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The Roy Bittan Collection

May 20th, 2021 6 comments

 

 

There are few piano men in rock whose sound stands out — no matter how loud the drums, bass and guitars around it — as much as Roy Bittan’s. As a member of the E Street Band, his piano (and Clarence Clemons’ sax) was a defining ingredient in Bruce Springsteen’s sound — and when Springsteen dropped the E Street Band in 1989, Bittan was the one member he kept on board.

Bittan’s piano was similarly crucial to the sound of the recently late Jim Steinman, on Bat Out Of Hell and Total Eclipse Of The Heart and pretty much anything Steinman produced between 1977 and the mid-1990s.

Nicknamed “The Professor”, because he was the only member of the E Street Band to have a university degree, Bittan has made most profitable use of the Yamaha grand piano, whose clear sound cuts through the din of the other instruments — and drummers like Max Weinberg or Liberty De Vitto, who often sat behind Bittan, made such a noise, it required health and safety regulations.

As a member of the E Street band, Bittan contributed to Ronnie Spector’s version of Billy Joel’s Say Goodbye To Hollywood (so Weinberg took over the drums from De Vitto). It’s perhaps the perfect meeting point of the two New Jersey giants, whose careers for a long time rose and dipped more or less symmetrically: Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. Most of the E Street Band also came together to give Garland Jeffreys that Springsteen sound on the 1981 LP Escape Artist, especially on R.O.C.K. and Jump Jump.

Another act dancing on the Springsteen timeline is Bob Seger; he, to, has benefitted from Bittan’s distinctive piano.

 

The E Street Band in 1980, with Roy Bittan (channeling Martin Scorsese) third from left.

 

Outside the E Street Band and Steinman circuits, Bittan has played with David Bowie, on the Station To Station and Scary Monsters albums (including Ashes To Ashes) and Dire Straits’ Making Movies albums, as well as with acts like Jackson Browne, Peter Gabriel, Ian Hunter, Stevie Nicks, Gary US Bonds, Chicago, Bon Jovi, Warren Zevon, Tracy Chapman, Donna Summer, Jeff Healy Band, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Nelly Furtado, and Lucinda Williams (whom he also produced), among others.

Bittan cut his teeth in the early 1970s with the rock band Tracks; a song from their rather good 1972 album Even A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day, their only LP, features here.

The Professor, who will turn 72 in July, has also served as a producer and accordion player for various artists. He has released only ever one solo album, a rather lovely, jazzy set of instrumentals titled Out Of The Box, issued in 2015. When the album was released, Bittan told Rolling Stone magazine about how he came to work with some of the acts mentioned above. ()

This mix provides a brief overview of the career of the genius piano player. If you are a CD-R length devotee, tracks 1-17 on this mix will fit on a standard disc. The rest are bonus tracks. The shebang includes home-ivorytinkled covers, and the text above in illustrated PDF format (for later reference). PW in comments.

1. Garland Jeffreys – R.O.C.K. (1981)
2. Jim Steinman – Stark Raving Love (1981)
3. Stevie Nicks – Edge Of Seventeen (1981)
4. Bruce Springsteen – Candy’s Room (live) (1981)
5. Bob Seger – Roll Me Away (1983)
6. Dire Straits – Tunnel Of Love (1980)
7. Warren Zevon – Reconsider Me (1987)
8. Jackson Browne – Your Bright Baby Blues (1976)
9. Tracks – Can I Leave You (1972)
10. Tracy Chapman – Bang Bang Bang 1992)
11. Lucinda Williams – Right In Time (1998)
12. Ian Hunter – Cleveland Rocks (1979)
13. David Bowie – Golden Years (1976)
14. Meat Loaf – Read ‘Em And Weep (1981)
15. Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band – Say Goodbye To Hollywood (1977)
16. Peter Gabriel – Mother Of Violence (1978)
17. Roy Bittan – Q’s Groove (2015)
Bonus Tracks:
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart (1983)
Air Supply – Making Love Out Of Nothing At All (1983)
Barbra Streisand – Left In The Dark (1984)
Pandora’s Box – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now (1989)
Clarence Clemons – Something Always Happens (1987)
Herb Alpert – Cat Man Do (1987)

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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 Joe Osborne Collection
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 Hits from 1971

May 11th, 2021 1 comment

 

To me the sound of 1971 is fun and sunshine, mostly because when you are 4-5 years old, most memories are fun and sunshine (and snow, when snow is fun). I had elder siblings, so I’m sure I’ll have heard many of the songs featured here back 50 years ago, though of those, my only clear memory is of Danyel Gerard’s Butterfly, Never Ending Song Of Love (but in The New Seekers’ facile cover of the Bonnie & Delaney original), and Sweet’s Co-Co. And still, this mix evokes, to me, the feel of 1971. Which of course is the effect I’m trying to achieve here, rather than compiling a “Best of 1971” compilations — that would turn out as bit differently, though some tracks might feature on such a list, too.

There are many other songs not on this mix which I remember very well from back then: Middle of the Road’s Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, Soulful Dynamics’ Saah-Saah-Kumba-Kumba, Springwater’s mournful instrumental I Will Return (and its vocal version in German by Michael Holm), Dawn’s Knock Three Times, Clodagh Rodgers’ Jack In The Box, Middle of the Road’s Soley Soley, several versions of Mamy Blue, a number of schlager hits… and Peret’s Europe-wide novelty hit Borriquito, which is so impossibly catchy, I’ll add it as a bonus track.

It must be noted that 1971 was a better year for albums than it was for singles — and what a year for LPs it was! But the charts were great fun in their diversity and, certainly in the UK, some incongruity. In schlager-centric West-Germany, crooner Roy Black and hard rockers Black Sabbath peacefully coexisted in the charts. In the UK, American crooners Perry Como and Andy Williams (with his Home Lovin’ Man providing relief from the sexual liberation of the era) had huge hits amid a bit of a reggae craze and the incipient glam phase. The UK charts saw some good stuff at #1  — T. Rex, Slade, Diana Ross, The Tams. But the year began with a terrible rocking-chair novelty hit called Grandad by Clive Dunne at #1, and ended with a preposterous novelty song by Benny Hill at the top. I suppose fans of the TV series Dad’s Army and skirt-chasing comedy loved it. Suffice it to say, Benny Hill is not my bag of humour.

In Germany, Danyel Gerard’s Butterfly (not the English recording on this mix but the superior original arrangement, with German lyrics) spent 14 consecutive weeks at #1. That was knocked off the top by The Sweet with Co-Co, who reigned for six weeks before they got knocked off the charts by a rehatched Butterfly. The Sweet regained #1 for a week, but were then dumped by Peret and his Borriquito song for two weeks. Then Mamy Blue was at the top for ten weeks. When the Germans liked something, they clearly couldn’t let go of it. Butterfly was a huge hit throughout Europe. In the UK it stalled at #11; in the US at #76. I blame the inferior English arrangement. To see Gerard without beard and hat in the 1960s, check out this video with cool Paris street scene footage.

The US charts were much saner, but they became a bit bizarre for a bit when Vice-President Spyro Agnew — that unimpeachable beacon of probity — demonstrated how hip he was to the happening hit parades and condemned one song here for representing the acute dangers of the counterculture. I suppose country rockers Brewer & Shipley were quite happy for the publicity their song One Toke Over The Line received from the other wing of the White House.

 

French singer Danyel Gerard, whose Butterfly spent 14 consecutive weeks at #1 in West-Germany

 

For some the bands here, 1971 was a time of swansongs, or close to it. The Move, here with their UK #11 hit Tonight, would fold in 1972, when Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne (who shared the lead vocals on Tonight) and Bev Bevan went on to found the Electric Lights Orchestra.

For Ashton, Gardner & Dyke the chart action was over after their transatlantic hit (which was covered by, of course, Tom Jones), the only single of theirs to chart. They’d split in 1972.

Badfinger had one more hit in the UK — but none with their most famous song Without You, which would become a huge hit for Harry Nilsson in 1972. The sad story of that song, which led to at least one suicide, is told in brief in The Originals – 1970s Vol. 1.

John Kongos had two UK #4 hits in 1971, and nothing else. 1971 was a good year for him: apart from his own hits, two of his songs, Won’t You Join Me und Will You Follow Me were huge hits in German for Israeli singer Daliah Lavi as Oh, wann kommst du und Willst du mit mir geh’n.

The Five Man Electrical Band followed their US #3 hit Signs with another Top 30 song, but they never reached even that height anymore until they split in 1975. They did have a bunch of hits in their native Canada.

The soul band Free Movement only ever released one album and four singles. One might say that a Us Top 5 hit is not a bad strike rate.

Other acts would go on to huge things, such as T.Rex, Sweet and Slade. For The Sweet, Co-Co was the breakthrough; after two disappointing chart-placings they’d rack up seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles. Slade also broke through with their second hit. Chart-topper Coz I Luv You was followed by 11 consecutive Top 5 singles (five of them #1s). T.Rex would have nine more consecutive Top 10 hits, to add to the track here and on the 1970 mix.

Finally, if you feel the tracks by US soul bands The Fantastics, Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon and English pop group The Fortunes have a similar sound, you may be right. All three tracks were written by the songwriting team of Tony Macaulay, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway (as was Home Lovin’ Man, the Andy Williams hit mentioned earlier).

If you dig the feel of 1971, take a look at the collection of posters from West-Germany’s Bravo magazine in 1971 (other years are available, too). And two previous mixes of hits from as particular year are available: 1970 and 1944.

The mix is timed to be in CD-R (or double LP) length and includes home-stomped covers. The text above is included in an illustrated PDF booklet (including the charts from June 1971). PW in comments.

1. Ashton, Gardner & Dyke – Resurrection Shuffl
2. John Kongos – He’s Gonna Step On You Again
3. Slade – Coz I Luv You
4. Badfinger – No Matter What
5. Five Man Electrical Band – Signs
6. Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose – Treat Her Like A Lady
7. The Jackson 5 – Mama’s Pearl
8. The Fantastics – Something Old Something New
9. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Don’t Pull Your Love
10. Delaney & Bonnie & Friends – Never Ending Song Of Love
11. Lobo – Me And You And A Dog Named Boo
12. Brewer & Shipley – One Toke Over The Line
13. The Move – Tonight
14. Free – My Brother Jake
15. T. Rex – Hot Love
16. The Sweet – Co-Co
17. Mungo Jerry – Lady Rose
18. Johnny Johnson & His Bandwagon – (Blame It) On The Pony Express
19. The Fortunes – Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again
20. The Free Movement – I’ve Found Someone Of My Own
21. Cher – Gypsys, Tramps And Thieves
22. Georgie Fame & Alan Price – Rosetta
23. Tony Christie – I Did What I Did For Maria
24. Danyel Gerard – Butterfly (English Version)
Bonus Tracks:
Danyel Gerard – Butterfly (French Original)
Peret – Borriquito

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More Mixes
More A Year In Hits

Categories: A Year in Hits, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

In Memoriam – April 2021

May 4th, 2021 6 comments

Sometimes the Grim Reaper has as twisted sense of quirk: on April 28, he claimed the drummer of 1960s Texan garage rock band The Bad Seeds, and on the same day he took Australian singer Anita Lane, who in the 1980s was a member of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds. Those two, of course, were not the month’s headliners. The deaths of Jim Steinman and Bay City Rollers singer Leslie McKeown rightly dominated. Both guys played an important part in my musical journey: as a kid I was a Bay City Rollers fan for a while (then I grew hair in strange places, and that was that), and soon after I became addicted to the Bat Out Of Hell album.

 

The Rock Rossini
If rock music was opera, the broad consensus holds, then Jim Steinman was Richard Wagner: a man whose brilliance found expression in the overblown and preposterous mythology, always straddling the fine line between the sublime and the absurd. To be sure, Steinman was operatic, bombastic and given to Valkyre-helmet shenanigans. But he could also do tender ballads, such as Two Out Of Three on Bat Out Of Hell, or Air Supply’s Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, or the Celine Dion hit All Coming Back To Me Now, a cover of Pandora Box’s gloriously mad 1989 original, with a typical Steinman spoken intro. Slow down Total Eclipse Of The Heart, and you have a pretty melody, albeit less effective than the kitchen-sink production we know. (Steinman certainly exercised as little economy in song titles as he did in song lengths.) And his melodies were always accessible and catchy, which is one thing you cannot accuse Wagner of. Could Wagner have written anything as catchy as You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth? No, we must look for another heavy-metal classical composer. I’ll have Steinman down not as a rock Wagner, but as ”The Rossini of Rock”.

With Bat Out Of Hell, one of the greatest moments in rock music (the VH-1 documentary on the making of the album is superb, incidentally), Steinman peaked early. But he productively wrote for others, except when he recorded his own solo album, Bad For Good, released in 1981. One wonders how great that album might have been in Meat Loaf’s hands (he did the absurd spoken track Love And Death Of An American Guitar as an intro to All Revved Up With No Place To Go on the original Bat Out Of Hell tour, and reprised it on Bat Out Of Hell II tour). As it was, Bad For Good was a bit like its cover: partly audaciously good, and partly embarrassingly bad. The Streisand song featured here is a cover of a track from Bad For Good.

The range of people who benefited from Steinman’s mad genius is pretty broad, ranging from classic rock singers like Meat Loaf and Billy Squier to Australian soft-rockers like Air Supply to Euro-pop singers like Bonnie Tyler to divas like Barbra Streisand to boybands like Boyzone, whose mega-hit No Matter What he co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd-Webber for a musical.

 

The Teen Idol
It seems that almost every year, a former Bay City Roller dies. Now the Reaper caught up with frontman Leslie McKeown. Before Les joined the band, around the same time as Stuart Wood, the Bay City Rollers were a rather scruffy-looking pop band which had enjoyed a couple of hits. With the two new good-looking boys, and the gimmick of the tartan looks, the Bay City Rollers became a teen-dream band, scoring nine consecutive UK Top 6 hits, including two #1s between 1974 and 1976. They were huge even longer in Germany, where You Made Me Believe In Magic (their best song but only a UK #35) and Don’t Stop The Music (featured on Any Major Disco Vol. 2) were hits in 1977.

But by then BCR were falling apart, with McKeown in conflict with the other Rollers. Then he got fired/jumped ship (depending on whose version you believe). At one point in around 1978, McKeown invaded a BCR concert on stage, leading to physical altercations between him and his old tartan compadres. Leslie’s solo career never took off, and he was afflicted with alcoholism for many years. Eventually he returned to performing with his own version of the Bay City Rollers, wearing the old tartans, and being an amiable uncle on UK quiz shows.

 

The Bass Warrior
The soul-funk group War broke barriers as one of the first multiracial outfits in pop music. Initially led by Eric Burdon, War veered between genres. In the mix of all that was bassist B.B. Dickerson, who played with the band from 1970-79, and had already been a member of its precursor, The Creators. Apart from playing bass, Dickerson also added percussion, and vocals, as lead (for example, on the great The World Is A Ghetto) or as backing singer, in a band in which backing vocals were an important part of the sound. In War, all members received co-writing credits, in unalphabetical sequence; mostly Dickerson’s name is listed first.

 

The Disco Legend
It was only a few week before he died that I had learnt that Euro-disco legend Patrick Juvet had represented Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, just four years before he became a disco star, first recording with Jean-Michel Jarre, having a hit with Où sont les femmes in 1977. The following year he hooked up with French disco producers Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo — who also produced the Village People and Richie Family — to record hits like I Love America and Got A Feeling. After the disco boom, Juvet’s career declined. He did a bit of composing, but the big hits stayed away.

 

The Super Engineer
There aren’t many stars among recording engineers, but Al Schmitt surely was one of them. In his career, he won a record 20 Grammys for engineering, including for Steely Dan’s Aja, George Benson’s Breezin’, Toto’s IV, and Ray Charles Genius Loves Company. He got his break in the 1950s when the engineer for a Duke Ellington session couldn’t be reached, so Schmitt, hitherto an assistant, had to fill in. Evidently, he did well. He then worked with Henry Mancini, including on Moon River, and various jazz and folk acts, while also engineering Sam Cooke hits like Bring It On Home To Me, Cupid, and Another Saturday Night.

In the 1970s and 80s he engineered for acts like Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jackson Browne (For Everyman; Late For The Sky), Dave Mason, Linda Ronstadt (Don’t Cry Now), Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were, Wet), Michael Franks (The Art Of Tea, Sleeping Gypsy, The Lady Wants To Know, Burchfield Nines, Blue Pacific), Glenn Campbell (Southern Nights), Samantha Sang (Emotions), George Benson (In Flight, Weekend In LA, Living Inside Your Love, 20/20, Tenderly), Dr John (City Light, In A Sentimental Mood), Randy Crawford (Secret Combination, Nightline), Joe Sample (Spellbound), and the beautifully recorded Casino Lights album of Randy Crawford, Al Jarreau, The Yellow Jackets and others in Montreaux.

Schmitt’s 1990s and 2000s engineering included both Duets albums by Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable sets, as well as work for acts like Everything But The Girl, Madonna, Michael Bolton, Teddy Pendergrass, Diane Schuur, Anita Baker, Willie Nelson, Diane Krall, Quincy Jones, Dolly Parton, Luther Vandross, Toni Braxton, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé, Paul Anka (the great Rock Swings album), Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Trisha Yearwood, Gregory Porter, Paul McCartney, and loads others.

On top of that, in the late 1960s and ‘70s Schmitt also produced a number of albums for acts like Jefferson Starship, Jackson Browne, Hot Tuna, Neil Young, Spirit, and Al Jarreau.

 

The Hitmaker
In 2019, we lost English songwriter Les Reed, who created an impressive number of hits. Exactly two years and a day later, his frequent songwriting partner Barry Mason joined the great hit parades in the sky. With Reed, Mason wrote such hits as Tom Jones’ Delilah and I’m Coming Home, The Fortunes’ Here It Comes Again, Dave Clark Five’s Everybody Knows, Des O’Connor’s I Pretend, Petula Clark’s Kiss Me Goodbye, and Engelbert Humperdinck’s The Last Waltz, Les Bicyclettes De Belsize (also a hit for Mireille Mathieu) and Winter World Of Love. Mason also co-wrote the 1970 #1 Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse, and other UK hits like Tom Jones’ Love Me Tonight, Des O’Connor’s One, Two, Three O’Leary, When Forever Has Gone by Demis Roussos, and You Might Just See Me Cry by Our Kid. More recently, he wrote the 2002 UK hit Tell Me Why for English child singer Declan Galbraith.

While he was writing for others, he recorded also a bunch of singles between 1966 and 1981 (none troubled the charts), and a later couple of albums of his own songs, released in the 1970s and 1990s.

 

The Red Panther
Born into poor circumstances in Italy in 1939, Maria Ilva Biolcati became an internationally famous singer under the name Milva. She became so famous as a singer of chansons and as a film actress that she became widely known by nicknames: La Rossa, on account of her red hair (and, perhaps, also her political views), and La Pantera. She had much success outside Italy as well, especially in Germany.

On stage she was acclaimed as a premier interpreter of Berthold Brecht. She was equally at home in opera and appeared in some of the great houses, including the Royal Abert Hall in London and La Scala in Milan, the city in which she died at 81 on April 23.

 

The Country-Rock Pioneer
In the five decades of the pioneering folk-rock band Poco, multi-instrumentalist Rusty Young was the one constant, from its founding in 1968 to the last album, released in 2013. Created from the debris of Buffalo Springfield, Poco were pioneers in the country-rock sound that became hugely popular in the 1970s, especially in the work by the Eagles (who would include two Poco alumni). Young’s innovative use of the pedal steel-guitar was one of the essential elements in the development of that sound.

Eventually Young became the frontman of Poco — he wrote their hits Rose of Cimarron and Crazy Love — but he also played on many records by other people, including former Poco pals Jim Messina, Richie Furay and Paul Cotton, as well as the likes of Three Dog Night, Rita Coolidge, Scott McKenzie, Rusty Wier (including on one of my favourites, Texas Morning, featured on Any Major Morning), Gladys Knight & The Pips, and Earl Scruggs. He recorded two solo albums, released in 2017 and 2019.

 

Taking the Rap
It took me until the rapper’s death to realise — or to become curious about — what the letters DMX stand for. Turns out, it’s after a drum machine as well as serving as an acronym for Dark Man X, the moniker Earl Simmons adopted when he began his career in hip hop as a teenager. And a rich career it was, with grammatically loose hits like Where The Hood At?, We Right Here, Party Up (Up In Here),  Who We Be, and X Gon’ Give It To Ya.

Earl’s childhood was rough. Abandoned by his father, he was brutalised by his mother and temporary stepfathers, and in turn became violent himself, culminating in the teenager living on the streets, and spending several stints in jail for petty crimes (such as stealing a dog!) and later for carjacking, interrupting what was already promising to be a career in music. It was during a stint in jail for robbery that he turned his direction to music, with success.

But even during his music career, he found himself in frequent trouble with the law, with several stints in jail over issues like drug possession, animal cruelty, failing to pay child support, or tax fraud. And yet, DMX was also trying to live the Christian life, recording songs about religious faith (and struggles to live up to the ethics of religion), and even planning to become a pastor.

 

The One Season
Big success let Joe Long wait: the bass player joined the Four Seasons in 1965, just as the group’s hits were drying up. He was involved in the influential 1969 prog-rock album The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette, but that was not a commercial success. But Long was still with the band when they made a comeback in 1975 with the hit December 1963 (Oh What A Night). He also played on Frankie Valli’s great solo hit My Eyes Adored You. He might also have played on Valli’s 1967 hit Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, but I couldn’t find any personnel listings to confirm that.

 

The Label Owner
Having cut his musical teeth in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, before it became a soul capital, Quinton Claunch moved to Memphis in 1948, where a few years later he would co-found Hi Records, another great name in soul music.

Claunch, who has died at 99, started out in country, and as such met up with an old pal from the Muscle Shoals days, Sam Philips, who gave him session and production work at Sun Records. In 1957 he co-founded Hi Records, but sold his share in 1959 (some say he was muscled out). A decade later Hi would become an iconic soul label under Willie Mitchell’s guidance.

By then, Claunch had co-founded the soul/gospel label Goldwax, also in Memphis, on which he produced the likes of by James Carr, The Ovations and Spencer Wiggins, including Carr’s classic On The Dark End Of The Street. Goldwax folded in 1969, but when it was relaunched in the 1980s, Claunch served as its president for a few years.

 

The Keyboard Man
You might not know the name Ralph Schuckett, but you’ll have heard him playing keyboards on many songs. He played on Carole King’s It’s Too Late and Where You Lead (electric piano), on Hall & Oates’ She’s Gone and Every Time You Go Away (on the organ), on albums by the likes of The Monkees, James Taylor, Kate Taylor, Todd Rundgren, Bette Midler, Nona Hendryx, Four Tops, Phoebe Snow, The Manhattans, Evelyn King, Rodney Crowell, Cher and Whitney Houston. He also produced acts like Clarence Clemons, Belinda Carlisle and Sophie B. Hawkings, including her 1992 hit Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover.

As always, this post is reproduced in PDF format in the package, which also includes my personal playlist of the featured tracks. PW in comments.

 

Eddie ‘Wally’ Rothe, 66, English drummer, on March 26
Liquid Gold – Any Way You Do It (1980, on drums and backing vocals)

Patrick Juvet, 70, Swiss disco singer-songwriter, on April 1
Patrick Juvet – Je vais me marier, Marie (1973)
Patrick Juvet – Où sont les femmes? (1977)
Patrick Juvet – I Love America (1978)

Oscar Kraal, 50, Dutch pop drummer, on April 1

Morris B.B. Dickerson, 71, bassist, percussionist and singer with War, on April 2
Eric Burdon and War – Spill The Wine (1970, also as co-writer)
War – The World Is A Ghetto (1972, on lead vocals and as co-writer)
War – Low Rider (1975, also as co-writer)

Quindon Tarver, 38, R&B singer, in a car crash on April 2
Quindon Tarver – Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) (1996)

Tony Pola, Australian rock drummer, on April 2
Beasts Of Bourbon – Just Right (1992, as member)

Agnaldo Timóteo, 84, Brazilian singer and politician, on April 3

Ralph Schuckett, 73, keyboardist, arranger and composer, on April 4
Carole King – Where You Lead (1971, on electric piano)
Hall & Oates – She’s Gone (1974, on organ)
Todd Rundgren – The Death of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1975, on clavinet)
The Manhattans – Forever By Your Side (1983, on piano, arrangement)

Paul Humphrey, 61, member of Canadian new wave band Blue Peter, on April 4

Henry Stephen, 79, Venezuelan rock & roll singer, on April 5

Krzysztof Krawczyk, 74, Polish pop singer, guitarist and composer, on April 5

Sonny ‘Huey’ Simmons, 87, jazz saxophonist, on April 6
Prince Lasha Quintet feat. Sonny Simmons – Congo Call (1963)

Bill Owens, 85, country songwriter, Dolly Parton’s uncle, on April 7
Dolly Parton – Put It Off Until Tomorrow (1967, as writer)

Isla Eckinger, 81, Swiss jazz bassist, on April 9

DMX, 50, rapper, on April 9
DMX – I Can Feel It (1998)
DMX feat. Faith Evans – I Miss You With (2001)

Bob Petric, guitarist of rock band Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, ann. April 10
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments – My Mysterious Death (Turn It Up) (1995)

Quinton Claunch, 99, guitarist, songwriter, producer and label owner, on April 10
Carl Perkins – Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing (1955, on guitar)
Wanda Jackson – Day Dreaming (1962, as co-writer)
James Carr – Dark End Of The Street (1967, as co-producer)

Bob Porter, 80, blues and jazz producer, arranger and discographer, on April 10
Houston Person – Son Of Man (1970, as producer)

Bosse Skoglund, 85, Swedish drummer, on April 10

Shay Healy, 78, Irish songwriter and chat show host, on April 10
Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year (1980, as writer)

Michel Louvain, 83, Canadian singer, on April 14
Michel Louvain – C’est Un Secret (1965)

Artur Garcia, 83, Portuguese singer, on April 14
Artur Garcia – Meu lament (1962)

Rusty Young, 75, (steel)-guitarist of Poco and songwriter, on April 14
Three Dog Night – Never Been To Spain (1971, on pedal steel guitar)
Poco – You Better Think Twice (1970)
Poco – Rose Of Cimarron (1976, also as writer)
Rusty Young – Waitin’ For The Sun (2017)

Barby Kelly, 45, singer with Irish family pop group Kelly Family, on April 15
The Kelly Family – I Can’t Help Myself (I Love You I Want You) (1996)

Gabriel Raymon, 77, Colombian singer and songwriter, on April 15

Barry Mason, 85, English songwriter and singer, on April 16
Dave Clark Five – Everybody Knows (1964, as co-writer)
Barry Mason – Over The Hills And Far Away (1966, also as co-writer)
Mireille Mathieu  -Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (1968, as co-writer)
Barry Mason – The Last Waltz (2011, also as co-writer)

Mike Mitchell, 77, singer-guitarist of rock band The Kingsmen, on April 17
The Kingsmen – Louie Louie (1963)
The Kingsmen – You Better Do Right (1973)

Black Rob, 51, rapper, on April 17
Black Rob – Whoah! (2000)

Lars Ratz (Ranzenberger), 53, bassist of German metal band Metalium, on April 18

Lew Lewis, English harmonica player, announced April 18
The Stranglers – Old Codger (1978, on harmonica)

Paul Oscher, 71, blues harp & guitar player and singer, on April 18
Muddy Waters – Screamin’ And Cryin’ (1969, on harmonica)
Paul Oscher – I’m Goin’ Away Baby (2005)

Jim Steinman, 73, composer-lyricist, producer, musician, on April 19
Jim Steinman – Bad For Good (1981)
Meat Loaf – I’m Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us (1981, as writer and co-producer)
Barbra Streisand – Left In The Dark (1985, as writer and co-producer)
Pandora’s Box – It’s All Coming Back To Me Now (1989, as writer/producer, spoken intro)

Joaquín Cúneo, 34, Peruvian rock vocalist, on April 19

Bob Lanois, 73, Canadian producer and engineer (Daniel’s brother), on April 19
Willie P. Bennett – Lace And Pretty Flowers (1977, as engineer)

Les McKeown, 65, lead singer of The Bay City Rollers, on April 20
Bay City Rollers – Give A Little Love (1975)
Bay City Rollers – You Made Me Believe In Magic (1977)
Leslie McKeown – Shall I Do It (1979) (1979)

Diamantina Rodríguez, 100, Spanish folk singer, on April 21

Joe Long, 88, bassist of The Four Seasons (1965-75), on April 21
Four Seasons – Something’s On Her Mind (1969)
Frankie Valli – My Eyes Adored You (1975, on bass)
Four Seasons – December ‘63 (Oh What A Night) (1975)

Thomas Fritsch, 77, German actor and singer, on April 21
Thomas Fritsch – Geschichten eines Twen (1964)

Lea Dali Lion, 47, Estonian singer, on April 21

Shock G, 57, rapper with Digital Underground, on April 22
Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance (1990)

Charlie Black, 71, country songwriter, on April 23
George Strait – Write This Down (1999, as co-writer)

Victor Wood, 75, Filipino singer and actor, on April 23

Milva, 81, Italian singer and actress, on April 23
Milva – Bella Ciao (1965)
Milva & Ennio Morricone – D’amore Si Muore (1972)
Milva – Liberta (Freiheit In Meiner Sprache)

Sergio Esquivel, 74, Mexican singer-songwriter, on April 24

Denny Freeman, 76, blues guitarist and keyboardist, on April 25
Denny Freeman – Soul Street (1988)

Jan Verhoeven, 80, Dutch singer with Holland Duo, on April 26

Al Schmitt, 91, engineer and producer, on April 27
Sam Cooke – Cupid (1962, as engineer)
George Benson – Breezin’ (1976, as engineer)
Anita Baker – Body And Soul (1993, as engineer)
Paul Anka – Eye Of The Tiger (2005, as engineer)

Paul Couter, 72, founding guitarist of Belgian rock band TC Matic, on April 27
Tjens-Couter – Walking The Dog (1978)

Sammy Kasule, 69, Ugandan musician and singer with Afrigo Band, on April 27
Afrigo Band – Kasongo (2006)

Mara Abrantes, 86, Brazilian-Portuguese singer and actress, on April 28

Bobby Donaho, 73, drummer of garage rock band Bad Seeds, on April 28
The Bad Seeds – Taste Of The Same (1965)

Anita Lane, 61, Australian singer-songwriter, announced April 28
Anita Lane – The Next Man That I See (2001)

Nick Weaver, 37, guitarist of Australian rock band Deep Sea Arcade, on April 29
Deep Sea Arcade – Close To Me (2018)

Will Mecum, guitarist with rock band Karma to Burn, on April 29
Karma To Burn – Ma Petite Mort (1997)

John Hinch, 73, British drummer (Judas Priest, 1973-75), on April 29
Judas Priest – Rocka Rolla (1974)

Ali McKenzie, singer of British rock band The Birds, announced April 30
The Birds – You’re On My Mind (1964)

Toni Dalli, 88, Italian singer, announced April 30
Toni Dalli – More Than Ever (1958)

Ray Reyes, 51, Puerto Rican singer with teen band Menudo, on April 30
Menudo – Si Tu No Estas (1983, on lead vocals)

John Dee Holeman, 92, guitarist, singer and songwriter, April 30
John Dee Holeman – I Don’t Care Where You Go (1992)

Tony Markellis, rock bassist (Trey Anastasio Band) on April 30
Trey Anastasio – Ether Sunday (2002, on bass)

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Any Major Top 75 Acts (1-17)

April 29th, 2021 3 comments

 

We’re hitting the top in Any Major Dude’s Top 75 acts, a list compiled with my assistance at Rolling Stone magazine. The previous three volumes covered positions 18-34 and 35-56 and 56-75. The system was explained in the first instalment of this 4-part series.

Much as the final Top 75 rankings differed from the Rolling Stone list of Top 100 acts, the Top 3 is non-negotiable, though I think my order of those three makes better sense than that arrived at by my assistants.

Several acts that failed to make the Rolling Stone list made it onto my list. The highest-placed entries of those 19 acts are ABBA and Steely Dan, coming in at 11 and 15 respectively. One may explain the absence of ABBA in the Rolling Stone list by the Swedes’ relative lack of success in the US; a European list of any merit, however, would not exclude them. Steely Dan’s presence in my Top 20… well, look at the name of this blog!

A combination of the way in which the assistants overrated U2 and the circumstance that I have several of their albums (for which points were allocated) kept Bono and pals in the Top 20, a place ahead of Michael Jackson. That guy was hurt by being undervalued by RS — #35, Rolling Stone? Really? — and the fact that I own only three MJ solo albums. But that’s the way these lists work: they are by definition subjective. Though, as mentioned, the Top 3 are pretty much science and gospel.

I’ve also explained the method of song-selection on the playlists before — basically a favourite act per act. The Top two get two tracks here, one from those acts’ early and late periods. Number 3’s later period track didn’t fit on the CD-R length mix, so I’m including it as a bonus track. The chosen tracks are supposed to be my favourites of these acts, but for most, how can there be one, or two, or even five? So for #6, I chose the song that first turned me on to him four decades ago. The early period tracks for #1 and #2 have been my nominal favourites of theirs since I was 12.

The comments on the previous three parts don’t suggest that this was the most beloved series on Any Major Dude yet. I’m hoping that everybody waited for the final part to tell me how much they agree or disagree…

As I said, the mix is time to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-hyped covers, and the above text and full Top 75 in an illustrated PDF booklet. And I include an updated back cover for the last mix (the blue cover), which had the incorrect title on the spine. PW in comments.

Here is the countdown from #17 to the first place, with RS rankings in brackets. Featured songs in parenthesis (on the playlist they follow a more logical sequence)

17 (22)  U2 (Bad, 1984)
16 (18)  Marvin Gaye (What’s Going On, 1971)
15 (—)  Steely Dan (Any Major Dude Will Tell You, 1974)
14 (12)  The Beach Boys (Wouldn’t It Be Nice, 1966)
13 (11)   Bob Marley (Trenchtown Rock [live], 1975)
12 (7)    James Brown (Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine, 1970)
11 (—)  ABBA (The Name Of The Game, 1977)
10 (31)  Johnny Cash (Hurt, 2002)
9 (27)    Prince (Baby I’m A Star, 1984)
8 (4)     The Rolling Stones (Wild Horses, 1971)
7 (9)     Aretha Franklin (Rock Steady, 1972)
6 (23)   Bruce Springsteen (The Ties That Bind, 1980)
5 (40)   Simon & Garfunkel (America, 1968)
4 (15)    Stevie Wonder (As, 1976)
3 (2)     Bob Dylan (Positively 4th Street, 1965)
2 (3)     Elvis Presley (I Want To Be Free, 1957 / In The Ghetto, 1969)
1 (1)     The Beatles (You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away / Strawberry Fields Forever, 1967)

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Any Major Shakespeare

April 22nd, 2021 3 comments

 

 

No, please don’t run away — this will be fun! As Stephano said to Caliban in The Tempest: “We’ll not run!” What we have here is a mix of songs that include phrases introduced to the English language by William Shakespeare, the Leonard Cohen of his day.

Shakespeare, whose anniversary of birth and death we officially mark on April 23, coined dozens of phrases and words (or, at least, was the first to use them in surviving writings). As a coiner of popular phrases, Shakespeare is second only to the Bible. So it is to be expected that common phrases find their way into the lyrics of pop songs.

This mix concerns itself with phrases — “Heart of gold”, “Break the ice”, “The wheel is come full circle”, “Give the devil his due”, “In a pickle”, et cetera — rather than with single words. And there’s enough for another mix.

Single words alone would yield a never-ending number of compilations. One site counted 422 words, many of which we still use today; others count as many as 1,700. Such words include: accommodation, amazement, auspicious, baseless, castigate, countless, courtship, critical, dishearten, dwindle, eventful, exposure, generous, gloomy, gnarled, hurry, impartial, laughable, lonely, majestic, misplaced, monumental, obscene, premeditated, radiance, sanctimonious, submerge, suspicious…

This mix works well as just an eclectic sequence of songs, finding themselves bundled together by the random circumstance of linguistics and literature, but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless. And I imagine that English teachers might get a spark of an idea from this mix, getting their pupils to spot the Shakespeare in pop. I counsel caution with the Billy Holiday track, an old blues number from the 1920s which has lyrics one would not sing today…

To quote Caliban in The Tempest: “Wilt thou be pleased to hearken once againe to the mixt’re of CD-R lengthe, with home-rhymeth cov’rages, I made to thee?” Passworde be founde in ye comments.

 

1. The Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun (1964 – “Wild-goose chase” from Romeo and Juliet)

2. Moby Grape – Come In The Morning (1968 – “Come what may” from Macbeth)

3. Colin Blunstone – Lovelight (1980 – “This denoted a foregone conclusion” from Othello)

4. Little River Band – Full Circle (1981 – “The wheel is come full circle” from King Lear)

5. Gallagher And Lyle – Heart On My Sleeve (1976 – “Wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve” from Othello)

6. Neil Young – Heart Of Gold (1972 – “A heart of gold” from Henry V)

7. The Waterboys – Love And Death (1993 – “With bated breath” from The Merchant of Venice)

8. INXS – Disappear (1990 – “All our yesterdays” from Macbeth)

9. The Darkness – Love Is Only A Feeling (2003 – “The be-all and the end-all” from Macbeth)

10. James Dean Bradfield – Still A Long Way To Go (2006 – “Cold comfort” from King John)

11. David Bowie – Ashes To Ashes (1980 – “Break the ice” from The Taming of the Shrew)

12. Spandau Ballet – Gold (1983 – “My salad days” from Antony and Cleopatra)

13. Rod Stewart – Ain’t Love A Bitch (1978 – “I’ll not budge an inch, boy” from The Taming of the Shrew)

14. Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia (1979 – “Give the devil his due” from 1 Henry IV)

15. John Prine – Please Don’t Bury Me (1973 – “In maiden meditation, fancy-free” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

16. Tift Merritt – Hopes Too High (2008 – “In my mind’s eye” from Hamlet)

17. Kim Richey – Cowards In A Brave New World (2002 – “O, brave new world” from The Tempest)

18. Carly Simon – The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of (1987 – “Such stuff as dreams are made on” from The Tempest)

19. Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days (1968 – “Farewell for ever and a day” from The Taming of the Shrew)

20. Lou Christie – All That Glitters Isn’t Gold (1963 – “All that glitters isn’t gold” from The Merchant of Venice)

21. Billie Holiday – Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do (1949 – “In a pickle” from The Tempest)

22. Chan Romero – Hippy Hippy Shake (1959 – “For goodness sake, consider what you do” from Henry VIII)

23. Kitty Wells – Kill Him With Kindness (1965 – “This is a way to kill a wife with kindness” from The Taming of the Shrew)

24. Glen Campbell – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) (2008 – “A good riddance” from Troilus and Cressida)

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Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 11

April 13th, 2021 6 comments

 

In the latest installment of the Not Feeling Guilty series, we are looking at singers whose names sound like those of school teachers; that is, artists who went by their given names, regardless of how ordinary and un-rock & roll they were (the gallery below, which is intended to inject a little gentle humour into the proceedings, might bear out my point. A bigger version of the collage is included in the package). You weren’t going to become a big star with the name Ruhnke (though LaBounty is a pretty cool name).

Many of these singers also looked like they might have been your teacher. And that is not a slur on teachers nor the artists. These singers were recording artists, not creations of image. Their names, bad beards and bald heads assured us that they were here to create music, for the sake of music. Their craft was honest. And, as this mix shows, there was plenty talent behind the ordinary names. If their music’s point is to make you feel good, these people have probably succeeded.

Only few of the acts here struck it really big, though one is married to a man who is one of the godfathers of this genre. Amy Holland married Michael McDonald, who produced and played keyboards on the featured song, the title track of the album which won her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1981. Holland and McDonald have been married since 1983.

The biggest hit here is Alan O’Day’s Undercover Angel, which was a US #1 and a global hit. It wasn’t his first chart-topper: three years earlier his composition Angie Baby was a #1 hit for Helen Reddy. He also co-wrote the The Righteous Brothers’ 1974 hit Rock And Roll Heaven (originally by a group called Climax). Later O’Day won an Emmy for his music on the Muppets Babies show. O’Day, whose hairline moved forward as he got older, died at 72 in 2013.

US-born and Australia-raised Steve Kipner had some success as a young man in Australia, sang backing vocals on a number of the Bee Gees’ early recordings (which were produced by his father), and had a couple of hits as part of the band Tin Tin. He released only one solo album, in 1979. But his greater success came as the co-writer of a string of hit records spanning four decades. These include Olivia Newton-John’s Physical, Chicago’s Hard Habit To Break, Christina Aguilera’s Genie In A Bottle, Natasha Bedingfield’s These Words, The Hardest Thing by 98 Degrees, He Loves U Not by Dream, Kelly Rowland’s Stole, The Script’s Breakeven and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, Cheryl Cole’s Fight for This Love, Camilla Cabello’s Crying In The Club, James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go…

Another prolific songwriter was Bruce Roberts, whose co-writing credits includes the Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand disco classic No More Tears. He also co-wrote Streisand’s The Main Event, Bette Midler’s You’re Moving Out Today, Starmaker for Paul Anka/Judy Collins/The Kids from ‘Fame’, Rita Coolidge’s Fool That I Am, Laura Branigan’s The Lucky One, Dolly Parton’s You’re The Only One, Jeffrey Osborne’s You Should Be Mine (featured on Any Major Soul 1986/87), and more. He also co-wrote Lani Hall’s Where’s Your Angel?, which featured on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10.

 

If AOR singers were teachers…

 

Yet another singer here with an impressive record of writing hits for others is Randy Goodrum, to whom we owe, as writer or co-writer, the Ann Murray hit You Needed Me, Kenny Rogers & Dottie West’s What Are We Doin’ In Love, Steve Perry’s Oh Sherrie, DeBarge’s Who’s Holding Donna Now, Toto’s I’ll Be Over You, and George Benson’s 20/20, among others. Goodrum also wrote songs for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

Goodrum also wrote two other (colour-coordinated) songs here. Pop-gospel-country singer Micki Fuhrman recorded Goodrum’s Blue River Of Tears in 1979; it was a single release only, and made no impact, which is a pity. Fuhrman released three albums and a bunch of singles until 1983.

Goodrum’s Bluer Than Blue was a hit in 1978 for Michael Johnson, an musical all-rounder. As a youth, he studied classical guitar in Barcelona; in the 1960s he was a member alongside John Denver in the folk outfit Chad Mitchell Trio. In the late 1970s he ventured into AOR, and in the 1980s became a country musician. One of Johnson’s hits was This Night Won’t Last Forever, a US #19 in 1979, which features here in Bill LaBounty’s 1978 original version. Johnson died in 2017 at 72.

In the 1960s, the British musician Graham Dee — the only artist in this lot operating with a stagename; his real name is Davidson — worked with future Led Zep members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, filled in for Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd and in Them, and played for Elkie Brooks, The Walker Brothers and Carl Perkins.

Near-namesake Larry Lee must not be confused with the guitarist of the same name who played with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. This Larry Lee was a founder member of the Ozark Mountains Daredevils. As the band’s drummer, Lee wrote and took lead vocals the band’s best-known song Judy Blue, which like the Warnes song mentioned above featured on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10. Later he joined The Vinyl Kings, with Not Feeling Guilty alumnus Jim Photoglo (introduced on Vol. 7).

Terence Boylan had cool classmates, who helped him record his debut album in 1969: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, yet to become Steely Dan. Boylan released three LPs between 1969 and 1980, and that was it for his recording career. Happily, Boylan had science to fall back on. He is now director of a foundation he founded to facilitate research and international scientist exchange fellowships.

The best teachers’ name here must be Dick St Nicklaus. I couldn’t find much about him, except that he once worked with Lamont & Dozier, released two albums which were huge hits in Japan, and wrote a number of sings which were recorded by the likes of Laura Branigan, Peter Allen, Vanilla Fudge and Bill Medley.

Craig Ruhnke was introduced in Vol. 9, Peter McCann in Vol. 10. Oh, and I think I’ll opt for religious instruction classes.

As ever, this mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R and includes home-cruised covers, the whole caboodle above in PDF format, and the yearbook gallery above in larger format. PW in comments.

1. Roby Duke – Seasons Of Change (1982)
2. Alan O’Day – Undercover Angel (1977)
3. Randy Goodrum – Fool’s Paradise (1982)
4. Amy Holland – How Do I Survive (1980)
5. Graham Dee – Too Good To Last (1977)
6. Jim Schmidt – Love Has Taken It All Away (1983)
7. Bill Champlin – Tonight Tonight (1981)
8. Bill LaBounty – This Night Won’t Last Forever (1978)
9. Craig Ruhnke – It’s Been Such A Long Time (1983)
10. Terence Boylan – Tell Me (1980)
11. Larry Lee – Number One Girl (1982)
12. John Valenti – Did She Mention Me (1980)
13. Teri De Sario – The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of (1978)
14. Dwayne Ford – Lovin’ And Losin’ You (1981)
15. Richard Torrance – Anything’s Possible (1978)
16. Dick St. Nicklaus – Can’t Give Up (1979)
17. Michael Johnson – Bluer Than Blue (1978)
18. Micki Fuhrman – Blue River Of Tears (1979)
19. Peter McCann – Do You Wanna Make Love (1977)
20. Bruce Roberts – Cool Fool (1980)
21. Steve Kipner – The Ending (1979)

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Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10

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In Memoriam – March 2021

April 6th, 2021 8 comments

In March the Reaper took it easier than he had in previous months, but he did claim a number of behind-the-scenes pioneers: the inventor of cassette tapes, an inventor of a synthesizer, a woman who broke a glass ceiling in the music industry…

The Wailer
For more than 30 years, Bunny Wailer (born Neville O’Riley Livingston) was the last man standing of the group whose stage name gave the legendary reggae group its name, with Bob Marley checking out in 1981 and Peter Tosh six years later. The Wailers were something of a family affair: Bunny’s father and Marley’s mother became a couple, having a daughter together; and Tosh had a son (reggae singer Andrew Tosh) with Bunny’s sister.

I needn’t discuss the musical impact of The Wailers or of Bunny Wailer; the obituaries have done so to better effect than I could. But I’ll say this: Marley and Tosh were the more celebrated singers, but I think that the percussionist Bunny was also a great vocalist, in the tradition of his hero Curtis Mayfield.

The Influencer
English jazz trombonist Chris Barber changed the trajectory of pop music profoundly. First he did so by pioneering the skiffle craze in Britain through his recording of Rock Island Line which, once credited to vocalist Lonnie Donegan, became a big hit in 1954. The skiffle craze inspired many British youths to form bands; among them a young Liverpudlian named John Lennon…

Barber made his name as a traditional jazz musician, scoring a big transatlantic hit with the instrumental Petite Fleur in 1959. But in the late 1950s/early 1960s he also brought US blues musicians such as Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, and Muddy Waters to Britain, thereby helping to introduce many young musicians to that genre. These included The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Yardbirds, and across the Irish Sea, Rory Gallagher. The latter would join up with Barber; the guitar that opens the featured track is his. Later he also collaborated with Dr John, creating a mardi gras anthem that represented New Orleans on my long musical journey through the USA (on Any Major American Road Trip Vol. 2).

Stop. Eject.
On my 10th birthday I received my first cassette recorder, a basic thing whose smell I vividly remember. That birthday present kicked off a relationship that would last for exactly a quarter of a century, when I bought a car with a CD player and I had no more use for my old tapes. But it is thanks to cassettes — the hobby of making mix-tapes — that we have this little corner of playlist-dabbling. Without tapes, you’d not be reading these words today!

As we know, home-taping killed music, and the man responsible has now died at 94. Lou Ottens developed the cassette tape with his team for the Dutch company Royal Philips, introducing the first sample of this new technology in 1963. Tapes were still catching on in 1972 when Ottens became instrumental (if you pardon the unintentional pun) in the development of compact discs. Ottens would regard the CD as his greater accomplishment.

Ottens began his career of invention as a teenager when he put together a device to block the radio jammers of the Nazi forces that were occupying the Netherlands in World War 2, enabling his family to receive banned radio broadcasts.

The Trailblazer
In 1959, the RCA Camden label was about to fold — and who better a fall-guy than a woman trying to make her way in a man’s game. But Ethel Gabriel, a woman in her late 30s who had worked her way up from doing dogs-body’s work in the 1940s to become a successful record producer (the first woman on a major US label), was no fall gal. She issued a series of easy listening albums, which culminated in a Grammy win in 1967. These were especially the Living Strings/Brass/Marimba/Voices/Jazz etc LPs. As an A&R executive, she was responsible for putting out records by acts like Perry Como, Cleo Laine, Roger Whittaker, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Henry Mancini, Harry Belafonte, Perez Prado, Neil Sedaka and many others. In 1982, Gabriel was appointed vice-president of RCA’s Pop Contemporary A&R division, becoming the first woman at RCA Records to become a vice-president.

The Synth Pioneer
Having started his musical career as a jazz musician in bands led by the likes of Ronnie Scott, Dick Morrissey and Chris Barber, London-born Malcolm Cecil went to live in New York where he invented the world’s largest synthesizer, the Original New Timbral Orchestra (TONTO), which was widely used in the famous Record Plant studios. You can hear him play the synth on Little Feat’s Dixie Chicken, and he assisted acts such as the Doobie Brothers (the synth on Long Train Running and China Grove were programmed by Cecil), Isley Brothers, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Joan Baez and Gil-Scott-Heron in their use of his synth.

With his regular musical partner Robert Margouleff, Cecil co-produced Stevie Wonder’s albums Music Of My Mind, Talking Book (including Superstition and You Are The Sunshine Of My Life), Innervision (on which he played bass on Visions) and Fulfillingness First Finale. He also produced or co-produced acts like Syreeta, Mandrill, Billy Preston, and Gil Scott-Heron.

The Rockabilly King
The first tribute record to be released after the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper was co-written and released by rockabilly singer and double-bassist Ray Campi, who has died at 86. It was titled Ballad Of Donna And Peggy Sue, namechecking titular names from hits by Valens and Holly — and Campi recorded it with The Big Bopper’s backing band. Campi, the supposed “The King of Rockabilly” who would use his white double-bass as a prop in his wild stage shows, did music only as a sideline while working as a teacher. It was only when he was rediscovered in the 1970s, when the rock & roll revival hit, that he began to record again and tour full-time.

As always, this post is reproduced in PDF format in the package, which also includes my personal playlist of the featured tracks. PW in comments.

Ralph Peterson Jr., 58, jazz drummer, on March 1
Ralph Peterson Quintet – Soweto 6 (1988)

Mark Goffeney, 51, guitarist, body discovered on March 2

Bunny Wailer, 73, Jamaican reggae pioneer, on March 2
The Wailers – Sunday Morning (1966, on lead vocals)
The Wailers – Pass It On (1973, on lead vocals)
Bunny Wailer – Dreamland (1976)
Bunny Wailer – Riding (1979)

Àlex Casademunt, 39, Spanish pop singer and TV presenter, on March 2

Chris Barber, 90, English jazz trombonist and bandleader, on March 2
Lonnie Donegan’s Skiffle Group – Rock Island Line (1954, as leader & on bass)
Chris Barber’s Band – Catcall (1967, written by Paul McCartney)
Chris Barber – Drat That Fratle Rat (1972)

Radim Pařízek, 67, drummer of Czech rock band Citron, on March 2

Duffy Jackson, 67, jazz drummer, on March 3
George Benson & Count Basie Orchestra – Without A Song (1990, on drums)

Dagoberto Planos Despaigne, 64, singer and songwriter with Cuban band Los Karachi, on March 3
Los Karachi – Pero Qué Le Sucede a Mi Negra (1988, also as writer)

Maria José Valério, 87, Portuguese singer, on March 3

Alan Cartwright, 75, bassist of Procol Harum (1972-75), on March 4
Procol Harum – Nothing But The Truth (1974)

Bhaskar Menon, 86, Indian-born label executive (Capitol, EMI), on March 4

Michael Stanley, 72, rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, on March 5
Michael Stanley Band – He Can’t Love You (1980)

Lou Ottens, 94, inventor of the cassette tape, co-developer of CDs, on March 6
Tift Merritt – Mixtape (2010)

Lars Göran Petrov, 49, singer of Swedish death metal band Entombed, on March 7

Sanja Ilić, 69, composer and keyboardist of Serbian bands San, Balkanika, on March 7
Grupa San – Anabela (1974)

Sasa Klaas, 27, Botswanan hip hop/R&B singer-songwriter, helicopter crash on March 6

Josky Kiambukuta, 72, singer with Congolese rumba collective TPOK Jazz, on March 7
Orchestre T. P. OK-Jazz – Kebana (1973, on lead vocals and as writer)

Julien-François Zbinden, 103, Swiss jazz pianist and composer, on March 8

James MacGaw, guitarist of French prog-rock group Magma (1998-2017), on March 8
Magma – Emëhntëhtt-Ré IV (2009)

Adrian Bărar, 61, guitarist and composer with Romanian rock band Cargo, on March 9

Mark Whitecage, 83, jazz reedist, announced on March 9
Adam Lane, Lou Grassi & Mark Whitecage – Five O’Clock Follies (1998)

Len Skeat, 84, English jazz double-bassist, on March 9

Shuichi Murakami, 70, Japanese jazz drummer, on March 9
Ryuichi Sakamoto – I’ll Be There (1983, on drums)

Freddy Birset, 73, Belgian singer and musician, on March 9

Randy Myers, 73, songwriter, on March 10
Jackie DeShannon – Put A Little Love In Your Heart (1969, as co-writer)

Roger Trigaux, 69, founder of Belgian avant-garde groups Univers Zero, Present, on March 10

Lily de Vos, 96, Dutch singer, announced on March 11

Jewlia Eisenberg, singer of avant-rock band Charming Hostess, on March 11
Charming Hostess – Laws of Physics (1999)

Ray Campi, 86, rockabilly singer and double bassist, on March 11
Ray Campi – Caterpillar (1956)
Ray Campi – Ballad Of Donna And Peggy Sue (1959)

Maximiliano Djerfy, 46, guitarist of Argentine rock band Callejeros, on March 12

Raoul Casadei, 83, Italian singer and composer, on March 13

Reggie Warren, 52, singer with soul group Troop, on March 14
Troop – Mamacita (1989)

Thione Seck, 66, Senegalese singer and musician, on March 14
Orchestra Baobab – Mouhamadou Bamba (1981, as member)

Eulalio ‘Sax’ Cervantes, 52, saxophonist of Mexican rock band Maldita Vecindad, on March 14
Maldita Vecindad – Kumbala (1991)

Doug Parkinson, 74, Australian rock singer, on March 15
Doug Parkinson In Focus – Dear Prudence (1969)

Matt Miller, 34, ex-keyboardist of indie group Titus Andronicus, on March 17

Corey Steger, 42, guitarist of metal band Underoath, car crash on March 17

Freddie Redd, 92, jazz pianist and composer, on March 17
Howard McGhee – O.D. (Overdose) (1960, as composer)

Mayada Basilis, 54, Syrian singer, on March 17
Mayada Basilis – Kezbak ‘Helou (2007)

Paul Jackson, 73, rock and jazz bassist, on March 18
Santana – Give Me Love (1977, on bass)

Gary Leib, 65, musician with band Rubber Rodeo, cartoonist (Idiotland), on March 19
Rubber Rodeo – Anywhere With You (1984)

Cristián Cuturrufo, 48, Chilean jazz trumpeter, on March 19

Dan Sartain, 39, rock musician, on March 20
Dan Sartain – Walk Among The Cobras (Pt. I) (2005)

Constance Demby, 81, ambient music composer, on March 20

Buddy Deppenschmidt, 85, jazz drummer, on March 20
Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd – Desafinado (1962, on drums)

Hana Hegerová, 89, Slovak singer and actress, on March 23

George Segal, 87, actor and occasional musician, on March 23
George Segal & The Imperial Jazz Band – What You Goin’ To Do When The Rent Comes ‘Round (1974)

Ethel Gabriel, 99, producer and label executive, on March 23
Perez Prado – Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (1955, as producer)
Caterina Valente – The Party’s Over (1961, as producer)
Living Marimbas – Mission Impossible Theme (1968, as producer)

Peter Viskinde, 67, guitarist of Danish rock bands Malurt, Big Fat Snake, on March 23
Malurt – Superlove (1981)

Don Heffington, 70, drummer, percussionist and songwriter, on March 23
Emmylou Harris – Drivin’ Wheel (1983, on drums)
Lone Justice – Ways To Be Wicked (1985, as member)
Dave Alvin – Rio Grande (2004, on drums)

Noel Bridgeman, 74, Irish drummer (Skid Row, Mary Black), on March 23
Skid Row – New Faces Old Places (1969, as member)
The Waterboys – Fisherman’s Blues (1988, on drums)

Tavish Maloney, guitarist with rock band Oso Oso, on March 25

Brett Bradshaw, drummer with rock band Faster Pussycat (1991-93), on March 26
Faster Pussycat – Nonstop To Nowhere (1992)

Malcolm Cecil, 84, British musician and producer, on March 28
Dick Morrissey Quartet – St. Thomas (1961, on double bass)
Stevie Wonder – Visions (1973, on bass and as co-producer)
The Isley Brothers – Footsteps In The Dark (1977, as co-producer)
Gil Scott-Heron – Angel Dust (1978, as co-producer)

Hans Kinds, 74, guitarist of Dutch blues band Cuby & the Blizzards, on March 29
Cuby + Blizzards – L.S.D. (Got A Million Dollars) (1966)

Claire dela Fuente, 62, Filipino singer, on March 30
Claire Dela Fuente – Something In Your Eyes (2008)

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Any Major ABC: 1990s

April 1st, 2021 3 comments

In every decade there seems to be a cultural revival of eras that are 15-30 years in the past. I suppose these revivals are the natural consequence of people who grew up 15-30 years ago becoming the cultural decision-makers of the day, resuscitating their happy days of growing up, of being teenagers, of being consumers of music, movies and TV. And if those days weren’t always happy, these people always had music, TV and film to comfort them. So the culture of past generations is revived by middle-age decision-makers and consumed by both their peers and by young people, together and apart.

That generational nostalgia cycle really took hold in the 1970s, when the 1950s revival started with movies like American Graffiti and The Last Picture Show, and bands like Sha Na Na, and then TV shows like Happy Days (a title that signposts that nostalgia I mentioned above) and revival groups like Showaddywaddy in the UK. The death of Elvis gave it further momentum, and it culminated with the musical and movie Grease. Even in the mid-1980s the ’50s revival still had currency, with the Back To The Future film presenting a particular version of 1955.

By then, the 1960s revival was in full swing. In Britain, Mods were already in a Battle of Revivals with Teddy Boys in the late 1970s. Then the murder of John Lennon in 1980 drove ’60s nostalgia into overdrive, bringing us Dirty Dancing and, in the UK, Levi jeans commercials soundtracked by soul hits of that era. And in the 1990s and 2000s, nostalgia for the 1970s even brought bell bottoms back into fashion, their death certificates from the ’80s having been declared briefly invalid.

Now we are in the midst of a 1990s revival, which is unnerving for those of us who are still coming to terms with the advent of the third millennium AD. But suddenly 1990s sitcoms have become all the rage, and the Spice Girls have been artistically rehabilitated by many! Has Garth Brooks started touring again, flying above the cheering crowds?

The 15-30 year revival cycle suggests that the nostalgia for the 2000s should be in full swing now, which means baggy T-shirts must be in soon (or they already are; what would I know?). But the 2000s never really went away, and that is probably the key to nostalgia and the revivals it generates: the eras must have died before they can be revived.

The 1990s is in the grey area of nostalgism: some of it never went away, and yet some of it seems like a different country now.

This mix of music — one act representing each letter of the alphabet — will, I hope, make the 1990s present as an interesting decade. It’s a decade that had its own culture — grunge or Brit pop, for example — but also served as a bridge between a segmented past and the blur of slowly shifting culture in an age when the spirit of the past couple of decades is ever-present, through the Internet and Netflix.

Politically, it was the last summer of relative peace, before 9/11 and the devastation of personal rights that followed that event. It was still a decade of hope, with the fall of the Eastern Bloc, Germany reuniting, South Africa’s peaceful transition from apartheid, the appearance of economic stability (the price for which we paid after 2008, with the lie of austerity), and the optimism that the new-fangled World Wide Web would be a force only for good.

The writing was already on the wall, of course. In the US, there was rise of Republican obstructionism and ultra-partisanship in the 1994 midterms — which came to full bloom in the Tea Party and the social dystopia of Trumpism. The Columbine massacre in 1999 proved to be not an aberration but the starting salvo for a culture of mass shootings so frequent that they have lost the power to truly shock. And in South Africa, the liberators turned out to be just as corrupt as their racist predecessors. But it is not an act of nostalgia to observe the 1990s were better than the two awful decades that followed them.

But back to the music… These ABC mixes are a bit like nostalgia radio stations, though here the playlist compiler has better taste than many of those who decide which old song should play twice a day on the radio. Your kids (or gandchildren) might be pleased to hear something from the 1990s that’s not Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston or “What if God was one of us”.

The mix couldn’t be timed to fit on a CD-R, but I made home-shellsuited covers anyway, in case these come in handy. The text above is included as an illustrated PDF booklet.

1. Arrested Development – People Everyday (1992)
2. Barenaked Ladies – Brian Wilson (live) (1996)
3. Crowded House – Distant Sun (1993)
4. Duran Duran – Ordinary World (1993)
5. En Vogue – My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) (1992)
6. Fastball – Out Of My Head (1998)
7. George Michael – Spinning The Wheel (1996)
8. Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta (1997)
9. Indigo Girls – Galileo (1992)
10. James – Laid (1993)
11. Khadja Nin – Wale Watu (1996)
12. Lemonheads – It’s A Shame About Ray (1992)
13. Mango Groove – Hometalk (1990)
14. Nick Heyward – The Man You Used To Be (1998)
15. Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger (1995)
16. Primal Scream – Rocks (1994)
17. Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y. (1993)
18. R.E.M. – Man On The Moon (1992)
19. Shawn Mullins – Lullaby (1998)
20. Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite (1992)
21. US3 – Cantaloop (1992)
22. Verve – Lucky Man (1997)
23. Weezer – Falling For You (1996)
24. Xzibit – Paparazzi (1996)
25. Youssou N’Dour feat. Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds (1994)
26. Zhané – Groove Thang (1994)

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MORE ABC MIXES:

Any Major ABC of the 1950s
Any Major ABC of the 1960s
Any Major ABC of the 1970s
Any Major ABC of the 2000s
Any Major ABC of Soul
Any Major ABC of Country
Any Major ABC of Christmas

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Any Major Soul 1981

March 25th, 2021 3 comments

There was still a lot of great soul in the early 1980s. In fact, there was a lot of great soul throughout the decade; it’s just the famous hits that got worse.

Dimples
One of the better hits of the mid-1980s was the rather misogynist Oran ‘Juice’ Jones hit The Rain, in which the singer delivers a spoken diatribe to effect a break-up with his cheating girlfriend (“Don’t touch that coat!”). On this mix, the roles are reversed as Betty Wright cuts down the hapless Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields, on whom she has served divorce papers. And with good reason, for he is seeking to get his jollies elsewhere. Her rap as she cuts the cad down to size is quite spectacular. Fields, who begins the track by framing himself as a victim, merits our applause for setting himself up in this song as a target for a woman’s righteous fury.

Fields went on to have an R&B hit in 1982 with If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another (a re-recording of a track he had originally released in 1975), and a number of low-charting releases, but he enjoyed less success than he deserved. Dimples, his nickname by which he went on his later recordings (given to him for his ready smile), died at only 57 in 2000.

Jones Girls
His She’s Got Papers On Me is one of two tracks here which I might have held back for a mix I’m plotting of songs with spoken words; the other is The Jones Girls I Just Love The Man, in which the girl’s take issue with the quality of a sister’s no-good boyfriend. In some families, I suspect, this song could be the national anthem.

The sisters — Shirley, Brenda and Valerie  — found success with Gamble & Huff, having first been mentored by Curtis Mayfield, through whom they got to work with Aretha Franklin. It was as a support act for Diana Ross that the Jones Girls came to Gamble & Huff’s attention. Besides releasing their own albums, they also provided backing vocals for the PIR roster. Of the three sisters, only lead singer Shirley (who in the featured song is the no-good man’s girlfriend) is still alive. Valorie died in 2001; Brenda in 2017. The Jones Girls previously featured on Any Major Soul 1980/81 and Any Major Soul 1978/79.

Apollo Creed sings!
One singer here is more famous as a movie star, or even as an American football player than as a soul crooner. In 1981, Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed in Rocky). You Ought To Be With Me, on which the actor has a writing credit, was his single foray into recording music. Which is a pity: Weathers is doing a creditable job of it.

Blues ‘n’ Soul
Another act is not really known as a soul singer. Bobby Rush was a veteran blues singer by the time Talk To Your Daughter came out. As a young man, he was friends with blues legends like Elmore James and Pinetop Perkins, and with Ike Turner. The featured track is from the period in his long career when Rush was produced by Philly soul pioneer Kenny Gamble. Rush, who veers into the fields of soul, funk and even hip hop, won his first Grammy in 2017, at the age of 87.

Tutored by B.B.
And a nephew of Rush’s old pal Emore James features here, too. L.V. Johnson was better known as a session guitarist — he was taught to play that instrument by B.B. King — for acts like the Bar-Kays, Johnnie Taylor, and the Soul Children. After strumming and also writing for other acts, and releasing a few singles in the 1970s, he released his debut album in 1981 (it also included a soul version of Danny Boy, featured on Covered With Soul Vol. 22). Several albums followed, none particularly successful. L.V. Johnson died in 1994 at the age of 48.

Feva
Sandra Feva released three LPs and a succession of singles, under her stage name and real name, Sandra Richardson. The breakthrough never came, but in the 1980s Feva was also a session singer, backing he likes of Aretha Franklin (including on Who’s Zooming Who), Prince, George Clinton/Paliament/Funkadelic, and others. Feva died at 73 in 2020.

As always, CD-R length, covers, text above in PDF, PW in comments…

1. The Whispers – Love Is Where You Find It
2. Luther Vandross – Sugar And Spice
3. Ray Parker Jr. – A Woman Needs Love
4. Sandra Feva – Tell ’Em That I Heard It
5. Tyrone Davis – Love (Ain’t Over There)
6. Chaka Khan – Any Old Sunday
7. The Jones Girls – I Just Love The Man
8. Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields feat. Betty Wright – She’s Got Papers On Me
9. Al Jarreau – Breakin’ Away
10. Debra Laws feat. Ronnie Laws – Very Special
11. Bobby Womack – Where Do We Go From Here?
12. Thelma Houston – There’s No Running Away From Love
13. Carl Weathers – You Ought To Be With Me
14. Yvonne Gage – Tonight (I Wanna Love You)
15. Earth, Wind & Fire – Wanna Be With You
16. L.V. Johnson – We Belong Together
17. Bobby Rush – Talk To Your Daughter
Bonus track: Fifth Avenue – Miracles

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More Any Major Soul

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Any Major Top 75 Acts (18-34)

March 18th, 2021 3 comments

We’re now breaking into the Top 20 in the series of the Top 75 pop acts, as compiled by me and my trusty assistants at Rolling Stone magazine, compiled according to the system I explained in the first part. To jog your memory, it’s a combination of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100, my own Top 75, plus bonus points for the level of influence an act has had on pop history or their genre, and more bonus points for how many albums of each at I own (because the list should skew in some way to my taste).

The listed acts are accompanied by a notional “favourite song”. As discussed last time, there usually isn’t such a thing as one “favourite” song. I also made concessions. In this lot, for example, I chose as AC/DC’s song the live version of A Whole Lotta Rosie. If pressed, I’d say Ride On is my favourite track of the group, because it has been that for the past 40 years. But Ride On, a slow blues-rock number, is not really representative of AC/DC. So Rosie it was.

Choosing a track for Chuck Berry also required consideration. It might have been School Days or Too Much Monkey Business or You Never Can Tell, but I opted for the one with the lyrics that frightened the WASP establishment (until people like #32 covered it, and drew that sting).

The Rock & Roll pioneers who ranked highly in the RS list dropped down on mine perhaps a little unfairly, losing crucial points in the category of albums by particular artists I own. I tend to have collections of their works, rather than albums (the same quirk pulled Hendrix and Ray Charles down, and gave Queen a rather unfair boost, thanks to the esteem I used to hold them when I accumulated their earlier LPs).

The rankings are subjective, of course. I acknowledge that most people will regard Cooke, Holly or Little Richard to be greater and certainly more influential acts than, say, Gil Scott-Heron (though impact was considered in the points allocation). But the points fell as they fell…

And they fell favourably towards John Lennon, who is featuring here purely on form of his solo output. Rolling Stone ranked him far too highly at #38 (and McCartney not at all); on my list he even crept up a few places, on strength of the great number of Lennon LPs I own (which reminds me that I once owned a Japanese pressing of the Wedding Album, with all the inserts. It’s worth about $99 now).

I’m glad that I have been able to give relief to the absurd ranking Rolling Stone gave Michael Jackson. Much as I think Thriller is overrated, and everything after Thriller substandard, Off The Wall is a near-perfect album, and his work with The Jackson 5/The Jacksons is superb. But, of course, the sum of his music isn’t the total of his career. Jackson’s influence was arguably third only to that of Elvis and The Beatles; that merited more than 35th place — and perhaps more than #18, especially when you see in the final instalment next month who’s at #17.

Here are places 34 to 18 (Rolling Stone Top 100 ranking in brackets), and featured track. The playlist follows a more logical sequence. As always, CD-R length, home-ranked covers, PW in comments. Plus: as before, the text here is included in PDF format for future reference.

34 (—-) Isaac Hayes – I Stand Accused (1970)
33 (16) Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (1964)
32 (13) Buddy Holly – That’ll Be The Day (1957)
31  (8)  Little Richard – Ooh! My Soul (1958)
30 (38) John Lennon – Instant Karma (1970)
29 (—-) Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (1970)
28 (—-) Gil Scott-Heron – The Needle’s Eye (1971)
27 (72) AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie (live, 1978)
26 (52) Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
25 (39) David Bowie – Changes (1971)
24 (21) Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1965)
23 (10) Ray Charles – What’d I Say (1959)
22  (6)  Jimi Hendrix – The Wind Cries Mary (1967)
21  (5)  Chuck Berry – Brown Eyed Handsome Man (1956)
20 (42) Van Morrison – And It Stoned Me (1970)
19 (—-) Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons (live, 1975)
18 (35) Michael Jackson – Rock With You (1979)

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More Any Major Top 75

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