Friday, February 3, 2012


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
(See above)

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.)

The Zip

*One of the best things about the old days is that no one used the word "genre."


soundsource said...

another good looking mix from M. Wood, can't wait to listen.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm deeply guilty of maligning all that is "Classic Rock", but I've already "acquired" the zip and look forward to listening to it. It's classic rock without quotes.
We agree on which one it isn't, but in my universe "Madman On The Water" is THE album.

Sal Nunziato said...


Somedays it's "Tumbleweed Connection." It's just often not "Brick Road," as much as I DO like "Brick Road."

buzzbabyjesus said...

I forgot all about "Tumbleweed Connection". I haven't listened to Elton John by choice for over 30 years. Just one of the reasons your mix is going to sound fresh to these ears. Thanks for curating.

Albert said...

Call this one the "E.21st. St." mix...and I mean that in a good way....will unzip this eve, though I have a goodly share already....all in one place and a great selection cannot be denied...I remember a solo terrifying jaunt to Titus wherein I grilled Mario under a hot lamp for about an hour on Rough Mix......made him promise me I'd love it...he was right..........I do.....

Anonymous said...

Heart To Hang Onto...aaaaahhhhhh! One of my favorite songs ever. If Pete would cease making 'concept' albums and make another Rough Mix, I would die a happy man. Randy

jeff k said...

man, I hated those fucking boom boxes. I can't tell you how many warm quiet days in Central Park or treks to Jones Beach they ruined.

Plus, WTF? You'd see these guys walking down Amsterdam Avenue lugging two speakers the size of a Volkswagen on their shoulders and you'd think there just has to be a better way for everybody.

It came around 1980 when in the middle of the Columbus Avenue festival, I saw my buddy Bill Lichtenstein. He had this little box in his hand with a pair of surprisingly small headphones and was letting people try it out. He said it was called a Walkman, and he kept telling us, "Listen to the sound. It drives it right into your head!" Of course, I couldn't afford one. They must have cost about
two or three hundred dollars, which was more than a month's rent.

But finally, the potential was there to at least go deaf from our own mobile music rather than someone else's, and I suppose a lot of backs became a lot straighter over the next few years. The city got quieter, too.

And while you know I love your mixes, Sal, this one, I don't know. Too many bad memories. I'm about to dial up some Manfred Mann though.

A walk in the woods said...

I have a lot of musical buddies, and almost all of them are more “far out” or “experimental” or “adventurous” than me, musically – we’re talking about guys who not only know who Cage and Stockhausen are but actually listen to them… guys who think anything to the right of Ornette Coleman ain’t jazz…. Guys who think the only true music is indigenous Pygmy music. (I’m serious!)

But me, I’ve always been a child of the radio. I grew up on it in the 70s – used to listen religiously to Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” and write down the Top 40 list each week so I could consider what to buy on 45.

So – this mix looks cool. And I dig that it was inspired by the radio. Looking forward to hearing it when I can download later today.

steve simels said...

Heart To Hang Onto- Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane
(Sometimes "Rough Mix" is my favorite Who record, and I blame Ronnie Lane.)

And on at least one song, a certain Charles Watts Esq.

jeff k said...

sal's right on target with both manfred mann and this mix. I had never heard MM's real early stuff before. it's great. enjoyed the mix, too, bad memories and all.

Anonymous said...

I've got to admit, Sal, that this isn't really my music - but I love your blog and I head here every day now to read your posts and subsequent comments on them!

FD13NYC said...

Great mix Sal! Unfortunately I have them all. Nothing new to be turned on to. But that's OK, nice to have them all in one place.

cmealha said...

A classic list of Classics. Detective, Montrose, Humble Pie! I spent so much time listening to these guys. How awesome! "30 Days in the Hole" is one of the nastiest songs ever and Montrose really rocked for at least 2 albums.The much maligned Yes was also a fave and this is a great cut.I'm with you on the 2 Deep Purple albums. I liked the direction they took as well. I believe you're the only other person I know that thinks "Don't Shoot Me..." is Elton's best. Why do people always pick the double-albums?

buzzbabyjesus said...

I turned off my radio in 1980.
I have no idea what kids listen to these days. I assume it's Lady Ga Ga, whoever that is, or whichever Hip Hop thug of the week, or American Idol melisma abuser,
or dude in a cowboy hat playing some sort of country metal hybrid singing songs by professional Scandanavian songwriting teams.
Thanks for being a guide.
I'm enjoying the mix, in fact it's on right now. It's a segment of music I've ignored since the first releases by the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Listening to it I feel a vague nostalgia for college dorm dances circa 1977. All it needs is that song by Boston. I admit I've never heard a whole album by Thin Lizzy, Detective, Deep Purple, Montrose, The Baby's, Manfred Mann, Bob Seeger, or AC/DC.
Or even "Physical Grafitti" and "Tusk". What was I listening to instead? Not indigenous pygmy music, but the Beatles, Stones, and Who, Roxy Music, Kinks, Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention, Pentangle, The Modern Lovers, New York Dolls, Bowie, T-Rex, King Crimson, Brian Eno, Toots and The Maytals, The Jam, Robert Gordon, Gene Vincent and Ry Cooder, to name a few.

cmealha said...

Listened to the rest of it last night. I had never heard the Bob Seeger track. It is killer!

buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm loving Riff Raff.

Anything Should Happen said...

Nice mix, like BBJ, I had a real snobbery to Classic Rawk, but lately have been going back and it really is just a label, it can be cliche crap but it can be as good as this.

I also thought Classic Rock meant another song you are sick of hearing.

I do hope BBJ didn't turn off his radio in 1980, if do he missed a lot, not least the Mitch Easter related Eighties and the mid nineties UK rebirth of melodic (not Brit) pop.

Elron's another of those artists now that you can't take seriously and forget about the great albums they did make, ditto many others including Rod Stewart and sadly Paul McCartney and Paul Rodgers.

In the buoyant ASH days, we celebrated lost bands that were primarily pop rocksters from the UK and USA, largely from the Seventies.

The likes of Liverpool Express, The Raspberries, Pilot, Jigsaw, Blue, the list is endless, but Detective would certainly be amongst those.

Anything Should Happen said...

I must stop getting so excited when I post. Elton has now become Elron amongst other things - spell checker alert blah blah.

I'll have someone calling me a simpleton again.

A guy called Tak said...

"Tumbleweed Connection" is THE album to me.
And yes, MMEB's "Blinded By The Light" is far superior than Bruce's.

Have a nice weekend, Sal.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Anything Should Happen,

Thanks for the concern.

I'll clarify. I stopped listening to commercial radio. WFMU, and NPR don't count.

And even without radio I somehow find out about music. It used to be by subscribing to various magazines, and now it's mostly through trolling the blogs.

oldkdawg said...

Great mix. Some stuff I haven't heard in many years, some I have never heard and a couple that I'm very familiar with. That is my recipe for a great mix. I didn't even mind the Elron song. Thanks for taking the time to make these mixes for us. PS you should really slip some Lemmy and the boys into some of these mixes.

Sal Nunziato said...


I'd put Lemmy and the boys on every mix if I didn't think it would scare people away. I love Motorhead, but the mere mention on this blog gets readers all wadded up.

Anonymous said...

As a dyed in the wool old rocker, that's more like it! Thanks for an excellent rock mix. Keep on keeping on...

oldkdawg said...

Sal, you could slip in 1916 by Lemmy and the boys. No one would ever know.