Friday, December 28, 2007

Name That Tunesmith

A couple of days ago, I burned a number of CDs to mp3 so that I could listen to them on the iPod--the list included the latest from Neil Young, John Fogerty, Ann Wilson, Robert Plant & Allison Kraus, the Eagles, Jane Monheit, Mannheim Steamroller, and Anuna, along with a three-disc Matt Monro package (don't worry if you don't recognize him--while he was a major act in England sometimes referred to as the British Frank Sinatra, here he's only known for singing the From Russia With Love theme song), a Bing Crosby Radio Show Christmas set, the first two Josie Cotton albums on one disc, a Celtic cover version of Led Zeppelin songs, the Twin Peaks II soundtrack disc, and an album whose name I can't remember, but it's basically emo-goth Christmas songs.

I put 'em all in one playlist, and the fun began. As Brett and I were driving to the warehouse to pick up our comics, the music began--and pretty soon, we found outself engaged in a game of "guess the artist" from a list of songs that for the most part we hadn't heard. Oh, sure, there were Josie Cotton and Bing Crosby songs we knew, and the Zep tunes were recognizeable--but having Robert Plant thrown into the mix confused things, and it got more complicated because Ann Wilson covered a Led Zeppelin song and a John Fogerty song on her recent album.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? Think again, b'wana! After a while, we realized that Neil Young and John Fogerty have a lot more in common than we had ever suspected, and Ann Wilson sometimes sounded more like Robert Plant than Robert Plant did. And there are times when Anuna, Mannheim Steamroller, and emo-goth blur into one strange ethereal subgenre.

Of course, we didn't have too much trouble at all recognizing Matt Monro or Jane Monheit or Bing Crosby, so those were the easy ones. For the most part, Josie Cotton was quick 'n' easy to identify, too--but there was one Josie song that totally threw Brett, so it wasn't always 100% obvious. Since we only listened to segments of the song (unless it was something we really liked, in which case we'd stay with it a bit longer), we managed to go through 167 songs in the hour and a half that we spend in the car round-trip. The strangest mix-up: a Joe Walsh Eagles song that we both swore was John Fogerty for the first thirty seconds or so...

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