Discussion in 'The Off-topic Lounge' started by Bluesville, Mar 14, 2015.
You fucking tit.
I've been doing a "Song of the Day" thing for a few months. Dave's Song of the Day
It's just a little background on whatever song I thought was interesting for that day, followed by a YouTube video (often just an audio file with still pictures for older songs).
Candy – Iggy Pop
Friday song of the day: Iggy Pop is best known for fast, aggressive songs like I Wanna Be Your Dog, Raw Power, and Lust for Life. He has a well-earned place in rock history as a wild man and one of the precursors to Punk Rock. His only top 40 hit in the United States, however, is a mid-tempo song about a lost love.
In June 1990, Iggy released his 10th solo album, titled Brick by Brick. I bought it as soon as I saw it in my local records store. I was stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho at the time, and there wasn’t a lot to do, so every week I would go to the small record shop downtown and check out the new releases. Two months later, Iraq invaded Kuwait and I was deployed to Saudi Arabia for what was to become the First Gulf War. Brick By Brick was one of the few CDs I took along with me, so I listened to it a lot before the war ended and I returned home in late March 1991.
Candy is a basic song about a lost love. It is a duet with Iggy and guest Kate Pierson from the B-52s. Lyrically, it tells of a couple who were in a relationship 20 years ago, but for whatever reason separated. The characters still miss each other, and they feel a continued sense of loss.
The video for Candy received a fair amount of play on MTV, and the record reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Not a huge mainstream hit, but pretty good for kind of a cult artist. Despite his influence on modern music, Iggy has always appealed more to a dedicated niche audience than to the general record-buying public.
Tomorrow: And I’ll never, never do it again
Keep em coming!
I'm not really into punk apart from the odd Californian style as a treat every now and again. Iggy is someone I wished I'd got into more really.
The moment's gone now but I do really dig Lust For Life and Now You Want to be My (whatever name it is) from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Thanks. There are 185 earlier songs of the day at the website, but obviously it would be annoying if I reposted all the old ones here. I'll try to keep up with posting the new ones here each day.
I don't think anyone in this thread is more annoying than I am so you fill your boots. I have a metal persuasion heart wise but I'm reasonably eclectic.
Having a comfy Corey afternoon.
Wrote this masterpiece in 20 minutes as a result of a bet.
Cool! I didn’t know that story, but just looked it up. As the story goes, his fried/pot dealer in Hawaii bet him $500 he couldn’t write a song during a 15-20 minute ride to the airport.
Another related story from an interview with Graham Nash regarding the recording of Teach Your Children:
Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco has like four or five major studios in the complex. When we were doing Déjà Vu,we were in one studio, the Jefferson Airplane were in another studio, and the Dead were in another studio. And so we were all hanging out. We got to “Teach Your Children” and we put our voices on it and Stephen goes, “You know, a guitar solo doesn’t feel right for this.” Crosby said, “Hey, I heard Garcia is playing pedal steel. Why don’t you ask him to try a pedal steel solo? But play him the song first.” If he likes the song he’s probably going to want to do it, right? So he brought his pedal steel in, he set it up, we recorded the first track and I said, “That was f—ing great, fantastic.” He said, “You know, I f—ed up a little in the chorus. Can we do a second take?” I said, “Absolutely, we can do a second take. But I’ll tell ya, I’m not going to use it. Your joyous expression on the pedal steel on ‘Teach Your Children’ is so beautiful to me — you did it! One take, fantastic. So go ahead, do another take, Jerry, but I’m not going to use it.”
The song features a spirited pedal steel guitar solo from none other than Captain Trips himself — Jerry Garcia.
I Didn’t Know the Gun was Loaded – Betsy Gay
Saturday song of the day: Today we once again go back to a record that I have vivid memories of listening to as a child. If I was a 4- or 5-year old in 2019, I’d be listening to kids’ songs like Baby Shark, or a tune from the latest Disney movie. In 1963, I played whatever records my parents had in the house. I think I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t think much of my parents’ musical tastes. When I got older and wanted to listen to The Beatles or whoever, my father would complain about my “damn Bebop music.” Never mind that Bebop was a jazz style that was popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s, to him the emerging rock music of the mid- to late 1960s was Bebop.
Anyway, the records I had available as a young child were mostly not rock related. There were things by Perry Como, Jimmy Rodgers, a set of show tunes albums presented by Ed Sullivan (perhaps I’ll delve into those fairly soon), and other remnants of popular music before Rock & Roll took off about three or four years before my birth. A Louis Armstrong album was about as hip as it got, until we kids grew up enough to start buying our own music.
One of the records was a song called I Didn’t Know the Gun was Loaded. I don’t remember the artist, and doing a little research for this didn’t provide much help. Of the versions I found, there are several for which I can say with some certainty that they were not the record I remember from my childhood, but unfortunately I couldn’t find one which spurred a “that’s it!” moment for me. It may be that my memory fifty-some years after the fact is faulty, or it could be that the version I remember is obscure enough that I cannot find it on YouTube.
I Didn’t Know the Gun was Loaded was originally a country song, written by Hank Fort and Herb Leighton. Both of these names are pseudonyms. Hank turns out to be a woman. Hank Fort was the stage name of singer/songwriter Eleanor Hankins. Herb Leighton was the alias of Herbert Leventhal. I have no way of knowing, but my suspicion is that he used the pen name because a songwriter with the Jewish-sounding name Leventhal might find it difficult to find work in the still racist country music business of the 1940s. The song told the story of Miss Effie, a woman who shot several men and escaped punishment by claiming that she didn’t know the gun was loaded. Eventually, she herself is shot by the wife of one of her victims, who uses the same empty gun claim after shooting Effie.
As far as I can tell from just a cursory internet search, the first recording of the song was released in March 1949 by Betsy Gay. There were several recordings of the song released in March, April, and May of that year, however, so there were multiple competing versions out at the same time.
It appears that the biggest country version of the song was recorded by Patsy Montana and her Buckaroos. The most popular mainstream recording was more of a swing version recorded by The Andrews Sisters, however.
The Andrews Sisters version of the song leaves out a few of the early verses that are included in most of the other recordings. On listening to the four versions I have linked to here, I can say that the record I remember listening to as a child was definitely not the Betsy Gay, Patsy Montana, or Andrews Sisters version of I Didn’t Know the Gun was Loaded. The version by Janette Davis sounds close to what I remember, but it doesn’t fit exactly with my memory. It may just be that my memory is hazy after so many years. I suspect that that is the case and we did have the Janette Davis record in the early 1960s. It’s also possible that we had a different version that I cannot find online today.
The Andrews Sisters
Tomorrow: She moved better on wine
These are great, I love this era. It always reminds me of hanging out at my grandparents house as a kid. I have Sirius in my truck, and the 1940s channel is one of my favorites. the artists you posted above are good examples of what I hear on this station.
my 6 year old likes this kind of music too We usually listen to music at the family dinner table, and this kind of stuff is one of the genres we like to use for that.
Yeah, they didn't consider themselves good enough for that instrument. Their 4 cd set has all the stories accompanying the songs.
Dave's Song of the Day
Mississippi Queen – Mountain
Sunday song of the day: “I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell.” This is probably the second most popular rock song featuring the cowbell. (The first being Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper, as depicted in the Saturday Night Live sketch.) But more than that, it’s just a great song with powerful guitars and raw blues singing.
Mississippi Queen was the first single from Mountain’s debut album Climbing! and became the group’s biggest hit. The band formed in 1969, featuring guitarist/singer Leslie West and bassist/singer/producer Felix Pappalardi. In only their third appearance as a band, they played the famous music festival at Woodstock in August 1969.
It was the drummer, Corky Laing, who brought the idea for Mississippi Queen to the band. Laing had written some of the lyrics and the basic drum part for the song before joining Mountain. West had written some music on guitar that needed lyrics, so Laing suggested the lyrics he had from before joining the band. The two worked on merging the two parts into a whole, with a little input from other band members.
In the studio sessions to record the song, Pappalardi had the band perform several takes. It was Laing’s job to give a count for everyone to join in at the proper time, and after multiple takes he got a little tired of the process and did the count on cowbell. Pappalardi liked the sound and kept it in the final mix.
Musically, the song was very hard electric blues, inspired by Eric Clapton’s supergroup Cream. Pappalardi had produced three of the four Cream studio albums, including the 1967 classic Disraeli Gears. West’s heavily distorted guitar is front and center, and his singing has just the right amount of hoarseness.
The song was released as a single in February 1970, and climbed to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was Mountain’s biggest hit, and became a rock classic.
Tomorrow: Tomorrow I may be splittin’ to Britain or Norway
Dave's Song of the Day
Peter Gunn – The Jody Grind
Monday song of the day: In a few cases, theme songs to TV shows have become big hits. By that I mean songs that were written specifically to be theme songs for TV shows, like I’ll be There for You from Friends or the instrumental theme for Hawaii Five-O. This is different from songs that were hits already but were later used as TV theme songs, like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation using the Who’s Who Are You.
One of the classic theme songs was written for the 1958 private detective show Peter Gunn. It was an only mildly popular series that ran for three seasons, ending in 1961. Today it is best known for its theme music, which was written by Henry Mancini. Mancini wrote an instrumental number for the show’s theme that has been extremely popular over the years. It’s one of those pieces of music that even if you have never known the name, you have heard the tune.
Peter Gunn has been covered well over 100 times, by artists as diverse as Duane Eddy, Jimi Hendrix, Art of Noise, Quincy Jones, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and The Blues Brothers. The original recording, of course, is from Henry Mancini. His version won an Emmy and two Grammys. In 1959, Mancini worked with trumpet player Ray Anthony on a version of the tune, which was released as a single. The Anthony cover was a hit, and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Other versions that charted on the Hot 100 include those by Duane Eddy at #27 in 1960, Deodato at #84 in 1976, and The Art of Noise at #50 in 1986.
Normally, I wouldn’t consider Peter Gunn for Song of the Day, since it is an instrumental, and lacking words I couldn’t give the usual lyrical hint the day before. In 1965, however, jazz great Sarah Vaughan recorded a version that included lyrics written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. The lyrics had nothing to do with the TV show, but were the story of someone leaving their lover. The lyrics are titled Bye Bye, but they fit well with the Peter Gunn music. Recordings featuring the two elements together are sometimes titled Peter Gunn and sometimes Bye Bye. Vaughan used Peter Gunn, but later Henry Mancini himself recorded a version with the words, and he used the Bye Bye title.
The version I selected as today’s Song of the Day is by The Jody Grind, a band from Atlanta. It was included on their first album One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure, released in 1990. I happened to buy a copy of the CD in 1990 on the recommendation of a record store clerk who knew my eclectic tastes. This is where I first became aware of the version of Peter Gunn that included the lyrics. While I didn’t know the Sarah Vaughan version at the time, now that I am aware of the 1965 record, I can tell that it clearly inspired the cover by The Jody Grind.
On the 1990 record, singer Kelly Hogan just nails it perfectly. She has a voice that would have been better suited for the 1940s and 1950s that for the Grunge era. The Jody Grind released a second album, Lefty’s Deceiver, in 1992. Less than a week after that album was released, two of the band’s members were killed in a car crash. Kelly Hogan and the other band member were not in the car, but decided not to continue as The Jody Grind following the loss. Hogan went on as a solo act and as a member of several other bands, including the Rock*A*Teens.
Tomorrow: As you treat danger as a pure connection
Great stuff man!
I hadn't heard either of those versions with lyrics. In addition to the original and the Anthony cover, I really dig the Sarah Vaughn version.
Nice. I think you'll find I have posted a few versions of Peter Gunn here as well
Dave's Song of the Day
Going for the One – Yes
Tuesday song of the day: Progressive rock was often given to pretentiousness and overblown, bombastic instrumentals. That said, sometimes when everything was working, it sounded amazing. This is one of those times.
Yes was one of the most popular prog rock groups of the 1970s, and while very successful, indulged in many of the excesses of the genre. For example, the 1971 album Fragile contained solo tracks from each of the band members, and the title track from 1972’s Close to the Edge took up the entire first side of the album, clocked in at 18 minutes and 30 seconds in length, and consisted of four named movements: I. The Solid Time of Change, II. Total Mass Retain, III. I Get Up, I Get Down, and IV. Seasons of Man. After the release of their sixth studio album, Tales from Topographic Oceans at the end of 1973, keyboardist Rick Wakeman – no stranger to bloated excess himself – left the band over Yes’s increasingly “experimental” direction.
After releasing Relayer in 1974 and then solo albums from each of the band’s members, in 1976 Yes began working on a new group album, which would include shorter songs, a more basic and direct musical direction, and fewer attempts at deep philosophical meanings. After two months of working on songs for the album, the band fired keyboardist Patrick Moraz, who had replaced Rick Wakeman when he departed. Singer Jon Anderson sent demo recordings of a few songs proposed for the album to Wakeman, convincing him to rejoin the band.
That album became Going for the One, which was released in July 1977. It is the title track of that album that is our Song of the Day. The song was inspired by the concept of sports, including references to white water rafting, horse racing, and the Olympics. It being a departure from the bombast of Prog Rock is a relative thing, however, with plenty of esoteric lines like “And here you stand no taller than the grass seas” and “As you throw away misconceptions.” Still, it was nowhere near as bloated as some of their previous work.
In the summer of 1977, I had just graduated from high school and was killing time before I eventually joined the Air Force two years later. In those days, when I drove, I enjoyed playing the car stereo at ear bleed levels. Going for the One was often a song that I listened to. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the lyrics, but I enjoyed the high-pitched sound of the music and the singing. I was listening to a few early Punk songs at the time as well, but I hadn’t abandoned the earlier musical forms I had enjoyed. Hearing Going for the One takes me right back to those times.
Tomorrow: Don’t you know that I’m a gangster of love
Dave's Song of the Day
Space Cowboy – The Steve Miller Band
Wednesday song of the day: Steve Miller has often been self-referential, including call-backs to earlier songs in his lyrics. He mentions today’s 1969 song in his bigger 1973 hit The Joker. It has led some casual fans to get the two songs confused.
Today’s song, Space Cowboy, itself refers back to two earlier songs. When the Steve Miller Band recorded its second album, Sailor, in 1968, it included the hit Living in the USA and also featured a cover version of Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s Gangster of Love. On his next album, 1969’s Brave New World, the song Space Cowboy’s first line is “Well I told you bout livin’ in the U.S. of A./Don’t you know that I’m a gangster of love”.
As mentioned, he repeated the use of self-referential lyrics in his big hit The Joker in 1973, which began with the lines “Some people call me the Space Cowboy, yeah/Some call me the Gangster of Love/Some people call me Maurice,” with the first three lines referring to three earlier songs, the previously mentioned Space Cowboy and Gangster of Love, along with Enter Maurice from 1972’s Recall the Beginning…A Journey from Eden.
Space Cowboy was never released as a single, but it was a popular song among Steve Miller fans. The song blatantly “borrows” the guitar riff from The Beatles’ Lady Madonna. Presumably, Miller got permission from Paul McCartney to use the riff, since McCartney sang backing vocals, and played bass, guitar and drums on a Brave New World track that resulted from a late-night Miller-McCartney jam in the recording studio, with the song called My Dark Hour. McCartney was credited under the alias Paul Ramon.
Just last month, The Steve Miller Band released Welcome to the Vault, a boxed set of three CDs and a DVD that includes rarities from throughout the band’s career. Included is a 1973 alternate/live version of Space Cowboy that uses a markedly different arrangement.
Original recording, 1969
Lady Madonna by The Beatles, for comparison
Alternate Live version , 1973
Tomorrow: Fun to frustrate them