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The THIRD 100 from 1971. #1: Echoes (2 Viewers)

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
26. Stormy Monday -- The Allman Brothers Band (from At Fillmore East)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTUAY2pTCuY

Stormy Monday (also known as Stormy Monday Blues and Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday's Just As Bad)) has been recorded a number of times since T-Bone Walker wrote it in 1947, but middle-aged white people, which describes most of the population of this board, are likely to be most familiar with the Allmans' version, first released on At Fillmore East. It shows they would still have become legendary if they played blues and nothing else. Their arrangement derives from Bobby "Blue" Bland's hit 1961 cover, with minor chord differences and longer solos. They nail every note and Gregg Allman's vocal is stunning. In between fantastic guitar solos by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, respectively, Gregg Allman takes an organ solo in a passage that switches from blues tempo to jazz/waltz tempo, showing how the band was pushing the envelope on even its most traditional-sounding material. 

The version of Stormy Monday that appeared on At Fillmore East included a harmonica solo by guest Thom Doucette that was cut from the release. The full version has appeared on subsequent deluxe editions and the harmonica solo (which comes after Betts' solo) can be heard starting at 7:40 of this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqa1s4jhkQ8

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
it was really hard to get the record you wanted on at parties - between the Allman's and Humble Pie's Fillmore albums and Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (by far the most ubiquitous album of the '71-72 winter) and the elevation of quaaludes to top party drug, everybody you wanted to hear The Yes Album or make out to What's Goin On' (our nookie was very political back then) with was passed out already

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
25. Just a Sinner -- Carly Simon (from Carly Simon)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uZpwj6Wylk

24. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom) -- The Staple Singers (from The Staple Swingers) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA9BKNUmV2c

This posts covers two female-sung songs that deserve much more attention than they got. One because it wasn't released as a single and one because it's been overshadowed by some of the artist's other work. 

Before she and her producers solidified a formula for her material, Simon ended side 1 of her debut album with Just a Sinner, one of her most impassioned performances. I have always been captivated by the anguish she shows toward a man who betrayed her, and by the guitar bursts that perfectly echo those feelings. Simon wrote most of her own material, but this song was penned by keyboardist Mark "Moogy" Klingman, who later collaborated with Todd Rundgren, among others.

Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom) should be as well-remembered a Staple Singers song as Respect Yourself and I'll Take You There, but inexplicably is not. Everything about this track, which hit the top 10 on the R&B charts and the top 30 on the pop charts, is irresistible. The electric piano riff, the punchy horns, the joyous lead vocal by Mavis Staples, the swinging of the rhythm section, all of it. I only discovered it when doing research for this countdown and wondered why it had been hiding from me for 50 years. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
23a. When I Paint My Masterpiece -- Bob Dylan (from Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QElRIP-r9l4

23b. When I Paint My Masterpiece -- The Band (from Cahoots)

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

This is the other song Bob Dylan released in 1971 about his inactivity (and his disdain for those who wanted him to return to writing about world affairs). It was recorded at the same session as Watching the River Flow and included on Greatest Hits Vol. II. It is filled with lovely imagery from all around the world, all in service of telling his audience to leave him alone and he'll get back to writing about "relevant" topics when he feels like it.

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere
You could almost think that you're seeing double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs


Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
Where I got me a date with a pretty little girl from Greece
She promised she'd be there with me
When I paint my masterpiece


His old collaborators The Band put out their version the same year, and their take really accentuates the melody while adding a memorable accordion-driven arrangement. They must have liked how it came out, because of all the Dylan songs they were associated with, this was the one they picked to perform at Dylan's 30th anniversary concert in 1992. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
22. Move Over -- Janis Joplin (from Pearl)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlHHno6oyMw

The opener of Joplin's Pearl, the album she was recording at the time of her death, is an excellent fusion of everything she'd done up to that point, as it returns to the rock of her Big Brother and the Holding Company days while retaining the blues and soul touches from her initial work as a solo artist. It's a real stomper, and the only song on the album that she wrote by herself. Fortunately, she did perform it live before her death

 

zamboni

Footballguy
22. Move Over -- Janis Joplin (from Pearl)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlHHno6oyMw

The opener of Joplin's Pearl, the album she was recording at the time of her death, is an excellent fusion of everything she'd done up to that point, as it returns to the rock of her Big Brother and the Holding Company days while retaining the blues and soul touches from her initial work as a solo artist. It's a real stomper, and the only song on the album that she wrote by herself. Fortunately, she did perform it live before her death
Always loved that last line “You expect me to fight like a g-ddamn mule”

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
21. Liar -- Three Dog Night (released as a single)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMShyXl2eks

Three Dog Night's Naturally album was released in late 1970 and spawned two major hits that were released in the first half of 1971. The first was Joy to the World, which appeared on Bracie's list. The second was Liar, which IMO is a contender for their best song. Written by Russ Ballard of Argent (and first appearing on that band's debut album), Liar conveys a sense of foreboding throughout, accentuated by Jimmy Greenspoon's organ trills, punctuated by the vocalists' bursts of "Liar!" It's far darker and more dynamic than what the band usually provided, and it's frankly a bit of a miracle that this was as big a hit as it was (peaking at No. 7), but I guess whatever they selected as the follow-up single to Joy to the World was going to take off. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
20. Nature's Way -- Spirit (released as a single)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh5H-haT2vQ

Spirit's best album, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, came out in 1970, but luckily for us, one of its most beloved songs wasn't released as a single until '71. Nature's Way didn't perform well on the charts but became an FM radio favorite. It's perhaps one of the best uses of cowbell in a mellow song. In the liner notes of the Time Circle compilation that I got in college, Randy California said fans were always telling him about how much the song means to them, but that he actually wrote it out of spite for the San Francisco scenesters who were always telling him that LA (the band's home base) sucked. He was in San Francisco when smog (which the SF scenesters always made fun of LA for) descended, and so his impulse to write was "Ha! This is nature's way of telling YOU that something is wrong with YOUR city!" 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
20. Nature's Way -- Spirit (released as a single)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh5H-haT2vQ

Spirit's best album, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, came out in 1970, but luckily for us, one of its most beloved songs wasn't released as a single until '71. Nature's Way didn't perform well on the charts but became an FM radio favorite. It's perhaps one of the best uses of cowbell in a mellow song. In the liner notes of the Time Circle compilation that I got in college, Randy California said fans were always telling him about how much the song means to them, but that he actually wrote it out of spite for the San Francisco scenesters who were always telling him that LA (the band's home base) sucked. He was in San Francisco when smog (which the SF scenesters always made fun of LA for) descended, and so his impulse to write was "Ha! This is nature's way of telling YOU that something is wrong with YOUR city!" 
Great song (and band)  :thumbup:

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
insane ... how in the hell can this not have been in the top 200?
All three of us have different criteria for what qualifies. Tim didn't include anything in 1971 that first appeared in 1970. There was a kerfuffle about this when he didn't have Joy to the World (released on album in 70, released as single in 71). Bracie includes anything from the last 3 months of 1970 whether or not it was released as a single in '71, so I have no idea why this wasn't on his list. He did have Mr. Skin from the same album, though. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
19. I Can't Get Next to You -- Al Green (from Al Green Gets Next to You)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJeyL4rXPV4

Bluesier than most of Al Green's hits, I Can't Get Next to You, originally a hit for The Temptations, still displays most of what made Green so appealing. His arrangement is slower, groovier and sexier than the Tempts', and leaves plenty of room for Green to plead, cajole and testify like it was the last thing he'd ever do on Earth. 

I have seen this arrangement performed live -- by Stephen Stills. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
18. Meeting of the Spirits -- Mahavishnu Orchestra (from The Inner Mounting Flame)

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

This is the one @wikkidpissahwas waiting for. I'll admit to not exploring this record (or much of any jazz-rock fusion) until getting big-time into the Phish scene and meeting a lot of people online and IRL who were really into it. The opening track of Mahavishu Orchestra's first album displays everything John McLaughlin learned from Miles Davis, and more. Not only does it combine the intricacies of jazz with the power of rock, it's got distinctive, memorable movements that make it sound like a classical work at times. Yes, you can have memorable melodies even if you have no vocals and no connection to pop music. Experimental bands have continued to develop the approach McLaughlin introduced here through to today. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
17. Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are) -- The Temptations (released as a single)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWrbeC_ffT4

This may be one of the first "diss tracks." Temptations producers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong began writing the song about a former friend of Whitfield's, but in the interim, former members Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin criticized the group and the producers publicly, so the song became about them. Over a rollicking slab of funk, the Temptations take turns laying into the unnamed subjects of the song:

Enjoy your champagne and caviar
And your chauffeur drivin' fancy car
But remember how you got where you are
Oh ho ho, 'cause the same folks that made you
Um hum, you better believe they can break you


Don't change your style now that you've reached the top
Don't choose your friends by what they've got
Remember, beneath the glitter and gleam
Like everyday people, you're just a human being


Ironically, Ruffin released his own version of this song in 1975. 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Saw the title and thought for sure "Superstar" was the Carpenters one. But also remembered that Tim had to have nabbed that one already, which he did.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
16. I'm Eighteen -- Alice Cooper (from Love It to Death)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ZL94cdiuU

I had to triple check to make sure this wasn't already taken, though it would not have qualified for Tim's list because it first appeared as a single in 1970. This was the band's (at this point, Alice Cooper was both the name of the band and the frontman) first hit single and launched them/him into the mainstream. The former Vincent Furnier's growling vocals, the anguished bursts of guitar and the angsty lyrics were like catnip to teenagers of the time, and remain compelling today. 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
18. Meeting of the Spirits -- Mahavishnu Orchestra (from The Inner Mounting Flame)

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

This is the one @wikkidpissahwas waiting for. I'll admit to not exploring this record (or much of any jazz-rock fusion) until getting big-time into the Phish scene and meeting a lot of people online and IRL who were really into it. The opening track of Mahavishu Orchestra's first album displays everything John McLaughlin learned from Miles Davis, and more. Not only does it combine the intricacies of jazz with the power of rock, it's got distinctive, memorable movements that make it sound like a classical work at times. Yes, you can have memorable melodies even if you have no vocals and no connection to pop music. Experimental bands have continued to develop the approach McLaughlin introduced here through to today. 
the beginning............the end.............and, therefore, the culmination.

gotta try to LSS this, cuz i've told all these stories before. the only thing my father & i had in common was his jazz record collection. from listening with him i learned early on that jazz had two jobs: to reach and to swing.

i never begrudged my father's dalliances because me Ma was a fat girl who lost 100lbs to go husband hunting and i was a honeymoon baby who caused her to gain 150. mostly, Da specialized in getting xtra service from strippers, which kept the marriage afloat (68yrs). when we moved out to the burbs, we lived near MetroBoston's top jazz club, Lenny's on the Turnpike, which was across ol' Rte 1 from a showcase stripjoint. 

from age 12, Da would take me to Lenny's to further my music education and leave me there while he crossed the highway to do some matriculating of his own. the regulars, and some of the performers - the great Fatha Hines useta have a Coke w me on his breaks - thought this was a hoot and kinda started babysitting me.

one of those regs was a blind piano player, Mike Mandel, who went on to play w Hendrix and was a founding member of seminal fusion band Eleventh House. him and his buds would talk music almost nonstop and honestly let me pipe in on occasion. they would dream of jazz going hard & electric & electronic (signal manipulation & modulation & such) and turning jazz modes and time sigs and such over to rock and "saving" both idioms in the process. only saw Mike rarely after that year and every time the conversation would devolve into how mad he was that Hendrix blew the whole gig of becoming the Jazz Messiah by being stoopit w drugs.

anyway, i had all that in me a few yrs later when some kids at the flop i was staying in Back Bay Boston near Berklee School of Music (Greg from Cars among em) were going to the NE Conservatory to see some new jazzrock workshop. Inner Mounting Flame wasnt out yet, but i heard Mahavishnu Orchestra play it that afternoon. it rocked the #### out AND broke your heart and ravaged your brain and delivered on all the stuff those jazzbos would talk the night away about years before. the future had arrived.

the future never happened again. the embryo rose from the old man like in 2001, we did our Bill&Ted exclamations and *poof*. no one ever improved on it nor even matched it again. dont think i ever tried to expect sumn into existence, artwise, since.

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
16. I'm Eighteen -- Alice Cooper (from Love It to Death)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ZL94cdiuU

I had to triple check to make sure this wasn't already taken, though it would not have qualified for Tim's list because it first appeared as a single in 1970. This was the band's (at this point, Alice Cooper was both the name of the band and the frontman) first hit single and launched them/him into the mainstream. The former Vincent Furnier's growling vocals, the anguished bursts of guitar and the angsty lyrics were like catnip to teenagers of the time, and remain compelling today. 
Great performance of this on the Beat Club a year later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXZcJojTucg

Also now when I hear this, I always think of Freaks and Geeks. Eventually I'll get around to starting a thread of songs that remind you of movie/TV scenes.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
15. Everybody's Everything -- Santana (from Santana III)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT7B10NZyv8

Carlos and co bring their approach to soul music, with horns ablaze. It's captivating and thrilling, and you want to dance or float into the clouds with every second. And then Carlos (edit: Neal Schon) starts soloing at 2:22 and takes things to an even higher level. This hit #12 on the Hot 100 and should be as overplayed today as Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va, but isn't, which I guess is a good thing. 

 
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[scooter]

Footballguy
15. Everybody's Everything -- Santana (from Santana III)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT7B10NZyv8

Carlos and co bring their approach to soul music, with horns ablaze. It's captivating and thrilling, and you want to dance or float into the clouds with every second. And then Carlos starts soloing at 2:22 and takes things to an even higher level. This hit #12 on the Hot 100 and should be as overplayed today as Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va, but isn't, which I guess is a good thing. 
That solo is 100% 17-year-old Neal Schon. I'm not sure if he ever topped that moment in the 51 years since.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
14. The Knife -- Genesis (released as a single)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcr3cnw4r4w

It's probably cheating to list a song that qualifies only because of a single no one other than a few die-hards in England bought, but it had a profound effect on me when I first heard it as a teenager. 

The Knife is the closer to 1970's Trespass, Genesis' second album and the first on which they had artistic control, and which was recorded before Phil Collins and Steve Hackett joined the band. But it was released as a single (first half on the A-side, second half on the B-side) in 1971, after Collins and Hackett joined, and the single's artwork includes pictures of them. Trespass was the first Peter Gabriel-era Genesis album (actually cassette) I bought, because it was in the cheap bin. When I got to The Knife, I was floored. It was proggy (there's an extended flute solo by Gabriel in the middle), but it rocked the hell out, and the fuzz on Anthony Phillips' guitar and Mike Rutherford's bass conveyed psychedelia as much as "high art." The subject matter, about how violent revolutions lead to dictatorship

Some of you are going to die
Martyrs of course to the freedom that I shall provide


was pretty heady stuff for a teenager as well. And the coda coming out of the flute solo, with Tony Banks' creepy organ fills building up to explosive guitar runs from Phillips, in my mind matched anything that the Zeppelins of the world came up with. 

This was their set closer from 1970 to 1973 (and appears as such on their first live album) and even ended the festivities when Gabriel did a one-off reunion with them in 1982. Even though he didn't play on the recording, Hackett still performs it in his sets from time to time. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
13. The Last Time I Saw Richard -- Joni Mitchell (from Blue)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4WVZncHaLo

This song is beautiful and devastating. It sprang from a conversation she had with a friend who told her she was a hopeless romantic and that was only going to lead her to cynicism. In the song, the man is depicted as her former lover. Her response:

"Richard, you haven't really changed", I said
It's just that now you're romanticizing some pain that's in your head
You've got tombs in your eyes, but the songs
You punched are dreaming


And then she chronicles his life after he adopted his stance, and resolves not to follow the same path

Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dish washer and a coffee percolator
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on
And all the house lights left up bright


I'm gonna blow this damn candle out
I don't want nobody coming over to my table
I've got nothing to talk to anybody about
All good dreamers pass this way some day


Hiding behind bottles in dark cafes, dark cafes
Only a dark cocoon before
I get my gorgeous wings and fly away
Only a phase, these dark cafe days


 

zamboni

Footballguy
15. Everybody's Everything -- Santana (from Santana III)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT7B10NZyv8

Carlos and co bring their approach to soul music, with horns ablaze. It's captivating and thrilling, and you want to dance or float into the clouds with every second. And then Carlos starts soloing at 2:22 and takes things to an even higher level. This hit #12 on the Hot 100 and should be as overplayed today as Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va, but isn't, which I guess is a good thing. 
That solo is 100% 17-year-old Neal Schon. I'm not sure if he ever topped that moment in the 51 years since.
Probably as applicable a reason as anything why Carlos wanted Neal off his lawn (and band).

And Tower of Power did the horn section here.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
12. Maybe Tomorrow -- The Jackson 5 (from Maybe Tomorrow)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJcPqmvsqn8

This was the title track of the fifth of five (!) albums The Jackson 5 released between December 1969 and April 1971. Joe Jackson and Motown sure worked those boys hard. The song was written for Sammy Davis Jr. but given to the Jackson 5 after Davis had scheduling conflicts. The string arrangement is lovely, as is, as always, Michael's vocal, especially on the "Maybe tomorrow, you'll change your mind" parts. It was also one of several soul songs released this year to incorporate elements not usually found in the genre, in this case sitar.  

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
11. Over and Over -- MC5 (from High Time)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHHguUO_A40

This may be my favorite MC5 song. It has everything -- an intricate intro, raging riffage, passionate singing that's alternatively bursting with frustration and transcendence (IMO this is Rob Tyner's best vocal), chugging rhythms, a spacey bridge and an explosion out of it to bring the song to a triumphant close, brought home by dual screaming guitars. THIS is what the hype was all about. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
The top 10 will kick off tomorrow. It breaks down this way:

3 prog
1 blues-rock
1 hard rock/metal (I'm pretty sure zamboni knows what it is)
5 R&B/soul (but they all stretch the definition of what that really means)

Four of the songs take up an entire album side or close to it, and all but two of the others exceed 5 minutes. I made it a point to spotlight ambitious and successful works that were overlooked on the other lists. 

 
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Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
10. Nine Feet Underground -- Caravan (from In the Land of Grey and Pink)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sls_QCMG2Y

I presume @wikkidpissahknows this one, and I know @KarmaPolicedoes because he turned me on to it when he picked it for the prog playlist in the Genrepalooza 4 draft, but the rest of you may not. If you can tolerate prog at all, you must hear this.

Caravan belongs to a subset of prog called the Canterbury scene, which blended jazz and classical influences with rock in a different, often more avant-garde, way than most of their prog contemporaries. 

Arguably their magnum opus is Nine Feet Underground, which takes up all of side 2 of their third album, In the Land of Grey and Pink. It consists of eight sections that are mainly connected via fuzztone organ solos by David Sinclair, who conceived the suite (though the entire band shares the writing credit). While there are strong jazz overtones to much of the piece, it never loses its propulsive rock beat, and the two vocal sections are highly memorable and melodic. It became a favorite on some FM radio stations in the 70s, but for those who weren't around then, it's a hidden treasure awaiting to be discovered. 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
10. Nine Feet Underground -- Caravan (from In the Land of Grey and Pink)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sls_QCMG2Y

I presume @wikkidpissahknows this one, and I know @KarmaPolicedoes because he turned me on to it when he picked it for the prog playlist in the Genrepalooza 4 draft, but the rest of you may not. If you can tolerate prog at all, you must hear this.

Caravan belongs to a subset of prog called the Canterbury scene, which blended jazz and classical influences with rock in a different, often more avant-garde, way than most of their prog contemporaries. 

Arguably their magnum opus is Nine Feet Underground, which takes up all of side 2 of their third album, In the Land of Grey and Pink. It consists of eight sections that are mainly connected via fuzztone organ solos by David Sinclair, who conceived the suite (though the entire band shares the writing credit). While there are strong jazz overtones to much of the piece, it never loses its propulsive rock beat, and the two vocal sections are highly memorable and melodic. It became a favorite on some FM radio stations in the 70s, but for those who weren't around then, it's a hidden treasure awaiting to be discovered. 
i happen to be one of eleven living Americans to have seen Caravan live. my dear late friend, Mike Kamen, an unrepentant Anglophile, was instrumental in them crossing the pond to play at the Palladium. like his own "prog" band, New York Rock Ensemble (whose 1971 album was their most popular, btw), he was a sucker for bands who used music-school chord sturctures, even if it turned em into a jam band, for which i have an infamous distaste. i therefore never thought much of Caravan, but the gig wasnt an entire waste cuz one of the bands on the bill was Average White Band, who was as tight as Caravan was loose,  just before they exploded.

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
9. Sweet Leaf -- Black Sabbath (from Master of Reality)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eleGPkE9Gk

Drug songs were not solely the realm of hippie bands. It makes sense that Sabbath would have one, because they did a boatload of drugs.

Tony Iommi:

“We were getting really drugged out, doing a lot of dope. We’d go down to the sessions and have to pack up because we were too stoned; we’d have to stop. Nobody could get anything right, we were all over the place, everybody’s playing a different thing. We’d go back and sleep it off and try again the next day.”

Ozzy Osbourne:

“[I was on] booze, coke, heroin, acid and Quaaludes to glue, cough syrup, Rohypnol, klonopin, Vicodin … On more than a few occasions, I was on all of those at the same time”

Iommi:

"We all played 'Sweet Leaf' while stoned."

Geezer Butler:

"We were going: 'What could we write about?' I took out this cigarette packet, and as you opened it, it's got on the lid: 'it's the sweetest leaf that gives you the taste' I was like: 'Ah, Sweet Leaf!'"

The song begins with the sound of Iommi coughing while smoking a joint, for heaven's sake.

But drug songs don't get a high place (see what I did there?) on this list just for being drug songs. The riffage is absolutely killer -- it could be argued that the birth of "stoner rock" occurs here -- and in contrast to the zoned-out vocals in the hippie-band drug songs, Ozzy's singing is positively manic; he's REALLY into his weed (and really resentful toward the "straight people")! The breakdown in the middle, featuring ridiculous technique from Iommi and Bill Ward, is another one of the band's signature moments. This is no tossed-off drug joke, this is one of the best tracks of the year. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
8. You Are Everything -- The Stylistics (from The Stylistics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6StORhP7n2c

51 years on, it's easy to forget the impact the Stylistics had when they burst onto the scene in 1971. Their self-titled debut, co-written and produced by sonic genius Thom Bell, had five (!) hit singles, and went a long way toward establishing Philly Soul as one of the dominant sounds of the decade. I have always felt that You Are Everything stands out among them all. The sitar and synth-string opening is unforgettable and immediately signals this is not going to be a standard soul ballad. It also makes great use of lead singer Russell Thompkins Jr.'s distinctive high tenor -- no one else sings the word "you" with quite the panache that he does. And when he slips into his falsetto at 2:25, you feel like you're being transported into the heavens.

 
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Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
8. You Are Everything -- The Stylistics (from The Stylistics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6StORhP7n2c

51 years on, it's easy to forget the impact the Stylistics had when they burst onto the scene in 1971. Their self-titled debut, co-written and produced by sonic genius Thom Bell, had five (!) hit singles, and went a long way toward establishing Philly Soul as one of the dominant sounds of the decade. I have always felt that You Are Everything stands out among them all. The sitar and synth-string opening is unforgettable and immediately signals this is not going to be a standard soul ballad. It also makes great use of lead singer Russell Thompkins Jr.'s distinctive high tenor -- no one else sings the word "you" with quite the panache that he does. And when he slips into his falsetto at 2:25, you feel like you're being transported into the heavens.
Co-written by the wonderful Linda Creed - a Jewish lady from Philly who died in her 30s from (IIRC) breast cancer. Her lyrics make Hallmark card writers look like John Prine, but man oh man she knew how to get straight to the subject. And Thompkins was the perfect vehicle for her. He never met a lyric he couldn't enunciate the hell out of, which Creed's lyrics demanded. No slurring of words or mumbling in this universe.

You're right about Thom Bell, too. As much as I love the O'Jays and the Blue Notes, I think I prefer Bell's records at PI overall to Gamble & Huff's. Bell seemed to have more finesse and he'd mess around with odd instrumentation a lot. G&H, especially after about 1973, got very strident sonically (their egos did the same) and - to me - got kind of boring. Bell's records never bored me.

Anyway, I always thought of "You Are Everything" as kind of a companion piece with the Temptations' "Just My Imagination". Like if Eddie Kendricks actually got the object of his infatuation and then lost her, sending him back to dreaming.

Today I saw somebody
Who looked just like you
She walked like you do
I thought it was you
As she turned the corner
I called out your name
I felt so ashamed
When it wasn't you
Wasn't you


Sure, the lyrics aren't High Lit on the page, but Russell Thompkins sells the hell out of them (especially when he turns it up halfway through that verse). There's a reason more popular music songs are written about love than all other subjects combined. Creed and Bell knew it and mainlined it straight to Thompkins' vocal chords, and our hearts.

 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
i happen to be one of eleven living Americans to have seen Caravan live. my dear late friend, Mike Kamen, an unrepentant Anglophile, was instrumental in them crossing the pond to play at the Palladium. like his own "prog" band, New York Rock Ensemble (whose 1971 album was their most popular, btw), he was a sucker for bands who used music-school chord sturctures, even if it turned em into a jam band, for which i have an infamous distaste. i therefore never thought much of Caravan, but the gig wasnt an entire waste cuz one of the bands on the bill was Average White Band, who was as tight as Caravan was loose,  just before they exploded.
Good Lord 😮 I can't imagine a more incongruous matchup than those two. The audience must have gotten sonic whiplash.

I liked Caravan, and certainly prefer them these days to Mount Rushmore art rockers like Yes & ELP. 

 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Good Lord 😮 I can't imagine a more incongruous matchup than those two. The audience must have gotten sonic whiplash.

I liked Caravan, and certainly prefer them these days to Mount Rushmore art rockers like Yes & ELP. 
ELP is too much for me (except their mellower stuff). Yes, Genesis, Floyd, etc knew how to make their faster stuff breathe. ELP either didn’t know or didn’t care.

 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
ELP is too much for me (except their mellower stuff). Yes, Genesis, Floyd, etc knew how to make their faster stuff breathe. ELP either didn’t know or didn’t care.
Keith Emerson ruined “Lucky Man”, otherwise a good Lake ballad. He’s worse than any guitar show off. 
 

I think the same about Wakeman, but I know many here won’t agree. 

 

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