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"Dancing Queen" by ABBA
It's time to get lost in the bittersweet beats of ABBA's 1976 hit "Dancing Queen." On this longer-than-usual episode, Kirk tries to tease out some of the things that make this song so iconic and enduring, from its lush arrangement to its clever harmonies, repeating melodic motifs, and maximalist audio production.
Album: Arrival, 1976
Composed by: Benny Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson
Produced by: Stig Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
|Feb 06, 2019|
Listener Questions: The Beatles, Brubeck, Bond and Beyond
It's time for an extra-long episode as Kirk answers your questions about Phil Collins drum solos, musical Wilhelm screams, odd time signatures, Beatles instrumentation, drop-tuned guitars, Bond music, and much more.
"In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins from Face Value, 1981
Jennifer Hudson sings "The Star Spangled Banner" by Frances Scott Key and John Stafford Smith at Super Bowl XLIII, 2009
A YouTube compilation of the Wilhelm Scream
An excellent Vox video on the history of the "Orchestra Hit" sample
"When I Think of You" by Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis from Control, 1986
"In My Life" by Lennon–McCartney from Rubber Soul, 1965
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Ben Gibbard from Plans, 2006
A cool NPR article about Paul Tanner's Tannerin, developed as a more playable derivation of Leon Theremin's original Theremin.
"Good Vibrations" by Brian Wilson and Mike Love from a 1966 Beach Boys LP Single
"Blue Rondo a la Turk" by Dave Brubeck from Time Out, 1959
"Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" by Lennon-McCartney from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967
"Money" by Roger Waters from The Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973
"The Way" by Tony Scalzo from All The Pain Money Can Buy, 1998
"You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire" by Josh Homme and Mario Lalli from Songs for the Deaf, 2002
"Mind Games" by John Lennon from Mind Games, 1973
A nifty "Doctor Mix" YouTube video demonstrating the Mellotron
"Theme from Dr. No" by Monty Norman, arranged by John Barry from Dr. No, 1962
"Skyfall" by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth from Skyfall, 2012
"Manners Maketh Man" by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson (I failed to co-credit Margeson on the show) from Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2015
"Permission to Come Aboard" by Rupert Gregson-Williams from Aquaman, 2018
"Wonder Woman Theme" by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL performed by Tina Guo, released as a single in 2017
"Gimme Shelter" by Jagger/Richards from Let It Bleed, 1969
|Jan 23, 2019|
"Thriller" by Michael Jackson
Darkness falls across the land, and it's the right time for Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Kirk picks apart Rod Temperton's dance floor classic in all its groovy, corny, sound effect-y glory.
Band/Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Thriller, 1982
Composed by: Rod Temperton, produced by Quincy Jones
|Jan 09, 2019|
"I Wish" by Stevie Wonder
Kirk breaks out the bass and digs into what makes Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" swing like it does, then looks back to some earlier Wonder tunes to guess at why his funkiest stuff tended to be in E-flat.
Band/Artist: Stevie Wonder
Album: Songs in the Key of Life, 1976
Composed by: Stevie Wonder
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder, from Talking Book, 1972
"Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder, from Innervisions, 1973
"Wild Wild West" by Will Smith, Moe Dewese, Rob Fusari, and Stevie Wonder, from Willennium, 1999
Classic Albums: Songs in the Key of Life: Amazon
|Dec 26, 2018|
"Single Ladies" by Beyoncé
On this episode, Kirk dives into one of the greatest pop songs of all time.
Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" is arguably the defining song of the last decade, but it's far from your average pop tune. With its unusual tensions and unstoppable groove, it defies safe harmony and resolution, and its composers were more than happy to flip the beat and leave their audience searching for the downbeat.
Album: I Am... Sasha Fierce, 2008
Composed by: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Christopher Stewart, Terius Nash, Thaddis Harrell
|Dec 12, 2018|
"You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon
This week, Kirk breaks down one of his favorite songs from one of his favorite albums.
Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" was a single from his incredible 1986 album Graceland, and its music video introduced a generation to the wonders of goofy lip-synching and fretless bass solos. It's a harmonically simple tune with a cleverly dense arrangement, and brilliantly uses musical layering.
Band/Artist: Paul Simon
Album: Graceland, 1986
Composed by: Paul Simon
|Nov 28, 2018|
"Africa" by Toto
|Nov 18, 2018|