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20 songs released in 1995 you MUST hear


20 songs released in 1995 you MUST hear

Egil makes the lists from the 60s and 70s, and I will hereby start doing the 90s. The remaining decades? we’ll see when we get there 🙂

The 1990s, pronounced “nineteen-nineties” or abbreviated as “nineties”, was a decade that began on January 1, 1990, and ended on December 31, 1999.

Culturally, the 1990s was characterized by the rise of multiculturalism and alternative media, which continued into the 2000s. Movements such asgrunge, the rave scene and hip hop spread around the world to young people during the decade, aided by then-new technology such as cable television and the Internet.

The 90s will not be done sequentially, I will start with 1995 and then, well, who knows…

Earlier posts:

What happened in 1995:

  • This was the year that the Internet entered public consciousness.
  • Lyricist/guitarist Richey Edwards of the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers goes missing from a hotel in Bayswater, London on the eve of a planned tour of the United States. His car is found two weeks later at Severn View services in Aust.
  • Astronaut Norman Thagard becomes the first American to ride into space aboard a Russian launch vehicle.
  • Mississippi ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The amendment was nationally ratified in 1865.
  • The DVD, an optical disc computer storage media format, is announced.
  • The final original Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is published.

The 10 best Movies in 1995:

  1. Strange Days
  2. The Usual Suspects
  3. Seven
  4. Wild Bill
  5. La cité des enfants perdus
  6. Smoke
  7. Bound
  8. Devil in a blue dress
  9. La Haine
  10. Il Postino

A good year at the movies!

Egil has commanded:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A lot of wonderful music was released in 1995, very hard to pick only 20. Lets start this demanding task…

Here is a Spotify playlist (missing Palace Music and Van Morrison)

Lake Marie by John Prine from the album Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, released 4th April 1995:

In a 2009 interview with The Huffington Post, Prine fan Bob Dylan commented, “If I had to pick one song of his, it might be ‘Lake Marie.'”

The song was inspired in part by Prine’s crumbling marriage and a series of grisly murders the singer remembered the Chicago news media having a field day with when he was a kid. The John Prine Shrine website quotes the singer discussing his inspiration for the song: “It’s an actual place along the Illinois-Wisconsin border. There’s an entire chain of lakes along there, small lakes, and I remember as a teenager growing up in Chicago, a lot of the teenagers would go to these lakes and in the summer time kind of get away from the city. Lake Marie was kind of just one that stuck out in my mind. About ’59, ’60, ’61, I grew up in Maywood – it’s a western suburb of Chicago, and we started hearing about murders that weren’t related to the mob. You know, John Wayne Gacy was like, about two towns away from me and you just hear about it. The suburbs were kind of thought to be a pretty safe place at the time, and then some of these unexplained murders would show up every once in a while, where they’d find people in the woods somewhere. I just kind of took any one of them, not one in particular, and put it as if it was in a TV newscast. It was a sharp left turn to take in a song, but when I got done with it, I kind of felt like it’s what the song needed right then.”

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The Best Songs: Storybook Love by Willy DeVille


The Best Songs: Storybook Love by Willy DeVille

“It was Mark (Knopfler’s) wife Lourdes who came up with the idea (to record Miracle). She said to him that you don’t sing like Willy and he doesn’t play guitar like you, but you really like his stuff so why don’t you do an album together? So I went over to London to do this album. It wasn’t easy because we didn’t want it to sound like a Dire Straits album, and his guitar playing is so unique that it was hard to do. But nothing good is going to be easy. I know that I spent the whole time really trying to impress Mark, I wanted it to be good.”
– Willy DeVille (2006)

The album includes what is probably the best known Willy DeVille song — Storybook Love, it is also one of his best songs among many many great ones.


Willy DeVille (with Mark Knopfler on guitar) – Storybook Love (music video, studio version, Princess Bride soundtrack):

Continue reading The Best Songs: Storybook Love by Willy DeVille

The Saddest Songs in History: George Jones If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)

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The Saddest Songs in History: George Jones If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)

If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will) is  written by Harlan Sanders and Rick Beresford, and recorded by American country music artist George Jones. It was released in January 1981 as the third single from his album I Am What I Am (my favorite Jones album!). The song peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will) at Spotify:

When George Jones was divorced from Tammy Wynette in 1975, he went on an epic binge, an excess in cocaine and alcohol. His albums continued to sell ok and his singles were on the charts, he actually recorded some of his most popular songs between 1975 and 1980, but George was a wreck on a personal level.

He started cancelling concerts in large numbers and he got the un-flattering nick name, “No Show Jones”. George Jones went into rehab at a psychiatric hospital in Muscle Shoals. Thank God for that, it was the start of what would be his best record. It is a dark album, full of heartbreak and drinking, good melodies and the velvet voice of the restrained, but strong Mr. Jones.

George Jones – If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will), live:

Continue reading The Saddest Songs in History: George Jones If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)

The Best Songs: An American Trilogy – Mickey Newbury

mickey newbury

“Mickey Newbury is a poet” – Johnny Cash

Mickey Newbury’s most famous song, his biggest hit, is An American Trilogy. A song that pairs a southern song written by a northerner with a slave spiritual imported from the Caribbean. Actually it combines three songs that was not supposed to work together,  it interlace “Dixie”, “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and “All My Trials”. It is quite ironic that the song Mickey Newbury is best-known for is the only one he didn’t write, the medley that was adopted by Elvis as a centrepiece of his Vegas-era shows.

In 1970 the political climate in USA was extremely tense. Nixon, Vietnam, Cambodia, demonstrations against the war , Business Week Magazine wrote: “This is a dangerous situation…it threatens the whole social structure of the nation…”


White students in integrated southern schools insisted on using Dixie as a school-fight song, while black students protested, as they saw it as an anthem for white supremacy. Dixie was even banned in some states in the south.

Mickey Newbury decided to sing it as a statement against censorship. The arrangers advised him strongly against it, but Newbury told them to get the riot squad in.

Joan Baez, Odetta, Barbara Streisand, Mama Cass and Kris Kristofferson were in the audience.

“…the great and the good of Hollywood who had gathered on Thanksgiving weekend 1970 to see and hear this modes fellow from The Lone Star state make his West Coast Debut and were stunned into silence as they witnessed Mickey Newbury give the performance of his life.

It seemed as if the song was not just coming from inside him but as if he was outside himself and inside the song. The sound pushed out in waves. Calming, resolute, cleansing. The atmosphere in the club seemed to be frozen in slow motion, moving with the illusion of stillness. The entire audience rapt in the moment, as if trapped in amber, attention fixed upon the solitary figure on stage illuminated by a soft curtain of light, with just his guitar for accompaniment.

And that illusion was broken only by a tear that rolled down the cheek of a great gospel singer sitting in the audience. ” (liner notes: An American Trilogy 4 disc set)

This is fine version two years later, from the British Tv-show The Old Grey Whistle Test:


…Musically, however, it sounds overly serious and antiquated, almost quaint– more an artifact from the period than a durable piece of music.

And yet, “An American Trilogy” reveals Newbury’s complex approach to songwriting and album sequencing: Every word or line or stanza or song complements the others and shades their meanings, contributing crucially to the whole.

“Originally I intended to do just Dixie. It had the connotation of being strictly a Southern song that was associated with racism…I thought it was unfair so…in the middle of the show I started to do Dixie” – Mickey Newbury

Everybody held their breath…

“I was sitting next to Odetta, and I have to admit I turned a little green. What happened the next seven or eight minutes was magic.” – Susan (Mick’s wife)

odetta 2

The way Newbury presented Dixie, was not as a battle anthem, but as the slow, intense tune that we know today. He brought out its beauty and significance by slowing it down. He in fact had gotten the idea after hearing Barbara Streisand slowing down the song Happy Days Are Here Again and thereby infusing the song with the meaning and impact that was “hidden” in the song.

Here is another fine rendition, probably from the 80s:

Continue reading The Best Songs: An American Trilogy – Mickey Newbury