Song Of The Day 7/24/2014: James Brown & 2Pac - "Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable)"



Fun With Spotify -- The "Appears On" Game (What This Is): These last three posts are closer to the anarchy I had in mind when I came up with this series. And when I say "anarchy," the first musical image that plops into your head is, of course, Jim Croce. Scott Askew suggested one of the '70s' most prototypical singer-songwriters, who unfortunately did not make it out of the middle of the decade. I can't say I had much exposure to him outside his hits. He sounded weary in those songs. I don't mean catatonic, just that he sang like an older man. Sort of the way Tom Waits has sung his entire career, without the corrugated rasp. I sometimes fantasize what might have happened if Croce had lived, and if he and James Taylor could have had a rivalry. A casual, acoustic rivalry. Croce's sociopathic, eventually vivisected Leroy Brown going up against JT's warm-sweatered, unshirking self-reflection. It would have been the most relaxing face-off since C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot. We're talking chablis and shag, and lots of tapered items.

Quentin Tarantino, who turns his soundtrack albums into events almost as memorable as his movies, threw the congenial Jim Croce's delicate, quietly reawakening song "I Got A Name" on the soundtrack for Django Unchained. Yes, the song has something to do with Django's quest for identity, but I'm sure Tarantino couldn't resist the perpendicularity of Croce's genteel uplifter playing between scenes of overstated brutality. Also on that soundtrack was this beyond-the-grave mashup of James Brown and 2pac, a little bit more in line with Tarantino's money-in-the-bank vengeance angle than "I'll Have to Say I Love You In a Song." The dichotomy is just -- well, actually pretty common these days, isn't it?


Thanks, Groucho Pan!

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