I always hesitate, for quite a while, before posting break-up or venom-filled songs for either Twisted Mixtape Tuesday or one of my other posts. I’m happily married and sometimes my wife and kids pay partial attention to what I write so I don’t want any of them getting ideas that aren’t there. So when Jen aka @jenkehl aka http://www.jenkehl.com asked for a “You Suck/They Suck” playlist I decided to revisit my list of break up songs from a few weeks ago and post stuff I didn’t, then, and hope for the best.
No one can rip apart a significant other in song like Bob Dylan. On the cover of the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is his now ex-girlfriend Suze Rotolo. After she called him up from Italy to essentially say, it’s not me, it’s you. Dylan wrote Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right. Don’t ever break up with Uncle Bob…ever
The female counterpart to Dylan is Joni Mitchell. It’s unfortunate they don’t like each other, but then again, it’s probably because they’re a lot alike. Joni’s Blue album is one you suck song after another but my favorite is A Case Of You. The lyrics are like Oscar Wilde poetry but with biting female wit. Don’t ever break up with Joni…ever
The most popular song on my list belongs to Fleetwood Mac but I can’t leave it off. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nix were breaking up, Stevie was sleeping with drummer and bandleader Mick Fleetwood, and John and Christine McVie were divorcing. Everyone hated each other and there was more cocaine floating around the studio than the set of Al Pacino’s Scarface. If you listen to Go Your Own Way close enough, I swear you can hear the lines being cut on a mirror in the background. Lindsey’s guitar and snarl of “lovin’ you isn’t the right thing to do” and “shackin’ up, shackin’ up is all you wanna do” are amazing. This is one of my favorite songs, period.
I’ve used this song a lot, because it justifies punk as a genre. In 1978, The Buzzcocks did this wistful, hurt, lovesick, breakup, screw-off song around swirling guitars and a vocal that can be described as mongoose-like. Great song and perfect for the list, The Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?”
A little piece of useless trivia to introduce this one. When Diamond Dave and Van Halen parted ways in 1985, Eddie Van Halen’s number 1 choice to replace Roth was Patty Smyth, then the lead singer of Scandal. The record company balked. Three years earlier Patty, with Scandal, was singing one of the finest new wave go screw yourself songs of all-time, Goodbye To You.
What’s your favorite part of You Oughta Know? The naughty nostalgia in the theater? Her being way too young and him being much too old? Or where she asks “are you thinking of me when you **** her?” Mine’s her warning of “I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away.” Oh snap. Mr. Duplicity is probably one of the ten or so hockey players Alanis dated but it’s not Uncle Joey from Full House. I refuse to believe that. You Oughta Know is a not so gentle reminder that our exes are kind of, sort of, maybe, in the right light, almost human. Enjoy Taylor Hawkins, pre-Foo Fighters on drums, here.
Elvis Presley may be the King of Rock n’ Roll, but the King of angry break up songs full of lyrical knives is Elvis Costello. He has dozens of these, But the best is I Hope You’re Happy Now. Even Bob Dylan said he loved this one. Seriously, it’s perfect, with vicious wit and plenty of angst. Play it loud.
There’s break-ups and angry send offs in both of these books. The Ballad of Helene Troy and Soul To Body. I wrote them. They’re available on amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/The-Ballad-Helene-Troy-ebook/dp/B00BJOMM84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377607652&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ballad+of+helene+troy & http://www.amazon.com/Soul-To-Body-ebook/dp/B00EEAACNC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377607706&sr=8-1&keywords=soul+to+body+lance+burson for your kindle and in paperback from Lulu.com.