Many of us at some stage will have had that hypothetical question about if you were stuck on a desert island what would you take with you. In a similar vein I will be sharing all the songs that I would put in my own personal jukebox, not necessarily to take to a desert island, you understand, but just the many songs that would make me sad should I never hear them again. In order to make things a little interesting I’m going to permit myself just one song from each group or singer, which will be something of a test but one I’ll embrace. I hope you enjoy some of my choices and would be intrigued to hear selections from your own personal jukebox, these days MP3s or Ipods, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me on this occasion.
Pixies – Velouria (1990)
The third song on the Pixies’ Bossanova album (1990), Velouria is also their finest song from what is a rich array of weird and wonderful music. Velouria reached the UK Top 40 on release and includes an amusing video of the quartet running down a quarry but their progress is in slow motion so the camera never needs to move from its primary location, even when the group are all off camera!
Velouria has been interpreted as both a song about drugs as well as about a woman. I favour the latter definition personally and marvel in those opening lines, “Hold my head, we’ll trampoline, finally through the roof, and on to somewhere near, and far in time.” Velouria could be a model with references to her “travelling career, she can really move,” “oh velveteen” and “how does lemur skin reflect the sea?”
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I love the guitar intro to Velouria followed by the entrance of the drums as the noise builds before dissipating as Black Francis sings some beautiful lyrics. Capable of singing loud rock songs, Francis is equally adept at the more gentle emotive music as he delivers to such great effect in Velouria. This is a truly wonderful song from an unforgettable group.