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Moonlight Mile

Through the years, my two sons eventually learned exactly what kind of gifts I enjoyed and because of that, I never had to suffer, like most fathers, with the goofy, ugly tie or a pair of argyle socks. One gift they both learned early on that made me happy was anything to do with music. As they got older—for Christmas, birthdays, and Father’s Day—they both put together CD’s—compilations of songs they knew I liked or would probably like. My collection grew and I found I no longer needed to purchase new music; what they were giving me was enough. They learned my tastes well and didn’t have to ask what I wanted; they knew. My favorites were the ones that included songs I wasn’t familiar with, and at this my oldest son excels.

This past Father’s day, I received a compilation CD from Ron that included a number of deep cuts that I had never heard. And boy was I pleased. Because of all the old classic rock stations out there, I’ve grown tired of the same old songs being played over and over again and have even stopped listening to these stations in favor of a more modern mix of music. What Ron pulled together was the best of both worlds; classic artists with rarely heard songs. Good stuff.

So, I was re-introduced to a lesser known Queen hit, Keep Yourself Alive which I enjoy listening to as much as any of their bigger hits. He included a Van Morrison song, Spanish Rose, and when I heard it, I was blown away. What a great song and Morrison fits into the theme so snugly that it at first doesn’t sound like him. There’s a classic Sam Cooke song, Bring it on Home to Me, covered by Eric Burden and The Animals. The only thing missing are the backing vocals of Lou Rawls from the Cooke version. Otherwise, wow. He included a couple of Kinks tunes, one of which is Powerman. If you want a song with a powerful, driving guitar riff, then this is the song for you. David Bowie does, Lady Stardust, which I first thought vocally sounded a lot like Gun’s and Roses. A very good tune from Bowie. But there are two songs that excel them all; one from The Kinks and one from The Rolling Stones.

I never purchased an album by the Kinks when I was growing up and as I’ve grown to love their music—listen to Celluloid Heroes for example—I realize how much I missed in those younger days. The song featured in the movie The Darjeeling Limited is titled Strangers. I found the tune hauntingly beautiful, especially the harmonizing vocals during the chorus. In my case, the Kinks have been an underappreciated group—I’ve always known about Lola—but no more.

The other song, and the one I enjoyed the most on the entire CD, is a relatively unnoticed Rolling Stones song titled, Moonlight Mile. My feelings about the Stones over the years has been mixed; I’ve loved some of their tunes and others I could do without. But this one, in my mind, is the best Stones song I’ve ever listened to. The music has a Japanese feel to it and Jagger’s vocals are outstanding. Considered a ballad, everything about it I like, even more than Wild Horses or Angie, and so I passed it on to my younger son, who calls it his new favorite Stones song, and I’m passing it on to you. The jam at the end is really cool. Enjoy the music by clicking on the songs I’ve highlighted.