The Who – Substitute

Great song by The Who. The song peaked at #5 in the UK charts in 1966. The twelve string opening riff kicks into one of The Who’s best singles.

Townshend’s favorite song at the time was “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Townshend loved the way Smokey sang the word “substitute” so perfectly “Although she may be cute she’s just a substitute ‘Cause you’re the permanent one” that he decided to celebrate the word with a song all its own.

After listening to a recording of the song, Keith Moon began to become paranoid, insisting that it wasn’t him drumming and that the band had gone behind his back and gotten another drummer. John Entwistle refuted this paranoia as ridiculous – he could hear Keith screaming on the recording as he did a difficult fill.

From Songfacts.

Pete Townshend made the demo for this song after hearing “19th Nervous Breakdown” by the Rolling Stones. Even Townshend admits that he ripped off Keith Richards’ riff. The Stones were a major influence on Townshend, who even got his trademark windmill arm movement from watching Keith Richards warm up before a concert – Richards was stretching his arm by moving it around like a windmill.

On demo versions, Townshend sang this in an exaggerated Mick Jagger accent.

In the US, the line “I look all white but my dad was black” was re-recorded as “I try walking forward but my feet walk back.” Their record company feared any reference to race would keep it off US radio.

This was the first single The Who released after breaking their contract with their manager and producer, Shel Talmy. As part of the deal, Talmy got royalties from this and the other Who records over the next 5 years, which turned out to be a great deal of money.

song released on Atco Records.

The Who played this at most of their concerts. It was very popular at their live shows.

This did not appear on an album until 1971, when it went on the Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy compilation.

In The UK, the single was released 3 times in 1966, with different B-sides each time.

This was the first song Townshend produced himself.

During the “Across The Great Divide” tour, Powderfinger and Silverchair performed this song as their finale together.

The bass solo on this song was originally going to be a guitar solo, but when John Entwistle got to this part when recording it, he decided to turn his bass up and make it a bass solo.

Substitute

You think we look pretty good together
You think my shoes are made of leather

But I’m a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I’m just back-dated, yeah

(Substitute) your lies for fact
(Substitute) I can see right through your plastic mac
(Substitute) I look all white, but my dad was black
(Substitute) my fine linen suit is really made out of sack

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth
The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south
And now you dare to look me in the eye
Those crocodile tears are what you cry
It’s a genuine problem, you won’t try
To work it out at all you just pass it by, pass it by

(Substitute) me for him
(Substitute) my coke for gin
(Substitute) you for my mum
(Substitute) at least I’ll get my washing done

I’m a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I’m just back-dated, yeah

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth
The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south
And now you dare to look me in the eye
Those crocodile tears are what you cry
It’s a genuine problem, you won’t try
To work it out at all you just pass it by, pass it by

(Substitute) me for him
(Substitute) my coke for gin
(Substitute) you for my mum
(Substitute) at least I’ll get my washing done

(Substitute) your lies for fact
(Substitute) I can see right through your plastic mac
(Substitute) I look all white, but my dad was black
(Substitute) My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack

Jerry Garcia – Sugaree

I remember this song on the radio in the seventies. Probably the first Dead…or close to a Dead song I ever heard. This was off of Jerry Garcia’s first solo album. The song peaked at #94 in the Billboard 100 in 1972.

The Grateful Dead did this live many times…one of my favorite Garcia and Robert Hunter songs.

From Songfacts.

“Sugaree” is the stand-out song from the Garcia album, and it’s kind of confusing where to list it. Warner Bros. Records, at the time, sponsored solo albums by all of the Dead at the time; so along with Garcia, we have Bob Weir’s Ace and Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder. On the solo effort side, Garcia played every instrument except the drums on the entire album and did at least half of the writing as well. On the other hand – who are we kidding? – this is Jerry Garcia we’re talking about, and six of the tracks from this album eventually became Grateful Dead concert standards. Oh, heck, call it a Grateful Dead song, Jerry wouldn’t mind.

Speaking of almost-but-not-quite Grateful Dead albums, Jerry’s immediately previous work to this album was New Riders of the Purple Sage, with Mickey Hart, and co-starring Commander Cody (as in Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen) of “Hot Rod Lincoln” fame. Just thought we’d throw it in!

Other albums this song appears on are One from the Vault and Dick’s Picks Volume 3. “Sugaree” was even used in the 1996 promotion sampler A Glimpse of the Vault.

We can’t describe this song much better than the NME, who in 1976 wrote that it “rocks over the dust with the controlled menace of a swaying rattlesnake. By not quite pulling out the stops Garcia leaves the song ambiguity like the dealer with all the best cards, ace high stacked against his chest: ‘If that jubilee don’t come, maybe I’ll meet you on the run. The counterpoint of Robert Hunter’s words and the gentle handling of the coda, Phil Lesh providing simple but effectively raw bass lines, is a high spot demon trump.”

Sugaree

When they come to take you down When they bring that wagon ’round
When they come to call on you and drag your poor body down

[Chorus]
Just one thing I ask of you, just one thing for me
Please forget you knew my name, my darling Sugaree
Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don’t tell them that you know me
Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don’t tell them that you know me

You thought you was the cool fool and never could do no wrong
You had everything sewed up tight. How come you lay awake all night long

[Chorus]

Well in spite of all you gained you still had to stand out in the pouring rain
One last voice is calling you and I guess it’s time you go

[Chorus]

Well shake it up now Sugaree, I’ll meet you at the jubilee
And if that jubilee fall through, maybe I’ll meet you on the run

[Chorus]

Eric Clapton – Blues Power

This is another song along with Let It Rain that is not played much now and both are from Eric’s self-titled debut album. The song was written by Clapton and Leon Russell for Clapton’s debut solo album. It’s not one of Clapton’s best-known numbers but its a good song. It did not chart when released in 1970 but it did chart when Clapton released a live version in 1980 at #76 in the Billboard 100.

The album also included Let It Rain, After Midnight, and Easy Now.

Here is a review of the album in allmusic.com

There are still elements of blues and rock & roll, but they’re hidden beneath layers of gospel, R&B, country, and pop flourishes. And the pop element of the record is the strongest of the album’s many elements — “Blues Power” isn’t a blues song and only “Let It Rain,” the album’s closer, features extended solos. Throughout the album, Clapton turns out concise solos that de-emphasize his status as guitar god, even when they display astonishing musicality and technique. That is both a good and a bad thing — it’s encouraging to hear him grow and become a more fully rounded musician, but too often the album needs the spark that some long guitar solos would have given it. In short, it needs a little more of Clapton‘s personality.

Blues Power

Bet you didn’t think I knew how to rock ‘n’ roll.

Oh, I got the boogie-woogie right down in my very soul.

There ain’t no need for me to be a wallflower,

‘Cause now I’m living on blues power.

I knew all the time but now I’m gonna let you know:

I’m gonna keep on rocking, no matter if it’s fast or slow.

Ain’t gonna stop until the twenty-fifth hour,

‘Cause now I’m living on blues power.

[Repeat First Verse]

Talking to you, now.

The boogie’s gonna pull me through.

Keep on, keep on, keep on keeping on.

Keep on keeping on, keep on keeping on.

“Champagne, for everyone!”… Fred and Ethel Mertz

I Love Lucy was huge in the fifties and helped start the modern sitcom. It is still popular to this day.

William Frawley and Vivian Vance portrayed Fred and Ethel Mertz on screen the landlords to Ricky and Lucy Ricardo. Ethel was Lucy’s friend and Fred was Ricky’s cheap best friend.

In real life, things were not smooth at all between the two. The age difference between Frawley and Vance was 22 years. Vivian was overheard telling Lucy that no one would believe that she would be married to that old coot. Frawley overheard this and the relationship was born.

Desi Arnaz had wanted Frawley to play Fred but he had a drinking problem so Desi had to lecture Frawley about always being on time etc.

Vance was professional, had her lines learned, and was always on time. Frawley would learn his lines at the last minute while locked away in a hotel listening to a baseball game. He also had it in his contract that if the Yankees were in the World Series that he would get time off.

They would argue while rehearsing and the director would have to settle it. Lucy and Desi would usually just ignore it.

After I Love Lucy went off the air CBS offered Frawley and Vance a chance to star in a spin-off series called either Fred and Ethel or The Mertzes. Frawley, always in need of drinking money, was willing, but Vance refused, never wanting to work with him again. This supposedly infuriated Frawley.

While Vance was working on the new “The Lucy Show”, Frawley would sneak to the soundstage and drop film canisters loudly, deliberately ruining Vance’s scene and causing a re-take.

I will say this… whatever feud or dislike they had…their performances will be forever be remembered.

Here are some quotes they gave about the other.

Frawley: “She’s one of the finest gals to come out of Kansas, and I often wish she’d go back there. I don’t know where she is now and she doesn’t know where I am. That’s exactly the way I like it.”

Vance: “I loathed William Frawley and the feeling was mutual. Whenever I received a new script, I raced through it, praying that there wasn’t a scene where we had to be in bed together.”

William Frawley died of a heart attack in 1966 at the age of 79. When she heard the news, Vivian Vance was dining in a restaurant. What she supposedly said after hearing the tragic news was: “Champagne for everybody!”

To be fair… Vivian Vance also said this when Frawley died… “There’s a great big amusing light gone out of this world.”

You do get the feeling while they argued they did respect each other.

Vivian Vance would pass away in 1979.

Related image

 

Big Star – The Ballad of El Goodo

This would make it in my own top 10 songs of all time. The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfect constructed chorus keeps me coming back listen after listen. The song is on Big Star’s album Number1 Record.

Most of the songs on the album could have been a single.

From Songfacts.

In a 1992 interview with Oor magazine, the songs’ co-writer Alex Chilton (who is credited along with Chris Bell) revealed that, whilst he felt that Big Star’s “music is still a triumph – some of the time,” he said “I didn’t understand how to make the right sound with my voice, so things like ‘Ballad Of El Goodo’ and ‘Thirteen’ could have been better.”

Though the song can be interpreted as a broad, abstract paean to anti-conformity and independence, the lyrics could more specifically allude to the Vietnam War. The first verse plays with the idiom “stick to your guns,” which could easily be literalized with the second verse:

“There’s people around who tell you that they know
The places where they send you, and it’s easy to go
They’ll zip you up and dress you down, stand you in a row
But you know you don’t have to
You can just say no”

The Vietnam War was seemingly important to Chilton. In an 2010 obituary for Nashvillescene.com following Chilton’s death, John “Bucky” Wilkin, lead singer and songwriter for ’60s surf rock group Ronny & the Daytonas, said: “Vietnam was the war we both related to, more on the level of the Buddhist priests who set themselves on fire in protest than as the American combat soldiers – both of us somehow being able to avoid the draft.”

In our 2013 interview, Big Star drummer Jody Stephens expressed how he felt the song revealed Chilton and Bell to be a cut above the average rock n’ roller: “All of a sudden I’m playing with these guys that can write songs that are as engaging to me as the people I’d grown up listening to, so I felt incredibly lucky.” He also singled out the song as one of his favorites to play.

Counting Crows covered the song for their 2012 album of covers Underwater Sunshine (or What we did on our Summer Vacation). In a 2012 interview with Paste magazine, frontman Adam Duritz said “One of the last changes we made was putting ‘The Ballad of El Goodo’ at the end of the record. I find it hard to follow that song on a record. I really love that song… it’s speaking about survival.”

The Ballad of El Goodo

Years ago, my heart was set to live, oh
But I’ve been trying hard against unbelievable odds
It gets so hard in times like now to hold on
My guns they’re waiting to be stuck by
At my side is God

And there ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round

There’s people around who tell you that they know
The places where they send you, and it’s easy to go
They’ll zip you up and dress you down
Stand you in a row
But you know you don’t have to
You could just say no

And there ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round

I’ve been built up and trusted
Broke down and busted
But they’ll get theirs and we’ll get ours
Just if we can
Just, ah, hold on
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on

Years ago my heart was set to live, oh
But I’ve been trying hard against strong odds
It gets so hard at times like now to hold on
Well, I’ll fall if I don’t fight
And at my side is God

Ain’t there no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Ain’t no one goin’ turn me ’round
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Electric…that is the best way I can describe Jerry Lee Lewis. From those old black and white clips in the fifties, the Killer was doing just that. Using all of his limbs to pulverize the piano. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #8 in the Uk, and #1 in the Billboard Country Chart in 1957. It is one of THE recognizable songs of the 1950s.

From Songfacts.

This was Jerry Lee Lewis’ second single, following up his cover of the Ray Price country song “Crazy Arms,” which went nowhere. Lewis was signed to the famous Sun Records, who also had Elvis Presley. This song was the first of Lewis’ four Top 40 hits, which all occurred in a period of about a year and a half. In 1958, his hits dried up when word of his marriage to 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown got out. Despite just the four hits and an unsavory reputation, Lewis was so revered as a rock pioneer that he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the first class.

Radio stations found all kinds of reasons not to play this song: it was too suggestive, he cursed on it, (“We-e-ll-a” sounded like “We-hella”), he sounded black (most stations didn’t play songs by black artists). Still, the song sold well in the southern United States, but it wasn’t until Lewis’ TV debut on The Steve Allen Show on July 28, 1957 that it became a national hit and sold over 6 million copies. The song also generated a lot of controversy, as the lyrics are rather lascivious and quite shocking coming from a singer from the Bible Belt. >>

This appeared in the Top 5 of the Pop, Country, and R&B charts simultaneously with Lewis’ other big hit, “Great Balls of Fire.” Both songs hit #1 on the Country chart.

This song was written by Roy Hall (using the pseudonym Sunny David) and Dave “Curly” Williams. Hall was a songwriter/piano player who ran a music venue in Nashville and played in Webb Pierce’s band. Hall and Williams (a black musician) wrote this song in 1954 while fishing on Lake Okeechobee in Florida. They were drunk when they heard a bell clanging on an island in the middle of the lake. After Hall blurted out, “What’s going on?” he heard someone say “We got 21 drums, we got an ol’ bass horn and they’re even keepin’ time on a ding-dong” – which became the original first line of the song.

Webb Pierce helped Hall get a record deal with Decca, and in 1955 Hall recorded this song for the label. Back in 1954, Hall hired Jerry Lee Lewis to play some gigs at his club, and when it came time for Lewis to record his second single, he pulled out Hall’s song and turned it into a rock classic. Hall said that he had to sign over the royalties from the song to his ex-wife, and he spent his remaining years playing around Nashville. He died in 1984 at age 61.

After Roy Hall recorded this song and before Lewis did it, versions were recorded by Big Maybelle, The Commodores (no relation to the ’70s Motown group), and Delores Frederick. All four were done in completely different styles. Jerry Lee Lewis made it a lascivious rocker – his take was wildly divergent from the original.

Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On

Come along my baby, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
Yes, I said come along my baby, baby you can’t go wrong
We ain’t fakin’, while lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Well, I said come along my baby, we got chicken in the barn
Woo-huh, come along my baby, really got the bull by the horn
We ain’t fakin’, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Well, I said shake, baby, shake
I said shake, baby, shake
I said shake it, baby, shake it
And then shake, baby, shake
Come on over, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
Oh, let’s go!

Alright

Well, I said come along my baby, we got chicken in the barn
Whose barn? What barn? My barn
Come along my baby, really got the bull by the horn
We ain’t fakin’, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Easy now
Shake it
Ah, shake it, baby
Yeah
You can shake it one time for me
Ye-ah-ha-ah, I said come on over, baby
Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
Now, let’s get down real low one time now
Shake, baby, shake
All you gotta do, honey, is kinda stand in one spot
Wiggle around just a little bit, that’s when you got it, yeah
Come on baby, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
Now let’s go one time

Shake it baby, shake, shake it baby, shake
Woo, shake baby, come on babe, shake it, baby, shake
Come on over, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Motörhead – Ace Of Spades

I’m not a huge Motorhead fan and it’s a bit harder music than I usually listen to… but I do like this song. I also like any interview of Lemmy I’ve ever listened to. After playing this for years, Lemmy admitted he was sick of the song, but said he kept it in the setlist because, “If I went to a Little Richard concert, I’d expect to hear Long Tall Sally.”

From Wiki.

The song spent 13 weeks in the UK Singles Chart and originally peaked at number 15 upon its initial release. At the midweek point in January 2016 it reached No. 9 and in the official Friday chart, they reached number 13, following the death of frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister in December 2015 and subsequent dissolution of the band. It has sold 208,830 digital copies as of January 2016.[6] It reached the top of the UK Rock & Metal Singles and Albums Charts on 9 January 2016.

In 2014, NME ranked it number 155 in a list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

From Songfacts.

This is Motörhead’s most famous song; it is about gambling and risks. Lemmy recalled writing the song in an interview with Mojo magazine February 2011: “‘Ace of Spades’ is unbeatable, apparently, but I never knew it was such a good song. Writing it was just a word-exercise on gambling, all the clichés. I’m glad we got famous for that rather than for some turkey, but I sang ‘the eight of spades’ for two years and nobody noticed.”

The “Ace Of Spades” is the dead man’s hand, which was Wild Bill Hancock’s hand as he was shot dead (he was an American sheriff who was killed during a game of poker). The hand consists of aces and eights, including the ace of spades.

This song was featured in the episode of The Young Ones called “Bambi,” where Motörhead performed as the stars of the show got to the train station.

This is used in the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, and also appears in the movie Superbad.

 

Ace of Spades

If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man,
You win some, lose some, all the same to me,
The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say,
I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is
The Ace of Spades

Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil,
Going with the flow, it’s all a game to me,
Seven or eleven, snake eyes watching you,
Double up or quit, double stake or split,
The Ace of Spades

You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools,
But that’s the way I like it baby,
I don’t wanna live for ever,
And don’t forget the joker!

Pushing up the ante, I know you gotta see me,
Read ’em and weep, the dead man’s hand again,
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die,
The only thing you see, you know it’s gonna be,
The Ace of Spades