Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Playlist for 11/15

Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge (Documentary)
Motorhead - Under Cover
Mojo Presents Neu Decade (Various)
Gregory Porter - Nat King Cole & Me
Darius Rucker - When Was The Last Time
Kelly Clarkson - Meaning of Life
Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear
Doobie Brothers: Let The Music Play (Documentary)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Missing From The Songwriters Hall of Fame (Updated 2018 Nominees)

The 2018 Songwriters Hall Inductees have been announced:  2018 Songwriters Hall Nominees

According to the Song Hall's website, voters are made up of "music industry professionals" and members of Performing Rights Organzations like BMI and ASCAP.

Below is a list of names that have not been inducted into the Song Hall as of 2017.

Alan Jackson
Alice Cooper
Aretha Franklin 
Allee Willis
B.B. King
Bert Berns
Bill Anderson
Billy Joe Shaver
Bob McDill
Bobby Womack
Bonnie Raitt
Boz Scaggs
Bryan Adams
Carl Perkins
Cat Stevens
Chrissie Hynde
Chuck Willis
Curly Putnam
Dallas Frazier
Dan Fogelberg
Dan Penn
David Gates
Dean Dillon
Dion DiMucci
Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte
Dwight Yoakam
George Harrison
George Michael
Gloria Estefan
Guy Clark
Harry Nilsson
Harry Wayne Casey
Isley Brothers
J.J. Cale
Jeff Lynne
Jimi Hendrix
Jimmy Cliff
Joe South
John Hiatt
John D. Loudermilk
John Mellencamp
John Prine
Kate Bush
Kenny Loggins
Kool & The Gang
Led Zeppelin
Lefty Frizzell
Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks/Christine McVie
Lou Reed
Lucinda Williams
Luther Vandross
Mariah Carey
Mark Knopfler
Max D. Barnes
Michael McDonald
Mike Chapman/Nicky Chinn
Morrissey/Johnny Marr
Muddy Waters
Neil Young
Nick Lowe
Paul Overstreet
Paul Weller
Percy Mayfield
Pete Townshend
Peter Gabriel 
Phil Ochs
Randy Goodrum
Ric Ocasek
Robbie Robertson
Robert "Mutt" Lange
Rod Stewart
Rod Temperton
Rodney Crowell
Roger Miller
Roger Waters/David Gilmour
Rosanne Cash
Rudy Toombs
Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell
Shel Silverstein
Sheryl Crow
Sly Stone
Sonny Throckmorton
Spooner Oldham
Steve Earle
Steve Miller
Steve Perry/Neal Schon/Jonathan Cain
Steve Winwood
Tim Hardin
Tom T. Hall
Tom Waits
Tony Macaulay
Tony Joe White
Townes Van Zandt
Tracy Chapman
Vince Gill
Walter Becker/Donald Fagen
Warren Zevon
Waylon Jennings
William Bell
William "Mickey" Stevenson

BTW- In some cases I put the whole group down, which is what the Hall did when they inducted all the members of Queen.

Below is a link to the Song Hall's website:


Monday, November 06, 2017

Playlist for 11/6

George Michael: Freedom (2017 Documentary)
Pink - Beautiful Trauma
David Crosby - Sky Trails
Lee Ann Womack - Lonely, Lonesome & the Gone
Tammy Wynette - World of
Tammy Wynette - Without Walls
Dolly Parton - I Believe In You
P.P. Arnold - Turning Tide

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Playlist for 11/1

Runnin' Down A Dream (2007 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Documentary)
Fats Domino - This Is Fats
Fats Domino -  A Lot of Dominos
Fats Domino - Here He Comes Again
Spielberg  (2017 Documentary)
Liam Gallagher - As You Were
Beck - Colors
St. Vincent - Masseduction
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice
Replacements - For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986
Dells - Sing Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits
Lizz Wright - Grace

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Personal Picks: 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The good news: 19 nominees again.  The bad: still can only vote for 5.
Below are my Personal picks, listed in alphabetical order.  The names I didn't vote for are all acts I like, well some more than others.  Still, it's criminal to just choose 5/19.

Because the Hall usually inducts 6,  I've listed a bonus vote, after my Top 5.

Again, these are my Personal choices, not a prediction.

Top 5
Cars -  The most Classic Rock of the New Wave bands.  Their debut album is still perfect.  And they knocked out hooky singles and album tracks until the mid-80's.

Eurythmics -  Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart crafted some of the most soulful New Wave hits of the 80's.  Lennox was not only a great vocalist, but a trailblazer in her videos and concerts too.  Who doesn't love Annie Lennox?

Meters - Too often thought of as just legendary session musicians.  But their back catalog is full of good albums and the funkiest of deep cuts.

Moody Blues - They've recorded a bunch of fine albums, but I always thought of them as one of Prog-Rock's best singles bands.

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan -  No other way to say this: but Chaka Khan has one of the most powerful voices you'll ever hear.  And with and without Rufus she put out a bunch of classic hits.

Bonus vote
Link Wray - If you only know that one hit, then you need to do keep listening.  And besides, Wray's post-50's material, especially the early 70's albums,  continue to get rediscovered.
The Rest
Bon Jovi - Am I the only one who thinks they peaked with Slippery When Wet?  I count a handful of good songs after 1987. The most critically-derided artist on this list.
Depeche Mode - Since their first nomination last year, I've spent a lot of time exploring their back catalog.  I still prefer other bands from that era, but I'm finally seeing why they were so huge for about 10 years.

Dire Straits - I remember buying their debut just on the basis of "Sultans of Swing".  Great band with an original sound.  And Mark Knopfler can play.

J. Geils Band - This NomCom favorite (5X) were a sturdy, workmanlike recording/concert machine before they broke big with Freeze Frame.  Peter Wolf was one of the best Rock and Soul singers of his day.

Judas Priest - On the advise of a Metal friend, and anticipating their eventual nomination, another act who I went back into their catalog and are more impressed than I was before.

Kate Bush -  I admit to being late to this singer's often superb music and concerts.  Not as well known in the States as she is in England.  But now is a great time for everyone else to catch up to her.

LL Cool J - His acting career has diluted his recording career.  I've been saying this from his first nomination in 2010.  That's too bad because from the mid-80's to mid-90's he was Rap's greatest male star.  And left behind some classic sides.

MC5 - Their music sounds more relevant than it has since the 60's/early 70's.

Nina Simone - If you're like me, then her excellent 2015 documentary opened your eyes and ears. Another name whose catalog I encourage you to explore.

Radiohead - I love "Creep" and "High and Dry".  But all their stuff from OK Computer to now hasn't done much for me.

Rage Against The Machine - Never really warmed to their revolution.  Kind of like Tom Morello's post RATM years better.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Her first record came out in 1938, so how she ended up on the main ballot and not as an Early Influence is one of those yearly NomCom mysteries.  Regardless, of course she belongs, but I'm betting, like everybody else, that the Hall will slot her in as an Early Influence (her first record released in 1938).

Zombies -   One of the last British Invasion bands that has a chance at induction.  Whenever their stuff comes up on Sirius' Underground Garage channel, it sounds more fresh and alive each time.

For those who may have missed it, my post on whether the Rock Hall needs a Veterans Committee.  And how they should set it up:

Rock Hall Veterans Committee

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Top Halloween Songs

Some of my favorite Halloween songs:

1.  Thriller - Michael Jackson
2.  Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett
3.  I Put A Spell On You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
4.  Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
5.  (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
6.  Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
7.  Haunted House - Jumpin' Gene Simmons
8.  Time Warp - Rocky Horror Cast
9.  Theme From "Halloween" - John Carpenter
10.  Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield
11.   Nightmare On My Street - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
12.  Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
13.  Season of the Witch - Donovan
14.  Pet Sematary - Ramones
15.  Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
16.  Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus
17.  Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
18.  Theme from "Twilight Zone" - Jerry Goldsmith
19   Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
20.  Hell's Bells - AC/DC
21.  I Was A Teenage Werewolf - Cramps
22.  What's He Building In There? - Tom Waits
23.  Lucifer - Alan Parsons Project
24.  Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo 
25.  Theme From "Psycho" - Bernard Herrmann
26.  Toccata and Fugue in D Minor -   Bach
27.  Theme From "Addams Family" - Vic Mizzy
28.  In The Hall of the Mountain King - Edvard Grieg
29,  I Walked With A Zombie - Roky Erickson
30.  Theme From "Munsters: - Jack Marshall
31.  Nature Trail To Hell - Weird Al Yankovic
32.  Dream Within A Dream/Raven - Alan Parsons Project
33.  Witch Queen of New Orleans - Redbone
34.  (Ghost) Riders In The Sky - Johnny Cash
35.  Spooky - Classics IV
36.  Welcome To My Nightmare - Alice Cooper
37.  Supernature - Cerrone
38.  Fire On High - ELO
39.  Surfin' Dead - Cramps
40.  Halloween - Misfits
41.  In The Hall Of The Mountain King - ELO
42.  Lucifer - Alan Parsons Project
43.  Down By The Water - PJ Harvey
44.  Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
45.  Goo Goo Muck - Ronnie Cook
46.  Knoxville Girl - Louvin Brothers
47.  Witchy Woman - Eagles
48.  Dinner With Drac - John Zacherle "Cool Ghoul"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

RIP Fats Domino

He was part of the 1986 inaugural Rock Hall Class.  And for good reason.  He brought the sounds of New Orleans to all of us and that is the reason he was one of the Founding Fathers of Rock and Roll.  I could argue that Fats' place in Rock history has been underrated.  We tend to forget that from 1955-59 he was the biggest selling black artist in the U.S. (source: Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles Book). And sold more records than any other Rocker from the 50's except for Elvis Presley.

But Fats' influence is profound.  Let's be honest, every Rock and Roll piano player from Elton John to Billy Joel to Paul McCartney owes him a huge amount of gratitude.  Along with his Producer and songwriter Dave Bartholomew, he gave us records that were wholly unique.  Just perfect for Rock's early era.

My favorite Fats hit was 1958's #6 "Whole Lotta Loving", a record that sums up everything I Loved about him. And the record is less than 2 minutes!

A second favorite was not another uptempo song but the perfectly slow mood of 1960's #6 "Walking To New Orleans", a record whose mood I've always adored.

Below are just some of Fats Domino's records I love:

Fat Man
Goin' Home
Ain't That A Shame
I'm In Love Again
Blue Monday
My Blue Heaven
Blueberry Hill
Honey Chile
Poor Me
I'm Walkin'
It's You I Love
Valley of Tears
Whole Lotta Loving
I'm Ready
I Want To Walk You Home
Yes My Darling
I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday
Be My Guest
What A Party
Let The Four Winds Blow
Big Beat
Please Don't Leave Me
Fell In Love On Monday
Walking To New Orleans
You Win Again
Lady Madonna

Most of Fats' original albums from the 50's/60's consisted of songs taken from various sessions.  Just about all are out-of-print on CD.  Even streaming sites are missing most of these.  YouTube is your best bet.

So, the best way to get to know him are through his many compilations.  Below are 4 that I always recommend:

My Blue Heaven: Best of  (1990)
They Call Me The Fat Man (1991 4CD Box set)
20 Greatest Hits The Way You Originally Heard Them  (2002)
Greatest Hits: Walking to New Orleans (2007)

How underrated is Fats Domino's legacy?  As of 2017, there's only been one book written about him. 2006's Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock 'n' Roll by Rick Coleman was the first and amazingly the only biography available.  It's a good read, even if I wish it dug even deeper.  Fats deserves one of those definitive bios like the ones Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, etc., have gotten.

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