Joe Jackson, Caravan . . . JJ’s take on the Duke Ellington tune, taken from Jackson’s 2012 tribute album Duke, wherein he covered and in some cases reinterpreted the master’s music. It’s a lot of the reason I like Jackson so much, one of those artists I’ve followed since his new wave beginnings into his various musical explorations including classical. So far, he’s never let me down and along the way introduced me to some great music, his own and that of others.
Roxy Music, The Main Thing . . . I played Roxy Music last week (Same Old Scene from 1980’s Flesh and Blood), which prompted a request to play something from the subsequent (and, so far, final) studio work, the brilliant Avalon. So, voila. Great stuff, Roxy, all phases, along with, of course, Bryan Ferry’s ongoing solo work.
Atomic Rooster, Breakthrough . . . Psychedelic rocker, good music, arguably troubling lyrics from a guy, Vincent Crane, who battled lifelong mental health issues and sadly wound up taking his own life via a deliberate overdose of painkillers. Prior to Atomic Rooster, Crane was in The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and co-wrote the hit Fire.
Pink Floyd, The Nile Song . . . Hard rock, arguably uncharacteristic and definitely one of the heavier songs by Pink Floyd, from their 1969 soundtrack album for the movie More.
Aerosmith, Seasons Of Wither . . . I see that now, on Wikipedia, is defined as a power ballad, a term I don’t recall existing in 1974 when it was released on the Get Your Wings album. Of course, ‘classic’ rock wasn’t a term then, either. Aerosmith later had huge commercial success with various ‘power ballads’ but none of them, in my view, could match this beauty.
The Tragically Hip, An Inch An Hour . . . Straight ahead rocker, good lyrics, from 1994’s Day For Night album, named after the 1973 film directed by Francois Truffaut and starring Jacqueline Bisset and many largely unknown (to North Americans) European actors. Recommended, both the album and movie – which is a movie about the making of a movie, and, I thought, quite good. And I’m not even a huge movie buff. But I had heard a lot about the film, it came on TV one time, I watched it, and was rewarded.
Neil Young, Eldorado . . . From Young’s 1989 Freedom album, something of a commercial comeback after his experimental Geffen Records phase, which got him sued (he won) by the company for not doing “Neil Young-type music’ which is interesting in that an artist’s output and creativity should be, and is, whatever they deem that to be at a given time. But I can see Geffen’s view, too; they were expecting stuff like Harvest or After The Gold Rush and got rockabilly on Everybody’s Rockin’ and Kraftwerk-like techno on Trans. Anyway, this is a nice Latin-tinged tune that first appeared on a Japan and Australia-only EP before being remixed for Freedom.
Rory Gallagher, They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore . . . Appropriate title for the late great guitarist/songwriter. Great jazz/boogie/rock fusion.
The Rolling Stones, Casino Boogie . . . Nice groove tune from Exile On Main St. I love the way Charlie Watts ‘enters’ the tune, as my musician eldest son would say.
Izzy Stradlin, Shuffle It All . . . The former Guns N’ Roses guitarist’s first album, 1992’s Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, could be a Keith Richards or Ron Wood solo work, so Stones-ish is it. Wood plays on one track, his own Take A Look At The Guy, which appeared on Wood’s first solo album I’ve Got My Own Album To Do, in 1974. Other Stones’ henchmen contributing to the album are former Face Ian McLagan and Nicky Hopkins, both on keyboards/piano.
Patti Smith, Changing Of The Guards . . . Nice cover of the Bob Dylan track which appeared on his 1978 release, Street Legal. The Smith version is on her fine covers album, Twelve, which came out in 2007.
Peter Tosh, Hammer (extended version) . . . Speaking of changing of the guards and shuffling it all, here we come with a style shift in the set. On to some reggae and other departures, the first one via this track that appears on the 2002 expanded re-release of Tosh’s 1977 Equal Rights album.
Santana, Batuka . . . I like most of Santana’s stuff but tend to always gravitate to his first three albums which feature terrific stuff like this instrumental, from the self-titled third album.
The Clash, The Equaliser . . . An intoxicating soundscape of a song from the sprawling and wildly diverse Sandinista!, 1980. Three vinyl records long on the original release, it’s a terrific if sometimes self-indulgent amalgam of so many genres – funk, reggae, jazz, gospel, dub, rap, disco, R & B, you name it. Oftentimes with sprawling release like this, critics suggest it could have been edited down to a single album. A view that has merit, but then you might not get intriguing, hypnotic tracks like this.
Flash And The Pan, Walking In The Rain/Lights In The Night . . . Two songs, two different albums (their first two) but whenever I play Walking In The Rain, I always pair it with the title cut from the next album, since to me they are of a piece, at least in style. Walking In The Rain is the first Flash And The Pan song I ever heard, and I was sold. I thought of playing it due to all the rain we’ve been having where I live, although looks like we’re back to sun for a few days to start the week.
Graham Parker & The Rumour, Local Girls . . . This was the third single from the terrific Squeezing Out Sparks album, which Parker revisited in a decent 40th anniversary all-acoustic version in 2019. I still prefer the original, from a time I was major into Parker. Released as the third single from the album, in North America only, in 1979, difficult to believe it did not chart. But I remember hearing it a lot on radio then.
Ramones, Mama’s Boy . . . I find I don’t know what to think about the Ramones. Sometimes, often, all their songs sound the same to me; other times, I dig ’em. No doubt they were influential, but generally speaking, just a matter of taste, I tend not to listen to a full album of theirs (even though they’re usually pretty short) in one go, due to that sameness thing. But, anyway, here you go, from the Too Tough To Die album in 1984, an album that at the time was considered a return to form as reflected in the band’s first four albums.
Midnight Oil, Run By Night . . . Quite Ramones-like, this one, which means it’s also Stooges-like, as was the previous track by Ramones. This was the first single from the first Oils album, Midnight Oil, in 1978.
Van Halen, Mean Street . . . Might be my favorite Van Halen tune, certainly one of them, from the David Lee Roth era and I like his vocals on it. It came out on 1981’s Fair Warning (cited lyrically in this song) album.
Curtis Mayfield, Pusherman . . . Great funky soul, from Superfly.
Funkadelic, Super Stupid . . . The late great Eddie Hazel on lead guitar, ably assisted by Lucious ‘Tawl’ Ross on rhythm. From the great Maggot Brain album, the 10-minute Hazel tour de force title cut of which I’ve played before on the show and was tempted to again, but decided on a different selection. This time. But no matter, because the whole album is great, as is much of Funkadelic’s stuff.
Gary Moore, Cold Black Night . . . I’ve been in a Gary Moore phase of late,which tells me I should be in a Gary Moore phase more often. Great stuff from a late great artist who was comfortable in myriad styles/genres including metal, rock, blues and some experimental stuff. And he played in Thin Lizzy for a time, too.
Eric Burdon & War, Sun/Moon . . . Back to Burdon I go, for the first time in a while. Too much great music, too little time in two hours once a week. Smooth, jazzy, funky stuff, this one an extended late night type smoky bar room piece from The Black-Man’s Burdon, the second of the two great albums Burdon did with War in 1970.