Hey out there, & Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's trying 2 B Spring in Western Washington, with the sun coming out occasionally, highs in the low 50's, but windy & sometimes rainy & still cold at nite. Any sign of the sun is a good thing, here.
I've had a good last couple weeks at work, everything's been pretty smooth, tho I still have my "moments." Luckily, there's been lots of music 2 keep me motivatin' along. Here's some of it:
Suzanne Vega -- Cracking, Freeze Tag, Marlene on the Wall, Undertow, Some Journey.
Moody Blues -- Tuesday Afternoon, Ride My See-Saw, Lovely to See You, Never Comes the Day, Gypsy.
Bob Seger -- Rock and Roll Never Forgets, Katmandu.
Dave Dudley -- Six Days on the Road.
Nick Lowe -- I Knew the Bride.
Charlie Daniels -- Uneasy Rider.
Elvis -- Mystery Train, Little Sister, You're the Devil in Disguise, Viva Las Vegas, A Little Less Conversation.
Tracey Ullman -- Breakaway, They Don't Know, The B-Side.
Nik Kershaw -- Gone to Pieces.
Dan Fogelberg -- Phoenix.
Simon and Garfunkel -- Fakin' It, Keep the Customers Satisfied, The Boxer, The Only Living Boy in New York, Hazy Shade of Winter, At the Zoo, Homeward Bound.
Beach Boys -- God Only Knows, Here Today, Trombone Dixie, Let's Go Away for Awhile, Sloop John B.
Heart -- Mistral Wind (live), Sweet Darlin' (live).
Church -- Under the Milky Way, Reptile.
Fleetwood Mac -- Teen Beat.
Boston -- Used to Bad News, Hitch a Ride.
Doobie Brothers -- Neal's Fandango, I Cheat the Hangman, Precis, Rainy Day Crossroad Blues, I Been Workin' on You, Double Dealin' Four Flusher.
Abba -- Waterloo.
NOTES: It has occurred 2 me in my push 4 motivational music at work that I have drifted somewhat from my brief, the Xamination & promotion of underheard, underappreciated, off-the-wall Strange Music. Late last nite while mopping the floor at work I suddenly started humming old off-the-map Dire Straits songs -- "Telegraph Road" & "Love Over Gold" were going thru my head. Obviously I can C what my next CD purchase might B....
I still try 2 play stuff that will motivate me & surprise my customers, cos I'm still fairly bored, musically. But I'm workin' on it. & I still wait 4 people 2 ask what's playing in the background, so I'll have a chance 2 blag on&on about how great some artist was & how woefully unappreciated they were ... an opportunity that almost never comes up.
Also, not 2 Get Racial, but I've also noticed in my recent buying spree & in the music listed above, ALL of it is performed by (forgive me) White Folks. This is an area I'm gonna havta look into. Problem is, there's a REAL shortage of old R&B/Soul out there 4 folks on a low budget like me. People just don't cough up old Motown & Atlantic albums -- they're hanging on2 them as goodtime soundtrax. & I don't blame them. I found copies of ARETHA'S GOLD and Gladys Knight and the Pips' IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN awhile back & was thrilled, but when I spotted copies of Miracles' & Temptations' LIVE albums recently, the owners wanted $25 each, & I can't swing that. Even if they WOULD motivate me.
Outside of Stevie Wonder, the Spinners, MOTOWN GOLD, the Stylistics, & maybe a couple others, my collection's a little thin on early-'70s Soul. Not sure how much Soul a poor White kid from Idaho is sposta have. But I'll B workin' on it. Watch out 4 some Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Bill Withers in this space soon. Ghod help me, maybe even some Barry White.... That's right, baby....
Anyway, as 4 the above ... Hadn't heard Suzanne Vega's 1st album in awhile & was again thrilled by the breathtaking crystalline sound & the guitar chords that sound like bells ringing. Not 2 mention her voice, which still reminds me of Janis Ian, who you should also check out -- can I recommend "When the Party's Over," "From Me to You," "In the Winter," "Watercolors," "Love is Blind"?
The Moodies still sound great of course, even on a cheap "portable Moodies" triple-CD pack I got as a present a few years ago -- not the best best-of ever, but summa the essentials R here, & EVERYBODY knows the Moodies....
Seger still sounds great -- wish somebody would release a reasonable all-in-1-place best-of by him, a disc that covers everything from "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" thru the early '80s. Right now, you havta buy at least 2 CD's 2 get all that stuff. & Bob has a lot of underplayed stuff that's worth having.... "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" has always been 1 of my faves, & "Katmandu" strikes me more&more as just a riff with some friendly tossed-off lyrics. At least it's funny.
Grabbed a few home-burned Country CD's from the girlfriend & am not sure I'm done with 'em yet. "Six Days on the Road" still sounds great, but I'd sure like 2 hear that 1 about "the girl wearin' nothin' but a smile and a towel on the billboard in the middle of the big ol' highway" again.... Hadn't heard Nick Lowe's "I Knew the Bride" B4 -- don't know if it's really "country," but it's OK....
"Uneasy Rider" went over best at work -- people were "singing" along with it.... The Elvis trax are from ESSENTIAL, a 2-CD set that isn't quite enuf. If it had "Marie's the Name (of His Latest Flame)" & "Promised Land," it'd B almost all I'd ever needta hear....
Tracey Ullman still sounds great -- "Breakaway" is a breathless brokenhearted lovesong that shoulda been a hit, "They Don't Know" is still adorable, & "The B-Side" is hilarious! From the same period, Nik Kershaw's "Gone to Pieces" is a hilarious lost classic with a great cameo performance by The Chipmunks! They've never sounded better....
Fogelberg's loud&angry "Phoenix" is from ESSENTIAL, which is actually a little thin. If it had "Tell Me to My Face" & "Along the Road" on it, it would ALMOST B essential. At least it includes the gorgeous '76 Winter Olympics themesong "There's a Place in the World for a Gambler"....
Simon&Garf still sound great, of course, & they're often suprisingly LOUD, which is OK 2. Could do without the shrieking horns at the end of "Keep the Customers Satisfied," but the rest of it works fine. & the loudness is a big + on "Fakin' It," "Hazy Shade of Winter," "The Boxer," "Only Living Boy in New York," etc. "Only Living Boy" is a great lost hit, with gorgeous choir vocals. If their ESSENTIAL had the studio version of "For Emily Whenever I May Find Her" on it, it really WOULD B essential....
Has anybody noticed that the instrumentals on PET SOUNDS really work, they're not just mood pieces? "Let's Go Away" & "Trombone Dixie" R so strong they don't NEED lyrics, & when I heard it last nite I wondered about writing my own words 4 "Dixie".... The resta the album sounds great 2, of course. "Here Today" shoulda been a hit....
Heart's live trax R ... not quite as good as the studio originals, or R good in diffrent ways. I prefer the forceful guitar on the studio take of "Mistral Wind," but it's still a great song. "Sweet Darlin'" is a good showcase 4 Ann Wilson, especially on that line about how "you made music of my name." But as a live vocalist she fools around 2 much. It's that same silliness that makes a comedy out of "Bebe le Strange" & "Barracuda" & some others.
Still a sucker 4 Boston's less-played stuff. "Used to Bad News" is a perfect miniature & shoulda been a hit. "Hitch a Ride" is a gorgeous mood piece. Is this song about suicide, or just movin' on?
Continue 2 enjoy the Doobies, in limited doses. The 2nd 1/2 of STAMPEDE has some pretty intresting semi-arty stuff on it. Very solid background music, tho "I Cheat the Hangman" is a bit drawn-out....
The cranked-up rush of "Waterloo" is great 4 clearing-out the store. Great singing, great sax, straight outta the mid-'60s! Who doesn't like Abba? I'm a sucker 4 "SOS," "Mamma Mia," "Take a Chance on Me," "Knowing Me, Knowing You" & "Winner Takes it All," 2....