Birth of the Beatles 1979

As a 12-year-old, I waited for this and couldn’t wait to watch it. The film started out with The Beatles about to take off to America…and then flashed back to 1961 and followed them until their Ed Sullivan appearance. It was made by Dick Clark Productions. There is a Pete Best slant to the film…with good reason. They used Pete as an advisor and you can tell. Many things slant his way.

For a fan like me, some things bother me about it…like The Beatles in Hamburg playing “Don’t Bother Me” which wasn’t written until at least 2 years later (I just looked up trivia in IMDB and this was listed…so others noticed). They mixed some facts around and left some out but with the length of the movie, they could not include everything. When making a movie about someone, events will get exaggerated and some things made up.

The movie I would make would be around 10 hours long and heavily detailed…in other words unwatchable by the general public.

I did like the spirit of this film and the actor playing John Lennon (Stephen MacKenna) I thought did a good job.

Overall it was a good try for the time and the film did do the early Beatle highlights… Stuart Sutcliffe, Astrid Kirchherr, Hamburg, Brian Epstein, Cynthia telling John she was pregnant, Paul and Pete lighting the Cinema (though heavily exaggerated), the comedy of the Beatles, George Martin, Rory Storm, Aunt Mimi and more. The group “Rain” did the soundtrack and that is maybe the highlight of the film

It was the only movie about the Beatles made when John was still alive. John, Paul, George, and Ringo…the real ones…tried to get the movie stopped but were obviously unsuccessful. The film was released to theatres in Europe but on television in America.

There are wince moments throughout the film…when in 1961 Hamburg, you see a little of seventies clothing and hairstyles plus some rushed acting. It’s full of flaws but they were on a budget and they tried to highlight the big moments. It’s a fun watch anyway even though they did get some of the story wrong.

From Wikipedia, these are the songs that were performed in the movie. Below these songs is the movie from youtube.

  1. She Loves You – Opening titles version
  2. My Bonnie (Lies Over the Ocean)
  3. Oh Baby Doll – Performed by a different group at the Liverpool audition and not by the Beatles themselves.
  4. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
  5. Blue Suede Shoes – Performed by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes
  6. I Saw Her Standing There – featuring Pete Best on drums
  7. Don’t Bother Me
  8. Johnny B. Goode
  9. Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Performed by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes
  10. Roll Over Beethoven
  11. Kansas City
  12. Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
  13. Shake, Rattle and Roll!
  14. Ask Me Why
  15. Love Me Tender
  16. Twist and Shout
  17. P.S. I Love You
  18. Dizzy Miss Lizzy – Reprise, a different recording featuring heavier drums and a more raw-sounding guitar
  19. Cry for a Shadow
  20. Please Mr. Postman
  21. Long Tall Sally
  22. Love Me Do
  23. Rock and Roll Music
  24. I Saw Her Standing There – Reprise, featuring Ringo Starr on drums. The drumming styles differ between versions for story reasons
  25. Please Please Me
  26. Thank You Girl
  27. I Want to Hold Your Hand
  28. She Loves You – Ending titles version

The quality is not great but here is the movie on youtube.

 

Ranking Led Zeppelin Albums #6 – #10

Led Zeppelin has produced some of the best albums in the history of rock. I will include the original live album of “The Song Remains the Same”… Not the remastered version of that one. Below is the way I would rank them. Ten albums in all including Coda released after John Bonham died. 1-5 coming tomorrow.

 

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10. The Song Remains The Same – 1976

This was recorded at the end of their 1973 American tour but was not released until 1976. They sound tired. It’s a good history marker looking back, but far from their best live performance. Not until long after the band broke up though nothing was officially released except this. I still prefer this over the movie of the same name.

Tracklist

Rock And Roll
Celebration Day
The Song Remains The Same
Rain Song
Dazed And Confused
No Quarter
Stairway To Heaven
Moby Dick
Whole Lotta Love

 

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9.  Coda – 1982

The album spans the band’s entire career, from live performances just after their debut album to unused songs from In Through the Out Door sessions. My favorites are Ozone Baby, Wearing and Tearing and Walter’s Walk. Personally, I like this album more than Presence but the playing is not as tight.

Tracklist

We’re Gonna Groove
Poor Tom
I Can’t Quit You Baby
Walter’s Walk
Ozone Baby
Darlene
Bonzo’s Montreaux
Wearing and Tearing

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8.  Presence – 1976

This album was made when Robert Plant was recuperating from injuries he and his wife suffered in a car wreck. He was singing from a wheelchair. Jimmy Page was keeping the band busy recording this since they could not tour. The playing on this album is great and tight but the songs are not as strong as their predecessors. After Physical Graffiti, this one paled in comparison. Technically this could be one of Jimmy Pages best performance on an album. It was recorded and mixed in 18 days.

Tracklist

Achilles Last Stand
For Your Life
Royal Orleans
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Candy Store Rock
Hots On For Nowhere
Tea For One

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7.  In Through The Out Door – 1979

It was not the typical Led Zeppelin album. Page and Bonham were having substance difficulties during this album. Plant and Jones wrote much of the album and Jones used his new synthesizer. This was a change in direction and some Zeppelin fans hated it but it did foreshadow the synthesizer coming in the eighties. I liked a lot of songs on this album like In The Evening, Fool In the Rain, All of My Love and the fun Hot Dog.

Tracklist

In the Evening
South Bound Suarez
Fool In the Rain
Hot Dog
Carouselambra
All My Love
I’m Gonna Crawl

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6.  Led Zeppelin – 1969

One of the best debut albums of any band. The classic Dazed and Confused, Good Times Bad Times, etc… The album went to #7 in the Billboard 100, #6 in the UK and #11 in Canada. Some people wonder why the band didn’t like critics…this is what Rolling Stone said about the album.

The latest of the British blues groups so conceived offers little that its twin, the Jeff Beck Group, didn’t say as well or better three months ago, and the excesses of the Beck group’s Truth album (most notably its self-indulgence and restrictedness), are fully in evidence on Led Zeppelin’s debut album.

In their willingness to waste their considerable talent on unworthy material the Zeppelin has produced an album which is sadly reminiscent of Truth. Like the Beck group they are also perfectly willing to make themselves a two- (or, more accurately, one-a-half) man show. It would seem that, if they’re to help fill the void created by the demise of Cream, they will have to find a producer (and editor) and some material worthy of their collective attention.”

The album is hard-hitting as it is fused Rock and Blues…it was very heavy and had a great sonic quality…

Tracklist

Good Times Bad Times
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
You Shook Me
Dazed And Confused
Your Time Is Gonna Come
Black Mountain Side
Communication Breakdown
I Can’t Quit You Baby
How Many More Times

Led Zeppelin’s Ascent and Descent

Led Zeppelin ruled the hard rock landscape of the 1970s. Critics didn’t like them and they didn’t like the press. They sold tons of records and their concerts were instant sellouts. They spawned a lot of bad imitators in their wake. By 1975 things started to go wrong for the band and soon by the start of the new decade they were done.

Led Zeppelin formed in 1968 while Jimmy Page was still with the Yardbirds but with only bass player Chris Dreja and he still left in the group. To fill other gig obligations Page formed the New Yardbirds with Robert Plant and his recommendation for drummer John Bonham. Chris Dreja dropped out so studio bassist John Paul Jones filled the bass position.

After a change of name, they were off and running. They made their first self-titled album and signed a huge deal with Atlantic Records. The album had bad reviews but sold very well. The band made their reputation off of live performances.

Their manager at this point was Peter Grant and with him made their mark on the industry. Peter made sure his band made money and no one would stand in the way. He told promoters the band was to get 90 percent of the gate…which was unheard of at the time. The promoters gave in because they would rather have ten percent of that than 100 percent of nothing.

The musicians were great. Robert Plant could sing and wail like no other. John Bonham was a groove extraordinaire who had his own style. John Paul Jones was a great underrated bass and keyboard player. Jimmy Page was one of the best studio guitarists there was at the time. Similar to The Who…it was like a Rock All-Star lineup.

Zeppelin’s first three albums were building up to the fourth. You can see it build with the first and second album’s electric hard edge to the third where the acoustic is introduced more and a more folk side is shown. It all peaked with the classic 1971 Led Zeppelin IV with the perfect combination of the two.

Songs that came off that album are classics like Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog, Four Sticks, Rock and Roll, Going to California, When the Levee Breaks, The Battle of Evermore, and my favorite Misty Mountain Hop. This album and the Who’s Who’s Next came out within months of each other and both of these albums are the foundation of classic rock radio.

More great albums were to follow like Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti though none would match the fourth album. After Physical Graffiti things started to go south for Zeppelin.

Their reputation kept growing and it was not all about their music. Wild stories about groupies, Peter Grant stopping at nothing if he perceived an injustice toward his band and there was the Jimmy Page strong occult interest that followed the band like a dark cloud. John Bonham was described as a nice family man until he started to drink. When drunk he would turn into “The Beast” (as bandmates called him) and could terrorize anyone near the band. They did a series of concerts in 1975 at Earl’s Court and after that The Zeppelin started to descend.

In 1975 Robert Plant and his wife were in a serious car wreck and it would take Plant a few months to recuperate and soon the band would record the album Presence with Plant still not able to walk without assistance. The band would not tour in 1976 because of Plants injuries but started an American tour beginning in April 1977.

When Zeppelin started in 1968 critics didn’t like them and Zeppelin didn’t trust the press. Critics thought their first two albums were the work of blues-ripoff artists. Led Zeppelin never forgot that. This was one set of rules in 1977 shared with the press covering the band.

1. Never talk to anyone in the band unless they first talk to you.
1a. Do not make any sort of eye contact with John Bonham. This is for your own safety.
2. Do not talk to Peter Grant or [Tour Manager] Richard Cole — for any reason.
3. Keep your cassette player turned off at all times unless conducting an interview.
4. Never ask questions about anything other than music.
5. Most importantly, understand this — the band will read what is written about them.

The tour was beset with problems with rowdy crowds, Pages increasing heroin intake, and Bonham’s drinking. Peter Grant had hired a British gangster named John Bindon to handle security. Zeppelin’s security crew and John Bonham attacked one of promoter’s Bill Graham’s staff after Grants 11-year-old son was pushed down… After that incident in Oakland, they flew to New Orleans for the next show and Plant received a phone call from back home informing him that his five-year-old son Karac died from a stomach infection. The entire tour was immediately canceled as Plant flew home to be with his family. The last Oakland concert was the last time they played in America.

In 1979 they would get back together and release “In Through the Out Door“, a softer more synthesizer-based album. Plant and Jones did the majority of the writing on the album. Zeppelin did two great shows at Knebworth in 1979 and a short European tour in 1980. While rehearsing for the American tour John Bonham died of asphyxiation in his sleep after a night of heavy drinking in Page’s home on September 25, 1980. Unlike the Who, who continued on without their one of a kind drummer, Led Zeppelin was no more.

The band regrouped three times for one-off concerts. Once in 1985 for Live Aid with two drummers (Phil Collins and Tony Thompson )and in 1988 for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary with Jason Bonham on drums. Neither of those turned out too well.
They did regroup in 2007 for a  concert with Jason Bonham drumming. This time they sounded comparable to their younger days and their fans clamored for a reunion and tour…Plant all but ruled that out.

I like most of their albums and consider them one of the biggest rock bands ever…They have made some of the best albums in Rock history. I just never got into them like The Who, Beatles, Stones, Cream, and Kinks. The more I learn about them the more distant they get. Their mystique and image became larger than their music at times.

I’m going to attempt to rank 10 of Led Zeppelin’s albums coming up this week.

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The Who albums ranked 6-1

Here are my choices for the top six Who albums. The one upshot of doing lists… is listening to all of these great albums again.

 

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6. Live at Leeds – 1970 –  There are live albums and then there is this… This album along with At Fillmore East rise above other live albums. Bands would release them when they were in between studio albums. On Live at Leeds, I have never heard a rock band so tight. This is the Who clicking on all cylinders.

Moon, Entwistle, Townshend, and Daltry are all in their prime on this.

Tracklist
Young Man Blues
Substitute
Summertime Blues
Shakin’ All Over
My Generation
Magic Bus

 

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5. My Generation – 1965 – The title song is still an anthem of the sixties generation. This may be the hardest power pop album released, The Kids Are Alright, A Legal Matter, and Out In The Street.

They experimented in the studio and found new sounds and used feedback as an instrument. You start hearing the power chords on this album and the great hooks that Pete came up with on guitar…Roger still hasn’t grown into his later voice and the band is raw but electric.

The Ox is just a musical explosion. What a great debut album this was in 1965.

Tracklist

Out In The Street
I Don’t Mind
The Good’s Gone
La-La-La-Lies
Much Too Much
My Generation
The Kids Are Alright
Please, Please, Please
It’s Not True
I’m A Man
A Legal Matter
The Ox

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4. Who Sell Out – 1967 –  The Who’s take on Pirate radio of the sixties complete with commercials. The standout hit was I Can See For Miles but this album is a collection of good songs strung together with fake commercials.

I like to listen to this album in sequence. Pete was maturing into the Pete we would know soon. The Who didn’t repeat themselves and kept reaching and experimenting.

Strong tracks are Armenia City In The Sky, Tatto, Our Love Was, Relax. and Rael and of course the masterpiece I Can See For Miles.

Tracklist

Armenia City In The Sky
Heinz Baked Beans
Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands
Odorono
Tattoo
Our Love Was
I Can See For Miles
Can’t Reach You
Medac
Relax
Silas Stingy
Sunrise
Rael (1 And 2)

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3. Tommy – 1969 – This Rock Opera left a huge dent in pop culture and left its imprint on rock history. I like the album but the production leaves a lot to be desired. This album made the Who rock gods. There are some great songs on this album like Pinball Wizard, We’re Not Going To Take It, I’m Free, and The Acid Queen.

I personally like Sally Simpson and Christmas. Pete Townshend and Kit Lambert worked together on this album and Kit helped Pete shape it into a concept album. I wished Kit would have let someone else engineer and mix it. I’m mostly a studio album guy but I think this album works better live than the record. Listening to the live version of this album around that time for me beats the album.

There is no denying that it is a landmark album in Rock.

Tracklist
Overture
It’s A Boy
1921 3:14
Amazing Journey
Sparks 3:45
Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
Christmas
Cousin Kevin
The Acid Queen
Underture
Do You Think It’s Alright?
Fiddle About
Pinball Wizard
There’s A Doctor
Go To The Mirror!
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Smash The Mirror
Sensation
Miracle Cure
Sally Simpson
I’m Free
Welcome
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take

 

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2. Quadrophenia – 1973 –  This kick-started the Mod revival of the 70s. The concept album is about a teenager mod (Jimmy) coming of age in the 60s…It is also about the band itself and it’s four different personalities and also their fans. It is much more cohesive than Tommy and Pete’s use of synthesizers on this is incredible.

The high spot for me is hearing Entwistle and Moon play “The Real Me.”

Some of the many great songs are Love, Reign O’er Me, The Real Me, The Punk and The Godfather, Drowned, 5:15.

Tracklist
I Am The Sea
The Real Me
Quadrophenia
Cut My Hair
The Punk And The Godfather
I’m One
The Dirty Jobs
Helpless Dancer
Is It In My Head
I’ve Had Enough
5:15
Sea And Sand
Drowned
Bell Boy
Doctor Jimmy
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me

 

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1. Who’s Next -1971 – There was really no suspense to this album being number one. This arguably could be the best rock album of the 70s. Instead of Kit Lambert The Who hired Glyn Johns to help produce and it showed. The sound quality difference between this and Tommy is day and night. This album has a sonic quality like no other.

The album came out of a failed attempt at a rock concept album by Pete called Lifehouse that apparently no one but Pete understood. Classic radio stations use this album as their foundation. An incredible album with no weak songs.

These songs live work so well. Won’t Get Fooled Again maybe has the best line in Rock… “Meet the new boss, Same as the Old boss”

Tracklist
Baba O’Riley
Bargain
Love Ain’t For Keeping
My Wife
Song Is Over
Getting In Tune
Going Mobile
Behind Blue Eyes
Won’t Get Fooled Again

 

For the top five  I never shifted until the last minute and I moved Tommy from 4th to 3rd and The Who Sell Out from 3rd to 4th. The importance and culture impact of Tommy won out.

Hope you enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Who albums ranked 13 -7

After the Beatles, The Who are my favorite band. I was lucky enough to see them twice but not lucky enough to see them as nature intended…with Keith Moon. I’m going to attempt to rank 13 of their albums. I will not go by chart success or how many sold.

I usually would not include live albums but Live At Leeds is no ordinary live album. I’m also including Odds and Sods, an album of outtakes and rarities because of so few studio albums and it was released while they were still going strong.

This is 13 through 7… next will be 6 through 1

 

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13. Endless Wire – 2006 – This album was released in 2006. Obviously, I’m not as close to this album as The Who’s other albums..but I’ve listened to it more recently than the other albums.  It’s a good album but the best way I can describe it is it’s not as defined as other albums and the mini-opera Wire and Glass can get tedious. There are some good songs such as Black Widow’s Eyes (the only song featuring Zac Starkey), A Man in a Purple Dress and the different but good  God Speaks of Marty Robbins… I will say that time has affected Rogers voice more than Petes. Petes voice sounds really good on this album. Roger does fine but age has treated Pete’s voice well.

Tracklist

1 Fragments
2 A Man In A Purple Dress
3 Mike Post Theme
4 In The Ether
5 Black Widow’s Eyes
6 Two Thousand Years
7 God Speaks Of Marty Robbins
8 It’s Not Enough
9 You Stand By Me
Wire & Glass (A Mini-Opera)
10 Sound Round
11 Pick Up The Peace
12 Unholy Trinity
13 Trilby’s Piano
14 Endless Wire
15 Fragments Of Fragments
16 We Got A Hit
17 They Made My Dream Come True
18 Mirror Door
19 Tea & Theatre
20 We Got A Hit (Extended Version)
21 Endless Wire (Extended Version)

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12. It’s Hard – 1982 – One thing I will say about this album. It has aged better than I thought it would.  I was never a big fan of this album. I liked some songs like Eminence Front, Athena and some of the tracks like Cry if you Want. This was the last studio Who album until 2006 Endless Wire. The band was not happy at this time and the end was coming…at least until they reunited at the end of the 80s for a reunion tour.

Tracklist

Athena
It’s Your Turn
Cook’s County
It’s Hard
Dangerous
Eminence Front
I’ve Known No War
One Life’s Enough
One At A Time
Why Did I Fall For That
A Man Is A Man
Cry If You Want

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11. Face Dances – 1981 – This album has been slammed by critics and fans alike. I bought the album when it was released.  Face Dances was The first album without their engine, Keith Moon. Kenney Jones was a great drummer for the Small Faces and Faces but there is only one drummer for the Who and that was Keith. There are some good songs. “You Better You Bet”  (what I call “Who Are You’s” weak sister) Don’t Let Go the Coat, Another Tricky Day, and The Quiet One.

The album is tame compared with other Who albums but the melodies are strong.

Tracklist
You Better You Bet
Don’t Let Go The Coat
Cache Cache
The Quiet One
Did You Steal My Money
How Can You Do It Alone
Daily Records
You
Another Tricky Day

 

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10. Odds and Sods – 1974 –  This album was released in 1974 of outtakes and rarities that The Who had in the Vaults. The highlights are Long Live Rock, Naked Eye, Pure and Easy, and Postcard by John Entwistle. This album full of outtakes were as good as other bands A-songs.

Tracklist

Postcard
Now I’m A Farmer
Put The Money Down
Little Billy
Too Much Of Anything
Glow Girl
Pure And Easy
Faith In Something Bigger
I’m The Face
Naked Eye
Long Live Rock

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9. Who Are You – 1978 –  Keith Moon was not well during this album. Still, I’ll take a 70 percent Keith Moon over a 100 percent anyone else for the Who. It contained the Who classic title track, Sister Disco, 905, and Music Must Change. Pete continued what he started with the Who By Numbers album by writing from the perspective of an aging rocker. This album sold faster than any other Who album. Within the month of its release, Keith Moon was gone for good.

Tracklist

New Song
Had Enough
905
Sister Disco
Music Must Change
Trick Of The Light
Guitar And Pen
Love Is Coming Down
Who Are You

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8. Who by Numbers – 1975 – Pete wrote songs so personal that Roger didn’t feel right about singing some of the songs. Pete was wondering at this point if The Who were still relevant anymore. He felt old by rock standards and wondered if the band should just pack it in.

This album had to grow on me but now I do appreciate the personal songs that Pete wrote.

The best-known song is Squeeze Box but the album is full of good songs. Slip Kid, However Much I Booze, Dreaming from the Waist and Blue Red Grey. With Punk music starting to happen Pete wrote in “They Are All In Love”

Hey, goodbye all you punks
Stay young and stay high
Hand me my checkbook
And I’ll crawl out to die

If Pete had only known the future…they were only in their twenties at that time…that is just the beginning now.

Tracklist 

Slip Kid
However Much I Booze
Squeeze Box
Dreaming From The Waist
Imagine A Man
Success Story
They Are All In Love
Blue Red And Grey
How Many Friends
In A Hand Or A Face

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7. A Quick One – 1966 – The mini-opera starts here. A Quick One, While He’s Away is a classic song made of fragments weaved with each other to make a whole. Everyone writes at least one song for this album. John Entwistle with his signature tune Boris the Spider, Keith Moon turns out the crazy and strange “Cobwebs and Strange,” and a bit of power pop with I Need You. They also covered Heatwave with the familiar Who flair.

A forgotten great power pop song on this album is So Sad About Us. The overall sound of this album is incredible.

Tracklist

Run Run Run
Boris The Spider
I Need You
Whiskey Man
Heatwave
Cobwebs And Strange
Don’t Look Away
See My Way
So Sad About Us
A Quick One, While He’s Away

 

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the last three albums in the ranking are in order of release. Face Dances and It’s Hard both have a classic Who song in You Better You Bet and Eminence Front respectively. They both have some strong songs surrounding them…I just thought that Face Dances had more than It’s Hard.

Endless Wire is missing not only Keith but by 2006 also John. It’s hard to compete against your past when you are missing your entire rhythm section. It’s a different Who album and not as exciting…but anything written by Pete is worth listening to.

Next Up will be 6 Through Number 1

 

 

 

A Quick Word on The WHO

The Who started off as the Detours and had a drummer named Doug Sandom. After an argument with Pete, Doug quit the band. Keith Moon then joined and the sound and the band took off. They found the member to complete one of the best bands to emerge from the sixties. They were the band of the Mods and wore British Flags, target shirts, and other Pop Art attire.

Controlled chaos is the best way I know how to describe the Who’s early singles. My favorite rhythm section in Rock and Roll… John Entwistle and Keith Moon were all over the place but they were all over the place together.  What John and Keith gave musically cannot be underestimated. They were the engine that made The Who go…Pete Townshend coined the phrase “power pop” and they were the ultimate power pop band. Roger Daltrey was transformed from a good blues singer to a rock god. They released several classic albums… Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, Tommy, and Live at Leeds., The Who Sell Out…

The Who along with the Kinks were the forerunners of Punk. The Who’s early singles were raw and driving Can’t Explain, My Generation, Substitute, The Kids Are Alright, Pictures of Lily, I’m a Boy, and I Can See For Miles…

They moved from those early raw songs and released albums with songs such as Won’t Get Fooled Again, Baba O’Riley, Behind Blue Eyes, Love Reign O’er Me, Who Are You, Bargain. The Real Me, We’re Not Going to Take It, and 5:15

Pete took the rock concept album to an art form.

When they were at their performing peak they were untouchable. Check out the album or DVD of Live at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Their peer at that time had a great rhythm section, a great guitarist and a dynamic lead singer…Led Zeppelin. The Who were not as popular and they didn’t sell as many records as Led Zeppelin but The Who were fun… they more inviting.

They were the complete package. They had a good songwriter (Entwistle) in the band…and a great one (Pete). If you look at lists and influences…  10 ten rock drummers, top ten rock bassists etc..all of the Who come up in their respective category.

Led  Zeppelin made the right choice in not replacing John Bonham. The Who decided to go on without Moon and were never the same again without Moon. Some of their songs were good afterward but they did not have the drive and spirit that Moon gave them and they were not complete without him.

I’ve never found a band other than the Beatles that moved me as much. Pete’s songs are high energy with a dash of spirituality.

I will revisit the Who again and coming up soon  I’m going to attempt to rank the Who albums.

 

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Creedence Clearwater Revival

This band was rock, country, blues, pop and a little of everything. Their music is played on practically every jukebox and by every self-respecting bar band. The songs are not intricate masterpieces like Bohemian Rhapsody or A Day In The Life but masterpieces all the same.

Bands go their whole career without writing one song that is NOT a love song…this band wrote about everything else but love. Many of their songs have become standards today.  They had songs about rivers, swamps, backdoors, jungles, and riverboats.

The band…or should I say John Fogerty wrote one song after another and kept hitting the charts. At the time it must have felt like the well would never run dry. Their songs were simple but so effective. John has a distinctive sound with not only his guitar but his voice. His voice was an instrument itself that drove his songs.

They were together in the public eye from 1968 to 1972. Creedence was one of the biggest bands in the world during those years. Songs kept coming like Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Green River, Looking Out My Back Door, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Lodi, Traveling Band and etc… They were a singles band and they were an album band. Albums such as Cosmo’s Factory, Green River, Willy and The Poor Boys are classic albums.

Many people thought they were from the south…maybe Louisiana but they were from El Cerrito, California. Hard to believe they were from the same area as the Grateful Dead and the San Francisco music scene of the late sixties. Creedence was not a jam band like many of their peers, they played songs to the letter. They were called rock, country rock and swamp rock.

The band had 9 top ten hits and 16 songs that charted.

They were originally signed to Fantasy Records by Saul Zaentz to a bad record deal that kept John enslaved to the company long after the band broke up. Saul held the rights to John’s songs. Saul had promised the band, to begin with, that he would renegotiate the contract when the band got more successful…he never did.

The band included guitar player, lead singer and writer John Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, bassist Stu Cook and Tom Fogerty (John’s brother) on rhythm guitar. Eventually, Tom, Stu, and Doug started to feel like John’s backup band and wanted more control. Tom quit and Creedence became a trio and took off on a tour and made an album.

The band broke up in 1972. It was a sad thing because who knows how many more songs Creedence could have created. Instead of music, the band bickered back and forth and still will file lawsuits from time to time against each other.

I’ve tried to read a few books about them but it’s hard to get through the name calling and the lawsuits that flew back and forth. They all were friends earlier but Stu, Tom, and Doug would usually take Saul Zaentz’s side against John. The brothers rarely talked to each other before Tom died in 1990.

Creedence at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970

 

Creedence Clearwater Revival Discography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creedence_Clearwater_Revival_discography