Tuesday, August 09, 2022

RIP Olivia Newton-John

 You didn’t have to be there in the 70's to fully appreciate Olivia Newton-John.  But it didn’t hurt. And I was there.  It was the era of American Top 40, and I grew up on AM radio, where acts like Newton-John became legends.  Critics weren't kind to her at that time, but she and others from that era (Barry Manilow, John Denver) outlasted their barbs and garnered some late-career respect.
 The Olivia Newton-John who first hit the charts wasn't the same one after Grease made her an even bigger star.  Her early hits were wistful Country-Pop gems.  But Grease changed her image.  Her records after that movie mostly ditched the Country-Pop leanings of her early days for a more modern upbeat Pop sound. 
  Her hit-making days were over by the end of the 80's, even though she continued to release records.  But she became a beloved figure for her courageous battle with breast cancer.  Grease continues to be seen by millions of new viewers decades after its 1978 premiere.  And with the generation that grew up with her in the 70's now older too, her musical career got a welcome dose of respect. Happily, she survived her initial cancer diagnosis long enough to enjoy all these accolades. 

Some of my favorite Olivia songs:
A Little More Love
Banks of the Ohio
Come On Over
Cotton Jenny (w/Anne Murray)
Deeper Than The Night
Don't Stop Believin'
Fly Away (w/John Denver)
Have You Never Been Mellow
Heart Attack
Hopelessly Devoted To You
I Can't Help It (w/Andy Gibb)
I Honestly Love You
If You Love Me
If Not For You
Let Me Be There
Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee
Make A Move On Me
Please Mr. Please
Rest Your Love On Me (w/Barry Gibb & w/Andy Gibb)
Soul Kiss
Suddenly (w/Cliff Richard)
Summer Nights (w/John Travolta)
The Promise (The Dolphin Song)
The Rumour
Twist Of Fate
Xanadu (w/ELO)
You're The One That I Want (w/John Travolta)

Recommended Albums:
Come On Over (1976)
Grease Soundtrack (1978)
Have You Never Been Mellow (1975)
If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974)
Let Me Be There (1973)
Physical (1981)
Totally Hot (1978)
Xanadu Soundtrack (1980)

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Playlist for 8/3

Lizzo - Special
Kelly Clarkson - Kellyoke
Patty Griffin - Tape
S.G. Goodman - Teeth Marks
Andrew Bird - Inside Problems
Michaela Anne - Oh To Be That Free
American Aquarium - Chicamacomico 
Vince Staples -Ramona Park Broke My Heart 
Queen Latifah - All Hail The Queen 

Monday, August 01, 2022

Books About Music

 Eric Weisbard's excellent 2021 book titled Songbooks, looks at works on Popular Music from 1770-2010.  A lot of ground is covered, and Weisbard hits pretty much all the classic books that a music fan should have in their personal library.  Picking a title and then mentioning other titles similar to his pick, Weisbard makes you want to grab books that you missed.  Only misstep is not including the Dave Marsh book I recommend below (Weisbard doesn't like Marsh). While it's a book about music books, by going chronologically, Weisbard tells a story of Popular music. 

I've decided to list some of my own favorites that I believe every music fan must own.  Most of these are ones Weisbard picked. Also, many of these titles have been updated.  But I've included the original year of publication.

My choices:
Anthony Heilbut - Gospel Sound (1971)
Barney Hoskyns - Rip It Up and Start Again (2005)
Bill C. Malone - Country Music USA (1968)
Bob Dylan - Chronicles, Volume 1 (2004)
Bob Stanley - Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Story of Pop Music (2015)
Charles Hamm - Yesterdays: Popular Song In America (1979)
Charlie Gillett - Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock & Roll (1970)
Chuck Klosterman - Detroit Rock City (2001)
Chuck Eddy - Stairway to Hell: 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe (1991)
Dave Marsh - Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (1989)
David Cantwell - Running Kind (2022)
David Cantwell & Bill Friskics-Warren - Heartaches By The Number: Country Music's 500 Greatest Singles
Ellen Willis - Out of the Vinyl Deeps (2011)
Evelyn McDonnell & Ann Powers - Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop & Rap (1995)
Gary Giddins - Visions of Jazz (1998)
Gerri Hirshey - Nowhere to Run: Story of Soul Music (1984)
Greil Marcus - Mystery Train (1975)
Ian MacDonald - Revolution in the Head (1994)
Ira Robbins - Trouser Press Record Guide (1991)
Jeff Chang - Can't Stop, Won't Stop: History of the Hip Hop Generation (2005)
Joel Whitburn - Record Research Chart Books (1973-)
John Morthland - Best of Country Music (1984)
Jon Savage - England's Dreaming (1991)
Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain - Please Kill Me (1996)
Lester Bangs - Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (1987)
Marissa Moss - Her Country (2022)
Michael Azerrad - Our Band Could Be Your Life (2005)
Nelson George - Death of Rhythm & Blues (1988)
Nick Hornby - High Fidelity (1995)
Nick Tosches - Country (1977)
Nick Tosches - Hellfire (1982)
Patti Smith - Just Kids (2010)
Peter Guralnick - Lost Highway (1979)
Peter Guralnick - Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (1994)
Peter Guralnick - Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (1999)
Richard Meltzer - Aesthetics of Rock (1970)
Rob Sheffield - Love Is A Mixtape (2007)
Robert Christgau - Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the 70's (1981)
Robert Christgau - Christgau's Record Guide: The 80's (1990)
Robert Palmer - Deep Blues (1981)
Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (1976 + Various Editions)
Rolling Stone Record Guide (1979 + Various Editions)
Tom Moon - 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die (2008)

Monday, July 25, 2022

Playlist for 7/25

Ladies Sing the Boss: Songs of Bruce Springsteen - Various (Ace)
Carrie Underwood - Denim & Rhinestones
Joshua Hedley - Neon Blue
Kaitlin Butts - What Else Can She Do
Moby Doc (2021 Moby Documentary)
Driving Home 2 U (2022 Olivia Rodrigo Documentary)
David Hepworth's Deep 70's- Various

Friday, July 22, 2022

Songs Missing From Spotify (Updated)

 Since I posted this in March 2017, I've slowly been able to delete some titles.  But the rest of the songs listed below are still missing on digital streaming sites. Some of these have popped up on Spotify, but then disappeared. Okay, you can find them on YouTube, but in my world of Playlists, Spotify is king. Or maybe Amazon Music or Apple is your King.  Either way, outside of Garth Brooks whose music is on Amazon, none of these are on Spotify, Amazon or Apple.  

If they ever show up, they'll appear on my Tracks Of My Life playlist. That playlist contains songs, some popular, others more obscure, that have meant something to me at one point or another in my life.  These titles below are pretty obscure, but did chart at one point. And my playlist has to contain the original recordings.  No remakes.

This list will continue to be updated as I find more missing songs, or these end up on Spotify.

Missing from Spotify:

Alexander O'Neal - s/t Debut Album (#92 Pop, #21 R&B, 1985)
Bell & James - Livin' It Up (#15 Pop, #7 R&B, 1979)
Bobby Darin - If I Were A Carpenter (#8 Pop, 1966)
Chairmen of the Board -  Give Me Just A Little More Time (#3 Pop, #8 R&B, 1970)
De La Soul - Me, Myself & I (#34 Pop,  #1 R&B, 1989)
Freda Payne - Band of Gold  (#3 Pop, 1970)
Funkadelic - Knee Deep (#1 R&B, #77 Pop, 1979)
Garth Brooks - If Tomorrow Never Comes (#1 Country, 1989) (On Amazon)
Giant Steps  - “Another Lover” (#8 Pop, 1988)
John Stewart - Gold (#5, 1979)
John Valenti - Anything You Want  (#37 Pop, #10 R&B, 1976)
Michelle Shocked - Anchorage (#66 Pop, 1988)
Moby Grape - Omaha (#88, 1967)
Neil Sedaka - That's When The Music Takes Me (#27, 1975)
Pake McEntire - Savin' My Love For You  (#3 Country, 1986)
Peter Wolf - Lights Out (#12 Pop, 1984)
P.M. Dawn - Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (#1 Pop, #16 R&B, 1991)
S.O.S. Band - Just Be Good To Me (#55 Pop, #2 R&B, 1983)

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Playlist for 7/17

JD McPherson - Warm Covers Vol. 1 & 2
Norma Tanega - I'm The Sky: Studio & Demo Recordings 64-71
Elvis - Soundtrack (2022 Movie)
Drive-By Truckers - Welcome to Club XIII
Mary Gauthier - Dark Enough to See The Stars
Tedeschi Trucks Band - I Am The Moon: Crescent
Tedeschi Trucks Band - I Am The Moon: Ascension
Angel Olsen - Big Time

Friday, July 15, 2022

Music List A Month (July): Favorite Songs About Summer

When I think of songs about Summer,  my first thoughts are warm days, long muggy nights, beaches and sunny weather.  I grew up in 3 areas where Summer really applied to those.  Except in Mannheim, Germany where there was no beach, but Summer's were warm.  I was born in North Carolina, and we would make treks to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the Summer.  And of course, California, where I live now and am just a short walk to the Beach.

So here are just a few of my favorite Summer songs:
All Summer Long - Beach Boys
All Summer Long - Kid Rock
Beautiful Morning - Rascals
Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
California Girls - Beach Boys
California Sun - Rivieras
Cruel Summer - Bananarama
Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James & The Shondells
Dancing In The Moonlight - King Harvest
Dancing In The Street - Martha and the Vandellas
Daydream - Lovin' Spoonful
Everybody Loves The Sunshine - Roy Ayers
Fourth of July - Dave Alvin
Fun, Fun, Fun - Beach Boys
Good Times - Chic
Good Vibrations - Beach Boys
Grazing In The Grass - Friends of Distinction
Groovin' - Rascals
Hot Fun In The Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone
I Live For The Sun - Sunrays
In The Summertime - Mungo & Jerry
Island In The Sun - Harry Belafonte
It's A Great Day To Be Alive - Travis Tritt
Lazy Day - Spanky and Our Gang
Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett

Melting In The Sun - ELO
Miserlou - Dick Dale
Mr. Blue Sky - ELO
No, Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems - Kenny Chesney
One Summer Dream - ELO
Other Side of Summer - Elvis Costello
Palisades Park - Freddy Cannon
Rockaway Beach - Ramones
Saturday In The Park - Chicago
Sealed With A Kiss - Brian Hyland
See You In September - Happenings
School's Out - Alice Cooper
(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
Sitting In The Park - Billy Stewart
Sleepwalk - Santo & Johnny
Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow
Southern Nights - Glen Campbell
Steal My Sunshine - Len
Stoned Soul Picnic - Fifth Dimension
Suddenly Last Summer - Motels
Summer and Lightning - ELO
Summer Song - Chad & Jeremy
Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
Summer Nights - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Summer - Bobby Goldsboro
Summer - War
Summer Breeze - Isley Brothers
Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts
Summer Looks Good On You - Cheap Trick
Summer In The City - Lovin' Spoonful
Summer Madness - Kool & The Gang
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers
Summertime - Billy Stewart
Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
Summertime Sadness - Lana Del Rey
Summertime Summertime - Jamies
Sunny Afternoon - Kinks
Sunshine On My Shoulders - John Denver
Surf City - Jan & Dean
Surfin' U.S.A. - Beach Boys
Theme From "A Summer Place" - Percy Faith
Theme From "Summer of '42" - Peter Nero
Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer - Nat King Cole
Thunder Island - Jay Ferguson
Toes - Zac Brown Band
Under The Boardwalk - Drifters
Vacation - Go-Go's
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
Watermelon Sugar - Harry Styles
Wipe Out - Surfaris
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