January 2, 2020
On this episode, we revisit the great '70's hard rock/power pop album Attention Shoppers! by Starz. "X-Ray Spex" is a blast of punky pop with some interesting use of studio effects. Turn it up!
"X-Ray Spex" (Peter Sweval, Joe X. Dube, Michael Lee Smith, Brendan Harkin & Richie Ranno) Copyright 1978 Starzongo Music, Inc/Rock Steady Music, Inc/ASCAP
December 22, 2019
On this special Bonus podcast, it's time for another holiday pick. Here's an ol' Christmas classic with a power pop twist: "We Three Kings" by Odds. Happy Holidays, everyone!
"Kings Of Orient (We Three Kings)" (Traditional) Odds, 1991
December 15, 2019
Michael Carpenter is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer & engineer from Australia who, in a better world, would be a lot more famous. A master of hooks & harmony, he's one of the best modern power pop artists out there. Here's a track that's a personal favorite of mine. Check it out & then go buy some of his music.
"Kailee Anne" (Michael Carpenter) Copyright 2000 Michael Carpenter; Copyright 2000 Not Lame Recording Company
December 1, 2019
It Came From Boston: 5 experienced musicians come together to make something new: keyboard whiz Greg Hawkes; the bassist with the killer voice, Benjamin Orr; drummer David Robinson from the legendary Modern Lovers; one of the tastiest guitarists in the business, Elliot Easton; and singer/songwiriter/guitarist & mastermind Ric Ocasek. Merging classic guitar rock with the burgeoning synth-pop sounds to bring New Wave to the masses, The Cars defined that sound for the late-70's/Early '80's. It all started on local Boston radio with this song.
"Just What I Needed" (Ric Ocasek) Copyright 1978 Lido Music, Inc.
November 15, 2019
There's no shortage of great songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, but "Gimme Shelter" may be the song that tops them all. Dark and foreboding as only the Stones can do, this track has all the hallmarks of the Rolling Stones at their best: iconic guitar riffs by Keef, Jagger at the top of his game, and the Watts/Wyman rhythm section doing what they do best (plus Nicky Hopkins on piano). But what pushes this one from merely brilliant into sublime is the vocal performance by Merry Clayton-- for my money, one of the greatest moments on record. All together, this one belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Rock.
"Gimme Shelter" (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards) Copyright 1969 ABKCO Music Inc.
November 1, 2019
"Rain" was the first glimpse of The Beatles exploration of psychedelia. Perhaps more than any other Beatles track, this song highlights the rhythm section with brilliant performances by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Add Lennon's lyrics and great vocals, and you've got one of the best songs to come out of the trippy, mind-expanding '60's. On this episode, we take a closer look at the individual performances and studio trickery-- backwards, forwards, sped up & slowed down-- that went into this classic track.
"Rain" (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) Copyright 1966 Northern Songs
October 15, 2019
The Temptations' first #1 Hit on the Billboard "Hot 100" chart was "My Girl" in 1965. 4 years later, they had their 2nd #1 with "I Can't Get Next To You", and the difference between these 2 songs tells you a lot about the 1960's. "I Can't Get Next To You" features a different lead vocalist, a more aggressive, funky beat and a trippy vibe courtesy of producer & songwriter Norman Whitfield. The early Temptations songs are great, but for my money, they were never better than when they teamed up with Whitfield and created "psychedelic soul". Let's listen to each piece of the puzzle that created this masterpiece.
"I Can't Get Next To You" (Barret Strong & Norman Whitfield) Copyright 1969 Jobette Music Co., Inc. All rights controlled and administered by EMI Blackwood Music Inc. on behalf of Stone Agate Music (A division of Jobette Music Co., Inc.)
October 1, 2019
If you know Richard Lloyd at all, it's either as a member of Television (the first band to play CBGB's) or as the guitarist on many of Matthew Sweet's best tracks. But Richard released some great solo work in between those gigs, including an album called Field Of Fire. Overlooked & forgotten, this is one of the best records of the 1980's (in my opinion, of course). The title song features some of his best ever guitar work.
On this episode, we're listening to a great rockin' track called "Backtrack" that's as close to "classic rock" as Richard Lloyd will ever get-- and I mean that in the best possible way. Keith Richards would be proud of this guitar riff.
"Backtrack" (Richard Lloyd) Copyright 1985 Richard Lloyd (ASCAP) Anapestic Music/Basement Music LTD. (PRS)
September 15, 2019
The Kinks earned their place in Rock History on the basis of "You Really Got Me", "All Day & All Of The Night", and "Where Have All The Good Times Gone" alone. But it didn't take long for Ray Davies to stretch out beyond riff-driven, teenage anthems to write songs that could only have come from his imagination. "Autumn Almanac" is one of the first Kinks songs to show Davies reaching for a whole new level of songwriting-- both musically and his interest in writing about characters, which would become the focus of his songwriting over the ensuing years.
"Autumn Almanac" (Ray Davies) Copyright 1967 Davray Music Ltd. Carlin Music Corp.
September 1, 2019
Stevie Wonder was on an unrivaled creative streak starting in 1972, releasing 5 brilliant albums in a row, culminating with Songs In The Key Of Life in 1976. That album spawned 2 hit singles, including "I Wish", the subject of this episode. A masterpiece blending funk with pop sensibilities, it's a celebration of youthful innocence and simpler times. How does this song make *you* feel? Let me know on Facebook, write a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to this show. And share it with your friends!
"I Wish" (Stevie Wonder) Copyright 1976 Jobette Music Co. Inc, and Black Bull Music c/o EMI April Music Inc.