Eight Essential Career Tracks from Brian Fallon

Photo by Drew Gurian

“I’da Called You Woody, Joe” (2007)

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This fast-paced love letter to Clash frontman Joe Strummer was a burst of roots-punk energy on Gaslight’s thrillingly raw debut album Sink Or Swim. By nodding to Dylan’s “Song To Woody,” the band made their full range of musical allegiances — from 60’s folk to 90’s hardcore — clear from the get-go.

“Blue Jeans And White T-Shirts” (2008)

“It was the first time I wrote something that connected in a way that was beyond my band, or me,” Fallon says of his 2008 devotional to the Jersey seashore that serves as his modern day “4th Of July (Asbury Park).” These days, “Blue Jeans” is just about the only Gaslight Anthem song Fallon still plays during his solo sets, a recognition, says the songwriter, that the song no longer belongs to him, or his band, but rather, to his longtime fans. “This is a song for our people, the one I’m not going to take any credit for.”

“The ‘59 Sound” (2008)

The bleeding-heart title track to Gaslight’s breakthrough record would immediately became the band’s signature song, despite it’s devastating subject matter and arcane Charles Dickens references. “Young boys, young girls,” Fallon sang, transforming personal tragedy into a generational statement, before the song’s final chorus, “ain’t supposed to die on a Saturday night.”

“The Backseat” (2008)

The concluding moment to The ‘59 Sound was a restless reflection on teenage road trips and summertime boredom that provided Gaslight with a bona fide rock and roll anthem. The song would serve as their climactic set-closer for years to come, and with its mix of youthful heartbreak, yearning and aching nostalgia, the song perfectly wrapped up the band’s greatest album.

“The Diamond Church Street Choir” (2010)

The group had already moved on from The ‘59 Sound by the time they recorded their widely-anticipated follow-up American Slang, but this feel-good party tune was more inspired by 50’s doo-wop than anything Fallon had ever written. The roots rock sing-along tribute to the band’s New Brunswick house-show roots would become an instant fan favorite.

“Ladykiller” (2011)

This moody, slow-burning track from Fallon’s debut side project, the Horrible Crowes, is a dark-tinged meditation on romantic devastation inspired by the Cure. “And how about this for a good one?” Fallon sings during the song’s gut-punch second verse: “Maybe we don’t ever come down.”

“45” (2012)

Gaslight’s first single on a major label was the most convincing — and infectious — bid they ever made at rock radio stardom. Fallon shouts out some of his favorite 90’s punk forebears in this catchy pop-rock barnburner about starting over anew. “I can’t move on,” Fallon sings, “and I can’t stay the same.”

“Smoke” (2016)

First recorded with his one-off folk-roots outfit Molly & The Zombies, this Fallon mid-tempo ballad would end up serving as the highlight to his official solo debut on Painkillers. The song, a stream of consciousness narrative inspired in part by a long distance relationship, shows Fallon at the height of his craft.


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