No Argent? America? The Allmans?
No Argent? America? The Allmans?
Tommy, close your eyes.
Not really a fan of the Allmans. I've often considered getting America's greatest hits, but have yet to do it. Argent's "Hold Your Head Up" is in my iTunes shopping cart, so next time I buy some tunes, it will be one of the songs I buy.
Well, I was away for a week. Time to move onto the B's. First up is The B-52's.
Their second album, Wild Planet, was one of the first albums my brother bought. I had never heard of them. I'm not sure where he had heard of them. Still, it was a cool album. Kind of odd, but a great album. I still enjoy it quite a bit.
It was years later before I heard anything else by them. Eventually I heard stuff from their first album, like "Rock Lobster", "52 Girls" and "Dance This Mess Around". Eventually, my brother had that on CD, and now I have both their debut and Wild Planet on CD as well.
About the time Cosmic Thing was released, I recall hearing a profile on the group on Brave New Waves. This is a late night radio program on CBC radio. They always play the alternative and underground stuff. I guess B-52's qualified at the time since this was before the album became a mainstream hit. Next thing I know, "Love Shack" and "Roam" are all over the radio. There were some good tunes on that album, but it didn't appeal to me as much as the sound of their first two. Something about the sound of the guitar.
I like the following lines from the first song on their debut, "Planet Claire".
Planet Claire has pink air
All the trees are red
No one ever dies there
No one has a head
"Love Shack". Now there's a thread killer. I detest Love Shack. I do not know why, except perhaps that it gets completely stuck in my head and sets up shop for days on end. I cannot tell if it is deliberately trying for kitsch or being sincere because the vocal tracks are so exhuberant.
Peeps who have hooked me up: General Grievous Dark Marble jjreason Ramy GrandMoffLouie Josephe vader121 Val Da Car
My favorite songs from that album were "Planet Claire", "52 Girls", "Rock Lobster" and "Dance This Mess Around". My favorites from Wild Planet are "Private Idaho", "Running Around" and "Dirty Back Road".Even in the weird, quirky world of new wave and post-punk in the late '70s, the B-52's' eponymous debut stood out as an original. Unabashed kitsch mavens at a time when their peers were either vulgar or stylish, the Athens quintet celebrated all the silliest aspects of pre-Beatles pop culture -- bad hairdos, sci-fi nightmares, dance crazes, pastels, and anything else that sprung into their minds -- to a skewed fusion of pop, surf, avant-garde, amateurish punk, and white funk. On paper, it sounds like a cerebral exercise, but it played like a party. The jerky, angular funk was irresistibly danceable, winning over listeners dubious of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson's high-pitched, shrill close harmonies and Fred Schneider's campy, flamboyant vocalizing, pitched halfway between singing and speaking.
I will give them credit for having a unique sound, which in this day and age is hard to come by.
When I was in college at Western Washington University, they had this thing in the Spring called "Western Jam". It was sort of an "air band"/lip synch contest. My roommate and some others represented our dorm in the competition, and they did "Love Shack". My roommate knew how to play drums, so he looked convincing. However, as it turned out, it wasn't an airband or lip synch contest. It became a dance contest. The winners I think were a group from off campus that were probably cheerleaders, and they performed a dance routine to that "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" song by C & C Music Factory. I was so sick of that song. I guess the dance routine was probably well choreographed and took some talent, but it didn't seem to be what I thought the event was supposed to be.
So, next on the list is Bachman-Turner Overdrive. One of the defining bands of my youth in the 70's. My oldest brother was into them, so I recall hearing them a lot. I think it was 1978, I got to choose a couple of tapes to get from Columbia House, and I got E.L.O's Out of the Blue and [The Best of B.T.O. (So Far)[/i] Not long ago, I finally got an updated version of that on CD.
For a while, Randy Bachman had a large house in the north part of the county just this side of the Canadian border. At one point after he sold it, I think it was a rehab center for a while. Not sure who has it now though. A couple years ago, I think I saw a check from a company of his come through where I work. I can't recall exactly what it was called, but it had his name in it.
Moving on from B.T.O, next is the Beastie Boys. If I recall correctly, I think I first heard them when "Fight For Your Right To Party" was played on a "Metal Shop" program late one night. I think it was probably the Canadian station CFOX, which led me to think that they were saying B.C. Boys instead of Beastie Boys. I eventually heard the song again and got the name right. My brother even got the album eventually, but I don't think he cared for it as he only bought it for that song.
In college, a roommate my sophomore year had Paul's Boutique, which was quite different from Licensed to Ill. I didn't really follow them too close after that, but I recall a teammate on the cross country team having Check Your Head. I recall seeing them perform "Sure Shot" and "Heart Attack Man" on SNL. "Sabotage" was a great song as well. Beavis & Butt-Head had some good commentary on that video. Even better was when they were talking about "So What'cha Want". I think they said something about how it would be cool to jump around in the forest like they were in the video.
I only have Paul's Boutique and Ill Communication on CD. I made a tape of Licensed to Ill from my brother's copy of the LP, but it's been a long time since I listened to it. Paul's Boutique would be difficult to make these days, what with all the samples they used. http://paulsboutique.info has a pretty extensive list of the samples used and references made in the lyrics.
Well, next on the list is the Beatles. What's to say about them that hasn't already been said? I guess I'll just relate what I can remember of learning about them.
I suppose I was familiar with some of their work when I was a child, but I probably only heard the early stuff. In the late 70's I recall seeing a couple things on TV. One was a history of rock documentary which might have been The Heroes of Rock and Roll. The other might have been the movie The Birth of the Beatles. I recall my brother had a tape with the Beatles and Steppenwolf on it. However, I think this may have been a tape my sister made. I don't think he really liked the Beatles, and he recorded over it.
Over the years, I gradually learned more about them. A college roommate was a big fan of both The Beatles and Rolling Stones and had just about everything both as a group and solo. It was finally just a few years ago when I got the Red and Blue compilations 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. I recall seeing those in stores in the late 70's/early 80's when they were on vinyl.
I doubt we'll ever see a band have the kind of impact they had. At one point, they had the top five songs on the Billboard charts. The Monkees were an attempt to create A Hard Day's Night on American TV. A lot of people were inspired to start a band because of them. Their experimentation in the latter half of the 60's showed that a band didn't have to follow the same formula all the time.
Sometimes I think I am "The Fool on the Hill", or the "Nowhere Man", and I wonder if I'll end up like a character in "Eleanor Rigby".
I remember always liking the Beatles from even an early age. Though I think
I always liked the later stuff from the White album on. They were expanding their minds then, and you could tell by the music. Though they alway had a commercial single on every album no matter how left-field they went.
I love to se the Birth of the Beatles, where when they are interviewed, they can finish each others sentences, and are so in snyc with each other.
I recently gained a new appreciation of their music by learning a few of their songs for a Beatles tribute set. Even the early ones can be more challenging than one might think.
The more you listen to the Beatles, the more you catch their riffs in other famous musicians songs. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you realize what an influnce they had on other song writers.
On a side note, the singer in my band collects Beatles stuff. He has these 12 inch Hamilton Beatles figures in their early Grey suits. Whith their instuments on stage. It is really nice, and being an action-figure collector already I covet them. One of these days I will buy a set on eBay even though a set is quite pricey.
Hey I just realized that I became a "Dark Master" with this post. hmmm