Posts Tagged ‘Carly Simon’

More random music recollections based on the book Never A Dull Moment.

I was working at the comic book store in July 1981, when the headline that is the title of this piece was splashed across the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. It was referring to Jim Morrison, the third prominent musician in a brief period a decade earlier to die at the age of 27, after Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Morrison’s death created this odd obsession about 27, but it also mythologized the Doors’ lead singer. (I went out briefly in the late 1970s with a woman who was part of that JM cult.)

But three Londoners would take their place, and the place of the now-dissolved Beatles, in the charts. One was Steven Georgiou, who had a minor hit as early as 1966, but then suffered from TB. Reemerging in 1970, “he was a regular James Taylor.”

“Cat Stevens became enormously successful in 1971… he had a lovely voice..and an angel face, the kind that seemed to match the sensitivity of the material.” I bought my share of his albums. Carly Simon’s Anticipation was about him, as was Legend in Your Own Time; before Cat introduced Carly to JT, Cat and Carly were an item.

“The 1971 generation of singer-songwriters… were increasingly infatuated with each other.” This briefly included Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen. He later apologized for writing about it in Chelsea Hotel #2.

Marc Feld, like Cat, was a descendant of immigrants. He became Marc Bolan of T. Rex, an artist who would perform sitting down because he was influenced by Ravi Shankar. He had a way of infuriating the British press at a time when, because one had limited opportunity to be heard, the image that one projected mattered. But that summer, T. Rex had some massive hits, notably Bang A Gong.

Rod Stewart had been with the Faces, but his third solo album, Every Picture Tells A Story, which was another album everyone in my dorm had, “was about to propel him into a different orbit… Everything Rod sang sounded like an old song, and everyone prefers a song they already know.”

Listen to:

Every Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart here or here
Jeepster- T. Rex here or here
Tuesday’s Dead – Cat Stevens here or here
Riders on the Storm – the Doors here or here
I’m Eighteen – Alice Cooper here or here
Without You – Harry Nilsson here or here

Carly_Simon_-_Best_ofLong before I knew the name Carly Simon, I was listening to the folk music of the Simon Sisters, especially Winkin’, Blinkin’ And Nod, which managed to get to #73 on the pop charts back in 1964. Here’s Winkin’, live, from 1968, with middle sister Lucy; Carly was the youngest girl. Listen to The Simon Sisters sing for Children.

The three Simon sisters, including opera singer Joanna, the oldest, are all accomplished singers, influenced heavily by their parents. Their father was Read the rest of this entry »

At some level, I’m not a very nostalgic guy. As Billy Joel put it in Keeping the Faith, and I quote, The good old days weren’t always good. It seems as though, in the US, there are dreams of the 1950s being the “good old days”, represented by TV shows such as Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best, with dad out working all day, with mom home raising the kids and wearing pearls when her husband came home for dinner. It was never MY experience.

The 1950s were a period of the cold war paranoia of “duck and cover”, and an unsettling racial climate Read the rest of this entry »


Some people, rightly, do not believe in the notion of “guilty pleasure” regarding one’s taste in movies, TV, music and the like. I use the phrase more as it’s understood as something the cool kids don’t watch/listen to.

Links included.

Could It Be Magic – Barry Manilow. First it was the piano intro (and outro) that was a direct, and apparently unconscious, steal of Chopin’s Prelude No. 20 in C Minor. But eventually I got sucked into the whole strings, especally as the strings build at about the three-minute mark.

I Haven’t Got Time For The Pain – Carly Simon. But especially the strings at the end. BTW, Lesley Gore – yes, THAT Lesley Gore – does her own version, pretty good, but without that great ending.

Wishing You Were Here – Chicago. It’s not the whole song; I find Peter Cetera’s vocals on the bridge occasionally grating. But it is that lovely Beach Boys harmony from Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson that has always moved me.

Rosanna-Toto. You that part, “Not quite a year…”? Well, I love that bit. More than that, I love singing along in harmony vocal. If I think about it, there are a number of songs I enjoy specifically on that basis.

ABC-Jackson 5 When they first came out, they were considered “bubblegum soul”, and no song epitomized that more than this abecedarian tune. Thing is, I could always sing all the parts that Tito and especially Jermaine (second lead on most tunes) performed, so I always had a soft spot for the early J5,.

What are YOUR musical guilty pleasures?

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