This Week’s Theme: Springbok Puzzle “Play That Beat”
One of the most creative aspects of making these shows is the constant need to come up with new themes. I now find that normal everyday activities can become themes, and I often catch myself thinking of normal daily activities in relation to their ability to be a theme. A great example is a puzzle I recently put together. The picture is a collage of album covers, and it was a no-brainer that it should be a theme.
Welcome to Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 11.
First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.
There were over forty artists and album covers included in the puzzle so I couldn’t include them all on the playlist. Some of them, such as Kiss and “Young Turks” by Rod Stewart, were left off due to time constraints. Others, such as The Doors and Jefferson Airplane, were left off purposefully. If you read the Faux Show, you know that I am open to all kinds of music and do not harbor ill will towards anyone for the music they enjoy, even if I do not agree. Musical taste is personal and subjective. For me, the music of bands like The Doors and Jefferson Airplane is no longer the kind of music I can enjoy. I felt much differently forty years ago, but I’ve grown wiser with age.
As for the puzzle, it was one of the quickest I have ever completed. This is not due to the difficulty of the puzzle but to the extreme familiarity I have with the images. I was able to tell immediately to which cover each piece belonged. The brain works in really amazing ways.
Artist of the Week: All of Them
If you are famous enough to show up on a nationally distributed puzzle by one of the largest puzzle companies in the country then you must have done something right.
Many of these albums are entrenched in the 20th century popular music canon, but I attempted to avoid the obvious hits.
Bee Gees “Love So Right” (#3 10/2/76)
Aretha Franklin “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” (#5 3/2/68)
Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (#1 11/23/68)
Jefferson Starship “Jane” (#14 11/24/79)
2 for “Two”day
The Beatles “Lovely Rita” and “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”
Bob Dylan “Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine” and “Tombstone Blues”
The Velvet Underground “After Hours” and (with Nico) “Femme Fatale”
Born To Sing Soul
I don’t know if there is a more definitive list of artists who were born to sing soul than one that includes Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown. Throw in Etta James and Janis Joplin and you have got five tracks of soulful exuberance.
James Brown “Night Train (Live at the Apollo 1962)”: Brown’s Live at the Apollo album is a showcase of his work prior to his invention of funk music, and is one of the greatest live albums ever recorded. If you’ve never heard it, now is as good a time as any to take a break and listen to a true master of soul.
Aretha Franklin “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone”: This is The Queen of Soul in her prime.
Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”: Most people nowadays focus on Gaye’s work from the ’70s, but in the ’60s he was the most unique of the Motown artists and recorded a string of great hits like this one.
Etta James “I Just Want To Make Love To You”: Recorded for her 1960 debut album At Last, James’ powerful rendition of this Muddy Waters classic, written by Willie Dixon, is the definitive version of the song.
Janis Joplin “Cry Baby”: Joplin was best known for her explosive blues-rock vocal theatrics, but this song is about as soulful as you can get. It is one of her most iconic vocal performances.
A Little Jazz
Miles Davis “In A Silent Way (New Mix)”: At first I assumed that I wouldn’t include either of the songs from this groundbreaking album, In a Silent Way, because they are both so long, but the Deluxe Edition has some shorter edits. So, I cheated and included a short version. This version loses a lot in translation, but it is still worth the journey to listen to even a few minutes of material from this album.
Herbie Hancock “Succotash”: Hancock’s 1963 third album, Inventions and Dimensions, is not the best-known of his releases, but it is an interesting session for its focus on Latin percussion. It features the always incredible Paul Chambers on bass along with percussion by Willie Bobo and Chihuahua Martinez. It is not a Latin jazz album, but it was reissued in the ’70s as Succotash under both Hancock and Bobo’s names. If you aren’t familiar with Willie Bobo’s Latin jazz recordings then it is worth the time to check out a few of them.
The Get Down
Beastie Boys “Slow and Low”: This song is from the group’s 1986 debut, Licensed to Ill. I was a fan of Beastie Boys from the moment I saw them in the 1985 hip-hop film classic Krush Groove. They performed a song called “She’s On It” and arguably stole the film away from stars Run-DMC and Kurtis Blow with that one simple performance.
Run-DMC “Jam-Master Jammin'”: This song is from the group’s January 1985 album King of Rock. The unexpected explosion of rap into the mainstream that was caused by this record led to the future of popular music. You can learn all about it in the 1985 film Krush Groove that was released less than a year after Run-DMC changed everything.
I’m A Little Bit Country
Johnny Cash “Cocaine Blues”: This is one of many great songs about crime and criminals from Cash’s classic At Fulsom Prison album.
Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger”: This is the title track to one of the greatest albums ever made, of any genre. I could write about how much I love this album for much longer than I want to here, so I’ll just say that this is a great song from a great album.
The Oak Ridge Boys “Rhythm Guitar”: This quartet is most famous for their ’80s crossover hit “Elvira,” but they were originally formed in the 1940s as a gospel quartet. Duane Allen and William Lee Golden joined the group in 1965-66 and were followed by the additions of Joe Bonsall and Richard Sterban in 1973. This is the foursome that everyone knows. In the mid-70s they shifted to secular country music, but one of their first major country hits was this gospel pop song from their 1975 album Sky High.
Thanks for listening (and reading)!
|1||Queen||Seven Seas of Rhye|
|2||Led Zeppelin||Communication Breakdown|
|3||Boston||Something About You|
|4||Bruce Springsteen||No Surrender|
|6||The Rolling Stones||Gimme Shelter|
|7||Janis Joplin||Cry Baby|
|8||Etta James||I Just Want To Make Love To You|
|9||Aretha Franklin||(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone|
|10||Marvin Gaye||I Heard It Through the Grapevine|
|11||James Brown||Night Train (Live at the Apollo 1962)|
|13||Miles Davis||In a Silent Way (New Mix)|
|14||Pink Floyd||On the Run|
|16||Beastie Boys||Slow and Low|
|17||Madonna||Where’s The Party|
|18||Bee Gees||Love So Right|
|19||Bob Marley||Easy Skanking|
|20||The Beatles||Lovely Rita|
|21||The Beatles||She Came In Through The Bathroom Window|
|22||Elvis Presley||I Got A Woman|
|25||The Beach Boys||I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times|
|26||The Jimi Hendrix Experience||Castles Made of Sand|
|27||Bob Dylan||Tombstone Blues|
|28||Bob Dylan||Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine|
|29||Johnny Cash||Cocaine Blues|
|30||Willie Nelson||Red Headed Stranger|
|31||The Oak Ridge Boys||Rhythm Guitar|
|32||Simon & Garfunkel||Kathy’s Song|
|33||Fleetwood Mac||Never Going Back Again|
|34||The Velvet Underground and Nico||Femme Fatale|
|35||The Velvet Underground||After Hours|