Friday, February 3, 2012
"Radio On" : THE WEEKEND MIX
Here's how this one went down.
I read a review in Uncut about a 40th anniversary, Manfred Mann's Earth Band boxed set. The writer used some words I would never have associated with MMEB: New Orleans, rhythm and blues, gospel.
I was intrigued.
I headed over to AMG and read a bit more. I was surprised to find out just how many of these records received 3 and 4 star reviews, not to mention how many came out before "The Roaring Silence," the record that included their biggest hit, "Blinded By The Light," and the album I somehow came to believe was this line-up's debut.
Before I proceeded further into my exploration, I made a pitstop at my computer and dialed up "Blinded By The Light." It still kills me after 35 years. And I still like it better than Bruce Springsteen's own version. But I digress.
The wave of nostalgia was immediate. "Blinded By The Light" brought me right back to Brooklyn, rock radio, and those enormous boom boxes that everyone seemed to own. I thought of the summers sitting on stoops, or the rocks at Manhattan Beach, listening to all those great songs that are now part of the oft-maligned "classic rock" genre.*
Manfred Mann would have to wait. I tossed aside Uncut and began compiling the songs that seemed to be coming out of everyone's box, as well as a few that only came out of mine, courtesy of some very early "weekend mixes."
I admit, this mix is for me as much as it is for you. But it really doesn't have to be Brooklyn and beach rocks. It could be front lawns in Farmingdale or convertibles in Kalamazoo. Everyone has their summer soundtrack. The real fanatics have one for every year of their existence. Don't we?
Here's one of them. I'm thinking this could be one of my TDK- SA-60s, circa 1979.
Riff Raff- AC/DC
(Far and away, my fave AC/DC tune. It's a two hour, heavy metal Broadway show in a neat 4 minutes.)
I Got The Fire- Montrose
(Before Sammy Hagar became a schmuck.)
Might Just Take Your Life- Deep Purple
(From "Burn," one of the two albums, the other being "Stormbringer," that pushed Blackmore to quit. Personally, I loved the new direction of the band.)
Rosalie- Thin Lizzy
(Listen to the handclaps. You can never go wrong with handclaps.)
Beyond & Before- Yes
(From the debut. Yes in the 60s! A criminally underrated record.)
Serenade- Steve Miller Band
(Probably not the best way to sell this tune, but I always loved how it sounded off-center. Like trying to play a 45 without an adapter.)
Teacher, I Need You- Elton John
(From "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player," THE record. NOT "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
Got Enough Love- Detective
(Jimmy Page signed'em. I'm guessing because they sounded like Zep. One of my fave no-hit wonders.)
Custard Pie- Led Zeppelin
(The real thing.)
30 Days In The Hole- Humble Pie
(Is there a more Spinal Tap moment than the intro?)
Blinded By The Light- Manfred Mann's Earth Band
I Know I'm Not Wrong- Fleetwood Mac
(Props must be given to "Tusk." It's dense and wonderful and complicated and beautiful and melodic and haunting and rocking, too. Still paying off after 33 years.)
Everytime I Think Of You- The Babys
(Pop perfection, as well as a spine-tingling use of strings. Chills.)
Heart To Hang Onto- Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane
(Sometimes "Rough Mix" is my favorite Who record, and I blame Ronnie Lane.)
Let It Rock- Bob Seger
(My ol' pal Chris Kelly's fave version of this Chuck Berry tune. He had a point.)
*One of the best things about the old days is that no one used the word "genre."