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

The Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today

I’ve always liked this song. I will admit I never heard it until 1988 on a great tv series called “Almost Grown” that starred Tim Daly that of course was canceled midway through the first season. It’s a psychedelic rock/soul song. There are four versions…one in 1966 and two trippier versions in 1968..different in length only…and the album version…I prefer the album version (11:06). Any song that uses the word…I guess it’s a word…”psychedelicized” has got my support.

This song has worked extremely well in films and on television as a soundtrack of the sixties. It’s powerful and punchy and doesn’t let up.

It was released in 1968 and peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100. After listening to it I want to wear tie-dye and protest something…anything.

Below is the “brilliance” of record executives…in this case Clive Davis…from Songfacts.

The Chambers Brothers started performing “Time Has Come Today” in 1965. The following year, they signed with Columbia Records, whose label boss Clive Davis surprised them by forbidding them to record it. Willie Chambers told the story in his Songfacts interview:

“After we signed with Columbia Records, there was a big party with all the food and booze and all this stuff. All the important people were there and we got to meet all of the head hogs and Clive was there. He was there for a couple of hours and he says, ‘Well, I must be going, I have other appointments.’ He immediately leans back in the door, ‘Oh, by the way, that song ‘Time Has Come Today’ that you guys do, we won’t be doing that. We won’t do that kind of s–t on this label.’ 

That was it, and he walks away. I looked at my brothers, and we were looking at each other like, ‘What the heck?’ And our producer [David Rubinson], he was in tears now – he was crying. He says, ‘I’ve waited my whole life to record this song, now he’s going to tell us we can’t record it. Why?’

A couple of days went by and our producer came by and said, ‘I don’t give a s–t what he says, we’re going to record that song. When we get our recording date, you guys show up an hour early, we’re going to go in the studio, we’re going to turn on the tape, we’re going to play it live, we’re going to do it like a live performance. We’re going to record it and whatever we get we’re going to have to live with it. We can’t play back, we can’t overdub, we can’t splice, we can’t fix something if there’s a mistake, we’re just going to have to live with it.’ He says, ‘I’m probably going to lose my job, but that’s how important it is to me to record this song.’ 

Later on, Joe and I went to Columbia Records to have a pow-wow with Mr. Davis to have him explain to us just why he thought we shouldn’t record this song. We didn’t have an appointment with him, we just showed up. We were six-feet-four tall, angry black guys. So, we walk in to the receptionist and we say, ‘We need to speak to Mr. Davis.’

‘Do you have an appointment?’

‘No, we don’t but we want to speak to him.’

We were persistent. So, she calls his office and says, ‘The Chambers Brothers are here, and they say it’s important, they need to talk to you.’

He says, ‘Well, I’m very busy, I don’t have time.’

I said, ‘You’re going to take time.’

So, we kind of forced our way into his office and we said to him, ‘Why can’t we record this song?’ He says, ‘It’s not the kind of music that black guys produce or play.’

Clive says, ‘You’re four black guys, you’re going to be sending up that stream into the world, ‘Time Has Come Today.’ It’s too profound of a statement for four black guys to be saying to the world.’

That was his reason. He says, ‘We’ll get a white artist to record the song, it’s not your kind of music.’ My brother Joe says, ‘What do you mean it’s not our kind of music? We wrote this.’

So, after having that conversation with him, we were ready to do whatever the producer said. We were going to record it anyway.

When we got our moment, we went in the studio and did it in one take. ‘Time Has Come Today’ was done in one take. There was no listening back – we couldn’t listen back. When we came to the end of it, we had no idea where it was going to go. Once we ended it, we shut down the machines and then we left the studio and came back at the time we were supposed to. 

Clive Davis didn’t find out about it until it had been mixed, prepped and released. When he found out, he fired everybody he could. He fired our producer, I think he fired the guy that opened the door for us. He fired everybody that got involved with recording that song.”

The Ramones do a GREAT version of this also…

 

Time Has Come Today

Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can’t put it off another day
I don’t care what others say
They say we don’t listen anyway
Time has come today
(Hey)

Oh
The rules have changed today (Hey)
I have no place to stay (Hey)
I’m thinking about the subway (Hey)
My love has flown away (Hey)
My tears have come and gone (Hey)
Oh my Lord, I have to roam (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)

Now the time has come (Time)
There’s no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I’ve been loved and put aside (Time)
I’ve been crushed by the tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x11]

Oh
Now the time has come (Time)
There’s no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I’ve been loved and put aside (Time)
I’ve been crushed by tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x4]
Yeah

Alice Cooper – Under My Wheels

This song was off the Killer album. It peaked at #59 in the Billboard 100. One of my favorites of Alice Cooper. The song wasn’t a giant success but it has remained in Alice’s set since it was released in 1971.

From Songfacts. 

This track was written by the group’s guitarist Michael Bruce and bass player Dennis Dunaway along with producer Bob Ezrin. Bruce and Dunaway also co-wrote “School’s Out” and “I’m Eighteen.”

Dennis Dunaway about writing the song.

This was another song that I wrote. I remember singing the song to Glen Buxton about this guy who’s just bought a brand new car and he’s going over to pick up his girlfriend and take her to the movies. Glen was like, ‘We don’t do girl songs!’ And I was like, ‘No, the guy runs over the girl.’ So he said, ‘Oh, OK.’ Ha ha! Anyway, Under My Wheels is about a guy who accidentally runs over his girlfriend, who he’s trying to impress with his new car. It was a fairly decent hit in America, and we also plugged it in Britain. We did a Killer tour over there when the single had just been released.

 

“Under My Wheels”

The telephone is ringing you got me on the run I’m driving in my car now anticipating fun
I’m driving right up to you babe I guess that you couldn’t see yeah yeah 
But you were under my wheels why don’t you let me be
’cause when you call me on the telephone saying take me to the show
And then I say honey I just can’t go old lady’s sick and I can’t leave her home
The telephone is ringing you got me on the run I’m driving in my car now
I got you under my wheels I got you under my wheels I got you under my wheels 
Got you under my wheels yeah yeah I got you under my wheels
Aah the telephone is ringing you got me on the run I’m driving in my car now anticipating fun
I’m driving right up to you babe I guess that you couldn’t see yeah yeah
But you were under my wheels why don’t you let me be
Yeah yeah got you under my wheels yeah yeah I got you under my wheels 
I got you under my wheels got you got you got you got you
Under my wheels got you under my wheels wheels wheels wheels

The Monkees – Pleasant Valley Sunday

This song was written by Goffin and King about suburbia, The Monkees started to play their own instruments on the Headquarters. Pleasant Valley Sunday was released off the album and peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #11 in the UK and #1 in Canada in 1967.

The Monkees were hot in 1967. They outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Their show was on the air from 1966 to 1968. The opening guitar lick of this song was based off The Beatles “I Want To Tell You.”

I grew up with reruns of their show. They influenced at least a couple of generations of musicians. This song is a very good pop song.

From Songfacts

Guitarist Mike Nesmith and drummer Micky Dolenz handled the vocals on this track (Dolenz also sang on “I’m A Believer”). Peter Tork of The Monkees explained to Bruce Pollack in 1982: “A notion of mine that I was real pleased with took over at one point, and that was having two guys sing in unison rather than one guy doubling his own voice. So you’ve got Mike, who was really a hard-nosed character, and Micky, who’s a real baby face, and these two voices blended and lent each other qualities. It’s not two separate voices singing together, it’s really a melding of the two voices. Listening to that record later on was a joy.”

Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork both cited this as their favorite Monkees song in a 1997 interview with Mojo.

 

“Pleasant Valley Sunday”

The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
They serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to careSee Mrs. Gray, she’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
And Mr. Green, he’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understandCreature comfort goals, they only numb my soul
And make it hard for me to see
(Ah ah ah) ah thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of sceneryTa ta ta ta, ta ta ta ta
Ta ta ta ta, ta ta ta taAnother pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)
Another pleasant valley Sunday (a pleasant valley Sunday)