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FROM ONE MUSO TO ANOTHER…

Occasionally, a songwriter writes a tune that’s essentially a letter to a musical peer or fellow composer. Sometimes that message is delivered in the form of a tribute and sometimes it’s delivered as an angry diatribe.  Our playlist today features both but, like our opening track JAZZ THING from Gang Starr, most of our songs are marks of respect.

I like to include a little country music every now and again, especially if its by the great Johnny Cash. As a contribution to this week’s playlist, he sings about his country music idol on THE NIGHT HANK WILLIAMS CAME TO TOWN. Punk rockers The Ramones praise the rock artists who preceded them on DO YOU REMEMBER ROCK N ROLL RADIO. And then it was UK group Television Personalities, who are obviously Pink Floyd fans with I KNOW WHERE SYD BARRETT LIVES.

The most familiar soul hit on the airwaves during 1967 was Arthur Conley’s SWEET SOUL MUSIC on which he paid tribute to other great soulmen like Otis Redding and James Brown:

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When it comes to soul, Stevie Wonder knows how much is owed to our jazz legends. SIR DUKE is his tribute to Duke Ellington, the influential jazz legend who died in 1974. He also acknowledges Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

In 1980 Dexy’s Midnight Runners appeared out of nowhere, with a sound all their own. Nobody else at the time would have dreamt of producing an impassioned, brass-powered tribute to neglected 1960s soul singer Geno Washington, but they did and they took GENO to #1 in the UK.

Dexy’s Midnight Runners also recorded a version of JACKIE WILSON SAID, but I’m faithful to the original by Van Morrison which had to be part of the list too.

A little more country music was up next with the gorgeous Gillian Welch singing the ELVIS PRESLEY BLUES. This was followed closely by the one and only Ian Dury with his incredible piece of hero worship, SWEET GENE VINCENT. On this video Mick Jones of the Clash joins the band, The Blockheads.  And as Dury quips to Jones: “Listen, we’ve got four chords on this one Michael!” Great band, great song. How does Mick Jones get through this number without once dropping the ciggie from his mouth? Hilarious.

Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople’s reluctant youth anthem, ALL THE YOUNG DUDES was written by  David Bowie. It namechecks T-Rex and references The Beatles and The Stones. Here they are, (with Bowie on back up!), performing at the Freddie Mercury tribute at Wembley Stadium:

The wonderful Jonathan Richman never disappoints me and he delivers again for this week’s playlist. On his song VELVET UNDERGROUND he even performs a few bars of the Velvet Underground’s Sister Ray in between dispensing eloquent insights into his heroes’ dark magic. How good is that!

Bono says that U2’s song STUCK IN A MOMENT YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF is a tribute to INXS singer Michael Hutchence. According to Bono it’s the conversation he wishes had actually taken place.

John Martyn, who died at a relatively early age himself,  extends a concerned hand to a fading Nick Drake on the devastatingly tender SOLID AIR.


Canadian group Barenaked Ladies recorded a hit song about mental illness that references Beach Boy BRIAN WILSON. And just in case you’re wondering, Brian Wilson does do a version during his own live shows.  And why wouldn’t he? It’s a great song. Fellow Canadian Allanah Myles also had a huge hit with my favourite of all the Elvis tribute songs: BLACK VELVET.


Paul Jones and Dave Kelly honour Blues legend SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON and Neil Young references Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols on HEY, HEY, MY MY (Into the Black). The line ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’ also became infamous in modern rock after being quoted in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note.

On a cheerier note, The Saw Doctors sing I’D LOVE TO BANG THE BANGLES, which pretty much speaks for itself. If you thought that was a wild proposition, you should take a listen to Bongwater’s NICK CAVE DOLLS. But hang in for the punchline on that one. A perfect follow up to that tune is Adam Ant’s GOODIE TWO SHOES, supposedly a critique of Cliff Richards virtuous and conservative image. “Don’t drink, don’t smoke… what do you do?”

A terrific song from Dory Previn is STONE FOR BESSIE SMITH. It isn’t just about the Blues singer Bessie Smith; it’s primarily about Janis Joplin who paid for Bessie Smith’s headstone but forgot to put anything aside for her own.

Early in his career, David Bowie often wrote about artists he admired, from Lou Reed to Andy Warhol to Iggy Pop. On SONG FOR BOB DYLAN a pre-Ziggy Bowie adopted Dylan’s nasal vocal style in order to pay tribute.

Down By Law also do an excellent tribute to the best rock band in the world:  I WANNA BE IN AC/DC.  Me too guys, me too.

It was hard choosing a song to go out on. Yes, of course there’s American Pie and Losing My Edge and the various spats between Paul McCartney and John Lennon, but in an effort not to be too predictable I’ve chose TUNIC (Song for Karen). Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon does a beautiful job of casting herself as the tragic Karen Carpenter reporting back from heaven.

I’ve got a marathon effort lined up for the next couple of weeks and I need your help! The playlist next week will start with a song referencing Zero or less and I’ll progressively play songs in numerical order until I run out of ideas. For example I could start with Elvis Costello’s Less Than Zero progress to Yeah yeah yeah’s Zero then Bob Marley’s One Love … you get the idea. Let’s see how far I get. If you help me we could be doing this for weeks! To make it easy to participate I’ll be posting onto the Theme Park Radio Facebook page.

But in the meantime, here’s this week’s complete playlist to peruse:

Jazz Thing – Gang Starr – Moment of Truth

The Night Hank Williams Came To Town – Johnny Cash – The Best Of Johnny Cash

Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio – The Ramones Shrek OST

I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives – Television Personalities And Don’t The Kids Just Love It

Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley – 60’s Soul

Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life [Disc 1]

Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) – Van Morrison

Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels

Elvis Presley Blues – Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)

Sweet Gene Vincent – Ian Dury and The Blockheads – The Very Best Of Ian Dury And The Blockheads

Blackbird, Bye Bye – Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette – Bye Bye Blackbird

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople – Rock Classics 60’s & 70’s Volume 2

Velvet Underground – Jonathan Richman – I, Jonathan

Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of – U2 – The Best Of 1990-2000 & B-Sides CD1

Solid Air – John Martyn – No Little Boy

Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies – Barenaked Radio: Easter Special

Sonny Boy Williamson – Paul Jones & Dave Kelly – Live In London

Black Velvet – Alannah Myles – The Very Best of Alannah Myles

Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) – Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps (Live)

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um

I’d Love To Kiss The Bangles – The Saw Doctors – Play it Again Sham

Nick Cave Dolls – Bongwater – Box of Bongwater

Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant – Antics In The Forbidden Zone

Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn – Mythical Kings And Iguanas

Song For Bob Dylan – David Bowie – Hunky Dory

(I Wanna Be In) AC/DC – Down By Law – Windwardtidesandwaywardsails

Tunic (Song For Karen) – Sonic Youth – Goo (Deluxe Edition) [Disc 1]

Next week:  NOUGHT TO WHATEVER (Part 1)

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com
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FOREVER YOUNG: Rock n roll’s survivors

This week’s theme is inspired by the fact that Iggy Pop is headlining our major youth concert,  The Big Day Out this month. And Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Jethro Tull will all be here in April for the Byron Blues Festival. I’m a baby boomer, so I’m ecstatic to be able to see all my heroes from the 60’s still performing. But, I have to ask: what is it about the first generation of rock n rollers – what keeps them going?

The reality is that from the moment rock music arrived on the scene it was a young person’s game: music made by young people for young people. It never intended to grow up or grow old. But it did. So what happens when rock’s youthful rebelliousness is delivered wrapped in wrinkles?

Lemmy from Motorhead has a formula for staying alive. He reckons you just breath (at all times). Lemmy, like Keith Richards, is one of the all time rock n roll survivors and therefore much revered by fans of a similar vintage.

Much to the dismay of our children, we baby boomers have carried on being the oldest swingers in town. We haven’t shown any sign of giving up on rock concerts, taking recreational drugs, (if we want to), and staying up all night. It’s why the biggest earners for rock concerts aren’t the Lady Gagas of the world, but veteran performers like AC/DC, The Eagles, Paul McCartney and The Who.


On MY GENERATION The Who were actually saying that they hoped they’d die before they got old. Hey, hold on a minute, they’re still singing it and they ARE old. What happened?

What happened started in the 50s when an entirely new species emerged with its very own music. They were called teenagers. And their music was called rock n roll:

Rock n roll created something special: The joy of hearing your parents shout out: “Turn that bloody racket down!” Because one of the social functions of rock has always been the defiance of the older generation. For performers like Elvis every gesture, every note was all about social disenfranchisement and rebellion. Elvis hit the scene wearing pink and black and leather outfits. He looked more like a pimp than a musician. “Outrageous!” reeled the grown-ups. But to the teenagers, he represented an escape from the stuffiness of the post-World War Two era.


No-one, even the musicians themselves, took rock and pop seriously, though. It was seen as a novelty, something that wasn’t meant to last. As the soundtrack to growing pains, it was temporary and disposable just like the people who made it.


By the early 60’s Beatlemania was gripping youth’s attention. The Establishment, however, remained doubtful that it was a fever that would last. Even the Beatles accepted the idea of their own inbuilt obsolescence.

With Beatlemania, and the British Invasion in general, many of the young established groups were being left behind. The tyranny of youth dictated that if you didn’t change with the times, you were old hat. One of the new incumbents was the band Manfred Mann.

In 1965 The Who recorded one of the ultimate anthems to youth, one that damned growing up and growing old. The young went on the offensive claiming their territory through guitar, bass and drums. The older generation were still recovering from a World War and all they wanted was some peace and quiet. To the younger generation old age just seemed really boring.

Ironically, the British Beat boom of the mid 60’s was based on music that was already old. Bands like the Stones, The Animals & Manfred Mann worshipped American Blues of the 20s 30s and 40s. Their recording heroes were still alive, but by rock roll’s new standards they were old men. Charlie Parker was born in 1920, Miles Davis in 1926 & Muddy Waters in 1913.

The self-absorbed rebelliousness of rock n roll gathered speed with the Rolling Stones. While the Who were busy burying the older generation, the Stones were singing about finding their satisfaction in sex.

The arrival of album culture in the late 60s proved that rock n roll was now thinking more in the long term. It didn’t sound disposable anymore. It was growing up, just like the people who made it. The Beatles Sgt Peppers album dared to imagine what life would be like at SIXTY FOUR. Up until now that was completely unthinkable for the baby boomer generation.


In the same year that the Beatles released the Sgt Peppers album, Procol Harum had a hit single with WHITER SHADE OF PALE. Things had started to get serious. The more experienced young musicians began wondering how far they could take their music. And they took their diehard fans with them. In many cases the fans had grown up with these bands and, along the way, they’d developed an appreciation of lyrics and music with more depth.

The end of the sixties saw the beginning of the rock n roll casualty list. The death of Brian Jones in 1969 seemed to crystalise a ‘live fast, die young’ attitude and brought a new reality to “I hope I die before I get old.”  Janis Jopliin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix all died at 27, confirming the myth that if you wanted to be a rock legend you had to die young.

The Stones, however, seemed determined to mature. After the death of Brian Jones they picked themselves up and went back on the road. For the band, it wasn’t over yet.


By the end of the 60’s the Stones had discovered the secret of survival, at least for now. Unfortunately, the Beatles didn’t. As if to prove that longevity and rock n roll was difficult for a group of young guys growing up together, they split in 1970. The Fab Four would go on to enjoy successful solo careers for many years to come but the surge of creativity that fed them in their youth proved more elusive for them and their generation as they grew older.

Today, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Pete Townsend can play arenas 45 years after they first had hits. Which is great. But the real question is:  are they writing great songs? Or is the outpouring of creativity that launched their careers a factor of youth?

Herman’s Hermits got together in 1963 when lead singer Peter Noone was only 16. Their very first release, I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD, was a #1 hit and although future recordings would get into the top ten, they were never to have a UK #1 again. The band, without Noone, continue to perform to this day and Peter Noone has gone on to have a successful career as both a singer and actor.

In the early 70’s, no performer demonstrated rock n roll’s reliance on youthful invention and raw power more than Iggy Pop. Here’s a great little doco that illustrates why he is known as the “Godfather of Punk”:

Not all rock n roll of the early 70’s was an expression of sexual energy and youthful physicality. By now prog rock was plundering the classical music collections so beloved of its middle class parents, as proof of its intention to last. It’s perpetrators, bands like Yes & Jethro Tull, seemed to be contemplating careers beyond the age of 30.


Performers found themselves living with their songs and growing into their material. One of the most requested songs from troops serving in Vietnam was I GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE by Eric Burdon & The Animals. Burdon continues to perform this song today when he entertains servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, it’s written into his contract. That’s what they call an anthem, folks.

In 1976, before the 60’s generation had a chance to mature, they were rudely cast aside by punk. It was a three-chord reign of terror, the ultimate Oedipal act. Snarling, spitting and clawing its way to the stage.

These weren’t the kids of the optimistic 60’s but a new young generation who felt abandoned. Everyone was in their way and, as always, no one understood them.


The bands of the post-punk era, like the Specials and Madness, while less dismissive of the past, still believed that rock and pop music were part of an essentially young experience.

In the early 80’s the Stones were back, yet again, having been absent from the stage for 6 years – while punk and its aftermath were the centre of attention. They were proving that they were in for the long haul.


In July 1985 the benefits of hanging in for the long term reached unexpected and unprecedented heights, with Live Aid. The international event sometimes looked like a version of Dad’s Army with acts like Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, and the Beach Boys joining pop stars of the 80s on stage. Watched by more than 400 million viewers in 60 countries, this was the rock n roll survivor’s finest hour. Suddenly being 40 didn’t seem so uncool. These were the masters, the legends, the acts deemed capable of feeding the world.


A lot of young people heard some of the older bands for the first time, saying “These bands are fantastic.” And then, the most hated people in their musical vocabulary, their parents, responded with “Yeah, we know, we love them too!”

What had begun with Live Aid in the 80’s continued into the 90s with projects like War Child. Performers from three generations of rock n roll – Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher recorded COME TOGETHER, in the new spirit of multi-generational tolerance. It was no longer a case of ‘My Generation’ but ‘Your Generation too”. Just as importantly, audiences for the music also started to span generations.

The new millennium witnessed an entirely new phenomenon: the revival and the comeback. Leonard Cohen, already in his 70’s, had decided to stop performing and recording altogether. At least that was the plan. But after having all his money misappropriated by a crooked manager, he had to go back on the road. And guess what, he loves it!


Audiences who had grown up and grown old with their heroes wanted them back. Age had invested their favourite bands with a new authenticity. Performers couldn’t believe their luck. Even Brian Wilson returned from the wilderness to be a Beach Boy once again.


Rock n roll is now revelling in a long life. What was about risk and youth is now about enjoying a grand old age. It’s about longevity, survival, nostalgia. Refusing to grow up, give up or shut up. The whole point of the baby boomer generation is that we made it up from the beginning and we’ve been making it up ever since.  We’ve been pushing the boundaries, and unlike our parents, we’ve refused to accept old age.

Many thanks to BBC and You Tube community for the wealth of material, without which this week’s show would not be possible.

Next week, my special guests will be The Fridays, performing live in the studio, plus lots of songs about RESOLUTIONS. Any suggestions/requests, please leave me a message here.

In the meantime, here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Lust For Life, Trainspotting soundtrack, Iggy Pop

Lemmy/Motorhead  quote

My Generation, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack, The Who

Johnny B. Goode, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, Chuck Berry

Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley

Get A Job, Get a Job, The Silhouettes

Paul McCartney quote

Twist And Shout, Please Please Me, The Beatles

Paul Jones quote

Come Tomorrow, The Five Faces of Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann

(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, Muddy Waters

Let’s Spend The Night Together, Hot Rocks 1964-1971, The Rolling Stones

When I’m Sixty-Four, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

She’s Leaving Home, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

A Whiter Shade Of Pale, The Big Chill soundtrack, Procol Harum

Brown Sugar, Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones

Peter Noone quote

I’m Into Something Good, The Original 60’s Summertime album, Herman’s Hermits

Iggy Pop i/view

Search And Destroy, Raw Power, Iggy Pop & The Stooges

Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll, Too Young To Die, Jethro Tull

We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place, The Most of the Animals, The Animals

God Save The Queen, Never Mind the Bollocks, The Sex Pistols

Too Much Too Young, The Singles Collection, The Specials

Baggy Trousers, Complete Madness, Madness

Mick Jagger quote

Start Me Up, Tattoo You, The Rolling Stones

Rockin’ All Over The World, Rockin’ All Over The World, Status Quo

Surfin’ USA, Endless Summer Legends, The Beach Boys

We Will Rock You, News of the World, Queen

Come Together, Help (War Child Benefit), Paul Weller & Friends

1969 (with  i/view), Iggy Pop

In My Secret Life, Ten New Songs, Leonard Cohen

God Only Knows, Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys

Forever Young, Napolean Dynamite soundtrack, Alphaville

Next week:  RESOLUTIONS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com



GRRRL POWER

This week we’re celebrating that Australia finally has a female PrimeMinister in Julia Gillard – it only took 109 years! The show was on the F word, no not THAT word – I’m talking FEMINIST SONGS, GRRRL POWER. It’s a complex topic and I had to have a criterion for the list, otherwise I would have gone absolutely nuts trying to make a selection. So it came down to the lyrics. Obviously what I think makes a feminist song is totally subjective, but hopefully my choices made for an interesting and fun couple of hours.

Le Tigre kicked the show off with HOT TOPIC, a song that pays tribute to dozens of female visual artists, musicians, writers and feminists who have inspired them, including Yoko Ono, Aretha Franklin, The Slits and others. Le Tigre was founded by Kathleen Hanna. She’d previously fronted the band Bikini Kill, a leading light in the Gen X Riot Grrrl movement of the early 90’s. Riot Grrrls didn’t just create music. They published zines, produced their artwork and group exhibitions. The movement spawned current performance artists like Amanda Palmer, Peaches and M.I.A. Have a peek at Le Tigre:

Moving into the show proper, we travelled back in time to 1963 when Peggy Lee recorded I’M A WOMAN. This was at a time when multi-tasking meant being able to do all the housework andpowder your nose at the same time. By 1975 Loretta Lyn had released the first song about birth control, called THE PILL, about a little dose of hormones that would change society and history forever. Can you believe that it was banned from radio? In 1975! We have come a long way baby.

Now you were probably wondering whether any songs about women, written by men, met with my approval.  Well, there were a few, (not many mind you). Here’s one:  In 1978, Queen speculated that it wasn’t gravity but, in fact, FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS that made the earth go round. Fascinating. Thirty years later the scientific community is still to respond, even though Queen’s guitarist Brian May (who wrote this track) was studying for a PhD in astronomy at the time, which lends some sort of credibility to the argument don’t you think? Over the years this song has proved a useful rebuff to the portrayal of women in popular culture as little more than skinny minnies. And, at the very least, you have to congratulate a song with the lyrics,  “Take me to them lardy ladies every time!”.

Keeping to the theme, let’s talk about an artist who has the sisterhood in a quandry. Beyonce sings all about being an independent woman and, yet, she still wants her fella to put a ring on it. But I must admit a liking for Destiny’s Child and especially the track BOOTYLICIOUS. Here are women in possession of their own bodies, their own sexuality and their own lives. When they solemnly announce “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly” in their ode to the joys of shakeable bottoms, the cheering from millions of pear-shaped women world-wide is deafening.

We  followed with a song by the Scissor Sisters called SHE’S MY MAN, a song that tells of a woman who “takes her drinks with dust and rusty razor blades”. It then goes on to assert that “She’s my man and we got all the balls we need”. Not sure if this is a tribute to a transvestite or a particularly gutsy woman, but I’m somewhat encouraged by the fact, that in this age of sexual equality, it doesn’t really matter.

A couple of great duets were lined up next:  Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox with the 1985 anthem SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES and the  2003 release of CAN’T HOLD US DOWN by Christina Aguilerra and Lil Kim.

An artist who must surely qualify for our pro-feminist list is Peaches. She writes provocative lyrics that challenge traditional notions of gender. Her songs are nearly always sexually explicit which means that I can’t always include her in my playlists but there is one that did get away with playing this week, as it’s quite tame, for her anyway. Here she is with BOYS WANNA BE HER. Kick-ass band too.

The fight for sexual equality has always been one of the cornerstones of the feminist movement but back in the 40’s, way before we burnt our bras, the early Blues and jazz singers got away with murder with their proudly promiscuous and highly enjoyable music. You just heard Big Mama Thornton with her twist on the Sonny Boy Williamson song Good Mornin’ Little School Girl. Her version is called, what else, SCHOOL BOY. And then it was Julia and Her Boyfriends who know exactly what they want in GOTTA GIMME WATCHA GOT.

At the show’s half way mark Lesley Gore belted out YOU DON’T OWN ME, recorded in 1964 and covered later by Dusty Springfield and Joan Jett, among others. It also featured on the soundtrack of the film THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, a nice little revenge flick about three divorced women whose husbands have left them for younger models. It does happen you know! Here’s Lesley:

Next up it was a suggestion from Cath: Bluegrass duo Truckstop Honeymoon with BAD ATTITUDE. And to follow I chose an artist who has attitude with a capital ‘A’, M.I.A. with PAPER PLANES, on which she samples The Clash’s STRAIGHT TO HELL.

Had to include the wonderful Neko Case with PRETTY GIRLS, a song about abortion and the guilt-trip that’s put on women, particularly if they’re good looking. A nice pairing in tone, for this one, was WOMAN from John Lennon, a bloke who towards the end of his short life at least was very much the feminist.

If you’re looking for opinionated, then you can’t go past the next two tracks: First up, the great Patti Labelle with NEW ATTITUDE and Madison Avenue with WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

Just saw the new film RUNAWAYS which I thought was going to be about Joan Jet but its not. It’s based on Cherry Bomb, the vocalist with the band, played to perfection by Dakota Fanning. Couldn’t help but be disappointed however with Kristin Stewart’s depiction of Joan. So, let’s make up for it with the stand out ‘up yours’ track, BAD REPUTATION. Here’s Joan Jett & The Blackhearts:

This one was a given: Aretha Franklin with a song that served both the Women’s Liberation & Civil Rights movements equally well. It is, of course, her cover of Otis Redding’s RESPECT.

Ani DiFranco is certainly no damsel in distress on NOT A PRETTY GIRL from the album of the same name, released in 1995 on her own record label with the fabulous name of Righteous Babe Records.  Way to go: control the means of production!

Had to include another John Lennon track because he really was a  card-carrying feminist. Here’s a clip of him performing WOMAN IS THE NIGGER OF THE WORLD on the Dick Cavett show. Having said all that, it does disturb me somewhat how submissive Yoko appears to be. Hmmmm. And, like, what’s with the drumming?

Heading towards the end of the show, there was just time to play Jeannie C. Riley’s HARPER VALLEY PTA about the struggles of a single mum in a small town, recorded in 1968. Riley was the first women ever to top the US pop and country singles charts with this song. The achievement would not be repeated until 1981 when Dolly Parton topped the same charts with the song you heard next – 9 to 5 – from the movie of the same name, about equality in the workplace.

Who better to close the show than Janis Joplin? This song was originally recorded by Big Mama Thornton and covered to perfection by Janis and Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1967. Here they are performing in Germany, 1969. The song: BALL & CHAIN.

Next week the theme will be UNLIKELY COVERS. Think Johnny Cash covering the Nine Inch Nails track HURT or Sonic Youth’s version of the Carpenters SUPERSTAR, that kind of thing. I’d love to hear from you with your own suggestions.

Here’s this week’s full playlist:

Hot Topic – Le Tigre

I’m A Woman – Peggy Lee

The Pill – Loretta Lynn

Fat Bottomed Girls – Queen

Bootylicious – Survivor, Destiny’s Child

She’s My Man, Ta-Dah, Scissor Sisters

Courtship of Eddie’s Father – Movie clip

Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves, Aretha Franklin/Annie Lennox

Can’t Hold Us Down – Stripped, Christina Aguilera and Lil Kim

Boys Wanna Be Her, Impeach My Bush, Peaches

Don’t Call Me Baby, Madison Avenue

School Boy – Ball n Chain, Big Mama Thornton

Gotta Gimme Watcha Got –  Sugar in My Bowl, Julia & Her Boyfriends

You Don’t Own Me, Billboard Top 100 of 1964, Lesley Gore

Bad Attitude – Diamohds in the Asphalt, Truckstop Honeymoon

Paper Planes – Kala, M.I.A.

Pretty Girls – Blacklisted, Neko Case

Woman – Double Fantasy, John Lennon

New Attitude – Patti Labelle

Who The Hell Are You? – Madison Avenue

Women Know Your Limits – Harry Enfield BBC (Comedy Clip)

Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Not A Pretty Girl – Not A Pretty Girl, Ani DiFranco

Woman Is The Nigger of the World, The John Lennon Collection, John Lennon

Harper Valley P.T.A. – 60 Number One Hits of the 60’s, Jeannie C. Riley

9-5 – The Essential Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton

Ball & Chain – Cheap Thrills, Janis Joplin/Big Brother & the Holding Company

Next week: UNLIKELY COVERS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn


SEXY SONGS

Just to prove that I don’t take anything too seriously, especially sex, we opened this week’s show with BUSINESS TIME from the absolutely brilliant Flight of the Conchords.

The ‘sexy’ theme seemed to connect with many of our listeners because I had quite a bit of input this week. And its clear that different music serves different moods. For smooth and erotic you can’t go past R&B and for hot and heavy it has to be rock or funk. I tried to steer away from the patently obvious, but some sex anthems just couldn’t be omitted because, hey what the hell, they do it for me!

What makes a song sexy?  Sometimes it’s in the smallest details. It can be an erotic tone to the voice or a throbbing bassline. A song that does both has to be AM I THE ONE from the amazing Beth Hart.

On FOXY LADY, Jimi Hendrix’s instrument isn’t so much a guitar as a penis with an amplifier. Even Hendrix might have met his match with Betty Davis, especially when she sings IF I’M IN LUCK I MIGHT JUST GET PICKED UP. Her hubbie, Miles Davis, suspected the two of having an affair at one stage. Despite the song’s title, her carnal, funk-rock delivery leaves no doubt as to who’s picking up who here.

OK, let’s calm down a bit. Time for the wonderful Dusty Springfield with BREAKFAST IN BED. On this track she offers a shoulder to cry on, and much more as well.  I have to agree with listener Ian that Al Green just can’t be left out of a playlist of sexy songs, so I included LETS STAY TOGETHER to keep both of us happy.

Dinah Washington and Julia Lee were a couple of free-spirits who used the thin veil of double entendre to sing about their basic desires.  Long before she made a name for herself singing the Great American songbooks, Washington often sang from a far more racy playlist that included the blatantly provocative BIG LONG SLIDIN THING. And Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends weren’t ashamed to demand that you DON’T COME TOO SOON.

Chris Isaak is one sexy looking dude and the perfectly pitched WICKED GAME was a certainty for this list. As was the far more explicit HEAD from pocket sexpot Prince. You can’t get a decent Prince clip and I prefer to show you the Isaak clip any old way. Helena Christiansen and Chris Isaak, directed by Herb Ritts. A no-brainer.

Santana’s SAMBA PA TI was suggested by Lynden who says that author Nick Hornby nominated it as a ‘song that exudes sex, despite having no lyrics/ vocals”. I think he may be right.

Alison Goldfrapp is the perfect fusion of disco, glam and electro. Not to mention sex. Check out the video clip of TWIST:

Is there a lyric as sexy as Kate Bush’s breathy, evocative “Mmmm yes” on  THE SENSUAL WORLD?

Tim Buckley’s  GET ON TOP was requested by Tracey, who assures me that his album, ‘Greetings From LA’ is what you need if you want to rock the Casbah with someone special. I can’t actually argue with that. After all, he talks in tongues and how good is that?

One of my favourite sexy songs comes from ex Belle & Sebastian member, Isobel Campbell, and Queens of the Stone Ager, Mark Lanegan, who sing the very provocative COME ON OVER TURN ME ON. Irresistible. I’d be over in a flash.

Don’t ask me what the title of Happy Mondays BOB’S YER UNCLE means but the lyrics seem to have as much to do with an Uncle Bob as Prince’s Red Corvette is about a car.

Fiona Apple’s  song CRIMINAL is apparently a guilty admission about using your sexuality to get what you want. So that’s a bad thing, right?

Two songs that I find pretty sexy, although they couldn’t be more different, followed. On paper, the lines, “Will you come inside me/Do you wanna ride inside my love?” would seem to defy subtlety, but Minnie Riperton’s famous five-octave range lends those words an almost spiritual dimension on INSIDE MY LOVE. Minnie’s polar opposite is the one and only Janis Joplin. From one of my top 10 albums, Cheap Thrills, I chose the desperate yearning of I NEED A MAN TO LOVE.

How sexy is Marvyn Gaye’s LET’S GET IT ON? Here he is a the 1980 Monreux Festival. Someone hand that man a towel! Hotter than hot.

Another sexy song, from the gorgeous vamp Meow Meow, is I’M HUNGRY (AND THAT AIN’T RIGHT). She’s a fantastic New York based cabaret performer that I saw in Sydney in March. If you ever get a chance to catch her act, do it!

Heading towards the end of the show and I hadn’t played any hard rock! Easily fixed with AC/DC’s YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG.   The music video has proven to be somewhat controversial with its use of leather clad women and a mechanical bull. During the shot with the bull, the woman playing lead singer Brian’s lover accidentally jabbed herself with her spur twice. The roadie who came to her aid married her a year later. Angus gave them a mechanical bull for a wedding present as a joke. When asked about the meaning of the video, the band said that its goal was to, quote, “be as politically incorrect as possible.” See what you think:

A natural closer was another rock classic – WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, by Led Zeppelin and we even got to fit in about 20 seconds of disco queen Donna Summer’s LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY. Oh, come on, I had to have at least one disco cliche in there, surely.

Thanks to Steve from Sax Leather in the Byron Industrial Estate for a great giveaway of some very saucy sex toys. And thanks too to the Gay Mardi Gras Film Festival, which is taking place this weekend at the Dendy Cinemas, for their ticket giveaway.

Thanks also to Lynden, Tracey, Julie, and Steve for your suggestions this week. Apologies to those whose songs didn’t make the list including Andrew whose pick of Ian Dury’s WAKE UP AND MAKE LOVE TO ME, while amusing, wasn’t what I’d call erotic. But I love having your input.  And that brings me to next week’s theme, which was going to be on Winter until I remembered that I’d done that last June! So a little segue to the left and we’ll do a show on BAD WEATHER. Rain, storms, wind and even snow.  So get your thinking caps on, preferably a nice little woolly beanie and let me know what you’d like to hear.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Business Time – Flight of the Conchords

Am I The One – Beth Hart

If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up – Betty Davis, Betty Davis

Foxy Lady – Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix

Breakfast In Bed  – Anthology Disc 2, Dusty Springfield

Let’s Stay Together – Tarantino Experience II, Al Green

Big Long Slidin’ Thing – Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Drinkers & Sinners, Dinah Washington

Don’t Come Too Soon – Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Drinkers & Sinners, Julia Lee And Her Boyfriends

Wicked Game – Best of Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak

Head – Dirty Mind, Prince

Samba Pa Ti – The Ultimate Collection (CD1), Santana

Twist – Black Cherry, Goldfrapp

The Sensual World – The Sensual World, Kate Bush

Get On Top – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley

Come On Over (Turn Me On) – Sunday At Devil Dirt, Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan

Criminal – Fiona Apple

Bob’s yer Uncle – The Platinum Collection  [Re-Mastered],  Happy Mondays

Inside My Love – Perfect Angel / Adventures In Paradise, Minnie Riperton

I Need A Man To Love – Cheap Thrills, Janis Joplin/Big Brother & The Holding Company

Stay With Me Til Dawn  –  Smooth Groove Masters

Let’s Get It On – Anthology (Disc 2), Marvin Gaye

I’m Hungry (and that ain’t right) – Here kitty kitty … the lost sessions, Meow Meow & Thomas M.Lauderdale

You Shook Me All Night Long – Back in Black,  AC/DC

Whole Lotta Love – Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 1, Led Zeppelin

Love To Love You Baby – Donna Summer

Next week: BAD WEATHER

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn


DEAD MUSICIANS’ CLUB

I’m writing this with a slight hangover. Last night was BayFM’s trivia fundraiser on the theme of The Dead Musicians Club. Great night had by all. I loved the theme so much that I organised this week’s show around the same topic. And, let’s face it, a little bit of outrageous promotion for the event didn’t hurt either. And if you are wondering, I teamed up with the lovely Andy and we dressed as Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungeon.

Trying to fit all my favourite musicians into the two hour slot was, of course, impossible. But I had a good go at it. First up it was Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions with PEOPLE GET READY. Mayfield died in 1999 after 10 years of ill health due to being paralysed after an onstage accident. His music continues to be part of hip-hop’s DNA. Rappers like Jay-Z and Snoop Dog have sampled his lyrics and its reported that his estate receives five sample requests a month, with each one fetching up to $350,000. So Curtis, or at least his estate, isn’t doing too badly.

In order to fit as many of the artists that I could into the line-up it was necessary to occasionally play a duet. And, I ask you, is there any better than Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong? Ella died in 1996 and is widely considered one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Louis Armstrong passed away in 1971. His influence extends way beyond jazz music. By the end of his career in the 1960’s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.The duet I chose was DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME.

Both Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline died in plane crashes and both were very young at the time of their passing. They continue to influence country, rock and pop music to this day. We played LEAVIN’ ON YOUR MIND from Patsy Cline and CRYIN’ WAITIN’ HOPIN’ from Buddy Holly. Oldies, but goodies.

Wilson Pickett was known for his influence on R&B, rock n roll and soul. Is there a better dance floor filler than his rendition of DEVIL WITH THE BLUE DRESS ON? No way.

Two artists who found the fame game just a bit too difficult are Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and singer/songwriter Nick Drake.  Both committed suicide while still very young.  At the time of Cobain’s death in 1994 he was worth less than $1 million but future royalties have been valued at over $100 million. Drake failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, however his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. He now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years. He died in 1974. We played Drake’s FRUIT TREE, a request from Anthony, and Nirvana’s COME AS YOU ARE. Here’s a clip of Nirvana performing unplugged in New York in the early 90’s:

Naturally I couldn’t do a show about dead musicians without including Michael Jackson. We chose ROCK WITH YOU from the Off the Wall album. After his death in 2009 Jackson became the best-selling artist of the year, selling over 31 million albums worldwide. He named James Brown “his greatest inspiration”. So it was fitting that we played I FEEL GOOD from Brown as well.  He died on Xmas Day 2006 due to complications from pneumonia.

It’s a myth, you know, that Mama Cass Elliott died chocking on a peanut butter sandwich. The real story is that she died of a heart attack after performing back-to-back concerts in London in 1974. She died in the same flat in Mayfair, (on loan from Harry Nilsson), that the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die in, a little over four years later. I played Elliot’s great version of the Buddy Holly classic, WORDS OF LOVE and followed with a song for Rolling Stones founder, and multi-instrumentalist, Brian Jones. It’s one that showcased Jones’ skill on the side guitar:  LITTLE RED ROOSTER.

Lynard Skynard came to worldwide recognition in 1973 before three members and one road crew member died in a plane crash in 1977.  Keyboardist Billy Powell died in 2009, aged 56, from a heart attack.  Of its original members, only Gary Rossington remains as part of the present line-up. We followed with another good ol’ Southern boy you may have heard of: cultural icon Elvis Presley with BURNING LOVE.

Bob Marley, who passed away in 1981, had to wait for death to make him a U.S. superstar. The week he was diagnosed with cancer he played Madison Square Garden — opening for the Commodores. Fellow Wailer, Peter Tosh, was on the brink of a successful solo career when he was murdered in 1987. I played the Wailers version of  GET UP, STAND UP, with both Peter Tosh and Bob Marley on the track.

We said goodbye to both Malcolm McLaren and  Sid Vicious with the Sex Pistols’ anthem GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. Here’s what all the fuss was about, way back then:

While punk rock stirred things up, for a while, R&B never went away. Marvin Gaye’s career spanned the entire history of Rhythm & Blues from 50’s doo wop to 80’s contemporary soul. He was murdered by his own father after an argument in 1984.  Otis Redding died in plane crash a month before his biggest hit was released. He was only 26. We listened to Marvin Gaye’s sublime WHAT’S GOIN’ ON followed by the song that would make Otis Redding’s estate worth more money than he ever saw when he was alive – SITTIN ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY.

If we’re talking punk, however, I have to say that my favourite band is The Clash. Lead singer and lyricist for the group, Joe Strummer, died suddenly in 2002 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. Highly intelligent and politically pro-active, he was the first artist to make the recording, pressing and distribution of his records carbon neutral. Onya Joe. Check out this clip of LONDON CALLING:

Two great artists who died of cancer are  60’s icon, Dusty Springfield, and the incredible Ray Charles. For Dusty we played the power ballad, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME, and for Ray Charles, the very appropriate, HARD TIMES.

I’ve played Johnny Cash’s amazing cover of the Nine Inch Nails track, HURT, before but it couldn’t be left out of a show like this. He recorded it in 2002 and it was one of Cash’s final releases before his death in 2003. The  video for the song is regarded as his epitaph.

One of my sentimental favourites is Freddy Mercury who died of pneumonia resulting from AIDS in 1991. As lead singer of rock group Queen he also composed many of their hits. He had a successful solo career too and I chose one of those recordings for this week’s show: THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS.

Another of my favourites is Tim Buckley and one of my favourite albums is his Greetings from LA.  Buckley died at 28 from a drug overdose with nothing more than a guitar, amplifier and a lot of debt to his name. His legacy of 11 albums has rectified that somewhat, I hope. Hard to pick one track but we went with MOVE WITH ME.

Another victim of drug addiction was the pioneering Janis Joplin. She died at 27 from a heroin overdose and one of the last songs she recorded was a birthday greeting for John Lennon. The founder of the Beatles was assassinated in 1980, aged 40. So we started the set with Joplin’s CRY BABY and followed with Lennon’s HOW? from the Imagine album.

And finally, my favourite artist, dead or alive – Roy Orbison with his signature tune, PRETTY WOMAN.  This clip is from the Black & White Night DVD, a great video featuring Orbison and friends including Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Rait, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes. Heaven. And for all things ‘Roy’ go to the website at: http://www.royorbison.com/

We wrapped the show up  with a great artist who passed away only a couple of days ago, at the ripe old age of 92. Lena Horne helped break down barriers for generations of performers. We played her signature tune, STORMY WEATHER from the 1943 film of the same name. It’s a sizzling performance. I want that movie for my collection!

And we still had time to fit in the very charismatic Jim Morrison and The Doors with RIDERS ON A STORM. Whew. Now I know that there are some glaring omissions. But it’s only a two hour show folks!

Next week I’ve been inspired by some postings on Facebook to create a show on SONGS WITH MEANINGLESS WORDS. Like Na-Na-Hey-Hey and Doo-Ron-Ron. That kind of thing. Love to hear your suggestions.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

People Get Ready – The Anthology 1961-1977, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions

Dream A Little Dream Of Me – Easy Listening, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Leavin’ On Your Mind – The Patsy Cline Story, Patsy Cline

Cryin’ Waitin’ Hopin’ – Buddy Holly

Devil With The Blue Dress On – Wilson Pickett

Come As You Are – Nirvana, Nirvana

Fruit Tree – Twentyfourseven Soundtrack, Nick Drake

I Feel Good –  James Brown

Rock With You (Single Version) – Off the Wall, Michael Jackson

Words of Love – Mama’s Big Ones, Mama Cass Elliot

Little Red Rooster – Rolling Stones

Summertime – Charlie Parker & Chet Baker

Sweet Home Alabama – Forrest Gump Soundtrack, Lynard Skynard

Burning Love – Elvis Presley

Get Up Stand Up – Back To Zion, Bob Marley & The Wailers

God Save The Queen – Never Mind The Bollocks, The Sex Pistols

What’s Going On – The Big Chill soundtrack,  Marvin Gaye

Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

London Calling – The Clash

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – The British Beat: Best Of The ’60s, Dusty Springfield

Hard Times – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Ray Charles

Hurt – American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

There Must Be More To Life Than This – The Very Best of Freddie Mercury, Freddie Mercury

Fever – Verve Remixed 3,  Adam Freeland & Sarah Vaughan

Move With Me – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley

Purple Haze – Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix

Cry Baby – Cry Baby (The Ultimate Collection), Janis Joplin

How? –  Lennon,  John Lennon

Oh, Pretty Woman –  Roy Orbison

Stormy Weather – Hollywood Musicals, Lena Horne

Riders on the storm – The Doors soundtrack, The Doors

Next week: SONGS WITH MEANINGLESS WORDS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

ANTI-LOVE

Love, and all its complexities, provides a bottomless pit of inspiration. A perfect opener for our Valentine’s Day protest this week  was Bobbie Gentry’s rendition of I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN.  ‘What do you get when you kiss a guy? You get enough germs to catch pneumonia.” Songwriter Hal David was convinced that the angst-ridden game of love was no better than a chronic illness and who am I to disagree? The song is typical of all anti-love songs however: it’s resolve to give up on love is usually very short lived. Rather than a virus, it’s more like an addiction, for sure.

Jerry Butler is over it. He’s GIVING UP ON LOVE, a typical knee-jerk reaction from someone who has had his heart broken. The Dramatics, on the other hand, find out the hard way that there’s A THIN LIVE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE.

Lot’s of suggestions from listeners this week for various Bob Dylan numbers but my choice was LOVE SICK from his 1997 album Time Out of Mind.  He’s in love with a woman who he suspects of cheating and all he can do is wander the streets, moaning “I’m sick of love, but I’m in the thick of it.” Come on Bobby, man up!

Janis Joplin’s idol was Bessie Smith, (she even organised a campaign to pay for her tombstone after finding that the great Blues singer was buried in an unmarked grave). In the song CARELESS LOVE, Bessie’s been a-cheating and a-dumping, but is it her fault? Hell, no.

Rosemary Clooney, (now forever known as George Clooney’s auntie), makes a slightly less convincing argument against love, blaming it for sending her “a Joe who had winter and snow in his heart”. Bummer. The song is LOVE YOU DIDN’T DO RIGHT BY ME. Here’s a clip from the film WHITE CHRISTMAS, starring Clooney and Bing Crosby:

Next it was Soft Cell’s version of TAINTED LOVE, first released in 1964 by Gloria Jones and covered by Soft Cell in 1981. It’s a bit of a gay anthem and to celebrate that, here’s a wonderful video that uses the music as backing to Laurel & Hardy’s soft shoe shuffle in the film WAY OUT WEST. Enjoy.

Richard Hell & The Voidoids have a perfect response to the notion that love is perfect, a fairytale fed to us by Hollywood and the mass media.  In the song LOVE COMES IN SPURTS Richard reckons love “murders your heart – they didn’t tell you that part”.

Joy Division deliver another reality check with LOVE WILL TEAR US APART and Derek & The Dominoes ask a question I’ve been known to ask myself every now and again: WHY DOES LOVE HAVE TO BE SO SAD?

Bobby Bland is convinced that there AINT NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY. Well he’s probably right about that. Poor Fats Domino thinks NO-ONE LOVES HIM, but at least he’s hopeful about the future, so no need to be too down in the dumps.

Talking of dumps, the Ben Folds Five gave us SONG FOR THE DUMPED and then the divine SoKo was equally candid with  I WILL NEVER LOVE YOU MORE. And she plays the ukelele! Can it get better than that?

Joan Jett covered J. Geils Band hit,  LOVE STINKS, on the soundtrack of a very mediocre film called MR WRONG starring Ellen De Generes. Despite the lame film, Joan’s version gives the song a bit more bite I think. Another of my favourite female artists is Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage, so we included their 1998 hit, SPECIAL. Here they are live on Letterman in 1996:

Betty Davis was the second wife of Miles Davis and an amazing artist in her own right. ANTI LOVE SONG is from her self-titled debut album and is notable not just for her powerful voice but for who she used to support her on the album. The Pointer Sisters sing back up, bassist Larry Graham and drummer Greg Errico, both veterans of Sly & the Family Stone are there, plus fellow San Francisco luminaries like master keyboardist Merl Saunders and guitarists Neal Schon and Douglas Rodriguez (both associated with Santana at the time) give this whole album reams of cred.

The great soul singer Teddy Pendergrass who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago, contributed LOVE TKO and then another soul singer, who probably isn’t as well known but with a fine voice, Angie Stone, sang WISH I DIDN’T MISS YOU.

Here’s  a perfect choice for our Anti-Love show: Public Image Ltd with THIS IS NOT A LOVE SONG. Thanks to regular contributor Lynden for that suggesiton.

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks offered up  a song that will surely put a smile back on your face if you’ve been disappointed by love: HOW CAN I MISS YOU WHEN YOU WON’T GO AWAY? Then it was Amy Rigby, married b.t.w. to punk rock alumni Wreckless Eric. She seems skeptical about romance as she contemplates a marriage based not on love but resignation. Not sure what Eric thinks about all that. The song is CYNICALLY YOURS.

The  13th Floor Elevators are convinced that YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME and we followed with something completley out of left field. From Gang of Four’s 2005 album Return the Gift, ANTHRAX is another of those songs that makes love out to be, not just dangerous, but lethal. Yikes.

Belle & Sebastian sound so sweet as they sing that they DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE. Maybe they’ve been listening to Nick Lowe’s song CRUEL TO BE KIND. Along with Wreckless Eric, Elvis Costello and others he was part of the Stiff Records line-up of artists. I’m thinking it might be time for a show dedicated to the ‘stiffies’ as they were referred to. Let me know what you think. Here’s a clip of Nick Lowe singing CRUEL TO BE KIND:

Heading into the home stretch, we played a very nice number by The Corrs,  I NEVER LOVED YOU ANYWAY from their second album Talk on Corners. The final two songs couldn’t be more different from each other. First up it was Robert Plant and Alison Krauss with GONE, GONE, GONE – a good piece of advice for anyone in an unsatisfactory relationship. And then it was a song for all the battle weary lovers out there.  Blossom Dearie is much more generous than many of us when we’ve been given the heave-ho by some love rat, but maybe there’s a lesson there. The song is the delicious  I WISH YOU LOVE.


Now as well as February 14th being Valentine’s Day it’s also Chinese New Year. I did consider doing a show next week on all the Chinese animals (you know Year of the Tiger, Rat, Dog etc etc), but as I’ve already done cats and dogs, thought better of it. How about we stick with Western Astrology? Next week, the theme will be STAR SIGNS.  Drop me a line if you have any requests or suggestions.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again – Bobbie Gentry
Giving Up On Love – Jerry Butler
Thin Line Between Love & Hate – The Dramatics
Love Sick – Bob Dylan
Careless Love – Bessie Smith
Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me – Rosemary Clooney
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
Love Comes in Spurts – Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad – Derek & The Dominos
Ain’t No Love in The Heart of The City – Bobby Bland
Nobody Loves Me – Fats Domino
Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds Five
I Will Never Love You More – SoKo
Love Stinks – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Special – Garbage
Anti Love Song – Betty Davis
Love TKO – Teddy Pendergrass
Wish I Didn’t Miss You – Angie Stone
This is not a love song – Public Image Ltd
How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away – Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Cynically Yours – Amy Rigby
You’re Gonna Miss Me – 13th Floor Elevators
Anthrax – Gang Of Four
I Don’t Love You Anymore – Belle & Sebastian
Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe
I Never Loved You Anyway – The Corrs
Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
I Wish You Love – Blossom Dearie

Next week: STAR SIGNS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time
Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

GOING OUT AND PARTYING

As a tribute to all the Capricorns celebrating their birthdays at the moment, (including me!), the theme this week was GOING OUT AND PARTYING. Some famous Capricorns include Elvis Presley, who would have turned 75 this week, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, Dolly Parton… the list goes on. Oh, what amazing company I’m in!

We opened the show Pink’s GET THIS PARTY STARTED and if that song can’t get you in the party mood I don’t know what will. If you’ve never seen Pink perform live, you are really missing out. Here’s some footage from her show at the Wembley Arena. Enjoy.

Wanda Jackson also has the right attitude. Her song LET’S HAVE A PARTY was a hit for her in 1959, a year after Elvis Presley released it. I totally adore Louis Jordan and included two of his tracks this week. The first has a great clip to show you. Have a look at LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL :

The Theme Park party was off to a great start and the party continued with Santana’s INTERPLANETARY PARTY from the 2007 album, Ultimate Santana. But, I ask you, what’s a party without James Brown? One thing you can count on, he’s GONNA HAVE A FUNKY GOOD TIME.  Joe Jackson was also STEPPIN OUT and, as the Showstoppers explained, with their hit of 1968, it AIN’T NOTHIN BUT A HOUSE PARTY.

Loved Sam Cooke’s smooth rendition of WE’RE HAVING A PARTY but I have to admit that I was totally intrigued by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song title, GOING TO A GO-GO. I have no idea what a Go-Go is, but the song is a sure fire dance floor filler, so it has to be about a party, surely.

The Irish Rovers sound as if it was one hell of a get-together with their ditty WASN’T THAT A PARTY. It’s hard to find a full clip of the Rovers singing any song but here’s one that includes this catchy tune, which they used to open their 80’s television series “Party with the Rovers”. Take a peek:

Claudine Clark’s one-hit wonder of 1962, PARTY LIGHTS, stands out because she wrote the music and the lyrics herself, which was unusual for a female performer during that time.  Sung from the point of view of a teenage girl ordered to her room while her friends were out having a good time, “Party Lights” struck a chord and shot into the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts.

What’s the purpose of a party? Well, let’s face it life can be pretty serious a lot of the time, so getting together with your friends and celebrating the positive things in life can be a lot of fun. Although I can testify that the after effects don’t always make it worth the effort. But that’s just my hangover talking. I’m sure the wonderful Amos Milburn wouldn’t agree and he has a great song to prove it – LET’S HAVE A PARTY.

Friday night seems to be the favourite night of the week to go out, so I thought it was appropriate to include Lily Allen’s FRIDAY NIGHT and The Specials’ FRIDAY NIGHT, SATURDAY MORNING. Then Three Dog Night claimed that their MOMMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME. They had to find out the hard way that “This is the craziest party there could ever be”. Check out the clip from 1970:

We played PARTY TRAIN by the Dazz Band on our Train show but it deserved a second listen. Smiley Lewis followed with CALADONIA’S PARTY. Now anyone with a name like Caledonia deserves to have a party in her honour, don’t you think?

Bobby Darin was just sitting in his bath, minding his own business and gets out of the bath with just a towel around him. Now how did he know there was a party going on? That’s how he tells it anyway in SPLISH SPLASH.

ZZ Top know how to do party. They’re turning up the radio and having a PARTY ON THE PATIO. Lesley Gore, on the other hand, needs a bit of sympathy. As she tells it, ITS MY PARTY (and I’ll cry if I want to).

The Donnas give short shrift to gatecrashers on WHO INVITED YOU? And for my guilty pleasure it was Kiss: “and you say you wanna go for a spin, the party’s just begun, we’ll let you in, you drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy.” Yes, indeed, I WANNA ROCK AND ROLL.

Maybe the party lifestyle isn’t what its all cracked up to be. Not according to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, anyway, with PARTY GIRL or Marc Almond and Soft Cell with their reality check of a song, BEDSITTER.

I’m not convinced. Give me the optimisim of Michael Jackson’s OFF THE WALL or anything from the disco era, like Kool and the Gang’s CELEBRATION or Alicia Bridges with the party girl’s anthem, I LOVE THE NIGHLIFE. The song will forever be associated with the film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and who am I to change that? Check out the clip:

The Beastie Boys are ready to FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY. Excellent. Even Bob Dylan had a song for us about parties – MILLION DOLLAR BASH.

Time to finish the show and what better way than with the brilliant Blossom Dearie with THE PARTY’S OVER followed by the Beatles’ BIRTHDAY. Here’s a cute piece of animation created by Mery, for all the Capricorns out there.

I thought next week I might have to work off some of the birthday cake, so it’s a show more for the walkers, than the talkers. The theme is WALKING AND RUNNING. Any suggestions?

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Get This Party Started – Pink
Let’s Have A Party – Wanda Jackson
Let The Good Times Roll – Louis Jordan
Interplanetary Party – Santana
Gonna Have A Funky Good Time – James Brown
Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
Ain’t Nothin’ But a House Party – Showstoppers
Party Time (Soca Steel Drums) – Jimmy Buffett
We’re Having A Party – Sam Cooke
Going To A Go Go – Smokey Robinson And The Miracles
Wasn’t That A Party – Irish Rovers
Party Lights – Claudine Clark
Let’s Have A Party – Amos Milburn
Friday Night – Lily Allen
Friday Night, Saturday Morning – The Specials
Momma Told Me Not To Come – Three Dog Night
Party Train – The Dazz Band
Caldonia’s Party – Smiley Lewis
Splish Splash – Bobby Darin
House Party – Louis Jordan
Party On The Patio – ZZ Top
It’s My Party – Leslie Gore
Who Invited You – The Donnas
I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night – Kiss
Party Girl – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Bedsitter – Marc Almond & Soft Cell
Off the Wall – Michael Jackson
Celebration – Kool and the Gang
I Love the Nightlife – Alicia Bridges
Fight For Your Right To Party – Beastie Boys
Million Dollar Bash – Bob Dylan
The Party’s Over – Blossom Dearie
Birthday – The Beatles The Beatles
Next week: WALKING AND RUNNING

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

THE SUMMER OF LOVE

Slip on your kaftans and tie-dye t-shirts. Adorn yourself with flowers and beads. We’re going to light-up some joss-sticks, “ban the bomb” and “make love not war!” This week’s theme is dedicated to that period in 1967 that saw as many as 100,000 people converge on the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood of San Francisco,  creating what was to become known as the counterculture movement.  The melting pot of music, psychedelic drugs, sexual freedom, creative expression and politics became a defining moment of the 60’s and forever more will be known as THE SUMMER OF LOVE.

It’s easy to reject songs that seem to have been around forever, but consider the context of these songs’ origins and you’ll realize that what many of these musicians were doing hadn’t been done before and, in many cases, would never be done again. So respect to the hippies and the funk soul sisters & brothers and the year 1967 – a time of exploration and finding new ways of expression.

We opened the show with the THE ACID COMMERCIAL from Country Joe & The Fish and then it was the Beatles with ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE. Arguably the greatest band in the world at the top of their powers, Lennon’s anthem to love may not be his strongest but it’s definitely his catchiest. The Beatles made a worldwide television broadcast of the song, in between sessions of transcendental meditation, and it became a #1 hit in both the US & UK. Check out the clip from this transmission and see if you can see Mick Jagger in the audience.

A song that summed up the mood of those flocking to Haight-Ashbury in that Summer of 67 is, of course, Scott McKenzie’s IF YOU’RE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO, (be sure to wear flowers in your hair). Written by John Phillips of the Mamas & The Papas, it was originally created to promote the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which is regarded as being the beginning of the Summer of Love.

FOR WHAT ITS WORTH, by Buffalo Springfield,  is about the closing of the Pandora’s Box Club on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and the clash that followed between the police and kids. But the song quickly took on a larger meaning, symbolizing the generational friction happening all across the country as the hippies and flower children freaked out the authorities from coast to coast. Here’s a great clip from the Monterey Festival:

When you listen to PURPLE HAZE, from Jimi Hendrix’s  ‘Are You Experienced?’ album, you can’t help but imagine the rush of a million wanna-be guitarists running into music stores hoping to be just like Jimi.  Check out this video from 1967 with Jimi Hendrix on Guitar, Noel Redding on Bass and Mitch Mitchell on Drums:

In the early sixties The Beach Boys were synonymous with surfing and Californian youth culture. By the mid-sixties, however, their musical style had become a little more complex. A 1967 example of this new sophisticated sound was HEROES AND VILLAINS. We followed  with a song that had the distinction of being the first track to be played on BBC Radio One when it launched in 1967, FLOWERS IN THE RAIN by The Move.  And, to round out the triple play, The Turtles with HAPPY TOGETHER. This track can lift anyone’s mood. While their vocal harmonies verged on sugar-sweet, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like this song.

I’M A BELIEVER, the Monkees’ hit, was written by none other than Neil Diamond. The song stayed at the top of the charts for six weeks and was the biggest selling single of 1967. That’s right, they even outsold the Beatles and the Stones, and while Neil Diamond, continued to write and perform, he never really needed to work another day in his life after this song took off.  The Mamas & Papas hit, DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE, was originally a hit for the Shirelles in 1961. Here are the Mamas & The Papas with their ’67 version:

Three more classics of the period: Cream’s I FEEL FREE, the Byrds’  SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK N ROLL STAR and  Jefferson Airplane’s  SOMEBODY TO LOVE. And then it was Procol Harum with WHITER SHADE OF PALE. This track contains perhaps the most recognizable Hammond B-3 organ rock line ever, snatched from Bach and perhaps a soul player or two. The vague lyrics, however, aren’t very memorable, making the organ bit seem even more imposing and significant than it probably deserves. But hey, what do I know? Here they are on Top of the Pops 1967. Make up your own mind.

Three more songs from that magical time in 1967 referred to as THE SUMMER OF LOVE include I’M A MAN from The Spencer Davis Group, written by Steve Winwood, SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTS from Eric Burdon & the Animals and GET TOGETHER from the Youngbloods.

But the band that epitomised the musical creativity of the sixties is The Beatles. A DAY IN THE LIFE, from their Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, utilised a 40 piece orchestra taking 24 bars to go from the lowest note on their instruments to the highest and six people banging on three pianos at the same time in order to produce one huge power chord. The song obliterated every rule that ever existed for what a pop song should sound like and how it should be made, simple as that. Check it out:

One of the most instantly recognizable riffs in rock history is SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE, from Cream. And one of the most representative of the period is the Small Faces tune ITCHYCOO PARK. For me, though, when it comes to this period, I can’t overlook Janis Joplin. So an essential track from 1967 has to be Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin singing DOWN ON ME.

Jimi Hendrix also deserved another play and this time it was FOXEY LADY. It’s probably worth mentioning here that up until this point Blues guitarists would never have done what Hendrix does on this track. The rule was that the guitar sound should be clean and pure. Jimi however, never got that memo and thank goodness for that.

As well as a time that was marked by anti-Vietnam demonstartions, 1967, unfortunately,  was also a time of race riots, which also fed into the peace movement and hippie revolution with its ideals of compassion, awareness and love. So, in deference to our soul brothers and sisters, it was time for some R&B with I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE by Gladys Knight and the Pips. This song became a #2 hit in 1967 and Marvin Gay’s renditon hit #1 the following year.  But sticking to the plan, we listened to The Pips version and followed with the one and only Jackie Wilson with his landmark single, HIGHER AND HIGHER.

Although they were a white band, the  Young Rascals GROOVIN’ was pure soul  with its memorable Afro-Cuban mood and mid-tempo groove. Timeless song. Check out the clip of them performing live.

The next track was a bit of a cheat, since it wasn’t released until 1969, after the band had broken up. But TIME OF THE SEASON by The Zombies was written and recorded in August 1967 and the vibe is pure SUMMER OF LOVE, baby.  And then it was the Who with I CAN SEE FOR MILES, the only real hit from their crazy concept album The Who Sell Out and SHE’S A RAINBOW from the Rolling Stones. We’ll overlook the Stones vain attempt of trying to one-up the Beatles and just concentrate on those first seven piano notes, which have been likened to the musical equivalent of heroin.

We closed the show with STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER from the Beatles. The band recorded a version by themselves in one key and then they did a version with an orchestra in a different key. The version you know and love is BOTH versions mixed together, speeding the band version up and the orchestral version down. Magic. This promotional video was filmed in January 1967 and was directed by Peter Goldmann, at the time a Swedish TV director.

Now next week’s show is going to be hotter than hot. As a tribute to the upcoming Summer holiday season the theme will be HEAT. Put your thinking caps on and get in touch!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

The Acid Commercial – Country Joe & The Fish
All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
If You’re Going To San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix
Heroes &  Villains – The Beach Boys
Flowers In The Rain – The Move
Happy Together – The Turtles
I’m a Believer – The Monkees
Dedicated To The One I Love – Mamas & the Papas
I Feel Free – Cream
So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – The Byrds
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum
I’m a Man – Spencer Davis Group
San Franciscan Nights – Eric Burdon & The Animals
Get Together – The Youngbloods
A Day In The Life – The Beatles
Sunshine Of Your Love  – Cream
Itchycoo Park – Small Faces
Down On Me – Janis Joplin/Big Brother & The Holding Company
Foxey Lady – Jimi Hendrix
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Gladys Knight & The Pips
(Your Love Keeps Liftin’ Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
Groovin’ – The Young Rascals
Time Of The Season – The Zombies
I Can See for Miles – The Who
She’s a Rainbow – Rolling Stones
Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Next week: HEAT

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

GREAT COVERS

So what makes a great cover? I think it’s when an artist makes a song his or her own, while still respecting the essence of the original. There are some SoundMusicexceptional covers that completely redefine a song to the point that we identify the tune with the cover artist forever more. And we had a few of those this week in our show about COVERS THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS.

jazz-150-0John Coltrane transformed The Sound of Music’s perky pick me up MY FAVOURITE THINGS into something of a jazz landmark, so, as our opener,  it served as a very good example of a song that was reinvented for the listener. Another supreme example of a good cover is Ray Charles rendition of the Beatles ELEANOR RIGBY.  His powerful and  moving version uses R & B piano and gospel vocals to create something unique from what was a pretty perfect piece of pop to begin with. Check out this clip from the Dick Cavett show 1972. Loving the Raelettes moves, not to mention the pastel kaftans!

In his latter years Johnny Cash recorded a number of covers that, at first glance, seem at odds with his ‘country’ persona. None is more moving than HURT. Cash takes all the self-pity out of the Nine Inch Nails junkie confessional and turns it into an old man’s devastating deathbed testimonial. Take a look at this video clip. It’s a poignant performance that’s almost haunting, as it was created just prior to Cash’s untimely death. Whether or not you’re a Johnny Cash fan, this performance is powerful and deep with emotion. 

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER from Jimi Hendrix was written, and first recorded, by Bob Dylan.  He’s one of the most-covered musicians in history for a reason: Besides writing some of the best songs of the rock era, he’s made lots of recordings that sound unfinished, even skeletal.The original of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER is spine-chilling in its own strange way, but the song didn’t become a classic until Jimi Hendrix unleashed his version. Hendrix seems to channel pure myth and mystery. Of course, it wouldn’t work without Dylan’s lyrics and unsettling chords, but the Hendrix solos actually sound like wind howling and wildcats growling, don’t you think?

Canadian band, Cowboy Junkies, version of The Velvet Underground’s SWEET JANE was based on the one that was included in 1969: The Velvet Underground Live. Lou Reed himself described it as “the best and most authentic version I have ever heard”. At the risk of including way too many video clips, I have to show you this:

The Lennon/McCartney single, WE CAN WORK IT OUT, comes from the middle of The Beatles most radical creative reinvention, the 1965 shift from steviewonder13the straightforward pop of Help! To the multi-faceted Rubber Soul, which would revolutionise their music, and by extension, everybody’s else’s. So, it’s fitting that when Stevie Wonder covered the song on 1970’s Signed, Sealed & Delivered, he was in the middle of a similar transition from Motown’s teenage wunderkid to the socially conscious and superfunky artist he became in the mid 70’s. Wonder’s performance is so powerful, in fact, that it changes the meaning of the song without changing a word.

We teamed that with Ike & Tina Turner’s version of PROUD MARY. As Tina explains in the fairly subdued preface: “We never, ever do nothin’ nice and easy. We always do it nice and rough.” The Turners – and their band – then tear the intro to shreds by kicking up the tempo, adding horns and driving it all with a beat that practically demands that people dance. By comparison, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s original mid-tempo rock number sounds positively bland. 

One sure-fire way to reinvent a song is to flip the sex of the singer. Two examples of that are  Melanie’s version of the Stones’ RUBY TUESDAY and Regina Spektor’s version of John Lennon’s REAL LOVE

Another is  Janis Joplin’s cover of Roger Miller’s ME AND BOBBY MCGEE. Joplin’s version gave her the only number one single of her career and only the second posthumous number one single in rock n roll history (the first was Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding).

Back to boys on boys:   Edgar & Johnny Winter do a wonderful version of TOBACCO ROAD, recorded originally by the Nashville Teens. And idiosyncratic Melbourne performer,  C.W. Stoneking, puts a whole new spin on the White Stripes SEVEN NATION ARMY. The clip is from radio station’s Triple J’s ‘Like A Version’ series, available on CD/DVD. Wild.

My favourite number in this week’s playlist was suggested by a Sydney listener, Lynden (thank you!):  Jazz singer Patricia Barber with her interpretation of Sonny & Cher’s THE BEAT GOES ON. And then Stevie Ray Vaughan gave Jimi Hendrix a run for his money with his version of VOODOO WOMAN. 

Two of my all time favourite R&B artists followed: Al Green taking the Bee Gees ballad HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART to a whole new level and Aretha Franklin showing us how her version of Otis Redding’s RESPECT made it, not only an anthem for the feminist movement and the civil rights moviement, but, her very own signature song. Here’s a great little doco from Ovation TV looking at Aretha’s background and the important place that the song has in history.

English groups of the 60’s, in particular The Beatles, weren’t adverse to borrowing from the American R&B artists of the day to create some of their early hits (think of the Beatles Please Mr. Postman as an example). One R&B song that achieves a great transformation from R&B to rock is the Rolling Stones cover of the  Temptations JUST MY IMAGINATION.

Patti-Smith-799533A male rock song that benefited greatly from being sung by a woman is GLORIA. Patti Smith introduced bisexuality and religious guilt to the horny garage rock song, originally recorded by Van Morrison’s band Them.

BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX was originally recorded by Jimmy Webb. Isaac Hayes takes the listener on an epic journey by re-imagining the song’s entire context so persuasively that by the time he starts actually singing, the emotional force just about knocks our socks off. 

Sometimes it’s hard to listen to any Doors song with a straight face, let alone LIGHT MY FIRE. Jackie Wilson had a bit of fun with his vastly superior version: its pure funk and I love the way Wilson punctuates it with his trademark squeals and screeches. It’s way sexier than the Doors’ psychedelic original, that’s for sure.

One of those songs that will forever be owned by the cover artist is Sinead O’Connor’s NOTHING COMPARES 2 U. Originally recorded by Prince’s group Family but no-one much remembers that now. Here’s the official clip showing her at the pinnacle of her career. Beautiful.

Now before the messages start filling my inbox, I’m sure that I’ve missed some obvious great covers and two hours is not nearly enough time to give credit where credit is due. Let’s go on the record as saying that, yes, every cover of a Leonard Cohen number is probably better than the original (sorry Leonard) but if I hear HALLELUJA one more time I will scream; that Cat Power is very good, but not a genius and that no-one can do Roy Orbison like Roy Orbison, not even kd lang.

And so I chose to go out with the Clash’s cover of  I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON, originally recorded by The Bobby Fuller Four and royorbisonbeatlesthen it was something quite special: ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT? was first published in 1926 and was most notably covered by Elvis Presley in 1960. I have no idea when this version was recorded, most probably when the Beatles toured the US in the mid 60’s. It’s Elvis with Roy Orbison and the Beatles doing back-up. I’ve only been able to find it as a download but if anyone has any back story on this, let me know. And the finale was The Beatles covering TWIST & SHOUT, originally recorded by the Top Notes but most people may be more aware of the Isley Brothers version. The Beatles definitely made this one their own.

Here’s the complete playlist, with original artists in brackets:

My Favourite Things (From The Sound Of Music) 4:38 John Coltrane Broadway Originals Jazz 4
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) 3:00 Ray Charles Jazz 9
Hurt (Nine Inch Nails) 3:39 Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around Country 8
All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) 4:00 Jimi Hendrix The Ultimate Experience Classic Rock 4
Sweet Jane (Lou Reed) 3:35 Cowboy Junkies Alternative 8
We Can Work It Out (Beatles) 3:18 Stevie Wonder Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 R&B 6
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival) 4:57 Ike & Tina Turner R&B 10
Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones) 4:37 Melanie Safka Folk/Pop 3
Real Love (John Lennon) 3:15 Regina Spektor Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to save Darfur Alternative 5
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) 3:15 C.W. Stoneking Like A Version Four Alternative
Tobacco Road (Nashville Teens) 4:06 Edgar & Johnny Winter Entrance Blues/Rock
Me And Bobby McGee (Roger Miller) 4:33 Janis Joplin Country/Blues 3
The Beat Goes On (Sonny & Cher) 5:28 Patricia Barber Companion Jazz 4
After Midnight (JJ Cale) 2:54 Eric Clapton The Cream Of Clapton Blues 5
Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix) 7:58 Stevie Ray Vaughan Chicago Blues Fest 1985 Blues 6
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? (Bee Gees) 6:19 Al Green Love & Happiness: The Very Best Of Al Green [Disc 2] R&B 1
Respect (orig. Otis Redding) 2:29 Aretha Franklin (Otis Redding cover 65) Forrest Gump – The Soundtrack R&B 5
Just My Imagination (The Temptations) 4:38 The Rolling Stones Some Girls Classic Rock 3
Gloria (Van Morrison/Them) 5:56 Patti Smith Horses Alternative 5
By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Johnny Rivers/Glen Campbell) 7:06 Isaac Hayes Soul Hits of the 70s Soul 2
Light My Fire (The Doors) 2:51 Jackie Wilson Super Breaks Rhythmic Soul 2
Nothing Compares 2 U (The Family/Prince) 5:07 Sinead O’Connor She Who Dwells [UK] Disc 2 Rock/Pop 5
I Fought The Law (Bobby Fuller Four) 2:41 The Clash London Calling Punk 5
Are You Lonesome Tonight 2:49 Elvis Presley & Roy Orbison (with the Beatles as the backup singers) Rock Ballad 5
Twist And Shout (Top Notes/Isley Bros) 2:33 The Beatles Please Please Me Rock

My Favourite Things (Julie Andrews/ The Sound Of Music) – John Coltrane

Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) – Ray Charles

Hurt (Nine Inch Nails) – Johnny Cash

All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) – Jimi Hendrix

Sweet Jane (Lou Reed/Velvet Underground) – Cowboy Junkies

We Can Work It Out (Beatles) – Stevie Wonder

Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival) – Ike & Tina Turner

Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones) – Melanie Safka

Real Love (John Lennon)  – Regina Spektor

Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) – C.W. Stoneking

Tobacco Road (Nashville Teens) – Edgar & Johnny Winter

Me And Bobby McGee (Roger Miller) – Janis Joplin

The Beat Goes On (Sonny & Cher) – Patricia Barber

After Midnight (JJ Cale) – Eric Clapton

Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix) – Stevie Ray Vaughan

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? (Bee Gees) – Al Green

Respect (Otis Redding) – Aretha Franklin 

Just My Imagination (The Temptations) – The Rolling Stones

Gloria (Van Morrison/Them) – Patti Smith

By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Johnny Rivers/Glen Campbell) – Isaac Hayes

Light My Fire (The Doors) – Jackie Wilson

Nothing Compares 2 U (The Family/Prince) – Sinead O’Connor

I Fought The Law (Bobby Fuller Four) – The Clash

Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley & Roy Orbison (with the Beatles as the backup singers)

Twist And Shout (Top Notes/Isley Bros) – The Beatles

Next week we’re going to Burn, Baby, Burn as all our songs will be about FIRE.
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.    

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

 

FEMALE ARTISTS

Throughout the world, since 1975, we have set aside the 8th of March as a day to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. So a radio show airing on March 10, hosted by a pretty feisty woman at that, had a fairly predictable theme begging. I roped in young Zoe to help give the show a wider perspective and we got stuck into presenting some of our favourite female artists. That’s both of us at the end of the show, about to down a well earned shot of caffeine! 1

We opened the show with ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’, from Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. A great feminist anthem, the tune was recorded in 1985 – the year that Zoe was born! Feeling more than a little ancient, I squeezed in my favourite Blues singers – Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin – before handing over the program to Zoe’s first three choices – The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Feist and Robots in Disguise (‘their song La Nuit’ is great – I never thought I could be converted to Electro! Go figure). The video clip is mad, mad, mad…..

When I was putting together my choice for ‘rock chicks’,  Zoe suggested Stevie Nicks (much to my surprise), and who was I to argue? The title of ‘Edge of Seventeen’ was inspired by Tom Petty’s wife Jane who has a strong Southern accent. When Nicks misheard her say ‘the age of seventeen’ as ‘edge of seventeen’ she swore 220px-stevienicks1that she would write a song with the latter as the title. The song’s lyrics came about as a direct result of the grief she felt over the death of both an uncle and John Lennon’s death in the same week of December 1980. The track became the 3rd single from her hit album Bella Donna. It was used in the film ‘School of Rock’ with Jack Black which brought the song, and Stevie, to the attention of a whole new generation.

I also totally approved of Zoe’s next three selections: M.I.A., Soko and Cat Power. M.I.A. is an interesting singer. We all know who she is now because of her Academy Award nomination (with A.R. Rahman)  for  ‘O…Saya’ as Best Song, from the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. It didn’t win but now my generation is aware of this precocious young performer. An accomplished visual artist by 2002, she came to prominence in early 2004 through file-sharing of her singles ‘Galang’ and ‘Sunshower’s on the Internet.

But I have to say that Soko is my favourite of this bunch. She may turn out to be a one-hit wonder with her very cute and controversial song ‘I’ll Kill Her’ but if you keep your sense of humour intact, she is a rare and refreshing new talent. Here’s hoping that we hear more of her. She was supposed to have released an album in February of 2009 but her MySpace page, as of January, insists that she has quit singing. Hope not! Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25AsfkriHQc

There are so many other great female artists. My selection included the original rock chick – Joan Jett – more blues and r&b with Dinah Washington and Etta James and I even got in some country with Linda Ronstadt singing her version of Roy Orbison’s ‘Blue Bayou’ (and you were wondering how I was going to fit a Roy Orbison song into a show about women! No worries).

Zoe and I both wanted Nina Simone in there and what better song to showcase that amazing voice than ‘I Put A Spell On You’, originally recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1957. And then, of course, there was Amy Winehouse, P.J.Harvey, Shirley Manson, Aretha Franklin and we finished the show with Regina Spektor’s fantastic version of John Lennon’s song ‘Real Love’. This is a song that Spektor contributed to the Amnesty International album to save Darfur. So many of the artists we showcased today are not only strong women artists but they are politically aware and contributing positively to change, not just for women but for all mankind. Respect indeed. Have a look at Regina Spektor at the Bonnaroo Festival in 2007:

Here’s the complete  playlist:

Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves (1985) – Aretha Franklin/Annie Lennox

Billie’s Blues (1936) – Billie Holiday

One Good Man (1969) – Janis Joplin

Rich (2003) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Mushaboom (2004) – Feist

La Nuit (2005) – Robots In Disguise

Up The Neck (1980) – The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde

Edge of Seventeen (1981) –  Stevie Nicks

Bad Reputation (1981) – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Paper Planes (2007)  – M.I.A.

I’ll Kill Her (2008) – SoKo

Sea Of Love (2008) [Remastered Version] – Cat Power

Crazy (1962) – Patsy Cline

Jolene (1973) – Dolly Parton

Blue Bayou (1977) – Linda Ronstadt (Roy Orbison cover)

Glory Box  (1994) – Portishead

Bachelorette (1997) – Bjork

Big Long Slidin’ Thing (1954) – Dinah Washington

Tell Mama (1968) – Etta James

Push It (1986) – Salt N Peppa

I Put A Spell On You (1968)  – -Nina Simone

Cupid (2006) – Amy Winehouse

Cry Baby (1971) – Janis Joplin (With Full Tilt Boogie)

C’mon Billy (1995) – PJ Harvey

Stupid Girl (1996) – Garbage (Shirley Manson)

Respect (1967) – Aretha Franklin

Real Love (2007) – Regina Spektor

Next week: Inspired by the this week’s leaping of generations, the theme next Tuesday will be ‘Age’ – young, old and in-between.

Tune into the Theme Park with Lyn  at BayFM 99.9 each Tuesday 2-4pm (Sydney time), or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org.

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