Friday, April 25, 2014

"And Then There Were These" : THE WEEKEND MIX

There are many people out there who have never heard anything but "Roundabout" by Yes or "Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd, with some believing "Dark Side Of the Moon" was Pink Floyd's first album. Of course, not everyone is supposed to know as much as this blog community does about music and I am not here to criticize. I am simply fascinated by it all, especially by my favorite recurring theme of fans putting a halt to all listening by an established and often favorite artist, once they release an unfavorable album or two.

Time again, I'd have baffling converstions with customers, while manning the counter at my shop and three specific incidents always come to mind.

One customer shared this with me when the news of Meat Loaf's "Bat Out Of Hell II" was about to be released in 1993: "How can a guy just pick up where he left off 20 years later? What was he doing all that time?" When I broke the news that Meat Loaf never really went away but had released 5 records after "Bat Out Of Hell," the poor guy's jaw dropped, as if I was playing some nasty trick on him.

Another afternoon, I had been listening to "See Emily Play" when a customer asked, "Who is this playing?" I said, "Pink Floyd." He snapped back, "COME ON! Who the fuck is this," as if I was playing some nasty trick on him.

A very prominent political writer who was not only a regular, but also loved just how much he (thought he) knew about music, once traded in hundreds of classic CDs and stated "I only need a Greatest Hits CD by most of these artists. I mean, Cheap Trick doesn't have much worth listening to beyond Surrender & I Want You To Want Me anyhow." When I responded with variants on "You're getting rid of "Tommy" and "Ram?," he came back with "All anyone really needs is "Quadrophenia" and "Band On The Run." He also went on to say Queen sucked because "We Will Rock You sucks." Man, he annoyed me, damn Cheap Trick hater.

To each his own...I never say.

This mix is something I'm pretty sure I hadn't posted earlier, but if I did, you crafty readers will surely inform me.

Here are some faves by some faves that you may not have heard before.

From their debut, Yes gets psychedelic almost on "Beyond & Before."

Hall & Oates were already MTV darlings and mega-stars by 1982, but this Oates cut from "Private Eyes" is a pop gem. (That's right an Oates cut.)

From one of the "no Stones record after Exile is any good" Stones records, here is my fave cut off of "It's Only Rock & Roll," a reeally great post-Exile record.

More a Jeff Lynne solo track than an ELO track, check out "One Day." What a melody.

Richard Wright's "Summer '68" from PF's "Atom Heart Mother" is a standout from a mostly difficult LP.  So many beautiful twists and turns.

The Macca track is from "Chaos & Creation In The Backyard," a record that I admit, did nothing for me at first and now, is in my Top 5 solo Paul's of all time. I cannot stress enough how good this record is.

From Ray & Dave's last studio release, "Scattered," a Ray Davies tune that rivals his greatest.

Can Marvin Gaye's greatest vocal performance be on a record originally left on the cutting room floor? Maybe.

I am a fan of the band Bread, though not necessarily of some of David Gates wedding day hits like "If" and "Lost Without Your Love." This track here was written by the other guys in the band, James Griffin and Robb Royer and boy, it's a heartbreaker.

I wrote about Elton's underrated classic "Blue Moves" some time ago, and here is my fave from that collection, "Idol."

The Bowie track is from the soundtrack to the British TV series "Buddha Of Suburbia," another album that seemed like a toss off at the time of its release, but has grown on me tremendously over the years.

Almost 20 years after Boz Scaggs took over the airwaves with his now classic post-Disco release "Silk Degrees," his 1994 release "Some Change" was every bit as strong, if a tad more adult. "Lost It" speaking of heartbreakers.

"Heaven's Falling" was written by Todd Rundgren, or should I say rewritten as it more than resembles "Cry Baby," Todd's hit with Utopia. This can be found on Cheap Trick's Rundgren-produced album, "Next Position Please," which features a dozen songs I like more than "I Want You To Want Me."

Finally, the one song that probably caught your eye above all else and possibly the one I'd say is the most likely for you to blow off.  For all of you who know Harry Connick Jr. as the crooning Sinatra-wannabe on the soundtrack of "When Harry Met Sally" and not the New Orleans native and student of James Booker, here is the title track from his 1994 curveball, sorta funk record, "She." Many Meters are on this record, as well as some of NOLA's finest. Give it a shot. It's worth the drumming alone.



Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

'morning. Very nice mix...look forward to a post-work listen. I thought that Bread were a great singles band and look forward to hearing something deeper.

BTW...the song "If" may be a bit of a played out wedding song but, I gotta tell you, the chord progression is a lot of fun to play on the acoustic. And Jane Monheit wrapped her velvety chords around that tune on an early album of hers.

Lastly..."Luxury". Love the song. Is Mick Taylor even on that tune? It sounds like all-Keith on the guitars. Maybe Keith benched him for too much noodling.


William Repsher said...

A secret about some successful writers I've known and met: they're f'n tasteless when it comes to music. Without fail, almost each one seems to be a Warren Zevon fan. I like Warren Zevon as much as the next guy, but when I point out what an awful song "Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner" is, it's like I'm drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

"Tasteless" might not be the right word: they have taste, but it's somehow filtered through whatever thorough editorial qualities their minds possess, and what comes out is a very narrow, usually predictable set of tastes that probably applies just fine to politics, but seems stuffy with music.

A band like Alabama Shakes would seem like the second coming of The Talking Heads to them!

That said, Zevon has plenty of later career album cuts that would fit right in with a mix like this.


A most excellent, challenging and enlightening mix this week Sal!

And that Boz Scaggs song is just wonderful.


cmealha said...

I still say that "Idol" is Elton John's best unknown song.

Christine said...

This is a great collection of songs-thank you! Can you keep doing this until I've heard all the songs I didn't know were so worth listening to?

I've had the argument about "Another Brick in the Wall" with Pink Floyd haters and "We Will Rock You" with Queen haters over and over again. (Maybe they should all watch the video of the cockatoo wigging out to "Another One Bites the Dust.") I am, however, guilty of the same thing and wouldn't listen to Hall and Oates because of "Maneater." You've changed my mind about them, sort of.

A walk in the woods said...

Me, I'm just glad to see you postin' music and enjoying it Sal - the mix looks clever as always, looking forward to hearing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sal

Nice mix , the Marvin Gaye tune is a wonderful song with a lot of feeling and the Boz Scagg song is one his best.



dogbreath said...

Back from a long weekend in the big city to find a truly exceptional mix with your on form exemplary, erudite and educational notes (a lot of "e's" there). Superb stuff! PF's AHM was a formative & seminal piece of work for me, played it to death on its release, and "Summer '68" is a standout for me too. Grateful thanks for going to the time & trouble for us downloaders. Cheers!