AC/DC, Let There Be Rock . . . Scorcher from the early, Bon Scott days, perfect for the hard rocking start to tonight’s set.
Led Zeppelin, We’re Gonna Groove . . . Kick butt rocker from 1969/70 first appeared officially on the 1982 compilation of outtakes album, Coda.
Uriah Heep, Gypsy . . . Not a huge Heep fan but when I listen to ’em, I like what I hear but confess to knowing mostly just the early stuff, like this. The Heep did make a great contribution to music journalism criticism, though. When the band first appeared, Rolling Stone magazine critic Melissa Mills began her review: “If this group makes it I’ll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don’t want to hear any more.” Funny but on other hand pretty insensitive comment, first off, about a serious issue and no word on what Melissa did, since Heep did make it big. And Rolling Stone has rarely been kind to heavier music.
R.E.M., Crush With Eyeliner . . . Speaking of which, I like R.E.M. especially when they lean towards the heavy side, like on this one from the Monster album, released in 1994.
Ted Nugent, Baby Please Don’t Go (live) . . . Smokin’, breathless version from Double Live Gonzo! of the Big Joe Williams tune, done by many, including an absolutely scorching studio version by AC/DC I must return to soon.
Heart, Bebe Le Strange . . . This title cut from Heart’s 1980 album was an unsuccessful single, only made it to No. 109, but I like it. Maybe not ‘hooky’ enough to be a big hit but it kicks butt, in my opinion, in a propulsive way. And Ann Wilson could, as the saying goes, sing the phone book (are there still phone books?) and I’d listen. What a voice.
The Yardbirds, Evil Hearted You . . . To me, there seemed to be a period – and maybe it was evolving and improving recording techniques – where 60s pop started becoming rock, and this is another song from 1965 (like the Stones’ Satisfaction and much of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album) that suggests that. Great Jeff Beck guitar playing and love the vocals by Keith Relf on a song penned by Graham Gouldman, who wrote the previous Yardbirds hits For Your Love and Heart Full Of Soul and went on to become a member of 10cc.
Cream, Swlabr . . . The B-side to Sunshine Of Your Love from 1967’s smash album Disraeli Gears, and a well-known tune in its own right after appearing on several Cream compilations. The letters of the song title are an abbreviation for She Walks (or Was, depending on the source) Like A Bearded Rainbow.
U2, Trip Through Your Wires . . . Always liked this one from the monster hit album The Joshua Tree. The album had 11 songs, five of which (not this one) were released as singles and they all could have been, the album is that strong.
ZZ Top, 2000 Blues . . . Typically great bluesy cut, what ZZ Top to me has always done best, from the 1990 album Recycler. It was in large measure a continuation of the big hits synthesizer sound of the previous two albums that yielded hits like Legs and made ZZ Top music video stars. But Recycler was recorded in two different sets of sessions and by the second go-round, when this track was recorded, the band was in a different place, recording material like this blues cut. As a result, Billy Gibbons has said the band considers the album their Tres Hombres/Eliminator album.
David Wilcox, Cheap Beer Joint . . . Makes you want to either be sitting in that cheap beer joint or lying on the floor, headphones on, drink beside you, thinking of being in that cheap beer joint.
Murray McLauchlan, Out Past The Timberline . . . I played this terrific paean to Canada as recently as my Canada Day show this year but was inspired to play it again as I was in the car the other day and switched over to sound.fm and heard it. Another DJ was using a song I’d uploaded, one of thousands although I’m still waiting for my royalty residuals for filling the station library, ha ha. Just kidding around, management, happy to contribute my collection.
Rush, Natural Science . . . Typically great Rush instrumental passages in this extended outing from 1980’s Permanent Waves album. Another fairly recent repeat but I thought of this one due to a Twitter discussion the other day about great Rush tunes, and this one was mentioned by several people. So many to choose from, obviously.
Bruce Springsteen, Johnny 99 . . . From the spare, dark, mostly acoustic and purely solo, Springsteen alone with his guitar and various other instruments album Nebraska, released in 1982. Early Dylan-like, but uniquely Springsteen, and excellent.
The Rolling Stones, Fancy Man Blues . . . Great original blues by the boys, originally released as the B-side to the Steel Wheels album single Mixed Emotions, although to me this is clearly the better tune. But a blues single likely wouldn’t wash (although the Stones had a No. 1 in the UK in the early days with Little Red Rooster). The song was also the lead cut on After the Hurricane, a George Martin of Beatles fame-produced album to benefit victims of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The song is also on the Collectibles portion of the expanded release of the live album Flashpoint and on the Rarities 1971-2003 compilation, if anyone’s still buying physical product.
Don Henley, Workin’ It . . . Typically caustic Henley lyrics on this one from the Inside Job album in 2000. It wasn’t a single although I do remember some airplay. In any event, it’s my favorite from that album.
Eddie Money, Baby Hold On . . . Mine is a deep cuts show but occasionally I’ll throw in a hit single or at least one that hasn’t been heard in a long time, or didn’t do so well. This one did, one of Money’s two big hits, the other being Two Tickets To Paradise. It came to mind as I got in the car the other day, older car, no satellite radio and other such accouterments, and needed some music to listen to. So I pulled out a CD of material I had burned ages ago, and this was on it. Great tune.
Robin Trower, It’s Only Money . . . Just thought I’d play it since it came up via key words while I was looking up the Eddie Money tune. I feel as if I’ve played this too recently, so risking a repeat but not according to my searches. In any event, so what, I can never get enough of Trower’s blues rock, particularly the 70s halycon days with the late great James Dewar on bass and vocals.
Warren Zevon, Lawyers, Guns and Money . . . Another that came up thanks to the word ‘money’. Great stuff from the Excitable Boy album which, via Werewolves of London, broke Zevon big. “I went home with the waitress, the way I always do…How was I to know she was with the Russians too.” … “send lawyers guns and money, the shit has hit the fan.” I could listen to Zevon all day.
The Kinks, Misfits . . . Title cut from the 1978 album, just before the Kinks’ commercial resurgence with the next album, Low Budget. This was a B-side. A B-side. Most bands would kill to have this as an A-side. The only single that charted from this album was A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy, great tune I’ve played before, which only made No. 30 or so. But of course, chart success isn’t necessarily indicative of quality.
Jeff Beck, Ice Cream Cakes . . . The version of the Jeff Beck Group fronted by Rod Stewart with Ron Wood on bass, the group that released the Truth album in 1968, tends to get the most accolades. But the later version, with Bobby Tench (vocals), Max Middleton (keyboards), Clive Chaman (bass) and drummer to the stars Cozy Powell was no slouch, as proven by this progressive/rock/bluesy track.
Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Back On The Road Again . . . As described by an AllMusic reviewer of Betts’s 1978 album Atlanta’s Burning Down: “Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts moves back into the deep-fried Southern boogie that the Brothers are (in)famous for and serves it up with just a smidgen of country and comes out with another winner.” Agreed.
The Beatles, Abbey Road Medley (You Never Give Me Your Money/Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window/Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End/Her Majesty) . . . Played this to end the show long ago, figured I’d do it again after listening to it while in the gym. This is the original version, with Her Majesty, then a hidden track not listed (and I still have an original copy) on the album cover. A recent expanded re-release of Abbey Road puts Her Majesty where it originally was, in the middle of the medley, between Mustard and Pam, but Paul McCartney didn’t think it worked back then and I tend to agree, having listened to the re-released version. It’s still good, but . . . That said, it’s likely because we’ve become so used to the original released sequence that any adjustments seem out of place.