With the on-going news stories coming out of Iraq this week, the “war birds” in the US Congress are already calling for the US to once again get involved in a fight that can’t be won and that has nothing to do with us. It’s amazing how short some people’s memories are!
As American’s let’s rise up and say: We must not, We will not……Get Fooled Again……
Every great movement needs a theme song……for ours I propose this great 1973 live performance of Won’t Get Fooled Again from Philadelphia, the birthplace of the American Constitution……
(For a great story about the Abandoned Luncheonette cover checkout this blog post)
Some people will tell you that the 70s were a vast wasteland for music. To those people I say….”You don’t know what the hell you are talking about!” Take a look at the unbelievable collection of albums that were released in the last three months of 1973 and I dare you to find another three months in any year that produced the same level of music quality and diversity. I’m proud to say that I have these albums in my collection.
So get ready….I have well over an hour of music below celebrating the best albums released at the end of 1973. Enjoy…….
October 1973 Album Releases
Selling England By The Pound – Genesis
This is probably my favorite Genesis album of all time. It was back during the days when the band was fronted by Peter Gabriel (i.e. it was the “real” Genesis). I know what I like and here it is……
Time Fades Away – Neil Young
This is the rarest Neil album of all time to the best of my knowledge. I am lucky enough to have the vinyl album…I say that because Neil has never released this one as a CD. Here’s one of my favorite songs from Neil which is one of his most autobiographical numbers. It’s also a great New Years Resolution if you are still looking for one……Don’t Be Denied……
Quadrophenia – The Who
I’m quite sure that I’ve talked about this before…..Quadrophenia is my favorite album by the Who and this is my favorite song from that album…….
For Everyman – Jackson Browne
I think Jackson Browne may be the most talented singer/songwriter of my generation. I’m currently working on a major blog post that provides a critical analysis of a set of Jackson’s songs including the title song from this album. Since I will be talking about Everyman in that post, I have chose to feature These Days my second favorite song from this album……
Laid Back – Greg Allman
Wrapping up the October albums is Greg Allman’s first solo album which is a classic by anyone’s standards. I love Greg’s voice and he is a terrific songwriter as well. Here is Multicolored Lady from Greg’s album.
November 1973 Album Releases
Abandoned Luncheonette – Hall and Oates
Before Hall and Oates produced their string of “Pop” hits they produced that absolute masterpiece. It is without a doubt my favorite for their albums and the title song from the album is stunning. Give it a listen and you will see what i mean…..
Piano Man – Billy Joel
What can you say about Billy Joel that hasn’t already been said? This is the album and the title song that started it all for him………
Mind Games – John Lennon
This was John’s fourth solo album. He started working on the title song during the Get Back sessions by his first band that you might remember as The Beatles :-). Let’s listen……
Keep on playing those mind games together
Raising the spirit of peace and love
I want you to make love, not war I know you’ve heard it before
Fergusile Park – Stealers Wheel
Stealers Wheel was a great but very much under appreciated group. Fergusile Park was the group’s second album and by the time the album was released it was down to the duo of Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty each of whom was a great songwriter so I’ve chose to highlight a song from each of them from this album. First up is Star that was written by Joe Egan…..
Next up is Who Cares that was written by Gerry Rafferty. When I listened to this song back in 1973 I knew that Gerry was going to have a very long career. Unfortunately we lost Gerry way to soon back in 2011!
Stealers Wheel didn’t last long after this album. Gerry’s went on to have a great solo career while Joe’s career kind of faded away. Sometimes talent just isn’t enough…..the music business is tough.
Montrose – Montrose
Montrose was a powerhouse that featured Ronnie Montrose on guitar and Sammy Hagar on vocals. They rocked on their debut album which you can see for yourself by listening to the first song, Rock the Nation (written by Ronnie)……
December 1973 Album Releases
Band On The Run – Paul McCartney and Wings
Not to be outdone by John’s release of Mind Games, Paul released this Wings masterpiece the very next month. The title song, with its three independent parts beautifully woven together, is an absolute classic……
Tales From Topographical Oceans – Yes
One double album featuring four sides of music each of which is made up of a single song. Yes it has to be Tales from Topographical Oceans. My favorite of the four songs….The Remembering…..see what you think……..
Ozark Mountain Daredevils – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were a very much under appreciated band. Their first, self titled, album featured one hit (If You Wanna Get To Heaven) but a lot of other great music as well. Today let’s listen to Colorado Song. I think you will like it……
Ridin The Storm Out – REO Speedwagon
The REO Speedwagon of the early 70’s rocked. While they would go on to have significant “pop” success in the 80s, I have always preferred their early stuff from the 70s. The title song from this album is my favorite…….
Wild Tales – Graham Nash
Graham’s second solo album was a great piece of work. Let’s listen to the final song from the album, Another Sleep Song……
As I mentioned yesterday, Quadrophenia is my favorite Who album. Today’s Monday Matinee is loosely based on the album and is definitely worth your time if you haven’t seen it before. Here is a summary of the plot as provided by the Wikipedia article on the movie….
It is 1965, and London Mod Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), disillusioned by his parents and a job as a post-room boy at an advertising firm, finds an outlet for his teenage angst with his Mod friends Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis) and Spider (Gary Shail). One of the Mods’ rivals, the Rockers, is in fact Jimmy’s childhood friend, Kevin (Ray Winstone). An assault by aggressive Rockers on Spider leads to a serious unprovoked attack on Kevin during which Jimmy does not help his friend and joins in on the assault.
A bank holiday weekend provides an excuse for the rivalry between the Mods and Rockers to come to a head, as they both descend upon the seaside town of Brighton. A series of running battles ensues. As the police close in on the rioters, Jimmy escapes down an alleyway with Steph (Leslie Ash) — a girl on whom he has a crush — to have sex. When the pair emerge, they find themselves in the middle of the melee just as police are detaining rioters. Jimmy is arrested, detained with a violent, leading Mod he calls ‘Ace Face’ (played by Sting), and later fined the then-large sum of £50. When fined £75, Ace Face mocks the magistrate to the amusement of fellow Mods.
Back in London, Jimmy becomes increasingly depressed. He is thrown out of his house by his mother, who finds his stash of amphetamine pills. He then quits his job, spends his severance package on more pills, and finds out that Steph has become the girlfriend of his friend Dave. After a brief fight with Dave, the following morning his rejection is confirmed by Steph and with his beloved Lambretta scooter accidentally destroyed, Jimmy takes a train back to Brighton. In an attempt to relive the recent excitement, he revisits the scenes of the riots and of his encounter with Steph, but then, to his horror, discovers that his idol, Ace Face, is in reality a lowly bellboy at a Brighton hotel. Jimmy steals Ace’s scooter and heads out to Beachy Head, crashing the scooter over a cliff, which is where the film begins with Jimmy walking back from the cliff top in the sunset back drop.
The Who appeared at the Isle of Wright festival on August 29, 1970, performing in front of a crowd estimated at 600,000. Although the full concert was over three hours long, this video presents a version that was significantly edited (a lot of Tommy was eliminated and the performances were resequenced). The track listing, as included in the video, includes:
1. Heaven And Hell
2. I Can’t Explain
3. Young Man Blues
4. I Don’t Even Know Myself
6. Shakin’ All Over
7. Spoonful/Twist And Shout
8. Summertime Blues
9. My Generation
10. Magic Bus
12. It’s A Boy
13. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
15. The Acid Queen
16. Pinball Wizard
17. Do You Think It’s Alright
18. Fiddle About
19. Go To The Mirror
20. Miracle Cure
21. I’m Free
22. Tommy’s Holiday Camp
23. We’re Not Gonna Take It
I think you will really enjoy this video. In my opinion the Who are arguably the greatest band of all time and this performance captures the original group at full power. Let’s watch…..
If you enjoyed the Who’s performance at the Isle of Wright, check back tomorrow for the movie version of my favorite Who album of all time, Quadrophenia.
Pete is an amazing composer, a brilliant musician, AND an amazing interview. He always has something intelligent to say and I always feel like I learn something when listening to him. He never hesitates to speak his mind which is quite refreshing these days but be aware that his stated position almost always change over time. Bottom line…..he is always entertaining.
I have two interview offerings for you today. Up first a very young Pete talks about Tommy…….
(Pete Talks About Tommy)
Next up is an interview of an older Pete by Murray Lerner who captured the Who live at the Isle of Wright festival in 1970. The interview is intermixed with Who footage which makes for an interesting viewing and listening experience.
Part 1 of 5
Part 2 of 5
Part 3 of 5
Part 4 of 5
Part 5 of 5
Stay tuned on Sunday when I will bring you the Who live at the Isle of Wright festival. Really good stuff!
So the bottom line is this….. no one, I repeat no one, really knows me. People know what I let them know and there is a lot that I don’t let anyone know. Sometimes I discover things about myself that even I didn’t know. (Maybe everyone is like that but it is not something that I have ever discussed with anyone else.) Based on this, the last thing that I want people doing at my funeral is telling stories and acting like they know the real me.
I am pretty sure that Pete Townshend shares my feelings on this topic based on today’s candidate song for “My Final Playlist”. I Don’t Even Know Myself was originally written by Pete for the the abandoned Lifehouse project. Unlike many of the other Lifehouse songs, I Don’t Even Know Myself did not make it onto the Who’s Next album. It was; however, released as the B-Side of the Won’t Get Fooled Again single and has been included on many of the deluxe reissues of Who’s Next.
My favorite version of the song, and the one that is a candidate for “My Final Playlist”, is Pete’s demo version that he recorded in advance of the Who Lifehouse sessions. Let’s listen…..
The key message of the song, for my purposes, is captured by Pete in this line:
Please don’t pretend that you know me, cause I don’t even know myself
Pete posed a question on the Quadrophenia album…..”Can you see the real me, can you, can you?” I think this was merely rhetorical, Pete already had the answer based I Don’t Even Know Myself .
As always, let me know what you think.
To close this post I want to share an incredible live performance of I Don’t Even Know Myself by the original Who in all of their splendor. Looney Mooney, in particular, was in fine form for this performance.
The best rock group of all time? After watching this performance I dare you to say NO……….
Jimmy Page. You might not realize it but Jimmy was quite the session musician before the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Although there is still some controversy about his role during the recording of the Who’s first album, I have done quite a bit of research (a Jimmy Page interview in a 1974 Creem magazine article and multiple websites including http://www.thewho.net and http://www.musicko.com) and am convinced of his role.
Jimmy was brought into the recording session for the Who’s first album by Shel Talmy who was producing the album because there was concern regarding Pete’s guitar skills. Looking back this was absurd but you need to realize that Pete was an unknown and Jimmy was already a legendary guitarist based on his session work.
Jimmy was scheduled to play lead on both I Can’t Explain and the b-side of that single which was called Bald Headed Woman. Unfortunately for Jimmy, I Can’t Explain required a Rickenbacker twelve string guitar and Jimmy didn’t own one. As it turns out, Pete did have one and there was no way Pete was going to hand it over to Jimmy to play on his record . Score one Pete who got to play the lead guitar part while Jimmy was relegated to rhythm.
Pete’s luck ran out during the recording of Bald Headed Woman which required a Fizz Box. According to John Entwistle, Jimmy owned the only Fuzz Box in the country at the time! Needless to say, Jimmy that got the lead part on Bald Headed Woman. Let’s listen. (sorry about the ad)
Let’s call it a draw overall ….and things didn’t turn out to badly for either Pete or Jimmy 🙂
This is the fourth in a series of posts that highlight classic rock songs which feature someone interesting sitting in on the recording session. For this series I post the song on one day and identify who is sitting in the following day. I hope you enjoy the concept and maybe learn some interesting music history in the process.
My selection for this post is a song called I Can’t Explain which was the Who’s first single released in late 1964. It’s a good one! Listen to the song and see if you can tell who was sitting in. (sorry about the ad)
The answer will be posted tomorrow along with some additional background information.
By the way….Gerard has beat everyone else to the punch by being the first person to identify the correct answers to all previous Who Is Sitting In posts. Step up to the plate and chime in with a comment if you think you know the answer! Maybe you can give Gerard some competition 🙂
Quadrophenia is one of my favorite albums of all time but the reasons might surprise you. Sure the music is great, as we shall soon see, but it’s the theme of the album that I find to be even more intriguing.
I think that we are all more like Jimmy, the lead character in the album’s storyline, that we care to admit. All of us have parts of ourselves that we consciously, or unconsciously, choose to hide from others (and maybe even from ourselves). We may not think of them as different personalities, but they really are and we all have to come to grips with them to be successful in life. This is actually a common theme in music if you look for it. I think Pete Townshend was writing about it again in I Don’t Even Know Myself:
“Don’t pretend that you know me, cause I don’t even know myself”
I also think that Bruce Springsteen was touching on the them in Darkness on the Edge of Town:
“Everybody’s got a secret Sonny
Something that they just can’t face
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it
They carry it with them every step that they take”
My favorite rock song on the album is Can You See the Real Me. As you listen to it, I think you will see the theme I was discussing above. By the way, John Entwistle’s bass on this song is amazing.
5:15 is another of my favorite rock songs on the album. I suggest you listen to this one twice. The first time just enjoy the song. The second time through focus on Keith Moon’s drumming which is truly incredible. 5:15 is followed by Sea and Sand which includes vocals from both Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry. The Wikipedia article on the song indicates that Sea and Sand is somewhat of a mini-rock opera inside of a rock opera and I have to agree.
The last individual song from the album that I have for you, The Rock, is probably the best piece of music that Pete Townshend has ever composed. In this song he manages to fuse the four individual themes (representing Jimmy’s personalities) introduced earlier in the album into one amazing song. It is awesome!
If want more details on the album I have included the following excerpt from the Quadrophenia Wikipedia article As a special bonus, the Wikipedia material is followed by a video that provides the complete Quadrophenia album. If you haven’t heard it, you must listen!
Story (from Wikipedia)
“I Am the Sea/The Real Me” – The opera opens with Jimmy Cooper’s introduction with his four personalities. The listener then gets a quick look at his visits to a psychiatrist, his mother and even the local vicar. Mental security is unfortunately not attained by the protagonist.
“Quadrophenia/Cut My Hair” – Jimmy recalls an argument with his parents that culminated in his leaving home. We also hear a news broadcast mentioning riots in Brighton between the Mods and the Rockers, events at which he was present the previous week.
“The Punk and the Godfather” – Jimmy goes to a rock concert (supposedly The Who themselves). He queues up, pays his money and then decides he is going to see the band backstage as they come out the stage door. Sadly, the group is rude to him. He realises that there is nothing really happening in rock and roll; it is just another thing in his life that has let him down.
“I’m One” – Jimmy contemplates how he has not really got much going for him, but at least he has the Mod lifestyle.
“The Dirty Jobs” – Suitably disenchanted with his former ‘religion’, he gets a job as a dustman. Unfortunately, his extremely left-wing views are not appreciated by his workmates and he is forced to pass on to greater things.
“Helpless Dancer/Is It in My Head?” – The listener gets a real look at where Jimmy’s aggression comes from, as he switches into one of his multiple personalities (The Tough Guy). Jimmy has a conscience that bites fairly deep. His frustration with the world only makes him angrier than he already is. The listener sees that he also possesses self-doubt; he worries about his own part, and feels that his outlook is clouded by pessimism.
“I’ve Had Enough” – Jimmy finally snaps when he sees the girl he likes with one of his friends. In a desperately self-destructive state, he smashes up his scooter and decides to go to Brighton where he had such a good time with his friends chasing Rockers the week before (as recited through the news broadcast earlier in the story).
“5.15” – This song recites Jimmy’s train journey down to Brighton, sandwiched between two city gents and notable for the rather absurd number of amphetamines he consumes in order to pass the time. He goes through a not entirely pleasant series of ups and downs as he contemplates the gaudier side of life as a teenager.
“Sea and Sand/Drowned” – Arriving at Brighton, Jimmy’s mood heightens. He talks about the rows at home and is a little sarcastic as he recalls the evening on the beach with his former girlfriend. The Mod scene is already falling apart and all he can do is stay in Brighton just to remember the days when the Mods came to Brighton; it was only three weeks ago, but he is already living in the past. It is here that Jimmy goes down to the sea and sees it as a mirror of a higher power in which he is going to submerse and lose himself in the ocean.
“Bell Boy” – He meets a former Ace Face who now holds the position as a bell boy at the very hotel the Mods tore up. He looks on Jimmy with a mixture of pity and contempt. The two argue, as Jimmy feels the Ace Face has “sold out”. Jimmy is now feeling that everything, even the Mod lifestyle, has let him down.
“Doctor Jimmy” – Jimmy begins to damage himself so badly on drugs and alcohol that he gets to the point where he is so desperate that he will take a closer look at himself. This part of the story shows the lunatic within him. The chorus line “Doctor Jimmy and Mr. Jim” is an ambiguous reference to “DoctorJekyll and Mr. Hyde”, which closely links to the multiple personality theme running through the story.
“The Rock/Love, Reign O’er Me” – Jimmy steals a boat and takes it to a rock in the middle of the sea. Here, when he comes down off his high, he finds the boat has drifted away and that he is now stranded, alone and forgotten. As a storm rages around him, Jimmy has an epiphany. After all the different people he has been, he finally knows for sure who he is: “himself”.
Musical structure (from Wikipedia)
Townshend noted in 2009 that, rather than Jimmy’s personalities representing a Who member, he chose the personalities of each member to illustrate each of Jimmy’s four personalities, or “personality extremes” or mood swings.
The liner notes illustrate this concept as follows (names added):
A tough guy, a helpless dancer. (“Helpless Dancer” – Roger Daltrey)
A romantic, is it me for a moment? (“Is It Me?” – John Entwistle)
A bloody lunatic, I’ll even carry your bags. (“Bell Boy” – Keith Moon)
A beggar, a hypocrite, love reign o’er me. (“Love Reign O’er Me” – Pete Townshend)
In addition to describing a personality/band member, the four descriptions refer to four musical themes that portray Jimmy’s personalities in the opera: “Helpless Dancer”, “Is It Me?”, “Bell Boy”, and “Love Reign O’er Me”. The four themes (or “leitmotifs” as described by Townshend) are mixed together in both the title track (bridging “The Real Me” and “Cut My Hair”), and the penultimate track, “The Rock” (bridging “Doctor Jimmy” and “Love, Reign O’er Me”). The two pieces were the most musically complex pieces that Townshend ever wrote for The Who, combining all four themes into two six-minute instrumentalmedleys. The two pieces have neither a definite beginning or end, as they begin with a fade-in from the previous track, starting with the theme of “Bell Boy” (Moon’s theme). This is followed by the themes of “Is It Me?” (Entwistle’s theme), “Helpless Dancer” (Daltrey’s theme), and “Love, Reign O’er Me” (Townshend’s theme). “Quadrophenia” fades into rain sound effects after the “Love Reign O’er Me” theme. “The Rock” however ends with a combination of the four different themes, using the “Bell Boy” theme as the chord sequence, the “Helpless Dancer” theme as the melody, the “Is It Me?” theme as a lead (played on guitar and synthesiser), and the keyboard part to “Love Reign O’er Me” as a countermelody. The whole song abruptly ends on a downbeat layered with the sound of thunder and descends into “Love Reign O’er Me” proper.
The four themes also surface on many other songs throughout the album; the most subtle example being when the “Helpless Dancer” theme appears on “Bell Boy” (the main song) played on synthesiser as a brief interlude. Some themes from other songs also make “surprise” reappearances here and there. These leitmotifs help give the work an impression of a cohesive unity.
Leslie West, guitarist extraordinaire formerly of Mountain and the incredible power trio of West, Bruce, and Laing. From what I have read, Pete Townshend wanted to do the session without overdubs and Leslie was invited to play the second guitar part. I don’t know if this is true but I do know that this performance was amazing.
If this has whetted your appetite to hear more from Leslie, take a listen to this track from the first West, Bruce, and Laing album called Why Dontcha. The song starts kind of slow but don’t give up on it. After a short bluesy vocal by Jack Bruce, Leslie blows the roof off with some unbelievable power chording and a guitar solo to die for. Let me know what you think.