Trash" might not be the first title that springs to mind when you consider a great pop song. But believe it or not, it happens to be the title of four of the greatest pop songs in history. Really.
The first "Trash" came way back in 1973, on the New York Dolls' eponymous debut LP. Like the glam band that sang it, the song was an amalgam of cheap thrills and low expectations, all done up for the back alley. "Don't take my knife away, and please don't you ask me if I love you," sang Doll-boy David Johansen. And then he ditched the bitch.
The second time "Trash" became something to behold was when Alice Cooper appeared back on the scene in 1989. The real Motor City madman made this the title track to his whole LP. Crawling, cursing, and making easy cash don't throw the Coop in this song — but the way the tramp in question turns to trash when she hits the sheets surely does.
The Whip: Ultra Music Festival, Day One. With Tiesto, Black Eyed Peas, Bloc Party, and others. Friday, March 27, at Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $89.95 to $350, ultramusicfestival.com
The third instance of "Trash" worth singing about is Suede's 1996 song. Like the Dolls, Suede always reveled in beautiful refuse; in fact, the band actually seemed proud to be "litter in the breeze." And here the London neo-glam Brit-pop modsters gave waste a carefree credibility.
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But what concerns us this day is the "Trash" thrown out by Madchester's own The Whip. Now, before you sticklers of history get your knickers in a twist, we're perfectly aware both the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb and those knuckleheads of Korn also had same-titled tracks, but we won't bother ourselves with those. No, here we're gonna talk about a "Trash" that gets dumped on a northern England city street corner, travels across the pond, and ends up stuck in our heads.
First off, The Whip's "Trash" is a keeper, the kind of track you want to put in your pocket and pull out every time you need some momentum. Utterly danceable, with a beat that both pushes and shoves, it really is the strut of the street as kept by someone who knows how to swagger. "I wanna" begins the buildup; "be trash" is the crushing admission. It's a song about knowing who you are and then daring to be so, no matter what side of the tracks you come from.
Versions of "Trash" both kick off and end The Whip's terrific debut album, X Marks Destination. But it might be the Crookers remix at the close that truly leaves you quaking in the gutter. And if that doesn't convince you of this track's glorious trashiness, get with Ruben X's "Circus Trash" mashup. Yep, you guessed it: It's The Whip versus Britney Spears, which here go together like mac 'n' cheese. And if there's anything trashier than a meal fit for America's favorite trailer park hottie, we don't want to know what it is.
We do know this, though: Take in this "Trash" and life will never again be a chore.