So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 13, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. The Beatles, Birthday
2. Vanilla Fudge, Ticket To Ride
3. Spooky Tooth, I Am The Walrus
4. Rod Stewart, Get Back
5. Deep Purple, Hey Joe
6. Garland Jeffreys, 96 Tears
7. Television, Marquee Moon
8. T Bone Burnett, Humans From Earth
9. Steely Dan, Aja
10. Van Morrison, A Sense Of Wonder
11. Led Zeppelin, Black Country Woman
12. The Rolling Stones, Brand New Car
13. Nazareth, Back To The Trenches
14. The Kinks, To The Bone
15. The Black Crowes, Stare It Cold
16. ZZ Top, Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell
17. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gloomy
18. Ian Hunter, Standin’ In My Light
19. The Byrds, Lover Of The Bayou (studio version)
20. Jeff Beck, Blues De Luxe
21. Tommy Bolin, Post Toastee

My track-by-track tales:

1. The Beatles, Birthday . . . It’s my youngest of two son’s birthday Saturday. He’s 32. This is for you, Scott.

2. Vanilla Fudge, Ticket To Ride . . . Somehow or other, playing a Beatles’ track got me thinking of other bands covering Beatles material (and that could and now that it occurs to me likely will be a future show) so here’s the first of a few, then into some more cover tunes and then on with original material from the rest of the artists in the set. Vanilla Fudge puts their psychedelic stamp on this one.

3. Spooky Tooth, I Am The Walrus . . . As does Spooky Tooth, a la Vanilla Fudge psychedelic approach on this Beatles tune and both bands employ what to me is the best/most effective approach to covering well-known songs: make it different, at least attempt to make it your own.

4. Rod Stewart, Get Back . . . Stewart has always been a good interpreter of other people’s music and this is a quite fine to me, raunchy in spots cover of The Beatles tune, generally along the same path The Beatles took but different enough with enough of Stewart’s stamp on it. It appeared on the soundtrack of a movie bomb All This and World War II which lasted two weeks in threatres in 1976 before being mercifully pulled out of circulation. I don’t claim to know much about the movie but lots of interesting reading about it is available online including this analysis headlined: ‘All This and World War II’: The Beatles Movie Nobody Asked For, Nobody Saw and Nobody Remembers.’ (but now I want to find it and watch it 🙂 )

All This and World War II

In short, it’s a movie incorporating scenes, mostly newsreel footage, and you can view the trailer in the link above, of World War II juxtaposed to Beatles music, in this case Beatles music as covered by other artists. On the surface, a bizarre concept, but the man behind the movie explains his rationale in the above link. Major artists participated, including Stewart, Elton John, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music fame, The Bee Gees, Peter Gabriel doing Strawberry Fields Forever in apparently his first solo performance once he left Genesis and before his first solo album was released, Tina Turner, Status Quo . . . But the failure of the movie is maybe, and I can only guess, why Stewart, in his otherwise in depth and informative personal song-by-song liner notes to his Storyteller anthology, said of Get Back only “What’s this doin’ ‘ere?’ Well, I for one am glad he included it on the anthology, it’s a good cover, to me akin to his cover of the Stones’ Street Fighting Man, similar to the original but with enough of Rod’s personal stamp to make it effective.

5. Deep Purple, Hey Joe . . . Not a Beatles cover, but it’s along the lines of the psychedelic Vanilla Fudge and Spooky Tooth Beatles covers earlier in the set, Hey Joe as done by the original version of Deep Purple. That version of the group featured Rod Evans on lead vocals and Nick Simper on bass before they were replaced by Ian Gillan (vocals) and Roger Glover (bass) for the fourth album, In Rock, which charted Purple’s course into the hard rock arena. To that point, Purple had been fairly successful, Hush was a hit single for the first version of the band but they were dipping in and out of various styles and seemingly not totally finding themselves. Yet that first version of the band left lots of great music behind including this epic treatment of the song Jimi Hendrix didn’t write but made famous and I leave listeners to research the myriad tales about who exactly wrote the song. The Purple version is mind blowing, if underappreciated or even recognized, given, especially, the interplay between Purple keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, including some fine Spanish guitar interludes, many songs in one, essentially.

6. Garland Jeffreys, 96 Tears . . . Last one in my mini covers set within the overall set. And I reserve the right to go contrary to what I’ve previously said about how making a cover version different is the way to go. Sometimes, you can do the song the same way, but differently enough – I’d put Van Halen’s cover of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me in that category – to still make a song your own while paying respectful homage to the original. And that’s what Garland Jeffreys does on his 1981 version of the ? and the Mysterians 1966 No. 1 hit. I think it’s Jeffreys’ aggressive vocal style that does it for me. I remember when this came out on his Escape Artist album, it of course reminded me of the Mysterians hit, prompted me to buy the Jeffreys album, and I discovered a new artist whose work I like.

7. Television, Marquee Moon . . . Infectious, irresistible riff on this title cut to Television’s most acclaimed album, the 1977 debut that didn’t do much on the charts but has long been cited as a major influence on the development of what became known as alternative rock. I like the song. But I didn’t, at first. I remember buying the album because it’s so acclaimed. Somehow I missed it in the late 1970s which is weird because I was major into the ‘new wave’ stuff that was coming out then but I also totally missed The Stranglers while listening to Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Graham Parker and I’ve gone back since and I still don’t ‘get’ The Stranglers but anyway one of those time and place things, I suppose, that I missed in their case. Back to Television: so I bought the album at some point, was unimpressed. Took it back, traded it in at a used store. Then, years later, I was in a used store and a song was playing on the store’s sound system and I’m digging it and I hear the words marquee moon in the lyric and I’m like, “I’ve been too hasty, I must have this!” So, I now long since have it. I still haven’t really grasped the rest of the record but for the title cut alone, it’s well worth it.

8. T Bone Burnett, Humans From Earth . . . His production credits are too long to list – Elvis Costello, Elton John, John Mellencamp to name just a few, myriad soundtracks – but Burnett also does his own music, and this cool soundscape groove is from his 1992 solo release The Criminal Under My Own Hat.

9. Steely Dan, Aja . . . Amazing title cut from the band’s 1977 album. Peg and Josie were the well-known and well-deserved hits but Aja incorporates all that Steely Dan was, could be, and where they were heading in an intoxicating brew of jazz rock and however else one might describe it. Sax solo by the great Wayne Shorter, who deferred at first but then agreed to play on the record and of course adds so much.

10. Van Morrison, A Sense Of Wonder . . . Title cut to Van The Man’s 1984 album, a beautiful, spiritual track released as a single but didn’t chart. Veteran artists seem to get to that point; they continue releasing great music, and Van still is but already 40 years ago he had fallen out of commercial favor at least as far as the charts went, but so what? You miss loads of great music if all you pay attention to is top hits, or charts, if they even exist anymore.

11. Led Zeppelin, Black Country Woman . . . Noted for Robert Plant’s ‘nah, leave it” meaning leave in the sound of an airplane flying overhead at the start of the song as Zep is recording outside at Stargroves, an estate in the English countryside owned at the time by Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. And a great tune it is, from a great album, Physical Graffiti.

12. The Rolling Stones, Brand New Car . . . And here are the Stones, with a cool wah wah guitar groove tune complete with obvious but still fun double entendre lyrics i.e. car equals woman, from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge album. Some critics panned the song but what is a journalism critic, really, one could argue, but a listener with access to a keyboard and a wide platform? It’s a good song, nice groove, nice playing.

13. Nazareth, Back To The Trenches . . . Nazareth had a great run of hard rocking hit making during most of the 1970s then seemed to sort of lose themselves as they attempted or seemed to attempt to diversify their sound into the 1980s and they lost some fans, as a result, after let’s say the Malice In Wonderland album in 1980 with its hit Holiday but even that album was getting perhaps too slick for some fans’ tastes. Yet even amid the creative let’s call it searching, every now and then the band would reach back to its roots and Back To The Trenches, a hard-driving, pulsating complete with biting political lyrics tune from 1982’s 2XS album, fits that bill and could easily have fit on albums like Razamanaz, Loud ‘n’ Proud and Hair Of The Dog. And Nazareth is still around, original lead singer Dan McCafferty retired due to health reasons and later sadly died, but the band has continued with McCafferty-approved singer Carl Sentance, and has fully – even when McCafferty was still around until 2014’s Rock ‘n Roll Telephone album – returned to kick butt rock and roll as evidenced by the two very decent recent albums, Tattooed On My Brain (2018) and Surviving The Law (2022). By this point, to me, longtime bands carrying on with likely not all the original members, where once I might have said, ah, pack it in, now and obviously likely a product of my own aging, I admire them for their perseverence. I mean, it’s what they do. Why stop?

14. The Kinks, To The Bone . . . Fabulous title cut to what turned out to be the last Kinks album, although rumors persist about a possible reunion but as a major Kinks fan, I actually hope not. It’s been too long, 30 years, let it be. What’s the point, at this point? Both Davies brothers, Ray and Dave, continue to sporadically release solo music, not to me up to their Kinks’ standards but I think it’s all fine, their collective legacy is assured. And why not go out with as brilliant a cut as this title track to what otherwise was a live largely unplugged album (that was a big thing, back then, 1994) played in front of a small audience in the band’s Konk Studios. The album featured most of any Kinks hit you could name, it’s a terrific record, well played, and it ends on this high note of a great studio track. A good one to go out on.

15. The Black Crowes, Stare It Cold . . . Stones-ish without apology – the Crowes often cite the Stones as an obvious influence along with Faces and so on – deep cut from the blockbuster debut Crowes’ album, Shake Your Moneymaker in 1990 featuring hits like Jealous Again, the Otis Redding cover Hard To Handle and Twice As Hard.

16. ZZ Top, Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell . . . Pure, cool, deep blues from early ZZ Top, from the second album, Rio Grande Mud, released in 1972. I thought of this one due to a forecast of rain, where I live, over the next few days.

17. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gloomy . . . A multi-faceted track, great guitar sounds and yet more obvious proof that hits compilations are a good way, but not the only way, to appreciate a great band but of course they often serve as a fine introduction and some people are satisfied with the comp, others are prompted to dig deeper. CCR is renowned as a great singles band and deservedly so but there is so much depth to their catalog, as this track from their debut album from 1968 proves.

18. Ian Hunter, Standin’ In My Light . . . It’s been on my list of potential plays and I’ve been trying to get this song in for the last several weeks since returning, as of March 4, from my 9-month hiatus but somehow or other I haven’t made the space or time for it. So, finally, here it is. From Hunter’s great 1979 album You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic.

19. The Byrds, Lover Of The Bayou (studio version) . . . I say ‘studio version’ in parentheses because in most cases, including compilations, one will find Lover Of The Bayou in its live three minutes and change version as originally appeared on the half live, half studio album Untitled, in 1970. And the live version as a result has likely become the most well known but while I like both, I tend to prefer the studio version perhaps because it’s almost two minutes longer, hence I’m able to enjoy that infectious riff for longer. The studio version, recorded in 1970 as the band was working on the album, didn’t see physical release, to my knowledge and research, until the 2000 expanded re-release of the original album.

20. Jeff Beck, Blues De Luxe . . . From the Truth album, the 1968 album that set the template for so much that came after (Led Zeppelin, for instance). It featured of course Jeff Beck on guitar, Rod Stewart on lead vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass and Micky Waller on drums but session player to the stars Nicky Hopkins arguably steals the show on piano, on this track.

21. Tommy Bolin, Post Toastee . . . In some ways, the brilliant guitarist Bolin was forever the ‘replacement’ guitarist and even though he brought immense talent and songwriting ability to the bands he joined, like the James Gang (replacing Joe Walsh) and Deep Purple (replacing Ritchie Blackmore) that’s how he was often perceived despite his prodigious talent. He was an amazing artist, with demons, drug addiction, that eventually did him in far too soon but what a legacy. Not only with the aforementioned bands but with jazz drummer Billy Cobham on his Spectrum album (Bolin’s gateway into Deep Purple after David Coverdale heard his playing on the record) and Bolin’s earlier band Zephyr. Bolin wound up doing just two solo studio albums, Teaser and Private Eyes from which I pulled this track and I just had to play it (again, I’ve played it before and don’t like repeating but . . . inevitable . . . ) because while looking it up, in one post on YouTube I saw a comment from a former exotic dancer who said that she always played Post Toastee as part of her act, and always got her best tips when she danced to the song. I can visualize it, dancing to the song’s groove. So, 🙂 here you go. I’ll never think of the song in the same way again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.