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Any Major Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 1

July 25th, 2023 7 comments

 

Tomorrow, on July 26, Mick Jagger will turn 80, which is a good time to run the first of two Rolling Stones Songbooks.

The first of these Songbooks covers the years up to 1968, which roughly coincides with the Brian Jones years. Jones was hugely responsible for the sound of the Stones, but he didn’t write much material — the great hits were all written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The latter’s 80th birthday later this year will be an occasion for Volume 2 of the Rolling Stones Songbook. A third volume might follow that.

The Stones started out as a covers band until manager Andrew Loog Oldham encouraged Jagger and Richards to write their own songs — to maximise profits — with further encouragement from Paul McCartney. Clearly, the pair had a great talent for the songwriting gig.

Some of the early material was derivative; The Last Time, the Stones’ first self-written A-side, is effectively a cover version of a Staples Singers gospel song from 1954, This May Be The Last Time. Richards acknowledged the pair’s songlifting but also justified it by saying that the tune was a traditional gospel tune, and thus preceded the Staples Singers’ version. Maybe so, but Pops Staples ought to have received a credit — without it, The Last Time stands as an example of white musicians ripping off black music without letting their original creators share in the credits. I don’t include The Last Time in this Songbook.

 

 

I would also have excluded the nasty Under My Thumb, which in the voice of a man is misogynistic and cruel. Happily, Tina Turner turned the tables and has her man under her thumb. It is still a nasty song, but in Tina’s voice it becomes one of defiant liberation, knowing how Ike treated her as modelled by Jagger’s lyrics. And, my word, Stray Cat Blues is one hell of a dodgy jailbait number — Mick, Keef, it might not be a hanging matter, but it is a crime.

But the problems with some of the lyrics (which will re-occur in Volume 2) should not detract from the genius of Jagger/Richards (or Richard, as Keith styled himself until 1978). The fact that the London Symphonic Orchestra managed to create an album of Stones songs and made it sound better than the novelty idea it was, testifies to that genius.

The weirdest cover here is that of Paint It Black, sung by Czech singer Karel Gott in German. Karel (pictured right) was a crooner who’d obsequiously grin at the aunts in the TV audience, velvet bow-tie and side-parted hair in perfect place. So on Paint It Black, our man rocks out in ways that suggest the accidental consumption of substances which Mick and Keef were themselves familiar with. It’s glorious.

In compiling this set, I have found that it isn’t easy to cover a Stones song well, but if it comes off, it’s great. I suppose that to my (our?) ears, these songs are so tied to the Stones sound, and especially to Mick’s vocals, that it requires something quite special or different to suspend the association with the original. Most of the songs here accomplish that, but why is that circumstance so evident with the Stones and not with The Beatles? Answers on a postcard.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-satisfied covers, and the above text in an illustrated PDF.

1. London Symphonic Orchestra – She’s A Rainbow (1994)
2. Otis Redding – Satisfaction (1965)
3. Tina Turner – Under My Thumb (1975)
4. The Flamin’ Groovies– 19th Nervous Breakdown (1979)
5. Arthur Brown – Out Of Time (1974)
6. Alexis Korner – Get Off My Cloud (1975)
7. Johnny Winter – Stray Cat Blues (1974)
8. Jon English – Play With Fire (1976)
9. Melanie – Ruby Tuesday (1970)
10. The Love Affair – She Smiled Sweetly (1967)
11. Nancy Sinatra – As Tears Go By (1966)
12. Bobby Darin – Back Street Girl (1967)
13. The Rotary Connection – Lady Jane (1967)
14. Mary Coughlan – Mother’s Little Helper (1990)
15. Lindsey Buckingham – I Am Waiting (2006)
16. Miranda Lee Richards – Dandelion (2001)
17. The March Violets – Miss Amanda Jones (1987)
18. Smith – Let’s Spend The Night Together (1969)
19. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Connection (1968)
20. Chris Farlowe – I’m Free (1966)
21. Karel Gott – Rot und schwarz (Paint It, Black, 1969)
22. Joe Pass – What A Shame (1967)

Categories: Covers Mixes, Songbooks Tags:

Covered With Soul Volumes 1-24

July 13th, 2023 14 comments

Here’s a treat for the audiophile soul fans. Reader Mark P. from London has gone through the trouble of recreating all Covered With Soul mixes so far in a bitrate of 320 kbps, which gives a better audio quality than the more compressed but size-effective bitrates I use. He says that 95% of the tracks are now 320k mp3 files, while the rest are at least 192k — except one song that stubbornly remains at 160k.

Mark has kindly made the collection available to the friends of Any Major Dude With Half A Heart. The file is just over 4GB. To see what you can expect, have a look at the tracklistings. PW in comments.

GET THE LOT!

EDIT: Reader Fredrick Beondo has kindly made the lot available on his Google Drive. Same password as usual.

EDIT: All upgraded mixes are now available indvidually, on the original posts.

Categories: Covered With Soul Tags:

In Memoriam – June 2023

July 4th, 2023 6 comments

It has been a fairly quiet month, certainly after last month’s havoc. Though it is a little bit spooky that within four days, the surviving brothers of bluegrass sibling duos died: first Jesse McReynolds of Jim & Jesse, then Bobby Osborne of the Osborne Brothers. It was also a bad month for musicians who were also noted as artists: three of them left us this month.

The Songwriting Legend
With her life-long husband Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil was one of the great songwriters on the Brill Building scene, with Weil doing lyrics and Mann the music. Their big hits included Uptown, He’s Sure The Boy I Love (The Crystals), You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, You’re My Soul And Inspiration  (Righteous Brothers), On Broadway, Saturday Night At The Movies (The Drifters), Blame It On The Bossa Nova (Edye Gorme), Walking In The Rain (The Ronettes), Looking Through The Eyes Of Love (Gene Pitney, The Partridge Family), We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (The Animals), Kiss, Hungry (Paul Revere & The Raiders), I Just Can’t Help Believing (BJ Thomas, Elvis Presley),  Make Your Own Kind Of Music, It’s Getting Better (Mama Cass), Here You Come Again (Dolly Parton), Just Once (James Ingram), Black Butterfly (Deniece Williams), Never Gonna Let You Go (Sergio Mendes),  Somewhere Out There (James Ingram & Linda Ronstadt), and I Don’t Know Much (Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville).

Other hits Weil co-wrote without Mann include He’s So Shy (Pointer Sisters), Running With The Night, Love Will Conquer All (Lionel Richie), If Ever You’re in My Arms Again (Peabo Bryson), and Through The Fire (Chaka Khan).

Weil and Mann were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

The Bossa Nova Queen
The story of Astrud Gilberto is not a happy one. She charmed the world with her vocals for The Girl Of Ipanema, with the ghastly Stan Getz claiming, falsely, her to be a housewife whom he had discovered. In fact, Astrud had been in the studio with her husband João Gilberto, when (according to one story) the writer of the English text, this blog’s old ‘friend’ Norman Gimbel, suggested that Astrud night take the English vocals, since João couldn’t handle them.

Astrud was paid a nominal session fee of $120, and when the song became a mega hit, Stan Getz actively lobbied that Astrud not receive any royalties. But the asshole had her singing for him on tour, where he apparently was abusive towards her. Years later, Astrud recorded a disco version of the song; again she was excluded from sharing in the proceeds.

She recorded a number of albums, which included songs she had written, in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Japanese, and toured extensively. Astrud retired in 2002, reportedly leaving the music industry with total disgust for it.

The Independence Singer
When Jamaica gained its independence from Britain in 1962, the theme song to the event, titled Independent Jamaica, was sung by an artist born in Trinidad, Lord Creator. The single was also the first-ever release by Island Records.

The man born as Kentrick Patrick had started out in Trinidad as a calypso artist, but he was a man of diverse genres: R&B, ska and rocksteady, all of which were foundation blocks for what would be called reggae. His big rocksteady hit in 1970, Kingston Town, went on to become a global hit in 1989 in the feckless version by UB40. Lord Creator’s career had mostly stopped after Kingston Town, but for all its dreadfulness, the UB40 hit not only revived his career but also set him up financially, as the song’s writer. Lord Creator received Jamaica’s Order Of Distinction last year.

The Actor
In February 1957, The Banana Boat Song was in the US Top 10 in two very different versions: one by Harry Belafonte, the other by folk trio The Tarriers, who added elements of another Jamaican song, Hill And Gully Rider, to their version. Belafonte’s version is now the standard, but it was The Tarriers’ take that was initially most often covered. Playing guitar and singing with the folk-trio was co-founder Alan Arkin, who went on to become a rightfully acclaimed actor. He also took part in the recording of the chart-topper Cindy Oh Cindy with Vince Martin before leaving the band for the stage and screen. For some time he sang on stage and was the guitarist of the children’s folk-music band The Baby Sitters. Then he hit the big screen.

The Originals Singer
In his career, Jack Lee never had a hit, neither with his short-lived proto-new wave band The Nerves nor as a solo artist. But he wrote and first recorded two big hits: Hangin’ On The Telephone, recorded in 1976 with The Nerves, was a global hit for Blondie in 1980. Lee re-recorded the song in 1982. Come Back And Stay, a solo effort in 1981, was a hit for Paul Young in 1983.

The Bluegrass Brother 1
In 2002, the brothers and bluegrass legends Jim & Jesse were diagnosed with cancer. Jim died later that year, breaking up a duo that had been performing for 55 years. Jesse McReynolds beat cancer and lived to the ripe age of 93.

The duo had recorded since 1952, but hit it big in the 1960s. Jesse played the mandolin with a self-invented crosspicking and split-string method. After Jim’s death, Jesse continued to record and perform with the duo’s long-time backing band, The Virginia Boys. With them, he incorporated music by the likes of Grateful Dead in their repertoire. Jesse was such a fan that he produced a tribute album to Gerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in 2010, with his grandson Garrett McReynolds on guitar.

The Bluegrass Brother 2
Within four days, the surviving brothers of great bluegrass sibling duos died: first Jesse McReynolds, then Bobby Osborne of the Osborne Brothers, whose brother Sonny left us in October 2021. Within their genre, the Osbornes were innovators, introducing new harmony styles and instruments like drums (the first in bluegrass to do so), percussions and electronic instruments. Having first recorded in the 1950s, they were members of the Grand Ole Opry. Their 1967 hit Rocky Top was named an official Tennessee state song in 1982. After Sonny retired, Bobby continued to perform with two sons in his band Rocky Top X-press.

The Composer
If middle-aged adults in Europe with a jones for instrumentals bought two records in the 1970s, they might well have been 1974’s Dolannes Mélodie and Ballad Pour Adeline, a 1978 hit for Richard Clayderman. Both sings were composed by Paul De Senneville, who recorded the former with Olivier Toussaint, his songwriting partner, and trumpet player Jean-Claude Borelly. Those two tunes were everywhere in Europe! De Senneville had a background in scoring French films, even though he could neither read music nor play an instrument. He would hum his melodies into a tape recorder and had a pianist play the melodies.

With Toussaint, De Senneville wrote for French-speaking stars such as Mireille Mathieu, Michèle Torr, Christophe, Hervé Vilard, Dalida, and Claude François, selling more than 100 million records sold internationally.

In 1988, De Senneville founded Delphine Software International, a French video game company named after his daughter.As always, this post is reproduced in illustrated PDF format in the package, which also includes my personal playlist of the featured tracks. PW in comments.

 

Jack Lee, 71 guitarist and songwriter with new wave band The Nerves, on May 26
The Nerves – Hanging On The Telephone (1976, also as writer)
Jack Lee – Come Back And Stay (1981, also as writer)
Jack Lee – Sex (1985)

Cynthia Weil, 82, legendary songwriter, on June 1
The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1965, as lyricist)
Mama Cass – It’s Getting Better (1969, as lyricist)
Dolly Parton – Here You Come Again  (1977, as lyricist)
Barry Mann – Don’t Know Much (1980, as lyricist)

Pacho El Antifeka, 42, Puerto Rican rapper, shot, on June 1

Roy Taylor, singer and bass player of Irish pop group Jump the Gun, on June 1
Jump The Gun – Take Him Home (1988)

Pedro Messone, 88, Chilean folk singer, composer, actor and fascist, on June 1

George Winston, 74, new age music pianist, on June 4
George Winston – Living In The Country (1991)

Dora María, 89, Mexican folk singer, on June 4

Astrud Gilberto, 83, Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer, on June 5
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Corcovado (1963, on vocals)
Astrud Gilberto – O Morro (Não tem Vez) (1965)
Astrud Gilberto feat. Chet Baker – Far Away (1977, also as co-writer)
Astrud Gilberto & George Michael – Desafinado (1996)

Philippe Marcade, 68, singer of punk band The Senders, on June 5
The Senders – 6th Street (1981)

Tony McPhee, 79, guitarist of English blues-rock band The Groundhogs, on June 6
The Groundhogs – Soldier (1970, also as writer)

Peter Belli, 79, German-born Danish singer and actor, on June 8

Lee Clayton, 80, rock and country musician and composer, on June 12

Christy Dignam, 63, singer of Irish rock band Aslan, on June 13
Aslan – This Is (1986)

Blackie Onassis, 57, drummer and songwriter with alt.rock band Urge Overkill, on June 13
Urge Overkill – Sister Havana (1993)

Sylvan Morris, 74, reggae sound engineer, on June 17
Dandy Livingstone – No Matter What The Question (1978, as engineer)

Dan Lardner, singer and guitarist of indie band QTY, announced June 15
QTY – Cold Nights (2017)

Sergey Kolchin, 45, guitarist of Russian rock band Zemlyane, on June 15

Don Kloetzke, 71, folk-rock musician and artist, on June 15
White Duck – Black-Eyed Susan (1972, as member on keyboards)

Luiz Schiavon, 64, keyboardist of Brazilian rock band RPM, on June 15
RPM – Rádio Pirata (Ao Vivo) (1985)

Dave Maclean, 78, Brazilian singer-songwriter, on June 17
Dave Maclean – We Said Goodbye (1974)

Teresa ‘Nervosa’ Taylor, 60, drummer of the Butthole Surfers, on June 18
Butthole Surfers – Cherub (1984)

Krzysztof Olesiński, 70, bass player of Polish rock band Maanam, on June 18

Big Pokey, 45, American rapper, on June 18
Big Pokey – Hardest Pit (1999)

Ryan Siew, 26, guitarist of Australian metalcore band Polaris, on June 19

Max Morath, 96, ragtime pianist, composer, TV presenter and author, on June 19
Max Morath – Hello, Ma Baby (1964)

Paolo Zavallone, 90, Italian singer and composer, on June 20
El Pasador – Amada mia, amore mia (1977, as El Pasador)

Choi Sung-bong, 33, South Korean pop singer, on June 20

John Waddington, 63, guitarist of English rock band The Pop Group, on June 20
The Pop Group – She Is Beyond Good And Evil (1979, also as co-writer)

Peter Brötzmann, 82, German free jazz saxophonist, on June 22

Robert Black, 67, electric and double bass player, on June 22

Jesse McReynolds, 93, half of bluegrass duo Jim & Jesse, on June 23
Jim & Jesse – Diesel On My Tail (1967)
Jim & Jesse – Ashes Of Love (1976)
The Virginia Boys – Where the Soul Never Dies (2017, as leader)

Sheldon Harnick, 99, lyricist and songwriter, on June 23
Zero Mostel – If I Were A Rich Man (1964, as lyricist)

Paul de Senneville, 89, French composer and producer, on June 23
Paul De Senneville & Olivier Toussaint – Dolannes Mélodie (1974)
Richard Clayderman – Ballad Pour Adeline (1977, as composer and producer)

Lee Rauch, 58, founding drummer of Megadeth, on June 23

Claude Barzotti, 69, Belgian singer, on June 24
Claude Barzotti – Le Rital (1981)

Ysabelle Lacamp, 68, French singer, actress and author, on June 26
Ysabelle Lacamp – Baby Bop (1987)

Carmen Sevilla, 92, Spanish actress, singer and dancer, on June 27

Bobby Osborne, 91, half of bluegrass duo Osborne Brothers, on June 27
Osborne Brothers – Once More (1958)
Osborne Brothers – Tennessee Hound Dog (1967)
Osborne Brothers & Mac Wiseman – Midnight Flyer (1972)

Alan Arkin, 89, actor and guitarist-singer with folk group The Tarriers, on July 29
The Tarriers – The Banana Boat Song (1956)
Vince Martin with The Tarriers – Cindy, Oh Cindy (1957)

Anita Wood, 85, American singer, actress, Elvis’ ex-girlfriend, on June 29
Elvis Presley & Anita Wood – I Can’t Help It (1958, home recording)
Anita Wood – I’ll Wait Forever (1961)

Lord Creator, 87, Trinidadian-Jamaican singer-songwriter, on June 30
Lord Creator – The Cockhead (1956)
Lord Creator – Independent Jamaica (1962)
Lord Creator – Kingston Town (1969)

Rick Froberg, 55, indie musician and artist, on June 30
Drive Like Jehu – Bullet Train To Vegas (1992, as member)

Monte Cazazza, 68, artist and industrial music composer, on June 30
Monte Cazazza – To Mom On Mother’s Day (1979)

Categories: In Memoriam Tags: