TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Mr. Lally

Mr. Lally is the BHS English Department Chair and advisor of Collab, the school’s art and literature magazine.  This is what he was listening to when he was sixteen.


121003052909-rock-hall-rush-story-top1) “Red Barchetta” by Rush – I went through a HUGE Rush phase in high school. Geddy Lee’s voice is pretty awful, but that’s true of a lot of bands that I’ve really gotten into over the years. I think what I liked the most about this song was this little story within the lyrics about a nephew who tears around the country in an awesome sports car.

2) “Young Americans” by David Bowie – I really got into Bowie about three weeks too late – missed his tour with Nine Inch Nails. But I got to know him through ChangesOneBowie (his greatest hits), and “Young Americans” is a real standout. And of all of Bowie’s weird reincarnations, his blue-eyed soul era is probably the most unusual.

roxy-music13) “Do the Strand” by Roxy Music – I guess the jump from Bowie to Roxy Music is pretty easy, but I love this intro track from For Your Pleasure about a fictional dance craze.

4) “In Dark Trees” by Brian Eno – I heard somewhere that David Bowie fans fall into two categories: Those who like the Velvet Underground and those who like Brian Eno. I never really got into Lou Reed. Eno, on the other hand, is a master. This eerie song from Eno’s Another Green World is one of his less soothing instrumentals, but it’s one of his most interesting.

5) “Cosmik Debris” by Frank Zappa – The manager at the toy store where I worked was really into Zappa, and his stuff is hilarious. “Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears poncho?”

Japan-japan-band-25249093-500-4116) “Methods of Dance” by Japan – I guess my guilty pleasure in music was the “New Romantic” movement from the early ’80s. I really got into Japan & still think they were criminally unheralded. The live version of this song from Oil on Canvas is superior.

7) “A Change of Seasons” by Dream Theater – My interest in Rush drove me into some prog-rock bands. This 23-minute song is epic. And a little pretentious, but I loved the scope of it all.

8) “Close to the Edge” by Yes – another mammoth song, clocking in at nearly 19 minutes. Yes was great at this. They once released a double-album that contained only four songs – one on each side of the two vinyl records. And they were being totally serious.

9) “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John – I think Elton John is sort of lame – but I felt like I owed him a shot. This is the only song of his that I really liked.

blur_reunion10) “Chemical World” by Blur –  I also went through a pretty strong BritPop phase, and this track from Modern Life is Rubbish is a gem.

11) “Down in the Park” by Gary Numan – Creepy and moody, kind of like I was back in the day. More ’80s pop.

12) “Mile End” by Pulp – Nearly every song by Pulp falls into one of three categories: Sex, Poor People, and Sex with Poor People. “Mile End” is about slumming in East London. This one is from the Trainspotting soundtrack

13) “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed – Yes, I’m not a big Lou Reed fan. I just don’t see the “genius” of his lyrics. But this song is beautiful. It was also featured on the Trainspotting soundtrack, which is great overall.

14) “Cowgirl” by Underworld – Back when MTV actually played music, they had this short-lived show called Amp, which played techno videos, and I really got into that style as well. This song from Underworld’s debut is one that I really remember well. And I still think there’s no better music to listen to while running than Underworld.

2012TITPOrbitalPA09071215) “The Box” by Orbital – This is a song that I got into because of the video, which has a woman walking in slow motion through a pulsing city. But the song is really excellent too.

16) “Xanadu” by Rush – I guess if there’s one band that can be on my list twice, it’s Rush, as they were really the band that made me like music. And from what I understand, despite Lee’s screeching vocals, their technical skill is peerless, but I’m no musician. This song, a guitar-heavy retelling of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, got a lot of playing time on our record player. And it was part of the reason why I bought the Columbia Publishing anthology of the Top 500 poems, as I wrote an essay comparing the song to the poem. And here I am today, a poetry teacher. This stuff does matter!

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