The Hollies – The Air That I Breathe

This Hollies song was released in 1974 and it made it to #6 in the US Billboard Charts and #2 in the UK. The band did not write the song. It was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood.

I was seven when the song came out and it was one song I remember because of that dream-like guitar intro by the underrated lead guitar player for the Hollies…Tony Hicks.

Allan Clarke lead singer of the Hollies.

‘The Air That I Breathe’, another song just like ‘He Ain’t Heavy’. A classic song and again that’s where Phil Everly came back into my life. I went to that same office where I wrote ‘Long Cool Woman’ in one day. The secretary of Ron Richards said that she’d just listened to a Phil Everly album and there was one song on it which was beautiful. She thought that I should do that song, obviously, she meant with The Hollies. I listened to it and obviously felt that I wasn’t going to be able to do it as well as Phil. So they said ‘You gotta try. Do it the way Phil would sing it’. And that’s what I did when we recorded it.’ It’s a beautiful song to sing, ‘Harmony-wise, Terry did a great job on that. To me, that’s again a classic that will go on, and on again.’

“The Air That I Breathe”

If I could make a wish
I think I’d pass
Can’t think of anything I need
No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound
Nothing to eat, no books to readMaking love with you
Has left me peaceful, warm, and tired
What more could I ask
There’s nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleepSometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathePeace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you

The Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated

This song was released in 1978 on The Ramones album “Road to Ruin.” It has no chart history in Billboard but is one of the Ramones best-known songs. The Ramones were to the point, no solos, no frills… just about the song.

I’ve heard them described as punk, bubblegum, rock, heavy rock and everything in between. They were a great underappreciated band in their time.

In an interview with Joey Ramone, he talked about the creation of the song.

It’s a road song. I wrote it in 1977, through the 78. Well, Danny Fields was our first manager and he would work us to death. We would be on the road 360 days a year, and we went over to England, and we were there at Christmas time, and in Christmas time, London shuts down. There’s nothing to do, nowhere to go. Here we were in London for the first time in our lives, and me and Dee Dee Ramone were sharing a room in the hotel, and we were watching The Guns of Navarone. So there was nothing to do, I mean, here we are in London finally, and this is what we are doing, watching American movies in the hotel room.

From Rolling Stone magazine

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/readers-poll-the-10-best-ramones-songs-21392/1-i-wanna-be-sedated-79797/

When Joey Ramone wrote the lyrics for “I Wanna Be Sedated,” he was not joking. The band was on tour in New Jersey in 1977 when the singer badly burned his face and chest with scalding water from a vaporizer he was using soothe his throat. He somehow finished the show, then went to the hospital with second and third degree burns. They pulled a bunch of shows while he recovered, and when they returned to the road in Europe he was still in constant pain. “I Wanna Be Sedated” was scribbled down in London around Christmas, and the band cut it for their 1978 LP Road to Ruin. Needless to say, it didn’t make any sort of impact on the charts, but today it’s one of their most played songs on the radio. Joey often cited it as his single favorite Ramones song, and many fans feel the same way. 

 

I Wanna Be Sedated

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go loco
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go loco
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated
Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated
Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated
Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated

Cat Stevens – If You Want to Sing Out

This is the ultimate optimistic song about following your own path.

I first heard this song off the dark comedy 1971 “Harold and Maude” where it was featured. Stevens wrote and performed all of the songs for the movie after being recommended by Elton John. There was no soundtrack or singles released at the time.

This song did not chart which really surprises me. It’s has been used in a few commercials.

The song was finally released in 1984 on a Cat Stevens Greatest Hits album called “Footsteps in the Dark: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2.”

The soundtrack for Harold and Maude wasn’t released until 2007.

 

 

“If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out”

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

[Chorus:]
You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah
its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
‘Cause there’s a million things to do
You know that there are

[Chorus]

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are

Harold and Maude

I first watched this around 10 years ago. I had read that it was a dark comedy. I started to watch it not knowing what to expect. Well…it was a movie I’ll never forget. It’s an extreme May-December romance. In this movie young Harold equals death and Older Maude equals living.

Harold (Bud Cort) is a 20-year-old son of a wealthy woman who stages fake suicides to get her attention. She simply ignores him after he fakes cutting himself, hanging his self, and drowning etc. He annoys her more than anything else.

Harold’s mom starts trying to set him up girls and Harold sabotages the meetings. Harold is obsessed with death. He goes to strangers funerals on a regular basis and that is where he meets 79-year-old Maude. Maude is full of life and she steals Harold’s hearse…yes he has a  hearse and offers him a ride.

Maude is very much about living in the now.  Harold and Maude start seeing each other.

Ruth Gordon who plays Maude brings the spark to the movie. She lives in a train car, liberates a city tree to the country, and does what she pleases.

I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone who likes dark or offbeat comedies.

The movie was directed by Hal Ashby. The soundtrack was performed by Cat Stevens. The music was a perfect fit for this movie.

Both Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon were nominated for Best Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture -Comedy in the Golden Globes.

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George Harrison – Any Road

This song was on George’s last album “Brainwashed” in 2003. George wrote the song in 1988 while working on a video for “Cloud Nine.” The song peaked at #37 in the UK chart in 2003.

George played this song on a VH1 show that ended up being his last performance before he died in 2001. George did not completely finish the album before he died so his son Dhani and Jeff Lynn helped finish it.

I thought this song was a good song for George to leave us with…It has his trademark slide and some ukelele in it.

This is from songfacts about the song.

George’s son Dhani said that while he and his father were in Hawaii, they walked by a beach and saw a sign that read, “If the wind blows, you can always adjust your sails, but, if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there.” The sign was the inspiration for the song.

“Any Road”

(Give me that plenty of that guitar.)

But I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there, traveling here
Everywhere in every gear

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves
In watery grottoes and mountainous caves

But oh Lord we’ve got to fight
With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light
No use to stop and stare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

You may not know where you came from
May not know who you are
May not have even wondered
How you got this far

I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer
By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair
Traveling where the four winds blow
With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow

But oooeeee it’s a game
Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame
Ah yeah it’s somewhere
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

I keep traveling around the bend
There was no beginning, there is no end
It wasn’t born and never dies
There are no edges, there is no sides

Oh yeah you just don’t win
It’s so far out, the way out is in
Bow to God and call him Sir
But if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
If you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

(Yeah hey! Ah ee ah! Ah he ah!)

The Clash – Train In Vain

I’ve always liked the Clash. Love the London Calling album and really started to listen to them when Combat Rock came out. I’ve never known much about them. This was the first song I ever knew by the Clash when I heard it on the radio in 1980.

They started off as a punk band but The Clash, unlike some other Punk bands, could really play and sing well…and above all else write some great songs. This song was written by

The song was released in 1979 and reached #23 on the Billboard Charts. It is listed by Rolling Stone Magazine at 298 in the top 500 songs of all time. Train in Vain was written by Mick Jones and Joe Strummer.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/500-greatest-songs-of-all-time-151127/the-clash-train-in-vain-50718/

From songfacts about Train In Vain.

On the original vinyl copy of the album “Train Is Vain” isn’t listed on the tracklisting on the sleeve. The story is that the song was recorded for an NME promotional flexi-disc once the London Calling sessions were done, and the flexi-disc idea then fell through, leaving the song with no home. The band hastily tacked the song onto the end of the album just before vinyl pressing, but the sleeve had already been designed and there was no time to add it to the tracklisting. The only clue of it’s existence is in the run-out groove on Side 4, where the name is carved into the vinyl. On all subsequent releases (including the CD copy) “Train In Vain” is included on the tracklisting on the sleeve.

 

 

 

The Bob Newhart Show

Probably my personal favorite sitcom of the seventies. It would not be rated as the best by many people or critics…I just like Newhart’s dry sense of humor. Bob Newhart also was in a sitcom in the 80’s called “Newhart”  that was set in Vermont that sometimes people confuse with this show.

This show was set in Chicago with Bob playing psychologist Bob Hartley. He lived with his wife Emily Hartley in an apartment complex. He worked in an office building with a receptionist named Carol and an Orthodontist name Jerry. There is also a neighbor named Howard Borden…who sometimes can be just a little too out there (or dumb) but he is more like Bob and Emily’s child at times.

The show ran from 1972 – 1978 with 142 episodes. It was never a Nielson Rating giant despite following the Mary Tyler Moore Show but it was in the top 20 in it’s first few years.

A college drinking game originated from this show. Every time you heard “Hi Bob” you would consume alcohol…sounds like a better time than Yahtzee.

The show’s plot takes place usually in three different places. Bob at home with Emily, Bob with his patients, and Bob with Carol and Jerry. Elliot Carlin was a patient of Bob’s and the most pessimistic character I ever saw on a sitcom. He thought the worse of people and himself and often would puncture Bob’s optimism.

This show was part of CBS’s Super Saturday night lineup that featured All In The Family, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and then The Carol Burnett Show. All of those shows are remembered today.

It is a smartly written sitcom…the two episodes I would recommend is “Motel” in season 2 episode 2 and the classic episode “Over the River and through the Woods” season 4 episode 11.

If you like a dry sense of humor this show is for you. Some trivia about the show, the bedspread, and sheets in Bob and Emily’s bedroom were designed by Suzanne Pleshette. She designed bedding for JP Stevens Utica brand.

The cast was

Bob Newhart – Bob Hartley

Suzanne Pleshette – Emily Hartley

Bill Daily – Howard Borden

Marcia Wallace – Carol Kester

Peter Bonerz – Jerry Robinson

Jack Riley – Elliot Carlin

Below is a great description of the show

https://tv.avclub.com/the-bob-newhart-show-has-aged-gracefully-1798180611

The Bob Newhart Show might be the driest American sitcom to ever attain anything like major success. While the show was buoyed by running after The Mary Tyler Moore Show for much of its run, making it more of a beneficiary of a good time slot than a breakout hit, in some ways, Bob Newhart has aged even better than that series. Mary Tyler Moore was more historically important, but the center of the show is the uneasy tension arising from the increased entry of women into the workplace in the ’60s and ’70s, which gives the series a certain quaintness in 2014. Bob Newhart—produced by MTM Enterprises, the studio behind Mary Tyler Moore—is about the perils of trying to lead a mentally sound and fulfilling life in the morass of modern society. It’s a subject that will never go out of fashion—even if the series’ ’70s trappings and outfits seem occasionally ridiculous.

The Bob Newhart Show has gotten even more modern in tone with the passage of time, an unusual trick for a TV show. The complete series, collected on DVD for the first time by Shout Factory recently, centers on the home and work lives of Dr. Bob Hartley (Newhart), a Chicago psychologist whose life is rigidly defined by dealing with his patients—both individually and in the group therapy sessions that became a famous source of jokes for the show. The personalities at his office—orthodontist Jerry (Peter Bonerz) and their receptionist, Carol (Marcia Wallace)—are rarely the draw for the show, but they’re perfectly fine as foils both for Bob and his patients.

It’s on the other side of the series that the show crackles to life. When Bob goes home, he arrives to his wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), and the relationship between the two is the thing about the show that most feels like something no network executive would ever greenlight today. The two are deeply in love, and reading between the lines of their dialogue also reveals they’re having lots of sex. But the show codes their conversation as their sex, taking a tip from the great screwball comedies of the ’30s and ’40s. There’s nothing they love so much as ribbing each other with jokes that would be acidic in lesser hands but feel affectionate coming from the mouths of Newhart and Pleshette. What’s more, the two don’t have children and rarely discuss having them. This was because Newhart didn’t want the show to turn into one where he played off of cute kids, but it played as quietly revolutionary at the time and even more so now. The Hartleys are eternally childless, finding their fulfillment in their professional lives and each other, building a marriage that’s more about finding a solid partner to navigate life with than anything else.

The Bob Newhart Show is also notable for breaking down into three rough eras of two seasons each. Where many other sitcoms of this era (the best ever for American sitcoms) were shepherded by a handful of the same producers from start to finish, Bob Newhart began life as a sort of drier, chillier riff on Mary Tyler Moore, under the tutelage of Lorenzo Music and David Davis. This version of the show, its weakest but still an enjoyable one, ran for the first two years, before spending the next two seasons with Tom Patchett and Jay Tarses working first as head writers, then as showrunners. Tarses’ darkly misanthropic streak and lack of love for the sitcom form blended well with a show about psychoanalysis, and the series became one of the darker sitcoms in TV history. By its fifth (and best) season, it was practically death-obsessed, with frequent riffs on suicide and serious psychological conditions. Yet these final two seasons (which gave some of the best TV writers in history their big break) also up an absurdist quality that was already in the show to quantities that hadn’t been seen in the sitcom since the heyday of Green Acres.

That absurdism also taught future writers who would work on shows starring Newhart a valuable lesson: Newhart, in and of himself, is not the driver of the story. He is, instead, the reactor, the modern man trapped in an absurd system and forced to remark quietly on how bizarre it is. Despite being deliberately low-concept, The Bob Newhart Show is one of the weirdest sitcoms in history, especially as it goes on. Even the characters who seem to be the most traditional sitcom types, like Bill Daily’s Howard Borden, go beyond what they initially seem to be (in Howard’s case, a generic dumb guy) and take on a specificity that other shows would avoid. Howard, for instance, is a navigator for an airline, who has terrible luck in love and a tendency to spiral blame for things he’s done wrong outward at others. What seemed like a generic riff on Mary’s Ted Baxter early in the show’s run becomes something else entirely—not a buffoon but, rather, a man limited by his own perceptions.

All of this reaches its apex in the show’s best character, Jack Riley’s Elliot Carlin, one of Bob’s patients and an almost perfect foil for Dr. Hartley, his dark, dour demeanor acting like a funhouse-mirror version of his therapist. The scenes between the two can feel like minimalist one-act plays at times, with Newhart and Riley bouncing off of each other in barely varying monotones that take on the vibe of complex business negotiations disguised as therapy sessions. In Carlin and Hartley, the show found two very similar men who looked at the dehumanizing state of American society of the ’70s and chose wildly different reactions. Hartley, an optimist, chose to believe people could improve themselves; Carlin, a pessimist, was pretty sure they never would. The genius of The Bob Newhart Show was how it knew Carlin was right but admired Bob Hartley for trying anyway.

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