Archive for the ‘2003’ Category

It’s Video Thursday!

February 11, 2019

Originally posted June 25, 2009

As long as I mentioned Modern English and “I Melt With You” yesterday, I thought I’d look for the original video. I think this is it.

Here’s a live performance of “None But The Brave” by Bruce Springsteen with the Max Weinberg 7. It took place at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on December 7, 2003.

And continuing to be fortunate, I found a live performance of “I’ve Been Working Too Hard” – with side excursions into “Little Queenie” and “Can I Get A Witness” – by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes from a 1992 concert at the Music Hall in Cologne, Germany.

And here’s a Farm Aid ’86 performance of “Comes A Time” by Neil Young with harmony vocals from – I believe – the late Nicolette Larson.

As for tomorrow, I’ve got a couple of Jim Horn albums in the pile to rip, and a few other things that might be interesting. I’ve also got a little bit of an itch to see what was going on in, oh, 1961 or 1962 around this time of year. I’ll figure it out tomorrow morning.

Some Voices Suggested By Readers

October 7, 2011

Originally posted November 20, 2008

I thought that this morning, I’d head to YouTube and find some clips from a few of the many names readers suggested yesterday that might belong in the top ten list of the best singers of the rock era.

The first one I came across was one of my favorites, Maria McKee, in a 1990 live performance of “Show Me Heaven” – from the film Days of Thunder – on Top of the Pops. (The ending is a little truncated.)

Video deleted.

Then, here’s a powerful live performance of “Why” by Annie Lennox during the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of Arista Records. The celebration took place April 10, 2000, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Here’s an intriguing clip: Elvis Costello, accompanying himself on a ukulele, performing “The Scarlet Tide,” which he and T-Bone Burnett wrote for the soundtrack of Cold Mountain. The performance took place on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson but I’m not sure of the date. Maybe 2003?

Here’s Christina Aguilera covering Etta James’ “At Last” live in London in November 2003:

And we’ll close with Mavis Staples – with Dr. John on the piano – performing “I’ll Take You There” as the closer on a 1988 episode of Sunday Night.

An interesting mix, I think. Enjoy!

Is ‘Too Big To Fail’ Too Big To Exist?

September 26, 2011

Originally posted November 12, 2008

“You’d be surprised with the friends you can buy with small change.” – J. J. Cale

I thought it was worth a few sardonic chuckles during the recent presidential campaign when Joe the Plumber (whose name was not really Joe and who wasn’t a licensed plumber anyway, as I understand it) and other folks on one end of the political spectrum were warning us about the dangers of socialism.

At the very moments we were all being warned about how some folks wanted government to take over our economic futures, our government was already taking over our economic futures. Call it loans, equity positions, shares, bailouts, hot fudge sundaes, whatever you want. The federal government’s intrusion into the private sector – is there really a private sector anymore? – is about as huge as it’s ever been.

I’m not an economist. I’m not a historian. I do read a lot and think at least a little. And as I see corporations continue to line up for government help with their designer hats in their hands, I begin to wonder a few things: First, will that assistance do any good in minimizing the effect of the economic crash that appears to be headed our way? Second, will there be similar assistance for the folks whose assets and liabilities total a lot less but whose economic straits are just as severe (in other words, regular folks, however you want to define them)? And third – and this might be the most important question of the three, rhetorical though it is: If an economic entity can be tagged as “too big to be allowed to fail” because of the damage its failure can do, shouldn’t that be a signal that it’s too big to be allowed to exist in the first place?

I’m not sure about any of that, honestly. I’m just throwing questions out. As the autumn has gone on, I – just like anyone else, I imagine – have absorbed the economic news and tried to learn more. For whatever value the observation may have, I find myself nodding in agreement more and more to the thoughts and writings of two specific individuals whose commentary I read regularly: Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek (and now CNN, too)* and Paul Krugman of Princeton University and the New York Times.

Here’s some music that’s somewhat related to the topic at hand:

“Pawnshop Man” by Copperhead [1973]

“Cash on the Barrelhead” by Joe Nichols & Rhonda Vincent [2003]

“Money Talks” by J. J. Cale with Christine Lakeland [1983]

According to the blog Orexis of Death, Copperhead was a band organized by guitarist John Cipollina after he left Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1970. The group “was signed to a major-label record deal by Clive Davis at Columbia and recorded its debut album, Copperhead, released in the spring of 1973. Unfortunately, Davis was fired from Columbia shortly after the album’s release, an action that doomed any developing band that had been signed under his aegis. The album went nowhere, and when Columbia refused to release their [sic] second album, Copperhead folded.” I like the album, especially “Pawnshop Man,” a lot.

The Joe Nichols/Rhonda Vincent track comes from Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers, a 2003 release that’s well worth picking up

The Cale track comes from Cale’s 1983 album, 8.

*In 2010, Zakaria left Newsweek and became the editor-at-large of Time magazine. Note added September 26, 2011.

Mickey & Susan

August 5, 2011

Originally posted September 11, 2008

Well, let’s see if I can get through a short post this morning without making any stupid errors. (Even as I wrote about Richard & Linda Thompson’s song “Walking On A Wire” yesterday, my brain was telling my fingers, “Slow down, it’s not the same song. I know that album.” But my fingers wouldn’t listen. So my brain shrugged its figurative shoulders and went off to figure out how many patio blocks we need for the expanded bricks and boards bookcase here in the new place. My fingers kept on typing, and, well, there you go!)

So what is there at YouTube that connects with this week’s posts?

Well, the first thing I found ties into Tuesday’s post: Here’s a treat from the late Mickey Newbury, a performance of “An American Trilogy” from Live At The Hermitage, a DVD of (I think) a 1994 concert. Most folks associate the medley with Elvis Presley, who made it a featured portion of his concerts, but the trilogy was first recorded and released by Newbury. The single, Elektra 45750, went to No. 26 in 1971.

The individual who posted the video at YouTube notes that in a concert around that time, Newbury created the trilogy by spontaneously combining “a southern anthem (written by a northerner), a northern anthem (written by a southerner), and an old African healing song.”

Well, not quite. “Dixie” (originally published as “Dixie’s Land”) is generally credited to a northerner, Daniel D. Emmett, but “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – set to pre-existing music – was written by Julia Ward Howe, who was not a southerner but a New York native who lived as an adult in South Boston. As to “All My Trials,” Wikipedia notes that it’s descended from a Bahamian lullaby.

Despite all that, the trilogy is a beautiful piece of music, and Newbury and violinist Marie Rhines do a nice job.

Moving on, here’s Susan Tedeschi and her band performing a strong version of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” on a 2003 episode of Austin City Limits:

Happy Thursday, all. I’m off to buy more patio block!

A Baker’s Dozen Of Trains

June 22, 2011

Originally posted April 7, 2008

Almost every night as I went to sleep during my childhood and youth, I’d hear the sound of trains. The tracks sliced through the east side of St. Cloud, with southbound trains heading for the Twin Cities and northbound trains heading for either the nearby passenger terminal or the rail yard across the river on the north side. As the trains neared the intersection with Seventh Street two blocks from our house, the engineers would let loose their horns, and so very often, I’d slide into sleep with the sound of a train and its horn easing my way.

The tracks on the east side back then were part of the Great Northern Railway, built in the late years of the nineteenth century from St. Paul and Duluth across the northern tier of the U.S. to Washington and Oregon. We kids would watch from the schoolyard as the trains roared past, most of the cars bearing the GN logo – a mountain goat standing on a rocky outcrop – and we’d wave as the caboose passed by. More often than not, the railroad men in the caboose would wave back.

(How long has it been since I’ve seen a caboose, much less waved at one? I have no idea, but it’s been years. Their absence isn’t the only change, of course: The railroad, after many mergers, is now called the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Its only business is freight. Amtrak uses the route for its passenger service, which stops here twice a day, heading east to the Twin Cities and Chicago in the early morning and heading west across the plains just after midnight.)

Paul Simon wrote, “Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance.” I’m not sure about everybody, but it’s true for me, and I imagine for a lot of the kids who grew up within earshot of the tracks on the east side. The Texas Gal and I live about a block from those same tracks, and trains provide a frequent, and pleasant, background sound. (When we’re watching television with the sliding door open, the sound coming across the little meadow can drown out the television; those are moments I’m grateful for the ability to pause the television.)

It’s a little less noisy these days, though: Trains coming through here are no longer allowed to blow their horns. Late last year, the two crossings nearest our home were reconstructed to provide greater safety, and the stretch of tracks through St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids (a smaller city adjacent to St. Cloud on the north) was proclaimed a “no horn” zone. That’s too bad, in a way. The horns could be intrusive, but they were also a part of the background of life here on the east side. Just moments ago, as I was writing this, I heard a faint train horn, maybe from over on the north side, and I realized I’ve missed the sound.

What is it about the sound of a train, with or without its horn? I can’t answer for others, but to me, it’s the sound of exploration and adventure, the sound of another place calling me onward. I’m sublimely happy with where I am in all ways. But when a train comes by, the clatter of its wheels on the track calls me to come away.

I’ve done a very little bit of train travel in the U.S., mostly between St. Cloud and Minot when I was teaching in the North Dakota city twenty years ago. During my nine months in Europe while I was in college, I had a rail pass for two months and logged about 11,000 miles of train travel, from Denmark south as far as Rome and north as far as Narvik, Norway, the farthest point north one could travel on the rail lines in Europe. I suppose it’s the echo of those long-ago adventures I hear when the wheels clatter on the rails.

A Baker’s Dozen of Trains
“Mystery Train” by The Band from Moondog Matinee, 1973

“Night Train” by James Brown, King single 5614, 1961

“Glendale Train” by the New Riders Of The Purple Sage from New Riders Of The Purple Sage, 1971

“Memphis Train” by Rufus Thomas, Stax single 250, 1968

“Long Black Train” by Josh Turner from Long Black Train, 2003

“Downtown Train” by Rod Stewart, Warner Bros. single 22685, 1989

“Southbound Train” by Graham Nash & David Crosby from Graham Nash/David Crosby, 1973

“When The Train Comes” by the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver from Reach For The Sky, 1975

“Time Run Like A Freight Train” by Eric Andersen from Stages: The Lost Album, 1973/1991

“Last Train To Memphis” by Johnny Rivers from Last Train To Memphis, 1998

“The Blue Train” by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt from Trio II, 1999

“Love Train” by the O’Jays, Philadelphia International single 3524, 1973

“Trains” by Al Stewart from Famous Last Words, 1993

A few notes:

Moondog Matinee was The Band’s salute to vintage rock & roll and R&B. At the time, many listeners perceived it as a stopgap record, but to my mind, it’s a document of where some of The Band’s myriad influences lie. Some of the tracks on the album work better than others, it’s true, and “Mystery Train” might be the best of them all.

I don’t often share songs recorded after 1999, but Josh Turner’s “Long Black Train” is so good I have to make an exception. Turner’s deep country voice and the moody backing track make the song sound as if it’s always been around and Turner discovered it in some back-road adventure.

Back in 1989, long after I’d written off Rod Stewart, he came along with “Downtown Train,” his stellar reading of the Tom Waits tune. There’s a nice version of the song by Everything But The Girl on its 1998 album Acoustic, but the Stewart version, I think, is the definitive one.

A while back, I shared “Page 43” from the Graham Nash/David Crosby album. “Southbound Train” is one of the two other superlative tracks from that album (“Immigration Man” is the other.) As I think I said then, of all the sub-combinations to come out of the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young conglomeration, the pairing of Nash and Crosby might have been the best.

The Eric Andersen track was supposed to be on his Stages album, recorded in 1973. As I’ve related here before, CBS lost the tapes. Andersen re-recorded the song – and several others from Stages – for 1975’s Be True To You. After the Stages tapes were re-discovered in 1989, the album – with some additional songs – was released in 1991. As good as the 1975 version of “Time Run Like A Freight Train” was – and it is a good one – this version, the original, is much better.

This list is far less random than these usually are. As well as trimming out a few songs that were released after 1999, I skipped over four or five from the 1950s. (Trains were clearly a staple topic of country music then.) I’m glad I did, otherwise “Love Train” might not have made the list. Propulsive, joyous and very much of its time, “Love Train” is a great single.

I’ve read some critics of Al Stewart say that he over-reaches when he takes on history. Maybe, but sometimes he succeeds greatly. “Trains” is one his successes, taking the listener from schoolboy days in post-World War II England to 1990s commuter travel on the American East Coast, with stops along the way at the trenched front of World War I and the haunted rail spurs that brought innocents to their deaths in World War II’s occupied Poland.

Saturday Single No. 15

April 22, 2011

Originally posted June 9, 2007

Well, I had a little fun yesterday, trying to figure out just what the heck I had found.

After I wrote about Jerry Lee Lewis and his Southern Roots album, I went to the stacks and pulled out my copy of Petula Clark’s Memphis. It looks like it’s in pretty good shape, so I mentally made it a prime candidate for posting one of these days. And then – having gotten into the mood to hear some Petula – I went to the RealPlayer.

There wasn’t much there. I had her version of “Windmills of Your Mind” from Portrait of Petula and the song “Who Am I” from Colour My World/Who Am I. No “Downtown”. No “Don’t Sleep in the Subway”. None of the major hits. Hmmm.

Sometimes that happens. Sometimes I’ve entirely missed on the hit catalog of an artist I do enjoy but obviously think about rarely. And I do like “Downtown” and the other hits of hers. (“Downtown” actually reminds me of a New Year’s Eve spent at Rick’s house, probably as 1964 turned into 1965. We were playing a game, I would guess, and down the hall his older sister was entertaining some friends. Every twenty minutes or so, the sound came down the hallway of Petula trying to persuade the world to go downtown.)

Having found a gap in the collection, I went out into the wilds of the ’Net to find mp3s of Petula Clark’s work. (I have her greatest hits on vinyl, and I could have ripped that. It seemed like a lot of work at the moment.) And in short order, I found them: “Downtown,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” “A Sign Of The Times,” and a few more. I also found what was tagged as Petula and Euro megastar Demis Roussos performing “Summer Wine” as a duet.

That took me a bit aback. It seemed an odd pairing. Roussos didn’t go solo until the early 1970s, after the demise of the group Aphrodite’s Child. And although she was still recording in the early 1970s, Clark would not have been – I thought – a hot choice for a duet single at that time. Still the recording was nice. The female vocal sounded like Petula, to my ears, and the production had touches of what seemed to me the sound of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

So, when was it recorded? And what were the label and the catalog number? I won’t say the research is as important as the music, but it is important to me to be able to document the source of a song. If it’s an album cut, then that’s easy: I check All-Music Guide or any of the various reference books I have here. I don’t worry about catalog numbers for albums. If it was released as a single, well, for the most part, it’s easy, too, as I have multiple reference books that list American singles that hit the Top 40. And for those albums and singles released elsewhere in the world, I’ve become pretty adept at sorting through the data on the ’Net, using Google and a few of the links I posted here yesterday.*

But there wasn’t much out there about a “Summer Wine” duet between Petula Clark and Demis Roussos. I found a few things on YouTube showing the two singers’ photographs as the music played underneath, edited into the much more recent live version of the song by the Corrs and Bono of U2.

Other than that, there was really nothing else out there, which seemed odd to me. So at mid-morning, I went to a forum where I post frequently and asked if anyone there had any information. One of the other forum members noted that “Summer Wine” was listed on Roussos’ 1998 CD called Greater Love. I took a look at AMG and clicked the link to hear a sample. It wasn’t the same production, and the running time was 4:24; the performance I was tracking was clocked at 3:46.

To my mind, that meant that Roussos had also recorded the song as a solo performance, most likely sometime after recording the duet. I dug for answers on and off the rest of the day, taking breaks to do essential tasks but always being drawn back into the hunt, nagged by the feeling that I was missing something obvious. But there was still very little information out there about a Clark-Roussos duet. So I gave up for a few hours and did other things.

Late last night, about thirteen hours after I began my research, another habitué of the forum posted some links she’d found. Included was a link to the same AMG list of Roussos’ performances of “Summer Wine” I’d already seen, the list that led me to the solo recording with the running time of 4:24. But what I’d missed in that list the first time were two recordings with running times of 3:44. I clicked on one of those listings, the one for the album The Singles+, and then clicked the icon for a sample. It was the duet!

And when I clicked the link to go to that album, it listed “Summer Wine” as having a vocal from one Nancy Boyd.

It wasn’t Petula after all. Now, I wasn’t surprised at the misidentification on the original mp3 I found. After all, there are plenty of errors out there on the ’Net, especially where music is concerned. I’ve seen the Cowsills credited with recording “Windy,” which is generally misspelled “Wendy.” And, of course, lots of sources for mp3s out there have Leon Redbone singing “Come and Get Your Love” and “The Witch Queen of New Orleans.” I could list many more, but the point is: Accuracy and attention to detail are often in short supply.

It didn’t take long after that to find some information (and a picture of the single’s sleeve, which showed both Roussos and Nancy Boyd; she does look vaguely like Petula Clark). The song was recorded in 1986, and a website that sells old singles identified it as BR Music single 56023, a Dutch release that was credited “Demis Roussos, featuring Nancy Boyd.” (It was no doubt released in numerous other countries as well.)

But wait! The page at finnishcharts.com, where I found a picture of the sleeve, says that the single has a running time of 4:25, equivalent to the running time of the recording that I classified as Roussos performing solo. I compared the two recordings again. They still sounded clearly like different productions. And the running time of the duet I had matched the running time of the duet on the album The Singles+.

So what do I have? As Friday ended and Saturday began, I sorted through the information I had. And I came to the conclusion that, when the duet was selected for inclusion on The Singles+ and the other two Roussos anthologies I found listed, it was edited from 4:25 down to 3:44. And that’s the version I found while wandering the nooks and crannies of the ’Net yesterday.

I still think the production sounds like something from the early 1970s, but it’s from 1986. And the mp3 I have, I have decided, is a 2003 edit of that 1986 Dutch single BR Music 56023, “Summer Wine” by Demis Roussos, featuring Nancy Boyd. And that’s today’s Saturday Single.

Demis Roussos, featuring Nancy Boyd – “Summer Wine” [1986 release, 2003 Edit]

*I did not repost the list of reference links here in the archive blog. That list is now outdated, with many of the links going dead – and new sources having been added – in the past four years. I may soon publish an updated list of links I use for research at the main Echoes In The Wind site. [Note added April 22, 2011.]

Through The Junkyard Again

April 17, 2011

Originally posted February 23, 2007

As I didn’t get a new album posted today, and I wanted to do something, even at this late hour – it’s 11:09 p.m. as I write – I thought I’d so another walk through the junkyard, putting up a list of twenty-five songs selected by using RealPlayer’s random function:

“Heaven/Where True Love Goes” by Yusuf from An Other Cup, 2006.

“In The Beginning” by the Moody Blues from On The Threshold Of A Dream, 1969.

“I Must Be In Love” by the Rutles from The Rutles, 1978.

“Till I See You Again” by Derek & The Dominos from unreleased sessions, 1971.

“Our Very Own” by Nanci Griffith & Keith Carradine from Hearts In Mind, 2005.

“Sugar Blues” by Al Hirt from Cotton Candy, 1962.

“Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” by Hot Tuna from Splashdown, WQIV-FM, New York
City, 1975.

“Muleskinner Blues” by Tony Rice from Cold On The Shoulder, 1984.

“Big River” by Johnny Cash, Sun single 283, 1957.

“Bound For Glory” by Phil Ochs from All the News That’s Fit To Sing, 1964.

“The Hunter” by Albert King from Born Under A Bad Sign, 1967.

“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” by Norah Jones, WFUV broadcast, New York City, 2002.

“Crossroader” by Mountain from Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On, 1972.

“When The Battle Is Over” by Aretha Franklin from Spirit In The Dark, 1970.

“Let Me Do It To You” by J. J. Cale from Troubadour, 1976.

“Miranda” by Fleetwood Mac from Say You Will, 2003.

“San Francisco Bay Blues” by Jesse Fuller, live at Newport Folk Festival, 1964.

“Legend In His Time” by Kate Wolf & the Wildwood Flower from Back Roads, 1976.

“Why” by Fleetwood Mac from Mystery To Me, 1973.

“You Got Some Inspiration” by Boz Scaggs from Middle Man, 1980.

“Allt Jag Behöver” by Lisa Nilsson from Himlen Runt Hörnet (Swedish), 1992.

“Something You Can’t Buy” by Rick Nelson from Intakes, 1977.

“Mary & The Soldier” by Lucy Kaplansky from Flesh and Bone, 1996.

“Travelin’ Blues” by Loggins & Messina from Full Sail, 1973.

“Strong Feeling” by Joe Haywood, Front Page single 1000, about 1969.

Once again, nothing from before 1960, and pretty light on R&B. But it gives another pretty good idea of what about ninety minutes of listening brings me.