Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published February 18th 2021
From 10 to 100 in song
It has been an interesting thing that, recently, my most popular columns have been the number songs. Counting from one through to sixteen (with some missing in the middle), they have garnered a large number of views, which has been a pleasant surprise.
But that is where I had a problem - I thought I'd done all that could be done in the realm of number songs. I was bemoaning this to a friend online and she suggested a count-up. After some back and forth, the topic of today's column came to us – counting by 10s from 10 to 100. That'd give us 10 songs and a fun, bizarre list.
Okay, the problem was number 70. All my songs had 70 as part of a year or decade reference, and I wanted to avoid that; however, going through old mix-tapes, I did find one. Apart from that, I had more than one track to choose from for each of these. So, with thanks given to Karlee for the idea, here is Counting By Tens In Song!
'Ten Years Gone' by Led Zeppelin (1975)
From Physical Graffiti, this blues-inflected track goes through a few different styles to produce a glorious song that showcases Led Zeppelin's musicianship. I mean, Jimmy Page's guitaring is on song with overlays and overdubs to sound like an orchestra of rock, John Bonham pounds away like the world's most intricate metronome, and John Paul Jones holds it all together while Robert Plant's voice soars as it always does. Yes, I really like this song.
'20 Good Reasons' by Thirsty Merc (2007)
Australian alternate rock stalwarts, Thirsty Merc released this slower-paced track which I bought on CD single. The guitar rock I tend to associate with Australian rock bands is there in force, and the track just rocks along nicely.
'Thirty Days' by Chuck Berry (1955)
One of Berry's lesser-known tracks, this early piece is a little more country-inflected. I did see somewhere that it was written as a tribute to Hank Williams. But it still has that great Chuck Berry guitar sound and is a good little track. Now, I have to admit I came to this track through a cover version – one by Gary Moore. I actually prefer Moore's version, but this is the original. (Fun fact: The Rolling Stones used the line "I can't get no satisfaction from the judge" for one of their own songs…)
'40oz On Repeat' by Fidlar (2015)
With a video parodying the 90s videos we all grew up with (assuming you're around my age or so), this track is about coping with life's disappointments by putting an LP on the record player (the "40oz") and letting music help. Even without the awesome video, this is still a great track, and I have been using it as one of my workout tracks for a few years now.
'50 Years' by Uncanny X-Men (1985)
Australia's 1980s party band released this reflective track about looking forward and wondering what life will be like for everyone in 50 years' time, the sort of conversation that used to occur at the end of every party after too much alcohol had been imbibed. This track is actually my favourite from this band; they released some great tracks, but this ballad has always stayed with me.
'Sixty Minute Man' by Daddy Cool (1972)
A remake of an early 1950s R&B track, I have heard a few versions of the track, but this is my favourite. The sixty minutes involves the bedroom, and so is probably a little naughty for some people, but I think it's just a fun song.
'How Many Times (Seventy Times Seven)' by Whiteheart (1986)
Standard 1980s soft rock track. I like the music and the singer is certainly fine. But the lyrics are interesting. See, this is a Christian rock song. How did I get a Christian rock song? Well, a friend of mine was dating a devout Catholic in late 1986, and this was from her favourite album at the time (the title eludes me). My mate couldn't stand it, but I listened, thought the music was fine, and… to cut a long story short, she dumped him and dated me for a while. While looking for songs, I found it on an old mix-tape from the time, so, while it might not be a personal favourite track, it is a decent one for this list.
'80' by Green Day (1991)
From the album Kerplunk!, one of the band's early ones, this song is a really good piece of the proto-punk-pop they would go on to perfect. It's got some interesting lyrics, the music is well done, and… I have no idea what "80" is supposed to represent. An old age? A drug? Who knows? Still, cool song.
'C30, C60, C90, Go!' by Bow Wow Wow (1980)
From the tail end of the UK punk explosion, and featuring members of Adam's original Ants (plus Annabella Lwin, who was very young at the time), this song is a little bit of a cheat with three numbers, but I kept it because it is really good. Like the "70" songs, a lot of "90" songs are about the decade, but there are a few that aren't, and of them, this is my favourite by a long way. The C30, C60 and C90 referred to are the length of cassette tapes you'd buy to record your own mix-tapes, or whatever. It has that pounding percussion Bow Wow Wow were known for and it is just an amazing song.
'100 Years' by Blues Traveler (1990)
From their debut album, this gentle track has the guitar and music sounds that would become associated with Blues Traveler over the years across their albums. Almost a throw-back to the 1970s country-rock style, this so-called "jam rock" (according to Rolling Stone magazine) is just a great form of music. This song, about what we do now "won't mean a thing in a hundred years" is slightly depressing but it is a really good track.
And there we are - counting up by tens in song form! These columns are fun to do for me, and they do seem to be popular with readers, so I hope they are fun for you as well.
If you have any requests for music columns, please, leave a message – I am glad to at least try.
And, on that note, happy listening.