Fu Manchu, Cyclone Launch . . . Launching with Fu Manchu’s heavy heavy monster sound of stoner rock.
Flash and The Pan, Don’t Vote . . . Not a commentary on the Canadian federal election, honestly. Wasn’t going to even remotely touch on it but this tune, from the Headlines album, happened to come up in the station computer system while I was searching for something else. And it’s a nice up-tempo rocker with those distinctive Flash and The Pan vocals, with lyrics that I suppose could be interpreted in myriad ways.
AC/DC, Down Payment Blues . . . from the Powerage album, Bon Scott era.
Family, A Song For Me . . . Nine minutes of powerhouse psychedelic/hard rock from these arguably underappreciated Brits. The band from which Ric Grech of Blind Faith fame came, although by the time of this title cut from Family’s 1970 album, he was already in Blind Faith. And then out, as that supergroup (Cream’s Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, Traffic’s Steve Winwood) flamed out after their one amazing studio album.
Link Wray, Switchblade . . . it cuts like a, er, switchblade. Great stuff from one of the highly influential early doctors of distortion.
Dire Straits, Six Blade Knife . . . Another of those tracks that came up while searching another (Link Wray’s Switchblade, above) I’d earlier downloaded into the station system. I’ve thrown so many tracks in there now over the last year or so, thousands, that my shows are starting to schedule themselves, in a manner of speaking. I look for one song, many others yielded from the word search come up and I think, heck yeah, I like that one, too. Hence of late, if anyone’s noticed, many songs with similar words in their titles. More coming, as you’ll see. Anyway, Six Blade Knife is a typically nice, Dire Straits shuffle, much in the vein of J.J. Cale, from the debut album in 1978.
Kris Kristofferson, Blame It On The Stones . . . I came to the multi-faceted Kristofferson long ago now, probably sometime in the 1990s but still relatively late. Always knew, of course, about his acting – I remember seeing the football movie Semi-Tough, and that he wrote Me and Bobby McGee which Janis Joplin (who he briefly dated) made famous. But never delved into his music much beyond that but once I did, was rewarded with his deep catalog. This one, a fun take on the often negative views older generations held about the ‘bad boy’ Rolling Stones, was the lead track on Kristofferson’s self-titled debut album in 1970. The album, which also featured Me and Bobby McGee, didn’t sell particularly well until Joplin took that song to the top, after which Kristofferson’s album was re-released with a new title, Me and Bobby McGee, and hit the charts.
The Rolling Stones, Down In The Hole . . . Great original blues from the Emotional Rescue album.
Tom Waits, Way Down In The Hole . . . Used as theme music, in various versions including Waits’ own, for the TV show The Wire. That was news to me since I don’t watch much TV, besides sports and documentaries. I hear it is/was a good show. Good song, regardless. It’s arguably amazing how many Waits warbles have been covered into hits by other artists, or used on TV shows or movies, yet he’s always remained something of a cult artist, certainly widely known, immensely respected, yet not to wide commercial tastes.
King Crimson, Frame By Frame . . . From the second phase of Crimson’s career, the new wave-like, Talking Heads-ish period that yielded the trio of albums that are somewhat of a piece – Discipline, Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair, starting in 1981. This one’s from Discipline.
Soft Machine, Drop . . . From 5, the, yeah, fifth Soft Machine album. I find this progressive/jazz/rock/experimental band fascinating for their numerous lineups alone and how they developed and changed musically. This album is a perfect example. Recorded in 1971 and ’72, it was released in 1972. The 1971 sessions formed side one of the original vinyl album, with 1972, featuring some different personnel, featured on side two. Drop is from side one, after which some members, in true Soft Machine fashion, dropped out.
Spooky Tooth, Lost In My Dream . . . I own just two Spooky Tooth releases. One is a terrific two-CD compilation I’ve drawn from for, as an example, their progressive, Vanilla Fudge-like treatment of The Beatles’ I Am The Walrus which, come to think of it, I should soon revisit. The other album I own is Spooky Two, arguably the band’s finest individual album and from which Lost In My Dream comes. The album includes the killer nine-minute cut Evil Woman, which I’ve played before, and the Gary Wright-penned By You, Better Than Me, which Judas Priest later covered to such effect that many consider it a Priest original. Wright, of course, went on to solo success, best known for Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive.
Bad Company, Cross Country Boy . . . Jaunty little track from Rough Diamonds in 1982, the last studio album by the original Bad Co. lineup. Not just due to the title but this song always reminds me on Peace River, Alberta, where I lived briefly to start my journalism career, and where I first bought the Rough Diamons album, on vinyl.
Bobbie Gentry, Big Boss Man . . . Best known for Ode to Billie Joe, Gentry has a very deep catalog of great material I like to dip into periodically both for listening pleasure and my show. She was among the first women to compose and produce her own material. And then she essentially disappeared, by choice. Fascinating story.
Cowboy Junkies, Black Eyed Man . . . Second of several songs in the ‘man’ phase of the show again, as described earlier in my commentary, arrived at via search words in the station computer as I hunt for songs. Inn this case Bobbie Gentry search yielding this one and it’s never a bad thing to listen to the Junkies and Margo Timmins’ ethereal voice.
Gov’t Mule, Blind Man In The Dark . . . The Mule takes us into a three-song Allman Brothers Band-related set. This tune originally appeared on the band’s second studio album, Dose, in 1998. This version is a similar but more raw treatment released on the archival Tel-Star Sessions album in 2016.
Gregg Allman, Whippin’ Post . . . A more acoustic arrangement of the tune he wrote for the Brothers, it appeared on Allman’s terrific 1997 solo album, Searching For Simplicity. Nice playing by short-lived Allman Brothers’ Band guitarist Jack Pearson. Pearson, widely acclaimed in the music industry, was in the Allman Brothers from 1997-99 until he reluctantly left due to tinnitis (ringing in the ears).
Sea Level, Canine Man . . . Up tempo tune by Sea Level, a rock/jazz fusion outfit led by keyboard player Chuck Leavell that grew out of the late 1970s breakup of the Allmans. The band name comes from a play on C. Leavell. Leavell has since been a regular touring and recording partner of The Rolling Stones.
Fairport Convention, Cajun Woman . . . Fast-paced tune from the fine British folk-rock artists, founded by guitarist Richard Thompson and, in the early days, featuring the wonderful vocals of the late great Sandy Denny. They’re still around and still in the lineup is guitarist/singer Simon Nicol, a founder member, and longtime member Dave Pegg who also had various stints in Jethro Tull.
Pretenders, Walk Like A Panther . . . Slinky tune, slinky vocals by Chrissie Hynde, from the band’s solid 2002 release, Loose Screw.
Ian Gillan, Candy Horizon . . . Kick-butt rocker from Gillan’s 1991 solo release, Toolbox. Arguably the last album on which he could still scream like the banshee that did such Deep Purple classics as Child In Time. Great stuff.
Eric Burdon, Can’t Kill The Boogieman . . . From Burdon’s 2004 album, My Secret Life. Great album. The riff to this tune sounds like ZZ Top’s La Grange, which in turn sounds like John Lee Hooker’s Boogie Chillen and Slim Harpo’s Shake Your Hips. When the ZZ Top tune came out in 1973, the band was sued by the copyright holder to Boogie Chillen but it was found that the traditional boogie blues rhythm was in the public domain.
Bob Dylan, What Was It You Wanted . . . Caustic lyrics, at least I find them so, in typically great Dylan fashion, on this song from, for my money, one of his best albums,1989’s Oh Mercy. Produced by Daniel Lanois, who tends to bring out the best in anyone with whom he works.
Tracy Chapman, Change . . . She’s so great, lyrically and musically, although dormant as far as new material since her last studio album in 2008. Hope she does new music soon but if not, we have the brilliance she’s left us to date.
Van Morrison, And The Healing Has Begun . . . Haven’t played Van the Man, one of my favorite artists, in a while. Just beautiful stuff, this.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Still . . . You Turn Me On . . . Well-known and beautiful ELP song. It was considered as a single from the Brain Salad Surgery album, and is somewhat in the vein of Lucky Man from the debut. But the band decided against it since drummer Carl Palmer didn’t play on the song, and the ballad didn’t fit with the overall more aggressive tone of the album.
Robert Palmer, Love Stop . . . Cool song from the Secrets album, 1979, which along with the next year’s Clues record, are my two favorites from the late Palmer. And I just realized I opened with Emerson, Lake & Palmer and then here I come with Robert Palmer. Although of course we’re talking Robert, not Carl. Must be some sort of Freudian thing, but enough of that rot. Robert Palmer’s cover of Moon Martin’s Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) was the big hit single from Secrets, Jealous (which I’ve played before) less so, but the whole album is quality and another of those I got into during my college days.
Joni Mitchell, Passion Play (When All The Slaves Are Free) . . . From 1991’s Night Ride Home, which I don’t own. But I got into a lot of Mitchell’s great deep cuts, like this one, via her Misses compilation album, released on the same day in 1996 as Hits. Her record company wanted to issue a greatest hits album so Mitchell said, fine, but how about you agree to also issue an album collecting some of my own favorite deep cuts. She picked the tunes and voila, Misses. It’s a great way to get into lots of her lesser-known and perhaps less commercial work.
The Rolling Stones, If You Really Want To Be My Friend . . . American R & B and soul group Blue Magic contributes backing vocals on this one from the It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll album. Every time I hear it, and it’s a great tune, I think of an old high school and college football teammate just breaking into the opening verse one day as we hung around either waiting for class or practice.
Boz Scaggs, Loan Me A Dime . . . Before his 70s hits like Lowdown and Lido Shuffle, Scaggs played in early, bluesy and psychedelic versions of the Steve Miller Band (before that group’s big commercial hit singles success) and then went solo. This great blues track, written by singer/guitarist Fenton Robinson, appeared on Scaggs’ second solo album, Boz Scaggs. It came out in 1969 and features Duane Allman on guitar on four songs, including this one.
Elton John, (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket . . . Good rocker from Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirty Cowboy. EJ was so consistently excellent during the 1970s, one of those artists whose deep cuts could easily have been singles.
Chris Smither, Rock & Roll Doctor . . . A different, up-tempo shuffle treatment, complete with foot percussion, of the Lowell George-penned Little Feat tune, from the veteran American singer/songwriter/guitarist Smither. Great stuff.
Steely Dan, Show Biz Kids . . . Typically great playing and caustic lyrics on this one from Countdown To Ecstasy, in 1973. The boys in the band foresaw, nearly 50 years in advance, the arguably vaccuous selfie culture to come via lyrics like “show biz kids making movies of themselves you know they don’t give a fuck about anybody else.”. Lead single from the album, it managed to make No. 61. Rick Derringer is on slide guitar on the track.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Luna . . . I’ve always really liked this one, from Petty’s debut album in 1976. Kinda spooky, with those unique Petty vocals.
John Lennon, I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama . . . Producer Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound’ comes into play on this dirge-like track from the Imagine album. Canada’s Cowboy Junkies had an interesting take on it – including a rap segment – on their 2005 covers album, Early 21st Century Blues. Mad Season, the grunge supergroup made up of members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Screaming Trees, covered it 10 years earlier on their lone album, Above.
Black Sabbath, Supernaut . . . And now for a two-song hard rock/metal interlude, starting with what I consider maybe Tony Iommi’s best Black Sabbath riff, although there’s so many great ones it’s obviously difficult to pick.
Metallica, My Friend Of Misery . . . From the self-titled monster ‘black’ album that opened all kinds of doors in terms of audience for Metallica, ticking off some fans who wanted them to forever stay in thrash mode. Great bass intro by the since departed Jason Newsted and wicked guitar soloing by Kirk Hammett starting around five minutes into the nearly seven-minute track.
Ian Hunter, The Outsider . . . Not a bad tune, including this slow-building one, on Hunter’s You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic album, from 1979. With his trusted sidekick, the late great Mick Ronson, on guitar.
David Bowie, Saviour Machine . . . Speaking of Ronson, he of course also worked extensively with David Bowie including on this rather amazing rocking, almost prog track from Ronson’s first album with Bowie, 1970’s The Man Who Sold The World.
Johnny (Guitar) Watson, A Real Mother For Ya . . . Great funk rock from the widely influential Watson. Among those inspired by him were Frank Zappa, who took up guitar after listening to Watson’s 1950s work, with Watson later appearing on several Zappa albums. This song was Watson’s highest charting single, making No. 41 on the pop charts and No. 5 on the R & B list in 1977. He died at age 61 in 1996, on stage during a gig in Japan. Not a bad way to go, doing what you love.
Johnny Winter, All Tore Down . . . Great blues rocker, gritty vocals from Winter, from 1973’s Still Alive And Well album.
Ten Years After, The Stomp . . . Hypnotic John Lee Hooker type track from 1969’s Ssssh album.
John Lee Hooker, Back Biters and Syndicators . . . Speaking of whom, here’s the real thing.
Mose Allison, Swingin’ Machine . . . The song does just that, swing. So influential an artist, Mose Allison. Lots of people, like The Who, covered his songs. Space does not permit. Read up on and better yet, listen to him.
Dr. John, Iko Iko . . . Typical, er, gumbo from Dr. John’s Gumbo, his 1972 covers album of New Orleans classics.
Steve Earle, Back To The Wall . . . Fairly well-known tune from Copperhead Road, the title cut from the album likely is the best known yet no singles, surprisingly, were officially released from the album in North America. This was released as a single in the UK but didn’t chart.
Free, Walk In My Shadow . . . Perhaps amazingly, given the heavy blues nature of the album, none of the members of Free were even 20 years old when Tons Of Sobs was released in 1969. Walk In My Shadow was co-written by all four band members – Paul Rodgers, Paul Kossoff, Andy Fraser and Simon Kirke. Rodgers and Kirke, of course, later went on to form Bad Company.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Keep On Chooglin’ . . . CCR is so well-known, and rightly so, for their many hit singles but they’ve got some amazing extended pieces, like this one.
In this Experimental Radio Podcast Series each episode will feature a different band who will select three other bands that they enjoy.
Mano A Mano will contact all the selected bands and if they reply, a continuation branch from this episode will be created with that band as the feature along with their three selections and so on and so forth….
A branch dies when a band does not reply, chooses an already selected band or the mentioned band cannot be found.
Hosted and produced by Mano A Mano. DJ’d and directed by bands.
We’re pleased to have Daniel Xie, associate editor of The Canada Files, proud member of the Communist Party of Canada, and member of the CJTO join us on September 11th! Daniel would like to remind everyone that there is a fundraising drive for The Canada Files! Please donate if you can do so here: https://donorbox.org/the-canada-files.
The Rolling Stones, Can You Hear The Music . . . Somewhat ethereal tune from Goats Head Soup, yet another deep cut showing the Stones’ diversity in approach and music that – as with many great artists – those only listening to hit singles (which is fine) maybe never hear or appreciate.
Alan Parsons Project, Sirius/Mammagamma/Lucifer . . . I wanted to play some Alan Parsons Project, haven’t in a long while, but couldn’t decide between these instrumentals. So I put them all together as one lengthy cut.
Eagles, Long Road Out Of Eden . . . Long title track from the band’s 2007 album, the first (and likely last) studio album they’ve done since 1979’s The Long Run. Typically acerbic lyrics sung by Don Henley. Great, at times spooky, tune.
Kansas, Portrait (He Knew) . . . Besides Carry On Wayward Son from Leftoverture (which I’ve long since owned), Point Of Know Return, via the hit single Dust In The Wind, is really the album that got me into Kansas and how I discovered this tune, one of my favorites by the band and the third single from the album. It made No. 64 on the charts. Inspired by Albert Einstein, the lyrics were later re-written by Kansas founder member Kerry Livgren for his solo band, to reflect his conversion to Christianity – although even the original Kansas lyrics could be taken to be as much about Jesus Christ as Einstein.
Mott The Hoople, All The Way From Memphis . . . Reconnecting with lots of stuff I haven’t played on the show of late. Always liked Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter’s solo work. And, there’s a Bad Company connection to Mott via Mick Ralphs, a founding member of both bands.
Rush, Working Man . . . I tend to always play this song at some point in my Labour Day set. Great rocker from the early, pre-progressive days, with the late John Rutsey on drums. From the self-titled debut album in 1974.
Bruce Cockburn, Justice . . . Timeless lyrics, from Cockburn’s 1981 album Inner City Front.
Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane, My Baby Gives It Away . . . A leftover, of sorts, from my Charlie Watts tribute show last week. Meant to play it, but got lost in the shuffle (true story: I couldn’t find my CD to load into the station computer system). Anyway, Watts plays drums, complete with his perhaps trademark ‘thwack’ to end this tune from 1977’s fabulous Rough Mix album. It’s a collaboration between The Who’s Townshend and Lane, of Faces fame, along with many of their musical friends and luminaries. John Entwistle, Eric Clapton and longtime Stones’ pianist Ian Stewart, among others, contribute.
Rod Stewart, (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right . . . A tune done by many artists, written by Homer Banks, Carl Hampton and Raymond Jackson of Stax Records. Stewart, a great interpreter beyond his own songwriting abilities, has always been sterling in his choice of songs to cover, and this is another example. From 1977’s Footloose & Fancy Free album. Stewart’s old band, Faces, recorded it as an outtake for their 1973 album Ooh La La, so perhaps not surprising he chose to revisit it.
John Mellencamp, Emotional Love . . . Interesting story with this track from 1996’s Mr. Happy Go Lucky album. It was written by Mellencamp’s then-bassist Toby Myers. Myers wasn’t sure about it, asked Mellencamp to listen to it, Mellencamp loved it but it was decided to put Mellencamp’s vocals on it and the rest is history. It’s one of my favorite tracks from the album. I like the groove.
Paul McCartney/Wings, Beware My Love (live, from Wings Over America) . . . One of McCartney’s harder rockers, originally on Wings At The Speed Of Sound, an album of mostly softer rock. It’s not metal by any stretch, but I like it when Macca rocks out.
The Beatles, Happiness Is A Warm Gun . . . From 1968’s The Beatles, aka or should we say not also known as but mostly known as The White Album. John Lennon took several song fragments and made them into one coherent whole. Well, I shouldn’t say just Lennon. It was his tune(s) but it’s one of the few songs on the album where all four Beatles actually worked together to hash it out, and all identified it as their favorite track on the record.
T. Rex, I Love To Boogie . . . It’s a boogie tune. And I figured a good one to lead into a harder rocking phase of tonight’s show.
The Stooges, Down On The Street . . . dunta dunta eeyow…etc etc. Typically crazy good stuff from Iggy and the boys.
Nazareth, Not Faking It . . . No, we’re not. Real hard rock and roll.
Status Quo, Paper Plane . . . Quo got a bit too poppy for me later on; I prefer their earlier, harder-rocking hard boogie stuff, like this one from the appropriately named Piledriver album, released in 1972.
Jefferson Airplane, The Last Wall Of The Castle . . . Wicked, hard-rocking psychedelic tune from the maybe somewhat ‘weird’ but wonderful After Bathing At Baxter’s album. Great lead guitar and soloing by Jorma Kaukonen, who wrote the song and handles lead vocals.
Thin Lizzy, Killer Without A Cause . . . I don’t know what more to say about Thin Lizzy besides I like all their stuff and anyone who thinks The Boys Are Back In Town is all they ever did, needs to dig deeper. They could fill the Grand Canyon with their great work.
Blue Cheer, Saturday Freedom . . . Best known, likely, for their version of Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues, this is from the band’s self-titled fourth album, a more diverse one in style but still excellent.
The Butterfield Blues Band, In My Own Dream . . . David Sanborn with the great sax solo on this one, the title cut from Butterfield’s 1968 album. It’s the last one with Elvin Bishop on guitar as the band started moving in a more soul-oriented direction after the earlier rocking blues featuring Bishop and Mike Bloomfield.
The Kinks, Holiday In Waikiki . . . The only thing wrong with this song is its length. Too short. Just love the quirky rhythm and guitar work. From the Face To Face album in 1966. Unlike most of The Kinks’ post-British Invasion hit singles-infused albums, which arguably were hit singles and lots of filler like that of the output of many bands of the period, Face To Face didn’t sell particularly well. It’s something of a paradox, as the band got arguably more creative as chief songwriter Ray Davies moved into concept album territory. But the relatively poor-selling material the band did from 1966 to the early 70s, outside of big hit singles like Lola, is terrific. If you want a nice summation, I’d recommend The Kinks Kronikles. It’s a 1972 compilation that gathers lots of those songs and is how I got into this tune years ago. That prompted me to collect the full studio albums from that period of this terrific yet still somewhat underappreciated band in comparison to their contemporaries – Beatles, Stones, Who.
The Doors, Ship Of Fools . . . A friend of mine, now a follower of the show and I got talking about the Doors’ later output some time ago, after I played a tune from the L.A. Woman album. So hard to pick, I like all Doors albums, but Woman might be my favorite of theirs – dark, bluesy, booze, cigarette and other smoking things-soaked vocals by Jim Morrison. But the previous record, Morrison Hotel, is similar in its deliberate ‘back to basics’ approach after the experimenation of The Soft Parade. The intro somewhat reminds me of the intro to Break On Through (To The Other Side) from the debut album, but this is a terrific cut in its own right.
Murray McLauchlan, Sixteen Lanes Of Highway . . . Terrific stuff from one of Canada’s greats. Just put on, via CD or whatever your delivery system, the Songs From The Street compilation and Try Walking Away On The Boulevard Down By The Henry Moore or Out Past The Timberline.
Bruce Springsteen, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out . . . One of those tunes I came across while searching for something else in the radio station’s computer system. Was looking for Free songs, up came Free-ze Out so I thought, why not? Haven’t played The Boss recently always liked this one, among many by Springsteen. And Free will have to wait at least another week.
Canned Heat, So Long Wrong . . . Latter period (then) Heat, same old great blues. From 1973’s The New Age album. Formed in 1965, Canned Heat is still around, no original members, drummer/singer Adolfo de la Parra, who joined in 1967, is still there but founder members/chief songwriters Bob (The Bear) Hite and Alan (Blind Owl) Wilson are long gone to the great gig in the sky. It’s interesting, though, going through the looong list of former members. Included are Larry Taylor, who had several stints in Canned Heat as well as with John Mayall and Tom Waits. Also, Harvey Mandel, who once auditoned for/played on The Rolling Stones’ Black and Blue album and also was with John Mayall for a time. Noted bluesman Walter Trout also had a stint, 1981-85, in Canned Heat.
Good news everyone! Chief editor and founder of The Canada Files, Aidan Jonas, will appear as a guest on The Socially Radical Guitarist on September 4th! The Canada Files is also holding a fundraiser to keep the paper going! Support if you can on the site!:https://www.thecanadafiles.com/
81 82 83 84 is a retro-alternative show focusing on music I loved when I was an undergrad and volunteered at CKMS (I’m an EE’83 grad and now live in Texas but listen online). Music will be mostly New Wave, punk, ska, early goth. Some experimental stuff too, with the occasional more-mainstream tune mixed in.
81 82 83 84 airs on Saturday from 10:00pm to 11:00pm.
This Week’s Show Now Posted!The second episode of 81 82 83 84 (which will air on Saturday Sept 11th at 10 pm Eastern) is now available for your listening pleasure right here!
First Show in 37 Years!Hey all! I’m back at CKMS after a 37-year hiatus. My first broadcast goes out on Saturday at 10 pm. But I couldn’t wait to post it here too! Hope you enjoy!
81 82 83 8481 82 83 84 is a retro-alternative show focusing on music I loved when I was an undergrad and volunteered at CKMS (I’m an EE’83 grad and now live in Texas but listen online). Music will be mostly New Wave, punk, ska, early goth. Some experimental stuff too, with the occasional more-mainstream tune mixed in. 81 … Continue reading 81 82 83 84→
All tracks feature Charlie Watts and are Rolling Stones songs, except tracks 23-26 which are from side projects including his jazz band.
1. Flip The Switch . . . And Charlie comes crashing in right off the bat on this, the opening cut to the Stones’ 1997 release, Bridges To Babylon. My two boys and I used to ‘play’ this one in our air guitar band when they were young, and then my older son, then 9, saw/heard the band play it in April 1998 when I took him to his first Stones’ show, and concert, ever.
If You Can’t Rock Me . . . Opening cut from the It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll album, with Watts kicking things off in fine fashion, and throughout. “The band’s on stage and it’s one of those nights…the drummer thinks that he is dynamite” Yes, he is/was.
Soul Survivor . . . Suggested by my older son, Mark, as we were discussing Watts’ passing, for how in Mark’s words Watts ‘enters’ the song at the four-second mark. Always loved this song, from Exile On Main St, perhaps sort of a different song construction, I’ve heard it described as a ‘sideways’ riff from Keith Richards.
Shake Your Hips . . . A cover of the hypnotic Slim Harpo tune, also from Exile. Great stuff.
Let It Bleed . . . Here he comes, crashing in at 13 seconds. That part alone has always ‘made’ the song for me but it’s great throughout.
Moon Is Up . . . One of two tunes for this Watts-inspired set, suggested by a friend, Ted Martin who, before I even decided to do a Watts-tribute show, sent me a list of his favorite Watts moments. I like this one, too. It’s from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge album. Watts is credited as playing ‘mystery drum’, which actually was a turned-over steel garbage can.
Slave . . . Just a great jam, from Tattoo You. Originally recorded during the mid-1970s sessions for the Black and Blue album, it wasn’t released until 1981 when the Stones cobbled together unfinished tunes from previous sessions and put them together for the Tattoo You album. Features Sonny Rollins on sax and a great drum-guitar duel between Watts and Keith Richards over the last two minutes of the six-and-a-half minute cut. The song was originally five seconds under five minutes long on the original album release but when the band released remastered versions, they left in the extra 90 seconds as Keith and Charlie just kept on going as the tapes rolled.
Driving Too Fast . . . propulsive piece from A Bigger Bang in 2005. Watts, as always, as metronome.
Down The Road Apiece . . . From the early days, 1965 when Stones albums – in this case The Rolling Stones Now! – were populated largely with blues and R & B covers, and boogie-woogie entries like this one, written by Don Raye and first recorded in 1940. Chuck Berry, who the Stones drew much inspiration from, Jerry Lee Lewis and Foghat are some of the other notables to have covered it.
Terrifying . . . What I’ve described as a roiling track from 1989’s Steel Wheels. It swings, which is what Watts was all about, the ‘roll’ in the rock, in the words of Keith Richards.
When The Whip Comes Down . . . It’s a production thing as well but the drumming on the Some Girls album is so sharp, snappy, solid and just plain great.
I Go Wild . . . Another from Voodoo Lounge, the first album the Stones did after Bill Wyman left and Darryl Jones came in on bass. Over his own objections, Watts was put ‘in charge’ of making the final call by the band but he knew he had to, given drums and bass form the rhythm section in a rock band. Apparently fuelled by this newfound authority, Watts is said to have yelled ‘turn me up’ at one point in the sessions, all the resulting tunes of which feature his typically terrific drumming.
Factory Girl . . . Watts plays tabla (twin hand drums) on this one, from Beggars Banquet. He said in a 2003 interview that he played it with sticks, instead of his hands. “I was doing something you shouldn’t do, which is playing the tabla with sticks instead of trying to get that sound using your hand – it’s an extremely difficult technique and painful if you’re not trained.”
Jigsaw Puzzle . . . One of my favorite Stones tunes. The drumming speaks for itself in what’s been described as a Dylan-esque tune. “and the drummer, he’s so shattered, trying to keep on time…” “and the Queen is bravely shouting, ‘what the HELL is going on?’ ”
Rocks Off . . . kick butt rocker that opens the Exile album, likely my favorite by the Stones.
Dirty Work . . . Title cut from what’s been described as an ‘angry’ 1986 album, the height of the so-called World War III between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. But the entire band was in tatters, Watts was uncharacteristically dabbling in heroin for a brief time, yet he was well enough to, uh, smack his way through this kick-ass track. The album got savaged by critics and many fans, but I’ve always loved it.
Everything Is Turning To Gold . . . Funky, propulsive track was the B-side to the Shattered single, from Some Girls, in 1978 and appeared on the 1981 compilation Sucking In The Seventies.
Moonlight Mile . . . beautiful track, second one suggested by Ted Martin from a list of his favorites featuring nice work by Watts. From the Sticky Fingers album and rarely played live, I saw/heard them do it at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on 1999’s No Security tour.
The Lantern . . . From the Satanic Majesties album, 1967. It’s always been – along with 2000 Light Years From Home, 2000 Man and Citadel – one of my favorites from that controversial album, the Stones’ lone dabble in psychedelia.
Let Me Go . . . I’ve always liked the tune but hadn’t thought of it, for a Watts’ tribute show, until I read it mentioned in an article about the late drummer. From the Emotional Rescue album. Good pick by the writer.
Ride On, Baby . . . Nice Watts work on this one, from the Aftermath album sessions but not released until the North American compilation Flowers, in 1967. Along with the Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) compilation, both of which my older sister had, Flowers served as my introduction to the Stones.
Surprise, Surprise . . . Another one from the early days, great stuff from 1965 and the North American release, Now!
Tim Ries, The Rolling Stones Project, Honky Tonk Women . . . We all know the amazing drumming on the hit single version of this tune, and mine is a deep cuts show so I thought I’d go in another direction with it to start a maybe offbeat section of the show. It’s from the first of two Stones’ covers projects, this one released in 2005, by Ries, an American saxophonist who was a member of the Stones’ touring band from 2003-14. Ries has taught jazz at various academic institutions, including the University of Toronto. His version of the song features Lisa Fischer, who toured with the Stones from 1989-2015, on vocals, Darryl Jones on bass, Keith Richards on guitar and Watts on drums.
Charlie Watts/Jim Kelter Project, Billy Higgins . . . Experimental track from the album Watts did with noted session superstar Keltner, released in 2000. Each of the album’s nine tracks is named for a drummer and honors their specific approach, in this case American free jazz and hard bop stickman Higgins. Watts plays drums on this and all tracks, with Keltner handling percussion, samples and ‘odd drum bits’. Great stuff.
Hopkins/Cooder/Jagger/Wyman/Watts, Highland Fling (from Jamming With Edward) . . . From the one-off album put together by pianist and longtime Stones’ session player Nicky Hopkins (nicknamed Edward), guitarist Ry Cooder, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts in 1969 but not released until 1972. From the liner notes: “Howdy doody whoever receives this record. Here’s a nice little piece of bullshit about this hot waxing which we cut one night in London, England while waiting for our guitar player to get out of bed. It was promptly forgotten (which may have been for the better) until it was unearthed from the family vaults by those two impressive entrepreneurs – Glyn Johns and Marshall Chess. It was they who convinced the artists that this historic jam of the giants should be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. . . . I hope you spend longer listening to it than we did making it.” – Mick Jagger.
Charlie Watts Quintet, Someone To Watch Over Me . . . A Gershwin tune, lyrics by Ira, music by George, recorded and released in 1993 by Watts’s jazz outfit. Longtime Stones’ backup singer Bernard Fowler provided vocals.
Not Fade Away (live, from Stripped) . . . From the Stones’ semi-unplugged 1995 live release. It was one of Watts’s favorite albums by the band. “One of the best we’ve made in the past few years was the album called Stripped,” Watts said in the book According To The Rolling Stones. “I think that’s one of the most interesting records we’ve done, the best-played record we’ve made for years. . . . The version of Not Fade Away is fantastic.” Indeed.
Heaven . . . You might not think it’s the Stones, if you didn’t know the band’s deep cuts. It’s what I enjoy so much about them; their eclecticism and willingness to try anything yet still sound like themselves. Nice, slow-burning groove from the Tattoo You album, I’ve loved it since the album came out in 1981. Even better with headphones.
Wolverton Mountain – Claude King [Merle Kilgore]
Did She Mention My Name – Gordon Lightfoot
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
Stop The Madness – Jim Dyer
Puff The Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul, and Mary
Jethro Tull, Life Is A Long Song … This one isn’t, but title-wise a good intro (and a good tune, too) to a show I some time ago threatened to do, so here it is. All long songs.
Yes, The Gates Of Delirium . . . Epic 22-minute track, one of just three on 1974’s Relayer album. It’s the lone Yes album to feature keyboardist Patrick Moraz, replacing the departed Rick Wakeman. Inspired by Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the track ends with Soon, extracted as a single.
Led Zeppelin, In The Light . . . Apparently, it’s Jimmy Page’s favorite from 1975’s double album, the mighty Physical Graffiti which, some have suggested, represents Zeppelin at the peak of their powers. Possibly, but with such bands, the ‘peak’ I’ve always felt is whatever of their output one is listening to right now, if it appeals to you.
Genesis, The Cinema Show . . . Speaking of peaks, I can never decide which is my favorite album of Genesis’s early, progressive rock period with Peter Gabriel. For me, it’s between Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, or Selling England By The Pound although over time I’ve gotten more into The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which is good, but I don’t playit as much as the other three. In any event, this one’s from Selling England By The Pound.
Santana, Treat (live at Fillmore West, 1968) .. . Great piano by Greg Rolie to start the song, with Carlos Santana’s guitar then driving the rest of the track. I pulled this off Santana Live At The Fillmore, 1968. The songs were recorded at San Francisco shows in December of that year but not pulled together as an album and released until 1997. Early Santana, one year before their debut studio album. A great record.
The Allman Brothers Band, High Cost Of Low Living (live) . . . Live version, from 2004’s One Way Out, of my favorite track from the final Brothers’ studio album, the excellent Hittin’ The Note from 2003. It’s the onlyAllmans’ studio album not to include guitarist Dickey Betts, who left the band under acrimonious circumstances in 2000. He was replaced by Derek Trucks, who teamed with Warren Haynes on the studio record and the live album/tour.
Grateful Dead, Terrapin Station . . . I’m certainly no Deadhead but I’ve gotten more and more into them over time, starting of course, like perhaps most neophytes, with Truckin’, on compilations ages ago before purchasing American Beauty, Workingman’s Dead and, how could one resist for the title alone, Live Dead. This is the epic 16-minute title track from their 1977 album, building into a progressive rock and jazz tour de force.
Pink Floyd, Echoes . . . 23-minute closer from the Meddle album in 1971. I don’t know what to say about Echoes except I’ve always liked it, will always like it. Epitomizes Pink Floyd, really.
The Rolling Stones, Goin’ Home . . . Extended jam of more than 11 minutes, rare for the Stones at least on studio albums. From arguably their best early album, Aftermath, in 1966. It was their first release of all-original material.
The studio should be re-opening soon! For now, we’re having another CanCon morning on CKMS Community Connections, with new (to me) music from JSP, Paragon Cause, Sammy Duke, Taylor Davison, Steve Todd, and Cinephonic.
Golden Earring, Are You Receiving Me . . . I’ve been digging back into the Moontan album lately, both on the show and just to listen to, and could have sworn I must have played this recently and was repeating myself too quickly, but no. Haven’t played this particular track of late. It was Candy’s Going Bad I played most recently on the show, one of four of the five extended cuts on the North American version of the album (the European version has six tracks) I’ve played over time. The only one I haven’t played is Radar Love, but this is a deep cuts show for the most part. Solid album, front to back and Are You Receiving Me is one of the best, almost prog-metal/hard rock. Around even longer than The Rolling Stones, who began in 1962, Golden Earring began in 1961 but finally closed up shop, sadly, in February of 2021 after longtime guitarist George Kooymans was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Great band, although to my ears they got a bit too poppy at some points. But they’re definitely much more than just the Moontan album, Radar Love and their other worldwide hit, Twilight Zone. Tracks like Mad Love’s Comin’, for instance, which I’ve showcased before. More soon, perhaps, from the Dutchmen.
Tom Waits, Heartattack And Vine . . . Yes, heartattack, one word. Title cut from the 1980 album and a change of pace from tonight’s opener, via Waits’ indiosyncratic style and sandpaper vocals. Haven’t played him in a while but the, er, Waits is now over. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins covered this tune, in his own unique style.
Traffic, John Barleycorn . . . Traditional English/Scottish tune, done by many bands including Jethro Tull on their semi-acoustic 1992 live album A Little Light Music. From Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die album. One of my favorites by one of my favorite bands. It occurred to me to play them this week after I played Steely Dan last week, which led to a discussion with a show follower that included Steve Winwood, which led me to think of playing, er, in Traffic.
The Guess Who, Attila’s Blues . . . Back I go into 1974’s Road Food album, the title cut of which I played some time ago. I always remember a buddy of mine having this album in high school. The hits were Star Baby and Clap For The Wolfman. Nice jaunty tune, with fun lyrics: ‘Have you ever had an aardvark sandwich’ among the many.
The Who, Imagine A Man . . . Beautiful track, lyrically musically, from one of my favorite Who albums and the first studio one I ever bought with my own money and thus kind of grew up with, The Who By Numbers.
Little Feat, All That You Dream . . . Linda Ronstadt helps out Lowell George on vocals on this propulsive track from The Last Record Album (which it wasn’t, from the band).
Atomic Rooster, People You Can’t Trust . . . A funky outing from the previously prog-heavy Rooster. Chris Farlowe, who did covers of various Rolling Stones’ tunes in the 1960s including a No. 1 hit with Out Of Time in 1966, came in on lead vocals in a reconfigured band that retained only founder member Vincent Crane as they embarked on a new direction.
Bert Jansch, 900 Miles . . . The Scottish folkie, usually on guitar, does some banjo picking on this traditional. Jansch founded the band Pentangle and influenced a host of artists including Jimmy Page, Ian Anderson, Al Stewart, Neil Young, Elton John. Well worth digging into both his solo work and Pentangle, you haven’t.
Moby Grape, 8:05 . . . Great and maybe two short a tune by a band that, along with the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and others emerged out of the San Francisco scene in the 1960s. They fused country, blues, rock and jazz into a unique stew but were never as successful as some of their musical colleagues, in large measure to to management hassles, well worth reading up on.
Bob Seger, Ain’t Got No Money . . . Good rocker, a cover of a song by Scottish rock singer-songwriter and actor Frankie Miller, from Seger’s 1978 blockbuster Stranger in Town album. Seger cites Miller as a big influence and one only needs to listen to a few Miller tracks to hear it.
Can, I Want More . . . OK, here we go into my maybe increasingly silly song title thing but I just can’t seem to help myself. If you care, here’s how it happens since, due to the studio being closed due to Covid protocols, I’ve been programming my shows. Often, I just search a word in our station computer system to which I’ve loaded thousands of tunes I own, and see what comes up. Or, I’ll search a band and the word comes up in a song title along with similar titles from other bands. So, here come five straight tunes with the word “more’ in their titles/lyrics. Which reminds me: I need to load the Pink Floyd movie soundtrack album More into our system. Anyway, a typically cool track from Can, the German experimentalists. This was a hit single in 1976 in the UK, from the Flow Motion album, a controversial record for the band’s followers, because it dabbled in disco. But I always like it when bands/artists I like take a different path; I tend to follow them wherever they go, until and if, like latter-day Chicago, they lose me.
Can, . . . And More . . . I couldn’t resist adding the companion piece, which was, naturally, the single’s B-side.
Love, Andmoreagain . . . From the classic and influential Forever Changes album which, typical of some such albums, didn’t burn up the charts but rewards the listener.
Bruce Cockburn, More Not More . . . A buddy of mine texted me the other night to tell me he throwing back some tequilla while listening to music, including some Cockburn. That prompted me playing this tune from Humans in 1980. Just a terrific record, front to back, best known perhaps for the single Tokyo, but every one of its 10 songs, like this one, is solid.
Phil Collins, I Don’t Care Anymore . . . I suppose, just occurred to me, I could have played Aerosmith’s No More No More because by this point even I’m tired of this ‘more’ stuff. All good tunes, though, connected only by that one word. And, I played the Aerosmith song fairly recently. This was a hit single from Collins’ second solo album, Hello, I Must Be Going, released in 1982. Heavy metal band Hellyeah, which featured the late Pantera founder and drummer Vinnie Paul, later covered Collins’ tune.
David Bowie, Aladdin Sane . . . Title cut from Bowie’s 1973 album. Atmospheric cut with great piano, and piano solo, by Mike Garson, who worked on many Bowie albums and whose credits also include work with Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins.
Rainbow, Black Sheep Of The Family . . . Cover of a tune by British progressive band Quatermass. Ritchie Blackmore’s bandmates in Deep Purple didn’t want to do the cover during sessions for the Stormbringer album in 1974, so Blackmore recorded it for the first Rainbow record a year later.
The Rolling Stones, Worried About You . . . Originally recorded in 1975 for the Black and Blue album, the track didn’t see the light of day on record until 1981’s Tattoo You album, although the Stones did play it at one of their two El Mocambo shows in 1977 in Toronto. The song features a nice guitar solo from Wayne Perkins, who also contributed a great solo to Black and Blue’s Hand Of Fate and nearly got the gig that eventually went to Ron Wood.
Robin Trower,Gonna Be More Suspicious . . . Smokin’ opening riff and typically great playing from Trower on this cut from For Earth Below, 1975. The album also features the late James Dewar, the outstanding vocalist and bass player in Trower’s 1970s band.
Robbie Robertson, American Roulette . . . Great rocker from Robertson’s self-titled first solo album in 1987. It references, without naming them, James Dean, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and the consequences of their fame.
Lou Reed, Last Great American Whale . . . 1989 was a pretty good year for classic rocker comeback albums: Bob Dylan with Oh Mercy, Neil Young with Freedom, the Stones with Steel Wheels and Reed, with New York, from which I pulled this track.
T-Bone Burnett, House Of Mirrors . . . I’ve said it before but what an artist T-Bone is. Worked with Bob Dylan during the 1970s, producer to the stars, and terrific solo stuff. This could be a companion piece, vocally, to the Lou Reed track above. Very similar style; T-Bone’s tune coming out in 1980 and Reed’s nine years later.
Led Zeppelin, The Battle Of Evermore . . . Beautiful track from Zep IV, with Fairport Convention’s late great Sandy Denny adding her amazing voice to Robert Plant’s.
Rory Gallagher, Crest Of A Wave . . . A ‘galloping’ track, with typically exquisite guitar, from Gallagher’ Deuce album in 1971.
John Mayall, Fly Tomorrow . . . Nine-minute slow-building track from Mayall’s late 1968 album, Blues From Laurel Canyon. It features Mick Taylor on guitar. A year later, he was in The Rolling Stones, on Mayall’s recommendation to the band. Mayall and Taylor later reunited, off and on, on Mayall’s albums. I saw them on the same bill in the mid-1980s at Ontario Place in Toronto. Taylor opened, then joined Mayall’s then-current version of the Bluesbreakers for a few songs.