So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 25, 2022 – on air 8-10 pm ET

  1. Van Halen, Everybody Wants Some!! . . . Well-known Van Halen tune, although it wasn’t a single, from the Women and Children First album, 1980 complete with David Lee Roth’s fun bedroom rap about lines up the backs of stockings, sexy women’s shoes and so on. Hadn’t heard it in ages but happened to have one of my Van Halen personal mix CDs on in the car the other day, it brought me to laughter, so I decided to play it.
  1. Jerry Lee Lewis, Breathless . . . Continuing with the sex-type thing, er, theme, as you’ll notice from the next few titles. I just get going on this title/song content/theme connectivity stuff and can’t stop, what can I say?
  1. Elvis Presley, Baby, Let’s Play House . . . An Elvis B-side (of I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone) in 1955 that is one of his B-sides to chart, making the No. 5 spot on the US country list.
  1. Powder Blues, Nothin’ But A Tease . . . Slow blues from the Vancouver band, led by transplanted Chicago musician/producer Tom Lavin, that broke fairly big in Canada at the start of the 1980s via up-tempo singles like Doin’ It Right, Boppin’ With The Blues and Thirsty Ears. Lavin has also produced records by Canadian bands Prism and April Wine as well as Long John Baldry.
  1. Buddy Holly, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore . . . So, if you’re following along the song title connectivity thing, he wanted some, didn’t get it, was left breathless and she, who was nothing but a tease, didn’t want to play house so it just doesn’t matter anymore. Time to move on. In putting together the beginning of this set, what a reminder of how good Elvis, Jerry Lee and Buddy Holly were. Just so much great stuff. And in playing Holly, I got reading about him again and was reminded of the plane crash that took his life and that of Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper’ J.P. Richardson. It was a winter tour package of bands, people were getting sick on the tour buses so Holly decided to charter a plane to the next stop. The Big Bopper, ill with the flu, swapped spots with Holly’s band member Waylon Jennings while Valens won a coin flip with another Holly band member, Tommy Allsup, and took his seat on the ill-fated aircraft. Fate: take this path, or that one?
  2. Blondie, Accidents Never Happen . . . One of my favorite Blondie songs, nice beat, nice groove. It wasn’t a single from the Eat To The Beat album although a video was done for it so perhaps a video single but I’m not much into videos. Unless they’re straight ‘performance’ videos of the band playing its song, videos to me are like when a book becomes a movie and re-releases of the book come with whoever plays the lead character on the cover. I like to form my own images of what characters look like, or interpret song lyrics for myself, although I have seen the Accidents video and it’s a simple band ‘performance’ thing.
  1. R.E.M., The Wake-Up Bomb . . . I prefer R.E.M.’s rockier stuff. Like this one from the New Adventures In Hi-Fi album, 1996. Critics tend to rave over 1992’s Automatic For The People album, and it’s good, but I tend to listen to New Adventures more, there’s more songs on it that I like than is the case with Automatic. Music is all about personal taste, of course, but apparently singer Michael Stipe considers New Adventures as his favorite. So there.
  1. Pretenders, Complex Person . . . I had left the Pretenders behind in the early 1980s, after 1983’s terrific Learning To Crawl album as far as new studio releases went. But a few years ago, likely fueled by seeing Pretenders open for The Who and because their stuff was so cheap in a used CD store, I caught up on the discography and am fully up to date, including Chrissie Hynde’s solo albums. And, at least to me, they’re one of those longtime bands/artists that continue to produce worthwhile music up to the present. This now 20 year (!?) old song, from 2002’s excellent Loose Screw album is an example.
  1. The Kinks, Complicated Life . . . The Kinks’ Ray Davies and Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde were once a couple, so I put them back-to-back in my set, talking about complicated complexities. This one’s from a Kinks’ masterpiece, 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies which, criminally, didn’t even chart in the UK and made just No. 100 in the US. Ridiculous to me, because the album – like many underappreciated except for Kinks’ fans albums – is brilliant. Country rock, blues, music hall, they could do it all.
  1. The Guess Who, Life In The Bloodstream . . . Fairly well-known Guess Who track but it wasn’t a single. It’s from 1971’s So Long Bannatyne album but I pulled it off a personal Guess Who favorites CD of hits and deep cuts, two volumes, I burned years ago. And in going over those tracks as I planned this show, once again obvious was how the depth in quality of The Guess Who’s output is astounding.
  1. Murray McLauchlan, Sweeping The Spotlight Away . . . Title cut from the Canadian folk rocker’s 1974 album, which yielded one of his biggest hits, Down By The Henry Moore.
  1. George Harrison, It’s What You Value . . . I’ve always liked this pop rocker from Harrison’s 1976 album, 33 1/3. The lyrics are about Harrison paying noted session drummer Jim Keltner with a Mercedes in lieu of money, for playing on Harrison’s 1974 tour. It took some convincing for Harrison to get Keltner to go on tour, but he finally got him by promising Keltner a new car to replace his old van. Or so the story goes. According to Harrison’s liner notes on remastered versions of the album, the rest of his band members then moaned that all they got was money for playing, while Keltner got a Mercedes. If it were me, I’d want money and then spend it on what I want, even maybe a Mercedes. First world problems, as the saying goes.
  1. John Lennon, God . . . One of Lennon’s finest, musically and of course lyrically, from the Plastic Ono Band album. I’ve played it before, deliberately played it again to set up . . .
  1. U2, God Part II . . . U2’s fine, rockier sequel, which appeared on the Rattle and Hum combination studio-live album.
  1. J.J. Cale, Call The Doctor . . . This song is why you buy – or in the modern world, investigate online – studio albums, not just compilations, if you’re deeply interested in an artist. Typical J.J. Cale, as was often the case with him, a short, bluesy shuffle leaving you wanting more. But you’d have to have, or listen to, his 1971 debut album, Naturally, to hear it. One of my personal favorites, I find it amazing it’s not on any of the various J.J. Cale compilations.
  1. Dire Straits, Where Do You Think You’re Going? . . . One of my deja vu moments. I feel like I’ve played this too recently but, my research indicates no and in any event, my new thing is, so what if I did? Great tune, from the band’s second album, Communique, but of course Dire Straits was so consistently good throughout their six studio albums.

     

  2. Jim Croce, New York’s Not My Home . . . This wasn’t a single, although it appears on Croce’s posthumously-released greatest hits album. Good tune, as is most of this late artist’s work, sadly lost to us in the early 1970s, like Buddy Holly many years before him, in a plane crash flying between tour stops.
  1. Eagles, King Of Hollywood . . . I’ve said it before but I like The Long Run album, even though critics, and the band members themselves, have tended to dismiss it. I suppose, when you’re trying to follow up Hotel California, anything will pale in comparison but in some ways I find The Long Run rawer, edgier – like this tune – and better, which can tend to happen when a band is fried, fraying, having a difficult time in recording, etc. Conflict and difficult circumstances often makes for great art. All a matter of taste and opinion, of course.
  1. Steve Earle and The Dukes, The Tennessee Kid . . . Second time in 2-3 weeks I dig back into Earle’s 2015 Terraplane album, a terrific record I’ve only recently gotten into – and into it major I am – thanks to a recommendation from a music acquaintance on Twitter. Spoken word opening transitions into a pulsating groove overlaid with not so much singing but more of an ongoing spoken monologue.
  1. Bob Dylan, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again . . . It’s Dylan. Seven minutes, nine verses of typically great lyrics as only Dylan can enunciate them, with that great chorus, love the drumming, the playing, the feel, the song. All a matter of taste of course and some people, still, say Dylan can’t sing. Well, he’s distinctive, certainly not cookie cutter, and simply great – the best Bob Dylan singer there ever was or will be but, sure, not to everyone’s taste. I had always known Dylan, largely via my older brother who was a big fan and as I’ve often mentioned, a huge musical influence. I remember him bringing home the John Wesley Harding album when it came out, 1967. But I had been only a compilations collector of Dylan’s stuff until truly getting into this song, and the Blonde on Blonde album, one afternoon in Peace River, Alberta, 1981. Fresh out of college and having moved west in pursuit of my journalism dream, I was living in a house with several other people. Fun times, one of those life instances where you become friends with people by moving in with them to share rent, instead of becoming enemies by moving in with friends, as can happen.

    Anyway, everyone was out and I happened to be alone, lying on the couch, reading, when I saw one of my roommates’ Blonde on Blonde pre-recorded cassette sitting on a coffee table. I popped it in the player and soon enough, as is the case with me and Dylan, down went the book because I can’t do other things when I listen to Dylan, he pulls me in to full attention. So I just lay back and took the whole album in, and the rest is history. I didn’t have to buy it for a while, because we all shared our music in that house, but soon enough, I was on my own and the album was a regular visitor to my turntable as were Dylan’s other studio works as I collected his entire output.

  1. Them, I’m Gonna Dress In Black . . . Early Them fronted, of course, by Van The Man Morrison. It’s largely due to the organ in this bluesy track but it struck me, in picking this tune, how some Them songs sound like early Animals or, I suppose, vice-versa. I pulled it from a wonderful 3-CD (including a rarities/outtakes disc) Them compilation I own – The Complete Them 1964-1967, with liner notes written by Van the Man. Morrison can often be, or come across as, a curmudgeon, but he’s obviously justifiably proud of Them’s work, ending his insightful notes with “I think of Them as good records. The best part was actually doing the tracks: the best part, and the most enjoyable. There’s a lot of good stuff here.” Indeed.
  1. Johnny Cash, Man In Black . . . Back to my song connectivity thing: The Them song title sets up this famous call to make things bright, as my set list actually grows darker, if anyone’s following along. I still am, ha. We’ve gone from sex to God to travel and approaching the dark side . . .
  1. The Rolling Stones, Dancing With Mr. D . . . via this Stones’ pseudo-sequel to Sympathy For The Devil. It was the opening cut on 1973’s Goats Head Soup album.
  1. Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells, Part One . . . The first part of Oldfield’s masterpiece was used, of course, as the theme music to the horror film The Exorcist, which naturally boosted sales of Oldfield’s album. According to Wikipedia, Exorcist director William Friedkin had decided to scrap the original score for his movie, written by Lalo Schifrin (perhaps best known for the iconic theme music for the original Mission Impossible TV series) and was seeking alternatives. Friedkin decided on Tubular Bells when, on a visit to Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun’s office, Friedkin saw the album lying around and put it on the stereo. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. I figured I’d play all 25 minutes of Part One by the same sort of happenstance. I was going through CDs, Tubular Bells popped up, I hadn’t played it in ages, did so, realized how much I still like it, how others might, too, and decided to go with it. So now I suppose I’m committed to playing the rest of the album, Part Two, at some future point, perhaps in another long song show. We shall see.

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