Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The Eagles’

I was fortunate to grow up in the era of the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) radio format, which allowed DJ’s to play songs that weren’t necessarily released as singles.  This provided access to a treasure trove of great music that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard.  In the digital download era, listening to an entire album of music is almost unheard of, so that makes the concept of an album cut even more obscure.  Here are a few of my all-time favorite album cuts, which doesn’t include what is arguably the greatest album cut ever, “Stairway to Heaven”.

  • Scenes From an Italian Restaurant – Billy Joel

This dizzying ode to “Brenda and Eddie” contains all of the best elements of Billy’s classic recordings rolled into one song.  Coming from Joel’s breakout album, “The Stanger”, it stands comfortably amongst his best work.

  • Hitch a Ride – Boston

Taken from Boston’s remarkable debut album, this laid back rocker features some spectacular guitar work from Tom Scholz, and manages to stand out on a record full of standout tracks.

  • Shoot High, Aim Low – Yes

Die hard Yes fans often bemoan the success of the band’s revised lineup from the 1980’s, but I would argue that they were still making thoroughly original, and compelling music throughout those years.  This track combines the best of those different lineups, with its shared lead vocals, it’s weaved aural landscape, and some typically dazzling musicianship.  It is a great example of what made this band so memorable.

  • Bitter Creek – The Eagles

At the time the Eagles first formed, Bernie Leadon was arguably their most accomplished member, based on his time with the critically acclaimed, “Flying Burrito Brothers” and his work with Linda Ronstadt.  An exceptional string player, and able vocalist, his decidedly country bent was a significant part of the band’s early sound.  He both penned and sang this haunting tune from the band’s sophomore release, “Desperado”.  But as the team of Henley/Frey emerged, and the band’s sound developed more of a rock edge, Leadon’s influence steadily diminished, until he eventually left the group after the completion of the “One of These Nights” album.

  • Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding – Elton John

At the time of this medley’s 1973 release, Elton, his band, and his songwriter partnership with Bernie Taupin, were all at their peak.  This epic pairing starts off the classic double-album, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” with a bang, and along with “Candle in the Wind” and “Bennie and the Jets” forms one of the greatest albums sides of all-time.

  • Toulouse Street – The Doobie Brothers

Though Tom Johnston was generally regarded as the bands lead singer, Patrick Simmons frequently sang his individual compositions, including the notable hits “Black Water” and “Jesus is Just Alright”.  On this darkly beautiful cut, the vocal harmonies, layers of acoustic guitars, and a lone flute weave together to create an ominous atmosphere akin to a late-night walk, down an unlit alley, somewhere in the forgotten edges of the French Quarter.  

  • Sister Moon – Sting

By the release of Sting’s second solo album, “Nothing Like the Sun”, he had become one of the most popular artists on the planet.  Only a few years removed from the Police’s spectacular, “Synchronicity”, and fresh on the heels of the triple platinum success of, “The Dream of the Blue Turtles”, his voice was all over the radio (and MTV) on both Band Aid’s “Don’t They Know It’s Christmas?”, and the Dire Straits smash hit, “Money for Nothing”.  This second record was by degrees more nuanced and complex than the first, which forecast the pioneering spirit that would ultimately come to define Sting’s solo career.  This straight jazz/blues tune was a throwback to a bygone era, and demonstrated the rapidly expanding range of his artistry.

  • Telegraph Road – Dire Straits

This sprawling fourteen minute opus demonstrates everything that made Dire Straits worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The writing, arrangement, production, and musical performance are nothing short of spectacular.   Like the movie soundtrack work done by frontman Mark Knopfler, this song creates a sweeping musical backdrop for a world weary tale of trying to pioneer a better future.  Though not their most commercially successful record, it may well be the bands most fully realized recording.

  • Nutshell – Alice in Chains

On the heels of the triple platinum success of their 1992 album, “Dirt”, Alice in Chains booked a few days in the studio to write and record some acoustic material.  Within a week, they emerged with seven songs that were eventually released as an EP (1994s – “Jar of Flies”).  Stripping the band of its thundering arena rock sound, allowed their raw artistry to emerge.  This track highlights both singer Layne Staley, and guitarist Jerry Cantrell, at the peak of their powers.    

  • Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

Though written before Stevie Nicks was actually a member of the band, this classic tune first appeared on 1975s “Fleetwood Mac” album.  Almost 50 years later, most die-hard fans still consider it to be her signature song.  Given that Nicks is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as both a member of the band, and as a solo act, that is no small accolade.

Read Full Post »

In this era of digital downloads, the concept of a record album is somewhat lost.  Also referred to as an LP (long-playing), an album normally contained 10-12 songs, split into two sides.  Generally, you needed to like at least 3 songs on an album to justify paying the extra money as opposed to simply buying the single.  If you found a record with 5 or 6 good songs, it was a real treat. Since they were played on record players, having to switch between tracks was not at all convenient, so finding a record that had a side that could be played all the way through was a rare and beautiful thing.  Ultimately, the most exceptional experience was the album that didn’t have 1 song you wanted to skip (i.e. two sides that could be played all the way through).  The 10 records listed below fall in that category.  

  1. Tapestry – Carole King:  Includes classics, It’s Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away, You’ve Got a Friend, Will You Love Me Tomorrow?, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, and great album tracks like Smackwater Jack and Beautiful.
  2. Boston – Boston:  Includes classics, More than a Feeling, Piece of Mind, Foreplay/Long Time, Rock & Roll Band, and great album cuts like Hitch a Ride and Smokin’.  Their second album, Don’t Look Back was similarly complete.
  3. Dreamboat Annie – Heart:  Includes classics, Magic Man, Crazy On You, Dreamboat Annie, and great album cuts like How Deep it Goes and Soul of the Sea.
  4. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash:  Includes classics, Suite Judy Blue Eyes, Wooden Ships, Marrakesh Express, Helplessly Hoping, Long Time Gone, and great album cuts like Guinevere, and Lady of the Island.
  5. Joshua Tree – U2:  Includes classics, With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where the Streets Have No Name, Bullet the Blue Sky, and great album cuts like, Red Hill Mining Town and Running to Stand Still.  Their albums, War and Under a Blood Red Sky were similarly complete.
  6. Hotel California – The Eagles:  Includes the classics, Hotel California, New Kid in Town, Life in the Fast Lane and great album cuts like Victim of Love and Wasted Time.
  7. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd:  Includes classics, Money, Us and Them, Time, and great albums cuts like, Breathe and Brain Damage.  Their albums, Wish You Were Here and The Wall were similarly complete.
  8. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin:  Includes classics, Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven, and great album cuts like, When the Levee Breaks and Going to California.  Their albums, Led Zep I, II, III and Houses of the Holy were all similarly complete.
  9. Escape – Journey:  Includes classics, Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Crying Now, Open Arms, Still They Ride, and great album cuts like, Stone in Love and Mother, Father,  Their follow up album, Frontiers was similarly complete.
  10. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac:  Includes classics, Don’t Stop, You Make Loving Fun, Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Gold Dust Woman, The Chain and great album cuts like Songbird and Second Hand News.  Their eponymous album from 1975 was similarly complete.

Honorable Mentions:  The Police (Synchronicity), Van Halen (Debut & 1984), Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run), The Beatles (Abbey Road, Sgt. Peppers), Metallica (Black Album), Steely Dan (Aja), Styx (Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight), AC/DC (Back in Black), Rush (Moving Pictures), Peter Gabriel (So), Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), Def Leppard (Pyromania, Hysteria)

Read Full Post »

Most rock bands have one primary singer. Though other members might contribute background vocals, harmonies, or an off-beat album track, it’s somewhat unusual to see different vocalists in the lead role, on a consistent basis.  There are some bands that consistently featured two lead singers (e.g. Cream – Bruce/Clapton, Simon and Garfunkel, Styx – DeYoung/Shaw, The Cars – Ocasek/Orr), but few who exceeded that.  Even more uncommon is to see a band have a string of hit songs, featuring different lead vocalists.  The bands listed below have done just that.

  1. Chicago (Robert Lamm – “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?, Terry Kath – “Colour My World”, Peter Cetera – “25 or 6 to 4”)
  2. The Doobie Brothers (Tom Johnston – “China Grove”, Patrick Simmons – “Black Water”, Michael McDonald – “Takin’ It to the Streets”)
  3. Pink Floyd (Roger Waters – “Another Brick in the Wall”, David Gilmour – “Money”, Richard Wright – some lead vocals on “Time”, Syd Barrett – “Astronomy Domine”)
  4. The Monkees (Micky Dolenz- “Last Train to Clarksville”, Davy Jones – “Daydream Believer”, Michael Nesmith – “Listen to the Band”)
  5. Jefferson Airplane/Starship (Grace Slick – “White Rabbit”, Marty Balin – “Miracles”, Mickey Thomas – “Jane”) Founding member Paul Kantner also sang lead on many of the groups popular album cuts.
  6. The Mama’s and the Papa’s (Though they almost always sang as an ensemble, you can find some lead vocals, like John Phillips – “Creeque Alley”, Denny Doherty – “California Dreaming”, Michelle Phillips – “Dedicated to the One I Love”, Cass Elliot – “Dream a Little Dream of Me”)
  7. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Stephen Stills – “Woodstock”, Graham Nash – “Our House”, David Crosby – “Wooden Ships”, Neil Young – “Helpless”)
  8. Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks – “Dreams”, Christie McVie – “You Make Loving Fun”, Lindsey Buckingham – “Go Your Own Way”, Peter Green – “Black Magic Woman”)
  9. The Eagles (Don Henley – “Hotel California”, Glenn Frey – “Tequila Sunrise”, Randy Meisner – “Take It to the Limit”, Joe Walsh – “In the City”, Timothy B. Schmit – “I Can’t Tell You Why”)
  10. The Beatles (Paul McCartney – “Yesterday”, John Lennon – “All You Need is Love”, George Harrison – “Something”, Ringo Starr – “Yellow Submarine”)

Read Full Post »

“The Sound Of Silence” – Simon & Garfunkel

 

“Fools” said I, “You do not know

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you”

But my words like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence

“Lyin’ Eyes” – The Eagles

 

I guess every form of refuge has its price

*

“This Is The Sea” – The Waterboys

 

These things you keep

You’d better throw them away

You wanna turn your back

On your soulless days

Once you were tethered

And now you are free

Once you were tethered

Well now you are free

That was the river

This is the sea!

*

“Round Here” – Counting Crows

 

Round here we talk just like lions

But we sacrifice like lambs

“Fire And Rain” – James Taylor

 

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus,

You’ve got to help me make a stand.

You’ve just got to see me through another day.

My body’s aching and my time is at hand

and I won’t make it any other way.

*

“Ship of Fools” – World Party

 

Avarice and greed

Are gonna drive you over the endless sea

They will leave you drifting in the shallows

Drowning in the oceans of history

 *

“Closing Time” – Semisonic

 

Every new beginning comes from some other new beginning’s end

*

“Be Somebody” – Thousand Foot Krutch

 

We’re all see through, just like glass

And we can shatter just as fast

That light’s been burned out for a while,

I still see it every time I pass

It was lost in the corners of my mind,

Behind a box of reasons why

I never doubted it was there,

It just took a little time to find

*

“New York Minute” – Don Henley

 

He had a home

The love of a girl

But men get lost sometimes

As years unfurl

One day he crossed some line

And he was too much in this world

But I guess it doesn’t matter anymore

“Freewill” – Rush

 

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice

 

Read Full Post »

“That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” – Carly Simon

My friends from college they’re all married now;

They have their houses and their lawns.

They have their silent noons,

Tearful nights, angry dawns.

Their children hate them for the things they’re not;

They hate themselves for what they are-

And yet they drink, they laugh,

Close the wound, hide the scar.

*

“Slip Slidin’ Away”Paul Simon

I know a woman, (who) became a wife

These are the very words she uses to describe her life

She said a good day ain’t got no rain

She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed And I think of things that might have been

*

“At Seventeen” Janis Ian

To those of us who knew the pain

Of valentines that never came

And those whose names were never called

When choosing sides for basketball

It was long ago and far away

The world was younger than today

And dreams were all they gave for free

To ugly duckling girls like me

 

We all play the game and when we dare

We cheat ourselves at solitaire

Inventing lovers on the phone

Repenting other lives unknown

That call and say – Come dance with me

And murmur vague obscenities

At ugly girls like me, at seventeen

*

“Vincent”Don McLean

And when no hope was left in sight

On that starry, starry night

You took your life, as lovers often do

But I could’ve told you Vincent

This world was never meant for One as beautiful as you

*

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” Bonnie Raitt

I’ll close my eyes ‘Cause then I won’t see

The love you don’t feel When you’re home with me

Morning will come And I’ll do what’s right

Just give me till then To give up this fight

And I will give up this fight

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t

You can’t make your heart feel Somethin’ that it won’t

And here in the dark, in these final hours

I will lay down my heart I’ll feel the power,

but you won’t

No you won’t

‘Cause I can’t make you love me

When you don’t

*

“Two Black Cadillacs”Carrie Underwood

Two months ago his wife called the number on his phone

Turns out he’d been lying to both of them for oh so long

They decided then he’d never get away with doing this to them

Two black Cadillacs waiting for the right time, right time

 

And the preacher said he was a good man

And his brother said he was a good friend

But the women in the two black veils didn’t bother to cry (Bye bye, Bye bye)

Yeah they took turns laying a rose down

Threw a handful of dirt into the deep ground

He’s not the only one who had a secret to hide (Bye bye, bye bye, bye bye)

It was the first and the last time they saw each other face to face

They shared a crimson smile and just walked away

And left the secret at the grave
*

“Hungry Heart”Bruce Springsteen

Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack

I went out for a ride and I never went back

Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing

I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

*

“Lyin’ Eyes”The Eagles

She gets up and pours herself a strong one

And stares out at the stars up in the sky

Another night, it’s gonna be a long one

She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry

 

She wonders how it ever got this crazy

She thinks about a boy she knew in school

Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?

She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool

 

My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things

You set it up so well, so carefully

Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things

You’re still the same old girl you used to be

*

“Fast Car”Tracy Chapman

See my old man’s got a problem

He live with the bottle that’s the way it is

He says his body’s too old for working

His body’s too young to look like his

My mama went off and left him

She wanted more from life than he could give

I said somebody’s got to take care of him

So I quit school and that’s what I did

 

You got a fast car Is it fast enough so we can fly away?

We gotta make a decision Leave tonight or live and die this way
*

“Diary”Bread

I found her diary underneath a tree

And started reading about me

The words began to stick

and tears to flow

Her meaning now was clear to see

The love she’d waited for

was someone else not me

Wouldn’t you know it

She wouldn’t show it

Read Full Post »

Given the requisite age of rock stars from the late 1960s, and early 1970s, it’s not really surprising that many of these pop culture icons are passing away.  This last week has seen two significant figures from the world of rock and roll step into the annals of music history.  Last week is was David Bowie, whose eclectic collection of musical styles, and personas, made him impossible to categorize.  If you’ve never listened to his music, here are ten cuts worth seeking out:

 

  1. Space Oddity (from the 1969 album, “Space Oddity”)
  2. Changes (from the 1971 album, “Hunky Dory”)
  3. Ziggy Stardust (from the 1972 album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars”)
  4. Suffragette City (from the 1972 album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars”)
  5. Rebel, Rebel (from the 1974 album, “Diamond Dogs”)
  6. Fame (from the 1975 album, “Young Americans”)
  7. Golden Years (from the 1976 album, “Station to Station”)
  8. Ashes to Ashes (from the 1980 album, “Scary Monsters”)
  9. Fashion (from the 1980 album, “Scary Monsters”)
  10. Under Pressure – w/Queen (released in 1981 as a single, and included on the 1982 Queen album, “Hot Spaces”)

 

in recent days, Glenn Frey, of the band “The Eagles”, also passed away.  After starting out as background singers for Linda Ronstadt, Frey and drummer Don Henley went on to form what became one of the most successful rock bands of all-time.  Though detractors have often criticized the groups soft-rock, country tinged sound, the music buying public devoured their records, and turned out in mass for their concerts.  If you’ve never listened to their music, here are ten cuts work seeking out:

 

  1. Peaceful Easy Feeling (from the 1972 album, “Eagles”)
  2. Desperado (from the 1973 album, “Desperado”)
  3. Bitter Creek (from the 1973 album, “Desperado”)
  4. Best of My Love (from the 1974 album, “On the Border”)
  5. One of These Nights (from the 1975 album, “One of These Nights”)
  6. Lyin’ Eyes (from the 1975 album, “One of These Nights”)
  7. Hotel California (from the 1976 album, “Hotel California”)
  8. Life in the Fast Lane (from the 1976 album, “Hotel California”)
  9. Wasted Time (from the 1976 album, “Hotel California”)
  10. Seven Bridges Road (from the 1980 album “Eagles Live”)

Read Full Post »