Drive-By Truckers, Let There Be Rock . . . I was debating whether to start the show with AC/DC/s Let There Be Rock or this one by the Truckers, but settled on this one since I overlooked a southern rock track last week and wanted to set things up, in that vein, with the next tune.
Blackfoot, Highway Song . . . I played the Outlaws’ Green Grass and High Tides and Molly Hatchet’s Fall Of The Peacemakers last week and mentioned that every ‘southern rock’ band seems to have a signature, Freebird-like song and in fact Molly Hatchet covered that iconic Lynyrd Skynyrd tune on their Double Trouble live album. So, anyway, I forgot this one from Blackfoot last week so here it is, another extended cut in the same vein and interesting in that Blackfoot leader Rickey Medlocke, who is a Blackfoot native American, was an original member of Skynyrd. He played drums on some sessions in 1971 and 1972 Skynyrd released their first album, some of the tracks of which later came out on the 1978 archival release Skynyrd’s First . . . And Last. He then formed Blackfoot before returning to the Skynyrd fold as a guitarist in the reconsitituted post-plane crash band.
Bill Wyman, (Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star . . . A hit single, in the disco vein, by The Rolling Stones’ bassist, released in 1981. As a Stones’ fanatic, I have all his solo work and while I don’t listen to it all that much, it’s not bad, especially the first two, Monkey Grip and Stone Alone from the early 1970s. And I do like Wyman’s long-ago contribution to the Stones’ Satanic Majesties album, In Another Land, always liked that tune on what is a much-trashed but actually quite good Stones’ album. In terms of Stones’ members solo work I’d rank the boys thusly: 1. Keith Richards. 2. Ronnie Wood (yes, indeed, his solo work is really good especially his first one, I’ve Got My Own Album To Do in 1974 before he was even in the band and Slide On This). 3. Mick Jagger, particularly the Wandering Spirit album which is his most Stones-like and very good. 4. Wyman. 5. Mick Taylor. Brilliant guitarist but sorry, for all the bitching he did about not getting songwriting credits while in the Stones, which might be true, what has he done that is even remotely memorable since he left the band in 1974? I mean seriously. I have literally all his solo work but all I ever listen to is his live stuff which is usually blues covers and Stones’ covers. Love the guy’s playing but, said it before and will repeat it now; I’d say he was more inspired by being in the Stones’ orbit and contributing to the songwriting partnership of Jagger-Richards than the reverse. He’s a great guitarist. That’s it. Not a bad thing, but he isn’t much of a songwriter or he would have long since proved it.
The Rolling Stones, Some Girls . . . Title, and controversial cut due to the ‘black girls just want to get fucked all night I just don’t have that much jam’ lyric. Great tune though. I finally heard them play it live on the stripped-down No Security tour show in 1999. As with the 1978 Some Girls tour, I have a special place for the 1999 tour because of its stripped-down nature and, especially on No Security, the band playing some little-played material like Some Girls the song, Moonlight Mile and the cover tune, Route 66.
Bill Withers, Who Is He (And What Is He To You?) . . . What a great cut from the late great (he died in 2020) artist who is so much more than his well-known hit tunes like Ain’t No Sunshine, Use Me and Lean On Me. Love the lyrics to this one, along with the soulful treatment and funky guitar work.
Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman . . . I seem to be on a relationship/breakup or whatever thing here by osmosis or whatever, what with the ever-pervasive song title thing I wind up getting into it’s pretty much unconscious, just seems to happen but that’s how our brains work, or at least mine, one thing leads to another. In any event, a great track by the boys, from the Crisis, What Crisis album and yet another band I must credit my older brother by eight years for getting me into when he first brought the previous album, Crime Of The Century, home. Inevitably I would have gotten into all of it, Zep, Hendrix, Tull etc but he certainly helped. RIP, Robert.
Blind Faith, Had To Cry Today . . . Speaking of whom, another via my brother, from the one and only studio album by the supergroup comprised of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. Amazing album, amazing tune.
Quicksilver Messenger Service, Who Do You Love (single edit) . . . Single version of the Bo Diddley track that, on the Happy Trails album, the band extended into a 25-minute suite. Which got me thinking, and thought of it before; I could do a show just of long tracks – stuff like this, Pink Floyd’s Echoes (which I’ve played before), Genesis’ Supper’s Ready (also previously played),Yes’s The Gates Of Delirium (which I almost played, recently) and so on, so maybe a 5 or 6 song set. But then you’d call me lazy. We’ll see. I may do it at some point.
Budgie, Who Do You Want For Your Love? . . . Typically great track from arguably this underappreciated Welsh hard rock band, although they’ve influenced many including Metallica, who has covered some of their tunes.
U2, Please . . . The Pop album seems to divide people about U2, or at least music journalism critics. I’ve always liked it, including this tune. Good bands, to me, don’t do bad music; they merely explore different things and if you like them, you go with them and are usually enlightened and, if not, that’s cool, too.
Gene Clark, No Other . . . Title cut on the 1974 album by the former Byrd-man. Great stuff, yet the album bombed. Go figure. For music aficionados, it’s well worth reading about the making of the album.
Tony Joe White, Polk Salad Annie . . . Elvis Presley covered this great tune written by White, the ‘swamp rock’ master. Super stuff.
Deep Purple, Painted Horse . . . An outtake from 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are album, later released on expanded reissues of the album. Nice bluesy tune featuring typically great guitar by Ritchie Blackmore.
Funkadelic, You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks . . . From Maggot Brain, an album I got into some years back on the recommendation of a friend. The title cut is brilliant, featuring the amazing guitar playing of Eddie Hazel; I’ve played it before, will again, almost did this week but settled on this shorter cut from the record.
Neil Young, Surfer Joe And Moe The Sleaze . . . From 1981’s Re-Ac-Tor album, which was panned by critics but I’ve always liked, probably because I like all Neil Young albums particularly those in which he calls on his Crazy Horse pals for backup. This one, too, reminds me of when I was out west at that time, northern Alberta in a house with two buddies, evenings spent just hanging out, maybe smoking some pot and one of my buddies had this newfangled (then) turntable you could hold and turn upside down and every which way and the record would keep playing. So, he’d constantly demonstrate it to us until inevitably it was like, ok, we get it, that’s nice.
Joe Jackson, Got The Time . . . Scorching kick butt track from his debut, Look Sharp. Another of those albums and artists I got into during college days. Metal band Anthrax later covered it and it’s funny on the internet to read comments from metal fans saying ‘this is a Joe Jackson song?” It maybe doesn’t compute because they might think of JJ as the jazzy Night and Day album onward, not realizing he really kicked punk/new wave ass on his first three records.
The Tragically Hip, At The Hundredth Meridian . . . Always been one of my favorite Hip tracks, from the Fully Completely album, typically great lyrics. And what other band can you easily find in a computer search of songs by plugging in the word ‘meridian’ ?
Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack (1970), Heaven On Their Minds . . . noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk noiyk or however one would write/sound out that freaking amazing opening guitar riff to this fantastic track from what for my money is one of the greatest albums of all time,soundtrack or otherwise. But you have to get the original version, 1970, not the 1973 shit show from the movie with present day ‘take’, the bus and all that crap I’ve never been able to get through. No, the one you want is the 1970 version, the one featuring Murray Head as Judas (singing here), Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame as Jesus and Yvonne Elliman, a huge contributor to Eric Clapton’s 1970s albums, as Mary Magdalene. Outstanding band featuring guitarists Neil Hubbard (Roxy Music, Joe Cocker, etc.) and the late Henry McCullough (Spooky Tooth, The Grease Band (backing Joe Cocker), Paul McCartney/Wings).
Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack (1970) Pilate’s Dream . . . Just a nice little ditty from Pilate, same album, figured I’d play it. I just like Pilate’s vocals, sung by the late Barry Dennen. I think, perhaps at Easter I suppose would be most appropriate, I might play the entire album on my show, it’s that good and worthwhile. 86 minutes with still some time to spare for other stuff. We’ll see how it goes. Nothing to do with religion, either, I was brought up Catholic but in the fun words of an old friend, I’m a recovering Catholic and long since a-religious.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dirty Pool . . . Typically great blues from the late great master.
The Specials, Gangsters . . . The track that got me into ska back in college. Saw The Specials on CITY-TV’s (Toronto) The New Music and I was hooked.
Triumph, Lay It On The Line . . . A hit, and I don’t usually play singles but as the show name goes, so old it’s new at least to some. I always think of this tune on the radio as my then college girlfriend and I were about to watch TV, or something, in her basement rec room one night. Turned out the song lyrics pretty much nailed our relationship. As for Triumph, not a major fan actually although I do love this track but much of their work is overproduced 80s-type stuff for the American market, just my thought. I do like Rock and Roll Machine, their cover of Rocky Mountain Way and the terrific cut from their self-titled debut, Blinding Light Show/Moonchild but that’s about it. I actually was going to play Blinding Light Show tonight but couldn’t find my damn CD to load into our station system. Maybe next time.
Robert Plant, Too Much Alike . . . A fun little duet with US country/folk artist Patty Griffin, with whom Plant had a relationship . This track was previously unreleased but out now on Plant’s outstanding two-CD (if one is still into the physical stuff, I am) compilation Digging Deep: Subterranea, released in 2020. It’s a great way to catch up on what the former Zep singer has been up to, if you haven’t been following (you should have been, ha ha) his great solo work up to the present. Griffin’s own work is well worth listening to.
Steve Earle, Six Days On The Road . . . This is relatively early stuff from Earle, great country rock.
Steely Dan, King Of The World . . . Funky track from 1973’s Countdown To Ecstasy, typically tight, nicely arranged, brilliantly played Steely Dan fare.
The Kinks, Shangri-La . . . Said it before. This ridiculously brilliant song that is a few songs in one, didn’t chart. Aside from in The Netherlands. Wise folk, the Dutch.
Jethro Tull, Blues Instrumental . . . And so this instrumental from the released in 1988 now apparently out of print Tull box set 20 Years of Jethro Tull which I of course own as a huge fan of the band, finally sees the light of day as a credited track on my show. I’ve used it as out-tro exit music to fill in any time, if needed, if I don’t time the shows exactly right, but this time it fit in as a full track in itself so, why not? It’s a nice slow blues tune. It was recorded circa 1978 by Tull then consisting of on this track, Ian Anderson (flute), Martin Barre (guitar), John Glascock (bass), John Evan (keyboards) and Barriemore Barlow (drums).