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psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
813
1,401
Dave's Song of the Day

Friday on My Mind – The Easybeats

Friday song of the day: Today’s song was written by the older brother of AC/DC founders Angus and Malcolm Young.




The Easybeats were an Australian band formed in 1964, who had several hits in their native country in 1965 and 1966. Their international breakthrough came in late 1966 with the release of Friday on My Mind.

The song was written by the band’s guitarists and main songwriters George Young and Harry Vanda. Friday on My Mind is a song about enduring the work week in order to enjoy the fun and freedom of the weekend, kicked off of course by Friday night. The song was #1 in Australia for eight weeks. It didn’t do quite that well in the United States, but was still a respectable hit, placing at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Easybeats had several more hit records in Australia before breaking up in 1969, but never again cracked the US Top 40. Vanda and Young recorded and performed under several different band names but were most successful as songwriters and producers. This included producing the first six albums for the band formed by George Young’s little brothers in 1973, AC/DC. George Young also briefly served as the bassist in AC/DC early in their career.

Friday on My Mind has been covered over 50 times, most famously by David Bowie on his 1973 album Pin Ups.

View: https://youtu.be/xuVRXE5bsC8


David Bowie, 1973

View: https://youtu.be/Kofe-_3eUPQ


Tomorrow: Though I now know the facts
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
813
1,401
Dave's Song of the Day

Love Comes in Spurts – Richard Hell and the Voidoids

Saturday song of the day: Today’s song was recorded four years before it was released.




The classic punk song Love Comes in Spurts was written by Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine while they were both in the short-lived band The Neon Boys in 1973. The Neon Boys recorded the song, but those recordings were not released until 1980, well after the song had been released by another Richard Hell band.

Richard Hell had a habit of changing bands quite often in the 1970s. Maybe he was hard to get along with. After the Neon Boys, Hell and Verlaine had gone on to form Television. Richard Hell soon left Television to form The Heartbreakers with former New York Doll Johnny Thunders in 1975, and after leaving that band, formed Richard Hell and the Voidoids in 1976.

The Heartbreakers recorded a demo of the song, and also performed it live before Hell left the band. Like the Neon Boys version, both the demo and a tape of a live Heartbreakers performance were not released until much later. It was with the Voidoids that Hell finally released a version of Love Comes in Spurts. (as well as the other classic Blank Generation, which was Song of the Day on August 11th, 2014 here: Blank Generation – Richard Hell and the Voidoids ) This version sounded quite different than the earlier Neon Boys recording. Love Comes in Spurts was released in 1977, and while it never hit the charts, it has since become recognized as an important song in the development of punk music.

The first few times I heard the song in 1977, I thought the lyric was “Love Dogs in Space.” Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who misheard the lyrics, since there is a punk rock history podcast called “No Dogs in Space” based on a similar misunderstanding.

Richard Hell and the Voidoids, 1977

View: https://youtu.be/PRB-TrbGwlo


The Neon Boys, 1973

View: https://youtu.be/dvvh1UZFB68


The Heartbreakers, 1975

View: https://youtu.be/WIi8x7coc6U


Tomorrow: I left the posse out in the street
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
813
1,401
Dave's Song of the Day

Ringo – Lorne Greene

Sunday song of the day: Today’s song is not about the Beatles drummer.




Bonanza was a big hit on TV and ran from 1959 to 1973. In the Western series, actor Lorne Greene starred as the patriarch of the Cartwright family, who ran the Ponderosa ranch in the old west. In late 1963, Greene cashed in on his TV popularity and released an album called Welcome to the Ponderosa. The album consisted of several Western-themed spoken word performances with backing music and singing, and in 1964 a track called Ringo was released as a single.

Ringo was ostensibly about the real-life figure Johnny Ringo, but the actual song was entirely fictional. In it, the narrator saves the life of Ringo, who later goes on to become a notorious outlaw while the narrator becomes a lawman. Years later the lawman is tasked to arrest Ringo and they face off. Ringo merely shoots the gun out of his hand, saying that they are now even before going out into the street to be killed by the posse.

The popularity of The Beatles in 1964 was the reason that Ringo was selected to be released as a single. Between the time Welcome to the Ponderosa was recorded in 1963 and the release of Ringo in October 1964, Beatlemania had taken hold in the United States. As a result, the record company reasoned that a fair number of teenagers would buy the record thinking that it had something to do with the Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. This was probably flawed logic, but Ringo became a hit on its own merits as a novelty song. It rose to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed there for six weeks.

View: https://youtu.be/Q-rsTAD0B78


Tomorrow: Racing through the human jungles at night
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
813
1,401
Dave's Song of the Day

I Need a Lover – Johnny Cougar

Monday song of the day: A cover version of today’s song helped save John Mellencamp’s career.




When John Mellencamp started his recording career, his management didn’t like his last name, so he was billed as “Johnny Cougar.” His second album was 1978’s A Biography, which was released only in the UK and Australia, and not in the United States. Included on the album was the song I Need a Lover, in which the singer longed for a girlfriend who didn’t come with a lot of strings attached.

I Need a Lover turned out to be a hit in Australia, placing at #5 there. While a hit in Australia didn’t earn him a whole lot of money, it did convince the record company to produce a third album, John Cougar, in 1979. As you can tell, the stage name was changed from Johnny to John by this time. John Cougar was released in the United States, and included I Need a Lover, in addition to new songs. I Need a Lover was a moderate hit, placing at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Naturally, this increased his prospects, but a bigger infusion of cash occurred right around the same time.

Singer Pat Benatar included a cover of I Need a Lover on her 1979 debut album, In the Heat of the Night. She even released it as a single, although it didn’t chart for her. The album, however, was a huge hit and went Platinum. Mellencamp’s royalties for writing one of ten songs on a Platinum selling album gave him some much-needed cash. At that point in his career, he was considering giving up. As he later said, “”I was washed up and over by my mid-20s. Then two record producers named [Nicky] Chinn and [Mike] Chapman heard I Need a Lover, and they had Pat Benatar sing it.”

Between finally getting a hit in the US, and the Pat Benatar cover, this allowed Mellencamp to continue his career. He went on (under the name John Cougar Mellencamp and eventually just John Mellencamp), to have numerous hits and in 2008 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Johnny Cougar, 1978

View: https://youtu.be/-P6U9SXD6HQ


John Cougar on Top Pop, 1980

View: https://youtu.be/qp3xE0Q6oZo


Linda Ronstadt, 1979

View: https://youtu.be/lCets1eNhh0


Tomorrow: I want my baby back
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
813
1,401
Dave's Song of the Day

Black is Black – Los Bravos

Tuesday song of the day: Today’s song was not sung by Gene Pitney. He checked.




Most United States and UK hits are recorded by artists from those two countries. A big part of the reason is that acts from non-English speaking countries overwhelmingly sing in their native languages, and – with a few exceptions – foreign-language records generally don’t sell very well. Occasionally, a group like ABBA will record in English to break into the American and UK markets even though they are not fluent English-speakers.

An early example of this is Los Bravos, a rock band from Spain that featured a German singer. The band made the conscious decision to sing most of their songs in English, and this helped them get signed to the Spanish division of Decca Records.

The record company sent them to England to record their first album, Black is Black. The title track was the first single from the album, and was written by the songwriting team of Michelle Grainger, Tony Hayes, and Steve Wadey. The song had simple lyrics that told of the singer being depressed over his girl leaving him.

The Black is Black single was released in the UK on Decca Records and in the United States on Press Records. It ended up being a hit in both countries, rising to #2 on the UK singles chart and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in America, becoming the first record by a Spanish rock band to chart in the United States.

The German-born lead singer of Los Bravos, Michael Kogel, had a voice that was very reminiscent of US singer Gene Pitney, who had several hits throughout the 1960s. Kogel sounded so much like him that many record buyers assumed that it was Gene Pitney, and Pitney himself reportedly looked over his notes when he first heard Black is Black to find out when he had recorded the song, because he mistakenly thought it was him on a record that he did not remember recording.

Los Bravos only lasted for a short time, breaking up in 1968. I Don’t Care, their 1966 follow-up to Black is Black, made it to #16 in the UK, but they never had another US hit.

View: https://youtu.be/9TN_NieR8lc


Tomorrow: Everyone around me is a total stranger
 

Thefifthscallop

Major Dick, Dick Army
Amateur Fighter
Nov 15, 2015
1,914
2,619
View: https://youtu.be/g8X8shmJPto


The new Smashing Pumpkins album, Cyr, is very enjoyable. There’s only 6 songs of it out right now, and the rest of it comes out on November 27th. I dug the tracks so much I preordered the vinyl. I’m not super into electronic music, but I have to say I really like this album, so far.
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
813
1,401
Dave's Song of the Day

Turning Japanese – The Vapors

Wednesday song of the day: Despite what you’ve heard, today’s song is not about pulling a Jeffrey Toobin.




The Vapors were a short-lived English New Wave band who had one big hit in 1980. Their first album, New Clear Days, contained the song Turning Japanese, which was about the singer’s obsession with a lost girlfriend. Turning Japanese was released as the first single off the album and hit big in the UK, making it to #2 on the singles chart. The single didn’t do quite as well in the United States but did get heavy airplay while placing at a respectable #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In the years since the song’s release, a rumor has arisen that Turning Japanese is about masturbation, with the title referring to the masturbator’s facial expression as he completes the task at hand. The Vapors’ singer and guitarist, who wrote the song, denies this, saying, ““It could have been Portuguese or Lebanese or anything that fitted with that phrase, it’s nothing to do with the Japanese. It’s actually a love song about someone who had lost their girlfriend and was going crazy over it. The title is just all the clichés about angst and youth and about turning into something you didn’t expect to.”

After having their hit, The Vapors recorded one more album in 1981 and then broke up without ever cracking the US charts again.

View: https://youtu.be/IWWwM2wwMww


Tomorrow: A black leotard and her feet are bare