This week, we are going to spend a good deal of time in the earlier days of rock and roll, blue-eyed soul, and a funky cover to wrap up June.
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.
Takin' it to the Streets - The Doobie Brothers
Every so often, you just need a little 'blue-eyed soul' (perhaps the most awkward music genre name) or soft rock, and The Doobie Brothers are usually a go to. While I cannot say I'm a giant Doobie Brothers fan...which I suppose would be weird for someone my age... there are a few songs by The Doobie Brothers that I really do enjoy. "Takiin' it to the Streets" off of their 1976 album of the same name is one of them.
This is actually an important song for The Doobie Brothers as well, as it is the first song that featured Michael McDonald as the lead vocalist (the song was also written by McDonald), which I have to say...is probably the only DB song that I enjoy that he features as the vocalist on--the other two Doobie Brothers songs that I enjoy, which you will see on here someday, would each have a different vocalist on it....
The Doobie Brothers were fun like that until McDonald took over...
Song of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernedette O'Brien OBE, or Dusty Springfield is one of the most popular, and indeed greatest vocalists of all time. A Pop Singer and Producer who created music for over 40 years, and is in both the US and UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fames, Springfield is another one of those "blue-eyed soul" artists, who used her wonderful soprano voice to deliver consistently underrated work.
"Son of a Preacher Man" did hit Top 10s, but her fifth studio album Dusty in Memphis, actually didn't sell well at the time.
Despite being arguably her best work...and when talking about an artist like Dusty Springfield, that is really saying something. "Son of a Preacher Man" is still an amazing song; this is one of those tracks that stops me in whatever I am doing so I can enjoy it for two and a half minutes before getting back to my day.
Juke Box Music - The Kinks
The Kinks, probably one of the most important (read: influential) British rock bands of all time, and briefly a part of the early 1960s 'British Invasion' (before their touring ban in the United States) are rather amazing to me. They released 24 albums from the 60s through the 90s (and I'm not counting the Live albums), and had a pile of Top 10 and Top 20 singles. While their golden era is largely regarded to be from 1966-1972, I am quite fond of "Juke Box Music" off of their 1977 album Sleepwalker.
Now to be fair, "Juke Box Music" is pretty much the only song that stands out on Sleepwalker for me, but this track, about a fan who believes in the lyrics of a song, so she plays them repeatedly on the jukebox, is easily one of my favorites by The Kinks. I love the guitars, the section at the end that feels like they're just having a good time jamming, and there's something about this one that just makes me want to sing along with Ray Davies.
In fact, I'm doing it right now...
It Doesn't Matter Anymore - Buddy Holly
From The Buddy Holly Story, the Buddy Holly album released posthumously, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" was the final song on the album; so in a way, it's Buddy Holly's last song, which gives this amazingly well arranged pop song a bit of a melancholy tinge to it. This is a 1950s pop song that has a string section; that did not happen in the 1950s...you know, in case you needed another reason to talk about how far ahead of his time Buddy Holly was
However, this is such a happy (blow-off) song...which is made even better when you know that it was written for Holly by Paul Anka.
I mean come on.
Sometimes I like to wonder what it would have been like had Buddy Holly not been killed...I cannot even imagine what he would have done in the 1960s...(or if he would've been tarred as "establishment" and just disappeared...)
Mrs. Robinson - Booker T & The MG's
If you are familiar with Booker T & The MG's, chances are you know them more for their 1962 hit "Green Onions", rather than this Simon & Garfunkel cover, but there's just something about this undeniably funky instrumental version of "Mrs. Robinson" that I wanted to wrap up the month of June with. Booker T & The MG's were an incredibly influential band, informing a lot of what Memphis Soul would sound like, and you can easily notice a lot of this sound in other songs that I have put on this list, and definitely will in the future.
Basically just sit back and groove. If you're looking for more (and the album this track 1969 track is from), check out The Booker T. Set.
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...and the latest Playlist!