Friday, November 27, 2015

Playlist for 11/27

B.B. King - King of the Blues
Tom Jones - Long Lost Suitcase
Bryan Adams - Get Up
Amy Lavere & Will Sexton - Hallelujah I'm A Dreamer
Chastity Belt - Time To Go Home
Josh Ritter - Sermon on the Rocks

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Predicting the 2016 Rock Hall Inductees

Like I usually do, this year I'm predicting 6 inductees.  The length of the ceremony might have the Hall thinking of keeping it to five.  But I'll go with 6 (7 if you count one of the names being moved to another category).  The Hall has loaded the ballot with a bunch of popular acts.  To induct only 5 would be criminal.  Even 6 inductees is too low.  The last time 7 were inducted was 2004 (plus one non-performer).  We all want them to go big this year.  Most anticipated ballot result ever?

Listed in alphabetical order:

1.  Cheap Trick - They don't have the rabid fan base of Rush, KISS and Alice Cooper. They don't even have a long line of Top 40 hits like Hall &Oates , so getting in on their first try might not happen.  But they are as well-loved as any of the other nominated Classic Rockers.

2.  Chicago -  Part of that group of artists that everyone wonders if they'll ever get a nomination.  Then when it occurs, gets inducted right away.  Happened with Neil Diamond, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt. etc. Like those names,  Chicago has the good old longevity factor working for them.  What they never had was much critical respect.  Who will win out?  I'm thinking, like Hall & Oates, that a long run of familiar hits will get them in.

3.  Deep Purple - Deep Purple or Yes.  Yes or Steve Miller.  Steve Miller or the Cars.  Add Cheap Trick to the mix, and this other Classic Rock slot is up for grabs and is bound to give you one big headache.  So, after going back and forth since last month,  I'm settling on Deep Purple.  Not grand formula, just a hunch.

4.  Janet Jackson  - HBO wants a big name, so here it is.  But beyond that, she had a ton of hits and made some great albums.  Only a Top 40 bias could keep her out.

5.  N.W.A. - Come on! It has to happen this year. A big summer with a hit biopic, cover of Rolling Stone and tons of publicity.  Not sure this is a lock as some voters treat Hip Hop the same way they do Disco.  If  N.W.A. can't get in now, then they are destined to become  a longtime nominee (i.e. Chic) that languishes on the ballot.

6.  Spinners - Okay, I know what people are going to say.  Favoritism, sentimentality, etc.  The one act on this ballot I want to see inducted, and I pick them. But I don't think this choice is too much of a stretch, even if Chic was my first choice for this slot.  Oh, and the Spinners are the oldest nominee on the ballot, so maybe that will put them over.

(BTW- If they only induct 5, then the Spinners would be my cut).

The Rest
7.  Cars - First time nominated and they have a legitimate shot. Fondly remembered with lots of hits.

8.  Chic -  What if both Chic and the J.B.'s get the Musical Excellence nod this year?  Nile Rodgers deserves it on his own, but what harm could be done giving it to the rest of Chic?

9.  J.B.'s -  Everyone expects them to get in under the Musical Excellence moniker.  Might the Hall surprise us and not do it?

10.  Chaka Khan - She's a Soul legend, but the Hall has not been kind to 70's R&B acts.  Many from that era have never been nominated, and those that are (Chic, Spinners) get rejected.  Chaka says she deserves induction.  She's right. But she may have to wait a little longer.

11.  Los Lobos -   Have to give the NomCom credit for this nod.  Always a critical favorite, they're still active some 30 years later.  But enough for a first time induction?

12. Steve Miller -  Here's one set up perfectly for the Baby Boomer's. Which is why he's a strong dark horse. Started out as an FM album artist.  Then in the mid-70's began charting with hit singles.   Now he's a heritage act, who makes a great living playing his back catalog on arena tours. We'll see if the Boomer's come through for him.

13.  Nine Inch Nails - Yep, they've got the 90's to themselves.  And few seem to give them much hope on a loaded ballot.  Trent Reznor has even made a name for himself outside of NIN.  A surprise pick?

14.  Smiths -  Back for a second time, and this year's 80's alt-rock nominee.  They are and remain hugely influential.  But these types of 80's Indie Rock acts (i.e. Replacements, Cure)  seem to be a tough sell to voters.

15.  Yes - See Deep Purple comments above, with a hint of anti-Prog sentiment thrown in.

Last note:  Will there be a surprise inductee?  I like surprises when it comes to the Rock Hall.  Chaka, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails?

Suggestions, complaints, etc.:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Playlist for 11/19

REO Speedwagon - You Can Tune A Piano
Chicago - 17
Cheap Trick - s/t/All Shook Up
Cinderella - Long Cold Winter
Kix - Blow My Fuse

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Best Nirvana Songs Poll

Haven't participated in one of these lately.  But here's one that caught my eye.  Rank your Top 20 Nirvana songs.  This is heavy on Nevermind, because that album is pretty perfect.

1.  Smells Like Teen Spirit
2.  All Apologies
3.  Heart-Shaped Box
4.  Come As You Are
5.  Where Did You Sleep Last Night  (live MTV Unplugged)
6.  About A Girl
7.  Sliver
8.  In Bloom
9.  Pennyroyal Tea
10.  Lithium
11. Been A Son
12. Man Who Sold The World  (live MTV Unplugged)
13. Polly
14. Love Buzz
15. Drain You
16. Negative Creep
17. Lake of Fire  (live MTV Unplugged)
18. Rape Me
19. Dumb
20. On A Plain


Friday, November 13, 2015

Country Crossover Hits of the 70's/80's Spotify Playlist

My latest Spotify playlist is on Country crossover hits of the 70's and 80's.  There appeared to be lots more crossover songs from the 50's and 60's, so I'm sticking with the decades in which the Countrypolitan and Urban Cowboy sound took off.  And, besides, there seemed to be lots more crossover hits before 1970.

One problem was figuring out who was Country and who was Pop.  What I decided to do was stick with what the artist has become identified with.  So, my playlist does not include John Denver or Olivia Newton-John, even though they and others like them had many Country hits. You will find Anne Murray, who was having success on the Country charts early in her career, even more than on the Pop chart.  Anyway, I could be talked into some of the names I skipped.

The list doesn't include every song that went Top 40.  Some of the low charting ones I skipped.  But every major hit is here.  One other thing I noticed is that Country songs stopped crossing over by the mid-80's as the New Traditionalists wiped out most of the Urban Cowboy Pop that was dominating the charts.

Country Crossover Hits of 70's/80's


  • I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
  • Drivin' My Life Away - Eddie Rabbitt
  • Suspicions - Eddie Rabbitt
  • Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue - 2001 - Remaster - Crystal Gayle
  • Talking In Your Sleep - Crystal Gayle
  • Half The Way - Crystal Gayle
  • You And I - Eddie Rabbitt;Crystal Gayle
  • Step By Step - Eddie Rabbitt
  • Someone Could Lose A Heart Tonight - Eddie Rabbitt
  • Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich
  • The Most Beautiful Girl - Charlie Rich
  • A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich
  • Feels so Right - Alabama
  • Love In The First Degree - Alabama
  • Take Me Down - Alabama
  • The Closer You Get - Alabama
  • Islands In The Stream - Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton
  • Lady - Kenny Rogers
  • She Believes In Me - Kenny Rogers
  • You Decorated My Life - Kenny Rogers
  • The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
  • Lucille - Kenny Rogers
  • Through The Years - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • Coward Of The County - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • I Don't Need You - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • Love Will Turn You Around - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • Smoky Mountain Rain - Ronnie Milsap
  • It Was Almost Like a Song - Ronnie Milsap
  • (There's) No Gettin' over Me - Ronnie Milsap
  • Any Day Now - Ronnie Milsap
  • Stranger in My House - Ronnie Milsap
  • 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
  • Here You Come Again - (Single) [Remaster] - Dolly Parton
  • Two Doors Down - Dolly Parton
  • Nobody - Sylvia
  • You've Never Been This Far Before - Conway Twitty
  • Elvira - Single Version - The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Bobbie Sue - Single Version - The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Lookin' For Love - Johnny Lee
  • Stand By Me - Single Version - Mickey Gilley
  • The Devil Went Down To Georgia - The Charlie Daniels Band
  • I Loved 'Em Every One - T.G. Sheppard
  • Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' - Charley Pride
  • Rhinestone Cowboy - Glen Campbell
  • Let Your Love Flow - The Bellamy Brothers
  • If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me - The Bellamy Brothers
  • Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) - Waylon Jennings
  • Theme from "The Dukes of Hazzard" (Good Ol' Boys) - Waylon Jennings
  • A Good Hearted Woman - Waylon Jennings;Willie Nelson
  • Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain - Willie Nelson
  • On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
  • Always On My Mind - Willie Nelson
  • To All the Girls I've Loved Before - Julio Iglesias;Willie Nelson
  • I'm Not Lisa - Jessi Colter
  • Somebody's Knockin' - Terri Gibbs
  • Angel Of The Morning - Juice Newton
  • Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me - Juice Newton
  • The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known) - Juice Newton
  • Queen Of Hearts - Juice Newton
  • If We Make It Through December - 2006 - Remaster - Merle Haggard
  • One Piece at a Time - Johnny Cash;Tennessee Three
  • Why Me - Kris Kristofferson
  • Rose Garden - Single Version - Lynn Anderson
  • For the Good Times - Single Version - Ray Price
  • Convoy - C.W. McCall
  • Before The Next Teardrop Falls - Single Version - Freddy Fender
  • Wasted Days And Wasted Nights - Freddy Fender
  • Secret Love - Single Version - Freddy Fender
  • You'll Lose A Good Thing - Single Version - Freddy Fender
  • (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right - Single Version - Barbara Mandrell
  • Southern Nights - Glen Campbell
  • I Love - Tom T. Hall
  • Rub It In - Billy "Crash" Craddock
  • Amos Moses - Buddha Remastered - 2000 - Jerry Reed
  • When You're Hot, You're Hot - Remastered - Jerry Reed
  • Teddy Bear - Red Sovine
  • Seven Year Ache - Rosanne Cash
  • Every Which Way But Loose (2009 Remastered Single/LP Version) - Eddie Rabbitt
  • Daytime Friends - Kenny Rogers
  • Buried Treasure - Kenny Rogers
  • Love Or Something Like It - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • What Are We Doin' In Love - 2006 Digital Remaster - Kenny Rogers
  • Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.) - Glen Campbell
  • I-O-U - Jimmy Dean
  • Uneasy Rider - The Charlie Daniels Band
  • The South's Gonna Do It Again - The Charlie Daniels Band
  • I Can Help - Single Version - Billy Swan
  • Baby I'm Burnin' - Dolly Parton
  • Saturday Morning Confusion - Original Hit Version - Bobby Russell
  • Mr. Sandman (2008 Remastered Album Version) - Emmylou Harris
  • Lizzie And The Rainman - Tanya Tucker
  • Third Rate Romance - Remastered - Amazing Rhythm Aces
  • Everything Is Beautiful - 1970 #1 Billboard chart hit - Ray Stevens
  • Misty - 1975 #3Country; #14Pop Billboard chart hit - Ray Stevens
  • The Streak - 1974 #1Pop; #3Country Billboard Chart Hit - Ray Stevens
  • Satin Sheets - Jeanne Pruett
  • Help Me Make It Through The Night - Sammi Smith
  • The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A. - Donna Fargo
  • Funny Face - Single Version - Donna Fargo
  • I Love My Friend - Charlie Rich
  • There Won't Be Anymore - Charlie Rich
  • It's Only Make Believe - Glen Campbell
  • Snowbird - Anne Murray
  • Danny's Song - Anne Murray
  • A Love Song - Anne Murray
  • You Needed Me - Anne Murray
  • I Just Fall In Love Again - Anne Murray
  • Shadows In The Moonlight - Anne Murray
  • Broken Hearted Me - Anne Murray
  • Could I Have This Dance - Anne Murray
  • Daydream Believer - Anne Murray
  • Easy Loving - Freddie Hart
  • Honey Come Back - Glen Campbell
  • What Is Truth - Johnny Cash
  • If I Were a Carpenter - June Carter Cash;Johnny Cash
  • Tennessee Bird Walk - Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan;Misty Morgen
  • I Believe In You - Single Version - Don Williams
  • Ashes By Now - Rodney Crowell
  • I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World - Remastered - Ronnie Milsap
  • Let It Be Me - Willie Nelson
  • Baby I Lied - Deborah Allen
  • I'll Still Be Loving You - Restless Heart

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Playlist for 11/12

Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone in the Universe
Wood Brothers - Paradise
Clint Black - On Purpose
Jam - Setting Songs/Sound Affects/Gift
Corb Lund - Things That Can't Be Undone
Elvis Presley - With the Royal Philharmonic
Now 56

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint was the quiet giant of New Orleans music.  But he was as much a legendary figure as Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Neville Brothers.  Because he never had any hit records under his own name, it was easy to overlook his contributions, but eventually the music world caught up with him and he became rightfully lauded.

Inducted in to the Rock Hall in 1998 and the Songwriters Hall in 2011, Toussaint left behind many great records as a performer, songwriter and producer.

Do yourself a favor and google his discography to find the breadth of his output. But here are a few that should ring a bell:  "Mother-In-Law", "Southern Nights", "Working in the Coal Mine", "Yes We Can Can",  "Fortune Teller", "I Like It Like That", "Certain Girl", "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley".  As Producer: "Lady Marmalade", "Ruler of My Heart".

Finger Poppin' and Stompin' Feel 60-62  - Various - Captures Toussaint at his peak as a Producer/Songwriter

Rolling with the Punches Songbook - Various  - More artists covering his songs up until Glen Campbell's "Southern Night".

His own solo work is best captured on The Real Thing 1970-75 which has his first three solo albums of the 70's.

And the best collection for his Warner solo years is on the Allen Toussaint Collection.

His best Warner Bros. work is on 2006's Elvis Costello duet album, River in Reverse and 2009's Bright Mississippi


Personal Picks: 2016 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

The rumors are true.  The 2016 ballot is loaded with legendary, populist names!  Seriously, it's a tough ballot, which means some big names are going to get left off.  My own picks leave off many artists that dominate my record collection.

The Rock Hall tells its voters to choose 5 names, but they usually induct 6, so that's what I always choose.  Could they go with 7 this year? (counting the J.B.'s in the Musical Excellence category)?  2004 was the last time that happened.  The ceremony might last forever, but I'd be happy with more inductees.

Remember these are my personal picks, not predictions.  All picks from the Top 6 and 7-15 are in alphabetical order.

Top 6
Chic  -  Sad that voters can't see past the Disco years.   How many times can I shout it?  They were a top-notch band, not just a top-notch disco act.

Chicago -  Which one do you like?  The 70's one which was not  dominated by Peter Cetera?  Or the 80's one that was dominated by Peter Cetera's power ballads?

Janet Jackson  - What we tend to forget is that she made exceptional albums, not just great singles.

Chaka Khan - One of the greatest vocalists in R&B history.  Isn't that enough of an endorsement?

Spinners -  I'm glad the NomCom remembers them (3X).   Now,  I want all of you to go and listen to their 70's back catalog on Atlantic  (73-76). And keep 1970's "It's A Shame" close at a hand, also. Then you'll know why I love them.

Yes -   Even through all the lineup changes, they're still my favorite Prog Rock act.

Cars -   It's good they come up next alphabetically.  Because this would be my 7th personal pick.   Ric Ocasek & Co. crafted some of New Wave's best singles.  They are one of the few from that genre that crossed over to Classic Rock stations.

Cheap Trick -  They would be the first Power Pop act inducted.  Loved all their albums up through the early 80's.

Deep Purple -  Years ago a friend of mine loaned me their pre-Machine Head albums and it opened my ears to how great they were early on.

J.B.'s -  They made some good, funky records on their own.  But most only know them as James Brown's backing band.  The Musical Excellence category is calling their name (would be good if the Hall put the Meters in with them)

Los Lobos -  This is a group I never thought would be nominated, even though they are critically-adored, and on my own Rock Hall Wish List  So kudos to the NomCom for this.  Lots of top notch albums in their catalog.  Go explore.

Steve Miller - Along with Boston, Peter Frampton, etc.,  Miller was one of the founders of the AOR format,  which took off in the 80's.  And for those who don't know, he made good records before he broke through with "The Joker".

Nine Inch Nails - Trent Reznor has branched out to movies, even while keeping the NIN moniker going.  I like, but don't love their albums, which means they wouldn't be Top 5 among my fave 90's era acts.

N.W.A -  Only hip-hop act nominated.  The biopic was a reminder of their influence.  Has to be their year, right?

Smiths - Not a one ballot nominee after all, which is good, because their stamp on Indie Rock was large.  Doubt Morrissey would show up for the ceremony, though.

One side note:  If I was a voter and could only pick the required 5, I'd pass on Janet Jackson. (Sorry Induct Janet folks! But choosing only 5 is brutal)

Suggestions, complaints, etc.

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