65 Songs (2016)

••• 65 Songs •••

Released 22 December 2016 ~ on my 65th birthday.

Previous volumes – 50 Songs (2001) and 55 Songs (2006) and 60 Songs (2011)



 “Quick. Can you name fifty favorite songs?  If you grew up saving every bit of your allowance money for the next Beatles 45rpm, or were the kid who strapped a transistor radio to your bike handles, it wouldn’t be all that tough.  On his 50th birthday AleXander Hirka did just that – creating a CD “mix-tape” compilation of fifty musical gems that delighted him at the moment.

       But what about coming up with another fifty-five favorite songs in five years’ time? Trickier.  But anyone with a deep and abiding love of music, combined with a compulsion to explore and try out new sounds, would manage quite nicely.  Then, wait, in five more years, it’s time to share a collection of sixty songs. And now,  just like that, five more years have passed and it’s time to come up with sixty-five songs.
      There are rules in place for this kind of thing, you know.  No repeats from the past, and not more than one per artist or band, no matter how much you love several of their songs. As with previous collections, to jump beyond nostalgia, the menu requires mixing old favorites with more recent discoveries.  Then it’s time to properly arrange  the disparate pieces of the undefined puzzle. It’s not as if you’re just going to slap the songs together any which way; alphabetizing just won’t do.  There’s a rhythm and flow that can only happen with precise and careful placement; complex transitions when the range of styles is wildly eclectic. Which song segues in the perfect quirky dovetail to the next?      And then – the deadline looms. Art to create, choosing colors and typefaces, formatting, composition, and printing. Then production, burning discs, sorting and labeling and collating and inserting and stacking and bagging.
      And here it is. Sixty Five Songs. Carefully selected, judiciously arranged over 4 CDs, and ready to provide four hours and fifty-nine minutes of fascinating, curious, far-reaching, close-cutting, and just plain gorgeous musical joy.  And, yes, there is already a stirring towards Seventy Songs, but let’s just savor this collection for now, shall we?”      – T. Remington


1   Love And War – Neil Young
2   Nevermind – Leonard Cohen
3   Strange Boat – The Waterboys
4   Watch Me – ANOHNI
5   Beautiful Twisted – Sharron Kraus
6   The Chaconne – Dessa
7   Sway – Dean Martin
8   I Should Have Known Better – The Beatles
9   Fire In the Belly – Van Morrison
10   Papa Joachin Paris – Cesaria Evora
11  Tripwire – Elvis Costello
12   Just As You Are – Robert Wyatt
13   Deeper Well – Emmylou Harris
14   The Bottomless Hole – The Handsome Family
15   Biggest Bordertown In The World – Bob Neuwirth
16   Heroes and Villains – Beach Boys
17   Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight – Mississippi John Hurt
18   Blind Willie McTell – Bob Dylan

19  Thousand Violins – The Tiger Lillies
20  You Don’t Own Me – Klaus Nomi
21  Under The Influence Of Love- Love Unlimited
22   Go! – Public Service Broadcasting
23   Forever Young – Sparks
24   Rain Fall Down – The Rolling Stones
25   Tear-Stained Letter – Richard Thompson
26   Sénégal Fast Food – Amadou & Mariam feat. Manu Chao
27   Barcelona – Giulia Y Los Tellarini
28   O Caritas – Cat Stevens
29   If I Were Blue – Patricia Barber
30   Chain Lightning – Don McLean
31   Things Will Be Different – Greg & Rebecca Sparks
32   Cello Song- Nick Drake
33   All The Leaves Are Gone- Josephine Foster
34   I’m Not A Woman I’m Not A Man – Gare du Nord
35   Distant Fingers – Patti Smith Group

36   To Hide A Little Thought – Jonathan Richman
37   Vincent O’Brien – M. Ward
38   Fado Menor – Amalia Rodrigues
39   Gypsy Road – Loyko
40   Roumania Roumania – Aaron Lebedeff
41   Abba Zabba – Captain Beefheart
42   Breath – Pere Ubu
43   First Of The Gang To Die – Morrissey
44   Warrior’s Words – AltaiKai
45   Jewel – T. Rex / Marc Bolan
46   Between The Ditches – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
47   Beyond The Pale – Procol Harum
48   Showroom Dummies – Kraftwerk
49   La Ley – La Dame Blanche
50   Sparrow Dead – Mighty Sparrow
51   Spente Le Stelle – Emma Shapplin
52   Loss: The Car Thief – Residents
53   Spectral Beings – Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter
54   Count To Ten – Tina Dico

55   Time After Time – Frank Sinatra
56   Lion-Lamb – Low
57   The Dolphins – Fred Neil
58   No Sleep Blues – Incredible String Band
59   Steadfast and True – Shannon Wright
60   Take One Last Look – Tom Waits
61   That Leaving Feeling – Stuart A. Staples/ Lhasa de Sala
62   Another Time – Pearls Before Swine
63   All Too Soon – Mark Heard
64   Everything Must Change – Shirley Horn
65   Livin In The Sunlight – Maurice Chevalier


ten bonus instrumentals

66   Twin Peaks Theme – Angelo Badalamenti
67   March of The Hoodlums – Duk Ellington
68   Sagitaire – Rene Aubry
69   Valuska – Mihaly Vig
70 Two Studies On Ancient Greek Scales – Harry Partch
71   Im Zoo –  Pyrolator
72   Bucovina – Shantel
73   Zalar Czakl – Frank Zappa
74   Kraftwerk vs Beatles – Soulwax
75   Peace Piece – Bill Evans