I hate the pub soundtrack. I do, and let’s be honest, you do too. We tolerate it, and the occasional decent song that makes us want to dance, or ‘dance’ as is the usual result. Then, when we’ve enough over-priced drinks in us, suddenly anything remotely close to our preferred tastes is the our JAM and we make a fool of ourselves while laughing hysterically. Rinse, repeat as needed, finish with a hefty hangover and the stench of regret on the couch the next day.
Despite being relegated to the non-music fan’s jukebox, though, some songs that get this over-played treatment manage to retain what makes them good, and I still choose to listen to them.
Here’s a few of those such songs. And no, Don’t Stop Believing isn’t on here.
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades
There’s a famous anecdote about Lemmy and co. that has the band firing any pub DJ that plays Ace of Spades if they know the band are in attendance. To be fair, I’d be tempted to fire them too. Motorhead’s tribute to the rush of gambling is as by-the-numbers rampage as the band ever gets, and contains much of what’s made them a mainstay on any rock playlist. What it also has is Lemmy loudly proclaiming ‘That’s the way I like it baby, I don’t wanna live forever!’ about the rush of gambling, and by extension the rock n’ roll lifestyle he was always going to find himself condemned to. It’s a parade for the loud and the fast, and a surprisingly astute one at that.
Oasis – Wonderwall
Okay, so, yes, the song is a bit simple. Yes, the band left behind any semblance of rock n’ roll credibility a long time ago. Y’know what they did then and still do now, though? Write good songs. Wonderwall is something everyone gets into, and it becomes swiftly unbearable for just that reason. Despite tacky lyrics though, the overall ebb and flow of the tune, along with the string accompaniment still gives it an emotional warmth that makes it bearable on long walks.
The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Man, if ever there was a back catalog that is criminally under-represented when summized with just one song, its the bloody Stones’. Especially since it was their first commercial release, Satisfaction being the go-to for the old rockers is just, well, sort of insulting. Emblematic of what the band would go to signify worldwide, the catchiest leading riff ever conceived along with a vocal line that just makes you want to boogie, it is rock and or roll at its finest, funnily enough at a time when the genre was about to take off, unknowingly. It’s a Rolling Stones song from the first half of their career, of course it’ll always have a place on the ipod.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Even though Kid Rock stole it, sometimes we get the actual Sweet Home Alabama, and those nights are alright. What’s to be said about the southern rock anthem? It isn’t Freebird, the chorus is huge and it doesn’t out-stay its welcome. All good by me on a warm Summer afternoon.
Journey – Anyway You Want It
Its a rare occasion when this gets played, no doubt, but when it does, you can be guaranteed I’m up dancing, pint in hand, making horrid memories for us all. Journey’s discography is, again, distilled into two songs, this, and Don’t Stop Believing. I’m all for the sing-alongs and the romance, but Anyway You Want It is just the happier, more party-worthy song. That guitar line is massive, with the right amount of dirt in the tone, and who can ever argue with Journey’s vocal melodies? Fools, that’s who. Unstoppable. Don’t Stop Believing is a bit crap, though.