October 2009

Title: All Night Long

Artist: Rainbow

Album: Down To Earth

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: Straight forward hard rock from Rainbow Mk. II (first post-Dio conglomeration). Rainbow had a gazillion personnel changes before this, but I call this Mk. II since the tenor and tone of the band changed after the wee singer with the pipes of Satan left. Anyway, itinerant singer Graham Bonnet yelped for this album, and the songs rather much reflect his world view (though he didn’t write any of the lyrics). Later, he was sacked for being schmozzled at the first show he played as a member of Rainbow, and thus ushered in the Joe Lynn Turner experience where everything got very…bleah.

Riffage / Hookage: Good, no great opening riff from Ritchie Blackmore. As if you expected anything else? I’m surprised that this didn’t get a lot of radio play because the riff is killer.

Cowbell?: Cozy Powell actually doesn’t overplay here.

Words Of Wisdom: All you need to know is encapsulated in these lines:
“I need a girl who can keep her head all night long”
“You mouth is open but I don’t want to hear you say good night”
“Don’t know about your brain but you look alright”

Note: if anyone says THOSE things to MY daughters, that’s a slugging…

Mixology Report: Yeah, it kinda kicks ass in a way.

Top Five Genius Results: Rock Bottom – UFO (another KILLER riff!)
Neon Knights – Black Sabbath (Dio!)
Please Don’t Touch – Motorhead
Prowler – Iron Maiden (Paul D’Anno on vocals – similar to Bonnet)
Hiroshima Mon Amour – Alcatrazz (fitting because that’s the band Bonnet formed after leaving the Michael Schenker Group, which is where he landed after he got booted from Rainbow).

For The Good Of The Order: If you have ever seen one of Pete Frame’s rock family trees (I have two volumes), then you know how convoluted they can become. Well, Deep Purple’s is pretty large, and they had to do a separate one for Rainbow (this was pre-Joe Lynn Turner, so now you can connect Rainbow to MSG, Alcatrazz and from there…who knows?). Besides Ritchie Blackmore, here’s who was in Rainbow from its founding in 1975 until the first Deep Purple reunion (in 1984).

Ronnie James Dio, Mickey Soule, Craig Gruber, Gary Driscoll, Tony Carey, Jimmy Bain, Cozy Powell, Mark Clarke, David Stone, Bob Daisley, Jack Green, Don Airey, Roger Glover, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, David Rosenthal, and Chuck Burgi. That’s a lot of people passin’ through. Think Blackmore had some issues with some people?

Here are some vids. The regular video can’t be imbedded (yeesh).

But here’s Rainbow at Donnington. First off, Blackmore pleasures himself on guitar. Then about 1:50 in, the song starts. And you can tell that Bonnet’s not really endearing himself to anyone.


Title: Nasty Habits

Artist: Oingo Boingo

Album: Only A Lad

Year Released: 1981

What It Is: Boingo personified? At least the early Oingo Boingo, before Weird Science and Danny Elfman’s foray into soundtracks which turned into his whole raison-d’etre, or however the heck they spell it. It’s got the horns, the guitar riffs, a twisted lyric and those fun close harmonies.

Riffage / Hookage: It’s kind of all over the place. The opening theme is pretty neat (showcasing the manic side of Boingo) but there’s not a hook or riff per se. No matter, I don’t think this was meant for that. It has another purpose. There is nice slide work from Steve Bartek and a neat bass line from Kerry Hatch.

Cowbell?: Not here. Boingo wasn’t opposed to whacking a lot of things, though!

Words Of Wisdom: “People act so proper when they’re going ’bout their business
Cup of coffee, friendly conversation
‘Til they get home,
‘Til they get home

Turn the phone off, lock the door and shut the curtains
Make sure that the neighbors are without suspicion
No one will know
No one will know”

That’s the ‘close harmony’ part that I love. Is it the actual chorus, or a bridge?

Mixology Report: Probably not for yer Ma or Dad, unless they’re cool for school. It may blanche the blue hairs minds!

Top Five Genius Results: Big Mess – Devo
Friend Or Foe – Adam Ant
Angst In My Pants – Sparks
Mental Hopscotch – Missing Persons
Party At Ground Zero – Fishbone

For The Good Of The Order: Boingo’s success started with some cool MTV videos and “Weird Science”. Unfortunately, they smoothed out the quirky edges that endeared them to me and became more conventional and commercial, as it were. But the early albums, though inconsistent, were golden!

Here’s a live cut (from 1991) of this tune! Glorious! The guitar is more prominent here.

Title: Supersonic

Artist: Oasis

Album: Definitely Maybe

Year Released: 1994

What It Is: The beginning of one of the most intriguing bands in contemporary rock and roll. From their brotherly fights, to their ‘feud’ with Blur, to their out-and-out theft of melodies and riffs, to their boorish behavior, they seem to be one of the only bands who are more about being a rock-and-roll star than a corporation. The Gallagher brothers drink and fight like the Davies’, except the Davies seem to love each other in the end. I think Liam and Noel would kill one another if given the chance. As for the tune, this has to be one of the best debut singles, ever. The first time I heard it I went…WHOA!

Riffage / Hookage: Oh, man, the opening is fierce. (Am I channeling Tyra? Lord help me.) When the whole band kicks in it’s such a rush. And the tune is infectious. Everyone sing along, right?

Cowbell?: No, but it’s pretty solid drumming from Tony McCarroll.

Words Of Wisdom: “You need to be yourself
You can’t be no one else
I know a girl called Elsa
She’s into Alka Seltzer
She sniffs it through a cane on a supersonic train
She made me laugh
I got her autograph
She done it with a doctor on a helicopter
She’s sniffin in her tissue
Sellin’ the Big Issue”

Noel wrote better lyrics later – but he never wrote lyrics that were funnier.

Mixology Report: Yes. Yes. Yes. Actually, put this and “Song 2” by Blur together. That’ll teach the punters!

Top Five Genius Results: The View From The Afternoon – Arctic Monkeys
Lucky Man – The Verve
Parklife – Blur (HAH!)
Processed Beats – Kasabian (?)
Can’t Stand Me Know – The Libertines

For The Good Of The Order: If Oasis were a California band, then both Gallagher’s would have been in detox and rehab by now, and joined AA. They’ve also would have had family counseling. But they aren’t – they didn’t – and while I’m not advocating addiction or fratricide, it does make for intriguing rock and roll. Even now, with Oasis on the downside of a career, they make headlines, as Noel walked out recently and Liam said, “Piss off!” or words to that effect. They still have enough fans to get albums in the Top 10, so perhaps Noel and Liam are laughing all the way to the bloody bank (or pub or both)!

Here’s the vid that started it all…

Title: Break It All

Artist: Los Shakers

Album: Break It All

Year Released: 1966

What It Is: The Uruguayan Fab Four! Or, “Los Quatro Fabuloso Uruguayos”, or something like that. Yes, direct from Montevideo comes Los Shakers. The Fattoruso brothers and friends emulated the Beatles pretty darn convincingly. They concentrated mostly in South America, but someone in New York convinced them to record some of their songs in English, and here’s one of the results!

Riffage / Hookage: There’s enough hooks in this song for 20 regular pop songs!

Cowbell?: Nah!

Words Of Wisdom: “We want you to come
We want you to hear
We want you to dance
Dance all night long
But when the music starts
Don’t stay there like a fool
And break it all
You listen me break it all”

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

Mixology Report: You listen me, mix it all!

Top Five Genius Results: Bad Little Woman – The Wheels
But You’ll Never Do It Babe – The Boots
Changing The Colors Of Life – Los Chijuas
My Life – Thor’s Hammer (not a metal band, a 60’s Scandinavian pop group)
You Can Be My Baby – The Red Squares

For The Good Of The Order: Los Shakers lasted just a few years, but they did emulate the Beatles each year, moving toward psychedelia and releasing an album in 1968 entitled “La Conferencia Secreta del Toto’s Bar”. They’ve gone back and had some fun and still work today!

And speaking of fun:

Title: Laid

Artist: James

Album: Laid

Year Released: 1993

What It Is: Classic catchy cheeky Brit-pop. Actually, the lyrics are a bit, um, co-dependent but hey.

Riffage / Hookage: Gosh, this song has hooks a plenty!

Cowbell?: Nah

Words Of Wisdom: “Caught your hand inside the till
Slammed your fingers in the drawer
Fought with kitchen knives and skewers
Dressed me up in women’s clothes
Messed around with gender roles
Line my eyes and call me pretty”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Mixology Report: Sure thing, but the subtleties may get lost bumping up against punk or metal.

Top Five Genius Results: How Soon Is Now – Smiths
Common People – Pulp
Jane Says – Jane’s Addiction
Nightswimming – REM
Pictures Of You – The Cure

For The Good Of The Order: What happens when you take four years to follow up your first real success in the US? Your album charts at #158 and the fans you gained in 1993 via MTV and alternative radio left you. Word of warning to all you bands out there. Go create. You don’t have to be a Robert Pollard and release 431 songs a year, but one record every year to 18 months is fine!

Here’s a couple of live clips. One from Glastonbury and one from Letterman. And remember, she only hums comes when she’s on top. (Or so they say!)

Title: Jingle Jangle

Artist: The Archies

Album: Jingle Jangle

Year Released: 1969

What It Is: Hot on the heels of “Bang Shang-A-Lang” and “Sugar Sugar” comes another hit from the Don Kirshner bubblegum hit machine. This one, written by Jeff Berry and Andy Kim (yes, he of “Rock Me Gently” fame, he was “Reggie”), features Ron Dante and Toni Wine’s scrumptious vocals, and a bit o’ innuendo. Wink, wink.

Riffage / Hookage: The song is a hook.

Cowbell?: Don’t hear none.

Words Of Wisdom: “You’ll make the winter springtime and jingle jangle sing time
Right on through the summer and the fall
So darlin’ don’t be weepin’ and please don’t you be sleepin’
When I come a creepin’ down the hall”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Archie, a stalker??? Yikes!

Mixology Report: The bold mix the Archies. The weak cower in fear! (Oh, wait…)

Top Five Genius Results: Chewy Chewy – The Ohio Express
Hooray For Hazel – Tommy Roe
We Can Fly – Cowsills
1, 2, 3 Red Light – 1910 Fruitgum Company
Indian Lake – Cowsills

For The Good Of The Order: I heard all of these songs as a kid on the various and sundry Archie cartoon shows that always popped up on Saturday morning. It’s like CBS said, “We don’t know what to show at 10AM on Saturday. Quick, let’s re-use that Archie footage and call it a new show!”

Speaking of, here’s the video for it, featuring Hot Dog and his love. Also, it features the exact same Archie group shots. May I have lazy animation for $100 please, Art.

Title: Have I The Right

Artist: The Honeycombs

Album: The Honeycombs

Year Released: 1964

What It Is: One of the great singles from the “British Invasion” era. It’s noted for Joe Meek’s production and Honey Lantree on drums. While not the most technically proficient player, Lantree is one of the first female drummers in rock history.

Riffage / Hookage: That sinewy guitar part really sticks with you.

Cowbell?: No. But the band stomped on stairs to make that loud racket in the chorus.

Words Of Wisdom: Words? Not really important here.

Mixology Report: Good for oldies mixes, or historical ‘chix rox’ mixes.

Top Five Genius Results: Yummy Yummy Yummy – Ohio Express
Simon Says – 1910 Fruitgum Company
Tiger Feet – Mud
See My Baby Jive – Wizzard
Sheila – Tommy Roe

Wow, I didn’t think it was THAT bubblegummy.

For The Good Of The Order: For a band with just one or two US hits (and just two albums), they have a pretty long entry in the All Music Guide, full of intrigue and people leaving and all that. And yes, that goofy dude in the glasses IS part of the band!

Here’s a classic 60’s type tv show video, with synchronized movements and all.

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