The Pleasure-Enhancing Music Experiment: Day Four

Or “How I Plan to Discover New Songs on the Internet + Not Let it Kill My Love of Music”……
Five new songs (no more, no less), five days a week, for 30 days.

Wednesday June 12th

1. From The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits…….
Hot: Angel In Your Arms (Big Tree, 1977)
A fairly unremarkable soul ballad from what Billboard describes as an “interracial female vocal trio from Los Angeles.” 

2. From Lost in the Grooves….
Sam Cooke: Lost and Lookin’ (RCA, 1963)
Reviewer Kris Kendall recommends listening to Sam Cooke’s Night Beat album as a whole, rather than singling out one song. But upon hearing the achingly beautiful  “Lost and Lookin’,” I’m reminded that I’m seriously missing out on staggering male talents like Sam Cooke. I’m ashamed to admit that I own not one Sam Cooke record, but that’ll all be changing now that I’ve heard this. LOVE!

3. My own curiosity….
Chvrches: Gun (Virgin, 2013)
The latest single from Scottish trio Chvrches (pronounced “churches”) isn’t breaking new ground with its chiming synth pop and beats you’ve surely heard before. But what they lack in originality is made up with the sweetest pop melodies, a punchy chorus, and an ending that I wish wouldn’t fade out so soon. LOVE!

4. From Record of the Day……
Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo: Dear River (Linn, 2013)
Emily Barker’s been awarded a BAFTA and an Ivor Novello, self-released three albums, and joined Frank Turner onstage for the London Olympics opening ceremony. Clearly there’s a large audience digging her folk-rock-country-roots mix, but I can’t say I’m that impressed. 

5. From the Billboard charts…..
Pink: Just Give Me A Reason (featuring Nate Ruess) (RCA, 2013)
Who would’ve guessed that when Pink made her debut in 2000 with fairly average R&B records, she would still be scoring mega-hits 15 years later. “Just Give Me A Reason” peaked at number one, and has remained in the top ten for 16 weeks. Personally it’s not my thing, but I can understand its appeal.

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Songs are chosen from the following five categories.

1. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (1955-2009)
2. Lost in the Grooves: Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed by Kim Cooper and David Smay (published in 2005)
I bought this brrrrrilliant book when it was first published, read every single mouth-watering recommendation, made lists of everything I wanted to listen to, and then left it on the bookshelf and forgot all about. it. Glad to have found a reason to include it in my pleasure-seeking expedition.
3. My own curiosity
I get to choose this one. Or you can choose for me (recommendations are encouraged so please feel free to post in the comments section or send me an e-mail). 
4. Record of the Day newsletter
I subscribe to this UK-based music biz newsletter, which features a daily clip of up-and-coming artists. Normally I never really bothered listening to the clips, but I shall for the next 30 days.
5. The current Top 40 charts 
I’ve been around long enough to know that most of what makes up the American Top 40 is awful, manufactured, soul-less drivel. But I am ALWAYS hoping to be wrong.

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