So Old It’s New set list for Monday, July 18, 2022 – on air 8-10 pm ET

  1. Camel, Freefall . . . A debut entry, progressive rock band Camel, on the So Old It’s New show. Not sure why I haven’t played them before, probably couldn’t find my CDs in my music mess that never seems to get resolved but I have come to believe helps my creativity given my proclivity for ‘top of the pile of CDs to file’ shows – CDs that never get refiled, of course. Anyway, here you go with a great track from the band, from what many consider their finest album, 1974’s Mirage, the song featuring nice guitar from Andrew Latimer who is the lone remaining founding member, from 1971 in a band which continues to tour but naturally nobody wants to listen to new albums by old bands these days so Camel has not released any new studio work since 2002 and that’s fine. I was inspired to play Freefall after watching a documentary on extreme parachutists, some with parachutes, some without, in, er, freefall. So that leads me into my usual song title madness, as will be described in the commentary on the next few songs. Enjoy, or not.
  1. Elton John, Medley (Yell Help/Wednesday Night/Ugly) . . . Played it before, didn’t want to play it again but I have a very sensitive friend (kidding) with an easily bruised ego who suggested it some weeks ago. But I had already planned the show, so I didn’t play it but promised to, in time, so here it is but you must know, as stated when fragile friend suggested it, that if I’m going play it, everyone’s going to have to listen to even a truncated version of my story for this song and the album from whence it came – 1975’s Rock Of The Westies. That’s because it’s like a longtime band not playing tried and true ‘warhorses’ they might be sick of playing in concert: The diehards want to hear deep cuts but the band is in something of a bind since they risk someone seeing them for the first time not hearing a song they came to hear. So, the story, again: me and my football-playing teammates, lifting weights in our high school gym, 3 albums available to us to play on the school ‘record player’. The Beatles’ US compilation Something New, The Rolling Stones’ compilation Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits, Vol. 2) and Westies, the lone studio album of original music in the lot. And that’s how I got into what is a terrific EJ album although it marked the beginning of his 1970s commercial decline. But heck, the guy was, by contract, releasing two albums a year, the creativity had to wane at some point and it matters not anyway, because the legacy has long since been left. Oh, and the Yell Help part of it refers to the previous song, by Camel, Free Fall so the jumper is yelling help, get it? Yeah, I know, enough, already.
  1. U2, Last Night On Earth . . . A relatively underperforming single, the third one released from the Pop album, which divided fans and critics due to U2’s shift to electronica and such. This song is arguably less in that genre but regardless, it’s a great song, I like the album and so be it. As mentioned numerous times, I stick with bands I like on their creative travels, until and unless they totally lose me, like post-Terry Kath Chicago which, by the way, just released a new album, Born For This Moment. I discovered this new release had happened during a trip the other day to my favorite local music store. The new Chicago album is ok, I guess, and since I do like the band’s early work I always at least try their new stuff even while having given up on them. And, fortunately, there are means by which to sample music without feeling you’ve wasted money on something you don’t like although I do support buying artists’ material and am still into physical product. Anyway, the new Chicago sounds to me like the same type of shit they’ve been doing since the 1980s and I do admire the songwriting, but it’s just not the groundbreaking type jazz-rock fusion stuff they did early on. Which is interesting because if you look at Chicago set lists, they know where their bread is buttered as the majority of the songs they play live to this day are from the first three albums, plus the hits up to the end of the Kath era, 1978 and then some of the requisite huge hit schlock stuff. The first song on the new album is called If This Is Goodbye; wonder if that means Chicago is done, recording new stuff-wise, anyway. And how did I spend most of a U2 song segment on Chicago? Well, it’s done and was fun.
  1. Pantera, Cemetery Gates . . . Don’t fret, listeners who may know that Pantera is a very heavy, extreme to a degree band. I agree, to my ears at least. I remember when I first tried them out during the 1990s at an HMV store (remember them?) where they had listening posts and I was curious. I put on a Pantera album, Far Beyond Driven it was, their 1994 album that was a new release at the time and I thought, ‘this isn’t even music’ as I listened to this just heavy heavy stuff complete with growled, yelled vocals. Yet, I got into it as time went on. But not all their stuff is that way and Cemetery Gates is an example, it’s a ballad, of sorts, gets heavy but certainly palatable to most ears I would think. In any event, it fit, title-wise, into my Freefall, Yell Help, Last Night On Earth you get the picture, things not going well for whoever as death calls, ha.
  1. Slayer, Seasons In The Abyss . . . I’ve gotten back into Slayer recently. And my thoughts about them fit what I just said about Pantera. If you listen to, say, Slayer’s breakthrough album Reign In Blood it’s high velocity speed/thrash metal from start to finish, almost too much to take which is maybe why that album is just five seconds under 29 minutes long. Yet, the band could also slow things down, Black Sabbath-like, as with this title cut from their 1990 album and the preceding work, 1988’s South Of Heaven – a title I always remember my older son laughing about. Hellish, indeed.
  1. Wishbone Ash, Phoenix . . . Just a bloody amazing epic from a band who, with their much-ballyhooed twin lead guitar attack, inspired and influenced bands ranging from Iron Maiden to Lynyrd Skynyrd. This track features so many styles but you can definitely hear, at points, where Maiden was inspired to its ‘galloping’ approach. Oh, and the set has now risen from the phoenix, so to speak.
  1. The Rolling Stones, Brand New Car . . . It’s hilarious to read YouTube comments on this song, from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, about being inspired to buy a car after listening to it. It’s about women; the lyrics are an old blues technique – as other commenters point out to the great unwashed/inexperienced. Anyway, critics savaged the track for its lyrics while apparently ignoring the nice wah wah guitar. I’ve always liked it, critics be damned, of course.
  1. The Lovemongers, Battle of Evermore . . . So I dug out my Singles soundtrack to a movie I never saw nor care to see, most of it from Seattle grunge bands of the 1990s. It’s an excellent album, and I play a Mother Love Bone track that appeared on Singles, later in tonight’s set. Heart, though, was also from the American Northwest, worked out of Vancouver, BC in their early days, loved Led Zeppelin, covered Zep in concert and had a side project, The Lovemongers, who nicely did this Zep track.
  1. Joe Jackson with lead vocals by Marianne Faithfull, Love Got Lost . . . I mentioned some time back, after playing a JJ tune from the 1983 Mike’s Murder soundtrack that was essentially a stylistic sequel to Jackson’s 1982 masterpiece Night and Day album, that he did do a Night and Day II, in 2000, and that I’d get to some stuff from it eventually. Tonight’s the night, as JJ pairs with Mick Jagger’s former lover for this torch tour de force.
  1. David Bowie, ‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore . . . I originally had Bowie’s Always Crashing In The Same Car, from the 70s Low album, in my set as part of my death or risking death title openers, which also prompted me to then play the Stones’ Brand New Car, as life had risen like Wishbone Ash’s Phoenix and a new car/woman was out and about. But I realized I’d played the earlier Bowie tune fairly recently so I decided to go with this to me great up tempo tune from the late great Bowie’s final album, 2016’s Blackstar. It was released just four days before Bowie’s death. He went out on top, creatively.
  1. Taj Mahal, Satisfied ‘N’ Tickled Too . . . Taj, title-wise coming out of a session with Bowie’s whore from the previous song. Seriously, this is from 1976 and reflects Mahal’s unique approach to the blues. Brilliant artist.
  1. Patti Smith, Smells Like Teen Spirit . . . From a covers album, Twelve (songs) I continue to revisit both for my own listening pleasure and for the show. A terrific reinterpretation of the song that made Nirvana a household name. I love female rock singers and Smith is one of the best ever.
  1. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Mystery Man . . . Love that Petty drawl or however one would describe it on this one, a nice lazy groove tune from his debut album in 1976.
  1. Lee Harvey Osmond, Cuckoo’s Nest . . . Not sure what else I have to or can say about Tom Wilson, the great Canadian artist behind Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond, solo work and his contributions to Black and The Rodeo Kings. There’s nothing he’s involved in, musically, I don’t like.
  1. T. Rex, Jewel . . . Great stuff, guitar and otherwise, from the late great Marc Bolan’s band. Hypnotic.
  1. Gillan and Glover, Telephone Box . . . I suppose we in Canada could have used more of what are now considered relics, telephone booths, last week during one of our providers’ embarrassing, ridiculous, largely indefensible and poorly responded to outages. Anyway, good tune from a side project by the Deep Purple singer and bass player. Accidentally On Purpose was the name of the album by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, released in 1988. Dr. John plays piano on the album; noted session man Andy Newmark is the drummer.
  1. Mother Love Bone, Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns . . . Pulled this one, as mentioned previously in the set, from the Singles soundtrack. Extended piece, almost sounds like Guns ‘N Roses, vocally at least, in spots. To me, anyway.
  1. Atlanta Rhythm Section, Jukin’ . . . Nice southern rock, or just rock in general. Saw these guys eons ago, first Rolling Stones’ show I ever saw, July 4, 1978 at Buffalo’s NFL football stadium as they opened for the Stones on the Some Girls tour.
  1. John Lennon, I Found Out . . . Propulsive track from Lennon’s deeply personal 1970 album, Plastic Ono Band.
  1. Traffic, Freedom Rider . . . I imagine I would have eventually become a Traffic fan regardless, but my older brother bringing home the one and only Blind Faith album in 1969 sped up the process. Steve Winwood of Traffic was in the band along with Cream members Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, plus Ric Grech, most notably of Family. Cream I already knew about but Blind Faith spurred me to check into Winwood and Grech’s other bands.
  1. Genesis, Eleventh Earl Of Mar . . . I find inspiration for the songs I play in many things. Things I hear, see, read, songs I know that are favorites, people I talk to about music, it can happen in the snap of a finger. That’s the wonderful thing, to me. This one was inspired some weeks ago, by a chat about a previous set list with an old high school and college friend with whom I’ve reconnected via the show. He didn’t mention this track, specifically. But the inspiration for playing it remained with me after I played a Genesis song from the And Then There Were Three album and my friend asked “is that from the first album they did without (guitarist Steve) Hackett?” I replied yes, but Hackett stuck in my mind and I thought of playing some of his solo stuff, which I have before but instead settled on this, from his last album with Genesis, the 1976 Wind and Wuthering release. It was the second post-Peter Gabriel on lead vocals album, after the very successful A Trick of the Tail proved Genesis would remain a force after Gabriel. Wind and Wuthering was arguably the last record where Genesis was for the most part still leaning more towards the earlier 1970s progressive rock direction than the increasingly pop music avenues they later followed, to huge commercial success.

 

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