Whaddya Mean You Don't Know Who Fats Domino IS???
June 28, 2009 1:18 PM   Subscribe

American Music For A Tropical Island Emigre....

A buddy of mine is from Trinidad and wants to get caught up on American music. I'm making him a two-CD set of classic American rock/pop music to get him up to speed.

To get you up to speed for this Askme: He has no idea who Fats Domino or Simon and Garfunkel are. (Which will be included in my set).

What would YOU put on an iconic American Rock/Pop Mix CD for someone from another country who is starting from zero culturally?
posted by Lipstick Thespian to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Where do you want to start and stop, historically?

Do you wish to include non-rock genres of pop music like country, soul/r&b, hip-hop, etc.?
posted by box at 1:24 PM on June 28, 2009

Response by poster: Absolutely - but think about someone who is not up to speed on Classic Rock yet before throwing in other genres. I want this set to be like an Ambassador's Set of the Finest in American Rock Music.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:30 PM on June 28, 2009

My gateway drug double-album set to the oldies was the soundtrack to American Graffiti. Plenty of good stuff to chew on there. "Rock Around the Clock," "That'll Be the Day," "Surfin' Safari*" and "Book of Love" are about as iconic as that 50s classic American pop music gets. Picking through the track listing will probably give you some ideas.

If I were making this mix, it'd start with Buddy Holly, to be sure, with some stuff like "Green Onions" and early Four Tops/Stevie/Temptations-era Motown thrown in for good measure.

*Although if you're going to add any Beach Boys at all, I think it gets no better than "God Only Knows."
posted by GamblingBlues at 1:58 PM on June 28, 2009

Response by poster: I think that Wouldn't It Be Nice is the best Beach Boys song. God Only Knows is my 2nd.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:02 PM on June 28, 2009

You have to include some Springsteen for sure.
posted by amyms at 2:45 PM on June 28, 2009

Lynyrd Skynyrd. What's more iconic than Freebird?
posted by Eumachia L F at 9:49 PM on June 28, 2009

For this purpose, the Forrest Gump soundtrack might fit this bill as well. Bob Dylan, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Elvis, and more!
posted by LouMac at 7:23 AM on June 29, 2009

Where do you want to stop? I've seen mostly 60s-70s rock mentioned above. I would have a very hard time limiting this collection to 2 cds. How old is your friend? Would it benefit to give him music from the 80s-90s that he might have heard on the radio/tv?

I think it could be fun to find Caribbean artists that covered 60s-90s American songs, so your friend might have a bit of a connection to the songs. There are many Reggae/Soca versions of classic rock and pop stuff - I know I have takes on Jay & The Americans, The Bee-Gees and a whole host of other artists.

Should you choose to do so, I would recommend - DJ Queen Majesty's Trilla mix cd, a collection of 24 dancehall reggae covers of 80s-90s pop songs. Funky Kingston: Reggae Dancefloor Grooves, a collection with several covers of 60s-70s American R&B. Bunny Maloney's Sings Old Hits, his covers collection. (I love his version of "I Just Want To Be Your Everything). The Trojan Records Lovers' Box Set has several covers of 60s Soul/R&B, such as 'You'll Never Find', 'You Make Me Feel Brand New', 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', etc. Should you choose to go this route, i think you should partner each song with it's original American version.

No matter what, I would include a little booklet that qualifies each song choice. Hearing about why someone likes a certain song so lets me have an interest in it, even if i don't particularly care for the music.
posted by stachemaster at 11:18 AM on June 29, 2009

Response by poster: Update: I'm now thinking of a CD set that includes one CD for each decade of American rock since the 1950's.

Here's more about where my friend is coming from musically: he doesn't know any of the classics, barely knows who Aretha is, BUT he loves bands like Nickelback, Creed, Three Doors Down, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, etc. (I know, I know...deep breath, people, deeeeeeep breath.) So if it's mainstream, slightly aggressive anthemic rock from the last 10 years, he's aware.

He also is a flat-out sucker for the Big Ballad - he loves Bryan Adams, etc.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:07 AM on June 30, 2009

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