Let's be  honest.... many of you are probably asking yourselves what a "diamond cutter" is, and, quite frankly, you're going to need to keep wondering.  To sum it up in as clean a way possible, let me just say that when it comes to music, in my world, it doesn't get any better than a "diamond cutter".

It's a term that I was introduced to, back in 1985.  A friend of mine shared the term with me, as well as it's source, and it was what we used to rate our music.  The "diamond cutter" was the end all-be all of music.  It was the cream of the crop.

A year and a half ago, I set out to compile the songs that I considered to be my favorite of all time... at least those that were, for the most part, post-1980.  They had to include songs that, at some point in my life, had completely consumed me and moved me deeply.  They were typically songs that, when said movement occurred, I would find myself listening to the song repeatedly, and in some cases, for hours.

The songs that will be included in this series of blog posts are from different genres.  When I compiled the 3-CD set, 15 months ago, I tried to weave the songs together in a way that made them flow smoothly.  The first disc opened with Camouflage and ended with The Verve, and included anyone from Pearl Jam to Porcupine Tree, in between.  

As I have listened to this playlist over and over, during the course of the last 15 months, I have come to the conclusion that two songs need to be cut, and in their places, have two songs added.  The reason being is that, while the songs were deeply impacting when they were released, I don't connect with them as much, at this point in my life.  In their place will be two songs that not only mean more to me now, but will actually fit into the playlist better.

A few friends have copies of these CDs, and I'm sure, to them, they are just a collection of music. In the case of some of these friends, I'm sure there are only a few songs that they even enjoy.  I have no apologies, as these discs are mine.  They are part of MY heart and soul.  They are the soundtrack of my life.... at least the last 25 years or so.

With that being said, I am going to do a series of posts that will include links to videos (or in some cases audio), with a brief description of when, where and why the songs are significant to me.  I hope you find their stories as enjoyable as I find these songs...

Disc One - Track 1


I fell in love with this song back in 1989, shortly after the debut album by Camouflage was released.  This track opened up the album and was partly a satire about the (temporary) death of vinyl, and the birth of the digital age.  In the studio version, the CD begins with the sound of a turntable needle dropping into the groove of a record, followed by a laugh... then the magic begins.  Unfortunately, all I could find was a 5 year old live performance of the song, so I hope it will suffice.  I really don't know WHY this song is so special to me, but it has always had a deep impact on me.  There are no people or particular memories attached to the song, simply the music.  

Disc One - Track 2

HUBERT KAH:  "The Picture"

I'm not going to lie... this video is creepy to me.  The only thing worse than a "live" performance, lip syncing to a studio track, is lip syncing in German to an English audio track.  However, this is the audio of the second song on my Diamond Cutter playlist.  Like track one, there is no story behind this song.  I heard it in the early 90's, several years after it was released, and immediately fell in love with it.  Apart from the "Once Bitten" soundtrack, the English version was never released in the states... at least until a series of CDs including rare 12" mixes was released several years ago.

Disc One - Track 3

DEPECHE MODE:  "It's No Good"

I guess you could say that the Diamond Cutter discs were Electro-Pop heavy.... at least, for the first three songs.  That's as far as the electronic music made it into the collection.  I put them all here, because I felt they were best lumped together.  The Camouflage song was a natural set opener, since it had the vinyl popping/laugh/tasty music thing going for it... Hubert Kah and Depeche Mode were a natural follow-up.  The reality is that there were several Depeche Mode songs that could have made this set.  I selected this one because, out of the entire Depeche Mode catalog, this one moves me more than almost any other... with the exception of one song.  That song is "The Sun and the Rainfall", from their second album, A BROKEN FRAME.  It is an obscure song... never a radio hit... but my favorite Depeche Mode song.  Because of it's segue to the previous track on that album, I was forced to leave it off.  "It's No Good" was, in fact, a very good replacement.  Instead of the original video, I am unfortunately forced to use this "substitute".  I'm really sick and tired of record labels that disable the ability to embed videos.  I don't understand.... do they NOT want their videos to get more exposure?

Disc One - Track 4

PETER MURPHY:  "All Night Long"

When I returned home from my LDS mission, one of the first songs to catch my ear was the song "Indigo Eyes", by former Bauhaus frontman, Peter Murphy.  I had no idea who Bauhaus was, I had no idea who Peter Murphy was, but I loved the song.  I ended up buying the CD, it being one of the first few CDs that I ever purchased.  The opening track on the album is "All Night Long".  Not only did I absolutely love the song, but after seeing the video on MTV's "120 Minutes", I was moved.  I loved the video, as it was one of the most artistic videos of the era.

Disc One - Track 5

TOTO:  "Melanie"

Track 5 on my playlist is a song from TOTO, dating back to 1999.  This was the first album to feature original vocalist, Bobby Kimball, after nearly 15 years away from the band.  Ironically, he is not the vocalist on this song.  This little gem is the work of band leader/songwriter/occasional vocalist/ALWAYS sensational guitarist, Steve Lukather.  This song connected with me when I began working as a Clerk for the Postal Service.  I remember having an array of emotions stirring through my mind one morning, as I traveled home.  I had just finished working a 12 hour shift, and was driving home at 6:00 in the morning.  The song lyrically (and, in my opinion, stylistically) has a "driving" feel.  I still, to this day, have a hard time listening to this song without pushing repeat once or twice.

Do you remember what I said about record companies/artists disabling my ability to embed their videos?  Yeah?  Well, thanks, Luke.  I guess I'll treat all viewers to a subtitled version of the video.  I hope  y'all like that.