So Old It’s New set list for Monday, July 25, 2022 – on air 8-10 pm ET

  1. The Clash, 1977
  2. Elvis Presley, A Little Less Conversation
  3. The Rolling Stones, Rip This Joint (live, 1977 El Mocambo club version)
  4. The Beatles, Birthday
  5. Peter Gabriel, A Wonderful Day In A One-Way World
  6. The Police, It’s Alright For You
  7. King Crimson, 21st Century Schizoid Man
  8. Pink Floyd, Careful With That Axe, Eugene (live version, from Ummagumma album)
  9. David Gilmour, I Can’t Breathe Anymore
  10. David Wilcox, Drop Down Baby
  11. ZZ Top, Backdoor Love Affair
  12. Jeff Beck, Let Me Love You
  13. Rod Stewart, Passion
  14. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Flat Broke Love
  15. Billy Joel, Stiletto
  16. David + David, A Rock For The Forgotten
  17. Canned Heat, Harley Davidson Blues
  18. Warren Zevon, The Long Arm Of The Law
  19. Eagles, Teenage Jail
  20. Spirit, Animal Zoo
  21. Neil Young, Albuquerque
  22. Golden Earring, Sleepwalkin’
  23. Talking Heads, Blind
  24. Jethro Tull, The Zealot Gene
  25. Queen, Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
  26. Led Zeppelin, In My Time Of Dying
  27. Bryan Ferry, It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Set list with my song-by-song commentary:

  1. The Clash, 1977 . . . “No Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones in 1977” So I’m going to play some – and I love The Clash.
  1. Elvis Presley, A Little Less Conversation . . . Elvis, who died in 1977, is replying to The Clash, in advance, on this 1968 original version of the song. A remixed sort of techno version, at nearly twice the original 2:14 length, was released as a bonus track on the 2002 Elvis 30 #1 Hits compilation. It’s interesting, but I prefer the original.
  1. The Rolling Stones, Rip This Joint (live, 1977 El Mocambo club version) . . . Here’s the Stones out-punking the punks on this 1,000 mph/km/h even faster version of the Exile On Main Street cut, from the recently-released and very good full Toronto El Mocambo shows. And, as far as The Clash went, Joe Strummer, who obviously was being deliberately provocative and contrarian about artists who inspired his band, later said he enjoyed all eras of the Stones.
  1. The Beatles, Birthday . . . For my older son, who turns 34 today. It’s interesting that The Beatles, particularly John Lennon, who called it ‘garbage’ considered it something of a throwaway track, one that they came up with from scratch in the studio while recording The White Album. Some bands would kill for The Beatles’ throwaways.
  1. Peter Gabriel, A Wonderful Day In A One-Way World . . . I was putting the show together on Saturday night and had notes scribbled all over the place but was tired, went to bed relatively early and now I can’t find the ones I scrawled about this tune. Maybe I forgot to even jot anything down. I think so, actually, as I see every other song in my set list represented. Anyway, a funky tune, from Gabriel’s “Scratch’ album, his second of the first four that were all simply called Peter Gabriel although they’ve come to be known, due to their covers, in order as “Car’, “Scratch’, “Melt” or “Melted Face” and “Security”. Security, the fourth album, was also self-titled in the UK and elsewhere but the record company, with reluctant approval from Gabriel, slapped the word ‘Security’ on it as a sticker for the US and Canadian markets. Post-2010 reissues of the album have reverted to its original title. I suppose it could go by “Distorted” or “Distorted Peter” or some such because that’s what the cover is, a distorted image of Gabriel taken from an experimental video. Oh, and back to A Wonderful Day In A One-Way World. Fun lyrics: “Oh, there’s an old man on the floor, so I summon my charm; I say ‘hey scumbag, has there been an alarm?” He said, “Yeah, been selling off eternal youth, they all got afraid ’cause I’m the living proof. My name is Einstein, do you know time is a curve?” I said, “stop old man, you got a nerve, ’cause there’s only one rule that I observe; time is money and money I serve.” Glad I couldn’t find, or didn’t actually write, any notes for the Gabriel track on Saturday night. I wouldn’t have gone off on this nutty tangent writing this on Sunday afternoon, otherwise.
  1. The Police, It’s Alright For You . . . A fairly well-known Police track I think, could easily have been a single from their second album, Reggatta de Blanc, but it wasn’t. Instead the band went with Message In A Bottle and Walking On The Moon, to big success, slightly less so with the third and fourth singles – Bring On The Night and The Bed’s Too Big Without You.
  1. King Crimson, 21st Century Schizoid Man . . . This one, from the brilliant debut In The Court Of The Crimson King, embodies everything the influential band brings to the table – progressive rock, jazz rock, hard rock/metal. I like all of King Crimson’s work but their first album remains, for me, their best.
  1. Pink Floyd, Careful With That Axe, Eugene (live version, from Ummagumma album) . . . The live stuff on Ummagumma (the album is split between live versions of existing material and new studio originals) arguably outdoes most of the original studio versions that appeared on previous albums. This is an example but in any incarnation, this spooky stuff is terrific. Great title, too.
  1. David Gilmour, I Can’t Breathe Anymore . . . You’ve noticed the pattern, as I go playing with song titles again? From Birthday to here? No more hints. It’s pretty obvious. Anyway, nice one from Gilmour’s self-titled debut album, 1978. Starts as a slow, beautiful ballad, then ramps up with some frenzied guitar.
  1. David Wilcox, Drop Down Baby . . . I like these sort of spoken-word songs by Wilcox. He’s great at it. He’ll be appearing, yet again and that’s good, at this year’s Kitchener Blues Festival coming up in a couple weeks, Aug. 4-7. And off we go again, on a song title tangent. Just can’t help myself.
  1. ZZ Top, Backdoor Love Affair . . . ZZ Top just released a new album, Raw, comprised of new studio versions of many of their classic songs. I’ve listened to some of it, it’s good because ZZ Top is a good/great band and being the completist I am I’ll probably pick it up at some point while also wondering, what’s the point? I’d rather hear new original material from my favorite bands and I can’t say for sure of course but I think most fans feel the same way. Anyway, Backdoor Love Affair goes way back, to the first album which was called – wait for it – ZZ Top’s First Album. Clever and cheeky, those Texas troupers.
  1. Jeff Beck, Let Me Love You . . . The cover tunes – Shapes Of Things, Morning Dew, You Shook Me and I Ain’t Superstitious – seem to get most of the attention on the Truth album. They’re terrific, of course; the whole album is killer. But I’ve also always loved this one, written by Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, featuring the propulsive rat-a-tat attack of instrumentalists Beck, bassist Ronnie Wood and drummer Micky Waller. Interesting, perhaps, side note to Truth: It was credited to Jeff Beck but it is the Jeff Beck Group, first version of the band, featuring Stewart and Wood as constants on vocals and bass. The second album, Beck-Ola, was credited to the full group as were the two subsequent Jeff Beck Group albums, Rough and Ready and the self-titled fourth album, both issued after Stewart and Wood had gone on to Faces.

     

  2. Rod Stewart, Passion . . . Stewart went Chicago-like schlock after the late 1970s, the rot starting to set in, musically after brilliant beginnings to a career, with the massive disco hit single Do Ya Think I’m Sexy (admittedly catchy) and that’s when I gave up on him. But, in fairness, understandably, one supposes, from a creative point of view many artists would think, and I get it, why repeat yourself once you’ve done albums like the earthy, excellent ones Every Picture Tells A Story, Gasoline Alley and such between 1969 and 1974, backed by Faces as Stewart maintained parallel careers. And his work remained good, albeit more slick, from 1975’s Atlantic Crossing on, once Stewart went completely solo backed by crack session men. Arguably the only band that shamelessly repeats itself is AC/DC, whose genius is its ability to repeat itself yet actually still sound fresh and different each time out because despite what critics say, every AC/DC album and song is NOT the same. In any event, back to Rod Stewart. Even into the 1980s, for me, while I stopped buying his albums I did enjoy some of his singles; like this one that you rarely nowadays hear. It’s from the 1980 Foolish Behaviour album. All hail compilation albums, from which I pulled this, not being so foolish as to actually buy the Behaviour album. Nowadays, of course, pretty much everything is available in some form or other via the internet.
  1. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Flat Broke Love . . . Have I often enough said I think Randy Bachman is a great composer, bandleader and guitarist but a for the very most part shitty, embarrassing singer? Rock Is My Life And This Is My Song, anyone? Ugh, I mean Christ Almighty nice tune but give it to Fred (C.F.) Turner to sing for crying out loud. Yes, I have said as much. So I say it again. And yes, RB has some ok to decent vocal performances like Takin’ Care Of Business and You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet but overall his vocals are just too weak and ‘thin’ for me. So, goes without saying I prefer the Turner stuff, like this Turner-penned and sung track from the Four Wheel Drive album. Great bass line, too, naturally enough, since Turner played bass in the band. Egomaniacs, all these guys.

     

  1. Billy Joel, Stiletto . . . I loved Piano Man and The Stranger but was starting to part ways with Billy along the time of 52nd Street but still a quality album, and this one is one of my favorites of his. Some big hit singles – Big Shot, My Life, Honesty – came off the album but Stiletto remains for me the best track. The title cut is cool, too, short, sweet, smoky bar type bluesy, I’ll have to play it sometime. In fact I thought about it for tonight but went with Stiletto.
  1. David + David, A Rock For The Forgotten . . . I know I harp on this album – by the firm of Davids Baerwald and Ricketts – as being a maybe unknown absolute gem but all who know it, love it. Every song is great, lyrically and musically. Here’s another example.
  1. Canned Heat, Harley Davidson Blues . . . I was watching a documentary on William Harley and Arthur Davidson and their motorcycle company and I love Canned Heat so . . . It also stemmed from a chat I had with a friend about Altamont, the ill-fated Stones’ concert, “policed’ by the Hell’s Angels which got me thinking about motorcycles so I watched the documentary and, here we are.
  1. Warren Zevon, The Long Arm Of The Law . . . I love Zevon for his music but obviously to anyone who knows his stuff it’s his lyrics, too. Like in this song: “After the war in Paraguay, back in nineteen ninety-nine; I was laying low in Lima, working both sides of the borderline.” It’s Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner type stuff, akin to “he found him in Mombassa in a barroom drinking gin; Roland aimed his Thompson gun – he didn’t say a word but he blew Van Owen’s body, from there to Johannesburg”. And in The Long Arm Of The Law it’s the music, too, how he comes in with that Paraguay line after the first chorus at the 1:05 mark. Brilliant. This is creativity of the highest order, melding history and whatever else with music and few if any ever did it as brilliantly as Zevon. I suppose it appeals to me also because several of his songs reference Latin America and I spent nearly four childhood years in Peru, unforgettable life-shaping years in terms of outlook towards life. And when Zevon writes of those places, the turmoil, the exploitation by great powers, etc. it truly resonates. Anyway, this one’s from his 1989 Transverse City album and it features one other perhaps obvious but brilliant lyric: Only the dead get off scott free. RIP, Warren Zevon.
  1. Eagles, Teenage Jail . . . I’m not going to go into again how I think The Long Run, despite critics’ and even the band itself’s thoughts, is a brilliant album the equal of Hotel California. It just is, to me. And what a great, spooky, dark track this one is. “Loaaa-sst (lost) in the teenage jail” great vocals, lyrics, music.
  1. Spirit, Animal Zoo . . . I was going through Spirit songs and was having difficulty settling on one so I thought, eff it, I’ll pick this one because it’s from Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus and I recall some time back playing a Spirit track and an old work colleague of mine raving about the album, which is a great one and from which this song comes. You may expect some Spirit songs over the next few weeks though, we’ll see, because it was a tough choice as I went through their stuff for tonight’s show, so much great material.
  1. Neil Young, Albuquerque . . . Typically dark sort of tune, and a good one, from an album of darkness and drugs, Tonight’s The Night. That said, can’t help myself but every time I hear of the city Albuquerque the first thing that comes to mind is ill-spent youth watching The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour full of Looney Tunes cartoons including Bugs always going off course in his burrowing and uttering the line “I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque”.
  1. Golden Earring, Sleepwalkin’ . . . They’re so much more than Radar Love, the entire Moontan album from which it came, and the later hit Twilight Zone. Great band. Nice boogie tune.
  1. Talking Heads, Blind . . . One of those tunes where, back in the physical product buying days, you’ve long since given up on a band you liked but you pick up a comprehensive compilation and you find tracks like this you were unaware of but find you really like and of course most stuff is now available online to explore. It was the lead single from the Heads’ final album, 1988’s Naked. It was a minor success but, given its hypnotic groove, probably would have been more successful had it been on, say, the band’s first world music type album, the breakthrough 1980 release Remain In Light. Naked in fact was considered a return to that form, but the band broke up. The next release was the double disc compilation to which I refer, Sand In The Vaseline: Popular Favorites. It contains some previously-unreleased material along with the hits.
  1. Jethro Tull, The Zealot Gene . . . Politically-charged Ian Anderson’s views of the world on this title cut from 2022’s Tull album, the first under the band moniker in 20 years or so. It’s good. Not much different than Ian Anderson’s recent solo stuff and Martin Barre is no longer there on guitar but somehow, not sure why that is, but I find I’ll listen to and enjoy a Tull album more than an Ian Anderson one. Perhaps, and I plead guilty, I haven’t given his solo work proper the requisite listens although I own it all, but nothing’s really compelled me to re-listen after first go. Yet I’ve listened to The Zealot Gene many times since release. Weird, maybe.
  1. Queen, Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley . . . Separate songs seamlessly weaved together from the Sheer Heart Attack album, 1974. It simply has to be listened to as an entire piece. So many great parts to it but the one-minute mark “ooh, give me a good guitar…” Sublime.
  1. Led Zeppelin, In My Time Of Dying . . . One of those traditional blues tracks recorded as early as 1928 by Blind Willie Johnson that Zep shamelessly credited to the band itself but anyone who knows music knows all about that stain on Zep’s reputation. Bob Dylan covered it on his 1962 debut album and credited as ‘traditional, arranged by Dylan’. But Zep? No. So be it, they got and continue to get away with it other than various out of court financial settlements, and made and/or ‘adapted’ great music. Why they shamelessly stole, and are obviously uncomfortable in talking about it as many excuse/rationalization interviews over time suggest, only the band members, particularly Page and Plant, truly know.
  1. Bryan Ferry, It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue . . . Another show is over and, speaking of Dylan, here’s Ferry’s cover of his classic, a speeded up version from, appropriately enough, the Frantic album. Ferry, like Rod Stewart, is a great interpreter and usually peppers his solo work with cover tunes. His first solo album outside Roxy Music, 1973’s These Foolish Things, was all covers and in 2007 he released Dylanesque, a full-blown Dylan covers album. Like Stewart, Ferry’s selections are usually well-chosen and he makes the songs his own, in his own way.

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