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Throwback Tracks--July 28, 2016


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks--July 28, 2016

Shaun Cordingley

In the immortal words of Bender the robot, I'm back, baby! In last week's Throwback Tracks, Shaun alluded to the fact that I enjoyed writing this, and boy was he right. Plus, considering he wrote this week's Simpsons article, I felt like I should take some of this on. So here I am.

This week, there is once again a theme to my list. Unlike the one I wrote two weeks ago, this one has very little to do with Pearl Jam. In fact, I legitimately think there's no way to tie this list to Pearl Jam. So what's the theme, you ask? Every one of these artists is a person and or group I've seen in concert. "But Dave," you're saying, "we know you! We're all aware you've seen many people and/or groups in concert. What makes these so special?" Well, my astute friends, every one of the artists on this list started their music career before I was born. So that's where our journey is taking us this week. Enjoy!

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. 

Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull 

Anybody who loves history (so, like... 3% of the population) will recognize this name as the man who invented the seed drill. But music fans who love 70s and 80s prog rock (so, like... 35% of the population) will recognize this group as the terrific band who uses a flute when they rock out. I have seen this band twice. Both times the show was terrific. Ian Anderson is a remarkable musician and the stories he tells on stage are terrific. 

This song was on the 1971 album Aqualung (another terrific song) and is one of the hardest rocking songs of the Jethro Tull catalogue. They tend to run the gamut as far as the type of music they play (the benefit of being a prog rock group) but there are a few songs that just haul. This is one of them. It's also one of the greatest all time driving songs.

Layla (Unplugged) - Eric Clapton

Good old Slowhand. Eric Clapton is, obviously, one of the most iconic musicians of all-time and even more-so, one of the best guitarists ever. To be honest, though: I found his concert to be a little... flat. It was really cool to see him play and I'll never forget seeing the concert. But in comparison to Jethro Tull, his stage presence was pretty much non-existent. I don't think he said more than about 3 words to the audience, beyond "thank you" and "good night."

That said; he's still one of the best. 

Layla was originally recorded with Derek and the Dominoes way back in 1970. The song is remarkably iconic and the piano part was even been used in Goodfellas (spoilers for anybody who hasn't seen the movie.) The unplugged version came out in 1992, when Eric Clapton appeared on the short lived, yet ever-iconic MTV Unplugged. While I think I like the original version better, there's something so, so good about this version too.

Who Are You - The Who

I know we already had The Who in a TBT a few months ago but we also had Soundgarden before and yet I didn't care in my first Throwback Tracks. So I'm adding another Who song to the list.

Coming out in 1978, on the album of the same title, this is one of The Who's most iconic songs. Written by Pete Townshend, it was based on real experience when he was found by a policeman in Soho, after drinking with a couple of the Sex Pistols. I had always heard that Townshend didn't like the way Roger Daltrey didn't like the way he sang it, as he believed Daltrey was making light of it. But further research shows that it seems Townshend was appreciative of the aggressive spin Daltrey put in the lyrics. So, I guess I was wrong. 

Anyway. This song rocks.

Needle and the Damage Done - Neil Young

Not gonna lie; Neil Young has kind of gone off the deep end. His politics have been kind of... batty of late. Plus the whole leaving his wife for Daryl Hannah thing was a bit unfortunate. 

However; I still love the man's music. I've seen him twice and both shows were magnificent. If a person can separate the man from the music and appreciate just the instrumentation and lyrics, there's a lot more love for the man. 

Appearing on the 1972 album Harvest, it is quite obviously written about Neil Young's musician friends and their struggles with heroin. Says Young:

Ever since I left Canada, about five years ago or so... and moved down south... found out a lot of things that I didn’t know when I left. Some of ‘em are good, and some of ‘em are bad. Got to see a lot of great musicians before they happened... before they became famous... y’know, when they were just gigging. Five and six sets a night... things like that. And I got to see a lot of, um, great musicians who nobody ever got to see. For one reason or another. But... strangely enough, the real good ones... that you never got to see was... ‘cause of, ahhm, heroin. An’ that started happening over an’ over. Then it happened to someone that everyone knew about. So I just wrote a little song.

Also, I lied: among the plethora of artists to have covered this song, Pearl Jam has also covered it. (I promise I wasn't planning on adding anything PJ related until I decided to post this song...)

One - Metallica

I forget just how long this band has been around. They started two years before I was born. I'm turning 33 in 2 weeks. This band has been around for 35 years!!! Remarkable. Granted the past couple albums haven't been as good as their early stuff, but it doesn't matter. Their concerts are still absolutely phenomenal and the band still rocks as well as a bunch of aged rockstars should. 

Appearing on the 1988 album ...and Justice for All, this song is one hell of an anti-war anthem. Nearly an 8-minute epic, it's a slow burn that just gets better and better. It sort of showcases all the different skills of the band, as well as the lyrical abilities of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

This song has been exceptionally well received and, has been covered by one of the best artists in one of the most interesting ways.

Here is the June 2016 Throwback Playlist , done in the usual fashion of trying to make it sound a bit like a set (which is never easy without transitions, or just yapping until I change genres), but, yay! Playlist!

In case you missed our previous Throwback Track playlists, here they are:

May 2016 Throwback Playlist

April 2016 Throwback Playlist

Don't forget to check out the latest Tuesday Tunes for your new music fix, and I will see you again next Thursday with some well as the July Playlist!

-D (@davidronn)