Wednesday, December 31, 2014

40 Year Itch : Goodbye 1974!

Goodbye 1974! Join the James Last Orchestra as they play another delicious melody! This time we get Mud's "Tiger Feet", Golden Earring's "Radar Love" and "Jesus Loves You". 

See you in 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My fave 40 Nuggets from 1974

  By "nuggets", I mean both singles and album cuts that are among my favorites of the year. Most were offered up as mp3s during the year. Four more are offered in this post.

Al Green : Hangin' On
Alan Price : Under the Sun
Andy Fairweather Low : Drowning on Dry Land
Average White Band: Got the Love
Badfinger: Just a Chance

Be Bop Deluxe: Jet Silver and the Dolls of Venus
Bee Gees : Down the Road
Big Star : O My Soul
Blue Oyster Cult: Career of Evil
Brian Eno : The True Wheel

Bobby Blue Bland: Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City
Brinsley Schwarz: Ugly Things
Chapman Whitney : Call Ya
Daryl Hall and John Oates: Beanie G and the Rose Tattoo

Doug Sahm : Just Groove Me
Dr John:  Mos 'Scocious
Ducks Deluxe: Coast to Coast
Electric Light Orchestra : Mister Kingdom
Gene Clark:  Strength of Strings
Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson : The Bottle

Hudson Brothers : Be a Man
Isley Brothers : Live It Up
Jorge Ben : Eu Vou Torcer
Leonard Cohen : Chelsea Hotel #2
Lou Reed Kill Your Sons
The Meters : It Ain't No Use

New York Dolls : Chatterbox
Pantherman : Pantherman
Pilot : Just a Smile
Queen: Misfire

Richard and Linda Thompson: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Robert Wyatt : Alifib
Ronnie Lane : The Poacher
Roxy Music : The Thrill of it All
Sparks: This Town ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us

Steely Dan : With a Gun
The Sweet : Lady Stardust
T. Rex : Change
Truck : Surprise Surprise
William deVaughan: Be Thankful for What You Got
10cc : Old Wild Men

Monday, December 29, 2014

40 Year Itch : My 40 Fave Singles of 1974

David Bowie Rebel Rebel
Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson The Bottle
George McRae Rock Your Baby

Steely Dan Rikki Don't Lose That Number
Rufus Tell Me Something Good
Stevie Wright Evie

William DeVaughan Be Thankful For What You've Got
Big Star September Gurls
Patti Smith Hey Joe ( Version)
Sparks This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us
Queen Killer Queen

Abba Waterloo
Carl Carlton Everlasting Love
Pilot Just a Smile
Hues Corporation Rock the Boat

Linda Ronstadt You're No Good
Blue Oyster Cult Career of Evil
Brinsley Schwarz What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love and Understanding
Paul McCartney and Wings Junior's Farm

10cc Wall Street Shuffle
Brian Eno 7 Deadly Finns
John Lennon #9 Dream
Redbone Come and Get Your Love
Sugarloaf Don't Call Us, We'll Call You

Electric Light Orchestra Can't Get It Out of My Head
The Raspberries Overnight Sensation ( #1 Hit Record)
Be Bop Deluxe Jet Silver and the Dolls of Venus
The Stylistics You Make Me Feel Brand New
Blue Magic Sideshow

Robert Wyatt I'm a Believer
The Jacksons  Dancing Machine
Flamin Groovies You Tore Me Down
Robert Palmer Sneakin Sally Through the Alley

Bobby Womack Lookin' for a Love
Roxy Music The Thrill of It All
Lynyrd Skynyrd Sweet Home Alabama
Billy Swan I Can Help
Average White Band Pick Up the Pieces

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My 40 Fave Albums of 1974


1. Big Star Radio City
2. The Meters Rejuvenation
3. Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain ( By Strategy)

4. Bob Marley and the Wailers Natty Dread
5. Randy Newman Good Old Boys
6. Average White Band AWB

7.  Gene Clark No Other
8. Electric Light Orchestra Eldorado
9. Al Green Explores Your Mind

10. Sparks Kimono My House
11. Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

12. Roxy Music Country Life
13. Joni Mitchell Court and Spark
14. 10cc Sheet Music

15. Jackson Browne For Everyman
16. James Brown The Payback

17. Queen Sheer Heart Attack
18. Neil Young On the Beach
19. The Who Odds and Sods

20. Robert Wyatt Rock Bottom
22. The Sharks Jab It In Eye

22. John Cale Fear
23. Andy Fairweather Low Spider Jiving
24. Blue Oyster Cult Secret Treaties

25. Ry Cooder Paradise and Lunch
26. Steely Dan Pretzel Logic
27. Brinsley Schwarz New Favourites

28. Badfinger Wish You Were Here
29. King Crimson Red
30. Roxy Music Stranded

31.  Bob Dylan and the Band Before the Flood
32.  Van Morrison Its Too Late to Stop Now
33. Stevie Wonder Fulfillingess' First Finale
34. The New York Dolls Too Much Too Soon

35. Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard
36. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
37. Raspberries Starting Over

38. Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson Winter in America
39. Minnie Riperton Perfect Angel

40. Shuggie Otis Inspiration Information

Saturday, December 27, 2014

40 Year Itch : The Best of the 1974 Loss Leaders

   From 1969 through 1980,  Warner Brothers Records would ship off compilation albums to consumers willing to pay $2 for double albums. This year our friend who captains Willard's Wormholes posted the entire set. Here are just a few of our favorite tunes sampled on the 1974 loss leaders.

Side 1
Good Rats Back To My Music (2:45)
 James Taylor Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Music Now (3:19)
 Jimmy Cliff Music Maker (2:59)
 Richard Betts Rain (3:48)
 Jesse Winchester Wake Me (2:18)
 Elvin Bishop Travelin’ Shoes (7:11)
 Side 2
Doug Sahm Tex Mex Trip Groover’s Paradise (3:21)
 Little Feat Spanish Moon (3:01)
 Maria Muldaur Do I Care (3:02)
 Adam Faith I Believe In Love (3:32)
 Ry Cooder Tattler (4:11)
 Lorraine Ellison Walk Around Heaven (3:49)
 Side 3
 Wendy Waldman My Love Is All I Know (3:30)
 Frankie Miller Brickyard Blues (3:34)
 America Tin Man (3:23)
 Arlo Guthrie Me And My Moose (1:59)
 Randy Newman Rollin’ (2:51)
 Van Dyke Parks Come To The Sunshine (edit) (2:30)
 Jesse Colin Young Light Shine (5:19)
 Side 4
 Browning Bryant This Is My Day (4:00)
 Ashton and Lord We’re Gonna Make It (3:47)
 Bonnie Raitt What Is Success (3:23)
 The Peter Peter Ivers Band Alpha Centauri (3:10)
 John Hartford Boogie (1:36)
 The Meters Jungle Man (3:18)
 Wet Willie Keep On Smilin’ (3:55)

Side 1
Leo Sayer Long Tall Glasses (3:04)
 Jethro Tull Bungle In The Jungle (3:31)
 Kenny Rankin In The Name Of Love (3:21)
 Fleetwood Mac Silver Heels (3:22)
 Percy Sledge I’ll Be Your Everything (3:19)
 Graham Central Station Feel The Need (3:54)
 Side 2
 Trapeze Turn It On (5:06)
 Foghat Rock and Roll Outlaw (3:43)
 Montrose I Got The Fire (3:05)
 Todd Rundgren’s Utopia Freedom Fighters (3:57)
 Bachman-Turner-Bachman Goodbye, Soul Shy (3:39)
 Deep Purple Stormbringer (4:09)
Side 3
The Marshall Tucker Band This Ol’ Cowboy (6:37)
 John Sebastian Wild About My Lovin’ (2:59)
 Debbie Dawn Hands (3:07)
Maria Muldaur It Ain’t The Meat, It’s The Motion (2:59)
 Jan and Dean Laurel and Hardy (2:42)
 Mike McGear Norton (2:37)
 Side 4
The Doobie Brothers Black Water (4:10)
 Ron Wood I Can Feel The Fire (4:44)
 Tower Of Power Only So Much Oil In The Ground (2:58)
 Gregg Allman Double Cross (4:33)
 Van Morrison Comfort You (4:27)

Side 1
Graham Central Station We’ve Been Waiting (0:57)
 Graham Central Station Can You Handle It? (5:07)
Montrose Good Rockin’ Tonight (2:55)
The Doobie Brothers Pursuit On 53rd St. (2:30)
Ted Nugent And The Amboy Dukes Sweet Revenge (3:59)
The Talbot Brothers Trail Of Tears (3:48)
Foghat That’ll Be The Day (2:36)
Side 2
Van Morrison Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do (3:41)
Chunky, Novi and Ernie Atlantic Liner (3:36)
Deep Purple “A” 200 (4:05)
Frank Zappa Cosmik Debris (4:21)
Todd Rundgren Heavy Metal Kids (4:13)
Bob Seger UMC (Upper Middle Class) (3:13)
Side 3
Kiss Strutter (3:08)
Steeleye Span Thomas The Rhymer (3:07)
The Marshall Tucker Band Another Cruel Love (3:53)
Osibisa Take Your Trouble – Go (3:59)
Gregg Allman Please Call Home (2:41)
Neil Young with Graham Nash War Song (3:38)
Denver, Boise And Johnson The ’68 Nixon (This Year’s Model) (1:31)
Side 4
Alan Price In Times Like These (2:35)
Seals and  Crofts Dance By The Light Of The Moon (4:39)
Terry Melcher Dr. Horowitz (2:45)
Leo Sayer The Show Must Go On (3:23)
The Beach Boys Vegetables (2:05)
Robin Trower About To Begin (3:43)
Dooley Wilson As Time Goes By (3:08)

Side 1
Richard Betts Highway Call (4:27)
 Wet Willie Lucy Was In Trouble (3:41)
 Elvin Bishop Let It Flow (3:54)
 Johnny Darrell Orange Blossom Special (3:14)
 Percy Sledge Walkin’ In The Sun (3:25)
 Maxayn Moonfunk (4:40)
 Side 2
The Marshall Tucker Band Blue Ridge Mountain Sky (3:37)
 Boyer and Talton (Cowboy) Houston (3:03)
 Johnny Jenkins Voodoo In You (4:52)
 The Allman Brothers Band Come And Go Blues (4:55)
 Bobby Thompson Foxfire (2:13)
 Captain Beyond Sufficiently Breathless (5:12)
 Side 3
Gregg Allman Dreams (7:55)
 Larry Henley I’ll Come Running Back To You (3:14)
 Grinderswitch Catch A Train (4:46)
 James Montgomery Band I’m Funky But I’m Clean (4:12)
 White Witch Black Widow Lover (4:49)
 Side 4
Hydra Glitter Queen (4:08)
 Duke Williams And The Extremes God Bless All The Girls In The World (2:54)
 Kenny O’Dell I Take It On Home (2:49)
 Kitty Wells I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (2:22)
 Arthur Conley Stop Knocking (2:54)
 Chris Christman Apron Strings (3:37)
 Duane Allman Happily Married Man (2:41)

Friday, December 26, 2014

40 Year Itch : A Nederglam Nugget

  One Man Glam band Frank Klunhaar recorded this Polydor 45 ---indebted heavily to Roxy Music--in a studio at The Hague . You'll enjoy the  classic chorus: " I am your  Pantherman/ I am your Pantherman/ I'll show you my paws/ " I am your Pantherman/ I am your Pantherman/ I'll Show you my claws/I'm gonna bite you". Klunhaar's accent is just thick enough to suggest he was going to show off his balls, not paws. A forgotten classic!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

40 Year Itch: Christmas Time is Here Again!

  To celebrate Christmas, here's a gift of ten of my favorite songs from 1974.

                           Happy Holidays!

                                     (zipped folder) download

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

40 Year Itch: A Ragged Kid in Overalls

   From the 1974 self-titled album that featured "They Ain't Makin' Jews like Jesus Anymore", Kinky Friedman's "Rapid City South Dakota" may be country music's first pro-choice song: 

"There’s a doctor in Chicago/
I know she’ll be alright"/
He told himself as he stared into the night. 

   The more time you spend with Friedman's music, the more certain you'll be he's not a single punchline songwriter. Some of his tunes are incredibly moving as well.He's been called Country Music's answer to Randy Newman. "Rapid City South Dakota"  was eventually covered by Dwight Yoakam.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

40 Year Itch : Lady Na Master

  Nigerian sax player, com poser, singer, Afrobeat pioneer and a political activist so outspoken he was the original "Black President",  Fela Kuti sings of African women in this nearly 14-minute 1974 single. It's more complicated than a mere celebration. Women's roles in Africa were changing. "Lady" can be heard as both a feminist anthem (She go say im get power like man / She go say anything man do, imself fit do which translates into She believes she is as powerful as men / She will tell you that she can do anything men can do ) and as a song troubled by the impact of Western influences.

40 Year Itch : Rethinking the Electric Guitar

Henry Cow founder Fred Frith's stunning Guitar Solos is an album of eight tracks recorded in four days of improvisation using modified and specially tuned guitars. On the track "No Birds" he's simultaneously  playing two guitars placed neck to neck on a table. 

   The album made the NME Critics Poll of Best albums of 1974. At the 9:45 mark, you can probably hear why Brian Eno wanted to record Before and After Science and Music for Films with Frith.

   The rest of the NME Critics Poll looked like this:

NME Albums 1974
 1. Pretzel Logic - Steely Dan
 2. It's Only Rock 'n' Roll - Rolling Stones
 3. Before The Flood - Bob Dylan
 4. 461 Ocean Boulevard - Eric Clapton
 5. Todd - Todd Rundgren
 6. On The Beach - Neil Young
 7. Rock Bottom - Robert Wyatt
 8. Fulfillingness First Finale - Stevie Wonder
 9. Country Life - Roxy Music
 10. Average White Band - Average White Band
 11. Future Days - Can
 12. Smiler - Rod Stewart
 13. Secret Treaties - Blue Oyster Cult
 14. Maria Muldaur - Maria Muldaur
 15. Another Saturday Night - Various
 16. Sold American - Kinky Friedman
 17. On The Border - Eagles
 18. Court And Spark - Joni Mitchell
 19. Odds And Sods - The Who
 20. Kimono My House - Sparks
 21. Okie - J.J. Cale
 22. Grievous Angel - Gram Parsons
 23. Radio City - Big Star
 24. Mysterious Traveller - Weather Report
== Sheer Heart Attack - Queen
 == Big Fun - Miles Davis
 27. Rock 'n' Roll Animal - Lou Reed
 28. Deal Gone Down - Michael Chapman
== I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight - Richard And Linda Thompson
== It's Too Late To Stop Now - Van Morrison
31. Teasin' - Cornel Dupree
 == Close Up The Honky Tonks - Flying Burrito Brothers
 33. Feats Don't Fail Me Now - Little Feat
== Veedon Fleece - Van Morrison 
35. Paradise And Lunch - Ry Cooder
== Dreamer - Bobby Bland
 37. In Concert - Beach Boys
== Fear - John Cale
== For Everyman - Jackson Browne
== His California Album - Bobby Bland
 41. Limited Edition - Can
42. The Psychomodo - Cockney Rebel
== Good For You Too - Toni Brown
 == Live - Marvin Gaye
 45. Live From Deep In The Heart Of Texas - Commander Cody
 46. All American Boy - Rick Derringer
== Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash - Mike Nesmith
== Streetwalkers - Chapman-Whitney
 == Keep On Smilin' - Wet Willie
 == Planet Waves - Bob Dylan
 51. Anthology - Marvin Gaye
 52. Soon Over Babaluma - Can
== Spyglass - Greenslade
54. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley - Robert Palmer
 55. Propaganda - Sparks
 56. The Shipbuilder - Bob Pegg & Nick Strutt
== Learn To Love It - Jesse Winchester
 == Guitar Solos - Fred Frith
 59. Angel's Egg - Gong
== Good Old Boys - Randy Newman

Monday, December 22, 2014

40 Year Itch : Swapping Disappointing Incidents

I didn't want my year long devotion to 1974 to end without mentioning the great Brian Eno single "Seven Deadly Finns" which cracked the UK Top 40 despite yodeling vocals and name checking US cybernetics originator Norman "Information is information, not matter or energy" Wiener.

"Do you know what 'burning shame' is by the way? It's a pornographic term for a deviation involving candles ... Very popular in Japanese pornography. They're always using lit candles because Japanese pornography is very sadistic..."
 (-- Brian Eno, interviewed by Chrissie Hynde, NME, 1974)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

40 Year Itch : Sure 'Nuff is a Pity

A minor hit for Bobby Bland in 1974 , "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" made a comeback through the Kanye West produced Jay Z single "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" which was used in the 2007 film American Gangsters. How about that suit though? If I played for the Cleveland Browns, I'd be wearing this every day.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

40 Year Itch: Disappointment Haunted all my Dreams

   Pink Floyd's Nick Mason produced Robert Wyatt's artsy take on the Monkees classic which hit number 29 in the UK charts in late 1974. Future Police Andy Summers plays guitar and Fred Frith plays violin. Producers at Top of the Pops didn't want Wyatt to perform in a wheelchair. It didn't seem family friendly or in keeping with the glib goings on but Wyatt eventually won out.

Friday, December 19, 2014

40 Year Itch : The Dream is Over

    On December 19, 1974 George Harrison and Paul McCartney met in a Plaza Hotel suite in New York City to sign documents formally ending The Beatles. Ringo had already signed the papers in England. Watch below as Harrison chants "krishna krishna krishna" as he gives his signature. 


 So, let's see. Who's missing? John of course. Lennon told May Pang "the stars were not right" to attend the meeting. That pissed George off so much he cancelled Lennon's appearance on stage that night. Julian went to the concert though, and even got to go backstage where George sent him home with a message : "All's forgiven, George loves you and he wants you to come to his party tonight."

  After the concert John, Paul and George met at the Hippopotamus Club and "hugged it out".

On December 29, Lennon finally filled out his paperwork, seated inside the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World where he had taken Julian.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

40 Year Itch : The 5 Biggest UK Xmas Hits of 1974


  Mud topped off their sensational year by winning the Christmas sweepstakes with "Lonely This Christmas", the #1 song in the UK for four straight weeks. If it sounds like singer Les Gray is parodying Elvis Presley, he is. 

  "I was doing an Elvis on that but it was really a send up of all those smoochy songs. It works because it can also be taken seriously. I remember playing it at the the Liverpool Empire and some of the fans were crying and there were laughing." 
  The Wombles also finished their spectacular year with a top 5 holiday song. In the US, there was no race for the top of the charts. Perry Como had the highest charting holiday song with "Christmas Dream" which peaked at #92.

Here's how the UK Xmas songs fared on Christmas week 1974:

#5 The Wombles "Wombling Merry Christmas"

#13 The Goodies "Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me"

#18 Gilbert O'Sullivan "Christmas Song"

#23 Showaddywaddy "Hey Mr. Christmas"

   Honorable Mention : Sparks "Thanks God It's Not Christmas"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

40 Year Itch: Light in the Darkness of Insanity,

     By 1974, Brinsley Schwarz could do it all. Not that anybody but the critics noticed. 

When the Dave Edmunds produced New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz failed to sell, the band broke up. This must have come as very sad news to a fan who showed up at so many gigs he was considered a "part time roadie". His name was Declan MacManus . Under his better known name, Elvis Costello, he would record both Brinsley Schwarz songs featured here.

Nick Lowe and Ian Gomm went solo while Schwarz and Bob Andrews formed the Rumour to back up an angry young man named Graham Parker.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

40 Year Itch : John Lennon on the Today Show

     On December 16, 1974 John Lennon appeared on The Today Show, where he talked about his efforts to avoid getting deported by the US Immigration Department who claimed his 1968 drug arrest in the UK was grounds for deportation. Lennon also talked about the Red and the Blue albums, working with various Beatles ( even hinting that he'd appear on stage with George Harrison that Friday--he didn't). Lennon also suggested the major hold up to a Beatles reunion was the difficulty in getting the various members into the US at the same time. Such a reunion, Lennon said, was "quite possible" but "it would have to be interesting to us musically. Otherwise there would be no point."

    In the interview, Lennon explains the story behind his 1968 drug bust. His attorney, Leon Wildes,is also present . Lennon says he wants to live in America because he wants to live in his day's Rome. The deportation order was overturned in 1975. He received his permanent green card in 1976.

Monday, December 15, 2014

40 Year Itch : The Flying Aces


    These Scots, whose band name comes from the last name of the founding members ( P (Paton) L (Lyall) and T (Tosh), play perfect pop in the Badfinger style. When session guitarist Ian Bairnson joined the band, they gelled. "Magic" was the  #5 US hit, released as Pilot toured the UK with Sparks in late 1974. The first single, "Just a Smile", is an even bigger ear worm in my opinion. Maybe I'm a sucker for hand capping.

   Alan Parsons produced the album. Bassist David Paton and guitarist Ian Bairnson would join the producer for The Alan Parsons Project. Drummer Stuart Tosh would eventually join 10cc.


  "How Long", the blue-eyed soul single written and sung by future Mike and the Mechanics and Squeeze vocalist Paul Carrack, was the big hit for Ace. This is no love song. It's Carrack wondering how long Aces bass player,  Terry Comer, had been secretly playing with other bands. You might guess the rest of the album sounds like something Boz Scaggs or Hall and Oates might have released...and you'd be wrong. Most of Five-a-Side is rootsy pub rock.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

40 Year Itch : Top 10 Albums December 14, 1974

1. Elton John Greatest Hits 

Elton John's Greatest Hits was the #1 album in the US for 10 weeks straight and sold more than 16 million copies. Meanwhile, in just four weeks since its release, The Ohio Players album, Fire, with its sensational title cut, had raced all the way to #10.

2. Rolling Stones It's Only Rock 'n'Roll

3. Bachman -Turner Overdrive Not Fragile

4. Jethro Tull War Child.

5. Neil Diamond Serenade

6. John Denver Back Home Again

7. Harry Chapin Verities and Balderdash

8. Jim Croce Photographs and Memories

9. David Bowie Live at the Tower in Philadelphia

10. Ohio Players Fire