people don't seem to write them anymore. You know, like "Ode To Billy Joe", "Harper Valley PTA", "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Are there any recent examples?
|by B Gentry||reply 76||03/26/2013|
|by B Gentry||reply 1||03/07/2013|
^ Not a recent example.
|by B Gentry||reply 2||03/07/2013|
Not that recent, but Avril Lavigne's Skaterboy was pretty popular.
|by B Gentry||reply 3||03/07/2013|
Story songs are also known as ballads, OP. Listen to the concept album "Operation Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Full of story songs and put together they are like a movie telling a whole story.
|by B Gentry||reply 4||03/07/2013|
Try country music. Lots of songs about trucks, dogs, whiskey and women.
|by B Gentry||reply 5||03/07/2013|
R4, it's nice to know I'm not the only fan of "Operation Mindcrime." An incredible album.
|by B Gentry||reply 6||03/07/2013|
"Stan" by Eminem
|by B Gentry||reply 7||03/07/2013|
r6 It's nice to know I am not alone either! Geoff Tate was so great back then, no album (from anyone) will ever compare.
|by B Gentry||reply 8||03/07/2013|
Here ya go. It's hip hop, but give it a chance.
|by B Gentry||reply 9||03/07/2013|
Most of Macklemore's stuff is fairly autobiographical. "Wings", "Victory Lap". Tells HIS story.
|by B Gentry||reply 10||03/07/2013|
Geoff Tate really was great, and I agree, no other album comes close to OM.
It's been years since I've listened to it, but I've got it playing in my office now. The looks I'm getting from others has me laughing on the inside.
|by B Gentry||reply 11||03/07/2013|
I loved the story of "Don't You Want Me" by Human League in the 80's.
It is sad, wistful, angry, and creepy at the same time. I liked that it told both sides of the story. The Gotye song that is all over the radio now reminds me of it in some ways but the Gotye song doesn't have much as much going for it lyrically.
|by B Gentry||reply 12||03/07/2013|
Anyone else think Tears for Fears' "Woman in Chains," fits this category?
|by B Gentry||reply 13||03/07/2013|
I don't know if it fits r13 but I know it's a fucking awesome song! I thought I was the only Queensryche loving TFF fan and that is their best song.
|by B Gentry||reply 14||03/07/2013|
Any freakin Taylor Swift song.
|by B Gentry||reply 15||03/07/2013|
R15, I love the story that goes along with them discovering Oleta Adams in a Kansas City hotel bar and asking her to join them on the album.
Not afraid to admit, there are days when I turn it on, turn it up and sing along to "Woman in Chains."
|by B Gentry||reply 16||03/07/2013|
"Timothy" -- The Buoys
Written And Arranged By Rupert Holmes Who Is Famous For The "Pina Colada Song."
A CONTROVERSIAL #1 Hit In 1979 about cannibalism.
|by B Gentry||reply 17||03/07/2013|
Check out Sheryl Crow. Her CD Detours has a lot of these kinds of songs.
|by B Gentry||reply 18||03/07/2013|
Common - Testify
Uses a great Honey Cone sample
|by B Gentry||reply 19||03/07/2013|
"Fast Car" - Tracy Chapman
|by B Gentry||reply 20||03/07/2013|
I think that you need to get out more, OP!
Iain "Fred" Smith - Dust of Uruzgan
Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Age of Miracles
Two recent albums with 'story songs'.
|by B Gentry||reply 21||03/07/2013|
"Waterfalls" by TLC has three stories in it.
|by B Gentry||reply 22||03/07/2013|
"Rabbit Fur Coat" - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
|by B Gentry||reply 23||03/07/2013|
Dylan did a couple of albums-full in the mid-70s, but that was when they last seemed the thing in rock.
|by B Gentry||reply 24||03/07/2013|
Judy Collins - The Little Road to Bethlehem
|by B Gentry||reply 25||03/07/2013|
Paul Simon - "Train in the Distance"
|by B Gentry||reply 26||03/07/2013|
"Sunny Came Home"
"Night the Lights Went out in Georgia"
"Take This Job and Shove It"
"Take a Letter, Maria"
"Jack and Diane"
|by B Gentry||reply 27||03/07/2013|
There are still singer songwriters and story songs. They just don't have the visibility that they had years ago.
|by B Gentry||reply 28||03/07/2013|
The absolute best recent story song is Jens Lekman's "Postcard to Nina." It's also very funny.
|by B Gentry||reply 29||03/07/2013|
"Polly" by Nirvana. The apathetic story of a poorly executed rape.
|by B Gentry||reply 30||03/07/2013|
"Rabbit Fur Coat" is indeed excellent.
Oh, and then there's Branigan's "Spanish Eddie"...
|by B Gentry||reply 31||03/08/2013|
You all know the proper term for "story songs" is ballads, right.
|by B Gentry||reply 32||03/08/2013|
The 70s were the best years for the story song.
|by B Gentry||reply 33||03/08/2013|
"Uneasy Rider" and "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band.
|by B Gentry||reply 34||03/08/2013|
Yep r32, I mentioned it at r4.
|by B Gentry||reply 35||03/08/2013|
Not recent but Aerosmith's Janie Got a Gun and Pearl Jam's Jeremy.
|by B Gentry||reply 36||03/08/2013|
I don't like Pearl Jam anymore r36 but Jeremy is an excellent song. It reminds me of the Stephen King story 'Rage", read it if you haven't. It is very timely in light of all the school violence lately.
|by B Gentry||reply 37||03/08/2013|
OP you made me go watch the Ode to Bully Joe video. Creeepy. I didn't remember the full story and had never seen the bizarre video.
Not all ballads are story songs. Some just sing about their feelings about a situation or if they are telling a story it's done vaguely, not like the OP's examples.
|by B Gentry||reply 38||03/08/2013|
|by B Gentry||reply 39||03/08/2013|
It's a toss up, but this could be the the most depressing story song ever. It's not new though. "Alone Again Naturally"
|by B Gentry||reply 40||03/08/2013|
The best: Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Said James to Red Molly, my hat's off to you It's a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952 And I've seen you at the corners and cafes it seems Red hair and black leather, my favourite colour scheme
|by B Gentry||reply 41||03/08/2013|
Another good, creepy one is the murder ballad, "Where the Wild Roses Grow" by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue.
|by B Gentry||reply 42||03/08/2013|
The day Jilly Jo Lalalister jumped off the Tallahasse River bridge........
The day my mammy socked it to the NAACP...
The wreck of the Edmund Fitsimmons
I learned the tooth at 17...That my face looked really mean...
|by B Gentry||reply 43||03/08/2013|
Dark lady laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one
Fucked her racist ass, until she did cum
Dark lady laughed and danced until the clock struck on the twelve
She told me more about the cereal on the shelves.
|by B Gentry||reply 45||03/08/2013|
"Aliens Invading" by Ke$hit
|by B Gentry||reply 46||03/08/2013|
'It Was A Very Good Year' - Frank Sinatra
'One Piece At A Time' - Johnny Cash
'Summer The First Time' - Bobby Goldsboro
'The Ballad Of John And Yoko' - John Lennon
'Oh What A Night' - Four Seasons
|by B Gentry||reply 47||03/08/2013|
Alanis Morissette - "Hands Clean"
|by B Gentry||reply 48||03/08/2013|
The festival was over, and the boys were all plannin' for a fall
The cabaret was quiet except for the drillin' in the wall.
The curfew had been lifted and the gamblin' wheel shut down,
Anyone with any sense had already left town.
He was standin' in the doorway lookin' like the Jack of Hearts.
|by B Gentry||reply 49||03/08/2013|
As the island slowly sank
The loser finally broke the bank in the gambling room
The dealer said "It's too late now
You can take you money, but I don't know how
You'll spend it in the tomb"
The tiny man bit the soldier's ear
As the floor caved in and the boiler in the basemen blew
While she's out on the balcony where a stranger tell her
"My darling je vous aime beacoup"
She sheds a tear and then begins to pray
As the fire burns on and the smoke drifts away
From Black Diamond Bay.
I was siting home alone one night in LA
Watching old Cronkite on the seven o'clock news
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothing but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes
Didn't seem like much was happening
So I turned it off and went to grab another beer
Seems like every time you turn around
There's another hard-luck story that you're gonna hear
And there's really nothing anyone can say
And I never did plan to go anyway
To Black Diamond Bay.
|by B Gentry||reply 50||03/08/2013|
OP, Emmylou is a great storyteller
|by B Gentry||reply 51||03/08/2013|
"King of the Jailhouse" - Aimee Mann
|by B Gentry||reply 52||03/08/2013|
"No Anchovies Please" - The J. Geils Band
|by B Gentry||reply 53||03/08/2013|
the Ballad of Alice's Restaurant
|by B Gentry||reply 54||03/08/2013|
"L.A. International Airport," Susan Raye
|by B Gentry||reply 55||03/08/2013|
Story songs are not synonymous with ballads, what a silly statement. Might just as well say that any song with lyrics tells some kind of story.
And some of the songs mentioned here are just songs. Story songs, with some exceptions are kind of gimmicky and often don't have so many choruses, usually more repeated hooks or phrases.
"Frankie and Johnny" is a story song, it tells a complete narrative verse after verse.
Dylan's "Joey", "Hurricane" and "Black Diamond Bay" are novellas they are so detailed and biographical.
"Ode to Billy Joe", of course.
"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
"At Seventeen" (barely)
|by B Gentry||reply 56||03/09/2013|
R5 is right. Lots of story songs in the country music genre. Here's a prime example, complete with whiskey and cheatin' hearts.
|by B Gentry||reply 57||03/09/2013|
Jacob's Dream - Alison Krauss
|by B Gentry||reply 59||03/25/2013|
"Polaroids" by Shawn Colvin.
|by B Gentry||reply 60||03/25/2013|
it's called R-A-P..even if you don't like the story, it's still a story. the question is why don't they writed GOOD ones anymore?
|by B Gentry||reply 61||03/25/2013|
Most of the 60s pop songs wove narratives with a beginning, middle, and end and the trend continued through the disco era, e.g. "There But For The Grace of God," to today.
Which came first: the story or the song?
|by B Gentry||reply 62||03/25/2013|
See many of Bruce Springsteen songs, i.e., "The River," "Point Blank", etc....
|by B Gentry||reply 63||03/25/2013|
Best Story Song - In the Ghetto by Elvis
|by B Gentry||reply 64||03/25/2013|
R56 is right. Many of you seem to be struggling with the concept of a story song.
Even R56 is confused. "At Seventeen" is not a story song.
Story songs tell a story from beginning to end.
|by B Gentry||reply 65||03/25/2013|
All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You by Heart had a lucid narrative with a twist worthy of The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia.
|by B Gentry||reply 66||03/25/2013|
Many of Stacey Kent's songs tell stories. They aren't melodramatic so I'm not sure Datalounge's melodrama queens would appreciate them.
|by B Gentry||reply 67||03/25/2013|
Pineola by Lucinda Williams
In Color by Jamey Johnson (kinda)
Lonely at the top by Jamey Johnson (for sure)
Choctow Bingo by James McMurtry.
It's hard to call these narrative songs because they are too clever (make a broader point/or act as a character sketch).
|by B Gentry||reply 68||03/25/2013|
not much of rap is really stories anymore. Biggy Smalls was the best story-teller in rap, and there's just nobody who does it like that anymore, at least in the mainstream.
In fact, it's the absence of narrative that unifies modern rap/hip-hop.
Why tell a story when you can just repeat the same phrase over and over and make millions.
|by B Gentry||reply 69||03/25/2013|
Stacey Kent sings a truly chilling narrative.
|by B Gentry||reply 70||03/25/2013|
One more from Stacey Kent en Français.
|by B Gentry||reply 71||03/25/2013|
Don't know if I would say it's the "Best" Story Song, but agree that "In the Ghetto" is a great story song, sung fantastically by Elvis and thoughtfully well-written by its composer, Mac Davis.
|by B Gentry||reply 72||03/26/2013|
Not recent, but I love "Angie Baby" and "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" and "Delta Dawn" (would that be considered a story?
Oh, also not recent but I loved Rod Stewart's "The Killing of Georgie" and his "Young Turks" ("Patty gave birth to a ten-pound baby boy, yeah!")
|by B Gentry||reply 73||03/26/2013|
And that's why she fell for... the leader of the pack. Vroom, vroom.
|by B Gentry||reply 74||03/26/2013|
That's the night that the lights went out in Jordan.
That's the night the Jews stole all my land
Don't trust your soul to nobody who's named Gordon
'Cause the Jews in the town got blood stains on their hand
|by B Gentry||reply 75||03/26/2013|
are you TRYING to get this thread vanished, r75? I can't believe the Amazing Race thread is disappeared because everyone kept savaging Joey.
|by B Gentry||reply 76||03/26/2013|