Archive for April 17th, 2008



top of the charts

Warren Zevon 1980
I’d like to live alone in the desert
I’d like to be like Georgia O’Keefe
So begins Warren Zevon’s “Splendid Isolation,” the most-played song on my ipod. Why does this song have the highest play count of them all? In a machine that contains over 8,000 tracks – almost 40 gigabytes’ worth of music – why does a non-hit by an artist best known for “Werewolves of London” top them all?
Part of the reason is accessibility. I’ve had all my Beatles and Bob Dylan CDs for years and played the heck out of them. When I finally migrated to ipod, the need to listen to any one song by either of those artists had mellowed. I still love it when “Come Together” or “Visions of Johanna” come up on shuffle, but I rarely seek them out. The songs I listen to most on my ipod were purchased after I began listening to it more than CDs. The only place I can hear them is there.
As for the song itself, “Splendid Isolation” is a perfect mix of happy beat and wry humor. Zevon was a master at writing meaningful songs that were funny. “Like Michael Jackson in Disneyland/Don’t have to share it with nobody else/Lock the gate Goofy, take my hand/And lead me through this world of self.” In the end, the song seems to be a simple break-up story, with the narrator saying he wants to be alone when he’s really just sad. The long lyrical lead-up keeps you guessing.
All this is a long way of saying that I’m totally happy with my current “favorite” song. If somebody were to ask me about it (which they won’t have to now, after reading this blog), I would proudly tell them.
This small bit of credibility is totally canceled out by the 1452 Hannah Montana bootlegs I’ve got on there, though.