Song Of The Day 8/21/2015: The Monkees – “Mary, Mary”

Ultimate Breaks & Beats – You don't have to wade too far into UBB to get an idea of its very wide aesthetic scope: The Monkees' "Mary, Mary" is the very first song on the very first volume. And in its own way it sets the template for most of the songs on the rest of the series. It's got a very aggressive beat, especially for the Monkees' ouevre, and has a stop in the middle with an unambiguously driving, sound-system-ready drum break. It's really all the necessary elements rolled into one: beat, guitar strums on the upbeats, lots of space in between verses, and the good drum break. Plus Davy Jones' maracas. I don't know if you saw it in that video, but Davy's waving no less than 6 maracas on this number. It's a six-shooter of auxiliary hand-held percussion power. Whatever you want to say about Davy Jones, one area of execution in which he never faltered once was the bringing of the maracas. Many maracas. Like six of 'em. In a video. That was lip-synched, but whatever. Top that. We miss you Davy.

There are a bunch of items on *UBB* that deviate slightly from the funk/R&B base. As mentioned earlier this week, Breakbeat Lou squeezed the Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" on there (the drum and cowbell intro). The Incredible Bongo Band, whose "Apache" is actually called "hip hop's national anthem," was a bunch of studio players brought together to make a score for a B-movie I'm not sure was ever released. Tom Jones was on there with an insanely funky track called "Looking Out My Window." There's also the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Squier, Mountain, the theme from S.W.A.T., Thin Lizzy, John Cougar pre-Mellencamp, Jefferson Starship, power-pop minor gods Bram Tchaikovsky, Gary Numan -- a whole bunch of stuff that we might cover tomorrow, 'cause I've just decided we'll wrap this whole week up with a playlist on Saturday. It'll be great. Bring your maracas.

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