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Any Major Disco Vol. 7 – Party Like It’s 1978

December 27th, 2018 1 comment

As every year, we close the year with a disco mix for that New Year’s Eve party — and it’s good even if it just involves you dancing in the kitchen, cooking up a good meal to see out the old year to greet the last year of the current decade (yeah, I know!).

This year you can party with the halfhearted dude like it’s 1978: every track here was released or was a hit in that year, 40 years ago. It’s fair to bet that a good number of the people who partied to these tunes back when they were new can still shake their booty in an appropriate manner, dodgy hips and inflamed joints be damned.

Some of the songs have run here before, particularly in the Any Major Funk series.

And with that I wish you a good slide into 2019. May it be a year of fulfilled dreams, good fortune and excellent health for us all!

As ever, CD-R length, home-downboogied covers, PW in comments.

1. Thelma Houston – Saturday Night
2. Cheryl Lynn – Got To Be Real
3. Earth, Wind & Fire – September
4. Sister Sledge – He’s The Greatest Dancer
5. Gloria Gaynor – Anybody Wanna Party
6. Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain
7. Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
8. Gibson Brothers – Cuba
9. Chic – Le Freak
10. Chanson – Don’t Hold Back
11. Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne – Dance Across The Floor
12. Gene Chandler – Get Down
13. Third World – Now That We’ve Found Love
14. Con Funk Shun – Shake and Dance With Me
15. Instant Funk – I Got My Mind Made Up
16. Diana Ross & Michael Jackson – Ease On Down The Road
17. Stargard – Theme From ‘Which Way Is Up’
18. Hi-Tension – Hi-Tension
19. Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie
20. Donna Summer – Last Dance

GET IT! or HERE!

More Any Major Funk/Disco
More Mix CD-Rs

Categories: Disco Tags:

All The People Who’ve Died 2018

December 20th, 2018 5 comments

 

 

For the second year running, the Grim Reaper has taken it relatively easy, giving us more relief after the trauma of annus horribilis 2016. Still, we lost some young talent in artists like the Swedish House musician Avicii, we observed tragedy as we did in the death at 46 of The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan. As every year, there are some fallen giants, most notable of them Aretha Franklin, Hugh Masekela, Charles Aznavour and Elvis’ drummer, DJ Fontana.

As every year, here is a selection of the most notable deaths of the year (which, for our present purposes runs from December to the end of November, so it excludes people like Pete Shelley or Joe Osborn; the latter has been honoured with a special mix), sorted in Top 10s or Top 5s within various categories. These lists might exclude names you might have included; those names will have featured in the monthly In Memoriam round-ups. Read more…

Categories: In Memoriam, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

The Joe Osborne Collection

December 17th, 2018 3 comments

 

 

R.I.P. Joe Osborn. There aren’t many rhythm sections that have scored more hits than Joe Osborn on bass, Hal Blaine on drums and Larry Knechtel on keyboards. With Osborn’s death at 81 on Friday, only Blaine is still with us of this particular combination of Wrecking Crew alumni.

Osborn appeared on many of the tracks included in the two volumes of songs featuring the drumming of Hal Blaine (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), as well as some on the Jim Gordon (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and Jim Keltner  (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) collections.

You will have Osborns basslines many times. Osborne — who was not the only Wrecking Crew bassist — was involved in an astonishing number of hits. They are listed here. Some of them are stone cold classics: California Dreaming and Monday Monday by the Mamas & The Papas, San Francisco by Scott Mackenzie,

Up Up And Away and Wedding Bell Blues by The Fifth Dimension, Gentle On My Mind and By The Time I Get To Phoenix by Glenn Campbell, Cracklin’ Rose by Neil Diamond, Never My Love and Windy by the Association, Delta Dawn and I Am Woman by Helen Reddy, Midnight Confession by the Grass Roots, Just Dropped In To See… and Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (and later Roger’s mega hit Lucille), Lonely People and Ventura Highway by America, Dizzy by Tommy Row, Stoney End by Barbra Streisand, Free Electric Band and The Peacemaker by Albert Hammond, and many more.

But his major associations were with Simon & Garfunkel (with Blaine and Knechtel, he played on most of their big hits, including Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Boxer), Johnny Rivers, the Partridge Family and, especially, the Carpenters. In fact, Osborn continued to work with Richard Carpenters when the duo was on its commercial decline and on veracious projects after Karen’s premature death.

The trio, with other Wrecking Crew luminaries, also played on the original musical soundtrack of The Rocky Horror Show.

After the Wrecking Crew faded away, Osborn played on such classics as England Dan & John Ford Coley’s I’d Really Love To See You Tonight and We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again, Olivia Newton-John’s Sam, Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps album, and in the 1980s on many records by country acts including Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.

Louisiana-born Osborn started out as a guitar player, even recording as couple of instrumental singles as part of Jim & Joe. He also wrote a few songs, but really started to attract attention for his bass work with Ricky Nelson, particularly on the hit Travellin’ Man, using the Fender Precision which he had bought in 1958. He used that bass guitar for much of his career.

He died on December 14 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

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

1. Jim & Joe – Fireball Mail (1963)
2. Ricky Nelson – Travellin’ Man (1960)
3. P.F. Sloan – The Man Behind The Red Balloon (1966)
4. The Mamas & The Papas – Somebody Groovy (1966)
5. Neil Diamond – Holly Holy (1969)
6. Johnny Rivers – When A Man Loves A Woman (1967)
7. Simon & Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy in New York (1970)
8. Carpenters – It’s Going To Take Some Time (1972)
9. Barbra Streisand – Beautiful (1971)
10. Thelma Houston – I Just Gotta Be Me (1969)
11. Helen Reddy – Delta Dawn (1973)
12. B.W. Stevenson – My Maria (1973)
13. The Dillards – Listen To The Sound (1968)
14. The Everly Brothers – Less Of Me (1968)
15. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Sail Away (1979)
16. America – Don’t Cross The River (1972)
17. Albert Hammond – The Peacemaker (1973)
18. England Dan & John Ford Coley – I’d Really Like To See You Tonight (1976)
19. Tim Curry – Sweet Transvestite (1974)
20. The 5th Dimension – California Soul (1968)
21. The Monkees – Valleri (1968)
22. The Association – Windy (1967)
23. Partridge Family – I Woke Up In Love This Morning (1971)
24. The Grass Roots – Where Were You When I Needed You (1966)
25. Laura Nyro – Save The Country (1969)
26. Glen Campbell and The Wrecking Crew – I’m Not Gonna Miss You (2015)

GET IT: https://rapidgator.net/file/7755cdb7e1fee088bbd6a77647a42843/osb-coll.rar.html

 

Previous session musicians”™ collection:
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2

The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3
The Larry Carlton Collection
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Ringo Starr Collection

Categories: Mix CD-Rs, Session Players Tags:

Any Major 1980s Christmas

December 13th, 2018 7 comments

 

This year it’s the 1980s in Any Major Dude’s yulecastle (following the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s), with the obvious and lesser known Christmas songs represented.

It was a debate whether or not to leave out Fairytale Of New York or Last Christmas, but how could it be a 1980s Christmas without them. One ’80s Christmas song not featuring here, however, is the best-selling of them all: Do They Know It’s Christmas. Good intentions aside, the lyrics are atrociously condescending. Do the people of Ethiopia know it’s Christmas? Given that Christianity in Ethiopia precedes the evangelisation of most of Europe, I think they do.

But Do They Know It’s Christmas reminds me of this following, doubtless true story.

It was one year around Christmas time, U2 had lined up a series of enormous charity gigs. They got together on the day of the first gig to soundcheck and Bono noticed that The Edge was looking a bit sickly. “What’s the matter, The Edge?” Bono asked The Edge.

“Ah, look, it’s nothing, Bono,” the guitarist replied. “It’s just… you know that Japanese promotional tour we did last week, right? I think I picked up something. It might be some kind of flu, but I’m feeling pretty bad.”

“Well, The Edge,” replied Bono, “if you want to pull out of the gigs, you just say so.” But The Edge shook his head. “No! No way Bono. These gigs are important. Think of the children, not my aching guts.”

“Aye, that’s the spirit, The Edge,” said Bono. That night U2 took to the stage. They play all the hits and the crowd was well into it. For a big climax, because it’s for charity and it’s around Christmas, they performed “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Bono was emoting, Adam was running basslines, Larry was merrily drumming along. Suddenly The Edge begun feeling very ill indeed. He turned, dropped his guitar, and started running towards the back of the stage. But he didn’t quite make it and threw up all over Larry Mullen Jr and his drumkit.

“Jaysis, The Edge!” Larry yelled. “My brand-new drums!” The Edge was mortified. “Eh, sorry Larry, I couldn’t help myself. It’s this flu, you know.”

Next night The Edge was back up there on stage, riffing away. The gig was going really well, but then as “Do They Know It’s Christmas” started, The Edge began to feel sick again. He started to run off the stage but to no avail. As he got to the bassplayer’s spot, he puked all over Adam Clayton.

“Me best leather waistcoat,” wailed Adam Clayton. The Edge, you’re more beast than man!” The Edge apologised profusely but Bono was furious after the gig. “The Edge, you’ve gone too far this time. I’ve just been on the phone to Sting, he can take your place tomorrow.”

The Edge was almost in tears. “Please, Bono no, this gig means so much to me. It’s for the children. I know I’ve got it all out my system now. I’ll be fine tomorrow, I promise, you have to let me play.”

‘OK, The Edge, one last chance,” Bono said. “But I warn you, any more antics like the last two nights, then that’s it, you’re out of U2.” The Edges promised to be good.

The Edge, recovering from a bad flu, and Bonzo.

 

The next day The Edge took lots of vitamins and come evening he was feeling fine. The gig was amazing, even Discotheque was sounding alright. Bono was pleased, Adam’s new waistcoast looked good, Larry’s drums were clean, The Edge was happy.

They started Do They Know It’s Christmas, and Bono moved over to stand shoulder to shoulder with his pal and really belted the tune out.

Suddenly The Edge didn’t feel too good. His face was contorting, he struggled manfully, but it was no use. He turns to Bono with a look of desperation and suddenly hacked up an enormous greenie right into Bono’s face.

The song stopped. The Edge is paralysed with horror. “Bono, I can explain, I’m truly sorry, you can’t believe how sorry I am.

Bono wiped the snot off, turned to Edge and said: “Well, tonight thank God it’s phlegm instead of spew.”

On that note: HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS!

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

1. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1985)
2. Bryan Adams – Christmas Time (1985)
3. Vince Vance & The Valiants – All I Want For Christmas Is You (1989)
4. Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) (1987)
5. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping (1981)
6. Prince and the Revolution – Another Lonely Christmas (1984)
7. Gap Band – This Christmas (1984)
8. Alexander O’Neal – My Gift To You (1988)
9. Ray Charles – That Spirit Of Christmas (1985)
10. The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York (1987)
11. Pretenders – 2000 Miles (1983)
12. Fay Lovsky – Christmas Was A Friend Of Mine (1981)
13. Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas (1986)
14. Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas (1984)
15. Wham! – Last Christmas (1984)
16. Mavis Staples – Christmas Vacation (1989)
17. Ray Parker Jr. – Christmas Time Is Here (1984)
18. Run DMC – Christmas In Hollis (1987)
19. Max Headroom – Merry Christmas Santa Claus (1986)
20. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone (1985)

GET IT! or HERE!

 

 

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: X-Mas Tags:

Any Major Doo Wop X-Mas

December 6th, 2018 12 comments

 

This Christmas we’re going doo wopping, with The Cameos, Marquees, Marshalls, Moonglows, Penguins, Ravens, Dominoes, Voices, Marcels, Uniques, Melodeers, Martells, Larks, Orioles, Falcons , Ebonaires, Ebb Tides, Blue Notes, Valentines, Sherwoods, Playboys and some of their pals.

I had written up a nice post about the stories of some of these acts — and it somehow disappeared. So, here is the mix without a history lesson.

Companion mixes to go with this would be Any Major ’50s Christmas and ’60s Christmas, Any Major R&B Christmas, and Christmas in Black & White Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and Vol. 3.

Happy Advent season! And if your Dutch, Belgian or German, happy Saint Nicholas Day!

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-shoo-da-ba-da-ho-ho-hoed covers (which, I must confess, I’m quite pleased with). PW in comments.

1. The Cameos – Merry Christmas (1957)
2. The Marquees – Santa’s Done Got Hip (1959)
3. The Marshalls – Mr.Santa’s Boogie (1951)
4. The Moonglows – Hey Santa Claus (1953)
5. La Fets & Kitty – Christmas Letter (1957)
6. The Five Keys – It’s Christmas Time (1951)
7. The Penguins – Jingle Jangle (1957)
8. The Ravens – White Christmas (1958)
9. Billy Ward & The Dominoes – Christmas In Heaven (1963)
10. The Voices – Santa Claus Baby (1957)
11. Frankie Lymon – It’s Christmas Once Again (1957)
12. Lonnie & The Crisis – Santa Town USA (1961)
13. The Marcels – Don’t Cry For Me This Christmas (1961)
14. The Uniques – Merry Christmas Darling (1963)
15. The Platters – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1963)
16. The Melodeers – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1960)
17. The Martells – Rockin’ Santa Claus (1959)
18. Oscar McLollie and his Honey Jumpers – God Gave Us Christmas (1955)
19. The Larks – All I Want For Christmas (1951)
20. Sonny Til & The Orioles – O Holy Night (1950)
21. The Ebonaires – Love For Christmas (1955)
22. The Cashmeres – I Believe In St. Nick (1960)
23. The Drifters – I Remember Christmas (1964)
24. The Dynamics – Christmas Plea (1962)
25. The Falcons – Can This Be Christmas (1957)
26. Nino & The Ebb Tides – The Real Meaning Of Christmas (1958)
27. Blue Notes – Winter Wonderland (1960)
28. The Valentines – Christmas Prayer (1957)
29. The Playboys – The Night Before Christmas (1963)
30. The Sherwoods – Happy Holiday (1961)

GET IT! or HERE!

 

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: Black & White Music, Mix CD-Rs, X-Mas Tags:

In Memoriam – November 2018

December 3rd, 2018 3 comments

For a change, this month’s In Memoriam comes to you on a Monday. On Thursday the first of this year’s two Christmas mixes will run, and in between the annual round-up of the year’s most significant music deaths. And, as always, the year will end with a disco mix for your New Year’s Eve celebrations (at a party or to boogie down in the kitchen as you prep your TV snacks). Here, then, are November’s dead and their music.

To American country fans, and general TV viewers, Roy Clark was a household name as the presenter, alongside Buck Owens, of the long-running variety show Hee Haw. A recording artist in his own right, Clark welcomed many country artists to “Kornfield Kounty”. Elvis was a fan and wanted to appear on the show, but was afraid that Colonel Parker would nix the idea. Although Hee Haw was popular in urban centres, in 1971 TV execs tried to be hip to the youth and cancelled a bunch of shows aimed at rural and older demographics. These included Hee Haw and The Lawrence Welk Show, as well as series such as The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres). Welk and Hee Haw continued with much success in syndication, but Clark made his displeasure known by recording a novelty song titled The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka.

The French composer Francis Lai wrote a huge number of film scores, and in that pursuit he came up with two tunes which wormed themselves into every ear of their generation: the love theme of Love Story, which became a hit for Andy Williams as Where Do I Begin, and before that theme of A Man And A Woman, which you’ll know even if you can’t place the title. Lai also wrote many songs for the likes of Edith Piaf, Yves Montand or Mireille Mathieu.

Another track that might feature in the Originals series is Jamaican rocksteady band The Melodians’ The Rivers Of Babylon, Read more…

Categories: In Memoriam Tags:

Any Major Flute Vol. 5

November 29th, 2018 12 comments

 

Here’s the fifth flute mix, and unlike the previous four, which had been reposted, this one is totally new.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R and includes home-blown covers. PW in comments.

1. Eric Burdon and War – Spill The Wine (1970)
Flutetastic Moment: 1:39. What does a Latin-funk proto-rap number need? The flute, giving emphasis to the story building. Check out the great flutey sound effect at 2:44.

2. Little Feat – Juliette (1973)
Flutetastic Moment: 1:09. A gentle flute eases us into the plea to Juliette to not sing sad songs, then returns to implore Juliette further.

3. George Harrison – Dark Horse (1974)
Flutetastic Moment: 1:08. The flute enters for a call-and-response with George.

4. Heart – Love Alive (1977)
Flutetastic Moment: 1:17. A bit of flute to lull us into the idea that this is a folky ballad. It’s a false flag.

5. Richard Torrance – Anything’s Possible (1978)
Flutetastic Moment: 1:13. The flute sets up this mid-tempo track, then returns for a brief solo a minute later, and keeps popping up thereafter.

6. Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See (1973)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:11. The flute begins rather mournfully but soon perks up to set up this Southern rock number. It then goes for a smoke and returns to close the song.

7. Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin (1967)
Flutetastic Moment: 2:05. Drum-beat and the flute solo begins.

8. The Association – Along Comes Mary (1968)
Flutetastic Moment: 1:41. The song chugs along merrily with its handclaps when an unexpected, brief flute solo comes along, returning at 2:33 to score the repeated line “Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch”.

9. Joyce Williams – The First Thing I Do In The Morning (1972)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:06. The flute joins this funky groove early on and never lets go.

10. Mike James Kirkland – What Have We Done? (1972)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:04. Kirkland channels Marvin Gaye in this social consciousness groove in which the flute hovers menacingly above, below and behind the tune.

11. Rare Earth – Born To Wander (1970)
Flutetastic Moment: 2:07. The flute introduces this funky number, disappears and returns for a solo two minutes later, and never goes away.

12. S.O.U.L. – Burning Spear (1971)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:18. The flute comes in and dominates the track.

13. James Gilstrap – Put Out The Fire (1975)
Flutetastic Moment: 3:17. The flute arrives to underscore the urgency of Jim’s plea to be rescued from the fire of unrequited love, getting increasingly frenzied.

14. Allspice – Hungry For Love (1977)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:10. The flute enters and sticks around.

15. Camelle Hinds – Sausalito Calling (1995)
Flutetastic Moment: 2:58. The flute creeps in almost unnoticed, grabs a little solo and accompanies this slow-burning groove intermittently.

16. Matt Bianco – Wap Bam Boogie (1988)
Flutetastic Moment: 2:26. Let’s go, let’s go: the house piano threatens to go into a solo when the flute hijacks the situation for a minute-long solo. Don’t worry, the piano still gets its solo in this addictively funky groove.

17. Ron Burgundy – Jazz Flute (2004)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:03. Anchorman character Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) gives us a minute and a half of “baby-making music”. Is that how long he lasts?

18. Bob Dylan – Final Theme (1973)
Flutetastic Moment: 0:30. Mournful backing vocals as the flute (or is it panpipe) kicks in on this theme from the soundtrack of Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, and never leaves us.

GET IT!

Any Major Flute Vol. 1
Any Major Flute Vol. 2
Any Major Flute Vol. 3
Any Major Flute Vol. 4

More CD-R mixes

Categories: Flute in Pop, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

Beatles Recovered: White Album

November 22nd, 2018 5 comments

 

Among my most treasured albums is a limited edition CD of The Beatles’ “White Album” which is a miniature replica of the double LP, including the lyrics sheet/poster and four cardboard posters of the four.

In the original release, released 50 years ago today, on November 22, the packaging was as extravagant as the decision to stretch the material recorded for the album to four sides. That extravagance was offset, of course, by the plain white design of the cover and the singularly unimaginative album title (adopted when the working title, A Doll’s House, was abandoned. Just over a year after the colourful titles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour, the new album’s plain title, simply The Beatles, and white cover were ostentatiously austere. Almost immediately, the informal title was jazzed up to “The White Album”.

Musically, the album had several highlights. Most of them were provided by John Lennon, especially the sublime Happiness Is A Warm Gun. Lennon also provides the low-light, the avant-garde and very much acquired-taste Revolution #9 (represented here in a bearable version). George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps is another contribution of genius, and Long Long Long and Savoy Truffle are fine.

But the White Album is the low-point in Paul McCartney’s Beatles output. That isn’t to say that all of his contributions are poor; Helter Skelter, Back In The USSR and Blackbird are superb, and Mother Nature’s Son is good. But there are also what Lennon called “granny music shit” like Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Honey Pie, and disposable tracks such as Martha My Dear and Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?. Had I Will appeared on Revolver or earlier, I’d love it. But on the White Album, it might as well be followed by a “yeah yeah yeah” track.

So, if it wasn’t a double album, what should stay? Making allowance for the formula of two George and a Ringo track, and cutting a few great John tracks (Bungalow Bill, Cry Baby Cry) to accommodate Paul stuff, Id go for the following:

Back In The U.S.S.R.
Dear Prudence
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
I’m So Tired
Blackbird
Don’t Pass Me By I Will
Julia
Birthday
Mother Nature’s Son
Sexy Sadie
Helter Skelter
Long Long Long
Revolution
Good Night

But here we have the full two-CD set of cover versions. Many come from the two years after the White Album was released, though Ramsey Lewis was really quick off the mark, bring out an album of interpretations of many of the album’s songs before the year was out.

In several cases, the covers are superior to the originals. In Celia Cruz’s, even Obladi-Oblada is enjoyable. I also prefer Kenny Rankin’s version of Dear Prudence to John’s. The psych-rock of Mud (not the pop band of the mid-1970s) improves Why Don’t We Do It In The Road. Country-rockers Commander Cody sounds very 1978 but is very catchy. And look out for Prince’s guitar solo on While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Finally, including Nina Simone’s Revolution, from 1969, is not really fair. She really samples The Beatles’ song rather than covering it. In fact, the songwriting credit excludes Lennon/McCartney. But, hell, what a track!

The two sides are time to fit on a standard CD-Rs each and include home helter-skeltered covers. PW in comments.

Disc 1
1. John Fred & his Playboy Band – Back In The U.S.S.R. (1970)
2. Kenny Rankin – Dear Prudence (1969)
3. Arif Mardin – Glass Onion (1969)
4. Celia Cruz – Ob-la-di Ob-la-da (1996)
5. Phish – Wild Honey Pie (2002)
6. Young Blood – The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (1969)
7. Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2004)
8. Tori Amos – Happiness Is A Warm Gun (2001)
9. Madeleine Peyroux – Martha, My Dear (2011)
10. Susan Carter – I’m So Tired (1970)
11. Neil Diamond – Blackbird (2010)
12. Theo Bikel – Piggies (1969)
13. Lena Horne & Gabor Szabo – Rocky Raccoon (1970)
14. Georgia Satellites – Don’t Pass Me By (1988)
15. Mud – Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (1970)
16. Tuck & Patti – I Will (1998)
17. Charlie Byrd – Julia (1969)

Disc 2
1. Underground Sunshine – Birthday (1969)
2. Jeff Healey Band – Yer Blues (1995)
3. Harry Nilsson – Mother Nature’s Son (1969)
4. Kristin Hersh – Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (1999)
5. Ramsey Lewis – Sexy Sadie (1968)
6. Mötley Crüe – Helter Skelter (1983)
7. Tanya Donelly – Long Long Long (2006)
8. Nina Simone – Revolution (1969)
9. Barbra Streisand – Honey Pie (1969)
10. Ella Fitzgerald – Savoy Truffle (1969)
11. Commander Cody – Cry Baby Cry (1978)
12. Kurt Hoffman’s Band of Weeds – Revolution #9 (1992)
13. Linda Ronstadt – Good Night (1996)

GET IT!

More Beatles Recovered:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Beatles Recovered: Abbey Road
Beatles Revcovered: Let It Be

Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
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
Any Bizarre Beatles

Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)
Beatles Reunited: ’77 (1977)
Beatles Reunited: Let It See (1980)

Categories: Beatles, Covers Mixes Tags:

Any Major Originals: The 1970s

November 15th, 2018 17 comments

 

This is the first mix of lesser-known originals of 1970s hits; truth be told, for the most part the hit versions were a marked improvement on the first versions. I do prefer Badfinger’s version of Without You and Billy Preston’s You Are So Beautiful to the more famous versions. But more interesting than the musical merits are some of the backstories. And few are as dramatic as that of Without You, a mega hit for first Harry Nilsson in 1972 and in the 1990s for Mariah Carey.

Without You

There is something dismal about the notion that a pop classic would be best-known among some people in its incarnation by Mariah Carey. Those with a more acute sense of pop history will have been dismissive of Carey’s calorific cover of Nilsson’s hit. But even Harry Nilsson applied a generous dose of schmaltz to his cover of the Badfinger original.

Without You apart, there is a chain of tragedy which links the Welsh band and Nilsson. Both acts had a Lennon connection (more tragedy here, of course). Badfinger were signed to the Beatles’ Apple label, on which Without You was released in 1970; Nilsson was a collaborator with and drinking buddy of Lennon’s. Nilsson died fairly young, so did two members of Badfinger — both of whom wrote Without You and committed suicide.

Singer Peter Ham killed himself in 1975 (in his suicide note he referred to their “heartless bastard” of a manager), and in 1983, Tom Evans hanged himself after an argument over royalties for the song with former colleague Joey Molland (who both had played on Lennon’s Imagine album and other ex-Beatles solo records).

Nilsson reportedly thought that Badfinger’s Without You had been a Beatles recording — indeed, the Rolling Stone touted Badfinger as the Beatles’ heirs. His version, turning a fairly rough mid-tempo rock song into an orchestral power ballad (at a time when such things were rare) became a massive hit in 1972; Carey’s version hit the charts just a week after Nilsson’s death in 1994. One may fear the worst for Ms Carey should the Nilsson curse strike her: apart from the sad story of Badfinger and Lennon’s death, both Mama Cass and Keith Moon died in Nilsson’s flat.

 

Fernando

ABBA famously did not cover versions; given the songwriting chops of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, they had no need to. But one of the group’s biggest hits was a cover of sorts: Fernando was originally recorded by Anni-Frid for her Swedish-language solo album Frida Ensam (which featured several cover versions, including Life On Mars and Wall Street Shuffle). Fernando, written by Benny and Björn with lyrics by ABBA manager Stig Anderson, was the LP’s lead single and proved very popular. In 1976 ABBA released an English version, with the theme changed from being a break-up song to the reminiscence of freedom fighters.

Video Killed The Radio Star

This slice of sci-fi flavoured nostalgia, inspired by a JG Ballard story, was co-written by Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes (then new members of prog-rock band Yes) with Bruce Woolley. So it seemed right that it should be recorded by the two parties — the Yes contingent and Woolley — in 1979. The latter got in there first, with his Camera Club. It is a breathless version with much energy and a quite nice guitar solo at the end, but none of the bombastic detail which made the Buggles’ synth-fiesta a huge hit.

The Buggles version is sometimes considered a bit naff, which does great injustice to a catchy song which does everything that is required of a very great pop song. The video of the Buggles version was the first ever to be played by MTV. But the Woolley version is all but forgotten.

Hanging On The Telephone

If it is not widely known that Blondie’s 1979 hit Hanging On The Telephone is a cover, then it probably is because the original performers, The Nerves, only ever released a (very good) four-track EP in 1976, which included the song. The Nerves — a trio comprising songwriter Jack Lee, Paul Collins (who’d later join The Beat) and Peter Case (later of the Plimsouls) — were a heavy-gigging LA-based rock band which despite their extremely brief recording career proved to be influential on the US punk scene. The members of Blondie surely have were aware of the song. A year after The Nerves split, Debbie Harry and pals picked up the song and enjoyed a huge worldwide hit with it.

 

Blame It On The Boogie

How many cover versions have been sung by the namesake of the original performer? Mick Jackson was a German-born English pop singer. His Blame It On The Boogie, which he also co-wrote, sounds like a presentable Leo Sayer number. The Jacksons changed little in the song’s structure — Mick’s original has all the touches we know well, such as the “sunshine, moonlight, good time, boogie” interlude — and yet they turned a pretty good song into a disco explosion of joy, presaging Michael’s Off The Wall a year and a bit later.

Mick Jackson actually wrote the song with Stevie Wonder in mind (and it’s easy to imagine how it might have sounded), but was persuaded by a German label to record it himself. When the freshly-minted record was played at a music festival in Cannes, a rep for the Jacksons — no doubt alerted by the performer’s name — secretly taped the song, flew it to the US and had the Jackson brothers record and release it in quick time, to release it before Mick could have a hit with it. With both singles out at the same time, the British press had some fun with the Jackson “Battle of the Boogie”. Mick’s single reached #15 in the UK and #61 in the US. The Jacksons’ version became the classic.

He Ain’t Heavy…

The Hollies’ guitarist Tony Hicks was desperately looking for a song to record when he was played a demo of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. The band decided to record it without great expectations, with Reg Dwight (who would become Elton John) on piano. Of course, Read more…

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Any Major Soul 1978

November 8th, 2018 2 comments

The Any Major Soul series is nearing the end of the 1970s, with this instalment covering the year 1978. Disco is in the air but not all soulsters got the memo. There are also the first signs of the supersmoothness of 1980s soul, but it’s not yet cloying.

In fact, Teddy Pendergrass might have been a pioneer of ’80s soul, but his brand of baby-making music is still a different animal to the missionary-positioned sounds of the likes of Luther Vandross. When Theodore promises to blow your mind, you know he’s not just bragging in the way of a 1984 jheri-curled 110-pounder with a stupid moustache. Teddy’s gonna steam up a refrigerator.

The sequence here has it that Pendergrass —the link between Philly soul and 1980s soul crooning — is followed by an act that still has 1973 in the back-mirror. Of course, Bloodstone would go on to become one of the great acts of the early 1980s.

On the other end of the spectrum we have a few acts that are on the disco train. But even the most dance-oriented album would have a few soulful ballads. Among the best of those, in my view, were Cheryl Lynn’s You’re The One, which featured on Any Major Soul 1978-79, and Odyssey’s If You’re Looking For A Way Out (on Any Major Soul 1980-81).

On this collection, an example of this is the track by Sassafras, a trio of women (not the hairy Welsh rock band of the early 1970s). They were produced by the Ingram family of session singers and musicians, and released on the label owned by our old pals Luigi Creatore and Hugo Peretti, the mafia associates we previously encountered in The Originals entries for Can’t Help Falling In Love and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. One of the three Sassafras, Vera Brown, went on to become the lead singer of the Ritchie Family.

 

Pacific Express, one of apartheid’s least favourite bands.

 

One act here is not from the US but from South Africa. Pacific Express were funk-rock and jazz-fusion legends in Cape Town before they became nationwide stars with Give A Little Love. At various times throughout the 1970s, unknown musicians went through the “Pacific Express School” to emerge as respected musicians in their own right. These include Jonathan Butler. As a group of people classified as “Coloured” by apartheid — people of mixed-race whose language was English and/or Afrikaans — Pacific Express regularly broke laws that aimed to prevent contact across the colour-lines. As a result, Pacific Express was frequently banned from the state broadcaster — including the video of Give A Little Love, just in case white people twigged that Coloureds were making great music and then sought to see them play live, with all the possibilities of miscegenation that would create. I’m not even joking.

Not featured on this mix is Earth, Wind & Fire, but a few acts here clearly borrow from Maurice White and pals. One of them is a new-fangled funk-soul kid from Minnesota called Prince. On his soul ballad here Prince owes more than a little to EWF, and to the many falsetto-singers of the decade.

Also borrowing from EWF are Mass Production, whose Slow Bump is about traffic safety in densely populated suburbs. The song actually sounds like an EWF track. On other tracks they operate more on the funk tracks of BT Express.

Breakwater was an eight-man outfit blended catchy funk with smooth fusion and soul harmonies — again recalling EWF. The Philadelphia band released only two albums, with their 1980 follow-up regarded as something of a funk classic (Daft Punk sampled from it).

The Patterson Twins also released only two albums: one in 1978 and the follow-up in 2006! They released several singles — some soul, some gospel — throughout the 1980s. Before 1978 they had recorded a series of singles as the Soul Twins.

Thelma Jones, featured here with a Sam Dees-penned track, also recorded her first album in 1978 and the follow-up in the 2000s. Jones released a series of singles between 1966 and ’68 — including the original of the Aretha Franklin song The House That Jack Built — then disappeared, due to being between labels, until 1976 when she enjoyed something of a comeback with Salty Tears (produced at Muscle Shoals). Her self-titled debut album, which featured Gwen Guthrie on backing vocals, is superb but unaccountably was a commercial flop.

Returning to Teddy Pendergrass, the singer of Chicago soul group Heaven And Earth, Dean Williams, shares many vocal mannerism with the great man. The group had some great tunes, and released four LPs between 1976 and 1981, but management issues and our old nemesis, poor promotion, prevented the group from making it big.

As ever, CD-R length, home-falsettoed covers, PW in comments.

1. Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. – I Got The Words, You Got The Music
2. Lenny Williams – Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh!
3. The Whispers – Olivia (Lost And Turned Out)
4. Pacific Express – Give A Little Love
5. Thelma Jones – Lonely Enough To Try Anything Now
6. Natalie Cole – Our Love
7. Heaven And Earth – Let’s Work It Out
8. Prince – Baby
9. Mass Production – Slow Bump
10. Breakwater – That’s Not What We Came Here For
11. Patterson Twins – Gonna Find A True Love
12. Denise LaSalle – Talkin’ Bout My Best Friend
13. Sassafras – I Gave You Love
14. Bobby Thurston – Na Na Na Na Baby
15. Roberta Flack – What A Woman Really Means
16. Teddy Pendergrass – Close The Door
17. Bloodstone – Throw A Little Bit Of Love My Way
18. Allen Toussaint – To Be With You
19. Leroy Hutson – They’ve Got Love
20. Al Green – Lo And Behold

GET IT: https://rg.to/file/d645394b536434c9c597cda43d010ab0/AMS_78.rar.html

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