So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 15, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

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

  1. Joe Jackson, 1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground)
  2. Tim Curry, I Do The Rock
  3. Stray Cats, Rev It Up And Go
  4. Madness, One Step Beyond . . .
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born To Move
  6. Lighthouse, Broken Guitar Blues
  7. Traveling Wilburys, Dirty World
  8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Goon Squad
  9. The Clash, Armagideon Time
  10. Yes, The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun
  11. Wishbone Ash, The King Will Come
  12. Rush, Natural Science
  13. John Mellencamp, All Along The Watchtower
  14. The Rolling Stones, Congratulations
  15. John Lennon, Bony Moronie
  16. Deep Purple, Lady Luck
  17. Iggy Pop, Sister Midnight
  18. Golden Earring, Kill Me (Ce Soir)
  19. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, Over At The Frankenstein Place
  20. Moby Grape, Murder In My Heart For The Judge
  21. Iron Butterfly, Belda-Beast
  22. David Bowie, Teenage Wildlife
  23. Jethro Tull, No Lullaby

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Joe Jackson, 1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground) . . . Yet another slice of infectious, driving pop rock excellence from the Mike’s Murder movie soundtrack, released in 1983 and, musically, something of a companion piece to JJ’s 1982 album Night And Day. It’s terrific stuff, but of course I’m a big Joe Jackson fan as often stated. The soundtrack essentially became another studio album for Jackson because as things developed, little of his music was retained for the film, the bulk of whose score wound up being done by John Barry of James Bond film score fame. The film, starring Debra Winger, was a box-office bomb. Perhaps keeping more of Jackson’s music would have helped, he says with a smile.
    2. Tim Curry, I Do The Rock . . . From the Rocky Horror Picture Show star’s 1979 album Fearless, which I heard on the store sound system and impulse bought while browsing through Toronto’s original Sam The Record Man outlet on Yonge St., long since gone but not forgotten. I get to the actual Rocky Horror soundtrack later in the set with Curry, who played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the zany cult movie, not singing on the track I chose. You’ll see/hear.
    3. Stray Cats, Rev It Up And Go . . . Another of one of those “rifling through my CDs and oh, yeah, these guys, haven’t played them in ages” picks. Rockabilly! Great stuff, kicking off with the Chuck Berry guitar lick you’ve heard on just about every one of his songs, then into it. He didn’t produce this one but Dave Edmunds, known to dabble in a little rockabilly himself, has produced much of the Stray Cats’ material over time. And the band, which has tended to alternate between active and dormant periods in and around Brian Seitzer’s solo and Brian Seitzer Orchestra work, is currently active, having released ’40’, their first studio album in nearly 30 years, in 2019.
    4. Madness, One Step Beyond . . . Perfect name for an out-there ska song, especially the intro. Infectious stuff. Here I am with my Beatles and my Stones and Zeppelin and Purple and so on and then I remember being immediately hooked watching the video for One Step Beyond on Toronto TV station City’s old ‘The New Music’ show in 1979. All my friends thought I had lost it. I thought they might consider expanding their horizons, but to each their own. Interesting reading about the song. It’s a cover of a tune by Jamaican ska singer Prince Buster and released in 1964, with Madness incorporating elements from other songs by Buster, and others, into the band’s final version.
    5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born To Move . . . Screeeech as we bank around the corner and off into a totally different direction. CCR. I’ve been in a phase of listening to them lately. ‘Nuff said, really. Obviously great band, including their deeper cuts, like this one from the Pendulum album, released in 1970. The boys were lazy that year, Pendulum being only their second LP release after coming out with three albums in 1969.
    6. Lighthouse, Broken Guitar Blues . . . Guy gets on a plane, nowhere good to store his six-string, a song results. From Canada’s answer to early Chicago or Blood, Sweat & Tears, or vice-versa, it’s actually more of a straight ahead rocker, which fits since it’s about a guitar, than Lighthouse’s usual more horn-drenched jazz-rock fusion stuff.
    7. Traveling Wilburys, Dirty World . . . Lucky Wilbury (aka Bob Dylan) handles most of the lead vocals on this one from Vol. 1 of the ‘family’ project that also included Wilburys Nelson (George Harrison), Otis (Jeff Lynne), Lefty (Roy Orbison) and Charlie T., Jr. (Tom Petty). What a wonderful project it was. When Lefty died, the boys persevered, or maybe it was a group of entirely different people, or split personalities, who issued the second album, Vol. 3. Just having fun. Lucky became Boo; Nelson became Spike; Otis became Clayton and Charlie T. became Muddy. And now Nelson/Spike and Charlie T./Muddy are also gone. Session players included drummer Buster Sidebury (Jim Keltner) and Ken Milbury (Gary Moore) on lead guitar on one song, She’s My Baby, on Vol. 3. To quote the Robert Shaw character in the classic 1973 movie The Sting, ‘ya falla?” (follow). Don’t worry about it, just enjoy.
    8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Goon Squad . . . Love the, how is one to describe music in words, best to listen to it of course but that sort of descending beat on this one, from 1979’s Armed Forces album. Serious, deep lyrics perfectly accompanied by the darkish music.
    9. The Clash, Armagideon Time . . . Available since then on various Clash compilations, it was originally the B-side to the 1979 album title cut single London Calling. As related by longime Clash associate and sometime manager Kosmo Vinyl in the liner notes to the box set Clash On Broadway, he had a notion that all great singles should be 2 minutes, 58 seconds long. Why 2:58, who knows? Probably to sound cooler than saying ‘three minutes’. So Clash co-founder Joe Strummer tells him “just stop us when we get to 2:58.” In studio later, the band is cooking, recording the track and Vinyl is vexxed as to what to do as 2:58 approaches, so he risks calling from the control room for the band to wind it up only to have, and you can hear it on the song, Strummer sing back “okay, okay, don’t push us when we’re hot!” And the band plays on for another minute, everyone loves what’s on tape and Vinyl, who thought his life was at risk for interrupting, is still with us at 66. Strummer, sadly, died at age 50 in 2002 of a heart attack caused by an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
    10. Yes, The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun . . . Another 180 turn in the set. Speaking of risk, I figured I might risk a backlash from some if I played the entire Tales From Topographic Oceans album, which is four songs, one per vinyl side, on original release in 1973. To many, that represented pure prog rock excess and perhaps it was but all kidding aside it’s a great album and as mentioned earlier about expanded horizons, what is the beauty of music, which is really a mood exercise, other than how you can go from raunch and roll to ska to rockabilly to prog and beyond, and enjoy it all because it’s all creative and has merit. If you have an open mind. Anyway, another Yes epic, 18 minutes and change, at times tribal, almost funky, with beautiful acoustic guitar passages and back again. Sublime, really.
    11. Wishbone Ash, The King Will Come . . . I suppose I should have played this when King Charles was crowned last week. But I’m not much into the monarchy and I’ll leave it at that. Good song, though, as I find most Wishbone Ash is.
    12. Rush, Natural Science . . . And so ends the prog segment with this classic from 1980’s Permanent Waves album.
    13. John Mellencamp, All Along The Watchtower . . . I’ve been in a Mellencamp listening phase of late but this cover of the Bob Dylan song is a very recent, wonderful discovery for me, from the used rack in my local independent store just last Friday. It was one of those buys, $6 as I recall, where I knew I better pick it up because it’s fairly rare to my knowledge, would likely be gone soon and I’d regret it, even though it’s available online but I still like physical product. It’s from Mellencamp’s acoustic live album The Good Samaritan Tour 2000, released on CD in 2021. It’s the soundtrack to a documentary film of about 40 minutes’ length that chronicles a tour in 2000 when Mellencamp performed, unannounced, for free in public parks and common spaces across the United States as a thank you to his fans for their ongoing support. The documentary, with all performance footage filmed by fans thus lending the show its raw appeal, originally appeared on Turner Classic Movie’s YouTube channel and both the album and documentary are still available there. It’s great stuff, more than just the music but, musically, it’s just Mellencamp and his acoustic band, guitars, fiddles, accordion, no drums. Sometimes there’s big crowds, sometimes just a handful of people in a park although as the tour developed things exploded, in a wonderful way. They do a selection of his own material like Small Town and Pink Houses and covers of songs by Woody Guthrie (Oklahoma Hills), Dylan, The Rolling Stones (Street Fighting Man and The Spider and The Fly), Donovan’s Hey Gyp, also done by The Animals, and Cut Across Shorty which was done by Eddie Cochran and, later, Rod Stewart.
    14. The Rolling Stones, Congratulations . . . An early Mick Jagger-Keith Richards penned ballad, from 1964 with its typical mocking and sarcastic lyrics about a relationship. It was the B-side to Time Is On My Side in the US and was on the album 12 X 5 in those early days when many British Invasion bands’ releases differed on either side of the pond. It didn’t appear on a UK album until the Decca Records compilation No Stone Unturned in 1973.
    15. John Lennon, Bony Moronie . . . From Lennon’s 1975 album of rock ‘n’ roll standards called, wait for it, Rock ‘N’ Roll. Great fun, back to his roots.
    16. Deep Purple, Lady Luck . . . Not sure what else to say about the Come Taste The Band album I’ve not already said. It’s the one and only one Purple did with the late guitarist Tommy Bolin, lots of people think it’s too different than what many consider ‘should’ be the sound of Deep Purple because it incorporated some funk elements, but that’s what makes it great and shows the band’s musical diversity. And, despite what some folks seem to think, it does rock. As evidence, I present Lady Luck, among several up-tempo tunes on the album starting with the blistering lead track, Comin’ Home. Other than that, I like the album cover, all the boys in a full glass of red wine on the front and the empty glass on the back and since I was having a glass myself when putting the show together, here we are.
    1. Iggy Pop, Sister Midnight . . . From 1977’s The Idiot which is almost a David Bowie album, or a co-Pop/Bowie album given that Bowie plays keyboards on it, produced it and wrote or co-wrote many of the songs including this one that Bowie wrote with his longtime guitarist Carlos Alomar. Recorded around the time of Bowie’s so-called Berlin period that yielded experimental albums like Low, it’s definitely a departure from the punk inclinations of much of the garage rock type material Pop released as main man in The Stooges. Pop described the more mechanical, electronic sound as “a cross between James Brown and Kraftwerk.” Pop returned to a more Stooges-like sound on his next album, Lust For Life which was also released in 1977 and co-produced by Bowie.
    2. Golden Earring, Kill Me (Ce Soir) . . . From Switch, the 1975 album followup to 1973’s Moontan and its hit Radar Love, after which many people, at least in North America, went back to ignoring Golden Earring until 1982’s hit single Twilight Zone. Lots of good music in between and beyond, but who knows what the real recipe for widespread success and acclaim is? I think Motley Crue (and that whole genre of overproduced hair metal) is utter garbage, the worst successful band in the history of popular music, for instance. Yet . . .
    1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, Over At The Frankenstein Place . . . What a fun movie and forever trigger of memories of college days. What I haven’t mentioned before, not sure how or why I overlooked it, is that John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, arguably most famous for his keyboard work with The Who, played on the Rocky Horror film soundtrack. Besides The Who, the widely respected and in demand musician has, since the 1970s, played on albums by Free, Johnny Nash of I Can See Clearly Now fame, Donovan, Eric Burdon and Fairport Convention, among others.
    2. Moby Grape, Murder In My Heart For The Judge . . . Funky, rocking blues number from the San Francisco band’s second album, Wow, in 1968. Love the psychedelic ‘grapes’ album cover. I mean, what else?
    3. Iron Butterfly, Belda-Beast . . . As with Golden Earring, one song – the epic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – can overwhelm the rest of a band’s catalog, or even what they actually could be about musically. And it’s interesting that the band was considered heavy when lots of their material, to my ears, is like this song from Ball, the 1969 followup to the Gadda album. It’s eerie, psychedelic and melodic, with nice touches of organ. Relaxing and dreamy, yet still electric. Nice work.
    4. David Bowie, Teenage Wildlife . . . To each their own of course but another example of why it pays to listen to full albums, not just hits or compilations of hits. And without that fact, I wouldn’t have my deep cuts show. The longest song on 1980’s Scary Monsters album that featured the hit singles Ashes To Ashes and Fashion, it’s got a similar arrangement to Bowie’s own song Heroes and has been seen, lyrically, as taking aim at what Bowie perceived to be his imitators, like Gary Numan – “one of the new wave boys, same old thing in brand new drag comes sweeping into view as ugly as a teenage millionaire.” King Crimson leader/guitarist Robert Fripp played on most of the album, including Teenage Wildlife, which also featured Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan.
    5. Jethro Tull, No Lullaby . . . Great drumming by Barriemore Barlow, especially on the intro, on this killer cut from 1978’s Heavy Horses. Thrust and parry, indeed, as the lyrics suggest.

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