Edible Manhattan’s inaugural Spotify playlist begins—where else?—with breakfast, served atop the sheets by blue-eyed soul queen Dusty Springfield. As guileless as Springfield’s song was risqué for its day (1969), Prince’s breakfast-time “Starfish and Coffee” spools out a Seussian litany beginning with the song’s title and ending with “a side order of ham.”
Likewise, Joe Strummer’s recollected High Road encounter “Bhindi Bhagee” ticks off a superfluity of “humble neighborhood” delights that aren’t mushy peas: “We haven’t really got ‘em round here…But we do got…” Maybe Strummer’s en route to Laura Nero’s “Stoned Soul Picnic,” covered here by the Fifth Dimension, their rep rightly salvaged last year by Questlove’s Summer of Soul documentary.
For dinner, Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers and rock and roll progenitor, invites us to “Come On In [His] Kitchen,” where Fiona Apple wields a “Hot Knife” with the help of sibling Maude Maggart, and the post-Pet Sounds Wilson brothers and others deliver an almost-acappella ode on their favorite “Vegetables.” “We don’t need no microwave!” aver The Time at the start of the best song about a frying pan ever recorded. (Check out Jesse Johnson’s guitar, scalding from “Skillet”’s opening until well after the band begins to wonder about dessert.)
The Haim sisters know where this ends, or might – with a “Cherry-Flavored Stomach Ache.” Undeterred, B-52’s Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson share tips from their David Byrne-produced EP Mesopotamia on baking a “Cake,” whether it be angel, chocolate devil’s food, or pineapple upside down. “You got a pan the right size?/It says in this cookbook it takes a long time to rise.” Let’s get this thing in the oven.
For more from Adam Reid Sexton, check out his books here.