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Throwback Tracks--September 8, 2016


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks--September 8, 2016

Shaun Cordingley

This week starts off...well still in that 60s groove, but we do manage to break out of it a little bit by the end of this week's list...kinda...

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. 

White Room - Cream 

Starting us off this week is the British "Super Group" Cream, comprised of Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton, and their song "White Room". While they were only active from 1966-1968, Cream produced a pile of really excellent late 60s rock, and one of my absolute favorites is this track, composed by Bruce, and lyrics written by the poet/lyricist/singer Pete Brown. 

I think it's the combination of the overdubbed, wah-wah pedal heavy guitar work, and the strangely, rhythmic, yet very thoughtful lyrics (this is, indeed, a poem set to music) that really makes "White Room" stand out for me. Plus: it's Cream--they're amazing. 

Signs - Five Man Electrical Band

Ottawa psych-rock group Five Man Electrical Band (they're nothing if not literal in Ottawa) is probably best known for "Signs"...even if you do not recognize it (or them) by name, you will as soon as you hear it...with the amount of time I've spent listening to 60s music, I've found myself humming this one off and on over the past week. 

And then I found out that it was released in 1970, which made me chuckle, as I really do not think about "Signs" as an early 70s track, but I suppose the 60s culture did not just stop on January 1st, 1970. Interestingly, "Signs" was also originally released as a B-Side to FMEB's relatively unsuccessful single "Hello Melinda Goodbye"...which is right here if you want to hear it (it's not their best work). "Signs" is something of an anthem for standing up to authority, how not everything is black & white when it comes to people, and speaks of a feeling we've all had, at one time or another, about being restricted by what feels like insular, or even arbitrary rules. 

Black Water - The Doobie Brothers

The last time I talked about The Doobie Brothers, we talked about essentially the only song from the Michael McDonald years that I liked, now we're going to go back to their original incarnation, with this Patrick Simmons composed (and sung) track "Black Water". This song was, like the last track, originally released as a B-Side, with the band feeling like it was just a nice, acoustic song, however the A-Side track on the single, "Another Park, Another Sunday" crested at #32 on the charts, and has mostly faded to the background, whereas "Black Water" proved to be the bands' second #1 song of 1975. 

There's good reason to: this song is wonderfully produced, creating a really smooth southern roots rock feeling (the song being composed on a trip to New Orleans--which for Delta Blues fan Simmons, is kind of like a rite of passage), featuring not only a super-catchy a Capella section at the end, but a perfectly used viola (played by "Novi" Novog. 

It's almost impossible for me to hear this song and not get a grin on my face. 

20th Century Boy - T. Rex

British 70's Glam-Rock band T. Rex has been on my mind a fair bit lately, as I just started reading 20th Century Boys, and while that series has been awesome so far, it hasn't mentioned the song "20th Century Boy" yet (the album cover was there briefly...), but that has not stopped me from having it in my head off and on for the past few days. 

Originally recorded in Japan and released as a single in 1973, and eventually as a bonus track on the album Tanx, "20th Century Boy" never stops impressing me, not just in how it helped to pioneer an entire genre of rock, but it's also such an ahead-of-its'-time rock song that there's something about it, whether it be the harmonies, the guitar, the upbeat rhythm & horn section, or just the fact that it all works together so well, this is a track that needs to be heard by more people, and more often. 

Tiny Dancer - Sir Elton John

I just realized that we had not put "Tiny Dancer" up on a Throwback Tracks yet, and considering how many times we have spoken, and written about how much we love the scene in Almost Famous of the band singing this song, and how great the song is, I am rectifying that now. 

I hopefully do not need to tell you too much about Sir Elton John, considering the man is a musical genius who has been working since the early 1960s. He has released so, so many great songs...

"Tiny Dancer" was originally a part of John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water, released in 1971, and was released as a single in the US in 1972--the single has actually achieved silver record status in the UK, despite never having been released as a single THAT is a helluva's perfect to sing along to, and it's almost at it's best when it's just John singing at the piano--nothing against versions that layer in more, but there's just something so beautiful about "Tiny Dancer" when it's stripped down.

Here is the August Apple Music 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...looking at you Foo Fighters)...

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

July 2016 Throwback Playlist

June 2016 Throwback Playlist

May 2016 Throwback Playlist

April 2016 Throwback Playlist

Remember, as I use Apple Music, that is where I am building the playlists, but if you want me to look into other services, just hit me up on Twitter and we will chat about the prospects of places like Spotify. 

See you again next Thursday with some new....oldies...*cough*

-S (@Shauncord)