WMBR’s Top Five Songs About Smack
5 — Iggy and the Stooges — “Lust for Life”
You probably know this as the song from those Royal Caribbean ads. But its about smack. And its not one of those deals where after the song becomes big, people on the internet talk about how it COULD be about smack — I’m looking at you “Hotel California.” The man sings “Yeah, I’ve had it in the ear before.” Just makes you wanna go cruisin’, doesn’t it?
4 — Spiritualized — “Lay Back in the Sun”
Maybe the most triumphant song about heroin ever written, J. Spaceman coos about the “fire” and “fever” inside him and seems downright giddy as he sings “gonna’ have me some good times girl / good dope, good fun.” When they came through Boston this summer, they played this song with backup vocals from a small gospel choir. It was AWESOME.
3 — Sonic Youth — “Junkie’s Promise”
Your music-nerd friend always talks about how awesome Sonic Youth is for a reason. This is a solid song from SY during their prime. And, uh, its about a junkie. In other news, they’re done with Geffen and signing to an indie for their next album.
2 — Elliott Smith — “Needle in the Hay”
Best known from the suicide scene in “The Royal Tenenbaums,” this is a seriously haunting song about the life of a junkie. Strangely enough, it loses none of its gravitas when Kermit the Frog parody Sad Kermit covers it. Plus, in the parody music video, Kermit gives Rowlf head. Seriously. YouTube it.
1 — Velvet Underground — “Heroin”
Coming out of late 60s NYC, the VU attempted to bring dark subject matter prevalent in literature to the musical medium, which was comprised mostly of schlock. “Heroin” plays testament to their success, one of the innumerable ways they influenced all rock music to come. Even if THEY don’t know it, your favorite band owes its sound, in part, to the VU.
Disclaimer: Songs by grunge artists were disqualified for inclusion, not only because they overused the topic, but because now that Dugan graduated, no one can prevent me from refusing to acknowledge its existence as a musical genre. Songs by punk/thrash/hardXcore artists similarly excluded, because everyone already knows G.G. Allin was one scary mofo.
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