I say this all the time, but this list has no theme to it, and is completely all over the place....so just sit back and enjoy a sometimes strange trip through a whole pile of different music.
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.
Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie & the Blowfish
Long story short, I was picking a car up last night on the other side of the city, and as I turned the car on, this was the song that was on the radio, which immediately clicked into my head and did not leave because it is Hootie and the Blowfish.
What a strange and wonderful (at times) era the 1990s were. 1994/95 was a massive year for H&B, with their album Cracked Rear View breaking through, and three different singles gracing the years Top 100 songs...I guess their pop-blues rock really stood out at a time when a lot of radio was dominated by grunge--Hootie and the Blowfish songs are about as far away as rock got from grunge in the mid-90s: singable, upbeat, and kinda charming.
I guess it makes sense into why Cracked Rear View ended up being certified platinum 16 times (yeah, sixteen times) and is the sixteenth best selling album (in the US) all time. Think about that for a second....Cracked Rear View (which is a great album), sold more than Abbey Road, The Wall, and Born in the U.S.A.
Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine - James Brown
"Get Up" is a James Brown song that everybody knows, sure, it's not "I Got You/I Feel Good" but it's still known, however that is most likely because of a section of it being used in so very many movies and things (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Legally Blonde, Friday, City of God...etc), and not for the whole song, which is really quite an excellent funk song.
"Get Up" is quite a bit different than a lot of James Brown's other, earlier work, as this was one of the first tracks he worked on with his new band (The JB's) and does not heavily feature horns. "Get Up" is very much about the vocal interplay between Brown and backup vocalist Bobby Byrd, over top of a funky guitar and bass riff played by brothers Catfish and Bootsy Collins.
Plus, the video is fun, because it's such a strange audience/performance space...I just...this is never how I imagine watching James Brown...like how do you stay sitting and just applaud to this song...different times man.
Rock'n Me - The Steve Miller Band
When I was a kid (like under 5) I loved this album cover...my parents had it on vinyl, and I always liked going through their records, and for whatever reason, this one always stood out to me. As I got older, I obviously realized that The Steve Miller Band was a very interesting, and enjoyable (if a little pop-y) American rock bands of the 1970s, and that I had heard pretty much all of their major songs from the 1970s for years on classic radio stations.
"Rock'n Me", for whatever reason, has always been a favorite of mine. The single released in 1976 (with a B-side of the strange "Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma"...because it was the 70s) and was instantly a hit, eventually climbing to #1 on charts in both Canada and the US, with it's 'every-man traveling around the country, and facing hard times but keeping an upbeat attitude' really clicking into the zeitgeist, and let's be honest, is really something quite timeless.
All Right Now - Free
British blues/heavy rock band Free was only really around four 3 to 4 years, with lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke coming together again after Free broke up in 1973 to form Bad Company. However, despite some poor early sales (remember that during the 60s and 70s, bands often released a mound of albums and singles every year), their 1970 album Fire and Water proved to be a breakthrough, and the band had a massive hit in "All Right Now" which ended up hitting #1 in 20 different territories.
This is just one of those near-perfect 70s rock songs that still holds up as absolutely amazing today--I will stop and listen to "All Right Now" any time I hear it; it's just so good at blending heavy rock and blues rock...
It's the Same Old Song - Four Tops
The Four Tops were an absolute Motown juggernaut in their day, and I think that the story around "It's the Same Old Song" is perhaps one of my favorites. After the success of their track "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)", the label wanted to capitalize on their success and get another song out by tomorrow, so "It's the Same Old Song" was written and produced in a day.
Here's the way Four Tops Tenor Abdul "Duke" Fakir tells it:
Lamont Dozier and I were both a little tipsy and he was changing the channels on the radio. He said, 'It sounds like the same old song.' And then he said, "Wait a minute." So he took "I Can't Help Myself" and reversed it using the same chord changes. The next day, we went to the studio and recorded it, and then they put it on acetate and released to radio stations across the country.
Now this is what you should be thinking about the next time your favorite band takes 3 years to put their next album together...
The May Throwback Tracks Apple Music Playlist is now ready to go! As per usual, I've done my best to turn them into a cohesive list, but it's a little all over the place...Plus, the first Throwback Tracks Apple Music Playlist, with all of the songs from the inaugural month of 'Throwback Tracks' here on The Guys From is still available.
See you again next Thursday with some new....oldies...