The Kinks, Victoria . . . I don’t tend to do ‘just what they’d be expecting’ but in this case, here’s the obvious opener for today, Victoria Day. A well-known Kinks’ track from the Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) album. Like so much of their great output from ‘concept’ albums in the latter part of the 1960s, it didn’t do so well on the charts, aside from No. 9 in the Toronto area. It made No. 33 in the UK and No. 62 in the US.
The Monkees, The Door Into Summer . . . Victoria Day in Canada, while not quite yet summer, is looked upon at least somewhat as the door into summer, so I figured this would be another appropriate song to play. And it’s a good one, as are so many Monkees’ tunes. Mike Nesmith sings lead vocals on this one.
Jethro Tull, Singing All Day . . . Early Tull, from 1969. First appeared on the Living In The Past quasi-compilation that came out in 1972 and featured non-album singles, album tracks and previously unreleased songs, like this nice little ditty.
Patti Smith Group, Because The Night . . . Co-written with Bruce Springsteen, I first heard this while working as a doorman/bouncer at the old Riverside pub in Oakville, ON during my college days. As mentioned a couple weeks ago when I played Smith’s song Kimberly, I got into her music via this song, introduced to it by the bar band Oliver Heavyside (later the Partland Brothers) who were rocking the joint one weekend. So, out I went the next week to buy Smith’s Easter album and the rest is history.
J.J. Cale, Don’t Cry Sister . . . Typically consistent stuff from this late great artist. I’ve said it before, but JJ could mine essentially the same vein for his entire career yet never sound boring or anything but fresh and interesting.
Mick Jagger, Memo From Turner . . . This is the Jagger solo version from the 1970 movie Performance and features Ry Cooder on slide guitar. Another, shorter version recorded in 1968 featuring either Keith Richards or Brian Jones on guitar, depending upon your source, appeared on the Metamorphosis compilation released in 1975 by the band’s former manager Allen Klein on ABCKO Records. Klein had taken over Decca’s Stones’ catalogue after the band acrimoniously left that label, then had more trouble with Klein. He released the Metamorphosis album of various odds and ends, often written for other artists to cover and mostly just featuring Jagger and a host of session players and musical friends, all recorded between 1964 and 1970.
Python Lee Jackson/Rod Stewart, In A Broken Dream . . . Great track by the Australian band, who in 1968 brought in Rod Stewart to sing on it because the band’s own singer, Dave Bentley, felt his voice didn’t suit the material. Released in 1970, it didn’t chart until it was re-released in 1972, riding the star power of Stewart’s by-then burgeoning solo/Faces career.
The Doobie Brothers, Eyes Of Silver . . . One of a few tracks for tonight’s show I just happened upon while searching the station computer for other material I’ve fed into the machine over time, for these pandemic-prompted programmed shows I’ve been doing. Early Doobies, from the What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits album in 1974. Similar, to my ears, to the Doobies’ hit Listen To The Music which was released two years earlier.
Deep Purple, Soldier Of Fortune . . . Beautiful ballad sung by David Coverdale from 1974’s Stormbringer album. One of my favorite Purple tracks, by any version of the band.
Santana, Taboo . . . I like most of Santana’s work but my go-to albums remain the first three, by the original band. This track is from the third album and features typically great guitar from Carlos Santana and Neil Schon with Schon, apparently, handling the final, stirring solo.
Traffic, (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired . . . Not really much I can think to say about Traffic that I have not said before. Fantastic band, can’t really go wrong with any of their songs. Great album cover, too, on Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory, the source for this song.
Van Morrison, And It Stoned Me . . . It’s difficult to find a deep cut on the amazing Moodance album since they’re all pretty well known, but this has always been one of my favorites. I love how the vocals come in right at the start. Oh, the water…This wasn’t a single, amazingly.
Mountain, Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) . . . Sounds crazy maybe but I give this a slight edge over Mississippi Queen as my favorite Mountain song. The title is a reference to an old term describing a whaling boat being dragged by a harpooned whale. Owen Coffin was a young seaman whose ship was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. Good for the whale, I say.
Led Zeppelin, Misty Mountain Hop . . . This was the B-side to Black Dog, from the fourth Zep album. I always think of my older sister dancing to it at home way back when.
The Who, In A Hand Or A Face . . . I was looking for a Guess Who tune (I get to them later in the set) among the many songs I’ve loaded into our computer system, so naturally The Who came up and I decided to play this great rocker from The Who By Numbers, an album I visited some weeks back via Slip Kid. It remains one of my favorite Who albums, since I grew up with it. But I’ve bored you with that story before.
Nazareth, Hard Living . . . This great riff rocker was the B-side to the Bad Bad Boy single, from the Razamanaz album, in the UK. I like it better than the A-side.
Queen, The Prophet’s Song . . . Great extended cut from A Night At The Opera, really displays all the amazing assets Queen had in their musical arsenal, particularly in the earlier days.
Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well Pts. 1 and 2 . . . One of the signature tunes from the Peter Green era, on the last album, Then Play On, he did with the band, released in 1969. It remains my favorite of all albums, all eras, by Fleetwood Mac.
The Butterfield Blues Band, Work Song . . . Something of a random selection show, this great instrumental another track that came up while I was searching for other things I’ve input into our station’s computer system. From East-West, the second album by the band, in 1966.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tuesday’s Gone . . . I’ve been remiss. Have not played Skynyrd in a long, long time, rectifying that today. Beautiful extended track from their first album.
Free, Travelling In Style . . . I love this jaunty track by one of my favorite bands. Kiki Dee, best known for I’ve Got The Music In Me and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Elton John, covered the Free track to great rocking effect in 1973.
The Guess Who, Road Food . . . What a great, perhaps relatively unknown song, title cut from the 1974 album. It was the B-side to the hit Clap For The Wolfman but I’d say is the better song. Just terrific stuff and, yes, a good road tune driven by Burton Cummings’ always great vocals and nice guitar work by Kurt Winter and Don McDougall.
Warren Zevon, My Ride’s Here . . . Title cut from his next-to-last album, in 2002. Great lyrics, which is no surprise given it’s Zevon but still. “I was staying at the Marriott with Jesus and John Wayne, I was waiting for a chariot they were waiting for a train.” Then he goes on to bring in Shelley, Keats, Byron and Charlton Heston as Moses in a tour-de-force of wordplay, in my opinion. Great music, too.
Rory Gallagher, Cruise On Out . . . Great toe-tapper from the late great Gallagher. Relentless. The guy could do it all. Fast, slow, blues, rock . . . this one’s fast.
Aerosmith, No More No More . . . And, I have no more for tonight, out of time for this week and wrapping up with this kick butt tune from Toys In The Attic. Thanks, all, for listening and/or following along with my shows/set lists.