Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunny Day Songs

Just 4 fun, here's that list of Sunny Day Songs that kept the sun out (tho it was still kinda cold out) 4 the last wk&1/2 here in Washington, altho I've bn sick 4 the past 2 days & couldn't Njoy it much, & even tho it got all overcast yesterday. The Good Juju worked 4 awhile....
I thot of the 1st 18 or so of these on my own, then did just the slightest bit of research 2 come up w/ the rest. I'm sure there's a lot more out there.... It was all just 4 cheap fun, but I figured since it worked so well weather-wise (at least locally) I'd go ahead & post it, cos this may B 1 of the few times I'll write about stuff I don't even like all that much.... I don't know, make a mix-CD outta this list or somethin....
* Beatles: "Here Comes the Sun" (1969, from ABBEY ROAD) -- Apparently George wrote this while sitting in his garden w/ Eric Clapton, coming outta a haze of meditation & bad feelings from a recent mtg at Apple.... Hard 2 argue w/ that sun-breaking-thru-the-fog feeling of the guitars on this track.
* Fifth Dimension: "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" (#1, '69) -- I know, they were so uncool. But this song still soars, man.... What great group vocals. Take a bow, producer Bones Howe.
* Bill Withers: "Ain't No Sunshine" (#3/71) -- Now this definitely does NOT sound like a sunny day, only gray, bleak wintry stuff here. But what a great vocal. & when the strings join in, WOW. It's like a perfect miniature, it's over in just a little more than 2 mins, & Bill repeats the phrase "I know" about 26 times. & he still gotta Grammy 4 it. "Grandma's Hands" was pretty great, 2. & of course "Lean On Me." Whatever happened 2 this guy?
* U2: "Beautiful Day" -- Absolutely thrilling, Xhilirating, some of the best Fri-aft-summertime music ever. & 1 of only about 2 of their songs since THE JOSHUA TREE that I think actually lives up 2 their rep.
+ Daniel Boone: "Beautiful Sunday" (#15/72) -- Daniel Boone was actually an English singer-songwriter. Why he felt compelled 2 take the name of an American folk hero beats me....
* Stevie Wonder: "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (#1/72) -- Stevie ALWAYS sounded like he was havin a great time back in those days, so we the listeners hadda great time 2. & dig the wild variety of voices he used on this track!
+ Johnathan Edwards: "Sunshine" (#4/71) -- Recorded as an afterthot at the Nd of a session 2 fill up the 2nd side of 1 of his albums 4 Capricorn, the single made a run at the Top 3. It was Edwards' only big hit.
+ Archies: "Sunshine" (1969?) -- What do U MEAN records pressed on the back of cereal boxes don't count...?
= John Denver: "Sunshine on My Shoulders" (#1/74) -- I prefer the KILLER B-side "I Think I'd Rather Be a Cowboy" (where John actually ROCKS! He even sounds kinda ANGRY!), but a lotta people liked this, I guess. I just thot it was kinda stupid & obvious. But he did some great stuff: "Rocky Mountain High," "Calypso," "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Farewell Andromeda".....
+ Beatles: "Sun King" ('69, ABBEY ROAD) -- Nice vocals & harmonies & neat delicate gtrs. & I kinda like the nonsense verse at the Nd....
+ Moody Blues: "Sun is Still Shining" ('69, from TO OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN) -- From their spaciest, coldest, most distant album. If the sun's still out, it's cos they were lookin at it from the vantage point of space....
+ Sly & the Family Stone: "Hot Fun in the Summertime" (#2/69) -- Hot! Funky! U can feel the oppressive summer-city heat as U listen. & great vocals....
= Bobby Goldsboro: "Summer (The First Time)" (#21/73) -- 1a his last hits, kinda smarmy & sleazy, but it does definitely have a sultry, sighing, nostalgic summer feel 2 it....
- Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta: "Summer Nights" (#5/'78, from GREASE) -- I was dragged kicking&screaming 2 C this movie & actually hadda pretty good time, but I've never liked this much, tho I admit summa the lyrics R kinda funny. & boy did it get played WAY 2 much. My fave song from GREASE was always the 1 Stockard Channing sang....
* Rivieras: "California Sun" (#5/64) -- This is a freakin classic w/ a great Farfisa organ riff that will weld itself in2 yr brain....
- Mungo Jerry: "In the Summertime" (#3/70) -- Yurgh....
= Chicago: "Saturday in the Park" (#3/72) -- Now I don't actually LIKE this, I'm more of a "Feelin' Stronger Every Day"/"Questions 67 & 68"/"In Terms of Two"/"I've Been Searchin' So Long"/"Wishing You Were Here" kinda guy. But I agree they got the summer atmosphere DOWN. So well, in fact, that they carbon-copied it 4 the later "Just You 'N Me"....
+ Johnny Nash: "I Can See Clearly Now" (#1/72) -- Crystal-clear, sparkling, cosmic -- & how bout Nash's great soaring voice as he disappears in2 the clouds in the middle? Didn't like it much at the time, but it sure brings back the period 4 me. "It's gonna be a bright sunshiny day...."
+ Kinks: "Sunny Afternoon" (#14/66) -- It's always struck me how RELAXED Ray Davies sounds on this song, as if all his stresses really Rn't that big a deal. Love the vocals & the relaxed, almost lethargic feel. Charming. Course if it's Xcitement yr looking 4, this ain't no "Lola," or "Shangri-La," "Victoria," "Dead-End Street," or even "Apeman"....
* Walker Bros.: "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" (#13/66) -- Their last names weren't really Walker, they weren't really brothers, & I don't really care. Just gotta have my melodrama....
= War: "Summer" (#7/76) -- This is very pleasant, but give me "Cisco Kid," "Gypsy Man" or "Slippin' Into Darkness" (an OBVIOUS rip of Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up"!) NE day....
+ Seals & Crofts: "Summer Breeze" (#6/72) -- Very pleasant, & definitely clearly evokes a summer evening. But WAY overplayed. Gimme "We May Never Pass This Way Again" or "Hummingbird" -- both Classics!
* Lovin' Spoonful: "Summer in the City" (#1/66) -- Speaking of classics. Did these guys ever sound angrier?
* Johnny Rivers: "Summer Rain" (#14/68) -- This guy was WAY underrated, & this song is a moody classic that beautifully evokes both summer & specifically the Summer Of Love....
+ Chad & Jeremy: "A Summer Song" (#7/64) -- Gentle, breathy, innocent, nostalgic....
+ Eddie Cochran: "Summertime Blues" (#8/58) -- Nobody beats the original. & it's less than 2 mins long....
+ Lighthouse: "Sunny Days" (#34/72) -- Great hippie-era stuff, silly lyrics, & it do sound like summertime....
= Cream: "Sunshine of Your Love" (#5/68) -- Ehhhh. I'm more a "Badge"/"I Feel Free"/"I'm So Glad" kinda guy. & I'm still not sure about some of the lyrics -- sounds pretty sleazy 2 me. But yeah, they did do some great stuff....
= Billy Stewart: "Summertime" (#10/66) -- "...and the livin' is easy...." Stunning desecration of the standard from PORGY AND BESS, full of stutters & clicks & wails & bellows. He cer10ly had some intresting verbal tics.... & speaking of wailin, how bout that orchestra...?

2 comments:

rastronomicals said...

Guess I'll send you into another Alzheimer's lamentation when I suggest "Good Day Sunshine" :-)

And "Shine on Sunshine" may be the worst song on Argent's Circus, but it's still a song from a good band on a great album . . . .

tad said...

Hey, R: I'm guessing I 4got "Good Day Sunshine" Bcos I've bn sick... & no more lamenting about The Big A, that's just the wave of the future now, & I'm just gonna havta learn 2 live w/ it....
BTW, since posting this list it has bn pouring almost non-stop 4 the past coupla days here. So naturally, I'm now thinking I should compile a list of Rainy Day Songs 2 -- w/ the same kind of reverse-logic -- sorta chase the clouds away. I'm sure the Beatles' "Rain" will B on that list, if I do it... Rain? Shine? It's all a state of mind....
...Have never heard much by Argent outside of "Hold Your Head Up," "Tragedy" & "God Gave Rock & Roll to You," tho I always thot they looked intresting -- 1 of those bands I always said I was gonna look in2 & never got around 2. Useta C lots of their albums as cutouts: COUNTERPOINTS, IN DEEP, NEXUS, etc. Remember not Bing that impressed w/ their skimpy vinyl ANTHOLOGY best-of, but they had a lotta talented guys, & "Hold Your Head Up" was a big fave when I was younger.... --TAD.