I only liked a few Sly songs, but those I really liked a lot. I had two of them on the same 45, Stand! and a song that I believe made someone else's list.
JCY was one of the great talents of that era of American music, but was just one of the most irritating people of all time. he played the same circuit as the people i worked for and i would marvel at the synthesis at work until, about 40 minutes into his shows, a migraine based in a cloud of undefinable karmic vibe panic would rise up and turn my cranium into a throbbing gonad. and then i met him - a case of hippie bliss ego so bad that some kind of Van Helsing formula like beating him to death with the severed head of Jackson Browne seemed the only solution. hella songwriter, tho.16. Darkness, Darkness -- The Youngbloods (from Elephant Mountain)
In 1969, the rock scene was evolving, adding more country and folk elements to the psychedelic sounds developed a few years earlier. The Youngbloods' album of that year is a good time capsule of that. And the best example on it is its opening track and first single, which starts out sounding like a traditional song and ends up going out in a blaze of fuzzed-out glory, remaining haunting the whole time. The emotion seethes in every second. Why this doesn't get more attention in the rock canon, I have no idea.
I also enjoy the covers by Screaming Trees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg7EVvgXxJM and Robert Plant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qd_rEYSyWY.
Now we head into the top 15. With one exception (two if you're not too familiar with jazz), these are all songs you know well.
syllables were never so delicious as those couplefew years when Jagger was spittin' em at the top of his game...Pip's Invitation said:14. Live with Me -- The Rolling Stones (from Let It Bleed)
This is it from the Stones; Tim and Bracie plundered the rest of their 1969 work worth plundering.
This is a textbook late-60s Stones rocker with exciting work being done on the bass (Bill Wyman) and piano (Nicky Hopkins and Leon Russell) while Keef and Charlie bash away like they do; it's also the first Stones track Bobby Keys ever played sax on and Mick Taylor ever played guitar on (though in the latter case, his first released track was the "electric" Honky Tonk Women). But what really stands out about it is the lyrics. They are decadent as hell and downright scandalous for 1969, and Mick Jagger really sells them as such. And I love how the first sin depicted is "I take tea at 3."
Still no “Sea of Joy” though.9. Had to Cry Today -- Blind Faith (from Blind Faith)
Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton are at their peak here. The song is almost 9 minutes long but doesn't feel like it; every note does exactly what it needs to do. The arrangement represents a vibrant update of the blues, the guitar riffage is heavy but not overwhelming, Clapton's solos are hefty but graceful, and Winwood's vocal grits and soars as needed. The coda starting at 6:50 is pure guitar bliss.
One of my favorite concert moments -- and there have been many -- was when I saw Clapton and Winwood take the stage together at MSG and open with this.
Yeah, Stevie’s vocals are a bit whiny on HTCT, but the collective musicianship more than makes up for it.
Somehow I'm remembering that we discussed this in shuke's 10,000 songs thread, IIRC. Great song.
Took a moment to listen to this, as I'd never really sat down with early Allmans. Very cool, very jazzy indeed. I enjoyed it a bunch.
the biggest band in our high school jumped all over this. turns out the singer had played non-stop on bongos since he was like two and this gave him a reason to get congas and, while their drummer was good - the guitarist got into Berklee, he didnt - he was the showiest mofo you ever wanna see. and Sacrifice turned him into the idol of the girls the li'l #### had dreamed of becoming. he beat them skins like they was fireworks and the hippiechix swooned. first time i circled back home after running away, he had my girl on his arm. drummers.......Top 10, baby!
10. Soul Sacrifice -- Santana (from Santana)
The Woodstock version gets most of the attention these days, but that wasn't released until 1970. The studio version has all the elements that made the Woodstock performance a star-making one. The thunderous drums and percussion displayed here became the band's calling card, and the track shows that Carlos Santana had a distinctive and influential guitar style from the very beginning. It's really hard to convey such fierce emotion without vocals, but the band pulls it off here.
I was wondering what the "sad" reaction was about.the biggest band in our high school jumped all over this. turns out the singer had played non-stop on bongos since he was like two and this gave him a reason to get congas and, while their drummer was good - the guitarist got into Berklee, he didnt - he was the showiest mofo you ever wanna see. and Sacrifice turned him into the idol of the girls the li'l #### had dreamed of becoming. he beat them skins like they was fireworks and the hippiechix swooned. first time i circled back home after running away, he had my girl on his arm. drummers.......
Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real did a nice cover of this at virtual Farm Aid 2020.21. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) -- The Band (from The Band)
The final track on the second Band album leaves us in awe. Incorporating elements of soul and even funk into the group's meld of sounds. The music has a certain anguish to it, reflective of the narrator, a down-on-his-luck sharecropper who decides to join a union in hopes of improving his lot. Unusually, the verses are loud and brash and the choruses and hushed and slow; we see the reverse often, but rarely this. Excellent performances by Robbie Robertson on guitar and Garth Hudson on organ.
Herbie Hancock AND Chick Corea (RIP), John McLaughlin. Weather Report guys Shorter & Zawinul. Dave Holland and probably the best drummer ever, Tony Williams. Aint nobody formed The Beatles twice like Miles did w the Kind of Blue guys and then again here. Not the greatest music ever - Zawinul's changes never did click w me - but immense playing. And the space.....lord, the space.4. It's About That Time -- Miles Davis (from In a Silent Way)
As I said, there was going to be a jazz song that majorly influenced my musical sensibilities. This is it. Miles' #####es Brew, from the following year, is considered the cornerstone of jazz-rock fusion, but Miles' efforts started the year before with this album. Its magnum opus is It's About That Time, which brings funk grooves and rock pacing (if not yet intensity; that would come later) to jazz structures. The interplay between Miles and keyboardist Joe Zawinul is divine. More than any other, this album, especially this song, served as a bridge for me to learn more about jazz, funk, jazz-rock fusion and the other more complex shades of rock.
The successful new direction of this album spurred Miles to be embraced by certain segments of the rock community, and shortly after its release, he started playing in bills with rock bands. A legendary stand occurred at the Fillmore East in early 1970, where Miles played on a bill with Neil Young and Crazy Horse and The Steve Miller Band. Selections from those sets have been officially released; the two versions of It's About That Time on those discs are completely different from the studio take, and from each other.
Good song, but it's no We Built This City.5. Volunteers -- Jefferson Airplane (from Volunteers)
This was one of the year's anthems thanks to a rousing vocal from Marty Balin and hard-charging guitars from Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner. It's all about the new generation taking over from the old one via revolution, in keeping with the spirit of the era's counterculture. It's probably my favorite Airplane song.
The big statements of the lyrics belie the origin of the song. Balin was woken up one morning by a truck with "Volunteers of America" painted on the side. He liked the phrase so much that he started writing lyrics based on that.
Our final four selections are tomorrow. One of them should be obvious if you know my predilections and have kept track of what has and has not been taken on all three lists so far. I've already given away that one is jazz. What else is in store? Tune in then.
Love it -probably a top 5 Neil song for me. Glad to see it appear here.3. The Loner -- Neil Young (from Neil Young)
This was #26 in my Neil countdown and it wasn't taken by Tim or Bracie, so you had to know it was coming. The hardest-rocking and best song from his debut solo album, it was also his first solo single. The loner described in the lyrics has been speculated to be Stephen Stills or Neil himself; Neil has never clarified it. The distinctive fuzz guitar blasts were produced by putting Neil's guitar through a Leslie speaker.
It is the one track from the debut that informed the sound Neil developed with Crazy Horse later in the year, and the one track that has made somewhat regular appearances in Neil 's live sets. In case you're wondering why I had nothing from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, I consider that to be a "stars and scrubs" album and Tim took all the stars.
The orchestral backing adds a nice touch to the creeping isolation the titular character feels. If you don't care for it, a definitive live version without it appeared on Live Rust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBjr89p8khQ
I like the way it opens the Woodstock documentary/movie.2. Long Time Gone -- Crosby, Stills and Nash (from Crosby, Stills and Nash)
This another of the big anthems from '69. It was written by David Crosby in 1968 after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and was one of the first songs he worked on when he teamed up with Stephen Stills -- they had started collaborating before Graham Nash teamed up with them. The lyrics are full of memorable phrases that were often-quoted by the hippies and the music displays urgency but also has a radio-friendly sheen (as with the rest of the record). Crosby delivers a passionate vocal that really sells the message.
Took a history of jazz class and one of the assignments was to interview a jazz musician. I tracked down Spike Robinson who knew Miles. Spike gave a lecture to our class. Dished on the hate Miles had for Caucasians. Refused to face white audiences, raw racism goes across every color. Its not limited.It's About That Time -- Miles Davis
You didn't?Since wikkid has Mandela Effect'd himself into thinking I did a 1971 countdown, I might as well do one for real.
I wasn't coming into the FFA regularly when the 1971 lists were happening. My countdowns have been Neil Young, 1975 (second 100) and 1969 (third 100).You didn't?
Huh. I could have sworn you did, too. Learn something new every day and all...
Good work on this one, per usual. These years aren't my wheelhouse years, so it was good to get to listen to some big hits and unheralded tracks.
sometimes i forget things before they occur...Thanks for going on this journey with me. Since wikkid has Mandela Effect'd himself into thinking I did a 1971 countdown, I might as well do one for real. I was thinking about doing it anyway during the process of this project and I already have a #1 picked out. Work is busy the next few weeks but maybe I'll have something ready in early March.
Nice nods here. You might be aware that The Eagles’ “Hotel California” is thought to be heavily influenced by “We Used to Know”.
I get why Bouree is such a big deal, but I just find it pleasant background music as much as anything. On Stand Up it functions as a breather to me.
Was thinking the same on Many Rivers To Cross. It’s all subjective of course, but really a shame that it missed three different lists. Seger’s 2+2=? also seems to be a glaring omission.Some really good songs that missed the cut. "Break Away" by the Beach Boys and "Many Rivers To Cross" by Jimmy Cliff, as well as the Stooges' "No Fun," stand out to me as certain admissions to any hundred list from '69 that I'd do. Can and the Chi-Lites, too.
I definitely missed this one and the last Beatle tune but Yellow Submarine is one of the few Beatle albums I never got into.
Any love for Tull’s “Bouree”?
If a 1968 countdown ever happens, Everyday People would qualify for your list and Tim's based on the criteria you each use.I definitely missed this one and the last Beatle tune but Yellow Submarine is one of the few Beatle albums I never got into.
Per Sly, I must have had it on my list but figured Tim would get it and put it off to the side. I could have sworn it made it on another list for a different year. I'm sure I looked it up more than once.
I skipped over jazz or I would have had THIS one.
By the way, this wasn't a criticism, it was just spitballing. It is indeed subjective. I wrote especially since Pip is the one who considered the songs mentioned. More affirmation than disagreement, really.Some really good songs that missed the cut. "Break Away" by the Beach Boys and "Many Rivers To Cross" by Jimmy Cliff, as well as the Stooges' "No Fun," stand out to me as certain admissions to any hundred list from '69 that I'd do. Can and the Chi-Lites, too.
Always room for one more if they don’t include Pip’s just-missed ones, but personally I’d rather see someone start up a different year.So.....does anyone have plans for a fourth countdown of 100 songs from 1969?
If not.....I might know of a guy who might be interested. The countdown couldn't start for about two weeks, though.