(I was originally going to title this post "Half-a**ed Mix CD", but felt funny about putting that word in the title. No idea why. So here you go. My HAMCD.)
This is pulled from my paltry MP3 collection, and doesn't take into account the hundreds of better choices I could have gleaned from the CD cases. I'll whip out a better one when I have more time.
Last night, as I was working on another short story (go me!), I got the idea to burn a little tribute album to the late Chris Reeve. But because I was in the middle of working on something, and because the hour was late, I couldn't give my normally meticulous attention to song selection, and just pulled what I could from my (admittedly weak) MP3 library downloaded during my college years. Not a lot there, trust me. So, some of the selections are kinda lame and predictable, and should in no way be taken as indicative of my mix-tape abilities (I'm looking at you, Trav).
"Tribute to the Man of Steel"
1) "Superman's Dead", Our Lady Peace: I know the tone is wrong, and some of you diehard fans may balk or take offense at placing this as the opening track. The fact of the matter is, this was the song going through my head all day Monday. It captures the frustrations of being mortal, of not being able to fly away from or easily fight off the problems we face on a daily basis.
2) "Wherever I May Roam," Metallica: The Man of Tomorrow always struck me as an incredibly lonely character. I chose this song because it seemed to really connect to the Superman mythology--"And the earth becomes my throne/I adapt to the unknown/under wandering stars I've grown/by myself but not alone/I ask no one."
3) "Princes of the Universe," Queen: "I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings/I have no rival, no man can be my equal." Cheesy 70's rock? Yes. Forever known as the theme from Highlander? Of course. But I still think it kinda fits. Kinda.
4) "Superman (It's Not Easy)," Five for Fighting: Okay, blatantly cheesy, and kind of embarrassing. But come on, it's a song literally about Superman. I can't deny it because of its crass commercial appeal.
5) "Dream On," Aerosmith: I thought this was a good Reeve anthem. It carries both a mythic quality (the chorus always reminds me of Greek drama, for some reason) and a bittersweet tone of recalled memory. Fitting for a tribute album, especially one for a man who helped to inspire so many.
6) "Wonderboy," Tenacious D: Purposefully placed to lighten the mood of the album. It fit the superhero motif, and it made me laugh. What do you want?
7) "Heroes," Wallflowers: One of the few Bowie covers that I like as much as or better than the original (another is Beck's version of "Diamond Dogs"). This song seemed like a perfect track for Reeve, a hero both onscreen and off.
8) "Yellow," Coldplay: Kal-El was the original "star child." The mood of this song was perfect. And I like how he repeats the line "look at the stars, look how they shine for you."
9) "Knocking on Heaven's Door," Guns-N-Roses: One of the predictable "death" tracks. Still, it's a good cover. And the whole idea of turning in your badge and gun (or hanging up your cape) seems to connect to the end of a crimefighter's reign. I know, it's a stretch. Humor me. I wanted to show GNR some love.
10) "My Back Pages", Bob Dylan: No idea why I picked this one. I guess it was the refrain, "But I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now." Something about it jumped out at me, though I can't place it now.
11) "I'll Fly Away," Gillian Welch and Allison Krauss: This song, from the "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, seemed like another perfect choice. "Some bright morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away." A song of deliverance from hardship and suffering.
12) "Is This the End?" Creed: Before you rise up in protest, allow me to defend this choice. For one thing, it's more like "My Own Prison" than "Human Clay," and if you pay any attention at all, you know there's a distinct difference. The first album was rather good, the rest were overproduced crap. (Scott Stapp is a preening crap-master, perhaps?) Anyway, this track comes from the Scream 3 soundtrack, and I really like the brooding tone of the verses. Of course, there's always the interpretation of Superman as a "christ figure" (came from the heavens to save the world?), and Stapp's christological emphasis in the lyrics can help make that connection. Make of that what you will.
13) "Forever Young," Bob Dylan: I'm really proud of this transition. The loud rock sound of Creed, followed by the unpolished acoustic of Bob Dylan and his guitar. My final blessing to Reeve's memory: may you stay forever young.
So there you go. Begin criticism...wait for it...wait for it...NOW!!!