You know how an event that probably lasted for a time so insignificant, can drive your thoughts on a course that takes sometimes a few hours to a few days to a few years to cover. It all started on a very predictable (the kind you can close your eyes and go through) day with the ‘Samsung Next Is Now Ad’. Amongst all the other background noises, I heard a tune that was distinct – a thunderous number was being pumped out of my average TV speakers. It took me a second to recognize it but the moment I heard that squeal, I knew what it was, and I knew I was in for a treat for the rest of the day. It was Johnny Thunder’s Cover of I’m Alive! I immediately dug out this song and played it on my better studio monitors. After a lot of repeat plays I delved into the other goodies from Mr. Thunder. Then it just hit me. It is so weird that most artists have a kind of music style, a sound, a voice, a rhythm you can associate them with, and then they have these one timers. Those awesome one timers, that you just love a lot more, cause you know that, there, probably will never be another from this artist ever again.

So, the search began and after a few hours of scratching through my rusty memory and some random plays on my library, here are are some Uniques you simply must explore…

Johnny Thunder – I’m Alive: Most of his stuff is well, without – ear shredding “thunder”. One of his most famous songs is called “loop de loop”. Listen to it and get an idea and while you are at it listen to some more. He is a brilliant singer no doubt, and he has a few peppier pop numbers too, but this one song, defines him for me. I love that intro followed by that scream, that lively, spirited, animated, energetic super scream – trust me it can be some super hero’s super power, scream like that and the villains go all groovy – the only violence is his voice teamed up with those drums assaulting endorphin releasing glands. This Tommy James & Shondells original was turned inside out, by Mr. Thunder and his men. Listen to it HERE.

Alexi Murdoch – Home: He is one of my favourite artists to listen to, when I just want something absolutely hassle free and guaranteed good and easy. Very smooth, calm, peaceful music. But then, on, one of his days, I guess, he just got up and decided to put one of his ideas in a tune that keeps his style but somehow, makes it so much more energetic. You kind of forget you are listening to Alexi Murdoch. It is almost like he is possessed. To understand what I mean, listen to absolutely anything by him and then listen to HOME.

The Black Keys – The Lengths: Whoever knows The Black Keys, knows that their lead heavy riffs are voodoo stuff, capable of making a corpse twitch a leg with the groove. It is not the stuff that you want to listen to right after a heartbreak. Though, this one is something that you will put on a loop in such an event. You can feel the heartbreak in the voice. You know how one needed a very strong feeling to ward off the Dementors? You really have to think of something really sad to sing it like that. They have a couple other slow ones, but I doubt there will ever be another pure melancholia – “The Lengths”.

The Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man: This is the man who gave us ‘Mellow Yellow’, ‘Catch the wind’, ‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘Colours’ and a lot of other great Folky Rocky stuff. Though it is almost inexplicable how this particular song came into existence- it was written during a trip to India, no wonder it is trippy. There is still a massive debate on whether or not Jimmy Page was on guitars and John Bonham on drums on this one, but I would be equally happy if it was Laurel & Hardy. That “Tanpura” in the song is like a spell. Whoever concocted THIS POTION, was a great magician.

Fleetwood Mac – Need your Love so Bad: Well they don’t need an introduction. They have numerous top chart songs. Various styles. Though the more famous and commercially successful Fleetwood Mac is the one, which was fronted by Lindsey Buckingham and a damn fine musician he is too. However THIS cover of Mertis John Jr. song by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – as many like to call “The Original” – has the sound that could never be recreated. Also, cause Peter Green left the band. The song is a haunting desire to be loved and the vocal delivery makes you feel it.

Wilson Pickett – Hey Jude: Pickett is a popular man with a lot of popular songs. He has a huge number of albums and a lot of chart topping singles. Hey Jude is a very famous song by a super famous band. Covering a song so popular is not unheard of, but making it better, that is some serious skill – strictly my opinion! Wilson Pickett picked Hey Jude and teamed up with, then not very famous Duane Allman of the later very famous The Allman Brothers Band and turned it into a bluesy, signature Allman guitar driven HEY JUDE. Spoiler: that solo is killer.

Ray Charles – What’d I say: Blind since the age of seven, he could hypnotize his audience with his spellbinding voice and energy, if for once you shut your eyes and feel how his fingers moved on that keyboard, oh! you are spellbound! On this one occasion for fulfilling a contractual obligation to complete 4 hours on stage and to not rob his very enthusiastic crowd of those few minutes, he just started playing something on his keyboard and asked his band to just follow and fill in, the result drove the crowd MAD. Charles was a wordsmith, but this song is a lot of rhyming and a lot of sexual noises, not at all what you would expect when you put on Charles on that rusty vinyl on a 33. That SONG was later recorded and became one of the biggest RnB hits ever and, one of the most controversial songs. He has a long list of incredible chart topping numbers, but this pure master stroke of genius, this unbridled creativity, that confidence, THAT connection with the crowd was hard to repeat.

So folks, this is my list of songs, that I think are unique from these artists or bands. Even while writing this down, my thoughts were wandering off, humming tunes, remembering names of artists and finding their one offs, but the neurons carrying the information were going all haywire on their way back from the auditory cortex, instead of retracing and recreating the memories as they were experienced. Hmm… tricky situation…

I am still going strong with my quest and I know it is a lifelong addiction now. If you get into a similar zone after reading this, add your own songs and let’s increase this list of super awesome one timers.