Viikon biisi (8/2018): Green Day – Basket Case (1994)

”Basket case”-termiä käytetään kuvaamaan tilannetta tai ihmistä, jonka tilanteen parantamiseksi ei ole keinoja.

Vuonna 1994 julkaistu Dookie oli Green Dayn kolmas studioalbumi, mutta ensimmäinen joka todella sinkosi kalifornialaisen punk rock-yhtyeen maailmankartalle. Levyltä julkaistiin viisi enemmän tai vähemmän menestynyttä singleä, joista kolmantena vuoronsa sai Basket Case. Tämän, kuten kaikkien muidenkin ”Dookien” kappaleiden kohdalla, sanoitus on Billie Joe Armstrongin käsialaa muun bändin osallistuessa yhdessä hänen kanssaan sävellys- ja sovitustyöhön.

”Basket Case” kertoo henkilöstä, jonka tilanne on termin kaltainen. Armstrong on kertonut tekstin osaltaan pohjautuvat hänen omaan ahdistuneisuushistoriaansa ja siihen, kuinka hän ennen paniikkikohtausdiagnoosiaan luuli yksinkertaisesti tulevansa hulluksi. Kappale alkaa hänen säestäessä itseään dempatulla 8-osa-sähkökitarakuviolla sanoin, jotka ovat puhdasta punk rock-runoutta. ”Do you have the time / to listen to me whine / about nothing and everything all at once”.

Nopeakulkuinen tarina etenee ensimmäisen säkeistön sisäisten pohdintojen kautta toisen säkeistön kallonkutistajan ja maksetun naisen kautta loppuunsa. Huippukohdaksi taitaa kuitenkin muotoutua niitä seuraava B-osio jonka lopulla päädytään kysymään, onko kertoja sittenkään hullu vai ”ainoastaan” pilvessä? Tilanteen haltuun ottamiseen ollaan matkalla kun loppupuolella piipahdetaan bridgessä, jossa vuoristorata vie ja mukana pitää vain koettaa roikkua: ”Grasping to control / so I better hold on”.

Soitannollisesti ”Basket Case” on mainion yksinkertainen mutta aina mukaansa tempaava. Puoli sävelaskelta alavireeseen viritetty kappale soi Eb-duurissa ja kierrättää paria sointukiertoa (esimerkiksi säkeistössä Eb-Bb-Cm-Gm-Ab-Eb-Bb), mutta bändi saa niihin taiottua parhaimmalle Green Daylle ominaisen jyräävän kepeyden. Mike Dirnt bassossa ja erityisesti Tré Cool rummuissa ovat aivan yhtä keskeinen osa yhtyeen sointia kuin Billie Joe, vaikka eivät niin suuresti valokeilassa paistattelekaan. Aina erityismaininnan saa myös siitä, että kappale loppuu ilman loppuhäivytystä.


Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything
All at once
I am one of those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone
No doubt about it

Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Am I just stoned?

I went to a shrink
To analyze my dreams
She says it’s lack of sex
That’s bringing me down
I went to a whore
He said my life’s a bore
So quit my whining cause
It’s bringing her down

Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Uh, yuh, yuh, ya

Grasping to control
So I better hold on

Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Am I just stoned?

TOOMIO’S TOP100: 34. Dream Theater – Awake

Producers: John Purdell, Duane Baron
Recorded: 1994
Released: 4.10.1994
Label: East West

#32 in USA, #65 in UK.

– Lie
– Caught in a Web
– The Silent Man

I still remember what the weather was that day when I bought this album. I remember the place of the record shelf in the store. I had no idea what kind of music it will be. It was an album in a metal record shelf.

The drum intro of the opening song was quite strange to boy who has listen mainly thrash and power metal. The feel is like a “what the hell?”. So, this is the first-prog album, which I have owned. After that, challenging music has somehow become one of the most determining factor of my listening habits. Nowadays I could listen simple music too.

Kevin Moore is on keyboards, and it means the same as the interesting synth parts. Album’s riffs are pretty ram. That’s good. Actually it’s a little wonder how heavy the sounds are. Maybe it’s because 7-string guitar. At the time, John Petrucci was a very big name in guitar. Solos were stylish, not the endless shredding.

“An urban undertone of a metropolis. Outwardly an unresolved chunk whose side streets can be found exciting things. “

All in all, I like the atmosphere of the whole album. It was mixed comfortably. The songs are good, if not even the best individual tracks of the band’s production. The constant theme of songs is a good thing, even if the album is not the actual theme album. It is the kind of urban undertone of a metropolis. Outwardly an unresolved chunk whose side streets can be found exciting things.

Caught in a Web
in undulating synth pads works, but the flowing electric pianos starts to be a bit old-sounding. Also the delay is a fancy and pretty cool effect at the time. James Labrie voice is enough in calmest points, but when points are hard the voice is closer to the lamb. Another Dream Theater’s weak links, namely Mike Portnoy, made his best performances in this album. It may also be due to the mixing.

Cover art is totally mad Dream Theater. Difficult like the band wanted to be. But this album isn’t so difficult to listen. Almost every track has a piece that ignites it to life. The best example is Innocence Faded. The end of the song is very enjoyable.

This is a late winter album. When the roads are dirty and muddy during the day, but evenings is still freezing. Bright and fresh.

Space-Dye Vest
the spirit of the whole 90th century.

The Silent Man
That necessary ballad of the Yankee bands.

Bruce Springsteen – TOP56-songs: 35 – Streets of Philadelphia

From the single Streets of Philadelphia (1994).

Streets of Philadelphia was one of the last cuts to have it’s place on this list and it almost got forgotten, because the song hasn’t been published on any studio album but just as a single and on compilation records. Bruce made it for the movie Philadelphia (1993) while the E Street Band was on break so he’s managing all the instruments himself excluding the bass playing and background vocal work from Tommy Sims. Streets of Philadelphia became a great hit and it won an Oscar for best song and four Grammys: ”Song of the Year”, ”Best Rock Song”, ”Best Rock Vocal Performance” ja ”Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television”.

There are rumours that Springsteen had completed a kind of a hiphop-album with drum machines and synthesizers in the year 1994 and Streets of Philadelphia was material from those sessions. A strong synthesizer pad and drum loop go on for the whole song creating almost a mystical, hypnotic feel.

As a movie Philadelphia tells the story of a lawyer played by Tom Hanks, who is dismissed by his company after it’s revealed that he has AIDS. He then goes on to hire a homophobic lawyer, played by Denzel Washington, to fight for his rights. Bruce is singing this song like his living through Hanks’ character’s eyes: that’s why the vocal performance is so sunk and brittle.

The song starts with a drum loop in which the keyboards swim in. It’s first verse is about the feelings one does not have a skill to describe. The way of looking in the mirror and not recognizing the man looking back may also tell about something else than just a physical disease. Am I just gonna be left to drift around on the streets of Philadelphia City?

I was bruised and battered and I couldn’t tell
what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
Saw my reflection in a window I didn’t know
my own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
wasting away
On the streets of Philadelphia

This has been going on for a long time and many things occurred have become memories: former friends have gone as well. The scene described on the last three lines tells a strong story about loneliness: you could hear the narrator’s heartbeat.

I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Just as black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of Philadelphia

Bruce had the manner of writing middle sections in the 90s and this isn’t an exception. The narrator isn’t likely going to survive. Has he come all the way down here to throw it all away?

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me
It’s just you and I my friend
And my clothes don’t fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
just to slip this skin

I think that in the last verse the end really comes. “I can feel myself fading away” is a beautiful line. If there’s no one to greet you when you go, you’re left to evaporate on the streets of Philadelphia.

The night has fallen, I’m lyin’ awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia

Toomio’s TOP100: 69. Queensrüche – Promised Land

Producer: Queensrÿche, James Barton
Recorded: 1992-1994
Published: 18.9.1994
Label: EMI

#3 on US-Billboard 200. 6th in swedish chart. Sold over million records.

– I Am I
– Bridge
– Dis-con-nec-ted 

While the struggle between the band members in mad name conflict, is even amusing, the band has made several very successful albums. This is a good example of one of them.

This album rotated for many years in the library of Alavus. I remember even how cover sheet was torn. Obviously, it was listened to by a lot of other borrowers. Elsewhere the album has took third place of US-Billboard-list. For metal bands it could be impossible nowadays. Well, Metallica might reach those places on top.

So what would be the genre? Progressive metal or heavier alternative rock. Something like this it is, but with very uncommon composes. The album has the spirit of good old prog-rock, which has been covered by metal. Guitar solos are clean and neat just like in the old days they were. They are intended to be. In addition to this, especially Eddie Jackson’s bass lines are impressive. They working in backgrounds, but do not push things to the spotlight.

“Yes, the 90’s tastes quite a lot, but not in the bad way.”

The singer Geoff Tate‘s voice is recognizable. The band trusted a lot his strong personality and powerful voice. It’s not wrong, it just need getting used to. Anyway, the album has been steam-punk spiritual perspectives of the sound and it will remain through the album. Each piece apparently obeys some kind bigger theme. The riffs are unique and the progressive appearance is tuned even the carelesswhisper-type saxophone played by Tate. While drummer Scott Rockenfield has been Grammy-nominated composer, most of the songs are composition of guitarist Chris DeGarmo.

Yes, the 90’s tastes quite a lot, but not in the bad way. This record needs to focus to open. More tastings accustom strong shades such as IPA beer. Progressive rock people: definitely listen to this in addition to the Operation Mindcrime.

I Am I This track determines the atmosphere of entire album.
My Global Mind This has something really interesting.

Someone Else? – I usually don’t like metal bands ballads. This one either. Tate’s sound aching too much.

Oasis – TOP21-songs: 3 – Supersonic

From the album Definitely Maybe (1994).

A debut single this great is a rare possession. Noel has claimed that he wrote this song very quickly. The legend also tells that when the band had recorded Supersonic they went driving around Manchester listening the song from a cassette and admire how good a song they had produced.

The moment when this song struck has been also clearly stayed in my memory: driving a bike around Lieksa in the summer of 2006. Just before Lamminkylä’s school, in the middle of fields, I first time listened this until the chorus. Until that I had ignored this song as intoxicated, neutral clumping. But after listening to the refrain for the first time there was no going back.

The verse has the self-confidence, the refrain has the melody. This is Oasis in a nutshell. Gem Archer has said that Supersonic’s trick is that it’s just slightly too slow. Just like Liam prancing in his usual manner… The guitar plays catchy melodies in both intro and interludes and when played live the outro also streched a bit longer with Noel riffing his heart out.

Supersonic was a live favourite from the start until the end although it had it’s moments out of the setlist. During the last tour it rose in almost a renessance and sounded better than ever in the 00s. Sadly then happened what happened…

What’s this song about? That’s left for every listener’s own imagination. What a great song. “You need to find a way for what you wanna say / but before tomorrow / ’cause my friend said he’d take you home / he sits in a corner all alone / he lives under a waterfall / nobody can see him / nobody can ever hear him call”.

I need to be myself
I can’t be no one else
I’m feeling supersonic
Give me gin and tonic
You can have it all but how much do you want it?
You make me laugh
Give me your autograph
Can I ride with you in your B.M.W?
You can sail with me in my yellow submarine

You need to find out
‘Cos no one’s gonna tell you what I’m on about
You need to find a way for what you want to say
But before tomorrow

‘Cos my friend said he’d take you home
He sits in a corner all alone
He lives under a waterfall
Nobody can see him
Nobody can ever hear him call

You need to be yourself
You can’t be no one else
I know a girl called Elsa
She’s into Alka Seltzer
She sniffs it through a cane on a supersonic train
She made me laugh
I got her autograph
She done it with a doctor on a helicopter
She’s sniffin in her tissue
Sellin’ the Big Issue

She needs to find out
‘Cos no one’s gonna tell you what I’m on about
She needs to find a way for what she wants to say
But before tomorrow

‘Cos my friend said he’d take you home
He sits in a corner all alone
He lives under a waterfall
Nobody can see him
Nobody can ever hear him call”