Great Songs of Paranoia

Sometimes late at night, rather than going to bed and getting some sleep like I know I should, I get sucked into one of those “Greatest Love Songs of the Sixties” infomercials, where someone like Davey Jones (“Hey, hey he’s a Monkee”) reminisces about all the great songs from his era. Some of them are actually quite enticing, that is, until they play a clip from “Sugar, Sugar” (The Archies, remember?) and you realize that you really hated many of the songs in the collection, and you’d simply hate to be reminded of how sappy you were as a kid.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking that I need to come up with my own collection, something that I haven’t seen anyone else put together. There are, of course, all kinds of collections: “Love Songs of [blank]” has to top the list, followed by era-based collections. There are heavy metal collections, dance-based collections, spiritual collections, and even collections of war songs. However, no one that I know of has ever put together what I am proposing: Great Songs of Paranoia.

I think that Great Songs of Paranoia would be a great success. These songs have been among my favorites through the years (I wonder what the Freudian inferences are of that?). Many of them are very fun, and would be the perfect gift for those conspiracy-theory nuts on your Christmas list.

Over the past few months I have been compiling a list of potential songs for the collection. There are more than I thought, probably enough for a couple of volumes:

  1. Paranoid – Black Sabbath (an obvious choice)
  2. Who Can it Be Now? – Men At Work
  3. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
  4. Renegade – Steppenwolf
  5. Enter Sandman – Metallica
  6. Don’t Pay the Ferryman – Chris De Burgh
  7. Silent Running – Mike & the Mechanics
  8. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
  9. The Ballad of Dwight Frye – Alice Cooper
  10. Scream – Michael & Janet Jackson
  11. Welcome to the Machine – Pink Floyd
  12. Hotel California – The Eagles
  13. Epitaph – King Crimson
  14. Twilight Zone – Golden Earring
  15. Battle of Evermore – Led Zeppelin
  16. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
  17. Season of the Witch – Vanilla Fudge (better than Donovan’s version)
  18. Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire
  19. Freedom Rider – Traffic
  20. Come Away Melinda – Uriah Heep
  21. I Ran (So Far Away) – Flock of Seagulls
  22. Synchronicity II – The Police
  23. Life During Wartime – Talking Heads
  24. Voices Carry – Till Tuesday
  25. I Walk Alone – Green Day
  26. Hang On To Your Life – The Guess Who
  27. Lithium – Nirvana
  28. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

I’m sure there are plenty more. Feel free to suggest any that I’ve missed. I’m now considering a country collection entitled “Songs of Depression & Hopelessness.”

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9 Responses to Great Songs of Paranoia

  1. I was just thinking back to the days of making mix tapes (before I had a cd burner, and now an mp3/USB port on my car deck;) how I used to make great tapes and then get bored with them within a week or two. I started making themes tapes; until I ran out of ideas for themes. Then I decided to do this: I made a tape in which I just selected 30 CD’s/LP’s and recorded the 3rd song on each for my mix tape. Turned out pretty good. Then I made one from a different set of 30 and used the 3rd from the last. Still not so bad. I made one of each just male artists, and then female artists.

    Worked pretty good, because I ended up listening to some songs I might otherwise have ignored.

    Oh, and a few songs to pick from by The Kinks (you can choose your own favorite:)

    Sleepwalker, Destroyer(And It Goes Like This,) Give The People What They Want

  2. Kurt says:

    “A Token Of My Extreme” – Frank Zappa

  3. Kurt says:

    “Sympathy For The Devil” – The Rolling Stones

  4. Kurt says:

    “There’s No Way Out Of Here” – David Gilmour

  5. me says:

    You’re right… You could probably find enough like that for a Christian paranoia volume.

    I also forgot “Don’t Open Your Eyes” by Kansas, and “Every Breath You Take” – but, I limited my list to one song per group.

  6. Quixote says:

    Don’t forget the Christian rock classic by Larry Norman: “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.”

  7. me says:

    Thanks for the contributions. I was thinking I should include something from the Cure. And, “Lunatic Fringe” & “Everybody wants to rule…” were considerations (but everything Tears for Fears does sounds way too nice.

    And, I forgot something by Billy Idol… “Eyes Without a Face” perhaps?

    Some of the other suggestions I haven’t heard. I’ll have to go check out the Tripod clip…

  8. Just of the top of my head I can think of one:

    Lullaby – The Cure

    I was also thinking that a really good take on Season of the Witch is from “Super Session: Bloomfield, Kooper and Stills.” They also do the best version of It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry that I have ever heard.

    From my mp3 collection:

    Night Comes Early – Angel City
    Lost ZoloftBob Mould
    Dream Police – Cheap Trick
    Swallowed by the Cracks David + David

    That’s Just a Few, I guess. But when you get to that country collection, you are going to get a pretty long list. But, if you do undertake such a list, don’t forget Dwight Yoakam’s Population Me.

    Nice list!

  9. Elliot Swan says:

    29. Lunatic Fringe – Red Rider
    30. Santa Won’t Be Welcome Here – Tripod
    31. Too Damn Good – Nickelback
    32. Doomsday Clock – Smashing Pumpkins
    33. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears For Fears
    34. Animal I Have Become – Three Days Grace

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