Posts Tagged ‘Tim Moore’

Saturday Single No. 8

April 18, 2011

Originally posted April 7, 2007

I was hoping, when I ran the random Baker’s Dozen from 1975 for Wednesday, that the RealPlayer would pull up a Tim Moore song. Well, it did, stopping on “Aviation Man.” And I kind of shrugged, because that was the proverbial half a loaf.

The song I had really been hoping for was “Second Avenue,” from Moore’s self-titled 1975 debut.

There are those, as I’ve said who demean the product of the singer-songwriters who made up a good portion of the population of the record charts in the 1970s. I’ll be the first to admit that there were a lot of bogus and sometimes smarmy tunes on the airwaves at the time. But really, when weren’t there? There’s always been a lot of chaff surrounding the wheat; that chaff is one of the things that make it possible for the grain to exist and be recognized.

Moore’s work is genuine grain, even as it falls on the outer fringes of the singer-songwriter universe, where the musical spectrum begins to edge into pop. And it’s work that has songcraft and wordcraft that writers in any genre would do well to examine. Moore’s music provides a strong and frequently lovely foundation for the lyrics, and his lyrics add detail upon detail until the scene is made as clear as it would be in a good short story.

Some of Moore’s stories are about love, of course. Love songs of all quality are endemic in popular music, whether about how wonderful it is to be in love or how awful it is to break up. Less common, it seems, are well-written songs about how one deals with the aftermath. “Walk On By,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, comes to mind, as does Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” But that song, written by King with Toni Stern, is more about dealing with the realization that things must be ended, not about dealing with the emptiness that follows. I’m sure there are others out there, if I took the time to make a list. Even so, those songs would have to be extraordinarily good to be any better than today’s Saturday Single, Tim Moore’s “Second Avenue.”

Tim Moore – “Second Avenue” [Asylum 45208, 1975]

A Baker’s Dozen From 1975

April 18, 2011

Orginally posted April 4, 2007

I came across the soundtrack to the movie Dazed and Confused the other day, and Texas Gal poked her head into the room as I was listening to the Edgar Winter Group’s “Free Ride.”

“I can’t tell you how many times I heard that at the roller rink,” she said with a grin. “See, this is the stuff you should be posting!” And she stood there listening, as I previewed some of the rest of the soundtrack: “No More Mister Nice Guy,” by Alice Cooper, “Balinese” by ZZ Top and “Lord Have Mercy On My Soul” by Black Oak Arkansas all got approving nods, but her largest smile came when she heard Head East and “Never Been Any Reason.”

I smiled, too. Not long after we met in early 2000, Texas Gal told me of her long-standing affection for the Head East anthem. Oddly enough, I’d never heard it, but then, I’d never spent much time listening to arena rock; for the most part, that was a genre of music that left me cold, although I did like Boston’s first album. But I let most arena rock pass me by, content in the middle of the 1970s with the Allman Brothers Band, Fleetwood Mac, Boz Scaggs and things a little less raucous than Head East and their brethren.

Texas Gal moved to Minnesota later in 2000, and not long after her move, I surprised her with a vinyl copy of Head East’s Flat As A Pancake, the home of “Never Been Any Reason.” It was a decent anthem, I acknowledged, if not to my exact taste. For her, she told me, it was a memory of some of the misspent moments of her younger days.

So when I played “Never Been Any Reason” for her last weekend as I sampled the Dazed and Confused soundtrack, she asked why I didn’t post it or use it as the start of a Baker’s Dozen. I told her I certainly could, as long as it didn’t come from 1976, as I recently posted a sampler from that year. I checked it out, and Flat As A Pancake was released in 1975.

So here is a Baker’s Dozen from that year, starting with a tune for my Texas Gal:

“Never Been Any Reason” by Head East from Flat As A Pancake

“A Day To Myself” by Clifford T. Ward from Escalator

“Marcy’s Song (She’s Just a Picture)” by Jackson Frank, unreleased session

“Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire from That’s The Way Of The World

“Nights Winters Years” by Justin Hayward & John Lodge from Bluejays

“Union Man” by the Cate Brothers from Cate Brothers

“You Don’t Know My Mind” by Tony Rice from California Autumn

“She’s The One” by Bruce Springsteen from Born To Run

“Somewhere In The Night” by Helen Reddy, Capitol single 4192

“Night Game” by Paul Simon from Still Crazy After All These Years

“Aviation Man” by Tim Moore from Tim Moore

“Pegasus” by the Allman Brothers Band from Enlightened Rogues*

“Love Won’t Let Me Wait” by Major Harris, Atlantic single 3248

Some things of note: the late Clifford T. Ward was one of Britain’s finest and – on this side of the Atlantic, anyway – least known singer-songwriters. Quiet, tasteful and thoughtful, his music can entrance. The same can be said for American Tim Moore, whose self-titled album from this year of 1975 should have been a massive hit. That it wasn’t is more our loss than his.

More tragic is the tale of the late Jackson C. Frank, whose single album, Blues Run The Game, came out in 1965.

And then there’s Major Harris and “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” with its background of some lovely lady cooing and moaning. It was quite the sensation in its time.

*Enlightened Rogues is, of course, from 1979. Somehow, “Pegasus” was mistagged. Stuff happens.