The weekend approaches. Do you have plans? Whether you do or whether you don't, I have some songs for you. Run-DMC, AC/DC, U2? How could you say no?
What follows isn't the best-of of each group either. There are too many songs from each that are simply glorious to choose one. Plus, I wouldn't want to control that argument.
But let's get ready for Friday. Roadtripping? Working? Sitting on the couch doing nothing? Whatever you are doing, these songs will fit right in.
Run-DMC - "King of Rock" (1985)
Run-DMC was far ahead of its time. Adding guitar to a rap track was extremely rare in 1985, and not only did Run-DMC do it, they did it with perfection. Session musician Eddie Martinez does the guitar part and does so in a way that augments the beat and words. While the concept of the song and rhymes are excellent, the idea of adding the guitar and how the guitar meshes is what makes this song so excellent.
The song charted on Billboard's Hot Black Singles at number 14 and on the UK singles chart at number 80, but the world simply wasn't yet ready for rap plus guitar. This kind of thing would become common place, of course. But Run-DMC deserves big props for helping create the subgenre of nu metal.
AC/DC - "Highway to Hell" (1979)
It's Friday, so this song is proper, right? The weekend will bring on parties and all kinds of chaos, won't it? OK, maybe not. But that's OK because this song has so much more meaning than just weekend get-togethers.
AC/DC's Angus Young is near-genius with the simple-yet-iconic guitar riffs he comes up with and this track features one of his most memorable. Plus, I am always a bit partial to the Bon Scott AC/DC years, and this song, while the lyrics aren't exactly poetry, is one of his best vocals.
Other music news and analysis
U2 - "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" (Live version - 1983)
From U2's debut album, this song has all the basics of what the band would eventually become. There are some who even prefer early U2 over the later records because the sound is a lot more stripped down and simply a four-piece band as rock was intended. "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" starts with bombast and then almost immediately quiets before rising again.
The version from U2's first live record, Under a Blood Red Sky, is perfect because it shows a band at the beginning stages of what would become one of the biggest groups in the world, but one who never really lost their raw emotion on stage. Bono's energy, the Edge's guitar work, Adam Clayton sublime and fantastic bass, along with drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.'s bombast make this an underrated early U2 track, but one you should listen to on Friday.