All posts by Karlo Berkovich

Former Associate Editor/Web Editor/Sports Editor at Waterloo Region Record with a keen interest in rock music, specifically classic rock with side dishes of blues, late 70s punk and new wave plus sprinklings of reggae, soul and funk. Karlo Berkovich is the host of So Old It's New.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 15, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Joe Jackson, 1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground)
  2. Tim Curry, I Do The Rock
  3. Stray Cats, Rev It Up And Go
  4. Madness, One Step Beyond . . .
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born To Move
  6. Lighthouse, Broken Guitar Blues
  7. Traveling Wilburys, Dirty World
  8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Goon Squad
  9. The Clash, Armagideon Time
  10. Yes, The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun
  11. Wishbone Ash, The King Will Come
  12. Rush, Natural Science
  13. John Mellencamp, All Along The Watchtower
  14. The Rolling Stones, Congratulations
  15. John Lennon, Bony Moronie
  16. Deep Purple, Lady Luck
  17. Iggy Pop, Sister Midnight
  18. Golden Earring, Kill Me (Ce Soir)
  19. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, Over At The Frankenstein Place
  20. Moby Grape, Murder In My Heart For The Judge
  21. Iron Butterfly, Belda-Beast
  22. David Bowie, Teenage Wildlife
  23. Jethro Tull, No Lullaby

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Joe Jackson, 1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground) . . . Yet another slice of infectious, driving pop rock excellence from the Mike’s Murder movie soundtrack, released in 1983 and, musically, something of a companion piece to JJ’s 1982 album Night And Day. It’s terrific stuff, but of course I’m a big Joe Jackson fan as often stated. The soundtrack essentially became another studio album for Jackson because as things developed, little of his music was retained for the film, the bulk of whose score wound up being done by John Barry of James Bond film score fame. The film, starring Debra Winger, was a box-office bomb. Perhaps keeping more of Jackson’s music would have helped, he says with a smile.
    2. Tim Curry, I Do The Rock . . . From the Rocky Horror Picture Show star’s 1979 album Fearless, which I heard on the store sound system and impulse bought while browsing through Toronto’s original Sam The Record Man outlet on Yonge St., long since gone but not forgotten. I get to the actual Rocky Horror soundtrack later in the set with Curry, who played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the zany cult movie, not singing on the track I chose. You’ll see/hear.
    3. Stray Cats, Rev It Up And Go . . . Another of one of those “rifling through my CDs and oh, yeah, these guys, haven’t played them in ages” picks. Rockabilly! Great stuff, kicking off with the Chuck Berry guitar lick you’ve heard on just about every one of his songs, then into it. He didn’t produce this one but Dave Edmunds, known to dabble in a little rockabilly himself, has produced much of the Stray Cats’ material over time. And the band, which has tended to alternate between active and dormant periods in and around Brian Seitzer’s solo and Brian Seitzer Orchestra work, is currently active, having released ’40’, their first studio album in nearly 30 years, in 2019.
    4. Madness, One Step Beyond . . . Perfect name for an out-there ska song, especially the intro. Infectious stuff. Here I am with my Beatles and my Stones and Zeppelin and Purple and so on and then I remember being immediately hooked watching the video for One Step Beyond on Toronto TV station City’s old ‘The New Music’ show in 1979. All my friends thought I had lost it. I thought they might consider expanding their horizons, but to each their own. Interesting reading about the song. It’s a cover of a tune by Jamaican ska singer Prince Buster and released in 1964, with Madness incorporating elements from other songs by Buster, and others, into the band’s final version.
    5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born To Move . . . Screeeech as we bank around the corner and off into a totally different direction. CCR. I’ve been in a phase of listening to them lately. ‘Nuff said, really. Obviously great band, including their deeper cuts, like this one from the Pendulum album, released in 1970. The boys were lazy that year, Pendulum being only their second LP release after coming out with three albums in 1969.
    6. Lighthouse, Broken Guitar Blues . . . Guy gets on a plane, nowhere good to store his six-string, a song results. From Canada’s answer to early Chicago or Blood, Sweat & Tears, or vice-versa, it’s actually more of a straight ahead rocker, which fits since it’s about a guitar, than Lighthouse’s usual more horn-drenched jazz-rock fusion stuff.
    7. Traveling Wilburys, Dirty World . . . Lucky Wilbury (aka Bob Dylan) handles most of the lead vocals on this one from Vol. 1 of the ‘family’ project that also included Wilburys Nelson (George Harrison), Otis (Jeff Lynne), Lefty (Roy Orbison) and Charlie T., Jr. (Tom Petty). What a wonderful project it was. When Lefty died, the boys persevered, or maybe it was a group of entirely different people, or split personalities, who issued the second album, Vol. 3. Just having fun. Lucky became Boo; Nelson became Spike; Otis became Clayton and Charlie T. became Muddy. And now Nelson/Spike and Charlie T./Muddy are also gone. Session players included drummer Buster Sidebury (Jim Keltner) and Ken Milbury (Gary Moore) on lead guitar on one song, She’s My Baby, on Vol. 3. To quote the Robert Shaw character in the classic 1973 movie The Sting, ‘ya falla?” (follow). Don’t worry about it, just enjoy.
    8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Goon Squad . . . Love the, how is one to describe music in words, best to listen to it of course but that sort of descending beat on this one, from 1979’s Armed Forces album. Serious, deep lyrics perfectly accompanied by the darkish music.
    9. The Clash, Armagideon Time . . . Available since then on various Clash compilations, it was originally the B-side to the 1979 album title cut single London Calling. As related by longime Clash associate and sometime manager Kosmo Vinyl in the liner notes to the box set Clash On Broadway, he had a notion that all great singles should be 2 minutes, 58 seconds long. Why 2:58, who knows? Probably to sound cooler than saying ‘three minutes’. So Clash co-founder Joe Strummer tells him “just stop us when we get to 2:58.” In studio later, the band is cooking, recording the track and Vinyl is vexxed as to what to do as 2:58 approaches, so he risks calling from the control room for the band to wind it up only to have, and you can hear it on the song, Strummer sing back “okay, okay, don’t push us when we’re hot!” And the band plays on for another minute, everyone loves what’s on tape and Vinyl, who thought his life was at risk for interrupting, is still with us at 66. Strummer, sadly, died at age 50 in 2002 of a heart attack caused by an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
    10. Yes, The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun . . . Another 180 turn in the set. Speaking of risk, I figured I might risk a backlash from some if I played the entire Tales From Topographic Oceans album, which is four songs, one per vinyl side, on original release in 1973. To many, that represented pure prog rock excess and perhaps it was but all kidding aside it’s a great album and as mentioned earlier about expanded horizons, what is the beauty of music, which is really a mood exercise, other than how you can go from raunch and roll to ska to rockabilly to prog and beyond, and enjoy it all because it’s all creative and has merit. If you have an open mind. Anyway, another Yes epic, 18 minutes and change, at times tribal, almost funky, with beautiful acoustic guitar passages and back again. Sublime, really.
    11. Wishbone Ash, The King Will Come . . . I suppose I should have played this when King Charles was crowned last week. But I’m not much into the monarchy and I’ll leave it at that. Good song, though, as I find most Wishbone Ash is.
    12. Rush, Natural Science . . . And so ends the prog segment with this classic from 1980’s Permanent Waves album.
    13. John Mellencamp, All Along The Watchtower . . . I’ve been in a Mellencamp listening phase of late but this cover of the Bob Dylan song is a very recent, wonderful discovery for me, from the used rack in my local independent store just last Friday. It was one of those buys, $6 as I recall, where I knew I better pick it up because it’s fairly rare to my knowledge, would likely be gone soon and I’d regret it, even though it’s available online but I still like physical product. It’s from Mellencamp’s acoustic live album The Good Samaritan Tour 2000, released on CD in 2021. It’s the soundtrack to a documentary film of about 40 minutes’ length that chronicles a tour in 2000 when Mellencamp performed, unannounced, for free in public parks and common spaces across the United States as a thank you to his fans for their ongoing support. The documentary, with all performance footage filmed by fans thus lending the show its raw appeal, originally appeared on Turner Classic Movie’s YouTube channel and both the album and documentary are still available there. It’s great stuff, more than just the music but, musically, it’s just Mellencamp and his acoustic band, guitars, fiddles, accordion, no drums. Sometimes there’s big crowds, sometimes just a handful of people in a park although as the tour developed things exploded, in a wonderful way. They do a selection of his own material like Small Town and Pink Houses and covers of songs by Woody Guthrie (Oklahoma Hills), Dylan, The Rolling Stones (Street Fighting Man and The Spider and The Fly), Donovan’s Hey Gyp, also done by The Animals, and Cut Across Shorty which was done by Eddie Cochran and, later, Rod Stewart.
    14. The Rolling Stones, Congratulations . . . An early Mick Jagger-Keith Richards penned ballad, from 1964 with its typical mocking and sarcastic lyrics about a relationship. It was the B-side to Time Is On My Side in the US and was on the album 12 X 5 in those early days when many British Invasion bands’ releases differed on either side of the pond. It didn’t appear on a UK album until the Decca Records compilation No Stone Unturned in 1973.
    15. John Lennon, Bony Moronie . . . From Lennon’s 1975 album of rock ‘n’ roll standards called, wait for it, Rock ‘N’ Roll. Great fun, back to his roots.
    16. Deep Purple, Lady Luck . . . Not sure what else to say about the Come Taste The Band album I’ve not already said. It’s the one and only one Purple did with the late guitarist Tommy Bolin, lots of people think it’s too different than what many consider ‘should’ be the sound of Deep Purple because it incorporated some funk elements, but that’s what makes it great and shows the band’s musical diversity. And, despite what some folks seem to think, it does rock. As evidence, I present Lady Luck, among several up-tempo tunes on the album starting with the blistering lead track, Comin’ Home. Other than that, I like the album cover, all the boys in a full glass of red wine on the front and the empty glass on the back and since I was having a glass myself when putting the show together, here we are.
    1. Iggy Pop, Sister Midnight . . . From 1977’s The Idiot which is almost a David Bowie album, or a co-Pop/Bowie album given that Bowie plays keyboards on it, produced it and wrote or co-wrote many of the songs including this one that Bowie wrote with his longtime guitarist Carlos Alomar. Recorded around the time of Bowie’s so-called Berlin period that yielded experimental albums like Low, it’s definitely a departure from the punk inclinations of much of the garage rock type material Pop released as main man in The Stooges. Pop described the more mechanical, electronic sound as “a cross between James Brown and Kraftwerk.” Pop returned to a more Stooges-like sound on his next album, Lust For Life which was also released in 1977 and co-produced by Bowie.
    2. Golden Earring, Kill Me (Ce Soir) . . . From Switch, the 1975 album followup to 1973’s Moontan and its hit Radar Love, after which many people, at least in North America, went back to ignoring Golden Earring until 1982’s hit single Twilight Zone. Lots of good music in between and beyond, but who knows what the real recipe for widespread success and acclaim is? I think Motley Crue (and that whole genre of overproduced hair metal) is utter garbage, the worst successful band in the history of popular music, for instance. Yet . . .
    1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, Over At The Frankenstein Place . . . What a fun movie and forever trigger of memories of college days. What I haven’t mentioned before, not sure how or why I overlooked it, is that John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, arguably most famous for his keyboard work with The Who, played on the Rocky Horror film soundtrack. Besides The Who, the widely respected and in demand musician has, since the 1970s, played on albums by Free, Johnny Nash of I Can See Clearly Now fame, Donovan, Eric Burdon and Fairport Convention, among others.
    2. Moby Grape, Murder In My Heart For The Judge . . . Funky, rocking blues number from the San Francisco band’s second album, Wow, in 1968. Love the psychedelic ‘grapes’ album cover. I mean, what else?
    3. Iron Butterfly, Belda-Beast . . . As with Golden Earring, one song – the epic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – can overwhelm the rest of a band’s catalog, or even what they actually could be about musically. And it’s interesting that the band was considered heavy when lots of their material, to my ears, is like this song from Ball, the 1969 followup to the Gadda album. It’s eerie, psychedelic and melodic, with nice touches of organ. Relaxing and dreamy, yet still electric. Nice work.
    4. David Bowie, Teenage Wildlife . . . To each their own of course but another example of why it pays to listen to full albums, not just hits or compilations of hits. And without that fact, I wouldn’t have my deep cuts show. The longest song on 1980’s Scary Monsters album that featured the hit singles Ashes To Ashes and Fashion, it’s got a similar arrangement to Bowie’s own song Heroes and has been seen, lyrically, as taking aim at what Bowie perceived to be his imitators, like Gary Numan – “one of the new wave boys, same old thing in brand new drag comes sweeping into view as ugly as a teenage millionaire.” King Crimson leader/guitarist Robert Fripp played on most of the album, including Teenage Wildlife, which also featured Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan.
    5. Jethro Tull, No Lullaby . . . Great drumming by Barriemore Barlow, especially on the intro, on this killer cut from 1978’s Heavy Horses. Thrust and parry, indeed, as the lyrics suggest.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, May 13, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

I was originally going to do a ‘blues masters’ show. It’s something I’ve done on occasion but as things developed I took a slightly different path and wound up also featuring a healthy dose of tracks, mostly slow which is the type of blues I most enjoy, from artists like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, early Fleetwood Mac and The Allman Brothers who were influenced by and celebrated the masters/originators.

Many of the songs in the set by those artists are covers but some, like the Stones’ deep blues Down In The Hole, an outlier on the Emotional Rescue album and for my money its best cut, are originals. I also like Clapton’s Derek and The Dominos’ slower, extended and bluesier take on the widely known, faster Cream version of Robert Johnson’s Crossroads. And then there’s the wonderful collaborations where the founding masters team with those they influenced, as on Muddy Waters’ Deep Down In Florida, after Johnny Winter produced and played on Muddy’s last three studio albums and on the tour that resulted in Muddy ‘Mississippi’ Waters Live, a terrific concert document.

The set list . . .

1. Elmore James, Blues Before Sunrise
2. Albert King, I’ll Play The Blues For You, Parts 1 & 2
3. Alvin Lee & Co., Every Blues You’ve Ever Heard (live, from In Flight)
4. The Rolling Stones, Down In The Hole
5. The Allman Brothers Band, Stormy Monday (live, from At Fillmore East)
6. Albert Collins, Master Charge
7. Rory Gallagher, Loanshark Blues
8. Boz Scaggs, Loan Me A Dime (Duane Allman on slide guitar)
9. Earl Hooker, Wah Wah Blues
10. John Lee Hooker, It Serves You Right To Suffer
11. Johnny Winter, Be Careful With A Fool
12. The Robert Cray Band, Phone Booth
13. Son Seals, Telephone Angel
14. The Fabulous Thunderbirds, She’s Tuff
15. Fleetwood Mac, Love That Burns
16. Led Zeppelin, Since I’ve Been Loving You
17. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ain’t Gone ‘N’ Give Up On Love (live)
18. Derek And The Dominos, Crossroads, (from Live At The Fillmore)
19. Muddy Waters, Deep Down In Florida (from Muddy ‘Mississippi’ Waters Live)

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 8, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Emerson, Lake and Powell, Mars, The Bringer Of War
  2. Alannah Myles, Our World Our Times
  3. The Rolling Stones, Continental Drift
  4. Sniff ‘N’ The Tears, Rodeo Drive
  5. James Gang, Driftin’ Dreamer
  6. The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lazy Days
  7. Blue Rodeo, Girl In Green (live, from Just Like A Vacation)
  8. Roxy Music, Beauty Queen
  9. Robbie Robertson, Testimony
  10. Eric Burdon, The Secret
  11. Tom Waits, Jockey Full Of Bourbon
  12. Graham Parker and The Rumour, The Heat In Harlem
  13. John Mellencamp, Case 795 (The Family)
  14. Bruce Cockburn, Silver Wheels
  15. Leon Russell and Willie Nelson, Heartbreak Hotel
  16. The Mamas & The Papas, Twist And Shout
  17. Frank Zappa, Keep It Greasy
  18. Billy Gibbons with Larkin Poe, Stackin’ Bones
  19. Booker T. and The MGs, Heads Or Tails
  20. Peter Gabriel, And Through The Wire
  21. Colin James, Freedom
  22. David + David, Swimming In The Ocean
  23. Queen, It’s LateMy track-by-track tales:
    1. Emerson, Lake and Powell, Mars, The Bringer Of War . . . One of ELP’s calling cards – whether as Emerson, Lake and Palmer or the one-off 1986 Emerson, Lake and Powell when Carl Palmer was unavailable due to contractual obligations to the band Asia – was often its adaptations of classical and/or orchestral pieces. Their eight-minute treatment of a portion of English composer Gustav Holst’s 49-minute suite The Planets, from the lone E, L and Powell album  featuring Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Cozy Powell, is yet another example.
    2. Alannah Myles, Our World Our Times . . . Spooky, hypnotic track I’ve heard suggested would be a cool sci-fi theme, or part of such a soundtrack. Which is maybe why I like it, being a science fiction fan. It’s from Myles’ second album, 1992’s Rockinghorse that followed by three years here self-titled debut. The first album featured the worldwide hit Black Velvet. As a result, that song and album overshadows everything else Myles ever did which is unfair, I think. Rockinghorse, I maintain, is as good an album and for the life of me I don’t get why the title cut, which I’ve played before, wasn’t released as a single. It would have had a chance, at least, of being a hit.
    3. The Rolling Stones, Continental Drift . . . In 1968, Stones’ founder/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones dug into world music, recording the Morocco-based ensemble the Master Musicians of Joujouka (a Moroccan village) for what became a 1971 release, after Jones’ death in 1969, called Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. The Stones did this one in homage to him, for their 1989 album Steel Wheels and effectively used portions of the chant-like tune as their intro music for the subsequent tour. “For Stones addicts” according to one of my books: Keith Richards achieves a unique sound on the song by trailing the blade of a knife against the spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel. You can hear it, starting at the 5-second mark. Richards is credited with playing acoustic guitar . . . and bicycle, on the track. The inventiveness of musicians in pursuit of sounds . . . Drummer Charlie Watts beat on a garbage can as a ‘mystery drum’ on the song Moon Is Up on the Stones’ next album, Voodoo Lounge.
    4. Sniff ‘N’ The Tears, Rodeo Drive . . . From the British band’s second album, 1980’s The Game’s Up. An interesting title, perhaps, given that the game was up, relatively speaking, for the band in terms of widespread success after their 1979 debut album Fickle Heart and hit single Driver’s Seat. A one-hit wonder yet the band, which is still around and releasing albums, has some interesting material like this almost progressive, somewhat ghostly, extended track.
    5. James Gang, Driftin’ Dreamer . . . Joe Walsh was gone. Replacement Domenic Triano (of solo and latter-day Guess Who fame) was gone. Triano’s replacement Tommy Bolin (of solo and Deep Purple fame) was gone. So that’s it for the ‘name’ guitarists. But the gang soldiered on for two more albums including Newborn, from which I pulled this track, with a gent I can’t find any info on, Richard Shack, on guitar before Shack was replaced by Bob Webb for the group’s last album, Jesse Come Home, in 1976. I don’t have Newborn, but I do have a fine, comprehensive 2-CD James Gang compilation that includes some songs from it. And despite being critically trashed and not selling, it did feature some quality boogie/country rock tunes, like this one.
    6. The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lazy Days . . . Up tempo country tune. I’ve played it too recently, though. How I know that is because when I went searching for the YouTube clip for my Facebook page, there’s a version of it that I recognized from last time I went looking for it, where a guy speaking Spanish introduces the 3-minute track, extending it to 3:14 with his enthusiastic but ultimately irrelevant insights on his posting. Good song, though, so what the heck. Here it is again, without the Spanish speaker.
    7. Blue Rodeo, Girl In Green (live, from Just Like A Vacation) . . . I don’t play these Canadians enough. Perhaps that will change. This is from the band’s first live album, released in 1999. Love the guitar work. The song was originally on the 1995 studio album Nowhere To Here with Sarah McLauchlan appearing as a guest vocalist on three songs on that album, including Girl In Green. She isn’t on this live version.
    8. Roxy Music, Beauty Queen . . . Early, edgy, noisy Roxy Music, from the band’s second album, For Your Pleasure. Later, on albums like Flesh + Blood and the final studio work, 1982’s Avalon, the sound was slicker, arguably more commercial. All of it I find intoxicatingly good.
    9. Robbie Robertson, Testimony . . . Essentially a Robertson with U2 track as all members of that band play on this song from Robertson’s self-titled debut album in 1987. The collaboration came about in part because U2 was recording their album The Joshua Tree around the same time, also with producer Daniel Lanois. Robertson later titled his 2016 memoir Testimony.
    10. Eric Burdon, The Secret . . . I mentioned some time back that I had been listening to Burdon’s 2004 album My Secret Life, a terrific, varied album of R & B, soul, blues and jazz tunes. Then I forgot all about it, until I was rifling through my CDs and came across it. The Secret is the type of mesmerizing tune I can never get enough of.
    11. Tom Waits, Jockey Full Of Bourbon . . . I’m not a big horse racing fan but always watch the Triple Crown races and Canada’s Queen’s Plate. So, after watching the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, this one likely subconsciously came to mind even though it’s definitely not about horse-racing jockeys. It was the first single from the 1985 album Rain Dogs.
    12. Graham Parker and The Rumour, The Heat In Harlem . . . Extended piece from Parker’s third album, Stick To Me. Not sure what else to say about Parker I haven’t already said, other than I’m a big fan of his early material, like this one from 1977. I love the tempo shift from rock to a more bluesy approach, around the two-minute mark of the seven-minute tune.
    13. John Mellencamp, Case 795 (The Family) . . . I hadn’t listened to Mellencamp in a long time until this past weekend when I popped a compilation of his into the player and, well, here he is. From 1993’s Human Wheels album. Dark, bloody subject matter, good tune.
    14. Bruce Cockburn, Silver Wheels . . . Canadian singer-songwriters were top of mind after playing a full Gordon Lightfoot set on Saturday in tribute to his passing. So, here comes Cockburn, from the 1976 album In The Falling Dark.
    15. Leon Russell and Willie Nelson, Heartbreak Hotel . . . Leon and Willie team up on a fun version of the song Elvis Presley made famous. It’s from their 1979 collaboration album of covers, One For The Road.
    16. The Mamas & The Papas, Twist And Shout . . . Laid back, much different arrangement than that used by The Beatles on their famous version. Both are terrific.
    17. Frank Zappa, Keep It Greasy . . . It’s zany, it’s Zappa, the playing is, as always from Frank and whatever friends he was using at a given time, outstanding. This one’s from the 1979 album Joe’s Garage.
    18. Billy Gibbons with Larkin Poe, Stackin’ Bones . . . I had never heard of Larkin Poe until I got the third solo album, Hardware, by ZZ Top’s main man. It came out in 2021 and Larkin Poe, a roots/southern rock band from Georgia now based in Nashville, help Gibbons out on vocals on this track. Larkin Poe, fronted by sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, has been described as the little sisters of the Allman Brothers. Great stuff, worth checking out.
    19. Booker T. and The MGs, Heads Or Tails . . . Flip a coin and regardless what comes up, you won’t lose with Booker T. and the boys. Typically infectious, instrumental brilliance from the band.
    20. Peter Gabriel, And Through The Wire . . . From Gabriel’s commercial breakthrough third album, released in 1980. To that point, all his albums were self-titled so tended to be referred to by their cover art, in this case Melt due to Gabriel’s melting face. Great record, full of terrific songs like the singles Games Without Frontiers, No Self Control, Biko, I Don’t Remember and the opening, haunting track Intruder. I remember when it came out, a friend of mine said “I’m now into stuff by solo artists.” About a year later, the Stones’ Tattoo You came out, he was raving about it and I couldn’t resist needling him with “so, you’re back into band albums?”
    21. Colin James, Freedom . . . Nice groove on this one from his 1995 blues album Bad Habits. It’s mostly covers but includes a few originals, like this one. Lots of well-known players/singers on the record including Lenny Kravitz, Waddy Wachtel, Sarah Dash and, helping out on vocals on Freedom, Mavis Staples.
    22. David + David, Swimming In The Ocean . . . Yet another great one from the one and only album, 1986’s Boomtown, by Davids Baerwaeld and Ricketts. I’ve loved it from the first time I heard its lead single, Welcome To The Boomtown, prompting me to buy it. Not a bad song on it. One of these days I’ll just play the whole thing on one of my periodic ‘album replay’ shows.
    23. Queen, It’s Late . . . Brian May-penned tune from the band’s 1977 album News Of The World. Yet another album, by Queen and others, that is solid front to back. It’s Late was actually a single on the record dominated by the success of the excellent but long since, thanks in good measure to sports events, overplayed We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions.

So Old It’s New Gordon Lightfoot (RIP) tribute set list for Saturday, May 6, 2023- on air 7-9 am ET

So Old It’s New set list in tribute to Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot, who died this past week at age 84. Obviously a pillar of Canadian music and beyond our borders, what is amazingly satisfying and interesting to me has been the ongoing outpouring from people, not just in Canada but everywhere, sharing songs, stories, memories and so on of this artist who obviously deeply touched so many via his ‘story’ songs like The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald and Canadian Railroad Trilogy but also his songs about relationships, usually warts and all, born of his own experiences and therefore relatable to many.

So, a bit of a departure from my usual deep cuts show; instead I offer a mixture of Lightfoot’s hits/well-known tunes and some maybe lesser-known but equally compelling songs. I could have filled much more, obviously, than my 2-hour slot but what follows is what I decided upon. Rest in Peace, Gord, and thanks for all that you brought to so many. No track-by-track tales this week, Lightfoot’s songs speak for themselves.

1. Old Dan’s Records
2. Mister Rock Of Ages
3. Minstrel Of The Dawn
4. Wherefore And Why
5. Early Morning Rain
6. Rainy Day People
7. Beautiful
8. Daylight Katy
9. Make Way For The Lady
10. Cold On The Shoulder
11. Talking In Your Sleep
12. Can’t Depend On Love
13. Cherokee Bend
14. Canadian Railroad Trilogy
15. Steel Rail Blues
16. Circle Of Steel
17. Carefree Highway
18. Don Quixote
19. Protocol
20. Race Among The Ruins
21. Bitter Green
22. Me And Bobby McGee
23. Love & Maple Syrup
24. Cotton Jenny
25. You Are What I Am
26. The Circle Is Small (I Can See It In Your Eyes)
27. If You Could Read My Mind
28. Seven Island Suite
29. Summer Side Of Life
30. Black Day In July
31. The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
32. Sundown

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 1, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Rolling Stones, Hey Negrita
  2. Kris Kristofferson, Blame It On The Stones
  3. Humble Pie, Hot ‘N’ Nasty
  4. AC/DC, Stormy May Day
  5. Led Zeppelin, In My Time Of Dying
  6. Blue Oyster Cult, Shooting Shark
  7. Curtis Mayfield, Pusherman
  8. Trooper, The Boys In The Bright White Sports Car
  9. The Beatles, Lovely Rita
  10. Taj Mahal, The Celebrated Walkin’ Blues
  11. John Mayall, Dry Throat (live, from Jazz Blues Fusion)
  12. Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland
  13. Roy Buchanan, Hey Joe (live)
  14. The Byrds, Chestnut Mare
  15. Eric Clapton, Stars, Strays and Ashtrays
  16. Chilliwack, 148 Heavy
  17. David Bowie, Lady Grinning Soul
  18. Dire Straits, Lions
  19. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Luna
  20. The Stills-Young Band, 12/8 Blues (All The Same)
  21. Montrose, Dancin’ Feet
  22. George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Want Ad Blues 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Rolling Stones, Hey Negrita . . . Terrific groove on this one featuring what is likely Ron Wood’s top contribution to the Black and Blue album, his staccato lead guitar work on this track. “Rehearsing guitar players” is how Keith Richards described the sessions for the album, which was put together in the wake of Mick Taylor’s departure after 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll album release. Among those at the sessions were Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, and Rory Gallagher, all of whose actual contributions, if any, didn’t make it to tape while Wayne Perkins’ terrific solo on Hand Of Fate and former Canned Heat member Harvey Mandel’s playing on Hot Stuff and Memory Motel did make the final cut. While Wood isn’t a virtuoso of the calibre of some of those auditioning, the Stones wound up going with who they considered to be the best fit for the band. Wood once related a story where Eric Clapton apparently told him “I could have had that job’ to which Wood replied, ‘yeah, but Eric, you gotta live with ’em, too.” And it’s true and, in fact, Wood was key to holding the band together during the so-called World War III between Richards and Mick Jagger during much of the 1980s. As a big Stones fan, while having the likes of the various mentioned luminaries in the band sounds amazing on the surface, I don’t think it would have worked or lasted with the likes of Clapton, Frampton, Gallagher or Beck as it would have become or been perceived as “the Stones with . . . ” as those players were also songwriters and major solo artists in their own rights. Could they have fit, even been subjugated, in such a band? Former Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman actually spoke to that very dynamic in an interview that’s available on YouTube and came to the conclusion that Wood was indeed the right choice.
    1. Kris Kristofferson, Blame It On The Stones . . . Lead cut on Kristofferson’s self-titled debut album, released in June, 1970. The song references negative impressions older generations had of The Rolling Stones at that time, especially having come off their 1969 Altamont concert where a man, Meredith Hunter, was stabbed and killed by the Hell’s Angels who were in retrospect ludicrously used as security.
    1. Humble Pie, Hot ‘N’ Nasty . . . “Roll it, baby” indeed, as lead singer Steve Marriott intones at the start of this raunch and roller from the 1972 album Smokin’, the first Humble Pie album without Peter Frampton, who had departed for a solo career. Hot ‘N’ Nasty actually did better on the singles charts, hitting No. 35 in Canada and No. 52 in the US, than 30 Days In The Hole, which remains likely Humble Pie’s best-known song and propelled Smokin’ to the top 10 on album charts.
    1. AC/DC, Stormy May Day . . . From 2008’s Black Ice. The opening reminds me of the song I’m playing next.
    1. Led Zeppelin, In My Time Of Dying . . . A gospel blues song by Blind Willie Johnson, originally released in 1928 but given an 11-minute Zep treatment on their Physical Graffiti album. It was also done by Bob Dylan on his 1962 self-titled debut album with the title In My Time Of Dyin’.
    1. Blue Oyster Cult, Shooting Shark . . . A different sort of track for BOC as they, too, embraced a more processed, synthesizer 1980s sound for at least some of their 1983 album The Revolution By Night. Yet while I’m not usually into that sort of stuff, I don’t mind this extended, somewhat spooky, hypnotic song about a bad on-again, off-again relationship, inspired by a Patti Smith poem. Smith had an association with the band dating to her vocals on their song The Revenge Of Vera Gemini from the 1976 album Agents Of Fortune, which yielded the hit single (Don’t Fear) The Reaper.
    2. Curtis Mayfield, Pusherman . . . So funky. From Mayfield’s third solo album, Superfly, after he left The Impressions. It served as the soundtrack for the 1972 film of the same name.
    1. Trooper, The Boys In The Bright White Sports Car . . . A song originally on the band’s 1976 album Two For The Show, it was slightly re-worked and became a successful single when released on 1979’s Hot Shots compilation, an album no doubt in just about every Canadian home, certainly those of baby boomers. At the time, the compilation went quadruple platinum in Canada, platinum in this country being 80,000 copies, breaking records for a recording by a Canadian act.
    2. The Beatles, Lovely Rita . . . I could listen to the intro to this Sgt. Pepper tune forever without getting sick of it, just the way Ringo’s drums kick in at the 10-second mark. The rest of it’s pretty good, too, including Paul McCartney’s pronunciation of ‘buuk’ or ‘boook” in “I caught a glimpse of Rita, filling in a ticket in her little white book”. Piano solo by producer George Martin. The song is described in one of my Beatles’ books as “a glorious throwaway”. Agreed.
    3. Taj Mahal, The Celebrated Walkin’ Blues . . . From Mahal’s self-titled 1968 debut album, it features guitarists Jesse Ed Davis of solo and session fame and Ry Cooder, with whom Mahal had earlier formed the blues/rock/folk band Rising Sons.
    1. John Mayall, Dry Throat (live, from Jazz Blues Fusion) . . . Exactly what the album title describes, jazz/blues fusion. Great stuff from Mayall and his band, recorded live in New York and Boston in late 1971 and released in 1972. Mayall is another of the many artists I got into via my older brother. He brought home Mayall’s USA Union album in 1970 and off I went with Mayall, to this day. It was perfect, really, having a brother eight years older, because, born in 1951, he was in his teens through the heyday of the British Invasion and other 1960s music. So he sort of passed the baton to me and my sister, who was four years older and had her own favorites and discoveries, all of which I at least investigated and maybe added to my own expanding music universe. A wonderful foundation of great memories.
    1. Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland . . . Epic from Springsteen’s breakthrough album, 1975’s Born To Run, notable for the late ‘big man’ Clarence Clemons’ sax solo.
    1. Roy Buchanan, Hey Joe (live) . . . If you know Hey Joe via the Jimi Hendrix version, Buchanan’s live take on it, this one from The Definitive Collection compilation, is a total reinvention. It’s slow blues, talk singing, accompanied by piano and guitar accents, then an explosion around three minutes in, major soloing/riffing at close to five minutes in and then back to the beginning, so to speak, for the last three minutes of the eight-minute plus excursion. What a trip.
    2. The Byrds, Chestnut Mare . . . Full version of a five-minute track from the Untitled album in 1970. It was cut in almost half for single release, at least in the UK and Europe, where the tale of a man’s quest to tame a wild horse, also seen as a commentary on humankind’s attempts to control the environment, did much better on the charts. It went to No. 19 in the UK as opposed to not even making the top 100 in the US.
    3. Eric Clapton, Stars, Strays and Ashtrays . . . Beautiful country blues track, a Clapton-penned outtake from the Slowhand album sessions in 1977 that finally saw official release on a deluxe edition of the album that came out in 2012. That reissue includes a bonus disc of a previously unreleased 1977 concert at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The iconic venue is now called the Eventim Apollo, due to naming rights/sponsorship.
    4. Chilliwack, 148 Heavy . . . 1979’s Breakdown In Paradise album is the lone non-compilation Chilliwack album I own. I like the band, saw them in a rousing performance a few years ago at the Kitchener Blues Festival, but for me their hits are all I need. Except that there’s two songs they did that I quite like that aren’t on any compilation. Well, check that. The song Communication Breakdown (not the Led Zeppelin tune) is on a hits album. But it’s a truncated version, more than a minute shorter and, damn it, I want the full version, complete with what I think is a cool partially spoken word intro before the band rips into the song. So because of that, and 148 Heavy which I remember instantly liking when I heard it on FM radio while in college, back when radio dug deeper, I simply had to own Breakdown In Paradise. “Heavy’, by the way, is an aviation term used to describe an aircraft’s wake turbulence, which can be dangerous to other aircraft flying in its wake. Typically, and I’m quoting from an encyclopedia, aircraft create the most wake during takeoff, departure, approach and landing, hence the song’s lyrics “148 heavy, landing in Toronto.” I know it’s obvious in terms of time zones but I’ve always loved the lyric, from this British Columbia band, ‘when you left in the west it was only afternoon, half alive and awake you’re flying into the moon . . . ” To again reference my late older brother, I recall one Christmas, we all got together in our parent’s new home in Calgary where mom and dad had moved for my dad’s work. Rob, my older brother, was the first among we siblings to have to get back east home in his case Nova Scotia where he was serving in the military. He calls back upon arrival to advise he got home safe and he says “I’m wide awake and want to party but everyone else is tired and just wants to go to bed.”
    5. David Bowie, Lady Grinning Soul . . . How many rock songs mention the card game canasta? Besides which, what a great tune, jazzy, atmospheric, twinkly piano by Mike Garson who, perhaps amazingly, has contributed in a very cool fashion to YouTube posts of this Aladdin Sane album song by thanking people in comment fields for praising his playing on it. And Garson, who played on 13 Bowie albums – he was Bowie’s longest-serving and most frequently appearing band member – including the studio classics Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs and Young Americans, deserves such praise. His long and varied discography also includes sessions with Mick Ronson, Nine Inch Nails, bass superstar Stanley Clarke and Smashing Pumpkins.
    1. Dire Straits, Lions . . . What can one say about Dire Straits’ self-titled debut from 1978? It’s great, it’s far more than the hit single and a great song it is, Sultans of Swing, but every song is terrific, like this one.
    1. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Luna . . . Not sure if I’ve played this before. I don’t think so because, you know how you maybe know an album yet you sort of don’t know it? Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I’m a big Petty fan yet aside from a few albums like, mostly, the early ones like the breakthrough Damn The Torpedoes and then Hard Promises, his non-Heartbreakers stuff like Full Moon Fever, I confess I’ve tended to fall into a compilation of his hits rut even while owning it all, studio albums, compilations, box sets. Breakdown, still to me one of his greatest songs, is obviously on compilations so I rarely listen to it from the first, self-titled studio album. Yet the other day, I did when I put that record on and Luna of course came up. Ridiculously great tune, haunting, hypnotic bluesy excellence with that distinctive Petty voice, an instrument in itself, as with so many great artists.
    2. The Stills-Young Band, 12/8 Blues (All The Same) . . . According to one of those track-by-track analysis books I have, this one on Neil Young, the 1976 Stills-Young Band album was originally planned as a sort of return to Buffalo Springfield, at least in terms of creative spirit. Then, David Crosby and Graham Nash were invited to participate and it looked like the sessions would result in a new CSNY album. But internecine warfare ensued and it reverted to a Stills-Young project, this being a Stills-penned tune and a good one it is. Certainly lyrically, in terms of relationships and I’m not talking about the band, it’s about the male-female often flawed communication dynamic. “I got the miserables . . . help me . . . I wanna talk to you . . . .listen too . . . too many times I’ve swallowed my words. Is it a crime to want to be heard?” I’ve always been into Neil Young, always thought he was ‘the’ guy in CSNY and obviously solo, and he still largely is, but as the years go by and I have dug deeper into Stephen Stills, wow.
    1. Montrose, Dancin’ Feet . . . It’s akin to the Deep Purple story, circa 1974 when Purple introduces the previously unknown singer David Coverdale to the world and goes on to further success with the Burn and subsequent albums, Coverdale of course going on to found and front the hugely successful Whitesnake. In this case, Sammy Hagar leaves Montrose and, similarly later to Judas Priest bringing in tribute band singer Ripper Owens when Rob Halford left, Montrose brings in unknown singer Bob James from a Montrose tribute band to take over lead vocals. And it works for two albums including this funky rocker from the band’s 1975 album Warner Bros. Presents Montrose! Cool album cover, too.
    2. George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Want Ad Blues . . . Typically raunchy cover, great bass intro, in this case of a John Lee Hooker tune, from arguably the master coverer-turn-em-into rock tracks artist, Thorogood. From his 1993 album Haircut.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 29, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

  1. Jethro Tull, Wolf Unchained
  2. Little Feat, Juliette
  3. Zuffalo, Flowering Rush
  4. Grateful Dead, Unbroken Chain
  5. The Allman Brothers Band, High Cost Of Low Living
  6. J.J. Cale, Artificial Paradise
  7. Harry Chapin, Sunday Morning Sunshine
  8. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lodi
  9. Thin Lizzy, Slow Blues
  10. Ten Years After, Slow Blues In ‘C’ (from Recorded Live)
  11. The Rolling Stones, You Gotta Move (live, from Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! Deluxe box set)
  12. Traffic, (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired
  13. Jack Bruce, How’s Tricks
  14. Rod Stewart, Lady Day
  15. Bob Dylan, If You See Her, Say Hello
  16. Peter Green, Baby When The Sun Goes Down
  17. Jon Lord with The Hoochie Coochie Men, Back At The Chicken Shack (from Live At The Basement)
  18. Gordon Lightfoot, That Same Old Obsession
  19. Steely Dan, Green Earrings
  20. The Monkees, No Time
  21. Reunion, Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)
  22. David Essex, Rock On
  23. Edward Bear, Last Song
  24. Dire Straits, Fade To Black

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Jethro Tull, Wolf Unchained . . . From the new Tull album, RokFlote (rock flute), released last week. Originally to be a primarily instrumental album featuring flute, as planning and sessions progressed Tull leader Ian Anderson began writing more lyrics and it became a full band effort, a concept album based around Norse mythology and history prompted by Anderson’s delving into his own possible Scandinavian roots, as he relates in the album’s liner notes. It’s fairly mellow, this track being the hardest rocking, to my ears, after just a listen or two. But it’s good, making it two straight late-career solid albums from Tull after last year’s The Zealot Gene. Anderson’s voice isn’t what it once was, which is why my lone disappointing of many Tull shows, in 2007, marked the last time I’ll see the band live. But Anderson is smart enough to work around his vocal limitations, likely helped by studio wizardry, on new recorded work that best suits his singing.
    2. Little Feat, Juliette . . . Speaking of flute, Anderson and Tull are likely the most famous for use of the instrument but it’s not as if it’s unique to that band in rock music. A quick web search suggests bands ranging from Canned Heat to Genesis to John Mayall’s various Bluesbreakers incarnations to The Moody Blues, and others, have used flute, although not as extensively as Tull nor, usually, as a lead instrument. Little Feat tried it on this lovely track from the Dixie Chicken album. Feat leader Lowell George plays it, apparently despite his thinking he wasn’t very good at it. Sounds fine to me.
    3. Zuffalo, Flowering Rush . . . This Toronto band will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon by playing the album, and their own stuff, like this tune from their Birdbrain record, in a 9 p.m. show sponsored by Radio Waterloo tonight (Saturday, April 29) at Rhythm and Blues in Cambridge, Ont. Zuffalo describes its sound as ‘groove-driven, uplifting psychedelic rock with folk- and pop-based melodies and harmonies. . . . with funky beats and monstrous riffs that can enter realms of blues and hard rock.” For musical context, Zuffalo reminds me somewhat of The Allman Brothers Band and Grateful Dead, among others. Which leads me into the next two songs . . .
    4. Grateful Dead, Unbroken Chain . . . From The Mars Hotel album, issued in 1974, this tune with a nice, comfortable groove was written and sung by Dead bass player Phil Lesh. I’ve long appreciated them by now but I was somewhat late to the band, knew hit songs like Truckin’ but often smiled at lines about the band like, and I’m paraphrasing, “once Deadheads stopped doing drugs and listened to the band while straight they realized how bad they were.” But such lines aren’t true, as I’ve found out over time while digging deeper.
    5. The Allman Brothers Band, High Cost Of Low Living . . . One of my favorite Allmans tunes, all eras. This one’s from the last studio album Hittin’ The Note, released in 2003. The band became exclusively a live act after that before retiring in 2014 after their final concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre, where they for years set up shop for month-long strings of shows.
    6. J.J. Cale, Artificial Paradise . . . From Cale’s 1992 album 10, being his tenth album. He also has albums called ‘5’ and #8 and wouldn’t you know, they are his fifth and eighth studio albums, respectively. Clever guy. But not all his album titles are like that, and I’m not knocking him by any stretch. He’s one of my favorite artists. He was just so effortlessly smooth in his bluesy, rootsy, country way, always reliably the same yet different enough in each song and album as to remain compelling, rarely if ever repeating himself.
    7. Harry Chapin, Sunday Morning Sunshine . . . Yes, I know it’s a Saturday morning show but I don’t have a Sunday show. At least, not yet, that I know of. Nice tune by Chapin, musically and lyrically, typical of an artist with loads of great stuff yet well known by the masses essentially for two songs – Cat’s In The Cradle and Taxi.
    8. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lodi . . . It’s on all their compilations so it’s an at least somewhat popular, well-known tune that was the B-side to Bad Moon Rising from the Green River album. Yet it’s one of those CCR songs you don’t tend to hear about much given all their big hit singles, although it’s always been one of my favorites. And what’s wrong with being stuck in Lodi, California, anyway? It’s a key hub of the state’s wine industry.
    9. Thin Lizzy, Slow Blues . . . One of those songs that I’d bet if you played it to someone, unless they were up on Thin Lizzy and, maybe, Phil Lynott’s voice, they’d not guess that it was Thin Lizzy. Great tune. It’s not exactly slow, more mid-tempo I’d say, and a somewhat spooky lament about yet another relationship gone awry. Typical blues fodder. It’s from 1973’s Vagabonds Of The Western World, Thin Lizzy’s third album, three years before they broke big in North America via the Jailbreak album and The Boys Are Back In Town hit single.
    10. Ten Years After, Slow Blues In ‘C’ (from Recorded Live) . . . Thin Lizzy was in the wrong key. So TYA corrected them. Another great bluesy track; I’m in that frame of mind, in large measure, for this show.
    11. The Rolling Stones, You Gotta Move (live, from Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! Deluxe box set) . . . From the expanded version of Ya Ya’s, issued in 2009. Just Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in a mini acoustic set featuring the Fred McDowell blues tune the Stones previewed on their 1969 tour of the United States, recording it, Brown Sugar and Wild Horses at Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama while on tour as shown in the movie Gimme Shelter. The three songs wound up on 1971’s Sticky Fingers album. The expanded Ya Ya’s album release includes five songs – Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Under My Thumb, I’m Free and Satisfaction – that were regularly played on the tour but weren’t included on the original 1970 live album.
    12. Traffic, (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired . . . Exactly how I felt the day before yesterday in prepping the show. Just couldn’t seem to get it together to my own satisfaction. But as often happens, took a break, rearranged things, garbage in garbage out so to speak in terms of tracks (and of course none of them are garbage) and, here we are.
    13. Jack Bruce, How’s Tricks . . . A reggae groove on this title track from the former Cream man’s 1977 album.
    14. Rod Stewart, Lady Day . . . Yet another classic from Rod Stewart’s amazing 1969-74 period when he was maintaining parallel careers, solo and with Faces, most of whom backed him on his solo albums. This one’s from his second solo outing, 1970’s Gasoline Alley. Stewart’s solo success eventually overshadowed and led to the fraying of Faces.
    15. Bob Dylan, If You See Her, Say Hello . . . Another lament to lost love from an album lamenting lost love, Blood On The Tracks.
    16. Peter Green, Baby When The Sun Goes Down . . . Bluesy excellence from the Fleetwood Mac founder’s 1980 album Little Dreamer.
    17. Jon Lord with The Hoochie Coochie Men, Back At The Chicken Shack (from Live At The Basement) . . . The Deep Purple keyboardist having fun with friends in Australia on this great live album, released in 2003. A dip into a bit of Purple’s Lazy to start, then into a blues shuffle showcase of the late great Lord’s skills on this nine-minute excursion.
    18. Gordon Lightfoot, That Same Old Obsession . . . Love, lost love, same old story. Beautiful song was the B-side to You Are What I Am from 1972’s Old Dan’s Records album, one which saw Lightfoot starting to introduce country influences into his music.
    19. Steely Dan, Green Earrings . . . Jazzy, funky rock from The Royal Scam album featuring great guitar from Denny Dias and Elliott Randall.
    20. The Monkees, No Time . . . I had this Monkees’ rocker from the Headquarters album in the hopper and under consideration for today’s show. Then, unrelated to show planning, came a fun chat with friends about The Monkees, so that conversation clinched No Time’s inclusion.
    21. Reunion, Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) . . . I considered doing another one-hit wonder type show, which I’ve done before but decided to go with just a few such tunes. This one, from 1974, name-checks just about every artist popular in music to that point in a fun tune that made the top 10 in North America, No. 8 on Billboard and No. 2 in Canada.
    22. David Essex, Rock On . . . He’s known as a one-hit wonder, at least in North America, for this song but David Essex, still active at 75, has 19 top 40 singles and 16 top 40 albums in the UK. He’s also an actor, with credits in various movies and TV shows, mostly UK productions, and the stage musicals Godspell and Evita during the 1970s.
    23. Edward Bear, Last Song . . . A No. 1 Canadian and No. 3 US hit in 1973 for the Toronto-based group. Formed in 1966, the band, whose name was derived from Winnie the Pooh, also charted with You, Me and Mexico in 1970.
    24. Dire Straits, Fade To Black . . . And you thought “Last Song’ would be the actual last song. C’mon . . . that’s just what you’d be expecting. Instead, out we fade with this boozy, bluesy track from the final Dire Straits album, 1991’s On Every Street. The late Jeff Porcaro of Toto and extensive session fame was the drummer on most of the album’s songs and was invited on tour – an excellent one I took in when the band came to Toronto. But Porcaro declined due to his commitments to Toto and other projects, of which there were many. Porcaro was one of the most recorded session musicians in history including albums/songs with Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Boz Scaggs, Diana Ross, Warren Zevon, Michael Jackson, Madonna . . . the list is quite varied, and almost endless.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 24, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

I’ve divided tonight’s show into segments: progressive rock followed by metal/hard rock, then singer/songwriters, then some new wave from my college days before finishing up with The Doors, a different version of Bad Company featuring Paul Rodgers soundalike vocalist Robert Hart, The Rolling Stones and a Mark Knopfler project, The Notting Hillbillies.

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

  1. Genesis, Deep In The Motherlode
  2. Pink Floyd, A Pillow Of Winds
  3. Yes, And You And I
  4. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Knife-Edge
  5. King Crimson, Fallen Angel
  6. Black Sabbath, Falling Off The Edge Of The World
  7. Tipton, Entwistle and Powell, Resolution
  8. Judas Priest, Traitors’ Gate
  9. Iron Maiden, The Clairvoyant
  10. Deep Purple, A Gypsy’s Kiss
  11. Joni Mitchell, The Beat Of Black Wings
  12. Cat Stevens, Lady D’Arbanville
  13. Murray McLauchlan, Train Song
  14. Bruce Cockburn, Justice
  15. The Clash, Ghetto Defendant
  16. The Specials, Gangsters
  17. Flash And The Pan, Captain Beware
  18. Blondie, Dragonfly
  19. The Doors, Orange County Suite
  20. Bad Company, Abandoned And Alone
  21. The Rolling Stones, I Got The Blues
  22. The Notting Hillbillies, Will You Miss Me

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Genesis, Deep In The Motherlode . . . From the . . . And Then There Were Three . . . album, released in 1978. The record saw the band – with the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett, two albums after the departure of original lead singer Peter Gabriel – reduced to the trio of singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford. I had always been aware of Genesis but aside from Pink Floyd and knowing Yes songs like Roundabout and ELP stuff like Lucky Man, had not to that point been much into progressive rock. So the album was my full listening gateway into Genesis via the single Follow You Follow Me, a hit that presaged the transformation of the band into a more widely accessible act. But the album retained, albeit in shorter songs, elements of earlier Genesis on tracks like Deep In The Motherlode and I soon was going back to the beginning, and advancing with the band through the Duke album and beyond.
    2. Pink Floyd, A Pillow Of Winds . . . Speaking of Pink Floyd . . . a beautiful, atmospheric piece from the Meddle album. You do feel as if you are floating on the wind.
    3. Yes, And You And I . . . As one reviewer of the Close To The Edge album suggested, if one wants an example of progressive rock, at least Yes’s version of it, this would be a good song to sample, “blending four part vocal harmony with expert musicianship.”
    4. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Knife-Edge . . . I mentioned Lucky Man earlier. This was its B-side, from the band’s self-titled debut album in 1970 and more representative of the group’s overall sound. But singles entice people to buy albums. If they don’t like the rest of it, and that can definitely happen with some artists, that’s why hits compilations exist.
    5. King Crimson, Fallen Angel . . . The debut Crimson album, 1969’s In The Court Of The Crimson King, will always be my favorite but 1974’s Red, from which I pulled Fallen Angel, is up there. The album has been described as displaying a balance between bone-crushing brutality and cerebral complexity. On the surface, one might not tend to see a marriage between prog and metal, but Red is a heavy album and an influence on metal acts and much of King Crimson’s extensive output rocks. The band’s genius has been that ability to merge heavy material with cerebral complexity.
    6. Black Sabbath, Falling Off The Edge Of The World . . . From 1981’s Mob Rules album, the second studio release with singer Ronnie James Dio, who delivers, along with rest of the band, an epic metallic masterpiece performance.
    7. Tipton, Entwistle and Powell, Resolution . . . Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton released a solo album, Baptizm of Fire, in 1997, with Who bassist John Entwistle and noted drummer Cozy Powell among the session players. Tipton took the songs that didn’t make that album, like this melodic heavy rocker, and released them, in memory of the recent deaths of his friends and colleagues, in 2006 as the Edge Of The World record. Like Baptizm of Fire, it sounds like a Judas Priest album without Rob Halford singing, and while some Priest fans have criticized Tipton’s singing, I don’t mind it.
    8. Judas Priest, Traitors’ Gate . . . From 2018’s Firepower. It’s Priest’s most recent album. released in 2018 and an absolute corker, melodic metal mayhem from start to finish. It’s somewhat rare for a longtime band to come up with such a classic so late in their career, but Priest pulled it off. Meantime, Tipton has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and while he played on Firepower, the affliction has limited his touring with the band and he’s been replaced by English guitarist Andy Sneap for stage performances since 2018 although Tipton has appeared occasionally for a song or two, usually encores. At one point, Priest singer Rob Halford suggested he still tour using backing tracks or a backstage guitarist to cover for him, but Tipton, to his credit I think, rejected those options.
    9. Iron Maiden, The Clairvoyant . . . A Maiden classic from the 1988 album Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. Looked at cynically, the lyric “there’s a time to live but isn’t it strange that as soon as you’re born you’re dying’ is maybe a lame, obvious attempt to sound profound. But on the other hand, it’s akin to essentially all of the lyrics for Pink Floyd’s Time from The Dark Side Of The Moon, including the passage: “. . . the sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death.” Someone has to publicly articulate such thoughts. And on that happy albeit realistic note . . .
    10. Deep Purple, A Gypsy’s Kiss . . . A scorcher from 1984’s Perfect Strangers album, it reminds me of Highway Star in the sense you can imagine yourself driving, too fast, down a long, otherwise empty stretch of highway while grooving to the song turned up to 11. The album reunited the so-called Mark II classic Purple lineup of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Jon Lord. But as usual, Gillan and Blackmore got at each other’s throats again and, to make a long well-known story I’ve told before short, another studio album ensued, a fractious tour, another breakup, another reunion, then a final breakup of the Mark II version in the middle of another tour. There’s a funny 3-minute video clip from years ago, around the time of the first reunion’s first breakup, called “Blackmore-Gillan battle of words” on YouTube where the two men, separately, discuss their differences. Gillan calls Blackmore a giant among guitarists but ‘he’s an intellectual dwarf . . . I didn’t say that . . . he’s insecure . . . I didn’t say that . . . yes I did.” Cut to Blackmore in a separate interview, deadpan with a bit of a twinkle in his eye: “One of these days when we’re playing, on the road, I’m going to attack Ian Gillan in the back alley . . . he’s bigger than me, he’s probably a better fighter, so I’m going to do it with a few friends of mine, probably Swedish, and we’ll beat him up, but he won’t know it’s me.”
    11. Joni Mitchell, The Beat Of Black Wings . . . From Mitchell’s 1988 album Chalk In A Rainstorm, a compelling tale of an embittered Vietnam War veteran who has difficulty getting the sound of helicopter blades from his head. I don’t have the album. I like Joni’s stuff well enough and have the albums Blue, Court and Spark and one of her live albums, Miles of Aisles and a few others, but am mostly into her well-known singles. What I also have, though, is a terrific compilation of her lesser known material that she selected, released in 1996, called Misses. It’s a companion album to Hits, released on the same day on the proviso that the record company also accede to her request and issue Misses, which is where I first heard The Beat Of Black Wings, and other great deep cuts.
    12. Cat Stevens, Lady D’Arbanville . . . Written about a former girlfriend, actress Patti D’Arbanville, it appeared on the interestingly titled 1970 album Mona Bone Jakon – a name Stevens coined for his, er, penis.
    13. Murray McLauchlan, Train Song . . . From the Canadian singer-songwriter’s 1976 album Boulevard. Such great stuff, MM’s work, as a trip through an excellent 2-CD career retrospective, Songs From The Street, also available online, reveals, if you don’t have or know the individual albums.
    14. Bruce Cockburn, Justice . . . What’s been done in the name of, you name it, religion, peace, civilization itself, etc. Lyric “list’ songs like these are usually effective, John Lennon’s God being a prime example, although obviously the music has to be compelling enough to prompt people to listen. It’s from 1981’s Inner City Front album, with Cockburn concluding that ‘everybody loves to see justice done . . . on somebody else.” Murray McLauchlan contributes backing vocals on the album.
    15. The Clash, Ghetto Defendant . . . Terrific, different, partially spoken word track, easily my favorite on the Combat Rock album, featuring vocal contribution from Beat Generation writer/poet Allen Ginsberg.
    16. The Specials, Gangsters . . . First Specials song I ever heard, as I recall on Toronto TV station City’s The New Music show, during my late 1970s college days. It was a single, a terrific track and I was hooked, prompting my younger brother’s classic reaction – ‘what’s happened to you?’ – as I dug deep into The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and so on. Love my siblings but he was, to quote Mott The Hoople’s David Bowie-penned hit All The Young Dudes, still ‘back at home with his Beatles and his Stones . . . ” I was, too, but that didn’t preclude expanding horizons.
    17. Flash And The Pan, Captain Beware . . . From Lights In The Night, the second Flash And The Pan album, released in 1980. I read where some critic said the synthesized vocals get tiring. Uh, the synthesized vocals are a big part of the point of Flash And The Pan.
    18. Blondie, Dragonfly . . . Interesting sci-fi-themed mini-epic from The Hunter, the band’s 1982 album. It was a relative failure commercially and critically, particularly in comparison to hit albums Parallel Lines, Eat To The Beat and Autoamerican that preceded it. I don’t have The Hunter, having given up on Blondie by then, but I did along the way pick up a two-disc compilation of hits and album tracks issued years later. It’s called The Platinum Collection, which is how I became familiar with Dragonfly.
    19. The Doors, Orange County Suite . . . Originally a piano-only piece written in 1969 by Jim Morrison, about his partner Pamela, it was later dressed up with added instrumentation by surviving members of The Doors after Morrison’s death. The reworked track, which retains the spare approach of the original, was released on the band’s 1997 box set and on an expanded 2006 re-release of the L.A. Woman album. All versions are available online, at least on YouTube.
    20. Bad Company, Abandoned And Alone . . . It sounds like Paul Rodgers singing on this one from 1995’s Company Of Strangers album, but it isn’t. It’s Robert Hart, who replaced the previous Rodgers replacement, Brian Howe. Bad Co. had lots of commercial success with Howe singing, but I didn’t like the overproduced 1980s sound of those years, corporate rock it’s derisively called, and could only tolerate one song, the title cut from the Holy Water album. But while Paul Rodgers is without doubt THE Bad Company singer, and has been back at the mic since 2008 as the band continues to tour, Hart was a fine replacement, certainly much better than Howe was to my ears, and Company Of Strangers is a good album harkening back to the original Bad Company sound. Hart sang on one more album, the 1996 record Stories Told & Untold. That hybrid of new material and reworkings of Bad Co. classics like Can’t Get Enough wasn’t as good as Company Of Strangers as, perhaps strangely, Hart started sounding like Howe on the new material amid a baffling, to me, return to the studio slick gunk production. That was that, and Hart moved on to other projects, becoming become lead singer of the latest incarnation of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 2011.
    21. The Rolling Stones, I Got The Blues . . . Billy Preston, a regular session player on Stones albums in the early 1970s who also toured with the band, contributes a fine organ solo on this late night lament to a lost lover, from the Sticky Fingers album.
    22. The Notting Hillbillies, Will You Miss Me . . . From the wonderful one-off 1990 country rock, bluesy album Missing . . . Presumed Having A Good Time. And the band, led by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, indeed does have a blast on a low-key album of covers, traditional songs and some originals.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 22, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

I’m going fairly deep for Saturday, drawing from a wonderful compilation series  called I’m A Freak, Baby – A Journey Through The British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72. I’m digging into the first 3-CD compilation that was released in 2016 and I was turned on to by a fellow music aficionado friend. There’s since been two more releases, in 2019 and 2021, expanding the palate to 1973 and I intend to get to those songs eventually, individually or collectively, as I’ve done piecemeal since first release. There’s 154 songs, total, over the series so far. It’s great stuff from which I’m drawing half of this set, the rest being my usual classic rock deep cuts and otherwise fare. My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Rory Gallagher, Bullfrog Blues (from Live In Europe)
  2. Wicked Lady, I’m A Freak
  3. The Gun, Race With The Devil
  4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Rapid Transit
  5. Iron Claw, Skullcrusher
  6. The Move, Brontosaurus
  7. Third World War, Ascension Day
  8. Chicken Shack, Going Down
  9. BTO, Amelia Earhart
  10. Bachman and Turner, Moonlight Rider
  11. Skid Row (Ireland), Go, I’m Never Gonna Let You
  12. Bare Sole, Flash
  13. The Open Mind, Cast A Spell
  14. Stack Waddy, Bring It To Jerome
  15. Writing On The Wall, Bogeyman
  16. Barnabus, Apocalypse
  17. The Who, Under My Thumb
  18. Aerosmith, 3 Mile Smile
  19. The Tragically Hip, An Inch An Hour
  20. Midnight Oil, Best Of Both Worlds
  21. Romantics, A Night Like This
  22. Dave Edmunds, Almost Saturday Night
  23. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight
  24. Ian Hunter, Overnight Angels
  25. The Deviants, I’m Coming HomeMy track-by-track tales:

     

    1. Rory Gallagher, Bullfrog Blues (from Live In Europe) . . . From Irish guitar legend Gallagher’s first live album, recorded and released in 1972, culled from shows throughout Europe in February and March of that year. Guitarist The Edge of U2, according to Live In Europe’s 1999 expanded re-release liner notes, was inspired by the album to learn the instrument and play in a band. I often think of Rory Gallagher as I do The J. Geils Band. I like their studio stuff, but they’re arguably best heard live and thankfully both artists have multiple live albums available.
    2. Wicked Lady, I’m A Freak . . . First of a bunch of songs, comprising half my set today, of relative obscurities from the British hard rock and psychedelic scene released between 1968-72. I’m A Freak, from 1972, is a Motorhead-like propulsive track recorded three years before there was a Motorhead, and serves as a sort of title track for a compilation I’m drawing from for the show. A 3-CD set released in 2016, it’s called I’m A Freak, Baby . . . A Journey Through The British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground scene 1968-72. It’s a terrific compilation I was directed to around the time it came out by a music aficionado friend who sent me a succinct message on Facebook: ‘You have to get this!” So I got it. I liked it. I still like it. So much so that since then, I’ve purchased the sequels – I’m A Freak Baby 2 and 3, released in 2019 and 2021, respectively, as further journeys through that underground scene, this time covering 1968-73 although for this show I’ve selected material only from the first compilation.Off the top I said ‘relative obscurities’ because the compilations are relative to one’s depth of musical knowledge of such bands. Most of them were unknown to me when I bought the first compilation, but all three comps are spiced with material from very well known acts like Deep Purple (and some of its family tree bands, like Episode Six and Warhorse), early, bluesy Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds and Uriah Heep and maybe some slightly less widely known to the masses bands like The Move (out of which Electric Light Orchestra formed), Groundhogs, Atomic Rooster, Budgie and Love Sculpture, among others. I’ve delved into individual tracks from the compilations over time, but this is the first show where I’m devoting a large portion of my set to those releases, and I imagine I’ll be doing another, similar show again at some point given the volume of material – 154 songs – available. Deep cuts, indeed.
    3. The Gun, Race With The Devil . . . Heavy, primal, propulsive hard rock from 1968 with a nod at the start to Cream’s hit White Room, released around the same time. Judas Priest recorded this song by The Gun during sessions for Priest’s 1978 album Stained Class, and it appeared as a bonus track on the expanded 2001 re-release of Priest’s 1977 album Sin After Sin.
    4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Rapid Transit . . . I’d say Neil and Crazy Horse, mostly used when he’s in a heavy rock mood wanting to make lots of noise, fits with the I’m A Freak stuff. Rapid Transit is from 1981’s Re-ac-tor record, which most critics dismissed but, well, whatever. It’s great. Who else do you know who can get nine-plus minutes of magnificent distortion mayhem out of seven words – Got mashed potatoes, ain’t got no T-bone’ – as Neil and Crazy Horse do on T-Bone, which I’ve played before from the album, and no doubt will again sometime.
    5. Iron Claw, Skullcrusher . . . Doom-ish rock from 1970 that, yeah, crushes it. Iron Claw were Black Sabbath obsessives/soundalikes from Scotland but perhaps followed their heroes a bit too closely. According to the I’m A Freak compilation liner notes, Iron Claw sent Sabbath a demo of their first album in hopes of getting some promotional support but instead, Sabbath management made veiled threats of possible legal action. Good song, Skullcrusher, but I can see Sabbath’s point. To my knowledge, no lawsuits resulted, Iron Claw disbanded by 1971, briefly reformed in 2010 and released an album in 2011 before splitting again. Their early 1970s sessions didn’t yield an album at that time but tapes of 16 songs recorded between 1970 and 1974 were released on CD in 2009 after an earlier bootleg of the recordings was issued by a German label in 1996.
    6. The Move, Brontosaurus . . . Heavy rock from Looking On, the third Move album, released in 1970. It was the first with singer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne, who later formed Electric Light Orchestra with Move co-founder Roy Wood, who handles lead vocals on this one. The duo was recording the first ELO album, which came out in 1971, at the same time as Looking On, and elements of the early ELO sound are evident in Brontosaurus.
    1. Third World War, Ascension Day . . . Hard rock blues and apparently a big influence on early punk, from the band’s 1971 self-titled debut. Always interesting to me are the roots and branches of musical groups and Third World War is no different. Thunderclap Newman bassist Jim Avery was in the band and also appearing on various tracks on the debut album were English keyboardist/singer Tony Ashton, perhaps best known for his collaborations with various members of Deep Purple, and Rolling Stones sidemen Jim Price (trumpet and trombone) and Bobby Keys (saxophone).
    2. Chicken Shack, Going Down . . . Who hasn’t covered Don Nix’s Going Down? It’s as ubiquitous as the much-covered Bonnie Dobson-penned tune Morning Dew. Not that this is a bad thing – they’re both great songs. And this is another good version, from Chicken Shack’s 1972 album Imagination Lady, via the I’m A Freak Baby compilation. By this point, the lady in the Shack, Christine (Perfect) McVie had long since left to join Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack was down to a harder-rocking trio of guitarist/singer Stan Webb, drummer Paul Hancox and bassist John Glascock. Glascock later joined Jethro Tull and played on the studio albums Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die, Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses and some of 1979’s Stormwatch. Glascock, who had a congenital heart valve defect exacerbated by his party lifestyle, died in 1979 at age 28.
    3. BTO, Amelia Earhart . . . Extended soft-rock ode to the American aviation pioneer, who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting a circumnavigational flight of the earth in 1937. The song is on the 1979 album Rock ‘n’ Roll Nights, the second, after 1978’s Street Action, by the band after the departure of guitarist/songwriter/singer/producer Randy Bachman. That resulted in a trademark agreement with Bachman, requiring the band to release the two albums remaining on its existing record contract as BTO, not Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The albums featured former April Wine member Jim Clench, who sings Amelia Earhart, on bass with singer/bassist C.F. (Fred) Turner moving to guitar in tandem with Blair Thornton. I prefer the heavier sound of Street Action, a deliberate move by the remaining members, who chafed at Bachman’s mostly mellow direction on the previous album Freeways to the extent that Turner said it should have been a Bachman solo record. So it’s interesting that they then did a ballad like Amelia Earhart but by that point, unlike on Street Action, outside songwriters like the team of Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams were brought in and it was becoming a latter-day Aerosmith, or a failed attempt at that hit-making level of success. I do like the song Amelia Earhart, perhaps because her story fuels fascination. But while the albums have their moments, they weren’t widely accepted by critics or customers, and, not surprisingly given the loss of such a key member as Randy Bachman, they sold poorly. But I’m a completist, with some bands, anyway, and one is sometimes rewarded with interesting discoveries and even hidden gems.
    4. Bachman and Turner, Moonlight Rider . . . Essentially BTO without the Overdrive, again due to contractual and legal issues that resulted when so-called classic era BTO members Rob Bachman and Blair Thornton sued to prevent Randy Bachman and Fred Turner from recording and touring as BTO. Which is interesting, given what happened earlier and as described above, when Randy Bachman left after the Freeways album and Turner was still in, er, BTO although that scenario seemed mutually amicable. Ah, naming rights issues in rock. In any event, Randy Bachman was working on a solo album, thought Turner’s vocals fit a tune, sent it to him, things clicked and the result was the Bachman & Turner album released in 2010. It features songs Turner had written between 2002 and 2004, including Moonlight Rider, some Bachman tunes and some co-writes. I was late to the Bachman and Turner album but I like it. It mostly harkens back to early 1970s BTO in terms of heaviness and most of the songs have a nice groove, like this well put-together tune that features some nice soloing by Bachman and Turner’s distinctive, gruff and gritty vocals.
    5. Skid Row (Ireland), Go, I’m Never Gonna Let You . . . Back to I’m A Freak, Baby we go. This isn’t the Skid Row once fronted by Canadian-born singer Sebastian Bach. That Skid Row is still around, two or three singers moved on from Bach as the lineup changes in music tend to spin. I was never into that Skid Row, although I remember the Slave To The Grind album. This Skid Row was formed in Dublin in 1967 with future Thin Lizzy frontman/bassist Phil Lynott as lead singer although the band didn’t record any material with Lynott, at least nothing that’s available. Later, another future Thin Lizzy member, guitarist Gary Moore, joined the group, after Lynott left. Moore was on board for two albums, 1970’s Skid and 1971’s 34 Hours, so named for the amount of time it took to record. 34 Hours included this near nine-minute epic featuring some fine soloing and shredding by Moore, who then went on to Thin Lizzy, with Lynott, for stints in 1973-74 and 1977-79. Skid, without Moore, hit the, er, skids.
    6. Bare Sole, Flash . . . Bare Sole was well thought of enough that they earned opening act slots for The Small Faces, The Move, Status Quo and Family. Or, maybe those band picked them because they didn’t want to risk being upstaged and thought Bare Sole wasn’t good enough to do so. Trust me, some bands want to be pushed, others don’t. In any event, Bare Sole’s manager took this sort of ever-ascending track, it’s decent enough, to Decca Records, who turned it down. Well, Decca turned down The Beatles too, so Bare Sole has that feather in its cap. I think one of the issues with some of these bands is their names. I’m serious. Call the band Flash and the song Bare Sole, maybe. Look down the list, past this tune. Writing On The Wall, band name; song name, Bogeyman. Wouldn’t the reverse be better, more memorable? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Bogeyman! Same with Barnabus (band name) and Apocalypse (song). Wouldn’t Apocalpyse be a more memorable name for a band? But who knows what possible duplication/legal issues may be involved.
    7. The Open Mind, Cast A Spell . . . A short, shade over two-minute psychedelic trip from 1969 that, when I first heard it, nagged at my brain because it’s derivative of something but I just couldn’t place what. Then it occurred to me that it sounds sort of like Cream, but also, maybe strangely, especially the chorus “it’s all in the mind” like some songs by hard rock Aussie band Wolfmother, which didn’t exist until 2004. Which means Wolfmother, which is derivative of bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, may have given Cast A Spell a listen or two. Cast A Spell was the B-side to Magic Potion, which if you’re old enough, it’ll start and you may think, oh yeah, I remember that song. It’s a heavy, driving rocker with an insistent riff including some wah-wah guitar pedal work. Why the powers behind the I’m A Freak Baby, series didn’t put it on the compilations as well is beyond me. But, it’s available on YouTube, at least.
    8. Stack Waddy, Bring It To Jerome . . . Killer cover – or as the Freak compilation liner notes suggest – untutored assault – on the Bo Diddley tune. It’s infectious, menacing. Lead singer John Knail (no word on whether that’s a stage name) seems to come in sideways off the guitar riff, sort of how I’d describe Ozzy Osbourne on some early Black Sabbath records, a voice suddenly appearing, from some dark elsewhere, although Knail sounds more like AC/DC’s Bon Scott, actually. Anyway, he, er, nails the vocal. The band was known for cover tunes. This one’s from their first, self-titled album, released in 1971 after they had caught the attention of noted British DJ John Peel, who signed them to his short-lived Dandelion Records label. The debut includes another Diddley tune, Roadrunner, plus Susie Q and Muddy Waters’ Rolling Stone. Stack Waddy recorded one more album, Peel again serving as executive producer, named it Bugger Off! And then did exactly that, buggered off, although they have reunited now and then, most recently in 2007. Peel did the liner notes for the second album and related that the band did every song in a single live take, refusing to use overdubs or any studio tricks in order not to compromise their raw sound. Peel recalled that he made the mistake of asking for a second take of a song to which the band responded “Bugger off, Peel”, resulting in the album title. The band would likely have been bigger had they done more original material although George Thorogood has done well by covers and, oh, had Knail not relieved himself on the audience at a gig set up by Dandelion Records in an effort to impress the president of the label’s US distributor, Elektra. Knail, what were you thinking?
    9. Writing On The Wall, Bogeyman . . . The Scottish band starts this one with 40 seconds of Scotland The Brave on harmonica before ripping into an infectious, heavy riff. Accept used a similar intro idea for its 1986 song Fast As A Shark, using a snap, crackle and pop old vinyl recording of a traditional German tune before you hear the needle scratching the record as all speed metallic hell is unleashed. Bogeyman is from Writing On the Wall’s one and only album, The Power Of The Picts, released in 1969. John Peel, a man obviously of good taste given his support of previous entry Stack Waddy, was involved to some extent with Writing On The Wall. He recorded them for his BBC Radio sessions, but the band’s progress was stymied by eventual issues with its manager/record label owner, according to the I’m A Freak liner notes.
    10. Barnabus, Apocalypse . . . Heavy shit, as the saying goes. These guys were on the periphery of and rubbed shoulders with more successful outfits, opening for Hawkwind among others, and winning a stage in a contest, featuring Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi as judges, run by then hugely influential Brit weekly music magazine Melody Maker. But, while good and interesting, as all of the material on these very enjoyable Freak compilations is, that has to be at least a factor in why so many of these bands remained obscure, or never made it past one album or single: they were influenced by but perhaps too derivative of bands like Black Sabbath. This Barnabus song, for instance, is pretty much a dead ringer for Sabbath’s War Pigs, to my ears. I like it, but . . . So it becomes a case of, well why should I get into another Black Sabbath-type band when I already have Black Sabbath to listen to? It’s a common issue, obviously, to this day. It’s difficult to be original. That said, the beauty of the Freak comps is that they have introduced me to good music I’d otherwise likely never have heard. And in one case, with the band Stray who I’ve previously played on the show, it prompted deeper investigation to the point where I acquired a fine 2-CD Stray compilation that gets regular rotation on my players. And there’s other such bands that, wallet permitting, will no doubt repeat the pattern. Yes, I can listen online of course but as often stated, I’m still a physical product guy with stuff I like.
    11. The Who, Under My Thumb . . . When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones were busted and jailed on drug charges in 1967, The Who rallied in support of their colleagues, releasing a cover of this Stones tune, coupled with The Last Time. The Who’s intention was to keep recording and releasing Jagger/Richards songs as long as the Stones’ songwriters were jailed, but they were quickly released before The Who had a chance to dig deeper into the Stones’ catalog. Good that the Stones were released, but it would have been interesting to hear what The Who next selected to cover, and how they’d have played it. I like The Who version of Under My Thumb, they’re a great band, it’s a great song, pretty difficult to mess up, really. The Who version was later reissued on the expanded 1998 re-release of the Odds & Sods album, a great compilation of previously shelved stuff that Who bassist John Entwistle put together for original release in 1974. It was, essentially, a new/old Who album, it filled a gap between Quadrophenia in 1973 and The Who By Numbers in 1975 and was so good that it made No. 10 on the UK charts and No. 15 in the US and left many people wondering why the band had held such great material back.But that’s true of so many great artists. Bob Dylan comes to mind. In 1991, Dylan released the first of his archival Bootleg series, a 3-CD set issued as Volumes 1-3 that followed by a few years the Biograph box set compilation which, Dylan ever the trend-setter, prompted the box set bonanza that really took off, commercially, via Eric Clapton’s Crossroads. Dylan is now up to Volume 17 in his bootleg series and it’s an amazing trip for Dylan fans through unreleased songs, different versions, different versions of albums, live stuff, etc. But in 1991, stuck in among the many songs on Volumes 1-3 was the mind-blowing Blind Willie McTell in honor of the blues legend, that Dylan had seemingly inexplicably left off his 1983 album Infidels. Infidels is one of my favorite Dylan albums, it’s a great record and as a creative person I have at least some inkling as to how such a mind works so maybe Dylan thought Blind Willie McTell might overwhelm Infidels and leave such great songs as Jokerman, I and I and so on, less appreciated. Hence, maybe his reasoning for holding it back. In any event, it eventually came out and, like many of the previously unreleased songs on The Who’s Odds & Sods, reveals the just damn goodness of these great artists, the depth of their creativity.
    12. Aerosmith, 3 Mile Smile . . . From the down, dirty, band is drugged and boozed out, in chaos and breaking up but they’re so good they still kick ass 1979 album Night In The Ruts. Zeppelin-ish which is interesting because Aerosmith’s so-called Toxic Twins of singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry are often compared to, and indeed drew inspiration from, The Rolling Stones Glimmer Twins tandem of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. And Aerosmith is, obviously, Stones-like. But I think it was Perry, or someone around the band, or a rock critic, who once said that Aerosmith, at least early Aerosmith, is at least as much Zeppelin-ish as Stones-ish. I agree. Anyway, great track from a great album that critics dismissed but most Aero fans revere as the last great, kick butt, no outside writers or syrupy in pursuit of mainstream hits production, version of the band.
    13. The Tragically Hip, An Inch An Hour . . . Smokin’ track from one of my favorite Hip albums, the maybe dark but good because it is dark, 1994 album Day For Night. I haven’t played these Canadian boys in a long time, love ’em, especially their early stuff and up to about 2000 when as previously stated I think they either lost the ability to write compelling hooks, did so on purpose in pursuit of ‘art’, or became the late great Gord Downie’s backing band in his pursuit of the obscure. For those who suggest they’re Canada’s best ever band, again, I like loads of their stuff but, no. Ever hear of The Guess Who, just a for instance. Rush? Bands that actually people outside Canada know of? Not I guess that such things should matter, but, I think they do. It’s like a maybe good local artist in a city who nobody outside the city has ever heard of. You can talk management, promotion, this that as reasons why but bottom line, if you’re good enough, resonate enough, talent knows no boundaries and let’s be honest, in that sense the Hip, for whatever reason, was limited. Or limited themselves. In no way are they Canada’s best ever band, they were terrific but reality is their sales, even in Canada, were in sharp decline the latter part of their career because they were no longer releasing tunes with hooks that made you want to listen again. Anyway, enough rambling. My old pal 4C will appreciate me playing this one/The Hip.
    14. Midnight Oil, Best Of Both Worlds . . . From before Midnight Oil broke big outside Australia via the Diesel and Dust album, the Beds Are Burning and magnificent to me The Dead Heart singles. This one’s from 1984, three years before the worldwide breakthrough, kick ass metallic punk rock take no prisoners stuff from the Red Sails In The Sunset album. I well remember hearing in the mid-1980s about this ’emerging’ hard ass politically-fuelled band. Emerging to we North Americans, but they had already been kicking ass Down Under since 1978, my college days when I got into so much new stuff but somehow missed them. But, in fairness, that was pre-internet, you didn’t hear Midnight Oil on radio, and you didn’t come to things as quickly as we can now. In any event, Diesel and Dust came out, I finally got a Midnight Oil album, went back, and forward ever since, and been always rewarded.
    15. Romantics, A Night Like This . . . One of those, “this came up in the system while searching for something else, listened to it, cool, I like it, let’s play it”, songs. It’s often a fun way to fill out a set because there are obviously so many songs from which to choose. So, danger danger, lol, it’s the computer, AI, helping out which seems to be the current media-created bullshit fear. Hey, I’m a Battlestar Galactica fan; we create them, if they come for us, whatever, let’s see what happens. This is from the second Romantics album, National Breakout, released in 1980. They were coming off their hugely successful self-titled debut from earlier that year which featured the hit What I Like About You which seemed to be a much bigger hit than its actual chart placing, No. 49 on Billboard in the US. It probably did better in Canada, based on my recollections of hearing it in college days, but I can’t find any Canadian chart info.
    16. Dave Edmunds, Almost Saturday Night . . . Another that just came up via search but one can never get enough Dave Edmunds. And, soon, it will again be Saturday night. And yes, there’s quite a few ‘night’ songs in a Saturday morning show, but it’s of course intentional via my twisted mind.
    17. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight . . . She’s a bad babe, Betty Lou. The song is from, maybe surprisingly, Seger’s only No. 1. album, Against The Wind. It dislodged Pink Floyd’s The Wall from that summit way back then, 1980.
    18. Ian Hunter, Overnight Angels . . . Title cut from the former Mott The Hoople main vocal man’s 1977 album. I’ve always liked the album cover, Hunter in caricature black and white, in full cry. Two years later he broke big as a solo artist with the brilliant You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic album, a title some doctors castigated him for because, more accurately, it should be You’re Never Alone As A Schizophrenic but whatever, it’s a great album.
    19. The Deviants, I’m Coming Home . . . Spooky stuff, acknowledged by the band as Velvet Underground inspired. See ya Monday night! Take care all, thanks for listening and following. 

     

     

So Old It’s New ‘drinking’ set list for Monday, April 17, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

As suggested by one of my show’s followers/listeners, a set list of songs to do with drinking.  My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Who, However Much I Booze
  2. Paice Ashton Lord, I’m Gonna Stop Drinking Again
  3. Joe Jackson, What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again)
  4. The Rolling Stones, Might As Well Get Juiced
  5. The Butterfield Blues Band, Drunk Again
  6. Jeff Beck Group, I’ve Been Drinking
  7. The Kinks, Alcohol
  8. Nazareth, Let The Whiskey Flow
  9. Budgie, Whiskey River
  10. Junkhouse, Down In The Liver
  11. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, I Found My Way To Wine
  12. Family, Drowned In Wine
  13. AC/DC, Have A Drink On Me
  14. Black Sabbath, Trashed
  15. Powder Blues Band, What’ve I Been Drinkin’
  16. Jerry Lee Lewis, Drinking Wine Spo-Dee O’Dee
  17. Ramones, Somebody Put Something In My Drink
  18. David Wilcox, Cheap Beer Joint
  19. Roy Buchanan, Beer Drinking Woman
  20. Toby Keith with Willie Nelson, Beer For My Horses
  21. Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker, Whiskey And Wimmen
  22. Molly Hatchet, Whiskey Man
  23. Mott The Hoople, Whiskey Women
  24. Tommy James and The Shondells, Sweet Cherry Wine
  25. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Homemade Wine
  26. Derek and The Dominos, Bottle Of Red Wine (from Live at The Fillmore)
  27. Oasis, Cigarettes & Alcohol
  28. Sammy Hagar, Mas Tequila
  29. Van Halen, Take Your Whiskey Home
  30. Kris Kristofferson, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Who, However Much I Booze . . . I’ve often tried to find a good way to describe Keith Moon’s drumming. I finally found it, via someone who I think nailed it perfectly, in a YouTube comment field about this song. “It always makes me smile when Moonie comes tumbling in to a song.” Perfectly stated by the commenter. That ‘tumble’ happens six seconds into this confessional Pete Townshend tune from The Who By Numbers album, but it’s evident on so many Who songs. Moon, like all greats in any field, truly was distinct.
    2. Paice Ashton Lord, I’m Gonna Stop Drinking Again . . . I suppose all songs about drinking have lyrical similarities, but this one from the one-album-and-done Deep Purple offshoot band reminds me of Kris Kristofferson’s Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, which I’m closing the set with, and also a passage in Gregg Allman’s autobiography, My Cross To Bear where he’s talking to a girlfriend about how he has to keep drinking to feel good, before he finally kicked the habit. As for Paice Ashton Lord, the album is Malice In Wonderland, a collaboration between Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice, keyboardist Jon Lord and English musician Tony Ashton, released in 1977, three years before Nazareth used the same title for an album that featured their hit Holiday. The lyrics, to start: “I came ’round this morning and I was feeling like hell; telephone exploded, I went, ‘oh, that bell’ . . . going on to describe someone experiencing withdrawal effects: “I’m gonna lay down and cry, I get this feelin’ every time that I’m dry.” As The Kinks will sing later in the set, oh demon alcohol.
    3. Joe Jackson, What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again) . . . From JJ’s Jumpin’ Jive, a 1981 album of covers highlighting 1940s swing and jump blues classics. It’s the album that served notice that Jackson was not merely the new wave artist who burst upon the scene two years earlier via his first two albums Look Sharp and I’m The Man and then the reggae and ska-tinged Beat Crazy in 1980, but one who would continually follow his muse in whatever directions it took him. As often mentioned, I’ve stayed on board his entire journey, never been disappointed.
    4. The Rolling Stones, Might As Well Get Juiced . . . From the Stones’ 1997 album Bridges To Babylon which became a ‘Mick Jagger working with his people and producers and Keith Richards working with his’ sort of album although, depending upon what one reads, it was a deliberate decision made in order to explore new sounds, ideas and approaches. The journalistic narrative is that Richards has always been the one wanting to keep the Stones at least somewhat on their original bluesy path while Jagger is the supposed experimental artist although that’s to me an easy oversimplification as they both obviously are blues-influenced. On this one, apparently Richards did the song, originally as a blues cut, then gave it to Jagger who had the Dust Brothers, the producers he was working with at the time, add their synthesized techniques to it. It works, if you ask me. The slow burner of a tune might be, as some have suggested, the most ‘un-Stones’ like song on the album, but what is a ‘Stones-sounding song’ really, given their vast catalog? It can depend on what album/time period you’re listening to, when you grew up, when you came to a particular song or album, as is the case with any longlasting band. Case in point: I remember when the Emotional Rescue album came out in 1980 and She’s So Cold was one of the singles. A rock critic dismissed it as lightweight and opined “this is the same band that gave us Gimme Shelter?!” I’m a big Stones fan, and while She’s So Cold is catchy, I agreed with the critic. Yet, in 2005 I saw the band in Toronto on the Bigger Bang tour, they played She’s So Cold and the place went positively nuts. So, go figure. Might As Well Get Juiced is different, but it’s unmistakably the Stones, once again illustrating their musical diversity.

       

    5. The Butterfield Blues Band, Drunk Again . . . Guitarist Elvin Bishop, who went on to a solo career after the Butterfield Band’s 1968 album In My Own Dream, exited in style by humorously handling lead vocal duties on this one. “My woman says it’s a dog gone shame the way some men bring their wives money and furs and jewelry and I come home, ain’t got a dime and smelling like a brewery. I’m drunk again . . . ”
    6. Jeff Beck Group, I’ve Been Drinking . . . Originally a B-side, it was released on the 2006 expanded CD reissue of 1968’s seminal Truth album. The song was reconfigured by Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck from the Johnny Mercer-penned song Drinking Again, a 1962 torch tune done by Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and others including, much later, Bette Midler.
    7. The Kinks, Alcohol . . . From, as often stated, likely my favorite Kinks album, Muswell Hillbillies, released in 1971. It didn’t chart, but so what? It’s great, and to my knowledge has never gone out of print, it’s been re-released a few times, remastered and in expanded form, which says a lot about its quality and staying power.
    8. Nazareth, Let The Whiskey Flow . . . From Surviving The Law, the second Nazareth album done – with the late original lead singer Dan McCafferty’s blessing once his health started failing and he retired in 2014 – with new singer Carl Sentance. Tattooed On My Brain, released in 2018, was the first album with Sentance, with Surviving The Law coming out last year. So-called legacy bands continuing on without key original members is often cause for controversy although my view has always been that, if the music remains good/if I like it, there’s no issue. As with Nazareth, latter-day Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc. Just how I look at things, I suppose, and I take it on an as-case basis. While I’ve hung in with Nazareth and Skynyrd, I’ve no time for post-Terry Kath Chicago, for instance.
    9. Budgie, Whiskey River . . . Lead track from the Welsh hard rocking band’s second album, 1972’s Squawk. It’s an aviation term to do with air traffic control, hence the album cover art of an aircraft with a bird beak nose, diving, possibly out of control, done by Roger Dean, best known for his Yes album covers.
    10. Junkhouse, Down In The Liver . . . As far as I know, Junkhouse leader Tom Wilson long ago quit drinking and remains clean and sober. But he got some great tunes out of the habit.
    11. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, I Found My Way To Wine . . . Hawkins is rightly remembered for his I Put A Spell On You, but he released lots of worthwhile material including this song, released as a single in 1954, two years before the breakthrough success of his big hit which in addition to Hawkins’ stage performances also helped lay the foundation for so-called shock rock.
    12. Family, Drowned In Wine . . . Lead track from the British progressive band’s 1970 album A Song For Me, by which time bassist Ric Grech had long since left the group – after the prior album Family Entertainment in fact – to join the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith along with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Steve Winwood.
    13. AC/DC, Have A Drink On Me . . . One of the few I’ll say sort of deep cuts on the Back In Black album, because it’s arguable that Back In Black has no deep cuts, since the record is so well-known, front to back. And, obviously, deservedly so.
    14. Black Sabbath, Trashed . . . From 1983’s Born Again, the so-called Deep Sabbath album featuring Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan. Sabbath guitarist and lone forever member Tony Iommi, at the time, told a rock magazine that Gillan – because ‘his shriek is legendary’ – was the best candidate to replace Ronnie James Dio, who had left after two albums replacing original Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne. And that shriek, along with Iommi’s equally shrieking guitar sound, simply ‘makes’ this tale of drunken excess. “So we went back to the bar and hit the bottle again but there was no tequila. Then we started on the whiskey just to settle our brains ’cause there was no tequila.” Sounds like how Gillan, in a couple books, described joining Sabbath. He was out with Iommi and bass player Geezer Butler, throwing ’em back, crashed, got up in the morning to take a call from his agent who said something like ‘next time you decide to join a band, please let me know first.” I’m a fan of all eras of Black Sabbath but recommended reading, to bring a smile to your face, or make you shake your head, is everything about the Born Again album and subsequent tour, which provided some of the fodder for the rock and roll sendup movie This Is Spinal Tap.
    15. Powder Blues Band, What’ve I Been Drinkin’ . . . It’s interesting when you read histories of famous bands, like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. The members often say they never expected to last more than a few weeks, months, maybe a year or two, given the nature of the business and public tastes. And yet so many of them keep on rolling, to this day with varying degrees of success and audience. It’s what they do. Powder Blues isn’t on the level of such famous groups but they’re actually still around playing live shows as are so many bands now in their 40th, 50th, 60th years, albeit in varying membership configurations as life and business takes its inevitable toll. Powder Blues broke fairly big, particularly in Canada, with their 1980 single Doin’ It Right. They’re now known as Tom Lavin and The Legendary Powder Blues. ‘Legendary’ seems to me a bit of a conceit, but whatever. Lavin is the Chicago-born founding member who has also produced albums by Long John Baldry and Canadian bands Prism and April Wine.
    16. Jerry Lee Lewis, Drinking Wine Spo-Dee O’Dee . . . I had to throw this in for the buddy of mine who suggested the drinking theme show. He’s a big Jerry Lee fan and has rekindled my own interest in The Killer. And what has occurred to me, sort of second time around for me with Lewis, and I realize it may sound obvious but it’s that beyond the piano playing and wild man act, the guy could really sing and command a recording studio session and a live audience. Such confidently terrific stuff.
    17. Ramones, Somebody Put Something In My Drink . . . From the band’s 1986 album Animal Boy. Written by latter-day Ramones drummer Richie Ramone (real name Richard Reinhardt but they were all Ramones, don’t ya know), it was apparently based on an actual incident where Ramone was given a drink spiked with LSD. It was later covered by an Australian band with the clever name Tequila Mockingbyrd. Theirs was a decent enough version but not as down and dirty, particularly the vocals, as the Ramones original.
    18. David Wilcox, Cheap Beer Joint . . . The song is perfect. Listen to it and you are in a smoky, cheap beer joint. I always kinda liked dives, if they’re still called that. They have character, and characters, from all walks of life.
    19. Roy Buchanan, Beer Drinking Woman . . . From the late great blues/rock artist’s 1986 album Dancing On The Edge. Delbert McClinton sang on a few songs on the record, although Buchanan handled this one.
    20. Toby Keith with Willie Nelson, Beer For My Horses . . . This is a first. I’ve never played Toby Keith or Willie Nelson on the show. I know Nelson’s music, who doesn’t know at least some of it, but I confess, not being much of a country fan, I’m not at all up on Keith although definitely heard of him. However, the song, which I’d never heard, came up in the station system while searching something else. I listened, it fits today’s theme, I like it, here you go. It led to a 2008 comedy film of the same name which I have not seen, co-writtten by and co-starring Keith.
    21. Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker, Whiskey And Wimmen . . . From the excellent 1971 collaboration Hooker ‘N’ Heat album, the vast majority of tunes, including this one, being Hooker compositions.
    22. Molly Hatchet, Whiskey Man . . . Hard rocker from the Flirtin’ With Disaster album whose title cut remains the band’s signature tune.
    23. Mott The Hoople, Whiskey Women . . . Early Mott, from the band’s third album, 1971’s Wildlife, before the success that came via Mott’s version of David Bowie’s All The Young Dudes. Whiskey Women was written by guitarist Mick Ralphs, who later left Mott The Hoople to form Bad Company.
    24. Tommy James and The Shondells, Sweet Cherry Wine . . . Psychedelia that was a top 10 hit in both Canada and the US in 1969.
    25. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Homemade Wine . . . Rockabilly country pickin’ from a band I seem to be playing a lot lately while rediscovering that they had lots of good songs besides the hits Jackie Blue and If You Wanna Get To Heaven. And, the song fits the theme. The kind of song I can see being played live, around a campfire.
    26. Derek and The Dominos, Bottle Of Red Wine (from Live At The Fillmore) . . . From the short-lived blues rock band fronted by Eric Clapton that also featured keyboardist/singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon. The Dominos are one of those interesting family tree acts, the roots of the band going back to the various members playing on sessions for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. The live version of Bottle Of Red Wine, recorded in New York in October 1970, originally appeared on the Dominos’ 1973 In Concert album. It was included on Live At The Fillmore, an expanded version of those 1970 shows, released in 1994.
    27. Oasis, Cigarettes & Alcohol . . . A hit single in the UK and Europe, albeit uncomfortably close to T. Rex’s Get It On (Bang A Gong). I like Oasis’s stuff well enough, but they were nearly as bad as Led Zeppelin in terms of ‘borrowing’ things, as any website search will reveal. But, as with Zep, I still enjoy the music.
    28. Sammy Hagar, Mas Tequila . . . Tequila has been very good for Hagar, an entrepreneur as well as a musician, who had big success with his Cabo Wabo brand, eventually selling it for $80 to $100M, according to various reports. He’s still in the booze biz wih a new tequila, Santos, as well as a chain of restaurants. Some people just have that money-making knack.
    29. Van Halen, Take Your Whiskey Home . . . Van Halen’s Women and Children First album has been great, of late, for themed shows I’ve done. I used Fools from the album for my April Fool show earlier this month, and Take Your Whiskey Home obviously fits a drinking-themed show. Same sorts of songs, too. At the beginning of Fools, singer David Lee Roth channels his inner Janis Joplin, akin to her Summertime vocals, before all hell breaks loose on the Van Halen track. All hell breaks loose on Take Your Whiskey Home, too, but only after an early, acoustic boogie start complete with Roth’s sort of talk singing, then into the heavy, infectious groove. “Well my baby don’t want me around; she said she’s tired of watching me fall down; she wants the good life, only the best; but I like the bottle better than the rest.”
    30. Kris Kristofferson, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down . . . Amazing songwriter yet it was other artists who had the big hits with his songs – Janis Joplin with Me and Bobby McGee and Johnny Cash with this one. I’m a big Johnny Cash fan but I prefer Kristofferson’s more raw treatment of Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. Both songs appeared on Kristofferson’s self-titled debut album, which was a commercial failure when released in June 1970. But, in a demonstration of the power and name recognition of a hit single, once Joplin’s version of Bobby McGee became a No. 1 hit in 1971, Kristofferson’s record company reissued his debut album under the title Me and Bobby McGee and it went gold, hitting No. 10 on the country charts and No. 43 on Billboard’s pop list.

     

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 15, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Maria Muldaur, Get Up, Get Ready
  2. Elton John, Tell Me When The Whistle Blows
  3. The Rolling Stones, Sway
  4. The Beatles, Fixing A Hole
  5. Stillwater, Mind Bender
  6. Dixie Dregs, Refried Funky Chicken
  7. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, E.E. Lawson
  8. Peter Tosh, Brand New Second Hand
  9. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Concrete Jungle
  10. Sheila Hylton, The Bed’s Too Big Without You
  11. The Police, It’s Alright For You
  12. David Lindley, Bye Bye Love
  13. Sea Level, Storm Warning
  14. Rush, The Way The Wind Blows
  15. Junkhouse, Flood
  16. Bruce Springsteen, Lost In The Flood
  17. The Law, Laying Down The Law
  18. The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton
  19. Chris Whitley, Living With The Law
  20. Elvis Costello, My Dark Life
  21. Billy Joel, Captain Jack
  22. T. Rex, Jeepster
  23. Streetheart, Here Comes The Night
  24. Van Morrison, Lonely Avenue
  25. Chicago, What Else Can I Say
  26. Graham Parker & The Rumour, Saturday Nite Is Dead

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Maria Muldaur, Get Up, Get Ready . . . OK, it’s 7 am. I’m up. I’m ready. On with the show. She’s arguably best known for her 1973 soft rock/pop hit Midnight At The Oasis but Muldaur is one of many artists who are so much more than one big hit single. Now 80, she’s been active since 1963 in the folk, blues, country, gospel and R & B idioms and besides her own work has contributed, mostly vocals, to albums by, among others, solo work by Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead fame, Paul Butterfield, Linda Ronstadt and The Doobie Brothers. This is from her Southland Of The Heart album, out in 1998 but she remains current, her most recent release in 2021.
    2. Elton John, Tell Me When The Whistle Blows . . . One of my favorite EJ songs, it’s from the 1975 album Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirty Cowboy. As with most Elton John albums during that halcyon period of the early to mid-1970s, most songs on his records, like this one, could have been hit singles given the quality of what he was releasing at the time. In fact, so prolific and excellent was Elton then, I’ve read that in early 1974, with 1973’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album – his second in 1973 after Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player – still riding high, it was decided to stop releasing singles from Yellow Brick Road in order to not risk adversely affecting potential sales of his next album, Caribou, which came out in June 1974.
    3. The Rolling Stones, Sway . . . onnnne, twooooo, threeee, fouuurrrrr . . . da na na na na na (guitar) bang bang (drums)…that’s my written ‘take’ on Mick Jagger’s wonderfully fatigued-sounding count in into Mick Taylor’s virtuoso lead guitar and soloing, along with Charlie Watts’ drumming . . . So down and dirty, even with Keith Richards, who didn’t play on the song but did help out on backing vocals. Classic raunch and roll Stones, how I like them most.

       

    4. The Beatles, Fixing A Hole . . . One of the great book series to come out in recent years is “All The Songs’. The books aren’t on the level or depth of Bald Boy’s Track-By-Track Tales of course, nothing could be. But, there are myriad interesting stories behind all the songs, at least at the time of book publication, by various major artists, mostly, so far, in the classic rock area. The books are big, fat, thick, full of info way beyond other such books I’ve accumulated over the years and so far I’ve got four of them: Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan but they’ve been popping up like mushrooms after a good rain. We’ll see how my bank account holds up but I’ve so far seen (and web searched) others on Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, David Bowie, Queen and Prince. Zeppelin I may get, or I may pass on, since it’ll just get me riled again about their plagiarism. Or give me fuel for more diatribes. Springsteen I like a lot but maybe not enough. Elton John, I perused it in a bookstore – where I read that tidbit mentioned earlier about holding back singles as a new album approached release date. But the reality is it’s not worth it to me because I really don’t give a shit for Elton John’s music after the 1970s, aside from the occasional decent single but even then, that ended for me in the 1980s. Bowie, yes, eventually. Queen, sure. As with Bowie, I’m more a 70s Queen fan but their later stuff, especially the Innuendo album which I’ve drawn from for the show and harkens back to early Queen, is worthy enough. Prince? No. I respect his work, I realize his impact and greatness but beyond a few songs, sorry, I’ve tried, not for me although a must watch on YouTube is his mind-blowing guitar soloing on a live version of Beatle George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps while teamed up with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and others. Other than that performance, all I can name, off the top of my head and I do like these, are When Doves Cry, Purple Rain and Raspberry Beret which Hindu Love Gods (Warren Zevon and members of R.E.M.) did to great effect.

      So, the point of my out of control ramble? Well, not sure how well known this story is, I’m fairly up on Beatles lore and I’d never heard it. Or maybe I’d forgotten it. Anyway, so Paul McCartney writes Fixing A Hole, which people thought was about heroin (the title, get it?) but Macca said was merely about pot but the lyrics are also about McCartney’s growing annoyance with the intrusiveness of Beatles fans. So he’s got the song pretty much ready to go and is just about off to the studio to join the other Fabs to record it, when who knocks on his door but Jesus. Yes, Christ. Or, at least, someone claiming to be the Son of God. So Paul humors him, invites him in for tea and says he, Jesus, can attend the recording session if he keeps quiet. Which is interesting in that Paul and the other Beatles didn’t much like Yoko Ono sitting around, attached to John Lennon, during reording sessions. Anyway, off Paul and Jesus go and, as the book says, one more miracle for the Sgt. Pepper album. But of course the Jesus story is all BS, or Jesus couldn’t perform miracles, because as we all know, Paul was killed in a car crash around 1966 – the real reason The Beatles stopped touring then – and was replaced by a look-alike, which accounts for later middling albums like, say, Wings Wild Life. It’s true. I have a book on that subject. It’s called The Walrus Was Paul: The Great Beatle Death Clues. A fun read.

    5. Stillwater, Mind Bender . . . Talking box guitar extravaganza by a Georgia band whose brief shining moment was this track from their self-titled 1977 album. I pulled it from a southern rock compilation album I bought ages ago. The set features well-known bands like the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd but also relatively obsure material like Stillwater.
    6. Dixie Dregs, Refried Funky Chicken . . . Definitely funky, this almost prog-jazz excursion from another Georgia band, well-known for guitarist Steve Morse who went on to latter-day incarations of Deep Purple.
    7. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, E.E. Lawson . . . Great swamp rock song from the band best known for the hit singles Jackie Blue and If You Wanna Get To Heaven. This one’s from the band’s second album, It’ll Shine When It Shines, which included Jackie Blue and was released in 1974. The Daredevils are still around, not only playing but marketing their Ozark Dry Gin through their EE Lawson Distillery.
    8. Peter Tosh, Brand New Second Hand . . . I’ve been meaning to get back to some reggae on the show, so here comes a mini-set starting with this one from Tosh’s Legalize It album, his first solo effort after leaving The Wailers.
    9. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Concrete Jungle . . . Speaking of which . . . From the Catch A Fire album. Session guitarist to the stars Wayne Perkins, who played the fine solo on Hand Of Fate from The Rolling Stones’ Black and Blue album, handles lead guitar on this Marley song.
    10. Sheila Hylton, The Bed’s Too Big Without You . . . The Police dabbled in reggae, so reggae artists dabbled back. Hylton had a No. 35 UK hit in 1981 with her version of the song that was the fourth single from the second Police album, Reggatta de Blanc, released in 1979.
    11. The Police, It’s Alright For You . . . From Reggatta de Blanc, one of those songs by a great band that could easily have been a single. It’s arguably as well known as many Police hits.
    12. David Lindley, Bye Bye Love . . . A reggae version of the song made famous by The Everly Brothers. It appeared on the late guitarist/string instrumentalist Lindley’s El Rayo-X album, released in 1981 and produced by Jackson Browne, with whom Lindley had a long association dating to the 1970s. In addition to his solo work, Lindley was a contributor to a vast catalogue of recordings by artists like Linda Ronstadt and Warren Zevon, among many others. It’s an impressive resume.
    13. Sea Level, Storm Warning . . . Funky jazz rock instrumental from the Allman Brothers Band offshoot led by keyboardist Chuck Leavell. The band, so named as a pun – C. Leavell – on Leavell’s name, released five studio albums between 1977 and 1981. Leavell, who joined the Allmans for their Brothers and Sisters album in 1973, has toured and recorded with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, David Gilmour and another Allmans offshoot, Gov’t Mule, among others. He’s been a regular sideman with The Rolling Stones on both tours and albums since 1982.
    14. Rush, The Way The Wind Blows . . . Propulsive song, rising and falling in intensity throughout its six-plus minutes, from 2007’s Snakes And Arrows album. It was late drummer Neil Peart’s favorite from the album and features his usual fine work, complemented by nice guitar licks from Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee’s understated vocals – a respite for some who aren’t fond of some of his more histrionic excursions.
    15. Junkhouse, Flood . . . Mid-tempo burner from what turned out to be the Canadian band’s final studio album, 1997’s Fuzz. Leader Tom Wilson has gone on to myriad projects including solo work, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings with Colin Linden and Stephen Fearing and Lee Harvey Osmond with members of Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers. I ran into him at the cash in a coffee shop in Kitchener some years ago, the morning after Junkhouse reunited to play the blues festival. Just a quick “I admire your work’ chat with a modest, humble, great artist.
    16. Bruce Springsteen, Lost In The Flood . . . Majestic, epic in its five minutes, apocalyptic story song, in part about a war veteran, from Springsteen’s early days, his 1973 debut Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. It’s the kind of song one might discover one day or night, you maybe don’t know an album well but you might be alone at home, you decide to put it on, preferably with headphones, no distractions, and just let it all – lyrics and sparse music – wash over you and seep into your consciousness. That happened with me, years ago, with Bob Dylan’s Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands from Blonde on Blonde. Same thing with this tune on a Springsteen album that, perhaps like many people, I came to later – along with his second 1973 release The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle – after he broke big with Born To Run in 1975. That’s often the case. An artist has a breakthrough commercial success, prompting some of us into deeper investigation of the back catalog, if there is one, then you move forward with each subsequent new release.
    17. The Law, Laying Down The Law . . . A Paul Rodgers-penned tune, naturally enough perhaps Bad Company-like, from the one and only self-titled album he did in collaboration, under the moniker The Law, with former Faces and Who drummer Kenney Jones. The record came out in early 1991, Laying Down The Law was a hit single, at least in the US, but the album otherwise bombed, and plans for a second release were shelved. Among those appearing on the album, although not on this track, were guitarists David Gilmour and Chris Rea. Also in the backup band was latter day Who and prolific session bassist Pino Paladino.
    18. The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton . . . One of my favorite Clash songs, from London Calling, a pulsating reggae groove about real life events. Written and sung, in a rare lead vocal performance, by bass player Paul Simenon, who grew up in the Brixton area of London. “When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come, with your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun . . . ” At the time, The Clash may truly have been, as their publicity suggested, the only band that mattered.
    19. Chris Whitley, Living With The Law . . . Title cut from the late great but perhaps underappreciated/relatively unknown American singer songwriter/guitarist’s 1991 debut album. Whitley died of lung cancer in 2005 at age 45 but left us a lengthy discography although it’s his debut that remains my favorite. The album has a Canadian connection, produced by musician/producer/recording engineer Malcom Burn, who played keyboards and tambourine on the record, at Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studio in New Orleans.
    20. Elvis Costello, My Dark Life . . . A collaboration with Brian Eno, the spooky soundscape appeared on the X-Files TV show-themed record Songs In The Key Of X released in 1996. It later appeared on the Costello compilation Extreme Honey and on a bonus disc on a 2001 re-release of his 1996 studio album All This Useless Beauty.
    21. Billy Joel, Captain Jack . . . The title cut from Joel’s 1973 album Piano Man gets most of the acclaim, and deservedly so, but Captain Jack is probably my favorite on the album and might be my favorite Joel song, period. It’s one of those songs that wasn’t a single, at more than seven minutes long that would be unusual although not unheard of, but became well known back in the heyday of commercial FM radio, when album tracks and indeed full albums were played. The song’s popularity originally stemmed from a Philadelphia radio station having Joel on for a studio concert in 1972, after which the sation continued to play the live version it had recorded. It caught the attention of major record labels, and the rest is history. It’s akin to how a Cleveland station helped break Rush beyond Canada, in 1974, by playing the song Working Man from the debut album.
    22. T. Rex, Jeepster . . . Second single from the Electric Warrior album, whose big hit everywhere – and often the only T. Rex song you ever seem to hear, at least in North America – was Get It On, retitled Bang A Gong (Get It On) in the US to avoid conflict with the song Get It On by the 1970s jazz rock group Chase. Chase’s Get It On is a good song, too. So is Jeepster by T. Rex, which has far more to offer than just Get It On, however one titles it.
    23. Streetheart, Here Comes The Night . . . Streetheart cover of the song made famous by Van Morrison’s Them. It was written by Bert Berns, an American songwriter/producer whose many credits included Twist and Shout, Piece of My Heart, Hang On Sloopy, Cry To Me and Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. What else might have been – Berns, who had heart issues resulting from contracting rheumatic fever during childhood, died of heart failure in 1967 at age 38.
    24. Van Morrison, Lonely Avenue . . . Cover of the Doc Pomus tune, an R & B hit for Ray Charles in 1956. Van The Man did it justice, including some great saxophone and harmoica playing, on his solid 1993 album Too Long In Exile.
    25. Chicago, What Else Can I Say . . . Yes, I know that, when I play Chicago, I usually draw from their first three albums. What can I say, they’re easily my favorites, amazing stuff. This one’s from Chicago III.
    26. Graham Parker & The Rumour, Saturday Nite Is Dead . . . From Parker’s great 1979 album Squeezing Out Sparks, where it was listed as ‘nite’. Some compilations have it as ‘night’. In any event, a raving rocker, for sure, about Parker’s formative years in suburbia, written and sung when Parker was still an angry young man along with his contemporaries Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. It’s interesting looking back now at what Parker said then about his song. “It’s a pretty angry song delivered in a very angry way. Attitude is what’s behind it. If you sing in a sort of wimpy attitude, that shows you’ve been distorted by getting old, that shows you’ve mellowed, more than the specifics of the songs.” He did eventually mellow, as perhaps most of us do as we inevitably age although there are many artists, Neil Young comes to mind, who can and do still kick butt with edgy stuff as they age. In Parker’s case, at least, the more he mellowed in his music, which became bland to me by the mid-1980s, the more he lost me. But we still have the old and angry stuff, so his legacy is secure.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 10, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Taste, Blister On The Moon
  2. Deep Purple, Comin’ Home
  3. The Kinks, The Hard Way
  4. Budgie, Truth Drug
  5. The Rolling Stones, Citadel
  6. Pete Townshend, I Am An Animal
  7. Led Zeppelin, The Lemon Song
  8. Jeff Beck Group, Ice Cream Cakes
  9. Cream, World Of Pain
  10. Steppenwolf, The Ostrich
  11. April Wine, Weeping Widow
  12. Yes, Does It Really Happen?
  13. Genesis, Squonk
  14. Triumph, Blinding Light Show/Moonchild
  15. Bob Seger, Love The One You’re With
  16. Stephen Stills, Blind Fiddler Medley
  17. Steve Earle, The Week Of Living Dangerously
  18. Dave Edmunds, Queen Of Hearts
  19. Bob Dylan, Union Sundown
  20. Jimi Hendrix, Johnny B. Goode (live, from Hendrix In The West)
  21. Spooky Tooth, Fantasy Satisfier
  22. Paul Simon, Take Me To The Mardi Gras
  23. Savoy Brown, Leavin’ Again
  24. Cheap Trick, Auf Wiedersehen (live, from At Budokan: The Complete Concert expanded reissue)

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Taste, Blister On The Moon . . . The genesis of playing this track by the band Rory Gallagher led before he went solo has roots in the Valles Marineris system of canyons on Mars. Hang with me and all will be revealed. I had in mind to play a Taste track but couldn’t decide on which one. Then, I was watching a documentary about Mars on Saturday night while starting to prep the show and of course the canyons came up. Essentially, it’s a big rip in the surface of the planet. So, I thought, rip, blister . . . And here we are. One might ask, if I was watching a documentary about Mars why did I not then play David Bowie’s Life On Mars? Well, because I didn’t think of it until I started writing this, I’ve set up my show and so maybe Bowie’s tune finds its way into a future set. As for the Taste track, typically fine guitar from Gallagher, I love the sort of here comes the riff from this side, then that side, nature of it, before the vocals come in. And it’s not a speaker effect, simply the way he plays it.
    2. Deep Purple, Comin’ Home . . . To each their own but I’ve never understood Deep Purple fans who claim or lament that the band moved away from hard rock towards funk and R & B starting with the so-called Mk. III version of the band that debuted with 1974’s Burn album and featuring singer David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes. Burn, the title cut, rocks like crazy. As does Stormbringer, the title song from the next album. As does Comin’ Home, from the one and only album the band did with Tommy Bolin replacing Ritchie Blackmore on guitar. Sure, the band did change direction, which I think was a positive thing demonstrating versatility, but to suggest they lost the ability to rock is ridiculous.
    3. The Kinks, The Hard Way . . . It can be difficult sometimes to pull single tracks from a concept album and have them still make sense. But The Hard Way, a terrific riff rocker from The Kinks’ 1975 Schoolboys In Disgrace record, is at least one definite exception. The band loved playing it live and it was used as the opener for at least some shows on their Low Budget album tour that yielded the One For The Road live record in 1980.
    4. Budgie, Truth Drug . . . Great guitar shredding on this one from Welsh hard rockers Budgie’s 1982 album Deliver Us From Evil. It’s got a touch of the overproduced 1980s production sound I am not fond of but the guitar work salvages things for me. It’s the type of sound and album that, at the time, likely lumped Budgie in with bands they’d influenced, the so-called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Yet this was Budgie’s 10th album by then and their roots go as far back as 1967. So, I suppose it could be argued they were pandering a bit to the newer sounds.
    5. The Rolling Stones, Citadel . . . The prevailing, accepted wisdom has always been that the Stones Satanic Majesties album is crap, a poor imitation of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and so on. Even the band dismisses it – although they obviously thought enough of it to play 2000 Light Years From Home on the 1989-90 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tour, to great effect with lighting and such. Granted, I’m a huge Stones fan so take my opinions for what you may think they are worth but. . . It’s a good album. Sure, maybe it was inspired by and sort of a copy of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper but 1. The actual album, the songs, are not at all like Sgt. Pepper. 2. Given Brit sensibilities and sense of humor, it’s quite possible it’s, as the Brits say, a sendup (spoof) of Pepper, especially the cover. 3. The boys were heavy into drugs at the time. 4. Citadel has a great guitar riff, typical Stones, really, and is one of many worthwhile songs on the album. Like 2000 Light Years From Home, 2000 Man, The Lantern, She’s A Rainbow and, yes, even Bill Wyman’s In Another Land.
    6. Pete Townshend, I Am An Animal . . . From Empty Glass, Townshend’s brilliant and still arguably best solo album, from 1980. But if you were another member of The Who at the time you’d no doubt be wondering why Pete was saving his best stuff for his solo career. I’ll forever remember this tune for the lyric “I will be immersed, queen of the effing universe.” Back then, such lyrics made you sit up and take notice.
    7. Led Zeppelin, The Lemon Song . . . I’m not going to get into Zep’s plagiarism issues this time. I probably do it too much. They apply to this song, too. You can read all about it. From Zep II, good song, nice riff.
    8. Jeff Beck Group, Ice Cream Cakes . . . From 1972’s self-titled album, the so-called ‘orange album’ due to the fruit atop the cover art. It was the second and final record from the second version of the Jeff Beck Group featuring singer Bobby Tench, drummer Cozy Powell and keyboardist Max Middleton before the ever eclectic late great guitarist Beck moved on to Beck, Bogert & Appice and then jazz fusion and instrumental rock excursions via such albums as Blow By Blow, Wired and beyond.
    9. Cream, World Of Pain . . . Bluesy psychedelia from 1967’s Disraeli Gears, the album that featured the hits Strange Brew and Sunshine Of Your Love. World Of Pain was co-written by producer Felix Pappalardi – later the bassist in Mountain – and his wife Gail Collins, who in 1983 shot and killed Pappalardi after he had returned from being with his girlfriend. Supposedly, Collins and Pappalardi had an open marriage but perhaps not as open as Pappalardi thought.
    10. Steppenwolf, The Ostrich . . . Rocker from the band’s debut album, 1968. It covers lots of ground, lyrically: societal programming, expectations and groupthink, censorship, environmental issues and more. The words still apply today, and forever.
    11. April Wine, Weeping Widow . . . Rocking second single from 1973’s Electric Jewels album, it made No. 4 in home country Canada after Lady Run, Lady Hide hit No. 19 on the national charts.
    12. Yes, Does It Really Happen? . . . What? So said the progressive rock world in 1980. Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman are out and The Buggles boys of Video Killed The Radio Star fame Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes are now in Yes? So, er, yes, it really happened and, well, so? Turned out the new blood Buggles helped kick the brand out of its complacency while producing a kick butt, almost metallic progressive rock album that is among my favorites – and that of many I’ve talked to – by the band. As for Yes lineup changes, read the history. Fascinating stuff, but you might need a family tree spreadsheet to keep it all coherent.
    13. Genesis, Squonk . . . Perhaps my favorite Genesis song, played it on the show long ago, so it’s about time for a replay. It’s from A Trick Of The Tail, the first album after original lead singer Peter Gabriel left to go solo. The questions as to whether Genesis could successfully continue were quickly answered in the affirmative.
    14. Triumph, Blinding Light Show/Moonchild . . . I admit I’m not much of a Triumph fan. But I do like some of their stuff, particularly Rock & Roll Machine, Lay It On The Line, their cover of Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way and this progressive hard rock epic from their 1976 debut album.
    15. Bob Seger, Love The One You’re With . . . A souped up version of the Stephen Stills song from before Seger broke big beyond his home state of Michigan and environs. It was released on 1972’s Smokin’ O.P.’s (other people’s songs) on what is for the most part a covers album.
    16. Stephen Stills, Blind Fiddler Medley . . . Speaking of Stills, from Stills Alone, his excellent 1991 album. Just him and his guitar, with percussion on some tracks. One of those albums I bought on a ‘let’s give it a try’ basis when I saw it in a used bin years ago and what a treasure it is.
    17. Steve Earle, The Week Of Living Dangerously . . . Up tempo country rock, from Earle’s second album, Exit 0, released in 1987. Earle’s voice to me, like that of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison or John Fogerty, is one of those that is truly an instrument in itself. His music, like that of the others mentioned, isn’t the same if he’s not singing it.
    18. Dave Edmunds, Queen Of Hearts . . . From Repeat When Necessary, Edmunds’ 1979 album recorded concurrently with Nick Lowe’s Labour of Lust by the members of Rockpile – Edmunds, Lowe, guitarist Billy Bremner and drummer Terry Williams. The song, which in 1981 resulted in a big hit for Juice Newton, was written by Hank Devito, for many years the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris’s band.
    19. Bob Dylan, Union Sundown . . . Rocker featuring Dylan’s typically cynically and wonderfully enunciated lyrics, from 1983’s Infidels album. Guitarists Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and Mick Taylor of Rolling Stones fame join him on the album, co-produced by Knopfler and Dylan. Also on board are the noted Jamaican rhythm section team of Sly and Robbie – drummer Sly Dunbar and the late bass player Robbie Shakespeare.
    20. Jimi Hendrix, Johnny B. Goode (live, from Hendrix In The West) . . . Speed rock version of the Chuck Berry classic.
    21. Spooky Tooth, Fantasy Satisfier . . . Nice guitar riffing from future Foreigner leader Mick Jones on this one from 1974’s The Mirror album.
    22. Paul Simon, Take Me To The Mardi Gras . . . From the There Goes Rhymin’ Simon album, 1973. Mardi Gras was a single but only charted in the UK. Jazz keyboardist Bob James did an instrumental version two years later that has since been widely sampled by hip hop artists.
    23. Savoy Brown, Leavin’ Again . . . For some reason, whenever I play Spooky Tooth, see song 21, I think of Savoy Brown, and vice-versa. Both great if perhaps underappreciated bands. This lengthy, bluesy jam was on 1970’s Looking In album, after which all band members but leader/guitarist Kim Simmonds left to form Foghat. Simmonds then rebuilt Savoy Brown using some former members of fellow British blues band Chicken Shack, not including Christine McVie who had already joined post-Peter Green versions of Fleetwood Mac.
    24. Cheap Trick, Auf Wiedersehen (live, from At Budokan: The Complete Concert expanded reissue) . . . As the song title says, see ya.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 8, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Lou Reed, Hangin’ ‘Round
  2. Eric Burdon & The Animals, St. James Infirmary
  3. Simon and Garfunkel, Fakin’ It
  4. David Bowie, After All
  5. Jeff Beck Group, I’ve Been Used
  6. Nina Simone, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
  7. Elton John, I’ve Seen That Movie Too
  8. Solomon Burke, Cry To Me
  9. The Butterfield Blues Band, I Got A Mind To Give Up Living
  10. Iron Butterfly, In The Time Of Our Lives
  11. Faces, Wicked Messenger
  12. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Penthouse Pauper
  13. Free, Walk In My Shadow
  14. Humble Pie, Beckton Dumps
  15. Aerosmith, Combination
  16. The Byrds, Medley: Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)/Mr. Tambourine Man/Eight Miles High (live)
  17. R.E.M., Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter
  18. Mountain, Bardot Damage
  19. ZZ Top, 2000 Blues
  20. Jimi Hendrix, Cherokee Mist
  21. Eric Clapton, Mean Old Frisco
  22. Moby Grape, Hoochie
  23. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Circles
  24. Rare Earth, In Bed
  25. Jethro Tull, Cold Wind To Valhalla
  26. T Bone Burnett, Shut It Tight
  27. Boogaloo & His Gallant Crew, Cops and Robbers
  28. The Rolling Stones, Gotta Get Away

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Lou Reed, Hangin’ ‘Round . . . Rocker from Reed’s breakthrough solo album Transformer, released in 1972 and produced by admirers of Reed’s Velvet Underground David Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson, then a member of Bowie’s band. Bowie and Ronson were among the musicians on the record, along with longtime Beatles’ associate and former Manfred Mann bassist Klaus Voormann.
    2. Eric Burdon & The Animals, St. James Infirmary . . . Psychedelic blues on this traditional tune arranged by Burdon. It appeared on 1968’s Every One Of Us album. Burdon is forever involved in great music, whether it be the early British Invasion days of The Animals, the psychedelic phase under the moniker Eric Burdon & The Animals, his funk rock explorations with War and his solo work. He put on a great show when I saw him at the 2016 Kitchener Blues Festival, which he also played in 2007. I admittedly have some catching up to do on his solo stuff. His most recent studio work came in 2013 but I can say that his 2004 album, My Secret Life, which I found for about a buck at a flea market years ago, is excellent. I’ve played some stuff from it before and ought to get back to it for the show.
    3. Simon and Garfunkel, Fakin’ It . . . From the Bookends album, which was recorded gradually, starting in 1966 until its release in April of 1968 although many of the songs came out earlier as singles, as Fakin’ It did in August of 1967. It gets somewhat confusing as, for instance, the hit single Mrs. Robinson is on Bookends but also, in different form, on the soundtrack album to the movie The Graduate, which came out in 1967 when Mrs. Robinson, the song, was still a work in progress. I direct you to the internet for further reading. As for Fakin’ It, it’s a well-known tune, the early part of it sounds a bit like The Mamas and The Papas to me, or they sounded like Simon and Garfunkel.
    4. David Bowie, After All . . . Psychedelic folk rock from The Man Who Sold The World album, the 1970 record (1971 release in the UK) that marked the first appearance of guitarist Mick Ronson on a Bowie record. Lots of Bowie and Ronson in what’s turning into something of a family tree set. See song No. 1.
    5. Jeff Beck Group, I’ve Been Used . . . Stomper from 1971’s Rough and Ready, the first album released by the second Jeff Beck Group. Rod Stewart and Ron Wood were now in the Faces while Beck’s new lineup featured drummer Cozy Powell, later of Rainbow, various incarnations of Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake and Powell and other projects, and singer Bobby Tench. Alex Ligertwood, later lead vocalist in various stints with Santana between 1979 and 1994, was to be the Beck group’s singer but apparently the record company didn’t like his vocals. I think the right choice was made. I prefer Tench’s raunchier approach but then I preferred Gregg Rolie’s singing on the first few Santana records, still my favorites, to Ligertwood’s poppier, to my ears, vocals although of course Santana has had various singers over time.
    6. Nina Simone, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood . . . What an emotive vocal performance on this original 1964 version. But that was Simone, what a singer. The Animals had a big hit with the song a year later. It’s been covered by many artists including Joe Cocker on his 1969 debut album With A Little Help From My Friends and Elvis Costello on King Of America in 1986.
    1. Elton John, I’ve Seen That Movie Too . . . Another of the many terrific deep cuts on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album.
    2. Solomon Burke, Cry To Me . . . From the late great R & B/soul singer. It’s the first of two tracks I’m pulling from a CD of songs covered by The Rolling Stones that came with a MOJO Magazine issue I bought years ago. I’ve got some Solomon Burke on his own, including Cry To Me, but such compilation CDs on many of the excellent UK magazines, like MOJO, Uncut, Classic Rock etc. are often revelatory, usually tied to articles in the publication. Cry To Me was included on the 1965 Stones album Out Of Our Heads, one of the few songs that appeared on both the UK and US versions of that record, which had a different cover on either side of the pond. Those were the days when track listings, album covers and even album names of British Invasion bands were often different due in part to the UK practice of singles not usually appearing on albums, leading to repackaging for the North American market done by the record companies. So you wound up with early period US/North American albums like the Stones’ 12 X 5 and December’s Children (And Everybody’s), Beatles ’65, Beatles VI, etc.
    3. The Butterfield Blues Band, I Got A Mind To Give Up Living . . . “I’ve got a mind to give up living and go shopping instead . . . ” Nice opening line to this traditional blues tune from the band’s second album, East-West. It was the last of the group’s records to feature the twin guitar attack of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Bloomfield left after East-West to form The Electric Flag.
    4. Iron Butterfly, In The Time Of Our Lives . . . Spooky psychedelic rock from the Ball album, 1969.
    5. Faces, Wicked Messenger . . . Typically raunchy Faces treatment of the Bob Dylan tune from his 1967 John Wesley Harding album, although it’s titled The
      Wicked Messenger on the Dylan record. It appeared on 1970’s First Step album, the first to feature Rod Stewart and Rod Wood from the original Jeff Beck Group. They joined the remnants of the Small Faces (Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan) after Steve Marriott left Small Faces to form Humble Pie.
    6. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Penthouse Pauper . . . Down and dirty raunch from Bayou Country, CCR’s second album overall and first of three (!) equally consistent records the band released in 1969. The others were Green River and Willy and the Poor Boys, all stuffed with classic singles like Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Green River, Down On The Corner, Fortunate Son . . . and fine deep cuts like Penthouse Pauper. Amazing band, CCR, amazing songwriter, John Fogerty.
    7. Free, Walk In My Shadow . . . Blues rock from 1969’s debut album Tons Of Sobs. All the band members – Paul Rodgers (vocals), Paul Kossoff (guitar), Andy Fraser (bass) and Simon Kirke (drums) were still in their late teens while recording the record.
    8. Humble Pie, Beckton Dumps . . . I didn’t really realize it until getting into my track tales, but as touched on earlier, there’s a lot of connective tissue in today’s set. Accidentally on purpose, perhaps, or something like that, since I was really just randomly picking songs although my mind does tend to naturally work that way with music, and writing. So we have Lou Reed to Bowie and Mick Ronson, Nina Simone to The Animals, Jeff Beck to the Faces to . . . Humble Pie with this one from the Eat It album, released in 1973. Beckton, part of Greater London, is where Humble Pie guitarist/singer Steve Marriott grew up.

    9. Aerosmith, Combination . . . Everything on the Rocks album er, rocks. Great record. Lead guitarist Joe Perry shares vocals with Steven Tyler.
    10. The Byrds, Medley: Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)/Mr. Tambourine Man/Eight Miles High (live) . . . Aerosmith’s Combination leads into . . . a combination of songs. I don’t usually play hits, this being a deep cuts show. But this near 10-minute medley, recorded in 1969 but not released commercially until the Live At The Fillmore February 1969 album came out in 2000, is something of a deep cut. It’s a later Byrds lineup and worth the price of admission for the playing of lead guitarist Clarence White alone. White had joined the group for the Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde studio album the same year.
    11. R.E.M., Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter . . . Blistering rocker in the vein of What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? from what turned out to be the band’s last studio album, 2011’s Collapse Into Now. Could easily have been a single, but wasn’t.
    12. Mountain, Bardot Damage . . . Mountain had been dormant, studio recording-wise, since 1974 until the Go For Your Life album came out in 1985 although Leslie West had been doing solo material. The album was pretty much ignored, making it to No. 166 on the charts. I don’t own it, but I do own a comprehensive 2CD Mountain compilation, Over The Top, on which the song appears. It’s what you’d expect of a project involving guitarist/singer West, hard-rocking pyrotechnics that thankfully largely avoids the overproduction of so much 1980s material.
    13. ZZ Top, 2000 Blues . . . Even at the height of their synthesizer period, ZZ Top still featured the occasional bluesy rock track on their albums, harkening back to their earlier days. I Need You Tonight, from the 1983 commercial monster Eliminator album featuring such hits as Legs comes to mind. By 1990’s Recyler, the band was heading back, at least to some degree, in their original direction, evidenced by 2000 Blues. Like I Need You Tonight, it made the grade for the group’s 1994 compilation One Foot In The Blues alongside such early material as Brown Sugar (not the Stones’ song) from their first album and Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell, from Rio Grande Mud.
    14. Jimi Hendrix, Cherokee Mist . . . Just Hendrix on guitar and sitar along with drummer Mitch Mitchell on this brooding seven-minute instrumental recorded in May, 1968. It remained officially unreleased until the Both Sides Of The Sky album, yet another posthumous but worthwhile batch of archival material, came out in 2018.
    15. Eric Clapton, Mean Old Frisco . . . Cover of a blues tune written by Arthur Cruddup, whose That’s All Right became Elvis Presley’s first single, released in 1954. Mean Old Frisco appeared on Clapton’s 1977 album Slowhand, well known for Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight and a cover of J.J. Cale’s Cocaine.
    16. Moby Grape, Hoochie . . . Toe-tapping rocker from the San Francisco band’s ’69 album, issued in, wait for it, 1969. A good driving down the highway tune.
    17. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Circles . . . Progressive sort of rocker from the band’s Watch album, released in 1978. It wasn’t a single, but later wound up on some compilations. Watch was original drummer Chris Slade’s last album with the Earth Band, which formed in 1971 and was a different entity than the earlier Manfred Mann of such hits as Do Wah Diddy Diddy and Mighty Quinn, their retitled cover of Bob Dylan’s The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo). Slade, in a massive missed opportunity by both parties, was never in the band Slade. Both Slades are still around, so there’s always hope. Chris Slade did go on to stints with AC/DC, notably on the Razors Edge album, and The Firm with Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers.
    18. Rare Earth, In Bed . . . Nice groove on this one from the second Rare Earth album, Get Ready, released in 1969. Only an edited version of the epic, 21-minute title cut was given a single release although In Bed is on various compilations and I seem to recall hearing it a fair bit on radio.
    19. Jethro Tull, Cold Wind To Valhalla . . . From 1975’s Minstrel In The Gallery album. It’s one of those songs, among many of course but perhaps more than most, that demonstrate all of what Tull at its best brings to the table. Progressive rock, folk rock, heavy rock, all in one four-minutes and change trip.
    20. T Bone Burnett, Shut It Tight . . . Countryish folk rock tune from T Bone’s 1983 album Proof Through The Night. The record featured contributions from a host of noted guitarists including Ry Cooder, Pete Townshend and, there he is again with a mention in this set, Mick Ronson. The guy was everywhere, but not on this track. It’s Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention fame doing the honors.
    21. Boogaloo & His Gallant Crew, Cops and Robbers . . . Second cut, covered by The Rolling Stones in the early days and a hit for Bo Diddley, from that MOJO mag CD I mentioned earlier. Boogaloo was the stage name for American songwriter and record producer Kent Harris, who died in 2019 at age 88.
    22. The Rolling Stones, Gotta Get Away . . . Critics often dismiss this early mid-tempo number by the Jagger-Richards songwriting team. Appreciation of the arts is subjective, of course, and I’ve always liked it although as a huge fan of the band, I’m likely the wrong person to ask to differentiate between great and not so great Stones songs. OK, I will say I’m not too big on Summer Romance and Where The Boys Go, both on the Emotional Rescue album, two that immediately come to mind. Good playing, as always, listenable enough but they seem to me to be formulaic throwaways. Back to Gotta Get Away: It was the B-side to As Tears Go By in the US and was on the UK version of the Out Of Our Heads album. In the US, it was on the aformentioned (see my take on song No. 8 in my list) December’s Children (And Everybody’s) record, which used the same cover photo of the band that was used for Out Of Our Heads in the UK. Whole book chapters have been written on this title/album configuration/cover art thing. Well, as the song says, gotta get away. Until Monday’s show . . . Happy Easter, everyone.

So Old It’s New ‘alphabet soup’ set for Monday, April 3, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

A 26-song trip from A to Z, using band/artist names, for tonight’s set. My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Allman Brothers Band, Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
  2. The Beatles, Because
  3. Johnny Cash, I Won’t Back Down
  4. Donovan, Season Of The Witch
  5. Eagles, Visions
  6. Fairport Convention, Reno, Nevada
  7. Golden Earring, Instant Poetry
  8. Hawkwind, Black Elk Speaks
  9. It’s A Beautiful Day, White Bird
  10. Jefferson Airplane, Comin’ Back To Me
  11. The Kinks, Muswell Hillbilly
  12. Led Zeppelin, Black Country Woman
  13. John Mellencamp, Country Gentleman
  14. Nazareth, All Nite Radio
  15. Ohio Players, Time Slips Away
  16. Pink Floyd, If
  17. Queen, The Hitman
  18. The Rolling Stones, Rain Fall Down
  19. Santana, Africa Speaks
  20. Ten Years After, Don’t Want You Woman
  21. U2, Walk To The Water
  22. The Velvet Underground, Rock & Roll
  23. Wolfmother, 10,000 Feet
  24. XTC, Ten Feet Tall
  25. Neil Young, For The Turnstiles
  26. Warren Zevon, My Ride’s HereMy track-by-track tales:

     

    1. The Allman Brothers Band, Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More . . . From Eat A Peach, written and sung by Gregg Allman in the wake of his brother Duane’s death in a motorcycle crash. An upbeat tune musically albeit touching, lyrically, on grief, the fleeting nature of time, and our use of it.
    1. The Beatles, Because . . . Stories about recording sessions are interesting and often unintentionally funny. There’s so much literature about the Beatles’ recording sessions, for all their albums, that I won’t get into it too deeply except for the two stories coming out of the Abbey Road sessions that have always made me smile. 1. Things were so acrimonious by then (even though Abbey Road is often romanticized as the group truly pulling together for one last, great gasp of creativity) that John Lennon for a time wanted all his songs on one side of the original vinyl release and Paul McCartney’s on the other. 2. Recording engineer Geoff Emerick favored Everest brand cigarettes. And boy, these guys smoked a lot, evidenced by the Get Back documentary. So anyway, due to Emerick the working title for the album was Everest. But when it was suggested the group fly to the Himalayas for a cover shoot – and I can just imagine scene, ‘ah, screw that idea’ – nobody could be bothered so they just went outside the studio for the iconic crosswalk photo we all know, love and many have imitated on trips to London. Beautiful three-part harmonies by Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison on the song, apparently inspired by Yoko Ono playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to Lennon. Who says Yoko didn’t contribute to Beatles’ music beyond clinging to Lennon in the studio and being grudgingly tolerated by everyone else?
    1. Johnny Cash, I Won’t Back Down . . . I watched a documentary on Johnny Cash recently. A few minutes into the 90-minute show, I realized I’d seen it, or at least parts of it, long ago. But the repeat viewing was worth it and inspired me to play Cash’s cover of this Tom Petty tune. It appeared on American III: Solitary Man, one of the series of excellent albums Cash did with producer Rick Rubin late in The Man In Black’s career. 
    2. Donovan, Season Of The Witch . . . I’ve played cover versions of Donovan’s tune, by Vanilla Fudge, and Al Kooper and Stephen Stills from the Super Sessions album. Not sure I’ve ever played the original, so here goes.
    3. Eagles, Visions . . . Co-written by guitarist Don Felder, who contributes the fine work that earned him the nickname ‘Fingers’. It’s the only Eagles song on which Felder handled lead vocals despite his stated desire to do more. But the band was in the controlling hands of main songwriters/singers Glenn Frey and Don Henley and it truly was a case of three’s a crowd. It eventually led to Felder’s dismissal, a tell-all book he wrote, a lawsuit he filed against what he termed “The Gods”, Frey and Henley, and an eventual undisclosed settlement.
    4. Fairport Convention, Reno, Nevada . . . Great jam that was included on an expanded 2003 re-release of  the band’s 1968 self-titled debut. It was the lone Fairport album to feature singer Judy Dyble, before Sandy Denny joined the group. I stopped in Reno once, spring of 1981 while helping my dad do the driving to California, from Calgary, to set up shop in the San Francisco Bay Area for his new job. I never got into the casino scene or gambling at all, but it was my first experience playing a casino slot machine, just to try it, back before casinos (and now TV commercials for betting sites) sprung up everywhere outside of Nevada and I guess Atlantic City. As I recall I won a few pennies, then lost them, coming out even before we hit the road again. As for Reno, Johnny Cash also shot a man there once, just to watch him die. Just lyrically, of course, in Folsom Prison Blues.
    5. Golden Earring, Instant Poetry . . . A stand-alone hard rocking single released in 1974, a year after Golden Earring’s worldwide success with the Moontan album and its big hit, Radar Love.
    6. Hawkwind, Black Elk Speaks . . . From 1990’s Space Bandits album. The hypnotic track is a tribute to indigenous icon Black Elk, who fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn and later toured with and performed in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
    7. It’s A Beautiful Day, White Bird . . . Signature, beautiful song from the aptly named San Francisco psychedelic band, from its 1969 self-titled debut album.
    8. Jefferson Airplane, Comin’ Back To Me . . . Another beauty, written and sung by Marty Balin, from 1967’s Surrealistic Pillow. It was the first Airplane album to feature Grace Slick, who sang Somebody To Love and White Rabbit, the band’s biggest hits. Balin said he created the song while indulging in some ‘primo’ marijuana given him by blues singer/harmonica player Paul Butterfield. Richie Havens and, much later, Rickie Lee Jones on her 1991 covers album Pop Pop, did notable versions.
    9. The Kinks, Muswell Hillbilly . . . I’m forever heaping praise on The Kinks and, in particular, their 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies. Yet it bombed commercially. This title cut country rocker, full of social commentary typical of Ray Davies’ writing, is one of the few remaining songs from the album I’ve not yet played on the show. And how can you not be pulled in by an opening line like “Well, I said goodbye to Rosie Rooke this morning. I’m gonna miss her bloodshot alcoholic eyes . . . ‘
    10. Led Zeppelin, Black Country Woman . . . Acoustic rocker that builds to something of a stomper. Not on the order of, say, Trampled Underfoot, but it moves. It’s from Physical Graffiti, complete with the plane flying overhead at the start (they were recording outside, in a garden) and the wise decision to ‘yeah, leave it”.
    11. John Mellencamp, Country Gentleman . . . From 1989’s Big Daddy album, a diatribe against then-US President Ronald Reagan. Terrific album, spare, lyrically deep, Mellencamp once said he considers it his best, or one of them, as he was maturing lyrically. I agree, even though commercially it didn’t reach the heights or widespread listenership of some of his previous work like The Lonesome Jubilee, Scarecrow, Uh-Huh and his 1982 breakthrough American Fool. To me it’s perhaps akin to Bruce Springsteen going from the maybe calculated, over the top success of the Born In The USA album in 1984 to the more introspective, personal Tunnel Of Love record three years later.
    12. Nazareth, All Nite Radio . . . I love the guitar picking on this one from 1983’s Sound Elixir album. It’s country-ish, almost, but ever-changing into maybe a metallic soul, a genre and phrase I just now made up. And maybe a bit too polished for Nazareth fans of, say, Hair Of The Dog but as I said the other day while playing and discussing Nazareth (playing them again so soon, I needed an ‘N’ band for the alphabet): They are known as a hard rock band but deeper investigation reveals some interesting and diverse directions.
    13. Ohio Players, Time Slips Away . . . Soul/funk/jazz/rock fusion. Intoxicating.
    14. Pink Floyd, If . . . Floyd’s 1970 album Atom Heart Mother album, two releases before the monster commercial breakthrough that was The Dark Side Of The Moon, is an interesting listen. Side one of the original vinyl is the near 24-minute orchestral Atom Heart Mother Suite, complete with choir. Side two ends with the off the wall Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast, kitchen sounds, someone eating cereal, frying bacon etc. I’ve played both before. In between those are three musically beautiful, more conventional pieces: Roger Waters’ If, keyboardist Richard Wright’s Summer ’68 and David Gilmour’s Fat Old Sun. I simply randomly picked the Waters-penned track.
    15. Queen, The Hitman . . . Heavy riff rock from 1991’s Innuendo, the last Queen album released during lead singer Freddie Mercury’s lifetime. It’s one of my favorite albums by the band in part because it marked a return to the Queen I most liked: bombastic, sometimes operatic hard rock with Brian May’s guitar prominenly featured. A terrific return to form for fans of earlier Queen.
    16. The Rolling Stones, Rain Fall Down . . . A funky tune Mick Jagger has said he wrote about London and his feelings about the city, and living in it, at the time of its release on the A Bigger Bang album in 2005.
    17. Santana, Africa Speaks . . . Title cut from Santana’s 2019 album, to my ears a Latin rock classic on par with the early 1970s Santana of which I am so fond.
    18. Ten Years After, Don’t Want You Woman . . . Acoustic boogie blues from the band’s self-title debut album in 1967.
    19. U2, Walk To The Water . . . Beautiful, moody B-side to The Joshua Tree’s first, and a No. 1, single With Or Without You. Walk To The Water was later included on the compilation The Best Of 1980-1990 which featured hit singles, some live stuff and B-sides. They followed it up with the equally interesting – depending on which version you purchased, the one CD version or the one that included the rarities disc two – The Best Of 1990-2000.
    20. The Velvet Underground, Rock & Roll . . . The Velvets can be an acquired taste, probably why in 1970 their record company asked for an album “loaded with hits’. Hence the album title, also a double entendre for being stoned or drunk. But despite this single and Sweet Jane, two of the band’s/Lou Reed’s best known songs, the album still failed to chart. But, as the saying about the Velvets goes, few people bought their albums but everyone who did, formed a band due to their influence. It just occurred to me, maybe strangely so ‘duh’ on me, after all these years of listening to it, that Reed by accident or design sounds like Bob Dylan on the track. Perhaps he always did, it just never occurred to me previously.
    21. Wolfmother, 10,000 Feet . . . Wolfmother comes out with its first, self-titled album in 2005 and my older son, then age 17 and playing music in his own bands, says to me when I mention how I like this then new band Wolfmother: “Dad, it’s Zep”. Yeah, so? It was a fun little moment. I haven’t asked my now nearly age 35 son what he thinks of the truly Zeppelin-like Greta Van Fleet. This one’s from Cosmic Egg, Wolfmother’s second album. They’re since up to six albums, although nobody seems to talk about them anymore. I’ve got three of them, my last one being their 2015 release, plus a solo album by bandleader Andrew Stockdale, who essentially IS Wolfmother. I have some catching up to do on the catalog, online or otherwise.
    22. XTC, Ten Feet Tall . . . From Drums and Wires, the 1979 album that, via the big hit single Making Plans For Nigel, brought XTC wide acclaim. Ten Feet Tall wasn’t a single, but I recall hearing it a lot on radio back then, my college days. But that’s when commercial rock radio actually played deep, or near deep, cuts.
    23. Neil Young, For The Turnstiles . . . Nice banjo guitar pickin’, Neil. From On The Beach.
    24. Warren Zevon, My Ride’s Here . . . He was so great. “I was staying at the Marriott with Jesus and John Wayne” . . . “I was staying at the Westin, I was playing to a draw when in walked Charlton Heston with the Tablets of the Law . . . ‘ And I haven’t even mentioned his references to Keats, Shelley and Lord Byron. Title cut from the late great’s second-last album, released in 2002. He died just over a year later. 

     

     

So Old It’s New “April Fool’ set list for Saturday, April 1, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane, April Fool
  2. Deep Purple, You Fool No One
  3. Steely Dan, Only A Fool Would Say That
  4. The Rolling Stones, Just Your Fool
  5. Shirley Bassey, The Fool On The Hill
  6. Robin Trower, The Fool And Me
  7. Buddy Holly, Fool’s Paradise
  8. Joe Jackson, Fool
  9. Johnny Winter, Be Careful With A Fool
  10. Jerry Lee Lewis, Fools Like Me
  11. Van Halen, Fools
  12. Aretha Franklin, Chain Of Fools
  13. UFO, You Don’t Fool Me
  14. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, You Little Fool
  15. Bobbie Gentry, Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em And Forget About ‘Em
  16. Thin Lizzy, Fools Gold
  17. Little Village, Fool Who Knows
  18. Nazareth, Fool About You
  19. Rod Stewart, Fool For You
  20. Gene Clark, Life’s Greatest Fool
  21. Gary Moore, Only Fool In Town
  22. Family, No Mule’s Fool
  23. Gov’t Mule, Towering Fool
  24. Groundhogs, Still A Fool
  25. Buddy Guy, Who’s Been Foolin’ You
  26. Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Fool
  27. Pretenders, Fools Must Die
  28. Peter Green, A Fool No More

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane, April Fool . . . Beautiful song, written and sung by Lane, of Faces fame, on the amazing album he and Townshend collaborated on, released in September 1977 and featuring such musical luminaries as Charlie Watts, Eric Clapton and John Entwistle on various tracks. Instant buy for me back then, being a Who and Faces fan. Endlessly rewarding.
    2. Deep Purple, You Fool No One . . . Boogie rock tune with typically great drumming from Ian Paice. It’s from 1974’s Burn, the first album with David Coverdale (lead vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals) replacing Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, respectively. Well, Hughes replaced Glover on bass. Glover never sang.
    3. Steely Dan, Only A Fool Would Say That . . . I just played Steely Dan (King Of The World) on Monday in my ‘songs from 1973’ show but unless it’s my favorites the Stones, I try to mix things up and don’t often play the same artist again so quickly. But, believe it or not, I hadn’t thought of an April Fool’s-themed show, likely because I usually don’t like doing the obvious, until maybe Tuesday of this past week. That’s when I thought, I wonder if I can come up with enough songs, particularly deep cuts, with ‘fool’ or ‘foolish’ etc. in the title to fill my two-hour slot. Silly me. It turned out it was far easier than I envisioned; I had about four hours worth of songs in the system before I called a halt to the exercise and started shaving things down to fit the show. Anyway, the first song that came to mind in all of this was this one, from Steely Dan’s debut, Can’t Buy A Thrill, the first in a long line of consistently top-notch songs and albums from Messrs. Walter Becker (RIP) and Donald Fagen and their cast of collaborators over the years.
    4. The Rolling Stones, Just Your Fool . . . Little Walter tune, with Mick Jagger proving Keith Richards’ contention that when Jagger plays harmonica, he’s at his best. It’s from Blue & Lonesome, the Stones’ 2016 blues covers album that remains their last full studio release since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. There’s long been talk of a new album of original material and the band was apparently working on one when the sessions took the blues direction that resulted in Blue & Lonesome. But nothing new and original has been heard from the Stones since A Bigger Bang other than occasional new songs/singles like Doom and Gloom and One More Shot, on the 2012 compilation Grrr! or more recently, the pandemic-themed single Living In A Ghost Town, in 2020.
    5. Shirley Bassey, The Fool On The Hill . . . I first became aware of Welsh singer Bassey’s powerful voice via Goldfinger, to me the best of her three James Bond movie theme credits. The others are Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. Her cover of this Beatles song made No. 48 on the UK charts in 1971. The Fool On The Hill was also nicely done by American artist Bobbie Gentry, who I’m playing, albeit a different song, later in the set.
    6. Robin Trower, The Fool And Me . . . From 1974’s Bridge Of Sighs, Trower’s second solo album after he left Procol Harum to team with singer/bassist James Dewar and drummers Reg Isidore and later Bill Lordan for a fine run of albums into the early 1980s.
    7. Buddy Holly, Fool’s Paradise . . . Rockabilly-type tune I pulled from a 50-song, double disc compilation of Holly’s I own. It’s all quality stuff, too, his big hits and the deeper cuts. All of that highly influential output and he was just 22 when he died in a 1959 plane crash along with Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson, the tragedy later immortalized in Don MacLean’s song American Pie as ‘the day the music died’.
    8. Joe Jackson, Fool . . . I suppose the obvious thing to do would be to play Jackson’s well-known Fools In Love from his 1979 debut album Look Sharp! And I did consider it. But . . . that’s just what you’d be expecting. So I went with Fool, the title cut to the eclectic JJ’s most recent studio album, released in 2019. It’s rock, it’s jazz, it’s funk, it’s great. No matter where Jackson’s travelled musically – new wave, rock, reggae/ska, big band, jazz, classical – I’ve always followed, never been disappointed.
    9. Johnny Winter, Be Careful With A Fool . . . A typical guitar on fire cover of a blues tune, this one a B.B. King-penned number that appeared on Winter’s self-titled second album, released in 1969.
    10. Jerry Lee Lewis, Fools Like Me . . . Known for his wild rock and roll playing and shows, The Killer could also deliver aching tunes like this one, apparently a favorite of John Lennon’s.
    11. Van Halen, Fools . . . David Lee Roth does his best Janis Joplin vocalization impersonation before all hell breaks loose on this one from 1980’s Women And Children First album. A commenter on YouTube describes it as ‘tribal boogie.” Well put.
    12. Aretha Franklin, Chain Of Fools . . . Interesting, perhaps, when you haven’t listened to something in a long time. Sounds crazy, I realize but, somehow, the title and the tune didn’t connect for me at first when I was looking at the track list to an Aretha album I own. Then, hmm, it has Fools in the title, that might work, so I put it on and, bingo, immediately, oh, right, THAT one. Idiot (me). What a song, what a voice, what a performer the Queen of Soul was. A deserved No. 1 R & B and No. 2 pop hit for her in 1967.
    13. UFO, You Don’t Fool Me . . . Terrific rhythmic track featuring the usual guitar fireworks from Michael Schenker. It’s from the band’s Obsession album, released in 1978.
    14. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, You Little Fool . . . The first single from Costello’s 1982 critically acclaimed album Imperial Bedroom. I didn’t ‘get’ the record at first but as with some if not many good albums, sometimes it takes a while. It’s full of good songs – Beyond Belief, Shabby Doll I’ve always liked, Almost Blue and the second single and to me the album’s best cut, Man Out Of Time. However neither Man Out Of Time or You Little Fool cracked the top 50 in the UK, Costello’s home turf. Geoff Emerick, known for his sound engineer work with The Beatles on Revolver, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road, produced the album.
    15. Bobbie Gentry, Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em And Forget About ‘Em . . . Soul country, I suppose one would describe this one from the Ode To Billie Joe singer, one of the first American women to compose and produce her own material. She had 11 chart hits, including Billie Joe, the 1967 No. 1 that propelled her to stardom. Some years ago I was listening to Ode To Billie Joe, amazing song of course, and decided to dig deeper into Gentry’s work. I’ve been reaping the rewards ever since. One of those music mysteries, too. She was active until April, 1982 when she left the industry and essentially disappeared off the face of the earth after appearing at a country music awards show. She’d just had enough, apparently, which I find kinda cool. I’m done, see ya. She’d be 80 now, with various reports having her living in a gated community near Memphis, Tennessee. Or Los Angeles, depending on one’s source. She was once briefly married to casino magnate Bill Harrah and later to Jim Stafford, known for the 1970s hits Spiders & Snakes and the double entendre My Girl Bill.
    16. Thin Lizzy, Fools Gold . . . Do a show using the word ‘fool’ in the song titles and you realize how may songs, unsurprisingly I suppose, titled Fool’s Gold are out there, using apostrophes or, in Thin Lizzy’s case, not. Lizzy is, apparently, like AC/DC: off the top of my head AC/DC’s Razors Edge album and song, no punctuation, come to mind. Also up for consideration in the final analysis were Graham Parker’s Fool’s Gold (apostrophe) and the full near 10-minute version of Fools Gold (no apostrophe) by The Stone Roses. I rolled dice in a three-band round-robin tournament and Thin Lizzy won with its tale of the Irish Famine from the 1976 album Johnny The Fox. A final point on punctuation: Next show might be a grammar gig where I’ll play Frank Zappa’s album and song Apostrophe (‘). Actually, no. Not yet, anyway. I have another idea in mind for Monday’s set.
    17. Little Village, Fool Who Knows . . . From the one and only album, released in 1992, by the supergroup of Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Nick Lowe and everyone’s session drummer Jim Keltner. The foursome had originally worked together on Hiatt’s 1987 album Bring The Family. Hiatt did most of the singing on Little Village but Fool Who Knows was written and sung by Lowe.
    18. Nazareth, Fool About You . . . Country-ish tune from the band’s second album, 1972’s Exercises. I’ve heard the song, and the album in general, referred to as uncharacteristic of Nazareth and I suppose that’s true, given that, besides the ballad Love Hurts, the band is arguably best known as a hard rock outfit. But deeper investigation of the discography reveals Nazareth as a diverse band that tried various styles, with often mixed results. But at least they didn’t sit still.
    19. Rod Stewart, Fool For You . . . Terrific ballad, written by Stewart, from his blockbuster 1976 album A Night On The Town that yielded the No. 1 hit Tonight’s The Night. Fool For You wasn’t a single, but easily could have been.
    20. Gene Clark, Life’s Greatest Fool . . . From the former Byrds-man’s fourth solo album, No Other, released in 1974. My favorite song on the album is the title cut, which I’ve played before, but the record, despite being front-to-back solid, was a critical and commercial failure upon release. Yet many of the same critics who at first derided it now refer to it as a lost masterpiece, which it is. But, I get it. Sometimes, as I mentioned earlier in my blurb about Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom, albums take a few listens to sink in. Often, those wind up becoming your favorites – Exile On Main St. by The Rolling Stones is one of those, for me and if push came to shove it would be my desert island disc. But music journalists don’t always have that luxury, deadline for the review is tomorrow, or in our web world, right now, so instant and often flawed judgments can result.
    21. Gary Moore, Only Fool In Town . . . Guitar shredding from sometime metallic man Moore on this one from After Hours, his 1992 blues rock followup to his hit album and single Still Got The Blues two years earlier.
    22. Family, No Mule’s Fool . . . A folk rocker from a band that dabbled in progressive rock, psychedelia and jazz. It was released in the UK as a standalone single and later wound up on North American pressings of the 1970 album A Song For Me.
    23. Gov’t Mule, Towering Fool . . . Dark, bluesy tune from the band’s second album, Dose, released in 1998.
    24. Groundhogs, Still A Fool . . . Cover of the Muddy Waters song, from the British blues/rock band’s 1968 debut album, Scratching The Surface.
    25. Buddy Guy, Who’s Been Foolin’ You . . . Speaking of Muddy Waters, Buddy sounds just like Muddy, to my ears, on this cut from Guy’s excellent 2001 album Sweet Tea. The record is named for the Oxford, Mississippi studio in which it was recorded.
    26. Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Fool . . . Extended (12-minute) spooky, psychedelic piece from the San Francisco band’s self-titled 1968 debut album. I love the sort of barking, or ripping, guitar sound around the five-minute mark, but the whole thing is a trip.
    27. Pretenders, Fools Must Die . . . Kick butt, short but oh so sweet tune from 2002’s Loose Screw album. Few people seem to talk about it much, but it’s a terrific record I’ve mined before. Full of good songs – this one, Lie To Me, Complex Person, Kinda Nice, I Like It, Walk Like A Panther . . . worth checking out.
    28. Peter Green, A Fool No More . . . Long, slow, beautiful blues from the Fleetwood Mac founder’s 1979 album In The Skies.

So Old It’s New ‘songs from 1973’ set list for Monday, March 27, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. David Bowie, Let’s Spend The Night Together
  2. Bruce Springsteen, Spirit In The Night
  3. Dr. John, Such A Night
  4. Can, Moonshake
  5. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Give It Time
  6. The Who, Doctor Jimmy
  7. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Poison Whiskey
  8. Led Zeppelin, The Ocean
  9. Alice Cooper, Raped And Freezin’
  10. Thin Lizzy, The Hero And The Madman
  11. Steely Dan, King Of The World
  12. Queen, Great King Rat
  13. Black Sabbath, Sabbra Cadabra
  14. King Crimson, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part 1
  15. Genesis, Firth Of Fifth
  16. Tom Waits, Ol’ 55
  17. Stevie Wonder, Too High
  18. The Doobie Brothers, Clear As The Driven Snow
  19. Frank Zappa, Montana
  20. Little Feat, Roll Um Easy
  21. Roxy Music, Editions Of You
  22. Elton John, High Flying Bird
  23. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Still . . . You Turn Me On
  24. The Allman Brothers Band, Come And Go Blues 

    My track-by-track tales:

  1. David Bowie, Let’s Spend The Night Together . . . One show can lead into another. I was going to play Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album last Saturday when I played Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon and The Rolling Stones’ Goats Head Soup. The original premise was 50-year-old albums, ie released in 1973 but then came the tie-in with Toronto band Zuffalo, which is playing Dark Side, and their own stuff, on April 29 at Rhythm and Brews in Cambridge so out went Aladdin Sane, in came some Zuffalo. 

    Speaking of Zuffalo, they are having a ticket giveaway for their upcoming show which is sponsored by Radio Waterloo. For details, email gary@radiowaterloo.caAfter last Saturday’s album replay show, I still had 1973 on the brain so the result is tonight’s full slate of songs from that year including Bowie’s manic cover of this Stones’ tune. It appeared on Aladdin Sane, presaging Bowie’s full-blown covers album, Pin-Ups, that he hastily did to satisfy his record company’s demand for another album in 1973, to further cash in on Bowie’s commercial ascendance. Perhaps because he had already covered the Stones on Aladdin Sane, there were no Stones covers on the Pin-Ups album which included songs written or made famous by, among others, Them (Here Comes The Night), The Who (I Can’t Explain and Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere), The Kinks (Where Have All The Good Times Gone), Pink Floyd (See Emily Play) and Bruce Springsteen (Growin’ Up).

  2. Bruce Springsteen, Spirit In The Night . . . Speaking of Springsteen, and cover tunes . . . I played Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version of this Springsteen tune, from his 1973 debut album Greetings From Asbury Park NJ a few weeks ago so I figured I’d go with the original today. The Earth Band had even greater success with another song from Springsteen’s debut, Blinded By The Light. It’s interesting how prolific artists were back then, just a different time. Generally it was an album a year but sometimes two and in 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival released three LPs, all of them – Bayou Country, Green River and Willy and the Poor Boys – among the band’s best. But back to 1973. Bowie released the two I’ve mentioned, one albeit a covers album. Springsteen’s debut was his first of two that year with The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle coming out in November after his debut in January. Later in the set I’m playing Elton John, who was on a 2-albums per year schedule for the first half of the 1970s.
  1. Dr. John, Such A Night . . . The hit single Right Place Wrong Time took the doctor’s In The Right Place album to his highest-ever placing, No. 24 on Billboard. Such A Night got its own share of exposure when Dr. John performed it at The Band’s The Last Waltz concert, which became a film and live album, and the song appears on various Dr. John compilations.
  1. Can, Moonshake . . . A somewhat rare, short but definitely catchy, propulsive track by the Krautrock progressive/experimetal band. From The Future Days album. It was released as a single and if you’re not into some of Can’s ‘weirder’ stuff, I’d recommend the more palatable The Singles compilation. The 1990s British experimental rock band Moonshake took its name from Can’s song. 
  2. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Give It Time . . . I was going to play Welcome Home from BTO II, which is a terrific musical voyage into hard rock combined with jazz and perhaps I should have, regardless. But maybe it should have been an instrumental because, while he’s a great songwriter and guitarist, I find Randy Bachman’s vocals wimpy and somewhat embarrassing. He should scream more, as he does, at least he’s credited as lead vocalist, in the chorus to Welcome Home although it sounds to me like C.F. (Fred) Turner does that part. Yes, I know, Bachman sang the hits Takin’ Care Of Business and You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, and they work, but still. He’s not a good singer. So, here’s bass player Turner, clearly the best vocalist in the group, growling his way through this down and dirty ditty. 
  3. The Who, Doctor Jimmy . . . A tour de force from Quadrophenia, eight and one-half minutes of classic, angry, full-force Who.
  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Poison Whiskey . . . From the wall-to-wall great debut, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-erd, which contained such well-known songs among the band’s output as Free Bird, Gimme Three Steps, Simple Man and Tuesday’s Gone, but also excellent deeper cuts like Poison Whiskey. While their first album wasn’t released until 1973, Skynyrd, under different names, had been around in various forms since 1964 including as My Backyard, featuring future stalwarts Ronnie Van Zant on lead vocals and guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. There’s really no such thing as overnight success, as most band histories show. 
  2. Led Zeppelin, The Ocean . . . My biggest concern with playing something from Zep’s Houses Of The Holy album is having YouTube or Facebook, when I put the song clip on my page, remove it due to the album cover featuring children. It’s happened before but usually takes some time before it does. And I do understand it to some degree, given some of Zeppelin’s history or alleged history with youth. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve had The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers ‘zipper’ cover removed before. Interestingly, Hipgnosis was nominated for a Grammy Award for Houses Of The Holy in the best album package category, now known as the best recording package, for ‘quality visual look’ of an album.
  1. Alice Cooper, Raped And Freezin’ . . . From Billion Dollar Babies, an album that is essentially a greatest hits record. Even the deeper cuts, like this one, are familiar to most people who grew up with the record. As often mentioned, it was seemingly on permanent play in my early high school days on our cafeteria juke box.
  1. Thin Lizzy, The Hero And The Madman . . . A spoken word, hard rock, prog rock, tempo changing guitar showcase, all in six minutes from the early Lizzy album Vagabonds Of The Western World. 
  2. Steely Dan, King Of The World . . . Pop/rock/jazz with a funky hook, from Countdown To Ecstasy, Steely Dan’s second album. A masterpiece, really, but such is the case with so much of Steely Dan’s material. Steely Dan has been described as slick and, being a raunch and roller at heart, I don’t usually like slick. To me, it tends to mean overdone production, like a lot of 1980s stuff where some decent songs are probably hiding somewhere in the synthetic syrup. Yet I like Steely Dan a lot. Perhaps noted music critic Robert Christgau put it best in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums Of The Seventies. Steely Dan, he wrote about Countdown To Ecstasy but it could apply to all their stuff, has achieved a ‘deceptively agreeable studio slickness.” 
  3. Queen, Great King Rat . . . Queen, in all their prog/operatic/hard rock glory, from the self-titled debut. Eleven years later they were going Radio Ga Ga on The Works album. Catchy, yes, evolution of an artist, yes, more commercially successful, yes, tongue in cheek, probably, but, er, hmm. 
  4. Black Sabbath, Sabbra Cadabra . . . A hard rock proggish piece from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, with Yes virtuoso Rick Wakeman making a guest appearance on piano and synthesizers.
  1. King Crimson, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I . . . Epic up and down, back and forth between mellow and aggressive title track from the Larks’ album. That first slow buildup to the heavy crescendo around the 4:45 mark of the 13-minute-plus instrumental gets me every time, just waiting for it to go over the cliff you know you can’t avoid if you keep listening. And who wants to stop listening to this brilliance? Guitarist/leader Robert Fripp has been the lone constant Crimson force in the band’s long history and Larks’ Tongues In Aspic is actually a multi-album suite amid ever-changing lineups, which is a feat in itself in terms of maintaining a vision. It started with Parts I and II on the original album. Then came Part III, 11 years later on 1984’s Three Of A Perfect Pair, followed by Part IV on the 2000 album The Construkction of Light and Part V, known as Level Five and/or Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part V, on The Power To Believe record in 2003. Space doesn’t permit, but lots of interesting reading – and listening – on it. 
  2. Genesis, Firth Of Fifth . . . Tony Banks with the beautiful piano intro to a song he masterminded but was originally rejected by the band when he submitted it for consideration for the Foxtrot album. He reworked it and it made the grade for the subsequent album, Selling England By The Pound. One of the classic tracks of Genesis’s truly progressive rock period, it also features singer Peter Gabriel on flute and a sterling guitar solo from Steve Hackett. 
  3. Tom Waits, Ol’ 55 . . . From Waits’s first album, Closing Time. The Eagles covered it on their On The Border album in 1974 and it was the B-side to that record’s third single, Best Of My Love. Waits disliked the Eagles’ version, at least according to a quote reproduced by Wikipedia from a 1975 interview where Waits called the Eagles’ take on his song ‘a little antiseptic.” Apparently, about a year later, Waits went further, slamming the Eagles in general. “I don’t like the Eagles. They’re about as exciting as watching paint dry. Their albums are good for keeping the dust off your turntable and that’s about it.” 

    Ouch. I like the Eagles well enough, actually have all their albums, but I also understand Waits’s view. Live, for instance, at least while Glenn Frey was still with us, from what I’ve heard – evidenced by their 1980 live album and I’m not sure how much ‘fixing’ or overdubbing might have been done in production – the Eagles were almost too true to their studio albums. They didn’t stretch out, so to speak, as many if not most bands do when playing live. But from what I’ve read, that’s what Frey, a commanding force within the band along with Don Henley, wanted and presumably so do the fans attending the shows. That’s another discussion, of course. The artists that sometimes extend, even maybe rearrange their songs live can argue, as Joe Jackson, for one, has argued, that if you want the studio versions, listen to the studio albums. But it’s understandable if some if not many fans are disappointed after paying good money for a show, only to hear a favorite song they came to hear, drastically rearranged. But you also have to know your artist and how they tend to do things, and I think most fans do understand – or learn to appreciate – what to expect. As for Waits, I imagine he made at least decent royalties from the Eagles’ version of Ol’ 55, as he no doubt has from any number of covers of his songs that became bigger hits for others, Rod Stewart’s version of Downtown Train coming to mind.

    1. Stevie Wonder, Too High . . . Funky tune from the Innervisions album, could easily have been a single but Wonder was like Elton John at the time – his deep cuts were as compelling. And Wonder already had four hit singles from Innervisions, the chart placing depending on country: Higher Ground, Living For The City, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing and He’s Misstra Know-It-All. 
    2. The Doobie Brothers, Clear As The Driven Snow . . . Wonderful, mostly acoustic track written and sung by guitarist Patrick Simmons, a founding and lone, constant member of the band throughout its long history. This one’s from The Captain and Me, the album that gave us Long Train Runnin’ and China Grove. 
    3. Frank Zappa, Montana . . . Wherein our man Frank moves to Montana to grow a crop of dental floss and become a tycoon of that industry. Tina Turner and The Ikettes, the backing singers for Ike & Tina Turner, help out on vocals. 
    4. Little Feat, Roll Um Easy . . . Next time I do a 1973-themed show I think I’ll just play the entire Dixie Chicken album. It’s that good. Linda Ronstadt covered Roll Um Easy on her Prisoner In Disguise album in 1975, with Little Feat’s Lowell George, the song’s author, playing slide guitar. I’m a big Ronstadt fan and she was a great interpreter, but I prefer Little Feat’s spare, acoustic original version. But it’s nice to have them both. 
    5. Roxy Music, Editions Of You . . . Early, brilliant, edgy Roxy, from the second album, For Your Pleasure. It is that, indeed. 
    6. Elton John, High Flying Bird . . . One of my favorite Elton John songs and a lovely way to close his Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player album. I played it years ago on the show to good reaction, and why not? It’s a terrific tune, apparently one of EJ’s favorites as well. So, while I don’t like to repeat myself or, at least, try to wait a long time between replays, now’s the time. 
    7. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Still . . . You Turn Me On . . . Beautiful piece and one of ELP’s most well-known. Yet the Greg Lake-penned tune wasn’t a single from Brain Salad Surgery as the band didn’t think it was representative of the album or the band’s manic dynamic sound. Somewhat strange, considering ELP albums are peppered with similar songs like Lucky Man, From The Beginning, C’Est La Vie and Lend Your Love To Me Tonight – all Lake compositions. “We’ve had success with Greg’s ballads,” drummer Carl Palmer says in the liner notes to the 1996 reissue of Brain Salad Surgery. “Without those, we probably wouldn’t have sold the amount of records that we have. The problem was, when we had something which was a commercial hit, it wasn’t dark. We had love songs that were hits, so it was a rather diverse situation. People were always waiting for the next (such ballad).”

      Not sure what the concern was. Dedicated ELP fans knew the band was about both the ‘dark’ and Lake’s ‘light’ ballads and such songs were hardly his only contribution. Casual listeners would likely buy a compilation featuring those ballads, anyway – and maybe get turned on to whatever extended, ‘dark’ pieces were also included.

       

    8. The Allman Brothers Band, Come And Go Blues . . . From Brothers and Sisters, the band’s biggest commercial success thanks to the No. 2 single Ramblin’ Man, written and sung by guitarist Dickey Betts. Come and Go Blues, written by Gregg Allman, was the B-side to the album’s second single, a 4-minute version of Betts’s seven-plus minute instrumental piece Jessica. 

      Looking up at the play list, what an amazing year 1973 was for music and obviously there’s lots I couldn’ fit in my 2-hour slot. But that could easily be said for any of the so-called classic rock years that started in the 1960s with the British Invasion, Bob Dylan and so on, through the 1970s which is generally the source period and/or artists, for my show. Old bands/artists, old tracks, old bands/artists, their new stuff, if they’re still alive, kicking and releasing new material has always been my mantra for So Old It’s New. Some years back, I started into a year-by-year series of shows, or segments within my shows, starting in 1964. But I only got to 1966, as I recall, before losing focus and straying into whatever else moved me at the time. So, a year-by-year series is worth revisiting, even sporadically, but at least somewhat consistently, particularly since I now have two shows per week, Mondays and Saturdays. We’ll see how it goes. So many ideas, so much great music, so little time.

So Old It’s New ‘2’ album replay set list for Saturday, March 25, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My bare-bones set list follows this intro to Saturday’s album replay show that includes Toronto  band Zuffalo, which will be performing in Cambridge, ON on Saturday, April 29.

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon was released on March 1, 1973 and I’ve been planning to play the full album in honor of that milestone. I’m doing so, along with another 50th anniversary album, Goats Head Soup by The Rolling Stones, on So Old It’s New airing 7-9 am ET tomorrow, Saturday, March 25.

In a serendipitous confluence of events, CKMS 102.7 FM Radio Waterloo is sponsoring a concert by Toronto band Zuffalo at Rhythm and Brews Brewing Company in Cambridge at 9 pm on Saturday April 29. Zuffalo will, in addition to their fine original work, be playing The Dark Side Of The Moon album in its entirety. So, the station asked me if I might point to the Zuffalo show which I will be doing in addition to playing some of the excellent to my ears songs from their most recent album, Birdbrain. Birdbrain was recorded in 2021 in Waterloo Region, at ‘The Barn’ in Baden, outside Kitchener. Full details on Zuffalo at the band’s website, zuffalo.ca . . . Tickets for the show are $20 in advance until Monday, March 27 after which they go up to $30 advance and more at the door.

Zuffalo will also be holding a ticket giveaway via Radio Waterloo. For details, email gary@radiowaterloo.ca

While Zuffalo is covering Pink Floyd, they’re anything but a covers band. They describe their sound as “groovy psychedelic rock with folk and pop-based melodies”. To my classic rock upbringing ears I also hear elements of The Allman Brothers Band, Bob Welch-era Fleetwood Mac of the Future Games album period and some Jefferson Airplane in extended pieces like the eight-minute track Open Eyes. Yet for all those influences Zuffalo remains unique to themselves with an infectious groove to all their tunes that prompted me to listen to their album straight through, several times, upon receipt.

Besides Birdbrain, the band has an earlier album and an EP, all available online and/or in physical copies, via the website.

Saturday’s bare-bones set list, followed by my track-by-track tales:

 

Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon

  1. Speak To Me/Breathe In The Air
  2. On The Run
  3. Time
  4. The Great Gig In The Sky
  5. Money
  6. Us And Them
  7. Any Colour You Like
  8. Brain Damage
  9. Eclipse

Zuffalo: BirdBrain (6 of the 9 songs on the album)

  1. Open Eyes
  2. Birdman
  3. On A Windmill
  4. In Another Time
  5. Can You Run Out?
  6. Big Man

The Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup

 

16. Dancing With Mr. D

17. 100 Years Ago

18. Coming Down Again

19. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

20. Angie

21. Silver Train

22. Hide Your Love

23. Winter

24. Can You Hear The Music

25. Star Star (aka Starf***er)

My thoughts and track-by-track tales:

 

Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon

As I mentioned last week when I played the Faces’ live version of I’d Rather Go Blind, made famous by Etta James, I’ve been going through albums I own that I haven’t played in ages, so songs from them, or in today’s case the full albums, will likely wind up in my set lists for some time to come. That’s typically somewhat the case anyway, because I play what I like and if the audience does, wonderful. But sometimes I find that, and perhaps it’s common, for my show or just listening pleasure, that one becomes so familiar with classic albums that we of a certain age have been listening to for decades that we don’t play them all that much anymore because we know them so well and can ‘hear’ them in our heads without actually putting them on a turntable, in a CD player or calling them up online. And that’s good in many ways because it may mean we’re exploring new music, or, at least, new music by our longtime favorite bands, if they’re still around and releasing material.

All of which is probably a too long-winded way of saying that I hadn’t listened to The Dark Side Of The Moon from start to finish in a long time, until this week when the idea for this show developed. Yet 50 years on, the album has lost none of its power, perhaps in different ways, because obviously I experience the music and hear the lyrics with a different sensibility born of life experience at age 63 soon to be 64 than I did when I first heard it, upon initial release, at soon to be age 14.

And of course there are fun memories – like my older brother startling me one morning in our shared bedroom by cranking the song Time’s chiming clocks to 11 to ruin my Saturday morning sleep-in. Or, years later, living on my own while attending college, having a ‘recreational drug experimentation’ session with friends and having one of them – who had been doing the crawl stroke on my carpet – plead “no, no, please, not THAT!’ when I suggested putting Dark Side on the stereo. We took a vote, on went Dark Side, the ‘swimmer’ survived the lunatic then in his head.

I listened to the album front to back this week in two versions, the original studio work from 1973 and a 1974 concert version where Pink Floyd played the album in its entirety live at The Empire Pool, Wembley, London. That show was previously unreleased but came out on a 2011 bonus CD, part of an expanded re-release. I’m not going to go into my usual track-by-tales for Dark Side. Most people know the album and besides, like many if not most Pink Floyd albums, while the individual songs are fine to be heard in isolation, it’s best to take it in one, near-45 minute experience.

  1. Speak To Me/Breathe In The Air
  2. On The Run
  3. Time
  4. The Great Gig In The Sky . . .
  5. Money
  6. Us And Them
  7. Any Colour You Like
  8. Brain Damage
  9. Eclipse

Zuffalo: BirdBrain (I’m playing six of the nine tunes on the album)

  1. Open Eyes . . . A heavy guitar riff starts things off before the song settles into a nice groove that reminded me, on first listen, of some Jefferson Airplane.
  2. Birdman . . . A funky, psychedelic tune with some nice wah-wah guitar from Sean Steele.
  3. On A Windmill . . . This one reminds me a bit of Bob Welch-era Fleetwood Mac, circa 1971’s Future Games album, and also The Allman Brothers Band. But, while influenced by various sources and genres, Zuffalo definitely has its own sound.
  4. In Another Time . . . Singer/keyboardist Kim Manning doesn’t sing every song for the band, sharing vocals with bass player Mikey Vukovich, but she shines on this short up-tempo pop-rock ditty.
  5. Can You Run Out?. . . Infectious single from the album. This band is tight.
  6. Big Man . . . Another song that, on first listen, reminded me of some Fleetwood Mac, mostly the middle, and often overlooked, period with Bob Welch on lead guitar. Manning is a strong singer and when I saw her listed among the band personnel, and viewed and heard some live stuff from the group on YouTube, I immediately could ‘hear’ her doing the immortal ‘wordless vocals’ of Clare Torry on The Dark Side Of The Moon song The Great Gig In The Sky when Zuffalo plays the Pink Floyd album on April 29 in Cambridge.

The Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup

Goats Head Soup was and maybe still is considered a disappointment after 1972’s Exile On Main St. although people, including the critics who initally trashed it, seem to forget that the double vinyl LP Exile was considered a bloated mess when it was released. Repeat listens, of course, long ago revealed Exile to be among the best, if not THE best Stones album of all and I’d say it’s my favorite although as always I defer to my mantra of the best song/artist/album ever is the one you’re listening to right now, if you like it. And whenever I listen to Goats Head Soup, I like it. Always have.

 

16. Dancing With Mr. D . . . I played this recently on the show, independent of an album replay. A sort of poor cousin sequel to Sympathy For The Devil, it’s also an interesting album opener in that usually, the Stones start things off with a rocker as opposed to this somewhat slow yet compelling tune.

17. 100 Years Ago . . . One of my favorite Stones’ songs, great wah-wah guitar from Mick Taylor, could easily have been a hit single in my opinion but the album was overwhelmed by Angie. 100 Years Ago is the first song I ever played on my show, many years ago now. I figured it fit my So Old It’s New show title and theme.

18. Coming Down Again . . . One of those Keith Richards on lead vocals ballads that goes contrary to the widespread perception of him as the ultimate riff rocker (which he may be) and presages the ballads and other interesting slower songs he would write and sing on later Stones’ albums. Things like All About You from 1980’s Emotional Rescue and, in particular, late 1980s and beyond material like Sleep Tonight from the Dirty Work album, Slipping Away from Steel Wheels, Thru and Thru from Voodoo Lounge and Thief In The Night and How Can I Stop from Bridges To Babylon.

19. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) . . . I could never understand how this made only No. 14 on the charts. Not a bad chart placing, of course, top 20, but, well, what a riff and song. But it was the second single after . . .

20. Angie . . . This massive hit ballad. Typically great, subtle drumming from Charlie Watts, without whom the song wouldn’t be the same. I’ve always loved his cymbals throughout and that little tap-tap-tap at the 3:45 mark of the 4:32-length song. Nicely done. Keith Richards’ assessment of the song in a book I have but couldn’t find, so you’ll have to trust my good memory: “People bought that (song) who normally wouldn’t go near us with a barge pole.” True, perhaps, but that’s also forgetting such previous great Stones’ ballads as Lady Jane and Wild Horses, among others.

21. Silver Train . . . A song the Stones gave to Johnny Winter, who released it first. Some people suggest Winter’s version is better. I love Johnny Winter and his version but, please.

22. Hide Your Love . . . From another book on the Stones I have: “Had Bill Wyman written it, the song probably wouldn’t have got a look-in”. Funny, but dunno about that. I kinda like it, “fumbling staccato piano-playing ‘n all,” as the book’s author goes on to say. But hey, I’m a Stones freak so my judgments may be somewhat flawed.

23. Winter . . . A beautiful Mick Taylor-Mick Jagger collaboration, Keith Richards doesn’t play on the song but it nevertheless went into the books as a Jagger-Richards song credit, likely adding to Taylor’s frustration within the band and leading, depending on what one reads or believes, to his eventual departure. On the other hand, Taylor, while obviously an amazing guitarist and I loved his period in the band, subsequently proved that’s all he was, not a songwriter. So, did he thrive because of the Stones company he was keeping, or did they thrive because of him, or was it, likely, just a great version of a band which, after all, had many hits during the 1960s before Taylor came on board?

24. Can You Hear The Music . . . A psychedelic sort of atmospheric piece, to me it’s always been a twin with Hide Your Love.

25. Star Star (aka Starf***er) . . . Keith Richards, with help from Mick Taylor, goes full Chuck Berry on this controversial rocker about groupies, retitled to Star Star to satisfy the record company’s concerns.

 

 

 

 

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 20, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Artimus Pyle Band, Makes More Rock
  2. Rush, Here Again
  3. David Bowie, The Width Of A Circle
  4. 54-40, She-La
  5. Max Webster, Oh War!
  6. Jimi Hendrix, Machine Gun (live, from Band of Gypsys)
  7. Chris Whitley, Narcotic Prayer
  8. Argent, Dance In The Smoke
  9. Teenage Head, Somethin’ Else
  10. Eagles, Teenage Jail
  11. Van Halen, Beautiful Girls
  12. The Rolling Stones, So Young
  13. Martha and The Muffins/M + M, Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing
  14. Alvin Lee, Rock & Roll Girls
  15. J.J. Cale, City Girls
  16. The Who, Cry If You Want
  17. Wishbone Ash, Errors Of My Way
  18. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, F*!#in’ Up
  19. Deep Purple, This Time Around/Owed to ‘G’
  20. Faces, I’d Rather Go Blind (live)
  21. The Moody Blues, Veteran Cosmic Rocker
  22. Rory Gallagher, A Million Miles Away 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Artimus Pyle Band, Makes More Rock . . . A leftover, of sorts, from my recent tribute show to the late Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington. I pulled some Rossington Collins Band stuff for that tribute from a fine compilation album, Lynyrd Skynyrd Solo Flytes, I bought eons ago. It’s heavy on the Rossington Collins Band – which was the most prolific of the splinter groups that formed a few years after the 1977 plane crash that claimed several members of Skynyrd – but has some other stuff including this rocker by Skynyrd drummer Pyle’s subsequent band.
    2. Rush, Here Again . . . Bluesy rock cut from Rush’s self-titled debut album in 1974. Heavily influenced by such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, the first album became something of an outlier in Rush’s discography once Neil Peart replaced John Rutsey on drums and became the prime lyricist for the second album, Fly By Night, as the band adopted a more progressive hard rock persona.
    3. David Bowie, The Width Of A Circle . . . I’ve played this before, long ago now, but it came up in an article I was reading about Bowie deep cuts and I thought, I’ve been all over that, so here it is, again. From the 1970 album The Man Who Sold The World. A memorable extended piece merging blues rock/hard rock almost metal, and progressive rock.
    4. 54-40, She-La . . . From 1992’s Dear Dear album, probably the record that got me into 54-40, as much as I’m into them which really isn’t all that much although I saw them live in 2004 with a then-girlfriend who wanted to see them. Excellent show. 54-40’s She-La, not to be confused with the different but equally fine Aerosmith song Shela from the Done With Mirrors album, made No. 38 on the Canadian singles charts.
    5. Max Webster, Oh War! . . . From Max’s 1977 album High Class In Borrowed Shoes. It was not released as a single but is a well-known song, at least in Canada. Nice borrowed shoes on the band members, too, on the album’s cover photo. Definitely 1970s fashion and not knocking it; I grew up then.
    6. Jimi Hendrix, Machine Gun (live, from Band of Gypsys) . . . The rat-a-tat guitar attack protest song against the Vietnam War and conflict in general, recorded as 1969 passed into 1970 at the Hendrix shows at the Fillmore East, New York City.
    7. Chris Whitley, Narcotic Prayer . . . Whitley went somewhat grunge (the big thing at the time via bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden etc) on his second album, 1995’s Din Of Ecstasy, an appropriate title given it’s a noisy departure from the brilliance of his roots rock, bluesy debut Living With The Law. But, while one wonders why an artist of Whitley’s calibre would feel a need to follow trends, I like it. Whitley was an amazing artist – deep, sometimes dark, a bare his soul human being sadly lost to us to lung cancer in 2005 at age 45.
    8. Argent, Dance In The Smoke . . . The progressive rock band Argent, led by former Zombie Rod Argent, is best known for the hit Hold Your Head up and for God Gave Rock and Roll To You (covered by Kiss), but is so much more, evidenced by this cut and many others. Worth checking out, if you haven’t.
    9. Teenage Head, Somethin’ Else . . . The Canadian punk/new wave rockers with their treatment of the Eddie Cochran hit. It appeared on the great Frantic City album, 1980.
    10. Eagles, Teenage Jail . . . I’ve always liked this brooding track from The Long Run, an album that always seems to get short shrift from critics and even the band, which was fraying at that point, but to me it’s every bit as good as its predecessor, Hotel California.
    11. Van Halen, Beautiful Girls . . . I don’t deliberately play singles, as this is (supposed to be) a deep cuts show, although I’ve been known to dredge up the occasional single not heard in ages. So this maybe fits although poor research on my part, I simply forgot it was a single. It was the second single from Van Halen II, didn’t chart anywhere but the US where it made No. 84, so, deep cut it is, in my book. Even better was its B-side, D.O.A., one of my favorite Van Halen songs, but I’ve played that one likely too much.
    12. The Rolling Stones, So Young . . . A rocker recorded during the Some Girls album sessions, it first appeared – outside of bootlegs – as the B-side, in various countries including Canada as I have it on the CD single, of Love Is Strong from the Voodoo Lounge album in 1994. It has since resurfaced on the expanded re-release of Some Girls.
    13. Martha and The Muffins/M + M, Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing . . . Second of a few songs with ‘Girls’ in the title, the result of me calling up Van Halen’s Beautiful Girls in the station’s computer system. These things happen, and often good things result, especially when you get what I think are fun, jarring changes in the show flow from rock to new wave, via this cut from The Muffins. For a few years in the mid-1980s the band changed its name to M + M after some lineup changes fostered by disputes and subsequent departures. M + M never really ‘took’ though, as lead singer Martha Johnson acknowledged. “Our legacy was Martha and The Muffins.” Best known for their 1980 hit Echo Beach, the Muffins are still around, having released a studio album as recently as 2010. There were apparently plans for a new album in 2022 but I’ve not seen nor heard of it, not that I care that much about the band anymore. But I was into them during the Echo Beach period and up to Danseparc, the 1983 album from which I pulled Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing.
    14. Alvin Lee, Rock & Roll Girls . . . A rockabilly tune from the late Ten Years After leader’s 2004 solo album, In Tennessee. It’s not only a good album – I’m a big fan of TYA and Lee’s solo work – but it’s notable for the presence of Elvis Presley’s noted guitarist Scotty Moore in Lee’s band.
    15. J.J. Cale, City Girls . . . From the forever dependable late great Cale’s 1982 album Grasshopper. Dependable in the sense that, like AC/DC in my opinion, you know just what you’re getting with J.J. Cale but his genius was his ability to do seemingly the same thing every song and album, yet be different enough each time out as to always be compelling and worth a listen.
    16. The Who, Cry If You Want . . . A leftover from my recent good songs on bad albums show. I played Eminence Front from It’s Hard, and that’s clearly the best song on that 1982 record but Cry If You Want, to me, is second with little other competition. Nice drumming by Kenney Jones.
    17. Wishbone Ash, Errors Of My Way . . . An old friend of mine with whom I’ve reconnected via the show told me some back that I’ve turned him on to the hard progressive rock of Wishbone Ash. I love that about music. This one’s from their self-titled debut in 1970.
    18. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, F*!#in’ Up . . . Good rocker from the appropriately titled Ragged Glory album, released in 1990. Canadian stalwarts Junkhouse later covered it, live only, and put a version of it on a compilation album.
    19. Deep Purple, This Time Around/Owed to ‘G’ . . . Funky stuff from Come Taste The Band, the one and only album the band did with guitarist Tommy Bolin, who replaced the departed-to-form Rainbow Ritchie Blackmore. This is the type of song, co-written and sung by bass player Glenn Hughes before the instrumental coda by keyboardist Jon Lord, that critics – and even some band members – cite when they deride the record as not really being a Deep Purple album. I’m tired of that what I consider nonsense. I’m a huge Purple fan and have loved the album since it came out in 1975. It’s as nonsensical – and lazy – as saying the Stones’ Some Girls is a disco album because the biggest hit was Miss You, a total outlier on that album but a wisely chosen single to cash in on a genre that was hot at the time, 1978. Come Taste The Band has lots of rockers and bluesy rockers like the opening cut Comin’ Home, Lady Luck, Drifter, Gettin’ Tighter . . . Were I in the band I’d be proud to have it as a Deep Purple album because it reflects the group’s myriad abilities in terms of styles. So why am I playing this funky track? Well, for stated reasons plus I considered it as a song for my recent ‘good songs on bad albums’ show but I decided it’s only a ‘bad’ album to the aforementioned nonsensical and lazy critics. So I went with a truly shitty Purple album, the Joe Lynn Turner (yecchh)-sung Slaves and Masters, from 1990, with only King Of Dreams, the song I played, worth listening to.
    20. Faces, I’d Rather Go Blind (live) . . . I’ve been digging out albums in my collection I haven’t played in ages over the last week or so and it’s been a fun trip, and much of what I revisit will likely be making its way into future shows. This one’s the live version of the song made famous by Etta James, which Rod Stewart covered (to her thumb’s up) on his 1972 album Never A Dull Moment. It was released during the 1969-74 period of superb Stewart stuff when he was maintaining parallel careers of solo work while still in Faces, most members of whom backed him on his solo albums. This live version is from Rod Stewart/Faces Live: Coast To Coast Overture and Beginners, released in 1973. The live cut is a shade over two minutes longer, at 6:04, than the studio version which allows guitarist Ronnie Wood room for a terrific extended solo. And, as with all Stewart/Faces stuff at the time, the liner notes on the album are worth the price of admission. To wit, in naming the personnel:
      * Rod (he’s in hospital ‘cos he fell off his wallet) Stewart – throat
      * Ian (he’s got so many teeth, when he smiles it looks like his tongue’s playing the piano) McLagan – keyboards, what throat?
      * Ron (I’m not saying he’s dull, but his favorite color is light grey) Wood – guitar, some throat!
      * Kenney (I’m not saying he’s unlucky, but when he was young he had a wooden horse that died) Jones – drums.
      * Tetsu (I’m not saying he’s thin, but he wants his job back as a dipstick) Yamauchi – bass and trombone.
      “Let nothing be said against: Pimm’s No. 1, with lemonade and assorted fruit; Courvoisier, Teacher’s, Coors, and vino, as these implements are the mainstay of our melodic frolics.”

      Etc.
      Ah, Faces, sex, drugs, booze and shambolic down and dirty rock and roll.

    21. The Moody Blues, Veteran Cosmic Rocker . . . From Long Distance Voyager, a big hit comeback of sorts album from the Moodies in 1981. I was visiting my parents in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time, my dad had just taken a job there and I recall how the Moodies, Kim Carnes with Bette Davis Eyes and Blue Oyster Cult with Burnin’ For You were dominating radio airplay at the time. So I always think of San Francisco when I play or hear any of those songs.
    22. Rory Gallagher, A Million Miles Away . . . For a buddy of mine who has yet to get off his butt and buy, at minimum, a Rory compilation, at my recommendation which he asked for but has not acted upon. You try to help people . . .  

So Old It’s New ‘2’ Beatles solo stuff set list for Saturday, March 18, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Ringo Starr, It Don’t Come Easy (live, from The Concert for Bangladesh)
  2. Paul McCartney/Wings, Morse Moose And The Grey Goose
  3. John Lennon, Gimme Some Truth
  4. John Lennon, How Do You Sleep?
  5. Paul McCartney/Wings, Let Me Roll It
  6. George Harrison, Isn’t It A Pity
  7. John Lennon, I Found Out
  8. Paul McCartney, The Song We Were Singing
  9. Ringo Starr, No No Song
  10. Ringo Starr, Husbands and Wives
  11. John Lennon, Crippled Inside
  12. Paul McCartney/Wings, Beware My Love (live, from Wings Over America)
  13. George Harrison, I’d Have You Anytime
  14. Ringo Starr, Oh, My My
  15. John Lennon, I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama
  16. Paul McCartney, Ain’t No Sunshine (live, from Unplugged: The Official Bootleg)
  17. George Harrison, Beware Of Darkness
  18. Paul McCartney/Wings, Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)
  19. Ringo Starr, I’m The Greatest
  20. John Lennon, Out The Blue
  21. George Harrison, It’s What You Value
  22. Ringo Starr, Snookeroo
  23. John Lennon, Steel And Glass
  24. George Harrison, Blow Away
  25. John Lennon, Meat City
  26. Paul McCartney/Wings, Cafe On The Left Bank
  27. George Harrison, Tired Of Midnight Blue
  28. Paul McCartney/Wings, Go Now (live, from Wings Over America) 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Ringo Starr, It Don’t Come Easy (live, from The Concert for Bangladesh) . . . Live version of one of Ringo’s biggest hits, the 1971 single he wrote with help from George Harrison, although only Ringo is credited.

      Depending on what you hear or read, though, Harrison may have written the song outright – and there are versions of him singing it available online – and just gave it to Ringo out of the goodness of his heart, although in liner notes to a compilation I have, Ringo says he was proud of himself for the line “got to pay your dues if you want to play the blues’.

      Anyway, all of the now former Beatles were helping each other out on their respective solo work in the immediate aftermath of the breakup and for a few years after – aside from the fact everyone was pissed at Paul McCartney so nobody helped him. Not, arguably, that McCartney really needed it, amazing talent that he remains although his solo work until Band On The Run was somewhat spotty. And, all four Beatles wound up together, sort of, albeit never in the same studio all at the same time, as they helped out on the ‘Ringo’ studio album released in 1973.

       

      Meantime, back to It Don’t Come Easy. Harrison produced the studio single and plays guitar on it as well as the Bangladesh live version from Harrison’s all-star fundraiser, also in 1971 – a precursor to such later events as Live Aid and Live 8.Interesting reading about Ringo while I was putting this show together. I always aim for deep cuts and was encouraged by a friend about some but frankly, aside from a few songs including one from the Goodnight Vienna album I’m playing later in the set, I admit I’m not as familiar as I could be with Ringo’s stuff beyond the mid-1970s, and beyond the hits. Which may be a common issue except to extreme die-hards like my friend, a credit to him.

      To quote from The Rough Guide series book (an excellent series about various bands/artists) on The Beatles, in their solo work section: “Most listeners have got the measure of Ringo’s talent by now. No matter how competently made his records are – and he manages to attract some considerable talent to come and help out – they are still Ringo records. And (key point here, my thought) other than a blip of commercial credibility in the early to mid-1970s, the public has voted with their feet and stayed away in their millions. Which is a shame in a way, because they’re (the albums) not bad, but it’s also understandable because they’re not that good, either.”

      My sentiments, exactly. Most fans of bands/artists do try to travel with them, try hard to like their stuff but at certain points, you might abandon them.

    2. Paul McCartney/Wings, Morse Moose And The Grey Goose . . . I played this ages ago, to great acclaim (at least from one friend). It’s  McCartney unleashed, in a fun, great way, if you ask me, on this extended rocker from the London Town album, 1978. It’s the type of track people who criticize him for being soft, or not creative, for not taking chances, ought to listen to if they haven’t heard it. It’s not as if it’s unconventional by any measure, certainly not if you have any appreciation for McCartney’s deeper cuts. In some ways I’d equate it to Uncle Albert/
      Admiral Halsey in terms of being multiple songs in one. Yet unlike that song, which appears on McCartney compilations hence is known to the masses, Morse Moose remains somewhat (unfairly) obscure. But, happily obscure in that it’s not overplayed, or played much at all.
       
    3. John Lennon, Gimme Some Truth . . . Angry John, from the Imagine album.
    4. John Lennon, How Do You Sleep? . . . Angrier John, from Imagine, his famous rip job on Paul McCartney. Brilliantly done, actually, and I could not choose between the two guys/have no favorite as far as the brilliant music they did together, and apart.
    5. Paul McCartney/Wings, Let Me Roll It . . . Many thought this song, from the Band On The Run album, was McCartney’s response to Lennon but nobody will ever likely truly know except for McCartney himself, who has said it was simply about smoking pot. Besides, he had other songs previous to this – Too Many People for one – about Lennon, which probably prompted How Do You Sleep? As listeners/fans, we all benefited.
    6. George Harrison, Isn’t It A Pity . . . Harrison’s great full-fledged debut album All Things Must Pass was his, largely, unleashing of songs, like this one, that The Beatles had apparently rejected but which he could finally put on a solo album, post-breakup. Originally written in 1966, the song has also come to be seen as a reflection on the band’s breakup. It was the B-side to Harrison’s smash single My Sweet Lord.
    7. John Lennon, I Found Out . . . Down and dirty stuff and as always from Lennon lyrically potent, from his first proper solo album, 1970’s Plastic Ono Band. I didn’t realize this until looking up the song but the Red Hot Chili Peppers covered it. Decent, not as good, too drone-like/lazy sounding if you ask me.
    1. Paul McCartney, The Song We Were Singing . . . Lead cut from McCartney’s 1997 album Flaming Pie which yielded the (to me) memorable single The World Tonight. The Song We Were Singing wasn’t among the three singles released from the album, but could easily have been. I’d suggest the lyrics could be about The Beatles, all those years later – it always came back to the songs they were singing, despite their various issues, until they could no longer overcome them.
    2. Ringo Starr, No No Song . . . Hoyt Axton wrote so many great songs, many of which rock/pop artists turned into hits, like Steppewolf with one of my favorties of theirs, Snowblind Friend, and this one from Ringo.
    3. Ringo Starr, Husbands and Wives . . . A Roger Miller tune, from Ringo’s Goodnight Vienna album. “The angry words spoke in haste, such a waste of two lives, it’s my belief pride is the chief cause in the decline in the number of husbands and wives.’
    4. John Lennon, Crippled Inside . . . Another good one from the Imagine album but forever it’s been the title cut and nothing else on radio, which is why radio outside of (I’m biased) independent radio no longer really exists in a commercial sense, musically.
    5. Paul McCartney/Wings, Beware My Love (live, from Wings Over America) . . . I wrestled over which version to play, the studio cut from Wings At The Speed Of Sound or this live one but settled on the more, let’s say aggressive, live version from Wings Over America, a terrific tour document.
    6. George Harrison, I’d Have You Anytime . . . Beautiful song, co-written with Bob Dylan ad with Eric Clapton on lead guitar. It was the opening cut on All Things Must Pass. There’s extensive literature available on how the song came about, space does not permit but worth looking up.
    7. Ringo Starr, Oh, My My . . . A No. 5 US pop hit for Ringo, released in 1973, charted in 1974. As mentioned earlier in my drawing from the Rough Guide to The Beatles book, Ringo (like, it comes to mind, Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones) always had many musician friends of great repute ready and willing to lend a helping hand on his albums/songs. On this one, we have Billy Preston on keyboards, longtime Beatles’ associate (especially on solo stuff) Klaus Voorman on bass, drummer Jim Keltner, horn player Jim, uh, really, Horn (also on many 70s Stones’ albums) along with backup singers Martha Reeves of The Vandellas and Merry Clayton, she of the immortal contribution to the Stones’ Gimme Shelter.
    8. John Lennon, I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama . . . One of my favorites from Imagine. It’s suggested, in a book I have, that Lennon’s sentiments were not so well expressed on the song, terming it “a feverish, semi-coherent rant’. If so, maybe that’s why it’s good. Maybe someone not wanting to be a soldier sent off to die for the misguided policies of politicians and militarists, or not wanting to be a conformist in any way to what society seems to expect, might rant feverishly. Critics. Eye rolls.
    9. Paul McCartney, Ain’t No Sunshine (live, from Unplugged: The Official Bootleg) . . . A great cover version from a great live album issued in 1993 when ‘unplugged’ albums were a ‘thing’, of the Bill Withers smash hit. Hamish Stuart of McCartney’s band handles lead vocals while Macca drums on the track. The album is a mixture of McCartney/Beatles/covers. Great stuff.
    10. George Harrison, Beware Of Darkness . . . What a ridiculously good album All Things Must Pass is. Yet another example here.
    11. Paul McCartney/Wings, Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me) . . . The genesis of the song results, apparently, from a meeting a vacationing McCartney had with actors Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen on the set of the movie Papillon. McCartney dined with Hoffman, who challenged him to write a song about ‘anything’ if presented with ‘anything’ to write about. What Hoffman presented was a magazine featuring the death of Picasso and his last words and, presto, “he’s doing it’ Hoffman raved to his wife about McCartney’s innate creativity.
    12. Ringo Starr, I’m The Greatest . . . A John Lennon-penned tune, from the ‘Ringo’ album, 1973. See previous thoughts on solo Beatles helping out solo Beatles on their solo albums, post-breakup. So, why didn’t they just stay together, one might wonder. It’s fine, long ago reality, we got some great music out of it, regardless.
    13. John Lennon, Out The Blue . . . From the Mind Games album, one of the many songs Lennon wrote in tribute to Yoko Ono, during a period when they were separated, which prompted some of Lennon’s best work and their eventual reconciliation.
    14. George Harrison, It’s What You Value . . . From 33 1/3, released in 1976. It was the album’s fourth single, lyrically – “someone’s driving a 450 . . . ” a reference to Harrison paying drummer Jim Keltner with a Mercedes 450 SL, apparently at Keltner’s request, in lieu of money for Keltner’s playing on Harrison’s 1974 Dark Horse album tour.
    15. Ringo Starr, Snookeroo . . . Another hit from Ringo’s Goodnight Vienna album, this one written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Like many Ringo songs/hits, almost as interesting as the song is who plays on it. In this case it’s: Robbie Robertson of The Band on guitar. Elton John, piano. James Newton Howard of Elton’s band and later to become a renowned movie score writer (Pretty Woman, Space Jam, The Fugitive, The Dark Knight, etc.) and award winner, on synthesizer. The aformentioned Klaus Voorman and Jim Keltner on bass and drums, respectively and Bobby Keys of Rolling Stones fame on horns.
    16. John Lennon, Steel And Glass . . . Lennon, to read some books or magazine articles, dismissed 1974’s Walls and Bridges album as the work of an uninspired soul in the midst of a separation from the love of his life, during his infamous year-long ‘lost weekend’ of partying and other debauchery while apart from Yoko Ono. Maybe he said it for Yoko’s benefit. And maybe he should have stayed away because I think it’s a great album, as do many. But, pain is often great inspiration for creativity.
    17. George Harrison, Blow Away . . . The hit single from Harrison’s self-titled 1979 album, marking something of a comeback for him at the time. It did better business in North American than on Harrison’s home turf the UK, though. It was No. 7 and 16 in Canada and the US, respectively, but only No. 51 in the UK. I remember when the album came out, liked the single, never bought the album, had the single on compilations only until fairly recently when I bought the album on CD for a buck or two at a flea market.
    18. John Lennon, Meat City . . . Always liked this aggressive boogie funky noise from the Mind Games album. Lennon was often at his best when he just flat-out rocked.
    19. Paul McCartney/Wings, Cafe On The Left Bank . . . From the London Town album, 1978. Good tune, always liked it, I suppose I’m playing it because I mentioned it recently when talking about the maybe weird ways in which songs I play come to mind. The example was me choosing Flash And The Pan’s Man In The Middle because I picked the middle of three wine bottles at the store, prompting me to speculate that I’d have played Cafe On The Left Bank had I picked the bottle on the left. I’ve been back to the liquor store at least once since, still haven’t picked a bottle on the left. And I’m left-handed. Right, that’s enough. Next!
    20. George Harrison, Tired Of Midnight Blue . . . From 1975’s Extra Texture, easily one of the standout cuts on that album in my opinion. Leon Russell, who had been part of Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh in 1971, contributes on piano.
    21. Paul McCartney/Wings, Go Now (live, from Wings Over America) . . . A song made famous to pop/rock listeners via The Moody Blues version released in 1964 and sung by Denny Laine who reprised it with Wings on the tour that yielded the triple live album released in late 1976. The song was originally done, also in 1964, by R & B/soul singer Bessie Banks, and a great version that one is, too.

     

     

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 13, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Black Sabbath, E5150/Into The Void
  2. Dio, Stand Up And Shout
  3. Deep Purple, The Battle Rages On
  4. Vanilla Fudge, Season Of The Witch
  5. Flash and The Pan, Make Your Own Cross
  6. Jethro Tull, With You There To Help Me
  7. The Guess Who, Power In The Music
  8. Ry Cooder, Get Rhythm
  9. The Animals, I’m Crying
  10. Bob Dylan, TV Talkin’ Song
  11. Bruce Springsteen, 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)
  12. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It)
  13. Junkhouse, Drink
  14. Emmylou Harris, Two More Bottles Of Wine
  15. Joe Jackson, What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again)
  16. Elton John, Elderberry Wine
  17. Warren Zevon, Detox Mansion
  18. REO Speedwagon, Ridin’ The Storm Out (live)
  19. Graham Parker and The Rumour, Watch The Moon Come Down
  20. The Rolling Stones, Moonlight Mile
  21. J.J. Cale, After Midnight
  22. Led Zeppelin, Bring It On Home
  23. Pink Floyd, A Saucerful Of Secrets (live, Ummagumma album version)

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Black Sabbath, E5150/Into The Void . . . These songs, E5150 the instrumental intro to the title cut of the Mob Rules album, don’t actually go together but I figured I’d marry the Ronnie James Dio-era Black Sabbath track to the Ozzy Osbourne-era Into The Void. Lots of available reading ‘down the internet rabbit hole’ about what E5150 means (apparently, evil), how it and Sabbath connect to Van Halen, who opened for Sabbath in the late 1970s as Sabbath was then fading and Van Halen ascending, about Eddie Van Halen’s studio 5150 and the Van Hagar-era album 5150. But I’ll leave it at that, as space does not permit, and let you explore at your leisure, if so inclined.
    2. Dio, Stand Up And Shout . . . I’ve always preferred the work of Ronnie James Dio singing for Black Sabbath or, before that, Rainbow, rather than as frontman for his own namesake band but he did do some compelling work as Dio. Like this rocker.
    1. Deep Purple, The Battle Rages On . . . I thought of this one while doing my recent ‘good songs on bad albums’ show. It’s the title cut from the 1993 album, easily the best on a mediocre album, but not as bad as the preceding album Slaves and Masters with Joe Lynn Turner singing, from which I chose the only good song, King of Dreams, for the ‘bad albums’ set. The Battle Rages On is the last studio work with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in the band and the forever battle between him and lead singer Ian Gillan was indeed raging on to the point that Blackmore finally up and quit in mid-tour promoting the album. He was replaced by Joe Satriani, who finished the tour and was invited to join Purple but declined in order to maintain his solo career although he’s subsequently opened for Purple and I saw him in a great performance in that slot in 2004 in Toronto. Purple eventually settled on guitarist Steve Morse, who was in the band for eight studio albums until giving it up last year to care for his ailing wife. He’s been replaced by Northern Irish guitarist Simon McBride, who is excellent, based on live clips I’ve seen of him with Purple.
    2. Vanilla Fudge, Season Of The Witch . . . One of the many covers of the great Donovan tune, another (and one I’ve also played) being the lengthy version on the Super Session album featuring Al Kooper and Stephen Stills. Mike Bloomfield is also on that album but doesn’t play on Season Of The Witch, having left the sessions to be replaced by Stills.
    3. Flash and The Pan, Make Your Own Cross . . . Flash and The Pan songs keep occurring to me during my daily running around. A week or so ago, it was Man In The Middle when I picked the middle bottle of wine in a group of three at the liquor store. This week, I drove by a church, hence this tune. I suppose I should play Media Man since I’m always reading/watching the news. We’ll see. Can never get enough Flash and The Pan.
    1. Jethro Tull, With You There To Help Me . . . Another from the ‘my older brother (RIP) was a huge musical influence’ file. He introduced me to so much music, Tull, Hendrix, Zep, Blind Faith, Cream, Deep Purple . . . A great, valued thing and fond memory. This one’s from Tull’s third album, Benefit, which doesn’t seem to get talked about much as one of the band’s great albums, but it is. Arguably, they all are but I’m a huge Tull fan.
    1. The Guess Who, Power In The Music . . . One of those vamp-style songs at which Burton Cummings is so good, in my view. It’s the title cut from the last album he did with The Guess Who, released in 1975, before he departed for a solo career. Nice guitar from the late Domenic Triano on his second outing with the band, after the previous Flavours album. Apparently, Cummings didn’t like the jazz rock direction Triano’s influence was taking the group, accounting in part for his moving on. If true, that reminds me of Ritchie Blackmore’s issues in Deep Purple when they started going a bit funky – and nicely done, to me, on some songs on albums like Stormbringer and later, full bore, without Blackmore, on Come Taste The Band – thanks to the influence of bass player/singer Glenn Hughes. Cummings and Blackmore were senior, longtime members and in Blackmore’s case, founders of their respective groups so given what should have been their ‘pull’, why they didn’t put their foot down and say, no, we’re not doing that, if it bugged them so much, I don’t get. Which tells me that, really, they wanted to move on, regardless. Power In The Music, the album, didn’t do well commercially, in home country Canada, even, more likely to me accounting for Cummings’ departure as he saw the writing on the wall.
    2. Ry Cooder, Get Rhythm . . . Cooder’s title cut cover, to his 1987 album, of the Johnny Cash song. Cash’s version was originally released in 1956 as a Sun Records B-side of I Walk The Line then re-released, with some overdubbing, as an A-side that reached No. 60 on the pop charts in 1969. Session drummer to the stars Jim Keltner plays on the Cooder album.

       

    3. The Animals, I’m Crying . . . Written by lead singer Eric Burdon and organist Alan Price, it was the band’s first original composition released as a single and was the followup to the smash hit The House Of The Rising Sun. It made No. 6 in Canada, No. 8 in the UK and No. 19 in the laggard USA. Not a criticism of the United States because songs do different business in different countries, often depends on release dates, record label decisions, etc. All of which reminds me of a chat I had with friends last week about such things. A friend of mine was talking about seeing Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band in concert and Colin Hay of Men At Work fame was in the group. That led to a discussion of Men At Work during which I mentioned that years ago, before Men At Work broke big in the US, they were already big in Canada and I remember mentioning them to one of my younger brothers, who was living in the US with my parents at the time. He’s musically aware, but hadn’t a clue about them . . . until about six months later.
    4. Bob Dylan, TV Talkin’ Song . . . A leftover from my recent ‘good songs on bad albums’ show. It’s from Dylan’s 1990 album, Under The Red Sky, an album suggested to me although I wound up choosing a different Dylan album, the ‘Dylan’ album of covers from 1973 and Dylan’s take on Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles. Under The Red Sky was a worthy pick as well, though. It followed but didn’t remotely measure up to the brilliant Oh Mercy album from 1989. But, this song is a fun up-tempo travelogue through media/celebrity culture.
    5. Bruce Springsteen, 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On) . . . A sort of leftover from the same ‘good songs on bad albums’ show. It’s from Human Touch, one of two albums, the other being Lucky Town, that Springsteen released on the same day in 1992 as he followed what Guns N’ Roses did in 1991 with the two Use Your Illusion albums. Lucky Town was suggested to me as a ‘bad album’ candidate which resulted in a discussion of the two albums and my mentioning of this song. So, here it is. How times and things change. If Springsteen wrote it today, he’d maybe title it “Unlimited Channels (And Nothin’ On) or some such, a million channels/streams, whatever. In 1979, the Pink Floyd song on The Wall album, Nobody Home, contained the lyric “I got 13 channels of shit on the TV to choose from”. Time flies.
    1. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It) . . . Yes, I love The Rolling Stones so I perhaps too much hear them in many things, but this cut from Petty’s self-titled debut album in 1976 is very Stones-ish to me, circa their Exile On Main St. period or maybe It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll with the ‘I don’t like it’ part and Petty’s wonderfully raunchy, cynical vocals. And then that beautiful, oh-so-brief but arresting stop-start guitar figure by Mike Campbell at the two-minute mark.
    2. Junkhouse, Drink . . . As we enter the booze phase of the show with this brooding track from the Tom Wilson-led band’s Birthday Boy album, released in 1995.
    3. Emmylou Harris, Two More Bottles Of Wine . . . First appearance for Emmylou on my show, largely because I picked up a cheapo greatest hits CD of hers on a record show trek with some friends last weekend. $1 for a compilation of such a class, great artist. Amazing.

       

    4. Joe Jackson, What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again) . . . From his brilliant 1981 album of swing and jump blues classics, which is when you knew that JJ wasn’t your average artist, and certainly moving well beyond categorization especially from his start as an angry young man punk/new wave artist.
    5. Elton John, Elderberry Wine . . . Another of those cuts, from the 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player during the period when Elton John could do no wrong, that could easily have been a single. It was the B-side to the hit Crocodile Rock and became popular in its own right.
    1. Warren Zevon, Detox Mansion . . . I was discussing Zevon, and in particular the Sentimental Hygiene album, with a friend the other day. So, as usually happens, it inspires me to play something from the record. And it fits with the booze-related set-within-a-set theme.
    2. REO Speedwagon, Ridin’ The Storm Out (live) . . . I first became aware of REO via their cleverly-titled You Can Tune A Piano But Can’t Tuna Fish album in 1978. I think it’s clever, anyway, although it made some ‘worst album titles of all time’ lists and the cover art of a fish eating a tuning fork topped some ‘worst album covers of all time’ polls. To each their own. Distinctive, in any event. Not that I own the album, of course. I’m not much into REO, have never played them on the show before, only first actually heard them via their ubiquitous commercial monster breakthrough album Hi Infidelity in 1981. But, I do like some of their earlier material that I’ve heard, including this live version of Ridin’ The Storm Out that the band (or record company) figured was worthy, placing it and not the studio version on a greatest hits album. It features some nice guitar work.
    1. Graham Parker and The Rumour, Watch The Moon Come Down . . . There was a production mishap during the recording of the Stick To Me album, released in 1977. The original tapes were ruined, so the band had to quickly re-record the album as they prepared for a tour. But, as Parker himself has said, that resulted in a ‘very intense, grungy-sounding record but I kind of like it now for that reason . . . If a band made a record like that now, it would be hailed as a great low-fi record.” I agree. I hate overproduced shit. Too bad Parker found domestic bliss and happiness, lost his edge and I lost interest, by the early 1980s, after being a huge fan. Good for Graham, bad for my listening to him habit, at least for new material.
    2. The Rolling Stones, Moonlight Mile . . . I was going to play this song a couple weeks ago as my regular Stones’ song, but then jazz great Wayne Shorter died so I went with the Keith Richards-penned and sung tune How Can I Stop from the Bridges To Babylon album, because it features a nice Shorter sax solo. But, I promised to get back to this classic from Sticky Fingers, so here it is. I was discussing deep cuts, in particular Stones’ deep cuts, at my friendly neighborhood music store the other week and this song came up as we were talking about how we’d love to see a full deep cuts concert but have to accept that, to please the masses, the Stones and other such ‘legacy’ bands sort of ‘have’ to play the same old hits but they do manage to squeeze in the occasional rarity. Like Moonlight Mile, which I was blown away to hear them do, very well, on the No Security tour, in 1999, at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, now Scotiabank Arena.
    3. J.J. Cale, After Midnight . . . Interesting song in terms of its development. It was originally released by Cale in 1966 in the fast version Eric Clapton heard and used as the template for his cover, which became a hit for Clapton when he released it on his self-titled debut album in 1970. Cale heard it, started making royalty money from it and was thus encouraged by a friend and producer to re-record it – and he did, in this slower, bluesier version – and put it on his own first full album, Naturally, which was released in 1972. Clapton later had another hit with Cale’s song Cocaine and the two artists went on to become friends and sometime collaborators, finally releasing a studio album, The Road To Escondido, together in 2006.
    4. Led Zeppelin, Bring It On Home . . . Deep blues track initially that rips into hard rock 1:45 in, from the Zep II album. It’s another of those controversial ones re songwriting credits as was the case with many Zep songs they begged, borrowed from or outright stole from old blues artists, while refashioning them as hard rock tunes, which is to Zep’s credit even though their plagiarism in general pisses me off. In the end, the usual cash settlement was made (cue Robert Plant’s onetime comment ‘happily paid for’) and eventually Willie Dixon, on some reissues, was credited as sole songwriter.
    1. Pink Floyd, A Saucerful Of Secrets (live, Ummagumma album version) . . . Ummagumma is a two-disc album, one a live album of 1969 performances, the other a studio set featuring solo compositions from each member of the group. The studio album is not to everyone’s taste, experimental and avant-garde as it is in spots. Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict, anyone? – which I’ve actually played on the show and eventually will, again, maybe in a ‘weird’ show including stuff like The Beatles’ Revolution 9, also a previous play. The live album, though, is sublime early Pink Floyd, arguably eclipsing the studio versions of A Saucerful Of Secrets, Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe, Eugene and Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.

So Old It’s New ‘2’ set list for Saturday, March 11, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

A tribute set to guitarist Gary Rossington, who died last Sunday, March 5, at age 71. I was originally going to do just a few songs but, what the heck, one can always do with a heavy dose of Lynyrd Skynyrd and friends. Still mainly in my usual deep cuts vein, the set features songs Rossington wrote, co-wrote and/or played lead or did a guitar solo on, with both the pre- and post-crash versions of Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as the short-lived Rossington Collins Band. That group, formed in 1979, produced two albums until disbanding in 1982 and was comprised of several survivors of the 1977 crash –  guitarist Allen Collins, bassist Leon Wilkeson and keyboard player Billy Powell. The Rossington Collins Band also featured singer Dale Krantz, later to become Rossington’s wife.

Before The Rossington Collins Band formed, the surviving Skynyrd members, according to the liner notes on a compilation album I have, discussed a project with Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, another with members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and one with Lowell George of Little Feat, which had broken up (later to reform without the late George).

    1. Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Last Rebel
    2. Simple Man
    3. Born To Run
    4. Call Me The Breeze
    5. Don’t Ask Me No Questions
    6. Gimme Back My Bullets
    7. Rossington Collins Band, Don’t Misunderstand Me
    8. Rossington Collins Band, Getaway
    9. Lynyryd Skynyrd, I Got The Same Old Blues
    10. One More Time
    11. On The Hunt
    12. Saturday Night Special
    13. Roll Gypsy Roll
    14. Searching
    15. Swamp Music
    16. Voodoo Lake
    17. Whiskey Rock-A-Roller
    18. Devil In The Bottle
    19. Cry For The Bad Man
    20. We Ain’t Much Different
    21. That’s How I Like It
    22. Edge Of Forever
    23. Still Unbroken
    24. Last Of A Dyin’ Breed
    25. Rossington Collins Band, Pine Box

 

So Old It’s New ‘good songs from bad/critically panned albums’ set list for Monday, March 6/23 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Rolling Stones, One Hit (To The Body)
  2. Deep Purple, King Of Dreams
  3. Aerosmith, Eat The Rich
  4. Black Sabbath, Get A Grip
  5. The Who, Eminence Front
  6. Foreigner, Lowdown and Dirty
  7. Rod Stewart, Passion
  8. Motley Crue, Hooligan’s Holiday
  9. Stevie Wonder, Race Babbling
  10. Genesis, The Serpent
  11. Pink Floyd, Learning To Fly
  12. Elton John, Johnny B. Goode
  13. AC/DC, Sink The Pink
  14. Bad Company, Holy Water
  15. Bob Dylan, Mr. Bojangles
  16. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, My Wheels Won’t Turn
  17. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Nighttime For The Generals
  18. Van Halen, Fire In The Hole
  19. Queen, Put Out The Fire
  20. The Clash, This Is England
  21. The Doors, Ships W/Sails
  22. Fleetwood Mac, These Strange Times 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Rolling Stones, One Hit (To The Body) . . . Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame provides a solo on this killer cut that opened the critically-panned and loathed by some fans album Dirty Work, although honestly I’ve never gotten what all the fuss is about over the Page solo. I think it’s more of a ‘wow, Page is playing on a Stones’ song’ than anything else. I saw/heard the Stones play it on the Steel Wheels tour stop in Toronto in 1989 and didn’t hear anything that Page did that Keith Richards and/or Ronnie Wood couldn’t or didn’t. But then, while I respect his abilities, I’m not a big Jimmy Page fan. My judgment, rightly or wrongly, is admittedly affected by his/Zep’s plagiarism issues, or at least widespread accusations, lawsuits and settlements to do with plagiarism, and his scuzzy character, at least during Zep’s heyday, as revealed in books like Hammer of The Gods. In any event, I’ve always liked the Dirty Work album. The Stones were falling apart, fighting each other, yet they still produced in my view – and of course I’m a big fan – a kick butt album that reflected that anger with songs like One Hit, Dirty Work the title cut, Had It With You, and others. I remember noted rock critic Peter Goddard of The Toronto Star celebrating it for those reasons, upon release. And “Bad’ is arguably a relative term, in terms of this set list, such judgments dependent on people’s expectations of a band/artist and so on – although many of the source albums are, indeed, certainly not the various artists’ prime slabs.
    1. Deep Purple, King Of Dreams . . . The Slaves and Masters album is often disparagingly called a “Deep Rainbow’ album due to the presence of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s friend and post-Ronnie James Dio lead Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. I didn’t like Rainbow after Dio left and singers like Graham Bonnet and then Turner came in and the direction went way too pop for my tastes, and I don’t like Deep Rainbow. Aside from this song. King of Dreams is, by light years, the best song on the only Deep Purple album I almost never play beyond this opening cut. And Purple is one of my favorite bands. The record might be good but there’s nothing else compelling enough that has ever prompted me to repeat listens. I tried again in putting together this show and, no. Same result. Even Blackmore realized it, had to admit reality and soon enough, Ian Gillan was back at the Purple mic for The Battle Rages On album in 1993, the perpetual battle between Gillan and Blackmore indeed raging on to the point that Blackmore finally up and quit in the middle of that tour, to be temporarily replaced by Joe Satriani and, eventually, permanently by Steve Morse. Morse has since, alas, left Purple after eight creatively productive studio albums to care for his ailing wife, with Northern Ireland guitarist Simon McBride replacing him as a full-fledged member.
    1. Aerosmith, Eat The Rich . . . The Get A Grip album, from 1993, was suggested to me by show follower Ted Martin, who mentioned he never progressed further in the Aerosmith catalog. So, he was spared the agony and eye-rolling disillusion fostered by crap like the Music From Another Dimension album and other such overproduced Bon Jovi-type schlock of Aerosmith’s latter, albeit hugely commercially successful days of outside songwriters and power ballad hair metal type hits. I cannot stand that sound. Music From Another Dimension came out in 2012 and is the last studio work of original material by Aerosmith, after which guitarist Joe Perry I recall reading said ‘nobody wants new Aerosmith songs’ or something like that. The sentiment is often true of many so-called legacy classic rock bands but in Aerosmith’s case, thank Christ for no new stuff, if they were to continue with the schlock shit they were releasing from, say, after the Pump album in 1989 onward. Now, I will backtrack a bit. Get A Grip is actually not a bad album. I think Nine Lives (1997) and Just Push Play (2001) are way worse, but I’ve never played them enough, beyond knowing the singles like Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees) or Jaded to know them well enough to find a decent ‘good song on a bad album.’ This sad state of affairs from the band that gave us such classic hits as Walk This Way, Sweet Emotion and deep cuts like Nobody’s Fault from the Rocks album, until they decided outside writers was the way to go and it made them loads of money but at the expense, arguably, of their integrity. Maybe they should have continued doing drugs and boozing. Anyway, Get A Grip gave us hits like Livin’ On The Edge, Cryin’ and Amazing, which are ok, but Eat The Rich, the album opener and a less successful single, is easily the best song on the record, harkening back to early Aerosmith in at least some respects.
    1. Black Sabbath, Get A Grip . . . Speaking of Get A Grip, the Aerosmith album does have a title cut, it’s pretty lousy, so since this is a ‘good songs on bad albums’ show I thought it would be fun to use a different song with the same title, from Sabbath’s 1995 album Forbidden. The record was crucified by critics, many fans and even band members but again, I actually like it. But I like every Sabbath album. It’s from the I think underappreciated Tony Martin on vocals era, with guitarist Tony Iommi as always holding the fort and firing away from his arsenal of heavy riffs. I think the album failed for at least two reasons: the cartoon-type cover of the Grim Reaper, and more so the fact it was produced by a rapper, Ernie C of the rap metal band Body Count, with Body Count member Ice-T helping out on vocals on the album opener, The Illusion Of Power. Many people apparently couldn’t get beyond that, but I’ve never listened to Body Count so I really have no opinion on the matter.
    1. The Who, Eminence Front . . . From It’s Hard, the second studio album The Who did, after Face Dances, with former Face Kenney Jones on drums replacing the dear departed Keith Moon. To many, including at least at first, Roger Daltrey who didn’t think Jones was the right fit, The Who was no longer really The Who without Moon, although of course the band, without Jones, continues on with live work and has released two more studio albums since It’s Hard in 1982. It’s Hard is a wimpy album, inferior to Pete Townshend’s solo stuff at the time. I barely play it aside from two cuts – Cry If You Want which has nice military-type patter drumming from Jones and Eminence Front – by far the best song on the album and the only one that’s still played live and deemed worthy of a spot on Who hits compilations.
    1. Foreigner, Lowdown and Dirty . . . Not a massive Foreigner fan but I do like their early hits like Cold As Ice, the entire Double Vision album and the slightly later hit Urgent. Anyway, singer Lou Gramm left Foreigner in 1990, later to return, but in the meantime in came onetime, latter-day Montrose singer Johnny Edwards for 1993’s Unusual Heat album. The record bombed, Edwards returned to obscurity, I eventually traded the record in and replaced it with a hits compilation – which is all I really need from Foreigner – that included this worthy rocker, which stiffed as Unual Heat’s single, unfairly, I thought.
    1. Rod Stewart, Passion . . . Stewart had lost me by the time of 1980’s Foolish Behaviour album, which I did buy on vinyl at the time only for this song, the lead single, and a deserved hit it was. I no longer have the album, having traded in most of my vinyl when CDs came into existence. But that’s what hits compilations are for, songs like this when you couldn’t care less for the rest of the studio record.
    1. Motley Crue, Hooligan’s Holiday . . . This will likely be the only time I ever play a Motley Crue song although come to think of it I may have played this long ago. More on that later, as to why. I absolutely loathe this band. Utter, hair metal garbage in my opinion, the absolute worst most successful band in rock history. To each their own of course but I just don’t get their success. Dr. Feelgood is an OK song, but . . . actually, it’s garbage too, I just listened to it to check. Maybe I despise them for effing up The Beatles’ Helter Skelter, Brownsville Station’s Smokin’ In The Boys Room (I guess they needed a hit and figured nobody would remember the original) and, most egregiously, the Stones’ Street Fighting Man. But no, I just despise them in general and in particular, Vince Neil’s awful singing. Nails on the blackboard stuff, to my ears. Which is why I like Hooligan’s Holiday. Neil doesn’t sing it. It’s John Corabi, a far better singer on the one, self-titled album Motley Crue did with him, released in 1994 during a time when Neil had left the band. Naturally, the fan base didn’t accept the grungier-sounding Crue without Neil and he soon returned, alas. I actually, unfortunately, saw Vince Neil in concert. He was touring in support of his first solo album, while out of the Crue, and opened for Van Halen when I saw the Van Hagar version on Canada Day, 1993 in Barrie, Ontario. Van Halen was great but my funniest memory of the show is Neil’s set so in a way glad I saw it. He was awful, people were pissed, throwing water bottles and such at the stage, demanding he leave and for the first time in my concert experience I saw a performer give himself his own encore. “I’m not finished yet!” Neil screamed amid the deluge, and went into another, unwelcome, song. What a joke. 
    2. Stevie Wonder, Race Babbling . . . Wonder had an amazing run of albums through the 1970s, from 1972’s Talking Book with the big hit single Superstition, among other great songs, through Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs In The Key Of Life in 1976. Then came the concept album/soundtrack Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants Volume I which, while yielding the hit single Send One Your Love, otherwise largely confused people and is probably why there never was a Volume II. Side point: Bad move to call an album Volume I. There rarely is a Volume II. See, for example, Van Halen’s Best Of Vol. I (although there was a later Best of Both Worlds, split between David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar-sung songs) and Blue Rodeo’s Greatest Hits Vol. I (there’s never been a Vol. II). As for Secret Life Of Plants, it’s a worthy listen, especially to my ears this hypnotic, near-nine minute sonic exploration.
    1. Genesis, The Serpent . . . From the first Genesis album, released in 1969 when the band members were still schoolboys. The album was a flop, but I hear elements of the future progressive Genesis sound in The Serpent.
    2. Pink Floyd, Learning To Fly . . . I suppose I could have picked The Final Cut, essentially a Roger Waters solo album, but A Momentary Lapse Of Reason was suggested to me and it’s similar in that it could be argued it’s essentially a David Gilmour solo album, after the acrimonious split with Waters. The cover is cool, all those beds on the beach, and they were actual beds, not trick photography or computer graphics. The album title is ridiculous, when you think about the fact that the band had just lost its main lyricist and conceptualist, so it could be argued it was a lapse of reason indeed in soldiering on as Pink Floyd. But maybe it was tongue in cheek just to piss Waters off even more because he’s so full of himself he almost dared Gilmour to try to pull an album off without him, Gilmour did, lawsuits ensued and here we are. Other titles that were considered: Signs Of Life (the first piece on the album, an instrumental with the nice sounds of someone rowing a boat, and the album was recorded on Gilmour’s houseboat studio), Of Promises Broken and Delusions Of Maturity. I don’t listen to it much other than this excellent track although in putting together the show I did listen again and aside from songs like Dogs of War where Gilmour steps out of character and seemingly tries to channel Waters in terms of cynical worldview, it’s an OK album. Learning To Fly was the hit single, deservedly so, and reflects Gilmour’s love of flying, as he was learning to be a pilot at the time of the record’s recording. The album sounds like Pink Floyd, or at least what one might expect of Floyd, given Gilmour’s guitar playing but it suffers lyrically due to the absence of Waters, who famously called the album “a pretty fair forgery.” I thought that line was hilarious.
    3. Elton John, Johnny B. Goode . . . Elton John was somewhat lost in the late 1970s. His commercial fortunes were in decline, disco was the big thing at the time so, like many classic rockers of the period he tried his hand at that genre with 1979’s Victim Of Love album. The result was this interesting, extended (eight minutes) take on the Chuck Berry hit. It’s somewhat like Devo doing the Stones’ Satisfaction, hence it’s at least not bad – and I love Devo’s take on Satisfaction – because the source material is so good. The album was a relative failure but, like many in this list, probably more because it was Elton John doing it and expectations for him and the type of music he was known for put him in a box. Not saying it’s a great album, but had it been issued by someone else, it may have done better.
    4. AC/DC, Sink The Pink . . . Few people ever talk about 1985’s Fly On The Wall, which was arguably the nadir for AC/DC commercially, during the 1980s although many bands would sell their souls for sales of one million units, some of which is obviously automatic buying from fans, based on reputation. I rarely play it, although in compiling this show it hit me that it’s not as mediocre as I remember, raw and down and dirty. Sink The Pink along with Shake Your Foundations are the best songs and both received new leases on life after being re-released on 1986’s Who Made Who, the soundtrack to the Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive, based on his short story Trucks.
    5. Bad Company, Holy Water . . . I’m not a fan of the Brian Howe on lead vocals period of Bad Company. I’m usually more open-minded but the Howe-fronted Bad Co., while commercially successful, reaked of that overproduced 1980s sound I so loathe. It sounds like bad Foreigner. That said, I’ve always liked this title cut to the band’s 1990 album. Otherwise, I’m definitely of the “no Paul Rodgers singing, no Bad Company’ persuasion.
    1. Bob Dylan, Mr. Bojangles . . . From 1973’s Dylan album. Dylan didn’t want it released, maintaining the various cover songs, including Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi, were just warmups for studio sessions. But Columbia Records, miffed that Dylan had left the label for a brief fling with David Geffen’s Asylum Records, released it anyway, apparently out of spite. So, we got Dylan’s take on such tunes as Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles. Dylan, according to a book I have, later said “I didn’t think it (the album) was that bad, really.” However, when he soon returned to Columbia, he demanded the album be deleted from the catalogue. I found my copy in a used bin years ago, and being the completist I am for artists I like, had to have it.
    2. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, My Wheels Won’t Turn . . . From Freeways, the 1977 album that represents the last studio work of the original BTO, although they reunited for another album in 1984 without the late drummer Rob Bachman. Freeways was a different sort of record. It moved away from the usual sledgehammer sound of BTO and, even moreso than its predecessor Head On that featured such songs at Lookin’ Out For #1, embraced jazz, light rock and pop. It didn’t do well. My Wheels Won’t Turn didn’t chart, although it’s a song akin to earlier BTO and I remember it, briefly, being played on radio.
    3. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Nighttime For The Generals . . . Another from the suggestion box. The title cut from the American Dream album, essentially a Neil Young solo song, was the hit but I’ve always liked this somewhat overproduced (it was 1988, after all) but biting commentary written and sung by the late David Crosby.
    4. Van Halen, Fire In The Hole . . . Ah, Van Halen 3. Named ‘3’ because by 1998 the band was on its third singer, Extreme’s Gary Cherone, after having parted ways with first David Lee Roth and then Sammy Hagar, both of whom later returned, and left, and returned, as was the way with Van Halen. The Cherone period was forgettable, it took me about 20 listens to finally ‘get’ the album as, at the time I was commuting two hours a day back and forth to work and wanted to like it and finally sort of did. Upon finally ‘getting it’ I realized it’s not all that bad. It just was completely out of sync with what most Van Halen fans wanted or expected. Lots of long songs, for instance, few immediate hooks, and, hate to say it but maybe over the heads of some headbangers. I’m not suggesting it’s the band’s best album, it’s their worst including a dreadful or let’s be kind and say interesting vocal performance by Eddie VH himself on one track, How Many Say I. He even (yikes) did it in concert, which took some, er, balls to do. But, for all of that, had it been issued under a different name, the album may have been more accepted. As for Fire In The Hole, it’s arguably one of the more typical Van Halen-ish tracks on the album, a rocker that features fine guitar playing. In that respect it is Van Halen, after all.
    5. Queen, Put Out The Fire . . . From 1982’s Hot Space album, on which Queen went further in the funk, rhythmic and disco direction that began on the previous album, The Game via the hit Another One Bites The Dust and such tracks as Dragon Attack. Hot Space divided fans and critics who derided the full-blown move to synthnesizers – interesting because on their 1970s albums Queen made a point of putting verbiage like ‘no synthesizers used’ in their liner notes, just in case people thought they might be ‘cheating’ with some of their operatic opuses. Put Out The Fire, written by guitarist Brian May, sounds like more ‘traditional’ earlier Queen. I’ve always liked the album. It represents the sometime conundrum of art vis-a-vis expectations. If a band continues as many fans and critics expect, sounding a certain way, they can then be criticized for not progressing. But if they try something different, they upset those who want the sound they’ve grown accustomed to. The artist can’t win.
    1. The Clash, This Is England . . . From Cut The Crap, the Clash album done after Mick Jones departed, leaving Joe Strummer fully in charge. By all accounts it is crap, but I wouldn’t really know, never owned it, barely heard it and only have This Is England on an ‘essential’ Clash compilation I have in addition to all the other studio albums. Not a bad song, though, one that could easily have fit on the reggae-tinged Sandinista! album.
    2. The Doors, Ships W/Sails . . . Extended jazzy, percussive piece from the first of two albums the band did, 1971’s Other Voices, after the passing of lead singer Jim Morrison. Lead vocals were shared by keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger. This song became an extended jam on the subsequent tour supporting the album. It’s not a bad effort by any means, but the remaining members ran out of steam by the second post-Morrison record, Full Circle, in 1972. I suppose I should have mined Full Circle, more appropriately, for a ‘good song on a bad album’ but I don’t know that record well enough. Both albums were reissued in a two-fer package, by Rhino Records, in 2015.
    3. Fleetwood Mac, These Strange Times . . . A spoken word track from 1995’s Time album, with drummer Mick Fleetwood (!) on vocals. It was only the second time he was lead vocalist on a Mac track, the other time being Lizard People, a B-side from 1990’s Behind The Mask album sessions. These Strange Times is much better and I like it. I’ve played it before on the show and it’s the only one on the album I really know or listen to, a slow-building track that among other things, name drops band founder Peter Green’s songs Man Of The World and The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown). Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were not on board for the album although Buckingham did backing vocals on one song, Nothing Without You. Those Mac stalwarts were replaced by country singer Bekka Bramlett (daughter of Delaney and Bonnie) and guitarists Dave Mason, of Traffic fame, and Billy Burnette. The album bombed, of course.

So Old It’s New ‘2’ set list for Saturday, March 4, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5
  2. Electric Light Orchestra, Roll Over Beethoven
  3. Muddy Waters, The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock & Roll
  4. Joe Walsh, I Can Play That Rock & Roll
  5. Chicago, Anyway You Want
  6. Stanley Clarke, Rock ‘N Roll Jelly
  7. Roger Waters, What God Wants, Part I
  8. Flash And The Pan, Man In The Middle
  9. Murray Head, One Night In Bangkok
  10. Roxy Music, In Every Dream Home A Heartache (live, from Viva! Roxy Music)
  11. The Butterfield Blues Band, Love Disease
  12. Fleetwood Mac, Black Magic Woman
  13. Arc Angels, Sent By Angels
  14. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Tightrope
  15. Gov’t Mule (with Jimmy Vaughan), Burning Point
  16. Deep Purple, Mistreated
  17. Billy Cobham, Stratus
  18. Genesis, The Knife (from Live, 1973 release)
  19. Kansas, A Glimpse Of Home
  20. The Byrds, Goin’ Back
  21. The Rolling Stones, How Can I Stop (Wayne Shorter, RIP, on saxophone) 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 . . . I was sorting and shelving CDs and came across some items in my classical collection and figured, what the heck, let’s play some Ludwig. It’s not often I dip into the 18th and 19th centuries, after all, Beethoven’s lifespan being 1770-1827, with his music eternal. Not the full symphony but a five or so minute excerpt. And it makes for some fun as a setup for the next song. Subconsciously, I might also have been thinking of Beethoven thanks to a text conversation with a friend during which he jokingly inserted Walter Murphy into a chat about The Beatles. You had to be part of the conversation but suffice it to say it was favorable to the Fab Four. Time and space don’t permit other than to say it had to do with The Beatles’ acumen as a live band and people’s perception as to their ability to rock. They could, not only throughout their career – see the rooftop concert for instance – and, hmm, anyone ever hear of their Hamburg days? Or The Cavern Club? Etc. Anyway, Murphy’s Big Apple Band had the disco instrumental hit A Fifth Of Beethoven in 1976, then he kept doing that sort of thing with Mozart and other classical artists but people grew less and less interested as he went to the well too often. Murphy is still active with an extensive resume writing music for films and TV shows including, going way back, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on up through Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Family Guy, among many others.
    2. Electric Light Orchestra, Roll Over Beethoven . . . Full eight-minute version of ELO’s take on the Chuck Berry classic, including the opening nod to Beethoven’s 5th. A killer cut, appeared on ELO 2.
    1. Muddy Waters, The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock & Roll . . . From Hard Again, one of three studio and one live albums guitarist Johnny Winter produced and played on near the end of Waters’ life and career. Hard Again in 1977 was followed by I’m Ready in 1978, Muddy ‘Mississippi’ Waters Live in 1979 and King Bee, Muddy’s final studio album in 1981. Also helping out in the series of albums were, among others, piano man Pinetop Perkins and James Cotton on harmonica. 
    2. Joe Walsh, I Can Play That Rock & Roll . . . In the liner notes to a compilation I own, Walsh said he was paying homage to The Rolling Stones with this track and that’s clearly evident with the Keith Richards-like guitar sound and opening riff. It’s from Walsh’s 1983 typically humorously-named album, You Bought It – You Name It. I’ll name it pretty good.
    1. Chicago, Anyway You Want . . . Kitchener, Ontario’s Charity Brown had a No. 6 Canadian hit with this Peter Cetera-penned song, sung by Cetera on Chicago VIII in 1975. I’ve lived in Kitchener for years now and Brown’s version has been something of an earworm since my teen years in Oakville, Ont. But I still prefer Chicago’s version from back when they still had the jazz-rock fusion and sometimes funky thing going to at least some extent, while guitarist Terry Kath was still alive. 
    2. Stanley Clarke, Rock ‘N Roll Jelly . . . From the eclectic bassist’s 1978 album Modern Man. It came to mind while watching a YouTube ‘rate the albums’ show that wasn’t about Clarke although he came up in the conversation the guys on the show were having. It’s a great up-tempo instrumental featuring Jeff Beck, who almost steals the spotlight on lead guitar but from what I’ve read, Clarke has been that sort of bandleader on his solo material, letting others shine. I first learned of and saw Clarke – most of whose vast body of work is in the jazz fusion idiom including his work with Chick Corea’s Return To Forever – when he was a member of The New Barbarians. That was the band featuring Rolling Stones guitarists Ron Wood and Keith Richards that toured the US to promote Wood’s Gimme Some Neck album. But they’re best known for opening for the Stones at the 1979 Oshawa, Ontario benefit concert that fulfilled one of the conditions of Richards’ sentence for possession of heroin. I was there and still amazed I managed to get tickets; there were only 10,000 to be had for the separate afternoon and evening concerts in the 5,000-seat hockey arena. My college buddy and I saw the afternoon show, tried to linger for the second show, we hid in a bathroom, but were found and booted out. Great shows, both the Barbarians and the Stones. The Barbarians set finishes, Keith Richards grabs an acoustic guitar, sits on a stool, stage dark aside from the spotlight. He starts strumming and then out comes Mick Jagger, all dressed in white and it’s suddenly the 1969 US tour again that yielded the live album Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out as Mick and Keith go into the Rev. Robert Wilkins blues cut Prodigal Son that appeared on the Beggars Banquet album. Then out come the rest of the Stones for Let It Rock and it’s on with a terrific and historic show. As I recall, Clarke later joined the Stones for the set closers Miss You and Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
    1. Roger Waters, What God Wants, Part I . . . Speaking of Jeff Beck helping out Stanley Clarke, here’s the late great guitarist again on a typically acerbic song from Waters’ 1992 album Amused To Death. The album title was inspired by Neil Postman’s 1985 book Amusing Ourselves To Death, which changed my life/way of thinking, at least in terms of the vacuous nature of celebrity culture. The book, whose genesis came from Postman’s appearance on a panel discussing George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, is subtitled Public Discourse In The Age of Show Business and remains relevant. The late Postman’s view was that the modern world was more a reflection of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where people are oppressed more by their addiction to amusement than oppression by the state, as in Orwell’s dystopia although both visions are valid. John Lennon arguably beat Postman to the punch by 15 years in his 1970 classic Working Class Hero where they ‘keep you doped with religion and sex and TV.’ But to perhaps correct Lennon and go back to Postman, it’s not necessarily ‘they’. It’s us. Bread and circuses, happily consumed.
    1. Flash And The Pan, Man In The Middle . . . Crazy where inspiration comes from. As often mentioned, lots comes from conversations, or something I see or hear or, in this case, buying a bottle of wine earlier this week. I happened upon the rack holding one of my regular selections, took the middle of the three bottles in the front row and the Flash And The Pan song popped into my head. Wonderful/amazing/crazy how the brain works. I suppose. Had I picked the bottle on the left, perhaps I’d be playing Paul McCartney and Wings’ Cafe On The Left Bank, or some such, and Traffic’s Roll Right Stones had I gone for the bottle on the right. Next time, perhaps. I’ll call it ‘the wine selection show.’
    1. Murray Head, One Night In Bangkok . . . The versatile actor/singer Murray Head went from his brilliance as Judas on the 1970 Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack to another impressive performance, rapping out the verses on this catchy hip-hop type tune from the Chess musical soundtrack in 1984. It was developed by renowned author/lyricist Tim Rice of The Lion King fame, and two members of ABBA. The Bangkok single was a worldwide smash hit, much bigger than the actual musical production which first drew my interest because I love the game of chess, arguably humankind’s greatest invention. The song is the only reason I ever bought the original vinyl album, which I lost or traded in along the way but I found the song again recently in a used rack, on a CD compilation of 1980s new wave hits. Yes, I could always access the song online but I still like owning physical copies. To quote The Who, I’m talking about my generation. And one never knows when some bean counter might decide to remove a song from online streaming circulation, same as happens with movies and TV shows. Purge at your listening peril, as I keep warning a friend. That’s you, Ted. 🙂
    1. Roxy Music, In Every Dream Home A Heartache (live, from Viva! Roxy Music) . . . Live take of a song about emptiness and inflatable dolls that first appeared on Roxy’s second studio album, 1973’s For Your Pleasure. Spooky, sinister, weird, great. Probably would get banned in today’s so-called cancel culture although I shouldn’t be so harsh – the song was used as recently as 2019 in the TV crime drama series Mindhunter. I’m not much of a TV show watcher outside of Star Trek and have never watched Mindhunter but the song seems a good choice for a series based on the FBI’s criminal profiling/serial killer unit.
    2. The Butterfield Blues Band, Love Disease . . . From 1969’s Keep On Moving album. It’s appropriately titled in that it continued the band’s move away from the straight blues of the early albums starting with the debut in 1965 to a more R & B/soul/horns-drenched approach as guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop eventually moved on. Good music, still, in my opinion despite waning interest from fans and critics – and the 1970 album Live, featuring the expanded lineup, is a fine listen. 
    3. Fleetwood Mac, Black Magic Woman . . . One of those originals, like Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower reimagined by Jimi Hendrix, that relatively few people seem to have heard, at least in comparison to the more celebrated cover. Like many I, too, was introduced to Black Magic Woman by Santana’s version on the Abraxas album but as is usually the case, was rewarded by going back to the source material, from Fleetwood Mac’s blues band days with Peter Green. Same scenario for me with Dylan’s original. I can sincerely say that I have no preference among any of the four versions of the two songs, all excellent in their own ways. It could be argued that, because the famous covers are ubiquitous and overplayed, the originals are the more welcome listens. But that’s just my opinion.
    1. Arc Angels, Sent By Angels . . . From the lone, self-titled studio album released in 1992 by the blues rock outfit formed after Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in 1990. It featured two members – drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon – from Vaughan’s band Double Trouble, plus guitarists/singers Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton. They’ve reformed sporadically for live shows over the years and as of 2022 were back again, minus Shannon, for live work. Based on the excellent lone studio release, new recorded work would be welcome.
    2. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Tightrope . . . Up-tempo tune with typically great solos from SRV from 1989’s In Step, his last studio album with Double Trouble.
    1. Gov’t Mule (with Jimmy Vaughan), Burning Point . . . SRV’s brother and fellow guitarist Jimmy of The Fabulous Thunderbirds fame helps out the Mule on this one from the 2017 album Revolution Come . . . Revolution Go.
    1. Deep Purple, Mistreated . . . I played a live version of the title cut from 1974’s Burn album the other week when I did a live albums set. It prompted a show follower to mention how he wore the Burn studio album out back then. Me too. So, I decided to return to that record via this powerful, extended blues cut dominated by Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar and David Coverdale’s compelling vocals. 
    2. Billy Cobham, Stratus . . . Extended jazz fusion from drummer Cobham’s debut solo album, 1973’s Spectrum after he had made big contributions to such albums as Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and work with John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, all part of a wide-ranging resume in jazz and rock. Cobham’s album featured future Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin, who replaced Ritchie Blackmore when Blackmore quit Purple in 1975 to form Rainbow. Purple’s then-singer David Coverdale was a big fan of Spectrum and Bolin’s playing and recommended Bolin to his bandmates after Blackmore left. The result was Purple’s Come Taste The Band album, which divided critics, the fan base and even the band members due to its, in spots, funky and soulful approach with songs like one of my favorites, You Keep On Moving. Keyboardist Jon Lord was quoted as saying that while he liked the album, especially coming at it for a fresh listen years later, ‘in most people’s opinion, it’s not a Deep Purple album.’ As a big Purple fan, I disagree – it’s a great album that displays the band’s versatility and embracing of different musical forms and it’s gained in stature among critics, over time but in any event we all hear things differently. Some artists can’t win, really. If they branch out, as often happens when new members are integrated, they might lose some fans, while maybe gaining others. If they stay the same, they retain their core audience but are perhaps accused of not progressing. AC/DC, to name one band, doesn’t give a shit and their talent is doing essentially the same album multiple times while still sounding compelling and I sincerely mean that as a compliment. Longtime Purple singer Ian Gillan, who wasn’t involved, has echoed Lord’s remarks about whether Come Taste The Band is ‘real’ Purple. I find Gillan’s view interesting – and I’m not sure when he voiced it, his thoughts may have changed – in that the latter day Purple with guitarist Steve Morse and Gillan back at the vocal helm did some similarly interesting, more diverse material than ‘was allowed’ when the mercurial and somewhat controlling, albeit obviously brilliant Blackmore was in the band – which was always a source of his conflicts with Gillan.
    3. Genesis, The Knife (from Live, 1973 release) . . . I was going to play something from Genesis Live when I did my live albums show recently, but couldn’t fit it in, chose something else, whatever. So, here you go, a ferocious live take on the song that arguably eclipses the studio version from 1970s Trespass, after which guitarist Anthony Phillips and drummer John Mayhew moved on, replaced by Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, respectively. Those additions solidified the band’s so-called classic lineup – at least during the purely progressive rock period – that also included singer Peter Gabriel, guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks. And, of course, The Knife forever reminds me of a drunken, fun ‘fight’ with an old friend over whether Genesis could ‘rock’. I’ve long since come to realize that they could.
    4. Kansas, A Glimpse Of Home . . . Not sure how to explain it other than the evolution of my ears, so to speak, but I’ve gotten more into progressive rock as I’ve aged and, in particular, more into arguably one of America’s best exponents of the genre, Kansas. For the longest time I knew and listened to essentially just three songs – Dust In The Wind, Carry On Wayward Son and Portrait (He Knew), so a bare-bones Kansas hits compilation was enough for me. Then I started digging deeper and have been rewarded. It’s not like they’re my favorite band, but there’s lots of great listening in their extensive catalog and they’re still at it, 50 years later, releasing new material and touring.
    1. The Byrds, Goin’ Back . . . Yet another from the vast songwriting catalogue of onetime married couple Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Covered by many, it caused division among The Byrds as David Crosby, soon to be fired by the band, thought it was lightweight. So they recorded it anyway and released it as a single, although it made it to just No. 89 in the US and didn’t chart in the UK. So maybe Crosby was right, although I like the ‘that’s life’ tune.
    1. The Rolling Stones, How Can I Stop (Wayne Shorter, RIP, on saxophone) . . . Lots of jazzy stuff in today’s show, reviewing the set. Not sure how that happens but one just goes with the flow. How Can I Stop is another of those slow, jazzy, bluesy tunes Keith Richards, perhaps belying his reputation as just a riff rocker, has been so adept at on Stones albums, probably harkening back to All About You from the Emotional Rescue album or even You Got The Silver from Let It Bleed. How Can I Stop was the last track on 1997’s Bridges To Babylon album. I was going to play a different Stones song, Moonlight Mile from Sticky Fingers which I’ll get to in a coming show but decided on How Can I Stop when news came of renowned jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter’s death Thursday at age 89. He plays a wonderful solo on this Stones’ song. And what an amazing catalogue Shorter had, with Miles Davis, with Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, on his own, on various rock/pop albums including Santana, Joni Mitchell, Don Henley . . . rest in peace.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, February 27, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Who, Getting In Tune
  2. The Rolling Stones, Turd On The Run
  3. Rory Gallagher, Moonchild
  4. Billy Joel, Zanzibar
  5. Warren Zevon, A Certain Girl
  6. Elton John, Dirty Little Girl
  7. Bob Dylan, Isis
  8. Joe Cocker, Let’s Go Get Stoned (live, from Mad Dogs and Englishmen)
  9. Supertramp, Sister Moonshine
  10. Van Halen, Cabo Wabo
  11. Alice Cooper, Blue Turk
  12. Three Dog Night, One Man Band
  13. Pink Floyd, Sheep
  14. Drive-By Truckers, 3 Dimes Down
  15. The Joe Perry Project, Discount Dogs
  16. Aerosmith, Bone To Bone (Coney Island Whitefish Boy)
  17. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Quick Change Artist
  18. Long John Baldry, Conditional Discharge/Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll
  19. John Mayall, Good Time Boogie (live, from Jazz/Blues Fusion)
  20. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1983 . . . (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
  21. Them, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Who, Getting In Tune . . . Not that this Who’s Next song isn’t a rocker, it is, although it’s light and shade, so to speak in terms of slow and fast, repeating, and I usually go with an overall faster, harder rocking tune to start things off, which is how I also like concerts I attend to open. But, by title this is an obvious opener and a rocker nevertheless. From Who’s Next, the Who album that like all such tour de force records could double as a hits compilation.
    1. The Rolling Stones, Turd On The Run . . . Not sure what to say about this one from Exile On Main St. aside from the fact I like it, always have, and it’s a glorious, propulsive, infectious noise describing what sounds to be a, er, shitty relationship.
    1. Rory Gallagher, Moonchild . . . I always find it hard to pick a Rory Gallagher song when I play him, same with his earlier band Taste, before he went solo. He’s just so consistently good on guitar, arrangements, songs. So I threw darts and hit on this typically good riff rocker, from his 1976 Calling Card album.
    1. Billy Joel, Zanzibar . . . A jazzy, almost calypso type track from Joel’s 1978 album 52nd Street, the successful (a tough thing to do) follow-up to his massively successful breakthrough 1977 album The Stranger. The song, because apparently Joel figured he didn’t know enough about the place to write about it though he liked the name for a song title, is not about the Tanzanian island province off the African coast but about activities in a bar, fictional or otherwise, and the protagonist’s attempts to pick up a waitress. I suppose I relate in some way, having worked in a bar during my college days and seeing/participating in humanity acting as it will. Lots of sports references, too, including to baseball player Pete Rose, then an active star for the Cincinnati Reds before his banishment from the game due to gambling issues. The original lyrics said Rose was ‘a credit to the game’ but apparently Joel, in concert, has subsequently adjusted them to Rose never making the baseball hall of fame. And that’s a whole other topic.
    1. Warren Zevon, A Certain Girl . . . I played The Yardbirds’ version of this Allen Toussaint-penned track (credited under his pen name Naomi Neville) last September, which prompted one of my show followers in the USA to mention the Zevon cover. So, here it is, from his 1980 album Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School. It was a moderate hit single from that record, which did decently, commercially, as a follow-up to Zevon’s 1978 breakthrough record Excitable Boy. The thing with Zevon, though, is that all his albums are consistently good, even if they may sometimes lack the commercial immediacy of the songs on Excitable Boy. He was an amazing songwriter, sometimes requiring repeat listens as music paired with lyrics sunk in, but amazing nonetheless. That said, if I were forced to pick a Zevon ‘desert island’ disc, it would be Excitable Boy but I’d lobby whoever was forcing me to pick to allow me a second disc, even an EP, containing the songs A Certain Girl, Sentimental Hygiene, Boom Boom Mancini, Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song) and Genius. Probably The Envoy, too. At least.
    1. Elton John, Dirty Little Girl . . . It’s called a mondegreen, the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, often in song lyrics. A well-known example in rock/popular music is ‘scuse me while I kiss this guy’ instead of the real lyric ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky’ in Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. I mention this because when I first heard Dirty Little Girl, without looking at the lyric sheet accompanying my younger brother’s copy of the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, I thought Elton John was singing ‘bat shit’ instead of ‘I bet she . . . ‘ in the chorus. I still think of it as the ‘bat shit’ song. It’s a good one, regardless, although the possible mondegreen nature of it isn’t well known, if it’s known at all to anyone or anything but my ears, because Dirty Little Girl is a deep cut. Other fun examples:

      * “There’s a bathroom on the right’ instead of the real lyric “there’s a bad moon on the rise’ in Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising (although honestly I think ‘bad moon’ is pretty distinct and I never heard ‘bathroom’ until reading about it years ago).
      * ‘wrapped up like a douche’ which got great mileage in high school days, har har, eye rolls now, instead of ‘revved up like a deuce’ in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s reworked lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s original wording ‘cut loose like a deuce’ in Blinded By The Light.

      Apparently, Hendrix and CCR’s John Fogerty eventually took to singing the mondegreen versions of their songs, for fun, in concert. Interesting reading about mondegreens, actually, it covers many songs including the US national anthem, poems, etc. I recommend doing so.

    1. Bob Dylan, Isis . . . Some time back I played something from Dylan’s Desire album, One More Cup Of Coffee as I recall, and an old high school and college friend with whom I’ve wonderfully reconnected via the show regaled me with a tale of his, somewhat drunken, impromptu belting out of portions of Isis to a startled family gathering. I told him I wholeheartedly approved. As Dylan often introduced the song at live shows during the 1975 Rolling Thunder Review tour, ‘this is a song about marriage.’ Full of great lines, this one apparently quoted by my friend to his audience: “I came in from the east with sun in my eyes; I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead.’ I’ll maybe bore you with one more, one of my favorites along with the ‘cursed’ line, from the song: “The wind it was howlin’ and the snow was outrageous. We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn. When he died I was hopin’ it wasn’t contagious; but I made up my mind that I had to go on.” Death as something contagious. Ah, Dylan. If you ‘get’ him, you do. If you don’t, well, try harder. It doesn’t take much. Just listen to the man. And yes, he CAN sing. He’s the best singer of Bob Dylan tunes ever, because they are his and he’s best suited to sing them. If you don’ get it, again, try harder. You’ll be rewarded.
    1. Joe Cocker, Let’s Go Get Stoned (live, from Mad Dogs and Englishmen) . . . I love the Mad Dogs and Englishmen album. It’s loose, raw, raunchy, jazzy, bluesy, overpopulated with musicians and singers, hence somewhat out of control, which makes it great.
    1. Supertramp, Sister Moonshine . . . Cocker was actually talking more about booze, if you read the lyrics to Let’s Go Get Stoned and of course ‘stoned’ is also a term for getting drunk although likely less used today, with more a connotation towards drug use, than it was regarding drinking, as it was more so in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But in any event, Cocker’s rhapsodizing about boozing got me thinking of moonshine whiskey even though the Supertramp song isn’t about booze, but about light.
    1. Van Halen, Cabo Wabo . . . One of my favorite Van Hagar period songs, and I like both the David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar versions of Van Halen. This song, something of a rarity for VH given its 7-minute length, from the second Van Hagar album, OU812, is a paean to the Mexican town of Cabo San Lucas, which later inspired Hagar the astute businessman’s founding of Cabo Wabo Tequila. He later sold the brand to a big name distillery for $80M. I wish I was born with or taught that ‘making money’ sense.
    1. Alice Cooper, Blue Turk . . . Killer bass by Dennis Dunaway to this jazzy piece from the School’s Out album. So many great deep cuts like this in the original Alice Cooper band’s early catalog.
    1. Three Dog Night, One Man Band . . . Something of a ‘lesser’ hit for a band – it made ‘only’ No. 19 in the USA but No. 6 in Canada – that was amazingly dominant on the singles charts during the 1970s, particularly up until the mid-70s. Just ridiculous how many hits/great songs they had and I’m playing them because, when I did my live albums show last Saturday, I got feedback regarding a Three Dog Night Live album from a friend, an album I don’t have – Captured Live At The Forum – but am checking out and so far so great, but in any event another from the ‘songs inspired by conversation’ file.
    1. Pink Floyd, Sheep . . . Another ‘conversation-inspired’ song. Someone in the USA I’ve gotten to know a bit via Facebook, a follower of the show but we now often discuss many things, posted the song. I commented about how much I like the Animals album and so I decided to play Sheep even though, given the album has just five songs, three extended pieces and two short interludes, over time I’ve played it all and I don’t like repeating myself at least too often. But. . . As my friend mentioned, early incarnations of Sheep were known as Raving and Drooling and played live before the studio album was out, and worth looking into online or on various re-issues; Raving and Drooling being to my ears more stripped down, less orchestral, bass especially higher in the mix, it’s good stuff in its early, studio incarnations and on the released album itself.
    1. Drive-By Truckers, 3 Dimes Down . . . I was watching a rock show I like on YouTube the other day, a show in which they rate albums, discuss music, etc. I should get off my butt and do one. In any event…the topic of ‘just what does ‘classic rock’ mean anymore’ came up in terms of how now 1990s music is in some quarters considered to be so-called classic rock when at first that term applied to 1960s and 1970s rock acts. Those bands (Stones, Beatles, Zep, etc.) seem now to be categorized as ‘legacy’ acts as age moving on seems to prompt whoever ‘names’ these things to new nomenclature. Which would make acts that started in the 1950s like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, among many others, what, precambrian acts? Good music is good music, it should be resistant to categorization and it is, actually, it’s just that we humans tend to need to put it into various boxes, which is understandable, it’s a means of keeping some semblance of order. In any event, after all that, Drive-By Truckers emerged in the mid-1990s. So, of the bands of that period, they may be my favorites although I’d separate them from grunge acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains etc. To me, the Truckers are just good music, maybe southern rock to some extent, I just like it, it knows no time period and could stand proudly in any era. As someone in a YouTube comment field said, ‘no bullshit, just music.’ Yes.
    1. The Joe Perry Project, Discount Dogs . . . Guitarist Joe Perry was a man somewhat in two bands at the point of his first Joe Perry Project album, 1980’s released Let The Music Do The Talking (also a song by the Perry Project and later redone by Aerosmith on the Done With Mirrors album). Perry formed his new band at the same time he was still in but soon to be departing Aerosmith, for which he co-wrote the next song in my list, from the Night In The Ruts album. As for Discount Dogs, it’s a funky rock track with Ralph Morman on lead vocals. Morman was in the Aerosmith circle and sold Perry on his value as a singer, and the rest is history although the association was brief as Morman was fired during the band’s first tour due to excessive boozing, according to web reports. Morman went on to sing in later editions of Savoy Brown but died in 2014 of an undisclosed illness.
    1. Aerosmith, Bone To Bone (Coney Island Whitefish Boy) . . . Perry co-wrote this one with Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, great rocker from the Night In The Ruts album which, while the band was in tatters, remains one of my and many other Aerosmith fans’ favorites. It’s arguably the last of the early, raunchy, kick butt Aerosmith albums before new production techniques, outside writers and other such factors led to much greater commercial success but arguably a loss of the grittiness that made the band appealing in the first place.
    1. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Quick Change Artist . . . From Four Wheel Drive. It was a single but only in Canada, and yet another great BTO tune sung by bassist C.F. (Fred) Turner in his gritty style.
    1. Long John Baldry, Conditional Discharge/Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll . . . I love the spoken word intro. “Boo-gee woo-gee” . Reminds me of a Brit I knew late 1970s when I took a year off after high school to work and save to put myself through college. Reggae, largely via Eric Clapton’s cover of Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sherriff, was big as most classic rockers were embracing it and my Brit friend referred to it, with contempt, as ‘reggie”. You had to be there, perhaps.
    1. John Mayall, Good Time Boogie (live, from Jazz/Blues Fusion) . . . So anyway, as far as Boogie Woogie, or boo-gee woo-gee goes, take that, Long John, from another John of the blues and various and sundry other genres he chose to experiment in over the many years.
    1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1983 . . . (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) . . .Extendend, brilliant, intoxicating space rock/sci fi/psychedelic, hard rock, studio tricks . . . the track has it all, reflecting Hendrix’s genius, from the Electric Ladyland album.
    1. Them, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue . . . I actually saw the Them Again album in a used rack yesterday. They had a horde of used Van Morrison stuff, almost bought the Them album as a completist, but I have this Bob Dylan cover from the Van-fronted Them on various compilations. In any event, a great song, regardless who does it but thank you, Bob Dylan.

So Old It’s New ‘2’ set list for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

All live albums show. My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Deep Purple, Burn (from Made In Europe)
  2. The Rolling Stones, Out Of Control (from No Security)
  3. The Byrds, This Wheel’s On Fire (Live at the Fillmore February 1969)
  4. Free, Fire and Water (Free Live)
  5. George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Bottom Of The Sea (from Live, 1986)
  6. Blue Oyster Cult, Kick Out The Jams (from Some Enchanted Evening)
  7. Thin Lizzy, The Rocker (Live and Dangerous)
  8. Black Sabbath, Neon Knights (Live Evil)
  9. The Who, Shakin’ All Over (Live at Leeds)
  10. David Bowie, Moonage Daydream (David Live)
  11. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Crossroads (from One More From The Road)
  12. The Beatles, She’s A Woman (Live At The Hollywood Bowl)
  13. Pretenders, Boots Of Chinese Plastic (Live In London)
  14. Concrete Blonde, Mercedes Benz (live, issued on hits compilation)
  15. The J. Geils Band, Chimes (from Blow Your Face Out)
  16. Ten Years After, I’m Going Home (at Woodstock)
  17. The Allman Brothers Band, Mountain Jam (from Eat A Peach/Fillmore East)

    My track-by-track tales. 

    1. Deep Purple, Burn (from Made In Europe) . . . Made in Europe is not nearly as celebrated as Purple’s Made In Japan but it’s as terrific an album in my estimation and one I also played a lot – and still do – in high school and subsequent days. It’s the so-called Mk. III version of the band at work here, David Coverdale on lead vocals and Glenn Hughes on bass/vocals replacing singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover, still teamed up with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and keyboardist Jon Lord. I’ve always loved the intro to this title tune from the Burn album. Noodling and doodling instrumentally and then, at approximately the 52-second mark of what will be a 7-minute rendition, Coverdale mouths a simple ‘rock and roll’ and the band kicks in in blistering fashion.
    1. The Rolling Stones, Out Of Control (from No Security) . . . One of my favorite latter-day tunes by the boys, a great live vehicle and a highlight of the No Security album which was a document of the Bridges To Babylon 1997 album tour but a live album, No Security, done in a more interesting and welcome way, at least to Stones’ deeper cuts aficionados in that it was comprised of mostly album tracks, not singles. Naturally, it sold poorly, relatively speaking. So what? At least in the Stones’ case it wasn’t as if their career depended on the record’s success or lack thereof. A great live album, latter day or otherwise.
    1. The Byrds, This Wheel’s On Fire (Live at the Fillmore February 1969) . . . From an album whose tracks laid in the vaults until being released in 2000. It features the great guitar playing of latter-day Byrds member Clarence White. The Byrds to me are a great and always fascinating example of a band that splintered, membership wise, as time passed yet always had the constant leadership of founder member Roger McGuinn involved and always released quality, yet also different, music influenced by lineup changes, whether in the original configuration that included David Crosby of Crosby, Stills and Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame, the Gram Parsons country period, or the later Clarence White period which actually was long-serving, five albums worth, after he replaced Parsons following the Sweetheart Of The Rodeo album.
    1. Free, Fire and Water (Free Live) . . . Keeping in tune with the early ‘fire’ theme of the show.
    1. George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Bottom Of The Sea (from Live, 1986) . . . Another artist, along with as I often mention, The J. Geils Band (I’m playing them later) who are arguably best heard live. This is from Thorogood’s first live record.
    1. Blue Oyster Cult, Kick Out The Jams (from Some Enchanted Evening) . . . Kick-ass version of the kick-ass MC5 tune.
    1. Thin Lizzy, The Rocker (Live and Dangerous) . . . Like Judas Priest’s Unleashed In The East, which over the years has been jokingly derided as actually being Unleashed In The Studio due to overdubs and other fixes, Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous has been similarly accused of doctoring. But, in the end, so what, really. Not excusing it but especially given we’re in and long have been in an era where such fixing has been accepted, as have been backing studio tracks used in live concerts, etc. maybe much ado about relatively nothing? Milli Vanilli’s career was destroyed when they were found to be lip-synching yet nowadays nobody bats an eye at such things. Not saying it’s right, one could argue that going to a concert these days is, in many ways, virtual reality, but so be it. Live and Dangerous, like Unleashed In The East and many other such live albums, are great listens.
    1. Black Sabbath, Neon Knights (Live Evil) . . . Killer version of the opening cut to the first Black Sabbath album, 1980’s Heaven and Hell, with Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals replacing Ozzy Osbourne. It’s one of the albums that really got me deeper into hard rock/metal and for that I’ll always credit Gord, the pot-smoking DJ at the Oakville bar, The Riverside, at which I worked during my 1978-80 college days. Gord would play music between live band sets in the pub and he played the ever-loving shit out of five albums: Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, AC/DC’s Highway To Hell and Back In Black, then just out, Ted Nugent’s Double Live Gonzo and Judas Priest’s British Steel. Thanks, Gord.
    1. The Who, Shakin’ All Over (Live at Leeds) . . . Cover of the Johnny Kidd & The Pirates classic which I played, original version, recently on a “old classic rock and roll’ show.
    1. David Bowie, Moonage Daydream (David Live) . . . Earl Slick whaling away on guitar, as opposed to the late great Mick Ronson who played on the Ziggy Stardust studio album. David Live was Slick’s first release with Bowie, leading to a long association that included the 1970s studio albums that followed, Young Americans, Station To Station and, in the new millenium, Heathen, Reality and The Next Day. Slick also played on John Lennon’s 1980 return to recording, Double Fantasy, and the posthumously-released Milk and Honey album among many other sessions plus solo work.
    1. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Crossroads (from One More From The Road) . . . The ‘Cream treatment’ of the Robert Johnson tune, from Skynyrd’s definitive, pre-plane crash, live album.
    1. The Beatles, She’s A Woman (Live At The Hollywood Bowl) . . . The energy, the fans screaming, is amazing on early Beatles’ live recordings. And this is a great one, redone, remastered, etc. for the 2016 CD release coinciding with director Ron Howard’s film Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years, a film well worth watching.
    2. Pretenders, Boots Of Chinese Plastic (Live In London) . . . Chinese plastic used for weather/surveillance/whatever balloons. Sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂 My favorite and it’s arguably the best song on the band’s 2008 studio release Break Up The Concrete. The album did reasonably well on the charts, top 30 or better, depending on chart and there are so many these days including digital only. Interestingly, to me, I wonder whether the band might have had a crisis of confidence about the album. The version I bought and admit I was enticed by, was it turns out the UK version double disc that in addition to Break Up The Concrete included a best-of CD. In any event, a solid song done well live by Chrissie Hynde and friends.
    1. Concrete Blonde, Mercedes Benz (live, issued on hits compilation) . . . Singer Johnette Napolitano, and what a singer she is, channels her inner Janis Joplin on this cover, issued on the 1996 Concrete Blonde compilation Recollection.
    1. The J. Geils Band, Chimes (from Blow Your Face Out) . . . Spooky sort of tune. Geez these guys were great, particularly in their earlier days, before the big commerical succuss of songs like Centerfold from the Freeze Frame album. Good songs for sure, but the best Geils to me and many is the earlier Geils and in fact the later success divided the band. Lead singer/frontman Peter Wolf wanted to stick to the previous, less commercial rock/blues/soul/R & B foundation while the others wanted to continue to embrace pop and one can see, of course, being in favor of ever-increasing bank accounts. So, Wolf either quit or was asked to leave, moving on to a relatively successful solo career. J. Geils issued one more album, without him, it of course bombed and that was that, but for some later live reunions but no new studio work.
    1. Ten Years After, I’m Going Home (at Woodstock) . . . They’re so much more than this song but it remains the classic version, from the 1969 festival, that made Ten Years After a household name.
    1. The Allman Brothers Band, Mountain Jam (from Eat A Peach/Fillmore East) . . . Filling a request from a few weeks ago for this 33-minute track and, as discussed then, demonstrates that wonderful ability the Allmans had of being able to do extended pieces like this while maintaining the flow of a song and never being boring or tedious. This live version, recorded at Fillmore East in New York in 1971, did not appear on that original live album but rather on the combined studio/live album Eat A Peach a year later, although this version of Mountain Jam has appeared on later reworkings/expanded versions of the classic At Fillmore East live album.

     

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Kinks, Around The Dial
  2. Golden Earring, Are You Receiving Me
  3. Paul McCartney, Coming Up (live)
  4. The Rolling Stones, Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor, from Grrr Live!)
  5. Family, The Weaver’s Answer
  6. James Gang, Take A Look Around
  7. Jeff Beck, My Tiled White Floor
  8. The Stooges, 1969
  9. The Stooges, 1970
  10. Deep Purple, Rat Bat Blue
  11. Procol Harum, Bringing Home The Bacon
  12. Judas Priest, Exciter
  13. Black Sabbath, Sabbra Cadabra
  14. Iron Maiden, Sign Of The Cross
  15. John Lennon, Bring On The Lucie (Freda People)
  16. Mountain, Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)
  17. Queen, Innuendo
  18. Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well (Parts 1 & 2)
  19. Jethro Tull, Back To The Family 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Kinks, Around The Dial . . . Good rocker with telling lyrics about corporate radio, and this is from 1981 when commercial rock radio actually would play a deeper cut like this. It was the lead song on the Give The People What They Want album, issued during a commercial hot streak for The Kinks that started with 1979’s Low Budget album and continued through State of Confusion in 1983 with the hit single Come Dancing and to a lesser extent with 1984’s Word of Mouth and the Do It Again single, although I think the Dave Davies-penned Living On A Thin Line about the decline of England, the third single from that album, and a track I should return to at some point, is the best song on the record. But back to Around The Dial and its lyrics: “You always played the best records, you never followed any trend, FM, AM, where are you? You gotta be out there somewhere on the dial” . . . “Where did you go, Mr. DJ, did they take you off the air? Was it something you said to the corporation guys upstairs? . . . somehow I’m gonna find ya . . . keep on searchin’ around the dial.” Try independent radio, you’ll find ’em. 🙂
    1. Golden Earring, Are You Receiving Me . . . I’ve said this a million times so I won’t repeat myself, too much. Ha. As discussed with a fellow random customer in my favorite local record store the other week, Radar Love isn’t the only, maybe not the best thing that Golden Earring ever did. Nor is the song Twilight Zone, good as it is – and the original TV series, side point, WAS amazing – but the song Twilight Zone isn’t from the Moontan album, which is the topic at hand here. Heck, Radar Love might not even be the best song on Moontan, which is a wall-to-wall great trek through just five extended cuts, including this song, in its original North American release.
    1. Paul McCartney, Coming Up (live) . . . This is the first version of the McCartney II album single I heard and probably a good thing because this live version, from a show in Glasgow, Scotland and later also released on McCartney’s All The Best compilation, and as a single, easily in my opinion trumps the synth-laden, speeded up vocals sound of not only the 1980 studio version of Coming Up but the entire II album. And, given McCartney released the live version on a compilation, he apparently realized which one was better or, at least, which one listeners preferred. As for the studio album, I admire all McCartney’s done, his legacy is obviously assured, and appreciate he was experimenting on II but, as I recall the FM radio DJ saying after playing the studio version and a few other songs from the album upon its debut in 1980, back when commercial rock stations did such things: “I dunno, Paulie, I dunno.”
    1. The Rolling Stones, Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor, from Grrr Live!) . . . I’ve been playing the recently-released live album, from a 2012 show in Newark, NJ of late in the car and this classic tune happened to come on as I pulled in to get some wine for Saturday night’s midnight ramble, so . . . A great 12-minute version as the Stones welcomed back their former guitarist Taylor for selected songs on the tour. Originally on the Let It Bleed album, the definitive version of Rambler arguably remains the live version, when Taylor was in the band, from Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out! which documents the Stones’ 1969 tour, but this one is epic as well as are all renditions I’ve seen live and heard, Taylor contributing, or not. The cool thing at the reunion shows with Taylor, was how when the Stones took their final bows they included him as one of the principals in the band. Definitely an emotional moment for him, and the fans. And from all accounts, he still can’t fully explain why he left the band in 1974 other than maybe songwriting credits, drug use and the overall travelling circus of being a Rolling Stone. But he certainly, by body language, enjoyed playing with them again and the feeling was obviously mutual including from his replacement, Ronnie Wood, a longtime friend and sometime collaborator.
    1. Family, The Weaver’s Answer . . . Well, it’s a holiday Monday in Canada, designated as Family Day in five provinces including my home province of Ontario, so I had to play something from Family, I suppose. It’s their signature tune.
    1. James Gang, Take A Look Around . . . Somewhat psychedelic, to my ears anyway, track from the debut, Yer Album, 1969. Penned by singer/guitarist/band leader Joe Walsh who of course went on to solo success and as a member of the Eagles.
    1. Jeff Beck, My Tiled White Floor . . . This song demonstrates to me why Jeff Beck was deservedly acclaimed for his versatility and diversity, musically. It’s from 2015’s Live + album of a 2014 tour plus two studio cuts, this one being one of them. It features drummer/singer Veronica Bellino, from the American alternative metal band Life Of Agony. It’s interesting, though, I find, given how such collaborations are viewed as people seem to be pigeonholed. Mick Jagger did the Superheavy album in 2011, a hybrid of rock, reggae, electronic pop and soul, with collaborators including Eurthymics’ Dave Stewart, and was trashed for it. Keith Richards on the other hand will do reggae albums like Wingless Angels that few have heard and is praised for them because he’s seen as the soul of the Stones, and I like both main songwriters in the Stones. I didn’t care for Superheavy much, either, at first although I’ve warmed to that album because I tend to recognize that artists may want to step out of their comfort zones and Jagger does that to a greater extent than any individual Stone. And commercially speaking, Superheavy did better than most Jeff Beck albums.
    1. The Stooges, 1969 . . . From the punk influencer’s self-titled debut album in, well, 1969. Great, infectious song. It’s hilarious reading some old reviews of the album. The critics liked this then-new band, but apparently hated admitting it. Rolling Stone magazine’s critic termed it ‘loud, boring, tasteless, unimaginative and childish . . . but I kind of liked it.” Famed rock music critic Robert Cristgau called it ‘stupid rock at its best” but gave it a B +. Years later, like when punk/new wave broke big in the late 1970s, these guys were probably saying people were ripping off ‘classic’ Stooges. Critics are often idiots. Me aside, of course. If the music moves you, just enjoy it for crying out loud. To quote Frank Zappa: “Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk (or think, depending on source), for people who can’t read.” I still read about rock, though, and Zappa, who gave many interviews, was also criticizing himself one would think.
    1. The Stooges, 1970 . . . The sequel, I suppose, although I prefer 1969 the song but 1970, from Full House, is up there in terms of quality, ‘stupid rock’ as it may be.
    1. Deep Purple, Rat Bat Blue . . . This just popped into my head while driving around doing errands on Saturday. So . . . It’s from 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are which is a great album despite what critics and even some band members may think. Woman From Tokyo, Mary Long, this, Our Lady, c’mon, it’s great, even if the so-called Mk II version of the band was in tatters at the time and soon broke up, with David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals) coming in to replace singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover for 1974’s Burn album.
    1. Procol Harum, Bringing Home The Bacon . . . Up-tempo tune from 1973’s Grand Hotel album, after the departure of guitarist Robin Trower for solo success although Trower wasn’t an original band member and not involved in arguably the band’s best-known song, A Whiter Shade Of Pale. Trower was there for the debut album in 1967 which followed shortly after Pale became a hit. The debut album included Conquistador, which was later re-released in a live version and became a hit in 1972.
    1. Judas Priest, Exciter . . . Fall to your knees and repent if you please. ‘Nuff said for this classic.
    1. Black Sabbath, Sabbra Cadabra . . . From 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Any time I play anything from the album I’m reminded of a poetry study segment from high school English class. We were assigned to provide poetry examples and one guy in class brings in the Sabbath album lyrics. It didn’t go over too well with the teacher, as I recall although I would have awarded points for creativity. The scenario is actually what prompted me to investigate the album.
    1. Iron Maiden, Sign Of The Cross . . . From the X Factor, the 1995 album that was the first of two with Blaze Bayley replacing Bruce Dickinson as Maiden’s lead singer. Good albums, in my view, including the second one, Virtual XI, although the fan base in general didn’t accept Bayley, as sales showed. Interestingly, though, Maiden still plays several Bayley-era tunes in its live sets, including this epic.
    1. John Lennon, Bring On The Lucie (Freda People) . . . All right boys, this is it, over the hill . . . the opening statement on this tune, from the Mind Games album.
    1. Mountain, Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) . . . Title cut from Mountain’s 1971 album, about whaling. Owen Coffin was a seaman on a whaling ship rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. Mississippi Queen gets most of the accolades as Mountain’s signature song and it’s warranted, but I have a tough time choosing between the two but of course they’re entirely different songs. Mississippi Queen is hooked by that hellacious riff while Nantucket Sleighride is more moody, mysterious and spooky. Like a whaling trip might be.
    1. Queen, Innuendo . . . Title cut from the 1991 album that was the last released in lead singer Freddie Mercury’s lifetime. And an excellent album it is, at least for fans who favor the earlier hard-rocking with progressive rock flourishes, like this track, of what Queen released until about 1980 after which their style changed.
    1. Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well (Parts 1 & 2) . . . It’s the way of compilations and I generally have the actual studio albums of bands I like, but it’s irritating that one never finds the full version of this amazing song, both parts, unless you happen to own or listen online to the fabulous Then Play On album. It’s the 1969 record that was the last in the band for founding member/guitarist Peter Green. And another album I got into thanks to the influence of my older brother.
    1. Jethro Tull, Back To The Family . . . And that’s a wrap for Family Day, with this family-oriented cut from the Stand Up album.