Sunday, April 21, 2013

#655: Spring Playlist(?!)

I use the term "Spring" with some hesitation, since here it's in the 40s & raining ... but the Weather Guys R saying possibly 70 degrees & sunny by Weds. I'll believe it when I see it.... We had ONE nice week of sun & temps in the 60s about 3 weeks ago ... & we've bn paying 4 it ever since....
Anyway, here's what I've bn listening 2 lately, during 1 of the craziest weeks in recent memory -- is the world going nuts or is it just me?

Randy and the Rainbows -- Denise.
Journey -- Feeling That Way/Anytime, Something to Hide, La Do Da.
Moody Blues -- Question, It's Up to You, The Story in Your Eyes, One More Time to Live, You Can Never Go Home, My Song, I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band, Steppin' in a Slide Zone, Had to Fall in Love, Blue World, I Know You're Out There Somewhere, Say it With Love, Tuesday Afternoon, Nights in White Satin, Ride My See-Saw, Legend of a Mind, Lovely to See You, Gypsy, Watching and Waiting.
Strawbs -- Ghosts, On Growing Older, The Man Who Called Himself Jesus, Stormy Down, I Turned My Face into the Wind, Queen of Dreams, Witchwood, Keep the Devil Outside, The Hangman and the Papist.
Bachman Turner Overdrive -- Blue Collar, Roll on Down the Highway.
Byrds -- Mr. Spaceman, 5D (Fifth Dimension), My Back Pages, So You Want to be a Rock 'N' Roll Star, Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn! Turn! Turn!, Eight Miles High, I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better, Lady Friend, Did You See Her Eyes?, Ballad of Easy Rider.
Marvin Gaye -- What's Goin' On?, Inner City Blues, Trouble Man.
Stevie Wonder -- I Was Made to Love Her, My Cherie Amour, Yester-me Yester-you Yesterday, Signed Sealed Delivered, For Once in My Life, If You Really Love Me, You are the Sunshine of My Life, Superstition, Higher Ground, You Haven't Done Nothin', I Wish, Sir Duke, That Girl.
Temptations -- Get Ready, I Can't Get Next to You.
Boston -- Used to Bad News, Hitch a Ride, We're Ready, My Destination, Can't'cha Say/Still in Love, Hollyann.
Kansas -- Miracles out of Nowhere, Questions of My Childhood.
Beatles -- Eight Days a Week, Ticket to Ride, Help!, Paperback Writer, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Can't Buy Me Love, A Hard Day's Night, I Feel Fine.
Three Dog Night -- Out in the Country, Celebrate, My Impersonal Life, Let Me Serenade You.

Now then: Picked up a CD copy of Randy and the Rainbows' early-'60s doo-wop classic "Denise," which I'd heard maybe 2wice in my whole life. Tho the CD's a little TOO clean & clear -- it doesn't sound like the song's rolling out of your car radio from some distant radio station fading in&out -- still, there R some compensations. The vocals R amazing -- how did they hit those high notes? & it's SO sweet & innocent & pure. & it's over much 2 quick. 4 me, pretty much irresistible, tho of course I can't really sing along with it cos of the high notes....
Went on a brief Moodies kick cos of the 2 recent books I read about them, see below. Even tried out some new stuff. I'd forgotten how silly "Steppin' in a Slide Zone" is. It's really silly -- lotsa spacey sound effects trying 2 dress-up a song that just ain't there. I'd forgotten how lame "Had to Fall in Love" is -- it sounds like a demo. Maybe that's why I don't miss OCTAVE much -- it sez something that Graeme Edge's sorta-rocker "I'll Be Level With You" was the best thing on it.
The other Moodies stuff still sounds great of course, & I still think "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" is glorious. They shoulda retired after it. "Blue World" is a gorgeous overlooked collection of Moodies cliches. & "Say it With Love" is just BLAH.
...& now, the 1st of TWO corrections: The Strawbs' HALCYON DAYS best-of I bought a coupla years back is the UK version. The US version has 1/2adozen diffrent songs, is presented in chronological order (rather than the "stylistic" or "flow" or "whatever" order of the UK version), & still doesn't include summa my faves like the phenomenal live "Where is This Dream of Your Youth?" (a keyboard orgy 4 Rick Wakeman fans & a really angry performance by the band), & the great live "Man Who Called Himself Jesus."
All that said, the UK version also has some good stuff, & it's growing on me. "Ghosts" is (like almost all their stuff) a little overwrought, but there's a nice edge of hysteria in Dave Cousins' vocal, & it really rocks in places. (Cousins is often at his best when pushed, as in "Hero and Heroine" & "Down by the Sea" & "Where is This Dream of Your Youth?")
"On Growing Older" is not quite a joke -- they shoulda included "Oh Me, Oh My" instead. The studio "Jesus" is actually pretty intense too, I'm getting used to it, & it's a great story. "Stormy Down" is pleasant enuf, "Keep the Devil Outside" is the best & closest 2 a "pop" song in this batch, & Rick Wakeman doodles ALL OVER the opening of "Hangman and the Papist." There'll B more of these guys' work Coming Soon....
BTO's "Blue Collar" still sounds like some black R&B band rollin' out a gentle groove. Perfect late-nite listening.... & "Roll On Down the Highway" is still a great driving riff-rocker, even if I can't figure out 1/2 the words....
I loved the Byrds, but I'm 2 the point now where the overlooked stuff is workin better 4 me. "Lady Friend" & "Did You See Her Eyes?" gain a lotta strength with repeated listenings, & stuff like "My Back Pages," "5D," "Mr. Spaceman," "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" & "Easy Rider" all still sound great. If "Wasn't Born to Follow," "John Riley," "Bells of Rhymney" & "Chimes of Freedom" were on it, 20 ESSENTIAL TRACKS really WOULD B essential....
Still playin' those Motown classics, but don't have much more 2 add about them.... Tho it's worth noting that Stevie Wonder's joyous vocal on "Yester-me" even cuts thru the heavy-cheez factor of that backing choir....
Played summa my Boston faves -- I loved those guys. & tho a lotta their stuff is overplayed, I'm still a sucker 4 all the above + "It's Easy" & "Man I'll Never Be" & "Something About You" & "Peace of Mind." I hadn't heard THIRD STAGE in awhile -- tho there R occasional lags, I think this song-suite is just a step below their 1st album, & therefore a step above the allegedly 1/2-finished DON'T LOOK BACK. "My Destination," "Can't'cha Say," "We're Ready" & "Hollyann" still sound just as cosmic as Tom Scholz intended -- actually, more cosmic now that they've got a few years on them....
...Why isn't "Please Please Me" on the Beatles' #1's? Didn't it make #1 ANYWHERE? Seems wrong....
...Consider most of the other stuff listed above as Recommended....

Nice 2 see Rush & Heart inducted 2 the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame -- but there's still so many deserving folks that have been left out. 1 of the guys from Rush was quoted by USA TODAY saying that now that Rush is in, they hope the door's opened 4 King Crimson & the Moody Blues.... Couldn't agree more.

...& now a 2nd correction: FINALLY got ahold of 1 of the singles I've been seeking 4 YEARS, Randy Edelman's "Pistol Packin' Melody," released by 20th Century in early 1975. 4 35+ years I'd been thinking the song was sung by Andy Pratt -- that's a long time 2 B wrong about something.
Course I haven't actually PLAYED the record yet -- I'm geographically separated from my turntable at this moment. But I WILL B getting 2 it in the not-2-distant future....

...& as I've bn typing this, it's started pouring rain outside. Not the scattered sun & high 50s they'd predicted 4 today. At least not YET. Wouldn't it B great 2 B a Weather Guy? B wrong more than 1/2 the time & still keep your job...?

1 comment:

R S Crabb said...

Hell Tad, it's raining here again as well. Can't get nothing dried out since all it does is rain.

Octave from the Moodies hasn't aged well over time although I do like Had To Fall In Love and I'll Be Level With You starts out great and then detoriates toward the end. I probably like Octave better than you but then again I really don't see a need to buy the CD when I have the LP still around.

Boston first album got overkilled by classic rock radio but I still have a copy and play it from time to time. I guess Sony Music did put together the album with bonus tracks featuring a decent Smokin and Foreplay/Long Time which for a live song kicks can but of course Tom Scholtz vetoed it and sued Sony to keep the bonus tracks off it and one other from Don't Look Back. It's a shame really, the original Boston band was excellent live on stage. Didn't like Third State outside of Holly Anne and Cool The Engines and what I remember of Walk On it was worse. In 2002 Coporate America came out and it's better than the MCA albums, at least they are rocking out and Brad Delp is there on vocals along with Fran Cosmo. Scholtz has been working on the followup for 11 years and who knows if it will see the light of day. The revised Boston's Greatest Hits did add a couple songs from Corporate America.