Your crusty chronicler does his own thing. Still, when Examiner asked for support for their “List” format, it was nigh impossible not to be open-minded. So, with that spirit of unity and teamwork in mind, your rockin’ reviewer is now presenting this series in the new “List” format.
Last year it was noted that there are a lot of places where fireworks are only legal if a city can make money firing them off themselves. (It’s true. Just check around, folks.) Nothing has changed since last year and that issue still has little to do with music even if it’s appropriate for the holiday. On the other hand, nothing can stop anyone from playing songs about fireworks, right? So why rant about something that may never be able to change? Why not instead assemble a list of favorite fireworks-related recordings? Here then, in no particular order, are the fireworks-related tunes:
(View the list to see the songs)
“T.N.T”–AC/DC: This song was first released in the US as a single in 1976. It’s the titular track from their Australian LP T.N.T. and the international version of High Voltage. It was written by Bon Scott, Angus Young and Malcolm Young. Some folks say it would be perfect for any fireworks display especially if the pyro-technician can time the rockets to go off with each “Oy!”
“Fireworks”–Siouxsie & the Banshees: Anything by this particular band is pretty much guaranteed to make your playlist memorable. Written by the band, it was put out as a stand-alone single in 1982 between the release of their discs Juju and A Kiss in the Dreamhouse. It made it as high as number 22 on the UK single chart.
“Freedom”–Paul McCartney: Regular readers know, no music mix is truly complete without a Beatles-related track. This fits the bill nicely as freedom is what we celebrate on this day. It was written by McCartney in response to the September 11 attacks in 2001. McCartney actually witnessed the destruction while his plane was waiting to take-off at New York’s JKF Airport.
“Fireworks” by Animal Collective
“Fireworks”–Animal Collective: This one will also add a unique perhaps even strange element to your music mix. It is the second single off of the group’s 2007 CD, Strawberry Jam. The tune went on to be included in Pitchfork Media’s top 500 songs of the 2000s slotting in at number 35.
“4th of July”
“4th of July”–U2: This haunting ambient instrumental was inspired by the work of producer Brian Eno and provides a more subtle tuneful touch even if it only seems to fit here because of the title. It’s off the Irish rock band’s fourth studio release The Unforgettable Fire from 1984.
“Fireworks” by Drake
“Fireworks”—Drake: This is a song written by Drake. It’s off his debut disc Thank Me Later. The song features singer Alicia Keys who had worked with Drake previously. This one will add both a slightly urban touch as well as a female vocalist to your playlist. (How many of you ever play Drake at any party?)
“Indoor Fireworks”—Elvis Costello: This one is from 1986. It’s from Costello’s tenth studio album King Of America. His band had hit the skids at this point and so here in America the recording was credited to “The Costello Show featuring Elvis Costello”. The album itself would be re-released in 1995 and 2005.
“Fireworks” by Blue Oyster Cult
“Fireworks”–Blue Oyster Cult: Blue Oyster Cult has a signature sound that makes their material even better at night which, of course, is when folks shoot off fireworks. This one is written by band member Albert Bouchard and is off the band’s fifth studio release Spectres. It harkens back to 1977 and the fireworks reference here is more of a euphemism.
“Afternoon Delight”–Starland Vocal Band: This song was one of the biggest-selling singles in 1976. It was featured on the band’s premiere platter the eponymous Starland Vocal Band. The tune was a number one hit. The song was named the 20th “sexiest song of all time’ by Billboard in 2010. “Sky rockets in flight/Afternoon delight” indeed, eh?
“Firework”–Katy Perry: This is from her 2010 album titled Teenage Dream. A complete fireworks show obviously needs some more recent music as well. This one works perfectly. It’s an inspirational, self-empowerment anthem. It even throws a dance track into the mix. It was written by Ester Dean, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm and Perry.
There you have it, folks! With the current limitations of this new “list” format there’s plenty of room left on the playlist or you to add your own favorite American tunes. To my American readers: Happy Fourth of July! Again, whatever you do . . . be proud to be a citizen!
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.