Monday, November 30, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Pink Floyd (11/30/79) 30 Years!

Only Pink Floyd could release a double-sided concept album filled with dark themes of personal despair, narcissism and condescension, and then sell millions of copies and find the album ranked as one of the best of all time. They did, and resoundingly. The Wall (November 30, 1979) is one of Floyd’s best and one of the hottest (for good reason) double albums of all time. It’s pure late-life Floyd: moody, rhythmic and spacey, but punctuated with top-classics like “Comfortably Numb,” “Run Like Hell”, “Hey You” and “Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2” (a #1 single). Bandleader Roger Waters penned all of the material (with occasional help from bandmate David Gilmour and others). That proved to be the beginning of the end for Pink Floyd. Their next album, aptly-named The Final Cut, was the last that Roger Waters composed in its entirety and his swan song with the band.

The Wall is ranked #87 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time. It’s available as a CD from Amazon (click here) and as download tracks on iTunes (click here).

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

 

This Week's Birthdays (November 22 - December 5)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Nov 29
1933 ● John Mayall → Bluesbreakers
1940 ● Chuck Mangione → Jazz trumpeter
1940 ● Denny Doherty → The Mamas & The Papas
1941 ● Jody Miller → Queen Of The House
1944 ● Felix CavaliereThe Rascals
1947 ● Ronnie Montrose → Edgar Winter Group, Montrose
1954 ● Barry GoudreauBoston
1958 ● Michael DempseyThe Cure
1965 ● Wallis Buchanan → Jamiroquai
1968 ● Jon Knight → New Kids On The Block
1968 ● Martin Carr → Boo Radleys

Nov 30
1915 ● Walter "Brownie" McGhee → Blues guitarist
1929 ● Dick Clark → TV Host, "American Bandstand"
1937 ● Frank Ifield → "I Remember You" (1962)
1937 ● Paul StookeyPeter, Paul & Mary
1944 ● Leo Lyons → Ten Years After
1944 ● Rob Grill → The Grassroots
1945 ● Roger GloverDeep Purple
1953 ● Johnny "Shuggie" Otis, Jr. → Wrote "Strawberry Letter 23" (1977)
1953 ● June Pointer → Pointer Sisters
1954 ● George McArdle → Little River Band
1955 ● Billy Idol (William Broad)
1958 ● Des'ree (Desiree Annette Weeks)

Dec 01
1934 ● Billy Paul (Paul Williams) → "Me & Mrs. Jones" (1972)
1936 ● Lou Rawls
1938 ● Sandy Nelson → Drummer, "Teen Beat" (1959)
1944 ● Eric BloomBlue Öyster Cult
1944 ● John DensmoreThe Doors
1945 ● Bette Midler
1946 ● Raymond "Gilbert" O'Sullivan → "Alone Again Naturally" (1972)
1951 ● Jaco Pastorius → Weather Report

Dec 02
1941 ● Tom McGuinness → Manfred Mann
1942 ● Ted Bluechell → The Association
1952 ● Michael McDonaldDoobie Brothers, solo
1960 ● Rick Savage → Def Leppard
1968 ● Jimi Haha → Jimmie's Chicken Shack
1968 ● Nate Mendel → Foo Fighters
1970 ● Treach (Anthony Criss) → Naughty By Nature

Dec 03
1940 ● Jim Freeman → Five Satins
1948 ● John "Ozzy" OsbourneBlack Sabbath, solo
1949 ● Mickey Thomas → Elvin Bishop Group, Jefferson Starship
1951 ● Nicky Stevens → Brotherhood of Man
1952 ● Duane Roland → Molly Hatchet

Dec 04
1940 ● Freddie "Boom-Boom" Cannon (Frederico Picariello) → "Tallahassee Lassie" (1959)
1942 ● Bob Mosley → Moby Grape, Frantics
1944 ● Chris HillmanThe Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Souther Hillman Furay Band
1944 ● Dennis WilsonBeach Boys
1948 ● Southside Johnny (John Lyon) → Asbury Jukes
1951 ● Gary RossingtonLynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington-Collins Band
1959 ● Bob Griffin → BoDeans
1962 ● Vinnie Dombroski → Sponge

Dec 05
1899 ● Sonny Boy Williamson (Aleck Ford Miller) → Blues singer/songwriter
1932 ● Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman)
1938 ● Jean W. "J.J." Cale → "Cocaine" (1974)
1945 ● Eduardo Delgado Serrato → ? and The Mysterians
1946 ● Andy Kim (Andrew Youakim) → "Rock Me Gently" (1974)
1947 ● Jim Messina → Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Loggins & Messina
1965 ● John Rzeznick → Goo Goo Dolls

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (11/28/69) 40 Years!

The Rolling Stones (playlist at DrRock.com) released Let It Bleed on November 28, 1969. It’s the second in the string of five great Stones albums that together represent the best of the band’s music and the peak of their influence on rock music and culture: Beggar’s Banquet (1968); Let It Bleed; Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! (1970); Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile On Main St. (1972). It contains some of their best songs, including the smoothly rolling title track, the near-anthem “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” the dark “Gimme Shelter” and the rocking “Midnight Rambler.” While the album charted at #1 in the U.K. and #3 in the U.S., it’s not surprising that only one single came off Let It Bleed (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” peaked at #42 in the U.S., and then not until 1973). Considering the rough themes and edgy music (quite typical of the other Stones’ albums of the time), there just weren’t any upbeat, pop-rock tracks that could drive the broad radio airplay and 45 rpm sales that make hit singles.

Let It Bleed is ranked #32 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time. It’s available as a CD from Amazon (click here) and as download tracks on iTunes (click here).

Friday, November 27, 2009

 

Album of the Day: The Beatles (11/27/67) 42 Years!

Capitol Records released the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour in the U.S. as a full length LP on November 27, 1967, less than six months after their groundbreaking and immensely enjoyable Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album (a shorter 6 song version was released as an EP in the U.K. by Parlophone) was meant to be a soundtrack for a Paul McCartney-directed TV film of the same name, which turned out to be a total bust, was panned by the British press after it aired on Boxing Day 1967 and didn’t air in the U.S. until the mid-70s. But the album did very well in the U.S., becoming yet another #1 album for the Beatles and selling more copies in its first three weeks out than any other Capitol release to that time. Interestingly, the import version in the U.K. only made #31 on those charts.

Side B of Magical Mystery Tour featured five of the Beatles’ great singles from 1967, “Hello Goodbye,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” “Baby You’re A Rich Man” and “All You Need Is Love,” with the sixth, “I Am The Walrus” the last track on Side A. Also on the front side are McCartney’s sobering “Fool On The Hill” and George Harrison’s sweet “Blue Jay Way.”

Despite what its title may imply, Magical Mystery Tour was not a concept album in the vein of its predecessor Sgt. Pepper’s. But it’s a worthy follow-up with similar psychedelic-pop sounds and a wonderful source of the six single tracks and the other two. Magical Mystery Tour is available as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Badfinger (11/26/73) 36 Years!

Badfinger was one of those woulda-coulda bands that had lots of promise but never was able to fully deliver on it. The British power pop group had three gifted songwriters (founder Pete Ham, bassist Tom Evans and guitarist Joey Molland), a potentially powerful record label (Apple Records) behind them, association with and support from label’s founders (the Beatles), a hit single (“Come And Get It,” January 1970) supplied by Paul McCartney, and three straight worldwide Top 10 albums in the early 70s. But by the time Badfinger’s fifth album (including one issued as the Iveys), Ass was released on November 26, 1973, the bottom was falling out. The band had allowed a series of management missteps, they’d gone through one producer after another (including Todd Rundgren) without developing a consistent, sustainable sound, serious friction within the group was developing from frustration with their predicament, and Apple was in financial trouble after the Beatles’ dissolution in 1970. (The pressure eventually proved too much for Ham, who committed suicide less than 18 months after Ass was released).

Ham and his cohorts self-produced Ass, which didn’t help their cause. Plus, it was the last record released by Apple and received little promotional support from the label. But it’s a good early 70s power pop album, slightly harder and faster than the trademark pop-rock harmonies of its predecessor, Straight Up (their best work). Ass is available as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Monday, November 23, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Cat Stevens (11/23/70) 39 Years!

Cat Stevens had several singles and three mediocre albums during his attempt to launch his career as a folk-rock singer/songwriter in the late 60s. While he garnered some attention in his native England, he found virtually no audience in the U.S. and, out of frustration, considered ending his efforts. But he had a backlog of decent material, and so decided to give it one more shot. His fourth album, Tea For Tillerman, rang the bell upon its release on November 23, 1970, reaching #8 in the U.S., #11 in Canada, #20 in the U.K. and, eventually #206 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 albums.

Tea For Tillerman's push up the charts benefited from the big single “Wild World,” which was issued in advance of the album and created the buzz Stevens needed to break into the U.S. market. But the album carried its own weight beyond the single. Four songs in particular, “Father And Son,” “Longer Boats,” “Where Do The Children Play?” and “Hard Headed Woman” have become timeless favorites for Cat’s devotees and casual fans alike.

Tea For Tillerman was the first of five straight U.S. Top 10 albums for Stevens. It’s available as a CD from Amazon (click here) and as downloadable tracks from iTunes (click here).

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

 

Album of the Day: The Beatles (11/22/68) 41 Years!


The Beatles released two albums on November 22: With The Beatles in 1963 and The Beatles (White Album) in 1968. In the short five years between the two, the Fab Four made a dramatic and incomparable transformation from an up-and-coming rock ‘n roll band playing mostly love songs to an enormously popular, innovative group recording songs based on a wide range of genres and subjects. Musically the two albums were as far apart as anything the Beatles ever recorded. With The Beatles was 14 crisp, mostly upbeat songs. The White Album was a double LP of 30 eclectic tracks with mixed content and styles, from light, folk-based tunes (“Martha My Dear” and “Blackbird”), to vaudevillian novelty songs (“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “…Bungalow Bill”), to out-and-out rockers (“Birthday,” “Back In The U.S.S.R.” and “…Me And My Monkey”) to the wild and edgy “Helter Skelter.”

The White Album was a watershed event for the band and was the beginning of their 18-month dissolution dance that ended in early 1970. It was the last full album on which the band recorded all of the material together. Under the strain of individual egos, divergent musical interests, outside influences, disputes over management and the financial problems at their new business, Apple Records, it’s a wonder that their final two albums, Abbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970) ever saw the light of day (tracks for 1969’s Yellow Submarine were recorded prior to the White Album).

The Beatles (White Album) ranks #10 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 albums and is available as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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This Week's Birthdays (November 22 - 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Nov 22
1941 ● Jessie Colin Young (Perry Miller) → The Youngbloods, solo
1942 ● Floyd Sneed → Three Dog Night
1946 ● Aston "Family Man" Barrett → The Wailers
1947 ● Rod Price → Foghat
1950 ● Little Steven Van ZandtE Street Band
1950 ● Tina WeymouthTalking Heads
1957 ● Sharon Bailey → Amazulu
1968 ● "Rasha Don" Norris → Arrested Development

Nov 23
1940 ● Freddie Marsden → Gerry & The Pacemakers
1954 ● Bruce Hornsby

Nov 24
1898 ● Scott Joplin → Ragtime pianist/composer
1928 ● Michael Holliday (Michael Milne) → "The Story of My Life" (1957)
1939 ● Jim Yester → The Association
1941 ● Donald "Duck" DunnBooker T & the MGs
1941 ● Pete Best → "The 5th Beatle"
1942 ● Billy Connolly → Cover of "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." (1975)
1943 ● Robin Williamson → Incredible String Band
1955 ● Clem Burke (Clement Bozewski)Blondie, The Plimsouls, The Ramones
1957 ● Chris HayesHuey Lewis & The News
1958 ● Carmel McCourt → "Bad Day" (1983)
1962 ● John Squire → Stone Roses

Nov 25
1941 ● Percy Sledge → "When A Man Loves A Woman" (1966)
1943 ● Roy Lynes → Status Quo
1944 ● Bev BevanBlack Sabbath, Electric Light Orchestra
1947 ● Val Fuentes → It's A Beautiful Day
1959 ● Steve Rotheram → Marillion
1960 ● Amy Grant
1966 ● Stacey Lattishaw → "Jump to the Beat" (1980)

Nov 26
1939 ● Tina Turner
1944 ● Alan Henderson → Them
1945 ● John McVieFleetwood Mac
1946 ● Burt Ruiter → Focus

Nov 27
1935 ● Al JacksonBooker T. & The MGs
1942 ● James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix
1944 ● Eddie Rabbitt (Edward Thomas) → "I Love a Rainy Night" (1980)
1945 ● Randy BreckerBlood, Sweat & Tears, Brecker Brothers
1948 ● Dave WinthropSupertramp
1959 ● Charlie Burchill → Simple Minds
1960 ● Ashley Ingram → Chairmen Of The Board, Imagination
1961 ● Princess (Desiree Heslop) → "Say I'm You Number One" (1985)
1962 ● Charlie Benante → Anthrax
1962 ● Mike Bordin → Faith No More
1965 ● Fiachna O'Braonian → Hothouse Flowers

Nov 28
1929 ● Berry Gordy, Jr.Motown Records founder
1936 ● Roy McCurdyBlood, Sweat & Tears
1940 ● Bruce Channel → "Hey Baby" (1962)
1940 ● Glen Curtis → Fortunes
1943 ● Randy Newman → "Sail Away" (1972)
1944 ● R.B. Greaves → "Take a Letter Maria" (1969)
1947 ● Gary Taylor → The Herd
1948 ● Beeb Birtles → Little River Band
1949 ● Paul Shaffer → Band leader
1962 ● Matt Cameron → Soundgarden
1968 ● Dawn Robinson → En Vogue

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Genesis (11/18/74) 35 Years!


Genesis was one of the few British rock bands that successfully made the transition from meddling 60s folk-pop-rock through late-60s psychedelic rock to 80s pop-rock superstardom.  Their November 18, 1974 concept album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, was major point along that road and a huge FM radio hit (I remember playing it daily on my radio show at the time).  While well received on air, in the critics’ circles and in stores, The Lamb… unfortunately became the last Genesis album on which Peter Gabriel appeared. Gabriel was the lead vocalist, chief songwriter and stage frontman for the band (he wrote all of the material on The Lamb…).  His departure could have spelled doom, but remaining members Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett moved on to greater things, including a string of nine straight U.K. Top 10 albums (8 in the U.S.) before they called it quits in 1992.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is available as a CD and DRM-free mp3 files on Amazon (click here).

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Monday, November 16, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Stephen Stills (11/16/70) 39 Years!

Stephen Stills had already attracted considerable attention to his songwriting and musicianship skills before his first solo album was released on November 16, 1972. As a founding member of Buffalo Springfield, Stills was a central figure in the highly-regarded and influential late 60s folk-rock and country-rock pioneers. He authored several of their important songs, including the hit “For What It’s Worth, “Blue Bird” and “Rock & Roll Woman.” Following the break-up of the band in 1968, Stills teamed up with Al Kooper (of Blood, Sweat & Tears) and Mike Bloomfield (Electric Flag and top session man) in a one-off project, Super Session (highly recommended album, buy here) in June 1968. Stills then joined with David Crosby (The Byrds) and Graham Nash (The Hollies) to form the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, whose 1969 debut LP (with the Stills-penned “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”) and its follow-up, 1970’s Déjà Vu (with Neil Young on the team) were instant and lasting classics.

Stephen Stills was Stills’ debut in the solo limelight. It’s a blend of different genres (all songs were his originals) with backing vocals by Crosby, Nash, Cass Elliott and others, plus guitar work from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix (to whom the album’s dedicated). Interestingly, it’s the only album in history on which Clapton and Hendrix appear simultaneously, although on different tracks. It also features the #14 pop-rock hit, “Love The One You’re With” and the #37 single “Sit Yourself Down.” Stephen Stills briefly hit the Billboard Top 5 in December 1970 and is available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

 

This Week's Birthdays (November 15 - 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Nov 15
1932 ● Petula Clark → "Downtown" (1964)
1933 ● Clyde McPhatter → The Drifters, solo
1945 ● Annafried Andersson → ABBA
1949 ● Steve FossenHeart, Alias
1954 ● Tony Thompson → Chic
1957 ● Joe Leeway → Thompson Twins

Nov 16
1916 ● Herb Abramson → Atlantic Records co-founder
1933 ● Garnett Mimms → "Cry Baby" (1963)
1938 ● Toni Brown → The Joy of Cooking
1938 ● Troy Seals → Country songwriter
1943 ● Blue Lovett → Manhattans
1949 ● Patti Santos → It's A Beautiful Day
1962 ● Mani (Gary Mounfield) → The Stone Roses

Nov 17
1937 ● Gerry McGee → The Ventures
1938 ● Gordon Lightfoot
1942 ● Bob Gaudio → The Four Seasons
1944 ● Gene ClarkThe Byrds
1946 ● Martin BarreJethro Tull
1947 ● Robert "Stewkey" Antoni → The Nazz, Utopia
1947 ● Rod Clements → Lindisfarne
1956 ● Peter Cox → Go West
1960 ● RuPaul (RuPaul Andre Charles)
1967 ● Ronnie DeVoe → Bell Biv DeVoe
1980 ● Isaac Hanson → Hanson

Nov 18
1927 ● Hank Ballard → The Midnighters
1949 ● Herman Rarebell → Scorpions
1950 ● Rudy Sarzo → Quiet Riot, Whitesnake
1960 ● Kim Wilde → "Kids In America" (1982)
1962 ● Kirk Hammett → Metallica

Nov 19
1937 ● Ray Collins → Mothers of Invention
1943 ● Fred LipsiusBlood Sweat & Tears
1946 ● Joe Correro, Jr. → Paul Revere & The Raiders

Nov 20
1942 ● Norman Greenbaum → "Spirit In The Sky" (1970)
1944 ● Mike Vernon → Blue Horizon
1946 ● Duane Allman
1946 ● Ray Stiles → The Hollies
1947 ● Joe Walsh → James Gang, solo, Eagles
1950 ● Gary Green → Gentle Giant
1954 ● Frank Marino → Mahogany Rush
1961 ● Paul King → "Love & Pride" (1984)
1965 ● Mike D (Michael Louis Diamond) → Beastie Boys
1965 ● Sen Dog (Senen Reyes) → Cypress Hill

Nov 21
1940 ● Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr.) →"In The Right Place" (1973)
1941 ● David Porter → Stax writing partner with Isaac Hayes
1948 ● John "Rabbit" Bundrick → Sessions, solo, Free, The Who
1948 ● Lonnie Jordan → War
1950 ● Gary PihlBoston
1950 ● Livingston Taylor → "I Will Be In Love With You" (1978)
1957 ● Jim Brown → UB40
1965 ● Bjork Gundmundsdottir → The Sugarcubes, solo
1965 ● Peter Koppes → The Church
1967 ● Margret Ornolfsdottir → The Sugarcubes
1968 ● Alex James → Blur

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

 

Album of the Day: The Monkees (11/14/67) 42 Years!

51VWJVXQG1L._SL160_The Monkees’ fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., was released on November 14, 1967. It’s one of the best pop-rock albums of the 60s. But mention the Monkees and most people think of the wacky TV show, the “band” manufactured specifically to star in the show, and the string of mid-60s upbeat, pop-rock tunes that were credited to the Monkees but on which none of the band’s members supposedly played any instruments. That’s only partially true, but the depth of the contributions by Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork is always lost amidst the derision from many critics and purists to the “Pre-Fab Four.” Yes, they had little artistic control and musical effort in their first two albums, but they demanded and one freedom for their third release, Headquarters, in May 1967, writing half the songs and playing all the music themselves. And on Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. they were so confident that they featured mostly covers on the album’s 13 original cuts and actually invited studio musicians to supplement their own musicianship.

Never sell the Monkees short. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is a great album with a mix of styles (reflecting the disparate musical interests of the individuals). It was the fourth #1 album in less than 14 months for the band, and represents the only time in music history that all of any band’s first four albums went #1. Not even the real Fab Four can say that. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Friday, November 13, 2009

 

Album of the Day: The Four Tops (11/13/65) 44 Years!

FourTopsSecondAlbumFour Tops’ Second Album was released on November 13, 1965 and immediately catapulted the quartet to the top of the pop and R&B charts. The album also moved The Four Tops (mid-50s high school classmates lead singer and baritone Levi Stubbs, bass Renaldo “Obie” Benson, and tenors Abdul “Duke” Fakir and Lawrence Payton) to the top of the heap at Motown Records, where they’d started two years earlier as back-up singers for The Supremes and others. But Second Album meant second singing no more. With three terrific jazz-soul-pop hits, the gritty “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” the upbeat “It’s The Same Old Song” and the soulful “Something About You,” the album launched The Four Tops on a four-plus decade run of great singles, albums and concerts, all without a personnel change until Payton’s death in 1997. While their top-selling singles and albums were mostly clustered in the eight years from November 1965, for good reason the group has proved uniquely durable and long-lived in the history of rock, pop and soul music.

Despite its three chart hits, Four Tops’ Second Album stalled at #19 on the Billboard pop chart but did make it to #9 on the “Black Albums” chart. It’s available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Album of the Day: Beach Boys (10/21/63)

BeachBoysLittleDeuceCoverThe Beach Boys (and Capitol Records) issued three separate albums in a seven month period in 1963, Surfin’ U.S.A. in March, Surfer Girl in September and Little Deuce Coupe on October 21. That’s a lot of surf oriented vinyl on the market in such a short period, all the more so considering the band’s debut album, Surfin’ Safari came out in October 1962 (making it four albums in 12 months!). But the rebirth of rock ‘n roll and Beatlemania were in full swing in the summer of ’63. America’s youth craved anything with a beat and harmonies with young studs to sing them. Capitalizing on the Beach Boys’ growing popularity was a smart decision with generally positive results; Little Deuce Coupe spent 49 weeks on the Billboard pop music chart, peaking at #4. Interestingly, the three best songs on the album, the title track, “409” and “Shut Down” all appeared on the previous albums, but the public didn’t seem to mind.

To view and download my Beach Boys playlist from the Playlist Vault at DrRock.com, click here.

Little Deuce Coupe is available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Moody Blues (11/10/67) 42 Years!

61+2YOYj2CL._SL160_Days Of Future Past was one of rock’s earliest concept albums, in many ways the Moody Blues’ answer to the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Released on November 10, 1967, Days Of Future Past chronicles a day in the life of a common Englishman, dawn to dusk in a masterpiece of heavily orchestrated, flowing British psychedelic rock. It was the second studio album by the band, but bears little resemblance to the R&B tinged blues-rock sound of their first album (1965’s Go Now in the U.S. and a slightly different but simultaneous U.K. release, The Magnificent Moodies). Frustrated with the inability to score a follow-up hit to the massively popular (#10 U.S., #1 U.K.) 1964 single “Go Now!”, Denny Laine and Clint Warwick left for greener pastures (Denny to McCartney & Wings and Warwick to carpentry). Remaining members Graeme Edge, Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas recruited John Lodge and Justin Hayward to the band in late 1966, which led to a redirection of sound and style that was introduced on Days Of Future Past. The success of the album (#3 U.S., #27 U.K.) spurred the Moodies forward, and it became the first of nine straight Top 30 albums that stretched into the 1980s. Edge, Hayward and Lodge continue to practice the sound and style begun in 1967 with frequent concerts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Days Of Future Past features the hits “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights In White Satin.” It’s #20 on my Top 25 for 1967 and is available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

 

This Week's Birthdays (November 8 - 14)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Nov 08
1944 ● Bonnie Bramlett → Delaney & Bonnie
1944 ● Robert Nix → Atlanta Rhythm Section
1947 ● Minnie Ripperton → "Loving You" (1974)
1949 ● Bonnie Raitt
1954 ● Rickie Lee Jones → "Chuck E's In Love" (1979)

Nov 09
1936 ● Mary Allin TraversPeter, Paul & Mary
1941 ● Tom FogertyCreedence Clearwater Revival
1943 ● Lee Graziano → American Breed
1944 ● Phil May → Pretty Things
1948 ● Alan GratzerREO Speedwagon
1948 ● Joe BauchardBlue Öyster Cult
1954 ● Dennis Stratton → Iron Maiden

Nov 10
1905 ● Tommy Dorsey → Band leader
1944 ● Tim Rice → Songwriter
1947 ● Dave Loggins
1947 ● Greg Lake → Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1950 ● Ronnie Hammond → Atlanta Rhythm Section
1954 ● Mario CipollinaHuey Lewis & The News
1958 ● Frank Maudsley → A Flock of Seagulls

Nov 11
1927 ● Mose Allison → Jazz singer and pianist
1929 ● LaVern Baker (Delores Williams) → "Jim Dandy" (1956)
1945 ● Chris Dreja → The Yardbirds
1945 ● Vince Martell → Vanilla Fudge
1947 ● Pat Daugherty → Black Oak Arkansas
1950 ● Jim Peterick → Ides of March, Survivor
1953 ● Andy Partridge → XTC
1956 ● Ian Craig Marsh → Human League, Heaven 17

Nov 12
1931 ● Bob Crewe → Producer/writer, Four Seasons
1943 ● Brian Hyland → "Sealed With A Kiss" (1962)
1945 ● Neil Young
1947 ● Buck Dharma (Donald Roeser)Blue Öyster Cult
1948 ● Errol Brown → Hot Chocolate
1949 ● Arthur "Pooch" Tavares → Tavares
1955 ● Leslie McKeown → Bay City Rollers
1964 ● David Ellefson → Megadeth

Nov 13
1934 ● Timmy Thomas → "Why Can't We Live Together" (1973)
1943 ● John Hammond Jr. → Blues performer
1947 ● Toy CaldwellMarshall Tucker Band
1949 ● Roger Steen → The Tubes
1949 ● Terry Reid → British rock guitarist
1951 ● Bill GibsonHuey Lewis & The News

Nov 14
1938 ● Cornell Gunter → Flairs, Coasters
1940 ● Freddie Garrity → Freddie & The Dreamers
1947 ● Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural → Buckwheat Zydeco
1949 ● James "J.Y." YoungStyx
1951 ● Stephen Bishop → "On And On" (1976)
1953 ● Alexander O'Neal → The Time, solo, "Fake" (1987)
1953 ● Frankie Banali → Quiet Riot
1956 ● Alec Jon Such → Bon Jovi
1964 ● Andrew Banfield → The Pasadenas

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (11/4/66) 33 Years!

4181SYH3NPL._SL160_A U.S.-only release by the Rolling Stones and their first official live album, Got Live If You Want It! was released on November 4, 1966, at the height of the American craze for anything by the Stones (and the Beatles and any other mid-60s British band, for that matter). With an early November release, it was timed to follow the Stones’ U.S. tour from that summer, prelude the Christmas buying season in America, and fulfill a contractual obligation with London Records, the Stones’ U.S. distributor. As “live” albums went in those days, Got Live If You Want It! (the word “Live” is capitalized on the original cover) is an uneven, “doctored” collection of actual live material that was heavily remixed, plus a couple of previously unused studio cuts (“Fortune Teller” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”) overdubbed with screaming teenage girls to offer the illusion of a concert recording. Subsequent releases on CD in the 80s and early 00s further played with the mix and added between-song banter absent on the original LP. They’re just not the ’66 version, though.

Bottom line: the original mix is raw and energetic, just like the mid-60s Stones, and includes live versions of eight of the band’s hits from their early years. Despite its obvious shortcomings (which are more evident today than in 1966), it’s still the original version and the one to own, no matter whether you’re a rock (or Stones) purist, a collector of originals, a lover of great 60s live albums, or just a common Stones fan.

Got Live If You Want It! is available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Monday, November 2, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Cream (11/2/67) 42 years!

61doh+b0SML._SL160_Supergroup Cream recorded their second album, Disraeli Gears at Atlantic Studios in New York during May 1967. Following a short but very successful U.S. tour during August, the band released the LP on November 2, 1967, and it immediately shot up to the Top 5 in both the U.S. and Britain. And for good reason. Disraeli Gears is a perfect blend of British psychedelic rock and American blues-rock, delivered by the leading power trio of the day, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Cream brought in Felix Pappalardi to produce Disraeli Gears, which tightened up their sound following loose collection of mostly blues covers from their debut, Fresh Cream (1966). Pappalardi would eventually go on the form Cream-influenced, power rock Mountain with Leslie West in the 70s, but his work with Clapton, Bruce and Baker resulted in a terrific collection of sometimes spacey, but always dead-on interpretations of blues-rock from a Brit’s viewpoint. Included on Disraeli Gears are some of Cream’s best known and enduring songs, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5 in the U.S. in early 1968), “Strange Brew” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” as well as the wailing, psych-rocker “Swablr.”

Disraeli Gears ranks #9 on my list of the Top 25 albums for 1967 and #112 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It is available as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

 

This Week's Birthdays (November 1-7)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Nov 01
1945 • Rick Grech → Family, Blind Faith, Traffic
1950 • Dan Peek → America
1951 • Ronald Bell (Khalis Bayyan) → Kool & The Gang
1957 • Lyle Lovett
1962 • Anthony Kiedis → Red Hot Chili Peppers
1962 • Mags Kuruholmen → A-Ha

Nov 02
1937 • Earl "Speedo" Carroll → The Cadillacs
1941 • Jay Traynor → Jay & The Americans
1944 • Keith Emerson → Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1946 • Leonard "Chip" Hawkes → The Tremeloes, father of Chesney
1947 • Dave Pegg → Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull
1952 • Maxine Nightingale → "Right Back Where We Started From" (1976)
1961 • k.d. lang

Nov 03
1933 • John Barry (Jonathan Barry Prendergrast) → Film scores
1943 • Bert Jansch → UK blues/folk guitarist
1941 • Brian Poole → The Tremeloes
1945 • Nick SimperDeep Purple
1946 • J.D. Souther → Souther Hillman Furay Band, solo
1948 • Lulu (Marie Lawrie) → "To Sir Love" (1967)
1954 • Adam Ant (Stuart Leslie Goddard) → Adam & The Ants

Nov 04
1938 • Harry Elson → Friends of Distinction
1940 • Delbert McLinton
1947 • Mike Smith → Amen Corner
1954 • Chris Difford → Squeeze
1956 • James Honeyman-ScottPretenders
1965 • Jeff Scott Soto → Yngwie Malmsteen Band, Journey

Nov 05
1931 • Ike Turner
1941 • Art Garfunkel
1946 • Gram ParsonsThe Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers
1947 • Peter Noone → Herman's Hermits
1948 • Donnie McDougall → The Guess Who
1948 • Peter Hammill → Van Der Graf Generator, solo (Rikki Nadir)
1950 • Dennis Provisor → The Grass Roots
1957 • Mike Score → A Flock Of Seagulls
1959 • Bryan Adams → "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" (1991)

Nov 06
1933 • Joseph Pope → Tams
1937 • Eugene Pitt → The Jive Five
1938 • P.J. Proby (James Marcus Smith) → "Hold Me" (1964)
1941 • Doug Sahm → Sir Douglas Quintet
1947 • George Young → The Easybeats
1948 • Glenn FreyEagles, solo

Nov 07
1938 • Delecta "Dee" Clark → "Raindrops" (1961)
1942 • Johnny Rivers
1943 • Joni Mitchell
1943 • Dino Valente → Quicksilver Messenger Service
1951 • Nick Gilder → "Hot Child In The City" (1978)
1960 • Tommy Thayer → KISS

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