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Throwback Tracks -- February 2, 2017


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- February 2, 2017

David R. Smith

Here we are again. Another Throwback Tracks. It's remarkable how quickly a day can sneak up on you when you've got a crap ton of stuff on the go. As it turns out, I'm writing this 11 hours before it drops, so you'll have to forgive any grievous spelling mistakes or grammatical faux pas. 

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. 

I Got You Babe - Sonny and Cher

This TBT is coming out on Groundhog Day, I felt I would have been mad at myself had I not started it off with a song that came from the movie. And somehow I felt that the Pennsylvania Polka wouldn't really fit in with the motif of our Throwback Tracks playlist... 

When I was growing up, I really didn't care for Cher. Do You Believe was such a juggernaut of a song and I just couldn't understand the appeal. But then you hear a song like this and it all makes sense. Plus then you get a little Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves and you realize that maybe she was better than the crappy autotune song would have you... believe... See what I did there?

My Back Pages - The Byrds

I am a firm believer that Bob Dylan is one of the most prolific songwriters of all time. And clearly, as he won the Nobel Prize last year, I am not alone in this. I am also a firm believer that many of the songs he wrote sound much better when other people sing them. This song is no different. 

One of my cousins might disagree but he's a crazy person.

Dylan had a cool voice (and I stress the word "had") and it worked for his songs, but listen to this song the way that The Byrds sing it. Their harmonies are just so spectacular. And I would say this: from a harmonies stand point, I wouldn't even consider this the Byrds' best work. There are a few others I would rank above it. But the song itself, between the lyrics and the way their voices go together, it seemed too good to put any other option up. 

Crying - Roy Orbison and KD Lang 

In the podcast that comes out tomorrow, I make reference to KD Lang a few times. Because she's great. And because she was on my mind, and I couldn't use End Of The Line in this week's TBT because Shaun put it in this one, I needed a different way to get Roy Orbison in here. 

The song was originally recorded in 1961 by the man himself. And it's really good. Like; "you should also go listen to his solo version" good. KD and Roy recorded it together in 1987 for the soundtrack of Hiding Out. And boy am ever I glad they did. Two of the most powerful, unique voices in the music industry coming together. And both of them have the ability to hit those high notes so well. It takes a song that was already very good (and that I loved growing up) and just makes it that much better. Incidentally, Roy Orbison died a year after recording the song with KD Lang. There's something to be said about timing, hey?

Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot*

Writing this list is awesome, because I just mostly get to inundate you guys with songs I really love (that aren't just exclusively Pearl Jam.)

I didn't listen to a lot of Gordon Lightfoot when I was growing up. I think my parents liked him well enough, but they never seemed bothered to get any of his stuff. I kind of came to liking him independently of them. I bought his greatest hits CD on a whim and discovered just how good a folk singer he actually was. 

Anyway, this song kicks off his greatest hits, and while the rest of the album is pretty good, nothing compares to this song (in my opinion.) 

...Maybe the Edmund Fitzgerald...

Also: this song is really fun to play. In case you were wondering.

*I'm not sure that it's his official website, but it's the best I could find. If it is his official one... he needs to enlist a web designer. 

White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane

Rounding out our unintentional journey into the hippie-ish era, we have perhaps the most hippy song of them all. (And I don't mean strictly on this list.) 

Shaun used one of their tracks before, when he threw in Somebody to Love. And while that song is good, this one just speaks to me more. I think it's because of that rolling bass line at the beginning and the ultimate crescendo at the end. The way Grace Slick wails at the end gives me such a visceral feeling that I can't help but love this song. Another reason I like it is from having worked on a show where they sang it, I got to design lights around this song. And Nikki, who sang it, damn near gave me shivers every night. She just kicked the song's ass. It was incredible to watch. Definitely a highlight of the show. 

But really, probably the biggest reason I like this song is because of its use in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas...

Well that about does it. A fair difference from last week's list but that's the beauty about writing it. The possibilities are nigh on endless. And, as I can hear my dog's breathing getting heavier, I'm taking it as an indication that I, too, should be sleeping. So I'm gonna. 

One parting thought: as the month has restarted that means that there's a playlist that needs to be out. So Shaun has combined December and January into one, as there was only 5 weeks worth of TBT on it. So if you want it: here is the Throwback Playlist for Dec 16/Jan 17 as well as the rest of them, in case you want those too.

October 2016 Throwback Playlist,

September 2016 Throwback Playlist

August Apple Music Playlist

July 2016 Throwback Playlist

June 2016 Throwback Playlist

May 2016 Throwback Playlist

April 2016 Throwback Playlist

Until next week, kids!

-D (@davidronn)

photo credit: Jacopo Aneghini Photos © Grayson Capps & J. Sintoni @ ZoneK via photopin (license)