R.E.M., Radio Song . . . Fun ditty spoofing radio was the fourth single from Out of Time, the band’s blockbuster 1991 album that featured the big hit single Losing My Religion. Radio Song was a minor hit everywhere and did make No. 5 in Ireland. The ‘hey hey hey’ refrain, as I remember it, was a bit of a shot at The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction or, at least, classic rock radio playing the same songs by the same bands over and over again – which is exactly why I started this deep cuts show long ago.
Ian Dury, Dance Little Rude Boy . . . So much music, so little time that sometimes, one discovers ‘new’ music among stuff you already own but have never made the time to fully go through, or listen to very much. Such is the case for an Ian Dury compilation I own, The Very Best of Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Reasons To Be Cheerful. I own his early studio albums like New Boots and Panties!! but picked up the compilation some years ago to fill in the blanks, so to speak. And, on that compilation, up pop a few cool cuts, like this one, from his final, posthumous album, Ten More Turnips for the Tip.
The Rolling Stones, Suck On The Jugular . . . I almost played this funk tune from the Voodoo Lounge album last week but settled on Sparks Will Fly to open the show. But I kept it in mind so, sticking with the same album for my weekly Stones’ cut, here it is.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Blind Leading The Blind . . . Bluesy, funky, horn-drenched catchy tune from the final album, Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin’, under the Butterfield Blues Band moniker, before he formed Paul Butterfield’s Better Days.
Roxy Music, The Space Between . . . An old work colleague of mine swears by the Avalon album, with good reason. So when I decided to get back to a Roxy Music cut this week, to that album I went. It’s an intoxicating listen, track for track.
Blue Cheer, Fruit And Icebergs . . . Somewhat spooky psychedelic hard rock from the band’s third album, New! Improved! Released in 1969, it’s a hybrid album in that the two sides of the original vinyl release were recorded by two different band lineups. Side two, including this track, features the writing and playing of new guitarist Randy Holden, who replaced original axeman Leigh Stephens.
Bad Company, Electricland . . . The only single from the original lineup’s final pre-breakup studio album, 1982’s Rough Diamonds. There’s been various reunions since for live work but it remains the last studio work with Paul Rodgers on lead vocals. The album and single were among the worst performing, commercially speaking, for the band. Good tune, though.
Dire Straits, Once Upon A Time In The West . . . I had a plan in mind to pair this with R.E.M.’s How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us and perhaps should have. But, best laid plans fell apart when I decided to open with R.E.M.’s Radio Song. I suppose I could have played two R.E.M. songs, and considered that, but I tend not to have a one-band, one-song policy. Enough of my mental, retrospective, gymnastics. Next tune . . .
The Monkees, Mary, Mary . . . Another great Mike Nesmith-penned Monkees song. The Butterfield Blues Band, who I played earlier in the set, covered it on their second album, East-West, released in 1966.
Billie Holiday, Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do . . . What a singer the lady was. And I agree with her sentiments as expressed in the title and lyrics.
Marvin Gaye, Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) . . . As we now enter the ‘message’ song segment of tonight’s set. Just listen to the lyrics of the next few songs. I was inspired to play Gaye in perhaps a surprising way: Members of a nostalgia football group I’m in on Facebook were discussing Lem Barney, a defensive back for the Detroit Lions of the 1960s and 70s and someone asked, ‘wasn’t he one of the voices on Marvin Gaye’s song What’s Going On?” Yes, he was, along with his teammate Mel Farr. So, I dug up my What’s Going On album, and here we are.
Stevie Wonder, Black Man . . . Not sure what to say so I’ll keep it short. Wonder is a, er, wonder. Musical genius.
Queen, White Man . . . I played this fairly recently if I recall correctly and too lazy to look it up. But it fits with the ‘message’ theme, lyrically. Musically, a terrific cut from A Day At The Races, 1976.
Joe Jackson, Battleground . . . JJ likely would never get away with the lyrics to this song, from 1980’s Beat Crazy, in today’s so-called cancel culture. But again, there’s a message beyond superficial assessments.
Peter Tosh, Babylon Queendom . . . One of those tunes I came upon, as often happens, when I go searching for one band (Queen) in our station computer that’s filled with so many downloads from my personal collection I ought to be getting royalties. An outtake from the Equal Rights album, it later appeared on expanded re-releases of that record.
Golden Earring, Vanilla Queen . . . Another from the Queen (band) search. It’s like throwing darts and often works for me at least some of the time. Killer cut from the band’s most well-known album (and rightly so), Moontan.
Screaming Trees, Alice Said . . . From the Seattle sound of things. Screaming Trees never seemed to get the hype of other such bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains but there’s lots of great stuff in their catalog. Good riff rocker.
Neil Young, Hangin’ On A Limb . . . Beautiful song from Young’s 1989 album Freedom. That’s Linda Ronstadt helping Neil out on vocals.
Free, Be My Friend . . . Another beauty, from the great if relatively unheralded band Paul Rodgers was in before Bad Company. Free is/was so much more than All Right Now, which is all one ever hears on commercial rock radio.
Patti Smith Group, Privilege (Set Me Free) . . . Interesting how one gets into bands/artists. I was a doorman in a bar, working my way through college. A covers band we had in one weekend played Because The Night, co-written by Smith and Bruce Springsteen. So I went out and bought her Easter album, from which this song comes. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
The Beatles, Because . . . One of those songs that, as a kid, was perhaps one of my least favorite from Abbey Road, as was the case with Within You Without You from Sgt. Pepper. Slow, boring, whatever. Then you start growing up, and things change.
The Byrds, Tiffany Queen . . . Yup, from that Queen search mentioned earlier. See what I mean, though? Throw darts at the board and…great little pop rocker from the later version of the band featuring the late great innovative and influential guitarist Clarence White.
Gillan and Glover, I Can’t Dance To That . . . From one of the many branches of Deep Purple, Inc. This rocker appeared on Accidentally on Purpose, released by Purple singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover in 1988. Well worth a listen. Dr. John (piano) and session ace Andy Newmark (drums) are the ‘name’ musician friends lending a hand. Ira Siegel and Nick Maroch aren’t household names but shine on guitars.
ZZ Top, 2000 Blues . . . The band was still immersed in its big commercial success synthesizer sound by 1990’s Recycler album, but a return to their blues roots was obviously brewing.
Gov’t Mule, I Shall Return . . . And I shall return – Saturday with my new So Old It’s New ‘2’ show, from 7-9 am ET and my regular Monday 8-10 pm ET gig.