July 22, 2005

"Popular" Music

A ways back, I asked for suggestions for a proposed "best of" MTX compilation.

Fastforward to now. If it surprises you to learn that I am no closer to arriving at a track list than I was nearly a year ago, you do not know me very well. However, Kendra has forwarded me this page from Audioscrobbler, which lists the "songs played the most times" and "songs played by the most people." Maybe, as Kendra half-jokingly suggests, we should just take the top sixteen of one of these lists? Or just reissue Love is Dead with "Even Hitler..." added?

Of course, that's not what I plan to do. But it's interesting data, nonetheless.

In other news, one of Kendra's friends just asked her if she was going to the Hysterectomy Experience this weekend...

Posted by Dr. Frank at July 22, 2005 06:56 PM | TrackBack

All great art starts with market reasearch, eh.

The question is; are you obligated to demonstrate the evolution of your sound even though "Danny Partidge" isn't one of the fifteen best sons you've recorded? I say just put your best work out there, your greatest hits may be relevant enough to get reviewed in the major "music" magazines. What's the over/under on the number of time the word "ditties" is used in a Rolling Stone review of MTX?

Posted by: josh at July 22, 2005 07:20 PM

my dad would seriously be bummed out if "danny partridge" wasn't included. every time i talk to him, he mentions that song.

my boyfriend would just say release "love is dead" and call it a day.

i have no opinions.

Posted by: kendra at July 22, 2005 08:19 PM

While I agree Love Is Dead is solid from first to last song, earlier songs from the MTX catelogue are equally as good. I'd be upset if songs like Book of Revelations, Danny Patridge, Itching Powder..., See It Now (I remember this being great but seem to think it wasn't recorded at best), Gilman Street,and for that matter anything off of The Women Who Love Them or certainly Our Bodies Ourselves (which is as good as Love Is Dead)...is classic MTX. Listeners would be at a true loss of the Mr T Experience is these songs were omitted...

Screw a greatest hits...change it to an Anthology and you can release a wider range of songs.

Posted by: christopher at July 22, 2005 08:38 PM

I like Christopher's anthology idea. A wider span of songs could represent you a bit better.

I wouldn't know which songs to pick. A lot of ones I like the most aren't in the top lists on audioscrobbler.

Posted by: Megan at July 22, 2005 08:42 PM

my audioscrobbler has mtx listed as most popular, but i don't listen to a lot of those songs listed. i still think my favorite idea re: best of is to make a list and then re-record them in a way that sound completely opposite the original version. but then again, that would cost money and studio time, which is a driving force behind a 'best of'album.

for what it's worth, "i was losing you all along" is the hidden gem in the mtx catalog...

Posted by: tim at July 22, 2005 08:56 PM

1. History of the Concept of the Soul
2. Up and Down

Posted by: mike at July 22, 2005 09:30 PM

I always liked the feel of "The Complicated History of the Concept of the Mr. T Experience" (nod to Mr. Livermore).

Or maybe, "The Hysterectomy of the Concept of the Soul".

I would love to see Ben Weasel's multipart interview published as the liner notes to said compilation.

Posted by: Wes at July 22, 2005 10:00 PM

I'm disappointed I'm not on that audioscrobbler list. I thought for sure I'd be there.

I prefer Revenge is Sweet and the songs within to any other album/song (except maybe She's Not a Flower), but most likely because I have very good memories associated with that album.

Posted by: michele at July 22, 2005 10:52 PM

Allow me;

1. Alternative is Here to Stay
2. Velveeta
3. Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend
4. Love American Style
5. Pleasant Valley Sunday
6. And I Will Be With You
7. Tapin' Up My Heart
8. What's In The Cuckoo Clock?
9. Sgt. Smiles
10. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
11. More Than Toast
12. Naomi
13. Big, Strange, Beautiful Hammer
14. I Fell For You
15. Surfin Cows/Surfin Mozart Monteux
16. See It Now

Posted by: melody chest at July 23, 2005 12:11 AM

i have a hard time believing that people are listening to those songs. i have love is dead and i like it but... songs from our bodies our selves, revenge is sweet and so are you, and alcatraz have always kept my interest the longest. what i'd love to see is some of the old 7" released again with some of those hits... sex offender and last time i listened to you are fabulous. and "boredom zone".

Posted by: colin at July 23, 2005 04:23 AM

"Hey Emily" is the first MTX song I heard, so that's always had a special place in my heart. "More Than Toast", too. My MTX/Smiths/Vanessa Carlton cover band played "Toast" at a friend's birthday party, but changed the lyrics a tad to apply to a relationship of mine that had just ended:

Everywhere I go I see your ghost
I guess that we're done for good
You said you loved me more than most
But less than Elijah Wood

Sacrilege, I know.

Posted by: scubasteve4lyfe at July 23, 2005 09:26 AM

You say "MTX/Smiths/Vanessa Carlton cover band" like there's one in every town...

Posted by: Wes at July 23, 2005 02:45 PM

My only suggestion is wait until 2007 and title the disc "now we are 21"

The band did form in 86, right? or am I getting forgetful in my old age

Posted by: Jody at July 23, 2005 03:40 PM

1. Future People of Tomorrow
2. Swiss Army Girlfriend
3. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
4. Mr. Ramones
5. Two of Us
6. Crash
7. King Dork
8. God Bless America
9. Prozac Moment
10. Fucked Up On Life
11. Don’t Go Breaking my Heart
12. Hey Emily
13. My Stupid Life
14. With My Looks and Your Brains
15. Here She Comes
16. Dumb Little Band
17. Love American Style
18. Semi OK
19. I Just Wanna’ Do it With You
20. You You You
21. Love is Dead

Uhhh... do it?
Have fun.

Posted by: Tommy at July 23, 2005 03:48 PM

Wrong, tommy. Wrong wrong wrong. As you can see from my example, the track list is supposed to be 16 songs. The idea of a greatest hits compilation is that it spans the entire history of the band, most of the songs from your list have been released on the last few albums. While these are al respectable songs and probaby your favorites, greatest hits are not about personal favorites - rather they are about highlighting the history of a band by featuring the most radio-friendly tunes from each era. Thanks for participating, though.

Posted by: melody chest at July 23, 2005 04:53 PM

Definitely include "Deep Deep Down." My favorite from that record, for sure. Also, "I Don't Need You Now" and "Swallow Everything" should be considered. Hopefully that brings this thread closer to having named every MTX song ever.

Posted by: Chris Fabulous at July 23, 2005 06:23 PM

To be honest, there's not even an "MTX/Smiths/Vanessa Carlton" in my town--we surely don't count, as I don't really know the words to most of the songs we play. The only thing that's holding us together right now is the weird fact that I can play "A Thousand Miles" on violin, and the novelty of that is pretty much wearing thin.

Posted by: scubasteve4lyfe at July 23, 2005 10:00 PM

Seriously, this is one hell of a track list:

1. Alternative is Here to Stay
2. Velveeta
3. Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend
4. Love American Style
5. Pleasant Valley Sunday
6. And I Will Be With You
7. Tapin' Up My Heart
8. What's In The Cuckoo Clock?
9. Sgt. Smiles
10. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
11. More Than Toast
12. Naomi
13. Big, Strange, Beautiful Hammer
14. I Fell For You
15. Surfin Cows/Surfin Mozart Monteux
16. See It Now

but you should do like Aerosmith does and release two brand new songs along with the greatest hits in order to dupe people who own every other album into buying two songs for the price of one full-length cd.

the new songs should be:

17. Me and The Dewey Decimal System
18. Hiatus

Posted by: melody chest at July 23, 2005 11:23 PM

man, what a hard thing to choose, so much to choose from...

1.Marine Recruiter
2.Danny Partridge
3.At Gilman Street
4.Sex Offender
5.Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
6.Deep Deep Down
7.I'm Like Yeah, But She's All No
8.With My Looks And Your Brains
9.Hell Of Dumb
10.Book Of Revelation
11.Last Time I Listened To You
12.Alternative Is Here To Stay
13.King Dork
14.She's Not A Flower
15.(insert song from alcatraz/making things with light which i dont own/know)

what more can i say but that was a really awesome show lastnight.

and an accoustic live album would be really awesome.

Posted by: Nick G. at July 24, 2005 05:24 PM

I don't know why other people who like The Mr. T Experience listen to the band, and I certainly don't think it's for the same reasons I do, so it's hard to say what would be on the "best of" compilation. If for some strange reason my tastes matched the demographically iconic MTX listener, then mayhaps these 16 most-played songs from my iTunes library would be telling:

1. Hangin' On To You (61)
2. Sackcloth And Ashes (49)
3. Here She Comes (49)
4. The Future Ain't What It Used To Be (39)
5. Love Is Dead (38)
6. Hello Kitty Menendez (36)
7. Thank You (For Not Being One Of Them) (35)
8. Book Of Revelation (35)
9. New Girlfriend (33)
10. Alternative Is Here To Stay (32)
11. Some Foggy Mountain Top (31)
12. Another Yesterday (28)
13. You Today (27)
14. God Bless America (26)
15. More Than Toast (25)
16. Vive La France (24)

Posted by: Don at July 25, 2005 02:25 AM

And the LEAST played MTX song on my playlist is "Boredom Zone." Should we make an anti-favorites list of our least-played MTX songs, as a sort of "What should NOT go on the album" list?

Posted by: Don at July 25, 2005 02:31 AM

How unneccelery negative, Don. I'm in!

1. Zero
2. The Science of Myth
3. Mr. Ramones
4. Stephanies of the World Unite
5. Let the Smart People do the Thinking
6. Spy vs. Spy
7. Reactivate Your Heart
8. How'd the Date End?

Posted by: melody chest at July 25, 2005 05:48 AM

I really like Toten Hosen. They have great music and at times great lyrics.
"My Land" is a classic.

Posted by: Steve Otto at July 25, 2005 06:38 AM

Isn't "The Science of Myth" a Screeching Weasel song?

Posted by: matt at July 25, 2005 01:54 PM

I could never pick just 16 songs. I do have two things to add; first, Fucked Up on Life is probably my favorite song; second, while I thoroughly enjoy Love is Dead, I would say Yesterday Rules is at least equally amazing.

Posted by: Manda Magpie at July 25, 2005 02:45 PM

All My Promises
Can I Do the Thing?
I Don't Get It
I Dont' Need You Now
I Fell For You
I Just Wanna Do It With You
I Love You, but You're Standing on My Foot
I Was Losing You All Along
I'd Do Anything for You
I'm Breaking Out
I'm Like Yeah, but She's All No
Last Time I Listened to You
My Stupid Life
Oh, Just Have Some Faith in Me
Tapin' Up My Heart
There's Something Wrong with Me

Posted by: Oswald at July 25, 2005 02:55 PM

yes it is a sw song, i was just seeing if anyone read my lists. hey Dude Above This Post, did you do that on purpose? in every single song the subject is dr frank, "i" "my" "me" - thats awesome if it is just a coincidence. GET OVER YOURSELF DOKTOR FRANK!

Posted by: melody chest at July 25, 2005 04:33 PM

1. I Fell for You
2. Swallow Everything
3. Danny Partridge
4. Here She Comes
5. And I Will Be With You
6. I Wrote a Book About Rock n Roll
7. Ba Ba Ba Ba
8. Tapin' Up My Heart
9. Naomi
10. Love American Style
11. We Are the Future People of Tomorrow
12. She's No Rocket Scientist
13. Velveeta
14. Spy vs Spy
15. She's Not a Flower
16. Dumb Little Band

Posted by: john at July 25, 2005 05:06 PM

Yes, it was intentional. Sixteen Solipsisms of MTX. There were actually a lot more than sixteen, so I narrowed down some like "I Believe in You" where the first-person pronoun is there but the focus is on the other person. Dropped "We Hate All the Same Things" for the same reason, but kept "I Just Wanna Do It With You" and "I Fell for You" because I feel like they have a much more self-absorbed tone. By the way, I didn't mean for those to be "the best of," just a very single-minded collection.

Posted by: Oswald at July 25, 2005 05:07 PM

I like "Mr. Ramones" and "Leave the Thinking to the Smart People".

1. Dany Partridge

3. History of the Concept of the Soul
4. Book of Revelation

7. Even Hitler Had a Girlfirend
8. Will You Still Love Me When I Don't Love You

10. Tapin' Up My Heart
11. My Stupid Life
12. Now That You Are Gone
13. Sackcloth and Ashes

15. That Prozac Moment
16. You're the Only One
17. Gilman Street
18. Naomi

20. Our Day Are Numbered

21. We'll Get By

23. Lawnmower of Love
24. The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

28. Sorry For Freaking Out on the Phone Last Night

30. Institutionalized Misogyny

This is really hard. I think I got it down to 19.

Posted by: josh at July 25, 2005 09:33 PM

I like the idea of an acoustic bonus disc. ... ... ... please....?

Posted by: tom tom tom at July 25, 2005 09:52 PM

if you're still taking suggestions *crosses fingers*... this is in no particular order:

1. Velveeta
2. Love American Style
3. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
4. Checkers Speech
5. God Bless America
6. King Dork
7. She's Not a Flower
8. Up and Down
9. Mr. Ramones
10. At Gilman Street
11. More Than Toast
12. Alternative is Here to Stay
13. With My Looks and Your Brains
14. Unpack Your Adjectives
15. Sex Offender
16. You're the Only One

...well, more or less all that <3 heh.

Posted by: Alejandra at July 27, 2005 08:13 AM

So will this really be a "Best of MTX," including some of the Jon Von stuff, or will it be a "Best of Dr. Frank"? Not that I'm complaining in either case - I just think it's an interesting conceptual question. The less poppy, more garage-rock side of MTX mostly disappeared when Jon left - will it get a nod on the anthology?

I'll leave the full lists to others, but my votes for most-underrated MTX songs have to be "Disconnection," "So Long, Sucker," and "Two-Minute Itch." Then again, Making Things with Light and Milk Milk Lemonade are my favorite MTX albums, so I'm out of the mainstream on these matters.

Hey Frank - remember this? When my old band (the Red Squares, I think) played with you guys in St. Louis about 5-6 years ago, I asked if you had any plans for an MTX greatest hits. Your reply: "I don't think anybody would be interested in a rehash." Glad to see you've come around to my way of thinking! Best-ofs rock!

Posted by: Jason Toon at July 29, 2005 02:48 PM

I have no clue how "I Believe In You" does not make any of the lists. That would be my first song hands down. The next 14...that would be really tough. Gonna have to think about that.

Posted by: Bill at August 5, 2005 03:32 AM

I'm glad to see "My Brains Your Looks" made a couple lists...but i think i'm going to have a real hard time with 16 so here goes (in the best chronological order i can muster):

Marine Recruiter
Danny Partridge
The History of the Concept of the Soul
At Gilman Street
Love American Style
I Love You, But You're Standing On My Foot
Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend
More Than Toast
We Hate All the Same Things
Now That You Are Gone
Alternative is Here To Stay
Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
I'm Like Yeah, But She's All No
With My Brains and Your Looks
...And I Will Be With You
Who Needs Happieness (I'd Rather Have You)
Hey Emily
Two of Us
Fucked Up On Life

19...i think thats the best i can do. (Just FYI, The Three songs i have from revenge is sweet are my top 3 favorite songs of all time in the order they appear.)

Posted by: Tom at August 8, 2005 06:01 PM

complicated history of the concept of the soul

Posted by: musashi at August 25, 2005 05:57 PM

my KINGDOM for a comp with all of dr. frank's solo acoustic stuff from the MTX catalog.

Posted by: amber at October 5, 2005 10:39 PM

my KINGDOM for a comp with all of dr. frank's solo (largley acoustic songs) from the MTX catalog.

Posted by: amebr at October 5, 2005 10:41 PM
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