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The Third 100 from 1969. #1: Everyday People (2 Viewers)

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Obviously Walsh can play guitar but that high pitched whining voice isn't helped by whatever they did on that track.  
I never really thought about it, but I can see how Walsh might be in the Bob Dylan/Neil Young "I can't deal with his voice" crowd for some. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
59. Who Knows Where the Time Goes? -- Fairport Convention (from Unhalfbricking)

Fairport Convention was the band I was referring to in the first post that put out three excellent albums in 1969. The middle one, Unhalfbricking, was the best and most popular. 

Who Knows Where the Time Goes? was the other song I was referring to in the Leonard Cohen post that first appeared on a Judy Collins album in 1968; it was a hit for her. Writer Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention's singer, didn't issue her version with the band until '69, and it is one of the best tracks of Unhalfbricking, a true masterpiece. 

Denny's immense vocal talents can be heard throughout the track, and the sympathetic electric guitar rumblings in the background are those of Richard Thompson. 

Many folks only know Denny through her role on Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore, but if you like that sort of thing, the Fairport Convention albums with Denny on them are all worth checking out. 

 
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northern exposure

Footballguy
61. My Dark Hour -- The Steve Miller Band (from Brave New World)

Brave New World, The Steve Miller Band's first of two albums in 1969, is chock full of good songs. The closer, My Dark Hour, has a unique origin story, and features the non-Steve Miller parts of the Steve Miller Band being played by none other than Paul McCartney.

The Beatles and Allen Klein were at Olympic Studios on the day after the Fab Four had agreed to a management deal with Klein. Well, the Fab Three, as McCartney was against the idea and held out. An explosive argument over the management contract ended with everyone except Paul walking out. According to The Beatles Bible (https://www.beatlesbible.com/1969/05/09/paul-mccartney-plays-drums-steve-miller-my-dark-hour/), Paul recounted:

The rest of the SMB wasn't around, but producer Glyn Johns was, and he recorded the collaboration. Paul:

In other words, Steve Miller lucked into his own Helter Skelter.

The song is indeed aggressive, from the punchy bass to the occasional screeches in the vocals to the guitar solos to the aforementioned drum fills. It's basically blues rock amped up beyond 11. And it's glorious. 

Paul was credited as "Paul Ramon" and didn't take a songwriting credit, but there was never any secret about who was involved. 
I watched the Rock and Roll HOF Inductions in 2016 and was surprised how little I knew of The Steve Miller Band prior to "The Joker" album. I was also shocked at Miller's arrogance.

He certainly had an interesting early life: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Miller_(musician)

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
58. Beginning to See the Light -- The Velvet Underground (from The Velvet Underground)

This is one of two rockers on VU's most laid-back album (Tim took the other, What Goes On). It boasts progressions that recall early rock and roll, and Lou Reed's attempt at a Little Richard scream or something. The bridges, which switch to a softer melody with harmonies, and the gorgeous "how does it feel to be loved" coda make it much better than a standard throwback song. 

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
I watched the Rock and Roll HOF Inductions in 2016 and was surprised how little I knew of The Steve Miller Band prior to "The Joker" album. I was also shocked at Miller's arrogance.

He certainly had an interesting early life: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Miller_(musician)
His stuff before the Joker is killer and IMO much, much better.  Still listen to them a lot.  

His treatment of the Black Keys doesn't seem very cool, but I would think that it had a lot to do with the fact that he was super pissed at the HOF and their treatment of artists.  As he clearly states in his acceptance speech.  

 

zamboni

Footballguy
59. Who Knows Where the Time Goes? -- Fairport Convention (from Unhalfbricking)

Fairport Convention was the band I was referring to in the first post that put out three excellent albums in 1969. The middle one, Unhalfbreaking, was the best and most popular. 

Who Knows Where the Time Goes? was the other song I was referring to in the Leonard Cohen post that first appeared on a Judy Collins album in 1968; it was a hit for her. Writer Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention's singer, didn't issue her version with the band until '69, and it is one of the best tracks of Unhalfbricking, a true masterpiece. 

Denny's immense vocal talents can be heard throughout the track, and the sympathetic electric guitar rumblings in the background are those of Richard Thompson. 

Many folks only know Denny through her role on Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore, but if you like that sort of thing, the Fairport Convention albums with Denny on them are all worth checking out. 
Great album - at the expense of spoiling, A Sailor’s Life is an incredible journey.

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Pip's Invitation said:
65. Wild Child -- The Doors (from The Soft Parade)

This was not a great year for The Doors; IMO The Soft Parade is their worst album. All but two songs come off as half-baked to me. The best one, Touch Me, appeared on Bracie's list. Wild Child is the other. It features some pretty heavy blues riffage from Robbie Krieger and points the way to the bluesier sound they would develop on Morrison Hotel and LA Woman. The coda starting at 2:00 is a particularly triumphant moment in their oeuvre. 
Not a fan of the title track?

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Not a fan of the title track?
No, I think it's a hot mess. And I find the spoken intro funny, which I don't think was what they were going for. 

I once saw a band called The Zambonis in NYC on a bill with my friends' band. They wore hockey uniforms and all their songs were about hockey. You weren't in that band, were you? 😆

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
57. Pre-Road Downs -- Crosby, Stills and Nash (from Crosby, Stills and Nash)

It didn't get much groovier than this in 1969. Chunky rhythm guitar and organ riffs propel this along bouncily, while Stephen Stills manipulated the tape so his lead guitar lines are backwards. The trademark CSN harmonies uplift the proceedings, and Graham Nash's lyrics winkingly reference sex and drugs. A pure joy to listen to.

The live version released on 4 Way Street 2 years later has a completely different vibe, recast as a hard-charging rocker that may be as close to proto-punk as CSN(Y) ever got. 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
No, I think it's a hot mess. And I find the spoken intro funny, which I don't think was what they were going for. 

I once saw a band called The Zambonis in NYC on a bill with my friends' band. They wore hockey uniforms and all their songs were about hockey. You weren't in that band, were you? 😆
The opening is a bit goofy, but I like the meandering, shifting nature of the song.

Not my band, but I love the schtick.🏒 Probably better than Five For Fighting.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
The opening is a bit goofy, but I like the meandering, shifting nature of the song.
They had other songs that did that better. 

The opening is a bit goofy, but I like the meandering, shifting nature of the song.

Not my band, but I love the schtick.🏒 Probably better than Five For Fighting.
There were no sappy ballads about superheroes, so that automatically makes them better. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
56. I Still Wonder -- Love (from Out Here)

As I mentioned in the first Love entry, the band -- which was completely different from the one that recorded Forever Changes except for frontman Arthur Lee -- recorded three discs' worth of material in 1969, and its first label Elektra took the 10 songs it liked best to satisfy the band's contractual obligations. The rest of the songs were released as a double album, Out Here, by the band's new label, Blue Thumb. I Still Wonder was the best of those. 

An exhilarating slice of fuzzed-out power pop, along with the best of the tracks Elektra selected, I Still Wonder answered definitively whether the melodic gifts Lee displayed on Forever Changes were for real. 

 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
I was also shocked at Miller's arrogance.

He certainly had an interesting early life: 
So strange to see his name on this list.

A Guide to the Bohemian Grove

... The following men are some of the most well-known attendees, both members and regular guests, of the Bohemian Club encampments past and present.

James A. Baker III

Christopher Buckley

William F. Buckley

George H.W. Bush

George W. Bush

**** Cheney

Calvin Coolidge

Walter Cronkite

Bing Crosby

John E. Dupont

Clint Eastwood

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Gerald Ford

Barry Goldwater

Merv Griffin

Alexander Haig

Charlton Heston

Herbert Hoover

Jack Kemp

Henry Kissinger

Jack London

Steve Miller

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
55. I Turned You On -- The Isley Brothers (from The Brothers: Isley)

The rhythm is infectious on this one. The guitars stick in your head and never leave. It's the slow-grinding companion to their big hit It's Your Thing from the same year, down to the repeated chants of "sock it to me." 

"I started it, but I can't stop it" as a line in a song called I Turned You On? I'll leave it to you to fill in the blanks on that one. 

 

northern exposure

Footballguy
His stuff before the Joker is killer and IMO much, much better.  Still listen to them a lot.  

His treatment of the Black Keys doesn't seem very cool, but I would think that it had a lot to do with the fact that he was super pissed at the HOF and their treatment of artists.  As he clearly states in his acceptance speech.  
If Miller was pissed at the HOF, then take it out on them, not on innocent bystanders. The Black Keys were there to honor Steve Miller and share their love of his music. In interviews with the Keys I have read that Miller had no idea who they were and had no desire to find out. They said he was very rude to them and they left the ceremony as soon as they were done onstage.They had hoped to turn their fans on to some great music that they might not be aware of. Miller crapped all over that idea. He gave off a very strong FIGJAM vibe there.

ETA- I mean c'mon dude, you released Abracadabra. 😆

 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
55. I Turned You On -- The Isley Brothers (from The Brothers: Isley)

The rhythm is infectious on this one. The guitars stick in your head and never leave. It's the slow-grinding companion to their big hit It's Your Thing from the same year, down to the repeated chants of "sock it to me." 

"I started it, but I can't stop it" as a line in a song called I Turned You On? I'll leave it to you to fill in the blanks on that one. 
Never heard it before and its GREAT!

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
54. It's Been a Long Time Coming -- Delaney & Bonnie (from Home)

Delaney & Bonnie became a big deal in 1969 -- in the music industry. They did not catch on with the public to the same degree. Delaney Bramlett had been a longtime session guitarist and his wife Bonnie was the first white Ikette. Between their many connections in the industry and their electrifying live act, a ton of big names wanted to work with them. They signed to Stax for their first album, Home, for which they were backed by, among others, Booker T. and the MGs, Leon Russell and Isaac Hayes. Distribution problems with Stax led them to jump ship to Elektra for their second album Accept No Substitute (aka The Original Delaney & Bonnie), but there they encountered more distribution problems (and were dropped when Delaney threatened to kill the head of Elektra because Accept No Substitute couldn't be found in the town where his father lived.) 

After his friend George Harrison recommended them, Eric Clapton invited Delaney & Bonnie to open for his new band, Blind Faith. Clapton enjoyed their sets so much more than what he was doing with Blind Faith that he ended up quitting Blind Faith to play with Delaney and Bonnie. (Some of these performances can be heard on the 1970 live album On Tour with Eric Clapton.) Clapton ended up poaching three of Delaney & Bonnie's sidemen who were feuding with their bosses over money -- Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon -- for his next project, Derek and the Dominoes. 

Dave Mason was also enamored with their sound. After leaving Traffic in early '69, he spent much of the year in Delaney & Bonnie's band, and the songs he wrote for his excellent 1970 solo album Alone Together were very much influenced by their sound (and Leon Russell's). Alone Together's best-known song, Only You Know and I Know, first surfaced in Delaney & Bonnie sets and a live version appears on On Tour with Eric Clapton. 

The 1969 track that best shows what all the fuss was about is It's Been a Long Time Coming from Home, written by Delaney and Bonnie themselves. It's a rollicking dervish that showcases the Stax sound at its best. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
53. Bring It on Home -- Led Zeppelin (from Led Zeppelin II)

As I've said elsewhere, early Zeppelin did some songs that are basically blues parodies, but that's pretty much all Tim and Bracie left me. 

Bring It on Home's beginning and ending certainly qualify as that, but starting at 1:45, we've basically got the template for Jack White's career. The guitar riffage is heavy and insistent, and John Bonham's fills are godly. 

 

Sea Duck

Footballguy
53. Bring It on Home -- Led Zeppelin (from Led Zeppelin II)

As I've said elsewhere, early Zeppelin did some songs that are basically blues parodies, but that's pretty much all Tim and Bracie left me. 

Bring It on Home's beginning and ending certainly qualify as that, but starting at 1:45, we've basically got the template for Jack White's career. The guitar riffage is heavy and insistent, and John Bonham's fills are godly. 
Bonham is such a monster on this track. Those first two drumbeats are like gunshots.

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
53. Bring It on Home -- Led Zeppelin (from Led Zeppelin II)

As I've said elsewhere, early Zeppelin did some songs that are basically blues parodies, but that's pretty much all Tim and Bracie left me. 

Bring It on Home's beginning and ending certainly qualify as that, but starting at 1:45, we've basically got the template for Jack White's career. The guitar riffage is heavy and insistent, and John Bonham's fills are godly. 
wap

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
51. Seeing -- Moby Grape (from Moby Grape '69)

Moby Grape's 1967 self-titled debut album is considered one of the gems of the late '60s, but their third album, released in early '69, was just as good. Which is remarkable given the turmoil that the band went through in just a short time (and a second album, Wow/Grape Jam, that wasn't that good). 

By the time the band went to record this record in late '68, they were emotionally and financially desperate. They had signed to a horrid management/production contract that screwed them out of money and denied them the rights to their own material to this day. They were on a label that were more interested in using them for marketing gimmicks than in promoting their songs correctly. (For the first album, it released five singles at once, confusing radio programmers and spawning no significant hits. For the second album, it packaged it with a "bonus jam" disc (for a band not known for its jamming) and bundled them together for the price of $1 more than a single album.) They released a second album with quite a few songs that were lackluster and quite a few others that were saddled with baffling production decisions. And their founder Skip Spence, who suffered from schizophrenia, went off the rails, going after bandmate Don Stevenson with an axe. 

Spence was dismissed from the band prior to the recording of Moby Grape '69, but the band decided to use Seeing, a demo of his from the Wow sessions. They added more vocals and instrumentation to it (Bob Moseley sings the fast parts, Spence the slow parts) and turned it into a spine-chilling, majestic masterpiece. Every note played and sang just drips with emotion. And you can't help but wonder if some of the lyrics reference Spence starting to lose his mind.

Take me far away
My wiles and mind can't beat a dream of death today
Hard to get by
When what greets my eye takes my breath away

&

The band put out a fourth album in late '69, Truly Fine Citizen, but it feels like a contractual obligation exercise, which it was (and was missing not only Spence but Moseley, who shocked everyone by leaving to join the military. He too was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.) 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
50. Hot Burrito #1 -- The Flying Burrito Brothers (from The Gilded Palace of Sin)

Few singing performances have as much pathos and vulnerability as Gram Parsons' here. It's a countrified weeper on one hand but on the other, the arrangements of the guitars and piano have similar subtleties to what the Beatles were doing in the late '60s. This was how to perform a tearjerker without being square. 

Parsons wrote most of the album's songs with Chris Hillman, but this was one of two (as you might guess from the title) that he co-wrote with bassist/pianist Chris Ethridge. "I told Gram I had a couple of old melodies from back when I was growin' up...I played 'em for him and we wrote the two songs that day, and then that night went into the studio and cut 'em," Ethridge said in a 2004 documentary. 

 
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The Dreaded Marco

Footballguy
50. Hot Burrito #1 -- The Flying Burrito Brothers (from The Gilded Palace of Sin)

Few singing performances have as much pathos and vulnerability as Gram Parsons' here. It's a countrified weeper on one hand but on the other, the arrangements of the guitars and piano have similar subtleties to what the Beatles were doing in the late '60s. This was how to perform a tearjerker without being square. 

Parsons wrote most of the album's songs with Chris Hillman, but this was one of two (as you might guess from the title) that he co-wrote with bassist/pianist Chris Ethridge. "I told Gram I had a couple of old melodies from back when I was growin' up...I played 'em for him and we wrote the two songs that day, and then that night went into the studio and cut 'em," Ethridge said in a 2004 documentary. 
240-something spots too low, IMO  :)  

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
49. I Threw It All Away -- Bob Dylan (from Nashville Skyline)

We don't associate "Bob Dylan" with "fine vocal performances", but he changed his singing style for Nashville Skyline (he claimed it was due to quitting cigarettes, but I don't believe that) and did an excellent job of singing on this one. I especially like the way he sings the title phrase -- it comes a little later than you're expecting, yet it's just what the song needs. Believe it or not, this was the first single from Nashville Skyline, before Lay Lady Lay. 

This song has some of his most personalized, reflective lyrics and can be interpreted as a prototype for the Blood on the Tracks songs. We don't know which past relationship he is lamenting that he ruined, but Joan Baez, Suze Rotolo and Edie Sedgwick have all been speculated. 

The bass player on this track was Charlie Daniels. Yes, that Charlie Daniels. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
48. Black Hearted Woman -- The Allman Brothers Band (from The Allman Brothers Band)

I have no idea why this isn't as big a radio staple as Whipping Post and some of their other songs from the Duane era. I count three unbelievable, highly memorable guitar passages -- in the first 45 seconds. And that's before we get to the hard-charging solo around 1:45, some gutbusting slide work around 3:35, and the psychedelic coda. Yeah, this song is guitar heaven and anyone with an interest in guitar music should get to know it. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
46. Wooden Ships -- Jefferson Airplane (from Volunteers)

Didn't we already see this song in Bracie's countdown? We did, but not like this. 

The Airplane's arrangement is so different from CSN's that it may as well be a different song. 

If you think about it, the song is pretty dark and harrowing. CSN's arrangement is brisk and bright and plays up the "very free" and "sail away" aspects of the lyrics. JA's is much more subdued, playing up the "horror grips us as we watch you die" aspects. Jorma Kaukonen's lead guitar bursts are piercing and almost painful to listen to at times, accentuating how something has gone very wrong in the song's universe. The coda of repeated "no, no, no, no," missing from the CSN version, drives that home as well. And there is no joy in the vocals -- Paul Kantner (who co-wrote the song with David Crosby and Stephen Stills), Grace Slick and Marty Balin mean serious business here. 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Pip's Invitation said:
46. Wooden Ships -- Jefferson Airplane (from Volunteers)

Didn't we already see this song in Bracie's countdown? We did, but not like this. 

The Airplane's arrangement is so different from CSN's that it may as well be a different song. 

If you think about it, the song is pretty dark and harrowing. CSN's arrangement is brisk and bright and plays up the "very free" and "sail away" aspects of the lyrics. JA's is much more subdued, playing up the "horror grips us as we watch you die" aspects. Jorma Kaukonen's lead guitar bursts are piercing and almost painful to listen to at times, accentuating how something has gone very wrong in the song's universe. The coda of repeated "no, no, no, no," missing from the CSN version, drives that home as well. And there is no joy in the vocals -- Paul Kantner (who co-wrote the song with David Crosby and Stephen Stills), Grace Slick and Marty Balin mean serious business here. 
Glad you pointed out Jorma’s work here - that wailing sound he evokes is the most memorable part of the song.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
45. Because -- The Beatles (from Abbey Road)

It's the gosh darn Beatles from their last gosh darn masterpiece, and it's not [redacted] or [redacted], so I don't really need to convince you much why it's here. 

This song shows how they were innovating to the very end. John Lennon wrote it after hearing Yoko play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on piano and asking her to play the chords backwards. George Martin plays harpsichord and the three non-Ringo Beatles sing in incredible harmony, each of their voices triple-tracked to create the illusion of extra singers. And George Harrison plays a few measures on a then-brand new instrument, the Moog synthesizer. This track gives no indication that these people couldn't stand each other any longer and couldn't wait to stop working together. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
44. Cissy Strut -- The Meters (from The Meters)

This song was pretty much the birth of New Orleans funk as we came to know it, and has been covered and sampled up the ying-yang ever since. Like their other early songs, it was forged from years of working the stages of New Orleans, during which they honed their improvisational chops and found ways to blend R&B, rock and jazz. 

 

lardonastick

Footballguy
45. Because -- The Beatles (from Abbey Road)

It's the gosh darn Beatles from their last gosh darn masterpiece, and it's not [redacted] or [redacted], so I don't really need to convince you much why it's here. 

This song shows how they were innovating to the very end. John Lennon wrote it after hearing Yoko play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on piano and asking her to play the chords backwards. George Martin plays harpsichord and the three non-Ringo Beatles sing in incredible harmony, each of their voices triple-tracked to create the illusion of extra singers. And George Harrison plays a few measures on a then-brand new instrument, the Moog synthesizer. This track gives no indication that these people couldn't stand each other any longer and couldn't wait to stop working together. 
So good.

 

Sea Duck

Footballguy
47. Mother Popcorn (You Got to Have a Mother for Me) -- James Brown (from It's a Mother)

In 1969 James Brown popularized a dance called The Popcorn and released four songs about it, of which this is the best. Based on the rhythm from Cold Sweat, this song is faster and more intricate, yet still funky as hell.
There was an earlier version of this song (just titled "You Got To Have A Mother For Me") which stayed in the vaults for nearly 20 years. Same lyrics, different music, still funky as hell. Coulda been a classic if it had been released in '69.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouZ2oNLjoRU

 

Sea Duck

Footballguy

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
43. Rag Mama Rag -- The Band (from The Band)

This song exemplifies the adventurousness of The Band's second album. Drummer Levon Helm played mandolin, pianist Richard Manuel played drums, bassist Rick Danko played fiddle and producer John Simon played the bass part on tuba. As you might expect from the title, the piano part, performed by Garth Hudson, is in ragtime style. It's the rare song that manages to sound loose and tight at the same time. 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Lots of The Band across the three countdowns, but haven't seen my favorite of theirs (yet). Will hold off in case it's still to come. 

 

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