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Throwback Tracks--May 26, 2016


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks--May 26, 2016

Shaun Cordingley

I am sick. Like super sick, but my head has cleared a bit and I'm going to try and put this article together for you guys regardless, because if there is one thing that I can hang my hat on when it comes to our music articles, it is consistency.

Regardless, if nothing makes sense in the written section, or I just trail off, that would be why....though it did help me pick a song or two...

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.

Hot Blooded - Foreigner

The first single off of British-American rock group Foreigner's second studio album, Double Vision, is probably the song that most people remember Foreigner for (although there is something to be said for "I Wanna Know What Love Is"). Foreigner is a funny band; they have been together and making music for the better part of the last 40 years, and are one of the best selling bands of all time--Foreigner has sold over 80 million albums worldwide, and yet when most people talk about rock, especially from the 1970s, Foreigner rarely comes up.

"Hot Blooded" itself, when it was released as a single in June 1978 reached #2 (the same position Double Vision reached later that year), and has featured in a whole pile of other media (which is probably how most people are familiar with the song)--"Hot Blooded" has featured in everything from Supernatural to King of Queens to recently in trailers for The Angry Birds Movie. Really it is one of those songs that everybody kinda knows and likes, but fades away until the next time you hear it.

Or in my case, this was in my head earlier this week: thankfully my fever never reached 103, but it got close...

Carry On My Wayward Son - Kansas

From one of the best titled albums of all time, 1976's Leftoverture, American Rock band Kansas is up next in Throwback Tracks with their song 'Carry On My Wayward Son'; this is one of those great 70s rock songs that really highlights a highly technical, and skilled band of musicians. The harmonies work really well, and yeah the lyrics in the song are super catchy (and sad, when you actually listen to them), but it really is the layered, and lush work on guitar, and the balancing of that with an organ of all things, that makes this track stand out.

I also chose to share with you guys the full album version of this track, rather than the single edit. There's nothing wrong with the single edit, in fact that it the edit that really broke through on the charts for Kansas outside of the United States when they released the single in December 1976, however you do lose a lot of the great musical texturing, I mean, if you're impatient, by all means find the 3 minute version and enjoy that--I actually have a remixed version of 'Carry on My Wayward Son' which makes it a dance track, and is 8 minutes to each their own.

The Letter - The Box Tops

At just 1:58 long, "The Letter" by the psychedelic blues/soul rock group The Box Tops from their album The Letter/Neon Rainbow, is one of the shortest songs to ever hit #1 on the charts anywhere. What makes this little song interesting is just how it works, combining a low, gruff blues elements, with a lot of hallmarks of late 1960s pop, "The Letter" has a strangely timeless sound to it...

Until the end when it becomes clearly a song from the late 1960s with weird strings and a...woo?

The Box Tops were largely working from 1963-1970 (with a reunion here and there afterward), and released a slough of albums, as was the style at the time, however nothing really reached the same success that "The Letter" did.

Laughing - The Guess Who

"Laughing" is one of (if not) my favorite songs by Winnipeg, Manitoba's The Guess Who. Released in 1969, "Laughing" is a strange track, written by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings, the song has a bit of a melancholy tint to it, telling a helluva story, but then there's a chorus where it' key, and on beat.

I love the way this song develops, as well as where the song ends up, subtly changing itself as it grows into what "Laughing" is by the end, and the worst part is, I want to hear the next 2 verses of the "Laughing" that we fade out on, rather than continuing along in Canned Wheat (that would be the name of their fifth studio album, that "Laughing" was on, you know, because Winnipeg).

Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes

We almost went two whole Throwback Tracks without venturing back into the 1980s, which is crazy talk...

British 80s synthpop group Naked Eyes managed to gradually get attention in the early 1980s with this cover of a Burt Bacharach/Hal David song serving as their debut, and debut single from their album Burning Bridges. Their sampling/synth, electronic drums, and strangely enough, cathedral bells makes this a song completely steeped in the 1980s, and something that I cannot resist singing along to, even when I'm feeling awful.

Here it is! The first Throwback Tracks Apple Music Playlist, with all of the songs from the inaugural month of 'Throwback Tracks' here on The Guys From. As per usual, I've done my best to turn them into a cohesive list, but it's a little all over the place.

Don't forget to check out the latest Tuesday Tunes for your new music fix, as well as the April Tuesday Tunes Apple Music Playlist here.

See you again next Thursday with some new....oldies, and the next Throwback playlist.

-S (@Shauncord)