Friday, September 4, 2015

"Play It Once, Sam": THE WEEKEND MIX

Today's collection of songs could have just as easily been a Rolling Stones mix.

For a band that has been touring and recording for over 50 years, you would think at some point the following might have been thrown into a setlist occasionally:

Back Street Girl
Child Of The Moon
I Am Waiting
Jiving Sister Fanny
Parachute Woman
Silver Train
Soul Survivor

Bruce H. mentions the absence of "Get Happy" material in the two dozen times he has seen Elvis Costello. Thinking back to the many times I've seen EC, I can recall "Get Happy" material quite alot. I double-checked some of my bootleg CDs and sure enough at least half of that record has been played often. "High Fidelity," "Riot Act," "Opportunity," "New Amsterdam," "Motel Matches," the "Backstabbers/King Horse" medley,  "Clowntime Is Over"(both fast and slow versions) and I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down" (both fast and slow versions) all appearing a number of times throughout the last 30 years. You just went to the wrong shows, Bruce.

I've kept this mix down to 10 songs, having seen all but one artist more than five times, a few more than ten times. It is only Led Zeppelin who I have seen only twice, but I did go through a two year phase where I was reading Luis Rey's exhaustive document "Led Zeppelin Live" and collecting just about every show reviewed on those 300 pages, so I feel like I've been there more than any other band.

The set begins with one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs, "Surprise, Surprise." It might be the very first song I ever heard by the band. I had an album, "England's Greatest Hitmakers" on London,
and this track opened things up with a bang. I still love this track and the RS album it came from, "Rolling Stones Now." It seems to me, this would really cook live.

"Iris" could be my favorite Split Enz track. Though I've only seen Split Enz two times I can recall, I have seen Crowded House and Neil Finn ten times that. Two separate occasions I caught Crowded House at CBGBs, where I was sitting five feet from the stage. The band was always very playful on stage and often took requests. I shouted out "Iris" and Neil said, "Oh no. I can't now. It's a different tuning." Months later, same place, same situation, I shouted '"Iris." Neil stopped, looked down a bit surprised and said, "Didn't I tell you that was a different tuning?"  Next time, bring two guitars, Neil.

"We Are The Dead" is the only tune from Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" that, to my knowledge, has never been played live. This is another one I love that also seems like a terrific candidate for some live magic.

As I mentioned in the original post, 75% of Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything?" still hasn't seen the light of day in concert. If I had to choose one, it would be "Sweeter Memories."

Props to Paul McCartney, for always tossing it up a bit in concert. If the man continues until he is 80, we will still see "Hey Jude" and "Live & Let Die," the same way we will always see "Satisfaction" and "Jumping Jack Flash" at a Stones show. But once, soon, I'd love to hear "Back Seat Of My Car" live.

Favorite Who record: "The Who Sell Out." Most days, it's my favorite record of all-time. Favorite song off of "The Who Sell Out": "Sunrise." There is a clip of Pete performing it acoustically with his partner Rachel Fuller taking over the lead vocals. WRONG!!

Pete, I beg of you, in 2021, when The
Who completes their next three farewell tours, if you can still pluck your guitar, how about "Sunrise" and "Blue Red & Grey" at your next solo show? And you sing them, please.

I won't be too hard on Karl Wallinger. His aneurysm and medical setbacks have no doubt been a factor as to why World Party's setlists have been identical the last five visits to NYC. (He did forget how to play.) Still, "And I Fell Back Alone" seems reasonable enough.

Can you believe Led Zeppelin has only played "When The Levee Breaks" three times live? All in 1975.

"Idol" off of Elton John's criminally underrated "Blue Moves" record, is in my Elton Top Ten. I can't say for sure how often this was played. I am guessing it only appeared during his solo shows with Ray Cooper in the 80s. Again, don't quote me.

Hall & Oates have given up. Their setlists recently seem to be suited for a Vegas residency. 60 minutes, all hits, no filler. But at one time, 1991 to be exact, H&O were really digging deep. And with "Live From Daryl's House," Daryl's gone even deeper. "70s Scenario" from "War Babies," is one I've always wanted to hear live.

And that's your lot.

Have a safe and pleasant and musical holiday weekend.


Surprise, Surprise- Rolling Stones
Iris-Split Enz
We Are The Dead- David Bowie
Sweeter Memories- Todd Rundgren
The Back Seat Of My Car- Paul McCartney
Sunrise-The Who
And I Fell Back Alone-World Party
When The Levee Breaks- Led Zeppelin
Idol- Elton John
70s Scenario- Hall & Oates



kevin m said...

I think the Stones played Silver Train a few times on their last tour of Japan.

At least back in the early noughts when they played several different venues in a city, the Stones would vary their set list each night.

And I'd like to give U2 some credit. On their recently completed US tour, they played about 30 gigs and over 40 different songs.

As for Karl Wallinger, I'm hoping he puts out new music before his next City Winery visit. I think I've attend 4 shows over the years and while all have been terrific, some new material (or as you point out, other songs) would be great.

A walk in the woods said...

Well, you picked the right songs for Rundgren and Hall & Oates to bust out with someday, if your wish be their will - that would freak me out to be at a show where they'd play either.

Thanks for the mix.

William Repsher said...

Must have been quite a night when DB trotted out "Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family"!

Sal Nunziato said...

Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in that comment, William Repsher? Okay, I had to check David Live, which is where I thought I'd find "Chant..." Not there. I could swear it was played live in 1974. So anyway...two songs not played from Diamond Dogs.

William Repsher said...

There are plenty of Bowie album tracks I'd love to hear live: Cygnet Committee, All the Madmen, Bewlay Brothers, Drive In Saturday, Loving the Alien, the 1980 version of Space Oddity. Perfect show would be a club date (like you saw in the Bronx) and him pulling out all these rarely played album tracks.

Sal Nunziato said...

St.Ann's Warehouse, first night of the "marathon" tour of NYC. "The Bewlay Brothers." Unreal. When the applause finally stopped and it was just about silent, a voice from the back said "The fucking BEW-lay Brothers!"

buzzbabyjesus said...

This mix is undeniable. I'm in.

buzzbabyjesus said...

It occurs to me there must be a lot of Kinks contenders. How much of the Village Green made it to the stage?

WHT said...

War Babies has songs such as 70's Scenario with out-of-nowhere funky breaks. A WFMU DJ played Screaming through December last week but removed the middle instrumental part, cuz apparently he couldn't take it. He played Long Flowing Robe by TR to fill the gap.

Idea for a post -- What songs are great except for some annoying passage. Like, what were they thinking?

whattawino said...

We thank thee, O Sal, for this inspired Labor (Day) of Love mix. Have a wild weekend, my friend.

dogbreath said...

I've got nothing sensible to add (no change there, then - ed) other than to say many thanks for an interesting set of tunes. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I only remember two When The Levee Breaks in '75 - Brussels Jan. 12, Chicago Jan. 20 - when else?

Sal Nunziato said...

"I only remember two When The Levee Breaks in '75 - Brussels Jan. 12, Chicago Jan. 20 - when else?"

Chicago-January 21st.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sal

Very unusual mix. Still trawling through the songs to get a feel.

Thanks for the share