The Left Banke – Walk Away Renée

Great pop song from 1966. It peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100 and #3 in Canada. The song is constructed so well and has influenced countless artists. They did have one more top twenty hit in 1967 with Pretty Ballerina. The band helped start “baroque & roll” because of the classical arrangements and melodies. .

Michael Brown wrote the song but the band fought constantly so after the success of the single Brown was putting together a new Left Banke to tour that included Michael McKean (Lavergne and Shirley and Spinal Tap) on guitar but that didn’t last long.

The original band regrouped in 1967 and recorded a song but then broke up for good.

Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at number 220 in the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

This was written by band member Michael Brown, who was 16 at the time, with help
from his friends Bob Calilli and Tony Sansone. Brown wrote it after meeting Renee Fladen, the girlfriend of the band’s bass player.
Renee Fladen was in the control room when Michael Brown tried to record his harpsichord part. He later said in an interview that he was so nervous trying to play with the beautiful Renee present that his hands were shaking. In the end, he gave up and returned later when he recorded it without any problem.
The line “Just walk away Renee” is often misinterpreted as “Don’t walk away Renee.” The singer has decided that Renee will never return his affections and is better off with her out of his life.

 

Walk Away Renée

And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every dayJust walk away, Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blameFrom deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide

Just walk away, Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now, as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me, it cries

Just walk away, Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now, as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me, it cries

Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me though they’re so small

Just walk away, Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame

Kathy Young & The Innocents – A Thousand Stars

I don’t know how many people know this song but it took me twenty years to find it. I heard it in 1986 on an oldies station. I just caught the middle to the end and it intrigued me. Every time they would play it I would not catch who it was…it never dawned on me to call the station and ask. It was kind of haunting to me but I loved it. It took me till around 2008 to remember enough of it to track it down.

It was released in 1960 and peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100. This was their one and only top ten hit. It was written by Eugene Pearson.

A Thousand Years

A thousand stars in the sky like the stars in your eyes

They say to me that there’ll never be

No other love like you for me

A thousand stars in the sky make me realize

You are the one love that I’ll adore

Tell me you love me

Tell me you’re mine once more

Once more, once more

Each night I count the stars in the sky

Hoping that you aren’t telling me lies

You’re with me tonight, I’m captured by your charms

Oh, pretty baby, won’t you hold me in your arms?

A thousand stars in the sky make me realize

You are the one love that I’ll adore

Tell me you love me

Tell me you’re mine once more

Once more, once more

Each night I count the stars in the sky

Hoping that you aren’t telling me lies

You’re with me tonight, I’m captured by your charms

Oh, pretty baby, won’t you hold me in your arms?

A thousand stars in the sky make me realize

You are the one love that I’ll adore

Tell me you love me

Tell me you’re mine once more

I’m yours

Al Green – Tired of Being Alone

This song never gets old and listening to Al’s voice certainly never gets old. This song peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100. Al Green has had twenty songs in the Billboard top 100, eight top 10 songs and a #1 with Let’s Stay Together.

Al Green is currently the Pastor at Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis TN.

From Songfacts on writing the song.

According to Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Singles, this came to Green when he woke up before dawn the day after a show in Detroit at a motel in rural Michigan with a song forming in his mind. Half an hour later, he had it written, but his producer Willie Mitchell wasn’t much interested in Green performing his own material. Said Green: “I was toting my song around in my pocket for days on end, saying, ‘Hey, I got a song.’ Finally, at the end of the session, I said, ‘Well, I still got a song.'” It became Green’s first hit.

Tired of Being Alone

I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Won’t you help me, girl,
Just as soon as you can.
People say that I’ve found a way,
To make you say,
That you love me.
But baby,
You didn’t go for that,
Ha, it’s a natural fact,
That I want to come back,
Show me where it’s at, baby.
I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Won’t you help me, girl,
Soon as you can.
I guess you know that I, uh,
I love you so,
Even though,
You don’t want me no more,
Hey, hey, hey, hey I’m cryin’ tears,
Through the years,
I tell you like it is,
Honey, love me if you can.
Ya baby,
Tired of being alone here by myself, now
I tell ya, I’m tired baby,
I’m tired of being all wrapped up late at night,
In my dreams, nobody but you, baby.
Sometimes I wonder,
If you love me like you say you do,
You see baby, I, I, I, I’ve been thinking about you,
I’ve been wanting to get next to you, baby,
Sometimes I hold my arms and I say,
Oh baby, yeah, needing you has proven to me,
To be my greatest dream, yeah
Awh!
I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on my own,
Sometimes late at night I get to wonderin’ about you baby,
Baby, baby, ya ya, baby you’re my heart’s desire

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

This great song was released in 1970 and peaked at #1 on the Billboard 100, #1 in the Uk and #7 in Canada. It was written by Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Hank Robinson.

This would be their only #1 hit in the Billboard 100. They had 42 songs in the top 100 and 6 top ten hits. Smokey would soon leave the Miracles after this song.

From Songfacts. 

Stevie Wonder came up with the music for this song with a top Motown producer named Hank Cosby. They recorded an instrumental demo and asked Robinson to complete the song – it was common practice for Motown writers to work on each other’s songs at the time.

Robinson listened to the song for a few days and decided it sounded like a circus – he came up with the lyrics based on the clown. “I was trying to think of something that would be significant, that would touch people’s hearts, but still be dealing with the circus,” said Smokey. “So what is that? Pagliacci, of course. The clown who cries. And after he makes everyone else happy with the smile painted on his face, then he goes into his dressing room and cries because he’s sad. That was the key.”

Tears of a Clown

Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that’s quite a different subject
But don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I’m sad
(Sad, sad, sad, sad)
Oh I’m sadder than sad
(Sadder than sad)
You’re gone and I’m hurtin’ so bad
(Hurtin’ so bad)
Like a clown I pretend to be glad
(Sad, sad, sad, sad)

[Pre-Chorus]
Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than

[Chorus]
The tears of a clown, when there’s no one around
Oh yeah baby

[Verse 2]
Now if I appear to be carefree
It’s only to camouflage my sadness
And honey to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don’t let my show convince you
That I’ve been happy since you
Decided to go
(Decided to go)
Oh I need you so
(I need you so)
I’m hurt and I want you to know
(Want you to know)
But for others I put on a show
(It’s just a show)
Ooh yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than

[Chorus]
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around
Oh yeah

The Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over

The Dave Clark Five were the first British Invasion band that had a hit other than The Beatles. I bought the single second hand somewhere and it has a big sound to it. The drums sound huge on this. The single charted at #6 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada and #1 in the UK in 1964. Dave Clark and Mike Smith wrote this song.

Bruce Springsteen has mentioned that the Dave Clark Five was a big influence. The group was huge…they ended up with 24 songs in the top 100, 7 songs in the top 10, and one #1 record with “Over and Over.”

After the group broke up in 1970 Dave Clark became a media mogul and also wrote, produced, and directed.

Glad All Over

You say that you love me (say you love me)
All of the time (all of the time)
You say that you need me (say you need me)
You’ll always be mine (always be mine)
I’m feelin’ glad all over
Yes I’m-a glad all over
Baby I’m glad all over
So glad you’re mine
I’ll make you happy (make you happy)
You’ll never be blue (never be blue)
You’ll have no sorrow (have no sorrow)
Cause I’ll always be true (always be true)
And I’m feelin’ glad all over
Yes I’m-a glad all over
Baby I’m-a glad all over
So glad you’re mine
Other girls may try to take me away (take me away)
But you know, it’s by your side I will stay
I’ll stay
Our love will last now (our love will last)
Till the end of time (end of time)
Because this love now (because this love)
Is gonna be yours and mine (yours and mine)
And I’m feelin’ glad all over
Yes I’m-a glad all over
Baby I’m glad all over
So glad you’re mine
Other girls may try to take me away (take me away)
But you know, it’s by your side I will stay
I’ll stay
All of our lives now (all of our lives)
Till the end of time (end of time)
Because this love now (because this love)
Is only yours and mine (yours and mine)
And I’m feelin’ glad all over
Yes I’m-a glad all over
Baby I’m-a glad all over
So glad you’re mine
I’m so glad you’re mine now
I’m so, I’m so glad you’re mine
I’m-a so glad you’re mine now
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa

 

Brownsville Station – Smoking in the Boys Room

I have always liked the sound of this song. I have heard covers of this but none compares because of the rawness of it.

This song charted in 1974 at #3 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #27 in the UK. The band did have another top 40 hit with “King Of The Party” that ranked #31 on in the Billboard 100.

Michael “Cub” Koda and Michael Lutz wrote the song and Cub sang it. After Brownsville Station disbanded in 1979 he went on to be a DJ and a writer. He wrote the All Music Guide to the Blues, and Blues for Dummies, and some liner notes for other artists.

The owner of the record company hated the song and refused to release it as a single until so many requests came in from radio stations. He then relented and released it as a single.

How the song was written by Songfacts. 

It took Koda just a half hour to write the song and an hour for the band to record it. They didn’t think much of it, but the song became far and away their biggest hit. Brownsville Station – comprised of Koda, bass player Michael Lutz and drummer Henry Weck at the time – had released two album previous to Yeah! and were enjoying regional acclaim around Michigan when “Smokin’ In The Boy’s Room” took them to the national level.

The band was known for their high-energy stage shows, which – along with a daring choice of stagewear – earned them a spot as the opening act for Slade on their 1974 UK tour.

 

Smokin In The Boy’s Room

How you doin’ out there? Ya ever seem to have one of those days
Where it just seems like everybody’s gettin’ on your case?
From your teacher all the way down to your best girlfriend? 
Well, ya know, I used to have ’em just about all the time
But I found a way to get out of ’em
Let me tell you about it!
Sitting in the classroom, thinking it’s a drag
Listening to the teacher rap, just ain’t my bag
The noon bells rings, you know that’s my cue
I’m gonna meet the boys on floor number two!
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Now, teacher, don’t you fill me up with your rules
But everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school
Checkin’ out the halls, makin’ sure the coast is clear
Lookin’ in the stalls, “No, there ain’t nobody here!”
Oh, my buddy Fang, and me and Paul
To get caught would surely be the death of us all
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Now, teacher, don’t you fill me up with your rules
But everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school
All right!
Oh, put me to work, in the school book store
Check out counter and I got bored
Teacher was lookin’ for me all around
Two hours later, you know where I was found
Smokin’ in the boys’ room (Yes indeed, I was)
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Now, teacher, don’t you fill me up with your rules
But everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school
One mo’!
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Oh, smokin’ in the boys’ room
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Smokin’ in the boys’ room
Now, teacher, I am fully aware of the rules
And everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school!

Zombies – Time of the Season

The Zombies were a band of excellent musicians. In 1968 they released Odessey and Oracle and in 1969 this song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in Canada. The Zombies had already broken up by the time this song hit.

The song was written in the morning and recorded that afternoon. Colin Blunstone the singer had a hard time getting the phrasing right. He finally told Rod Argent, who wrote the song, to sing it. Colin ended up singing and doing great.

Al Kooper pushed this album to Clive Davis and that was a big reason it was released in America.

After the band broke up Rod Argent formed “Argent” and Colin had a successful solo career in the UK.

Time of the Season
It’s the time of the season
When love runs high
And this time, give it to me easy
And let me try with pleasured hands
To take you in the sun to (promised lands)
To show you every one
It’s the time of the season for loving
What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time (any time)
(To show) to show you what you need to live
Tell it to me slowly (tell me what)
I really want to know
It’s the time of the season for loving
What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time (any time)
(To show) to show you what you need to live
Tell it to me slowly (tell me what)
I really want to know
It’s the time of the season for loving