Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of one of the most spectacular talents to grace the world of music in the 20th century: the one and only Frank Zappa. Still, for all that Zappa’s talents for writing and performing were without peer, perhaps the most memorable thing about him was his inimitable sense of humor — his songs were often as laugh-out-loud funny as they were musically intimidating, a distinctive combination that made listening to his records a strange and wonderful experience. As such, celebrating the great man’s funniest songs seems an appropriate way to pay tribute to his legacy — so here’s our choices for the funniest of the lot.
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This boy dressed up as Harry Potter and went around Penn Station looking for Platform 9 3/4.
NEW TRACKS: Peter Gabriel - ‘Courage’
Listen to the rumble from beneath the ground…
Clear the dust off your boombox, John Cusack, it’s time to blast a new classic from Peter Gabriel. Even though there is nothing better than listening to side two of 1980’s Melt and hearing the whirling up of “Games Without Frontiers,” So is definitely my favorite Peter Gabriel album. To have a new single appear from those 1985 sessions, one which Mr. Gabriel himself correctly describes as “a hidden gem,” is pure magic.
“Courage” is an art punk track quite distinct from the other So tracks. It’s not a slow ballad like “Don’t Give Up” and “In Your Eyes,” and it’s faster, rocking style is more like a pop adaptation Melt and Security’s sonics than something of the same cloth as “Sledgehammer.” There are many layers on this track like “Sledgehammer,” but instead of doing so via funk-inspired horns, “Courage” features a plethora of guitar textures which creates an added percussive layer. Peter’s vocals are delivered in a punk style that still allows his beautiful voice to shine through.
If you liked the recent output of fellow art rocker David Bowie, then you’ll adore this single by Peter Gabriel. Let’s hope that the old Genesis flautist discovers more of these “gems” soon enough!