The Rolling Stones, Sparks Will Fly . . . One of those latter day Stones’ songs, from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge album, that perhaps is known only to aficionados of the band but, in another time, might have been a hit single. The whole album is arguably that way. Guitar World magazine, in a retrospective 2014 review, had the record at No. 42 on its ‘Superunknown Top 50 iconic albums that defined 1994’ list which, naturally, featured Soundgarden’s great album Superunknown from that year.
Dead Kennedys, Police Truck . . . It’s fun perusing YouTube comments on songs. Two come to mind re this ‘message track’, musically speaking, which could apply to most if not all Dead Kennedy’s songs: “This band has a kinda creepy sound to their music,’ says one observer. “It’s due to the guitar playing. It’s like evil surf rock,” responds another person. Yes.
David Bowie, D.J. . . . That’s me, your DJ. A minor hit single, Talking Heads-like, from Bowie/s1979 Lodger album.
Talking Heads, Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) . . . And here’s they are, from the excellent Remain in Light album, in their style of the time.
Sugarloaf, Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You . . . Little wonder this was a hit single, from two-hit wonders Sugarloaf, the other being Green Eyed Lady. I don’t usually play hit singles on this deep cuts show but, what the hell. Sometimes I do, and after all, It’s So Old It’s New. It came up while searching something else. A nascent Van Halen, I also discovered, did a cover of Don’t Call Us in 1975. That version is available on a bootleg recording on YouTube. David Lee Roth introduces it by saying “I was against doing it when we learned it, but check it out, it’s good.” And it is.
Big Sugar, Skull Ring . . . Reggae rock from the Canadian band. Good thing we’re listening to it on the radio, not live, so you can control the volume. Great band, but geez they play too effing loud, or at least did. Saw them once in a club in Toronto, 2004. Good show but my ears were ringing for three days and I was on the verge of seeking treatment, really, before things got back to normal, thankfully. One and done seeing them live, for me, as a result. Yeah, call me an old fart but try them sometime. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Unnecessarily loud.
The Police, Shadows In The Rain . . . It was raining, on and off in my town this weekend, perhaps inspiring this terrific track from Zenyatta Mondatta.
Fleetwood Mac, Sugar Daddy . . . I came upon this one, written and sung by Christine McVie, in the station computer system while searching Big Sugar songs. It wasn’t a single, but may as well have been given the airplay the band’s self-titled 1975 album justifiably received. It was the first one with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the band, marked a shift in musical direction, yielded hit singles like Over My Head, Rhiannon and Say You Love Me and two years later came the similar but bigger commercial monster Rumours.
Jeff Beck, Head For Backstage Pass . . . To say Jeff Beck is eclectic is, well, it goes without saying. Short, sweet, superb, from his 1976 album Wired, his second straight great instrumental album, Blow By Blow the previous one.
Peter Frampton, White Sugar (live) . . . Another one I noticed during the Big Sugar search. Originally on the Frampton’s Camel studio album in 1973, it was played on the tour that yielded the blockbuster breakthrough Frampton Comes Alive in 1976 but didn’t appear on the first issue of that album but was included on subsequent expanded re-releases, beginning with the 25th anniversary set. It’s interesting how Frampton’s solo studio stuff was not so much ignored as it didn’t do well, commercially, when he came out of Humble Pie but then boom, the live album happened and the rest is history. Same thing happened, to varying degrees, with Kiss and Kiss Alive and Bob Seger and Live Bullet, both of which arguably fueled the double live album trend of the 1970s that Paul McCartney took one full vinyl record further with his triple Wings Over America.
Bob Dylan, Man Of Peace . . . Put on your best “how does it fee-el” Bob Dylan voice and sing “you know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.” Yes, evil people do just that and there are many in our midst, always. Great song, great lyrics, from 1983’s Infidels.
Electric Light Orchestra, Tightrope . . . Never a single but a well-known cut by ELO. It’s the first song on the 1976 album A New World Record, was played extensively live and to me with its orchestral opening seguing into rock and roll would have been a great concert opener and perhaps it was although I can’t find much evidence of that on the various set list sites. ELO lost me after the 1970s but boy, were they big then. I remember the Out Of The Blue album tour, 1978. Well, not actually, I didn’t go so I wasn’t among the 70,000 or so at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium. I didn’t like ELO THAT much and, frankly, glad I didn’t because from what I’ve seen they’re kinda boring live. Great studio band and songs, though. And, I have seen the show on YouTube (search Electric Light Orchestra Live in USA 1978) and I remember reading about it. They had a flying saucer stage setup that opened to reveal the band, although you don’t see the saucer on the concert film which tells me whoever posted the video should have prefaced it with Jefferson Airplane’s song Have You Seen The Saucers? But you can’t expect such depth of music knowledge from most people. And besides, a flying saucer opening I don’t think compares to Pink Floyd crashing a model airplane while playing On The Run live.
Donovan, Atlantis . . . It’s worth reading about this great song, how the various record company people on either side of the pond debated it as being either an A- or B-side, thinking its spoken-word early part would not resonate. But as often happens, the execs didn’t properly read how the public hears or otherwise accepts things that the so-called experts deem to not be of value. In short, it became a hit, and justifiably so.
Flash and The Pan, Atlantis Calling . . . Well, I just had to play this after playing the Donovan track. And, as listeners/followers of the show know, Flash and The Pan remains one of my favorite bands. I won’t drone on, OK maybe just a bit, about how Harry Vanda and George Young, the brains behind the band, produced early AC/DC records, with George Young being the older brother to AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young.
Streetheart, Can You Feel It . . . I originally had this rocker pegged for my debut So Old It’s New ‘2” show this past Saturday which featured kick-ass hard-rocking tunes but given the nature of much of what I played, I took it out as not ‘hard’ enough to fit the theme. It could have, still, but anyway I went with a different lineup so here it comes at you tonight.
The Yardbirds, A Certain Girl . . . I’ll be honest. I actually prefer Warren Zevon’s cover of this to the Yardbirds’ version but I’ll admit it’s also perhaps a production thing, 1960s to 70s-early 80s achievable sounds, akin to Aerosmith maybe doing a better job on Train Kept A Rollin’ than did the Yardbirds. Then again, the guitar solo just kicked in so dismiss everything I just said and besides, given Clapton was in the Yardbirds, it sets up the next song, which was my intention in the first place.
Eric Clapton, Next Time You See Her . . . A Certain Girl…Next Time You See Her…Get it? Oh, shut up, Bald Boy with your silly word play. Always loved this one, from Slowhand which, as I’ve said before when I’ve played stuff from it, is just a brilliant album, excellence personified track for track.
Neil Young, Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown . . . Great song from Tonight’s The Night and another deliberate setup for my next tune.
Petula Clark, Downtown . . . I’ve always loved this song and forever will. One of the first songs I remember hearing, in 1964, age 5, along with early Beatles and Rolling Stones songs. Was a hit, of course, and this is a deep cuts show but as my mantra goes, So Old It’s New (with occasional long lost or unknown singles like the Sugarloaf song I played earlier) and to some or many, it may be new. Clark never matched Downtown commercially but she had lots of great stuff like I Know A Place, My Love and many more. Just a great singer, one of those you might listen to beyond Downtown and think, oh, that’s her?
John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat, Burning Hell . . . This is the full version, from Hooker N Heat, with about 90 seconds of pre-song dialogue between Hooker and the band, well worth hearing before the typical sort of Hooker shuffle backed the Heat.
Canned Heat, Fried Hockey Boogie . . . And here’s the Heat, on their own. Playing it largely because not only do I like Canned Heat but perhaps unbelievably, although it’s believable of course because it’s happening, it’s already hockey season again with teams in camp and pre-season games at all levels being played.
Faces, Wicked Messenger . . . Faces do Dylan, from their first album, First Step, after the breakup of The Small Faces, with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood now in the band. Dylan’s song appeared on his 1967 John Wesley Harding album. Another of those tunes that’s worth reading up on, given its Biblical inspirations, that space here does not permit.
Tom Waits, Clap Hands . . . I love Tom Waits’ music, which sometimes isn’t even conventional music. Sometimes he reminds me, vocally, of the teacher in the old Charlie Brown cartoons you’d see on TV, wah wah, wah wah wah, wah. Like Dylan sometimes, almost not understandable. Yet great, This song isn’t one of those but I just thought I’d mention it. Not to mention the fact Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, my favorite band, played on the album from which this comes, Rain Dogs.
Van Morrison, Till We Get The Healing Done . . . Maybe a sequel, sounds sort of like one, from his 1979 song I cherish, And The Healing Has Begun from Into The Music but regardless, another brilliant, extended, Van The Man tune. From 1993’s Too Long In Exile album.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Don’t Ask Me No Questions . . . I haven’t played Skynyrd in a while. Wanted to play some. I threw darts at the board because you can’t go wrong with Skynyrd. This hit the bullseye.
Pink Floyd, Eclipse . . . I spoke of Pink Floyd and crashing a plane and all that, earlier in tonight’s set. So, here they are. It’s perhaps folly to pull a separate track from an album like The Dark Side Of The Moon because all of the songs flow together in an artistic statement, but so be it. It’s probably, even subconsciously, why thanks to a station slot opening I’ve started my new Saturday morning show (7 to 9 am ET) because not only does it give me two more hours a week to play with but will enable me to not only fit more music in beyond Mondays but do themed shows, full album plays and so on. And The Dark Side Of The Moon is obviously and definitely a full album play candidate. This coming Saturday, Oct. 1, though, I’m leaning towards an AC/DC show split between Brian Johnson and Bon Scott vocals.