This record slips between the One Hit Wonder and Punk Rock Cover stall beautifully for several reasons but mostly for the fact it has in fact never been posted on SteveForTheDeaf before. In any form. I was convinced it had though. You see one artist who has featured on SFTD only doing covers but should have been here in her own right is Tori Amos. I have listened to a lot of hours of Tori Amos records in my years. A lot.
From Little Earthquakes up to Ocean To Ocean I have paid attention. Under The Pink, Choir-girl Hotel and Boys For Pele are especially my era for her work. Live album Still Orbiting is a real fave too. Critically when looking at her work it’s hard to escape the spectre of a rock critics darling. The other red hairded, high pitched, high art siren. The one who came first. Kate (how the hell is there no Kate Bush on this list either?) Bush.
I’ve always resisted the comparison. Tori does her own thing entirely. It’s a reduction of both artists to lump them together. But I’m tired today and the light grows dim… Is that you reader? Come closer I can’t see that far.
I would have put a boogie dollar down that I had posted Tori’s version of The BoomTown Rats biggest hit I Don’t Like Mondays in the early days of SteveForTheDeaf. Taken from her bloggernip covers album Strange Little Girls (I know for sure I posted that one) Tori’s version became a shoe in for inclusion on mixes during the CD-R era. So many homemade compilations featured her slow low hymnal take on this most famous 80’s hit.
To The Rats then. Of course IDLM wasn’t their only hit. Rat Trap, Someones Looking At You, erm *googles furiously* She’s So Modern (nope me either) They had several albums worth of songs not even close to capturing the enduring uniqueness of I Don’t Like Mondays. This song is about kids taking guns to school. Such fun! So file alongside Jeremy by Pearl Jam and Me and My Beretta by Angel Corpus Christie for an EP’s worth of American Pie flavoured high jinx.
The spicy topic is not the reason the song has made the list (well not solely). It’s here because some songs get played so much you stop hearing them. Some songs become so ubiquitous they become taken for granted. They become wallpaper. I think that’s why Tori’s version became my default version. I Don’t Like Mondays got over played between the charts, then the alternative jukeboxes then the endless 80’s retro repackaging. You just stopped hearing it.
When was the last time you listened to Bohemian Rhapsody or Smells Like Teen Spirit? Really listened. It’s been a while right? But if you wipe your ears out and squeegee your minds eye clean. Approach these next few days like a blank canvas. Imagine you’ve never heard any of this stuff before. Then there’s gold to be found. Treasures at every turn. Unique, fascinating, beautiful and weird.
Same with this quite frankly bonkers arrangement of strings, hand-claps, nursery rhyme style lyrical couplets and dark subject matter. The production on I Don’t Like Mondays is off the charts (pun entirely intended). They rinse their meager budget and instruments for something crystalline clear and epic sounding. There is not another record that sounds like this one. And yet. Annnnndddd Yet. You all know it. Inside out. Even if you can’t name the band (or like most of us anything else they ever did) so in that sense… One hit wonder is appropriate I feel. If you ignore the fact the bands singer Bob Geldof is perhaps one of the single most important figures in rock and roll history, 20th Century philanthropy and a knight of the British realm.