Atomic Rooster, Head In The Sky . . . Up tempo tune from the UK progressive rock band originally formed by Crazy World Of Arthur Brown alumni Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer, the drummer who is not featured on this track from the third album, In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster. Palmer had departed by then to join Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Romantics, Rock You Up . . . I dug this one up while sorting my CDs, another band from my college days. Perhaps best known for their first hit, What I Like About You, in 1980, they released this track in 1983. It was the second single from the In Heat album, which yielded the top 5 single Talking In Your Sleep.
The Rolling Stones, Stray Cat Blues . . . One of my favorite Stones’ tunes, for the lascivious opening alone but just a great track throughout. I was undecided as to whether to play this or Sister Morphine, from Sticky Fingers (perhaps next week; I always play a song from my favorite band). So I ran it by a buddy of mine and, not surprisingly since he loves the Beggars Banquet album, he suggested I go with Stray Cat.
Bruce Springsteen, Candy’s Room . . . I’ve been in a Springsteen phase of late. This great rocker comes from the brilliant Darkness On The Edge Of Town album, so good it could be a greatest hits album.
Collective Soul, Love Lifted Me . . . I’ve loved this Georgia band’s sound, gritty, grungy guitars, since their debut album Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid in 1993. Like most people, perhaps, got into them via their debut No. 1 single, Shine, from that album. Love Lifted Me is a nice deep cut from the same record, up tempo, typically hypnotic Collective Soul riff.
Eagles, The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks . . . Fun little ditty from The Long Run, the followup to the monster Hotel California album which, to me, gets unfairly panned. I think it’s a terrific album, The Long Run, full of great songs and what do the rock critics know, anyway? Sales aren’t necessarily the barometer of great art, but it’s a great album and has sold more than eight million copies in the USA alone.
Elton John, Madman Across The Water . . . I love this somewhat spooky title track from EJ’s 1971 album. It was originally scheduled for the previous album, Tumbleweed Connection, but was held back and came out as the title cut to the next record. I didn’t know this until a while ago but apparently when it came out, some thought the lyrics were about then-US President Richard Nixon and maybe they were, although lyricist Bernie Taupin said no: “I thought, that is genius. I could never have thought of that.” I never thought of it, either, and reading the lyrics well, maybe, but, doubtful, to me. It matters not. Great song.
Carole King, Smackwater Jack . . . I mentioned earlier in the set how Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town could be a greatest hits album. If any album could be seen that way, it’s King’s Tapestry, from which I pulled this relative deep cut. What a ridiculously great album Tapestry is.
Headstones, Leave It All Behind . . . Active from their great debut, Picture Of Health in 1993 until 2003, these hard-rocking Canadian boys got back together in 2011 and picked up as if they never left. This typical blistering track is from their most recent release, 2019’s PeopleSkills.
AC/DC, Burnin’ Alive . . . Great, slow-building track from the, I think, underappreciated Ballbreaker album in 1995. AC/DC generally isn’t a political band in terms of lyrics, but there are various theories as to what this one’s about. Many think it’s about the Waco, Texas siege in 1993 and I tend to subscribe to that notion, but I just read another view, that it could be about Centralia, Pennsylvania, where a coal mine fire has been burning beneath the almost-completely abandoned town since 1962. That’s a fascinating story in itself, well worth researching.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Graveyard Train . . . CCR has so many great singles but when you dig deeper they are so much more in terms of album tracks, including this extended, hypnotic, bluesy excursion from Bayou Country, 1969.
Janis Joplin, Mercedes Benz . . . Fun little tune from Joplin’s last, posthumously-released album, Pearl. This was the last song she ever recorded. Love her spoken word intro, and cackle at the end.
John Lee Hooker, John L’s House Rent Boogie (1950 version) . . . George Thorogood later famously took this tune and combined it with the next one I’m playing by Hooker, into his own extended version of One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer that appeared on Thorogood’s 1977 debut album. Great blues by an original master, Hooker.
John Lee Hooker, One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer . . . From Hooker’s 1966 release, The Real Folk Blues. Great stuff.
Bobbie Gentry, Mississippi Delta . . . Best known for her 1967 smash Ode To Billie Joe, Gentry has many great tunes and was one of the first female artists to compose and produce her own material. This great track featuring Gentry’s gritty vocals, different than her singing on Ode To Billie Joe, was the B-side to that hit and then later released as a single on its own. In Japan, Mississippi Delta was the A-side and Billie Joe the flip.
John Cougar Mellencamp, You’ve Got To Stand For Somethin’ . . . Love this tune, good lyrics, from the standout Scarecrow album. Not a bad song on it.
Peter Tosh, Downpressor Man . . . Somewhat all over the map on today’s show, accidentally on purpose I suppose. Part of the creative fun. So, here we go with some reggae from the late great Tosh. I got into him way back, sort of via Bob Marley who, perhaps like many, I was introduced to via Eric Clapton’s version of I Shot The Sheriff in 1974. After that, it seemed all the big rock acts starting delving into reggae, at least a bit, including The Rolling Stones, who signed Tosh to their Rolling Stones Records label and with whom Mick Jagger did the hit duet (You Gotta Walk) Don’t Look Back on Tosh’s Bush Doctor album in 1978. But by that time, I was already well into Tosh via albums/songs like Legalize It – which I’ve played before on the show and almost certainly will again. Great artists, both he and Marley.
The Moody Blues, Melancholy Man . . . Another sort of random selection I came across while loading tracks into the station’s computer system. I threw this one into the system some time back, saw it, realized I had not played the Moodies in some time so, no time like the present. Beautiful, somewhat sad lyrically, tune from A Question Of Balance, in 1970.
Bob Dylan, Man In The Long Black Coat . . . 1989 was a pretty good year for veteran acts in terms of albums released. Eric Clapton’s Journeyman, Neil Young’s Freedom and The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels are among the notable ones I like. And Oh Mercy, from Dylan from which I pulled this great track, one of my all-time favorites from him.
Cowboy Junkies, Southern Rain . . . Wonderful up-tempo track featuring the ethereal vocals of Margo Timmins. Just an amazing singer, great band I saw at a recent Kitchener Blues Festival.
Dishwalla, Moisture . . . Great tune that starts slow, almost electronic, then rocks out. It’s from the band that gave us the 1996 hit Counting Blue Cars, from the same album I pulled this one from, Pet Your Friends. One of those albums you buy (or at least did, back then) for the hit single and then are rewarded by the depth of quality on the record.
U2, Numb . . . This was the first single from the somewhat experimental album, Zooropa, produced in part by Brian Eno, who had done similar pushing-the-envelope work with David Bowie during the latter’s Berlin period in the late 1970s. The spoken-word, droning vocals are by guitarist The Edge on a track that was a leftover from the previous album, Achtung Baby.
Elvis Costello, Green Shirt . . . From the Armed Forces album in 1979, it wasn’t released as a single until 1985 on a compilation. It got to No. 68 in the UK. Nice tune, perhaps somewhat unknown and underappreciated.
Pearl Jam, Nothing As It Seems . . . I was really into Pearl Jam’s first two albums but I confess they’ve lost me as time passes, nothing compelling enough to prompt me to purchase or listen to any of their more recent releases. Out of loyalty, I kept up until a few years ago but decided time is too precious than to keep trying to like stuff I just can’t get into even after repeated listens, although I certainly don’t begrudge the band’s dedicated, loyal and passionate fan base. That said, I just checked out a few tracks from their most recent release, Gigaton, and, not bad. So maybe worth a revisit of the most recent stuff. Until then, I’m left with the first two albums and a fine 2-CD compilation, from which I pulled this great single from the Binaural album in 2000.
Paul McCartney/Wings, Name And Address . . . Nice boogie/rockabilly type shuffle from London Town in 1978. McCartney, like most great artists, has so many lesser-known gems.
Pink Floyd, Summer ’68 . . . From Atom Heart Mother, the album with the cow on the cover. One of the few Floyd tracks written and sung by the late keyboardist Richard Wright, it’s a catchy pop tune, apparently about an encounter Wright had with a groupie in 1968.
Bad Company, Passing Time . . . A jaunty little tune from Bad Co’s Burnin’ Sky album, 1977. There’s not a bad tune, really, by this band – when fronted by Paul Rodgers. I can do without the Brian Howe version of the band, except for the Holy Water single. Too overproduced, 80s-type sound for me, other than that tune. I will say they did a non-Rodgers album, Company Of Strangers, in 1995 with Robert Hart on lead vocals, that I like because it harkens back to the Rodgers-era sound and Hart sounds much like Rodgers, to me. I played the title cut from the album ages ago on the show and now that I’m talking to myself about it, I will revisit. The prime stuff is, of course, the Rodgers era but Company Of Strangers is pretty good. So why didn’t I play it today? Well, I didn’t think of it until I started rambling on about it here.
Doug And The Slugs, Drifting Away . . . And so we drift away for another week, taking our leave with this breakup song by Doug And The Slugs, one of my favorites by that band. I was inspired to play them by a friend who texted me about some foible he saw in policy from Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government, referring to him and his government as Doug and the slugs.