Discussion in 'The Off-topic Lounge' started by Bluesville, Mar 14, 2015.
edit this one of the best songs ive ever heard
Dave's Song of the Day
Take Me to the River – Al Green
Monday song of the day: This classic song is a mixture of the sacred and the profane, has been covered by numerous artists, but the writers claimed they made more in royalties from its use in a novelty toy.
In 1974, singer Al Green and Mabon “Teenie” Hodges, the guitar player in Green’s backing band, wrote a song called Take Me to the River. The song was a mixture of religious imagery – particularly baptism – and descriptions of the singer’s teenage love and lust. The themes become less confusing when one realizes that Green had been living the life of a musical star for several years, but had just recently become a born-again Christian. The confusion over which path he should take was reflected in the song. However, Green insists he just wrote the religious portion of the lyrics and that Hodges wrote the parts dealing with teenage romance: “All this about the cigarettes and the 16 candles? That’s Teenie.”
Green recorded the song and it was included on the album Al Green Explores Your Mind, but was not released as a single. Instead, the record label had Syl Johnson record a cover version, and that record became a minor hit, reaching #7 on the Billboard R&B chart and #48 on the overall Billboard Hot 100.
Since then, over fifty other artists have recorded cover versions of Take Me to the River, including Foghat, Bryan Ferry, Mitch Ryder, Tina Turner, and Annie Lennox. The most famous cover, however, was the 1978 version by Talking Heads, included on their album More Songs about Buildings and Food. It was released as a single and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also featured prominently in the 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense.
While Take Me to the River has been covered dozens of times, and has been a hit record for two artists, both Al Green and Mabon Hodges have said that the use of the song in a popular novelty toy in the late 1990s and early 2000s earned them more money than all the record royalties. In January 1999, Gemmy Industries began manufacturing and selling Big Mouth Billy Bass, a singing animatronic fish mounted on a plaque. The original version sang Take Me to the River and Don’t Worry, Be Happy. In 2000 alone, Gemmy sold approximately $100 million worth of the annoying fish toys. Later versions sang different songs, but at the height of the fad, versions using Take Me to the River made up a significant percentage of sales. The toy was included in two episodes of The Sopranos and it was said that even Queen Elizabeth had a Billy Bass in one of her palaces. Green and Hodges received a fee for every Billy Bass sold that included their composition, and both claimed that it earned them more than any other version of the song.
Not long after Al Green Explores Your Mind was released, Green's girlfriend at the time assaulted him by dumping a pot of boiling grits on him, and then fatally shot herself. This caused a change in his life that led to him becoming an ordained minister in 1976. Along with this came a slump in the popularity of his records, and in 1980 he switched from performing secular music to exclusively gospel. In 1988 he once again began recording secular music. Today he continues both his musical career and his work as Bishop Al Green at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis.
Al Green, 1974
Syl Johnson, 1975
Talking Heads, 1978
Big Mouth Billy Bass
Tomorrow: I spent a lot of money and I spent a lot of time
Sister Nancy Kills it...I played this one real loud...great sounds in it
starts at 1:25
that makes me wana get high again
Check this out:
Listen - Primitive American Guitar and Blues
This is in there, and at least one other version of that song. And a bunch of other great stuff.
New Years so this is on repeat. For you young pups under 90 outside the United States, they play this song along with Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" in NYC at midnight when the ball drops. No matter when I listen to this song it gets dusty in seconds...
Dave's Song of the Day
Reeling in the Years – Steely Dan
Tuesday song of the day: Today’s song is an early hit from one of the more popular bands of the 1970s.
Steely Dan was formed as a full rock band in 1972, but within a few years the two core members, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen relied on various backing musicians to fill out the band. They released their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill, in November of 1972. The album’s first single, Do it Again, was a big hit, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The second single, Reeling in the Years (sometimes using the alternate spelling Reelin’ in the Years) did not do quite that well, but was still a hit at #11 on the Hot 100. It concerned the song’s narrator looking back at an old romance and the breakup that resulted. The lyrics are a bit snarky, criticizing the lost lover and expressing dismay that she didn’t realize what she missed in rejecting the narrator.
One of the song’s brightest spots is the guitar solo. It was performed by Elliott Randall, who was not a member of the band. Instead he was a guest of Steely Dan’s regular guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, who invited him to the recording session. Elliot ended up contributing the solo, which was hailed as one of the finest rock guitar solos of the era.
Steely Dan went on to record several classic albums in the 1970s, often with Becker and Fagen utilizing a crew of session musicians instead of a formal band. They disbanded in 1981, then reformed in 1993, touring and recording sporadically after that. Walter Becker died of esophageal cancer in 2017, and Donald Fagen continued performing under the Steely Dan name.
Tomorrow: Better be on your way
You might see Cam in designer underwear
The Prodigy Experience (it's a playlist for the full album)
Dave's Song of the Day
The Train Kept A-Rollin' – Tiny Bradshaw
Wednesday song of the day: Today’s song takes a metaphor to ridiculous lengths but later became a rock classic.
Audiences today might know Train Kept A-Rollin’ from the 1974 recording by Aerosmith, but the truth is that version is a cover of a cover of an earlier rock and roll version of an original jump blues recording.
The song originated in 1951 as The Train Kept A-Rollin’ by Tiny Bradshaw. It was written and recorded in 1951 but not released until February 1952. The song was written by Bradshaw, although the owner of his record label and one other person are also listed as writers. This underhanded method of record companies getting an unearned piece of the songwriting royalties was fairly common at the time. Musically, the song used a jump blues/boogie-woogie style. As for the lyrics, Bradshaw used the 1942 song Cow-Cow Boogie as a model but rewrote a song about a singing cowboy into a story of a man meeting a woman on a train and having an extended session of sex with her during the trip.
The song uses terms associated with trains as euphemisms for sex, and the double entendres are pretty blatant for the time. The Tiny Bradshaw recording did not chart at the time, but today it is by far his best-known song due to the numerous cover versions, especially those that converted the jump blues tune into rock and roll. There have been over 60 versions of the song over the years. Some use the title The Train Kept A-Rollin’ while others delete the first word “The” from the title. A few change “Rollin’” to “Rolling”.
The first cover version came in 1956, when Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio (often credited simply as The Johnny Burnette Trio) recorded the song in a rock and roll format instead of the original jump blues arrangement. Like the original Tiny Bradshaw version, the Johnny Burnette cover failed to make the national charts, but it inspired later musicians. Some music historians believe that the Johnny Burnette version of The Train Kept A-Rollin’ was the first example of an intentionally distorted guitar in a rock song. The band’s guitar player achieved the effect not with an electronic pedal as would later generations of guitarists, but by loosening a tube in his amplifier.
The song really took off when The Yardbirds began performing it in the 1960s. Legendary guitar player Jeff Beck took the Johnny Burnette version and modernized it with a harder edge, even using the guitar to simulate a train whistle at the beginning of the song. The vocals are chaotic, with two separate tracks of vocalist Keith Relf played simultaneously. There are differences in the lyrics and timing of the two tracks, so it sounds like two people singing different songs at the same time. The recording was included on the band’s 1965 album Having A Rave Up with The Yardbirds.
The Yardbirds recording was the model for the most famous version of the song, that by Aerosmith on their 1974 album Get Your Wings. The Aerosmith arrangement was obviously based on the Yardbirds version, down to the guitar imitating a train whistle. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry’s previous band had opened for the Yardbirds in 1966 and he was particularly impressed with their performance of The Train Kept A-Rollin’, so it was no surprise that he was inspired to record a version for Aerosmith’s second album. Released as a single, Aerosmith’s Train Kept A-Rollin’ failed to chart, but it has since become a staple of classic rock radio.
Tiny Bradshaw, 1951
Johnny Burnette and the Rock ‘n Roll Trio, 1956
The Yardbirds, 1965
Tomorrow: Don’t you walk away
Dave's Song of the Day
Rough Boys – Pete Townshend
Thursday song of the day: Today’s song is a minor solo hit by the leader of one of rock’s most important bands.
After The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who were arguably one of the biggest English bands of the 1960s and 1970s. Led by guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, they created some of the best music of the rock era, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. After the death of Who drummer Keith Moon in 1978, Townshend took a break from the band to work on a solo project.
That project ended up being Empty Glass, which dealt with Townshend’s alcohol and drug addictions, marital problems, and the deaths of Moon and other friends. Released in 1980, Empty Glass contained the #9 hit Let My Love Open the Door, but the song we are looking at today was a much less successful seller. Instead, Rough Boys peaked at #89 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Musically, the song was dominated by Townshend’s guitar and would fit in just as well on a Who album as it did on a Pete Townshend solo album. In fact, The Who would perform the song live on later tours.
It was in the lyrics that the song differed from most other Pete Townshend compositions. The lyrics were clearly homoerotic, and many people saw this as Townshend declaring that he was gay. The accompanying video contained images of Townshend in a poolhall with young men – the “rough boys” of the song’s title – that could also be interpreted as gay, and in a 1989 interview Townshend seemed to confirm that the song was a bit of a coming out.
He later backtracked, however, saying in an interview a few years afterward, “I did an interview about it, saying that ‘Rough Boys’ was about being gay, and in the interview I also talked about my ‘gay life,’ which—I meant—was actually about the friends I’ve had who are gay. So the interviewer kind of dotted the t’s and crossed the i’s and assumed that this was a coming out, which it wasn’t at all.”
Tomorrow: I ain’t sayin’ you ain’t pretty
Dave's Song of the Day
Different Drum – Stone Poneys
Friday song of the day: Today’s song was written by an unknown who would go on to become a TV star and recording artist, and was the sole hit for a band whose singer later became one of the biggest solo artists of the 1970s.
In 1964, Mike Nesmith was a singer and songwriter on the fringes of the music business in Los Angeles. Among the songs he wrote at the time was a tune called Different Drum, which concerned the singer not wanting to make a romantic commitment. The next year he offered Different Drum to a bluegrass band called The Greenbriar Boys. They recorded it, and it was included on their 1966 album Better Late Than Never! It failed to make a splash, but another band called the Stone Poneys heard it and decided to record it themselves.
Meanwhile, Nesmith was hired as part of a fictional band for a new TV show. The show was The Monkees, and the false band created for the show later became an actual recording act, and had several hit records. In a December 1966 episode of The Monkees, Nesmith sang – intentionally badly for comedic effect – a bit of Different Drum.
The Stone Poneys version of the song was released in September 1967 and became a hit for the band. It reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and featured the vocals of a young Linda Ronstadt. After one more album, Ronstadt left the band for a solo career. It took a while, but a few years later she became a huge star, winning ten Grammys and having 38 of her singles chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1972, Nesmith recorded the song on his sixth solo album after leaving The Monkees, And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’. His version was closer to the original country music intent of the song than the folk/rock version that was a hit for Stone Poneys.
The Stone Poneys, 1967
The Greenbriar Boys, 1966
Mike Nesmith on The Monkees TV show, December 1966
Michael Nesmith, 1972
Tomorrow: And she touched me for a moment
Woke up at 5 AM for some reason. Damn internal alarm clock doesn't care that it's Saturday.
It's been an RCPM morning.
Ode to me?
Mateyface. You know what.
This band tours all the time - usually in small venues if you catch them outside of Arizona where they have a huge following.
They put on a great show - if you get a chance check them out.
Listen to the sound PH gets out of his drums on this one with just a bass, snare and cymbal. I guess there's a cowbell thing in there too (I'm not a drummer). Dude is so good.
Dave's Song of the Day
Joanne – Michael Nesmith & The First National Band
Saturday song of the day: Yesterday’s song of the day was a song written by Mike Nesmith that was a hit for the Stone Poneys. Today, we’ll look at Nesmith’s only Top 40 hit as a solo performer after he left The Monkees.
In 1970, Mike Nesmith left The Monkees. He had seen that the band was winding down, and in late 1969, he had formed his own project. It was in essence a solo act along with a backing band, called Michael Nesmith and The First National Band. This act would be more country music oriented than the pop/rock music he had played with The Monkees.
In June 1970, he released his first post-Monkees album, Magnetic South. The first single from the album was a song called Joanne. While Different Drum, the Nesmith-penned hit for Stone Poneys, told of the singer not wanting to have a committed romantic relationship, Joanne was pretty much the opposite. Instead, it was a tale of the singer’s lost love and his sadness that the relationship had to end.
Joanne rose to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and helped establish Nesmith as an artist in his own right separate from The Monkees. While he had three more songs that made the lower levels of the Hot 100 in 1970 and 1971, he would never again have another top 40 hit.
He did go on to become a major figure in the early video era, however. In 1979, he created the Pop Clips music video program for Warner Cable. The program aired on the Nickelodeon cable channel. Warner wanted to buy the show from Nesmith, but instead they ended up making a few minor changes to the concept and turning it into MTV.
While this was playing out, Nesmith released an hour-long videotape called Elephant Parts, which combined comedy sketches and music videos. Elephant Parts won the first-ever Grammy for long-form music video. Showing that he had a sense of humor about himself, a brief bit on Elephant Parts consisted of Nesmith performing a parody of Joanne, recasting a song of lost love into a song about a Japanese movie monster.
Joanne, Michael Nesmith & The First National Band
Her Name was Rodanne, Michael Nesmith from Elephant Parts, 1981
Tomorrow: From the rooftops shout it out
Does anyone know what this is? I keep hearing it at sporting events. First time I came across this was as Tom Sauer's walk in music at RINGS Millennium Combine back in around 2000.
Sounds like a gibberish chant with a school yard brag over top.