Cars – Let The Good Times Roll

This song was on The Car’s great debut album that just keeps giving. “Good Times Roll” was released as the third single from the album.

Ric Ocasek wrote and sang lead on this song. None of the songs were huge hits but 6 songs off of the album still get played on radio today. Rolling Stone also ranked the album No. 284 in its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.

This song peaked at #41 in the Billboard 100 and #74 in Canada in 1979.

Ric Ocasek:  “I just remember when we did ‘Good Times Roll’ in the studio in England on the first record, and we heard back the vocals. I told Roy that I thought it was way, way too much. … But you know, it grew on me later and it sounded so smooth. It was a nice process to do it because Roy, you know, was fortunate enough to have a 40-track machine … so he could do layering of vocals a lot.”

Good Times Roll

Let the good times roll
Let them knock you around
Let the good times roll
Let them make you a clown

Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair

Let the good times roll
Let the good times roll
Let the good times roll

Let the stories be told
They can say what they want
Let the photos be old
Let them show what they want

Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair
Let the good times roll
Let the good times roll-oll
Won’t you let the good times roll

Good times roll

If the illusion is real
Let them give you a ride
If they got thunder appeal
Let them be on your side

Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair
Let the good times roll
Won’t you let the good times roll-oll
Let the good times roll

Let the good times roll
Won’t you let the good times roll
Well let the good times roll
Let ’em roll (good times roll)

Let the good times roll
Let the good times roll
Ooh let the good times roll
Let ’em roll (good times roll)

Let the good times roll
(Let the good times roll)
Let the good times roll
Good times roll
(Let the good times roll)
Let the good times roll
Let ’em roll

Death Wish 1974

When I started to watch this movie…I thought it was going to be Charles Bronson randomly mowing down the people in New York City…but it had a purpose and was a pretty good movie.

There was some controversy when this movie was released because of Bronson being a vigilante in the movie. The critics who disliked the film complained that it irresponsibly exploited fear. They also claimed the film gave an exaggerated picture of crime in New York and that it glorified vigilantism… that it endorses violence as a solution to violence.

I enjoyed the film. New York in the mid-seventies makes a great atmosphere…although not a safe one. The movie is brutal but realistic.

On a side note…this movie is Jeff Goldblum’s film debut.

From IMDB

Open-minded architect Paul Kersey returns to New York City from vacationing with his wife, feeling on top of the world. At the office, his cynical coworker gives him the welcome-back with a warning on the rising crime rate. But Paul, a bleeding-heart liberal, thinks of crime as being caused by poverty. However, his coworker’s ranting proves to be more than true when Paul’s wife is killed and his daughter is raped in his own apartment. The police have no reliable leads and his overly sensitive son-in-law only exacerbates Paul’s feeling of hopelessness. He is now facing the reality that the police can’t be everywhere at once. Out of sympathy, his boss gives him an assignment in sunny Arizona where Paul gets a taste of the Old West ideals. He returns to New York with a compromised view on muggers…

 

Free – All Right Now

Yes, this has been played to death but it still sounds good. No frills rock and roll from the early seventies.

I have a new appreciation for the song. The guys come over…well before the lockdown…and play music in my garage. Someone brought this one up and started to play it a couple of months ago and we started to play…it is a great song to play and hear live.

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #4 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1970. It was featured on the Fire and Water album. In 1991, the song was remixed and re-released, reaching #8 in the UK again.

The song was written by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers.

This topped a 2010 online fan poll by UK radio station Planet Rock for the “Greatest Rock Singles.” Said Paul Rodgers: “When I started writing ‘All Right Now’ the lyrics and the melody flowed easily. It felt special and it’s still special to me and the fans. It’s a ‘must play’ in my solo set.”

Simon Kirke (Drummer): “‘All Right Now’ was created after a bad gig in Durham, England. Our repertoire at that time was mostly slow and medium paced blues songs which was alright if you were a student sitting quietly and nodding your head to the beat. However, we finished our show in Durham and walked off the stage to the sound of our own footsteps. The applause had died before I had even left the drum riser. When we got into the dressing room, it was obvious that we needed an uptempo number, a rocker to close our shows. All of sudden, the Inspiration struck (bass player Andy) Fraser, and he started bopping around singing ALL RIGHT NOW… He sat down and wrote it right there in the dressing room. It couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes.” 

Paul Kossoff was the guitar player and influenced a generation of guitar players before and after his early death in 1976.

From Songfacts

In the CD Molten Gold – An Anthology, Free drummer Simon Kirke explained: 

Andy Fraser (Free’s Bass Player): “We’d started work on our third album, Fire and Water and things were going well. The idea for ‘All Right Now’ came about on a rainy Tuesday night in some god-forsaken minor city – I can’t remember where – in England. We were playing a college that could have held 2,000 but had something like 30 people out of their heads on Mandrax bumping into each other in front of us. They didn’t notice when we came on or when we went off.

Afterward, there was that horrible silence in the dressing room. To break the intensity, I started singing, ‘All right now…come on baby, all right now.’ As if to say, Hey, tomorrow’s another day. Everyone else started tapping along. That riff was me trying to do my Pete Townshend. We listened to everything, though: The Beatles, Stax and Motown, Gladys Knight And the Pips was one of our main influences then.

Paul (Rodgers) said he wrote the lyrics while he was waiting for us to pick him up for another gig. We used to have a dressing room amp, so every night we’d do the song and add a bit until we tested it live.”

This is the first hit song with vocals by Paul Rodgers. He later joined Bad Company and also played with The Firm and Queen.

This song really took off after Free’s performance at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31,1970 at the East Aftom Farm, Aftom Down, where over 600,000 people attended. Los Angeles disc jockey Joe Benson told Paul Rodgers during an on air interview that “All Right Now” is playing over the airwaves somewhere around the world once every 45 seconds. 

Free weren’t able to follow up this song with another hit, as the next single, “Stealer,” stalled at #49 in America and didn’t chart at all in the UK. In a Songfacts interview with Simon Kirke, he said: “It became a bit of an albatross around our necks, I have to say. Even though it elevated Free into the big leagues, it became a bit of an albatross because we couldn’t follow it. It became a huge hit all around the world, only because we wanted to have something that people could dance to, but then, of course, we had to follow it up, and Island Records were desperate for us to follow it up.

Really it was just a one-off for us, and when the follow-up to ‘All Right Now’ died a death – it was called “The Stealer” – and the album that followed, Fire and Water, from which ‘All Right Now’ was taken, when that didn’t do very well, we took it to heart and the band broke up. So, in an indirect way, ‘All Right Now’ was not very good for the band, I have to say.

But, by the same token, it’s been such a durable song. I play it in my solo shows, I played it with Ringo Starr and I think one of the highlights of my career.”

The song has soundtracked numerous commercials in the UK, most famously in 1990 when it featured in a TV ad for Wrigley’s chewing gum, which generated enough interest to return the tune to the UK charts. “I can’t keep track of where it’s turned up,” Paul Rodgers ruefully told The Independent April 7, 2010. “Island Records owned the publishing rights to all our songs in perpetuity. In theory, they’re supposed to call me and ask, ‘Can we use this song in this way?’ but they often don’t. I think if the money’s good enough, they just go, ‘Yes! Wrigley’s? YES!!'”

A less satisfactorily tie-in came when the song was used to advertise a foot-odor powder on television. “You use this stuff on your feet and the song comes on to signify that your feet are All Right Now, you see,” Rogers said acidly. “I rang Chris Blackwell about it. He had it taken off pretty smartly.”

The song has been covered by many bands and artists, including Mike Oldfield, Rod Stewart, Christina Aguilera, the Runaways and, ex-Wham! backing singers Pepsi & Shirlie.

When Paul Rodgers teamed up with Queen in 2004 to tour as Queen + Paul Rodgers, this was a regular part of their set list and a crowd favorite.

It’s Alright Now

There she stood in the street
Smiling from her head to her feet
I said hey, what is this
Now baby, maybe she’s in need of a kiss
I said hey, what’s your name baby
Maybe we can see things the same
Now don’t you wait or hesitate
Let’s move before they raise the parking rate

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now

I took her home to my place
Watching every move on her face
She said look, what’s your game baby
Are you tryin’ to put me in shame?
I said “slow don’t go so fast,
Don’t you think that love can last?
She said Love, Lord above
Now you’re tryin’ to trick me in love

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now

Yeah, it’s all right now
Oh yeah

Let me tell you all about now
Took her home to my place
Watching every move on her face
She said look, what’s your game
Are you tryin’ to put me in shame?
Baby,I said “slow don’t go so fast
Don’t you think that love can last?
She said love, Lord above
Now he’s tryin’ to trick me in love

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby,baby,baby it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now
(All right now baby, it’s all right now) We are so happy together it’s alright,it’s alright,it’s alright
(Everything alright) all right now baby, it’s all right now

Dave Edmunds – Crawling From the Wreckage

This song was on the Edmunds solo album Repeat When Necessary. It was released in 1979 on Led Zeppelin’s record label Swan Song. The album peaked at #54 in the Billboard 100 in 1979.

Crawling From The Wreckage peaked at #59 in the UK when released.

The musicians on the album are Edmunds, Lowe, Billy Bremner, and Terry Williams…known as Rockpile.

This song was written by Graham Parker…below are both versions.

Crawling From The Wreckage

Got out really early from the factory
Drivin’ like a nut in the rain
Don’t think I was actin’ so hysterically
But I didn’t see a thing until it came
Met the dumb suburbos in the takeaway
Beating up the Chinee at the counter
I put a few inside me at the end of the day
I took out my revenge on the revolution counter

Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
You’d think by now at least that half my brain would get the message
Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Into a brand new car

In walks Bud with his exploding nose
He’s been giving it maximum today
Shouted, How the devil, you in trouble, I suppose
All you ever do is run away
Gunned up the motor inta hyperdrive
I wasn’t gonna take any of that
Don’t get bright ideas about a suicide
‘Cause all I ever hear is, Zoom, bam, fantastic

Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Crawlin’ from the wreckage
You’d think by now at least that half a brain would get the message
Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Into a brand new car

Crawlin’, crawlin’, crawlin’ from the wreckage
Crawlin’, crawlin’, crawlin’ from the wreckage
Crawlin’, crawlin’, crawlin’ from the wreckage

Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges
Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Into a brand new car

Nothin’ seems to happen that ain’t happened before
I see it all through flashes of depression
I drop my drink and hit some people runnin’ for the door
Gotta make some kind of impression
‘Cause when I’m disconnected from the drivin’ wheel
I’m only half the man I should be
Metal hitting metal is-a all I feel
Everything is good as it poss-i-bul-ly could be

Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
You’d think by now at least that half a brain would get the message
Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Into a brand new car

Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges
Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage
Into a brand new car

Crawlin’ from the wreckage, Crawlin’ from the wreckage

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Our House

Our House…that is where most of us are today and for days to come. Here is a ballad that Graham Nash wrote for the Déjà Vu album. The first album to include Crosby, Stills, Nash, AND Young.

Graham Nash wrote this sentimental tune about his relationship living with Joni Mitchell in a cottage in LA’s Laurel Canyon around 1969. Mitchell and Nash were a romantic couple during the period in which Joni wrote the songs for Ladies Of The Canyon which, like Deja Vu, was released in 1970.

Our house peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100, #13 in Canada, and #19 in New Zealand in 1970.

Graham Nash: It was one of those gray cloudy days in Los Angeles that foreshadows the spring. When we got back and put our stuff down, I said, “I’ll light a fire”—she had an open fireplace with a stash of wood in the back—“why don’t you put some flowers in that vase you just bought. It’ll look beautiful. It’s kind of a bleak day. It’ll bring some more color into the room.” Then I stopped. I thought: Whoa! That’s a delicious moment. How many couples have been there: You light a fire, I’ll cook dinner. I thought that in the ordinariness of the moment there might be a profoundly simple statement. So Joni went out into the garden to gather ferns and leaves and a couple flowers to put in the vase. That meant she wasn’t at the piano—but I was! And within the hour, the song “Our House” was finished.

 

From Songfacts

Biographer Dave Zimmer shared what Graham Nash told him about the song in the 2007 CSNY Historian’s interview: “He once told me: ‘The time that Joni and I were living together was really interesting because I had left my band [The Hollies] successfully, I had left my country [England] successfully, I had been accepted here [Los Angeles, California], and I was feeling great. And Joni was feeling great, too; she had started to realize who she was and the fantastic work she was doing. She was painting and designing her second album cover, doing that self-portrait. And I remember being totally in awe of her. She’d go and make some supper and come down and we’d be eating, then she’d all of a sudden space out, go to the piano … to see her sit down and write ‘Rainy Night House’ and all those other things was just mind blowing.'” 

According to Graham Nash’s biography Wild Tales, a famous line in this song had a very specific inspiration. He and Joni Mitchell went to an antiques store and she picked out a vase. When they got home, Nash said, “I’ll light the fire while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.” He stopped dead in his tracks and went immediately to the piano.

In the earliest live performances of the song, Nash would introduce it as being “about my woman.” He never used Mitchell’s name, though.

This was used in ’80s TV spots for Eckrich sausage and the Pacific Bell telephone company.

Our House

I’ll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me

Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good
Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the evening
Sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you

Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy ’cause of you and our la, la, la…

Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy ’cause of you and our

I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today

The Who – Squeeze Box

You go and see Pete Townshend to watch him windmill his guitar and jump about. Not on this song…you hear Pete happily playing on a banjo…and that is a great thing. He also slips in the accordion for good measure. This is not The Who’s best song but it’s happy and catchy. It’s also the first Who song I remember hearing without knowing much about them. My sister surprisingly had this single…a bright spot among the many bad ones she owned.

This song was on the album The Who By Numbers released in 1975 and peaked at #8. Squeeze Box made it to #16 in the Billboard 100 in 1976.

Townshend wrote all of the songs and they were deeply personal. He had just turned 30 and he was beginning to question his place in Rock and Roll. A question he would wrestle with a few more years.

Squeeze Box was originally intended for a Who television special planned in 1974. In the planned performance of the song, the members of the band were to be surrounded by 100 topless women playing accordions

Pete Townsend: “It’s not about a woman’s breasts, vaginal walls, or anything else of the ilk.”

Roger Daltrey: “What’s great about ‘Squeeze Box’ is that it’s so refreshingly simple, an incredible catchy song. A good jolly. I’ve never had a problem with that song because it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is and I love it for that. Live audiences love it. Nothing wrong with a bit of ‘in-and-out’, mate!”  

From Songfacts

Squeeze Box” is a slang term for an accordion, but it is also slang for the vagina. The band just wanted to see if they could get away with singing about the joys of explicit sex. 

In the liner notes to Pete Townshend’s compilation album Scoop, he wrote that he recorded the song for fun one day when he had bought himself an accordion. The accordion gave the song a polka-esque rhythm and the lyrics were “intended as a poorly aimed dirty joke.” Townshend had no thought of it ever becoming a hit.

The song is about an accordion (sort of), but there is hardly any of the instrument in the song. You can hear some in the section about 90 seconds in that goes, “squeeze me, come on and squeeze me,” but the subsequent instrumental section is mostly banjo. Pete Townshend played both instruments.

 

Squeeze Box

Mama’s got a squeeze box
She wears on her chest
And when daddy comes home
He never gets no rest
‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

Well the kids don’t eat
And the dog can’t sleep
There’s no escape from the music
In the whole damn street
‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes in and out and in
And out and in and out and in and out
She’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes, squeeze me, come on and squeeze me
Come on and tease me like you do
I’m so in love with you
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes in and out and in and out
And in and out and in and out
‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

The Band – Life Is A Carnival

One quick story before the song. When I was 6 years old my dad, mom, sister. and I piled into the car and we all traveled to the carnival. I was so excited…too excited. I was in the backseat and stuck my head out the driver’s side window. My dad was not paying attention…can you see this coming? My dad started to roll the window up and could not understand why it was stuck. My neck was in it and Dad was trying to roll up harder. By this time I could not breathe, my face was turning red, and I was flopping around like a mouse in a trap…my mom yelled at my dad…MAX IS IN THE WINDOW… what? my dad asked…then my mom and sister screamed…MAX IS IN THE WINDOW…in unison no less. I can still hear him….Son…why the hell did you have your head handing out the window? Uh Dad…I wanted out to go to the carnival.

I loved carnivals growing up. At night they were magical with the lights, sounds, and smells.

This song was on The Band’s fourth studio album Cahoots. The song was written by  Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Robbie Robertson. The song peaked at #72 in the Billboard 100 in 1972. The album Cahoots peaked at #21 in the Billboard Album Charts in the same year.

The Band had a new studio in Bearsville NY to experiment in during the early ’70s. It was opened by their manager Albert Grossman but Robbie Robertson commented that it left them a bit cold. They are also going through drug problems with three members at the time of recording.

Rick Danko in 1993: “I think we shipped a million copies of that second album,”
“And that changed a lot of people’s lives — in particular, the Band’s. After that, we were only getting together once a year, for a couple of months, to record. It was like we were too decadent to play.”

Life Is A Carnival

You can walk on the water
Drown in the sand
You can fly off a mountaintop
If anybody can

Run away, run away (run away, run away)
It’s the restless age
Look away, look away (look away, look away)
You can turn the page

Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap?
Here on the street
I got six on each arm
And two more ’round my feet

Life is a carnival
Believe it or not
Life is a carnival
Two bits a shot

Saw a man with a jinx
In the third degree
From trying to deal with people
People, you can’t see

Take away, take away (take away, take away)
This house of mirrors
Give away, give away (give away, give away)
All the souvenirs

We’re all in the same boat ready to float
Off the edge of the world
The flat old world
The street is a sideshow
From the peddler to the corner girl

Life is a carnival
It’s in the book
Life is a carnival
Take another look

Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap?
Here on the street
I got six on each arm
And two more ’round my feet

Life is a carnival
Believe it or not
Life is a carnival
Two bits a shot