Loaded Dice – Come Take Me Tonight —-Powerpop Friday

Loaded Dice were a hard-working power pop band that was touted as being the next big thing from Perth Australia.

Formed in 1974, they started out as covers band primarily playing 60’s beat music. They went through a few line-up changes.  They started to build a fan base but when they moved to Sydney it was hard to get the local crowds interested and it wasn’t long until they disbanded in the mid-eighties and returned home…

They did make an album called “No Sweat” and released a few singles. I like the simple guitar riff in this song…simple but effective. They had a cool sound and it’s too bad they couldn’t go further. They released this song and and album in 1979.

Sorry…couldn’t find any lyrics

 

20/20 – Yellow Pills —-Powerpop Friday

20/20 was a band based out of Hollywood California. They were active from 1977 to 1983 and reunited during the mid-1990s to the late 1990s. This song was released as a single in 1979 as the B side to Tell Me Why (Can’t Understand You). The song was on their self titled album.

Everybody’s feeling groovy
Everybody’s got tight pants on
Everybody’s feels like they were
Just made by the Creator

I have to say that it is original.

From AllMusic

One of the key bands in the Los Angeles power pop explosion of the late 1970s and early ‘80s, 20/20 never quite scored a hit single, but they were a powerful draw on the West Coast in their heyday, and their signature song, “Yellow Pills,” became a cult favorite, covered by a number of later power pop acts and providing a noted pop fanzine with its name. 20/20 was founded by Steve Allen and Ron Flynt, two friends from Tulsa, Oklahoma who met when they were in grade school and discovered they both loved rock & roll, particularly British Invasion sounds (the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in particular) and classic pop.

Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots also did a version of this song.

 

Yellow Pills

One, two…
One, two, three, four…

Everybody’s feeling groovy
Everybody’s got tight pants on
Everybody’s feels like they were
Just made by the Creator

So come take a walk down my street
With your head up by the phone lines
You can see the world if you want to
Give it a try
Open your eyes
When you bring oh oh oh
My yellow pills
My yellow pills

Take a look around my street
Everybody’s got their new wheels
But they’re stuck in a jam on the freeway
And they glad they got their yellow pills

Just look at the happy faces
Plugged into the tape machine
Acting like they’re drivin’ to heaven
Turn left at Vine, I’ll meet you at 9:00
When you bring oh oh oh
My yellow pills
My yellow pills

I always believe in your lies
They make me feel so alive
But I don’t have to be real

‘Cause everybody’s feeling groovy
Everybody’s cut their hair short
Everybody’s feels like they were
Just made by the Creator

So come take a walk down my street
With your head up by the phone lines
You can see the world if you want to
Give it a try
Open your eyes
When you bring oh oh oh
My yellow pills
My yellow pills

 

Cheap Trick – She’s Tight —-Powerpop Friday

We had fun with this song in high school. I’m surprised it only peaked at #65 in 1982 because it got a lot of airplay and MTV exposure. The song was on the album One On One and it peaked at #39 in the Billboard Album chart in 1982. I liked the album and it had my favorite Cheap Trick song…If You Want My Love.

Cheap Trick does what Cheap Trick does best in this song. They give us a great edge with the guitar with Beatles type harmonies. The song was written by Rick Nielson as were most of their songs. I only got to see them in concert once but it was worth it. They didn’t take themselves seriously and had a good time as did everyone else.

She’s Tight

When I’m down I make a call.
Got the number written on the wall.
First it’s busy then I try again.
Oh, who’s she talking to, could it be him?

I got the number and it starts to ring.
I get excited and I start to dream.
I start to fantasize of memory lane.
Then she answers and she says right way.
She says I’m home on my own, home all alone.
So I got off the phone.

(She’s tight.) She’s ahead of her time.
(She’s tight.) She’s one of a kind.
(She’s tight.) She’s a talented girl.
(She’s tight.) She’s got her head down tight.

I have something got to say to you.
Amnesia and my train of thought.
On the tip, tip of my tongue.
I had a vision when I was young.

You floated in, we floated up.
Through the window and down the hall.
I had a smoke and went upstairs.
Turned the door and opened the key. She spoke…
I’m on my own, home all alone.
So I got off the phone.

(She’s tight.) She’s ahead of her time.
(She’s tight.) She’s one of a kind.
(She’s tight.) She’s a talented girl.
(She’s tight.) She’s got her head down tight.

(She’s tight.) She’s giving me the go.
(She’s tight.) She’s giving me the high sign.
(She’s tight.) We’ll turn off the lights.
(She’s tight.) Pull down the shades.
(She’s nice, she’s tight.) Turn on the cam’ra.
(She’s nice, she’s tight.) And getting ready for action.

Turn off the radio.
Turn on the video.

Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy

I was an instant fan when I first heard Sheryl Crow. During the nineties, there were many pop-oriented females that I listened to (Sarah Mclaughlin is one)…and ones that I didn’t at all (her last name rhymes with “tears” “beers” “fears”) but Sheryl was different. She was more in the rock and roll genre. I saw her open up for the Rolling Stones at Vanderbilt’s Stadium and she sounded great.

I have always liked her lyrics…she has fun with them and always kept them interesting. I’ll be posting more Sheryl songs this weekend.

This song peaked at #10 on the Billboard 100, #9 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #12 in New Zealand in 1997.

It was on her self titled second studio album.

From Songfacts

This song describes a person who seems depressed or upset no matter what happens. According to Crow, the inspiration for the song was her feelings after the massive success of her first album, as her record label and the media put pressure on her to follow it up.

This won the Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. 

On her VH1 Storytellers appearance in 1998, Sheryl Crow said this was initially a country song, but she turned it into a rock song so she could get more exposure. 

The Australian lensman Keir McFarlane directed the video, which portrays Crow as an angry museum exhibit (10 years before the movie Night at the Museum). McFarlane also did the video for Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

In 2011 Crow teamed up with chef Chuck White to write a cookbook called If It Makes You Healthy.

Crow was a huge fan of Tom Petty and said that this song was in some ways inspired by the way he played.

If It Makes You Happy

I belong, a long way from here
I put on a poncho and played for mosquitoes
And drank ’till I was thirsty again
We went searching, through thrift store jungles

Found Geronimo’s rifle, Marilyn’s shampoo
And Benny Goodman’s cursive pen
Well, okay, I made this up
I promise you I’d never give up

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

Get down, real low down
You listen to Coltrane, derail your own train
Well, who hasn’t been there before?

I come ’round, around the hard way
Bring you comics in bed
Scrape the mold off the bread
And serve you french toast again
Okay, I still get stoned
I’m not the kind of girl you’d take home

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

We’ve been far, far away from here
I put on a poncho and played for mosquitoes
And everywhere in between
Well, okay, we get along
So what if right now, everything’s wrong?

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

Lovin’ Spoonful – Nashville Cats

In 1966, Bob Dylan did something extraordinary when he went to Nashville to record an album. He left his band behind, in order to record with session players known as the Nashville Cats. That album he made was a masterpiece, ‘Blonde on Blonde”.

John Sebastian apparently held Nashville musicians in high esteem. According to one account, the song developed after the Lovin’ Spoonful was in Nashville for a concert, and while sitting at a bar, were blown away by the guitar playing of Danny Gatton. Sebastian wrote the song and it peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 in 1967.

John Sebastian on writing the song…it is a bit long but interesting:

It happened to me quite by accident. First of all I was a tremendous fan of the music coming out of Nashville and the south at that time. Sometimes it was Memphis or Muscle Shoals but I didn’t know that, I was just responding to the music. I knew that when you cut records here, you could finish an album in a day in a half! But the ‘Spoonful played in Nashville in ’65 or so. We finished our show at the Fairgrounds Auditorium–the biggest thing in town. We felt pretty good about it and went back to the Holiday Inn and to the beer bar in the basement and get some beers and this guy comes in–goes and sits in the corner. There wasn’t even a stage. He pulls out a guitar and he is absolutely stunning. He starts off with something Chet Aktins-y and then he starts to get these bends and pedal steel tones and then multiple bends and then more jazz chords. Now we’re in “hillbilly jazz.” By the time this guy finished, me and (Lovin’ Spoonfuls) Zal Yanovsky we went up to our room. In those days, the ‘Spoonful were still sharing rooms, and we sit on the edge of our beds and go ‘How could this be?’ We are playing the big joint in town and this guy is in a beer bar. He can play rings around us. How does this work? Are we just four guys with long hair? It was years before we figured out that the kid had been a young Danny Gatton making spare change. But it traumatized us for a while.

The song actually was written a couple of weeks after our Nashville encounter. I was in Long Island somewhere. I saw an album cover –years later–Zal and I were in a record store–and I go “Oh my God, this is the guy from the beer bar.” Danny Gatton fans have sent me a stack of his cds and I can’t understand how he did the first damn thing (laughs).

 

From Songfacts

This song is a celebration of the remarkable musicianship of Nashville, Tennessee guitar pickers who have been “Playin’ since they’s babies.” John Sebastian held for the Nashville musicians in very high esteem.

The lyrics refer to the Sun Records company. While Sun was best known for first recording Elvis Presley, it also released songs by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison

Nashville Cats

[Chorus]
Nashville cats, play clean as country water
Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew
Nashville cats, been playin’ since they’s babies
Nashville cats, get work before they’re two

Well, there’s thirteen hundred and fifty two
Guitar pickers in Nashville
And they can pick more notes than the number of ants
On a Tennessee ant hill
Yeah, there’s thirteen hundred and fifty two
Guitar cases in Nashville
And any one that unpacks ‘is guitar could play
Twice as better than I will

Yeah, I was just thirteen, you might say I was a
Musical proverbial knee-high
When I heard a couple new-sounding tunes on the tubes
And they blasted me sky-high
And the record man said every one is a yellow sun
Record from Nashville
And up north there ain’t nobody buys them
And I said, “But I Will”

And it was

[Chorus]

Well, there’s sixteen thousand eight hundred ‘n’ twenty one
Mothers from Nashville
All their friends play music, and they ain’t uptight
If one of the kids will
Because it’s custom made for any mothers son
To be a guitar picker in Nashville
And I sure am glad I got a chance to say a word about
The music and the mothers from Nashville

[Chorus]

Kick it

 

 

Beatles – I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

This song fits in well with the harder blues that was going on at this time. It’s really heavy for a Beatles song or any song. Many guitars were layered at the end when it abruptly stops. It took me a few listens to warm up to it but when I did…I really liked it. John’s guitar echoing the vocal and Paul’s adventurous bass playing on this recording is great.

The song is a simple love song from John to Yoko. Totally opposite of his wordplay songs of the past, in this one he is straight forward. He got right to the point…his quote on this song was “When you’re drowning, you don’t say ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream”  

This was the first song worked on for their last recorded album Abbey Road…and the last one mixed. They started it at Trident Studios…not Abbey Road. This song shows just how good of musicians they were in 1969. This song is not an easy song and certainly took a lot of work to meld together. Different time signatures and John’s singing and playing… it syncs up well on the verses.

Billy Preston played organ on this song.

George Harrison: “This is very heavy,” “This is good because it’s really basically a bit like a blues. The riff that he sings and plays is really a very basic blues-type thing. But again, it’s very original to a John-type song. And the middle bit is great. John has an amazing thing with his timing. He always comes across with sort of different timing things.

From Songfacts

John Lennon wrote this about Yoko Ono – the couple were married in March 1969, about six months before the Abbey Road album was released. Lennon was experimenting with a heavy blues sound, so the song has few lyrics and long stretches of repeated chords. “Every time I pick up the guitar I sing about Yoko and that’s how I’m influenced,” Lennon said at the time. 

Taken on its own, the lyric is very basic, repeating just a few simple lines like:

I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad

Soon after Abbey Road was released, a news magazine show called 24 Hours read the lyrics out loud, taking a derisive tone. Lennon replied: “To me that’s a damn sight better lyric than ‘Walrus’ or ‘Eleanor Rigby’ because its progression to me. And if I want to write songs with no words or one word… maybe that’s Yoko’s influence.”

The rhythm was based on Mel Torme’s song “Coming Home Baby.”

With the exception of “Revolution 9,” this was The Beatles longest song.

John Lennon sang this monofonic, as some of the troubadours sang in the Middle Ages: There is no chord behind the melody, but an instrument follows the singer’s melody. The song ends with an orchestra arrangement, which was Lennon’s idea, and is very much similar to the end of “Entry of the Gods into Valhalla” in “Das Rheingold” by Richard Wagner. 

George Harrison played a Moog synthesizer on this track. It is one of the first uses of the instrument, which was custom-made for Harrison.

The guitars were overdubbed many times to get a layered sound.

This song contains an accidental background lyric. On stereo, play the song at 4:30 and listen very closely to the left speaker. In the bass break after John’s scream, you can faintly hear someone say, “What was that about!?” presumably in response to the scream.

I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

I want you
I want you so bad
I want you
I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad
It’s driving me mad

I want you
I want you so bad, babe
I want you
I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad
It’s driving me mad

I want you
I want you so bad
I want you
I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad
It’s driving me mad

I want you
I want you so bad, babe
I want you
I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad
It’s driving me mad

She’s so heavy
Heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy

I want you
I want you so bad
I want you
I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad
It’s driving me mad

I want you
I want you so bad, babe
I want you
You know I want you so bad
It’s driving me mad
It’s driving me mad

Yeah, she’s so

Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe

“Hey Joe” was written by a singer named Billy Roberts, who was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early ’60s. This was Billy’s most well-known song.

This is the song that started it all for Hendrix. After being discharged from the US Army in 1962, he worked as a backing musician for The Isley Brothers and Little Richard, and in 1966 performed under the name Jimmy James in the group Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Hendrix introduced “Hey Joe” to the band and added it to their setlist. During a show at the Greenwich Village club Cafe Wha?, Chas Chandler of The Animals was in the audience, and he knew instantly that Hendrix was the man to record the song.

This is one of the few Hendrix tracks with female backing vocals. They were performed by a popular trio called the Breakaways (Jean Hawker, Margot Newman, and Vicki Brown), who were brought in by producer Chas Chandler.

The song peaked at #6 in the UK Charts in 1966.

From Songfacts

 The song is structured as a conversation between two men, with “Joe” explaining to the other that he caught his woman cheating and plans to kill her. They talk again, and Joe explains that he did indeed shoot her, and is headed to Mexico.

Billy Roberts copyrighted this song in 1962, but never released it (he issued just one album, Thoughts Of California in 1975). In 1966, several artists covered the song, including a Los Angeles band called The Leaves (their lead singer was bassist Jim Pons, who joined The Turtles just before they recorded their Happy Together album), whose version was a minor hit, reaching #31 in the US. Arthur Lee’s group Love also recorded it that year, as did The Byrds, whose singer David Crosby had been performing the song since 1965. These were all uptempo renditions.

The slow version that inspired Hendrix to record this came from a folk singer named Tim Rose, who played it in a slow arrangement on his 1967 debut album and issued it as a single late in 1966. Rose was a popular singer/songwriter for a short time in the Greenwich Village scene, but quickly faded into obscurity before a small comeback in the ’90s. He died in 2002 at age 62.

Chandler convinced Hendrix to join him in London, and he became Jimi’s producer and manager. Teaming Hendrix with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, Chandler had the group – known as The Jimi Hendrix Experience – record “Hey Joe,” and released it as a single in the UK in December 1966. It climbed to #6 in February 1967, as Hendrix developed a reputation as an electrifying performer and wildly innovative guitarist.

America was a tougher nut to crack – when the song was released there in April, it went nowhere.

The song incorporates many elements of blues music, including a F-C-G-D-A chord progression and a story about infidelity and murder. This led many to believe it was a much older (possibly traditional) song, but it was an original composition.

Hendrix played this live for the first time at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. It was the first time the group performed in America.

This was released in Britain with the flip side “Stone Free,” which was the first song Hendrix wrote for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The song was released in the UK on the Polydor label in a one-single deal. Hendrix then signed to the Track label, which was set up by Kit Lambert, producer for The Who.

Dick Rowe of Decca Records turned down Hendrix for a deal, unimpressed with both “Hey Joe” and “Stone Free.” Rowe also turned away the Beatles four years earlier.

The Hendrix version omits the first verse, where Joe buys the gun:

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that money in your hand?
Chasin’ my woman, she run off with another man
Goin downtown, buy me a .44

In the original (and most versions pre-Hendrix), Joe also kills his wife’s lover when he catches them in bed together.

This was the last song performed at Woodstock in 1969. The festival was scheduled to end at midnight on Sunday, August 17 (the third day), but it ran long and Hendrix didn’t go on until Monday around 9 a.m. There weren’t many attendees left, but Hendrix delivered a legendary performance.

While Jimi’s version is by far the most famous, “Hey Joe” has been recorded by over 1000 artists. In America, three versions charted:

The Leaves (#31, 1966)
Cher (#94, 1967)
Wilson Pickett (#59, 1969)

Hendrix is the only artist to chart with the song in the UK, although a completely different song called “Hey Joe” was a #1 hit there for Frankie Laine in 1963.

Some of the notable covers include:
Shadows of Knight (1966)
Music Machine (1966)
The Mothers Of Invention (1967)
Deep Purple (1967)
King Curtis (1968)
Roy Buchanan (1973)
Patti Smith (1974)
Soft Cell (1983)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (1986)
The Offspring (1991)
Eddie Murphy (1993 – yes, the comedian)
Walter Trout (2000)
Popa Chubby (2001)
Robert Plant (2002)
Brad Mehldau Trio (2012)

The liner notes for Are You Experienced? say this song is “A blues arrangement of an old cowboy song that’s about 100 years old.” >>

The phrase “Hey Joe” is something men in the Philippines often shout when they see an American. Ted Lerner wrote a book about his experiences there called Hey, Joe: A Slice Of The City-An American In Manilla.

In an early demo version, Hendrix is caught off guard by the sound of his voice in the headphones, and can be heard on the recording saying, “Oh, Goddamn!” Then telling Chas Chandler in the booth, “Hey, make the voice a little lower and the band a little louder.” Hendrix was always insecure about his vocal talents, but thought if Dylan could swing it, so could he.

6,346 guitarists played “Hey Joe” simultaneously in the town of Wroclaw, Poland on May 1, 2009, breaking a world record for most guitarists playing a single song.

The BBC apologized after “Hey Joe” was played following a report on the Oscar Pistorius trial, following the disabled athlete’s shooting of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (The song includes the lines: “Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand? I’m going out to shoot my old lady, you know I caught her messing around with another man.”)

This was one of five bonus tracks added to the album Are You Experienced? when it was re-released in 1997. The only song on the album not written by Hendrix, it is credited to Billy Roberts.

Not much is known about the song’s writer Billy Roberts, who apparently got in a car accident in the ’90s that left him impaired. Royalties from this song go to him through the publisher Third Palm Music.

This was used in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump when Forrest starts a fight at a Black Panthers gathering, but the song wasn’t included on the official soundtrack.

Hey Joe

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?
Hey Joe, I said where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?
Alright.
I’m goin down to shoot my old lady

You know I caught her messin’ ’round with another man.
I’m goin’ down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin’ ’round with another man.

And that ain’t too cool.
(Ah-backing vocal on each line)
Uh, hey Joe, I heard you shot your woman down
You shot her down now.

Uh, hey Joe, I heard you shot you old lady down
You shot her down to the ground. Yeah!
Yes, I did, I shot her

You know I caught her messin’ ’round
Messin’ ’round town.
Uh, yes I did, I shot her
You know I caught my old lady messin’ ’round town.

And I gave her the gun and I shot her!
Alright
(Ah! Hey Joe)
Shoot her one more time again, baby!
Yeah.
(Hey Joe!)
Ah, dig it!
Ah! Ah!
(Joe where you gonna go?)
Oh, alright.
Hey Joe, said now
(Hey)
uh, where you gonna run to now, where you gonna run to?
Yeah.
(where you gonna go?)
Hey Joe, I said
(Hey)
where you goin’ to run
to now, where you, where you gonna go?
(Joe!)
Well, dig it!
I’m goin’ way down south, way down south
(Hey)
way down south to Mexico way! Alright!
(Joe)
I’m goin’ way down south
(Hey, Joe)
way down where I can be free!
(where you gonna…)
Ain’t no one gonna find me babe!
(…go?)
Ain’t no hangman gonna
(Hey, Joe)
he ain’t gonna put a rope around me!
(Joe where you gonna.)
You better belive it right now!
(…go?)
I gotta go now!
Hey, hey, hey Joe
(Hey Joe)
you better run on down!
(where you gonna…)
Goodbye everybody. Ow!
(…go?)
Hey, hey Joe, what’d I say
(Hey… Joe)
run on down.
(where you gonna go?