There's a video on You Tube picturing Brian Wilson and the other Beach Boys around the time the song "God Only Knows" was recorded. What makes this clip worth searching for is that what you hear is the isolated piano and melody vocal, sans the orchestration (by Brian) heard in the full mix version of the song on the Pet Sounds album.
This allows the song's chord structure and voicings to be more readily heard and appreciated. Brian is renown for his melodies and harmonies (with good reason), but imo it is his chord arrangements that elevate him above ALL his peers.
I gotta say, ya’ll have better taste in music than all-but-the-best musicians I’ve known! Though many of you may be musicians yourselves. Maybe it’s the refined and developed appreciation for the reproduction of music that leads to such taste. Or perhaps whatever compulsion drives our insatiable need for quality sound is also responsible for our taste in music. Any psychologists here?!
nutty's Bobby Darin choice reminded me to listen to another of his songs, "Beyond The Sea". The song is okay, but what makes the track so great is the drum break (not long enough to be called a solo) in the middle, played by the great Don Lamond. THE coolest drum part I have EVER heard! Insanely great.
Neil Finn gets taken for granted as a songwriter. To me he is sort of the British (or is Neil Welsh, Irish, or Scottish?) Marshall Crenshaw---great chord sequences (employing chords lesser songwriters aren’t even aware exist), melodies, harmonies, and arrangements, a little on the "softer" side in presentation.
Here’s the thread I was looking for! (on which to recommend Lucinda William’s song "Essence"). Ah well, here’s another I love: Marshall Crenshaw’s "Dime A Dozen Guy", from his #447 album. Another is his recording of the Byrds "Have You Seen her Face", a great, great song written by Chris Hillman. It’s from Marshall's Live: My Truck Is My Home album.
@slaw, Yes! "SIC", a fantastic song written by Buddy, his wife Julie (a unique, adorable singer with a few of her own albums, as well as a couple with Buddy), and Jim Lauderdale, another great singer/songwriter.
If you haven't heard it yet, Buddy does "That's How I Got To Memphis"---a great song written by Tom T. Hall---on his Your Love And Other Lies album. A fantastic version! I sometimes put the song on repeat, listening to it a dozen times in a row.
Having just listened to Rodney Crowell’s The Houston Kid, I could nominate any number of songs on this fantastic album. I’ll say "Why Don't We Talk About It", a song Tom Petty wished he could write. The chord progression, the melody and harmonies, the musicianship, all stellar. The song even has a bridge/middle-8, the writing of which is a sadly-dying art.
Also on the album is a new song Rodney and his once-Father-In-Law Johnny Cash (Crowell was married to Rosanne Cash) collaborate on, the very cool "I Walk The Line (Revisited)".
Hearing a new true Rock ’n’ Roll song is a rarity these days. If you crave that music, you will find "Frankie Please" on Rodney Crowell’s excellent 2014 Tarpaper Sky album. The piano playing on the song is in the Jerry Lee Lewis/Little Richard style. The album is full of great songs, singing, harmonizing, and musicianship.
For you LP purists, the album is available in that format. On the dependable New West Records label.
Great song slaw! Every band in San Jose did that song in 1965-6, including The Chocolate Watchband, seen in the Roger Corman movie Riot On Sunset Strip. The Yardbirds' version is great, but try and give a listen to the 1957 version by The Rock 'n' Roll Trio (Johnny Burnette, his brother Dorsey, and guitar-legend Paul Burlinson). Jeff beck is a big Paul Burlinson fan, which Is how The Yardbirds came to cover the song. The Trio's version is quite a bit "tougher"; they were American juvenile delinquents, The Yardbirds British "dandies" ;-) .
Awesome reubent! Slow Turning is every bit as good an album as it’s predecessor, Bring The Family. And his band on the album, The Goners (with Sonny Landreth on guitar), are fantastic. I was able to see/hear he and they on the tour for the album at The Roxy Theater on Sunset Blvd.---one of my all-time favorite nights of music.
There was an opening act whose name I was unfamiliar with, so I didn’t enter The Roxy until the opener, a young, lanky woman, was playing her set closer. The song was fantastic, and she was a real good singer with a real good band. Turned out to be Sheryl Crow, whose first album had been recorded but not yet released. Damn it!
Great slaw. I'm still listening to the copy I bought at the time of it's original release. Quality is timeless! One of my San Jose peers (he played with some of the same guys I did) was in Maria's band for awhile, and then became a long-time member of Paul Williams' band. Not a favorite of mine, but it's a living!
The Dwight Twilley Band: "I'm On Fire". Band members Phil Seymour (drums and vocals) and Bill Pitcock IV (guitar) are gone, but the music they made with Dwight will live forever. Timeless, brilliant Rock 'n' Roll of the highest order, it just doesn't get any better than this. The whole Sincerely album is superb, not a bad or even mediocre song.
Yes! Fantastic song @slaw, written by the great Jim Lauderdale. Very reminiscent of The Everly Brothers, don’t you think? Harmony singing by the wondeful Emmylou Harris.
Buddy Miller is not only a great guitarist, bandleader, and producer (he is imo the current MVP in music, much as Dave Edmunds was in the late-70's and 80's), but also a master interpreter of song. Take a listen to his take on Tom T. Hall's "That's How I Got To Memphis". As good as it gets!
@slaw, yup, DTB have been on my radar for a while now, but for some reason I’ve passed them by. I’m somewhat skeptical of young Alt-Country/Americana bands, often finding them a little weak in one way or another. But DTB aren’t young anymore, are they! With your prodding (;-) I just took a listen on Amazon, and damned if you’re not right, they warrant further investigation. So which DTB album should I start with?
I noticed DTB singer Tara Nevins has a couple of solo albums, the newest (Wood And Stone) produced by Larry Campbell, whom I like a lot. I took a listen, and oh yeah, I want it. Amazon is selling the LP for less than the CD (!), and had only one copy left in stock. I’ll receive it on Monday. Thanks pal-o-mine! I picked up the new Kelly Willis on LP while I was at it; less than ten bucks!
@slaw, the Tara Nevins and Kelly Willis LP's arrived today, and I gotta say, Amazons' LP shipping cartons are really well designed; both album covers are perfect, no dog-eared corners or dinged edges (a pet peeve of mine).
I haven't yet listened to Taras', but the album credits are impressive; Larry Campbell not only produces, but plays acoustic and electric guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, and harmonium, and sings harmony. Levon Helm plays drums on a couple of tracks, Jim Lauderdale and Allison Moore sing harmony on a track each, and the core band is comprised of an excellent drummer and upright bassist. The album was recorded at Levon Helms' studio in Woodstock, and mastered at The Mastering Lab in Ojai, CA, the facility built by Doug Sax (Sheffield Labs). Damn!
"Get Out Of Denver" by Dave Edmunds. Written by Bob Seger (who does an okay version), but perfected by Edmunds. Absolutely bristling with Rock ’n Roll tension-and-release sexual energy, it’s found on Daves’ fantastic Get It album on Swan Song. Swan Song Records? Yeah, signed to the label by Robert Plant, a huge Dave Edmunds fan.
Great song slaw (BPDG). I’m sure you’ve already heard it, but comparing the version by Them (with a very young Van Morrison singing) to the original by Muddy Waters illustrates why Them’s version is just about my all-time favorite cover song. That and Dave Edmund’s reworking of Smiley Lewis’ "I Hear You Knocking". Love live Rock ’n’ Roll!
I may have mentioned it before, but "Essense" by Lucinda Williams bears repeating. My God, what a song (I just listened to it three times in a row). On the album of the same title, which is full of great songs and vocal performances. Great musical accompaniment (she has excellent taste), including the drumming of Jim Keltner.
"As If We Would Never Love Again" on Jim Lauderdale’s Onward Through It All album. A great, great song (chord progressions, melody) from a "perfect" album (not a single bad song. Jim is a master songwriter, his songs having been recorded and made hits by a LOT of other singers. Look him up!), played by some of the best musicians in the world (none of whom you’ve heard of ;-) as a shuffle with a subtle swing feel, complete with walking bass, a favorite of mine.
I dig how the drummer switches from playing cross-stick on the snare drum on the first verse, to the tip of the stick on the drumhead on the second verse. Taste and class! Superb pedal steel playing, lead guitar parts and tone to die for (in the mold of James Burton), acoustic piano played honky-tonk style, nice harmony parts to compliment Jim’s great singing of the melody. What’s not to love? For those of you raised on Rock but now drawn to some Americana or Alt-Country artists or bands, this is how the music is played by men, rather than boys ;-) .
Sure do, @slaw. New West Records had a great sale back in November, and I picked up the Hiatt LP as well as the new ones by Rodney Crowell and Richard Thompson for $13.99 each, plus the Court Yard Hounds (the two sisters from The Dixie Chicks) LP for $7.98 and the Crazy Heart soundtrack on LP for $9.98. And three John Hiatt albums on CD for $3.99 each!
New West has a really fine roster of artists; in addition to the above, it includes the great Buddy Miller, Steve Earle (as well as his son, Justin Townes), J.D. McPherson, The Secret Sisters (produced by T Bone Burnett), and Lilly Hiatt (Johns daughter, I presume ;-).
While listening to the Jim Lauderdale track, you should hopefully become aware of the feeling that the players are "holding back". It’s a hard thing to describe and quantify, but it’s what separates the men from the boys in the area of musicianship.
By playing just a little "late", a hair "behind" the middle of the "pocket", a great deal of musical tension is created, a feeling of anticipation. When that tension is finally released, it’s SO satisfying! That tension-and-release is very sexual, if I may be slightly vulgar. The tension is also maintained by the musicians refraining from playing any superfluous notes. As the old Jazz guys always said, the notes you don’t play are as important as those you do. For you Rockers, think of "I Can See For Miles" by The Who, and "Skakin’ All Over" by The Guess Who (The Who’s version on Live At Leeds is all about release, missing the tension created by The Guess Who. Compare the two versions!).
This style of playing is referred to by some as laid-back (often said somewhat pejoratively by those who don’t understand or appreciate it), and is for some reason a specialty of southern U.S.A. musicians. That is why Dylan started recording in Nashville in 1965, and why Jerry Wexler took Aretha, Dusty, Wilson Pickett, and other Atlantic Records singers down to Muscle Shoals in 1968-9. Wilson said he walked into the studio and saw these white crackers sitting around, and thought to himself, "Jerry, what have you got me into?" He says then the band (known as The Swampers) started playing, and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing---the funkiest band he had ever heard! The drummer, Roger Hawkins, is a favorite of mine (and of Jim Keltner, who says he wishes he played more like Roger) who was enticed out of the studio by Steve Winwood for a stint in Traffic. As good a musical drummer as I have ever heard.
Jim Lauderdale has that kind of taste in musicians.
Something I neglected to mention about Jim Lauderdale, something that might break down any resistance some have to listening to someone as Country as Jim (I realize a fair number of Rockers have an aversion to the genre):
When I saw Lucinda Williams on her Car Wheels tour, Jim served as her bandleader/harmony singer/acoustic guitarist. He stood beside her on stage, playing his acoustic, singing harmony, providing what appeared to be moral support (she’s not the most confident of live performers), and leading the band (which included the great drummer Jim Christie, who quit Dwight Yoakam’s band to join hers).
Jim hosts the annual Americana Music Awards Show, and lately has been involved with another favorite music maker of mine, Buddy Miller. I’m tellin’ ya, the guy is ridiculously talented.