Fire and Water Records: A Very Daly Valentine

Light the candles, poor the wine, and pull that special someone close. The brothers Ryan and Neil Daly reunite for a sensual sonic holiday special: A Very Daly Valentine. It's a romantic and erotic exploration of some of their favorite songs about love, longing, and relationships as only the Daly Brothers can deliver. Hint: That means lots of trips to the hospital.

Track list

  1. "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran (
  2. "Try Me" by James Brown and the Famous Flames (
  3. "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison (
  4. "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley (
  5. "Do Me, Baby" by Prince (
  6. "Untitled (How Does it Feel?)" by D'Angelo (
  7. "That's the Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson (
  8. "On the Floor" by Perfume Genius (
  9. "Please Send Me Someone to Love" by Thornetta Davis (
  10. "Something He Can Feel" by Aretha Franklin (
  11. "You Are in Love" by Taylor Swift (

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14 responses to “Fire and Water Records: A Very Daly Valentine

  1. Well, I guess I’m not overly complicated as my favorite song that I’d also have on my list is Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. But I greatly enjoyed this list, and just like every “Very Daly” episode, I learn more and more about the Daly Bros. These episodes are serving as autobiographical sketches of both of you guys, and that in and of itself is fascinating. We may be learning a tad TOO much, but it’s great listening, nonetheless!

    I’ll spare you some of my more obvious smaltzy romantic songs, but one I really feel is beautiful and underrated is Kris Kristofferson’s “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”. Kristofferson is obviously a wonderful writer, but his vocals can often be…challenging for some. But his performance on this song is so understated and heartfelt, you just feel the depth of emotion in every line.

    While on the subject of Kris, his pal and Highwayman brother Johnny Cash obviously has many haunting love songs, some funny ones, some very disturbing ones (“Delia”, anyone?). But one I really dig, and perhaps the “manliest” of love songs, without being masculine-toxic, is “Flesh and Blood”. As I’ve matured (I swear, I have!) I find it’s one of the most true and relatable love songs out there.

  2. Great episode, guys. I always love hearing you guys talk music and swap stories. And probably like a lot of people, I found myself making my own mental list of what I’d include on a mix tape. Definitely a few of these; more than likely some Jackson Browne or Fleetwood Mac (“You Make Lovin’ Fun” for starters). Had it been me as a teenager, it would have been “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel. Another story for another time, I guess.

    As for the episode …

    I remember The Box! We didn’t get it up on Long Island–our third music video channel was Canada’s MuchMusic, which I have a real fondness for–but we got it on my college’s campus cable in Baltimore.

    I chuckled at your description of the typical first wedding dance because I specifically remember that the two of us were insistent that we get to dance to the entire song. That, by the way, was “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, for which we went to ballroom dance classes to learn the rhumba. And after being introduced by our deejay to the tune of “My First My Last My Everything” Barry White, we kicked so much ass.

    Wow. That was 20 years ago. Anyway …

    The D’Angelo and Janet Jackson picks were perfect. I mentioned them to my wife, and she approves. She also says that if you want to hear Janet get even dirtier, listen to “The Velvet Rope.”

    As far as hook-up songs go, though? I have to admit that I’m from the part of our respective generations where Dave Matthews Band got a LOT of people laid. “Crash Into Me” and “Lover Lay Down” were about as subtle as handing her a condom and pointing to your bedroom door, but they worked. We weren’t the most sophisticated of college kids.

    Loved the pick of “Someone Like You” even if Van Morrison is a turd. I know I saw “Untamed Heart” at some point in the Nineties. I don’t know if it was in the theater or if I rented it. I do remember it being very melodramatic and having a really short run time. Oh, and girls were OBSESSED with that movie.

    And yes, the En Vogue version of “Something He Can Feel” is incredibly sexy. It’s up there with TLC’s “Creep” as one of the sexiest R&B girl group songs of the early 1990s.

    A great episode. Great to hear you guys again. Can’t wait to hear what’s up next.

    1. Love your insight, Tom. Bout time we bring you back for another discussion. It’s always a pleasure rapping with ya. And “Creep” was just barely edged out by Janet. That whole Crazy, Sexy, Cool album was the s**t

  3. 1) I also lacked an awareness of Ed Sheeran until after the backlash had begun, and even then it may have specifically pivoted upon his Game of Thrones cameo. “Thinking Out Loud” is a nice song that I haven’t heard very much since I’ve barely listened to radio and haven’t worked out of an office throughout its existence. Reminds me a bit of “Mirrors” thematically, if not at all sonically. Of course, I understand Sheeran is a good guy who got done wrong in his celebrity relationship, where Timberlake has always been the fuckboi in his.

    2) I like James Brown, but I prefer Otis Redding, so it’s weird that “Try Me” sounds more like the former while predating his notoriety. It’s too bad Brown didn’t do more ballads like this.

    3) I had very little exposure to Van Morrison growing up. The ’70s was my father’s decade, but I didn’t grow up around him, so it’s a little bit of a blind spot for me. I know the biggest stuff like “Brown Eyed Girl,” and through my father’s collection have sampled the key albums, but he’ll always be that other guy named Morrison. Well, actually, he’ll mostly be the name I say after an expletive when it comes up, so in that way I guess he’s more like Clapton.

    4) “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is maybe one of the first songs I ever heard, being an omnipresent and eternal hit even outside of an Elvis revering household. I resented the UB40 version when it came out, but Elvis’ legacy has not sustained very well, so in retrospect it was a modest win to see it chart again in the ’90s (whereas “Red Red Wine” arguably bettered Diamond and has had more longevity.) It’s just an inarguably beautiful song of yearning and commitment. I’m sure it would be a hit again today, if ballads were still any kind of priority. Anyway, anyone from me to Colm Meany can belt this out in the shower at the drop of… a soap, I guess? That metaphor got away from me, like the soap bar.

    5) I have to confess that “Do Me, Baby” ironically doesn’t do it for me. Aside from the title track, I never had much use for Controversy. His Purple Majesty has so many get down numbers, it’s not even his best falsetto in the subgenre. “Soft and Wet,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend”… although in terms of numbers that get my own motor running, “Erotic City” is always the one to… er.. beat.

    1. I like Otis Redding way more than James Brown, too. To me, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Al Green are the kings of the Motown/Staxx Records sound.

  4. Another fantastic Daly double album collection! Hearing the stories behind the music is the best part of all these selections!

    I do really like Elvis’ Cant Help Falling In Love (and it’s a favourite of my mom’s), and it was a close choice for my wedding dance song, but I coerced my wife to have At Last by Etta James instead. Ihate to say that I’m not a big fan of love songs, but I’m a sucker for At Last.

    I can’t wait for the next installment of the Daly Holiday collection (from K-Tel!).

    1. “At Last” was just barely a near miss for this episode. But a damn near perfect wedding dance choice. I’m sure it’ll make the list next year!

  5. So glad to see my favorite show came back! Here’s my next pitch: MY LIFE IN SONG. You take us through your life via song selections. For Neil, it would first trophies and big social wins! For Ryan, first action figures, lost loves, and the birth of the best Daly yet!

  6. I feel like “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is a very dangerous song. If you dance with someone to this and have any attraction to them at all, you could fall deep.

    Makes me wonder what a Very Siskoid St-Valentine’s would be like. I could say I’ve been unlucky in love, but the truer statement would be that I’ve been inept in love. My “love songs” have tended to be heartbreak songs, probably.

  7. I ended up spending a lot of time on the road on Valentine’s Day, during which I finished this episode. Remind me to tell you about it sometime.

    I had no firsthand knowledge of “Untitled (How Does it Feel?)” by D’Angelo , but Mr. Fixit and his old flame Pussycat used to tell me some stories. Apparently, all the girls in their hood was all the way down with this video and that dickroot, so a lot of boning sessions were initiated by its playing.

    I first knew Janet Jackson as Michael’s little sister who acted on Good Times, so it took me a minute to warm to her as a solo singer. I think “Control” was the first video I saw, but I may have heard “Let’s Wait Awhile” on the radio first. I didn’t really start to pay attention to her until Rhythm Nation 1814, and even then I was more struck by the fascist fashion and the Michael-like synchronized dancers. Janet herself seemed to lack personality, and was absent sensuality. That started to change when I saw and probably first heard “The Pleasure Principle” on MTV’s Paula Abdul Straight-Up Weekend hosted by Daisy Fuentes circa 1990 (I have it recorded on VHS.) Obviously, 1993’s janet. and the infamous Rolling Stone cover demolished that chaste impression, and in fact the wife of one of my friends said she was turned off from following Janet because of the explicit sexuality of The Velvet Rope (a banger in both senses of the word.) I really liked “That’s the Way Love Goes,” and it definitely was alluring, but it was really “If” and “Any Time, Any Place” that blew me… away. That’s when I did a 180 an actively lusted after Janet until around 2001. I was kind of over it by Damita Jo, but I can still get the motor running if I reach back to the earlier stuff. She was a favorite of Pussycat’s too.

    The last time I tested myself on the Kinsey scale, I landed surprisingly deep in the straight realm. I’m pretty comfortable with homosexuality, and appreciated the attention I got at gay clubs in my 20s, but I just can’t get past the peen not being my thing. I zoned out while writing that sentence with “On the Floor” playing in the background, and without the visual of the two dudes dancing, I was oblivious to any queer content. Just seemed like ’80s influenced blue eyed soul. Sam Smith’s recent “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” and its obvious inspiration “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” By Lil Nas X are a lot more on the tip of the… nose. The first time I remember being conscious that I was hearing unambiguously gay music was Erasure and Pet Shop Boys. Even without context, lyrical or otherwise, I could just feel it sonically. I didn’t quite catch it with Queen, or even Elton John, until later.

    I’m not passionate about Sade, but I liked the big singles when she first broke out in the ’80s. She’s a lovely lady, and who wouldn’t want her cooing “The Sweetest Taboo” in their ear? I think Thornetta Davis was new to me here, but I had Fiona Apple’s cover pulled off the wire ages ago.

    I’m not at all surprised “Something He Can Feel” was a vintage song, but like Ryan, I never felt any need to investigate it beyond En Vogue’s excellent rendition. I may have taped “Hold On” during Straight Up Weekend, and I loved it, but Funky Divas was my sweet spot. I pulled all the singles off radio or taped from Friday Night Videos, and when I started collecting CDs in the late ’90s it was an early purchase. I even dig those off key moments in “Give It Up, Turn It Loose”. I enjoyed Ryan’s story, but I had to show up for En Vogue and THAT video. I like Aretha Franklin fine, but it’s less affection and more R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Never understood why she was elevated so high above equally talented contemporaries.

    “You Are in Love” is a bit of a dud for me. Again, much respect for Taylor Swift as a sustained global phenomenon, but man her stuff is white. Even her bids at “sexy” sound like chastity ringtones. I picture her wearing opera gloves to a hand job for your birthday. I imagine sex with her involves a written itinerary and maybe that headset from Demolition Man.

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