Saturday, February 26, 2011

Attack of the 45's!

It's been awhile since I played any music around here, so Fri aft I broke-out the big box of 45 RPM singles. Was a good day 4 it, the sun was out after the snowstorm earlier this week -- definitely not WARM outside, tho. But bright & sunny, put me in a pretty good mood. Didn't have as much time 2 play as I'd hoped, but I slammed in some stuff I haven't heard in awhile.
The playlist:

5 Man Electrical Band: Absolutely Right.
Sutherland Brothers & Quiver: (I Don't Want to Love You But) You Got Me Anyway.
Chris Hodge: We're On Our Way.
B.W. Stevenson: My Maria.
Bullet: White Lies, Blue Eyes.
Nicolette Larson: Radioland.
Joni Mitchell: Raised On Robbery.
The Clique: Superman.
Doobie Brothers: Nobody.
Dave Edmunds: Girls Talk/Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Austin Roberts: One Word.
Donna Summer: I Love You.
Rickie Lee Jones: We Belong Together.
Easybeats: Friday On My Mind.

Opened with "Absolutely Right," like any decent early-'70s DJ would have if he had a drive-home radio show. Pure adrenaline rush, with Les Emmerson's great horn-like guitar runs, good early-'70s keyboard fills, & Xcellent group vocals. Pure 1971. & they get it all done in under 2-1/2 mins. A classic.
"You Got Me Anyway" opens with Tim Renwick's sneaky, understated guitar -- no hint of some of his stinging later fills. Seems kinda dark, but by the time you get 2 the lads' singalong choruses you'll B hooked, & Muff Winwood's solid, punchy production helps. This got some airplay in Boise, Idaho in Fall '73, shoulda bn a bigger hit. Don't know much about the Sutherlands -- they had a killer '75 ballad called "Arms of Mary," & wrote Rod Stewart's "Sailing." Renwick did guitar work on a lotta Al Stewart's albums & later Bcame a tour guitarist with Pink Floyd....
"We're On Our Way" sounds like a T. Rex-knockoff with its silly, spacey hippie-love lyrics, & Hodge's "Oooh! Ah!" vocalisms pre-date Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham by 5 years. Some nice gtr, but it's too short.
I've bn a sucker 4 "My Maria" since late-Summer '73, when I thot radio never played it enuf. Great choruses. Brooks & Dunn's version a few years back wasn't even close.... Co-writer Daniel J. Moore wrote Three Dog Night's "Shambala." Rest in peace, B.W. ....
"White Lies, Blue Eyes" is pure AM pop trash -- you can't understand mosta the words & it doesn't matter -- great choruses, great vocals, a marvelous rave-up finish where the fuzz gtr is lost in a wall of sound, marvelous (tho brief) gtr & keyboards & swelling strings at the end. My only complaint is it's 2 short. But ah, 1972. Is it true 2 guys from Atomic Rooster teamed up 2 do this? & why didn't it sell millions?
I don't care if nobody liked Nicolette Larson much, if she was 2 Southern California/corporate pop -- I've bn a sucker 4 "Radioland" since she premiered it on Johnny Carson's old TONIGHT show in '80. & she KNEW how cynical & sarcastic the lyrics were: "Tryin' to get a PIECE/Radio junkies want a new release...." Close yr eyes & it could B Linda Ronstadt. Nice tho brief Waddy Wachtel gtr solo in the middle break, & catch that little hint of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street sound at the end of the 1st verse. & Warner Bros couldn't sell 4 copies of it. RIP, sweetie....
"Raised on Robbery" is a total blowout, high-speed bliss from the squiggly keyboards up-front 2 Tom Scott's great sax solo in the 1st break, not 2 mention the silly lyrics. Joni shoulda had fun like this more often.
"Superman" -- B-side mania! Great singalong vocals, rudimentary bass, the drummer has all the thump-thump-thump intelligence of a marching-band drummer -- doesn't matter, it's a knockout, with a great crashing finish. I hear REM covered this a few years back -- is there NE way they could possibly have done it BETTER?
"Nobody" opens with some Xcellent sneaky guitar -- it could almost B "Black Water"'s cousin. Tho this Tom Johnston song definitely does the job, it's a little streamlined, modest -- mayB it needed something 2 set it off other than the electric gtr solo in the middle....
"Girls Talk" still sounds great, & the silly "Creature from the Black Lagoon" has a nice electric gtr break & some great bass backup vocals 2 go with Edmunds' funny lyrics.
"One Word" also hasa nice sneaky opening gtr riff. The gtr & vocals make the song sound a little like Johnny Rivers circa 1966. But the choruses R just a little cheezy, with that tinkly showbizzy piano. This isn't quite as good as I remembered; it went Top 10 in Boise in the Fall of '73, but it's EZ 2 C why it didn't break nationally. But I wonder who was on gtr?
I shouldn't havta Xplain "I Love You" -- 4 me, it's by far the best thing Donna ever did, the (forgive me) climax 2 her disco-fairy-tale ONCE UPON A TIME. It's irresistable & shoulda sold millions. So great I hadta play it again.
"We Belong Together" is WEST SIDE STORY told inside of 5 mins. Absolutely gorgeous, & SO lonely. I tear-up every time I hear it.
Went out with a bang with "Friday On My Mind," the weekend classic -- great trebly gtr, great singalong vocals.
More attacks coming soon!

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