Thursday, December 06, 2007

Back in the Day

(click HERE to listen)

If you haven’t already guessed it from looking at the tracklist, this week’s theme is all about the old school. It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of 60’s & 70’s rock ‘n roll, at least half of my music collection pre-dates me by 10-15 years… no joke. What’s great about listening to older stuff is that you can easily weed through the mediocrity (early 80’s Rolling Stones anyone?) by doing a little research and finding the hidden gems from any artists’ catalogue.
I’ve tried to cover all the “must hear” bases, but with 3 decades of material to work with I’ve no doubt missed many a band. Not to fear, I guarantee that each one of these tracks I’ve presented will melt your face in their own way and there’ll most certainly be another podcast dedicated to this very same subject somewhere down the road.
My good friend Hutch, who is currently holding down the fort on the North Shore, is sitting in the GuestList spot this week so you’ll hear some of his all time favorites mixed in with what I’ve picked for you.

Don’t Do It - the Band
A Musical History (2006)
Their name suits them to a T… there is no other band that compares. They do it all, and for a time were the only band that mattered to me. This song was never officially released on a studio album but it was featured in the classic Scorsese film ‘the Last Waltz’.

Let It Bleed - the Rolling Stones
Let It Bleed (1969)
I have several favorites from this band, and today this track is at the top of my list. For a time this band could do no wrong in the recording studio (’68-’73) and this track is the perfect representation of a band firing on all cylinders and letting all hang out like only the Stones can.

Deal - Jerry Garcia
Garcia (1972)
So I planned on throwing a Grateful Dead tune into the mix, but couldn’t find one that I liked… that would clock in at less than 5 minutes that is. Hence the appearance of uncle Jerry. ‘Deal’ was originally recorded for Jerry’s first official solo album sans the Dead.

E Street Shuffle – Bruce Springsteen
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1973)
If you’re a casual Springsteen fan (which I am) then you’ve likely never heard Bruce sound this damn funky. Release only 8 short months after his debut lp in 1973, this is Bruce is all his early glory.

I’ve Got a Feeling - the Beatles
Let It Be (1970)
McCartney absolutely OWNS this classic from the Fab Fours’ swan song LP ‘Let It Be’.

Izabella - Jimi Hendrix
Live at Woodstock (1969)
Hendrix was almost too sick to play his set at Woodstock, a fact that makes this performance even more spectacular. Don’t eat the brown acid … ever.

Ain’t That A Lot of Love - Taj Mahal
Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968)
If there’s an album that made me re-focus my attention to the Stones and other artists of that era, it’s the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus album. Featuring the likes of Jethro Tull, the Who, Marianne Faithfull, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Taj Mahal, and of course the Stones, this album is an absolute goldmine of late 60’s rock. Taj and his band are so incredibly tight during their performance the Stones almost pale in comparison.

** Greetings from a sleepy river town in northern New Brunswick where the youth are few and the snow is plenty! Considering I owe much of any knowledge I have of music to Mike D and his Restless Radio, it’s a great pleasure to contribute a few tracks to this week’s playlist.

** The Woman That Got Away - J.J. Cale
Troubadour (1971)
Diversity isn't something that J.J. Cale is known for, but what he does, he does well. The dude has a guitar style like no other, and his career is full of solid songs like this one.

** I Feel So Good - Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters at Newport (1960)
This is a great live version of a Big Bill Broonzy original. Nobody belts it out like Muddy.

** One Day I Walk - Bruce Cockburn
High Winds White Sky (1971)
I admire Cockburn’s rocket launching pursuit of a better world as much as the next suburbanite, but it’s his timeless folk songs like “One Day” that I can relate to. "Pacing the Cage" is another solid tune of his in the same style.

Nobody ‘Cept You - Bob Dylan
The Bootleg Series - 1-3 (1973)
One of the great things about Dylan was his ability to at times captivate his listeners with mind bending lyrics, and other times to simply entertain with a light country rocker about love. Hatched from the three day sessions that became Planet Waves, this tune is another great Dylan - The Band collaboration.

Wherever You Go - West Montrose
West Montrose EP (1987)
Before forming the Skydiggers, Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson released this tune under the name “West Montrose”. Hands down one of my favorite tunes of all time. Mike has an inaresting story about the acquisition of this ep. Go ahead, ask him.

Lookout Joe – Neil Young
Tonight’s the Night (1975)
It doesn’t get anymore rock ‘n roll than Neil’s ‘Tonight’s the Night’ lp. Recorded in a haze in 1973 with a few members of Crazy Horse and a couple of other usual suspects, this album didn’t actually see the light of day until 2 years later. For the casual fan the album is likely unlistenable , but if you put some time into this one there are flashes of brilliance on every track.

The Soft Parade - the Doors
The Soft Parade (1969)
Getting drunk and listening to the Doors at the age of 14 is like a right of passage for most music fans. I mean, remember the first time you heard ‘the End’? All 11 minutes of it? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. It was like a new world had opened up and the 3 minute radio song you were used to hearing sounded like Yanni compared to this stuff. The Doors were great at creating a groove and letting Jim do his thing, and this lesser known track showcases this ability perfectly.

Wrong ‘Em Boyo - The Clash
London Calling (1979)
‘London Calling’ is hands down the most eclectic sounding album I own (If I’ve said this before about another album… I was lying). For a band who two years prior was the epitome of punk, this lp is anything but (except maybe in spirit) and only goes to show truly great this band was.

Dirty Blvd - Lou Reed
New York (1989)
Lou Reed is another one of those artists that you cannot really listen to on a casual basis. He has a catalogue that only Dylan and Neil Young can rival in terms of scope and influence so you can just imagine how much material this guy has released. He’s got a few hits, but he’ll be remembered for being a lyrical genius and the godfather of cool.

Country Death Song – Violent Femmes
Hallowed Ground (1985)
I’ve always liked the Femmes, they have a way of making the morbid and obscene sound like a day at the zoo.

Peaches in Regalia – Frank Zappa
Hot Rats (1969)
I cannot claim to be a huge Zappa fan, but admire what he did as a composer, musician, producer, and free speech activist. No list of ‘old school’ tracks would be complete without including the Z-man. This track is from his first official solo album without the Mothers of Invention and it’s an absolute assault to the senses. **Headphones recommended**

Sloop John B – the Beach Boys
Pet Sounds (1966)
When I was younger I was bombarded with Beach Boy tunes on family road trips … but I’ll be damned if they ever sounded this good. In terms of vocal harmonies it doesn’t get much better that Brian Wilson and the rest of the B Boys.

Wherever You Go - West Montrose (continued…)
West Montrose EP (1987)
To elaborate a little on what Hutch referred to earlier, I requested a copy of this long out of print 7” vinyl single from Andy Maize himself via email … a couple of weeks later three copies arrived in the mail along with a note from Andy saying he had an attic full of the records and was only too happy to give a few away to a fan.
The moral of the story … you’ll never know what you can get unless you ask for it (nicely).

Have a good weekend
MD & the Hutch

1. Don't Do It -
the Band
2. The Woman That Got Away -
JJ Cale **
3. Let It Bleed -
the Rolling Stones
4. Deal -
Jerry Garcia
5. E Street Shuffle -
Bruce Springsteen
6. I've Got A Felling -
the Beatles
7. Izabella -
Jimi Hendrix
8. Ain't That A Lot Of Love -
Taj Mahal
9. I Fell So Good -
Muddy Waters **
10. Lookout Joe -
Neil Young
11. One Day I Walk -
Bruce Cockburn **
12. Nobody 'Cept You -
Bob Dylan **
13. The Soft Parade (partial) -
the Doors
14. Wrong 'Em Boyo -
the Clash
15. Dirty Blvd. -
Lou Reed
16. Country Death Song -
Violent Femmes
17. Peaches In Regalia -
Frank Zappa
18. Sloop John B -
the Beach Boys
19. Wherever You Go -
West Montrose **

** = Guestlist pics

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