ALSO: Got some suggestions for Will's "Wake up!" playlist? Post them at EatSleepDrink Music!
It’s Monday, it’s the start of the week, and, frankly, I’m still recovering from the weekend. Of all the days of the week, Mondays are when it’s hardest to crawl out of bed, so I put together 15 songs that’ll ease me into rise-and-shine time slowly but surely. Well, not that slowly. After all, if you’re not tapping your toes by the third song of this set, you’re not asleep; you’re dead.
The Everly Brothers: “Wake Up, Little Susie” (The Everly Brothers)
Surely you knew this was going to be on here. It’s only, like, the definitive “wake up” song.
A3: “Woke Up This Morning” (Exile on Coldharbour Lane)
Otherwise known as the theme song to “The Sopranos.” I don’t think we really need much more of an explanation, do we?
The Boo Radleys: “Wake Up, Boo!” (Wake Up)
It might not be representative of the band’s entire catalog – they knew their way around a pop hook, but they weren’t afraid to lean in a more experimental direction – but, by God, it’s one of the sweetest, catchiest damned pop songs of the ‘90s.
Wham!: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (Make It Big)
I’d barely heard the word “gay” outside of the theme song to “The Flintstones” when I first saw this video…and I still knew there was something funny about George Michael. But that’s never kept this song from making me want to dance.
The Adult Net: “Waking Up In The Sun” (Honey Tangle)
Brix Smith, ex-wife of Mark E. Smith and former member of The Fall, was the frontwoman for this chiming pop band. This album was nice if insubstantial girly pop; in addition to this song, it also features a great cover of “Incense and Peppermints.”
Kyle Vincent: “Wake Me Up (When The World’s Worth Waking Up For)” (Kyle Vincent)
Vincent got his start as part of the power pop group Candy, but when he went solo, he started as an opener for Barry Manilow and got progressively more mellow. This was the first single from his self-titled solo debut, a co-write with Parthenon Huxley. It might not rock, but it sure is smooth.
Billy Bragg, “You Woke Up My Neighborhood” (Don’t Try This At Home)
This is the closest thing Bragg’s ever had to a Stateside commercial breakthrough. Not that the songs weren’t great, but credit some of the success to all the cameos on the album, like Michael Stipe’s harmonies and Peter Buck’s guitar on this track.
R.E.M.: “Wake-Up Bomb” (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
As long as we’re talking about the guys from R.E.M., we might as well head into a song by their regular gig. This is probably my least favorite album by the original lineup, but I do like this song.
Love Spit Love: “Wake Up” (Love Spit Love)
Richard Butler’s post-Furs band started dark, lightened up a bit on their sophomore release, then disappeared into nothingness when the Furs reunited. Shame, that.
Elastica: “Waking Up” (Elastica)
Talk about a band that never lived up to the expectations set by their debut album. Justine Frischman was such a catch that both Brett Anderson from Suede and Damon Albarn from Blur courted her.
Uncle Green: “Wake Up Now” (Book of Bad Thoughts)
And here’s a band who worked their way through the indies, made it onto the majors (Atlantic), sold about 20 copies of their major-label debut, and broke up. There just ain’t no justice; these guys deserved way better.
XTC: “Wake Up” (The Big Express)
Rumor has it that Jellyfish once performed this entire album a capella in a limo. The mind boggles at the thought. This is an odd album, more scattershot than just about anything in the band’s catalog, but, then again, even a bad XTC album is better than most band’s best work.
Belle & Sebastian: “I’m Waking Up to Us” (Push Barman To Open Old Wounds)
I know that my editor just loves him some Belle & Sebastian, so he’ll no doubt be thrilled to see them included. Actually, this is a nice song that never appeared on a proper album; thank God for odds and sods collections, eh?
Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (American Idiot)
Seriously, who would’ve thought that these guys would’ve not only sustained their commercial success but written a goddamned punk concept album? And, even crazier, it’s awesome!
Doug Powell, “I Woke Up in Love This Morning” (Right to Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited)
It’s a rare case when I prefer a cover song to an original, but Powell takes this Partridge Family classic and makes it the standout track on an already solid collection of bubblegum covers. Check out his new album if you haven’t already; the guy has made precious few creative missteps in his career.