Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Various Artists - Saturday Night Live: 25 Years Of Musical Performances, Vol. 1 (1999)

15 tracks culled from 24 years of SNL telecasts. Much like the show itself, some performances on this CD are better than others.  How did they pick these particular tracks?  Dunno.  The liner notes are no help; instead of telling us about the performances contained on the compilation, the liner notes simply tell us how great and ground-breaking SNL was for airing rock music on TV.  And not a single photo from the show is included. Wha? The selections skew towards the end of the 25 years with only three performances from the 1970's, two from the '80s, and the remaining ten from the '90s.  Music: C plus, packaging: F.  I haven't checked out the second volume.

While my favorite song on the disc is the second track, the compilation ends strong with early Billy Joel leading into Elvis Costello's infamous performance of Radio, Radio, followed by the screeching guitar of David Bowie's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), ending with Randy Newman (Newman has the balls to sit in midtown Manhattan and sing I Love L.A.: "I hate New York City, it's cold and it's damp, and all the people dress like monkeys.")  So if you want to start playing the CD at around track 11 or 12, I'll understand.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #183

Tracks:  Let's rank 'em!
  1. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You (Sting, 2/20/93)
  2. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (David Bowie, 2/8/97)
  3. Radio, Radio (Elvis Costello, 12/17/1977)
  4. Are You Gonna Go My Way (Lenny Kravitz, 4/17/93)
  5. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes (Paul Simon, 11/22/86)
  6. Only The Good Die Young (Billy Joel, 2/18/78) 
  7. I Love L.A. (Randy Newman, 2/26/83)
  8. What Would You Say (Dave Matthews Band, 4/15/95)
  9. Secret O' Life (James Taylor (11/13/93)
  10. Why (Annie Lennox, 4/18/92) 
  11. Casey Jones (Grateful Dead, 11/11/78)
  12. Honey Bee (Tom Petty, 11/19/94)
  13. Round Here (Counting Crows, 1/15/94) 
  14. Who Will Save Your Soul (Jewel, 5/10/97)
  15. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton, 3/24/90)

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None, although I wish I had a story to share about attending SNL.


  1. So, these are the live performances from the show? Do you hear Costello call off the first song and tear into Radio Radio?

  2. Keeping up the Star Wars theme today, these are not the droids you're looking for. What you want are the first two or three discs (each one covers five years: 1975-1980, etc) in the Saturday Night Live 25 Years Of Music Performances and Sketches 5DVD set. Or better yet the first five seasons (1975-1980) of the show on DVD with complete and mostly unedited music performances. Due to continued difficulty in acquiring licensing rights, they are most likely the only seasons of the show that will be released in tact.

    Blake probably knows this but the iconic, reputation establishing Costello performance appears on both DVD sets.

    Avoid Volume 2 of CD at all costs. It's all not very good Nineties. Much like the Phantom Menace.