Bachman Turner Overdrive – Hey You

As a kid growing up this is one of the first bands that I knew the name of…I knew them as BTO and later found out their full name. Something that I didn’t know…”Bachman” is pronounced “Back-man” not “Bock-man“…I always used the latter pronouncement. An American DJ pronounced it wrong and it stuck for Americans.

Randy Bachman not only wrote this song but also was the lead singer. Turns out there was a purpose to this song…Randy was inspired.

There were rumors that Randy Bachman was directing the lyrics straight out of his old lead singer…Burton Cummings. They were both from The Guess Who. Cummings had said that Bachman would never make it in the music business after leaving their band. Burton was wrong in this case.

Randy did confirm all of the rumors years later. Randy Bachman: “I deserved to gloat a bit after all the mud Burton had slung at me.”

The song was on Four Wheel Drive and that album peaked at #1 in Canada and #5 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1975. There were two singles that were released… Quick Change Artist which charted at #7 and this one. Hey You did as well as the album…it peaked at #1 in Canada and #21 in the Billboard 100.

Randy left the band in 1977 but the band continued as “BTO.” Bachman returned in 1983, and the band has toured and recorded sporadically since.

I remember BTO opening up for Van Halen in 1986 on an 11-month tour. This was Van Halen’s first tour with new lead singer Sammy Hagar, who wanted BTO to blast out hits to get the crowd fired up. Van Halen would take the stage minutes later, leaving no time for the crowd to think about David Lee Roth.

Hey You

Hey you, you say you wanna change the world
It’s alright, with me there’s no regret
It’s my turn, the circle game has brought me here
And I won’t let down ’til every song is set

You realize now
You should have tried now, ooh
The music’s gone now
You lost it somehow
Hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

Hey you, you say the race is much too fast
It’s okay, with me I’m keeping pace
It’s my game, the music is inside my head
For every one on top there’s one who can’t retrace

You realize now
You should have tried now, ooh ooh
The music’s gone now, you’ll find out
You lost it somehow
Hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

You realize now, ooh
You could have tried now
The music’s gone now
You lost it somehow
Hey you, hey you, sha la la la
Hey you, sha la la la
Woo! Sha la la
Woo! Sha la la

Sha la la la, hey you, hey you, hey you (Woo!)
Sha la la la, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baby, it’s true (Woo!)
Sha la la la, no time, no time left, no time (Woo!)
Sha la la la, don’t let me down, don’t let me down (Woo!)
Sha la la la, you gotta learn to take it easy, baby (Woo!)
Sha la la la, music’s over, it’s over (Woo!)
Sha la la la, too late, too late, too late (Woo!)
Sha la la la, I should have realised it a lot sooner than this (Woo!)
Sha la la la, hey you

Modernettes – Barbra

This 1980 song is from a Vancouver punk band called The Modernettes.

I ran across this song searching for power pop songs. This one is VERY Ramones like. It’s a fun song. They did play more than punk… they ventured into power-pop recordings.

There is a documentary about the Vancouver punk rock scene in the late 70s and early 80s with Henry Rollins and Duff Mckagan that includes the Modernettes called Bloodied and Unbowed…this is the trailer but the documentary is on there also.

The Modernettes were formed in 1979, with John Armstrong, aka Buck Cherry, and Mary Armstrong, aka Mary-Jo Kopechne (yea tasteless). John formed the Modernettes soon after drafting drummer John McAdams and Mary to form the three-piece lineup.

In 1980, the Modernettes recorded the debut EP Strictly Confidential. It was released under the Quintessence Records label. A second EP, Teen City, followed quickly. It included the band’s strongest and probably most popular song, “Barbara.” Though the group pulled together a strong following, true success eluded them.

The Modernettes only completed one full album, Get It Straight.

Barbra

there’s a new little girl in my home class
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys thinks that she’s such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra

shes the girl i love forever
we’ll spend our lives together
barbra

well the dogs are gonna slide so she can pass
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys looking and thats such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra
i envy the guy she kiss last
i just wanna skip class with barbra

there’s a new little girl in my home class
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys thinks she’s such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra

shes the girl i love forever
you know im talking about barbra
talking about barbra
talking about barbra
talking about barbra

Sloan – The Lines You Amend —-Powerpop Friday

This song is by the Candian band Sloan who I’m liking more with every song I listen to. Sloan has been together since 1986 and has been successful in Canada but never broke through in America…which is America’s loss.

The song has a great keyboard hook to open the song… and the music is very melodic. There is even a Ringo Starr mention in the lyrics about Ringo’s song Photograph.

Although set to power pop music the lyrics are about remembering someone after a suicide.

The song was released in 1996 and it was on their One Chord to Another album. The song peaked at #39 in the Canada RPM Top Singles chart and #12 in the Canada Alternative 30 Charts.

 

The Lines You Amend

Said you’d found a way to end it peacefully
I remember finding shoes near the lake under a tree
And I’m sittin’ on the shore
I thought I saw your charm float by
It doesn’t matter now
‘Cause all you wanted to do was die

If only you’d stuck around
I never would have made a sound
But now you’re on the ocean floor
And I’ve opened a brand new door
Brand new door

Swimming out to sea
Trying to find something else
While I’m skipping stones
And I’m listening to the shells
And I won’t forget you
If someone else comes along

I found the words you wrote
But I would not dare to quote
My friends, the lines you amend
Like “What’s so bad about dying anyway”

Swimming out to sea
Trying to find something else
While I’m skipping stones
And I’m listening to the shells
And I won’t forget you
If someone else comes along
You’ll always come to mind
Whenever I hear that song

The one about photographs
Sung by Ringo Starr
Especially in the chorus part
You always said, “Now don’t you start”

Don’t you start, yeah yeah
Don’t you start
Don’t you start

Sloan – Coax Me —-Powerpop Friday

Sloan got its start in Halifax during the early ‘90s. The band played around the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before moving to Toronto.

The band made their recording debut on the Halifax, Canada CD compilation “Hear & Now” with the song  “Underwhelmed” before releasing their debut EP “Peppermint” in 1991 on their own label Murderecords. In 1992 Sloan signed with Geffen Records and released their full-length debut “Smeared”. The album had somewhat of a grunge style.

Coax Me was on their second album Twice Removed. They changed their style with the second album with a more power pop feel. Geffen didn’t like the change and pulled a lot of support but it did peak at #25 in the Canadian Album Charts.  Coax Me peaked at #6 in the Canadian RPM Charts in 1994.

DeKe mentioned this band and their style is right up my alley. I’ve listened to a few of their songs and I really liked what I’ve heard so far.

Coax Me

It all seemed to happen so fast
Will you ever believe the way he passed away
I saw his widow speak on her fortune
She was feelin’ pretty apathetic

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

If I drink concentrated OJ
Can I think Consolidated’s okay?
It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans
Three cans of water perverts me

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

And after he died
By rights she’d have cried
I gave mine away
I gave mine away

I saw a widow’s peak on her forehead
It was full of lines and sinkers

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me