9/9/09: Songs With a Certain Number in the Title

As Hair Balls pointed out, we've only got three more of these weird number/same number/same number days left this century after today. Such chronological repetition appeals to the hidden obsessive-compulsive in all of us, so join us as we wash our hands nine times, lock the door nine times, and listen to nine great songs featuring the number nine.

The Clovers - Love Potion No. 9: The titular love potion that turns this song's protagonist into a maniac who starts "kissin' everything in sight" sounds a lot like the boner pills we see advertised on basic cable after midnight. If this song was covered today, the FDA would force whoever sang it to append three new verses describing all the side effects. "You may get blurry vision from... loooove potion number niiiiine!"

Chet Atkins, "Engine Engine Number 9": Atkins plays his own version of Roger Miller's classic tune, showing off some serious finger-picking skills. Yes, he sings, too, just wait for it.

Bruce Springsteen, "Johnny 99": Springsteen turns in maybe his 100th song about a guy getting laid off from the factory, and also gives us two characters named John - the protagonist, and the judge who convicts him for his vague rampage (we're still not sure Johnny 99 actually hurt anybody). Despite these minor issues, we have to say this performance is prime Springsteen, forceful and raw.

Jimi Hendrix, "If 6 Was 9": Lawyer scumfucks have assured that no complete version of Jimi's classic song remains on YouTube, but you can still enjoy its use in this clip from Easy Rider. Fuckin' lawyers.
Jay-Z and Jimi Hendrix, "Voodoo Problems": Manchester producer Tim G's foot-stomping jumble of Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" and Jay-Z's "99 Problems" may just be our favorite mash-up of all time. We couldn't leave this list with less than two minutes of Hendrix, so we felt it was our duty to include this.

 Damien Rice, "9 Crimes": The video and song are both so atmospherically creepy and sad, you'll be glad the weather's not nicer outside. Trust us on this one, it's a gorgeous downer.

John Lennon, "#9 Dream": You may or may not know that there is a measure of Beatles kerfluffle today, and in the midst of all this, it seemed appropriate to post Lennon's mellow contemplation on the number itself. We have no idea what the many multi-layered and harmonic Lennons are singing during the chorus, but whatever it is, it certainly beats the hell out of "Revolution 9."
Alice Cooper, "Public Animal #9": Alice may be drunk off his ass for the duration of this live performance, but honestly, it doesn't hurt the song much. It's a charging, fist-pumping number borrowing a bit from the Southern rock of the day, which, for 1972, is always welcome. If all you know of Alice Cooper is "School's Out," you owe it to yourself to give this one a look-see.

The Boo Radleys, "Upon 9th and Fairchild": The Boo Radleys dish out a distortion-drenched scorcher with a side of ska (it was the 90's - ska could pop up at any time). We include it here because a) the Boo Radleys are underrated; and b) the previously-mentioned lawyer scumfucks took down all but the shittiest covers of Prince's "1999," and we're not going to subject you to Limp Bizkit on this special day. Or ever.

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John Seaborn Gray