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Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 2

July 31st, 2014 28 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 2

(Time to recycle thus post from 2009. Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 1 re-ran in March. A new, third mix will come soonish.)

The first Not Feeling Guilty mix went down well, and if comments to the post, by e-mail and Facebook (click here to become my friend) are an indication, my rant against the false notion of “guilty pleasures” expressed what many felt.

So here is the second mix. I can’t see much to feel guilty about here. Anyone who might be ashamed of secretly enjoying the sounds of Boz Scaggs does not deserve to hear music. Anyone who dismisses Christopher Cross as a cheesy two-hit wonder self-evidently hates music (yes, VH-1, I mean you). Anyone who fails to funk along, even just a little bit, to the Larsen-Feiten Band, Pablo Cruise or the Climax Blues Band has no ryhthm in their soul. Not that I ought to make anyone feel guilty about not liking music.

The inclusion of Todd Rundgren might raise some eyebrows. Well, I consider his 1970 track a progenitor of the whole soft rock genre. See whether you agree or not.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.

1. Doobie Brothers – Listen To The Music (1972)
2. Boz Scaggs – JoJo (1980)
3. Larsen-Feiten Band – Who Will Be The Fool Tonight (1980)
4. Pablo Cruise – Watcha Gonna Do (1977)
5. Climax Blues Band – Couldn’t Get It Right (1976)
6. Atlanta Rhythm Section – So Into You (1976)
7. JD Souther – You’re Only Lonely (1979)
8. James Taylor – Your Smiling Face (1977)
9. Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E’s In Love (1979)
10. Andrew Gold – Never Let Her Slip Away (1978)
11. Jay Ferguson – Thunder Island (1977)
12. Boston – Amanda (1986)
13. Kansas – Dust In The Wind (1977)
14. Poco – A Good Feelin’ To Know (1972)
15. King Harvest – Dancing In The Moonlight (1972)
16. Sutherlands Brothers & Quiver – Arms Of Mary (1975)
17. Albert Hammond – The Peacemaker (1973)
18. Loggins & Messina – Watching the River Run (1977)
19. Christopher Cross – All Right (1983)
20. Todd Rundgren – We Gotta Get You A Woman 1970)
21. Little River Band – The Night Owls (1981)

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Any Major Summer Vol. 3

July 24th, 2014 12 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 3

First I gave you a summer mix when the northern hemisphere was freezing its collective ass off.

When things became milder, I offered a second summer mix to build up the anticipation.

And here, as the north has its toes (socked or not) peeping through sandals and the south puts another log on the fire, is the third mix. I dare say it is fairly eclectic fare, taking us from Nat King Cole to Hüsker Dü in about an hour.

Of course there’ll be another summer mix, when the seasons change again.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-speedoed covers. PW in comments.

1. Nat ‘King’ Cole – Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer (1963)
2. Sammy Davis Jr. & Count Basie – The Girl From Ipanema (1965)
3. The Beach Boys – The Warmth Of The Sun (1964)
4. Mungo Jerry – In The Summertime (1970)
5. First Class – Beach Baby (1974)
6. DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Summertime (1991)
7. J.T. Taylor – Long Hot Summer Night (1991)
8. Enchantment – Sunny Shine Feeling (1977)
9. Jon Lucien – A Sunny Day (1974)
10. The Manhattans – Summertime In The City (1974)
11. Sly and the Family Stone – Hot Fun In The Summertime (1969)
12. Scott Walker – Joanna (1968)
13. Gene Watson – Love In The Hot Afternoon (1975)
14. Bob Dylan – In The Summertime (1981)
15. Sheryl Crow – Soak Up The Sun (2002)
16. Hüsker Dü – Celebrated Summer (1985)
17. Nick Heyward – The Queen Of Summertime (1996)
18. The Smiths – Cemetry Gates (1986)
19. Josh Rouse – Summertime (2006)
20. Herman Düne – This Summer (2006)
21. Jens Lekman – A Sweet Summer’s Night On Hammer Hill (2005)

GET IT!

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Any Major Summer Vol. 1
Any Major Summer Vol. 2
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Categories: Mix CD-Rs, Summer Songs Tags:

Any Major Soul 1972 – Vol. 1

July 17th, 2014 7 comments

Any Major Soul 1972 - Vol.1

Was 1972 the greatest year in soul music? I don”t know, but I have two full mixes for the year with enough good stuff to easily fill a third without having to duplicate an artist or compromise quality (but let”s not get stuck on one year). So here goes the first gorgeous compilation.

I might have included almost any song from Lyn CollinsThink (About It) album, produced by James Brown, with the JBs backing. In memory of DJ EZ Rock, who died in April, I went with the title track, from which he and Rob Base “” and loads of others “” sampled for their big 1988 hit, “It Takes Two”, borrowing the line of their title and, more importantly the “Yeah! Woo!” (voices by Bobby Byrd and James Brown).

Possibly the best song ever about alcohol abuse “” and by that I mean songs that note the destructive sides of it, not its celebration “” is “So Many Ways To Die” by Barbara Jean English. The song, featured on Any Major Soul 1972/73, is heartbreaking. The track featured here sounds a lot more upbeat, though its subject matter is not very upbeat either. English sang with a number of vocal groups, most notably the Clickettes. Sadly she released only two solo albums in the 1970s, plus another in 1989.

Ernie Hines also did not have much mainstream success in soul music, which is a shame, because his one major album, Electrified, was quite excellent. From the album, issued by Stax-subsidiary We Produce, the track “Our Generation” was covered by John Legend & The Roots in 2010. To me the highlight is the gospel groove “A Better World (For Everyone)”. Hines is still performing and recording as a gospel singer.

Also coming from a gospel background was”¦ well, virtually everybody in this series. One of them was the relatively obscure but rather wonderful Debbie Taylor, who released eight singles and one album between 1967 and 1975. The featured track comes from the album, Comin” Down On You. After 1975 she disappeared, apparently after refusing to sign a record deal which would have meant severing ties with her long-time producer and arranger. Taylor”s name was actually a pseudonym:  born Maydie Myles, she changed it because her religious parents disapproved of secular music. After retiring the Taylor persona she sang on several dance tracks. In 2011 she released a CD, as Maydie Myles, and at the same time revealed that she was Debbie Taylor, getting many soul fans very excited.

EDIT: It seems that the Millie Jackson track in the mix is corrupted. I have upped it separately. Just overwrite it in the folder with THIS FILE.

As always: CD-R length, covers, PW in comments.

1. The Whispers – Here Comes Tomorrow
2. Michael Jackson – I Wanna Be Where You Are
3. The O’Jays – This Air I Breathe
4. Lyn Collins – Think (About It)
5. Laura Lee – Wedlock Is A Padlock
6. Ernie Hines – A Better World (For Everyone)
7. Billy Preston – Will It Go Round in Circles
8. Labelle – Sunday’s News
9. Patti & The Lovelites – Is That Loving In Your Heart
10. Betty Wright – Don’t Let It End This Way
11. Debbie Taylor – (I Just Can’t Believe I’m) Touching You
12. The Chi-Lites – Living In The Footsteps Of Another Man
13. The Delfonics – Walk Right Up To The Sun
14. Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose – Too Late To Turn Back Now
15. Ronnie McNeir – I’m So Thankful
16. Millie Jackson – Ask Me What You Want
17. Barbara Jean English – I’m Living A Lie
18. The Ovations – One In A Million
19. Brighter Side Of Darkness – Oh Baby
20. Kimberley Briggs – Give A Man An Inch
21. The Staple Singers – We The People
22. Curtis Mayfield – No Thing On Me
23. Luther Ingram – Oh Baby, You Can Depend On Me
24. Timmy Thomas – Rainbow Power

GET IT!

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More Any Major Soul

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Categories: 70s Soul, Any Major Soul Tags:

A Hard Day’s Night – Recovered

July 10th, 2014 14 comments

A Hard Day's Night Recovered- front

Today, July 10, it is 50 years since The Beatles released their A Hard Day”s Night LP in the UK (the US version, with a different tracklisting, followed two weeks later). It was a landmark event for pop music, not because the music was especially innovative, but because here a pop group released an album including only own compositions. In 1964, this was very unusual indeed.

And this even more remarkable when one considers just how busy the group was at the time, with all the touring and US television appearances (as documented here), filming the movie and recording even more music that didn”t make it on to the album. In their writing, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were so prolific that they could give away pretty good songs to other artists, such a Peter & Gordon, Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer. The creative pressure showed on the follow-up, Beatles For Sale, which was released later in 1964 and included several covers (and also a few stone-cold Beatles classics).

A Hard Day”s Night was very much Lennon”s work. He wrote the title track, I Should Have Known Better, Tell Me Why, Any Time At All, I”ll Cry Instead, When I Get Home and You Can”t Do That, most of If I Fell and I”ll Be Back, and contributed to McCartney”s I”m Happy Just To Dance With You. But Paul”s three other contributions are probably the strongest: And I Love Her, Things We Said Today and Can”t Buy Me Love.

A Hard Day's Night Recovered- back

A Hard Day”s Night was also the first Beatles album to rely on the Beatles” unique sound. Where the previous two LPs included several covers of rock & roul and R&B songs, and many songs recalled the various influences from which the group drew, this was the first album on which The Beatles totally owned their sound. Nobody sounded like them.

And yet, this is not down to the compositions themselves, but the arrangements they benefited from. Listen to this set of covers, sequenced in the original chronology of the album, to hear just how flexible these songs are. Some of them sound nothing like a Beatles song. I believe that if a song can be covered well in any genre in ways that do not sound like a cover (never mind a pastiche), then it”s a great song. So Ella Fitzgerald can turn Can”t Buy Me Love into a big band number without it sounding like a novelty number, and John Mayall can turn A Hard Day”s Night into a true blues song, no matter how familiar we are with these Beatles standards.

My favourite here, however, is the Holmes Brothers” bluesy version of And I Love Her. Vanilla Fudge”s psychedelic rock take on You Can”t Do That from 1968 is a trip, too.

The covers featured in this post are included in higher resolution. PW in comments.

1. John Mayall – A Hard Day’s Night (1975)
2. Beach Boys – I Should Have Known Better (1965)
3. Keely Smith – If I Fell (1965)
4. Anne Murray – I’m Happy Just To Dance With You (1980)
5. The Holmes Brothers – And I Love Her (1997)
6. April Wine – Tell Me Why (1982)
7. Ella Fitzgerald – Can’t Buy Me Love (1964)
8. Nils Lofgren – Anytime At All (1981)
9. Johnny Rivers – I’ll Cry Instead (1965)
10. Bobby Fuller Four – Things We Said Today (1960s)
11. Yellow Matter Custard – When I Get Home (2003)
12. Vanilla Fudge – You Can’t Do That (1968)
13. Elliott Smith – I’ll Be Back (released 2011)

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More Beatles stuff:
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Any Bizarre Beatles
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 ““ Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 ““ Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Beatles ““ Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles ““ Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2

More Mix-CD-Rs

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

In Memoriam – June 2014

July 3rd, 2014 5 comments

In_Memoriam_1406The exciting, eventful and not always edifying life of Bobby Womack has ended at 70, putting an end to the singer”s battles with cancer and Alzheimer”s. Womack was, of course, one of the great soul voices and writers in soul music. He was a wonderful interpreter of covers (his cover of “Come Fly With Me” is quite impressive) and the originator of influential music, starting with the original of the Rolling Stones” hit “It”s All Over Now”.

Less known was his work as a session musician, a consequence of the ostracism that followed his marriage to the widow of his mentor and close friend Sam Cooke, just three months after Cooke”s killing. Womack always maintained that he did so to protect Cooke”s widow; Cooke”s family and friends in the industry saw it as an opportunistic betrayal (the marriage failed when he had an affair with his step-daughter Linda, who would go on to marry Bobby”s brother Cecil, with whom she had a career as Womack & Womack).

As a session guitarist, Bobby played with the likes of Wilson Pickett (including “I”m In Love” and “I”m A Midnight Mover”, which Womack also wrote), Aretha Franklin (including “Chain Of Fools”), Dusty Springfield (including “Son Of The Preacher Man”), Elvis Presley (apparently also on “Suspicious Minds”), The Box Tops (on “The Letter”), Rita Coolidge, Ron Wood, Johnny Nash and others. And the wah-wah guitars on Sly & the Family Stone”s There”s A Riot Going On album, including those on “Family Affair”, was all Womack”s work. He also co-wrote “Breezin”” with Gabor Szabo, later a hit for George Benson.

 

One of the great hitmakers of the 1970s has left the Brill Building (well, 1650 Broadway, really). Gerry Goffin penned many timeless classics with his then-wife Carole King, from “The Loco-Motion”, “Take Good Care Of My Baby”, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, “One Fine Day”, “Up On The Roof” to “I”m Into Something Good”,  “That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho)”, “Smackwater Jack” and “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman”.

Particularly noteworthy was his ability to write lyrics from a female point of view. The words of “Natural Woman” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” “” but also of the controversial “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)”, a song intended as a protest against spousal abuse and the justification some women use to defend their abusive partners, but quickly and lazily misinterpreted as some form of endorsement.

Carole King, Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin in 1957.

Carole King, Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin in 1957.

Later Goffin co-wrote with different partners, scoring hits with Read more…

Categories: In Memoriam Tags: