5:38 p.m. - June 29, 2007
Like this one.
I’m just in a music mood right now, as writing about music helps calm my mind about the other uncertainties in life. Music is always good for the soul.
Especially when it seems your soul is careening – not for bad things – but in nervous anticipation. I think there are THREE schools checking my references now AND the big to do with the partners of the consulting firm on Monday and Tuesday.
So, this is Summer Music #6, random style, as per usual. Seek ye out – I know some are hard to find, but you know someone who has it, right?
2. Beverly Hills – Uncle Sound. Another group seemingly slap-dashed together in the studio for a one-off single, Uncle Sound featured the duo that later became Seals & Crofts along with singing sisters in backups. The piano riff is happening, the drum break should have been sampled, and the fuzzy guitar is so 60’s man. It’s so darn catchy you wonder why it didn’t stick, but it didn’t. If it did, though, we may have had to live without “Diamond Girl” or “Summer Breeze”.
3. My Angel Baby – Toby Beau. If there ever was an award for “most generic pop-rock song of the 70’s”, by gosh this would be on the nominee list. And no, Toby Beau isn’t a dude, it’s a band, which makes it all the lamer.
4. Hey! Baby – Bruce Channel. What song would the pep band sing and act goofy to if this song didn’t exist? Wait, don’t answer…
5. Hey Baby – In From The Storm – Jimi Hendrix. This is a live cut from the infamous Rainbow Bridge movie (but not the album of the same name, heaven forbid) that Jimi filmed with the last incarnation of his band in Maui. This merges two great tunes that would have been part of First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (or some other alleged title) in a seamless medley. Finally released on the outtakes and rarities box set a few years ago, it shows that Hendrix was becoming even more groundbreaking and complex as time went on, as his songwriting was improving and he was still striving for musical brilliance.
6. Candy Apple Cotton Candy – Pat Shannon. All you need to know is contained in the chorus: “Candy apples stick to your fingers / cotton candy gets in you hair / candy apples stick to your fingers / turn around and I’ll be there”. Um…OK. It’s as light as…well…cotton candy and just as sweet. The production is insanely complex, and one wonders how much they spent on these records that sold little back in the 60’s. Well, it couldn’t have been that much. But oh, to be a session player back then…four sessions a day, for sure!
7. Shakespeare;s Sister – The Smiths. These last four songs prove randomness, right? As time went on the Smiths formula got a bit more dense and complex, yet the essence of it all remained the same: Johnny Marr made magic, and Morrissey whined elegantly.
8. She Is Beyond Good And Evil – The Pop Group. There may be no band less aptly named than “The Pop Group”. This is rather mild, for them, as it moves from reggae to other forms of music and non-music. Explore at your peril, but remember danger is good for the soul.
9. Mendocino – The Sir Douglas Quintet. “Sir Douglas Quintet is back and we’d like to thank all of our beautiful friends all over the country for all of the beautiful vibrations. We love you.” Now, that’s a neat way to start a smash single, isn’t it? What is it about Texas bands that they mastered the sound of the farfisa organ so that it doesn’t totally remind you of ‘ladies choice for couples only’?
10. Try It – The Standells. OH! MY! GOD! They banned this song! Because “By the way you look / I can tell that you want some action / Action is my middle name.” OH! MY! GOD! Mabel, they’re telling Thelma Lou to ‘try it’ over the radio!! We can’t have this! OH! MY! GOD! It’s perverted filth, that’s what it is! Godless communist smut! OH! MY! GOD!
11. Judas Kiss – The Del Lords. One of my favorite “lost bands”. They were a real honest-to-goodness rock and roll band that could take John Cafferty and his bozos without breaking a sweat, but were so anachronistic in the 80s that they were just a cult band. Damn hair bands and synth boyz. Damn them!
12. Tape From California – Phil Ochs. The version I have is a live cut that I don’t think was released before his box set (which I have already sold back but have most of it in my iTunes, so don’t worry) and the live cut has an energy that sometimes he was lacking in his later years. He’s a sad tale – he was really too proud to even bend like Dylan did and didn’t find a mainstream audience.
13. Who’s Behind The Door – Zebra. I really do think they were trying to be an unholy alliance between Zep and Rush, being a power trio that played music that was stuck in the Houses Of The Holy mein. But they sound like Triumph with a synth, an acoustic guitar for flourish and even weenier vocals. But somehow I still like it.
14. Young Girl – Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. And now, I will go to the shower, and proceed to sing this out loud and strong like it’s nobody’s business. I think Mr. Puckett was trying to be the American Tom Jones, without the tight jeans and WITH ridiculous period costumes.
15. Luv ‘n’ Haight – Sly & The Family Stone. “Oh, it’s the new Sly & The Family Stone record”! “Great Miffy, let’s put it on and hear what this happy black man has to say!” “WOW! OMG! He hates white people!” This was the lead cut to There’s A Riot Goin’ On, a record he spent about two years and a bunch of Epic Records’ money making. This cut just has an uncomfortable junkie’s vibe in the groove, and that makes it frightening and compelling all the same.
16. I Found A Love – Eric Clapton. This was an outtake that was released on the Crossroads box set, probably the box set that propelled CD box sets into the popular culture. (Yes, I know Dylan and Springsteen had big boxes as well, but LPs were still the main format for them, and by this box, it was CDs) Clapton had a good groove on this one, and the band is tight, so one wonders why it didn’t see the light of day.
17. The Little Black Egg – The Nightcrawlers. Um, yeah. A very, um, interesting piece of pop rock from 1965, with a neat cascading guitar pattern and lyrics that are childlike, but bizarre. (How bizarre!) It’s still a groovy thing in a weird way, though, and it was a big hit in Florida. Of course, that’s Florida. Same as it ever was.
18. My Pledge Of Love – Joe Jeffrey Group. This is kind of ‘sunshine soul’, as it is soul music from the late 60’s with some sunshine rock influences in the upbeat arrangement and strings. This was a top 20 hit on the pop chart, but didn’t chart on the R & B chart for whatever reason. He got a hit and an album and that was it, goodnight Gracie!
19. Cold, Cold Shoes – The Fleshtones. Studies show that incessant cowbell can only enhance enjoyment of a song. But, overdose of cowbell can lead to convulsions, so cowbell wisely. (What does that have to do with anything? Ah, you see, there’s a constant cowbell here and it makes the song groove into another dimension!)
20. The White Pony – Ellen Margulies. I looked and looked and looked and no one had any reference material on who the heck she was, where she came from, or where she went. The song had a favorable review in Billboard. I need to email this out to a few people next week when I get back from Minneapolis. This is sunshine psych pop classic, with it’s middle eastern flourishes and empowering lyrics. Heavy, yet light.
21. Smashed Blocked – John’s Children. Duuuuuuude! Stay away from the brown acid, you know. This is definitely a bizarre little trip and it actually charted (albeit at #99). The intro is worth the price of admission, because the song then devolves into a regular little ol’ pop tune. But the first 30 seconds or so someone needed to put down the hookah!
22. Check My Machine – Paul McCartney. Once again, Paul McCartney is charming and irritating all in once. This whimsical little tune was just a b-side, but God love bonus tracks. But yeah, it can be annoying as hell, too.
Anywho, there you go! Some more tunes, and good luck finding them! But I bet you know where to look! Heh!