Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 17)

17. "Dry the Rain"
Artist: The Beta Band
Year: 1997

Gimme your top 5 songs from the Beta Band. Go.

If you can do that, you're probably a bigger fan than me, but the Beta Band's first song from their first EP was an undeniable jaw dropper. How could those lads possibly top that? Well, even though there were quite a few fine and varied moments on 'The Three E.P.'s,' especially "She's the One," I don't think they ever did... and that's OK. I love everything about this song, especially the slide guitar and whale-like trumpet. This was the kind of song Beck could have only dreamed of making in the '90s. For some, this pick will be a yawner. After 15 years of watching it over and over on cable, I suppose that scene from 'High Fidelity' might be beginning to feel a bit tired. If you ever worked at a record store, however, it's a moment that will always make you smile... or feel envy. At the shop I worked in among the cornfields of Illinois, I never had the opportunity to sell five copies of a cool record like 'The Three E.P's,' but I have vivid memories of convincing headbangers to buy Lawnmower Deth in a similar vein.

15 comments:

Walter said...

It's god damn hard job to do Brian because none other song has the quality of 'Dry the Rain'. But the first songs that came up my mind was 'Dr. Baker', 'She's the one' and 'Monolith'. Each song is different but has a little magic inside. You should also listen to the later output by Steve Mason, that is worth to be explored as well (if you didn't made it already).

drew said...

This might be a bit heretical but I've never been that impressed by the Beta Band bought the 3 eps and wondered what all the fuss was about. It's a good song but . . .

Echorich said...

Afraid I side with Drew here. Nothing really grabbed me with The Beta Band. Maybe they deserve an ear that's almost 20 years removed to really listen to them again.

Brian said...

Heresy is right, and to fellow countrymen to boot. For shame. Kidding, Drew. Your choice of words is spot on. The band has been elevated to a position that, perhaps, doesn't quite fit with the discography. Other than this great song, I might not be all that far apart from you and Echorich on the Beta Band. I only have the EPs, but Walter's passion for the later stuff does have me curious, and I thank him for the recommendations.

charity chic said...

Pretty much agree with Drew and Echorich.
I've the 3EPs but don't listen to it very often
Also bought The Beta Band in a charity shop -pretty much unlistenable apart from Round the Bend

The Swede said...

Luckily I didn't have a mouthful of coffee while reading these comments, otherwise I would probably have spat it over the screen in shock at the lack of love for The Beta Band. A few months back made a couple of attempts at constructing a tracklisting for an imaginary Beta Band/Steve Mason compilation to send to JC, but failed to narrow it down to 10 tunes on both occasions. I can see that I'll have to go back and have another go - perhaps in cahoots with Walter! 'Dry the Rain' is a staggering piece. The top 16 is going to have to go some to beat it.

kevinpat said...

For some reason I always thought this was a disco band? Obviously not, eh? Hahahaha. Anyhoo this is a sweet track but yup, it made me want to listen to my Beck albums, which, to my warped ears, are some of the most unique and fun sounds of the 90s. A trash can mix of white rap (I can say that right?), funk, white boy blues, rock and folk, all stirred up into one steaming brew. Goodness I can sing along to every song and not know what the funk I'm saying. Now that's 90s!! Hahahaha. So although the non-disco Beta is sweet, l wouldd put up "Mixed Bizness", "Devil's Haircut" or certainly the 90's anthem "Loser". But I often manage to hear something different from others. Maybe I have color-blindness of the ears? Yup. THANKS, Bri!!

Ian Balentine said...

Uh, other than Dry The Rain? Dr Baker, The House Song, um, Won, uhhh...This band is a lot like the band Spoon for me. I like them, and everyone tells me I should really like them, but I hardly ever find myself throwing on an lp by them. I actually really enjoyed Steve Mason's newest album better than any album by the Beta Band (including the Three EP's. And I quite liked the first Aliens lp. But, other than Dry The Rain it's kind of difficult to come up with an argument that supports their legacy. Just my opinion.

Ian Balentine said...

Oh, and with Dry The Rain I don't hear Beck but I DO hear quite a few elements of Primal Scream's Loaded...

Brian said...

This is getting good.

George said...

Not at all a yawner, Brian, this is simply a tremendous song. CC is wrong there! I have that 3EPs CD and love it. I could also add that the dogs loved listening to it at the farm a few weeks ago, but that might not add much to persuading CC that he is in fact wrong there.

Brian said...

It's funny, George, I thought it was a yawner because the song seemed like such an obvious pick. Apparently, I was wrong there, but I dig the decisive tone coming from both camps.

I'm kind of like that with Spoon as well, Ian. They are a band that needs a good compilation. Even their worst album still had a couple of great songs on it. Plus, it would be a nice place to have The Book I Write and other one-offs that have popped up through the years.

charity chic said...

I,'m going to give the 3EPs another listen in the car on the way to work today!



charity chic said...

Played it this morning.Like the curate's egg good in parts.Experimental is the adjective I would use

Brian said...

Thanks for giving it another go, CC.