2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 1- PICK 4- Badfinger20 (Max) SELECTS: THE BEATLES [ THE WHITE ALBUM} – THE BEATLES

https://slicethelife.com/2020/07/09/2020-album-draft-round-1-pick-4-badfinger20-selects-the-beatles-the-white-album-the-beatles/

The White Album was released in 1968 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in Canada, #1 in the UK, and #1 about everywhere else…and it would be #1 as well on “Max’s Desert Island.”

Is this considered the Beatle’s best album? Probably not but if I had to take just one with me to that proverbial desert island…this would be the one. They have albums that are considered better like Revolver and Sgt Pepper but I relate to the rawer songs on this album. The album’s actual name is “The Beatles” but for obvious reasons, it will forever be known as the White Album.

When John Lennon was killed in1980 there were three albums I bought that long winter. Double Fantasy, The White Album,  and Abbey Road. I’m back there again in that 1980-81 winter and spring when I hear this album.

The White Album is as diverse as you can get… Pop, Rock, Country, Folk, Reggae, Avant-Gard, Blues, Hard Rock, and some 20’s British Music Hall thrown in the mix. It has plenty of songs that you have heard of and many that the masses have not heard as much. John Lennon wrote one of his best songs for this album… Dear Prudence.

The Beatles more than many bands could bend to a style of music and play that style well.

Some critics said they should have taken the best of the two albums and slimmed it down to one…but as a Beatle fan…Nahhhhh. It’s the friggin Beatles White Album!

My favorite songs: Sexy Sadie, Dear Prudence, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Cry Baby Cry, Helter Skelter, I Will, I’m So Tired, Revolution 1, Yer Blues, Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey, Back In The USSR, Rocky Raccoon, Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Glass Onion.

Are all of the 30 songs up to the Beatle’s high standards? No, but more than enough are to make this a great double album.

Although the songs differ in style they all have that Beatles touch to them whether it be the hard Helter Skelter, country Rocky Raccoon, or even the fairytale-like Cry Baby Cry.

The sessions were not the happiest time for the band but they came up with the most eclectic batch of songs they ever produced.

 

  1. Back In The USSR
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Glass Onion
  4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  5. Wild Honey Pie
  6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
  9. Martha My Dear
  10. I’m So Tired
  11. Blackbird
  12. Piggies
  13. Rocky Raccoon
  14. Don’t Pass Me By
  15. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?
  16. I Will
  17. Julia
  18. Birthday
  19. Yer Blues
  20. Mother Nature’s Son
  21. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
  22. Sexy Sadie
  23. Helter Skelter
  24. Long, Long, Long
  25. Revolution 1
  26. Honey Pie
  27. Savoy Truffle
  28. Cry Baby Cry
  29. Revolution 9
  30. Good Night

The #Beatles, The White Album - Fab Four Art- See ArtMythicaShop ...

Doors – Riders On The Storm

Riders on the Storm sounds like a song some cool jazz midnight DJ (WKRP fans…think Venus Flytrap) would spin in the old days when they actually could pick what they played. It’s a song to chill out to and I’ve always liked it.

The song is off The Door’s last album with Jim Morrison…LA Woman. The song peaked at #14 in 1971 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, and #22 in the UK.

This song evolved out of a jam session when the band was messing around with “Ghost Riders In the Sky.” It was Jim Morrison’s idea to alter the title to “Riders On The Storm.”

This would be the last song Jim Morrison recorded. He went to France and died a few weeks later.

Ray Manzarek: “There’s a whisper voice on ‘Riders on the Storm,’ if you listen closely, a whispered overdub that Jim adds beneath his vocal. That’s the last thing he ever did. An ephemeral, whispered overdub.” 

From Songfacts

The song can be seen as an autobiographical account of Morrison’s life: he considered himself a “Rider on the storm.” The “killer on the road” is a reference to a screenplay he wrote called The Hitchhiker (An American Pastoral), where Morrison was going to play the part of a hitchhiker who goes on a murder spree. The lyrics, “Girl you gotta love your man” can be seen as a desperate plea to his long time girlfriend Pamela. 

As it says in Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis, in 1962, while Jim was attending Florida State University in Tallahassee, he was seeing a girl named Mary Werbelow who lived in Clearwater, 280 miles away. Jim would oftentimes hitchhike to see her. “Those solitary journeys on hot and dusty Florida two-lane blacktop roads, with his thumb out and his imagination on fire with lust and poetry and Nietzsche and God knows what else – taking chances on redneck truckers, fugitive homos, and predatory cruisers – left an indelible psychic scar on Jimmy, whose notebooks began to obsessively feature scrawls and drawings of a lone hitchhiker, an existential traveler, faceless and dangerous, a drifting stranger with violent fantasies, a mystery tramp: the killer on the road.” 

The Doors brought in bass players Marc Benno and Jerry Scheff to play on the album. Scheff came up with the distinctive bass line after Manzarek played him what he had in mind on his keyboard. It took a while to figure out, since it was much harder to play on a bass than a keyboard.

Ray Manzarek used a Fender Rhodes electric piano to create the effect of rain.

This was the last song on the last Doors album with Morrison. Fittingly, it ends with the storm fading slowly to silence. The remaining Doors released two more albums without Morrison before breaking up in 1972. In 2002, Kreiger and Manzarek reunited as “The Doors Of The 21st Century.” Densmore, who says he wasn’t invited to join them, went to court and eventually got a ruling preventing the group from using The Doors in its name, so they changed their name to “Riders On The Storm” after this song. 

The single was shortened for radio play. Some of the piano solo was cut out.

In 2000, the surviving members of The Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Scott Stapp from Creed sang on this track.

Creed contributed a version of this to the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. Creed also performed it with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger at Woodstock ’99. Krieger sat in on Creed’s “What’s This Life For” during the set.

Doors drummer John Densmore wrote a book called Riders On The Storm about his life with Jim Morrison and The Doors. 

Eric Red, the screenwriter of the 1986 film The Hitcher, has said that his screenplay was inspired by this song. He said in an interview with DVD Active: “I thought the elements of the song – a killer on the road in a storm plus the cinematic feel of the music – would make an terrific opening for a film. I started with that scene and went from there.”

When the 71-year-old Ray Manzarak was asked by the Somerville Journal in March 2010 if he turns up or turns off Doors music when he hears it on the radio. Manzarek said, “Oh, God, turn it up! Are you kidding? Living up in northern California, it rains a lot, so they play the heck out of ‘Riders on the Storm.’ And when that comes on, I crank that sucker, man.” 

When he recorded this song, Jim Morrison had already decided that he was going to leave the band and go to Paris, where he would die. Some of the lyrics in this song (“girl, you gotta love your man…”) relate to his love for his girlfriend Pam Courson, who went with him to France.

At the end of this song, there are sound effects of thunder, and the faint voice of Jim Morrison whispering, “riders on the storm.” This was envisioned as his spirit whispering from the beyond.

Riders on the Storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm.

There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirming like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If you give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah.

Girl you gotta love your man
Girl you gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah.

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm.

Riders on the storm (X4)

Mad and Cracked Magazine…a quick look

To those that it applies…Happy Independence Day! I’ll have a couple of songs coming up related to Independence Day.

I never got into comic books like Marvel or DC…I would save up my allowance for Cracked and Mad magazine…and records of course. Mad Magazine was by far the most popular out of all of the satire comic magazines. William Gaines was the publisher of Mad magazine and was brilliant.

William Gaines – sendingdeadletters

1952 – Present…now you an only get Mad from Comic Book Shops or order it. The new editions consist of mostly material from their archive.

Cracked was known as the poor man’s Mad but I still liked it and the magazines shared some writers and artists through the years. I bought my first Cracked Magazine when Mad was sold out but I never missed an issue after that.

1958-2007 Now the name is alive on a website but no longer a comic.

Alfred E Newman and Sylvester P. Smythe

Sylvester P. Smythe | The Belated NerdSylvester P. Smythe | Cracked Wiki | Fandom

Don Martin was my favorite artist. He was one of Mad’s most famous artists. He was there from 1956 to 1988. He was known as “Mads Maddest Artist” and then moved to Cracked and was jokingly known as “Cracked’s Crackedest Artist.”

Fellow Cracked artist Dan Clowes: “As far as I could tell, he was happy,  don’t think he ever seemed to notice that Mad was respected, whereas Cracked was loathed.”

Completely Mad Don Martin TPB (1974 Warner Books) A MAD Big Book ...

Cracked #235 May 1988 cover by Don Martin | Mad magazine, Vintage ...

 

The Box Tops – The Letter

Alex Chilton was sixteen when he recorded this song for the Box Tops. The Box Tops formed in Memphis Tennessee in 1967. They would go to have seven top 40 hits. This one was their most successful single. It peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #5 in the UK in 1967.

After the Box Tops, Alex Chilton would help form one of the best ever power pop bands of all time that no one ever heard of… Big Star. One of my all-time favorite bands.

Nashville songwriter Wayne Carson Thompson wrote the song after his father gave him the line, “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane.”

When the group recorded this they still did not have a name. One band member suggested…”Let’s have a contest and everybody can send in 50 cents and a box top.” Producer Dan Penn then dubbed them The Box Tops.

Rolling Stone magazine included the Box Tops original at number 372 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”

The band was known for this song, Cry Like A Baby, and my favorite Soul Deep.

From Songfacts

This song is about a guy who gets a letter from his former love telling him that she wants him back, and the guy wants to fly out and see her immediately. 

Thompson gave the song to The Box Tops on the recommendation of his friend, Chips Moman, who ran ARS Studios and liked the sound of an unnamed band headed by then-16-year-old Alex Chilton, who auditioned for him in 1967.

Thompson played guitar on the recording. He didn’t like the singing, believing the lead vocal was too husky, and wasn’t fond of the production either. The addition of the jet sound “didn’t make sense” to him. When producer Dan Penn added the airplane sound to the recording, Wayne Carson Thompson clearly thought that Penn had lost his mind. He hadn’t – several weeks later it became one of the biggest records of the ’60s, and The Box Tops went on to score with a few other Thompson compositions, including their follow-up release, “Neon Rainbow” (#24, 1967), “Soul Deep” (a #18 hit in 1969) and “You Keep Tightening Up On Me” (their last chart hit, which peaked at #74 in 1970). A few years later, Thompson won a Grammy for cowriting the hit “Always On My Mind.”

At 1:58, the Box Tops’ version of this was the last #1 hit to be shorter than two minutes in length.

Cover versions were US hits for two other artists, The Arbors (#20 in 1969 – arrangement by Joe Scott) and Joe Cocker (#7 in 1970). Cocker’s version is a live recording featuring Leon Russell; a studio version appears on his album Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

The title is never sung in this song: his baby writes him “a letter.”

The Letter

[Chorus]
Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

I don’t care how much money I gotta spend
Got to get back to baby again
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

[Chorus]

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

[Chorus]

Rolling Stones – She’s A Rainbow

Take one listen and suddenly you are walking along Carnaby Street in Swinging London in 1967.

While under the influence of what was going on at the time…The Stones dipped their toe in the wild and colorful Psychedelic water. This was right after Sgt Peppers and experimentation was in the air.

The result was Their Satanic Majesties Request. I know some Stones fans that won’t mention this album but I’ve always liked it. 

It didn’t suit them as well as their earlier pop and later rock and blues style but the album did have some high points.

The string section was arranged by John Paul Jones, who was doing session work two years before he joined Led Zeppelin. Nicky Hopkins also played piano on this song.

This song was written by Jagger and Richards.

She’s A Rainbow peaked at #25 in the Billboard 100 and #9 in Canada.

The song returned to Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart in 2018 as a result of its appearance in a commercial for the all-new Acura RDX.

Mick Jagger: There’s a lot of rubbish on Satanic Majesties. Just too much time on our hands, too many drugs, no producer to tell us, “Enough already, thank you very much, now can we just get on with this song?” Anyone let loose in the studio will produce stuff like that. There was simply too much hanging around. It’s like believing everything you do is great and not having any editing.

She’s A Rainbow

She comes in colors ev’rywhere
She combs her hair
She’s like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors

She comes in colors ev’rywhere
She combs her hair
She’s like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors

Have you seen her dressed in blue?
See the sky in front of you
And her face is like a sail
Speck of white so fair and pale
Have you seen a lady fairer?

She comes in colors ev’rywhere
She combs her hair
She’s like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors

Have you seen her all in gold?
Like a queen in days of old
She shoots colors all around
Like a sunset going down
Have you seen a lady fairer?

She comes in colors ev’rywhere
She combs her hair
She’s like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors

She’s like a rainbow
Coming, colors in the air
Oh, everywhere
She comes in colors

Beatles – Bad Boy

Well, this rock and roll has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself

This song was written and originally recorded by Larry Williams, a black rock singer admired by John Lennon. The song is about a rebellious kid who loves rock and roll. The Beatles chose cover songs that fit them very well.

I really like Larry’s version of this also. His version is rooted in the fifties with rhythm and blues… With Lennon’s voice, the Beatles version makes it sound like an early garage rock/punk record.

This Larry Williams song didn’t get much traction in the charts when it was released in 1959 but the British bands were listening and covering this song. The Beatles covered three of his songs on albums… Slow Down, Bad Boy, and Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

One of the very good covers The Beatles did early on. Nice guitar and Lennon’s voice comes right at you. The song was included on the American Beatles album The Beatles VI. In the UK it wasn’t on an album until the release of A Collection of Beatles Oldies in 1966. It was released in December just as the Beatles were starting on Sgt Peppers. Having an Oldies album released only 4 years after you start recording is odd but it was perfect timing because they would never sound the same again.

 

Bad Boy

A bad little kid moved into my neighborhood
He won’t do nothing right just sitting down and look so good
He don’t want to go to school and learn to read and write
Just sits around the house and plays the rock and roll music all night
Well, he put some tacks on teachers chair
Puts chewing gum in little girl’s hair
Man, junior, behave yourself

Buy every rock and roll book on the magazine stand
Every dime that he get is lost to the jukebox man
Well, he worries his teacher till at night she’s ready to poop
From rocking and a-rolling spinning in a hula hoop
Well, this rock and roll has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself

Going tell your mama you better do what she said
Get to the barber shop and get that hair cut off your head
He took your canary and he fed it to the neighbors cat
He gave the cocker spaniel a bath in mother’s laundromat
Well, mama’s head has got to stop
Junior’s head is hard as rock
Now junior, behave yourself

 

 

Beatles – You Never Give Me Your Money—- Songs That Reference Money

This was part of the famous Abbey Road medley that featured parts of songs by the Beatles.

John Lennon usually wrote about what he knew best…himself and and his personal views. Paul would many times write about fantasy…he would write about his significant other at any given time also but this is one of the few songs that he was living through. Unlike John he usually would mask things more.

Allen Klein’s time as manager built-up tensions within the band. Paul wanted Lee Eastman his in-law at the helm but John, George, and Ringo wanted the notrious Allen Klein. Klein managed the Stones for years and at the end Mick and company found out that they inadvertently signed away their songs up until 1969 to him. Paul was right in this case…they should have never gone with Klein but Paul should have picked someone else but his in-laws as a choice. No way were the others going to go with that decision.

The song was about Klein and his attitude. Always telling them how much they were worth but never handing over cash…just money figures on “funny paper.”

This song was the first song in the medley. It is actually 3 short songs into one. “You Never Give Me Your Money, ” “Out of College section,” and the “One Sweet Dream section”

I’ve been asked, what’s so special about the Beatles? The medley on side 2 of Abbey Road is just one of many things.

Paul McCartney: “This was me directly lambasting Allen Klein’s attitude to us,” “no money, just funny paper, all promises and it never works out. It’s basically a song about no faith in the person, that found its way into the medley on ‘Abbey Road.’ John saw the humor in it.”

George Harrison: “We get bits of paper, saying how much is earned and what this and that is, but we never actually get it in pounds, shillings and pence. We’ve all got a big house and a car and an office, but to actually get the money we’ve earned seems impossible.”

 

From Songfacts

This song is about The Beatles’ business problems. When their manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, they were burdened with handling their own finances, which became a source of tension in the band.

This is the first of a medley of songs on Abbey Road, which goes another 15 minutes to “The End.”

By 1969, members of The Beatles had a lot of unfinished song ideas, which they sometimes combined. This contains fragments of four songs put into one.

Regarding the lines, “You never give me your money, you only give me your funny paper,” “Funny Paper” is how The Beatles felt they were paid. They got frustrated when their accountants would tell them how much they were worth “on paper,” without actually telling them how much money they had.

Paul McCartney played this combined with “Carry That Weight” on his 2002 “Back In The US” tour.

You Never Give Me Your Money

You never give me your money
You only give me your funny paper
And in the middle of negotiations
You break down

I never give you my number
I only give you my situation
And in the middle of investigation
I break down

Out of college, money spent
See no future, pay no rent
All the money’s gone, nowhere to go
Any jobber got the sack
Monday morning, turning back
Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go
But oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go
Oh, that magic feeling
Nowhere to go, nowhere to go

One sweet dream
Pick up the bags and get in the limousine
Soon we’ll be away from here
Step on the gas and wipe that tear away
One sweet dream came true today
Came true today
Came true today (yes, it did)

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven

 

 

Beatles – Yer Blues

Great hard bluesy song on one of my favorite Beatle albums…The White Album. This is one reason I like the White Album so much. The variety it gives you is off the charts…but there is no mistaking who the band is in every song. The Beatles kept their style through the lush soft songs to the hard ones.

What I like about it is the rawness. This song and Helter Skelter have enough to spare.

The room they recorded this in was called Room 2A, which was next to the control room of EMI Studio Two and was a mere 8 ft. by 15.5 ft. The room had been used for storing four-track machines before it was emptied. It was very tight quarters for The Beatles once they set everything up. That added to the sound. They jammed together from 7pm to 5am and after 14 takes produced this song.

John Lennon wrote this in India while The Beatles were on a retreat learning meditation with the Maharishi.

Lennon was self-conscious about singing the blues.

John Lennon: “There was a self-consciousness about suddenly singing blues,” John continues. “Like everybody else, we were all listening to Sleepy John Estes and all that in art school (in the late ’50’s).  But to sing it, was something else. I was self-conscious about doing it.”

Ringo Starr: “We were just in an 8 foot room, with no separation, just doing what we do best: playing.”

A 9 minute version with Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell was performed on the Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus. They called themselves the Dirty Mac.

Yer Blues

Yes, I’m lonely
Want to die
Yes, I’m lonely
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

In the morning
Want to die
In the evening
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

My mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth

I’m lonely
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

The eagle picks my eye
The worm he licks my bone
I feel so suicidal
Just like Dylan’s Mr. Jones

Lonely
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

Black cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist round my soul
Feel so suicidal
Even hate my rock and roll

Want to die
Yeah, want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

 

James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

Happy Father’s Day! I hope everyone has a great day.

I do miss my dad…this is Christmas 1975…yea I’m the dork beside him.

dad2

James Brown = The MAN

James Brown recorded this song in one take…the released version was supposed to be a run-through, but sounded so good it was kept anyway.

Brown, who still hadn’t memorized the song’s lyrics, read from a sheet in front of him at the beginning of the original take, he can be heard saying “There’s a lot of words here, man.” He also can be heard exclaiming “This is a hit!” just before the band kicks in.

The song peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the R&B Charts in 1965.

This song was followed by  “I Got You (I Feel Good),” which quickly became Brown’s biggest hit (until “Living in America” was released in 1985) as it went to #3 on the Hot 100.

This won a Grammy for Best R&B Recording of 1965. It was also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

From Songfacts

A “bag” is slang for a way of doing something or a kind of lifestyle. It was a popular saying in the ’60s, especially among musicians, who wouldn’t describe songs as being “in an R&B bag” or “in a doo-wop bag.”

In this song, James Brown sings about coming up with a new “bag,” meaning a completely different way of approaching music. Inspired by what he heard in church, he punctuated the music on the downbeat, creating his “brand new bag.”

In March 1965, after a legal battle with King Records, Brown agreed to a new contract with a higher royalty rate than their previous agreement, plus Brown’s own publishing company and complete artistic control. Brown promptly went into a Charlotte, North Carolina, studio and cut “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.”

King Records executive Syd Nathan gave a copy of this to New York DJ Frankie Cocker, who hated the new James Brown style but was impressed with the response when he put it on the air anyway. When King Records released the track as a single, Smash Records, the label Brown had leased some of his songs to that prompted the lawsuit, released an instrumental version of the song. As part of the ruling, Smash Records could release only instrumental versions of Brown’s songs.

Brown had recorded the very similar sounding “Out Of Sight” for Smash earlier that year, violating his King contract. James retooled the song, using a riff his band had been playing live, as a peace offering to King.

The original song was about seven minutes long, moved at a slower pace, and featured a more elaborate intro. After the song was cut, Brown sliced off most of the intro, sped the song up to get it played on pop radio, and broke it up into three parts (the second of which can be heard on the flipside of the original single).

The vocal version reached #8 in the US. It was the first Top 10 hit for the Godfather of Soul, and marked a departure from his early music toward the definition of his signature sound. Horns are used for percussive effect, and Brown’s vocals are tightly attached to the overall instrumental mix.

Dancing was a big part of James Brown’s stage show, and he often referred to dances in the lyrics to his songs. The dance crazes mentioned in this one are: The Jerk, The Fly, The Monkey, The Mashed Potatoes, The Alligator, The Twist, and the Boomerang.

Artists to record this song include Pat Boone, Freddy Cannon, Georgie Fame, Quincy Jones, L.A. Guns, Willie Mitchell, Pigbag, Otis Redding, Roger, Jimmy Smith, The Ventures, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. 

Brown’s longtime sax player Maceo Parker played baritone sax on this track, and Maceo’s older brother Melvin was the drummer. The guitar, which is most prominent when it answers Brown’s chorus line, came courtesy of Jimmy Nolen.

This was performed in Beat the Devil, one of a series of BMW films (see it at YouTube). Faced with the problem of viewers skipping past commercials or simply ignoring them, BMW decided to make short films starring their products that people would choose to watch. James Brown stars in this one.

This was used in the 1993 Robin Williams film Mrs. Doubtfire. 

 

Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

Come here sister, Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip, about that new breed babe
He ain’t no drag
Papa’s got a brand new bag

Come here mama, and dig this crazy scene
He’s not too fancy, but his line is pretty clean
He ain’t no drag
Papa’s got a brand new bag

He’s doing the Jerk
He’s doing the Fly
Don’t play him cheap ’cause you know he ain’t shy
He’s doing the Monkey, the Mashed Potatoes
Jump back Jack, See you later alligator

Come here sister
Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip now
But I can dig that new breed babe
He ain’t no drag
He’s got a brand new bag

Oh papa! He’s doing the Jerk
Papa, he’s doing the Jerk
He’s doing the twist, just like this
He’s doing the Fly every day and every night
The thing’s, like the Boomerang
Hey, come on
Hey! Hey, come on
Hey! Hey, he’s put tight, out of sight
Come on. Hey! Hey!

Buffalo Springfield – Expecting To Fly

I had a friend’s dad who owned their 1969 greatest hits album when I was in sixth grade and we wore it out. Broken Arrow and Expecting to fly were the ones we played over and over and heard something we missed on the previous play.

Buffalo Springfield were only active between 1966-68 but had a huge impact on other artists. The band was very talented……with Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer, Dewey Martin and Jim Messina who replaced Bruce Palmer. They had some great songs like Mr Soul, Now days Clancy Can’t Even Sing, Burned, Expecting to Fly, Bluebird, Rock and Roll Woman, Broken Arrow and their big hit For What It’s Worth…

Ritchie Furay and Steven Stills had played together in the Au Go Go Singers. Bruce Palmer and Neil Young had played together in the Mynah Birds. That band featured Rick James on lead vocals and was signed to Motown.

It was written by Neil Young. The song peaked at #98 in the Billboard 100 in 1968.

 

Expecting to Fly

There you stood on the edge of your feather,
Expecting to fly.
While I laughed, I wondered whether
I could wave goodbye,
Knowin’ that you’d gone.
By the summer it was healing,
We had said goodbye.
All the years we’d spent with feeling
Ended with a cry,
Babe, ended with a cry,
Babe, ended with a cry.

I tried so hard to stand
As I stumbled and fell to the ground.
So hard to laugh as I fumbled
And reached for the love I found,
Knowin’ it was gone.
If I never lived without you,
Now you know I’d die.
If I never said I loved you,
Now you know I’d try,
Babe, now you know I’d try.
Babe, now you know I’d try,
Babe.

The Mynah Birds

Super Freak meets Heart of Gold

They were the first mostly white band signed to Motown Records in 1966. So who was the band’s lead singer? A young AWOL American sailor who went by the name of Ricky James Matthews, later Rick James. On lead guitar you had Canadian Neil Young.

The band lasted from 1964 to 1967.

The band didn’t last a long time but the memorable lineup was Rick James, Neil Young, Bruce Palmer, Rickman Mason, and John Taylor. Neil and Bruce would later be members of Buffalo Springfield. Earlier members  Goldy McJohn and Nick St. Nicholas would later become members of Steppenwolf.

Canadian rocker Neil Merryweather was also an earlier member of the band.

Neil joined in 1965 and Neil and James wrote some songs together and they were recorded…but the band’s manager apparently misappropriated their advance money from Motown and they fired the manager. In return, the manager informed Motown that the band’s singer was AWOL from the Navy. Rick James was taken into custody and incarcerated by the Navy. “It’s My Time” remained unreleased, and Motown scrapped plans for a Mynah Birds album.

The music was not released until the single was included in the 2006 box set The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 6: 1966

Neil and Bruce bought a hearse…yes a hearse when Rick was detained and drove to California to start Buffalo Springfield.

The Mynah Birds were a really good band. In a biography of Neil Young called Shakey… Jimmy McDonough writes this:

The Mynah Birds—in black leather jackets, yellow turtlenecks and boots—had quite a surreal scene going…. Those lucky enough to see any of the band’s few gigs say they were electrifying. ‘Neil would stop playing lead, do a harp solo, throw the harmonica way up in the air and Ricky would catch it and continue the solo.’

Neil Young: “We got more and more into how cool the Stones were. How simple they were and how cool it was.” James had them play “Get Off My Cloud” and “Satisfaction”—before the braids, cocaine, and sequins, Rick James “fancied himself the next Mick Jagger.”

The band did get back together with different members when Rick James returned in 1967…but they soon broke up.

If you want to read more about them check out the links below.

https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/neil-young-rick-james-the-mynah-birds/

https://afropunk.com/2014/08/feature-the-strange-history-of-the-mynah-birds-the-lost-rb-supergroup-ft-rick-james-and-neil-young-soundcheck/

 

 

 

Otis Redding – Shake

“Shake” was written and originally recorded by Sam Cooke. Cooke’s version reached #7 on the Billboard 100. Cooke was a huge influence on Otis Redding; along with “Shake,” Redding also recorded covers of Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “Chain Gang,” “Cupid,” “Nothing Can Change This Love,” “Wonderful World,” and “You Send Me.”

The song peaked at #47 in the Billboard 100 in 1967.

Otis made a huge impact at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival along with The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.

The album this was on was Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul and it peaked at #77 in the Biullboard Album Charts in 1966.

Shake

Shake!
(Everybody say it!) Shake!
(Early in the morning) Shake!
(Late in the evening) Shake!
(In the midnight hour) Shake!
(When the time’s going bad, now) Shake!
Shake with the FEELING!
Shake with the FEELING!

Listen while I’m talkin’ to you now
Tell you what I’m gonna do now
There’s a new thing going around now
I’ll tell what to put down now

You move your body all around
And just shake
Thats the way you do it Shake, Shake, Shake it baby
Shake it like a bowl of soup
Let your body loop de loop
Put your hands on your hip
Come on and let your backbone slip
Move your body like your hip
And just shake!

Shake early in the morning
Shake early in the evening

A Ring-A-Ling-a-Ling
Honey, Shakin’ is the greatest thing
But if you really roll Gotta do the thing with SOUL!

Shake shake with all your might now
If you do it, do it right now
Put your hands on your hip,yeah
Come on and let your backbone slip
Move your body like your hip
And just shake

(God have mercy now!)
Early in the morning
Early in the evening All night long, y’all!
If you really want to roll
Gotta do the thing with SOUL!
Shake shake with all your might
If you do it, do it right
Let your body loop de lite
Shake!
Everybody say it, Shake!
One more time, Shake!
Everybody louder, Shake!
One more time, now, say Shake!
Everybody a bit louder, Shake!

 

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/otis-redding/shake

Bewitched

“Oh My Stars”          1964-1972

I binged watched Bewitched during the lockdown and some afterward. The first five seasons were probably the best. Having the lovely Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) as a wife who could twitch her nose and whip up anything you desired…doesn’t sound half bad…therefore… I never understood Darrin…either Darrin.

Bewitched was full of funny characters. Mr and Mrs Kravitz next door. Uncle Arthur (the great Paul Lynne), Aunt Clara, Maurice, Endora, and a cast of witches and warlocks. The show stuck the characters with the same actors/actresses for the most part. The continuity was pretty good in this show with one big exception…the two Darrins. More on that in a few.

The show was about a mortal (Darrin Stevens) that married a witch (Samantha Stevens) and Darrin does not like Samantha to use her powers. Endora the mother-in-law was a witch that played the stereotypical mother-in-law but one that could Darrin into a horse if she so pleased.

One of my favorites was Aunt Clara played perfectly by Marion Lorne. The character Aunt Clara collected doorknobs. The writers did that because Marion Lorne actually collected doorknobs from everywhere… The producers of the show would ask to borrow one if they wanted one for a different look for the show. 

Aunt Clara | Of Mice and Men Wiki | Fandom

A funny story about Marion Lorne is that she once called Elizabeth Montgomery and said, with her trademark stammer, to come to her hotel residence right away as she seemed to have actual magical powers like her character. Every time she clapped her hands, her TV set would change the channel. What Marion didn’t know was that the bracelets on each of her arms made contact when she clapped her hands, and the sound was the same as a remote control, which operated as tuning forks in those days. Montgomery never told her this.

The two Darrins. The first Darrin was Dick York. The second Darrin was Dick Sargent.

Pin on Hollywood Portraits: Male

Dick York had severe back problems and a pain pill addiction. He was on for almost 5 full seasons. He came down with a fever during the last part of the 5th season and collapsed on an episode. He entered the hospital and never came back to the show. His career essentially ended then.

The next season Dick Sargent took over with no explanation to the audience. Sargent was never as popular with the audience and the ratings soon dropped. The show lasted 8 total seasons before ending in 1972.

On December 6 Agnes Moorehead was born… | Today In PopAgnes Moorehead | American actress | Britannica

It’s a fun show to watch and it had some great actors and actress that would show up. Agnes Moorehead who played Endora was part of the Mercury Theatre with Orson Welles.

Bewitched had some really good effects for the time. I grew up on this show in syndication.

 

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057733/

 

My 10 Favorite Powerpop Songs

As you may have guessed by now I’m an extreme fan of power pop. This list was hard to write…I kept changing most of it… but I knew the top choice and worked from there.

I just gave my self ten choices or I would have gone on and on. A lot of artists and their songs were left off…such as Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Sloan, The Lemon Twigs, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Shivvers, The Jayhawks,  and too many more to mention.

10. The Ride – Twisterella– 1992 – I found this a few months back and have been listening to it ever since.

9. The Records – Starry Eyes– 1979 – Great song. Starry Eyes would end up being The Record’s best-known song. Robert John “Mutt” Lange produced their debut album for The Records.

8. The La’s – There She Goes– 1990 – A very good power pop song that has no verses…It just repeats the chorus four different ways four different times…but that doesn’t matter.

7. Cheap Trick – Voices– 1980 – One of my top Cheap Trick songs. Robin Zanders voice sounds great in this Beatlesque song.

6. The Who –Pictures of Lily– 1967 –  When this song came out Pete Townshend coined the name “power pop” and this song is about the childhood…lusts…of a boy.

5. Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)– 1974 – An epic song by the Raspberries. Not their most popular…that would be “Go All The Way” but this encapsulates everything power pop is about. Bruce Springsteen on Overnight Sensation: It’s one of the best little pop symphonies you’ll ever hear.

4. Big Star – The Ballad of El Goodo – 1972 – The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfect constructed chorus keeps me coming back listen after listen.

3. Badfinger –No Matter What– 1971 – The only band to make this list twice. Why? because this song defines the crunchy power pop of bands like Cheap Trick to come.

 2. Tom Petty – American Girl– 1977 – The Rickenbacker, the hook, and a Byrds sounding track.

 

********************************************************************

  1. Badfinger – Baby Blue – 1972 – The number one song was the easiest decision of the list. The rest were changed a few times…this one for me is a no-brainer. This song is the perfect power pop song…strong vocals, Crunchy Brit  guitar, great hook,  and great melody

Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

My favorite psychedelic song and it was on Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The “Lucy” who inspired this song was Lucy O’Donnell (later Lucy Vodden), who was a classmate of John’s son Julian Lennon when he was enrolled at the private Heath House School, in Weybridge, Surrey. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds — Lupus Trust UK

It was in a 1975 interview that Lennon said, “Julian came in one day with a picture about a school friend of his named Lucy. He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

Many thought Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was about LSD because of the initials but John denied it all of his life. I believe John because he was honest about much worse than this…John went to great lengths to deny any drug connotations involved in this song.

John did say he was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. He wrote the song with help from Paul. One of the highlights of this song is Paul’s bass playing. His walking bass line builds suspense through the song and then kicks in with the chorus.

This was banned by the BBC for what they thought were drug references. A Day In The Life was also banned off of the same album.

John Lennon: “I didn’t even see it on the label. I didn’t look at the initials. I don’t look – I mean I never play things backwards. I listened to it as I made it. It’s like there will be things on this one, if you fiddle about with it. I don’t know what they are. Every time after that though I would look at the titles to see what it said, and usually they never said anything.”

From Songfacts

The identity of the real Lucy was confirmed by Julian in 2009 when she died of complications from Lupus. Lennon re-connected with her after she appeared on a BBC broadcast where she stated: “I remember Julian and I both doing pictures on a double-sided easel, throwing paint at each other, much to the horror of the classroom attendant… Julian had painted a picture and on that particular day his father turned up with the chauffeur to pick him up from school.”

Confusion over who was the real Lucy was fueled by a June 15, 2005 Daily Mail article that claimed the “Lucy” was Lucy Richardson, who grew up to become a successful movie art director on films such as 2000’s Chocolat and 2004’s The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers. Richardson died in June 2005 at the age of 47 of breast cancer.

Lennon affirmed this on the Dick Cavett Show, telling the host, “My son came home with a drawing of a strange-looking woman flying around. He said, ‘It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds.’ I thought, ‘That’s beautiful.’ I immediately wrote the song about it.”

It’s not just fans that didn’t believe him: Paul McCartney said it was “pretty obvious” that this song was inspired by LSD.

In our interview with Donovan, who was good friends with John Lennon and joined The Beatles on their 1968 retreat to India, he made the point that Lennon often thought in terms of artwork, and like Donovan did on this song “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” Lennon painted images in his head that became the lyrics for this song. “When we put the painter’s brush down and we picked up the guitar, a lot of the songwriters started ‘painting’ songs,” he said. “You’d just have to think of John’s ‘Picture yourself on a boat on a river’ – you’re actually in a movie or you’re in a painting. ‘Tangerine trees and marmalade skies’ – he’s painting.

The images Lennon used in the song were inspired by the imagery in Through The Looking-Glass, the sequel to the book Alice In Wonderland. “It was Alice in the boat,” Lennon explained in a Playboy interview. “She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty Dumpty. The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep and the next minute they are rowing in a rowing boat somewhere and I was visualizing that.”

George Harrison played a tambura on this track. It’s an Indian instrument similar to a sitar that makes a droning noise. He had been studying with Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who is the father of Norah Jones.

Elton John released a cover version of this song in 1974 that hit #1 in the US the first week of 1975. Elton is the only artist to top the tally with a Beatles cover, although Peter & Gordon took “A World Without Love,” which was written by Lennon and McCartney, to #1 in 1964.

John Lennon sang and played guitar on Elton’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” but reportedly forgot some of the chords and needed Davey Johnston, Elton John’s guitarist, to help him out. Lennon made a surprise appearance in Elton’s Thanksgiving concert in New York and performed three songs, which proved to be his last public performance.

Actor William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on Star Trek, covered this in his dramatic, spoken-word style. In at least one poll, this version was voted the worst Beatles cover of all time.

In 1974, Johanson and Gray named the 3 million-year-old Australopithecus fossil skeleton they discovered (the oldest ever found) Lucy, after this song because it was playing on the radio when Johanson and his team were celebrating the discovery back at camp. >>

Lennon said “The girl with kaleidoscope eyes” turned out to be Yoko: “There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me… a ‘girl with kaleidoscope eyes’ who would come out of the sky. It turned out to be Yoko, though I hadn’t met Yoko yet. So maybe it should be ‘Yoko in the Sky with Diamonds.'”

During the media controversy over this song in June of 1967, Paul McCartney admitted to a reporter that the band did experiment with LSD. 

In 2004, McCartney addressed the issue of drugs in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper: “‘Day Tripper,’ that’s one about acid. ‘Lucy In The Sky,’ that’s pretty obvious. There are others that make subtle hints about drugs, but it’s easy to overestimate the influence of drugs on The Beatles’ music. Just about everyone was doing drugs in one form or another, and we were no different, but the writing was too important for us to mess it up by getting off our heads all the time.”

A group called John Fred and his Playboy Band had a #1 hit in 1968 with “Judy In Disguise (with Glasses),” a song that is a parody of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

In the Anthology one of the Beatles referred to being on LSD as like seeing through a kaleidoscope. Although Lennon denied this is about drugs, it does refer to “The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.” 

This song is very distinctive musically: It’s in three different keys and uses two different beats. 

Lennon admitted to British journalist Ray Connolly in an interview around the time of the break-up of the Beatles that he didn’t think he sang this song very well. “I was so nervous I couldn’t sing,” he said, “but I like the lyrics.”

In 2004 the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers gave the star the catchier name of “Lucy” from this song.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she’s gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredibly high

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you’re gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah

Picture yourself on a train in a station
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ah
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds