1. #tbt Farewell Ziggy Stardust

    #tbt Ziggy Stardust says farewell at the Hammersmith Odeon on this day in 1973. Lucky for us we still have the music.


  2. Beck is excited about Prince- and so are we! This week on the show we look back at the classic Prince album Purple Rain on its 30th anniversary.


  3. Born in the U.S.A.

    Billboard says Happy Birthday America with this fun collection of 50 music stars from 50 states



  4. Richard Thompson Live on Sound Opinions


    Richard Thompson’s our guest this week.

    He performed a yet to be released tune called “Fergus Lang,” a Richard & Linda classic, “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight,” and perhaps his most beautiful love song, (Greg’s request) “Dimming of the Day.”

    Check out all the videos


  5. Songs from the Front Lines


    In honor of Memorial Day, Jim and Greg are talking “Songs from the Front Lines” this week. We asked veterans, current servicemen and women, and their families to tell us what they listened to on the front lines—as well as in the mess hall, in the medic tent, at sea, and on the homefront. Below are a few of the many fantastic responses we received.

    Got a military-inspired pick? Call our hotline at 888.859.1800.

    Listen to the full show here.

    Zach Morgan
    via Facebook: I joined up in January 2003, and the most resonant song for me was Springsteen’s “Further On (Up The Road).” … To me it communicated the idea of some dark, terrible, business that must be done on someone else’s behalf. It made me feel like a Sin Eater, and gave me strength.

    Now I been out in the desert, just doin’ my time
    Searchin’ through the dust, lookin’ for a sign
    If there’s a light up ahead, well brother, I don’t know…

    Ace Fisher Aldag via Facebook: My husband David was in MLRS / Field Artillery in the first Gulf War. Their unit’s theme song was “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. A line is “Fire all of your guns at once and explode into space.” He had a cassette tape crusted with desert sand signed by the band when he came home.


    Dave from Washington, DC: I always think of the song “Gypsy Road” [by Cinderella] when I think of my time in Afghanistan in 2003.  Maybe it was being a child of the MTV 1980s, but I remember being scared shitless a lot of times there and the words from the song kind of sum it up. "My gypsy road can’t take me home, I drive all night to see the light…" It was my best assignment and also the true loss of innocence.

    Emily Kelley via email: I love your “Music from the Frontlines” idea, but I propose you also consider a “Music on the Homefront” segment, too. Several months ago, I heard the first couple chords from 3 Doors Down’s “When I’m Gone” on Pandora, and the emotions of my husband’s (then fiancé) first deployment to Iraq (back in 2003-2004) hit me like a ton of bricks. Good and bad memories came pouring back in, and right there in my office at work, in front of my colleagues, I started to cry. The whole album that song is on seemed to be written for the couple dealing with a deployment, oddly enough. … Deployment can be exhilarating and terrifying, but most of it is just mundane and lonely. Music is what truly helps get you through it. That, and good friends and good wine, of course. 

    Josh La Fleur (Bulldog Troop, 1-91 cavalry squadron, 173rd Airborne Brigade) via email: We were deployed in Charkh District, Logar Province Afghanistan in 2010. “Saddam” by Pastor Troy was 1st Platoon’s anthem. Before every combat patrol a soldier would play ‘Saddam’ on battery powered Bose portable speakers. The whole rap would resonate through our dusty tent to the chorus “Like Saddam, you betta get ready to run.” Nothing said it better, nothing gave us the feeling better that we were leaving the wire to go hunting. It was a ritual that gave us a feeling of confidence and motivation in a dangerous battlefield where nothing was certain.

    David Carmichael from New Jersey via email: I deployed to Saudi Arabia with the 2nd brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division on August 9th, 1990. One of the most motivating songs we listened to while over there in that sandbox hell was Twisted Sister’s “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant).” The lyrics that meant so much to us:

    We got the numbers, yeah, we got the might
    We got the strength and we got the right
    We got the reason, yeah, we got the night
    So wake up the sleeping giant

    Let’s push to the limit, so let’s push ‘til we’re home
    We’ve been good too long, they wouldn’t leave us alone
    It’s our rights they’re abusing, it’s our right to fight back
    So rally the troops and let’s start the attack


    Mike Shilkitus of Colorado Springs via Facebook: In 1973, the Viet Nam war was technically “over” but a lot of us were still doing “stuff.” We would sometimes get tasked to fly all night long missions orbiting in let’s just say “far northeastern Thailand.” Mostly the old adage of hours of boredom punctuated by seconds of sheer terror. On one exceptionally quiet night, a command post guy played us an entire Delfonics album over a secondary radio frequency. “Blue Chip,” if you are out there and reading this, thanks, you got us through the night.


    Jeffrey Klein of Chicago via Facebook: The first album (cassette to be exact) I bought in the Army was Living Colour’s Time’s Up. I got it and a cheap Walkman from the PX at the beginning of my Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC. I played it whenever I could: while shining my boots, cleaning the barracks, etc. I was a huge fan of Vivid and having the new album was like being with a couple old friends throughout my journey. I have no idea what happened to the original tape, but I still play and love that album to this day.

    Jason Shain (Air Force Air Battle Manager Trainee) via Facebook: Bases across the world close the duty day at 1700 by playing the bugle call, “Retreat,” followed by the National Anthem. If you are outside, you stop what you are doing and stand at parade rest for retreat, then come to attention and salute if in uniform, or place your hand on your heart.… Officer Training School was the same: every week ended with a retreat ceremony on Friday evenings, where the entire Officer Trainee wing would form up, and watch as the flag was lowered and properly stored for the night. That ceremony usually meant that everyone could take a brief and tiny breath, as weekends were designed to be less structurally intense to allow for catching up on the massive amount of work that accumulated during the duty work. … I spent all week looking forward to that tiny breath, because even for those few minutes, I felt human, and felt reminded of the reason I was standing outside, sometimes in nasty weather, after yet another hard week. … Retreat still makes me feel pretty good.

    Corporal Scott Turner (Marines) via email: “I Miss You” by Blink 182 helps people cope with the extended periods of time spent away from home, family and friends. And “Daisy” by Brand New—the lyrics focus on expectations and self-doubt, which is very relevant in military life.

    Carrie Werts Magnan of Canandaigua, NY, via Facebook: I’m not a vet, but my husband is… “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles always reminds me of his Iraq War deployment. That song was my companion for many months. I must have listened to it a thousand times. I still get really emotional when I hear it.

    Jay Em via Facebook: When I was in the Army, there was apparently no occasion that did not merit the playing of Lee Greenwood’s sentimental and saccharine hit “God Bless the U.S.A.”

    Brady Daniels via Twitter: Buzzcocks and Natalie Merchant. Odd mix, eh?

    Sarah Smiley via Twitter: [“Change of Time” by Josh Ritter] became my boys’ anthem while their dad was deployed.

    American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post #50, Rockwood, TN, via Facebook: ”The Dance” by Garth Brooks.

    Kelly Street of Knoxville, TN via Facebook: “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones.

    Mario de la Vega via Facebook: “Dear God” by Avenged Sevenfold.

    Brenda Chapman Watkins of Bethel Springs, TN via Facebook: “I’m Already There” by Lonestar.

    Olympia Yarger of Wilmington, NC via Twitter: My husband listened to Reckless Kelly. “American Blood” was huge for him.

    For more Memorial Day tunes, listen to the full show here.


  6. EGOT!

    After last night’s Oscar win for “Let It Go,” Robert Lopez is now the proud recipient of an EGOT (or does one become an EGOT?) A great opportunity to remember his fine work in “Book of Mormon.” Here’s our interview with Trey & Matt

  7. Fifty years ago today, hoards of screaming teens watched Pan Am Flight 101 touch down at JFK International Airport. The Beatles had arrived in America. 
    But who were these moptops before Beatlemania struck? Hear Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn describe the band’s early days: http://bit.ly/1euq9QU

  9. We’ll unveil our own @Savagesband videos tomorrow, but in the meantime enjoy their new one for “Husbands.”


  10. When @Johnny_Marr dropped by @SoundOpinions, he told us about his childhood guitar heroes.