Sloan – The Good In Everyone

Jim told me about a Canadian theme coming up and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss this one. Sloan is a great power-pop band that my two Canadian friends Deke and Dave told me about. The band never made a big impact on America and that was our loss. They formed in 1986 and still have the same band members. 

When I found this song…the song and video are great. The video is a takeoff…a very good takeoff on the movie Easy Rider…the part where they buy the drugs at the airport from the Phil Spector character.

The song peaked at #6 in Canada in 1996.

It was released as the lead single from the band’s third studio album, One Chord to Another.

The music video for “The Good In Everyone” was filmed at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Band members Andrew Scott playing Billy (Dennis Hopper), Chris Murphy playing Wyatt (Peter Fonda), Jay Ferguson playing Connection (Phil Spector) and Patrick Pentland playing the Bodyguard. The entire introductory scene before the music begins is longer than the song itself.

Sloan

First off, here’s what you do to me
You get rough, attack my self-esteem
It’s not much, but it’s the best I’ve got
And I thought you saw the good in everyone

Ooh, the good in everyone
You see the good in everyone
You see the good in everyone

I close my eyes, I can’t give it up
I close my mind, I can’t get enough
I’m in no shape, I gotta turn it off
Just let it play The Good In Everyone

Ooh, the good in everyone
You see the good in everyone
You see the good in everyone
You see the good in everyone
Ooh, the good in everyone

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_in_Everyone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Star – #1 Record…Desert Island Albums

This is my third round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.
2020 ALBUM DRAFT-ROUND 3 PICK 6- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- BIG STAR- #1 RECORD

“Big Star is like a letter that was mailed in 1971 but didn’t arrive until 1985.”
Musician Robyn Hitchcock 

I never travel far, without a little Big Star
The Replacements

“We’ve sort of flirted with greatness, but we’ve yet to make a record as good as Revolver or Highway 61 Revisited or Exile on Main Street or Big Star’s Third.”
Peter Buck

The band didn’t chart a record when they were active. I still hold their music up along with The Who, Beatles. and Kinks…they never had the sales but they did have a giant influence. They released this album as their debut in August of 1972.  I had to stop myself from writing an open love letter (I may have failed) about this band. Was it the mystique of them? Was it the coolness factor of liking a band that not many people knew? No and no. It’s about the music. Mystique and coolness wear off and all you are left with is the music…We are fortunate to have 3 albums by Big Star to enjoy.

In the early eighties, I heard stories from an older brother of a friend about Big Star out of Memphis…but their records were hard to come by.  I loved what little I heard and it got lost in the shuffle but it planted a seed for later. 

By the mid-80s I heard more of their songs. In 1986 The Bangles released “September Gurls” and I knew it sounded familiar…and the DJ said it was a Big Star song…then came the song, Alex Chilton, by The Replacements and  I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t until the early nineties, I finally had Big Star’s music along with the Raspberries and Badfinger. My power-pop fandom kicked into high gear and I have never left that genre.

Big Star was the best band never heard. Such a great band but a long frustrating story. They made three albums that were among the best of the decade that were not heard until much later. They signed with Ardent which was a subsidiary of Stax Records.

A power-pop band on the soul Stax label doesn’t sound like a good idea now and it wasn’t then. Stax was failing at that time and could not distribute the records to the stores. Kids loved the music on the radio only to go to a record store with no Big Star records. Rolling Stone gave them rave reviews…but that doesn’t help if the album is not out there to purchase. They were through by 1974 after recording their 3rd album.

When their albums were finally discovered by eighties bands, they influenced many artists such as REM, The Replacements, Cars, Cheap Trick, Sloan, Matthew Sweet, KISS, Wilco, Gin Blossoms, and many more. They influenced alternative rock of the 80s and 90s and continue to this day.

Listening to this album with each song you think…Oh, that could have been a single. Alex Chilton and Chris Bell wrote most of the songs and wanted to emulate Lennon/McCartney and they did a great job but with an obvious American slant to make it their own. After the commercial failure of this album, Chris Bell quit but the other three continued for one more album and then bass player Andy Hummel quit after the second album, and Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens recorded the third.

I could have gone with ANY three of their albums. I picked this one because of Chris Bell. The songs are a bit more polished on this one than the other two but it fits the songs they present. Chris Bell added a lot to Big Star and after hearing his solo song I Am The Cosmos you see how much. Radio City, their second album, with Chilton in charge many consider their best and their third album, Third/Sister Lovers is not as commercially accessible but I still love it. All three are in Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time.

I’ll go over four songs.

The Ballad Of El Goodo  A song about Vietnam conscientious objector…but it is much more than that. It is one of the most perfect pop/rock songs recorded to my ears. This would make it in my own top 10 songs of all time. The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfectly constructed chorus keeps calling me back listen after listen. This is when pop music becomes more.

In The Street is a song that everyone will know. It was used as the theme of That Seventies Show. Cheap Trick covered it for the show. I was not a teenager in the early seventies but with this song, I am there front and center. Steal your car and bring it down, Pick me up, we’ll drive around, Wish we had, A joint so bad.

Thirteen is a song that Chilton finds that spot between the innocence of childhood and the first teenage year where they meet and intertwine with confusion. Won’t you tell your dad, “get off my back” Tell him what we said ’bout “Paint It Black”

When My Baby’s Beside Me has a great guitar riff to open it up. This is power pop at it’s best. A nice rocker that should have been blaring out of AM radios in the 70’s.

I’m not going over every song (but I could easily) because reading this won’t do it…you have to listen if you haven’t already. You will not regret it. Not just these songs but the complete album.

It’s a mixture of songs on the album…rockers, mid-tempo songs, and ballads. Even the weaker song called The India Song is very listenable. My favorites besides the ones I listed are  Watch the Sunrise, Don’t Lie To Me, Feel, and Give Me Another Chance.

I now have rounded out my albums on my island. The variety of The White Album, The rock of Who’s Next, and the ringing power-pop beauty of Big Star…swim or use a boat and come over to my island and we will listen…the Pina Coladas and High Tides (hey it’s an island) are flowing… let’s drink to BIG STAR.

On a side note. If you want to learn more there is a good documentary out about them called: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.

Feel
The Ballad Of El Goodo
In The Street
Thirteen
Don’t Lie To Me
The India Song
When My Baby’s Beside Me
My Life Is Right
Give Me Another Chance
Try Again
Watch The Sunrise
ST 100/6

  • Chris Bell – guitar, vocals
  • Alex Chilton – guitar, vocals
  • Andy Hummel – bass guitar, vocals
  • Jody Stephens – drums

 

 

 

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