My phone has decided the Greatest Hits albums from Devo, Al Green, and Simon & Garfunkel are all one big mash-up album, a song at a time from each artist, over and over, for 45 tracks total.
In a way, such an eclectic mix is a testament to my being a mosaic of tastes and influences. In another way, it’s just plain weird. So many of these forty-five tracks are love songs and nearly all of them have an emotional core of longing, pining, desire. So three artists, all quite active in the 1970s, all exploring similar themes, yet in highly nuanced, completely different stylistic approaches: New Wave, Soul, and Folk, respectively.
I’m left with three options:
1. Pick and choose songs individually.
2. Create playlists for each album.
3. Embrace one of the most fascinating accidental playlists I’ve ever experienced.
The songs appear in the recurring order of Devo, Al Green, Simon & Garfunkel. Grouping the songs into trios, there are some fascinating connections simply by the song titles themselves, let alone the lyrics. The accidental playlist is as follows:
Here to Go – Devo
Tired of Being Alone – Al Green
Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel
Through Being Cool – Devo
Call Me (Come Back Home) – Al Green
For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her – Simon & Garfunkel
Big Mess – Devo
I’m Still in Love With You – Al Green
The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel
That’s Good – Devo
Here I Am (Come and Take Me) – Al Green
Feelin’ Groovy (59th St. Bridge Song) – Simon & Garfunkel
Jerkin’ Back ‘N’ Forth – Devo
Love and Happiness – Al Green
The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
Peek-A-Boo – Devo
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
I Am a Rock – Simon & Garfunkel
Beautiful World – Devo
I Can’t Get Next to You – Al Green
Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkel
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Devo
You Ought to Be With Me – Al Green
Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel
Whip It – Devo
Look What You Done For Me – Al Green
Bridge Over Trouble Water – Simon & Garfunkel
Girl U Want – Devo
Let’s Get Married – Al Green
America – Simon & Garfunkel
Freedom of Choice – Devo
Livin’ For You – Al Green
Kathy’s Song – Simon & Garfunkel
Smart Patrol / Mr. DNA – Devo
Sha La La (Make Me Happy) – Al Green
El Condor Pass (If I Could) – Simon & Garfunkel
Gut Feeling – Devo
L-O-V-E – Al Green
Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel
Gates of Steel – Devo
Full of Fire – Al Green
Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel
Working in the Coal Mine – Devo
Belle – Al Green
Jocko Homo – Devo
Some of these groupings almost seem to tell a story, don’t they? Like #5 – Jerkin’ Back ‘N’ Forth / Love and Happiness / The Sound of Silence speaks to how intimate relationships can feel from time to time. Likewise, #13 – Gut Feeling / L-O-V-E / Bookends speaks to me as someone knows what they’ve got in their gut is true love and that bookends the beginning and end of a relationship. If all of that is too esoteric for you, I find the story of #1 – Here to Go / Tired of Being Alone / Mrs. Robinson outright funny, especially with the context of the Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin characters of The Graduate in mind.
So that’s my accidental playlist. Haven’t figured out how to make my smart phone smart enough to know these are three artists with their own albums that each happen to have the same name. Until I figure it out, I’ll exercise the above three options – usually #1, I may get around to #2, and every once in a rare, chuckle-inducing while, #3.
Oh, one odd footnote: my phone also thinks the appropriate album art for this 45-track accidental amalgamation should be from Greatest Hits by The Drifters:
To my knowledge, I have no songs in my library by The Drifters.
Just plain weird.