So Old It’s New set list for Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Kinks, Around The Dial
  2. Golden Earring, Are You Receiving Me
  3. Paul McCartney, Coming Up (live)
  4. The Rolling Stones, Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor, from Grrr Live!)
  5. Family, The Weaver’s Answer
  6. James Gang, Take A Look Around
  7. Jeff Beck, My Tiled White Floor
  8. The Stooges, 1969
  9. The Stooges, 1970
  10. Deep Purple, Rat Bat Blue
  11. Procol Harum, Bringing Home The Bacon
  12. Judas Priest, Exciter
  13. Black Sabbath, Sabbra Cadabra
  14. Iron Maiden, Sign Of The Cross
  15. John Lennon, Bring On The Lucie (Freda People)
  16. Mountain, Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)
  17. Queen, Innuendo
  18. Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well (Parts 1 & 2)
  19. Jethro Tull, Back To The Family 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Kinks, Around The Dial . . . Good rocker with telling lyrics about corporate radio, and this is from 1981 when commercial rock radio actually would play a deeper cut like this. It was the lead song on the Give The People What They Want album, issued during a commercial hot streak for The Kinks that started with 1979’s Low Budget album and continued through State of Confusion in 1983 with the hit single Come Dancing and to a lesser extent with 1984’s Word of Mouth and the Do It Again single, although I think the Dave Davies-penned Living On A Thin Line about the decline of England, the third single from that album, and a track I should return to at some point, is the best song on the record. But back to Around The Dial and its lyrics: “You always played the best records, you never followed any trend, FM, AM, where are you? You gotta be out there somewhere on the dial” . . . “Where did you go, Mr. DJ, did they take you off the air? Was it something you said to the corporation guys upstairs? . . . somehow I’m gonna find ya . . . keep on searchin’ around the dial.” Try independent radio, you’ll find ’em. 🙂
    1. Golden Earring, Are You Receiving Me . . . I’ve said this a million times so I won’t repeat myself, too much. Ha. As discussed with a fellow random customer in my favorite local record store the other week, Radar Love isn’t the only, maybe not the best thing that Golden Earring ever did. Nor is the song Twilight Zone, good as it is – and the original TV series, side point, WAS amazing – but the song Twilight Zone isn’t from the Moontan album, which is the topic at hand here. Heck, Radar Love might not even be the best song on Moontan, which is a wall-to-wall great trek through just five extended cuts, including this song, in its original North American release.
    1. Paul McCartney, Coming Up (live) . . . This is the first version of the McCartney II album single I heard and probably a good thing because this live version, from a show in Glasgow, Scotland and later also released on McCartney’s All The Best compilation, and as a single, easily in my opinion trumps the synth-laden, speeded up vocals sound of not only the 1980 studio version of Coming Up but the entire II album. And, given McCartney released the live version on a compilation, he apparently realized which one was better or, at least, which one listeners preferred. As for the studio album, I admire all McCartney’s done, his legacy is obviously assured, and appreciate he was experimenting on II but, as I recall the FM radio DJ saying after playing the studio version and a few other songs from the album upon its debut in 1980, back when commercial rock stations did such things: “I dunno, Paulie, I dunno.”
    1. The Rolling Stones, Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor, from Grrr Live!) . . . I’ve been playing the recently-released live album, from a 2012 show in Newark, NJ of late in the car and this classic tune happened to come on as I pulled in to get some wine for Saturday night’s midnight ramble, so . . . A great 12-minute version as the Stones welcomed back their former guitarist Taylor for selected songs on the tour. Originally on the Let It Bleed album, the definitive version of Rambler arguably remains the live version, when Taylor was in the band, from Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out! which documents the Stones’ 1969 tour, but this one is epic as well as are all renditions I’ve seen live and heard, Taylor contributing, or not. The cool thing at the reunion shows with Taylor, was how when the Stones took their final bows they included him as one of the principals in the band. Definitely an emotional moment for him, and the fans. And from all accounts, he still can’t fully explain why he left the band in 1974 other than maybe songwriting credits, drug use and the overall travelling circus of being a Rolling Stone. But he certainly, by body language, enjoyed playing with them again and the feeling was obviously mutual including from his replacement, Ronnie Wood, a longtime friend and sometime collaborator.
    1. Family, The Weaver’s Answer . . . Well, it’s a holiday Monday in Canada, designated as Family Day in five provinces including my home province of Ontario, so I had to play something from Family, I suppose. It’s their signature tune.
    1. James Gang, Take A Look Around . . . Somewhat psychedelic, to my ears anyway, track from the debut, Yer Album, 1969. Penned by singer/guitarist/band leader Joe Walsh who of course went on to solo success and as a member of the Eagles.
    1. Jeff Beck, My Tiled White Floor . . . This song demonstrates to me why Jeff Beck was deservedly acclaimed for his versatility and diversity, musically. It’s from 2015’s Live + album of a 2014 tour plus two studio cuts, this one being one of them. It features drummer/singer Veronica Bellino, from the American alternative metal band Life Of Agony. It’s interesting, though, I find, given how such collaborations are viewed as people seem to be pigeonholed. Mick Jagger did the Superheavy album in 2011, a hybrid of rock, reggae, electronic pop and soul, with collaborators including Eurthymics’ Dave Stewart, and was trashed for it. Keith Richards on the other hand will do reggae albums like Wingless Angels that few have heard and is praised for them because he’s seen as the soul of the Stones, and I like both main songwriters in the Stones. I didn’t care for Superheavy much, either, at first although I’ve warmed to that album because I tend to recognize that artists may want to step out of their comfort zones and Jagger does that to a greater extent than any individual Stone. And commercially speaking, Superheavy did better than most Jeff Beck albums.
    1. The Stooges, 1969 . . . From the punk influencer’s self-titled debut album in, well, 1969. Great, infectious song. It’s hilarious reading some old reviews of the album. The critics liked this then-new band, but apparently hated admitting it. Rolling Stone magazine’s critic termed it ‘loud, boring, tasteless, unimaginative and childish . . . but I kind of liked it.” Famed rock music critic Robert Cristgau called it ‘stupid rock at its best” but gave it a B +. Years later, like when punk/new wave broke big in the late 1970s, these guys were probably saying people were ripping off ‘classic’ Stooges. Critics are often idiots. Me aside, of course. If the music moves you, just enjoy it for crying out loud. To quote Frank Zappa: “Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk (or think, depending on source), for people who can’t read.” I still read about rock, though, and Zappa, who gave many interviews, was also criticizing himself one would think.
    1. The Stooges, 1970 . . . The sequel, I suppose, although I prefer 1969 the song but 1970, from Full House, is up there in terms of quality, ‘stupid rock’ as it may be.
    1. Deep Purple, Rat Bat Blue . . . This just popped into my head while driving around doing errands on Saturday. So . . . It’s from 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are which is a great album despite what critics and even some band members may think. Woman From Tokyo, Mary Long, this, Our Lady, c’mon, it’s great, even if the so-called Mk II version of the band was in tatters at the time and soon broke up, with David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals) coming in to replace singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover for 1974’s Burn album.
    1. Procol Harum, Bringing Home The Bacon . . . Up-tempo tune from 1973’s Grand Hotel album, after the departure of guitarist Robin Trower for solo success although Trower wasn’t an original band member and not involved in arguably the band’s best-known song, A Whiter Shade Of Pale. Trower was there for the debut album in 1967 which followed shortly after Pale became a hit. The debut album included Conquistador, which was later re-released in a live version and became a hit in 1972.
    1. Judas Priest, Exciter . . . Fall to your knees and repent if you please. ‘Nuff said for this classic.
    1. Black Sabbath, Sabbra Cadabra . . . From 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Any time I play anything from the album I’m reminded of a poetry study segment from high school English class. We were assigned to provide poetry examples and one guy in class brings in the Sabbath album lyrics. It didn’t go over too well with the teacher, as I recall although I would have awarded points for creativity. The scenario is actually what prompted me to investigate the album.
    1. Iron Maiden, Sign Of The Cross . . . From the X Factor, the 1995 album that was the first of two with Blaze Bayley replacing Bruce Dickinson as Maiden’s lead singer. Good albums, in my view, including the second one, Virtual XI, although the fan base in general didn’t accept Bayley, as sales showed. Interestingly, though, Maiden still plays several Bayley-era tunes in its live sets, including this epic.
    1. John Lennon, Bring On The Lucie (Freda People) . . . All right boys, this is it, over the hill . . . the opening statement on this tune, from the Mind Games album.
    1. Mountain, Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) . . . Title cut from Mountain’s 1971 album, about whaling. Owen Coffin was a seaman on a whaling ship rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. Mississippi Queen gets most of the accolades as Mountain’s signature song and it’s warranted, but I have a tough time choosing between the two but of course they’re entirely different songs. Mississippi Queen is hooked by that hellacious riff while Nantucket Sleighride is more moody, mysterious and spooky. Like a whaling trip might be.
    1. Queen, Innuendo . . . Title cut from the 1991 album that was the last released in lead singer Freddie Mercury’s lifetime. And an excellent album it is, at least for fans who favor the earlier hard-rocking with progressive rock flourishes, like this track, of what Queen released until about 1980 after which their style changed.
    1. Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well (Parts 1 & 2) . . . It’s the way of compilations and I generally have the actual studio albums of bands I like, but it’s irritating that one never finds the full version of this amazing song, both parts, unless you happen to own or listen online to the fabulous Then Play On album. It’s the 1969 record that was the last in the band for founding member/guitarist Peter Green. And another album I got into thanks to the influence of my older brother.
    1. Jethro Tull, Back To The Family . . . And that’s a wrap for Family Day, with this family-oriented cut from the Stand Up album.

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