Allman Brothers – Dreams

According to Gregg, this was written in Los Angeles after the breakup of Hourglass, the band he and his brother Duane had there. They opened up for acts such as Buffalo Springfield and The Doors. They were then forced by the record company to play more pop-style music so Duane quit and headed back home to Macon Georgia.

Gregg stayed behind to fulfill the contract and a little later Duane called him up to come to Macon and try out for a new band he put together. Gregg traveled to Macon and sat behind the keyboard and played them his songs. This song won them over and they soon became the Allman Brothers.

This was on their first album The Allman Brother’s Band and it peaked at #188.

Gregg’s autobiography on first playing with the Brothers: They asked me if I had any songs with me, and I told them I had twenty-two, so they told me to play them. I’d get through with one, and they’d ask me, “What else you got?” I’d play ’em another one and they were like, “That was kinda neat, a little potential; what else you got?”

After twenty of them, I’m going, “Oh fuck, I might be without a job here in a minute.” I had two songs left—“Not My Cross to Bear” and “Dreams.” I showed them “Dreams” first, and let me tell you, they joined right in. We proceeded to sit down, learn that song the same way you hear it today, and I was in, brother. They loved it. I bet we played that thing eleven times in a row, and the more we played it, the better it got.

From Songfacts

Gregg Allman wrote this sorrowful song about unrealized dreams when he was living in Los Angeles. He left Georgia to get his music career going there, and wrote a bunch of songs before returning and forming The Allman Brothers Band with his brother Duane. This was the song that won over his bandmates. Allman wrote in his 2012 biography: “I showed them ‘Dreams,’ and let me tell you, they joined right in. We learned that song the way you hear it today, and I was in, brother.”

Listen to the guitar part – you’ll hear Duane Allman switch to bottleneck guitar midway through the song.

“Dreams” was used as the title of The Allman Brothers 1989 5-album boxed set. An unreleased studio version of this song was used on it.

Molly Hatchet released a version of this in 1978. 

This is one of the few songs Gregg Allman wrote on the Hammond B-3 organ.

Here is a live version at the Fillmore BUT someone didn’t plug the input in Gregg’s mic until a few minutes.

 

Dreams

Just one more mornin’
I had to wake up with the blues
Pulled myself out of bed, yeah
Put on my walkin’ shoes
And went up on the mountain
To see what I could see
The whole world was fallin’, right down in front of me

‘Cause I’ve a hunger for the dreams I’ll never see, yeah, baby
Ah, help me baby, or this will surely be the end of me, yeah

Pull myself together
Put on a new face
Climb down off the hilltop, baby
Get back in the race

‘Cause I’ve a hunger for dreams I’ll never see, yeah, babe
Lord, help me baby, or, this will surely be the end of me, yeah

Pull myself together
Put on a new face
Climb down off the hilltop, baby
And get back in the race

‘Cause I’ve a hunger for the dreams I’ll never see, yeah, baby
Ah, ah, help me baby, or this will surely be the end of me, yeah, ah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

John Mellencamp – Cherry Bomb

One of my favorite John Mellencamp songs. Back when it was released I liked it because it was a catchy song. Now I like it more because I can relate to it about growing up. I will admit though…I always thought he said “That’s when a spoke was a spoke“… I thought what? Must be some crazy Indiana thing….then I thought…no that can’t be right…it must be “That’s when a smoke was a smoke“….Wrong again…it is… “That’s when a sport was a sport.

The prominence of the accordion and violin in this are usually not associated with Rock and Roll but it makes the song sound fresh. The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, and #4 in New Zealand.

It was on the album The Lonesome Jubilee released in 1987. The album peaked at #6 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1987.

Cherry Bomb

Well I lived on the outskirts of town
In an eight room farmhouse, baby
When my brothers and friends were around
There was always somethin’ doin’
Had me a couple of real nice girlfriends
Stopped by to see me every once in a while
When I think back about those days
All I can do is sit and smile

That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’, laughin’ with our friends
Holdin’ hands meant somethin’, baby
Outside the club “Cherry Bomb”
Our hearts were really thumpin’
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

The winter days they last forever
But the weekends went by so quick
Went ridin’ around this little country town
We were goin’ nuts, girl, out in the sticks
One night, me with my big mouth
A couple guys had to put me in my place
When I see those guys these days
We just laugh and say do you remember when

That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’, laughin’ with our friends
Holdin’ hands meant somethin’, baby
Outside the club “Cherry Bomb”
Our hearts were really thumpin’
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Seventeen has turned thirty-five
I’m surprised that we’re still livin’
If we’ve done any wrong
I hope that we’re forgiven
Got a few kids of my own
And some days I still don’t know what to do
I hope that they’re not laughing too loud
When they hear me talkin’
Like this to you

That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’, laughin’ with our friends
Holdin’ hands meant so much, baby
Outside the club “Cherry Bomb”
Our hearts were really thumpin’
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Edgar Winter – Free Ride

It doesn’t get much more seventies than this song.

This was released as the first single from the album, but it went nowhere. After Frankenstein went to #1, “Free Ride” was released again, this time going to #14 in America. The song lived on as a radio favorite.

Dan Hartman is credited as the only songwriter on this track even though Edgar Winter made some contributions. Winter didn’t get greedy, knowing that Hartman made some contributions to tracks that were credited to Edgar alone.

Free Ride is a song included in the Edgar Winter Group album They Only Come Out At Night in 1972. The initial riff is played by Dan Hartman who also sings lead on the song.

 

From Songfacts

The “free ride” can be literally interpreted as a road trip, but it’s really about a spiritual journey. The song was written and sung by Dan Hartman, who had recently joined the Edgar Winter Group, but Winter added the lyrics:

We got to do better, it’s time to begin
You know all the answers must come from within

The song offers salvation of sorts, with Hartman offering us direction when we don’t know where to turn:

So I’ve come here to give you a hand
And lead you into the promised land

The song isn’t an endorsement of a specific religion, but a call to look inside ourselves for answers. Winter was trying to make that message more clear in the lyrics he added.

Edgar Winter played Woodstock before he even released an album. That’s because his older brother, Johnny Winter, was a celebrated blues guitarist who used Edgar in his band. When Edgar struck out on his own in 1970, it was with a horn-heavy band he assembled for his first album. His next two albums were with a group he called White Trash, which had more jazz leanings. In 1972, he started clean with a new band: the Edgar Winter Group. Dan Hartman, who was in a Pennsylvania band called the Legends, was his first recruit. Hartman had already written “Free Ride” (which is one of the reasons Winter wanted him), so it was one of the first songs this new group recorded.

Hartman played guitar on the album version of the song, with Randy Jo Hobbs on bass and Johnny Badanjek on drums (when the group fully formed, it was with Ronnie Montrose on guitar, Chuck Ruff on drums, and Hartman on bass). Speaking with Songfacts, producer Rick Derringer said that on the single version, which they recorded later, he played lead guitar.

Winter was adept at keyboard, synthesizer, saxophone and drums. On “Free Ride,” he played a Hohner clavinet, which is what Stevie Wonder played on Superstition. Winter generated the wind sounds with his new toy: an ARP 2600 synthesizer, the instrument featured on the album’s big hit, “Frankenstein.”

This was produced by Rick Derringer, who produced the entire They Only Come Out at Night as well as Winter’s previous two albums. When Ronnie Montrose formed his own band in 1973, Derringer stepped in as guitarist for the Edgar Winter Group.

Free Ride

The mountain is high, the valley is low
And you’re confused on which way to go
So I’ve come here to give you a hand
And lead you into the promised land, so

Come on and take a free ride (free ride)
Come on and stand here by my side
Come on and take a free ride

All over the country, I’ve seen it the same
Nobody’s winning at this kind of game
We gotta do better, it’s time to begin
You know all the answers must come from within, so

Come on and take a free ride (free ride)
Come on and stand here by my side
Come on and take a free ride

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, free ride

Come on and take a free ride
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Come on and take a free ride
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Come on and take a free ride
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Come on and take a free ride
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Come on and take a free ride
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Come on and take a free ride
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Don Henley – The End of the Innocence

Bruce Hornsby played piano on this and wrote this with Henley.  I did like Don Henley’s solo albums in the 80s. I had this album and I wore it out in the late 80s. This one is probably my favorite Henley album. I prefer his solo music to the Eagles.

When the Eagles broke up in 1980, Joe Walsh (loved The Confessor ) and Glenn Frey also launched solo careers. They all did fairly well, but Henley was the most successful. The Eagles re-formed in 1994 for their Hell Freezes Over tour.

The End of the Innocence peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #48 in the UK.

The End of the Innocence album peaked at #8 in the Billboard Album Charts.

The End Of The Innocence was Henley’s third solo album. He didn’t release another for 11 years.

From Songfacts

The “Tired old man that we elected king” is a reference to US president Ronald Reagan. There are a lot of political overtones in the song, as Henley strongly opposed Reagan’s agenda.

The line about “Beating ploughshares into swords” is a distortion of Isaiah 2:4 in which Isaiah describes the end times: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

The inversion of the words most likely hints at the decline of the number of family farms and the increase in US military power in the ’80s as a signal of the end times of innocence. 

David Fincher directed the music video. Around this time, he was taking the form to a new level, with cinematic textures and storylines that would later appear in his films (The Game, Fight Club, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Other videos he directed around this time include Madonna’s “Vogue” and Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got A Gun.”

Bob Dylan often performed this on his 2002 US tour.

You can’t the get original video on youtube from Donny…he doesn’t allow it…so here is a live version.

The End of the Innocence

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by

When happily ever after fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly

But I know a place where we can go
Still untouched by man
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind

You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end

This is the end of the innocence
O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords

For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details

Since daddy had to lie
But I know a place where we can go
And wash away this sin
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by

And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense

But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast

But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss

And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me

Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

Robert Plant – Big Log

A 1966 Mustang is what I think of when I hear this song. That was my first car in 1983. My mom foolishly got me what is now a classic car. Not a good car to give a 16-year-old. When I heard this song I knew Robert wasn’t in Zeppelin anymore. It was a smart thing to distance himself at the time.

What I remember the most is the guitar parts played by Robbie Blunt. I remember the licks he plays just as much as the words Plant sings. It’s a great song to listen to on a long car trip.

A Big Log is common lingo of tractor-trailer drivers. It is the book in which their road hours are logged, therefore the connection between the road and love and the countless hours we all log on both…

The song peaked at #20 in the Billboard 100, #23 in Canada, #11 in the UK, and #7 in New Zealand in 1983. The album was The Principle of Moments that peaked at #8 in the Billboard Album Chart, #7 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #

Phil Collins played drums on this and 5 other tracks on the album. He also played drums on Plant’s previous album Pictures At Eleven.

 

From Songfacts

In the video, Plant’s classic car overheats at a desolate desert gas station, which causes him to muse upon lost love. 

This was Robert Plant’s first hit as a solo artist after the break up of Led Zeppelin.

Some people know this song as “My Love Is In League With The Freeway.” The phrase “Big Log” does not appear in the lyrics.

The name “Big Log” is likely meaningless. Plant’s solo work (up until Now And Zen) and work with Led Zeppelin often featured songs with titles that had little or nothing to do with the lyrics. Also from The Principle Of Moments are the tracks “Messin’ With A Mekon,” “Horizontal Departure” and “Stranger Here… Than Over There.” 

Big Log

My love is in league with the freeway
It’s passion will rise as the cities fly by
And the tail lights dissolve in the coming of night
And the questions and thousands take flight

My love is miles in awaiting
The eyes that just stare and the glance at the clock
In the secret that burns and the pain that won’t stop
And it’s fueled with the years

Leading me on (leading me on)
Leading me down the road
Driving me on (driving me on)
Driving me down the road

My love is exceeding the limit
Red eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles
Distance and longing and my thoughts do collide
Should I rest for a while and decide

Your love is cradled in knowing
Eyes in the mirror still expecting their prey
Sensing too well when the journey is done
There is no turning back
No
There is no turning back

On the run

My love is in league
With the freeway
Oh with the freeway
And the coming of the night time
My love
My love
Is in league with the freeway

 

Pretenders – Back On The Chain Gang

The “picture of you” Chrissie Hynde sings about is a picture she found in her wallet of Ray Davies, lead singer and songwriter of The Kinks. Hynde and Davies were a couple and had a daughter together. This song started off about him, but the meaning changed when Honeyman-Scott died.

The song turned into a tribute to James Honeyman-Scott, the Pretenders guitarist who died of a drug overdose in 1982 at age 26. Scott’s death was followed by bass player Pete Farndon’s 10 months later. Farndon had been kicked out of the band because of his drug problems and died of an overdose.

The song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, #14 in New Zealand, and #17 in the UK in 1983.

 

From Songfacts

This is a very emotional song. Chrissie Hynde would sometimes tear up when performing it.

A Chain Gang is a group of convicts who are chained together while they do manual labor, usually outside.

This was the first Pretenders single featuring Billy Bremner and Tony Butler, who replaced Farndon and Honeyman-Scott.

This was released as a single almost two years before the album came out.

Back On The Chain Gang

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh
What hijacked my world that night
To a place in the past
We’ve been cast out of? Oh oh oh oh
Now we’re back in the fight
We’re back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang

A circumstance beyond our control, oh oh oh oh
The phone, the TV and the news of the world
Got in the house like a pigeon from hell, oh oh oh oh
Threw sand in our eyes and descended like flies
Put us back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang

The powers that be
That force us to live like we do
Bring me to my knees
When I see what they’ve done to you
But I’ll die as I stand here today
Knowing that deep in my heart
They’ll fall to ruin one day
For making us part

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh
Those were the happiest days of my life
Like a break in the battle was your part, oh oh oh oh
In the wretched life of a lonely heart
Now we’re back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang

Kinks – Tired Of Waiting

The Kinks are a band that I saw in 1983. Along with The Who and Paul McCartney they were among the best bands, I saw live.

Kinks lead singer Ray Davies wrote this song while he was a student at Hornsey School of Art in London. Ray was running out of ideas, so he decided to record the song he had written in college. The group put down the backing track, but he couldn’t remember the words, so he went home and wrote them the next day on the train ride into the studio.

This was released as the first single from the album Kinda Kinks. “Tired of Waiting for You” was a hit, peaking at #6 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK, #3 in Canada in 1965.

Dave Davies: “The recording went well but there was something missing and it was my raunchy guitar sound. Ray and I were worried that putting that heavy-sounding guitar on top of a ponderous song might ruin it. Luckily it enhanced the recording, giving it a more cutting, emotional edge. In my opinion ‘Tired Of Waiting’ was the perfect pop record.”

From Songfacts

When the Kinks released their first album in 1964, they scored a huge hit with the Davies-penned “You Really Got Me,” which was followed by the sound-alike “All Day And All Of The Night.”

In this song, Ray Davies sings about a girl who has him under her spell. Problem is, she keeps stringing him along and it’s wearing him out. The vocal is suitably weary, lacking that adrenaline rush of their previous hits. This discontent would play out for real throughout 1965 as The Kinks were dispatched to one show after another, doing promotional appearances along the way. It quickly became clear that there was a great deal of animosity in the band and that they couldn’t keep up the pace for long.

Tired Of Waiting

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I was a lonely soul
I had nobody till I met you
But you keep a-me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It’s your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don’t keep a-me waiting
Please don’t keep a-me waiting

‘Cause I’m so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I was a lonely soul
I had nobody till I met you
But you keep a-me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It’s your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don’t keep a-me waiting
Please don’t keep a-me waiting

‘Cause I’m so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you
For you
For you