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?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

40 Year Itch : An Album for the Silent Majority


Face the flag son
...and thank God 
it's still there
-John Wayne

It is March 1973. The last American soldier leaves Vietnam and the Watergate scandal spreads to indict Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell. John Wayne, that most fearless of American cowboys, felt it was time to remind the rest of the country that the United States of America was still the greatest of them all.

    He recorded America, Why I Love Her in Nashville where an orchestra and chorus backed up his dramatic readings of ten poems written by Robert Mitchum's brother, John. "Why I Love Her" was Wayne's favorite. He read it at the 1964 Republican convention in San Francisco.

  The album entered the country charts March 24 and rose to #13. In the harrowing days following 9/11, the album enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.

Friday, March 29, 2013

40 Year Itch : Does a '5' Really Look Like an 'F'?


I know why they don't look happy. They're posing on the cover of The Jackson 5ive's  least successful album to date. Skywriter ( released March 29, 1973)  is a seriously underrated album that has become best known for having 14 year old Michael sing the soft core ballad "Touch".
  True , the lyrics do sound like something off of Marvin Gaye's forthcoming Let's Get It On:

Darlin' just relax 
You melt me like hot candle wax
 One touch and my whole body melts
 You just say, you say you can't express yourself 
 Oh, just keep doin' what you're doin'
 Fancy words will only ruin it 
Touch (touch me) That very special touch
 If I satisfy you (if I satisfy you)
 How can you satisfy me baby


Thursday, March 28, 2013

40 Year Itch : Singing To An Ocean


5 Fun Facts About Houses Of The Holy

1. The children on the cover are siblings Stefan and Samantha Gates. Stefan is now a celebrity chef ("Cooking in the Danger Zone"),  famous for recipes involving insects. The cover --a montage--was shot over ten days near Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

BBC/Swan Song
2. The 7 and a half minute "Rain Song" was inspired in part by George Harrison's comment to drummer John Bonham that the group never wrote any ballads. In tribute to Harrison, the first two chords of the song are those of Harrison's "Something". John Paul Jones plays the mellotron.

3. Rip off or Parody?  "The Crunge", arguably the funkiest tune Led Zeppelin ever recorded, evolved out of a James Brown and the JB's like jam and remains one of bass and synthesizer player's John Paul Jones favorites.

4. From funk to reggae: "D'Yer Maker" . Led Zep fans may have been wondering what was happening to the band. To which Jimmy Page responded
"I didn't expect people not to get it. I thought it was pretty obvious. The song itself was a cross between reggae and a '50s number, "Poor Little Fool," Ben E. King's things, stuff like that"

5. "The Ocean" is dedicated to the "ocean" of fans that were showing up for Led Zep concerts.

Singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean's roar 
Play for free, play for me and play a whole lot more, more!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

40 Year Itch : Alone in the Cold Gray Dawn


  There's no way to write objectively about Behind Closed Doors. It is one of the soundtracks of my childhood. I know every lyric, every drum fill, every piano trill by heart. Our copy of Behind Closed Doors was an 8 track my stepmother played in the Chevrolet Suburban on the way to the barn in the next town over. She competed in "cutting",  a western sport in which riders and their horses make sharp, breath-taking turns trying to keep young cows away from the rest of the herd. We drove all over New England for her competitions with Charlie Rich singing his suggestive Top 20 crossover hit  "Behind Closed Doors and his #1 classic "The Most Beautiful Girl". There truly isn't a a bad cut on the album.

Behind Closed Doors is the ultimate "countrypolitan" album combining soaring string sections with twangy steel guitars and Nashville accents. At first listen, it may seem sappy, but live with an album like Behind Closed Doors and you'll find it's all heart.

   The album is so much a part of me that I was surprised the other day to come up with an original thought: Behind Closed Doors sounds like the album Elvis Presley should have recorded in 1973. After all his backing vocalists, The Jordanaires, are present. And Elvis would have enjoyed himself , especially on the gospel tinged (and possibly blasphemous) "Peace On You" :

God ain't gonna love you any
 'cause you loved too many more
He ain't gonna trust you baby 
He never could before . 

 Elvis never cut "Peace On You" but it would be the title cut of  Roger McGuinn's (!) second solo album in 1974.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

40 Year Itch: Fed Up With Fandango?


Morrissey claims he can only think of one truly great British album and that (Roxy Music's For Your Pleasure)  is it.
-The Observer, June 20,2004

Roxy Music's second album is thought by many to be their crowning creative achievement--though my pop sensibilities lead me to favor Siren and Country Life. For Your Pleasure is the last to feature Brian Eno whose artsy sonic explorations offered an avant garde  counterpoint to Bryan Ferry's ironic romantic poses.

This line-up would not last. Ferry would not let Roxy Music record Eno's songs, and he hated Eno's approach to recording which was more about experimenting with random ideas in the moment. The front man never leaves the band until he wants to and Eno left, complaining to Melody Maker's Geoff Brown "What Roxy Music lacks for me is one of the most important elements of my musical life, which is insanity." To which Ferry said "Two non-muscians in a band is one too many".

Our deep cut choice is the nine minute response to Krautrock, "The Bogus Man" which has - over the years- become a favorite. Sorry to say we almost always skip past the other epic  "In Every Dream Home A Heartache". In the UK the album peaked at #4 but in the US, it barely dented the Billboard 200. In a mixed review, Rolling Stone's Paul Gambaccini called the album "remarkably inaccessible". The US would need another decade to catch on to Roxy Music's appeal.

Monday, March 25, 2013

40 Year Itch: Birds of Fire Cracks The Top 20


Mahavishnu Orchestra's fusion-istic  follow-up to the #11 charting Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire cracks the Tops 20 at #19 on March 31st , 1973 on its way to #15. Guitarist and sole composer John McLaughlin said of his road-tested band "We were on a wave, we were experiencing a success that was unforseen, and we were making light-year jumps in terms of playing together, developing new ways of playing."

   Birds of Fire offers listeners some of the loudest and most rocking fusion on the planet ("One World", "Biurds of Fire") as well as delicate numbers ("Thousand Island Park") that probably offered a map for where most jazz fusion wound up going. "Miles Beyond" is dedicated to Miles Davis with whom Mclaughlin once played. Incredible dynamics! With both McLaughin and ( on "One World")  drummer Billy Cobham especially shining.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

40 Year Itch: Crazed Fan Bites Lou Reed's Ass


 [Purchase Transformer]

 On March 23, 1973 in Buffalo, NY a crazed fan leaps onstage and bites Lou Reed in the ass. Some concert goers say the fan yelled "Leather!" first. The fan is escorted from the theater and Lou Reed continues the show.

  The incident inspired Lou to record the ultimate "pain in the ass" album, 1975's four sides of guitar feedback , Metal Machine Music.*

*yeah I made that part up.


1. Deliverance Soundtrack
2. Elton John : Don't Shoot Me
3. Diana Ross : Lady Sings the Blues
4. John Denver : Rocky Mountain High
5. Eumir Deodato : Prelude/Deodato
6. Carly Simon: No Secrets
7. Traffis: Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
8. War : The World is a Ghetto
9. Bette Midler : The Divine Miss M
10. Stevie Wonder Talking Book


96 Chi Lites : A Letter To Myself
110 Humble Pie: Eat It
121 Donny Osmond Alone Together
129 Byrds : Byrds ( Reunion album)
158 Fifth Dimension : Living Together Growing Together

Saturday, March 23, 2013

1973's Greatest Day of Record Releases


It was the greatest single record release day in 1973. A Friday. The day three mind-blowing albums hit record store shelves: Lark's Tongues in Aspic, the King Crimson album that reinvents progressive rock and For Your Pleasure, Roxy Music's second album and the last to feature Brian Eno. And in England, weeks after the US release, Dark Side of the Moon from Pink Floyd. All challenge the listener. All offer new, often astonishing rewards upon successive encounters.

Before reinventing the King Crimson sound, guitarist Robert Fripp overhauled the band line-up, adding drummer Bill Bruford from Yes, percussionist Jamie Muir, Family bassist/vocalist John Wetton and, of all things, a violinist named David Cross. The band explores some strange sonic terrain on the album, from the tinkling finger cymbals at the beginning to the heavy guitar riffs and violin solos that dominate "Easy Money".
   In 1980, Bruford told an interviewer "You know, that was hell, really, to make-because nobody could decide what on earth kind of music we were supposed to be playing anyway."

Many Crimson fans place Larks Tongue second only to In The Court of the Crimson King. The most recent Rolling Stone Album Guide gives the album its highest rating  ( 5 stars), calling Larks Tongue "incandescent, daring and focused".
    Dark Side of the Moon has already received the 1001Songs treatment. More on For Your Pleasure later this week.

Friday, March 22, 2013

40 Year Itch: Can Performs at the Bataclan


We didn’t like to create music like everybody else. We’re anarchists.
    Damo Suzuki

 On March 22, 1973 the classic Can lineup performs at the Paris club Bataclan, which is still home to concerts, spectacles and soirees. Bassist Holger Czukay and drummer Jaki Leibezeit found a replacement for original vocalist Malcolm Mooney in a Japanese street musician named Damo Suzuki.
The footage below begins in the middle of "Sing Swan Song" from 1972's Ege Bamyasi. It is a mesmerizing performance with Michael Karoli taking a long solo on guitar. About 5 minutes in there's a shift. And keyboardist Irmin Schmidt stands up to play. Then it's a barrage of improvised noise and feedback. The show is over.

After the release of  and the Edinburgh International Festival in August of 1973, 23 year old Damo Suzuki moves back to Japan to be a Jehovah's Witness.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

40 Year Itch: Tonight We Sleep On Silken Sheets

A real forgotten gem
 - The Mojo Collection

With guitarist Robin Trower's recent departure for a solo career, Procol Harum is now under the full artistic control of singer/ keyboardist Gary Brooker and Grand Hotel benefits from his single minded, somewhat excessive vision. In fact the album is one of Procol Harum's high points. Brooker liked to use orchestras and choruses; mandolins ( 22 of them on the title track) and piano runs. There's a full orchestra on many tracks including "Grand Hotel "which quotes the Russian "Chyornye Ochi" ( Black Eyes) song. Consistently good --and at times (the anti-war "Fires Which Burnt Brightly; the anti-television "TV Ceasar") verging on great. 

Miles better than what the Moody Blues were trying to do.

According to a Billboard Magazine article from 1973 Procol harum's new label, Chrysalis Records , sent radio stations and music critics 3,000 toiletry kits with every item embossed "Grand Hotel". Another thousand "Grand Hotel" towels were distributed to record stores to hang up as in-store posters. There were even radio contests involving Grand Hotel keys , only one of which would open a trunk containing tickets to the Bahamas.

Grand Hotel reached No 21 on the Billboard album charts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

40 Year Itch: Can't Get Enough of the Boogie Blues


Humble Pie's follow-up to its big 1972 Top Ten hit Smokin' is Eat It, a jam packed double LP with the kind of bluesy boogie that record buyers were apparently craving in the early 70's. Eat It's sides are broken up into four distinctive acts. Side 1 is original rock n roll, relying heavily on The Blackberries, the female back up singers. Side 2 is all R and B covers. The short, mostly acoustic Side 3 is the most listenable 40 years later ( and includes "Say No More") Side 4 is more live tracks that pale in comparison to Humble Pie's Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore  album. You can hear Marriot's enormous talent and the tortured soul that was consumed by drugs and alcohol before dying in a house fire at the age of 44.



Still Alive And Well marks a comeback for the talented blues guitarist Johnny Winter who lost his momentum in the years preceding to a heroin addiction. The album catches fire from the start with the blues cover "Rock Me Baby". There are two Rolling Stones covers, "Let It Bleed" and "Silver Train" which had yet to appear on the Stones '73 album Goats Head Soup. Even classic rock stations don't play this kind of music anymore but Still Alive and Well made a whole bunch of "Best of"  lists at the end of 1973.


{Out of Print}

Blues loving California rockers Canned Heat had survived the death of Alan Wilson ( who sang the band's two most famous songs "Going Up The Country" and "On The Road Again") and recorded The New Age, their seventh album. Lester Bangs got fired from Rolling Stone for his sarcastic review of the album:

Most of...the songs are just  some kind of nondescript clinkletybonk tibia-rattling in pursuit of yeehah countryisms so let 'em  dry rot in the grooves.Buy this album if you've gotta lotta money or don't care much what you blow your wad on, but don't pass up any of the really cosmic stuff like the Stooges for it or the shadow of Blind Lemon Jefferson will come and blow his nose on your brow every night.



Made up of three former Savoy Browners and Rod Price, a graduate of Black Cat Bone, Foghat returns with a second album of blues-tinged boogie rock known by fans as Rock And Roll because of the cover art. ( Get it?) They spent most of '73 touring with Johnny Winter. The CD doesn't sound as though it has been remastered.

Monday, March 18, 2013

40 Year Itch : How The Beaujolais Is Raining

John Cale, the avant-garde musician responsible for some of The Velvet Underground's most abrasive noises ("Black Angel's Death Song", most of "White Light/White Heat") delivers a lush, often mellow masterpiece with Paris 1919. It's an album recorded in Southern California, at Sunwest Studios, by a homesick Welshman with help of members of the feel good boogie band Little Feat.

. "All the songs are about this Welsh guy lost in the desert of L.A., feeling nostalgic about all the things he loved about Europe," Cale told The Los Angeles Times. There's the opener "Child's Christmas in Wales" which is a reference to the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. "Andalucia" is an autonomous community in Spain. There's "Half Past France" and the gorgeous title cut which refers to the Versailles Conference after World War I. 

 "It was during the height of the Cold War, and I started thinking, 'How did we end up here?' In the '70s, everywhere felt like a target -- everyone was running to Argentina, because that was a nuclear-free zone. And that was all because of the Treaty of Versailles."

Cale has yet to revisit this kind of approachable pop again. Probably because that's exactly what his audience wants. And as we all learn sooner or later, there's no man more difficult than a Welshman.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

40 Year Itch : An Offer You Can't Refuse

Weeks after The Godfather wins the Best Picture Oscar, Florida soul singer Jimmy Helms hits the UK Top 10 with "Gonna Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse". As part of the band Londonbeat,  he would return to the charts in the 1990's with the hit "I've Been Thinking About You".

UK singles chart for the week ending 17 March 1973 

 1. Cum on feel the noize – Slade
2. The twelfth of never – Donny Osmond 
3. 20th century boy – T Rex 
4. Feel the Need in Me - Detroit Emeralds

5. Cindy incidentally – Faces 

6. Hello hurray – Alice Cooper 
7. Killing me softly with his song – Roberta Flack
8. Gonna make you an offer you can't refuse – Jimmy Helms

9. Sylvia – Focus 
10. Baby I love you – Dave Edmunds

Saturday, March 16, 2013

40 Year Itch: Loose Like a Golden Goose

While Electric Warrior and The Slider remain the best known of the T.Rex albums, Tanx-released March 18, 1973-- is arguably the best. At least that's what producer Tony Visconti, who worked on all three,  writes:

"I enjoyed making Tanx very much; I thought it was the first really cohesive T. Rex album . However despite Marc feeling more confident with this body of work, it proved to be something of a watershed. We were criticised for being samey and formulaic; Tanx made No 4 the same way as The Slider but failed to stick around as long in the charts.

Any critic that though Tanx relied too much on the T. Rex formula probably wasn't listening too closely. Sure there are some chunky Electric Warrior rockers ( "Mad Donna", "Shock Rock") and warbling acoustic Slider-like ballads (" Life is Strange", "Broken Hearted Blues"), but Marc Bolan is also spreading his wings, rediscovering the Mellotron on songs like "Mister Mister" ( which also features the same Liverpudlian sax player who performed on The Beatles' "Good Morning, Good Morning") and exploring new sounds on "Tenement Lady", "Highway Knees" and "Electric Slim and The Factory Hen", one of his very best tunes ever.

CD versions of Tanx comes with T.Rex hits "Children of the Revolution" (UK#2), "Solid Gold Easy Action" (UK#2) and "20th Century Boy" (UK#3).

As Visconti points out in his autobiography Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy, Marc feared he was losing his audience. The smart fans were attracted to Bowie and Roxy. The rockers moved into the Slade and Gary Glitter camps. Within a year Warner Brothers dropped T. Rex from the label.

Friday, March 15, 2013

40 Year Itch: When Living Is All Uphill


One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were extraordinary.  They played like motherf*ckers. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done.
 — David Bowie

Produced in the wilds of New York by Todd Rundgren ( on the condition he could mix the album without interference), the all-girl rock band Fanny scored their best album with Mothers Pride, released in March of 1973. By then, Fanny had been together three years. That's three years of answer questions about being an all girl rock band and "Feminism". As founder June Millington tells Gillian G Gaar in She's A Rebel : The History of Women in Rock and Roll:

     When the band broke up, I can't say that any of could say that we were 'feminists' by any stretch of the imagination. It was such a dirty word! My mindset was like 'Hey man, I have put myself out on the line here, just holding this fucking electric guitar. Don't put me in any more spots."

June's lyrics reveal some of the frustration she was experiencing as the band toured the world, with the likes of Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie. After the album's release, she left the band. "I didn't have a personal life, and I fell apart."

Trivia:  Keith Moon covered album track "Solid Gold" on his 1975 album Two Sides of the Moon. And , I'd add, the Fanny version sounds like it inspired Liz Phair's entire career.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

40 Year Itch: Everyone Birdoggin' At My Girl

On March 14, 1973 Stephen Stills married French singer songwriter Veronique Sanson. The marriage lasted ten years and produced musician son Chris Stills. Among the guests at the wedding were members of The Beatles and The Who. They lived around Boulder Colorado.

 A month later Stephen Stills and his band Manassas released the album Down The Road. Inspired by her husband's way of recording, Veronique recorded one of her most critically acclaimed albums, 1974's Le Maudit ("The Damned") , also with Manassas. Some have tried to read meaning into Veronique's lyrics. It was, by some reports, a rocky marriage with Stills insisting everyone speak English around his wife...even in Quebec. And he could be quite insistent.

     "Shaking, quaking, fire in his eye ( Stills) stomps over to bass player Bill Gagnon, grabs his shirt, tells him ( loud enough for the Province to hear): "Don't you ever speak French to my wife again !!!"
    --Richard Meltzer, A Whore Just Like the Rest: The Music Writings of Richard Meltzer

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

40 Year Itch: Smoking Cigarettes, Striving For Purity

A Hauntingly lovely new album of introspective songs and folk/jazz music which captures the essence of a moment, or a thought or a love
    Asylum Records ad

Tom Waits was already doing the rambling beatnik bar stool poet thing when, at the age of 24,  he recorded his debut album, Closing Time, with former Lovin Spoonful Jerry Yester producing. He'd grown up in San Diego as a fan of the Beatniks and Charles Bukowski. He worked as a doorman, in pizza joints and restaurants. By the time he was opening up for acts at the LA Troubadour, he'd developed a cult following that would only grow with each passing decade.

The album's best known song is "Ol '55", covered by the Eagles on their 1974 album On The Border. It's all about a shining moment: driving home from a triumphant one night stand as the sun comes up. These days Waits sings with it a deep, smoky, whiskey fueled, pre-cancerous roar. 

    Even back in 1973, Waits knew how to get the most out of a lyric. But he had yet to find "his voice". And the most exotic instrument on Closing Time is a stand up bass. ( No pump organ. No Bowed Saw. No accordions or marimbas.)

Asylum sent Waits out on tour as an opening act for label mate Tom Rush and then Charlie Rich and then had him getting bombed with fruit from Frank Zappa fans. Critics like Robert Christgau compared Waits to Randy Newman but with "honest sentimentality which he undercuts just enough to be credible". For Rolling Stone Stephen Holden wrote "Waits is master of the pictorial vignette that crystallizes the emotions of a specific common experience in a uniquely moving way. "

   Although the album sounds like it was meant to be played in the early morning hours, Waits and his band could only get studio time in the morning. While Yester was going for a folk sound. Waits wanted something more jazzy. You can hear when Waits gets his way ( especially on "Midnight Lullaby")

No matter where you get on the Tom Waits train ( for me it was Rain Dogs in 1985), Closing Time, released in March of 1973,  is worth the second or third stop on the line.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

40 Year Itch : ABBA's Bizarre TV Appearance


By far the most successful group of the 70's, Abba sold more than 370 albums and singles worldwide. It all began with Ring Ring, released in Scandinavia on March 26, 1973. Despite the catchy title cut, the album did not give any indication the foursome would soon achieve world domination. In fact the members of the band were all doing multiple projects at the time and no one thought this Abba thing would even be a permanent deal. Agnetha and Anni-Frid were pop singers signed to different labels. Bjorn and Benny has started in Swedish folk groups. Originally the band was called Bjorn and Benny and Agnetha and Frida. Or BBAF which just doesn't look right.

First among the singles was the Benny and Bjorn written "People Need Love"--the first Abba single to hit the US Charts. ( It petered out at #115 despite the English lyrics fropm Neil Sedaka). The song wasn't even attributed to Abba but to Bjorn and Benny and Agnetha and Anni-Frid. A Top 20 hit in Sweden, it was performed on Austria's "Spotlight" in March of 1973 with an unknown lip-syncing blonde filling in for Agnetha who must have had a prior engagement. A bizarre moment in pop history.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kajagoogoo Bassist's All Time Top Ten


Kajagoogoo topped the UK and German charts in 1983 with "Too Shy" ( and climbed all the way to #5 in the US) and were on their way to more UK chart success when bassist Nick Beggs provided Smash Hits with this easy listening list that gives nods to both Elton John and Christopher Cross (!).  By the way, Beggs is right. In the UK Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" stalled at #58 even though it topped the Mainstream Rock chart in the US. This list comes courtesy of  Brian at Like Punk Never Happened.





Sunday, March 10, 2013

40 Year Itch: Canadian Beatles Peak at #2

The band Quentin Tarantino called "The Canadian Beatles" had one big hit in the US. A two year old recording of "Last Song" peaked at #2 on March 10, 1973. It was held off the top spot by Roberta Flack's rendition of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" which spent 5 weeks in the top spot. New to the Top 20 this week were The Four Tops with "Ain't No Woman ( Like The One I Got)", The Temptations with "Masterpiece", The Moody Blues's "I'm Just A Singer (In a Rock n Roll Band)" and The Carpenters with "Sing"

1 Killing Me Softly With His Song Roberta Flack
2 The Last Song Edward Bear

3 Could It Be I'm Falling In Love The Spinners
4 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) Deodato
5 Rocky Mountain High John Denver

6 Love Train The O'Jays
7 Dueling Banjos Eric Weissberg
8 The Cover Of The Rolling Stone Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show
9 Do It Again Steely Dan
10 Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye) Gladys Knight and The Pips

11 Crocodile Rock Elton John
12 Daddy's Home Jermaine Jackson
13 Danny's Song Anne Murray
14 Break Up To Make Up The Stylistics
15 Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got) The Four Tops

16 Aubrey Bread
17 Space Oddity David Bowie
18 Masterpiece The Temptations
19 I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) The Moody Blues
20 Sing Carpenters

UK singles chart for the week ending 10 March 1973

1 Cum on feel the noize – Slade
2 Cindy incidentally – Faces
3 20th century boy – T Rex
4 Part of the union – Strawbs

5 Blockbuster! – Sweet
6 Feel the need in me – Detroit Emeralds
7 Hello hurray – Alice Cooper
8 Killing me softly with his song – Roberta Flack
9 Doctor my eyes – Jackson 5
10 Whiskey in the jar – Thin Lizzy

Saturday, March 9, 2013

40 Year Itch : 1973's Greatest Day in Rock

God only knows how they managed to pull it off but on March 9th and 10th of 1973, the Dutch city of Voorburg was the place to be. In a single weekend fans could see Slade, The Eagles, The Faces, both Zombies descendants Colin Blunstone and Argent,JJ Cale, Chi Coltrane, Rory Gallagher, Ry Cooder and The Who perform. The arena was set up with two stages on either side, so as one act performed, crews could break down and set up for the next act. Roxy Music, Ringo Starr and Stevie Wonder were also invited to perform but couldn't make it. Much of the concert is scattered all over YouTube. Some of the samples appear below in the order they performed. ( Yes, Ry Cooder leading into The Who).







Friday, March 8, 2013

40 Year Itch : McCartney Fined for Growing Cannabis

On March 8th, 1973, Paul McCartney was fined $240 for growing cannabis on his farm in Scotland.

"My dad’s a keen gardener, you know, I think it’s rubbed off. We got a load of seeds, you know, kind of in the post, and we didn’t know what they were you know, and we kind of planted them all, and five of them came up like – five of them came up illegal.”


Thursday, March 7, 2013

40 Year Itch: Funny How The Circle Turns Around


Only Gene Clark shines in this half hearted reunion album released on March 7, 1973. That's perhaps because the band ( last together in their original line-up in 1966) didn't reunite out of  a strong desire to start up the band again. As Roger McGuinn told Creem Magazine's Cameron Crowe, it all started off kind of half-assed.

 Nobody really pushed for it very hard, which is partly why it happened. It was sorta “how’d ya like to…,” an open invitation to all the original Byrds. Nobody stood to lose anything, even David Crosby, who really didn’t stand to gain by it because he was already doing okay by himself. I think he wanted to reinstate himself as a Byrd,; his pride was at stake. He didn’t like the idea that I continued the group without him. 

 There were two different points of view, one is business and the other aesthetic. (Drummer) Michael Clarke stood to gain quite a bit. Chris Hillman was doing okay and I was doing all right. I could’ve passed it up, but then I thought, well, it could be pretty big. It could reopen the catalog of past Byrds albums and a lot of people would probably like to hear the new one. Looking at it aesthetically.

The album received generally bad reviews. There were two Neil Young covers (a limp "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "(See the Sky) About to Rain"), a Joni Mitchell cover ("For Free" from Ladies of the Canyon) and two songs each from Hillman, McGuinn, Clark and Crosby ( including a very similar "Laughing" to the one Crosby recorded for his solo debut). So the Byrds final flight was a shaky one. McGuinn would release his solo debut later in the year.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

40 Year Itch: 'Cum On Feel The Noize' Debuts at #1

"Unmistakeably Slade - a rousing, raucous, rocker that follows its predecessors with an instantly recognizable sound"
 -NME Magazine

For the first time since The Beatles did it with "Get Back" in 1969, Slade debuted a single at #1 in the UK.
In its first three weeks, "Cum On Feel The Noize" sold 500,000 copies.
As guitarist Dave Hill tells  the now defunct Slade FanClub website , it's a song about the Slade concert experience.

  "The song was based around audiences and things that were happening to us. They were just experiences. Obviously, when you are on the road, you are writing about being on the road, you're writing about what's going on."

Until 1983, the song failed to translate on US shores where Slade's "Cum on Feel the Noize" stalled at #9. Ten years later Quiet Riot recorded the song and took it to #5. Slade singer Nobby Holder talked to Kerang! Magazine about the Quiet Riot cover.

 "The first Slade knew about Quiet Riot was when they approached our publisher for permission to do 'Cum On Feel the Noize.' We agreed, never believing something like this would happen. In fact, the record was out for some while in the States before becoming a big hit, wasn't it? The really nice thing about the whole affair is that it proves how strong our songs are. After all 'Cum On Feel the Noize' is now ten years old, so it's obviously stood the test of time rather well! "

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

40 Year Itch: Keep On Pushing Mamma


The Captain and Me, released March 2 1973, is commonly considered the creative peak of The Doobie Brothers. It's chock full of their good time strumming, double drumming, California rock'n'roll featuring two monster hits "Long Train Runnin " (US#8) and "China Grove" (US#15) as well as a nice couple of Patrick Simmons tunes including "South City Midnight Lady" ( featuring future Doobie Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on pedal steel guitar.

 The band admits this was a bit of a rush job following up on the success of Toulouse Street and "Listen to the Music". "Long Train Runnin'" was a re-write of a Tom Johnson instrumental called "Osborn". Producer Ted Templeman suggested the song be about a train so Johnson sat in a bathroom at Amigo Studios in Burbank and knocked out the lyrics:

 Down around the corner half a mile from here/ 
see them long trains run and you watch them disappear 

The Doobies solidified their hit formula with the double platinum Captain And Me. Long running fans still consider this to be their best album.