1975


Title: Hey, Hey Helen

Artist: ABBA

Album: ABBA

Year Released: 1975

What It Is: A surprising hard rockin’ track from the Swedish hit-meisters. This wasn’t a hit, but was a crowd favorite, I suppose. At first, it really sounded a bit like it would be a Gary Glitter stomper. Anyway, it’s nice to hear an ABBA song that wasn’t played to death either during it’s time, or in all of the tributes, etc.

Riffage / Hookage: Well, you know it has a hook, since it’s ABBA. But it’s surprisingly riff-a-licious too! And it’s also kinda funky in the middle.

Cowbell?: Nah, but heavy drums, man.

Words Of Wisdom: “So at last you’re free
It’s the way you wanted it to be
And the price you pay
To become a woman of today
Is it worth the pain to see the children cry
Does it hurt when they ask for Daddy “

Well, maybe that’s why it’s not on stuff like Mamma Mia, eh?

Mixology Report: Oh, yeah, because people will be a bit surprised at hearing the heaviness.

Top Five Genius Results: Olivia Newton-John – If Not For You
Albert Hammond – The Free Electric Band
Carpenters – Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
ELO – Yours Truly, 2095
Bee Gees – Spicks & Specks

For The Good Of The Order: ABBA will be inducted into the rock-and-roll HOF, but there will be no reunion. Agnetha doesn’t like to fly, and Bjorn has some family thing-deal-bit, so Benny and Anni-Frid will be there.

Here’s a vid from Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert. Yeah, they’re miming. Oh, well…

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Title: Hair Of The Dog

Artist: Nazareth

Album: Hair Of The Dog

Year Released: 1975

What It Is: A song, coupled with a hit single, that moved Nazareth from the ‘back bench’ of mid-70’s hard rock to the forefront. Soon, they were back where they were, releasing fair to middling albums at a fair to middling rate to fair to middling sales. (Though they did have an MTV hit with “Holiday” and one of the best songs on the Heavy Metal soundtrack in “Crazy”).

Riffage / Hookage: Oh, that riff! As a kid, I loved the lyrics (what 10-12 year old boy wouldn’t?), but now, that opening riff and the….

Cowbell?:…incessant cowbell take the cake! Woot!

Words Of Wisdom: “Heart breaker, soul shaker
I’ve been told about you
Steamroller, midnight stroller
What they’ve been saying must be true

Red hot mama
Velvet charmer
Times come to pay your dues”

What, you thought I was going to quote the famous line? Really….

Really….

Well…heh…

NOW YOU’RE MESSIN’ WITH A SON OF A BITCH!

Mixology Report: Maybe not for the youngsters, because you don’t want the second grader to say “SOB” to their teacher or principal. Right?

Top Five Genius Results: Cat Scratch Fever – Ted Nugent
Frankenstein – Edgar Winter
Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy
All Right Now – Free
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest

Kicking off 93 minutes of commercial free rock here on Z-93 with…

For The Good Of The Order: Nazareth had a way with some odd cover versions. They did “This Flight Tonight” by Joni Mitchell , “Love Hurts” (of course), and “The Ballad Of Hollis Brown”. Wow.

And here we go…

BTW, there’s a new feature “Top Five Genius Results” using the iTunes genius feature.

Title: Never Been Any Reason

Artist: Head East

Album: Flat As A Pancake

Year Released: 1975

What It Is: It’s “comfort tunes” for me. Yesterday I had a headache, but listening to this and other mid-70’s rock put me back into the plus category. That and two Tylenol. But yeah, I could just veg to it and not worry that I was missing anything important. Which I wasn’t.

Riffage / Hookage: A simple guitar riff and a very hooky chorus (which gives people pause because the song is NOT called “Going Down For The Last Time” no matter what you think. I should also mention that there are a bunch of cheese-tastic 70’s synthesizers. But now I know where Dennis DeYoung copped his synth licks from. (HAH!)

Cowbell?: By gosh, there is! You can definitely hear it on the drum break near the end!

Words Of Wisdom: “Did you have any bad dreams?
Did you break any glass?
Would you be my companion?
Is there even a chance?
You been talking in circles
Since I been able to cry.
There’s never been any reason
For never telling me why.”

You know, this wasn’t popular because of the lyrical content.

Mixology Report: Oh, it’s good for a ‘forgotten hard-ish rock songs of the 70’s’ mix right next to Montrose, UFO, Argent and Uriah Heep.

Top Five Genius Results: Hold Your Head Up – Argent
Ah! Leah! – Donny Iris
Stealin’ – Uriah Heep
Jackie Blue – Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Flirtin’ With Disaster – Molly Hatchet (bah-dum-duh YEAH!)

For The Good Of The Order: There was a trend amongst rock critics to call some bands “faceless” if they didn’t have strong individual identities and just all kind of blended in together. Sort of like Supertramp, where you really didn’t know any of the individual members. Head East is definitely in that category! I couldn’t pick out any of the members of this band even if they were playing this song in front of me!

I’m not taking a chance on zapping my browser since I have work going on in the background, so here’s a clip of some combination of Head East or something like that miming the song.

Title: I’m On Fire

Artist: Dwight Twilley

Album:Sincerely

Year Released: 1975 (album released in 1976)

What It Is: Good old fashioned power pop. It’s real rock and roll with a great pop sheen, as done by Twilley and Phil Seymour. It probably is one of the dictionary definitions of power pop.

Riffage / Hookage: There is a  great understated guitar riff under the verses, but the hook is the chorus “You ain’t you ain’t you ain’t got no lover”. Classic!

Cowbell?: Nope. Just good drummin’! Seymour and Twilley basically did almost everything themselves, and that was Seymour on the drums.

Words Of Wisdom: “Got your lady on the line
Got your name on the cover
Though your friends are ninety-nine
Honey you ain’t got no lover”

Mixology Report: Mix it today, tomorrow, next week! Yes!

For The Good Of The Order: Twilley had two hits (this song and “Girls”) that hit #16. But he’s forgotten because he got a basic record company screw job. It took almost 18 months for the album to come out after the single, and a great second single was premiered on American Bandstand but not released because of record company idiocy. Sad.

Here’s a great live video of Dwight in action. I believe, according to the You Tube comments that Susan Cowsill sings background and John Cowsill plays drums.

Title: Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings

Artist: ZZ Top

Album:Fandango

Year Released: 1975

What It Is:Oh, just your typical 70’s ZZ Top boogie. In other words, what it is is “AWESOME!”

Riffage / Hookage:You have to ask about riffage in a ZZ Top song? What? Ok, yeah it’s got a damn fine riff there.

Cowbell?:Yes! Not on the live clip but there are cowbell accents occasionally on the studio version, along with incessant maracas. Frank Beard knows his place in the band, as does Dusty Hill. Lay the foundation for Mr. Gibbons to do his thang.

Words Of Wisdom: “Well, I knocked down on your door, baby,
To see if you were at home.
Your shade was down, there wasnt even a sound
But something told me you werent alone.
What in the world can a nasty dog do
But try to get next to you?”

Mr. Gibbons (or Mr. Hill, whoever penned the lyrics, maybe it was Mr. Beard) never explains what a nasty dog is, nor a funky king. But I think we get the idea.

Mixology Report: It’s a great mix song because not that many people know it so they’re not sick of it and everyone needs a dose of ZZ Top now and then!

For The Good Of The Order: When seeking out ZZ Top, be sure you get the recently remastered cuts and not the ones ripped from the mid-80’s CDs. They ‘updated’ Frank Beard’s drum sounds on those and they sound horrible. The recently remastered use the original drum tracks. (They’re the ones on the box set, so you’re safe there.)

Here’s a 1996 clip of ZZ Top on Jools Holland’s show. Now I have many questions. But the main one is, “Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings?” That is an unusual, yet tremendous, choice!

(No embedding, so follow yon link): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l3mkNl-rgQ