Average Length: 5.10
Two listening notes: First, “The Weight” (clue for 1 Across). I’m partial to songs that are filled with allusions and weird characters and seem like they mean something, even if that meaning is not apparent. That’s why I’m a wholly commited Dylan fan; I know his songs express profound truths, even if I’m not sure what they are. “The Weight” grabs me from the first line: Nazareth and the terrific lyrical conceit of “feeling ‘bout half ___ dead.” The original version by The Band remains my favorite – Robbie Robertson is a certified songwriting genius and Levon Helm and Richard Manuel are soulful singers – but some of the covers are terrific as well, including those by Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, and Weezer.
Second, “The Letter,” by 5 Across. This is one of the best bubblegum pop songs ever. It rocks hard and hammers the imperative to “get back to my baby once more.” Plus, it’s yet another song with a brilliant, bluesy Joe Cocker cover.
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