Archive for Music - page 9

Music Friday – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Edition

Music Friday – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Edition

My goal with this week’s Music Friday – Yellow Brick Road Edition was to find an artist who is virtually a household name and perhaps introduce you to a few of his more obscure songs from my formative years, which are?  Anyone?   Bueller?  That’s right, the 70’s!  And by way of maintaining the connection to progressive or alt rock, I can tell you that Elton John, while he was still known by his real name Reginald Dwight, once auditioned for lead singer of King Crimson.  And you can’t get any more prog or alt than King Crimson.  Obviously, he did not pass the audition.  Though he teamed up with lyricist Bernie Taupin in the 60’s and his debut album Empty Sky was released in 1969, it was his 1970 album Elton John that established his style and contained his first US Top 100 single, Your Song.  Anyhoo... back to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  The double album was released in early 1973 to instant critical acclaim, and yielded the hits Bennie and the Jets, Candle In The Wind as well as the title track, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  If you click on those titles, the link will take you to YouTube where you can listen to those songs.  For my purposes today, I will feature three  songs you may not be familiar with if you haven’t listened to the album tens of thousands of times like I have.  You think I’m exaggerating…

First up:  Harmony (not hominy as someone suggested in the YouTube comments)

Next up:  This Song Has No Title.  Actually is does have a title – that is the title.

Finally we’ll ride off into the sunset with Roy Rogers

Elton John and Bernie Taupin collaborated on something like 30 albums, and they did not work together.  Taupin would write a set of lyrics and then send them, usually through the mail, to John wherever he was.  John would then put the lyrics to music.  Well.. whatever works.  And this works!

This Friday’s Final Music Foray

This Friday’s Final Music Foray

There are usually threads that run through the various aspects of my life, connecting them into one giant…big giant connected thing.  I’ll have to think about that and come back to it.  Anyhoo…that is true with my likes in music, too.  One of the bands I like is Asia, two of the members come from other bands I like.  The drummer, Carl Palmer is of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.  Greg Lake of ELP was briefly part of Asia as well.  The guitarist, Steve Howe is from YES.  Not a lot else to say about this one…aging rockers all a round, but they can still play.  Here’s Asia live performing Sole Survivor.  Lotta bald spots in the audience – and that’s the women!  Badda-Bing!.  A  sign of the times I guess.

You’ll see…You were meant to be here…from the beginning

You’ll see…You were meant to be here…from the beginning

Since I was the youngest of four siblings I was influenced by the music my brother and sisters listened to.  Eventually I got old enough to discern my own musical tastes – I remember asking my father to buy me a record – a single or a 45 of  The Animals  “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” when I was about 9 years old, my first acquisition of music that was my own.

I was fortunate in that my older brother with whom I shared a room was also interested in music and so had a record player, later a stereo, and some music.  I had his stereo to play my music on and his collection to listen to.  Since I usually destroyed most of his stuff like little brothers often do, I’m sure I scratched most of his records and roached a few of the stereo’s needles.  Of course there was no malice aforethought – but still – sorry Ted!  However, most of the time it was the radio that supplied the music.  When I say radio, I mean AM Top 40 radio as that was the format of that era.  And that was enough for some years, but as the sixties waned, the music scene was evolving too.  Stereo setups became a little more sophisticated, usually incorporating a tuner/amplifier with an FM band.  FM stations began to spring up with what was known as album-oriented formats or free form programming.  Bottom line is there were no playlists, the DJs played pretty much whatever they wanted.  The first one I was exposed to was KSAN, a San Fransisco station – as I recall it was because the father of a high school friend of mine had a Cadillac with an FM radio.  A little later, local station KZAP came along.  These stations provided access to progressive or alternate rock like Genesis, YES, Emerson, Lake &Palmer, etc. that was never heard on AM because of the Top 40 format.  AM radio was still very much alive, however, since most cars only had AM radios and we kids were still a few years off from our own cars and having money for after market sound sysytems.  Eventually the free form FM format died out, apparently not commercial enough to succeed.  No matter – the internet was born.  Thank you Al Gore!  I couldn’t do this without YouTube!

So you have a little glimpse into what happened to turn me into the maladjusted developmentally arrested freak I am today.  Did I say that out loud?  What I meant is now you know why I subject you to these music offerings each Friday.  If you have a music question, a band you’d like to know more about or a song request, leave it in the comments – I’ll do what I can.

Here’s a little of that ELP – don’t be frightened!  This is on the mellow side.  You’ll see it’s all clear…You were meant to be here…from the beginning

Lightning strikes…maybe once, maybe twice…

Lightning strikes…maybe once, maybe twice…

…but it all comes down to you.

I give you Stevie Nicks – well, Fleetwood Mac really.  But this song is all Stevie.

 

If you’ve ever seen Stevie Nicks interviewed then you know she is…interesting.  She definitely has the artist vibe going.  Maybe I’ll expand on that one of these music Fridays.

 

After ranting most of the week, it’s mellow time…

After ranting most of the week, it’s mellow time…

…so we’ll continue our mellow Music Friday with this screeching guitar solo…just kidding!  We’re going MELLOW today.  This next one’s so mellow you may want to get grab a cup of coffee to stay alert.  Hopping off from the last post, I have another Dan Fogelberg song from his Souvenirs album, which you might remember was produced by…hint…it was in one of last Friday’s music posts…give up?  The answer is Joe Walsh produced Souvenirs.  Here is the title track:

 

Bonus backtrack:  mellow + Eagles + Joe Walsh = Pretty Maids All In a Row

Music Friday – since you’ve asked

Music Friday – since you’ve asked

Sometimes when I’m be-boppin’ around on the web I come across something, bookmark it and later forget how I got there.  That is the case here – I forgot how I came across this Judy Collins performance of  her song Since You’ve Asked, but I’m glad I did.  I hadn’t realized that she wrote it, as I was only familiar with the Dan Fogelberg version (2nd video) and assumed he authored it.  You will not recognize this song if you are only familiar with Collins’ commercially successful songs like Both Sides Now or Send In The Clowns.  This is a very moving love song, melodic poetry with a piano accompaniment

 

 

Now Dan Fogelberg:

 

Very Nice!

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard (or read) the word “schlock”…

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard (or read) the word “schlock”…

…It means inferior, damaged or otherwise of poor quality and I’ve never used it to refer to the quality of music.  I’d always heard it used to refer to certain…ahem..”combustibles” of poor quality.  But using it to refer to the quality of music is what Jody Rosen does in this Vulture.com article In Defense of Schlock Music: Why Journey, Billy Joel and Lionel Ritchie Are Better Than You Think.  Rosen spends a fair amount of ink (electrons? pixels? bandwidth?) explaining that if you’ve ever read or paid any attention to music critics you would know that almost all popular music, past and present, is considered schlock by those critics.  And despite the critic’s…err…criticism, the music was and is commercially successful, widely popular and has stayed popular over time.  Huh.  I can’t really decide if the article is a true defense of the music, a defense of the critics who deemed the music schlock, or an idictment of the public for embracing and consuming the schlock tunes because about halfway through the article I started to lose the will to live – no offense meant to Jody Rosen.  Anyhoo…I don’t care.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say (or so I’m told that they say) and I don’t need a critic to tell me if a painting is good, or if I should like a song.  I know what I like when I hear it.  I DO NOT LIKE The Pina Colada Song – just want to get that out there.  Now THAT is some schlock.  God, now I’ve got that in my head.

So in the critics’ opinions, my taste in music runs to “schlock”.  Everyone has their opinions – one man’s schlock is another man’s…umm…something that’s good music.  Let’s try that again.  One man’s schlock is another man’s..BACH!  Awesome.  Just find something you like and let it make you happy!

Here is number 109 from The 150 Greatest Schlock Songs  of All Time:

 

 

Hat tip:  Althouse

Music Friday – Joe Walsh Edition

Music Friday – Joe Walsh Edition

The spotlight turns to Joe Walsh, who many of you may know as a member of the Eagles;  However…Joe Walsh was Joe Walsh before he was an Eagle.  In the late 60’s he joined a band called The James Gang – 70’s refugees will recognize the name and recall that this band produced some of the first hit songs written/performed by Walsh.  He left the James Gang and formed a group called Barnstorm, which had a few hits, the most commercially successful being “Rocky Mountain Way” which reached #23 on the 1973 US Top 40 Chart.  Interestingly, the band released three albums, but only the first branded as Barnstorm, the later two marketed as Walsh solo efforts.  As a result, no one remembers Barnstorm – I know I didn’t.

This James Gang song is the one with the famous riff and the funky name: Funk #49:

 

OK then.  I’ll close with a few bonus fun facts about Joe Walsh:

He played the Oboe in his high school band; He produced Dan Fogelberg’s 1974 Album Souvenirs;  he is an amatuer (HAM) radio operator, call sign WB6ACU.

Music Friday! Plagiarism Lawsuit May Delay Led Zeppelin VI Re-release

Music Friday! Plagiarism Lawsuit May Delay Led Zeppelin VI Re-release

Classic Rock and lawsuits go together like…like…well it just seems ike a lot of classic rockers sue each other.  And now lawyers for the family of deceased “Spirit” guitarist Randy California may file suit against Led Zeppelin to ensure that California gets a writing credit on Stariway to Heaven, which California claims Led Zeppelin “ripped off’ after the groups toured together in 1968.  The basis of the lawsuit is that “Stairway to Heaven” is plagiarised from the Spirit song “Taurus”  Give a listen and see what you think.  Personally, I don’t hear it.

What I find interesting though, is that the bands Led Zeppelin and Spirit toured together in 1968 – today the Led Zeppelin guys (the surviving ones) are wealthy music icons, and Randy California is basically unknown and apparently died penniless.  Such is life.

For Randy California – some of us know who you are.  For what it’s worth, thanks.  If you don’t remember any Spirit tunes, this is probably their most famous song.  Enjoy:

Any Major Dude Will Tell You…

Any Major Dude Will Tell You…

…It’s Friday and that means it’s music day.  Stuck in the 70’s music day!  Today’s first offering is a Steely Dan number off their 1974 (of course!) album “Pretzel Logic”.  Unless you are a Steely Dan superfan like me, you probably have not heard this song, titled “Any Major Dude Will Tell You”.  Regarding Pretzel Logic, they did have hit song from this album which you most likely know, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” which is a great song, but I like this one better;  No performance video, just audio.  Give it a listen:

 

Alright, since “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” was Steely Dan’s most successful single (with good reason) Here you go:

 

 

 

 

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