Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tell Me Again What You Told Me Before

It is always a good day when I discover a new "nugget" from the late 60's.   Being a fan of Dave Edmunds for many years it is a bit odd that I never investigated his first band, Love Sculpture. Today while browsing on YouTube I chanced across a tune from their second album Forms and FeelingsIn The Land of The Few starts off with what sounds like a clavichord - and within seconds I was hooked.  Then a Who-like verse kicks in, to be followed by a chorus that has to be heard.  Just phenomenal, almost like a 17th century baroque melody.  Also packed in is a jangly middle section and one of Mr. Edmunds white hot guitar solos.

I am verklempt.  How did I not know about this song before now?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Feel Only Me

I know the biggest question in the back of you mind is "what is Mr. Pleasant's favorite John Lennon song not written by John Lennon?"  And the answer is a doozey because frankly it is a song forgotten by everyone in the universe.

Well, before I tell you who and what, let me just say that you really have to give this a listen before you make a judgement.   The song is a beautiful amalgamation of Imagine-period melodiousness merged with Help-period group harmonies.  And shades of "We Can Work It Out" - it even has a harmonium!

So here is the deal.  The recording artists had a short-lived TV variety show back in the mid 70s, and one of the members was married to Goldie Hawn for a period of time.  Of course I a referring to the Hudson Brothers and their one and only top 40 hit - So You Are A Star.    Apparently the brothers had a real penchant for Beatles-ish power pop, but were never given a chance on their insipid TV program to show what they could really do.  So the only evidence is this one song, but it is truly gorgeous, and clearly a loving tribute to Mr. Lennon.  It just makes me swoon every time I hear it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some Are Bound to Glory

In 1973 there was a short lived reunion of all five original Byrds.   The one LP they produced never registered on my radar. The story goes that each of the songwriting Byrds (Crosby, McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman) withheld their best materials for their own solo projects. Drummer Michael Clarke brought along two Neil Young songs.

A few years ago I chanced upon their cover of an at-that-point unrecorded Neil Young nugget.  (See the Sky) About to Rain is a miraculous song and this performance captures Neil's sense of loss and yet also succeeds as a Byrd's number.  When the wall of chiming guitars and mandolin enters at 2:40 the bliss becomes heavenly.

See the sky about to rain,
broken clouds and rain.
Locomotive, pull the train,
whistle blowing
through my brain.
Signals curling on an open plain,
rolling down the track again.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Waiting for the Operator on the Line

The dreary late 70's found the pop music scene in a real funk.  Pre-punk, post-Beatles, and the very last days of the vanished 45rpm 7" single.  From that bleak period there were a few real gems to be heard on top 40 radio.  One of my favorites is the Electric Light Orchestra's Sweet Talking Woman.  Jeff Lynne managed to combine the unusual chords and vocal harmonies of the Beatles with a Motown influence and his usual violin flourishes.   I am not the world's biggest ELO fan but this song really floats my boat.


One of my new year's resolutions is to post more blog entries this year.  So I am starting a new theme.  Artists that write/record music in the style of other musicians.  The first entry is near and dear to my heart.   Here is Todd Rundgren channeling Carole King - I Saw The Light.  Discuss.