Little Richard – Lucille

Little Richard isn’t just a singer he is a force of nature. I think he would have been successful now or any decade. He is one of the best singers I’ve heard in rock and roll. His voice is brash, intense, rough, soulful, and magical. He takes you to the edge of the cliff and when you think he will go over he pulls it back.

The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, #21 on the US pop chart, and #10 on the UK charts.

Little Richard wrote this song. This was released at a time when Richard was hot…he sold millions of records in 1956 and 1957. His songs were also very successful for other artists, who sometimes outsold him with his own songs.

“Lucille” was covered by The Everly Brothers, who matched Richard’s #21 peak position on the charts with their version in 1960. Waylon Jennings had a #1 Country hit when he recorded this on his 1983 album It’s Only Rock and Roll, and other artists to cover the song include Van Halen, Deep Purple, Johnny Winter, Bill Haley & His Comets, Otis Redding, AC/DC and The Hollies.

Little Richard: “I don’t know what inspired me to write it, it may have been the rhythm.” Certainly, the lyrics serve the rhythm, with the nonsensical first line “Lucille, won’t you do your sister’s will” scanning to the beat.

From Songfacts

This song began as a ballad Richard wrote called “Directly From My Heart to You,” which he recorded as a member of The Johnny Otis band in 1955. “Directly From My Heart to You” was released by Peacock Records as a B-side, and when Little Richard recorded for Specialty Records in September 1955, he tried recording the song for his first album. It didn’t make the cut, but Richard’s career took off, and when he needed another single in 1957, he revived the song, but gave it the sound that made him a star, speeding up the tempo considerably.

The lyrics were completely rewritten, and Richard went to a common theme for his hits: a girl’s name. If Lucille was based on a real woman who broke Richard’s heart, he isn’t saying.
If there was a real Lucille, it would probably be either Richard’s (female) lover Lee Angel, or his mentor Steve Reeder Jr., who performed under the name Esquerita. Little Richard hasn’t kept a lot of secrets, so it’s more likely that he did make up Lucille. His next single was also named after a girl: “Jenny, Jenny.”

In a 1999 interview with Mojo magazine, Richard explained: “The effects and rhythms you hear on my songs, I got ’em from the trains that passed by my house. Like ‘Lucille’ came from a train – Dadas-dada-dada-dada, I got that from the train.”

Other popular Lucille’s in music: B.B. King’s guitar is named Lucille, and Kenny Rogers had a hit with different song with the same title in 1977 – his is the one that goes, “You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille…”

The Everly Brothers 1960 version broke new ground but using several guitarists on the track all at once. Recorded in Nashville and arranged by Don Everly, that sound later appeared on Roy Orbison’s hit “(Oh) Pretty Woman.”

In 1993, Little Richard sang this on Sesame Street as “Rosita,” in tribute to the blue monster of the same name.

Lucille

Lucille, won’t you do your sister’s will?
Oh, Lucille, won’t you do your sister’s will?
Well, you ran away and left, I love you still.

Lucille, please, come back where you belong.
Oh, Lucille, please, come back where you belong.
I been good to you, baby, please, don’t leave me alone.

Lucille, baby, satisfy my heart.
Oh, Lucille, baby, satisfy my heart.
I slaved for you, baby, and gave you such a wonderful start.

I woke up this morning, Lucille was not in sight.
I asked her friends about her but all their lips were tight.
Lucille, please, come back where you belong.
I been good to you, baby, please, don’t leave me alone.

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

When I heard this song it sounded so different than other songs at the time. It’s a well-written song lyrically and musically that has a folk feel to it. It could have been a hit in any era… the lyrics got my attention. While they’re standing in the welfare lines / crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation / wasting time in the unemployment lines / sitting around waiting for a promotion

The song remains one of my favorites from that era.

A still unknown Tracy Chapman was booked to appear down the bill at the Nelson Mandela birthday concert at Wembley Stadium on June 11, 1987. She had no reason to think her appearance would be the catalyst for a career breakthrough. After performing several songs from her self titled debut during the afternoon, Chapman thought she’d done her bit and could relax and enjoy the rest of the concert.

That would not be the case… later in the evening, Stevie Wonder was delayed when the computer discs for his performance went missing, and Chapman was ushered back onto the stage again. In front of a huge prime time audience, she performed “Fast Car” alone with her acoustic guitar. Afterward, the song raced up the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #6 in the UK, and #21 in New Zealand in 1988.

From Songfacts

Chapman (from Q magazine): “It’s not really about a car at all… basically it’s about a relationship that doesn’t work out because it’s starting from the wrong place.”

This won the Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

This song returned to the UK singles chart in April 2011 after it was performed by contestant Michael Collings on the first edition of the fifth series of Britain’s Got Talent.

Two popular dance music cover versions were released near the end of 2015.

The producer Jonas Blue was just 21 when he released his version; he wasn’t alive when the original was released, but it was one of his mother’s favorite songs, so he heard it a lot growing up in England. He struggled to find a vocalist to bring the song to life, but he hit the mark when he tried a young singer named Dakota, whom he spotted performing in a pub. She ended up being the vocalist on the track. This version went to #1 in Australia and was a hit across Europe, reaching #2 in the UK. In America, it went to #1 on the Dance chart.

Around this same time, the Swedish remix man Tobtok (Tobias Karlsson) released his version with another mononymed vocalist, River. This version, which was accompanied by a video, was a modest hit in Australia, reaching #19.

Fast Car

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
Me, myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old man’s got a problem
He live with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
His body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

So remember we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
We go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain’t got a job
I work in a market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted
We’ll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

I remember we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

I remember we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Janglin’

Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos starting this hippie type band in 2007. The consisted of 10-12 members at once. They tried to have a so-called campfire feel. If a musician messed up that was alright. Musicians would drop and reappear on a tour. They had one song that got a ton of airplay called Home in 2010.

This song resembles Instant Karma by John Lennon.

Janglin’ was used in commercials and it spiked its popularity in 2010.

In 2014, the band parted ways with Jade Castrinos, changing the dynamic of the band considerably…she and Ebert had broken up.

The band is named after a character from a novel Ebert was writing – Edward Sharpe is an otherworldly figure who comes to Earth to offer enlightenment to the masses, but finds himself getting distracted by the beautiful women.

Most listeners who weren’t buying this hippie vibe agreed that it was convincing, and even after they found an audience with this song, Ebert stayed steady to his creed, often blurring the lines between Edward Sharpe and his true self.

 

Janglin’

Well our mama’s they left us
And our daddy’s took a ride
And we walked out of the castle
And we held our head up high
Well we once were the Jesters
In your Kingdom by the sea
And now we’re out to be the masters
For to set our spirits free – set free

[Chorus]
We Want to feel ya!
We don’t mean to kill ya!
We come back to Heal ya – Janglin soul
Edward and the Magnetic Zeros

Well your wartime is Funny
Your guns don’t bother me
I said we’re out to prove the truth of
The man from Galilei
Well your laws are for Dummies, yes
Your institutions dead
I say we’re out to blow the trumpet
To wake you all from bed – from bed

[Chorus]

We carry the mail
We carry it home
We carry the Mail now
We carry it home
Scare up your Letters
Give us your Tails
Blowing like Whale now to
Magnetic Ears
WOW!

Led Zeppelin – Fool In The Rain

One of the first songs I noticed by Zeppelin when they were still a functioning band. As always in Zeppelin songs, Bonham really shines and he drives the song. BTW the B side to this song was Hot Dog. A fun rockabilly song with a hoe down guitar riff…that is the only way I know how to describe it.

Dave posted the Genesis’s song Misunderstanding the other day and I commented that I thought these two songs are sort of similar. The subject is very close (a guy waiting for the girl and both in the rain) and they do sound related…not exact copies at all but similar. Led Zeppelin’s song was recorded before and released before the Genesis song….I’m definitely not saying anything idea was ripped off… just a happy coincidence…anyway sorry about the detour.

This was on their last studio album (not counting Coda) In Through The Out Door. Fool In The Rain peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100, #12 in Canada, and #44 in New Zealand Top 50 Singles Chart in 1980.

This was the last Led Zeppelin song to chart in the US. The group didn’t release many singles, but they pegged this one for popular appeal. Zeppelin retired with six Top 40 hits in America.

From Songfacts

This song is about a guy who is supposed to meet a woman on a certain corner. When the woman doesn’t show up, he thinks he’s been stood up. It turns out he was just standing on the WRONG corner and is now a “fool in the rain.” 

This song was never performed live because the group didn’t think the sound came off well. The piano was quite necessary in the song, but with John Paul Jones on piano there could be no bass, and the bass is very important in this one. There is also a twelve-string line at one point in the song and the guitar solo that has to be pulled off. The middle section was another issue.

Jimmy Page used regular distortion on this song, as well as an obscure effect called a called a blue box, which is a fuzz/octave pedal. This fuzzes (or distorts) the guitar, then drops it down two whole octaves. James Taylor’s bassist has used this effect. 

Mexican rockers Mana recorded this for the Spanish language market edition of the tribute album Encomium

 

Here are the two songs.

Fool In The Rain

Oh, baby
Well there’s a light in your eye that keeps shining
Like a star that can’t wait for night
I hate to think I been blinded baby
Why can’t I see you tonight?
And the warmth of your smile starts a burning
And the thrill of your touch give me fright
And I’m shaking so much, really yearning
Why don’t you show up and make it alright, yeah?
It’s alright right

And if you promised you’d love so completely
And you said you would always be true
You swore that you never would leave me baby
Whatever happened to you?
And you thought it was only in movies
As you wish all your dreams would come true, hey
It ain’t the first time believe me baby
I’m standing here feeling blue, blue ha!
Yes I’m blue
Oh, babe

Now I will stand in the rain on the corner
I watch the people go shuffling downtown
Another ten minutes no longer
And then I’m turning around, ’round
And the clock on the wall’s moving slower
Oh, my heart it sinks to the ground
And the storm that I thought would blow over
Clouds the light of the love that I found, found

Light of the love that I found
Light of the love that I found
Oh, that I found

Hey, babe, ooh

Hand that ticks on the clock
Just don’t seem to stop
When I’m thinking it over
Oh, tired of the light
I just don’t seem to find
Have you wait, yeah played
Whoa, I see it in my dreams
But I just don’t seem to be with you, you
I gotta get it all, gotta get it all, gotta get it all
I’ve got to get all

Ooh now my body is starting to quiver
And the palms of my hands getting wet, oh
I got no reason to doubt you baby
It’s all a terrible mess
And I’ll run in the rain till I’m breathless
When I’m breathless I’ll run ’til I drop, hey!
And the thoughts of a fool’s kind of careless
I’m just a fool waiting on the wrong block, oh yeah

Hey, now, oh, oh, oh
Light of the love that I found
Light of the love that I found
Light of the love that I
Light of the love that I found
Light of the hey, now light of the hey, now
Light of the love that I found
Light of the love that I found

Monkees – Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day

What do the Monkees and Dwight Yoakum have in common? They both covered this song.

Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day is a song written by Tommy Boyce and Steve Venet that appears on The Monkees, the debut album of the Monkees.

Micky sang the lead on this song. He is the only Monkee on this recording but this setup fell away quickly as the band began to take ownership of their music and come into their own as musicians and songwriters by the 3rd album. This song has the same sound as Last Train To Clarksville…it is a nice pop song.

It was not released as a single but it was a solid song for the Monkees brand of pop.

Dwight Yoakam also covered this song. The song was on his album Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day and was released in the summer of 2016.

Tomorrow Is Gonna Be Another Day

I’m gonna pack up my pain,
I been a keepin’ in my heart,
I’m gonna catch me the fastest train
And make me a brand new start
But that’s okay,
Tomorrow’s gonna be another day,
Hey, hey, hey.
And I don’t care what they say
Tomorrow’s gonna be, tomorrow’s gonna be,
Tomorrow’s gonna be another day.
Yay, yay, yay,
Yay, yay, yay.

They say there’s a lotta fish,
Swimmin’ in the deep blue sea,
I’m gonna catch me a pretty one
And she’ll be good to me.
But that’s okay,
Tomorrow’s gonna be another day,
Hey, hey, hey.
And I don’t care what they say
Tomorrow’s gonna be, tomorrow’s gonna be,
Tomorrow’s gonna be another day.
Yay, yay, yay,
Yay, yay, yay.

Well, I ain’t gonna think about ya,
‘Cause it ain’t no use no more,
I’m gonna make it fine without ya,
Just like I did before,
I’m on my way.
Tomorrow’s gonna be another day,
Hey, hey, hey.
And I don’t care what they say
Tomorrow’s gonna be, tomorrow’s gonna be,
Tomorrow’s gonna be another day.
Yay, yay, yay,
Yay, yay, yay.

[repeat and fade]

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

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