There’s been a lot of calamity here on Planet Earth of late. Channel surfing is an exercise in slaloming through the carnage of twenty-four hour news networks.
I stopped on The Learning Channel to, you know, learn something other than how soon we’ll all be jobless, money will be worth nothing and everyone will be using jellybeans for currency.
Instead, I got talking heads and CGI graphics obviously designed to frighten the women and children about the Mayan calendar and this day.
Apparently today is when the Mayans return from the dead to snack on people like it’s The Walking Dead.
(OK, that’s not really what these experts were prognosticating, but, ten minutes into the show, I lost interest and started thinking about toast)
Summoning all my strength, I was ready to engage the remote for something less dire that I could ignore. Unfortunately, I was a split second too slow and I was soon sucked into a commercial for Coca-Cola.
Essentially, the clip acknowledged the trouble times with the assurance that, as long as there was Coke, everything would be fine.
So, it appears that all shall be well. And to think, the Mayans might have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling cola barons.
Here are four songs that we’ll have to save for later…
Chris Cornell – Preaching The End Of The World
from Euphoria Morning (1999)
Soundgarden was a mixed bag for me. Some of it was simply too sludgy. Chris Cornell’s vocals invariably made things worth the price of admission, though.
Following the dissolution of Soundgarden, but prior to his fronting the remainder of Rage Against The Machine under the moniker Audioslave (and the subsequent reunion of the former), Cornell issued several solo albums leading off with the fine Euphoria Morning.
The sparse Preaching The End Of The World is suitably somber and driven home by Cornell’s powerful pipes.
Nina Gordon – The End Of The World
from Tonight And The Rest Of My Life (2000)
Chicago’s Veruca Salt became alternate rock darlings in the mid-’90s with their cleverly-named debut American Thighs before imploding three years later with the follow-up. The band soldiered on, but Gordon exited.
Her solo debut had a more mature and more mainstream vibe to it. I haven’t listened to it in years, but I seem to recall finding most of it ridiculously catchy.
Gordon’s update of Skeeter Davis’ ’60s weeper makes me think that The Bangles would have had a massive hit with the song during their heyday.
U2 – Until The End Of The World
from Achtung Baby (1991)
I first heard U2 with 1983’s Warand bought Live Under A Blood Red Sky on cassette when it was released that autumn. I’ve remained devoted to the band for three decades and they’re one of the few for whom I own the entire catalog.
(even Pop which might have strained the relationship most)
I talked the buyer in the large record store where I worked into selling me a copy of Achtung Baby three or four days before the street date. By the third listen through, I was certain that U2 had made the best record they ever would.
And Achtung Baby‘s finest moment is arguably Until The End Of The World with Bono wailing about Jesus and Judas while Edge plays a droning solo that would serve quite well for an apocalypse. On the album, the song followed One which made for quite a punch.
R.E.M.- It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
from Document (1987)