My Darth Tater contest selection

OK, I’ll admit it: when Lefty first suggested this contest, I figured, “OK, what the heck, I’ll look at some CD I’d previously put together and copy that.” But then I looked at the rules again (see Lefty’s page on August 3 for all of them)… The relevant ones for my purposes are these:

Create the Greatest 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s Music Compilation Ever Created. All tracks must be from one decade only. Bonus points for keeping away from tracks that always seem to make it on those decades collection (i.e. do we really need another 80s hits mix that has A-Ha’s “Take on Me” on it).

Ah, that last part made it a little trickier.

Inspired by Tosy, one of the other contestants in Lefty’s contest, I thought I’d share my (il)logic in picking the songs, especially now that Lefty has reviwed my picks (on September 12).

In the period between discovering Fred Hembeck’s webpage and starting my blog, I put together a series of CDs that I sent to him (and he to me). Some were chronological, some were thematic (love, dance). The trick was to NOT send cuts that he had sent me, and for the most part, I was successful.

For Lefty’s disc (which I may refer to as Tater disc), I wanted to concentrate on groups that most everyone had heard of who was familiar with the music of the era, but not necessarily the obvious tracks.

1. The Who “Tommy’s Holiday Camp”
I had put together a Mix with songs with Hello or Welcome in the title or prominent in the lyric. I decided to start Tater with a song that ends with the word “welcome”. Definitely NOT a hit, though off a hit album.

2. Cream “Doing That Scrapyard Thing”
In my 1969 Mix, I had a live version of “I’m So Glad” to end the disc. Well, I love that song, but it’s too long for the second slot on the Tater disc. So, I went to the same album, “Goodbye Cream”, which has only three studio cuts: Badge (a hit), What a Bringdown and my selection. This song has the same circusy feel as the previous cut. Of course, this cut features former Yardbird guitarist Eric Clapton.

3. Led Zeppelin “Communications Breakdown”
The first cut on my 1969 disc, featuring former Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page.

4. Donovan “Barabajagel”
The second cut on my 1969 disc, featuring former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck. Fred & I agree that these last two songs play GREAT together.

5. Traffic “Medicated Goo”
This is here to continue the Goo theme from the previous track, and because I love this song. Also from the 1969 disc.

6. Lovin’ Spoonful “Six O’Clock”
This song is in this slot because it’s the sixth cut. From the 1967-68 disc. I like the staccato feel.

7. QoS “Ain’t Nobody”
Well, we need some soul music. The song from my 67-68 disc was “Since You’ve Been Gone”, not “Respect”, but not exactly obscure either. Then I looked at the other possibilities and the NEXT selection capped it.

8. Three Dog Night “Nobody”
“Ain’t Nobody” followed by this song from the first Three Dog Night album. I LIKED the first 3DN album, just like I liked the first Chicago album, and the first Blood, Sweat and Tears album – no apologies. From the 69 disc, I think.

9. Stevie Wonder “You Met Your Match”
Given the fact that I LOVE Stevie, it’s surprising that he didn’t make any of my compilation discs until his 1970s output. A minor hit, so it fit the criteria.

10. Steppenwolf “Move Over”
Hembeck doesn’t like Steppenwolf except for the two hits, Lefty not at all. But, in addition to the guitar, check out the lyrics. From the 69 mix.

11. Monkees “Words”
I had a Monkees Greatest Hits vinyl LP, given to me by my old FantaCo buddy, Mitch Cohn. Then a few years ago, I got a GH CD from my friend Mark. The former did not have “Words”, and I frankly had forgotten about it until I heard it again on the latter. I fell back in love with the tune. From the 67-68 mix.

12. Chicago “I’m A Man”
As I said, I liked the Chicago Transit Authority. From the 69 mix.

13. Neil Young “The Loner”
I had “Cinnamon Girl” on a mix, but too much of a hit. (It only got to #55, but for Neil, that was pretty good.) 3DN did a cover of this song on their first LP, so I picked the original.

14. The Band “King Harvest”
I felt these two songs by Canadians (primarily) felt like they were in the same groove. The second Band LP was my favorite, and one of my all-time favorite albums.

15. The Rascals “It’s Wonderful”
When my sister Leslie and I played this at home, we used to jog around the living room. I found it infectious. (Lefty did not.) From 67-68 mix.

16. The Mamas & Papas “Free Advice”
I guess I liked this song because it’s quirky. Had forgotten about it until I started listening to the group in honor of John Phillips’ birthday recently.

17. The Supremes “Some Things You Never Get Used To”
This was another new addition. Love the early post-Florence Ballard stuff (Reflections, Love Child albums), before they declined into parody.

18. Frank Zappa “Peaches en Regalia”
I don’t always “get” Zappa, either, but I love this tune. From the 69 mix.

19. Reggie Milner “Habit-Forming Love”
I needed one “out there” selection. This is it. I was remined of it when I was playing BOTH of my Stax-Volt box sets of 9 discs each, averaging 70 minutes per disc, last month.

20. Vanilla Fudge “She’s Not There”
I prefer the Zombies’ version, too, but that wouldn’t have met the criteria. It was a moody intro to the next cut.

21. The Beatles “Inner Light”
I didn’t put any Beatles on the chronological discs (except “Cry for a Shadow” I think), since Fred the Beatleologist was going to be the recipient. But this Tater disc needed one, I thought. What song by the world-famous BEATLES is obscure? Well, there was “You Know Ny Name” (b-side to “Let It Be”), but I opted for the b-side to “Lady Madonna”. It went well, thematically, with the final song. And pairing former Capitol Records labelmates together at the end added to the concept.

22. Beach Boys “Transcendental Meditation”
I really like this song. It sounds uncharacteristically off-key (or maybe it’s just the harmonic structure), it rocks, and it’s short. From the 67-68 disc.

OK, so I bring the disc to work, so I can take it to the P.O. to mail to Lefty, and it SKIPPED from track 12 on. The deadline was approaching, and Tater disc had to go cross country, so I stayed up that night and laid it down again. No skips, and he got it in time.

One of these decades, Chris is going to tell us who won. He SAID he’d announce last Friday. He’s really dragging it out. Where’d he get the idea to do THAT? From his friend Ed and from ME! O.K., I’ll be (somewhat) patient.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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