Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Other 100: 31-35

31. The Chambers Brothers- The Time Has Come

Name two songs by The Chambers Brothers that aren't "Time Has Come Today." Many don't even realize it was the Brothers who recorded "Time Has Come Today," and those that do, assume the Chambers Brothers were nothing but that song, a "novelty" that represents the war-torn, drugged-up 60's. The truth is, they were an insanely good band, that could out groove Sly & The Family Stone, out rock Steppenwolf and take you to church, all on the same record. All four of their records on Columbia are solid efforts, but 1968's "The Time Has Come" nails it. Check out the pocket on "Uptown," posted above. This record never gets old, though I really need to be in a good place to allow the full-length "Time Has Come Today" to run out.

32. Jerry Lee Lewis & The Nashville Teens- Live At The Star Club

Favorite live album? "The Who Live At Leeds?" "Sinatra St The Sands?" CSNY's "4-Way Street?" All fine, fine recordings. But I need to put Jerry Lee's "Live At the Star Club" right there with all of them. This is a recording you need to hear! It's insanity! It is "The Killer" completely off the charts. Backed by England's Nashville Teens, JLL is fired up. Unhinged! There isn't a second that doesn't feel like the whole damn thing might implode. One of the most exciting live recordings put on wax.

33. Emitt Rhodes- The American Dream

I've already written about The Merry-Go-Round's one release, and this record, "The American Dream," should have been its follow-up. Recorded soon after, over the course of three years, it is unfortunately tossed aside as a hastily assembled collection (and maybe it is), released as a contractual obligation to A&M. Then, once "Emitt Rhodes," the man's proper solo debut was released, A&M re-released it to capitalize on the success of that record. But enough of that. "The American Dream," proper record or not, might be Rhodes masterpiece. This is not to take away any kudos from the self-titled release on ABC/Dunhill. I love that record. But the tracks on "American Dream" are more adventurous, leaning more towards the baroque pop of The Merry-Go-Round than solo McCartney, though you'll get that, too. "Mother Earth," "Holly Park," and "Let's All Sing" are all perfectly crafted pieces of pop. And "Someone Died" is an absolute stunner. I'm gushing, but that's how much I love this record, and it's a damn shame, that it isn't in everyone's collection.

34. Hall & Oates- Abandoned Luncheonette

There is nothing wrong with Hall & Oates greatest hits. (Except maybe, "Maneater.") As a fan from the beginning, it was a thrill to finally hear songs like "Rich Girl," and "Kiss On My List" and "Private Eyes" on the radio. But, like a number of my favorite artists--Cheap Trick, ELO and David Bowie, to name a few---the hits weren't always my favorite tracks. Some of my favorite tracks all happen to appear on "Abandoned Luncheonette," their 1973 Atlantic release and a record that showcases all that H&O could do. From the opening folky strums of "When The Morning Comes," to the Bill Withers' acoustic soul of "Had I Known You Better" to the almost psychedelic closer, "Everytime I Look At You," "Abandoned Luncheonette" covers a lot of ground, quite convincingly. As a matter of fact, the hit, "She's Gone,"is the only "blue-eyed soul" track on the album, and that didn't become a hit until 1976, after the success of "Sara Smile" and "Rich Girl." If all you know of Daryl Hall & John Oates are the hits and those damn MTV videos, I suggest starting with "Abandoned Luncheonette." This is nothing like anything else from Daryl & John.

35. Finn Brothers- Everyone Is Here

First, there was Split Enz. Then, Crowded House. Then, solo records from Tim and Neil. Then, Finn a collaboration from the brothers. Between 1972 and 2016, Tim & Neil Finn released some truly fantastic music, under one name or another. But it wasn't until 2004's collaboration as the Finn Brothers, that they achieved a near-perfect record. I say "near-perfect," because "Everyone Is Here" could have benefited from a bit of tweaking in the production. But aside from that minor quibble,  Neil and Tim nail it here. Hook upon hook, melody after melody, these songs grab on and never let go. (There is an unreleased version of the record produced by Tony Visconti, that has its moments, but doesn't quite nail it, either.)








Anonymous said...

I was thinking about where I would slot The Chambers Brothers, too - can't count how many times I've put "Uptown" on a mixtape.

Rodney Crowell - Diamonds and Dirt
Dave Mason - Alone Together
The Chills - Kaleidoscope World
Crusaders - Pass the Plate
Nanci Griffith - Once in a Very Blue Moon

Charlie Messing said...

Nice list (once again)! Ah, the Chambers Brothers...it was always such a delight to see them as an opener instead of Ritchie Havens. (I know, Havens was great, but he was always the same, strumming 1000 times a song in open tuning, and he's easier to appreciate now.) I have the 45 of Time Has Come Today. Great live band - brothers! Anyway, you said such great things about the live Jerry Lee I just found one - a Bear Family reissue. I'm psyched. Rock on, you crazy cat!

itsok2beright said...

Couple of oldies and Hall & Oates. Another good list. I also had Abandoned Luncheonette on mine. (I have the spreadsheet to prove it). Since I am up to G, here are my 31 - 35 with Hall & Oates.

Thanks for reminding me to add the Chambers Brothers to my rotation.

Grand Funk Railroad, All The Girls in the World Beware
The Guess Who, Power in the Music
Hall & Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette
Head East, Head East
Hole, Live Though This

allen vella said...

Chambers bros record always stood out for me. Loved time back when, but turn you loose really got me. Btw, I saw them in 69 a few blocks from your apt, at Mater Christi ha. Blew the roof off the gym!
And h+o was my sisters fave, turned me on to that when it came out. We were suckers for great soul music, and those two records have it in spades.

M_Sharp said...

Don't forget The Chambers Bros. "Funky"!

I probably bought that Jerry Lee at least 20 years ago, and it's still unbelievable every time I play it!

Shriner said...

Ooh, my turn again. Let me see how much I can perplex Sal with this set (I'll take it easy on you, I'm sure...)

31) Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2. I wish "Save Me" was on it, of course, but I think it's her strongest set of songs ever released. I keep hoping later albums (which are enjoyable though similar in my mind) will match this but none have as yet.

32) The Romantics — The Romantics. Another "because I'm from the Detroit area" pick, I'm sure (my real top 100 would be full of other Alice Cooper albums...) Their catalog is pretty top notch (and I almost slotted "61/49" here, but I think the last two songs weigh it down.) This is an album that defines "energy" for me. It's not as polished as "Get The Knack" for a relatively-concurrently-released debut, but it almost matches that album.

33) Todd Rundgren -- The Ballad of Todd Rundgren. Just to get this one out of the way as I mentioned it before. I have just about all Todd and this is the one I play most often. There may be a Utopia album farther down the list if I can decide on *one* Utopia album... Note, Sal, I didn't say "this is the only Todd you need". :-)

34) Hedwig and the Angry Inch -- movie soundtrack. Continuing on with my love for rock music soundtracks. I bought this only knowing about it conceptually -- never had seen the movie and only had read about the off-off-broadway musical. But, man, this album rocks, rolls, has laughs, ballads and attitude up the ass. I consider it the "Hamilton" of 2001. And I think I'll spin it again today...

35) (cheating here a bit) Guns & Roses -- Use Your Illusion I and II. I consider this a double-album. "Appetite" is in my top-100 and I have no qualms about bringing along these two albums in the second round. Sure -- could they have been whittled down to a killer single CD? Absolutely. But I would have a really hard time cutting 15 of these 30 songs out to do that.

FWIW -- I've extended my "second 100" to over 100 albums now, so I'm starting to pick-and-choose from that list -- like how does one choose one of the 4 interchangeable-but-each-worthy Raspberries albums? Or one Ramones album? Impossible considering I'm *really* trying to avoid Greatest Hits collections (except where absolutely necessary...)

Michael Giltz said...

I love movies and books and theater and TV and arguing politics and sports and more! And yet I love when I come to BurnWood how Sal makes me feel that I am ABSOLUTELY wasting my time if I'm not listening or creating music 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (At least I sing in the shower.) I've always vaguely wondered when I saw that Jerry Lee Lewis live album. Now I know! (And what, is the James Brown Live At The Apollo such a cliche one doesn't even mention it when mentioning the best rock/pop live albums of all time?). Plus more Hall & Oatest (my friend Pete always cites that as their best, too) and more Emmit Rhodes and have I listened to the Sixties work of the Chambers Brothers? Why, no, I haven't. Thank God at least I don't feel completely dumb since I'm on top of the Finns. Homework! Of the best sort.

Jared said...

I downloaded the Tony Visconti version of Everyone Is Here from Burning Wood a few years ago. Such a great album. I like it better than the Mitchell Froom official release. I probably wouldn't have heard either version if not for your blog. I'm not a big poster but I really enjoy reading Burning Wood. I've been inspired to buy quite a few albums due to your posts. Just wanted to say thanks!

hpunch said...

Everyone Is Here.. I couldn't agree more.
Great choice

ken49 said...

Chambers Brothers have the best hand claps in rock