So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, March 23, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

A long song set, nothing under 8 minutes . . . My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. Flash and The Pan, Welcome To The Universe
2. Fleetwood Mac, Future Games
3. Rush, 2112
4. King Crimson, Moonchild
5. Genesis, The Knife (from Genesis Live, 1973 album)
6. Traffic, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys
7. Jethro Tull, Baker St. Muse
8. Supertramp, Brother Where You Bound
9. The Rolling Stones, Going Home

My track-by-track tales:

1. Flash and The Pan, Welcome To The Universe . . . Eight minutes and change from the second Flash and The Pan album, Lights In The Night, issued in 1980. The group, largely a studio-only enterprise, was put together by the production team of Harry Vanda and George Young, older brother of AC/DC guitarists Angus and Malcolm, with Vanda and George Young producing all the early AC/DC albums up to Highway To Hell when Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange took over for the first of three straight albums, Back In Black and For Those About To Rock being the others. Vanda and George Young returned as AC/DC producers for 1988’s Blow Up Your Video with George Young later doing Stiff Upper Lip in 2000 as sole producer. As for Flash and The Pan, it’s arguably as far from AC/DC’s hard rock as one could get, although Flash does rock, but in a different, synthesizer-based way. Welcome To The Universe was edited in half for single release, retaining the up tempo middle ‘song’ part while losing the dark, spooky intro and outro portions, which I think costs the song its essence. So, here’s the full version.

2. Fleetwood Mac, Future Games . . . Enter American guitarist Bob Welch in 1971 with his title cut on his first of five albums with Fleetwood Mac, signalling a further change in direction from the original blues rock leanings of the band under founder member/guitarist/singer Peter Green. Green left after 1969’s Then Play On, perhaps my favorite Mac album but even by then the sound, with the addition of guitarist Danny Kirwan, was incorporating psychedelic and folk elements that continued with the addition of Welch, who came on board after 1970’s Kiln House. Fleetweed Mac is an interesting band in that sense, essentially three bands under one banner. There’s the Peter Green mostly blues founding phases, then the 1970-74 period featuring, at various times, separately and together, guitarists Welch, Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer, then the commercial monster many hit singles version of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks. All have their moments, and the hypnotic Future Games is one of them, from the arguably underappreciated Welch period. He later re-recorded the song, at half its 8-minute-plus Fleetwood Mac length, for his 1979 solo album The Other One, but I prefer the Mac version.

3. Rush, 2112 . . . Full vinyl-side 20-minute long title cut to the band’s 1976 album, one that arguably saved their career. It’s hard to believe now, but Rush’s previous album, Caress Of Steel, had been a sales disappointment and the band’s record label considered dropping them while pushing for a return to more commercial material. That would be songs like In The Mood or Working Man from the debut album, or Fly By Night, the second album’s hit single title cut on a record that, for the first time, featured a lengthy, progressive piece, By-Tor and The Snow Dog, which presaged even longer multi-part suites like The Necromancer and The Fountain Of Lamneth on Caress Of Steel. Yet, Rush held its ground, returned with another epic in 2112, it succeeded commercially this time, and the rest is history.

4. King Crimson, Moonchild . . . Beautiful track from In The Court Of The Crimson King, the debut and still my favorite Crimson album. It’s very ‘quiet’ for the most part yet compelling particularly to me the straight instrumental parts, concentrating on each instrument, particularly to my ears the drums, from about four minutes in and continuing for the rest of the 12-minute song.

5. Genesis, The Knife (from Genesis Live, 1973 album) . . . Hard rocking early Genesis, uncharacteristic of them to that point. The studio version was on Trespass, the band’s second album, released in 1970 with John Mayhew on drums before Phil Collins, who plays on this live version, joined Genesis for Nursery Cryme in 1971.

6. Traffic, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys . . . I’ve played this title cut to the 1971 Traffic album before but was reminded of it when an old high school and college pal, after I played Traffic’s version of the traditional English/Scottish song John Barleycorn on Monday, pointed me towards a piano-only version done in 2017 by Steve Winwood who of course was the lead singer and multi-instrumentalist for Traffic. That version, available on YouTube, is worth checking out, I’ll likely get back to it sometime but I decided on the Traffic version for this show.

7. Jethro Tull, Baker St. Muse . . . Love the start of this long story song from the Minstreal In The Gallery album. “Baker St. Muse, take 1″, Ian Anderson intones, before a bit of acoustic guitar then ‘shit, shit, shit, take 2…” Leaving a screw up in makes it better, in my opinion. Another long track in a show of long songs, but never boring, kicking in and rocking it up at around 13 minutes of the 16.5 minutes with mention of the album and song title minstrel in the gallery “one day I’ll be a minstrel in the gallery…paint you a picture of the Queen…” so ‘British’, so great.

8. Supertramp, Brother Where You Bound . . . David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame does the guitar solos on this 16-minute title cut from Supertramp’s 1985 album, the first record after the departure of one of the band’s two main songwriters, Roger Hodgson. Rick Davies took over full leadership of the band in that sense and, while things did decline in terms of sales from that point on, Supertramp was already in decline after Breakfast In America, a too pop for my taste albeit good and of course hugely successful commercially album . . . Brother Where You Bound is a far better album, I think, darker, harder, harkening back to earlier Supertramp like Crime Of The Century, than the Breakfast In America followup with Hodgson, . . . Famous Last Words.

9. The Rolling Stones, Going Home . . . Went for a beer with a good pal earlier this week and he brought up the Brian Jones period of the Stones career which, in some ways, is forgotten or overlooked or underappreciated, at least by some, now given the long 60-plus year history of the band. But this lengthy jam was from that Jones period (usually on guitar along with Keith Richards, Jones is on harmonica on the track). It’s on Aftermath, the 1966 album where for the first time, all songs were written by the Stones, i.e. Richards and Mick Jagger, the band’s songwriters. To that point, all Stones albums featured a mix of band-penned tunes with blues and R & B covers, so Aftermath – and Between The Buttons in 1967 – is when the group asserted itself as, arguably, more of an album act while still issuing big hit singles, with Jones experimenting on ‘exotic’ instruments like sitar, vibraphone (percussion), kazoo, koto (a stringed Japanese instrument) and marimba (percussion), among others. So many great deep cuts came out of that period, like Going Home, I Am Waiting, Flight 505, to name a few from Aftermath and Yesterday’s Papers, She Smiled Sweetly, Connection, My Obsession, Please Go Home from Between The Buttons which over time has become one of my favorite Stones’ albums.

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