Thursday, 29 December 2011

A little Rockabilly to see you through...

Elvis - The Early Years

Stray Cats - Built for Speed

Ritchie Valens - Greatest Hits.

Eddie Cochran - The Story

Friday, 23 December 2011

Human League - Don't you want me 1982

You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you...

Quick HIt

“Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League (1982)

The human sea of people at the malls this time of year drives me crazy. I have been checked out of the way a couple of times already this year - once by an old lady, who did to her credit say “Sorry, dear” after she hip checked me into the metal tubular poles at the check-out line.

The United Nations now estimates the population of the earth at over 8 billion people. I believe it with the day I had at the grocery store!

So the story goes two very lucky girls were dancing at the Crazy Daisy Nightclub in Sheffield on a Wednesday night when a desperate Phil Oakey, in search of a backup singer found them.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Avoid the elevator muzac: Listen to some classic rock!

Rob Stewart - Downtown Train

Pnk Floyd - The Division Bell

Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

The Doors - Strange Days

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning

The time has come to say fair's fair. To pay the rent, now. To pay our share.

Pick of the Week

“Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil (1987)

Australia is a tough land and always has been. It is a land of extremes: Extreme heat. Extreme tragedy. Extreme beauty. To name a few.

The hardship of Australians over the last few years with bush fires across Victoriaand floods in the beautiful north and then in Victoria have been horrendously difficult to deal with. Ongoing problems of water shortages and reduced tourism due to the world economy only tend to compound their problems. With all this going on, in a harsh land, the resilient spirit of the Australians as always, prevails and even thrives as they have done for some two hundred years.  They are a very tough, yet soulful and proud people. And hey, they have the coolest accents of the English speaking world. This spirit is often reflected in their music.

For a country that has a fairly small population it has blessed the world with many a gifted musician

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Who - Won't get fooled again 1971

We'll be fighting in the streets with our children at our feet and the morals that they worship will be gone

Songs Everyone Should Know

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who (1971)

It started as being an extension of the statement made by the hippies. “We Won’t Get Fooled Again”. By What? By Who? Let the entrenchment of the boomers begin. Are the new leaders any better than the old leaders?

It was the loudest band in the world. The thunderous drums of Keith Moon, the driving bass of John Entwhistle, the crashing guitar of Pete Townshend and the instantly recognizable vocals of Rodger Daltrey blended at the time of male-dominated rock and roll. With fellow Brit bands Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones, they were all over the airwaves in the early ‘70’s. The so-called ‘holy trinity’ of British bands (with the Beatles and the Stones) is filled out by the Who.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Rick Derringer - Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo (1973)

I couldn't stop moving when it first took hold.It was a warm spring night in the ol' town hall There was a group called The Jokers, they were layin' it down. Don'tcha know I'm never gonna lose that funky sound.

Quick Hit

“Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” by  Rick Derringer (1973)

When I was in my early teens I would babysit the odd time for a bit of spare money. I remember this song was on a K-tel record that I took with me babysitting one time. This couple I babysat for had a grand piano. The guy could play like there’s no tomorrow and I thought that was pretty cool - although you wouldn’t know it from looking at him. He looked like your typical business man.

Anyway he let me use his stereo when I was over babysitting and encouraged me to bring my own albums to play (although he had a few good ones). His stereo was pretty high end. To me this seemed a bit odd. He was paying me to hang out and listen to records while his sons slept and I ate bar-b-qued potato chips and drank 7-Up. Not a bad deal!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Big Boss man can you hear me when I call?

Sunday, back to work tomorrow...

Hall & Oates - Private Eyes

Bruce Cockburn - Nothing but a Burning Light

The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions

Fleetwood Mac - Mr. Wonderful

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Chris Isaak Wicked Game

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you. It's strange what desire will make foolish people do

Sappy Song Department

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaac (1989)

Chris got his break when an Atlanta radio station host, obsessed with David Lynch movies started playing the vocal track of “Wicked Game” from the soundtrack of “Wild at Heart”. I remember seeing the movie and not being very impressed. Slowly the requests built for the song and by early 1991 it was a top-ten hit.

In 1991 a compilation of previous songs was put out to capitalize on Chris new found success. It included the mournful “Blue Spanish Sky”, “Wrong to Love You”, and of course “Wicked Game”.

There is a twang of country and rockabilly on his albums and that continued with 1993’s “San Francisco Days”.  This band often reminds me of Canada’s ‘Blue Rodeo’, but with flamenco flair.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A ha - Take On Me

We're talking away. I don't know what I'm to say. I'll say it anyway. Today's another day to find you.

Quick Hit

“Take on Me” by A-ha (1985)

O.K. so I draw my inspiration this week from a chat a work where the question was raised: “What was that really cool video that transitions between cartoon and real life in the early ‘80’s?”  The answer of course is A-ha’s period piece called “Take on Me”. The reason I call it a ‘period piece’ is because it sounds so typically ‘80’s. The weird thing with this one is that when I went to look it up, I discovered I don’t have a digital copy of it; I only have it on good ‘ol fashioned vinyl. Go figure? I remember I got it one Saturday down at Hot Wax records in Kensington. Huh. Just as well; sounds great still.

 A-ha is I think the most successful band to come out of Norway. It formed in Oslo in 1982, with vocalist Morten Harkel, Magne Furuhulem (keyboard) and guitarist Pal Waaktaar. My experience with Norwegians is very limited, and based mostly on my maternal grandmother – they live forever and they are tough, no-nonsense kind of people. I digress.......

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Soundtrack Sunday.......

10 Things I Hate About You

Detroit Rock City

Now and Then

The Commitments

Friday, 2 December 2011

Dont Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra

You want to stay out with your fancy friends I'm telling you it's gotta be the end Don’t Bring me down....grrooss!

70’s Pick of the Week

“Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra (1979)

When Electric Light Orchestra, aka ELO released the album “Discovery”, my friends and I called it ‘Disco –Very’. Not that we didn’t like the album, but it was that all groups around that time seemed to go through a disco phase, even the Rolling Stones, and this was ELO’s disco album. The strange thing about ELO is that they never had a number one hit in the U.K. or in the U.S., yet they have had the most top 40 songs in the U.S. than any band in history.  Weird huh?

Birmingham, England’s Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne set out to make pop songs that had a bit of classical music interwoven. Wood left after the debut album and its lukewarm reviews. Lynne of course went on to write, arrange and produce every album after that – all 11 of them.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Super Mellow on a Sunday...

Gillian Welch - Revival

Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What

Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Love Over and Over

Bryndle - House of Silence

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Shivaree - "Goodnight Moon"

Something's under the bed Now it's out in the hedge There's a big black crow sitting on my window ledge And I hear something scratching through the wall

Quick Hit

“Goodnight Moon” by Shivaree (1999)

The band name, ‘Shivaree’ came for the French term ‘shiveree’ which is a raucous newlywed tradition most commonly occurring along the Mississippi river. The neighbours wait for the dark of night when the couple is hopefully asleep and then armed with pots and pans and noisemakers, make a ruckus that could raise the dead. When the couple gets up they invade their home, make coffee and expect the couple to feed them, sometimes leaving a bit of a mess just for fun.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Marvelettes - Please Mr. Postman (1961)

The Chiffons - One fine day

crystals da doo ron ron

Please Mister Postman, look and see (Oh yeah) If there's a letter in your bag for me

Triple Hit: The Early Girls

“Please Mr. Postman” by  The Marvellettes (1961)
“One Fine Day” by The Chiffons (1963)
“Da Doo Ron Ron” by The Crystals (1963)

Sometimes you like a song and you don’t know why, or you don’t remember. There is a melody, and a feeling that you are reaching back to find. It feels good to search for that feeling. You don’t remember where you heard it first but your mind has made a fantastic connection somewhere.

I have covered ‘girl groups’ before but today I give you a sampling of some of my favourite songs. They are all songs that are allowed to sound dated. They have earned that right because they stood the test of time and still work.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Quiz: Winter is a good time for music

Figure out the song and artist in today's winter montage:

In the wintertime when all the leaves are brown and the wind blows. It's been a long time that I'm waiting. Been a long time that I'm blown been a long time that I've wandered.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day.Hang on to your hopes, my friend. That's an easy thing to say, but if your hopes should pass away simply pretend that you can build them again.

I never know what time of year it is living on top of the fire but the robin outside has to hunt and hide in the cold frosty shire. Spread your tiny wings and fly away and take the snow back with you where it came from on that day.

The evening had turned to rain. Watch the water roll down the drain as we followed him down to the station and though he never would wave goodbye you could see it written in his eyes as the train rolled out of sight, bye-bye.

It's coming on Christmas; they're cutting down trees. They're putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace. I wish I had a river I could skate away on. Was it love or fear of the cold that led us through the night? For every kiss your beauty trumped my doubt. 

Keep warm and let me know if you can sort this one out! What is the song? Who is the artist?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Runaways - Cherry Bomb

Hello Daddy, hello Mom I'm your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb Hello world I'm your wild girl I'm your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb

70’s Pick of the Week

“Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways (1977)

Long, long before the Donnas, and the so-called Riot Grrl movement of the ‘90’s came the trailblazing, unwittingly feminist band, the Runaways.

When teenagers Sandy West and Joan Jett met, they wanted to form a rock band - not a very popular idea at a very male-dominated time in rock history. The great thing about them is that they wrote, played their own instruments and performed world-wide. The problem was that their audience, also teenagers, could not get into the bars they played in. While they were a great success in Europe and especially Japan, they never really gained anything more than a cult following in North America.

The legendary, bizarre producer Kim Fowley had given drummer Sandy West, Joan Jett’s phone number and told them to get together to see if they could do anything. The group originally started as trio with Micki Steele (later of the Bangles), who toured clubs in Los Angeles.  Steele eventually got fired and was replaced.  Soon after, Lita Ford (lead guitar) and Jackie Fox (bass) were hired to round out the group.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday Afternoon .........I'm just beginning to see

ELO - Discovery

Moody Blues - Days of Future Past

Alan Parsons - Live

Quicksilver - Happy Trails

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Do I have to tell the story of a thousand rainy days since we first met. It's a big enough umbrella but it's always me that ends up getting wet.

Songs Everybody Should Know

“Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”, by the Police (1981)

The first time I heard the Police was at the student union offices at university. One of the guys had a turntable set up in his office in Mac Hall. He said “You have to hear this amazing new album by the Police”. I said “By what? Who? The Police, what the hell are you talking about”. “The ‘Police’ man this kind of reggae sounding punkish band”.

It seems like punk, with its irreverence and value in substance over form, eventually left one looking for musicianship again – I mean really, most of the punk band couldn’t play and many prided themselves on this. It had its place and time but there was a void in the fabric of pop music tearing wide open.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Martha and the Muffins - Echo Beach

From nine to five I have to spend my time at work. My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk. The only thing that helps me pass the time away is knowing I’ll be back at Echo Beach some day.

Quick HIt

“Echo Beach” by Martha and the Muffins (1980)

“Echo Beach” was blaring on a jukebox at a Friday night get-together in the ‘lounge’ what seems like an eternity ago. A guy I was talking to knew I collected music and was asking me if he should buy the new Martha and Muffins album. “Was this the way to develop a good record collection?” he asked.

In 1977, inspired by the punk & new wave movement and bored with safe seventies music, friends David Millar and Mark Game (both guitarists) decided starting a band. Practicing in ’77, musicians came and went but eventually Martha Johnson (keyboards) and Ken Finkle (bass) joined. Tim Game (drums) joined soon after.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Essential Classics for a Saturday Afternoon....

The Doors - The Doors

The Rolling Stones - Goat's Head Soup

The Beatles - 1967-1970

Pink Flloyd - The Wall

Friday, 28 October 2011

K-tel Records "Block Buster" Commercial - 1976

Twenty original hits, original stars, be sure to get the best from K-Tel. LP $5.99, tape $6.99.

A little Musical History

“K-Tel Block Buster Commercial” circa 1976

There is no getting around the fact that the seventies were pretty funky. There was such a wide variety of music produced that if you did not like something, next week there would be something you did like.There was a huge market of teenagers to tap into and hucksters and hustlers alike were there with knives, fry pans, and mood rings for the average guy watching the tube, kicking back in his platform shoes and colourful shirt.

The boomers were veraciously buying music like it was going out of style so it was no wonder a company called K-tel targeted this and made out like bandits. Their famous compilations made it an affordable way to get a good sample of current hits, putting up with the other ‘stuff’ they put on them. As they advertised though, the songs were the original songs by the original artists. That was their appeal. Clearly the songs were shortened at times so the compressed groves of the records could fit all 20 or even 25 songs on the album. When you compress the grooves on the records so much, you tend to lose some of the ‘information’ so the recordings although ‘stereo’ were not of the highest quality; although few noticed I’m sure.  The compilations were the best, but K-Tel did do other collections such as Michael Jackson, Elvis, even an obscure Nanette Workman.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Bananarama Venus

A Goddess on a mountain top was burning like a silver flame The summit of beauty and love and Venus was her name

Songs Everybody Should Know

“Venus” by Bananarama (1986)

Girl groups lost popularity for a while after the 50’s where they proliferated the music scene. In the sixties Diana Ross and the Supremes stood their ground as did staples like the Marvellettes and the Vandellas. In the seventies girl groups waned – but they were missed in the time of male-dominated rock.

Finally in the eighties the Go-Go’s, Bangles and the U.K.’s Bananarama took flight.

Friday, 7 October 2011

John Mellencamp - Paper In Fire

Who's to say the way a man should spend his days. Do you let them smolder like paper in fire?

Quick Hit

“Paper In Fire” by John Cougar Mellencamp (1987)

I remember the first time I saw the “American Fool” album. It was in the form of an ‘8-track’ tape kicking around on the floor of this guy’s truck who was giving me a ride. He was a self professed country music nut so I was curious why he had John Cougar. I asked him and he said “Because it is country music”. I thought “ Huh, I didn’t really think so....well, wait a minute, definitely influenced.”

John Mellencamp a.k.a. John Cougar Mellencamp a.k.a. John Cougar came straight out of the heartland of America with a dream and an attitude – sort of a rebel, ...I guess.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Troggs - Wild Thing

Wild thing, I think I love you But I wanna know for sure Come on and hold me tight I love you

Quick Hit

“Wild Thing” by the Troggs (1966)

There is just some sort of primitive appeal to this song's beat. It sounded pretty strange when it first came out. This song had such an influence on garage bands and probably eventually punk rock and harder rock.  It is hard to believe it came out in 1966. Orginally written by Chip Taylor in the U.S. and put out by “The Wild Ones”, the version most people are familiar with is the U.K. Trogg’s version of it.

 It must admit it that the guitar riff does sound a bit like Kingsmen’s 1963 "Louie Louie”, but it may have been more unconscious of the artists to replicate that sound – that sound had to have been drllled into the collective unconscious of the world by then.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Headpins - Don't It Make You Feel

Toronto: Your Daddy Don't Know

Making your move you come down as fast as lightnin' Crossing the stage and now you can feel the excitement

Double Hit – Canadian Rock

“Your Daddy Don’t Know” by Toronto (1982)
“Don’t it Make You Feel” by the Headpins (1982)

I saw Holly Woods, former leader singer of the Canadian Band ‘Toronto’ perform in this rural bar a few years ago. It is sometimes sad to see an act once they are past their prime. Although Holly was pretty good still and had most of the range of her voice, she expressed bitterness that Ann Wilson of Heart recorded “What About Love”, saying it was her song. I looked into this and the song was actually dropped from ‘Toronto’s third album “Get it on Credit” when it came out in the fall of ’82. Too bad Holly. Who knew Ann would make it a hit.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Colin James-National Steel

Watch your step as you make your way from the church into this world of sin. Picture an angel with a cigarette burnin’, with a long slow drag as she welcomes you in...

Music: What is it really? More importantly: What is it to you?

“National Steel” by Colin James (1997)

I think it is very difficult to define what music is. I am going to get a bit heavy in this blog but bear with me as I give you some thoughts and ideas so you can frame your own ideas – or conversely tell me I am full of crap. I was at this multimedia presentation the other day and the question was asked: What is music? (Thanks James!)

It seems pretty self-explanatory on the surface but the more I thought about it the deeper it got...

It is not a universal word to all cultures so let’s just stick with the English word for the time being.  Let’s also make the assumption that music is unique to humans and like a tree in the forest to exist it has to be played out loud.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saturday in the Park........I think it was the fourth of July

Chicago - V
Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

Buddy Guy - Can't Quit the Blues

Elton John - Captain Fantastic

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Pointer Sisters: Fire - Live on Midnight Special 1979

I'm driving in my car, I turn on the radio I'm pulling you close, you just say no You say you don't like it, but girl I know you're a liar 'Cause when we kiss Hmmm, fire

70's Pick of the Week

“Fire” by the Pointer Sisters (1979)

The idea of sister or brother groups is not new. The advantage of this arrangement can be stability. Have you ever heard the expression “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose family”? Well in some cases it works and others not so much. In the case of the Pointer sisters it gave them depth and versatility that saw them endure and reach great success.

Their parents, Reverend Elton and Sarah Pointer encouraged them as girls to listen and participate in gospel music. They told the girls that rock and roll and the blues was “the devils music”. This was not uncommon really. Secretly they sang songs when they were away from their parents until one day the youngest, June, brought home a copy of Elvis’ “All Shook Up”. Her mother had discovered the ‘B’ side of the album with “Crying in the Chapel” so let her pay it.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream (Shindig! 1964)

I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine, any time night or day. Only trouble is, gee whiz, I’m dreamin’ my life away.

Sappy Song Department

“All I Have to Do is Dream” by The Everly Brothers (1958)

There is always a lot of discussion of the R&B contribution to music, but the Everlys brought their contribution from another angle – they may really have been the most successful country or maybe even hillbilly band to make their mark on rock. Like Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and not to forget Elvis, they had a country music that morphed into rockabilly and then quickly leapt into rock and Roll.  The difference was that they were an inseparable duo from childhood – and made a contribution only a duo could make.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Not that long ago...well at least it would seem...

B.B. King - Blues on the Bayou

Dan Fogelberg - Phoenix

Daniel Lanios - Acadie
Neil Young - Everyone Knows this is Nowhere

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Boz Scaggs - Jo Jo Live 2004

Jo Jo dig those spinning lights, way out games and dizzy heights below him. It’s all below him

Quick Hit

“Jo Jo” by Boz Scaggs (1980)

I was on vacation last week and started to frequent this coffee shop called ‘Jo-Jo’s Cafe”. It reminded me of the Boz Scaggs song “Jo Jo”. Very strangely (yes this really did happen!) when I snapped on the radio to drive to the restaurant for dinner they were playing “Jo Jo” on the radio. Just days before that I had purchased some great Boz Scaggs at the Fillmore posters.  These combined events had me thinking that the universe was implying something and I decided I better do a blog on Boz before I am struck down by lightening or something.

 Born in Ohio and raised in Oklahoma and Texas, Boz met Steve Miller while there were still in school. They went on to university together and Boz sang in their band the Marksmen, the Ardells and then the Fabulous Knight Trains.

Friday, 2 September 2011

War - Low Rider

All my friends know the low rider. The low rider is a little higher. Low rider drives a little slower

Quick Hit

“Low Rider” by War (1975)  

I once was in Orange County and saw this car with several Chicano gentlemen looking very serious pull up at the intersection. The car bobbed up and down on its hydraulic lifters and I just could not help myself and I laughed. I was not laughing at them per se, but just struck by how so unlikely it was to see something so stereotypically real down to the headbands and glimmering hubcaps. They could have shot me or something if they wanted to I’m sure so I pretty quickly took the grin off my face.

I was in a summer vacation town recently and was watching the cars go up and down the strip. Every town has a strip and every town had the boys that drive up and down them. The prosperity of the towns vary, so therefore so do the quality and quantity of the cars. The one thing that seems to be constant however is the attitude. The look that they have in their eyes is always the same – the incarnation of James Dean or Elvis or something - don’t you know it is never cool to smile!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music

Play that funky music white boy Play that funky music right Play that funky music white boy Lay down that boogie and play that funky music till you die…

Quick Hit

“Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry (1976)

They used to be called “Wild Cherry” flavoured, but now if you check the box of cherry Vicks cough drops they just say “Cherry”. When they were called “Wild Cherry”, Rob Parissi (lead singer, guitar) was recovering from a hospital stay and thought the name on the box sounded like a good name for his new band. From Steubenville, Ohio, the band originally played straight up rock music and produced a few fairly unknown albums.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ben E. King - Stand by me

If the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall and the mountains should crumble to the sea I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear just as long as you stand, stand by me

Songs Everybody Should Know

“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King (1961)

Last week Jerry Leiber of the famous song-writing team Leiber and Stoller died of heart issues at age 78. It was almost a half century run for the versatile song-writer and producer. His start really came with L&S penning “Hound Dog” for Big Mamma Thornton (later covered by Elvis). Leiber & Stoller went on to pen many others for Elvis including “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Jailhouse Rock”. A string of popish hits for the Coasters included “Yakity Yak”, “Along Came Jones”, and “Charlie Brown” and “Searchin’” put them at the top of their game. They became in demand as producers and song-writers for many years including producing such acts as Steelers Wheel (Stuck in the Middle) and writing classics such as “On Broadway” for the Drifters and “Stand By Me” for Ben E. King.

Benjamin Edward King was one of the principal lead singers of the Drifters that L&S worked with in the late ‘50s and early ‘60’s. After the original lead singer of the Drifters was fired, King stepped in to record such classics as “There Goes My Baby”, “Save the Last Dance for Me”, and “This Magic Moment”.

After a salary and royalty discussion gone bad in early 1960, King went on his own. Charlie Thomas, who replaced King, would lip-synch King’s songs in live performances. Remaining with Atlantic records now as ‘Ben E. King’, he hit with “Spanish Harlem” in early 1961 and followed up with the irrepressible classic “Stand By Me” which he actually helped L&S write having known them from his Drifter’s days.

“Stand By Me” is one of the most covered songs of all time, having been recorded over 400 times by artists ranging from John Lennon to Elton John. It is based on the spiritual song “Lord Stand by Me”, which in turn has roots in Psalms 46 of the Bible. The song went to number 1 of the R&B charts and was top 10 in 1961 and again in 1987 when it was used as the theme song of the movie of the same name. The movie was based on a Stephen King short story called “The Body” and is not a bad ‘coming of age’ movie packed with great oldies.

Ahmet Ertegun1 said “King is one of the greatest singers in the history of rock and roll and rhythm and blues”. Ahmen Brotha...
1.        Ahmet Ertegun was the Turkish immigrant founder and president of Atlantic Records known for its classic R&B and later rock acts.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Tom Jones and Nina Persson Burning Down the House

All wet hey you might need a raincoat. Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight. Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees - burning down the house!

Quick Hit

“Burning Down the House” by Tom Jones and the Cardigans (2008)

Now in his seventies it is hard to believe that women used to throw undergarments at Tom Jones as he ripped it up in the swingin’ sixties. Such classics as “It’s Not Unusual”, “The Green, Green Grass of Home”, “She’s a Lady”. “Delilah”, “Daughter of Darkness”, “Help Yourself” and my favourite “What’s New Pussycat” topped the charts in the 60's and early 70's.. Elvis was said to have been very moved by “The Green, Green Grass of Home” and played it over and over when it first came out.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The British are coming, the British are coming...

Some forgotten British gems

Amimals - Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted

10cc - Bloody Tourists

Roxy Music - The High Road (EP)

Small Faces - Small Faces

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Clash - Train In Vain (Live)

Well some things you can explain away but my heartache's in me till this day

70’s Pick of the Week

“Train in Vain” by the Clash (1979)

He is not likely going to be posthumously knighted ‘Sir Joe Strummer’. One of the central figures in punk rock, Strummer was viewed as an extremist and mocked the government. You don’t get knighted for that. The Clash would sit around another round table though – that of Punk Rock.

From the womb of a nation wracked with economic turmoil and political and social unrest came writhing, spitting, sneering and swearing, a youth with only anger, fear and contempt for anything that smelled like authority - that was the essence of punk rock. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Beatles - Revolution (Live)

But when you talk about destruction Don't you know that you can count me out Don't you know it's gonna be all right

Quick Hit

“Revolution” by the Beatles (1968)

 One of my favourite Beatles songs was written entirely by John Lennon, but credited as was usual practice, to both McCartney and Lennon. Recorded in the Abby Road Studios this classic song is inspired by the French government under Charles DeGaulle.  Student uprising were occurring all around the world primarily in the U.S. against the Vietnam War. When strikes in Paris resulted in riots. Lennon was directing this song at the world’s young revolutionaries – he was anti-war.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69

Standin' on your mama's porch You told me it would last forever Oh the way you held my hand I knew that it was now or never

Quick Hit

“Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams (1985)

I do know someone that sat beside Glen Campbell on a plane. I know someone who was on the deck of a boat with the Beatles when he was a kid and my sister was in an elevator with Duran Duran once. I also know someone who rode with Huey Lewis and the News on a plane once. My daughter saw Dan Ackroyd at the garden center once.  One of my friends saw Van Morrison regularly and had met the “brown–eyed girl’ once.

I was once at this party where someone had met and said they knew Bryan Adams. He was supposed to show up. I waited all night for him - and of course he never showed. I am sure he was too busy making records or writing songs, well at least that is what I tell myself.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Monday, Monday...Can't Trust That Day...

Doobie Brothers - The Captian & Me

The Mama's & the Papa's - If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears.

Toto - Toto

Various - Legacy of Sun Studios

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Into the Night- Benny Mardones

She's just sixteen years old, leave her alone, they say, Separated by fools who don't know what love is yet

Sappy Song Department

“Into the Night” by Benny Mardones (1980/89)

Sappy but brilliant, the vocals on this song are phenomenal! Benny’s range and soulful rendering over this catchy melody is memorable. It is really a shame Benny Mardones did not do more material. It is estimated that this song has been played at least 4.5 million times in the U.S. alone.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Carolyne Mas

Still sane... You may think you're crossing the line... Still sane... You may think you're losing your mind

Well Worth a Listen

“Still Sane”, by Carolyn Mas (1979)

In the same vein as “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent or “Don’t Let is Show” by the Alan Parsons Project, “Still Sane” is one of those ‘self-help’ songs. It, like the other songs on her debut album of the same name, has an undertone of defiance, yet vulnerability. It always puzzled me why Carolyn Mas did not have better commercial success.

Born in NY, Carolyn’s father invented the battery charger. I didn’t know that when her debut self-penned album “Carolyn Mas” came out in 1979, but that is a good enough reason for me to listen if I had not already. Classically trained in voice, piano and guitar, in her early years she listened to Cole Porter, the Beatles, Dylan, and all kinds of classical and folk music.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tom Petty - Breakdown (Live 1985)

There is no sense in pretending. Your eyes give you away. Something inside you is feeling like I do. We've said all there is to say...

Pick of the Week

“Breakdown” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976) 

When I was a teenager my friends and I decided to go skating at the Lagoon. To go to the rink we had to go down this steep hill (85th Street) that was on the edge of town. It was of course winter, and the road was icy. The cars in those days were huge. The B-52s refer to a ‘Chrysler as big as a whale’ which was not that much of an exaggeration. We were travelling in a Plymouth I think. So if a Chrysler can be compared to a blue whale, it was only as big as say a hump-back whale. The radio was playing “Don’t Do Me Like That” by Tom Petty. For whatever reason the driver of the car (yes, we were inexperienced) lost control of the car and it spun around a few times, plunging down this road. Everyone cringed and grabbed a hold of something. Miraculously we ended up going back down the hill in the same direction, didn’t hit anything and no one hurt. We looked at each other and thought “What the hell just happened?” and down the hill we went. This was all to the tune of “Don’t Do me Like That” mind you, so it is kind of engrained in my memory now. Loved Tom Petty that day and still do.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

What I am listening to today...

Chilliwack - Chilliwack

No Doubt - Rock Steady

Supremes - Baby Love

Queen - A Day at the Races