Friday, September 18, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 18)

18. "Cannonball"
Artist: The Breeders
Year: 1993

If I'm honest, I would give the nod to "Safari," Tanya Donelly's last hurrah with the band and one of my all-time favorite EPs, but there is no denying "Cannonball" is one of the catchiest songs of the era, and I identify this song with my last great summer. So, it gets the nod by a whisker. Like the album title, this really was my 'Last Splash.' I was 23 years old in the summer of '93, but I got to live like a kid one more time. I had just graduated from college and already knew I would be moving to Japan later in the year. Adulthood could wait. My life couldn't have been more carefree. I moved back home. Here was my schedule: Wake at dawn, play nine holes of golf, "work" at the record store from 10-3, swim, eat a home-cooked meal, read, watch movies or listen to music, repeat. Four years earlier I couldn't wait to get out of the house. Now it was a comforting refuge from the world.

This was also the summer I discovered my brother was cool. He was six years younger and a real sponge. He was at that age when he soaked up all the music I played for him. 'Last Splash' didn't come out until the tail end of August, but "Cannonball" preceded the album and was already garnering plenty of excitement and airplay when we received an early promo copy of the LP at the store. I commandeered that sucker and taped it. As my brother and I played that Maxell XLII together for the first time, one thing became instantly clear. Kim Deal shouldn't have been iced out of 'Trompe Le Monde.' In fact, the stops and starts and singalong vocals reminded me of Pixies in their heyday, just poppier and more accessible. Try to give 'Last Splash' a spin today. I did, and it still sounds great. Do yourself a favor and find time for "Safari," too.

11 comments:

charity chic said...

Superb

George said...

It's a great pop song. Your way of life as a 23 year-old sounds idyllic, If you like golf, of course.

TheRobster said...

Playing silly golf when you could have been listening to Cannonball dozens of times? Pfft! Hang your head young man...

Cannonball really was one of THE great songs of the era. It's only relatively recently that I've discovered how popular it was. At the time it was MY song and no one else knew of it.

Swiss Adam said...

Yes to all of the above and what you wrote too. Except the golf bit maybe.

kevinpat said...

This track is like a vortex. After the (probably intentional) unedited beginning and then that throbbing bass pulls you in, you get swirled around and then when you think you get out, it throws you around again. Cookoo cannonball! A fine representation of those great 90s girl bands (Veruca Salt/Juliana Hatfield/Belly/Throwing Muses/Liz Phair/Jennifer Trynin/L7….) Classic. #19 I concur! (BTW Are they singing "In the shade. In the shade" or "Hear me shake. Hear me shake" or what???)

C said...

As everyone else says - such a great track, then and now - and what a great and enviable time in your life - just not the golf!

Brian said...

Everyone will be happy to hear I haven't picked up the clubs even once since having children. I wonder how many records I could buy if I sold 'em? The clubs, not the children.

Kevinpat, in the shade, my friend. Clear as mud.

The Swede said...

A fine selection and snapshot of your life. Golf and home-cooked meals at 23? Crikey. At the same age I was living in a damp squalid little shared house with three other smelly oiks and surviving on a diet of beans on toast and warm lager! Those were the days!

Echorich said...

Give me The Breeders over Throwing Muses or Pixies any day...yes that's likely a sacrilege, but I never got on with the latter two and The Breeders were just a refreshing sound.

Brian said...

Swede, I'm sure you wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. In college, I spent $25 a week on groceries. When I look back at photos of that time, it looks like I weigh about 75 pounds.

Echorich, Overall, I'm not sure I would go quite that far, but I would certainly take the Breeders over '90s Pixies. Incidentally, Pixies and Throwing Muses are both in the first 10 out on this list. More on that later.

kevinpat said...

I would assume a golf player's list would include Hootie & The Blowfish, Barenaked Ladies and Matchbox Twenty. Thank goodness your love of golf didn't tarnish your love of music, Brian.

At 23 I got my first teaching job and was still working as a projectionist for a dinky porn movie theatre at night before I hit the pub. It was a year and a half before I would discover The Ramones and my musical life would change forever. Gabba gabba hey! But sorry, no g o l f.