Monday, May 30, 2016

Various Rock Genres & the Rock Hall

With this post I round up a bunch of various Rock genres that I haven't looked at.  As the 2016 inductees showed, Classic Rock could continue to show up on ballots for a long time.  Metal/Hard Rock artists, however, haven't been showing up as much. Power Pop got some love this year with Cheap Trick, but seems to never be part of the Hall discussion. Prog Rock has done better, but still has a ways to go. Punk is represented by the Ramones and the Stooges.  But other names await their moment.

Once again, I've ranked each artists chances.

Send your suggestions for names I've missed to:

And ICYMI, here's a link to my  8 Other Genres & The Rock Hall  (which includes New Wave, Alternative & Indie acts)

Bad Company/Free - Bad Co. has the better chance, even if Free is just as fondly remembered.  Little Steven is a fan which could always mean something.  But Paul Rodgers has been an ubiquitous presence on AOR for decades now.   9

Badfinger - Being one of the first on the Beatles' Apple label will win points.  But, despite some early 70's success, there's always that feeling they didn't quite reach their potential.  

Pat Benatar -  Her reputation has risen over the years, as women who grew up with her hits have cited her as an influence.  7

Big Star - Power Pop gets scant love from the Hall.  Alex Chilton was already known from the Box Tops, and Big Star released the most critically-acclaimed albums of the peak power pop era.   7

Black Flag  - Henry Rollins' L.A. Punk's were well-loved during their 80's prime.  Not much sales, but Rollins' high profile means you can't count them out.  7

Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear The Reaper" is a AOR staple, of course, and their catalog is full of great Metal moments.  Especially their early 70's albums.  But little traction. 5

Bon Jovi - Critically derided, except for parts of Slippery When Wet, they've been nominated once, and their continued popularity will make them hard to ignore for another nod. And in 2015, they hired big-time industry vet Irving Azoff as their manager.  Let's see if his clout can push Bon Jovi on to a future ballot. 8

Gary U.S. Bonds - One of the greatest rockers of the early 60's, and look no further than Bruce Springsteen (who helped Bonds come back to the charts in the 80's) for his enduring influence.  Surprised he hasn't gotten more attention as a possible inductee.  6

Boston -  If there's a Hall for just Classic Rock Radio pioneers then Boston would be in it for their debut album alone.  They had followups and a #1 single 10 years later.  But Tom Scholtz's legacy rests with Boston,  and that won't be enough. 6

Captain Beefheart - Don Vliet was an ecelctic genius and one of Rock music's great cult heroes.  But cult acts rarely get any love from the Hall.   7

Cars - A somewhat surprising nomination in 2016 mean that someone on the NomCom loves their New Wave/Classic Rock hits as much as everyone else.  Lots of love for their nomination gives them a good chance at induction.  8

Joe Cocker - Some thought his death in 2014 would get him on the 2016 ballot, but it didn't happen.  A rather surprising snub in that many assumed he was already inducted.  If he gets a nod, I feel like he'll go in right away.  A Baby Boomer icon.   9

Phil Collins - I'll take Collins' solo career over Sting, and even Peter Gabriel.  But Collins was dismissed by critics when he was at his zenith.  6

Ry Cooder - A contender for the Musical Excellence slot, Cooder's own recordings have jumped many genres.  Not much commercial success hurts him.  6

Jim Croce - Who knows what would have happened had he lived.  Croce was just reaching his peak in 1973.  A name that gets mentioned in the always popular "who will be the next singer-songwriter inducted?" posts.   7

Dick Dale - The King of the Surf Guitar has been a curious snub.  An influential guitarist who helped create Surf Music.  7

Charlie Daniels Band - Daniels is a 2016 Country Hall inductee and outside of his Country Rock hits of the 70's/80's has some credentials as a session musician for many rock artists in the 60's.  3

Def Leppard - Two of the biggest albums of the 80's, and hits that still get lots of airplay.  Not really Metal, but maybe being lumped in with that genre has hurt them.   7

Ronnie James Dio  -  Not part of the Black Sabbath induction, but he's a Metal icon.  Not sure if that's enough.  6

Dire Straits - Here's another name that many thought would show up by now.  Mark Knopfler would get lots of votes from older voters, and they were pretty big in the mid-80's.    8

Doobie Brothers - One of those long runnin' (pun intended) bands that are still performing (with 2 original members).  Not a critical favorite, but loads of hits.  And longevity helps with older voters.  8

Nick Drake - See the above entry on Captain Beefheart.  A cult hero who became more popular after his death.  Would be a good choice in the singer-songwriter genre, though.  7

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Seeing their names on Worst Rock artists of all time lists doesn't help.  But Keith Emerson's recent death was meant with warm accolades by some critics and many other artists.  But NomCom Prog reluctance is still there.    7

Foreigner - Like the Doobies, Mick Jones is still fronting his band somewhere tonight.  Many hits, but no critical love will keep them waiting.   6

Peter Frampton - Had the biggest selling album of 1976, but couldn't follow it up.  An early Classic Rock radio staple, and well-liked by many boomers and current Hall members.  7

J. Geils Band -  A Jann Wenner and NomCom favorite.  Another surprise that they haven't gotten in by now.  Have been nominated 3 times (last in 2011).  8

Grand Funk Railroad - Easy to forget how big they were in the early 70's.  Critics didn't like them, but they deserve a revisionist look.   6

Guess Who  - I can remember Robert Hilburn saying that the Guess Who had some good song but weren't Hall worthy.  I think that way of thinking has kept Randy Bachman out of the Hall with this band and BTO.  7

Iron Maiden - Eventually the NomCom will have to start nominating Metal acts.  Iron Maiden will get a good look as they are one of the most popular, and are still going today.  But I think their wait will be a long one.   6

Jam -
Being big in England hasn't been helping 70's/80's acts.  But this was one of the biggest and best to come out of that era.  Kind of Punk, then later added R&B to their Rock sound.   7

Jethro Tull - Critics mocked their supposed pretentiousness throughout the early 70's.  But, again, they were big in that decade, and are Classic Rock staples today.   8

Judas Priest - I think they have a better chance at a nomination than Iron Maiden, because they get airplay on Classic Rock radio.   7

Carole King -  King's solo career is a Hall shoo-in.  So why hasn't it happened yet.  Because she's in as a songwriter.  But she deserves a nod for her solo work.  10

King Crimson - Probably the most acclaimed of all Prog bands.  But it may not be enough.  The "not enough records sold" stigma will most likely keep them off the ballot, while other Prog names go in.  6

Gordon Lightfoot - Maybe a surprise singer-songwriter pick down the road.  Bob Dylan has said good things about him, and he has a good amount classics in his catalog.  6

Marshall Tucker Band - The inductees in the Southern Rock genre apparently ended with Lynyrd Skynyrd.  But this long-running band also produced some classics that rival Skynyrd.   4

MC5 - Hard to believe and some may have forgotten, that they were nominated once back in 2003.  Detroit Punk Pioneers who deserve another chance on the ballot.  Surprised fellow Detroit native and MC5 fan, Dave Marsh, hasn't been able to do it.   6

Megadeth - Dave Mustaine's band was popular in the 80's/90's, but still seem to be overshadowed by other Metal bands when Hall talk comes up.  5

Monkees - Their 2016 comeback album was well-received and for years their 60's albums have grown to be more well-loved today than in the 60's.  Even Rolling Stone is saying nice things about them.  If they can get on the ballot, they go in right away?   9

Moody Blues - First name Howard Stern always brings up when he talks Rock Hall.  Never a critical fave, which is why they've never been nominated. But with more Baby Boomer acts showing up on the 2016 ballot, there chances have improved.  9

Motley Crue - The ultimate 80's metal/hair metal band.  Many Top 40 hits too will help their case. Critics showed them no love though.   6

Mott the Hoople - True, not many people know anything about them other than "All The Young Dudes", but Punk rockers have called them an influence.  4

Motorhead - How many Metal icons could get a Grammy Tribute segment?  Lemmy's icon status will get them more serious looks down the road.  8

Move - Jeff Lynne's other group, critically acclaimed but still underrated  A short catalog and lack of U.S. hits hurts their chances.   4

New York Dolls - Like the MC5, it's hard to believe they were once nominated way back in 2001.  Punk-Glam legends whose first 2 albums are now a necessary starting point for any fans of that genre.   7

Harry Nilsson - Like Warren Zevon, another fondly remembered 70's act that is loved by many of his current Rock Hall peers.  8

Ted Nugent -  For entertainment value Nugent's induction speech would be must-see TV.  With yet another appearance by Kid Rock as presenter.  1

Ozzy Osbourne  - If you want to just go by sales, than Ozzy's solo career might have been bigger than Sabbath's.  But not on influence, so this will be a tough sell.  6

Pantera -  Finally, it's the 90's.  And one of that decade's most popular Metal bands.  Their legend has grown since Dimebag Darrell's 2004 death.  6

Gram Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers - Take your pick as to which act was more influential in the birth of Country-Rock and Americana.  Parsons solo work is now the stuff of legend and many current and former NomCom members want him inducted.  He's been nominated thrice, but the last was way back in 2005.   Parsons: 8, FBB:  6

Phish - Took up where the Grateful Dead left off to become the big Jam Band for a new generation.  Some critical praise, not big sellers, but they have a rabid fan base, which could make a difference.  7

Procol Harum - A surprise nomination in 2013 (Little Steven is a fan), had many, including myself going back to their catalog.  Prog/Jazz Rock that all came together on "Whiter Shade Of Pale". They had other gems, but that song remains their ticket to a return nomination.   8

Raspberries - My favorite Power Pop band. They face a long Hall struggle, however.  Despite the fact that they rocked quite often, Carmen's subsequent not-quite-Rock solo career hasn't helped their cause.   4

REO Speedwagon - They had 1981's biggest album, and helped launch the Classic Rock format,and while critics scoffed, they remain a popular touring attraction.  

Randy Rhoads -  A brief, but influential career, he's  #36 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarist List. And NomCom member Tom Morello is a fan.  7

Roxy Music - Dave Marsh mentioned their name in a radio interview on the Hall last year, which might not mean much, but at least their name is on somebody's mind at the NomCom.   One of my Top 5 snubs.   8

Todd Rundgren - Like Roxy Music, not a big AOR presence, but still some airplay.  Maybe his solo work is too scattered for some, but add his Producer credits for albums by Badfinger, Meat Loaf, New York Dolls, XTC, etc., and his credentials are solid.  8

Mitch Ryder - Ryder's brand of white hot Soul had an influence on John Mellencamp (who produced an 80's album of his) and other rocker's who loved his late 60's hits.  6

Boz Scaggs - Friend of Jann Wenner (who co-Produced Scaggs' 1969 self-titled album).  So, you'd think he'd have at least been nominated by now.  But Scaggs has solid credentials without Wenner's help. Finally broke through after six albums in 1976 with Silk Degrees.   Also, a member of the Steve Miller Band on their first two albums.  8

Scorpions - Very long-running Metal faves.  Had hits during MTV's golden years.  But will have a long wait in the Metal line.  4

Carly Simon - One of the most popular singer-songwriters of the 70's.  Inducted in the Songwriters Hall, and deserves a closer look for the Rock Hall, too.  7

Sir Douglas Quintet - There wasn't much Doug Sahm & Co. didn't mix to come up with their unique Tex-Mex sound.  Sahm's solo career is worthy of a Hall nod itself.  Sir Douglas Quintet were actually nominated once in 2006.    6

Slayer - Here's an interesting name, and a Metal band that critics actually liked.  An influential band to future hard rock acts.  And they broke out in 80's.   6

Soundgarden - They get lumped in with the grunge era, but they were really just a top notch Hard Rock band.  Another name that will get nominated soon.  8

Supertramp -  A Prog-Rock band that was big in the late 70's, but doesn't get talked about much today.  But they are still AOR staples.  Never a critical favorite, and the line of Prog-acts that need to be inducted is too long.   4

Steppenwolf -  John Kay's band never gets any Hall mentions, but they had plenty of great songs besides "Born To Be Wild."  And they gave a genre its name.  How many artists can lay claim to that?  4

Sting - Having been nominated in 2015, it's probable he'll be back on the ballot.  But his nomination wasn't meant with universal acclaim.  A return to Rock music could help.  7

Styx - Hey, populism will only go so far.  Journey, Bon Jovi,  Doobies, have a strong chance,  but this hugely popular band aren't going to get there.  But it would be awesome to hear a jam finale of "Mr. Roboto".  2

Thin Lizzy - Another overlooked Hall-worthy band.  Phil Lynott is often cited as an influence by many new Hard Rock bands.  One big hit single, and they seem to be just under the Hall's radar.  7

Three Dog Night - Another band that doesn't get a whole lot of Classic Rock airplay, but just enough for me to slot them.  Tons of hits, and a ubiquitous presence on AM Top 40 in the first half of the 70's.  7

Toots & the Maytals -  Toots Hibbert was one of the most soulful reggae stars.  But he also came up with some of reggae's most enduring classics.  Like Peter Tosh, there is no doubt the importance of reggae on modern music.   6

Peter Tosh - Jimmy Cliff was the last Reggae artist inducted in 2010.  Look, you can't discount reggae's influence on Rock.  Just ask the Police, Clash, Rolling Stones, etc.  Tosh's sound may have been the toughest of all the reggae greats.  6

Traveling Wilburys -  A supergroup to end all supergroups.  But only 2 albums.  Regardless, one could imagine the Hall fantasizing about how their induction would look on induction night.  4

T. Rex -  Marc Bolan was bigger in England than the rest of the World, and T.Rex were one of the best glam bands ever.  Which is a problem.  Because Glam Rock never gets much Hall love. Another name mentioned by Dave Marsh.  

Johnny Winter - There doesn't appear to be many modern Blues acts left to induct, but Winter would be a popular choice.  Long career and is loved by many current Hall artists.  9

Steve Winwood - Nominated in 2003, but then Traffic were inducted in 2004, which has kind of ended Winwood's quest for a solo nod.  Again, I'll take his solo career over Sting's, if the latter were to ever get in.   6

Link Wray -  Many, including me, thought Wray would sneak in on his first try in 2014.  But 2 years have passed without a nomination and it appears the NomCom is turning their back on the pioneers of Rock and Roll.  Wray, like Dick Dale, was an influence to many guitarists that came along after his early success.  7

Yes - A two time nominee, there's no doubt they are getting in someday.  Now often cited as one of the biggest omissions.  9

Warren Zevon - Universally loved singer-songwriter who will be a relative shoo-in among many current Hall of Fame voters.  9

Zombies - A somewhat surprise nominee in 2014, these British Invasion legends never had as many hits as the Hollies, but they may have been more influential.  Could reappear on the ballot if the NomCom needs to tap a 60's band.  7

Sources:  All Music Guide
                 Future Rock Legends

Thanks to George Crock for the help and suggestions.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Playlist for 5/28

Play On! Power Pop Heroes Vol. 1-3 (Books) - Ken Sharp
Cheap Trick - Bang Zoom Crazy Hello
Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect
Anderson .Paak - Malibu
Now 58 - Various
Haircut 100 - Pelican West
Cyndi Lauper - Detour
Hard Working Americans - Rest In Chaos
Darrell Scott - Couchville Sessions
Blake Shelton - If I'm Honest
Guy Clark - Dublin Blues
Guy Clark -  South Coast of Texas
Guy Clark -  Better Days
I Want My MTV - Rob Tannenbaum & Craig Marks   (Book)
Small Town Talk - Barney Hoskyns  (Book)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Music Years Of My LIfe: 1983

We had a public access channel, it was called Channel 100, because it was located right before Channel 2.  In between odd local programming, the station would show music videos.  This was 1980/81.  But they showed the same ones over and over.  And yet I watched because there would be a newer video thrown in from time to time.  The videos on a loop:  Madness' "One Step Beyond", Devo's "Satisfaction", Gary Wright's "Really Wanna Know You", Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime", and others that escape me.

Until MTV premiered in 1981, music videos were always around.  They just didn't have their own 24 hour channel.  The Beatles made videos, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the most famous and I can remember watching them on American Bandstand.    But MTV was something different.  Where I live we didn't get it until 1982, a year after it started.  Having read about it in Rolling Stone, Billboard and other music mags, I couldn't wait for it.

The best thing MTV did for me was play Indie, U.K. and later Metal and Rap videos.  In other words, stuff that I couldn't get on my local FM channels.  We're so spoiled now, but that's just how it was back then.

By the time 1983 rolled around, MTV was indeed a good old fashioned phenomena.  World Premiere Videos became can't miss TV.  Artists rushed to the channel to get some airtime and talk up there video.  First thing I'd do when I came home from work was put it on.  Being a music follower, I noticed lots of New Wave videos and few R&B ones.  "Billie Jean" helped change that.

Let's face it, those early videos  could be elaborate, but they were also hilariously overblown.  Once you get past  1983, then everyone thought they were making video masterpieces.  Some music critics hated MTV then and still don't have a nice thing to say about today.  To them, some artists were no longer making music but were heading to the studio thinking about there next video.

I wasn't one of those haters.  And think the 80's MTV was pretty diverse in their programming.  Today, the only time I pay attention to it is when they have one of their awards shows.  MTV changed music, and its early launch can still be seen today every time Beyonce teases another video project. And if you're feeling nostalgic, most of the VJ's are on Sirius' 80's channel.  We may no longer watch MTV,  but we can never escape it.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Playlist for 5/21

Peter Wolf - Cure For Loneliness
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
Santana - Santana IV
PJ Harvey - Hope Six Demolition Project
Janis Joplin - Joplin In Concert
Parquet Courts - Human Performance
Radiohead - Moon Shaped Pool
Keith Urban - Ripcord
Jennifer Nettles - Playing With Fire

Monday, May 16, 2016

Playlist for 5/16

All Things Must Pass (Documentary)
Revenge of the Mekons  (Documentary)
Art of Organized Noize   (Documentary)
Janis:  Little Girl Blue (Janis Joplin Documentary)
We Are Twisted F___Sister  (Documentary)
Ashford & Simpson - Gimme Something Real/I Wanna Be Selfish/Come As You Are
Gregory Porter - Take Me To The Alley
Corrine Bailey Rae - Heart Speaks In Whispers
Beyonce - Lemonade
God Don't Never Change:Songs of Blind Willie Johnson - Various
Rough Guide To The Blues Songsters - Various

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Music Years of My LIfe: 1999/2000

Who gets the blame for the file-sharing epidemic of the early 00's?  At the time I pointed the finger right at the Record Companies.  And guess what?  I still do.  I'm going to come clean here:  I stole some songs from Napster.  But I have an excuse.  The songs I downloaded were hard-to find tracks that at that time never made it on to a CD reissue/compilation, etc.
And this was the genius of Napster.  You could find everything.  Once I found one forgotten Top 40 hit, I couldn't believe that others were showing up. There was a giddiness to the hunt.  My attitude at that time was that if no one wants to put these out there for completists like me, then I'm going to find a way to get them. 

I should also point out that unlike some people who used Napster to download everything and anything, I continued to buy albums.  This was a problem, though. Even though the Now series of compiling the latest hits on a compilation had finally hit the U.S. in 1998, before that record companies stopped releasing singles.  Now was an eye-opener.  Suddenly I didn't need to buy full albums to get a couple of good songs.  I could wait for another volume.  Also,  Itunes wouldn't premiere until early 2001.  All in all, consumers were tired of buying albums when they only one song.

Then came the Ipod in October 2001.  Integrated with Itunes and the consumer was finally in command.  No longer did you have to purchase CD's for $15+ when you could get that one track you only wanted.

But my buying habits have always been different than most.  Throughout the Napster/Itunes birth, I was still buying CD's.  But more carefully.  One can't deny the rise of in how buyers spent their money. Comparison shopping became key for me.  And this is where the end was near for Borders, Tower Records & Circuit City.  How often did I go into Borders to check out the price of a CD and then go online to see what Amazon or a used retailer was selling it?  All the time.  And to the point where I rarely bought anything at the big box stores anymore.  

Napster stated the firestorm.  Artists got ticked because people were stealing their songs.  Then along comes Lars & Metallica suing Napster in 2000,  and a year later the fild-sharing giant is dead.  It didn't stop people from downloading.  The went elsewhere and the RIAA continued to threaten the most extreme abusers.  But still couldn't figure out that the problem lay in one thing: price.  

The roots of Napster are still being played out today.  Streaming services like Spotify, which offer and all-you-want deal for $10 are still a problem for artists.  Minuscule streaming royalty statements have made some acts rebel against Spotify.  You would think that in 2016 everything would be available to stream.  But that's not the case.  

I still buy Now volumes, still stream and more importantly, still buy albums.  But I gave up downloading files from elicit sites as finding obscure titles got easier.  Yet, while I'm sympathetic to artists who want a fair payday for their recordings, I have little for the record companies.  Album sales are never coming back to pre-Napster era times.  Occasionally, an artist like Adele will slip through and sell a bunch of CD's, but those won't happen much.  My advise to all involved:  consumers, artists, record companies, music stores.  Give us what we want, but don't try to rob us.  It's the same attitude many of us have had about the music biz since 1999.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Playlist for 5/10

Metallica - Kill 'Em All/Ride The Lightning/And Justice For All
Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads - Tribute
Descendents - Milo Goes To College/Fat EP/Somery
Kanye West - Life of Pablo
Teddy Thompson/Kelly Jones - Little Windows
Mekons - Fear and Whiskey
Waco Brothers - Electric Waco Chair/Going Down In History

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Blues Artists & The Rock Hall (Updated 2017 Eligibles)

Recent years have seen both Albert and Freddy King inducted. As well as Stevie Ray Vaughan.  But are there others?  The answer is a big yes, especially when you consider Early Influences.

So, I came up with some names that should be there.


In no particular order:

Charley Patton - He's the "Father of the Delta Blues".  So how did he slip by the Rock Hall.  An obvious choice for an Early Influence.  Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker were influenced by him.

Sonny Boy Williamson II - There were 2 Sonny Boy's, but Sonny II was the giant.  A powerful harmonica player, he also wrote and sang some of the genres greatest sides on Chess.  Another should-be Early Influence inductee.

Junior Wells - Yet another influential Harmonica player of Chicago Blues  Wells is best know for his recordings with Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters.  Could be Early Influence, but didn't hit his own recording stride until the mid-60's.

Son House - Along with Charley Patton, another master of Delta Blues.  His slide-guitar playing alone influenced many.  Early Influence category.

Skip James -  Another excellent guitarist whose songs have been covered by everyone from Cream to Lucinda Williams to Gregg Allman.  Not as well known as others on this list, but still a seminal Blues name.  Early Influence category.

Mississippi John Hurt -   I wouldn't call it mellow, but Hurt's Blues were not of the gut-bucket variety.  "Warmth" is the word others have used.  Couple that with the fact that he was one of the genres greatest guitar players and Hurt is a strong candidate.  Early Influence again.

Big Mama Thornton - One of the great Blues shouters who also had an influence just as Rock and Roll was at its infancy.  "Hound Dog" was her ticket, and many female Rock & Blues singers were influenced by her.   Early Influence category.

Memphis Minnie - One of the early Blues guitarists, and a pioneer in that category among many of the women who followed her.  Somewhat forgotten today, but she was a popular presence throughout her life.  Early Influence category.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Probably more Gospel than Blues, but she did cut some records in the latter category.  Regardless, she's one of the best vocalists and guitarists from the early years of Blues and Gospel.

Blind Willie Johnson - Often called the most powerful Gospel meets Blues artist. Rough voice added to the drama of his best records.  He was also one of the genres best slide guitarists.  Early Influence.

Otis Rush - One of the originators (with Buddy Guy) of the West Side Chicago Blues sound and big influence on Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and others.  His career didn't reach the legendary status of Buddy Guy, but among fellow players, his distinct playing was just as lauded.   

Slim Harpo - Harmonica (and guitar) player who also crossed over to the Pop charts.  His songs were covered by the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, the Doors and others.   

Johnny Winter - Winter's death has definitely spawned an appreciation of his recorded output.  But most agree it was in concert that he excelled.  Talk about someone who left it all on stage.


Greatest Mother's Day Song

The Greatest Mom Song?  I'm seeing many votes for 2Pac's "Dear Mama".  And I love the Spinners' "Sadie". But my #1 has always been the Intruders' 1973 "I'll Always Love My Mama".

Written by Gamble & Huff along with McFadden & Whitehead ("Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now") it was a minor hit, peaking in the Top 40 at #36 and the R&B chart at #6.

You could say my love of Philly Soul plays a bias in my pick.  But checking out other Best Mom Song lists, I rarely found this listed.

BTW- The Intruders are kind of a forgotten group in the Gamble & Huff stable.  Their biggest hit was 1968's "Cowboys to Girls" (#6 Pop, #1 R&B).  The followup, "(Love Is Like A) Baseball Game" peaked at #26 Pop in the same year.  But their Philly Soul years catalog has other buried gems and is worth checking out.

Here's a link to the single version.  The best Mom Song ever.

"I'll Always Love My Mama" - Intruders

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Magazine Update (2016)

Time for an update on magazines (print!!) I read.

Rolling Stone
Down Beat
Jazz Times
Mojo  (UK)
Uncut  (UK)

Big Takeover
Ugly Things
Shindig (UK)
Flashback (UK)
American Songwriter
Blues Revue
Living Blues
Under the Radar

Wax Poetics
Echoes of the Past
Oxford American  

Guitar Player
Guitar World
Vintage Guitar
Elvis The Man and His Music  (UK)
Endless Summer Quarterly
Now Dig This  (UK)
Blue Suede News

Record Collector  (UK)

New Yorker
New York Magazine
Vanity Fair

Tape Op

Prog (UK)
Blues Magazine  (UK)
Vintage Rock (UK)

Vive Le Rock  (UK)

Classic Rock  (UK)
Classic Pop  (UK)
Jazziz (UK)
Songlines (UK)
Q  (UK)
Bob Dylan Fanzine Isis  (UK)

Bass Player
Entertainment Weekly
Wire  (UK)
Empire Magazine  (UK)
Sports Illustrated

Friday, May 06, 2016

Playlist for 5/6

Steve Miller - Children of the Future
Steve Miller - Sailor
Steve Miller - Brave New World
Steve Miller - Your Saving Grace
Steve Miller - Number 5
Steve Miller - Circle of Love

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Playlist for 5/3

Prince - HitnRun Phase One & Two
The Family - s/t (Prince Production 1985)
Hall & Oates - War Babies/Whole Oats/Beauty On A Back Street
Firefall - Luna Sea/Firefall
Chuck Berry - One Dozen Berry's/After School Session/Berry Is On Top/Rockin' At The Hops/Rock It
Robbie Fulks - Upland Story/Happy/Gone Away Backward
Pet Shop Boys - Super

Monday, May 02, 2016

Music Critics & The Rock Hall (Updated 2017 Eligibles)

Both the Baseball and Football Hall's have a writer's wing to honor journalists who have covered their sports.  Why shouldn't the Rock Hall?  There have been quite a few critics/journalists who have helped shape the way Rock music has been presented and perceived.

I actually thought of this back in 2006:
Music Critic Hall of Fame?

It's an interesting idea, and unless you count Jann Wenner, there are no music-related writers in the Rock Hall.

I'm also aware that just looking at some of these names will bring back bad memories if you can remember what artists (and their fans) they've ticked off over the years by a bad review.

Once again, I'm open to any suggestions on names that I missed.

Listed in no particular order:

Ralph J. Gleason - Co-founded Rolling Stone, and one of the first writers to cover Rock and Roll.

Dave Marsh -  Wrote for Creem, Rolling Stone and other magazines.  Has written many music books. One of the most controversial Rock critics.  Member of the Rock Hall Nominating Committee since its inception.

Robert Christgau - The self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics", his monthly Consumer Guide changed the way records were reviewed by future critics and music magazines. Wrote for Village Voice, Rolling Stone and others.

Ellen Willis - From 1968-1975 was Pop music critic for the New Yorker.  One of the first women Rock critics and one of its more influential ones through her many writings on music, politics and culture.

Greil Marcus - Although he wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone, it is probably through books like 1975's Mystery Train that Marcus made his biggest impact.  His music books were almost scholarly takes that few at the time were writing on Rock music.

Peter Guralnick - His many books on music covering genres like Country, Soul and Rock not only garnered acclaim, but set a standard for numerous other authors to follow.

Robert Hilburn - As chief Pop Music critic of the LA Times, Hilburn gave a distinctive West Coast flavor to music criticism.

Joel Selvin - Longtime San Francisco Chronicle critic (from 1972-2009). Like Hilburn, gave a West Coast opinion when the East Coast seemed to dominate the discussion.

Robert Palmer - Author of the acclaimed Deep Blues and Rock & Roll: An Unruly History.  He also appeared in the NY Times, Rolling Stone.  Produced Blues albums and made his own, too.

Jon Pareles - Chief music critic for the NY Times.  Also wrote for Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Crawdaddy.

Lester Bangs - Probably the most famous music critic. His writings in Creem and Rolling Stone had a huge impact on future critics.

Gloria Stavers - One of the first women to write about Rock music during her tenure as Editor-In-Chief of 16 magazine.

Lillian Roxon - Her Rock Encyclopedia was the first of its kind.  And she was one of the first women to write about Rock music in the 60's.

Nelson George - Wrote columns in Billboard and The Village Voice, and his books covering R&B and Hip Hop are widely acclaimed.  Has branched out into film work as a Producer and Director on African-American issues.

Richard Meltzer - His 1970 book The Aesthetics of Rock was one of the first Rock books that became an influential bible to many future critics.

Jane Scott - For 40 years was music critic for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.  One of the first women to cover Rock and Roll during its early years.

Lisa Robinson - Started her career in 1969 and from there wrote for Creem, New York Post, New Musical Express, Vanity Fair.  Was one of the creators of Rock Scene from 73-82.

Kurt Loder -  A somewhat overlooked name from music critic's golden years, mostly because he is more well-known for his stint on MTV.  In the 70's/80's wrote for Circus before heading to Rolling Stone from 79-87.  Joined MTV in 1988.

Paul Williams - Created Crawdaddy, which was the first Rock magazine.

Nick Tosches - From the Lester Bangs school of Rock journalism, he wrote for Creem, Rolling Stone and others.  Also published great books on Country music and the Unsung Heroes of Rock.  His bio of Jerry Lee Lewis is an essential read.

Ben Fong-Torres - One of Rolling Stone magazines first writers.  Also appears in the San Francisco Chronicle.

John Rockwell -  Influential when he was the NY Times' chief Pop Music Critic.

David Fricke - Longtime critic for Rolling Stone, where he has written about a wide range of genres.

Nick Kent - One of England's most influential critics.  Wrote for the New Musical Express and then lots of freeelance work.

Jon Savage - Renown for being one of the first to write about Punk music in the 70's.  Wrote what is considered the definitive book on Punk, England's Dreaming.

Legs McNeil - Co-founder of Punk magazine, and author of music books on that genre as well as other music magazines.

Barney Hoskyns - British music critic who has written for tons of English magazines/newspapers as well as American ones.  Runs the website Rock's Backpages.

Ira Robbins - Co-founder of Trouser Press magazine, which was one of the first magazines to cover New Wave & Alternative Rock in the late 70's/early 80's.  Later on the Trouser Press books on those genres became essential for any music lover.

John Morthland - Worked at Rolling Stone and Creem. Writes about many genres.  His 1984 book, Best of Country Music is a definitive book on that genre.

Joel Whitburn - He's not a music critic, just the #1 record collector of chart records in the world.  But it's his Billboard chart books that every music critic and chart fan has to have on their shelf.  Before the Internet these books were a must have for radio stations, DJ's, Industry people and chart nuts like me.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Music Years of My Life: 1964-69.

Also known as the early years.  What was the first song you remember hearing?  Doing these posts on my music life had me going way back to my childhood for the answer.  My conclusion is that the first songs that I heard had to have come from sister's bedroom.  It was there that the radio and turntable were playing the latest hits.
And I'm convinced that the first sounds I heard were from the Beatles.  My sister had the 1966 album, Yesterday and Today, which was a collection of songs from the '65/'66.  The song that stuck with me was "We Can Work It Out", which topped the charts in early '66.  Is is the first?  Maybe.  But it's possible that I heard that album in 1967.  "Hello Goodbye" is  another Beatles contender.  Released in late '67 and getting lots of airplay through early '68.  But there was another song released earlier and discussed below.

Here's the story.  I was born in 1964. But I can still recall hearing certain records even at the age of 2 or 3.  My sister had a small collection of singles and very little albums.  But AM Top 40?  Always on.  Most of the records I remember are from '67-'69.  Her .45 of "Daydream Believer" ('67) was played a lot.
Other songs from that time frame that I never forgot:
"These Eyes" - Guess Who  ('69)
"Good Morning Starshine" - Oliver ('69)
"Love Is Blue" - Paul Mauriat  ('68)
"Like To Get To Know You" - Spanky and Our Gang  ('68)
"People Got To Be Free"  - Rascals  ('69)
"In The Ghetto" - Elvis Presley  ('69)
"Whiter Shade Of Pale" - Procol Harum  ('67)
There are others, but none would qualify as first heard.

But here's the surprise.  Is it possible to remember something when you're a year old.  The Beatles' "Eight Days A Week" always held a special place in their pantheon for me.  And I think the reason is pretty obvious.  Released in early '65, it has to be the song I heard first.  I'll never know for sure, and it's not something one discusses with their parents, but if it's a Beatles song that lodged into my brain first, and set me on my way to being the music nut I am today, then so be it.  Could have been something worse.  Right?


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