Parties in the USA

Today is Independence day in the USA and it’s as good an excuse as any to listen to some music about the United States. 4th of July by X originally appeared on the L.A. band’s 1987 album See How We Are. The song blends punk, country and powerpop influences that mask its lyric about relationship troubles on Independence Day. Kim Wilde’s Kids in America was written by her brother and father and was, unsurprisingly, a US hit for the English singer nearly thirty years ago. In 2007, the Californian all-girl group The Donnas recorded a rocking version of it for the Nancy Drew soundtrack. Matthew Sweet also appeared on that soundtrack and he offers a faithful version of Tom Petty’s classic that appears on a 2005 compilation called High School Reunion. In 1988, Sweet had co-written the title track of Everything’s Different Now by ‘Til Tuesday. That was the band’s third and final album, but lead singer Aimee Mann released her well-received solo debut Whatever in 1993. 4th of July is my favourite song on the album, though it’s a rather downbeat number. “Today’s the Fourth of July,” Aimee sings. “Another June has gone by. And when they light up our town I just think, What a waste of gunpowder and sky.” Two years before making his first big breakthrough with 1975’s Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen recorded one of his most enduring songs on his second album. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) is set in New Jersey as Independence Day draws to a close. It’s one of his most poetic songs and its air of melancholia is mixed with a sense of optimism. The Hollies released it as Sandy on their Another Night album from 1975. Massachusetts musician Jonathan Richman was starting out around this time and he’s been making music and partying ever since. Parties in the USA is taken from 1992’s I, Jonathan album and it goes out to everyone celebrating the 4th of July today, particularly all the Gildays in Cincinnati

4th of July – X

Kids In America (Kim Wilde cover) – The Donnas

American Girl (Tom Petty cover) – Matthew Sweet

4th of July – Aimee Mann

4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (Bruce Springsteen cover) – The Hollies

Parties In The USA – Jonathan Richman


3 thoughts on “Parties in the USA

    • Cheers. No, I just have friends there. I studied for a year in north Kentucky a decade ago & I made many trips to Cincinnati. I’ve been watching a lot of the Reds this season. Hopefully, their results will improve after the break

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