Wudder Ice: Five Stone Cold Live Performances Of Songs About Cold
It’s gonna be 65° in L.A. today, which is close to being considered “cold” for that area.
Back in Philadelphia?
Baby, it’s cold outside.
The forecast, as I shiver while typing it out, calls for a high of 25°.
Today in The Five Spot, we bundle up to provide you with the only form of climate control we know:
A five-clip bundle, featuring live performances of songs about cold, across five different musical genres.
Enjoy and keep warm or stay cool, depending on where you are while reading this.
Bob Marley-Coming In From The Cold (Live Acoustic)
The late, great Robert Nesta Marley was a lover of many things but not cold weather. Having been raised in Jamaica, whenever he wasn’t touring, escaping his home country for London when the spot got too hot, or waiting in vain to treat late-stage melanoma in a Bavarian clinic, he was most comfortable where the sun is shining.
This song has become one of the more resonant late-career Marley songs, whether you knew his backstory or not. Bob had a rare gift for being able to take personal, political or provincial subject matter and make it sound wholly universal. We recommend the 2012 Marley documentary for anyone that hasn't seen it, which made another appearance in The Wudder back in August.
Black Sabbath-Snowblind (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, 1978)
Unlike Bob Marley, the four boys in Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi) were accustomed to cold. They grew up in Birmingham, England, the snowiest city in the UK, a place meteorologists expect will see '120 days of snow' this winter.
"Snowblind" is a song off Black Sabbath’s last great album in their original Ozzy-fronted incarnation, Volume 4. The song is not about a blizzard covering the hills of Birmingham but a different form of snow. The recording budget for the album was $60,000. Black Sabbath’s cocaine budget during the three weeks it took to record and mix the album was $75,000. Feel the wrath of that math in this 1978 performance, recorded just a few months before Ozzy left the band.
Rick James-Cold Blooded (Live on Solid Gold, 1983)
Speaking of cocaine, what musical icon was more of an authority on the subject than Rick James?
This song however, the title track from his hit 1983 album, was not about “a hell of a drug” but a woman Rick found hot.
The woman in this case was Linda Blair, the head-turning star of The Exorcist, who the King Of Punk-Funk dated for a couple years in the early eighties.
Wu-Tang Clan-Ice Cream (Live in San Bernardino, 2004)
One of Rick James’ biggest fans was the late, great Russell Jones aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard aka O.D.B. aka Dirt Dog aka Dirt McGirt aka Big Baby Jesus aka Ason Unique aka you get the idea. Dirty covered “Cold Blooded” on his second album, which featured him in a Rick James-inspired gear/wig combination in the album artwork.
The Wu have a few great cuts with chilly themes, “Glaciers of Ice” and “Cold World” definitely near the top of the list. “Ice Cream” may take the cake though. This particular performance, as headliners of the annual Rock The Bells festival, would be ODB’s last show with the group before passing away two months later. Much like he did on "Cold Blooded", Dirt does some of his caterwauling singing-hard-while-not-really-being-able-to-sing thing in the introduction before this one, this time to Bloodstone's "Natural High". He already looked tired by this point but his presence still provided the group with an energy they could never replace. There was no father to his style and there will be no son.
Hank Williams-Cold Cold Heart (Live on The Grand Ole Opry, 1952)
Ice cream melts, unlike a woman’s heart in this classic Hank Williams cut, recorded at the legendary Grand Ole Opry in the final year of his life. Hank aka “Hillbilly Shakespeare” was one of the greatest songwriters of any genre. Unfortunately, he like some of the others mentioned above, was gone too soon. This performance was one of his last at the Opry, before being banned over issues related his drinking. He’s in fine form during this performance, and while he may not have been able to melt the subject of the song's heart, his nasally country-blues moan does melt ours every time.