Music

What’s Stuck In My Head – 25 March

I awoke this morning to the news that Jackson Browne has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  I guess that’s why several of his songs have been playing in my head since yesterday evening.  It was tough to pick just which song to highlight.  I choose this one on the strength of the lyrics alone.

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must've thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found
I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
But I can't sing
I can't help listening
I can't help feeling stupid standing 'round
Crying is they ease you down
'Cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(Right on Dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(There's nothing you can do about it anyway)
Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone
Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
Just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
(The world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound
Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
That you'll never know
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jackson Browne
For A Dancer lyrics © Swallow Turn Music, Wb Music Corp

If my memory is correct (and it just may not be), my brother introduced me to Jackson’s music about 1975 or so.  I remember we were working on the roof of the house I grew up in and my parents and I were living in. I had a small radio (this was before the days of “Boom Boxes”) and Redneck Friend was playing.  I started laughing at the chorus;

Honey, you shake, I'll rattle, we'll roll on down the line
See if we can't get in touch with a very close friend of mine
But let me clue you in, it ain't like him to argue or pretend
Well, honey let me introduce you to my redneck friend

Naturally that started my brother (always the teacher) to give me an hour-long lecture, I mean history of Mr. Browne and his music.  I was hooked.  And I wasn’t the only one.

In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and given an honorary doctorate of music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him as 37th in its list of the “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time“.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Browne

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 12 March

The title of this song is mantra around our house. I can’t remember how I found this song. I’m pretty sure it was during the year I was stationed in Korea.  But I can’t really be sure.  You know they say the first three things to go when you get old are your sex drive, your patience, and and… I forgot the third thing.

The song is sung in a first-person narrative about a man’s relationship with a woman who does not reciprocate his feelings and regards their sexual encounter as nothing more than casual. The song’s title reflects the woman’s response to the man’s unspoken questions. Later in the song, the woman realizes her mistake and returns to him, trying to mend fences, only to find that the man has moved on and has no feelings left for her, turning on her with her own words.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_the_Way_It_Is,_Baby

While you may not know this song (although it did make it to #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1990), most folks know The Rembrandts #1 pop hit “I’ll Be There For You” which was used as the theme song for the sitcom Friends. Another TV show that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete episode of.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 8 March

Here’s one you probably don’t know. It’s from 1980 and there’s not much about this song on the web. There are several live videos and that’s about it. I played this song a lot when I was in broadcasting training. So it became a favorite of Wifey and me.

This is how this song got stuck. Yesterday Wifey and I were grocery shopping and she pointed at a certain package of cookies and started singing this. Thank you Pepperidge Farms.

In 1981, Watts in a Tank was released in the United States. The single “Sausalito Summernight” rose to #25 on the U.S. Top 40. It reached #1 in Canada. Watts in a Tank itself went up to #68 on the Billboard 200.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_(band)

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Happy Birthday David!

Another birthday for a member of my “Guitar Gods” list.  Admittingly, this is a list that only exists in my head, I’ve never committed to paper, or an electronic version for that matter. 

David was a late entry to this list. I didn’t really find Pink Floyd until the Dark Side of the Moon album which was released in 1973. Since then I have managed to find quite a few of their older albums. Of course, all my albums are just sitting gathering dust since I have no way to play them. I do have a turntable, but nothing to plug it into. Maybe one day.

This track is from the 1979 blockbuster album The Wall.

Comfortably Numb” is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on their eleventh album, The Wall (1979). It was released as a single in 1980 with “Hey You” as the B-side. The chorus progression and guitar solos were written by guitarist David Gilmour, while the lyrics and verse progression were written by bassist Roger Waters.

“Comfortably Numb” is one of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs, renowned for its two guitar solos. In 2004, it was ranked number 314 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2005, it became the last song ever performed by Waters, Gilmour, keyboardist Richard Wright, and drummer Nick Mason together.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfortably_Numb

The comments on this video list Chuck Leavell as co-lead (keyboardist with the opening vocals), and Pink Floyd bandmate Roger Waters with back up vocals. I’m not sure, but I think you can catch a glimpse of Roger playing the acoustic guitar.  Maybe someone with better eyes can verify that.

Here are a few of the comments from the YouTube page I found interesting;

  • The solo is not something you hear , it’s something you feel.
  • My dad is screaming at me from the next room to turn the bloody volume up for the Solo.
  • My neighbour called the police because I was playing Comfortably Numb too loud. The police arrested my neighbour.

And my favorite –

Doctor : u have 5min to live 
Me : Listens to Comfortably Numb 
Doctor : But that’s 9min 
God : it’s okay

Happy 74th David!

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Happy Birthday George!

Guitar hero #2 (listed chronologically) would have turned 77 today. Instead we lost George Harrison in 2001, just 6 days after my mother passed. He was only 58 when he died from cancer.

But let’s not dwell on the loss. George has always been my favorite Beatle. It was my just older sister that fostered this view. She was a big George fan, and since she was the closest in age to me (but still 8 years older), I adopted her choice, and George has always remained my favorite.

I do appreciate George’s sitar playing, but it can be very overpowering at times.  I currently have SiriusXM’s Beatles channel playing. Naturally they have specials featuring George’s music all day long.  Within You Without You is playing as I type this.  As I told my brother just earlier today, the sitar works so beautifully in this piece. My brother doesn’t care for any sitar.  He’d rather George stay with his guitar.  I can’t really blame him.

My brother and I also talked about how George’s playing changed over the years. George may not have started as the most innovated guitarist but is definitely one of the most copied guitarists.

The song I picked for today comes from George’s first solo album released after the breakup of The Beatles. And what an album it is, a triple album. George had so much material that never made it on to a Beatles release it took three discs to contain it all. This track was recorded, but not used, for The Beatles Let It Be album. It was also recorded by keyboardist Billy Preston.

All Things Must Pass is a triple album by English rock musician George Harrison. Recorded and released in 1970, it was Harrison’s first solo work after the break-up of the Beatles in April that year, and his third solo album overall. It includes the hit singles “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life“, as well as songs such as “Isn’t It a Pity” and the title track that had been turned down for inclusion on releases by the Beatles. The album reflects the influence of Harrison’s musical activities with artists such as Bob Dylanthe BandDelaney & Bonnie and Friends and Billy Preston during 1968–70, and his growth as an artist beyond his supporting role to former bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartneyAll Things Must Pass introduced Harrison’s signature slide guitar sound and the spiritual themes present throughout his subsequent solo work. The original vinyl release consisted of two LPs of songs and a third disc of informal jams titled Apple Jam. Several commentators interpret Barry Feinstein‘s album cover photo, showing Harrison surrounded by four garden gnomes, as a statement on his independence from the Beatles.

Production began at London’s Abbey Road Studios in May 1970, with extensive overdubbing and mixing continuing through October. Among the large cast of backing musicians were Eric Clapton and members of Delaney & Bonnie’s Friends band – three of whom formed Derek and the Dominos with Clapton during the recording – as well as Ringo StarrGary Wright, Preston, Klaus VoormannJohn BarhamBadfinger and Pete Drake. The sessions produced a double album’s worth of extra material, most of which remains unissued.

All Things Must Pass was critically and commercially successful on release, with long stays at number one on charts worldwide. Co-producer Phil Spector employed his Wall of Sound production technique to notable effect; Ben Gerson of Rolling Stone described the sound as “WagnerianBrucknerian, the music of mountain tops and vast horizons”. Reflecting the widespread surprise at the assuredness of Harrison’s post-Beatles debut, Melody Maker‘s Richard Williams likened the album to Greta Garbo‘s first role in a talking picture and declared: “Garbo talks! – Harrison is free!” According to Colin Larkin, writing in the 2011 edition of his Encyclopedia of Popular MusicAll Things Must Pass is “generally rated” as the best of all the former Beatles’ solo albums.

During the final year of his life, Harrison oversaw a successful reissue campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the album’s release. After this reissue, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album six-times platinum. Among its appearances on critics’ best-album lists, All Things Must Pass was ranked 79th on The Times‘ “The 100 Best Albums of All Time” in 1993, while Rolling Stone placed it 433rd on the magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time“. In 2014, All Things Must Pass was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Things_Must_Pass_(song)

The musicians who performed on Harrison’s All Things Must Pass version of the song are believed to be as follows:

Here is the title track from the All Things Must Pass triple album.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 21 February

As I’m sure you know be now, most days I have no idea why a particular song is stuck in my head. And today is no different.

This song has been a favorite of mine even before I understood what the title meant.  I like the rhythm to the song, and at around 12 years of age when it was released, the repetitive lyrics of the chorus were very catchy.

The track was recorded at Trident Studios, London, and the piano on the record was performed by either Rick Wakeman or Blue Weaver. Mark Paytress notes that both pianists may have played separate parts on the song, with Wakeman contributing only the piano glissandos that feature several times throughout the song. Wakeman, who was desperate for work at the time to pay his rent, had bumped into Bolan in Oxford Street, who offered him the session. Wakeman pointed out to Tony Visconti that the record did not actually need a piano player. Visconti suggested that he could add a gliss. Wakeman said that Visconti could do that, to which Bolan replied, “You want your rent, don’t you?” Wakeman did, and earned £9 for his efforts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_It_On_(T._Rex_song)

This video is from a 1971 broadcast on the British TV show, Top of the Pops.  Playing the piano on this video is the one and only Elton John (long before they added the “Sir” to his name.

T. Rex will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Just in case you are up night worring about things like that.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 9 February

Here’s another WTF post. I have no idea why this is stuck in my head today. Now, I was talking with my friend Mel about this song and artist, but that at least 2 months ago. maybe it’s because I’ve started the process to get my medical marijuana card – specifically to help with my sleep. And these weird ass dreams are part of that. Who knows…

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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The Day The Music Died

61 years ago (3 February 1959) the plane carrying Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson), and Ritchie Valens crashed killing all three along with the pilot.

The sad event was captured in Don McLean’s 1971 hit American Pie. That was where I first heard of the tragedy. I played that song a lot. I was about 10 weeks old when the accident occurred.

It’s interesting that Waylon Jennings, who became a country music star later, gave up his seat to Richardson and Valens had won a coin toss with band member Tommy Allsup and took his seat.

Here’s Buddy Holly doing Peggy Sue on the Ed Sullivan show. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 28 January

Ever have one of those nights where it’s nothing but disjointed weird ass dreams all night? That was me last night. Waking up every 90 minutes or so wondering – WTF is going on???

Luckily just before Wifey’s alarm went off, this song was running round and round my fuzzy brain.

I really enjoyed this group. I mean, what’s not to like? George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and please don’t forget Jim Keltner on drums.

I’m sure my very intelligent readers already know this, but the song’s writer will be the first vocal you hear on the song. So this song is a Harrison composition.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 22 January

Some mornings I wake up with a song that I have no idea why it’s stuck. Now this is indeed, my all-time favorite early Beatles song, I can’t say exactly why. I will admit that as a teenager I could relate to the story the song brings out. But that was a long time ago.

The track doesn’t really have all that strong of a guitar part, so George (my favorite of the Beatles) isn’t really featured. It is primarily a Lennon composition, and as I’ve mentioned before both my brother and I consider John as the best rock and roll composer ever.

This track was released originally in the UK on the 1964 album Beatles For Sale and in the US on the Beatles ’65.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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