Archive SotD – December 21-27, 2009

December 21, 2009 – “Elenore” – The Turtles

Flo and Eddie (of the Turtles, later of the Mothers of Invention) manage to both praise Elenore and blow her off at the same time in this 1968 song. “You’re my pride and joy, etc.” These days they’d probably say “You’re my pride and joy, whatever.”

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December 22, 2009 – “Blue Kiss” – Jane Wiedlin

Back during the heyday of Beatlemania, girls would identify themselves by which of the Fab Four they thought was cutest.

If the same thing happened in the ‘80s, reversing the gender, then I definitely would have been a “Jane” guy. The Go-Go’s were “easy on the eyes” as well as talented. Many of their songs were written, at least in part, by Jane Wiedlin.

When the Go-Go’s broke up, Belinda had more success – at least in part because she remade herself. Jane, on the other hand, kept writing and put out a few decent albums before fading away.

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December 23, 2009 – “If Only for the Moment, Girl” – Steve Perry

Ok, I’m not a big Steve Perry/Journey fan. And the song “We Are the World” was overblown. But I really like this song from the “We Are the World” album.

One thing, though: could the video BE any more “stalker-ish”?

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December 24, 2009 – “Pure Narcotic” – Porcupine Tree

Porcupine Tree was originally Steven Wilson’s one-man band. He made up the band as a mythical ‘70s prog-rock group, but his songwriting caught the ear of record execs and they decided to produce the tracks as Porcupine Tree’s debut. Since then Wilson has added bandmates and given a more contemporary sound to his work.

From 2005’s Stupid Dream.

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December 25, 2009 – “River” – Joni Mitchell

A great songwriter can take a single moment and make it universal. Although this song – covered many, many times – is played as a Christmas song, it really speaks to all the moments in our lives when things aren’t going exactly as planned. At those times, we all wish we had a river we could skate away on.

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December 26, 2009 – “You Better You Bet” – The Who

OK, so much for laid back Christmastime. Let’s pick up the tempo with “the sound of old T. Rex”.

Well, it’s the Who, but that’s part of the lyrics to the song…

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December 27, 2009 – “Arlington” – The Wailin’ Jennys

A FB friend, Chris, introduced me to this group last week through their interpretation of a traditional song, “A Parting Glass” (which you should also hear).

The group is a combination of three Canadian singer-songwriters who found their voices blend so well they had to get together. This song is one of their originals. Go buy the CD – 40 Days!

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Slow Motion”

Gerald Alston

Oh my. It’s gonna be a hot summer. Excuse me, I think I need a cooling beverage.

I can’t tell the difference between versions 1 & 2. Maybe I’ll need to come back later and watch again.

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Blondie

1979’s Eat to the Beat was packed with great songs like this one. My vinyl copy is almost transparent from overplaying.

Song of the Day – “Surfin’ USA” – The Beach Boys

How else do you think I’d wrap up the California beach music set?

Man, I need me some guarache sandals…

Archive SotD – December 14-20, 2009

December 14, 2009 – “Walking Down the Street” – The Real Group

More acapella, this time from a Swedish outfit, The Real Group. Jazzy vocalese recommended by Jon Hendricks, who pretty much invented the genre. From their 1998 CD, One for All.

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December 15, 2009 – “Fox on the Run” – Sweet

British glam-rock group of the ‘70s. They started out with bubblegum like “Little Willy”, then opened things up in the style of Queen and T. Rex on their album Desolation Boulevard.

“Fox on the Run” was the first hit written by the band itself; most of their earlier hits were by the songwriting team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman.

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December 16, 2009 – “Kentucky Borderline” – Rhonda Vincent

I know – some of you think I should apologize for liking bluegrass. Too bad, I’m playing it anyway.

Rhonda Vincent and her band, The Rage, kick out the jams here on an uncredited live performance.

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December 17, 2009 – “Need You Tonight” – INXS

One of the greatest riffs of the ‘80s appears in this song from INXS, the Australian band with the troubled lead singer, Michael Hutchence.

Is it a sign of how old I am that when I see Hutchence wearing a leather jacket without a shirt, all I can think of is how he’s ruining the jacket?

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December 18, 2009 – “Touchdown” – Bob James

A week ago, my friend John picked out a song for my birthday. I’m returning the favor by posting Mr. Bob James and “Touchdown” – otherwise known as the theme to The Know-It-Alls.

TKIA was a game show on campus radio station WUOG back in the day. I had the privilege to be able to help John out on the show, and it looked like it was going to picked up for TV by superstation WTBS for a while.

Good times!

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December 19, 2009 – “Walking on Broken Glass” – Annie Lennox

It’s really a shame that many people (younger people) only know about Lennox from her Oscar-winning song from The Return of the King, “Into the West”. She started out in a group called The Tourists, but made it big when she and Dave Stewart formed the duo Eurythmics. Her striking look and strong voice have served her well over several decades of group and solo work.

She’s been known to do some acting, and it’s obvious she’s got the chops from this video, which co-stars Hugh Laurie and John Malkovich. From her solo 1992 album Diva.

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December 20, 2009 – “The Knife Feels Like Justice” – Brian Setzer

It’s just a Brian Setzer kind of day, as you can see from my holiday selection. Note: I played some holiday songs parallel to the Song of the Day during the 2009 Christmas season. I will most likely re-publish them this year as an addition to the normal Song of the Day posts.

After disbanding the rockabilly band Stray Cats and before forming the guitar driven swing of the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Setzer put out some solo albums that, while critically acclaimed, didn’t sell well. This is the title song from his first solo album, and it’s always been one of my favorite songs by him.

Song of the Day – “Wipe Out” – The Surfaris

If you’re a kook (a wanna-be surfer of limited skill) then you’re sure to Wipe Out. Possibly the most famous drum line ever.

Song of the Day – “Ride the Wild Surf” – Jan & Dean

Surfing can’t be all that hard. Look how easy Fabian and Tab Hunter make it look in this theme song from Ride the Wild Surf.

Archive SotD – December 7-13, 2009

December 7, 2009 – “Rebel Rouser” – Duane Eddy

The low, twangy guitar style of Duane Eddy was highly influential in the late ‘50s. “Rebel Rouser”, from 1958, was his first big hit.

This clip, although it’s not dated, must be from several years later, since it’s from Hullabaloo. Long before there were music videos, artists were showcased on shows “for the kids” like American Bandstand, Hullabaloo and Shindig. Atlanta and WTBS(WTCG) even had their own music show in the ‘70s, The Now Explosion.

For over 25 minutes of “Now Explosion” goodness, visit http://www.thenowexplosion.net/3segmaster1.html

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December 8, 2009 – “People Are Strange” – The Doors

After seeing/hearing the Now Explosion yesterday, I feel the need to post a few songs from the Psychedelic era over the next few days. Here’s one from the Doors and the ill-fated Jim Morrison.

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December 9, 2009 – “Hitchin’ a Ride” – Vanity Fare

Vanity Fare, from Kent, England, gave us this song in 1968 – back when it was relatively safe to hitch a ride to get to your baby’s side.

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December 10, 2009 – “Up, Up and Away” – Fifth Dimension

The group that brought us the “Age of Aquarius” sings a remarkably prescient song about Balloon Boy. This clip could very well be from The 5th Dimension Traveling Sunshine Show in 1971.

Those of you who were in the Sprayberry Golden Voices may remember that we rehearsed this in ’76-’77, but I don’t remember doing it in concert.

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December 11, 2009 – “The Look of Love” – ABC

As I asked, for my birthday, the choice of songs has been turned over to someone else.

Johnny, who was best man at my wedding, suggested “Puppet Man” by Tom Jones. He’s a sick man, and should be forgiven.

My lovely bride suggested “Mr. Downtown” from the soundtrack to That Thing You Do!. She obviously sees me as more sophisticated than I have any hope of being.

But my college roommate made the “winning” suggestion. As he put it, “since you are the musical soul brother incarnation of […] Martin Fry, then […] “The Look Of Love”…WHO GOT THE LOOK?”

I don’t know the answer to that question.

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December 12, 2009 – “Reet Petite” – Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson was a major force in R&B during the ‘50s and ‘60s. By all accounts, his show-stopping ability translated better to the stage than the studio, but his first hit, 1956’s “Reet Petite”, is certainly electrifying.

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December 13, 2009 – “Jackie Wilson Said” – Dexys Midnight Runners

Speaking of Jackie Wilson (yesterday’s SotD), here’s a song that name-checks him. Composed by Van Morrison, here it’s performed by a band best known for the song “Come On Eileen”.

The video is preceded by a clip from the BBC program from the ‘80s, The Young Ones, which was shown on MTV here in the States.

Note: the version here, although from The Young Ones, does not include the previous skit.