Or maybe not, I don’t know. Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a sociologist. Regardless, the phone remains a potent symbol in popular music. Here are some lesser known cuts on the subject:
“Hanging on the Telephone,” Blondie. By no means a deep cut, but not the Blondie pick you expected, was it? Besides, I had to include it here since I cribbed the title for this week’s memoir piece.
“New York Telephone Conversation,” Lou Reed. Transformer belongs in every record collection, though not necessarily for this cut. Still, it’s weird enough to be interesting.
“Telephone Call From Istanbul,” Tom Waits
“Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not,” X. The great Exene Cervenka is dealing with multiple sclerosis. How unfair is that?
“Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand,” Primitive Radio Gods. Again, not really a deep cut as it hit the top ten back in ’96, but it’s not in the regular rotation, either. Just wait until some household cleaner figures out how to make a jingle out of this nugget.
“Answering Machine,” The Replacements. My favorite song on this list, and it’s from my favorite ‘Mats album: Let It Be. The balls on those guys to crib a Beatles album title, and the talent to back it up.
“Telephone Man,” Meri Wilson. Cry foul again if you’d like. This cut was top ten in the UK and top twenty in the US back in 1977, but unless you’re of a certain age or you are a Dr. Demento fan you might not know this earworm. My sister sang this pretty much constantly for a few months there. Constantly.
“You Didn’t Try to Call Me,” Frank Zappa. A Mothers era cut, but not a Mothers era performance:
Okay, you ELO, Beatles and even Maroon 5 fans — I’ve left a bunch of room for you. What are your telephone songs? I’m listening.