January 2010

Title: Low Self Opinion

Artist: The Rollins Band

Album: The End Of Silence

Year Released: 1992

What It Is: Strong. Very very strong. Triple espresso no sugar strong.

Riffage / Hookage: Heavy duty riffage. It’s like Rollins fronting a heavy metal band. The line between punk and metal was very blurry anyway, but this rather much erased it.

Cowbell?: I hear some! It’s either cowbell or a bell-sounding cymbal. It’s there. Trust me!

Words Of Wisdom: “You sleep alone at night
You never wonder why
All this bitterness wells up inside you
You always victimize
So you can criticize yourself
And all those around you “

I never know if Hank is being autobiographical or not. But he’s rather insightful despite his screaming and nagging.

Mixology Report: Start off a mix with this. Tell people to turn it up. Watch their ears explode!

Top Five Genius Results: Helmet – In The Meantime
Black Flag – Thirsty & Miserable
Clutch – A Shogun Named Marcus
Fugazi – Sieve-Fisted Find
Helmet / House Of Pain – Just Another Victim

For The Good Of The Order: What a revelation! I remember seeing this video debut on 120 Minutes on MTV and I definitely took notice. Then I saw a clip of them during Lollapalooza. I later saw the Rollins Band open up for the Beastie Boys. Man, they were STRONG! However, the raging voice of nag that Rollins is pretty much shoehorned the band into one style, but I think we all need a dose of the Rollins Band now and again.

So you get two. One, the studio video:

The other, live. Normally, live cuts are faster. This one is slower…


Wow, been too long. So sorry. So I’ll give ya a 2-fer-1. Of course, they’re segued together on the record, but still it IS a value, right?

Title: Behind The Wall Of Sleep / N. I. B.

Artist: Black Sabbath

Album: Black Sabbath

Year Released: 1970 (yet again!)

What It Is: Two crunch-tastic songs linked together by Geezer Butler’s bass solo. First time I heard these I was totally blown away, and that’s hard to do from a cheapo cassette played in the tape deck of a Ford Escort. (If I recall, I bought the tape at Target and it was in the $3.99 bin along with all of the Historia De La Musica tapes. The tape had “Evil Woman” instead of “Wicked World” to kick off side 2, so I think it was a bunch of cheap tapes from Spain.)

Riffage / Hookage: You’re a silly silly person if you think there ain’t no riffs here! Both of these song feature Tony Iommi at his best – heavy riffs and no annoying wankery in the solos.

Cowbell?: No, but I’ve always loved the way Bill Ward’s cymbals were miked. It’s a very crisp sound on the cymbals. He’s rather underrated, I think.

Words Of Wisdom: “Feel your spirit rise with the breeze
See your body falling to it’s knees
Sleeping wall of remorse
Turns your body to a corpse “

I was unsure about these lyrics, since they really do a weird thing with Ozzy’s voice and the stereo effects in this song. It seems to move between channels every syllable.

“Now I have you with me, under my power
Our love grows stronger now with every hour
Look into my eyes, you will see who I am
My name is Lucifer, please take my hand”

You know, a band can’t role play anymore without being called Satanist…

Mixology Report: Don’t mix it for the weenies!

Top Five Genius Results: Sabbath is way too powerful for Genius!

For The Good Of The Order: The birth of sludge! Yes, while Blue Cheer may have ‘invented’ the heavy metal sound, they weren’t sludgy, and by 1970 were pseudo-folky anyway. This, my friend, is 100% UK Choice sludge. Eat it up, yum!

Here you go, vids for BOTH! You can even understand when Ozzy speaks! Both from the same show!

Title: Couldn’t Get It Right

Artist: Climax Blues Band

Album: Gold Plated

Year Released: 1976

What It Is: A rather fluky hit from a generic, mainstream British rock band. By all accounts they were a pleasing, hard working band but this is the only thing anyone remembers by them (except for a schlocky ballad five years later). They were the epitome of a faceless band. Only diehards knew who they were, and then I bet half of those diehards couldn’t pick them out of a police lineup.

Riffage / Hookage: Faceless band, but a mega hooky riff and song. When you hear those guitar chimes with the deep bass you know exactly what song it is!

Cowbell?: And there’s so much cowbell, famous producer Bruce Dickinson (not the Iron Maiden singer) will need to change his underwear…

Words Of Wisdom: “New York City took me with the tide
And I nearly died from hospitality
Left me stranded, took away my pride
Just another no account fatality”

Mixology Report: Sure – it’ll fit almost anywhere.

Top Five Genius Results: Robert John – Sad Eyes
Jay Ferguson – Thunder Island (now, THERE’S an earworm fer ya…)
Exile – Kiss You All Over
Atlanta Rhythm Section – Imaginary Lover
Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Jackie Blue

For The Good Of The Order: I soft-pedaled it earlier, but in the summer of 1976 I couldn’t get enough of this song. In fact, I kept listening to WLS in Chicago in the hopes they’d play the song. And that’s how I know the names for all of the Chicago freeways and the landmarks thereof? I mean, how else would I know that it’s 34 minutes from Mannheim to the Post Office on the Eisenhower?

Well, even though they’re definitely ‘faceless’ – the band does exist – in YouTube.

Title: Your Mama Don’t Dance

Artist: Loggins & Messina

Album: Loggins & Messina (note: NOT their first album)

Year Released: 1972

What It Is: A fun song, suitable for oldsters, youngsters, and hipsters. Well, ok, maybe not the hipsters. Well, not the 1972 hipsters. Now, the ironic hipster doofuses will dig it. I think. Right?

Riffage / Hookage: That’s a mighty fine guitar lick there, Kenny.

Cowbell?: Not here, son.

Words Of Wisdom: “You pulled into a drive-in and found a place to park
You hop into the backseat where ya know it’s nice and dark
You’re just about to move in, you’re thinking it’s a breeze
There’s a light in my eye and a guy says
Out of the car long hair
Oowee – You’re coming with me – the local police”

Curses, foiled again. Of course, that wouldn’t be an issue with the kids on Footloose, right?

Mixology Report: People will either love this or want to punch you. But you know, mix it anyway. Your jaw can take it.

Top Five Genius Results: Kenny Loggins – Celebrate Me Home (der…)
Seals & Crofts – Diamond Girl
Dan Fogelberg – Heart Hotel (side note: remember when Opus’ girlfriend Lola Granola had a Dan Fogelberg tattoo? Anyone? No)
Orleans – Still The One
Little River Band – Lonesome Loser

Hey, welcome to light hits 97.3, the station you can play at full volume and not bother anyone!

For The Good Of The Order: I’ll admit, I loved this song when it came out. Of course, I was 6 1/2. My mom liked it too. I played it today for one of my kids on the way to the science museum. No reaction – so I doubt if it even registered. Actually, I doubt if she even pays attention.

Here they are at the Midnight Special. Someone in their tour band is a bit annoying on the backing vocals. Plus, the director misses the money shot of Kenny Loggins saying “OUT OF THE CAR LONGHAIR!” PS – Kenny really needed a shave and a haircut…

Title: Look Through Any Window

Artist: The Hollies

Album: Hear! Here!

Year Released: 1965

What It Is: Fantastic British-Invasion pop rock, with chiming 12-string guitars and fabulous harmonies. The Hollies knew their way around hit singles!

Riffage / Hookage: Hooks! Hooks! Hooks!

Cowbell?: No, but the drumming by Bobby Elliott is pretty strong for the era!

Words Of Wisdom: “Oh, You can see the little children all around
Oh, You can see the little ladies in their gowns, when you

Look through any window, yeah
Any time of day
See the drivers on the roads
Button down their heavy loads”

That’s a little creepy – even in 1965 – it was creepy! Vouyerism! Yeesh!

Mixology Report: Anyone with a soft spot for classic pop rock would adore this!

Top Five Genius Results: Peter & Gordon – A World Without Love
The Beau Brummels – Laugh, Laugh
The Searchers – Needles & Pins
The Dave Clark Five – Catch Us If You Can
Gerry & The Pacemakers – Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying

For The Good Of The Order: Graham Nash came from the Hollies to greater fame, but he was just a moving piece in the Hollies puzzle. He wanted the group to be less commercial and more ‘serious’ but they were such hitmakers that it didn’t make sense, and so he left. Plus he was definitely the second banana behind Allan Clarke. Sometimes the gambit works in leaving a big band, and sometimes you wind up being David Knopfler.

Here’s a shot of them miming to it on Hullabaloo with Frankie Avalon as host:

Here are two actual for real live clips:

Title: Just Got Lucky

Artist: JoBoxers

Album: Like Gangbusters

Year Released: 1983

What It Is: A friggin’ catchy ear-worm, that’s what it is. It’s pop pap, for sure, but you can hum it, sing it in the shower, use it many circumstances. Snag a line drive behind your back? Just got lucky! Get to second base with a girl at summer camp? Just got lucky! Find $20 in a snow bank? Just got lucky! Have the Supreme Court stop a recount and declare you winner of an election? Just got lucky!

Riffage / Hookage: Now, the bass line is neat, but dang that’s a hook and a half, isn’t it? Write one of the catchiest songs of 1983? Just got lucky!

Cowbell?: No. I think we’re lucky there’s no cowbell.

Words Of Wisdom: “Your technique it leaves me weak
My heart knows it’s the beat I seek”

Mixology Report: Yes, for friends who remember the 80’s and for enemies that you want to infect!

Top Five Genius Results: The Flirts – Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime)
Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
Icicle Works – Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)
Classix Nouveau – Guilty
Red Rockers – China

Welcome to one-hit 80’s land!

For The Good Of The Order: In 1981, 4/5 of the band were the last incarnation of Subway Sect. In 1982, they met singer Dig Wayne. In 1983, they were stars. In 1984, they were forgotten. In 1985, they released album #2. In 1986, they were history. That’s the way it goes in the pop world.

Here’s the video that everyone my age saw 91,000 on MTV:

And lest you think they just wore those hats in the video:

Title: Love Action (I Believe In Love)

Artist: The Human League

Album: Dare!

Year Released: 1981

What It Is: The second big hit from “Dare” in the UK, (“The Sound Of The Crowd” charted three months before this) and the justification of the stylistic change of the Human League (at least commercially) from brooding electronic experimentalists to a arty synth-pop group. In the US, of course, the League were non entities until “Don’t You Want Me” (the third UK “Dare” single). This wasn’t even released in the US as a single – but got a boatload of MTV play.

Riffage / Hookage: Yeah, there are riffs. Electronic riffs for the most part, but riffs. Actually, I believe Jo Callis and Ian Burden do play guitar and bass on this, but they’re treated and mixed in with the synths. It’s pretty interesting to hear the various parts and treatments. Oh, and there are big ol’ hooks.

Cowbell?: Well, it’s not a real cowbell, but during the verses a darn ‘bell’ rings all the way through.

Words Of Wisdom: “I believe, I believe what the old man said
Though I know that there’s no Lord above
I believe in me, I believe in you
And you know I believe in love
I believe in truth though I lie a lot
I feel the pain from the push and shove
No matter what you put me through
I’ll still believe in love”

Mixology Report: It may surprise some people, because this is a pretty sophisticated song with a lot of moving parts in it.

Top Five Genius Results: Visage – Fade To Grey
Stranglers – No More Heroes
The Teardrop Explodes – Rewards
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno
Ultravox – Vienna

For The Good Of The Order: I was quite certain that this was a big US hit. Even though I had the research books, I glossed over the entry for The League. And it wasn’t until much later, when a whole bunch of people (who didn’t have MTV in the early 80’s) said they didn’t know this song that I realized that it was just a UK hit. So much for my chart knowledge, eh?

Here’s the video. It’s one of the best early MTV vids.

Here’s a bored looking group on Top Of The Pops. Love the hair, Phil!

Oh, and one more, from Australia. Nice dancing, ladies!

Next Page »