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Posts By: Steve Crawford
In 1972, David Bowie took his space age glam rock into the stratosphere with assistance from Mick Ronson, who served as the guitarist for the wonderfully named Spiders from Mars
Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison were proactively making the early transition from rock star to worm food (they would combine to release 3, 478,279 posthumous records). On a positive note, John Prine released what was both his debut and career album, Marvin Gaye took Motown soul into the world of political consciousness, and the Rolling Stones raised glucose levels throughout the English speaking world
As we begin out trip through the essential songs of the 1970s, we will note that the disco ball production line didn’t start in 1970 and safety pins were still a clothing tool, not a facial accessory. The Jackson 5 were at the top of their classic singles run; Neil Young, Van Morrison, and The Velvet Underground released timeless albums; and James Brown was solidifying his position as the funkiest musician in the galaxy.
I am personally boycotting the entire affair until Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds get their just due. Don’t pull your love out on me, RRHOF.
If this was an album, you could listen to side one forever. You would never have the need to rotate the vinyl to side two
Arkansas. A place where people spontaneously yell “Woo Pig Sooie!” for no particular reason. The state that gave us Wal-Mart and Tyson’s Chicken and Dillard’s Department Stores and Mary Steenburgen and Billy Bob Thornton… and some notable musicians
The year was 1985 and I was depressed. Deeply. Due to a combination of a lack of resources and a lack of imagination, I chose a stint in the United States military as my post high school launching point…
Steve Crawford continues to learn us in how completely weird it was 90 years ago: “We finish the 1920s with tuberculosis, racist lyrics, Al Capone, and slave instruments. Give me a beer. And a pigfoot.”
Mould simply shows how the old school punk rock house was built, raining sheets of sonic guitar blasts that rip potholes into the linings of your brainpan and then searing spackle into the remaining crevices.
Is this another gruesome tale of substance abuse, car wrecks, and brothels? Yes and it’s also the second installment of the essential songs of the 1920s.
He did not make it through the first verse of “Maybellene” or “Nadine.” He played “Rock and Roll Music” twice. The rhythm section was inept (they lost the back beat). When he walked off of the stage, exactly 59 minutes after appearing, it was a relief. It was an absolute train wreck of a performance.
The setlist has remained largely the same since he had his last Top Ten country hit in 1994. Multi-instrumentalist Joe Spivey has played with Anderson for years and his mandolin performance on “An Occasional Eagle” and his frenetic fiddle sawing on “The Orange Blossom Special” were two of the highlights of the evening. Spivey and drummer Tommy Rivelli locked into a viciously wonderful boot stomping groove on “Wild and Blue.”
This article is the first of a three part series on the “Essential Songs of the 1910s and the 1920s.” The determination of what songs are essential is based on simple listening pleasure instead of historical relevance. Archeology has its own rewards, but in the words of modern day philosopher Gretchen Wilson, “We’re here for the party.”
Loudon was in fine form for this show, with most of the material coming from either recently released albums or unreleased songs
Meteorology, geography, and earth science subjects. Mountains, rain, earth, the sky, the road, snow, rivers, waves, trains, raindrops, rainbows, highways, Dallas, Texarkana, Juarez, and Carlsbad Caverns all received their due mention. The Flatlanders are standing on terra firma yet reaching for the cosmos.
The major change for Cheap Trick during the past few years has been the replacement of Bun E. Carlos with Daxx Nielsen (one of Rick’s sons) on the drums. While Daxx does not match Bun E.’s resounding authority, the replacement has resulted in longer/more varied set lists.
The Essential Songs of 1969 closes the decade out on a high note. Creedence Clearwater Revival released three albums that year, tossing out superb singles like alt-country candy. Led Zeppelin were establishing a new brand of heavy metal while the Stooges were embracing the aesthetic that would evolve into punk rock in the 1970s
The best cover song ever recorded (Hendrix on Dylan), Glen Campbell continued to deftly deliver Jimmy Webb material, and the Byrds transition from jangle pop to a country band. Sam Moore and Dave Prater hated each other with such gusto that they refused to speak to each other for 13 years during their working relationship, but they could still create magic in the studio for 2 and a half minute intervals.
teppenwolf introduced the phrase “heavy metal” to music listeners, Sly and the Family Stone became one of the first popular racially integrated bands, and Jimi Hendrix was teaching electric guitars to play sonic assaults that they did not know were possible. The Beatles released a decent album that year, as well.
The Essential Songs of 1966 reflect the evolution of the album as being the central music experience for serious music fans – “Blonde on Blonde,” “Revolver,” and “Pet Sounds” represent a lyrical and sonic sophistication unimaginable a few years before. To compete with the British Invastion, the Monkees were created and in other genres garage rock and Motown continued to flourish.
The Essential Songs of 1965 introduces “groovy” to our musical lexicon, while Robert Zimmerman off-handedly released two classic albums. Gloria Jones was busy establishing the career of Soft Cell, the Statler Brothers were harmonizing about Captain Kangaroo, and the Sonics were gobbling the world’s most interesting drugs in the Pacific Northwes
The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming! Steve Crawford comes over all French and surrenders at the first sight of Dave Davies!!!
The Essential Songs of 1962 reflect the virtuosity of Ray Charles, who started the year with the boss nova based “Unchain My Heart” and ruled the rest of the year with his modern sounds in country and western music.
By 1962, a producer named Phil Spector started working with The Crystals and a band in England solidified their line-up by putting Ringo Starr behind the drum kit. In the meantime, Ben E. King had two chart toppers after leaving the Drifters, Patsy Cline added another classic to her repertoire, and Etta James continued her string of Top 5 R&B hits.
Includes established rock stars Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry; the soulful sounds of Ray Charles, James Brown, Jerry Butler, and Bobby Bland; as well as the first “girl group,” the wonderful Shirelles. Also, a little label in Detroit which eventually would be called Motown was open for business.
Historical relevance comes secondary to the basic listener quality test. In 1963, the Beatles were beginning to conquer the U.K., Bob Dylan’s artistic vision was becoming a reality, and Brian Wilson developed a new form of timeless pop music.
On their new album, the dB’s move away from their original edgy power pop sound and move alternately into smooth grooves and sounds from the Summer of Love
If you haven’t experienced the wit and passion of Ray Wylie Hubbard, this is a fine starting point. As Texas songwriters go, he’ll never have the gravitas of Willie Nelson, but in 2012, he’s more inspired than Joe Ely and less trigger happy than Billy Joe Shaver.
Everyone in the Wainwright family became fair game for Loudon’s often acerbic music. Martha received a parental divorce notification in “Your Mother and I” and a birthday song for “Five Years Old.” His breast feeding son was the subject of “Rufus Is a Tit Man.”
As the Boys once stated, “It’s not how you play the game, it’s how you win it.” The Beastie Boys were pioneers that fearlessly popularized a new style of music and continuously explored new avenues of creative expression