Not familiar with Steve Miller? You are missing some good music……check out his entire Fly Like An Eagle album below…….
Albums released in April and May of 1973 were a mixed bag. Some solid releases from existing bands, some excellent debut albums by new bands, and one release that came out of the blue and took the charts by storm based on the success of the movie that featured it as a soundtrack. Let’s dive right in to some of the highlights.
Eagles – Desperado
I posted about the early days of the Eagles, including their second album Desperado, in a post from last year named The Southern California Sound #14. It is worth checking out if you didn’t catch the first time around. Here is the title song from the album which is probably my favorite Eagles album of all time……
Manassas – Down The Road
Down The Road was the second, and unfortunately the final, studio album by Manassas. I have already written about the reasons for this being their last album in my The Southern California Sound #13 post from last year….check it out if you are interested. In the meantime, here is a great Chris Hillman song from the album.
Marshall Tucker Band – Marshall Tucker Band
I did a detailed post, Album of the Week #9, about this album so I won’t bore you with all of the details again but I highly suggest you read it if you are not familiar with the band. Here is my favorite song from the album……
I can’t tell you how much I wish that someone still made music this good!
Bachman Turner Overdrive – Bachman Turner Overdrive
There is a great story that goes along with this one. After Randy Bachman left/was forced to leave the Guess Who he created a new band, Brave Belt, that never really caught on. They lost their recording contract and were about to give up when fate intervened. Here is the story as captured on Wikipedia…..
In April 1973, Charlie Fach of Mercury Records returned to his office after a trip to France to find a stack of unplayed demo tapes waiting on his desk. Wanting to start completely fresh, he took a trash can and slid all the tapes into it except one which missed the can and fell onto the floor. Fach then picked up the tape and noticed Bachman’s name on it. He remembered talking to him the previous year and had told Bachman that if he ever put a demo together to send it to him. While playing the first song on the 7½ inch reel, “Gimme Your Money Please”, Fach called Bachman to tell him that he wanted to sign the band.
Charlie convinced them to change their name to Bachman Turner Overdrive and the rest is history. Let’s listen to the song that saved them.
Michael Oldfield – Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells came out of no where back in May of 1973. It was recorded by Michael Oldfield when he was only 19 years old and garnered significant radio plan later that year when it was featured as part of the sound track of the hit movie The Exorcist. Let’s listen to Tubular Bells part one which took up the whole first side of the album when it was released.
Just like I long for music as good as Can’t You See…..I also long for the days when a single song could span the entire side of an album.!
If you have been paying attention over the past year you already know that Dawes has been featured in several posts. The first time I heard them I knew that it was just a matter of time until they produced an amazing record and I am very happy to tell you that that time has arrived.
I am going to characterize their new album in an way that will probably be controversial but if you give me time I think you will understand. Here goes……Stories Don’t End is the best Jackson Browne album I have heard in many years. Let me explain…..Jackson Browne, at the height of his talent, produced some of the best albums of all time. His albums were an amazing combination of brilliant songs, beautiful vocals, and incredible instrumentation. Jackson wrote, and sang about, things that I had either been through, cared about, and/or wondered about. Put more simply Jackson’s music spoke to me in a very personal way. Stories Don’t End is the first album in ages that makes me feel the same way I felt when listened to some of Jackson’s best albums like Late For The Sky. Does that help??
Enough talking, let’s listen…..
This is my favorite song from the album. When the instruments drop out leaving only the drum beat for the following lyrics I knew for sure that I was listening to something special
At the scene of all I’ve left unlearned, in the directions to your house
In every swing I took to crack the code
I need a cold beer from a dressing room, I need a string of dates back out
I think there are a few of us that still belong out on the road
This is my second favorite song from the album. I am absolutely entranced each time I listen to this song and hear to breakdown where counterpoint vocals sing the chorus. Really good stuff!
To top things off here are a couple of really good live performances of other great songs from the album.
If you like great music you owe it to your self to buy this album.
Today we have two great Holiday vocal performances. First up is a beautiful Beach Boys song called Morning Christmas. From what I have been able to determine, this song was pretty mostly a solo effort by Dennis Wilson, the most overlooked of the three Wilson brothers that were the foundation for the Beach Boys. Let’s listen…….
Next up is On This Christmas Morning, a beautiful song as performed by the incredible Moody Blues. I think you will like it!
My special gift to you today is Dennis Wilson’s only solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, which was released in 1977. The album was critically acclaimed and provided Dennis with some well deserved attention after being overshadowed by his brothers Brian and Carl for most of his career. In a case of unbelievable irony, Dennis, the only Beach Boy that lived the surfing lifestyle that Brian Wilson wrote about, drowned in 1983.
RIP Dennis! Here is a tribute to Dennis prepared as part of this years 50th anniversary celebration for the Beach Boys.
I just discovered that I never posted Album Of The Week #18 (which is is a real shame because it is one of my favorite albums ever). I can’t believe that no one noticed….. I don’t think you guys have been paying attention 🙂
So….a few weeks late, tonight I present you with David Crosby’s first (and best) solo album If Only I Could Remember My Name. Let’s listen…….
1. Music is Love
2. Cowboy Movie
3. Tamalpais High/At About 3
5. What Are Their Names
6. Traction in the Rain
7. Song With No Words/Tree With No Leaves
9. I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here
FYI – This is on my list of candidates for “my final playlist”
To provide you with some of the interesting details about this album and it’s recording, the Wikipedia article on the album is provided below. The collection of musicians that played on this album is amazing so pay attention to the list of players on each track.
If I Could Only Remember My Name is the debut solo album by David Crosby, released in February 1971 on Atlantic Records. One of four high-profile albums released by each member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping Déjà Vu album, it peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200. It has been in print continuously since its initial release. The album gained new recognition in 2010 when it was listed second on the Vatican’s “Top 10 Pop Albums of All Time” as published in the official newspaper of the Holy See, L’Osservatore Romano.
A large grouping of prominent musicians from the era appear on the record, including Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana. This ad-hoc ensemble was given the moniker of “The Great Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra” by longtime Crosby associate Paul Kantner; many of the same musicians appeared on the latter’s Blows Against The Empire, recorded concurrently with Crosby’s album. The album also features the only recorded appearance of David Crosby’s reclusive brother, Ethan Crosby.
Although the album garnered its share of detractors, including Crosby’s then-manager David Geffen and influential Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau and only a lukewarm review from Lester Bangs in Rolling Stone, it was a modest commercial success, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. Two singles were taken from the album, “Music Is Love”, which was released in April 1971 and peaked at #95 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Orleans” which was released in July 1971. The album has gained in critical appreciation since its release.
The album was released on compact disc on October 25, 1990, having been digitally remastered from the original master tapes, using the equipment and techniques of the day, by original engineer Stephen Barncard. A double-disc reissue appeared on November 6, 2006, with an audio disc remastered in HDCD, including a bonus track “Kids and Dogs,” and a second DVD Audio disc of the original album remixed for 5.1 digital Surround Sound. Reviews of the most recent reissue place the album in the same influential company as the more baroque works of Nick Drake and Fairport Convention.
- “Music Is Love” (David Crosby, Graham Nash, Neil Young) – 3:16
- Crosby – guitar, vocal; Nash – guitar, vocal; Young – guitar, bass, vibraphone, congas, vocal
- “Cowboy Movie” (Crosby) – 8:02
- Crosby – electric guitar, vocal; Jerry Garcia – electric guitar; Phil Lesh – bass; Mickey Hart – drums; Bill Kreutzmann – tambourine
- “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” (Crosby) – 3:29
- Crosby – electric guitar, vocals; Nash – vocals; Jorma Kaukonen – electric guitar; Garcia – electric guitar; Lesh – bass; Kreutzmann – drums
- “Laughing” (Crosby) – 5:20
- Crosby – guitars, vocal; Garcia – pedal steel guitar; Lesh – bass; Kreutzmann – drums; Nash, Joni Mitchell – vocals
- “What Are Their Names” (Crosby, Garcia, Lesh, Michael Shrieve, Young) – 4:09
- Crosby – electric guitar, vocal; Young – electric guitar, vocal; Garcia – electric guitar, vocal; Lesh – bass, vocal; Shrieve – drums; Nash, Mitchell, David Freiberg, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick – vocals
- “Traction in the Rain” (Crosby) – 3:40
- Crosby – guitar, vocal; Nash – vocal; Laura Allan – autoharp, vocal
- “Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)” (Crosby) – 5:53
- Crosby – electric guitar, vocals; Nash – vocals; Gregg Rolie – piano; Garcia – electric guitar; Kaukonen – electric guitar; Jack Casady – bass; Shrieve – drums
- “Orleans” (traditional) – 1:56
- Crosby – guitars, vocals
- “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here” (Crosby) – 1:19
- Crosby – vocals
Before October ends and we abandon our “dream” theme I want to offer up this album from Dream Theater. Take a listen and see what you think about their progressive metal sound…..
Train Of Thought was significantly influenced by a tour with Queensrÿche that the band completed immediately prior to its recording. This influence introduced more of a metal sound to the band moving them more into the progressive metal genre. I like the sound…..let me know what you think.
The following information regarding the album comes from Wikipedia and will hopefully add to your enjoyment of the album.
|1.||“As I Am”||John Petrucci||Petrucci, John Myung, Jordan Rudess, Mike Portnoy||7:47|
|2.||“This Dying Soul”
||Portnoy||Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy||11:28
|3.||“Endless Sacrifice”||Petrucci||Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy||11:23|
|4.||“Honor Thy Father”||Portnoy||Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy||10:14|
|5.||“Vacant”||James LaBrie||Myung, Rudess||2:57|
|6.||“Stream of Consciousness”||(instrumental)||Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy||11:16|
|7.||“In the Name of God”||Petrucci||Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy||14:14|
Life, Death, Love, and Freedom is a great album by John Mellencamp but probably not what you have grown to expect from him. As Rolling Stone said in their review of the album: “There’s not a bright, catchy riff or fist-pumping populist anthem to be found among these brooding, low-key songs about growing old, sick, lonely and pessimistic.”
I’ve managed to find performances of most of the album’s songs for you to listen to (see below). I am really interested to hear what you think. Unfortunately, I was not able to find For the Children so I will have to create my own video for it, load it on YouTube, and do a post later this week with a link to it.
One song to watch for is Country Fair. The story in this song is absolutely scary (I have been to a lot of County Fairs and I can identify with the story)! Here are the lyrics to County Fair for those that are interested…
Well the County Fair left quite a mess
In the county yard
Kids with eyes as big as dollars
Rode all the rides
Strip artists and con artists
Put on quite a show
And made some money
Then left town
Where they went I don’t know
Hey all you suckers
I heard a fat woman say
Come on in for fifty cents
You can stay in here all day
So I took a chance
I went inside
Wasn’t much there to see
So I asked her for my money back
And she just smiled at me
Saw Princess Tonyika taken off all her clothes
Rode some rides and played some games
Saw the Wild Man from Borneo
There was a black man playing the blues
Talked to some friends I hadn’t seen in a while
Through a football through a hoop
Well I saw them loading up their trucks
Taking down the rides
Folding up all the tents
There’s a full moon in the sky
Some were laughing some were cussing
As they worked
Saw one of them making love
To a local girl
I was minding my own business
It was quarter after two
When a fella walked up and said
I remember you
And then he shoved me
And pulled out his knife
Stuck me three times in the chest
And I died that night
For the like of me I can’t remember
Who he was
And why he’d put a knife in me
In the dusty parking lot
What a shame it was
But he knew better than staying out
Past twelve o’clock
Some people put no value
On a human life
And there are places we all go
That just ain’t safe at night
If somebody would do this to me
They just might do it to you
So be careful where you go
And what you say or do
Now the songs….enjoy!
My Sweet Love
If I Die Sudden
Don’t Need This Body
A Ride Back Home
For The Children
Look for this song in a post later this week!
A Brand New Song
So….let’s forget about politics for a few minutes and get back to music. Today’s Album of the Week post wraps up my series on Dan Fogelberg and represents your last chance to help him get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Home Free, released in 1972, was Dan Fogelberg’s first album. Although it was not a hit when first released, it has since been certified platinum. I personally think Home Free is one of the very best initial releases by any of the singer/songwriters from the early 1970s.
I wanted to do something a little different with this album so I scoured the internet to find early performances of as many of the Home Free songs as possible. These live performances, along with some of actual Home Free album tracks, provide you with an interesting view of a young artist at the very beginning of his career. Good stuff. Let’s listen…..
To The Morning – 1973
Stars – 1974
More Than Ever (album track)
Be On Your Way (album track)
Looking For A Lady/Hickory Grove – 1971
Long Way Home (album track)
Anyway I Love You/Let Me Go – 1971
Wisteria (album track)
The River (album track)
So….do you agree with me that Dan belongs in the Hall of Fame. If so, sign the petition at the following link.
The year was 1972 and Todd Rundgren had to be feeling that it was now or never. He had put out three albums as part of a group called Nazz and two solo albums. All of his work was well received by critics but none of it had any significant commercial success. Todd wanted a lot of things but most of all he wanted success! Fortunately for him he had used his time with Nazz and with his first two solo albums to hone his songwriting chops and, maybe more importantly, to become a studio wizard. Armed with these skills Todd went into the studio to create his double album masterpiece that would become Something/Anything. The first three sides were all Todd…..no really they were all Todd. All of the songs, all of the instruments, all of the vocals and all of the production was Todd. Let’s listen to a few cuts from these first three sides (the notes are from the Todd’s liner notes that I copied from my copy of the album)……
Side 1: A bouquet of ear-catching melodies.
If there is a single on the album, this is it, so I put it first like at Motown.
I really don’t know what this song is about. It was sort of an accident.
Side 2: This is the cerebral side.
My first movie score. Unfortunately there is no movie to go with it.
Side 3; The kid gets heavy.
The hits just keep on coming
These are just a few of the gems on the first three sides of Something/Anything but some of the best was yet to come on side 4 where Todd had the support of a great crew of musicians and background vocalist. Let’s listen to a couple of the side 4 tracks.
That last one is a killer, maybe Todd’s best ever, and if that was the only song he ever wrote he would deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you agree, please go back to the my last post and use the link I provided to sign the petition to get Todd nominated!
So…to be fair I need to tell you that Todd has a very strange sense of humor that sometimes comes out in his music. Let me give you one example from Something/Anything……
Written in the feverish grip of the dreaded “d’oyle carte,” a chronic disease dating back to my youth. Dedicated to Miss Patti Lee Smith.
So there you have it….Todd set out to make a masterpiece and that is exactly what he did. Hello Its Me became his most successful single topping at #5 on the charts. In 2003 Rolling Stone ranked Something/Anythng #173 in their list of the best albums of all time. Todd continues to make music to this day with varying degrees of success but he has never approached the level of consistent quality that he exhibited on Something/Anything. Todd has also had huge success as a producer for groups including New York Dolls, Badfinger, Grand Funk Railroad, Hall & Oates, and Meat Loaf to name just a few. He is indeed A Wizard and A True Star!
The full album is provided below. Give it a listen and as always let me know what you think.
Today I bring you the second best live album of all time, Kiss Alive!, which slots in right behind At Fillmore East by the Allman Brothers (in my opinion). To many of you this is probably a strange choice but it makes perfect sense to me. While the Allman Brothers album was a virtuoso musical performance, Kiss represented the other aspect of rock music. They were loud, fun, and had a performance that was unlike anything that I had ever seen. For that matter I have not seen anything like it since then.
Kiss had put out three studio albums prior to 1975 and everyone had the same complaint, the albums didn’t capture the excitement of a Kiss live show. With one more shot to hit the big time, Kiss decided that if everyone wanted the excitement of their live show why not do a live album. Alive sold over 9,000,000 albums, and as they say, the rest is history.
I saw Kiss twice on the tour that is captured in the Alive! album and my mind was totally blown at each show.
It was Awesome with a capital A. Although a video of one of their performance is a poor substitute for seeing their show live, it’s all I can offer you at this point. Here is why I remain a member of the Kiss Army to this day
Deuce – Live at Winterland 1975
Strutter – Live at Winterland 1975
Cold Gin – Live at Winterland 1975
Now that you’ve seen the best you can just forget the rest. Here they are….the hottest band in the land……….Kiss……Alive!
Alive! (Sides 1 and 2)
Alive (Sides 3 and 4)
If you aren’t suffering from Kiss overload at this point, I have one more thing for you before we end this post. Here is a great VH1 special on the Alive album! I hope you enjoy it. As always, let me know what you think.