Certain Songs #1458: Paul Westerberg – “Dyslexic Heart”


Album: Singles – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Year: 1992

OK, so first of all, let’s stipulate that no matter what it says on the label, All Shook Down was basically Paul Westerberg’s first solo album, which I think we all kinda knew at the time, but came even clearer when they broke up while touring it, as well as over the subsequent years.

But what was he going do next? That was the question that those of us who made best-of tapes called How The Replacements Saved My Life and considered Paul Westerberg the best songwriter of our generation were dead curious about. The answer came in the summer of 1992 with the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s love letter to Gen-X, Singles: Paul Westerberg was going to leverage his songwriting talent, tamp down his self-destructive impulses and try to get famous by writing high-quality, incredibly catchy pop songs.

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Certain Songs #1457: Paul Simon – “Kodachrome”

Album: There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
Year: 1973

While I’ve always quite liked the records he made in the 1960s with Art Garfunkle, I’ve never really developed an affinity for Paul Simon as a solo artist, though I do quite respect his ongoing quest to add exotic flavors to his music, and because he’s always been so highly regarded, I’ve definitely sampled him off and on over the years.

But respect isn’t the same as love, and as Certain Songs is about love, I’m sure some of you might be disappointed to find out that after thinking about it, there’s really only one Paul Simon solo song that I truly love, and that’s his 1973 single “Kodachrome.” For the kids in the audience, think of Kodachrome as the filmic equivalent of a really cool Instagram filter.

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Certain Songs #1456: Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Kicks”

Album: Midnight Ride
Year: 1966

Turn off! Tune out! Drop in!

Whether or not Paul Revere and The Raiders were truly as anti-drug as their biggest hit single — OK, “Indian Reservation,” was bigger, but that was Mark Lindsay with the Wrecking Crew, and only branded as “The Raiders” for maximum commerciality — seemed to indicate they were, but they sure did look like nice clean-cut young men, albeit ones who dressed up as Revolutionary War soldiers. Which you’ve noticed I can’t really let go of.

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Certain Songs #1455: Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Just Like Me”

Album: Just Like Us!
Year: 1965

Paul Revere & The Raiders were so ridiculous, they probably should been laughed right out of the game. For one thing, there was that terrible gimmick of the Revolutionary War costumes. I guess it was because their founder was “Paul Revere” which was smartly shortened from his real name of “Paul Revere Dick.” You could look it up. And secondly, though while you would assume that “Paul Revere” was the singer, he was the keyboardist.

I guess that probably made sense in the late 50s & early 60s when they were a mostly instrumental band, who even had a top 40 hit in 1961 with a boogie-woogie instrumental called “Like, Long Hair,” but their version of “Louie Louie” — with vocals and sax by Mark Lindsay — failed to take off because it was a total patch on the Kingsmen’s version, they decided to get serious.

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Certain Songs #1454: Paul McCartney – “Turned Out”

Album: New (Deluxe Edition)
Year: 2013

And then, suddenly, it’s 2013 — 35 years later — and somehow Sir Paul McCartney is 70 years old.

Yeah, OK, not suddenly. One or two things might happened in the intervening years. The duets with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Wings dissolving. The Rutles. John being assassinated. His very own feature film. Songs with Elvis Costello. Linda dying. Being knighted. George dying. Classical albums. Electronic albums. Ringo living. Beatles reissues, repackages, anthologies, films, TV shows, books and books and books and books.

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