My Favorite Dave Matthews Band Songs (Through the Years)
I was listening to the new Dave Matthews Band CD- Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Not loving it really. It’s okay, but there aren’t any really catchy tunes. Which is really what I’m all about with DMB. Been a fan since high school.
Picked up Under The Table and Dreaming and listened to it a million times on my CD player on bus trips to marching band contests. Ants Marching is my favorite from that album, and it’s probably my favorite Dave Matthews Band song overall. I remember the first time I saw the video- I remember being a sophomore in high school, I got up early for once, my mom was getting ready for work, and the video came on MTV. I was feeling good all day thanks to that wake up. It’s catchy, it’s really light and whimsical, and it’s just plain fun.
What Would You Say? (also a very fun video) from the same CD was their big radio hit, and I like it a lot. The Best of What’s Around is fun and catchy, but nowhere near as fun to listen to as #34 which is nothing but an all instrumental track and is dominated by what I assume is Leroi Moore on saxophone. It’s fairly slow, and slow is what I never liked about the band, but this one works being mostly sax and not the slow folksy guitar stuff Dave does. On the actual CD, it is an odd addition- it’s actually on track 34…so I didn’t realize it even existed my first few listens. Not until I left the CD player go through tracks 11-33.
Remember Two Things has a slow live version of Ants Marching. It’s an extended cut, which is nice, but it’s way too slow to enjoy too much. The snappy and quick Beauford backbeat just isn’t there at this slow speed. The CD also has a live cut of Tripping Billies, which was anoither favorite.
Their five track CD, Recently, has the interesting song Recently on it. I could do without the rest of it.
Their next album, Crash (after Dreaming), has the great tracks (and radio hits), Too Much and Tripping Billies…as well as the funky So Much to Say. I remember first seeing the video for Too Much on MTV at Ethan Jones’ house and loving it. Had to record it the very next time it came on. #41 starts out with instrumentals, but Dave’s smooth vocals join the party pretty quickly. It’s a nice track, but it can’t even touch Too Much and Tripping Billies- the latter track is infused with latin sounding percussion, bluegrass-laden fiddle, and the soulful Moore sax. Beauford’s drumming is filled with lots of staccato crash cymbals and snappy hi-hat. This is one of the songs I could get into with just the percussion track by itself. Crach Into Me was a big radio hit, but it was too slow for me. The video had some original visuals, but outside of that, I’m sort of just, ‘eh.’
I have the Live at Red Rocks 2 disc set, and it’s okay, but the tempo and tone of some of the live tracks just differ too greatly from the studio versions I came to love so much. I do love the very funky #36 from this one (mainly Carter’s intro solo, not so much the almost drunk-sounding vocals from Matthews), and Ants Marching here is good. The tempo is actually a bit faster than the studio version, and it’s very full with Tinsley’s violin and Moore’s sax in the beginning. Carter gets extra time on the drums as the song seems to almost start over when Matthews thanks the crowd for coming out.
Before These Crowded Streets was their next album, and the intro Panatala Naga Pampa (41 seconds long) alsways sounded tropical/african-inspired to me. Rapunzel is light and quick, but the best track on the CD is Stay (Wasting Time). The intro guitar, the bass backing, and the lyics here are all just happy and laid back.
Listener Supported, another live album had a nice version of Too Much (what I’d call the ‘funk’ version). Most of the rest of it is just average- Dave’s live vocals are just too weird for me most of the time. His pitch, his inflection, and his odd pronunciations sound mostly like drunk nonsense. On most of the tracks, if you even make out half the words, you’re already doing much better than me.
At this point in the band’s history, I pretty much checked out. They had no really memorable tracks after this, seemed to do nothing but live CDs every other year or so, Dave went solo and got all dark. The band did a nice live version of the aforementioned instrumental track #34 on their CD Weekend On the Rocks.
What Would You Say (one of my favorite DMB songs) made it on their live CD Live At Piedmont Park. It’s decent, but it’s nothing to get too excited about. The vocals aren’t all that great, and there are too many muddled instruments in the background (some weird guitar riffs that sounds almost Woodstock-esque to me.)
Onto another live CD (or 4 or 5 or 20), and we’re back to Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Maybe I’ll listen to it some more, and I’ll find a song (or a few) that get stuck in my head, but I don’t hold out tons of hope. The last original song that did that to me was from These Crowded Streets, and since then it’s just been a rehash of live versions of the songs I loved from before, but none pulled off anywhere near as well as the originals.
So, 16 years worth of CDs, a bunch of cherished songs both in the studio and in various live performances. Not too shabby overall. Even if I don’t find another new catchy Dave Matthews Band song, I’ve got a whole cache to play with already. I think I’m okay with that.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Joshua Taj Bozeman on June 6, 2009 at 6:06 am, and is filed under Entertainment, Life, Music, My Life. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|