54-40, Music Man . . . My kind of tune, funky, nice bass line, wah wah guitar. From 1992’s Dear Dear album, which got me into 54-40 via the hit singles She-La and Nice To Luv You. Music Man was also a single, but didn’t do as well. Hence, it’s a deep cut, for my purposes.
Santana, All Aboard/Conquistador Rides Again (live) . . . All Aboard is a fiery instrumental from IV, the 2016 album that reunited most of the surviving members of the original Santana band of the early 1970s. I merged it with Santana’s extended interpretation of jazz drummer/bandleader Chico Hamilton’s Conquistador Rides Again, from the Live at The Fillmore ’68 album that didn’t see official release until 1997.
Little Feat, Day Or Night (live) . . . From one of the great live albums, Waiting For Columbus.
Elton John, Boogie Pilgrim . . . Speaking of Little Feat, EJ does a good impersonation on this funky jam from Blue Moves, a sprawling double album I largely dismissed upon its 1976 release. And except for the massive single Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word it did signal the start of a decline in Elton John’s commercial and critical fortunes. But, it’s one of those albums that, over time and repeat listens, continues to reveal its many gems.
Moby Grape, Changes . . . Haven’t played these guys, from the 60s San Francisco scene that also bred the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, among others, in a while. So, here you go with this up-tempo tune from their 1967 debut.
Gov’t Mule, Birth Of The Mule . . . One would think the band would have put this on their first album, the self-titled debut in 1995. But it’s on their second studio work, Dose, from 1998. Then again, a different song, Mule, is on the first album. Anyway, this one’s a tribute to Miles Davis and his Birth of The Cool album.
Budgie, Black Velvet Stallion . . . From one of my favorite bands, the arguably underappreciated yet influential Budgie. This came out in 1976 and the Eagles may have been listening, as Those Shoes (one of my favorite Eagles’ songs, from 1979’s The Long Run album) is similar.
Procol Harum, Bringing Home The Bacon . . . So much great music out there, so (relatively) little time in a weekly two-hour show so it sometimes feels like I’m on a long, circular track or winding road, with various band/artist stops along the way that I eventually get back to. Like Procol Harum. This is from 1973’s Grand Hotel album. Nice guitar work from Mick Grabham, who replaced Dave Ball, who had replaced Robin Trower.
Billy Gibbons, Desert High . . . Spooky, bluesy track from Gibbons’ third solo album, Hardware, released in 2021. He’s said ZZ Top will be releasing new studio work, although we’ve had nothing since 2012’s La Futura. Bassist Dusty Hill, who died last year and has been replaced by his bass tech Elwood Francis, did apparently leave behind recorded instrumental and vocal tracks for a new album of original material.
Headstones, Do That Thing . . . Love the stop-start pace of this one, from the 1997 album Smile and Wave. Typically fun Headstones’ lyrics: “We got Jesus, He’s drinkin’ beer, He’s playin’ cards, He’s shootin’ dice, He’s drinkin’ whiskey and He beats his wife; and it’s the same song He always sings, He’s got it all ’cause His dad’s the king . . . ”
The Rolling Stones, Complicated . . . Inspired by a recent chat with a friend about the Stones’ early stuff, during which I mentioned how much the Between The Buttons album has grown on me over the many years since its 1967 release. It’s a very inventive record, from which I pulled this song.
Supertramp, A Soapbox Opera (live) . . . Originally on 1975’s Crisis? What Crisis?, this is the live version from the Paris album, released in 1980 and recorded on the massive Breakfast In America album tour, which is when I saw the band in Toronto.
Eric Clapton, The Core . . . Slowhand is such a great album, every track a worthwhile listen, full of hits and well-known tunes like Cocaine, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight and Next Time You See Her. Yet this extended, nearly 9-minute workout, with Marcy Levy sharing lead vocals with EC, might be my favorite of them all. Depends on time, place and mood, of course.
Spooky Tooth, Weird . . . 1967 psychedelia from another band I haven’t played in a while but really like. Gary Wright on lead vocals, eventually to go solo and give us the mid-70s hits Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive. He wasn’t in the band in 1967, but future Foreigner mastermind and guitarist Mick Jones (different guy than The Clash’s Mick Jones) was in Spooky Tooth in a later incarnation, 1972-74.
Grateful Dead, Attics Of My Life . . . From American Beauty. Sounds like/could be The Byrds, to me, songs like that band’s He Was A Friend Of Mine, and the Dead was hanging out a bit with former Byrd David Crosby at the time and were admittedly influenced by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Vanilla Fudge, All In Your Mind . . . More psychedelia, from 1968.
Bob Dylan, What Was It You Wanted . . . From the brilliant, Daniel Lanois-produced, Oh Mercy album, 1989. Who are you, anyway? – Dylan.
Peter Frampton, I Wanna Go To The Sun (live) . . . From, what else, the 1976 ubiquitous monster, Frampton Comes Alive! Another in a long list of big and in some cases career-defining 1970s live double albums, like Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus, which I played earlier, Bob Seger’s Live Bullet, Kiss Alive, Wings Over America . . .
Dire Straits, Where Do You Think You’re Going? . . . It’s interesting reading reviews of Dire Straits’ second album, Communique, from which this song is drawn. Many such reviews suggest it’s a pale imitation of the debut. I disagree. A remarkably consistent band over the course of their six studio albums.
The Animals, Baby Let Me Take You Home . . . The band’s first single, 1964. It made No. 21 in the UK, No. 102 in the US and didn’t chart anywhere else. Yet, it’s an influential track and makes for interesting reading in that it’s similar to the traditional folk tune Baby Let Me Follow You Down as covered by Bob Dylan on his 1962 debut album, and the Animals’ electric treatment of it was apparently an influence on Dylan going electric.
George Harrison, Bye Bye, Love . . . Another revamping, this one Harrison’s interpretation of a song made famous by The Everly Brothers, from the Dark Horse album, 1974.
John Mayall, Looking Back . . . Mayall’s version of the Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson tune. “I was looking back to see if she was looking back to see if I was looking back at her.” So true.
J.J. Cale, Thirteen Days . . . Like Dire Straits, which he greatly influenced, Cale is to me another artist whose work is/was remarkably consistent. Every album and song sounds somewhat the same but in a reliable yet different sort of way, always compelling, never boring.
The Allman Brothers Band, End Of The Line . . . And we reach the end of the line for another week.