The first round of ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’s’ effort to determine the most beloved King’s X song ever is complete, and what a ride it was!
Of 32 remaining songs from the original pool of 64, fully one-quarter (8) are from ‘Dogman.’ The next highest contributor was the band’s debut with 5 songs. ‘King’s X’, ‘Gretchen Goes to Nebraska,’ and ‘Faith, Hope, Love’ each tallied 4. The last 7 were divided between ‘Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous’ and ‘Ear Candy’ with 2 a piece and ‘Tape Head,’ ‘Black Like Sunday,’ and ‘XV’ with a sole representative making the cut. ‘Manic Moolight’ and ‘Ogre Tones’ got skunked.
There were even two ties. ‘Chariot Song’ (from ‘King’s X’) and ‘Move’ (‘XV’) finished in a deadlock, as did ‘Sometime’ (‘Ear Candy’) and ‘What Is This?’ (‘OOTSP’). Some participants voiced their surprise at the strong performance of the more recent song in each matchup. To my mind, however, the newer numbers’ live strength (and frequent performance in the case of ‘Sometime’) provided a nearly deciding edge.
To break the ties I engaged the King’s X Musical Appreciation Society because, like, who else!? The rematches in the new venue saw the more seasoned material win easily, advancing to the Round of 32.
The passion of King’s X fans was evident throughout Round 1.
‘Flies and Blue Skies’ vs. ‘A Box’ pitted two of the band’s most atmospheric classics against one another. ‘Flies…’ won (55% to 45%), but fan comments included:
“It’s like picking your favorite child. So many great memories made while listening to either of these songs” and “Flies…gives me chills – ‘There is life / There is death / And the difference between either one / Is one single breath.’
The opposite end of the spectrum weighed in with: “Can’t believe this result. ‘Flies…’ is a bottom 5% song for me.”
Another voter noted the superior quality of the demo version of ‘A Box’ from Doug’s ‘Songs From the Closet’ release on Molken.
‘Fool You’s 58% to 42% win over “I’ll Never Get Tired of You’ also generated a lot of discussion.
“Didn’t think I’d pick a ‘Dogman’ track over a ‘Faith Hope Love’ track, but here we are,” said one. Another remarked, “This is a tough one. I’m saying FY for raw power. The other is kinda sappy,” prompting the response, “I like the sappy one because sappy works if it’s honest. And the song has special meaning for me.” Others heralded the personal meaning of both songs, one describing ‘Fool You’ as the best dUg vocal ever.
But perhaps the biggest stunner of all was ‘Black Like Sunday’s 54% to 46% win over ‘Freedom.’ The shock was instant and strong: “I can’t believe this.” “This is a shocker.” “Seriously?” “Wow. Just wow. What a result. Just flabbergasted. Although, to clarify, I don’t dislike the winner. Just…” “I like BLS a lot, but Freedom is just an all-out better tune.” “Freedom is a MUCH better song.” “Freedom is much better. Oh well.”
To all of which I remind, this is an effort to determine King’s X most BELOVED song ever, not it’s best. The latter task would be truly impossible.
In that vein, some of my favorites also took a beating. My choice came up short in all the contests below:
Bebop 14%, She’s Gone Away 86%
67 10%, King 90%
Vegetable 44%, Move Me (Parts 1 & 2) 56%
Lost In Germany 52%, Fall On Me 48%
Out Of The Silent Plant 56%, Groove Machine 44%
Mr. Wilson 19%, It’s Love 81%
Marsh Mellow Field 16%, The Train 84%
And if Round 1 had some tough matchups, wait ‘til you see some of the pairings in Round 2. People are already talking up the ‘Summerland’ v. ‘Goldilox’ tilt—pitting perhaps the band’s two most iconic songs against one another—and that’s just one of many choices sure to bend the grey matter of even the most devout fans.
Let’s get back to it!
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