This week’s theme: Golden Anniversary, Music from 1971
Google “1971 best year in music” and you will find a slew of arguments to support the opinion. I am partial to 1972, but it’s hard to argue against 1971. There was so much innovation at the start of the ’70s that one Faux Show barely scratches the surface of great music from that year. I’ve added 17 songs to this week’s show and have undoubtedly left off many of your favorites.
Welcome to Radio Faux Show number twenty-one.
First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.
17 Songs from 1971
- Gil Scott-Heron “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” from Pieces of a Man
- Funkadelic “Hit It and Quit It” from Maggot Brain
- David Bowie “Queen Bitch” from Hunky Dory
- T. Rex “Mambo Sun” from Electric Warrior
- Faces “Stay With Me” from A Nod Is As Good As A Wink
- Rod Stewart “Reason to Believe” from Every Picture Tells a Story
- Gabor Szabo “Breezin'” from High Contrast
- Can “Mushroom” from Tago Mago
- Mahavishnu Orchestra “You Know, You Know” from The Inner Mounting Flame
- Little Feat “Willing” from Little Feat
- Townes Van Zandt “Delta Momma Blues” from Delta Momma Blues
- Joni Mitchell “Carey” from Blue
- The Carpenters “Rainy Days and Mondays” from The Carpenters
- Donny Hathaway “A Song For You” from Donny Hathaway
- Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” from What’s Going On
- Al Green “Tired of Being Alone” from Gets Next to You
- The Who “Baba O’Riley” from Who’s Next
Highlights from the 1971 song list
- I think Gil Scott-Heron just invented rap.
- Hunky Dory: Best Bowie album? Could be.
- Electric Warrior: Best glam rock album? Could be.
- Rod Stewart just became a household name.
- I think the Mahavishnu Orchestra just invented ’90s post-rock.
- Blue: Best Joni Mitchell album? Could be.
- I think The Carpenters just made soft rock the most popular form of hit music for years to come.
- I think Marvin Gaye just made the first R&B concept album. Move over Jethro Tull.
- I think The Who just made every rock and roll cover band have to go hire a keyboard player.
Other albums from 1971 not featured
- Carole King Tapestry
- Led Zeppelin IV
- Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
- Pink Floyd Meddle
- Van Morrison Tupelo Honey
- Traffic Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
- Jethro Tull Aqualung
- Cat Stevens Teaser and the Firecat
- Black Sabbath Master of Reality
- John Lennon Imagine
- Elton John Madman Across the River
- Popol Vuh In the Gardens of Pharoah
- Sly and Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On
- Janis Joplin Pearl
- War All Day Music
- Weather Report Weather Report
- Pharoah Sanders Black Unity
Artist of the Week: William “Benny” Benjamin (aka Papa Zita)
Papa Zita was one of the original Funk Brothers and one of the greatest drummers in recording history. The songs on his session list are an encyclopedia of the history of ’60s soul, funk, and R&B.
The two songs selected for this week’s show are:
- Temptations “Get Ready”
- The Contours “Do You Love Me”
And if you’ve never watched the amazing documentary about the Funk Brothers (Standing in the Shadows of Motown), go watch it NOW!
3 Chunks of Funk
Shotgun “Mutha Funk”: One of several great tracks on the band’s debut album Shotgun. I had never heard of them, but picked this up at Record Store Day. Great find!
Funkadelic “Hit It and Quit It”: From their 1971 album Maggot Brain, this has always been one of my favorite Funkadelic songs. A great example of their innovative mix of funk, R&B, and rock, including great solos by Bernie Worrell (keyboard) and Eddie Hazel (guitar)
Mother’s Finest “Baby Love”: This track is from another great but forgotten album, Another Mother Further. I recently dug this one out of my record stacks. There are several great songs on it, but I especially like this one with vocals by “Baby Jean” Kennedy
Happy Birthday (July 25)
William “Benny” Benjamin: Artist of the Week
Yvonne Printemps: Mlle. Printemps was a star of French music, cinema, and theater during the first half of the 20th century.
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth): He makes a beautiful noise.
Roy Acuff: Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was one of my father’s favorites.
Annie Ross (Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross): Ross was born in England but moved to New York as a child. She had a childhood acting career, but is best known as the female voice of the innovative jazz vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross before moving on to a successful solo career. She continued acting throughout her life and was a successful nightclub owner as well. I once read a story about how she saw the original trio, before she joined, and decided she needed to be their female voice. Then through some deceit she was able to get the original female member kicked out and able to replace her. Whether or not that is true, she was the epitome of the swingin’ jazz era in the ’50s and ’60s.
Johnny Hodges: A member of the Duke Ellington Big Band, Hodges is one of the definitive alto players of the early years of jazz.
Verdine White: White was a founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire and played bass on all of their classic albums. One of the greatest bassists in any genre, and arguably on the Mount Rushmore of bassists in soul/funk along with Larry Chambers (Sly), Bootsy Collins (P-Funk), and James Jamerson (Funk Brothers).
Tai Verdes “A-O-K”
Bobby Ramone “Three Little Surfin’ Birds”
John Mayer “Last Train Home”
2 For “Two-day
Rod Stewart: Both from 1971, the year he became a star. One with Faces and one solo.
Little Feat: One from their 1971 debut and the studio version of a song that is the highlight of their live album Waiting for Columbus.
The Temptations “Get Ready”
The Contours “Do You Love Me”
Tai Verdes “A-O-K”
The Trashmen “Surfin’ Bird”
Faces “Stay With Me”
The Carpenters “Rainy Days and Mondays”
Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”
Al Green “Tired of Being Alone”
Earth, Wind & Fire “Mighty Mighty”
Creation, Inspiration, Duplication, and Theft
Bob Marley “Three Little Birds”
Bobby Ramone “Three Little Surfin’ Birds”: My new guilty pleasure. I don’t always like mashups, but I can’t stop listening to this album (Rocket to Kingston). I especially like this track because the vocals are a little bit lower in the mix, giving it the feel of the first Ramones album (the original lo-fi version). Altpress did a nice overview of the punk/reggae connection earlier this month.
The Ramones “Surfin’ Bird”
The Trashmen “Surfin’ Bird”: Classic song by one of the best proto-punk bands from the ’60s garage rock period.
Let’s Take a Trip Around the World
Los Jairas “Alturas de Hualpacayu”: Formed in 1965, Los Jairas is one of the original Bolivian folk music groups.
Yvonne Printemps “Je ne suis pas ce que l’on pense”
Gabor Szabo “Breezin'”: This is from Gabor Szabo’s 1971 album High Contrast. Szabo was a member of Chico Hamilton’s jazz group in the ’60s.
Can “Mushroom”: From their 1971 album Tago Mago, this is the first full length Can album featuring new vocalist Damo Suzuki. I could write about Can endlessly, so let’s just say that this record is amazing and highly influential.
A Little Jazz
Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross “Twisted”: The Joni Mitchell version is more well known, but this is the original.
Johnny Hodges “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”: Performed with Billy Strayhorn’s orchestra, this is a wonderful arrangement of a jazz standard and a nice showcase for Hodges’ smooth sax sound.
Mahavishnu Orchestra “You Know, You Know”: From the 1971 album The Inner Mounting Flame.
Born to Sing Soul
Donny Hathaway “A Song For You”: This is one of the greatest songs written in the last half of the 20th century. The Carpenters named an album after it in 1972, Ray Charles won a grammy for his version in 1994, and it has been recorded by hundreds of artists. But Hathaway’s 1971 recording from his self-titled album is the best version of this classic Leon Russell song.
Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”: The other classic from his 1971 album What’s Going On.
Al Green “Tired of Being Alone”: His first Top 40 hit.
This song feels like an opening song for a show, but it works as a closer. What can you say about it? You either love it or hate it. Many people put it in a list with “Stairway to Heaven” as a song they never want to hear again. But, did you know that the best television episode ever made in tribute to a song is a tribute to this song? Watch this, dance around with Joe, laugh out loud, and watch more episodes of Joe Pera’s show Joe Pera Talks With You as often as possible.
Thanks for listening (and reading)!
|1||Gil Scott-Heron||The Revolution Will Not Be Televised|
|3||Funkadelic||Hit It and Quit It|
|4||Mother’s Finest||Baby Love|
|5||The Temptations||Get Ready|
|6||The Contours||Do You Love Me|
|8||Bob Marley||Three Little Birds|
|9||Bobby Ramone||Three Little Surfin’ Birds|
|10||The Ramones||Surfin’ Bird|
|11||The Trashmen||Surfin’ Bird|
|12||David Bowie||Queen Bitch|
|13||T. Rex||Mambo Sun|
|14||Faces||Stay With Me|
|15||Rod Stewart||(Find a) Reason to Believe|
|16||Los Jairas||Alturas de Hualpacayu|
|17||Yvonne Printemps||Je ne suis pas ce que l’on pense|
|21||Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross||Twisted|
|22||Johnny Hodges||Don’t Get Around Much Anymore|
|23||Mahavishnu Orchestra||You Know, You Know|
|24||John Mayer||Last Train Home|
|25||Little Feat||Fat Man in the Bathtub|
|27||Roy Acuff||Wabash Cannonball|
|28||Townes Van Zandt||Delta Momma Blues|
|30||The Carpenters||Rainy Days and Mondays|
|31||Donny Hathaway||A Song For You|
|32||Marvin Gaye||Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)|
|33||Al Green||Tired of Being Alone|
|34||Earth, Wind & Fire||Mighty Mighty|
|35||The Who||Baba O’Riley|
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