A Childish “Redbone!” Hole’s “Rock Star!” The Boss “Rising”! Todd Bangs His Drum! “Music With An R” Includes A Mesmerizing Diana Ross / Usher Duet!

Songs With An “R” Are Dramatic! Raucous! Full Of Love – Courtney That Is!

I had a great time looking at songs “with an R” because they cover a wide range of music, including one of the best songs of 2017 – so let’s get going!

“Redbone” by Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino is actually the musical side project of “Atlanta” Actor Donald Glover, and this song just got nominated for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year…and for good reason – Glover is a creative force right now!

This is a funky slice of classic soul with a raspy “Macy Gray” swagger to it – here is the music video:

Bravo to Glover on his achievements, and good luck at The Grammys!

Speaking of Grammys, the next song is the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s album that was nominated for all of the major awards of 2002, which is fitting as it dealt with the aftermath of 9/11…

“The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bruce Springsteen wrote songs of a nation mourning, angry and finally, rising up…

“Sky of blackness and sorrow (a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life) (ooh ooh ooh)
Sky of glory and sadness (a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear (a dream of life) (ooh ooh ooh)
Sky of memory and shadow (a dream of life)
Your burning wind fills my arms tonight (ooh ooh ooh)
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life

Come on up for the rising
Come on up lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight”

Here is the brilliant title track:

“The Rising” won best rock album, and it’s as powerful today as when it was released – a masterpiece from The Boss…read more about it here:


Time to lighten things up with a trip to The Hollywood Bowl, where one of music’s reigning Divas took the stage – by way of a swing!

Diana Ross performs on the first of two nights at the Hollywood Bowl Friday night.
///ADDITIONAL INFO: dianaross_review.dak 07/15/16 – Photo by DREW A. KELLEY, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Diana Ross – “Love Hangover”

Yes, Diana Ross was brought to the stage by a giant swing, and she captivated the audience with some of her greatest songs, in a venue that is as iconic as she is!

Diana “Ushers” In A Duet!

One of the highlights of the night was “Love Hangover”, with a cameo by Usher! Here is it:

It was a magical night at The Hollywood Bowl – see my entire review with more videos here:


Next up is a short-lived but explosive band, fronted by Country Love:

“Rock Star” – AKA “Olympia” by Hole

It’s the story of a song with two titles…the band Hole only had a few albums, but they were filled with angry anthems of growing up isolated and marginalized, like this classic song – check out the lyrics:

“Well I went to school in Olympia
Everyone’s the same
And so are you, in Olympia
Everyone’s the same
We look the same
We talk the same
We even fuck the same”

Hard to argue with those lyrics…here is an audio only clip – I want you to hear the mistake at the start, followed by a giggle:

Now, here is a live version from Youtube, thanks to “floppingnoni” – the performance is from 1993, you get a sense of the rawness of the song:

Why “Rock Star” is actually “Olympia”!

Now, some backstory: the song is actually called “Olympia”, whigh is the capital of the state of Washington, about 60 minutes south of Seattle. However, the original song “Rock Star” was supposed to be on the album, but was switched out AFTER the album sleeves were printed – so “Olympia” became known as “Rock Star”!

I found this great live version from Love performed in London in 2014 – listen to the setup and then the raucous energy even now – as the entire crowd sings along!

The entire album is terrific, and on my list of “songs with an H”, I included another classic song called “Doll Parts” – you can see the video here:


Next up, some more rock’n’roll anarchy, courtesy of The Ramones!

“Rock’n’Roll High School” by The Ramones

More anarchy related to school, thanks to this classic punk band from the 70’s, legendary for no long lasting more than 3 minutes!

“Well I don’t care about history
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Cause that’s not where I want to be
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
I just want to have some kicks
I just want to get some chicks
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school”

Here is the clip from the 1979 film of the same name, as the band is introduced by the iconic PJ Soles!

This is a great film – you can see the movie trailer and lots of trivia here:


Now, did you know that my favorite Artist, Todd Rundgren, was supposed to be in the film in the Ramones role? Unfortunately, the schedule didn’t work out, but Todd’s song “A Dream Goes On Forever” is in the movie soundtrack.

Todd Rundgren – “Bang The Drum All Day”

Perhaps they wanted Todd because his music was raucous as well, as his classic “goof off” song from the 80’s shows:

“When I get older they think I’m a fool
The teacher told me I should stay after school
She caught me pounding on the desk with my hands
But my licks were so hot
I made the teacher want to dance
And that’s why

I don’t want to work
I want to bang on the drum all day
I don’t want to play
I just want to bang on the drum all day”

Here is Todd’s live rendition from his 2016 Beverly Hills concert:

I loved this show, and shot a few more videos as well – including his iconic “Hello, It’s Me” — you can see them all here:


Hope you enjoyed this “R” music!

Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Music, New York, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Politics, Talent/Celebrities, Todd Rundgren, TV Show, Uncategorized

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12 replies

  1. I’ve always loved Nothing Man from The Rising.

  2. An eclectic mix! The older I get the more I like Bruce Springsteen.

  3. These are great song choices!
    My pick would be Rainbow by Sia 😊

  4. You presented a great mix of genres and styles here, John.
    My own top pick for ‘R’ was ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’, from Steely Dan, of course.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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