Saturday, May 31, 2014


Bob Mould broke out on his own and found the deepest light in the acoustic honesty of this cathartic goodbye.  After nine years and six albums, tensions had gotten to be too much between the band members of Hüsker Dü during the production of their final album 'Warehouse: Songs and Stories'.  Mould retreated to a farmhouse in Pine City, Minnesota to clean up and write songs.  He secured a deal with the new Virgin Records America and recorded the new songs with Anton Fier on drums;  Steve Haigler on percussion;  Tony Maimone on bass guitar;  and Jane Scarpantoni on cello.  Mould sang, produced, and played  guitar, mandolin, keyboards, and percussion.  

Mould looks back:   "Coming out of Hüsker with a record like 'Workbook', it really helped me turn the corner I think, and get on my own road...going back to 1987, the last Hüskers record and the slow dissolve of that band. I was getting really disillusioned where everyone was heading; not feeling good about the place I was living in in Minneapolis, so I started looking at getting out of town, and moving up to a farm...My then-partner was a farm kid too, and we got out there in the December of '87 just as Hüskers were unraveling for good...There’s a lot of things on that record which are a reflection of me sitting with my thoughts, coming out of eight years with that band. It’s a very introspective record looking at that wreckage and trying to move forward with my own ideas...In '88, when I was working on 'Workbook', I was in my first long term relationship and that was dissolving in '89. I packed up and moved to New York City and into another relationship. So that when 'Workbook' eventually came out, my career was looking good and my personal life was looking shit."

'Workbook' went to number one hundred and twenty-seven in the US. 

'See A Little Light'

full album:

"Sunspots" - 0:00
"Wishing Well" - 2:05
"Heartbreak a Stranger" - 7:17
"See a Little Light" - 13:10
"Poison Years" - 16:43
"Sinners and Their Repentances" - 22:07
"Brasilia Crossed with Trenton" - 26:13
"Compositions for the Young and Old" - 32:52
"Lonely Afternoon" - 37:32
"Dreaming, I Am" - 42:09
"Whichever Way the Wind Blows" - 46:18

Friday, May 30, 2014

crosby, stills, and nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash told it like it was with the free and easy acoustic surge and helplessly hoping harmonies of this lacy, lilting, leery landmark.  The trio came together from three successful groups:  the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and the Hollies, respectively.  Their first time singing together was at an informal jam session at Cass Elliot's house in Laurel Canyon.  

Stephen Stills says:  "I abhorred hippies. That’s fair and accurate. I went to a military school and my mother tried to make my manners refined, except for when I was a drunken lout, so all that carrying on about something you’ll never have an answer for never quite worked for me. I went to San Francisco looking for musicians and I saw all these drummers, and I was like, man, back down South none of these people would get jobs ever. And so all that was pretty much lost on me...My favourite was Cass Elliot [of the Mamas and the Papas]...She was the one I always looked forward to coming home and going out for dinner with and just yakking endlessly. She also did this one clever thing of getting me up to her house when Graham was going to be there and not telling me...Graham was head over heels in love with Joni Mitchell and they were smoking some stultifying weed so they’ve misremembered it. The fact is I would never have sung together for the first time in front of Joni Mitchell. I know myself well enough to know I would have been petrified. I would never have been able to function. We did it at Cass’s house and two days later we sang at Joni’s to show off. But the first time was at Cass’s house as I am sitting here...I have a smellophonic, stereophonic image of this thing and I can describe the house in vivid detail."

David Crosby considers:    "The term 'supergroup' didn't exist until we formed.  We were the first second-generation band to form. We had all been in successful bands before, but something like us had never happened. We set the precedent. And for us to become even bigger than our previous bands, that was even more unique.  In a sense, we knew what we were after.  I had heard Stephen's songs, and they were great. He was the up-and-coming young writer in LA. He was the guy with the best songs. So I started singing with him. [Sings] 'In the morning when you rise…' ...When we were done, Nash said, 'Can you do that one more time? Just one more time.' The third time we sang it, Nash joined in and added a top harmony line. It was amazing! It really was...It was the year of the guitar player – Clapton and Hendrix.  Everybody wanted to go in that direction, and we had this completely different thing, even though Stephen was a really fine guitar player. We wanted to do this thing with our voices, because it worked. And we had songs – really good songs. We knew we had our own sound...It's not a concept we invented, but I think it's a wonderful thing to do."

Graham Nash remembers:  "The music of the three of us -- or sometimes the four of us with Neil (Young) -- has provided a great deal of happiness and insight into the societal stream of consciousness... kind of a little foggy...I tend to believe that it was born in Joni's (Mitchell) living room. Stephen believes it was in Cassie's (Elliott) kitchen. But whichever the place was, David and Stephen were singing a song that they'd been rehearsing two-part called 'You Don't Have to Cry,' and I said, 'Wow, that sounds good. Sing it again.' And they sang it again. I said, 'Boy, that sounds really good, sing it again. I've got something here.' And they sang it again and I put my high part on the top and it was over. It was as pure and as angelic as it is today...It's just music. It's not rock and roll, it's not folk, it's not hip-hop, it's not anything. It's just us. That's one of the great things, you know. A lot of people can sing the same notes we do, but nobody can sound like me and David and Stephen...The music, that's always been the backbone of our relationship and that's always been the most important part. It never was important to us who was fighting, who didn't like who, who stabbed who in the back, all that stuff. The only thing that was truly important and the only thing that will be left when we're all dead and dust is the music...The making of it. The sculpting of something from nothing and that's basically what music is. All of it. We get great feelings when we write a tune, I get a great feeling when I sit down and play it for David and Stephen. I get a great sense when we record it."

Crosby, Stills &  Nash produced the sessions at Wally Heider's Studio III in Los Angeles featuring David Crosby on vocals and rhythm guitar;  Stephen Stills on vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and percussion;  and Graham Nash on vocals and acoustic guitar on "Lady of the Island" and "Marrakesh Express";  with Dallas Taylor on drums;  Jim Gordon on drums on "Marrakesh Express";  and Cass Elliot on background vocals on "Pre-Road Downs".    Stills dominated the production of the album and played most of the instruments:    "The other guys won't be offended when I say that one was my baby, and I kind of had the tracks in my head."    Bill Halverson was engineer; while David Geffen is credited with direction and Ahmet Ertegün with spiritual guidance.    'Crosby, Stills &  Nash' became an instant classic, going to number twenty-five in the UK, six in the US, and number two in the Netherlands.  The album has been certified platinum four times over.

'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' was inspired by Judy Collins, pieced together from several songs Stills had been working on at the time.  The single went to number thirty in the Netherlands and twenty-one in the US.  

It's getting to the point

Where I'm no fun anymore
I am sorry
Sometimes it hurts so badly
I must cry out loud
I am lonely

I am yours, you are mine

You are what you are
You make it hard

Remember what we've said

And done and felt about each other
Oh babe, have mercy
Don't let the past
Remind us of what we are not now
I am not dreaming

I am yours, you are mine

You are what you are
You make it hard

Tearing yourself away from me now

You are free and I am crying
This does not mean I don't love you
I do, that's forever
Yes and for always

I am yours, you are mine

You are what you are
You make it hard

Something inside

Is telling me that I've got your secret
Are you still listening?
Fear is the lock
And laughter the key to your heart
And I love you

I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are

You make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard

Friday evening

Sunday in the afternoon
What have you got to lose?
Tuesday morning
Please be gone, I'm tired of you
What have you got to lose?

Can I tell it like it is? (Help me, I'm suffering)

And listen to me baby
It's my heart that's a-suffering (Help me, I'm dying)
It's a-dying, that's what I have to lose

I've got an answer

I'm going to fly away
What have I got to lose?
Will you come see me
Thursdays and Saturdays?
What have you got to lose?

Chestnut brown canary

Ruby throated sparrow
Sing the song, don't be long
Thrill me to the marrow

Voices of the angels

Ring around the moonlight
Asking me, said she so free
How can you catch the sparrow?

Lacy, lilting, leery

Losing love, lamenting
Change my life, make it right
Be my lady

Do do do do do, do do do do-do-do

Do do do do do, do do do-do
Do do do do do, do do do do-do-do
Do do do do do, do do do-do

Que linda me la traiga Cuba

La reina de la Mar Caribe
Quiero solo visitarla alli
Y que triste que no puedo vaya
O va, o va

'Wooden Ships'

live at Woodstock

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Crosby Stills and Nash - Judy blue eyes by Salut-les-copains

'Crosby, Stills &  Nash'
full album:  

Side one
1. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" (Stephen Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills 7:25
2. "Marrakesh Express" (Graham Nash)  Lead vocals:  Nash 2:39
3. "Guinnevere" (David Crosby)  Lead vocals:  Crosby with Nash 4:40
4. "You Don't Have to Cry" (Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills with Crosby & Nash 2:45
5. "Pre-Road Downs" (Nash)  Lead vocals:  Nash 3:01
Side two
1. "Wooden Ships" (Crosby, Paul Kantner, Stills)   Lead vocals:  Crosby with Stills 5:29
2. "Lady of the Island" (Nash)  Lead vocals:  Nash 2:39
3. "Helplessly Hoping" (Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills with Crosby & Nash 2:41
4. "Long Time Gone" (Crosby)  Lead vocals:  Crosby 4:17
5. "49 Bye-Byes" (Stills)  Lead vocals:  Stills with Crosby & Nash 5:16

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

private dancer

Tina Turner took on a new direction and became queen on her own terms with the worldly wise resolution and ragged resilience of this slick and soulful comeback.  Even before separating from her husband Ike, Turner had struggled with her solo career.  Out of four solo releases, only 'Acid Queen' (which takes its title from the character and song she performs in the film version of The Who's 'Tommy') charted at all.  With their fortunes dwindling, Ike became increasingly abusive to her, which led to her divorcing him and taking only her name from their marriage.  She continued to perform on her own even after her contract with United Artists/EMI expired.  She was able to secure a singles deal with Capitol Records with the support of her new manager Roger Davies, producer John Carter, and celebrities like Olivia Newton-John, Rod Stewart, Robert Cray, Chuck Berry, and David Bowie.  

The success of her version of Al Green's 'Let's Stay Together' led to an album deal.  'Private Dancer' was recorded over two months in London with eight different producers:   Terry Britten, John Carter, Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Wilton Felder, Rupert Hine, Joe Sample, Greg Walsh, and Martyn Ware.    The sessions featured Tina Turner on vocals and background vocals;   with Gary Barnacle and Mel Collins on saxophone;   Jeff Beck, Hal Lindes, David T. Walker, and Paul Warren on guitar;  Terry Britten on guitar, vocals, and background vocals;  Graham Broad, Jack Bruno, and Terry Williams on drums;   Alan Clark on percussion and keyboards;   Cy Curnin, Glenn Gregory, and Tessa Niles on vocals and background vocals;   David Ervin on synthesizer;   Wilton Felder on bass and saxophone;   Nick Glennie-Smith, Billy Livsey, and Jimmy Philips on keyboards;   Rupert Hine on bass, percussion, keyboards, vocals, and background vocals;   John Illsley and John Trivers on bass;   Frank Ricotti on percussion;   Joe Sample on synthesizer and piano;   Martyn Ware on synthesizer, vocals, and background vocals;   and Nick Plytas on piano and synthesizer.   

 'Private Dancer'  became an international smash hit, overshadowing her work with Ike and finally making her a star in her own right.  The album charted at number fourteen in France;  seven in Australia and Sweden;  five in Norway;  three in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the US;  two in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK;  and number one in Austria, Finland, and on the US R&B album chart.   The album has been certified multi-platinum in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US and has sold over eleven million copies worldwide.  'Private Dancer' brought four Grammy Awards as well:  Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for 'Better Be Good to Me'; and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for 'What's Love Got to Do with It?'.  The story of Tina's life, struggle, and triumph was documented in her autobiography 'I, Tina' (co-written with Kurt Loder).  It was brought to the silver screen as 'What's Love Got To Do With It', which garnished Academy Award nominations for Angela Bassett (who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Tina) and Laurence Fishburne.  

Turner would express:  "I'm self-made. I always wanted to make myself a better person, because I was not educated. But that was my dream – to have class. Now it's too late for that. You can't read a book like my autobiography and say, 'She's classy.' You can say, 'She's a respectable woman', but you can't say 'classy'. My role model was always Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Now, you're talking about high stuff, right? [Laughs.] My taste was high. So when it came to role models, I looked at presidents' wives. Of course, you're talking about a farm girl who stood in the fields, dreaming, years ago, wishing she was that kind of person. But if I had been that kind of person, do you think I could sing with the emotions I do? You sing with those emotions because you've had pain in your heart. The bloodline of my family didn't come from that kind of royalty. Why I relate to it, I don't know. That's the class I wanted to be. But I wasn't, so I dealt with the class I was in. I have never disrespected myself, and I'm still very proud of myself. But society doesn't look at that as class, that type of woman. Society respects me, I think, because I'm self-made and I climbed to the top. But it was the high-class black people I wanted respect from. So I never let go of that dream."

live full concert

Show Some Respect
I Might've Been a Queen
What's Love Got To Do With It
I Can't Stand The Rain
Better Be Good To Me
Private Dancer
Let's Stay Together
It's Only Love
Let's Dance

"What's Love Got to Do with It"

Tina Turner:  What's Love Got To Do With by la_shivi

"Better Be Good to Me"

"Let's Stay Together" 

"Private Dancer"  

bonus tracks:  

"Help!"   John Lennon, Paul McCartney 4:30

"I Wrote a Letter" 
("Let's Stay Together" b-side) Inga Rumpf

"Rock 'n Roll Widow" 
("Help" b-side) Tom Snow 4:45

"Don't Rush the Good Things" 
("What's Love Got To Do With It" b-side) Neil Gammack 3:46

"When I Was Young"
("Better Be Good To Me" b-side) Eric Burdon, Victor Briggs, John Weider, Danny McCulloch 3:11

'Private Dancer'
full album:

Side one
"I Might Have Been Queen" (Hine, Obstoj) – 4:10
"What's Love Got to Do with It" (Britten, Lyle) – 3:49
"Show Some Respect" (Britten, Shifrin) – 3:18
"I Can't Stand the Rain" (Bryant, Miller, Peebles) – 3:41
"Better Be Good to Me" (Chapman, Chinn, Knight) – 5:10
Side two
"Let's Stay Together" (Green, Jackson, Mitchell) – 5:16
"1984" (Bowie) – 3:09
"Steel Claw" (Brady) – 3:48
"Private Dancer" (Knopfler) – 7:11

the undertones

The Undertones were hard to beat with the attitude and abandon of this energetic adolescent entertainment.  The group formed in Derry, Northern Ireland when the lads were mere teens.  They played wherever they could around town until they found an audience at the Casbah Club, where they were also able to get paid.  They recorded a demo tape and sent it to various record companies with no luck.  They also sent a copy to legendary BBC 1 radio DJ John Peel.  Peel offered to pay for a recording session, which led to the 'Teenage Kicks' EP being cut in Derry.  Peel created a buzz over the title song and claimed it was the greatest song ever.  The attention led to a contract with Sire Records.  

Micky Bradley reveals:    “The reason I joined the band all those years ago was because I wanted to play music and have a bit of craic with my mates...The first time we ever played live was in a scout hall in Beechwood Avenue in February 1976. Feargal was in the scouts at the time. Then we performed live in St. Peter’s High School, St. Joseph’s Boys’ School and we also played in a few youth clubs around Derry too...It wasn’t until the start of 1977 that we started playing in the Casbah up at the top of Orchard Street - we played there, on and off, every weekend for about a year and a half...It was a great few years because we just spent our time sitting in O’Neill’s house, listening to music and talking about our band...When we signed the deal with Sire it was myself and Feargal who negotiated the deal. It was a complete joke and we ended up signing a really bad deal."

Producer Roger Bechirian let the band cut loose in the studio for the sessions at Eden Studios and Mrs. Simms Shed in Derry with Feargal Sharkey on lead vocals;  John O'Neill on rhythm guitar and backing vocals;  Damian O'Neill on lead guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals;  Michael Bradley on bass guitar, lead vocals, and backing vocals;  and Billy Doherty on drums.  

John O’Neill reflects:   “It was that pop thing, we originally had no intentions of making an L.P. we were just gonna bring out singles like T.Rex or Gary Glitter.  I also remember the intention of the first L.P. was to try and  make it like MC5’s ‘Back In the USA’, that twin guitar thing...It’s funny but the political thing never even crossed our minds at the time.  Music was an escape.  I was definitely wrapped up in the whole rock ‘n’ roll thing ... to me Punk Rock was like the ‘50’s all over again, the thing was so attractive  that talking about what went on in the North seemed  ... for old people...You see, up till then we had no concept of it being a career really, we didn’t have any long term aspirations of making a living out of being in the music business.”  

'The Undertones' went to forty-one in New Zealand and thirteen in the UK.  The combination of their powerpop punk delivery with Sharkey's distinctive vibrato made them critical darlings.  Sharkey considered how success changed everything:    "We’ve learned quickly, we’ve had to learn quickly and if I’m honest a lot of the fun has gone out of it, the real fun we had when we first started, now you realise you’re in a different kind of job ... It's basically integrity. That's what people are getting around to. I myself will put people up on pedestals and look up to them. I think that's quite good because everyone has to have some form of escapism. No matter what you do, your life will eventually fall into a certain routine and it's good to get released from that for three and a half minutes."

"Teenage Kicks" was the band's first single, released initially on the independent Belfast Good Vibrations label before they signed to Sire, who rereleased the song nationwide, taking it to number thirty-one in the UK.  It was not included on the first issue of 'The Undertones'; but was added to subsequent issues.  DJ John Peel championed the song on his show and called it his favorite of all time.  It was played at his funeral.  Songwriter John O’Neill says:   “I always think that even though I’m credited as the person who wrote ‘Teenage Kicks’ it’s the actual sound  of that record that makes it, the actual song’s not particularly great, it’s the actual sound that makes it brilliant.”

A teenage dream's so hard to beat
Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight

Get teenage kicks right through the night

I'm gonna call her on the telephone

Have her over cos I'm all alone
I need excitement, oh I need it bad
And it's the best I've ever had

I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight

Get teenage kicks right through the night

A teenage dream's so hard to beat

Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight

Get teenage kicks right through the night

I'm gonna call her on the telephone

Have her over cos I'm all alone
I need excitement, oh I need it bad
And it's the best I've ever had

I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight

Get teenage kicks right through the night

I wanna hold her, wanna hold hertight

Get teenage kicks right through the night


'Teenage Kicks - The Undertones' 
documentary (part 1)

"Jimmy Jimmy" charted at number sixteen in the UK.

"Girls Don't Like It"   J. J. O'Neill 2:19

"I Know a Girl"   J. J. O'Neill, Michael Bradley, Damian O'Neill 2:35

"Casbah Rock"   J. J. O'Neill 0:47

'The Undertones'
full album:
(and then some)

01 - Family Entertainment 00:00
02 - Girls Don't Like It
03 - Male Model
04 - I Gotta Getta
05 - Teenage Kicks
06 - Wrong Way
07 - Jump Boys
08 - Here Comes The Summer
09 - Get Over You
10 - Billy's Third
11 - Jimmy Jimmy
12 - True Confessions
13 - She's A Run Around
14 - I Know A Girl
15 - Listening In
16 - Casbah Rock
17 - Smarter Than You
18 - True Confessions
19 - Emergency Cases
20 - Really Really
21 - She Can Only Say No
22 - Mars Bars
23 - One Way Love
24 - Top Twenty
25 - You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It!)

26 - Let's Talk About Girls