Yes, Awaken . . . Somehow or other, tonight’s set, which was going to begin with Otis Redding’s Satisfaction (which is later in the list) morphed into a prog-rock show, at least for the first several songs. Like this one, the lone epic-length (15 minutes) track from Yes’s 1977 album, Going For The One, which saw the band record mostly shorter tracks.
The Alan Parsons Project, In The Lap Of The Gods . . . Spacey stuff from Parson’s 1978 album Pyramid, a concept record centered around Egypt’s pyramids and, apparently, the fact pyramid power was something of a ‘thing’ around that time. In fact I recall then-Toronto Maple Leafs’ hockey coach Red Kelly being into it but ultimately it still didn’t win the Leafs their first Stanley Cup since 1967, and they’re still trying.
Jethro Tull, Mine Is The Mountain . . . I’m a big Tull fan anyway so I’ll tend to find value in everything the band releases, and I’m really liking the new album, The Zealot Gene and this to me is one of the stronger tracks on it. My liking of Tull includes even the sythnesizer-heavy 1984 album Under Wraps which I hated at first but has grown on me over time as yet another example of how I like when bands I like try different things. The new album is more let’s say traditional, recognizable Tull and it’s terrific, already after a relative few plays having embedded itself into my brain.
King Crimson, Red . . . Heavy, metallic instrumental title cut from Crimson’s 1974 album, after which leader Robert Fripp put the band on hiatus until they returned with an updated, Talking Heads-type new wave sound for the Discipline-Beat-Three Of A Perfect Pair trilogy of albums starting in 1981.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Toccata . . . ELP introduced many rock fans to, or reminded them of, classical music, this track an adaptation of Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera’s piano concerto. It appeared on the Brain Salad Surgery album. It’s also probably the type of mind-bending track, especially the last two minutes, that a friend of mine was fearful of during college days when, stoned together, someone in our group sitting around my apartment suggested I put on some ELP and said friend – who moments earlier had been swimming the crawl stroke on my carpet – shrieked, ‘no, no, please, not that!” Luckily for him, I didn’t have any ELP handy at that point. Instead, I put on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, which was likely worse for my friend’s psyche. If I recall, he then transitioned to swimming the backstroke. Just kidding about that, but he really did do the crawl. Fun times.
Emerson, Lake & Powell, Step Aside . . . Drummer Carl Palmer wasn’t available due to contractual obligations to the band Asia when Keith Emerson and Greg Lake wanted to reform ELP in the mid-1980s. So, Emerson’s friend and drummer to the stars Cozy Powell stepped in for a new ELP’s lone, self-titled studio album from which I pulled this jazzy track.
Saga, Wind Him Up . . . Second single from the Canadian band’s successful 1981 album, Worlds Apart which also gave us their top-30 Billboard single On The Loose.
Rush, The Twilight Zone . . . From 2112 and a tribute to the classic TV show, the Rod Serling-created original one, not the 1980s remake, which I gather was not bad, or the god-awful, mercifully canceled 2020-21 version.
Black Sabbath, Air Dance . . . Jazzy, progressive-type tune from Sabbath’s Never Say Die album. If you didn’t know it was Sabbath, you wouldn’t know it was Sabbath, in my opinion. I like it.
Queen, Good Company . . . Yet another great Brian May-penned Queen song, this one a Dixieland jazz-type tune from A Night At The Opera.
Neil Young, F*!#in’ Up . . . Not much to say aside from the chorus says it all.
The Tragically Hip, Opiated . . . From the first full Hip album, 1989’s Up To Here, which followed their earlier self-titled EP. I bought this one, sight unseen, pre-internet, from a magazine review that said it was Stones-like and before songs like Blow At High Dough and New Orleans Is Sinking from it became hits. So it was kinda cool when they did, because I was rewarded by taking a chance on the review of what is, top to bottom, an excellent album.
George Harrison, Let It Down . . . I’m having one of those deja vu moments again, feeling like I just played this in a recent show but, searches indicate not the case and in any event, so be it if so. Harrison originally offered this a Beatles’ tune during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions but, like the title cut from what became his All Things Must Pass album, it was rejected by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, which contributed to Harrison leaving those sessions for about a week as detailed in the Get Back documentary. He just up and leaves at one point, telling the rest of the guys “I’ll see you around the clubs.” The next day, when John, Paul and Ringo reassemble, Lennon seems to shrug it all off, musing “if he’s not back by Tuesday, we’ll get (Eric) Clapton in.”
John Lennon, Meat City . . . A beautiful noise, I’d call this rocker, which was the B-side to the title cut Mind Games single from Lennon’s 1973 album.
Jefferson Airplane, Blues From An Airplane . . . Lead cut from Takes Off, the Airplane’s 1966 debut album, sung by Marty Balin. Spooky sort of psychedelia, only problem with it is, it’s too short at two minutes, 10 seconds. Then again, good to leave people wanting more.
Otis Redding, Satisfaction . . . The Otis treatment of the Stones’ classic and apparently, with the horns, the way Keith Richards initially envisioned it. I’m glad the Stones’ version turned out the way it did – although they’ve long incorporated horns on it on various tours – but also great that we have Redding’s interpretation. What an artist he was.
The Rolling Stones, Jump On Top Of Me . . . This boogie rocker was the B-side to the 1994 Voodoo Lounge album’s second single, You Got Me Rocking (which has become a Stones’ concert staple). Jump On Top Of Me was also in the soundtrack to the movie Pret-A-Porter (Ready To Wear), a somewhat obscure, critically-carved movie I’ve never seen but it does feature an all-star cast that includes Sophia Loren (who received a supporting actress Golden Globe nomination), Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts and Kim Basinger, among many others.
The Flying Burrito Brothers, High Fashion Queen . . . When I think of or play the Stones, the Burritos often come to mind due to Keith Richards’ friendship with the Burritos’ late leader Gram Parsons. So, here’s the country-boogie Burritos.
Joe Cocker, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood . . . First recorded by the immortal Nina Simone (I’ll have to play her version sometime) and turned into a big hit by The Animals, this is Cocker’s also terrific interpretation. It’s from his 1969 debut album, With A Little Help From My Friends.
Fleetwood Mac, Future Games . . . I’ve said it many times: the mid-period Fleetwood Mac featuring American guitarist/singer/songwriter Bob Welch is terrific, if often relatively underappreciated in between the original blues band led by founder Peter Green and the later Stevie Nicks-Lindsey Buckingham commercial juggernaut. This extended, Welch-penned ethereal title cut from the band’s 1971 album, Welch’s first with the group, is an indication. Welch later re-cut it, at less than half the eight-minute length,for one of his solo albums.
The J. Geils Band, Monkey Island . . . A friend of mine texted me last week, excited over his purchase, after all this time (about time, bud, ha) since its 1972 release, of J. Geils’ terrific Full House live album. I’ve mined it for probably all of its eight songs, over time. Great band, and our discussion prompted me to play this spooky title cut from the band’s 1977 album, which didn’t do so well commercially but is for the most part a terrific deep, dark, moody work.
Doug and The Slugs, Drifting Away . . . And we drift away into planning for next week’s show via one of my favorite relationship tunes, a time and place one for me as I was going through an, in the end, definitely ‘for the best’ breakup with a college girlfriend – although she was the one who introduced me to the Slugs.