The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Wrap It Up

Love the riff in this song that kicks it off. It was a minor hit for The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1986. It peaked at #55 in the Billboard 100. The band featured Jimmy Vaughn on guitar who was the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The had a big hit with Tuff Enuff that peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1986.

The band formed in Texas in 1974. They are still touring today with Kim Wilson the only original member left. Jimmy Vaughn left in 1989 and went solo after his brother died in a helicopter crash.

 

Wrap It Up

I’ve been watchin’ you for days now baby
I just love your sexy ways now baby
You know our love will never stop now baby
Just put your lovin’ in my box now baby
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Well no more will I shop around now baby
I know I got the best thing in town now baby
I’ve seen all I want to see now baby
Bring your lovin’ straight to me now baby
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Well I’m gonna treat you like the queen you are
Bring you sweet things from my candy jar
You’ve got tricks you ain’t never used
Give it, give it to me, it won’t be abused
I’ve been watchin’ you for days now baby
I just love your sexy ways now baby
You know our love will never stop now baby
Just put your lovin’ in my box now baby
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap wrap
Wrap wrap
Wrap
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

The Pretenders – Brass In Pocket

This song was the first I heard from the Pretenders. When I think of The Pretenders I think of this song. it wasn’t their best song but it is memorable. Most Pretenders songs were written solo by Hynde, but the group’s guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, is also a credited writer on this track.  The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the UK in 1979.

In a VH1 interview, Hynde admitted to loathing the song, and said that since so many fans love it, she continues to play it.

From Songfacts.

Lead singer Chrissie Hynde grew up in Akron, Ohio and was a student at Kent State University in 1970 when four students were killed by members of the US National Guard. She left for England in 1973, where she formed the group with three guys from Hereford.

Chrissie Hynde rarely explained what her songs were about, but she let on with this one in a 1980 interview with Sounds: “It’s very lightweight pop type of song, nothing heavy about it. It’s along the lines of the guy who is feeling very insecure, not about pulling a girl but, say, trying to be accepted by the guys down the pub. It’s a front he’s putting up. It’s like buying a pair of new boots and you feel great but then you get home and see you spots in the mirror. Or take a couple of dexies and you’re in gear for the evening but on the train home it’s different.”

She had clearly internalized the British argot. “Pulling a girl” means finding a companion for the evening; “dexies” are Dexedrine pills, which give the user a jolt of energy. At the time, dexy abuse was common in the UK, especially amongst musicians and clubgoers. The band Dexys Midnight Runners took their name from the pill.

The song’s title came about after The Pretenders first-ever UK gig, when they were in the communal dressing room with The Strangeways, who they were supporting. Chrissie Hynde wanted to know whose trousers were sprawled over the back of a chair. One of The Strangeways Ada Wilson said: “I’ll have them if there’s any brass in the pockets.”

When Chrissie inquired what he meant by brass, it was explained to her that brass is a northern slang term for money. Chrissie fell in love with the expression and was inspired to write the song.

It usually doesn’t show up in printed lyrics, but at the end of the song, Hynde coos the line, “Oh and the way you walk.” She says that’s an important part of the song; it’s her telling the insecure peacock that she approves of his offering.

In the video, directed by Mark Robinson, lead singer Chrissie Hynde plays a waitress, implying that “brass” was the change she got from tips. Hynde worked as a waitress in the US before moving to London.

This was the breakout hit from the first Pretenders album, which was a triumph by any measure. In the UK, three singles were released before the album appeared. The first was a cover of The Kinks song “Stop Your Sobbing,” which was released in January 1979 and reached #34 in March 1979. “Kid” followed in June, going to #33 in August. In November, “Brass In Pocket” was released; it rose to the top in January 1980, and stayed at #1 for two weeks.

The album was also released in January 1980, and went to #1 in the UK. In America, it took a while for the group to get noticed. “Brass In Pocket” was the first single there, going to #14 in May 1980. “Stop Your Sobbing” followed, reaching #65 in July. The album is consistently cited as one of the greatest debuts in rock.

In an interview with the Observer newspaper from December 12, 2004, Chrissy Hynde said, “When we recorded the song I wasn’t very happy with it and told my producer that he could release it over my dead body, but they eventually persuaded me. So I remember feeling a bit sheepish when it went to #1.”

 

Brass in Pocket

Got brass in pocket
Got bottle, I’m gonna use it
Intention, I feel inventive
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

Got motion, restrained emotion
Been driving Detroit leaning
No reason, just seems so pleasing
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

[Chorus:]
Gonna use my arms
Gonna use my legs
Gonna use my style
Gonna use my side step
Gonna use my fingers
Gonna use my, my, my imagination

‘Cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here
No one like me
I’m special so special
I gotta have some of your attention give it to me

Got rhythm I can’t miss a beat
Got new skank it’s so reet
Got something I’m winking at you
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

[Chorus]

‘Cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here
No one like me
I’m special, so special
I gotta have some of your attention
Give it to me
‘Cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here
No one like me
I’m special, so special
I gotta have some of your attention

Give it to me

Jean Knight – Mr. Big Stuff

A fun soul song from the seventies. Jean Knight’s birth name was Jean Caliste. She adopted the professional name of Jean Knight because she felt that “Caliste” was too hard to pronounce. Love the bass sound in this song. It peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100 in 1971. The song reminds me of “”Groove Me” and they were recorded at the same studio…Malaco Studios in Mississippi.

After Knight recorded this song, it was given to several different national record labels, all of which rejected it. However, when King Floyd’s hit “Groove Me” became a #1 R&B hit in early 1971, the employees of Stax Records remembered Knight’s recording of “Mr. Big Stuff,” reconsidered, and released it.

From Songfacts.

This stayed on the pop and R&B charts for 16 weeks (it was a #1 R&B hit), went double platinum, and was nominated for a Grammy. >>

In 2000, Everclear sampled this on “AM Radio,” a song about growing up in the ’70s.

In early 2007, this song was used in a Papa John’s Pizza commercial that introduced the XL GrandPapa pizza.

Mr. Big Stuff

(Oh yeah, ooh)
Mr. Big Stuff
Who do you think you are
Mr. Big Stuff 
You’re never gonna get my love

Now because you wear all those fancy clothes (oh yeah)
And have a big fine car, oh yes you do now
Do you think I can afford to give you my love (oh yeah)
You think you’re higher than every star above

Mr. Big Stuff 
Who do you think you are
Mr. Big Stuff 
You’re never gonna get my love

Now I know all the girls I’ve seen you with
I know you broke their hearts one after another now, bit by bit
You made ’em cry, many poor girls cry
When they try to keep you happy, they just try to keep you satisfied

Mr. Big Stuff, tell me tell me
Who do you think you are
Mr. Big Stuff 
You’re never gonna get my love

I’d rather give my love to a poor guy that has a love that’s true (oh yeah)
Than to be fooled around and get hurt by you
Cause when I give my love, I want love in return (oh yeah)
Now I know this is a lesson Mr. Big Stuff you haven’t learned

Mr. Big Stuff, tell me
Who do you think you are
Mr. Big Stuff 
You’re never gonna get my love

Mr. Big Stuff
You’re never gonna break my heart
Mr. Big Stuff 
You’re never gonna make me cry

Mr. Big Stuff, tell me
Just who do you think you are
Mr. Big Stuff 
You’re never gonna get my love
Mr. Big Stuff

Twister…with help from Johnny Carson

If not for Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor…Twister may not have been part of our culture.

In 1965 Reyn Guyer, of the Reynolds Guyer Agency of Design had been hired to do a promo display for a shoe polish company, and he was tinkering with colored polka dot paper for ideas. He was suddenly hit with inspiration for something much different…a board game where the pieces were people not plastic.

Reyn tested it with office workers who were divided into two teams and the game was called “Pretzel”. He showed it to 3M and they turned the game down.

Reyn took the game to the Milton Bradley Company in Springfield, MA where Mel Taft, the senior vice-president of R & D, chose “Pretzel” as the best of the eight-game ideas. Mel found there was a trademark problem, so he changed the game’s name to Twister, and Milton Bradley began to market Twister in 1966.

Milton Bradley’s competitors started to call the game “SEX IN A BOX” to destroy the game before it was marketed properly.

Milton Bradley discovered that stores were refusing to stock the game so they were going to pull it from the shelves. What they didn’t know was the public relations man they hired had made an arrangement to have the game played on The Tonight Show.

On May 3, 1966, Johnny Carson, the host of the show, was enticed by the “Twister” mat and demonstrated the game along with the beautiful Eva Gabor. That helped the game to say the least. Three million were sold the next year.

Twister was named “The Game of the Year” in 1967.

In 1985 Hasbro acquired the Milton Bradley Company, becoming Twister’s parent company. The Reyn Guyer Creative Group continues to work closely with Hasbro to develop and market new additions to the line of Twister products.

The Game still is being sold today.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twister_(game)

 

Cream – Strange Brew

Great guitar lick and song. The song was based on an old blues song by  Buddy Moss called Hey Lawdy Mama that Cream recorded. Eric Clapton took the lead vocal in this one. They reworked the song and the writing credits went to Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins and Eric Clapton.

The song didn’t chart in the Billboard 100 but made it to #17 in the UK charts. A great classic Cream song.

From Songfacts.

When Cream performed the early version of this song as “Lawdy Mama,” Clapton and bass player Jack Bruce would share lead vocals. The band recorded both “Lawdy Mama” and “Strange Brew” at Atlantic Studios in New York on April 3, 1967. The band had spent the previous week in the city, performing daily at the “Music In The Fifth Dimension” show at the RKO Theater. These shows were organized by the influential disc jockey Murray the K, and provided great exposure for Cream in America. Other acts on the bill for some of these shows: The Who, Wilson Pickett and the Lovin’ Spoonful. Cream would complete the Disraeli Gears album when they returned to the United States the next month.

The lyrics refer to a female, which could mean drugs or be a more literal reference to a woman. Either way, she is “killing what’s inside of you.”

Cream had a very psychedelic sound, and this song was released in the Summer of Love, where it fit in quite well.

To craft “Strange Brew,” producer Felix Pappalardi added Eric Clapton’s vocal to a take of the band’s recording of “Lawdy Mama,” which appears as a bonus track on the 2004 re-release of Disraeli Gears, but didn’t make the original album. Jack Bruce wasn’t happy about this, especially since he wasn’t able to re-record his bassline. To keep the tenuous peace in the band during Cream’s reunion concerts in 2005, “Strange Brew” was omitted from their 19-song playlist, despite being one of their best known and loved songs.

Clapton got the idea for the album title after a roadie named Mick Turner told him about the derailleur gears on his bicycle. Derailleur, pronounced “Di-rail-yer,” are the kind of gears commonly found on 10-speed bikes. The roadie pronounced it “Disraeli,” which led to the title.

On Eric Clapton’s Crossroads boxed set, this is placed next to “Lawdy Mama,” the Blues song it is based on.

Strange Brew

Strange brew, kill what’s inside of you.

She’s a witch of trouble in electric blue,
In her own mad mind she’s in love with you.
With you.
Now what you gonna do?
Strange brew, kill what’s inside of you.

She’s some kind of demon messing in the glue.
If you don’t watch out it’ll stick to you.
To you.
What kind of fool are you?
Strange brew, kill what’s inside of you.

On a boat in the middle of a raging sea,
She would make a scene for it all to be
Ignored.
And wouldn’t you be bored?
Strange brew, kill what’s inside of you.

Strange brew, strange brew, strange brew, strange brew.
Strange brew, kill what’s inside of you

Supergroup…The Dirty Mac – Yer Blues

Maybe the first “”Supergroup”…In 1968 John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell got together and played the Beatle’s Yer Blues. The Rolling Stones were taping a Television special featuring The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, called “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” but was shelved for 28 years.

Yer Blues was on the White Album and had only been released 3 weeks before this December 11th recording. John Lennon came up with the band name “Dirty Mac” from a play on words of the hot new group at the time…Fleetwood Mac.

The show did not see the light of day until 1996. The Stones were not happy with their performance which would be the last with Brian Jones. The Who had just returned from a tour and were really tight and some thought upstaged the Rolling Stones.

The best thing to come out of the film to me is this performance…and The Who performing “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”

The Dirty Mac performed two songs…Yer Blues and “Whole Lotta Yoko” with Yoko…uh…”singing” so we will stick with this one.

A DVD of this event was released in 2004…It’s worth buying.

Yer Blues

Yes, I’m lonely, wanna die
Yes, I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
In the morning, wanna die
In the evening, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
My mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth
I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
The eagle picks my eyes
The worm he licks my bone
I feel so suicidal
Just like Dylan’s Mr. Jones
Lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
[Instrumental Break]
The black cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist round my soul
Feel so suicidal
Even hate my rock and roll
I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
[Instrumental Break]
Wanna die, yeah, wanna die
[Instrumental Break]

Lucinda Williams – Can’t Let Go

I was an instant fan when I heard this song. Great voice and great guitar in this song. The track is so down to earth and real with the music was as tight as you can get. The song came off her breakthrough album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Steve Earle played guitar on the album and helped produce it. Can’t Let Go won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. The song didn’t chart (Life is not fair) but the album peaked at #65 in the Billboard 200 and #14 in Canadian RPM Country Albums.

From Songfacts.

While Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is considered Lucinda Williams’ breakthrough album, recording it wasn’t a picnic for everybody involved. Williams, known to be a perfectionist, was unhappy with the record in the hands of longtime producer and guitar player Gurf Morlix, who apparently didn’t take her criticisms seriously enough. With this song, she recalls: “I was playing Steve Earle’s dobro, which had a really wide neck, and my fingers kinda slipped on it. But the track was so brilliant that everyone went, No, no, it’s great! I agonized over it for weeks and weeks, and they all kept saying, It’s great. But see, there’ve been other things where I’ve gone in and said, ‘I think we should redo this track because it’s not in the pocket or it’s too fast,’ and I’ve been right. I usually am right, that’s the thing. I’m right a lot of the time.” 

According to Salon, Steve Earle, who also co-produced and played guitar on the album, said it was “the least amount of fun I’ve had working on a record.”

This was the only song on the album not written by Lucinda, but by Randy Weeks. With the exception of “Still I Long For Your Kiss,” which was co-written by Duane Jarvis and featured on The Horse Whisperer soundtrack, she was the sole writer on the rest of the tracks.

Can’t Let Go

Told my baby one more time
Don’t make me sit all alone and cry
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go
I’m like a fish out of water
A cat in a tree

You don’t even want to talk to me
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go
He won’t take me back when I come around

Says he’s sorry then he pulls me out
I got a big chain around my neck
And I’m broken down like a train wreck
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go

See I got a candle and it burns so bright

In my window every night
Well it’s over I know but I can’t let go
You don’t like to see me standing around

Feel like I been shot and didn’t fall down
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go
He won’t take me back when I come around

Says he’s sorry then he pulls me out
I got a big chain around my neck
And I’m broken down like a train wreck
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go

Turn off trouble like you turn off a light

Went off and left me it just ain’t right
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go
Round every corner something I see

Bring me right back how it used to be
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go
He won’t take me back when I come around

Says he’s sorry then he pulls me out
I got a big chain around my neck
And I’m broken down like a train wreck
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go

He won’t take me back when I come around

Says he’s sorry then he pulls me out
I got a big chain around my neck
And I’m broken down like a train wreck
Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go

It’s over I know it but I can’t let go
It’s over I know it but I can’t let go
It’s over I know it but I can’t let go