Song 62, Monday, 8/26/2013 -- Porterville by Creedence Clearwater Revival, written by John Fogerty. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is mostly a still graphic of the first CCR album cover, but if you play the video you will hear a very good song even if you won't see a whole lot. I didn't know anything about CCR until they took us rollin' on the river in the spring of 1969, but a year or two later as I was expanding my LP collection I picked up that first album not too long after getting a copy of the second one (Bayou Country, which contained Proud Mary), and I thought in some ways it was a more interesting record than their other ones. The CCR sound basically arrived with their second LP, and it was a very good sound, but on that first album, while they were still sorting it out, they had some really good stuff that sounds a bit different from most of what they later did, and this song is a good example of that.
Song 61, Sunday, 8/25/2013 -- Child of the Moon by The Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is mostly a still graphic of the moon, with the lyrics added. The Rolling Stones were doing pretty well after Satisfaction but a couple of years later, as The Beatles moved into their Sgt. Pepper phase, The Rolling Stones followed them into the same sort of territory, and I wasn't quite so sure about the results. Then, just as the weather started getting warm in 1968, the magical single Jumpin' Jack Flash appeared. I got that single as soon as I could, and on the B side was this song, which sounded almost as good to me as the A side, and they both still sound as good, if not better, than when I first heard them.
Song 60, Saturday, 8/24/2013 -- Let the Sky Fall by Ten Years After, written by Alvin Lee. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the album cover A Space in Time, but it's a very good song to listen to while you're looking at that still. Ten Years After had already made some waves before Woodstock, but Alvin's Lee performance at Yasgur's farm on an August night in 1969 got the band a lot more notice than they had previously enjoyed, and rightly so. In the late summer of 1971, the band released A Space in Time as their 7th album, which might be their best one. I heard and really liked the hit single that was all over the radio that fall, but when I got around to picking up the LP, there were even better songs on it, like this one.
Song 56, Tuesday, 8/20/2013 -- Soul Kitchen by The Doors, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the album cover The Doors but it's one amazing song to listen to, even though there's not much to see in the video. Before starting in on the songs from another cassette, randomly, I decided to just throw in one of my favorite Doors tunes. Actually, if I had to pick only one favorite song, this might be it. While Elektra released the first Doors LP in early 1967, most of us didn't know anything about it until Light My Fire lit up the singles charts that summer. Everybody was talking about Sgt. Pepper, and musing about the big change in the Beatles sound, but the other big story of the summer was this new American band, with their big new hit which was a shortened version of a much longer album cut. By the early fall, so many of my friends had the album that even though I didn't, I knew and really liked every track on the record.
Song 55, Monday, 8/19/2013 -- Back Where I Started by Box of Frogs, written by Paul Samwell-Smith, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty and John Fiddler. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. My Eighties Favorites 3 cassette ends with this song, from 1984. I knew and liked the song For Your Love around the time it was on the AM radio, but I mostly found out about The Yardbirds after they had split up, owing mainly to 3 guitar players named Clapton, Beck and Page that had played for that band and then went on to do some other things that got a bit more notice. When some other former Yardbirds did a reunion in the mid-80s, I had to hear what they were up to, and this first single more than lived up to the expectations.
Song 54, Sunday, 8/18/2013 -- Good-bye to You by Scandal, written by Zack Smith. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. This song came along some time in 1982, and I always liked it, not for any particular reason -- I wouldn't say it has a lyric that really speaks to me, or some riffs that bend a few notes in a new and different way. For my ears, this is a song that just works really well, and that's fun to listen to, without needing any special reasons to explain why it works or what makes it fun.
Song 52, Friday, 8/16/2013 -- Chasin' the White Line Down by Dave's True Story, written by David Cantor. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video a live performance, which features Kelly Flint singing and Dave Cantor playing guitar, with Jeff Eyrich (bass), Rich Zukor (drums) and Bob Malone (piano). I met Dave and Kelly while hanging out with the Fast Folk crowd at Jack Hardy's place on Houston Street in Manhattan, back around '89, '90, and '91. Dave has a really unique songwriting approach that I always enjoyed, and Kelly sings his songs very well, so they soon became the core of Dave's True Story, and this is a fine example of their work. Interestingly enough, they apparently often perform, as they do on this video, with Rich Zukor on drums. I really like Rich's drumming, and I brought him in to play on about half of my most recent CD release (Who Said What).
Song 51, Thursday, 8/15/2013 -- Eye of the Hurricane by David Wilcox, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video a live performance, because I couldn't find a YouTube video of the studio version, but the sound is pretty close to it anyway. I learned about David Wilcox from my friend Gregg Cagno, as he would toss a DW song into his set now and then, and not knowing the song, I would have to ask Gregg about it. Before too long, I picked up a copy of How Did You Find Me Here, which is a pretty good album start to finish, and this song is where it starts. For what it's worth, I once heard a story about a guy on a motorcycle going around 120 mph in downtown Walnut Creek, and fortunately, that motorcyclist didn't end up like the woman in this song.
Song 49, Tuesday, 8/13/2013 -- Saint of Circumstance by The Grateful Dead, written by John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Go to Heaven, but if you play the video, you will at least hear another really good tune. Anyone who knows the Go to Heaven album probably figured out in advance what today's song would be -- Lost Sailor segues right into this song, and I kept that segue on my Eighties Favorites 3 cassette. The Berkeley house I lived in for most of the eighties had 6 bedrooms, all arranged in a very well-designed and compact place that looked like a small bungalow from the street, so my housemate Bob and I had quite a few other housemates there. One of those housemates for a few years was Bob's coworker Mikie, who was a big Dead head -- I'm not sure he listened very much to anyone other than the Grateful Dead. Having him in the house, with his room just off the kitchen, I got to hear a lot of songs that I might not have otherwise, and I soon took a liking to this song and the one before it.
Song 48, Monday, 8/12/2013 -- Lost Sailor by The Grateful Dead, written by John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Go to Heaven, but if you play the video, you will at least hear a really good tune. This song has a meandering quality in the music that paints a background closely fitting the story of the lyrics, and as you listen, you can feel like that lost sailor out on the water somewhere, not really sure where you are or which way you're headed. Somehow, that meandering quality also makes for compelling listening, and sounds even better to me now that it did when I first heard it about 30 years ago.
Song 47, Sunday, 8/11/2013 -- Some Dreams Come True by The Bangles, written by Walker Igleheart and Debbie Peterson. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. I really enjoyed the music of The Bangles from the first time I heard them, and I think they ended the argument over whether women could play serious rock and roll -- while maybe they weren't Led Zeppelin, they were definitely rocking out, and this song, from their third LP Everything, is a fine example. I also have to admit that as a guy I enjoyed hearing a group of attractive women sing and play a love song with a few intriguing and suggestive lines.
Song 46, Saturday, 8/10/2013 -- Song for Katrina by Steve Forbert, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video is just a still of the album cover Little Stevie Orbit, but while it's not much to look at, you will hear a really good song while playing the video. Back to my Eighties Favorites 3 cassette, Steve Forbert was tagged as the new Dyan around the turn of the Eighties, and he didn't quite live up to that level of hype, but he did have some really good songs on his first few albums. This song comes from his third album Little Stevie Orbit, and I wouldn't call it a great one, but it's a nice and simple little love song that seems to get better every time I hear it.
Song 45, Friday, 8/9/2013 -- Blow 'em Away by Chuck Brodsky, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. Friday being Friends Day on my favorite songs playlist, I knew Chuck from the Berkeley songwriters circle that I hung out with in the 1980s, and I even sold him my '72 Datsun station wagon when I left town, heading back to the East Coast. I rarely do covers, but I made an exception for this song, because I thought it was one of the funniest tunes ever, and it always made me laugh, so I thought it might have the same effect on an audience, and it always has. The last time I saw Chuck was, I believe, 20 years ago, in a folk club in Cambridge, but I recently reconnected with him via Facebook, and so it seemed like a good time to put up one of his songs here.