Alright everyone, welcome to issue two of Mix CD Monthly. Today we’ve got a feature on the second mix CD I ever made. This one was created in 2015, but was originally meant as a companion to the 2014 one we looked at last time. I planned on making it to chronicle my next top favorite songs, such that the two discs constituted my top 20 songs as of 2014. Unfortunately(?) there was a problem with the burning process and only the first song played in full. So I put it off until later, when I also altered the tracklist a bit to reflect my updated tastes. The original intended tracklist can be seen below.
Nothing too interesting there, really. Consistent capitalization didn’t seem to exist for me back then. Though I should point out that the version of “I Shot the Sheriff” is the Eric Clapton one. So let’s begin with the main event.
Eric Clapton- Cocaine
Clapton still makes a strong showing, though with a different song. I must have really liked the song to put it on two consecutive mic CDs. It’s not the only time that a song title made more than one appearance on a mix CD, but it was the first.
Derek and the Dominoes- Layla
One of the carryover’s from the original, I was big on Clapton at the time and it shows. It’s a great song (and probably the one that appears in the most versions over the course of the mix CDS) though sequencing two songs from the same artist right after one another is something I would never do nowadays with my mix CDs (mark those words, because I do it again much later, and again on this very disc)
Billy Joel- Only the Good Die Young
These mix CDs are very good at helping me pinpoint exactly when my dad got certain CDs. Though it’s not a particularly inspired choice, the catchy piano+acoustic guitar tune is one that I still like to this day.
Billy Joel- You May Be Right
Same goes for this song. It’s probably my favorite Billy Joel song now, and it was also back then. Though I must state that I’m mortified by this terrible sequencing that puts two Billy Joel songs after two Eric Clapton songs. Spread it out man!
Fleetwood Mac- Go Your Own Way
Now this was a surprise. I knew I liked the song but I didn’t think it would be making a mix CD this early. It’s got a great guitar solo (but not the greatest one promised by this issue’s cover) and I very much like the song. It’s just a little peculiar that “Tusk” wasn’t the one to make it onto the disc, given that it was and is my favorite Fleetwood Mac song and has been in my life as long as “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”.
Iron Maiden- Aces High (live from Live After Death)
Ok, I wasn’t expecting any Iron Maiden to make it onto this disc. It was a very soft disc looking back. But “Aces High” is a great choice. I chose the Live After Death version because it was the only version I had at the time.
The Knack- My Sharona
And here it is. The greatest guitar solo of all time. I’ve always loved this song and it’s been in my life almost as long as I can remember. Definitely worthy of this spot, and it’s peculiar that it didn’t make it onto the original disc.
Stars on 45- Stars on Stevie (Wonder)
This was my introduction to Stevie Wonder’s music and it is fully responsible for my love of it. It’s such a well crafted tour-de-force of his greatest hits and I love listening to it even today.
Led Zeppelin- Rock and Roll
Zeppelin make their first showing and I’m a little surprised it’s “Rock and Roll”. “Black Dog” was my favorite for a long time when I was younger and it’s nowhere to be seen. What’s more, this is, bar two other songs on one later on, the only appearance of Led Zeppelin on one of my mix CDs. Very weird.
The Rolling Stones- Paint it Black
What a song. Even back then I loved it. It’s probably oldest song on any of my mix CDs. And you’ll be hearing more about later in March.
Bryan Adams- Run to You
I liked Bryan Adams alright? I wasn’t aware that you weren’t supposed to do that back when I made this. It’s a good song and it’s not the last time Bryan appears on a mix CD, so just deal with it.
Dire Straits- Money For Nothing
Pretty standard stuff. Good song.
Eurythmics- Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
I’m a sucker for the occasional pop tune. Sue me.
David Garrett- Smooth Criminal
Courtesy of one of my friends, this violin cover of “Smooth Criminal” was my introduction to both the song and the artist and I love it. Easily the most interesting song on this disc, it sends it off in style.
So about the disc as a whole? Well it’s very soft. There’s not much heavy metal on it. Or hard rock for that matter. I don’t mind that, I’m just surprised at how long it took my tastes to become heavier. It’s a good, varied, listen after you get through the opening four songs and there’s plenty of left-field inclusions on it. And speaking of inclusions, it’s very interesting to look at songs that I’d loved for so long (like “Tusk”, “Black Dog” and “Start Me Up”) not make appearances. Maybe I’d gotten a little tired of them. I don’t even think those three ever make an appearance on any of my mix CDs.
And comparing it to the original tracklist is also an interesting experience. Not one Iron Maiden song from the original plan made it onto this one, strangely. A couple of songs made it over but most didn’t. I do prefer the actual tracklist though. It’s far more varied and more reflective of my wide tastes. It’s also a fair bit more adventurous and I like that.
But all in all this was a little bit of an uneventful issue. Most of the songs are just big hits from the artists. Despite the previous year’s disc, it seems I had yet to truly forge my unique listening tastes into what they are now. But there are a few hints of it buried deep. The main thing is how the original tracklist only features (bar one song) early 80s Maiden tunes while the 2014 disc (bar one song) only features 90s Maiden songs.
I think my dad bought a Bon Jovi greatest hits sometime in 2016, so next issue’s disc will definitely be a fair bit heavier. But there’s still going to be some surprises. I am nothing if not unpredictable.