The Late 20th Century Project (Complete)

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8 avr. 2007, 19h58m

Reprinted from another of my sites, and edited.

In the spring of 2004, i stumbled onto an idea i think was one of my greatest ideas for a musical mix. It was built on an idea, as most grand ideas are, from something that had been building in my head for some time. I am fairly certain that it revolves around the song by Boards of Canada: 1969. I started thinking about songs named after years. I wondered if there was a song named for every year. It seemed far-fetched when i started. There are a multitude of songs out there granted, but were there enough artists out there impressed with one or any given number of random years to have named their song after it?
Some seemed obvious: 1999, 1984, 1969. But what about 1962 or 1987. What could be so great about those years that a song is worthy of being named by it. So i started my search. I had stringent rules. Mainly, the song had to have the year in the title (though not necessarily, mentioned in the song, as mostly i am into songs without words anyway). Also, it should reference the year as the song somehow. Not just the year it was made, for instance. At the time i started at 1969. I went up from there, slowly but surely i managed to accomplish it.
To this day, however, there are few songs im not sure live up to the criteria. But i also managed to push it further, to what i would truly consider the late 20th century: 1961. I was amazed and befuddled by the number of songs named after years. 1985 for some reason was the most abundant. Other years also posed me with a challenge. Which song should i choose? Since there are so many choices i do have interchangeable mixes. For instance, i didn't want the obvious choice for 1999. Also, although i have nothing against Smashing Pumpkin's 1979, i used to be a big fan of theirs as a teenager, i already knew that Meat Beat Manifesto's 1979 was more desirable (it is significant to me because that is the year of my birth).
But i did settle on a Late 20th Century 1.0. Although i do have a 2.0 with some songs pretty constant. At any rate, i now provide for you the completed tracklist for The Late 20th Century 1.0. I recommend everyone finds these songs and give it a listen. The transition through the musical styles that oddly, although also obviously, match the mood of the year and generally the time in which it is tagged to, are interesting to say the least.
Disclaimer: of course, like me, you should only acquire these songs by so-called "legal" methods. However I'm sure i can provide you with a mix tape of it if need be. Consider that you are traversing almost 40 years of life so its not a short listen. I believe the final mix is nearly three hours long. Wouldn't even fit on a tape. This is Ipod material or some such device.
I would also like to note that it inspired me to further create other themed mixes. For instance, i recently mixed a CD with songs that had to have the title Sunday in it. It is a really great relaxing Sunday morning-Sunday Afternoon contemplation mix.
Well, without further ado, The Late 20th Century 1.0:

April 12, 1961
1962-Body Building [this is a cover of a Phillip Glass composition]
1963
1964
1965
Mustang 1966
1967
Protest Song '68
1969
1970
David Allen - Gong ORFT Invitation 1971 [the title of this song trouble me, im not sure if the name is referencing the year it was produced or if the song is even named correctly but, the other option used in Late 20th Century 2.0 is Down '71 by Bone Thugs and Harmony]
1972
Les filles de 1973 ont trente ans [a french song that translates to "the girls of 1973 are 30 years old"]
1974
1975 [from the Goldmember Soundtrack]
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)
1984
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five(+ dialogue) [this is actually a Paul McCartney demo]
Sway and King Tech ft DJ Revolution - 1.9.8.6. Remix [this is probably the worst song mood-wise on the ablum, but that was a really tough year to find a song for]
1987 [the only person to appear twice on this mix]
Planet Earth 1988
1989
1990: A New Decade
Sonic Youth - "1991 is the year punk broke" [i have never been able to find a song named 1991, however as a good interlude, i remembered an except from the movie 1991: The Year Punk Broke where Thurson Moore gives an evaluation of punk music in the year 1991. The movie is a tour film of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Dino Jr., etc. I was really glad to get Sonic Youth in this mix somehow!]
1992
Revolution 1993
1994
Riot 1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

And so thats it. With the exception of a few songs, from end to end it is really a great listen. Its hard to pick a favorite section. But i find it interesting how in general the 60s tend to be slow or pop songs (sans Protest Song '68 which was a rather tumultuous year anyway, ironically). The 70s are a blend of harder but tend to mellow towards the end of the decade as they get more introspective. The early 80s tend to be rather weird as most music was at the time, but the late 80s are rather strait forward. The nineties start optimistically but descend into some rather harsh and fucked up songs just in time for the turn of the century to get rather quirky. I hope you enjoy the mix.

PS- I would like to note a few songs that didn't make the final cut. Just because those before them are that much better. But these do have their place, and usually show up in the Late 20th Century mix 2.0, ideally this will be completely separate mix one day:

Phillip Glass & Foday Musa Suso - North Africa 1962
New Order - 1963
In 1967
1969
1970
Down '71 (Gateway) [previously mentioned]
1977
1979
1980
1981 sticks [this song and the previous two are really great retro sounding hip-hop songs and really make that 70s-80s transition good, but not better then the 1.0 selection]
Sons of 1984
1985 [this is probably one of the hardest decisions between the two versions, i really dig this song]
1988
1989
December 27, 1990
My Mind in 1995
New Order - True Faith '94 [I am not sure about the name for this one, i think it refers to the year they rerecorded the song, so i hestiate to put it on there, cause it also makes them another band to appear twice, but 94 is a hard year to find a song for]
1996 [the final artist to show up twice, thanks to Corneilus' 69 96 album, Corneilus is a really awesome musican tho, just ask Candace, i turned her onto him!]
Eldorardo 1997 [Thanks to Maurico from Argentina wherever you are, you were a really cool dude, for turning me onto this band in 1999!]
October 12, 1998
1999

Songs that havent made the cut but are out there maybe for a Late 20th Century 3.0:

Summer of '69
1969 [a short 20 second intro to the 2.0 version, it could be a lead into the 2.0 version really]
Mission of Burma - 1970 [Stooges cover]
1979
Empress - Dyin to be Dancing (instrumental) 1981 prelude [in not sure about the name on this song either]
The four-Skins - 1984
1985 [this song _does_ follow Van Halen's 1984 REALLY well, but i just like the other songs so much... but then it requires so much other shuffling of the order; the permutations really are infinite you begin to see here tho]
Maniac Street Preachers - 1985
1985
Toyz 1988
Pop Song '89
Piano Magic - the abortion, an historical romance, 1999 [a really weird song to end the mix]
Common/Sadat X - 1999
Qwel - 19.99 AD
Bone Thugs N Harmony - East 1999 [these last three songs are just not ways to end this mix...]
Theivery Corporation - 2001 spliff odysessy [at one point i had considered making 2001 the end of the mix, but i just like the 1999 ending better, since technically 2001 is in the 21st, althou not 2000, but maybe this is a gateway to the next project... the Early 21st Century Mix!!! Get to it artists :)]

One last note: Where does the title of the mix come from? As tongue-in-cheek as the mix itself. Although it does obviously fit the project which is just even more ideal, the title is inspired by a Monty Python episode. In their non-sequitor manner only achievable by those amazing comedians, one of their episodes continues back to a theme, which becomes the title of the episode de facto (shown before the end credits): Mans struggle for identity in the Late 20th Century. As the title is projected on screen, we seen Michael Palin get in a rowboat and row off (presumably on the Thames) into the horizon.

For my readers: i am always looking to expand this mix, there are so many possibilities for songs it can be tailor-made to suit your emotions and feelings, but if you know of any other songs out there named after years, please leave the artist and song title in comments so i can try to find it! Thanks for reading.

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