Cool Cold Songs

We’ve only just started closing the windows at night, but that’s turned our thoughts to the chillier months ahead and the appropriate soundtrack for them. There’re plenty of similar lists out there, so I’ve tried to make mine appreciably different.

  1. Cold as Ice. It took me ages to realize Foreigner wasn’t really cool, because the bloodthirsty video for this song really was. It screened on the hippest show of the time, Saturday Night Live, and the noir vibe was like nothing else on TV (or in music) at the time.
  1. Baby, It’s Cold Outside. I saw Pezband open for their fellows Illinoisans Cheap Trick at the Paradise Club in Boston in 1978. I loved the bands equally, and thought I’d died and gone to… Paradise?
  1. In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening. Composer Hoagy Carmichael’s version, please, not Bing Crosby’s.
  1. Cold, Cold Ground. Tom Waits. From the album Frank’s Wild Years, when Waits’ country/blues/pop started turning decidedly more urban and industrial.
  1. Cool, Cool, Cool in the Morning. Godley & Crème, from their overwhelming Consequences album—several disks of guitar frippery and art projects sewn together with comic monologues by Peter Cook. This was the stand-out single.
  1. Through Being Cool. Devo. Prophetic, since this 1981 single (off of New Traditionalists) was the last gasp of the eerie performance-art Devo and presaged the mindless pop phase of “Peek-a-Boo” and “Theme from Doctor Detroit”.
  1. Quinn the Eskimo. Manfred Mann honestly does the best job with Dylan’s song. A temperature or climate isn’t actually mentioned in this gibberish Jesus allegory, but you assume it’s cold because Quinn is an Eskimo.
  1. Cool It Down. Velvet Underground. The song on Loaded that sounds the most like unfettered old white-light VU and the least like riffy “loaded with hits” VU.
  1. Cold, Cold Shoes. Fleshtones. From the band’s first EP, Up Front. Love the imagery. This is also one of the best early examples of The Fleshtones’ deft blend of bubblegum, Motown, R&B and “Hey, hey, hey, hey” NYC Queens style.
  1. Waterloo Sunset. The Kinks. Chilly chilly is evening time.

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