The Yardbirds – Over, Under, Sideways, Down

The song starts loud with an eastern sounding riff by Jeff Beck. Jeff also plays the bass on this song. Over, Under, Sideways, Down peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and #10 in the UK in 1966. I will have to say it’s one of my favorite titles of all time. The song was written by the band.

Jim McCarty, he explained: “‘Over Under Sideways Down’ was about the situation of having a good time – a bit of decadence, really – in the ’60s. Cars and girls are easy to come by in this day and age, and laughing, drinking, smoking, whatever, till I’ve spent my wages, having fun.”

When Jeff Beck took Eric Clapton’s place in the Yardbirds he didn’t own a guitar… here is Jeff talking about it: “I actually didn’t have a guitar of my own, I was so hard up. The Yardbirds sort of sneaked Eric’s guitar out. He’d finished using the red Tele (Fender Telecaster)
and was using a Les Paul, so he didn’t care about the red Tele. The bands manager, said well, ‘You’d better use Eric’s guitar—we can’t afford to go out and buy one now.’ So I borrowed Eric’s for the first couple of gigs”.

From Songfacts

Jim McCarty, he explained: “‘Over Under Sideways Down’ was about the situation of having a good time – a bit of decadence, really – in the ’60s. Cars and girls are easy to come by in this day and age, and laughing, drinking, smoking, whatever, till I’ve spent my wages, having fun.”

The Yardbirds, who were one of the most famous British bands of the ’60s and employed at various times Jeff Beck (who played on this), Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, certainly did enjoy some rock and roll hedonism, but as McCarty explains, it wasn’t all fun. He told us: “It’s very much up and down. Yeah, it was very much like a microcosm of a life, really. Very extreme, because we’d go from being on top of the charts and going to fantastic places and traveling to places like California that were just our dream after being in a sort of post-war London, which was rather dismal and rather miserable. Suddenly we were going to sunny California where things were happening and things were rich and there were lovely girls and cars and everything. From that to sitting all night in a bus driving to a gig and not being able to stop and feeling absolutely wretched from being so tired. And getting on each other’s nerves and arguing. (laughing) So it’s very much the extreme life.” (Here’s our full interview with Jim McCarty.)

Three of The Yardbirds hits were written by Graham Gouldman “For Your Love,” “Evil Hearted You” and “Heart Full of Soul”), but most of their songs were group compositions, including this one. McCarty told Songfacts: “On ‘Over Under Sideways Down’ I think we all put in our bit. I put in a tune, somebody else said, ‘How about the state of things at the moment, it’s all over the place, so it’s sort of over, under, Sideways, down.'”

This was used in the 2009 movie Observe and Report.

 

Over, Under, Sideways, Down

(Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!)
Cars and girls are easy come by in this day and age.
Laughing, joking, dreams, weed smoking, till I’ve spent my wage.
When I was young, people spoke of immorality.
All the things they said were wrong are what I want to be.

(Hey!) Over, under, sideways, down,
(Hey!) I bounce a ball that’s square and round.
(Hey!) Over, under, sideways, down,
(Hey!) I bounce a ball that’s square and round.
When will it end? (When will it end?)
When will it end? (When will it end?)

(Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!)
I find comments ’bout my looks irrelativity.
Think I’ll go and have some fun, ’cause it’s all for free.
I’m not searchin’ for a reason to enjoy myself.
Seems it’s better done than argue with somebody else.

(Hey!) Over, under, sideways, down,
(Hey!) I bounce a ball that’s square and round.
(Hey!) Over, under, sideways, down,
(Hey!) I bounce a ball that’s square and round.
When will it end? (When will it end?)
When will it end? (When will it end?)

The Wonders – That Thing You Do

This was a fictitious band playing the title song to the Tom Hanks movie “That Thing You Do.” It was a nice song with an early sixties feel. The song peaked at #41 in the Billboard 100 in 1996. I really liked the movie when it came out and couldn’t help but like the song also.

Adam Schlesinger, the bass player for Fountains Of Wayne, wrote this song. He said  “That was a very long time ago. That was 1995 I think I first heard about it, or ’96, and I was just starting out. I had a publishing deal as a writer and they told me about this movie – they said that they were looking for something that sounds like early Beatles. And they knew that that was an era that I liked a lot. So I just took a shot at it and got very lucky and they used the song.” Schlesinger said he found he was more known for this song than Fountains of Wayne’s hit single “Stacy’s Mom.”

The Knack later covered this song.

From Songfacts

This was featured in the movie That Thing You Do, starring Tom Hanks as the manager of the fictional ’60s Pop band The Wonders. In the movie, the song becomes their breakout hit and makes the band a huge success with legions of teenage fans. 

The song is about heartbreak and chasing after lost love – cliché ’60s songwriting topics. The track also has a chipper sound, complete with bright guitars and harmonies, reminiscent of early Beatles.

Mike Viola, from the band The Candy Butchers, sang lead on this track. Adam Schlesinger was friends with Viola, and had him sing on the demo. The movie’s producers liked his sound and kept him for the film version. None of the actors in the movie actually played on the song.

In 1997, this was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards and Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards, but lost to Madonna’s “You Must Love Me” from the film Evita on both occasions.

NSYNC, New Found Glory and The Knack have all covered this song.

That Thing You Do

You, doin’ that thing you do
Breaking my heart into a million pieces, like you always do
And you, don’t mean to be cruel
You never even knew about the heartache
I’ve been goin’ through

Well, I try and try to forget you girl
But it’s just so hard to do
Every time you do that thing you do
And I, know all the games you play
And I’m gonna find a way to let you know that
You’ll be mine someday

Cause we, could be happy, can’t you see
If you’d only let me be the one to hold you,
And keep you here with me
‘Cause I try and try to forget you girl
But it’s just so hard to do
Every time you do that thing you do

I don’t ask a lot girl but I know one thing’s for sure
It’s the love I haven’t got girl
And I just can’t take it anymore (whoa!)
Cause we, could be happy, can’t you see
If you’d only let me be the one to hold you,
And keep you here with me

‘Cause it hurts me so just to see you go
Around with someone new
And if I know you, you’re doin’ that thing
Every day, just doin’ that thing
I can’t take you doin’ that thing you do

The Foundations – Baby Now That I’ve Found You

I first heard this song on an oldies station in the 80s. This song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the UK  in 1968. The Foundations were a British Soul band that was active between 1967 to 1970.

When this was first released there appeared to be little enthusiasm for the single until BBC’s newly founded Radio 1 began to play it. The song got onto the station’s playlist mainly because they wanted to avoid any records being played by the pirate radio broadcasters, so they looked back at recent releases that the pirates had missed.

From Songfacts

 The song’s co-writer Tony Macaulay recalls in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: “I woke up that morning with a stinking headache and when I got to the studio and heard The Foundations, I thought they were pretty terrible. I decided my hangover was to blame, and so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. The only song I could think of was something John McLeod and I had had for some time, ‘Baby Now That I’ve Found You.’ I didn’t have a lot of faith in the song but they recorded it with a lot of energy and I learned a lot from making that record.” It went on to become an international hit.

Clem Curtis, the lead vocalist of The Foundations recalls in the same book “Tony Macaulay gave us 2 songs. One was ‘Let The Heartaches Begin’ and the other was ‘Baby Now That I’ve Found You’ and we chose ‘Baby Now That I’ve Found You.’ Long John Baldry recorded the other one and that knocked us off the top.”

This was used in the 2001 film Shallow Hal. 

This was the first song by a multiracial band to top the UK singles chart.

A cover version by Alison Krauss was featured in the 1997 Australian comedy, The Castle.

 

Baby Now That I’ve Found You

[Chorus]
Baby, now that I’ve found you
I can’t let you go
I’ll build my world around you

I need you so
Baby, even though you don’t need me
You don’t need me.

[Chorus]

Baby, baby, since first we met (doot-doot)
I knew in this heart of mine (I want to tell you, doot-doot)
The love we had could not be bad (doot-doot)
Play it right and bide my time

Spent a lifetime looking for somebody
To give me love like you
Now you’ve told me that you want to leave me
Darling, I just can’t let you.

[Chorus: x2]

Spent a lifetime looking for somebody
To give me love like you
Now you’ve told me that you want to leave me
Darling, I just can’t let you.

[Repeat Chorus]

Young Rascals – Good Lovin’

Great song by the Young Rascals and also covered by a number of artists. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1966. This song was written by Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick. It was originally recorded in 1965 by The Olympics, a novelty/doo-wop group who had hits with “Peanut Butter,” “Western Movies” and “Hully Gully.”

Felix Cavaliere of The Young Rascals was listening to a New York Soul station when he heard The Olympics version. The Rascals liked it and played a sped-up version at their live performances. They recorded the song for Atlantic Records, and although the group did not like the outcome, famed producer Tom Dowd loved the rawness of it and that version was released, becoming a huge hit.

From Songfacts

The Young Rascals added the famous half spoken/half sung “One! Two! Three!” count-in, which was by Cavaliere.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, The Young Rascals were surprised by the success of this track. Felix Cavaliere admitted, “We weren’t too pleased with our performance. It was a shock to us when it went to the top of the charts.”

This was The Young Rascals first hit. They went on to achieve seven US Top 30 hits before becoming The Rascals in 1968. They disbanded in 1972 after recording five more American Top 30 songs.

Good Lovin

1-2-3-
(Good lovin’ )
(Good lovin’ )
(Good lovin’ )

I was feelin’ so bad,
I asked my family doctor just what I had,
I said, “Doctor,
(Doctor )
Mr. M.D.,
(Doctor )
Now can you tell me, tell me, tell me,
What’s ailin’ me?”
(Doctor )

He said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Yes, indeed, all you really need
(Is good lovin’)
Gimme that good, good lovin
(Good lovin’)
All I need is lovin’
(Good lovin’)
Good lovin’, baby.

Baby please, squeeze me tight (Squeeze me tight)
Now don’t you want your baby to feel alright? (Feel alright)
I said Baby (Baby) now it’s for sure (it’s for sure)
I got the fever, Baby, Baby, but you’ve got the cure
(You’ve got the cure)

I said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Yes, indeed, all I really need
(Is good lovin’)
Gimme that good, good lovin
(Good lovin’)
All I need is lovin’
(Good lovin’)
Good lovin’, baby.

This is Spinal Tap

I remember seeing this movie with some buddies in the 1980s and we all loved it. A great mockumentary of the fictional rock group Spinal Tap and their dying drummers. There are many quotable lines in this movie and they have stayed with me since I saw it the first time. I’ve met some people who didn’t get this movie at all and some who loved it.

The movie starred Michael McKeon as singer/guitarist David Saint Hubbins, Christopher Guest as guitarist Nigel Tufnel (reminded me of Jeff Beck), Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls, Tony Hendra as manager Ian Faith, David Kaff as keyboard player Vic Savage and R.J. Parnell as drummer Mick Shrimpton…also Rob Reiner as the Marty DiBergi the filmmaker.

Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest actually wrote, played, and sang the music.

The movie was released in 1984 and started slow but built a cult following. At first, some people thought it was about a real band and they would ask Reiner why he would do a documentary on a band no one had heard of.

Christopher Guest said he was inspired at an LA hotel in 1974 when a British band came in and the manager of the band asked the bass player if he left his bass at the airport. The bass player replied I don’t know if I left it…did I leave it? Do you get my bass at the airport? Guest said this went on for 20 minutes back and forth and it stuck with him.

They did have a basic story but the movie was ad-libbed with no script. They had over 100 hours of film and had to edit it down. They have regrouped many times and played live concerts as Spinal Tap.

This Is Spinal Tap was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry because it is a film that is considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.

My favorite bits? Stonehenge, Nigel’s “Mach” piece, these go to 11, Nigel’s bread, you can’t dust vomit… there are too many to name them all. check the videos out at the bottom.

 

Some of it hits home according to some rock stars.

Quotes about the movie

The Edge – “It’s so hard to keep things fresh, and not to become a parody of yourself,”. “And if you’ve ever seen that movie Spinal Tap, you will know how easy it is to parody what we all do. The first time I ever saw it, I didn’t laugh. I wept. I wept because I recognized so much and so many of those scenes.”

Ozzy Osbourne reportedly thought it was a real documentary. ” “They seemed quite tame compared to what we got up to”

Joe Perry from Aerosmith –  “It was great, every bit as brilliant as it was supposed to be, so good. Even then, we had been through it all six times. I told Steven the next day, ‘You’ve got to see this movie! It’s so good. It’s hilarious.’”

Steven Tyler from Aerosmith – “That movie bummed me out, because I thought, ‘How dare they? That’s all real, and they’re mocking it’

Pete Townsend –  “Keith Moon “was ‘Spinal Tap incarnate.”

Stonehenge

 

These go to 11

 

Nigel’s Bread

 

Can’t dust vomit

 

Trailer

 

 

 

Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl

Love the nasty sound Neil has on his guitar. The song peaked at #55 in the Billboard 100 and #25 in Canada in 1970. Neil recruited guitarist Danny Whitten, bassist Billy Talbot & drummer Ralph Molina from a local psychedelic group called The Rockets, and renamed them Crazy Horse. The song was on the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. The album peaked at #34 in the Billboard 200 album chart and #32 in Canada.

In the liner notes of his Decade compilation, Neil said “Wrote this for a city girl on peeling pavement coming at me thru Phil Ochs eyes playing finger cymbals. It was hard to explain to my wife.”

From Songfacts
Phil Ochs was a folk/protest singer active in the ’60s who had issues with his mental stability (although his paranoia about the FBI turned out not to be far off). Young’s wife at the time was Susan Acevedo; they were married for just one year at this point.

Though Young would not identify his muse, the bit about finger cymbals is a reference to ’60s folk singer Jean Ray, who performed with then-husband Jim Glover under the name Jim and Jean. Phil Ochs, a close friend of a couple, penned the title song to their second album, Changes.

Brian Ray, Paul McCartney’s guitarist and Jean’s younger brother, claims the song is indeed about his sister. Jean, herself, said she inspired another Neil Young song from the Everybody Knows This is Nowhere album: “Cowgirl in the Sand.”

In the book Shakey, Young copped to having a crush on Ray. When asked if she is the Cinnamon Girl, Young said, “Only part of the song. There’s images in there that have to do with Jean and there’s images that have to do with other people.”

Young recorded this with his band Crazy Horse. It was originally released on the Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere album in 1969. Young put out an alternate version as a single in 1970, which did well partly because he was getting exposure as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

In Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, Neil Young talked about poaching the band The Rockets for the formation of Crazy Horse, who he first recorded with on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: “The truth is, I probably did steal them away from the other band, which was a good band. But only because what we did, we went somewhere.” He later goes on to say, “That’s the hardest part, is the guilt of the trail of destruction that I’ve left behind me.”

In the same work, it is also mentioned that “With songs such as ‘Cinnamon Girl,’ ‘Down By The River,’ and ‘Cowgirl in the Sand,’ Crazy Horse clearly gave Neil Young the kind of sympathetic and almost telepathic backing he needed.” Neil Young went on to declare Crazy Horse “the American Rolling Stones.”

The band Type O Negative did a remake on their 1996 album October Rust. The song was also covered by Smashing Pumpkins on the Reel Sessions bootleg.

That’s Danny Whitten singing high harmony on this this song with Young. Whitten was a singer/guitarist in Young’s backing band Crazy Horse, which released its own album in 1970 featuring a few Whitten compositions, including “I Don’t Want To Talk About It,” later a #1 UK hit for Rod Stewart. Whitten spent his last years battling a heroin addiction, and in 1972 died after overdosing on alcohol and Valium.

The liner notes to Decade reveal that “Down by the River,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and “Cowgirl in the Sand” all in a single afternoon – while sick with a 103 degree temperature. Also, they were recorded after being together with the band Crazy Horse for only two weeks.”

Cinnamon Girl

I want to live with a Cinnamon Girl
I could be happy the rest of my life 
with a Cinnamon Girl

A dreamer of pictures, I run in the night
you see us together chasin’ the moonlight
my Cinnamon Girl

Ten silver saxes, a bass with a bow
the drummer relaxes and waits between shows
for his Cinnamon Girl

A dreamer of pictures, I run in the night
you see us together chasin’ the moonlight
my Cinnamon Girl

Pa, send me money now
I’m gonna make it somehow
I need another chance
You see, your baby loves to dance
yeah, yeah, yeah

Hank Williams – Lost Highway

This man was brilliant and so was the song but this is one song that Hank did not write. Leon Payne wrote and released this song in 1948. Blind since he was a child, Payne wrote hundreds of songs, some of which were recorded by  Hank Williams, John Prine, Elvis Presley, George Jones, and Johnny Cash, and many more.

Payne had been hitchhiking around and working jobs. One day he needed to get home to his sick mother in Alba Texas. No one would pick him so he wrote this song on the side of the road.

Hank Williams released this song in 1949 and it peaked at #12 in the Country Charts. This song is one of my favorite country songs.

From Songfacts

This song gave us two of the most famous metaphors in music: the Lost Highway and the Rolling Stone (from the line, “I’m a rolling stone, I’m alone and lost”).Both images represent a wandering spirit that keeps moving but often ends up in dark places. Many musicians who left town to pursue their dreams could relate to these concepts and used them in songs. The Lost Highway shows up in:“All I Left Behind” and “Guitar Town” by Emmylou Harris“Heart Is A Drum” by Beck (“You’re falling down across your lost highway”)“Happiness” by Lee Ann Womack (“Down by the lost highway cafe I met a man there with a map in his hands”)“Jesus Of Suburbia” by Green Day (“At the end of another lost highway. Signs misleading to nowhere.”)Those New Jersey ramblers Bon Jovi made their song “Lost Highway” the title track of their 2007 album; in 2009, Willie Nelson also released an album of that name. In 1997, director David Lynch released a suitably disconcerting movie called Lost Highway.

The saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss” dates to biblical times, but this song popularized it in the musical landscape. It was Williams’ version that gave Bob Dylan the title for “Like a Rolling Stone,” which has been the subject of many essays, including one written by Ralph Gleason, who used the phrase when he founded the magazine Rolling Stone.In 1950, Muddy Waters released the song “Rollin’ Stone,” which is where The Rolling Stones got their name from.

This became one of Hank Williams’ most famous songs, but he didn’t write it. It was written by a blind singer named Leon Payne, who released the original version in 1948. According to an interview with Payne’s widow published in the book , he wrote the song when he was hitchhiking from Texas to California when he got stuck for a stretch and was taken in by the Salvation Army.His version is surprisingly upbeat, featuring a string band and various quips by Payne throughout the song.Payne’s version didn’t reach the charts, but when Williams recorded it in 1949, that rendition made #12 on the Country chart. The song grew in popularity as Williams legend grew, as it was so associated with his itinerant lifestyle of wine, women and song.Payne, who died in 1969, also wrote the popular songs “I Love You Because” and “Psycho.”

Lost Highway was used as the title for an off-Broadway play about Williams that ran in 2003.

Artists to cover this song include Leon Russell, Tom Petty, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Osborne Brothers, Bill Frisell and Johnny Horton.

Lost Highway

I’m a rollin’ stone all alone and lost
For a life of sin I have paid the cost
When I pass by all the people say
Just another guy on the lost highway

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman’s lies makes a life like mine
O the day we met, I went astray
I started rolling down that lost highway

I was just a lad, nearly twenty two
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you
And now I’m lost, too late to pray
Lord I take a cost, o the lost highway

Now boy’s don’t start to ramblin’ round
On this road of sin are you sorrow bound
Take my advice or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down that lost highway