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Throwback Tracks -- August 24, 2017


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks -- August 24, 2017

David R. Smith

For whatever reason, some weeks I really don't look forward to writing this. It's not that I don't enjoy it; it's just that sometimes I have a lot of other things to do and it seems like this always comes up when I need to be doing other things. Last week was one of those weeks. I had a really hard time motivating myself to write it. It seemed like a chore. This week I'm a bit more willing to write the TBT. I don't get why it changes week in and week out, but such is the case. 

Now all I need are some songs to pick...

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.

Black or White - Michael Jackson

This is a great video. Partially because for the time, having all the faces change between people of all different races and genders (including a very young Tyra Banks at 5:30) was a fairly impressive feat of editing. But the other reason this video is great (aside from Michael dancing on the torch of the Statue of Liberty) is because of Macaulay Culkin and George Wendt.

In recent years, I had the opportunity to have drinks with George Wendt. While I wanted to pepper him with questions about Cheers and the like, I elected just to treat him like a normal dude. There were 7-8 of us sitting around the table drinking and he was just one of the gang. It was a really cool moment (side note: he digs Caesars.) While we would trade stories, he would tell us stories and preface them with "I don't want to name drop here, but..." and then tell us some cool story about Ted Danson, or Kelsey Grammar. It was a pretty rad night. 

Anyway. I'm digressing more than usual.

I completely forgot that George Wendt played the dad in this video. Until today. When I started watching it, and saw him sitting there, it brought back fond memories of the night we had drinks with him.

All that said; this song is great. Slash playing guitar on it is amazing, the message is still incredibly poignant today and it's yet another indication of Michael's talent. There was much malign towards Michael Jackson in the later part of his life. There's an entire episode of South Park about it, but there were also many, many jokes about him. And I'll be honest, I perpetuated those jokes. But when I hear this song, it makes me miss Michael Jackson, and regret that I never had an opportunity to see him live. 

Gimme All Your Lovin' - ZZ Top

ZZ Top is a band we have yet to feature, here on TBT. In searching our website for anything ZZ Top related, the only thing I could find was the reference to them in our list of favourite Simpsons episodes when we discuss The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson.

These guys are an interesting band. I feel like a lot of the songs they sing would be less appreciated nowadays because of some of the things they sing about. (Tush, Legs...) But that said, they still rock. And there's still something really fun about their songs. Maybe it's the heavy guitar, maybe it's the simplicity, or maybe it's just because I can picture two guys with massive beards, and one without whose name coincidentally, is Frank Beard, just hauling on their instruments. At one point in the video, you see two of them side by side with their respective guitars doing the old man white boy sway in time to the music. It's a move I feel is synonymous with ZZ Top and it makes me appreciate them all the more.

Back On The Chain Gang - The Pretenders

I felt it would be nice to break up the male voices with a powerful female voice. And boy does Chrissie Hynde have that. I was considering putting I'll Stand By You on here today, because that's arguably their best song. But I love this song so much. It's so simple but so good. 

From the first guitar strum, I know this song. And it makes me reach for the volume knob to turn it up. Because it's the sort of song that needs to get the proper volume it deserves. 

I don't know much about the Pretenders. They weren't a major part of my upbringing. But I know that their lead singer is a phenomenal talent and I feel like I need to listen to more of their stuff. It's nice that I write this every week because there are even groups that I feel like I need to investigate more!

Dry Your Eyes - Neil Diamond

I'll be honest: I've never heard the studio version of this song until today. Until today, I've only ever heard the Last Waltz version. Thus; I'm unaccustomed to hearing this song without Neil Diamond's preamble of "I'm only gonna do one song. But I'm gonna do it good."

I've never heard the studio version and yet, it might be my favourite Neil Diamond song. The lyrics are so good but the instrumentation is also fabulous. It's so simple, but gives me massive shivers. I adore this song. 

There will be more Neil Diamond songs at some point, because he's just that good, but I felt like if we're going to start with one, it should be (in my opinion) his best. 

Side note: You know how I'm a massive Pearl Jam fan? I know; this is the first you've heard of it. Well anyway, I have a friend whose Pearl Jam is Neil Diamond. She's seen him 11 times I believe. 

She gets it. 

Life's Been Good - Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh is a legend. I feel like that's all I'd need to put here and that would be sufficient writeup for one of his songs. But I won't deprive you of random Dave ramblings. 

This song is essentially a record of Joe's life as a musician, where he makes a bunch of money and seems like he can barely enjoy it. But that's okay, because Life's Been Good to him so far. 

The best part about this song is that it's 7+ minutes and a lot of it is just his band jamming. I think that's really the brilliance of Joe Walsh: he's one of the original jam bands. I bet seeing this song live would be amazing. I can just picture a 10 minute jam session that finally comes back around and finishes up with the last of the lyrics. Shows like that are fun for me. If Joe ever came back through Alberta, there's a very good chance I'd try to see him. With or without (which is more likely) the Eagles.

C'est fini! No more songs for you this week. I've got one more week of random rock/pop songs before I do a month of Punk songs. I have many artists already figured out so if you desperately want to hear a punk song on next month's list, hit me up sooner rather than later, else hold your peace. 

If you want to check out old playlists, here they are (newly organized) so you can do that if you want, too. 


July 2017 TBT Playlist (and the July Spotify List), June 2017 TBT Playlist (and the June Spotify List), May 2017 TBT PlaylistApril 2017 TBT PlaylistMarch 2017 TBT Playlist February 2017 TBT Playlist


Throwback Playlist for Dec 16/Jan 17October 2016 Throwback PlaylistSeptember 2016 Throwback PlaylistAugust 2016 Throwback PlaylistJuly 2016 Throwback PlaylistJune 2016 Throwback PlaylistMay 2016 Throwback PlaylistApril 2016 Throwback Playlist

Until next week, friends!

-D (@davidronn)