The Rolling Stones, Hold On To Your Hat . . . I can’t remember what song it was, not this one, but I recall reading a review of a Rolling Stones’ album once, about a particular track, and it was described as “a typical Stones’ belter.” Anyway, Hold On To Your Hat, from the Steel Wheels album, is another of those. It’s a stripped-down Stones, Keith Richards and (yes) Mick Jagger on guitars, Charlie Watts on drums and Ron Wood on bass in place of the absent Bill Wyman, who was probably off whining about being denied song credits or something – which his for the most part bland solo albums show was the right thing to do, just have him shut up and play bass on Stones’ material. Ah, I remember the other ‘typical Stones’ belter’ now. Interesting how that happens, one thought prompting another. The other song is Sad Sad Sad, with the ‘typical Stones’ belter’ reference coming from my trusty The Rolling Stones Complete Recording Sessions book. Wyman doesn’t play on Sad Sad Sad, either. Actually, he was in Antigua at the time for a press conference to discuss his then upcoming 1989 marriage to Mandy Smith, who was age 13 at the time they met, 18 when they married and now 52, which was Wyman’s age on wedding day. They divorced after 23 months. Later, Wyman’s age 30 son married Smith’s mother, then age 46. That one lasted a couple years. On to the next tune.
Ramones, Journey To The Center Of The Mind . . . Not sure why but some critics, and even the band members themselves, savaged Acid Eaters, the band’s 1993 covers album of songs from their favorite artists of the 1960s. I like it, including this version of the Amboy Dukes’ hit.
Sex Pistols, Pretty Vacant . . . From, of course, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols album, the shooting star band’s one and only official studio album. That’s it, that’s all, we’re done, folks. But what a legacy we left.
Dead Kennedys, Holiday In Cambodia . . . Not sure how I got into this punk phase on the show, it just happens as I let my muse move where it might take me, which can be all over the place which is the fun of it. Anyway, played this one before, probably too recently, but I like it, so here it is.
Link Wray, Jack The Ripper . . . I watched a great documentary the other day about how indigenous music mingled with black music to help fuel rock and roll. It was very enlightening, both from a musical and social point of view. It was called Rumble, after Link Wray’s most famous tune, which popularized the power chord and distortion. He had so many great tunes, Jack The Ripper being another of them.
The Monkees, You Told Me . . . So many songs, so little time each week, relatively speaking. I had this one pegged for last week’s show but in putting it together, I got up the next morning, saw I had forgotten it to include it, didn’t want to reshuffle my song order, so pushed it ahead to this week. Another good one written by Mike Nesmith, who went on to a country music career among other diverse pursuits to do with entertainment.
Joe Jackson, A Slow Song . . . A counterpoint, from a guy who started out as an angry young man punk/new wave rocker, to that sort of thing, and all aggressive music. Even JJ would acknowledge, though, that music is all about mood, and deliberate changes of direction – for instance going from Link Wray to the Monkees to a contemplative Joe Jackson.
Bloomfield/Kooper/Stills, Really . . . From the first side, or half on CD, of the Super Session album featuring Al Kooper and guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills. Bloomfield does the honors on this one. He checked out and went home after the first day of sessions, saying he’d been unable to sleep, which was how Stills – heeding Kooper’s desperation call – wound up on the album.
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Midnight Moses . . . Could be an AC/DC song, or vice-versa. Harvey beat ’em to it, though, with this riff rocker that originally was released in 1969 on Harvey’s solo album Roman Wall Blues, then was re-released in 1972 on the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Framed album. Nice riff, great vocals.
Ian Dury & the Blockheads, It Ain’t Cool . . . Funky tune from the final Blockheads’ album, Ten More Turnips From The Tip. It was recorded at various times over a 10-year period and finally compiled and released in 2002, two years after Dury’s death. As the story goes, Dury’s wife found a list of songs under what became the album title in her husband’s papers and gave the surviving band members her blessing to complete the album.
Peter Tosh, 400 Years . . . Written by Tosh, it first appeared on The Wailers’ Catch A Fire album in 1973. Tosh later re-recorded it and it came out as an extra track on a reissue of Tosh’s 1977 album, Equal Rights. Space doesn’t permit, but the convoluted history of the Wailers, Bob Marley and The Wailers, their record releases and how they were labelled, does make for interesting reading.
Bob Marley and The Wailers, Concrete Jungle . . . Speaking of that convoluted early Wailers’ discography . . . This one is from Catch A Fire, which was a Wailers’ album. Or a Bob Marley and The Wailers album. Different covers, too. OK, you can read all about it at your leisure. I’m moving on.
Deep Purple, Nobody’s Home . . . From the very successful 1984 reunion album of the so-called Mark II version of Purple – Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and Ritchie Blackmore, the first time they’d recorded together since 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are album. It sounded like they’d never been away.
Lee Harvey Osmond, Blade Of Grass . . . Tom Wilson is an amazing artist. I say that often. He’s demonstrated it with Junkhouse, on his own, as a member of Black and The Rodeo King and with his Oswald, er, Osmond project. That’s it, that’s all.
Big Brother and The Holding Company, Combination Of The Two (live at Monterey Pop Festival) . . . A version of this was on the Cheap Thrills studio album, which was dressed up with crowd noise recordings to sound like a live album. This version actually is Janis Joplin and company, live at Monterey.
Queen, Good Company . . . Written and sung by guitarist Brian May, many of whose songs are among Queen’s best. He also plays ukulele. Great Dixieland-type tune.
Bad Company, Nuthin’ On The TV . . . From 1982’s Rough Diamonds album, the last studio work featuring the original lineup of singer Paul Rodgers, guitarist Mick Ralphs, drummer Simon Kirke and bass player Boz Burrell. Another in a line of rock songs that dismiss TV, among them the ‘Thirteen channels of shit on the TV” lyric in Pink Floyd’s Nobody Home and Bruce Springsteen’s 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On), both of which I’ve played recently.
Ten Years After, Hold Me Tight . . . TYA wrote the song but it could easily be a Jerry Lee Lewis number. Well done, too.
Kansas, Bringing It Back . . . Good, tight rocker from the debut, self-titled Kansas album in 1974.
Moon Martin, Hothouse Baby . . . If you only know Moon Martin from his well-known hit Rolene, or Robert Palmer’s version of Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor), you’re only scratching the surface of a good, usually rocking, artist’s ouvre.
Dave Loggins, Please Come To Boston . . . This one, from 1974, came out of nowhere. Or, more accurately, from me perusing songs I’ve loaded into the station computer system over time. It was a big hit for singer/songwriter Loggins and also for Joan Baez. I hadn’t heard it in ages, was reminded of it, so I’m playing it. So Old It’s New, and all that. Oh, and Dave Loggins is the second cousin of Kenny Loggins.
Five Man Electrical Band, Absolutely Right . . . See previous thoughts re Please Come To Boston.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Things That I Used To Do . . . SRV’s cover of the Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) 1954 hit. It appeared on SRV’s second album, Couldn’t Stand The Weather, 1984.
Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, New Coat Of Paint . . . Singles choices from albums are often interesting. Seger didn’t pick this excellent cover of a Tom Waits’ tune as a single from his 1991 album The Fire Inside. I think it, along with his own Take A Chance, are the best songs on the record – better, to me, than the actual singles, The Real Love and The Fire Inside.
Alice Cooper, Unfinished Sweet . . . I’ve always loved the “I come off the gas’ return to Alice singing, off the instrumental break, in this tune from Billion Dollar Babies.
Pink Floyd, Dogs . . .Epic from one of my favorite Floyd albums, Animals. Inspired by new neighbors who just moved into the unit across the hall from me. They have dogs. How do I know? Just about every time I leave my place now, I hear barking as my movements apparently stir the dogs to action. I met them for the first time the other day as I was leaving my unit just as the dogs, two monsters, came out of their unit to take one of their humans for a walk.