Sunday, March 31, 2013
40 Year Itch : Those We Missed from March 1973
"The Kiss" may the most beautiful song released in 1973. It's from singer/songwriter Judee Sill's second album Heart Food, one of Sufjan Stevens's picks for a 2006 Spin Magazine article asking musicians about the music that changed their lives:
The more you listen to her songs, the more you realize all the weird stuff going on.
She was really into baroque music, or at least had those sensibilities. When I started
writing songs, I started looking into people like her, trying to figure out what kind
of an environment they were writing in.
Sill's life was full of tragedy. Everyone she loved died young. She got hooked on heroin and died in 1979.
After a two year hiatus, Scottish troubadour Donovan returned with Cosmic Wheels, a very mixed batch of songs. You could always hear just a trace of Donovan in the music of T.Rex. Now it's the other way around. Especially on the worthy title track. But there's crap here too. The worst of it is "Intergalactic Laxative":
If shitting is your problem
When you're out there in the stars,
Oh, the intergalactic laxative
Will get you from here to Mars.
While recording Cosmic Wheels, Donovan popped in on Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies session and sang on the title track. While Billion Dollar Babies hit #1 in the US, Cosmic Wheels would be the last Donovan album to reach the top 20.
Former Zombies keyboardist Rod Argent and his band followed up their massive hit "Hold Your Head Up" with an album full of dull prog rock. The exception is the nearly seven minute opening track , which Kiss covered in 1991 for the soundtrack to Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.
The reissued In Deep comes with "Hold Your Head Up" so there's that in its favor.
Jeff Beck teams up with former Vanilla Fudge/Cactus members Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice for a power trio album. You can argue that on 1968's Truth, Jeff Beck created the hard rock sound that made Led Zeppelin so famous. Maybe this was his effort at reclaiming the glory. But even the best stuff ( "Sweet Sweet Surrender", "Black Cat Moan") now sounds like some kind of 70's rock cliche.
Stevie Wonder gave Beck "Superstition"( also featured on this album) and only decided later that he would record his own version. Which one do you know?