Songs That Move Me, 40-31

40. Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart – the Supremes.
Much of Motown lived on the bottom, and this did too, but had lots of other elements, including a great vocal.

39. Got to Get You into My Life – the Beatles.
The Fabs get soulful. I’d play the (US) Revolver album once through this song, then, if my parents weren’t home, play the song again very loudly. This made Tomorrow Never Knows particularly noisy.
Feeling: hopeful.

38. Barabajagal – Donovan (With The Jeff Beck Group)
It’s jazzy, it rocks, it has those sexy female vocals.
Feeling: love IS hot.
HERE.

37. Hurt-Johnny Cash
If I included my feelings about the video, this would be even higher, maybe even Top 10. Still that insistent keyboard is quite affecting.
Feeling: sadness.
HERE or

36. Season Of Hollow Soul – k.d. lang.
Very sad, very autumnal song from her pop breakthrough album, Ingenue. Unfortunately, this anime video cuts off.
Feeling: hollow.

35. Church-Lyle Lovett.
I feel like I’ve BEEN to church after this. The second song from the CD named after the sixth, seventh, and eighth books of the Bible, Joshua Judges Ruth.
Feeling: righteous.
HERE.

34. Maybe I’m Amazed-Paul McCartney.
A song on the first solo LP as good as anything his old group did. the bridge and the end are especially strong.
Feeling: joyful.

33. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
Of course, there’s that quintessential opening hook. But it’s also the shared lead vocals, the oddly effective harmony, and the Blue Moon bridge.
Feeling: good.

32. ‘Til I Die – Beach Boys
While the verse and chorus structure is evocative, it’s the end part stating the title, and the vocals wrapped around it that is most moving.
Feeling: reflective.
HERE.

31. Can’t Get Next to You – the Temptations
After David Ruffin left the group, it was the wisdom of producer Norman Whitfield to cop the shared vocals motif from Sly Stone, to great effect.
Feeling: mind-blowing.

ROG

Songs That Move Me, 80-71

80. The Ostrich – Steppenwolf.
I discussed this song here.
Feeling: ticked off.
It’s HERE.

79. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone – Aretha Franklin.
One of the things I hated about AM radio when I was growing up is the fact that disc jockeys would talk over the instrumental opening. I swear that this intro was designed specifically to avoid that. Highlight musically is the sweet crescendo of the horns.
Feeling: joyful.

78. 21st Century Schizoid Man – King Crimson.
An intriguing song. Starts of like a loud dirge, then breaks into an almost jazzy center. Quite odd.
Feeling: a little schizo.
OR HERE.

77. Face the Face – Pete Townsend.
Those big drums almost always surprise me, not in this live version, but in the video below.
Feeling: like dancing.

Miami Vice!

76. I’m So Glad – Cream.
It has to be the live version from the Goodbye Cream album; no other version excites me like that one. It’s the Jack Bruce vocals and especially the instrumental breaks.
Feeling: well, glad.

75. Fame – David Bowie.
Besides the hook, I most appreciate the descending line of the vocal near the end.
Feeling: like dancing.

74. King Harvest – The Band.
From “the brown album”, the second album, it’s the last song on the LP. It’s the vocals and the lyrics: “My horse Jethro, well he went mad.” A song of my high school days.
Feeling: like having a piece of grass between my teeth.

73. I’m Free – the Who.
The beginning of this song is out of sync with the rest. There’s a drum fill before the first time you hear “And freedom tastes of reality.” The live versions never compare to this because they’re usually played correctly. I like the descending line vocal at the end and the instrumentation in the middle. BTW, I have no idea what this video is.
Feeling: Tension until it gets back on track musically.

72. Celtic Rock – Donovan.
The druids are coming. Last song, first side of the Open Road LP.
Feeling: spooky.

71. Twist and Shout – the Beatles

It’s John shredding his voice and those ascending thirds.
Feeling: Joyous.

ROG

What’s in a (Band) Name?

I went to see the Funk Brothers and the Family Stone Experience in Washington Park back on May 14. It was great, but it got me to thinking: When personnel changes in a rock group, can it still be considered that group? There were, last I knew, TWO splinter groups from Sly and the Family Stone, both with original members. Since NEITHER includes Sly, there’s no issue of being the real thing. But there have been other bands during the years that have had more complicated issues.

The Beatles: When the Beatles broke up in 1970, it was considered “Paul’s fault” in some circles. After all, he had the audacity to put out his first solo album at about the same time as Let It Be. (Even though the others had all released solo discs earlier.) And he had different management (the Eastmans, Linda’s kin) than the others (Allen Klein). There was a widespread rumor at the time that the Beatles would re-form with Lennon, Harrison, Starr, Billy Preston (keyboardist on Get Back) and Klaus Voorman (designer of the Revolver album cover) on bass. Would they have been accepted as “The Beatles”? I seriously doubt it. They could survive the switch from Pete Best to Ringo Starr on the cusp of their stardom, but as the icons they became, there could be no substitutes.

The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman was the line-up, with Ian Stewart as session and tour keyboardist. In June of 1969, guitarist Jones quit the group, quickly replaced by Mick Taylor. (Jones died a month later.) Taylor left in December of 1974; Ronnie Wood played (on loan from the Faces) on the 1975 tour, and the following year is installed as a permanent member. Bassist Wyman calls it quits in 1994. It seems that the Rolling Stones will survive as long as the Glimmer Twins (Jagger, Richards) continue to perform. With a new album and tour in 2005, it is still very much an active band.

The Beach Boys: Brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine (replaced briefly in 1962 and 1963 by David Marks) were the band. Brian quit touring in 1966, replaced briefly by Glen Campbell, and more permanently by Bruce Johnston. Dennis drowned in 1983. When Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Mike Love, and Bruce Johnston toured as the Beach Boys through 1997, there was a real legitimacy. But Carl died in 1998. [I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shortly after Carl’s death, where they had a nice tribute piece to him and to another Carl who had died recently, Carl Perkins.] Mike Love and Bruce Johnston regained the legal right to use the Beach Boys name and have been touring as “The Beach Boys” ever since. Even with short-timer David Marks, it’s hard for me to accept this band as the Beach Boys. Maybe if Mike & Bruce kissed and made up with Brian & Al (who was a respondent in a lawsuit for using the Beach Boys’ name in his “Al Jardine’s Family & Friends Beach Band”, featuring Al’s sons, Brian’s daughters, and several former Beach Boys’ backing musicians), then THAT would be the Beach Boys.

Herman’s Hermits: There’s the group headed by Barry Whitwam; it also featured Derek Leckenby before he died in 1994. Then there’s Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone, which at least has the original Herman. The two groups create an unfortunate dilution of legitimacy.

Bob Dylan: No, wait, he’s solo artist. He’s just had so many phases in his career. He is 64 today – happy birthday to the “unwilling counterculture icon.”

I liked what Cream did. They break up, the name’s done, even though 2/3s of them (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker) end up in Blind Faith. And when there’s a Cream reunion this year (with Jack Bruce), there’s no question of their legitimacy.

Say, this is FUN! Think I’ll do it again with some more groups some other time.

Media Overkill (hubris)

Gee, it’s STILL bugging me, this “Runaway Bride” thing.

It’s not that I care why Jennifer what’s-her-name ran away, whether her fiancé still loves her, or whether they’ll marry (but apparently People magazine thinks their readers will, based on last week’s cover story).

I DO care that the media attention has been so wacky, in the Jacko/Scott& Laci tradition. Some of the so-called news networks, including the one apparently named after a canine, were practically convicting the fiancé of murder for his delay in taking a polygraph before she turned up. Jon Stewart skewered them on the Daily Show last week.

(And I DO care that she unfortunately found it necessary to pick a Hispanic man, along with a white woman as her assailant. Reminds me, just a bit, of Susan Smith or Chuck Stuart.
The ease of the accusation – “it was one of THEM” – is a bit frightening.)

(My wife gave me some good advice the other day: if I ever want to go through an airport inconspicuously, I shouldn’t wear an orange towel on my head. I’ll keep that in mind.)

And still on the subject of news: OK, I’ve watched American Idol from time to time. But the reason I watched the “ABC Prime Time exclusive” on former contestant Corey Clark outing Paula Abdul as his lover last Wednesday was to figure out the newsworthy rationale for running the program. After viewing the whole hour, I still don’t know. Clark also appeared on Good Morning America that morning AND the next morning, which I thankfully missed. With Peter Jennings fighting cancer, perhaps the network has taken leave of its journalistic senses. But I did enjoy Kelly Ripa ripping into Clark on her show (with Reege) the next morning.

Oh, and I STILL don’t know why Paris @#$%^&*! Hilton is famous.

I’ve ranted. I feel better now. Thanks.

I’m listening to the newly re-formed (or reformed) Cream. They sound great.