So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, May 20, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

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

  1. The Rolling Stones, Too Tough
  2. Ten Years After, 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain
  3. Hawkwind, Brainstorm
  4. Pete Townshend, Communication
  5. Faces, Bad ‘N’ Ruin
  6. Jimi Hendrix, Like A Rolling Stone (from Live At Monterey)
  7. Neil Young, Albuquerque
  8. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Arroyo
  9. The Beatles, Doctor Robert
  10. Grateful Dead, Friend Of The Devil
  11. Funkadelic, Wars Of Armageddon
  12. Supertramp, Crime Of The Century (live, Paris album)
  13. Warren Zevon, Genius
  14. Elton John, Stinker
  15. Tommy Bolin, Lotus
  16. Spooky Tooth, Wildfire
  17. Eric Burdon & War, Pretty Colors
  18. Grand Funk Railroad, Mr. Limousine Driver
  19. AC/DC, Ride On
  20. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Am I Losin’
  21. Gregg Allman, House Of Blues
  22. Fleetwood Mac, Coming Home

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Rolling Stones, Too Tough . . . Gritty riff-rocker from 1983’s Undercover album, almost metallic Stones likely due to the 1980s touch of overproduction; I recall a critic lamenting the ‘showy guitars’ but heck, man, the Stones are, at their best, a guitar band after all. Speaking of which, nice solo by Ron Wood. Something of an overlooked album, Undercover, the title tune was a hit, the mini-epic Too Much Blood was just that, a tale about cannibalistic serial killers, apparently gleaned from a newspaper article from a real-life crime in Paris, with Mick Jagger rapping references to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and An Officer and A Gentleman ‘something you can take the wife to, you know what I mean?”. Too Tough was a US or North America-only single, didn’t chart although I remember hearing it on radio. The Stones didn’t tour to promote the album as the so-called ‘World War III’ between Jagger and Keith Richards about the band’s direction, Jagger’s solo aspirations and so on heated up for most of the rest of the decade, perhaps accounting for the relative low profile of the record.
    2. Ten Years After, 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain. . . . Slow building into Alvin Lee guitar wank blues rock rom 1970’s Cricklewood Green album. Interesting aspect to the song, descriptive enough for sure, may be a comment I discovered on YouTube about it. “I’d come home, find my husband, head set on, tapping his foot in an inhuman speed. This was one of his favorites. We made love on acid while this played. I thought it possible we were flying on a cloud.”
    3. Hawkwind, Brainstorm . . . Space rock epic proving that maintaining a riff, embellished with other instrumental accents, over an 11-minute, 34-second period of time can keep a long song compelling. In that sense, it’s actually too short. Driving an endless road to infinity comes to mind.
    4. Pete Townshend, Communication . . . Sometimes I think artists pick the wrong songs as singles. Take Townshend’s All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes album, from which the up-tempo, catchy Communication is drawn. It wasn’t a single. Had it been, it might have helped push the album to more than a middling chart performance. Townshend overlooked, for single release, to me the album’s best songs, Exquisitely Bored and The Sea Refuses No River, both of which I’ve previously played. Instead, he goes with Face Dances, Pt. 2 and Uniforms. Neither ever did much for me. Townshend corrected his errors upon the 2005 release of the 2-CD compilation Gold with Exquisitely Bored and The Sea Refuses No River making the cut. On the flip side, not releasing those great songs as singles means they haven’t been overplayed.
    5. Faces, Bad ‘N’ Ruin . . . Stop, start, reverse sort of riff, if that makes sense, by Ron Wood on this boozy rocker (is there any other kind of Faces song?) from 1971’s Long Player album. Reminds me a bit of Johnny Winter’s I’m Yours And I’m Hers from his self-titled 1969 album. Bad ‘N’ Ruin is from that glorious period of so much great Faces and Rod Stewart music between 1969 and 1974.
    6. Jimi Hendrix, Like A Rolling Stone (from Live At Monterey) . . . Played it before, probably too much, but I can never get enough of this example of Hendrix doing Dylan. Features the classic mid-song Hendrix response to a fan in the crowd: “Yes I know I missed a verse don’t worry . . . ” Gotta love the live experience.
    7. Neil Young, Albuquerque . . . Raw road song, in search of self, or something, ‘I’ll find somewhere where they don’t care who I am’ from the bleak Tonight’s The Night album. On a lighter note, Bugs Bunny always knew he should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.
    8. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Arroyo . . . Sounds crazy, maybe, but nearly 50 years later, after only really knowing and growing up in the 1970s with this band’s two big hits, If You Wanna Get To Heaven and Jackie Blue, I bought a compilation of theirs maybe a year ago now, cheap, from my friendly neighborhood independent record store’s used rack. Great stuff, like this hypnotic track.
    9. The Beatles, Doctor Robert . . . From Revolver. About drugs.
    10. Grateful Dead, Friend Of The Devil . . . Such a great, jaunty, country rocker from American Beauty.
    11. Funkadelic, Wars Of Armageddon . . . Freak-out jam in the psychedelic funk fusion of sounds that is the Maggot Brain album.
    12. Supertramp, Crime Of The Century (live, Paris album) . . . Title cut from the band’s breakthrough 1974 studio album, done live on the 1979 Breakfast In America tour that, seemingly, everyone on Earth, including me, saw, given how big Supertramp was then.
    13. Warren Zevon, Genius . . . Typically wonderful wordplay from Zevon. How many other artists could start with ‘a bitter pot of je ne sais quoi’ stirring it with a monkey’s paw while weaving together Miles Davis’s classic album Kind Of Blue, Mata Hari, Albert Einstein and unindicted co-conspirators first made famous during the Watergate scandal, and make it all work? It’s from the My Ride’s Here album in 2002. I had stopped buying Zevon’s individual albums by then, around the time of 1989’s Transverse City, but later in 2002 he issued a compilation titled Genius, which included the song plus various other tracks from the 1990s, and I was re-hooked, saw the error of my ways and filled out my studio album collection.
    14. Elton John, Stinker . . . Catchy funk-rock tune from 1974’s Caribou album, it features the Tower of Power horn section.
    15. Tommy Bolin, Lotus . . . Beautiful, soulful yet rocking track from Bolin’s 1975 solo debut Teaser, issued during the period he was also in Deep Purple for the Come Taste The Band album and tour.
    16. Spooky Tooth, Wildfire . . . Nice riff from future Foreigner founder member Mick Jones on his first outing with Spooky Tooth and the band’s singer/keyboardist Gary Wright, later of solo fame via such hits as Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive. It’s from the 1973 album You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw.
    17. Eric Burdon & War, Pretty Colors . . . So intoxicatingly funky, from The Black-Man’s Burdon, 1970. What a collaboration.
    18. Grand Funk Railroad, Mr. Limousine Driver . . . Early Grand Funk raunch and roll, lovemaking, or wanting to, in the back seat after a show.
    19. AC/DC, Ride On . . . A song where AC/DC proves they could easily have been a blues band. I suppose The Jack is another one. Anyway, it’s from the Bon Scott era, originally on the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap which was released in Australia in 1976 but not until 1981 elsewhere, more than a year after Scott’s death. The song – presumably largely thanks to the line ‘looking for a truck’ – also appeared on the soundtrack/pseudo compilation album Who Made Who in 1986 that accompanied the Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive, which was loosely based on his short story Trucks. King is a big AC/DC fan.
    20. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Am I Losin’ . . . Heartfelt song about losing a friend, likely over money based on the lyrics, apparently singer/lyricist Ronnie Van Zant’s thoughts about original Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns. Guitar solo by Ed King.
    21. Gregg Allman, House Of Blues . . . Mid-tempo blues from one of my favorite Gregg Allman solo albums, 1997’s Searching For Simplicity. Thirteen songs, eight covers, this one’s an Allman original.
    22. Fleetwood Mac, Coming Home . . . I say this often, I realize, but it bears repeating. The middle period of Fleetwood Mac, with guitarist/singer/songwriter Bob Welch in between the early, Peter Green-led blues band and the later commercial monster featuring Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, is brilliant. This atmospheric, almost Pink Floyd-ish track from 1974’s Heroes Are Hard To Find album is further proof. The Mac is essentially three different bands, all worthwhile listening although the Welch period stuff seems to be the least celebrated.

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