Muddy Waters, The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock & Roll . . . From Muddy’s 1977 album, Hard Again, the first of three with Johnny Winter playing guitar and producing. Among others helping out were blues greats Pinetop Perkins (piano) and James Cotton (harmonica), who also accompanied Waters on the subsequent tour which resulted in the Muddy “Mississippi’ Waters Live album. Other studio releases in the series – the last studio work of Waters’ life – were I’m Ready in 1978 and King Bee in 1981, two years before Muddy’s passing. If you’re still into owning physical product, the trio of studio albums are available on one of those price is right “Original album series’ releases.
UFO, Rock Bottom (live) . . . Smokin’ version, from the acclaimed live album, Strangers In The Night, released in January, 1979.
Humble Pie, Stone Cold Fever (live) . . . Playing a few live tracks today, just happenstance, really, not the full-bore all live albums show I did recently and likely will again at some point. There was a period during the 1970s when double vinyl (and sometimes triple, like Wings Over America) live albums were a big thing. Stuff like Kiss Alive, Bob Seger’s Live Bullet, Frampton Comes Alive, among others. And Performance Rockin’ The Fillmore, from which I pulled this piece of Pie.
Rory Gallagher, Bourbon . . . Scorching ‘life on the road’ song by the late great Gallagher. It involves drinking. I never acquired a taste for the hard stuff, but perhaps I’ll give it a go.
The Guess Who, Pain Train (live) . . . From Live At The Paramount. Nice guitar work by Kurt Winter, who co-wrote the tune with Burton Cummings.
George Thorogood, So Much Trouble . . . Typical ramped up Thorogood treatment of an old blues tune, this one by Brownie McGhee. It appeared on Thorogood and The Destroyers’ second album, Move It On Over, in 1978.
Paice Ashton Lord, Malice In Wonderland . . . Title cut from the one and only release from Deep Purple’s Ian Paice (drums) and Jon Lord (keyboards), teamed with keyboard player/singer Tony Ashton. It came out in 1977, after the breakup of the Mk. IV version of Deep Purple that featured singer David Coverdale, bassist/singer Glenn Hughes and guitarist Tommy Bolin. That version of Purple, which I quite like, took some fans aback as the band drifted into some R & B and funk directions, a direction which on the previous album Stormbringer is what drove guitarist Ritchie Blackmore out of the band to form Rainbow. But the thing is, and as Bolin said when he auditioned with Purple, obviously the Purple players could really groove, not just play hard rock. That’s evident on the Malice album, which runs the gamut from hard rock to R & B to funk to prog. Also in the band is guitarist Bernie Marsden, who soon after this release formed the first, more blues-oriented version of Whitesnake, with Coverdale.
Love, You Set The Scene . . . Another great song from the classic Forever Changes album. It didn’t sell well, only making No. 154 on the charts, no hit singles. Yet unlike some critically-acclaimed albums that are impenetrable and you wonder what the professional journalist critics are thinking (often it’s just ‘cool’ to them to like something unlistenable is what I think), Forever Changes is truly great, as is all of Love’s stuff. But then, I, er, love the band.
The Rolling Stones, Memory Motel . . . The combined Mick Jagger-Keith Richards co-lead vocals ‘make’ this tune, with Richards’ ‘she got a mind of her own and she use it well . . . and she use it mighty fine’ parts indeed so fine. But the whole song is terrific, loved it ever since I bought the Black and Blue album when it came out in 1976. The album, as many Stones’ albums seem to be, was largely panned at the time, but most ‘retrospective’ reviews I’ve seen since tend to have it as at least a 4 out of 5. That’s not a criticism of music critics, as I’ve said before. Lots of albums take repeated listens to ingrain themselves, and journalists don’t usually have that luxury when an album is released and a review is due immediately.
The Ronnie Wood Band, Mr. Luck (live) . . . Extended workout of the Jimmy Reed tune, from Wood’s 2021 release Mr. Luck – A Tribute To Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall. It was recorded in 2013 and features the Stones’ Wood and former Stone Mick Taylor (to typically great effect) on guitars, with Bobby Womack contributing on two tracks. It’s the second in what looks to possibly be a series of such albums by Wood, who released a similar live tribute to Chuck Berry in 2019.
Peter Green, A Fool No More . . . Long, slow beautiful blues from one of the masters. This one’s from the former (and late great) Fleetwood Mac blues period leader’s 1979 album, In The Skies.
Love Sculpture, In The Land Of The Few . . . I don’t own Love Sculpture’s 1970 album Forms and Feelings, from which this comes. But I do have The Dave Edmunds Anthology (1968-90). It’s a great 2CD compilation of his material with Love Sculpture, his subsequent solo work – which I got into during my college days via the Repeat When Necessary album – and some material from Rockpile. As the compilation’s liner notes suggest, In The Land Of The Few ‘exudes an arty cosmic rock feel’. Yes, and some great guitar, too.
Warren Zevon, Transverse City . . . Title cut from Zevon’s 1989 album. It’s co-written by Canadian actor/musician Stefan Arngrim, who apparently is best known for a long-ago TV series I know of but never watched, Land Of The Giants. I can’t be sure, but I can’t help but think that the lyrics are all Zevon so apologies to all concerned, if not. But who else writes lyrics like “”we’ll go down to Transverse City, life is cheap and death is free, past the condensation silos, past the all-night trauma stand.” Or “here’s the hum of desperation, here’s the test tube mating call, here’s the latest carbon cycle, here’s the clergy of the mall.” Etc, etc. The tune’s good, too. It features the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia on guitar and the album itself, typical of Zevon, has contributions from assorted music luminaries including David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, Richie Hayward of Little Feat, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane and jazz keyboardist/composer Chick Corea. Obviously Zevon was so well-respected and connected he could call on anyone, yet for all that, aside from the Excitable Boy album he never had a massive commercial hit. Weird. The guy was brilliant.
Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack (1970 version), King Herod’s Song (Try It And See) . . . Said it a million times but the 1970 version of this soundtrack, with Murray Head as Judas, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan as Jesus and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene remains one of my all-time favorite albums. That’s a credit to the songwriting of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, but the performances – like this one by Mike D’Abo as King Herod, are terrific. D’Abo, who fronted Manfred Mann (before the Earth Band period) also wrote one of my favorite songs, as covered by Rod Stewart: Handbags and Gladrags. Just a beautiful song, that one, and D’Abo’s original is terrific, too although Stewart’s take on it is a rare time I find I prefer a cover to an original version.
Pink Floyd, Young Lust . . . In putting together this show I realized that of all Pink Floyd’s albums in the monster commercial period that started with The Dark Side Of The Moon and ended with The Wall, I probably listen to The Wall the least. It’s a good album for sure, but I tend to listen to Dark Side, Wish You Were Here and Animals much more, same with Meddle, which preceded Dark Side. Of course, so many of these classic albums, by all bands, are so ingrained in our minds one tends to almost play them in one’s head without actually playing them. But I can’t remember the last time I played The Wall front to back, probably because its well-known tunes (Another Brick In The Wall Part II, Comfortably Numb, etc.) are so well known that I haven’t felt the need. But now that I say that, I do intend to play the whole thing soon. Didn’t have time as I put together the show. All that said, Young Lust is also quite well known. Due to the “I need a dirty woman’ line, the song always makes me think of this guy who lived down the hall from me in a small apartment complex when I was in college. I was going to bed one night when out of the blue comes this drunken shout “I want a woman!” And he wasn’t playing music, let alone this tune.
Linda Ronstadt, Party Girl . . . A friend of mine who follows the show suggested some Elvis, either Presley or Costello, this week. Well, here’s Costello, in a way, since he wrote this tune, sung beautifully of course by Ronstadt. And I won’t accept any beefs about not playing either actual Elvis, it just didn’t work out and besides, I played a Guess Who track from Live At The Paramount, one of the same buddy’s favorite albums, so how much am I supposed to give?
The Who, Love Ain’t For Keeping . . . Only thing wrong with this track from Who’s Next is that, at a mere 2:11, it’s far too short. Leave them wanting more, I guess. Great song.
Blodwyn Pig, See My Way . . . The way the Brits used to do albums (maybe they still do) can be confusing. See early Beatles and Rolling Stones albums, where the UK versions were often at least somewhat different than the North American ones. This is because in Britain, they never put singles on full albums, the buggers, so you had to buy both unless you were just into singles and were content to wait around for a hits compilation. So, this was a single by the band Mick Abrahams formed when he left Jethro Tull after one album because he wanted to continue in a blues direction while Ian Anderson didn’t. But the single only appeared on the US version of Ahead Rings Out, the Pig’s first album, in 1969. It later appeared on the band’s second album, Getting To This, in 1970. At least in the UK. That’s why you see comments on YouTube like ‘buddy, you have the wrong album cover with the song’ when maybe they don’t. Depends where you are, or were. A good track, this, an up-tempo progressive blues song which to me could have fit on any Tull album. By the way, Blodwyn Pig is one of the best band names around, apparently coined by a stoned friend of the band, according to my research.
Jethro Tull, It’s Breaking Me Up . . .And here’s a straight blues track (interesting title given the subsequent band split) featuring Abrahams playing on the first Tull album, This Was. The album name, as Anderson wrote in liner notes on a subsequent expanded re-release, resulted from him wanting to make a statement that ‘this was’ the band’s musical style before the group moved on to incorporate other influences. Which, of course, Tull did to great sales and acclaim, with Martin Barre taking Abrahams’ place in the lineup.
Alice Cooper, Blue Turk . . . Interesting, perhaps, how things go. Last week, my muse produced a more eclectic set where this week I seem largely in a bluesy vein for most of the list including this jazz/blues cut from 1972’s School’s Out album. If you played it to someone whose only knowledge of Alice Cooper’s output was hits albums, I doubt they’d peg this as a Cooper song. Nice bass work by Dennis Dunaway and trombone by session player Wayne Andre.
The Velvet Underground, Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ . . . From Loaded, a double entendre album title but mostly so named because the record company wanted more accessible stuff from the band, asking for an album ‘loaded with hits.’ At seven minutes and change, this bluesy number is too long (without being edited as sometimes happens) to be a single although it was a B-side on an album whose singles included the well-known Velvets’ tracks Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll, written and sung by Lou Reed. Reed didn’t sing this one, those duties handled by lead guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Doug Yule.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Dying Of The Light . . . Beautiful song by the former Oasis man. Interesting for me with Oasis. Been back into them a bit of late, played their live cover of The Beatles’ I Am The Walrus a couple weeks ago. I don’t own any of the band’s individual albums aside from a live record, nor do I have any individual album by either Noel or Liam Gallagher. I did, at one point, but dunno, never really got into them so for me I suppose Oasis, Inc. is a compilation band. Which means Liam needs to issue one or I need to compile my own and I do like some of his work with Beady Eye and more recently releases under his own name. I pulled this one from the just-released Noel compilation, Back The Way We Came, Vol. I and it’s quite good, I even recognized some tracks so they must have somehow embedded themselves so perhaps I’ll go back at some point to the individual albums which no doubt have some great deep cuts. And that’s part of the point of compilations, of course, induce listeners to maybe investigate further. But for now, a couple Oasis comps and this new one by Noel will do me fine.