Felt like doing some well known rock classics this week, because I've been leaning into some great guitar the past few days...because nothing takes your mind off of troubles like great guitar....
...and maybe some Cowbell.
The Guys From do not hold the rights to any of these songs, it is more our hope to expose our readers to new (*cough*) and different retro music, or re-expose them to things they may have forgotten about.
At the top of each section, will be the song name, followed by the artists' name linked to their website (if possible...which is totally hit and miss with oldies), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.
Still the One - Orleans
Woodstock, New York's soft/pop rock band Orleans is one of those bands that I always forget about, but totally know several of their songs when I hear them. There most popular song, "Still the One" reached #5 on the Billboard charts, is one of those nice pop rock songs that kicked around in the 1970s that everybody seems to know (perhaps because it is one of the few songs that exist about "staying together" rather than "breaking up"...or it's unpaid use in two Republican campaigns--2004 & 2008).
It's just one of those sweet songs that exists almost exclusively to be played at weddings--I can speak from experience that I played "Still the One" at probably...75% of weddings I DJed...because there was usually that sweet couple (perhaps a "parents dance") that wanted to hear it and dance.
I was going to make a joke about the Waking and Dreaming (1976) album cover, but the site is being testy today, and I'm running low on time...so you'll just have to look it up for yourself and be slightly confused...
The Weight - The Band
This is Canadian/American roots-rock group The Band's second appearance on Throwback Tracks (I talked about my favourite song of theirs', "Up on Cripple Creek" back in June), but now I feel like it's time to listen to "The Weight", from their 1968 debut album Music from Big Pink.
"The Weight" has been hailed as one of the most influential rock songs of all time (according to Rolling Stone, "The Weight" is #41 on their "500 Greatest Songs" series), and you can hear it's influences in a pile of 1970s rock, not to mention the near-blinding number of covers the song has had. There's a really fascinating story behind the song (which you can read in full here), but "The Weight" is essentially an exercise in thoughtful storytelling about people, and experiences that members of The Band had had to that point, with each character providing a perspective on trying to fight/find their moral character (taking inspiration from the films of Luis Buñuel)
Yeah. There's a lot there to unpack...regardless "The Weight" is awesome.
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Look: I'm Canadian...sometimes I need a little Rush in my day, because there's just something about three guys from Toronto who are probably some of the best prog rock/rock/early metal musicians of all time. Rush have made so so much music over their careers that started in 1968 (and continue today)
"Tom Sawyer" is probably the band's best known song, off of their 1981 album Moving Pictures, and Geddy Lee himself has said that the song is "the band's defining piece of music...from the 1980s", and it's just...so perfectly Rush, that it's hard to argue with that. Every part is near perfect prog rock, with that usual Neil Peart flare on drums...
I think I may also have come to love this song more thanks to Futurama and Fry's "all-Rush mix-tape" to battle invaders, from space.
Thank everyone and everything that Rush was finally put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013; like them or not, you have to appreciate everything they have done.
Purple Haze - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
I was digging on the "Tom Sawyer" guitar solo, which basically means that I felt the need to wander back to the Greatest of All-Time: Jimi Hendrix. I've already talked about him here, so today I'm just going to talk about "Purple Haze".
"Purple Haze" was the second single for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in March of 1967. Again, this is probably one of Hendrix's best known songs, featuring his usual, brilliant, and unique guitar playing (and that Hendrix chord) mixing some blues and psych rock together into one fantastic track. A lot of people take the vagaries of the lyrics to mean that "Purple Haze" is a song about a psychedelic rock, however Hendrix himself has always stated that it's a love song.
Which...I can...hear...in the end though, I just love Hendrix, and will listen to him play something...usually at least once a week. Will I always choose "Purple Haze"? No (I'm a big fan of some of his lesser known tracks), but it's nice to hit up a classic every once in a while.
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
"(Don't Fear)" The Reaper by Long Island's Blue Oyster Cult, from their 1976 album Agents of Fortune was BOC's biggest success on the charts, peaking at #7, and today probably remains their best known song...in large part to Saturday Night Live, turning us all into giant cowbell fans.
The thing is, once you start thinking about the fact that there is a cowbell in "The Reaper", it's almost all you can hear, but the song itself is actually really damn good 70s rock--I love the harmony/light vocals, the guitar work in the track is really good, and if we're being honest, I think most people forget that the song is actually 5 minutes plus, and features some great rock instrumental interludes throughout. I think that opening guitar riff is one of my favorites from 70s rock--I know what I'm getting right away, and my head starts bobbing...
...don't worry...I wasn't going to leave you hanging on the SNL sketch (forgive the quality...this was the best version I could find):
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Here is the October 2016 Throwback Playlist, which is the completest list we have had in a long time. Enjoy!
In case you missed our previous Throwback Track playlists, here they are:
Remember, as I use Apple Music, that is where the playlists live, but if you want me to look into other services, just hit me up on Twitter and we'll chat about it.
See you again next Thursday with some new....oldies...*cough*