. The band petered out quickly without him; his solo career has been full of strong but overlooked albums, including 2016’s Fingers Crossed.
* Peter Case is one of those guys who will sometimes receive the ambivalent compliment of being a “songwriter’s songwriter.” I’m not always sure what that means but in his case it rings true, and in any event “Hidden Love” is one of my favorite songs ever.
Reminder: all songs on each Eclectic Playlist Series mix (including, now, this one) have been accumulated into a master mix on Spotify (minus the songs that Spotify doesn’t have); the link to that is:
Full playlist below the widget.
“Dark Spring” – Beach House (7, 2018)
“Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)” – Laura Nyro (Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, 1968)
“Black and White” – The dB’s (Stands for Decibels, 1981)
“Slimcea Girl” – Mono (Formica Blues, 1998)
“Floating Vibes” – Surfer Blood (Astro Coast, 2009)
“Yachting Type” – The Yachts (Yachts, 1979)
“Please Stay” – The Ivories (single, 1966)
“Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” – Arctic Monkeys (Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, 2018)
“If I Had a Boat” – Lyle Lovett (Pontiac, 1988)
“Girl Anachronism” – The Dresden Dolls (The Dresden Dolls, 2004)
“When I Think of You” – Twiggy (single, 1967)
“Once Bitten Twice Shy” – Ian Hunter (Ian Hunter, 1975)
“World Made” – Land of Talk (Life After Youth, 2017)
“Mockingbirds” – Grant Lee Buffalo (Mighty Joe Moon, 1994)
“Born in Time” – Bob Dylan (recorded 1989, Oh Mercy sessions; released 2008, Tell-Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8)
“Apache” – The Shadows (single, 1960)
“Heard It All Before” – Emiliana Torrini (Me and Armini, 2008)
“Someone’s Looking At You” – The Boomtown Rats (The Fine Art of Surfacing, 1979) *
“Never Broken” – Cassandra Wilson (Traveling Miles, 1999)
“Hidden Love” – Peter Case (The Man With The Blue Post-Modern Fragmented
Neo-Traditionalist Guitar, 1989)