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This week’s pop archaeology dig came up with a real classic that’s had a recent rebirth.  The Human Beinz recorded “Nobody But Me” back in 1967.   The infectious beat, rockin’ bass line, and a classic “no-no-no” vocal chant pushed this band from Youngstown, Ohio up to number 8 on the charts.

“Nobody But Me” was written and recorded by The Isley Brothers in 1962 and was covered by the Beinz five years later. A one-hit wonder, it was their only Top 40 hit.

More recently, Nike used the song in a commercial spot called the Throwdown. Nicely done too.

I’ve included all three versions below.  The Isley version is worth a close listen as it’s a broader R&B treatment but it’s interesting that the Beinz took such a small segment of the song and made it into a hit.

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Enjoy….

 

 

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The period of 1978 – 1985 is known in Floyd circles as the Waters-led era.  After the beyond phenomenal success of the early to mid ’70’s, Pink Floyd was their own tough act to follow but Roger stepped up and took the helm.

Following some disastrous financial investments, Waters offered up two very original ideas for the bands’ consideration: a concept album that had a long demo with the title “Bricks in the Wall” and another which later was released as Water’s solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.

Although cautious, Mason and Gilmour they took to the BITW demo and worked on what was , of course, to become “The Wall”.

Their producer, Bob Ezrin,  wrote a script for the new album and per Wikipedia:

“….based the story on the central figure of Pink—a gestalt character inspired by Waters’ childhood experiences, the most notable of which was the death of his father in World War II. This first metaphorical brick led to more problems; Pink would become drug-addled and depressed by the music industry, eventually transforming into a megalomania, a development inspired partly by the decline of Syd Barrett. At the end of the album, the increasingly fascist audience would watch as Pink tore down the wall, once again becoming a regular and caring person.”

The single (the first since “Money”) “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” supported the album, topping the charts in the US and the UK.  The critical and financial success is not to be denied but I must say (and hopefully not set off avid Floyd-o-philes) but I never liked The Wall and I never liked “Another Brick…”.  Pure pretentious drivel to my ears.  Even today, some 35 years later, I still find it unlistenable.  I should add that I have almost always found any album that includes schoolchildren singing to be complete artistic puffery – and that includes the Stones.

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In the early ’80’s Waters intended to follow-up The Wall with a soundtrack work but the war in The Falklands changed his mind. Waters saw Margaret Thatcher’s response to the invasion of the Falklands as unneeded.  He dedicated the album to his late father.  Although there was an interim release of a compilation album, Floyd went on to release “The Final Cut”.

The band, however, was increasingly fractured and starting to come apart at the seams.  Waters called it “a spent force”.  Financial differences ensued and it looked like the beginning of the end.  Legal nastiness ensued over the name “Pink Floyd” and Gilmour vowed to fight Rogers and called him a “dog in the manger”.  Wow – that’s telling him!

I could go on but to be honest I really never liked all this lawsuit nonsense between millionaire rock stars so I’ll leave it here.

Enjoy…..

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Formed in Tacoma, WA in the late ’50’s, The Wailers (sometimes credited as The Fabulous Wailers) originally rose to fame on the strength of their first single “Tall Cool One” in 1959.  They were more of a Chuck Berry influenced band with an added saxophone and became well-known across the Pacific Northwest.

Originally formed as The Nitecaps by some high school friends, they recorded a demo and caught the attention of Golden Crest Records A&R rep Clark Galehouse who brought them in to lay down “Tall Cool One”.  They had success with it and went on to appear on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

They were dropped from their recording contract, went on to record a cover of “Louie, Louie“. and returned to the Northwest. They continued to record and release records locally including this gem of a pop hit “Out of Our Tree” in 1965. It’s the classic Wailers sound with one solid back beat from the drummer.

Four out of the five original band members are gone now but their memories are alive in pop history.

Enjoy….

 

 

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The mid-sixties in the U.S. saw an explosion of rock and roll bands,  Everywhere you looked kids were saving up (or begging parents) for electric guitars.  Bands like The Beatles’, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys were the top of the music news and it seemed that every kid wanted to be a rock star.

The Chocolate Watchband was formed in San Jose, CA in 1965 and had a good run for about five years before breaking up.  They later had some reunions for revival shows and continue to perform today.  They even tour with Little Steven.

They had more of a psychedelic edge to their sound and the influence of the early Stones is clear here.  Like the Stones they focused on traditional blues with a garage and psych sound and did some experimental improvisation.

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Their star was rising and they gained a reputation as solid musicians that often were better than the bands they opened for at the start.  But not for long.  They opened for bands like The Doors and The Dead and after a show opening for The Mother of Invention they signed up with Bill Graham.

“Sweet Young Thing” was a tune written by producer Ed Cobb for the band.  Ed had just written “Dirty Water” for The Standells and was a hit maker.

A different song with the same title was recorded by The Monkees in July 1966.

Take a listen….

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It’s almost impossible not to love The Zombies and no better place to start than “Time of the Season” from March 1968. I previously profiled their 2nd album “Odessey and Oracle” (it is spelled that way on the album).

http://timbrosnan.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/rock-masterpiece-odessey-and-oracle-the-zombies/

“Time of the Season” was released as a single and became a surprise hit in early 1969.  It was written by keyboardist Rod Argent (later of the eponymous band Argent) and it was the third single released from the album.  Once again we see the return influence of Al Kooper, who by then was an A&R rep at Columbia, who urged the label to release “Time”.  His instincts were correct.

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The song includes the powerful vocals of lead singer Colin Blunstone and a memorable bass riff which is similar to the one that opens “Stand By Me”).   The lyrics evoke the Summer of Love and use a sort of call-and-response technique (“What’s your name? (What’s your name?) / Who’s your daddy? (Who’s your daddy?) / Is he rich? (Is he rich like me?)”.

Over the years there have been a number of covers, with few better than the original, but the more recent version by The Dave Matthews Band is worth a listen.  I’ve included it below as well.

Enjoy…

 

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A few favorite tunes that have been going through the headphones this week.  It’s Friday and the end of a long week so crank it up and have a great one!

“You Can Be My Yoko Ono” - Barenaked Ladies - One of my favorite tunes from BNL.  I like that part where he says “I don’t like all these people slaggin’ her for breaking up The Beatles”.  I read where they played this song for Yoko and she said it was nice but she liked “If I Had $1.000.000″ better!

“Mrs. Robinson”  – The Lemonheads – A great rock cover of the Simon & Garfunkel tune from this alternative band best known (to me) for being fronted by Evan Dando.

“Save It For A Rainy Day” – The Jayhawks - I like most of The Jayhawks tunes and always found this one to stand out a bit from the others.  Another great tune from Gary Louris and Mark Olson although I still don’t have an explanation as to why Louris was filmed standing waist-deep in swimming pool.

Heat Wave’ – Linda Ronstadt – Originally recorded by Martha & The Vandellas, this was a huge hit for Linda back in 1975 and was released on her album Prisoner in Disguise.  Brings back memories of Linda at the old Academy of Music wearing a slightly too-small Cub Scout uniform.

Dime A Dozen Guy” – Marshall Crenshaw - MC may be the most underrated musician I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear.  He’s just an encyclopedia of pop music culture although this tune is one of his groovy original efforts.  The video was shot at a live gig in Maplewood, NJ.

Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees - Sung by Mickey Dolenz this was one my favorite tunes on the very first album I ever owned (not bought, owned)!  It was their debut single in 1966 and I was soon a regular viewer of their TV show.  Listen for the striking similarities to The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer”.

Enjoy….

 

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The Blues Project formed in 1965 in Greenwich Village.  They merged a lot of styles but are mostly remembered as an early developer of psychedelic rock and one of the first jam bands.  The title for “first” jam band is often debated (usually after drinking for a while) as to whether it was The Blues Project or the Grateful Dead.  Hmm…doesn’t everything start on the east coast and head west?

Elektra Records produced a compilation album of various artists entitled, The Blues Project, which featured a number of very skilled musicians from the Greenwich Village area who played acoustic blues. One of the featured artists on the album was Danny Kalb.  Kalb hung up his acoustic later that year and went electric when The Beatles’ arrival in the U.S. pretty much ended the return of the “folk movement”.

Kalb’s started a band based on his two-song contribution and called it The Blues Project.  With Kalb and Steve Katz on guitars, Andy Kulberg on bass and flute, Roy Blumenfeld on drums and Tommy Flanders on vocals, the band was an instant success in the Village.  At an upcoming audition at Columbia they added the great Al Kooper on organ.

As New York’s answer to The Grateful Dead, the band rocked San Francisco and even impressed Jerry and Bobby with their improvisational style.

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The band more or less fragmented after that, with Koop leaving, but not before penning their only charting single Kooper’s “No Time Like the Right Time”.   They played Monterey but by then half of the original band was gone and Kooper was in his own group (and also playing Monterey).  The remaining band fulfilled on last contractual obligation and, after that, they released songs under the name “Seatrain”.

The rest, of course, is history.  Kooper wanted a band with a horn section and went on to form Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Enjoy……