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Throwback Tracks--April 14, 2016


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks--April 14, 2016

Shaun Cordingley

We're back! I want to thank everyone who checked out the first Throwback Tracks (to the tune of making it the #1 article on our site)--it's nice to see that you guys are enjoying what we are doing here in The Guys From {MUSIC}.

This week we continue our meander through the genres and eras, although with our first real foray into the 1990s (which you should probably expect to happen, considering both of us here at The Guys From grew up in the 1990s), but with a little bit of 80s and 70s mixed in as well.

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), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.

Save It For Later - The (English) Beat

The Beat, The English Beat, or The British Beat (depending on where you're from) is a 2 tone ska, post-punk group who rose to prominence in the 1980s, releasing a slough of different, and interesting tracks that drew from a range of styles into a sound that is uniquely their own.

'Save it For Later' off of the 1982 album Special Beat Service is probably one of their best known songs, having been covered extensively (including Pete Townsend and Pearl Jam), as well as it's use in a lot of different media, like the movies Kingpin and Hot Tub Time Machine. This is just one of those songs that you somehow know, and in most cases, like--it's combination of horn, guitar, strings, wouldn't think it would work as well as it does...but here we are. 'Save It For Later' is one of those songs that you might not think about, but then once you hear it again, you're singing it to yourself for days.

You're welcome.

Whatcha Gonna Do - Chilliwack

Chilliwack is one of those Canadian rock bands that you never really think about when you think of the big rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s, but you definitely know....probably six of their songs (including "My Girl(Gone Gone Gone)", "I Believe" and our song here). The band would undoubtedly have been much more widely appreciated if they had not had so many issues with their labels--long story short, Chilliwack's first 5 albums were on four different labels.

Their greatest success, however, was probably once they signed with Solid Gold (in Canada) and Millennium Records (USA) in the early 1980s, and released their ninth album Wanna Be a Star and their tenth album Opus X, which begins with "Whatcha Gonna Do", one of the bands songs that crushed on the Canadian charts, but also managed to crack into the Billboard Top 100 (peaking at #41).

This is one of those songs that both Dave and I will stop whatever we are doing and jam to when we're working, and it's one that if it does come on the radio (and I'm actually listening to a classic rock radio station) I will crank up and probably sing along to. Hell, I'm doing that right now...

Drown - Smashing Pumpkins

It was pointed out to me be some folks (who again, know me outside of The Guys From) that they were surprised that we started a 20th Century Music feature and I hadn't mentioned Smashing Pumpkins, which caught them off guard.  The problem I have is that there's a pileof great music from that...100 years...and my heart was just so saddened by the fact that my favorite Pumpkins song ("Untitled") was not released until 2001, thus disqualified from Throwback Tracks.

However, considering I could easily do a Top 10 Smashing Pumpkins songs list, it was not hard for me to pick another one, that may be forgotten about a little bit when compared with all of their hits. "Drown" is one of those Smashing Pumpkins tracks that often gets forgotten about, as it was mostly done live after the release of Gish, and then released as a promotional single after Gish was released in 1991 to help grow buzz before the release of Siamese Dream in 1993. In fact, "Drown" did not appear on a Smashing Pumpkins album (as it was on the soundtrack for the movie Singles) until their Greatest Hits, and then eventually on the recent re-release of Gish. 

"Drown" is one of those quintessential Pumpkins songs: it blends a shoegaze-dream pop sort of aesthetic with a hard, 90s alt-rock kick. There is a real progression in "Drown", both lyrically and musically, that makes it one of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins tracks.

The Pusher - Blind Melon

The trick with talking about Blind Melon with anyone is that 95% of folks will say "Oh man, I love 'No Rain'" and that's where their thoughts, and knowledge of Blind Melon ends. This is incredibly sad to me, as Blind Melon released three, really great early-90s grunge/rock albums: Blind Melon, the criminally underrated (at the time) Soup, and Nico , an album on 'outtakes' which was released after lead singer Shannon Hoon's tragic death from an overdose during their 1995 tour.

"The Pusher" is the first track off of Nico, and is easily one of my favorite Blind Melon songs, even though the message (coming on a posthumous album) is ridiculously prescient, and adds a real melancholy to the song, Hoon's lyrics and the mellow, acoustic sound just really clicks with me; I generally, whenever I hear "No Rain", and after getting my bumble-bee on, will track down and listen to "The Pusher".

Blind Melon is one of those unfortunate stories where I desperately wish Shannon Hoon had been able to get the help he needed, because it would have been amazing to see where the band had gone to. Now, Blind Melon is back together (touring and producing music with singer Travis Warren), but it's just not 'what could have been'.

Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale

There was little chance that this song, which I of course know because of the awesome Paul Newman hockey movie Slap Shot. There is no way that it would not appear on these lists eventually, so rather than fight it, I figured that it was a good idea to put it up now, and then it's up, and I won't keep thinking about it.

The 1975/76 track "Right Back Where We Started From" was the first real hit for London born Maxine Nightingale, who had been releasing singles in the UK as early as 1969, but had not found success, instead moving into working in musical theatre on the West End, including shows like Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Savages, before returning with this snappy, disco hit that crested at #2 in the US (and #5 in the UK).

There is a good chance that you have heard "Right Back" in a film, as it has been used in a whole pile: the aforementioned Slap Shot, Starsky and Hutch, Yours, Mine, and Ours, An Extremely Goofy Movie, and Shrek Forever After to name but a few. 

Now just try not to dance a little bit while listening along--it's almost impossible. Oh, and you're welcome for the awesome 70s video.

We will be back next Thursday with 5 more Throwback Tracks, and don't forget to check out our new music article every Tuesday!

-S (@Shauncord)