G.O.A.T.’s – Crime Of Passion Songs
Written by Urban Mogul Life on January 4, 2010
If Love is the universal language, then heartbreak is the universal experience. You can quote me on that. I love Love as much as the next person, maybe even more, as I’m ready, and willing to admit that romantic love is TRULY a necessary part of my life. Over the years I’ve been a tremendous fan of all genres of music, and the one thing I’ve noticed is….every single one has a classic song about a moment in time where heartbreak and mindless rage collide. The Blues genre has hundreds of them, as does country. As a matter fact, I think they may be professionals at it! For the sake of this post, they won’t be included, but expect to see future G.O.A.T.’s posts on both. I will however explore a few songs that capture this tragic climax in lyric and song.
This is the first G.O.A.T.’s post to feature multiple artists, but it won’t be the last. The three featured here are listed according to no particular rank and order,but all rank among the Greatest Of All Time in this category.
The song “Hey Joe” has a long and varied history depending on your source of information. So varied that we can’t say for sure who wrote it, or even its original title. What we do know is that the song has been recorded by hundreds of artists in every style you can imagine. The most popular version is undoubtedly the 1966 recording by none other than The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The song was full of the eery emotion any song full of treachery and murder would provide, but Hendrix’s voice and guitar clearly gave it a life it had never known before. As Jimi pulls you into the story with that opening question,”Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in yo hand?”, you are immediately as enthralled as any daytime soap-head still hanging on the cliff from the episode a day before. By the time Jimi echoes a response to his own question in that “matter of factly” tone, your emotion transitions to fearfully appalled; the melody of the woeful six string in the background echoing your sentiments, but urging you on. By the time “Joe” vicariously expresses the reason for his treachery, you find yourself wanting to understand. It’s like watching a Clint Eastwood Movie….where you find yourself hopelessly on the side of the villain…..praying he makes it to the border before the posse catches up to him. By the end of the song, “Joe” is passionately, and feverishly…on the run. (For best results, play the video and re-read this portion ;-))
The second of our selections is by an artist who graces us with nothing but genius. Our only complaint is that he doesn’t do it nearly enough! In the spirit of “Hey Joe”, D’Angelo‘s “Sh*t, D*mn, M*therF*cker” (D’Angelo, 1995) immediately pulls us into his quandary with a series of very poignant questions. In between, he uses a few expletives common to us all. In them you hear the anger and frustration expressed in the last few bars of “Hey Joe”. He expresses his intentions just as “matter of factly” as “Joe“, and doesn’t lament until he’s faced with the sobering reality of answering for his crime…..or does he. Feel free to comment.
The last is by an artist that is relatively new to my radar. In 2008 The Revelations feat. Tre Williams dropped a joint entitled, “Keep Hustlin“. The particular piece featured here is a bluesy, well-played song that would make any of the classic “soul brother’s” proud. The horn and rhythm tracks are perfect complements for William’s earthy vocals. “Heavy Metal Blues”, like D’Angelo’s “Sh*t, D*mn,..”, chronicles another ill-fated meeting between a man and his woman’s lover. As you can imagine, it doesn’t play out so well either, but like the other two featured pieces, the artistry adds joy to the journey. Check out more of their music if you dig this one.
Enjoy, and Happy New Year from the G.O.A.T.!
P.S. Neither UML or this fuzzy lil’ creature condones acts of violence as crimes of passion or otherwise. So nobody better ever claim, “The G.O.A.T. made me do it!” 🙂