R.E.M. (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville . . . A single from the band’s second album, Reckoning, which failed to chart in 1984 when the group was still something of an underground act, albeit critically acclaimed. It’s about a real place, Rockville, Maryland, part of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Band member Mike Mills wrote the tune as a plea to his then-girlfriend not to return to the city, where her parents lived.
Atlanta Rhythm Section, Doraville . . . A tribute to the Atlanta suburb where the group formed, originally as the session band at Studio One in Doraville.
Joe Cocker, Inner City Blues . . . Cocker’s cover of the Marvin Gaye tune, from Gaye’s 1971 blockbuster What’s Going On album. Cocker’s version appeared as a bonus track on expanded re-releases of his 1982 album Sheffield Steel.
Led Zeppelin, I’m Gonna Crawl . . . Bluesy cut from the band’s final studio album, In Through The Out Door, released in 1979.
Headstones, Hotel Room . . . Typical blistering track from the Canadian band’s just-released new album, Flight Risk.
David Bowie, Win . . . From Young Americans, 1974. Bowie described the album as ‘plastic soul’, a term for soul music that is believed to lack authenticity. “It’s the definitive plastic soul record,” Bowie was quoted as saying about Young Americans. “It’s the squashed remains of ethnic music as it survives in the age of Muzak, written and sung by a white limey.” I like it. The quote and the music.
Colin James, National Steel . . . Acoustic blues title song, one of the few non-covers of great blues tunes but not at all out of place among them, from James’ 1997 album. The record earned James the 1998 Juno Award for best blues album.
Bill Wyman, Every Sixty Seconds . . . From Wyman’s second solo album, 1976’s Stone Alone, which followed Monkey Grip, released in 1974. A long list of musician friends helped Wyman out on the record, including Van Morrison, Joe Walsh, Ron Wood, Dr. John, Jim Keltner and Danny “Kootch’ Kortchmar. Stone Alone is also the name of Wyman’s 1990 book on The Rolling Stones.
Long John Baldry, It Ain’t Easy . . . Title song from Baldry’s 1971 album. Excellent stuff, with members of Faces and Elton John’s band at the time helping out.
10cc, The Second Sitting For The Last Supper . . . Nice riff to this one from The Original Soundtrack, the 1975 album that featured the band’s big hit, I’m Not In Love.
Steely Dan, Kings . . . Speaking of nice guitar playing, check out the solo by session ace Elliott Randall, who also did the well-known solo and played lead on Reelin’ In The Years, also from the band’s 1972 debut album, Can’t Buy A Thrill. I didn’t play a track from the album for this reason, but noticed in putting the set together that Can’t Buy A Thrill is 50 years old now (!!??), released in November 1972. Where does the time go?
Neil Young, Coupe de Ville . . . I love this spooky, brooding track from Young’s 1988 This Note’s For You album.
Donovan, Young Girl Blues . . . One of those songs – and a good one it is – that comes up, via title association, while I’m searching from something else among the many tunes from my collection that I’ve downloaded into the station’s computer. It’s a fun, somewhat random way of putting together at least part of my sets each time.
Townes Van Zandt, Colorado Girl . . . Same ‘related search’ thing with this tune from the troubled Townes, whose own demons of drugs and alcohol often inspired his art but, ultimately, sadly did him in at 52.
David Wilcox, My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble . . . Title song from the Canadian icon’s 1983 album. Many men can relate to the sentiments expressed within, I’d suggest. Not that one necessarily acts on those sentiments.
Simon and Garfunkel, Cecilia . . . It’s a deep cuts show and this was a big hit, top five and better in most countries, but what the heck? My show is called So Old It’s New, after all, and when’s the last time you heard it unless you’ve listened to the Bridge Over Troubled Water album or a Simon and Garfunkel compilation, lately? I knew a Cecilia in Grades 7 and 8. Pretty girl, very nice, had the last (slow) dance with her at a school dance in Grade 8. Nothing developed, though, given my not finely-tuned antennae at the time.
Rod Stewart, You’re My Girl (I Don’t Want To Discuss It) . . . So, here’s the ‘girl’ song I was actually looking for when all the other ones preceding it in my set list came up. Nice rocker from Gasoline Alley, Stewart’s second solo album, 1970, when he was maintaining parallel careers alongside Faces, most members of whom backed him on his terrific solo releases between 1969 and 1974.
Dickey Betts, Bougainvillea . . . Co-written by actor and sometime musician Don Johnson, probably best known via the 1980s TV show Miami Vice. Johnson also does backing vocals on the track, a seven-minute piece featuring typically fine guitar from Betts, of Allman Brothers fame. It’s from the 1977 album, Dickey Betts & Great Southern (his backing band).
Steppenwolf, Monster/Suicide/America . . . Extended title cut from the band’s most politically-charged album in a career full of them, released in 1969.
The Notting Hillbillies, Railroad Worksong . . . From the wonderful one-off project by Mark Knopfler and then-Dire Straits bandmate Guy Fletcher. It resulted in just the one album, 1990’s Missing . . . Presumed Having A Good Time.
Dire Straits, Telegraph Road . . . Epic, 14-minute opener to the band’s 1982 Love Over Gold album.
Trapeze, Medusa . . . This is what happens when you get around to at least sort of tidying your place, specifically your spare room where the CD shelves are housed . You find and remember albums and songs from bands you’ve never played on the show because, well, you couldn’t find the damn record to download into the studio computer. Anyway, title cut from the 1970 album by Trapeze, the band singer/bassist Glenn Hughes was in before he was recruited for and joined Deep Purple in 1974. Hughes re-recorded the track for the 2010 debut album by Black Country Communion, the hard rock band also featuring guitarist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham and keyboardist Derek Sherinian.
Deep Purple, The Battle Rages On . . . Title track from the band’s 1993 album, the last one featuring the classic so-called Mk. II lineup of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover, drummer Ian Paice and keyboardist Jon Lord. It was the second reunion of the lineup, during which Blackmore finally had enough, mostly about fighting with Gillan in their mutual loathing society, and quit in the middle of the tour promoting the record. Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani came to the rescue to finish the tour and was asked to join the band but declined, preferring to focus on his solo career although he did open for Purple on subsequent tours, one of which I saw in 2004 with Steve Morse on guitar. Purple’s productive and excellent Morse period, which included eight studio albums between 1996 and 2021, ended in 2022 when Morse took first a temporary hiatus and then permanent departure to care for his wife, who is battling cancer. Simon McBride, an Irish singer/guitarist who stepped in for Morse on tour, has since been named a permanent replacement/full fledged member of Deep Purple, which is planning a new studio album for 2023.