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Pandora Goes British

british

Welcome back to the Pandora challenge! It’s been a few days since I updated the challenge, not because I wasn’t running, but because of the weather. Rain threatened Friday’s run, so I went sans delicate little iPhone that dies every time a drop of water comes near it. That doesn’t mean I had no music as “Blurred Lines” got stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave.

Speaking of “Blurred Lines,” check out Vampire Weekend’s cover of it. I saw it this weekend and figured I’d share it with you all.

Sunday’s run was also without my iPhone because of a threat of rain, and that threat turned into full-on airstrikes as storms forced me to turn around after one mile.

But we were back on the challenge on Monday.

England has owned this summer, especially this past month. It started with a Brit — Justin Rose — winning the U.S. Open, America’s golf title, in June. For those who aren’t big golf fans, a non-American, especially a smelly European, winning the U.S. Open is a huge deal. Then Andy Murray won Wimbledon, giving the kingdom its first Wimbledon winner since 1936. This weekend was the British Open golf tournament. And now the royal baby has finally arrived, ending nine months of speculation over whether it’s a boy or girl but not yet ending what the prince will be named. (If God cares about royalty, they’ll name it Prince Marmaduke.)

So it only seemed fitting that Monday’s Pandora playlist be devoted to the kingdom across the pond. For the first time since 1812, the British invade Louisiana.

 

The Kinks — “You Really Got Me”

Previously on the Pandora challenge, the Judas Priest station played Van Halen’s version of “You Really Got Me.” Now I get The Kinks’ original recording of the song. So which do I prefer?

To be honest, they’re both pretty much the same. I didn’t realize before how similar the sound is in both songs. I’m not even sure why Van Halen remade the song if they didn’t change any of the sound with the electric guitar, drum beat or anything. Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” sounds different from Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit’s “Faith” sounds nothing like George Michael and the above Vampire Weekend’s “Blurred Lines” is a different song than Robin Thicke’s version.

In this instance, you can’t beat the original, though.

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
God Saved the Queen?: Yes
Overall: A

 

The Beatles — “All My Loving”

I was kind of surprised the British Invasion station didn’t start with the Beatles, but I guess No. 2 isn’t a bad spot.

 

Dave Clark Five — “Glad All Over”

 

The Zombies — “She’s Not There”

I got excited at first that the song was “Zombie” by the Cranberries, but nope, it wasn’t.

 

Peter & Gordon — “A World Without Love”

I’m starting to doze off now. I thought invasions had more energy than this.

 

The Beatles — “I’m Only Sleeping”

Beatles song No. 2.

 

The Beach Boys — “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”

Oh, Britain. You try so hard to be in the spotlight. Your one good tennis player wins his home tournament, a British golfer has the lead after three rounds of the British Open and your royal family grabs all the headlines for the future king’s birth. And then just like 237 years ago, America takes everything away from you.

American Phil Mickelson comes from behind to steal the British Open from Englishman Lee Westwood, the latest worst American alive George Zimmerman saves a family in a car wreck and steals the nation’s attention and the Beach Boys come from nowhere to assert their American music in your Pandora playlist.

I have no idea why Pandora decided to play The Beach Boys in this playlist because, as you would expect from a British Invasion station, every song was by a British group or musician. Like our Founding Fathers breaking out of King George III’s shackles, Pandora revolts against the tyranny of British music.

Song Energy: 5/10
Run Motivation: 6/10
God Saved the Queen?: THE QUEEN IS DEAD! MWAHAHAHA
Overall: A+++++++++

 

George Harrison — “Here Comes The Sun”

Another repeat song as The Beatles version was featured on the Old Guy Radio station. But this one is live and just George Harrison.

 

The Who — “My Generation”

I’m really glad this station got out of the British pop soundtrack and included some rock music. I was hoping the Rolling Stones would get on this playlist, but alas, they were left off. So I’ll settle with The Who, which isn’t a huge sacrifice considering I own a few Who CDs.

During the run, I caught myself wondering what original Who fans, fans who started listening to the band in the ‘60s and ‘70s and are now in their 50s and 60s, think of this song. Do you still hope you die before you get old? What is your opinion of your generation? Because by all accounts, your generation is sort of ruining this country.

But that’s way more political than I want to be on this blog. The song, like I said, is great. It’s nice to get a more rock vibe and higher energy involved in the run.

Song Energy: 7/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
God Saved the Queen?: Bloody yes
Overall: A

 

Eric Burdon — “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

From The Who’s energy to this. Sigh. Pandora doubts my soul’s good intentions, I suppose.

 

 

The Yardbirds — “For Your Love”

 

The Beatles — “It Won’t Be Long”

Beatles song No. 3. Run almost done. It won’t be long.

 

Manfred Mann — “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”

And this is the final song of the British Invasion run. Remember when I said I was getting tired of the pop sound in this playlist? Well, there isn’t a more poppy song than “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.”

This was a perfect way to end a bad run. For some reason, Pandora can’t keep the pace to the end. This is another prime example.

The energy is fine, but this could be one of the worst songs to listen to when you’re struggling to finish a bad run. It has absolutely no motivation whatsoever.

Song Energy: 5/10
Run Motivation: 2/10
God Saved the Queen?: Nope. Congrats, Charles. You’re finally king.
Overall: D

 

***BONUS TRACK***

Queen — “Bicycle Race”

I couldn’t leave on “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” so when I got in, I opened iTunes and played my favorite Queen song. And finally, all is good again.

 

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the playlist. I figured by British Invasion, there would be a lot of songs from the 1960s, but there’s so much good British rock music from the ‘70s and ‘80s that I figured any British station would play at least one or two of them. Nope.

During the July 4 playlist, I got American rock, country, blues and pop music.That didn’t happen with the British Invasion. The highest moment of the station was when Pandora played an American band’s song. Another point for America. USA! USA! USA!

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