Creedence Clearwater Revival – Who’ll Stop The Rain

I love CCR…what a band they were…they didn’t have the resources the Beatles, Stones, and The Who as in a big record company, managers, and producers but they kept up with their British counterparts.

John Fogerty wrote this song. The song has been dissected a lot and some say it was a protest of the Vietnam War like “Fortunate Son”. Fogerty has said that when he was  at Woodstock, He watched the festival goers dance in the rain, muddy, naked, cold, huddling together, and it just kept raining.

So when he got back home after that weekend, he sat down and wrote “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” making it not a Vietnam protest at all, but a recounting of his Woodstock experience.

Another great single by CCR…the B side to this song was Travelin’ Band.

The song was on what was perhaps their best album Cosmo’s Factory. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, The UK, and Canada.

Who’ll Stop The Rain peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #4 in Canada, and #8 in the UK in 1970.

John Fogerty: When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked, “Does ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ contain lyrically specific meanings besides the symbolic dimension?” His response: “Certainly, I was talking about Washington when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, ‘Daddy stop the rain.’ And my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Well, not quite.'” 

From Songfacts

This was used in the 1978 motion picture of the same name starring Nick Nolte as a Vietnam veteran. The movie was going to be called Dog Soldiers, but when the producers got the rights to use this song, they changed the title to Who’ll Stop The Rain.

This was released as the B-side to “Travelin’ Band.” It’s one of the many CCR singles to stall at #2. Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 hit in the US.

The line, “I went down Virginia, seekin’ shelter from the storm” gave Bob Dylan the idea for the title of his 1975 song “Shelter From The Storm.”

This is one of many rain-themed CCR songs, including “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”

Bruce Springsteen opened with this song during his summer stadium tour of 2003 whenever it was raining

During the lockdown John and his family has played a lot of Creedence’s songs for fans… This is one. 

Who’ll Stop The Rain

Long as I remember The rain been coming down.
Clouds of mystery pouring Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages, Trying to find the sun;
And I wonder, Still I wonder, Who’ll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia, Seeking shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, Wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who’ll stop the rain.

Heard the singers playing, How we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together, Trying to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pouring, Falling on my ears.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who’ll stop the rain.

Bruce Hornsby – The Way It Is

Bruce Hornsby is an excellent musician. I remember him breaking out in the mid eighties. He also played keyboards for the Grateful Dead off and on in the early nineties after the Dead’s keyboardist Brent Mydland. died.

It’s a strange song to become a #1 because it doesn’t have a big catchy chorus…instead it has a jazz feel that carries the song. When I heard it a couple of times I loved it.

Bruce Hornsby said this song deals with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The line in the lyrics that mentions “The law passed in ’64” is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law was supposed to prohibit discrimination in public places, the government and employment.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, in Canada, #15 in the UK, and #23 in New Zealand in 1986. The song came off the album of the same name and it peaked at #3 in the Billboard Album Charts.  the album produced 3 songs in the top twenty.

Bruce Hornsby on growing up in Virginia: “My mother came from the New England area, and she was a little more enlightened about racial subjects than a lot of people in the South. So I had a different attitude to a lot of my friends whose parents were more conservative.”

When I was brought up, the vibe I got of Martin Luther King in my town was that he was a real evil man – just the vibe in the air, that he was terrible. And if you grow up in that environment you can’t help but be affected by it a little bit. Luckily, I came from a family that guarded us against that conservatism, but sure, I grew up in the thick of all that bad feeling.”

From Songfacts

The lyrics in this song deal with the need to resist complacency and never resign yourself to racial injustice as the status quo.

With a consistent tempo and a jazz-inflected sound, it appealed to a more adult audience and added a welcome diversity to Top 40 playlists that were dominated by uptempo, synth-driven songs. It was a song grown-ups loved and their kids could tolerate, reaching the top of both the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.

Hornsby had been working as a staff songwriter for years with no luck getting a record deal. With his attempts to appeal to popular taste falling short, he decided to make a demo of songs in his own style – ECM jazz – and included this track. He sent the demo to a new label called Windham Hill, which specialized in vocal groups. They offered him a deal, but so did some major labels that also got a hold of it. Hornsby signed with RCA because they offered him creative freedom. They were rewarded when this song and the album became huge hits.

The conservative radio host Sean Hannity used an instrumental portion of this song as his show’s theme for many years. Hornsby, a liberal democrat, had vastly different political views, but there was nothing he could do about Hannity using the song as long as royalties were paid.

The Way It is

Standing in line, marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes
Just for fun he says, “get a job”

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them

Said, hey little boy you can’t go where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do
Said, hey old man how can you stand
To think that way
Did you really think about it
Before you made the rules?

He said, “son
That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them”

Oh yeah

(That’s just the way it is)

(That’s just the way it is) well, they passed a law in ’64
To give those who ain’t got a little more
But it only goes so far
Because the law don’t change another’s mind
When all it sees at the hiring time
Is the line on the color bar, no, no

That’s just the way it is
And some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is, it is, it is, it is

Supertramp – It’s Raining Again

I heard this song in Jr High and couldn’t help but like it. It has a very good melody and is a really good pop song.

The song was written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson and was on the album Famous Last Words in 1982. The album peaked at #5 in the Billboard album charts, #1 in Canada, and #6 in the UK in 1982.

The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100, #4 in Canada, and #26 in the UK

At the end of the song they repeat a nursery rhyme called “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”.

Roger Hodgson: I wrote It’s Raining Again on a day when I was feeling sad because I’d lost a friend. I was in England looking outside the window and it was pouring rain and literally, the song came to me. I started playing these chords on this pump organ and I just started singing It’s Raining Again.

The first version of it was much slower and more melancholy and then when I recorded it with Supertramp I decided to increase the tempo and it was more upbeat. So it’s another of my songs with a sad lyric set to up upbeat melody.

The five members of Supertramp all appear in the video. At the beginning, John Helliwell is a street musician playing an alto saxophone. Before the first chorus, Dougie Thomson appears as the bus driver (this was the last filmed video where Thomson would appear with his then trademark moustache and beard). Hodgson plays the guitar-playing bus passenger. Lastly, Rick Davies and Bob Siebenberg play the two pickup truck rednecks.

It’s Raining Again

It’s raining again
Oh no, my love’s at an end.
Oh no, it’s raining again
and you know it’s hard to pretend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Too bad I’m losing a friend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Oh will my heart ever mend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
You’re old enough some people say
To read the signs and walk away
It’s only time that heals the pain
And makes the sun come out again
It’s raining again
Oh no, my love’s at an end.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Too bad I’m losing a friend.

C’mon you little fighter
No need to get uptighter
C’mon you little fighter
And get back up again
Oh get back up again
Fill your heart again…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Raining_Again

Blondie – Heart Of Glass

Off all the Blondie songs I’ve covered I never touched this one…I thought I would correct that today.  It’s probably their biggest hit…it peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand.

The song did cause some problems for the band. The rock crowd thought they sold out and the disco crowd thought they were punks. For a while they were outcasts from both crowds.

Blondie members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein wrote the first version of this song in early 1974, shortly after they first met. They didn’t have a proper title for the song, and would refer to it as “The Disco Song.”

Evidently finding words to rhyme to “glass” that fit in a song were… a pain in the ass. American radio at that time frowned on that rhyme. To ensure airplay stations were sent an edited version with the offending line replaced with “soon turned out I had a heart of glass.”

John Lennon was a fan of the song. He wrote Ringo Starr a postcard advising him to write more songs like “Heart of Glass.” Debbie Harry found out about that and said “It was totally wonderful knowing that.”

Debbie Harry : “Lyrically, it was about a stalker who was pursuing me, and Chris saved me from him.”

Debbie Harry: “When we did Heart Of Glass it wasn’t too cool in our social set to play disco. But we did it because we wanted to be uncool. It was based around a Roland Rhythm Machine and the backing took over 10 hours to get down.”

Keyboardist Jimmy Destri:“These new wave kids think they know everything about rock and roll, but they won’t accept anything else. They should listen to the album and realize that we haven’t changed our direction that radically. We haven’t become the Bee Gees.”

An early version of this song called “Once I Had a Love (aka The Disco Song)” was included in the 2001 reissue of the Parallel Lines album…I have it below in one of the videos.

From Songfacts

It wasn’t until they recorded this song in 1978 that Stein came up with the title “Heart Of Glass.” He didn’t know that it was also the title of a 1976 German movie directed by Werner Herzog.

According to Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Songs, Harry and Stein wrote the song in their dingy New York apartment and keyboardist Jimmy Destri provided the synthesizer hook. The result brought punk and disco together on the dance floor. Said Destri, “Chris always wanted to do disco. We used to do ‘Heart Of Glass’ to upset people.”

Chris Stein added, “We didn’t expect the original to be that big. We only did it as a novelty item to put more diversity into the album.”

Blondie re-recorded this in 1978 in a reggae style, but their producer Mike Chapman suggested reggae didn’t sell in America. As Harry and Stein had a fascination with the disco sound that was then sweeping the country, so they adopted a sound that was an amalgamation of their New Wave background and Eurodisco.

In the last chorus, following “Once I had a love and it was a gas,” Debbie Harry takes a different tack, singing “Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass.” This is a key line in the song, since the singer has now realized that this relationship is more trouble than it’s worth, and that her heart of glass might be more durable than she thought.

The sound of the CR-78 drum machine was merged with that of drummer Clem Burke’s real drums, which was no easy task in the analog age. Burke took his inspiration from the groove of one of his favorite songs: The Bee Gees’ “Stayin Alive.”

The song’s lyric turns the traditional heartbreak theme on its head. Debbie Harry explained in Q magazine: “I was tired of hearing girl singers write or sing about being beaten by love. So I said, Well listen, there are also a lot of girls who just walk away.”

The success of “Heart of Glass” launched Parallel Lines and Blondie into mainstream success, but it caused a lot of friction with some of their original fan base, which felt Blondie had sold out.

In a 1979 Los Angeles Times piece, Richard Cromelin observed, “‘Death To Disco’ T-shirts weren’t an uncommon sight among the new wave audience that formed Blondie’s first base of support. But, as it turns out, it’s disco that’s given life to Blondie.”

Blondie guitarist Chris Stein responded, “We probably have alienated some of that original audience, but I really don’t have sympathy for anybody that says we’ve sold out.”

Miley Cyrus performed a cover of the song at the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 19, 2020. Her version impressed fans and colleagues alike and an audio recording of the live performance was released to streaming services 10 days later.

Blondie’s official Twitter account re-tweeted a video of Cyrus’ iHeartRadio performance and wrote, “We think Miley Cyrus nailed it. Check it out.”

Cyrus’ version returned the song to the UK Top 40.

Heart Of Glass

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using, please don’t push me aside
We coulda made it cruising, yeah

Yeah, riding high on love’s true bluish light

In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

Wait Til Your Father Gets Home…

An adult primetime cartoon in the early seventies. The father is voiced by Tom Bosley who is better known as Mr. C or Mr. Cunningham. In this show, he voices Harry Boyle.

This program was about the Boyle family who had a common-sense father, a loyal wife (Irma), a lazy hippie son (Chet), a progressive thinking daughter (Alice) and a younger more conservative son (Jaime) who predated Michael J Fox on Family Ties.

Harry has conservative views from the fifties but he is not overboard while his two oldest children have no intention of following the rules and morals of their father’s generation. The youngest son is just out for money.

The show also features an ultra-right winged conspiracy-minded McCarthy influenced neighbor (Ralph Kane) who resembled Richard Nixon (to me anyway) and he is always thinking the communists are out to get him and his neighbors.

The show ran 3 seasons from 1972-1974 with a total of 48 episodes.

If you lived in the seventies or if you are a student of that time… you might enjoy it. What I remember most about it was the theme song. I was too young to get the references…I just remember, hey it’s a cartoon and it’s not Saturday morning or a Disney special.

One thing that struck me about this show was the minimalist animation. The backgrounds were simple but effective.

The show is topical just like the show that inspired it…All In The Family.

It is a fun time capsule…and I still watch it from time to time.

wait til adver.jpg

Bob Dylan – Knocking On Heaven’s Door

This song is one of Bob Dylan’s best known songs. There has been many covers but I’ll take this one over all. I read a review Thursday of the soundtrack of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid by Bob Dylan written by Cincinnati Babyhead.

Dylan  wrote the lyrics of the song from the perspective of a dying sheriff living his last moments played by Slim Pickens. The song plays beautifully to that scene in the movie

Last night I decided to watch the movie again. It’s a great movie and if you get a chance… watch it. Dylan had a part in the movie as the character, Alias. Knocking On Heavens Door peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100, #14 in rhe UK, and #12 in Canada in 1973.

Booker T. Jones (musician on the album): “He [Dylan] lived over in Paradise Cove and I lived on Winding Way in Malibu. I bought Lana Turner’s old house and I’m not sure where he lived, but he had a house just across the road there and he would come over and pick up my guitar and work on songs and stuff. They were working on the movie with Jason Robards late one night, and for some reason [Dylan] just called me up and asked me to come over to the studio and to play on the song, and I played bass on it.”

The other musicians on “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” are:

Vocals, Guitar: Dylan
Guitar: Roger McGuinn
Drums: Jim Keltner
Harmonium: Carl Fortina
Flute: Gary Foster
Backup Vocals: Brenda Patterson, Carol Hunter, Donna Weiss

From Songfacts

Dylan wrote it for the 1973 Western film, Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid. It plays while Sheriff Colin Baker is dying from his gunshot wounds. 

Guns N’ Roses covered this on their 1991 album, Use Your Illusion II. They played it in 1992 at a tribute concert for Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, who had died of AIDS. 72,000 people attended the concert, which was held in London’s Wembley Stadium. In case you’re wondering, towards the end of the end of this version, the man on the telephone says, “You just better start sniffin your own rank subjugation Jack, ’cause it’s just you and your tattered libido, the bank and the mortician, forever man and it wouldn’t be luck if you could get out of life alive.”

In 1996, Bob Dylan allowed the Scottish musician Ted Christopher to record a new verse for “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” which Christopher had written in memory of the schoolchildren and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre. This is one of the rare times Dylan has officially permitted someone to add to or change the lyrics to one of his songs. Christopher’s version reached #1 in the UK.

One of the few times Dylan authorized a sample was when he let the British singer Gabrielle use this song as the basis of her 1999 track “Rise,” which went to #1 in the UK. According to Gabrielle, Dylan not only allowed it, but waived some of the royalties he was entitled to.

Warren Zevon recorded this for his 2003 album The Wind. Zevon was dying of lung cancer when he recorded the track, and died shortly after the album was released.

This song has been covered in reggae style by multiple artists including G.T. Moore & The Reggae Guitars, Arthur Louis and Eric Clapton.

Other artists to have covered this song include Avril Lavigne, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Cold Chisel, Neil Young and Aretha Franklin.

The title of the song was used as the original title for the Cowboy Bebop movie. Cowboy Bebop is a popular Japanese Anime that made a big hit in America when the dubbed version (done in the late ’90s) was broadcast on Cartoon Network in 2001. Bebop was known for taking influences from pop culture (example: The title of episode 6 is “Sympathy for the Devil,” obviously a take off of the Rolling Stones Song). When a full length Bebop movie was made in Japan, it was titled Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. When it was dubbed and brought to theaters in America for a short time, they changed it to Cowboy Bebop: The Movie so Dylan wouldn’t take any legal action against them. 

This song is musically similar to Neil Young’s “Helpless,” which was recorded in 1969 and features on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album, Déjà Vu.

In October 2007, 1,730 guitarists in Shillong, India strummed this song for five minutes to set a world record for the largest ever guitar ensemble.

Knocking On Heavens Door

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Andy Kaufman…An Original to Remember

I like original people…Andy was that completely. This post is a little long…for me.

He covered the bases…Mighty Mouse, Foreign Man, wrestling women, Elvis Impersonator (I think the best), Tony Clifton, bongo player, Great Gatsby reader and generally pissing people off, boring them or making them laugh. He was a performance artist – a comedian who sometimes was uncomfortable to watch but great as well. He was not a joke comedian…not remotely close.

I remember seeing him on a clip from the Tonight Show… as the very innocent childlike foreign man talking for a while and doing terrible celebrity impersonations and then suddenly shedding that character like a used coat and did Elvis impersonation…no, he WAS Elvis… I’ve read where Elvis said that Andy was his favorite impersonator but whether that is true or not I don’t know.

His first SNL performance… All he did was to get on stage with a record player playing the “Mighty Mouse” theme and mime along in certain spots. He made it work. He was only doing what he did growing up alone in his room as a child…he translated that to a national audience.

He loved to be the bad guy… At his performances, he would sometimes threaten to read the Great Gatsby…the complete book…just to piss everyone off…He would read a chapter or so and then ask the crowd if they wanted to hear some music from his record player….the audience, thinking of Mighty Mouse would applaud and he then would start playing a record of him reading The Great Gatsby from where he left off right before.

Andy grew up loving wrestling. After he achieved his fame he started to wrestle…wrestle women. I’m sure many people at the time were baffled.

That led to the infamous guest shot on The David Letterman Show with wrestler Jerry Lawler in 1982. Jerry slapped Andy off a chair who had a neck brace on already…at the time people really bought into it. Lawler says he still gets hate mail to this day from people who think he caused Andy’s death. Of course, both planned this and they were friends.

A couple of years before his death he made a film with Fred Blassie… a wrestler Andy admired. He filmed it at a restaurant and called it “Breakfast with Blassie.”

Andy once played Carnegie Hall and took the entire audience out afterward for milk and cookies. Being Andy, some probably didn’t believe it but he had 20 buses waiting outside for them and they all went to have milk and cookies.

He will be remembered best for Taxi and his character Latka Gravas. It amazes me that he was on Taxi…that he was on any normal show…though Taxi was great…It worked out well that they found a place for Andy’s foreign man character…but Andy wasn’t always happy being on the show.

He also had an alter ego character he played called Tony Clifton. Tony was a loud, obnoxious. sleazy lounge singer that would rip the audience. Usually, the person getting ripped was Andy’s writing partner and friend Bob Zmuda. Later on, to really mess with people’s minds…Andy had Bob to play Tony Clifton and they would appear together. “Tony Clifton” even got himself thrown off of the Taxi set.

Some people loved Andy, some hated him, some thought he was irritating and some all three. I just appreciated the fact he was different.

Andy died in 1984…or did he? Bob Zmuda has said that Andy did say he was going to fake his death and said that he actually helped Andy plan it. More people have come forward saying the same thing. Every few years we get an Andy sighting in Albuquerque or somewhere else. No, I don’t believe he did fake it…but hey I would love if he popped up well and alive anytime in the future. The world needs original people. You know he would be loving the rumors about him being alive…if he is alive or not.

REM had a song that was based on Andy called Man on the Moon. It was about questioning everything like the Moon landing, Elvis dying, religion, Andy dying and etc… from REM’s bassist Mike Mills “He’s the perfect ghost to lead you through this tour of questioning things. Did the moon landing really happen? Is Elvis really dead? He was kind of an ephemeral figure at that point so he was the perfect guy to tie all this stuff together as you journey through childhood and touchstones of life.”

In 1999 a movie called Man on the Moon starring Jim Carrey was released about Andy’s life. I went to see it when it came out and enjoyed it. I’m not sure how close Carrey got to Andy’s non-public side because of course, I didn’t know him. Marilu Henner said that he was a warmer person than the movie portrayed and Judd Hirsch said that while not performing, Andy was a very normal, quiet guy but Judd admits he really didn’t know him. I do think Carrey did a good job portraying him.

I like one of a kind people like Andy Kaufman and Keith Moon. Expect the unexpected…it keeps life interesting.

First SNL Appearance

Andy on Letterman

Milk and Cookies

Elvis

REM…Man on the Moon

Buddy Holly – True Love Ways

Without Buddy rock music could have been drastically different. Buddy was a self contained artist who wrote, arranged, and recorded his own songs. His chord changes and melodies were different from fellow rockers Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry.

True Love Ways was co-written by Buddy and Norman Petty and recorded in October 1958. Petty was Buddy Holly’s first producer and owned the studio in Clovis, New Mexico where all of Buddy’s first recordings were made…Lubbock did not have a recording studio at the time.

The song’s haunting melody was inspired by one of Buddy’s favorite black gospel hymns, “I’ll Be Alright,” which was recorded by The Angelic Gospel Singers. This song was likely inspired by his wife Maria Elena.

The song peaked at #25 in the UK in 1960…a year after he died in a plane crash.

From Songfacts

This and “It Doesn’t Matter Any More” were Buddy’s first recordings to use orchestral string arrangements, which accentuated his vocal mannerisms. The strings were arranged by Dick Jacobs. 

Notable covers include versions by Mickey Gilley, Peter & Gordon, and The Royal Philharmonic.

This wasn’t released until after Holly’s death in 1959. After he died in a plane crash, the album The Buddy Holly Story was released, which contained many of his early hits. This album came out a few months later and included many of his lesser-known or never released songs.

True Love Ways

Just you know why
Why you and I
Will bye and bye
Know true love ways

Sometimes we’ll sigh
Sometimes we’ll cry
And we’ll know why
Just you and I
Know true love ways

Throughout the days
Our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share
With those who really care

Sometimes we’ll sigh
Sometimes we’ll cry
And we’ll know why
Just you and I
Know true love ways

Throughout the days
Our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share
With those who really care

Sometimes we’ll sigh
Sometimes we’ll cry
And we’ll know why
Just you and I
Know true love ways

Cars – You’re All I’ve Got Tonight ….Power Pop Friday

I started this post and it’s still hard to believe Ric Okasek is gone…him and The Cars left behind some great songs and history.

The band’s guitarist Elliot Easton was one of the most underrated guitarists of his generation. The guy played perfect pop/rock/country guitar fills and solos.

This song like many other of their best known songs was on their debut album The Cars. To these ears it hast to be one of the best debut albums by a pop/rock band. The album was released on June 6, 1978.

The album featured 3 charting songs Let The Good Times Roll, My Best Friend’s Girl, and Just What I Needed. It also contained songs that would remain staples on rock radio such as Bye, Bye, Love and You’re All I’ve Got Tonight.

The Cars sold one million copies by the end of 1978 and remained on the charts for nearly three years. It only peaked at number 18, Billboard ranked it number 4 on their “Top Albums of the Year” countdown. Critically, the album has been labeled “a genuine rock masterpiece”.

In the next decade the Cars would climb higher in the charts with singles and albums before they disbanded in the late eighties.

You’re All I’ve Got Tonight

I don’t care if you hurt me some more
I don’t care if you even the score
You can knock me and I don’t care
You can mock me and I don’t care
You can rock me just about anywhere
It’s alright

‘Cause you’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
I need you tonight
I need you tonight

I don’t care if you use me again
I don’t care if you abuse me again
You can make me I don’t care
You can fake me I don’t care
You can love me just about anywhere
It’s alright

Cause you’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
I need you tonight
Said I need you tonight

I don’t want to feel sorry for you
You don’t have to make believe it’s you
You can pump me I don’t care
You can bump me I don’t care
You can love me just about anywhere
It’s alright

You’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
I need you tonight
Said I need you tonight

You’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
You’re all I’ve got tonight
I need you tonight
I need you tonight
I need you tonight

Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
Now fights between the blue you once knew

I’m loving this early Pink Floyd music.

This was the opening song on The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn…which  was Pink Floyd’s first album; the title came from a chapter heading in The Wind In The Willows, a children’s book written by Kenneth Grahame and published in 1908.

The song was written by founding member and original band leader Syd Barrett. The song starts with some  Morse Code  and it turns out to be a catchy pop tune. You can hear the future of Pink Floyd in parts of this song.

In the UK, the album was a hit, reaching #6 in 1967. Pink Floyd got some attention when they toured with Jimi Hendrix in 1967.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason: “This is such a great drum track in an interesting time signature. It’s a fantastic bit of ’60s philosophy mixed with a sort of psychedelic lyric.”

From Songfacts

“Astronomy” is the study of celestial bodies, and to “domineer” is to control something in an arrogant way. So “Astronomy Domine” means to control space for personal needs. This probably represents the space race between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War era. 

This was written by Syd Barrett, who was the group’s primary songwriter at the time. A founding member of Pink Floyd, his mental health started deteriorating a short time after this was released, and by 1972 he was out of the band, doing gardening instead of leading one of the foremost bands in Britain. Pink Floyd went on to far greater success without him, but the songs he wrote represent some of the more adventurous music of the era and show sparks of the genius many believe he could have become.

Oberon, Miranda and Titania” are all moons of Uranus and are also characters in Shakespeare’s plays (Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Miranda, daughter of Prospero in The Tempest). “Titan” is the largest moon of Saturn. 

Regarding the lyrics, “Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?” Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero created by illustrator Frank Hampson, and is referenced in this song with obvious references to Space, planets, and their moons. Syd Barrett’s guitar is also suggestive of the brass motif from “Mars, the Bringer of War” in Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

There is some Morse code at the beginning of this song, which was a way to transmit messages using a series of long and short tones. Plenty of people tried to decipher the code in this song, only to realize it was just a random series of tones with no meaning.

Astronomy Domine

Lime and limpid green, a second scene
Now fights between the blue you once knew
Floating down, the sound resounds
Around the icy waters underground
Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania
Neptune, Titan, stars can frighten

Blinding signs flap,
Flicker, flicker, flicker blam, pow, pow
Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?

Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
The icy waters under
Lime and limpid green, the sounds around
The icy waters underground

Band – I Shall Be Released

There is a very solemn song with a religious hymnal feel to it. Richard Manuel sings this one with a slight mournful falsetto voice that is just pure as you can get. I Shall Be Released is not commercial, not meant to be a hit, sell a million copies, but just pure music at it’s best…there are no pretensions or gimmicks…this is the Band at one of it’s many peaks.

Bob Dylan wrote this in 1967 but it was not until 1971 on his Greatest Hits Vol. II album that his version was officially released. The Band, who backed up Dylan on his first electric tour, recorded it for Music From Big Pink, which was their first album. Their version is the most well-known.

Everyone under the sun has covered this song but the Band’s own rendition was released first and is probably the best known version.

The song was the B side to The Weight released in 1968. Music From The Big Ping peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100 and #18 in Canada. That wasn’t the biggest thing though…the album helped change the landscape of popular music from the psychedelic harder rock to more earthy roots music.

From Songfacts

This song could be either an anti-death penalty composition or a metaphoric attempt by Dylan at looking forward to being released from Hell on Earth – possibly awaiting the “release” from the hell of being an innocent man wrongly imprisoned.

In Robert Shelton’s biography No Direction Home, he gives the song a different meaning. After Dylan’s motorcycle accident in 1966, when he was 25, he retreated from the spotlight. This was after he had suffered great disappointment at the reception his European and American tour dates brought. He’d been booed offstage, called a traitor, and attendance dropped at some of his concert dates. Dylan was seriously injured in the accident, and Shelton states that Dylan withdrew not only to recuperate, but to spend the time in self reflection, and with his family. He goes further, saying that the song represents Dylan’s search for personal salvation. 

This was featured in the 1987 Emmy-winning documentary Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. 

Other artists to record this song include Bette Midler, Nina Simone, and Joan Baez, who performed the song at Woodstock while pregnant with her son, Gabriel. The Band also performed it during their set at the festival.

I Shall Be Released

They say everything can be replaced
They say every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here

I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

They say every man needs protection
They say that every man must fall
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Somewhere so high above this wall

I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

Now, yonder stands a man in this lonely crowd
A man who swears he’s not to blame
All day long I hear him shouting so loud
Just crying out that he was framed

I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

Beatles – Help! Soundtrack Album

We wrapped up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We are going into extra innings and extending three more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and a music related movie. This is my pick for sountrack…Help! by the Beatles.

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 11 PICK 4- SOUNDTRACKS- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE BEATLES- HELP!

To avoid confusion I’m reviewing the UK version of Help! because that is the one that I own.

The movie Help! was an enjoyable movie. It was not nearly as good as A Hard Days Night but it had it’s moments. I love black and white movies but the color made Help! stand out. The Beatles knew it wasn’t as good as their first…John had a quote about it: “it was like being a frog in a movie about clams.” Nevertheless it was a fun movie and a pleasure to watch today.

Amazon.com: Blujway The Beatles Help Lobby Card Movie Poster Replica 11 X  14 Photo Print: Posters & Prints

They shot the movie in five different locations…London, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Austria, and the Bahamas.

It was the first Beatle movie I ever saw…I rented it from a video store in the mid-eighties. The Help! movie was the only Beatle movie they had at the time. With no internet, it was my only window to see the Beatles other than the documentary The Compleat Beatles.

Behind-the-Scenes Footage From the Beatles' 'Help!' Surfaces

The soundtrack is a great album on it’s own.

I picked this album/soundtrack because I always thought this was the transitional album between Beatlemania and The Beatles middle period. After this album would come Rubber Soul and the swinging sixties would officially be kicked off. Help! shows them making strides into the future. You can hear a some of their earlier work and get a hint of what was coming.

Here are a few songs…I’ll leave the big hits off of the preview.

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away is a good song with a noticeable Dylan influence.

One of my favorite songs on the album is The Night Before…I first heard it on the Beatles Rock and Roll Music compilation album. It’s another song that would have been a single for another band.

As soon as I heard I’ve Just Seen A Face…I learned it on guitar and have been playing it ever since. This is a song that you can see the change starting to take place…from the bouncy numbers to this folk influenced one. This song would be on the American version of Rubber Soul.

You’re Going to Lose That Girl has a catchy call and response chorus. The backup vocals are superb.

The title track is brilliant with John calling out for Help after being battered by Beatlemania. They also dipped into their club roots with a cover of the Larry Williams song Dizzy Miss Lizzy. The album had the hits of course…Help!, Yesterday, and Ticket To Ride…all #1 in the Billboard 100.

I’m ready to watch Help! now…can I smuggle a Blu-ray player on the island?

Help!
The Night Before
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
I Need You
Another Girl
You’re Going to Lose That Girl
Ticket to Ride
Act Naturally
It’s Only Love
You Like Me Too Much
Tell Me What You See
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Yesterday
Dizzy Miss Lizzy

The Replacements – Can’t Hardly Wait

I posted Skyway  a couple of weeks ago and  I had a request to post more by The Replacements which suits me fine.

This song was first recorded for the 1985 album Tim, but didn’t make the cut. It appeared on the 1987 album Pleased to Meet Me.  It was also featured in the movie Can’t Hardly Wait and on the soundtrack in 1998.

The original, found on the Tim demo sessions is about committing suicide. The record company felt that Pleased To Meet Me, with suicide song “The Ledge,” didn’t need any controversy over having two songs about suicide, so the lyrics to this song were altered.

This new video was released this year for the new Pleased to Meet Me (2020 Remaster) version. It was originally shot in 1987 for “The Ledge;” however, that video was pulled from MTV for “objectionable song content,” so the band re-used it for the follow-up, “Alex Chilton.” This version comes with an HD resolution upgrade and remastered audio.

Can’t Hardly Wait

I’ll write you a letter tomorrow
Tonight, I can’t hold a pen
Someone’s got a stamp that I can borrow
I promise not to blow the address again

Lights that flash in the evening
Through a crack in the drapes

Jesus rides beside me
He never buys any smokes
Hurry up, hurry up, ain’t you had enough of this stuff
Ashtray floors, dirty clothes and filthy jokes

See you’re high and lonesome
Try and try and try

Lights that flash in the evening
Through a hole in the drapes
I’ll be home when I’m sleeping
I can’t hardly wait

I can’t wait
Hardly wait
I can’t wait
Hardly wait
I can’t wait
Hardly wait
I can’t wait
Hardly wait
I can’t wait
Hardly wait

Rolling Stones – 19th Nervous Breakdown

You better stop, look around
Here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

I like this period in Rolling Stones history. Between 1964-67 they released some great music. Brian Jones added a lot of texture to this period.

The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards during their 1965 tour of the United States. The song was recorded during the Aftermath sessions. They got the title from Mick Jagger in the middle of the tour.

During the song Brian Jones is playing a lick that he got from Diddley Daddy…an old Bo Diddley song.

This song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #9 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1966.

Mick Jagger: “We had just done five weeks hectic work in the States and I said, ‘Dunno about you blokes, but I feel about ready for my nineteenth nervous breakdown.’ We seized on it at once as a likely song title. Then Keith and I worked on the number at intervals during the rest of the tour. Brian, Charlie and Bill egged us on – especially as they liked having the first two words starting with the same letter.”

Mick Jagger: “Things that are happening around me – everyday life as I see it. People say I’m always singing about pills and breakdowns, therefore I must be an addict – this is ridiculous. Some people are so narrow-minded they won’t admit to themselves that this really does happen to other people besides pop stars.”

From Songfacts

There are some drug references in this song:

On our first trip I tried so hard to rearrange your mind
But after awhile I realized you were disarranging mine

Many turned on listeners picked up on this, but most didn’t, especially since the lines are mixed low into the background. Over the next few years, the Stones drug use became more apparent, and it was reflected in their songs. British authorities took note, leading to a series of arrests and run-ins among band members and their associates.

Mick Jagger: “That’s a very Los Angeles period, I remember being in the West Coast a lot then. 19th Nervous Breakdown is a bit of a joke song, really. I mean, the idea that anyone could be offended by it really is funny. But I remember some people were. It’s very hard to put yourself back in that period now – popular songs didn’t really address anything very much. Bob Dylan was addressing it, but he wasn’t thought of as a mainstream Pop act. And anyway, no one knew what he was talking about. Basically his songs were too dense for most people. And so to write about anything other than the normal run-of-the-mill love clichés was considered very outre and it was never touched. Anything outside that would shock people. So songs like “19th Nervous Breakdown” were slightly jarring to people. But I guess they soon got used to it. A couple years after that, things took a sort of turn and then saw an even more dark direction. But those were very innocent days, I think.” 

This was one of three songs The Stones performed on their Ed Sullivan Show appearance on February 13, 1966, the first time they were broadcast in color on US television.

Mick Jagger had been dating an English model named Chrissie Shripton when he wrote this song. Theirs was a tumultuous relationship that began in 1963 and ended three years later amid allegation of Mick’s philandering (he began seeing Marianne Faithfull). According to Philip Norman’s biography of Mick Jagger, Shrimpton overdosed on sleeping pills in December 1966 after Jagger stood her up when they were supposed to go on vacation together. While Jagger didn’t write this song about Shrimpton, her overdose drew parallels to the pill-popping character in the song. It was rumored that the line “On our first trip” is a reference to the first time Jagger dropped acid with Shrimpton.

19th Nervous Breakdown

You’re the kind of person you meet at certain dismal, dull affairs
Center of a crowd, talking much too loud, running up and down the stairs
Well, it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years
And though you’ve tried you just can’t hide your eyes are edged with tears

You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father’s still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

Oh, who’s to blame, that girl’s just insane
Well nothing I do don’t seem to work
It only seems to make matters worse, oh please

You were still in school when you had that fool who really messed your mind
And after that you turned your back on treating people kind
On our first trip I tried so hard to rearrange your mind
But after a while I realized you were disarranging mine

You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

Oh, who’s to blame, that girl’s just insane
Well nothing I do don’t seem to work
It only seems to make matters worse, oh please

When you were a child you were treated kind
But you were never brought up right
You were always spoiled with a thousand toys but still you cried all night
Your mother who neglected you owes a million dollars tax
And your father’s still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

You better stop, look around
Here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown

Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)

I love to feature a Byrd’s song because it’s time to break out the Rickenbacker 12 string guitar and hear the magical jangle and ringing tone.

This was written by Pete Seeger, an influential folk singer and activist. He recorded a demo of the song around 1961, and included a live version on his 1962 album The Bitter And The Sweet with just voice and guitar.

The lyrics were taken from a passage from the book of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) in The Bible. They were rearranged and paired with Seeger’s music to make the song.

When The Byrds started working on this song, McGuinn and David Crosby devised a new arrangement of Seeger’s original, but it took the band over 50 tries to get the sound right. The song was released on the Turn, Turn, Turn album in 1965. The album peaked at #17 in the Billboard Album Charts and #11 in the UK.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #26 in the UK, and #3 in Canada in 1965.

Ecclesiastes (3:1-8)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

From Songfacts

Seeger: “I got a letter from my publisher, and he says, ‘Pete, I can’t sell these protest songs you write.’ And I was angry. I sat down with a tape recorder and said, ‘I can’t write the kind of songs you want. You gotta go to somebody else. This is the only kind of song I know how to write.’ I pulled out this slip of paper in my pocket and improvised a melody to it in fifteen minutes. And I sent it to him. And I got a letter from him the next week that said, ‘Wonderful! Just what I’m looking for.’ Within two months he’d sold it to the Limelighters and then to the Byrds. I liked the Byrds’ record very much, incidentally. All those clanging, steel guitars – they sound like bells.” (this appears in Zollo’s book Songwriters On Songwriting)

A folk trio called The Limeliters released an upbeat, banjo-based version in 1962.

Before he recorded this song with The Byrds, Jim McGuinn (who later went by Roger) played acoustic 12-string guitar on Judy Collins’ 1963 version, which appears on her album Judy Collins #3. He also worked up the arrangement with Collins.

Judy Collins’ version was released as a single in 1969 when it was included on her album Recollections. It reached #69 in the US, the only Hot 100 appearance of the song besides The Byrds’ rendition.

Dolly Parton covered this on her 1984 album of cover songs The Great Pretender, and again in 2005 on Those Were The Days

Roger McGuinn teamed up with country artist Vern Gosdin, who was once a member of Chris Hillman’s bluegrass band The Hillman and one half of The Gosdin Brothers (who occasionally opened for The Byrds), for a cover of this song on Gosdin’s 1984 album There Is A Season. McGuinn played the same 12-string Rickenbacker that he used on The Byrds’ recording of the song. In 1994 a previously unreleased version that was originally remixed in 1984 for an anticipated single was included on the The Truly Great Hits Of Vern Gosdin

This was used in the movie Forrest Gump as Forrest says goodbye to Jenny, who is leaving for Berkeley.

I love Roger’s glasses…I did track down a pair of them in the 80s…I then lost them and bought some off of Ebay…they are not easy to find.

Turn Turn Turn

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late