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SONGS ABOUT THE SUN

We’re well and truly into Summer and where are all those beautiful sunny days that this season promises? As I write this, I’m looking out at torrential rain. So, it was definitely wishful thinking that propelled me into this week’s playlist on THE SUN.

We opened the show with a song that radiates optimism, the Beatles GOOD DAY SUNSHINE, written by Paul McCartney and released on the 1966 album Revolver. A relatively new track comes from Michael Franti. I dedicated THE SOUND OF SUNSHINE to the lovely Suzie M. and her grandchildren, Reem & Aliyah who are huge Michael Franti fans.

Local lad Christian Pyle did a great job at the recent Mullumbimby Music Festival and although I played RAY OF YOUR SUNSHINE during my interview with him a couple of weeks ago, it such a great number I had to play it again. It’s from his Nothing Left to Burn album.

The Cream’s SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE is an absolute classic and is still their best-selling song of all time. Here’s Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce playing live circa 1968.

Beth Orton does a brilliant cover of The Ronettes I WISH I NEVER SAW THE SUNSHINE. I found it on the soundtrack to the film Twentyfourseven (brilliant film btw), but its also on her 1996 debut album ‘Trailer Park’. Here she performs live and is accompanied by the very talented Ted Barnes.

The wonderful Katie Noonan possibly does the best cover ever of Soundgarden’s BLACK HOLE SUN that I have ever heard. I usually don’t like to play videos that are simply photo montages, but I can’t give up the opportunity of putting her voice out there. Sublime.

There was no way I was doing a show on THE SUN without playing Stevie Wonder’s YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE. Here he is giving a rare studio concert at London’s Teddington Studios following the release of his ‘Conversation Peace’ album. A sensual ride for an intimate audience of less than 200 fans. You get the bonus of SUPERSTITION on this clip too, which I have to admit is actually my favourite Stevie Wonder number.

Bobby Hebb’s SUNNY is another very optimistic song, considering that it was written in response to his brother’s violent death which occurred on the same day of JFK’s assassination.

Two great songs that were released in 1966 are Donovan’s SUNSHINE SUPERMAN and The Kinks’ SUNNY AFTERNOON. The Kink’s strong Music Hall  flavour and lyrical focus was part of a stylistic departure for the band, who had risen to fame in 1964-65 with a series of hard-driving, power-chord rock hits. Ironically, the promotional video for the single featured the band performing in a cold, snowy environment:

Nina Simone’s cover of George Harrison’s HERE COMES THE SUN is an almost religious experience. Starting slowly at first it builds to a flood of warmth and wonder. Unlike the weather here at the moment, unfortunately.

For Ros, and all the other reggae fans, we played Bob Marley’s SUN IS SHINING and followed with the Bill Withers standard – a perfectly apt song for Byron Bay at the moment: AIN’T NO SUNSHINE.

Let’s don’t get too despondent about the weather. As Elaine Page suggests “the sun will come out TOMORROW“. From the  musical Annie that song went out to BayFM’s Tommy T-Jet who hosts All Things Camp Friday’s at 1pm.

The Eagles song TEQUILA SUNRISE was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey and is from the album Desperado. I’ve been meaning to do a show just on The Eagles and its certainly on the agenda.

A show on THE SUN wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t include the Beach Boys. I had lots of suggestions for various tunes but  I chose the very evocative THE WARMTH OF THE SUN. It was the B-side to Dance, Dance, Dance released in 1964.

Violent Femmes released their debut album  in 1982.  The music was an innovative combination of American folk music and punk rock, which would much later come to be known as “folk punk”.  The lyrics were the common themes of yearning for love, sex and affection. The group quickly gained a following that never veered into mainstream commercialism. One of the songs that gained recognition was A BLISTER IN THE SUN.

2010 is the 25th anniversary of the very infectious  WALKING ON SUNSHINE released by Katrina and the Waves. Can you believe it?

I don’t think the The Beloved were getting up with the birds to see the  SUN RISING. Somehow I imagine they were on their way home from a big night out.

Australian band The Waifs recorded their 2007 album SUN DIRT WATER in Nashville and it was released on Jarrah Records, a fully independent label they share with John Butler Trio and MGM Distribution.

A couple of oldies but goodies come in the shape of THE SUN AIN’T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE from The Walker Brothers and DON’T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING from Gerry & The Pacemakers.

A while back I put together a show of songs that ask questions. And here’s a couple more: The Velvet Underground want to know WHO LOVES THE SUN and They Might Be Giants ask WHY DOES THE SUN SHINE?

The Spazzys is an all girl punk band from Melbourne who are heavily influenced by the Ramones. They’ve even taken their band’s name as their surname – Kat Spazzy, Lucy Spazzy and Ally Spazzy. Cool. The song SUNSHINE DRIVE is on their Aloha! Go Bananas album released in 2004 but my copy came from the soundtrack of the very good Australian film Suburban Mayhem.

One of The Kinks best known and most acclaimed songs is WATERLOO SUNSET.  Ray Davies says, in a 2008 interview, that the song was a fantasy about his sister going off with her boyfriend and emigrating  to another country.

Little Village were a supergroup who only released one album. Band members included Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Nick Lowe and Jim Keitner. Sung by John Hiatt, the track SOLAR SEX PANEL certainly suggests a good use for the sun’s rays!

We closed the show with Pink Floyds’s very trippy SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN.

Next week, I’m going to  celebrate the Xmas Party season with SONGS ABOUT DRINKING. I’m looking for everything from rowdy singalongs to barfly melancholia and guilty hangover confessionals. That should cover everything! It will be the day after the BayFM Xmas party, so I should be suitably hungover!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Good Day Sunshine – Revolver, The Beatles

The Sound Of Sunshine – The Sound Of Sunshine, Michael Franti and Spearhead

Ray of Your Sunshine – Nothing Left to Burn, Christian Pyle

Sunshine Of Your Love – Eric Clapton Story, Cream

I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine – Twentyfourseven Soundtrack, Beth Orton

Black Hole Sun – Time To Begin, Katie Noonan

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Ballad Collection, Stevie Wonder

Sunny – Rhythm & Blues, Bobby Hebb

Sunshine Superman [Extended] – Try For The Sun, Donovan

Sunny Afternoon – Lost And Found 1962-1969, The Kinks

Solar – Chet In Chicago, Chet Baker

Here Comes The Sun – The Very Best Of Nina Simone, Nina Simone

Sun Is Shining – Bob Marley Collection, Bob Marley

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lean On Me: Priceless Collection, Bill Withers

Tomorrow – Elaine Paige LIVE , Elaine Paige

Tequila Sunrise – The Very Best Of The Eagles, The Eagles

The Warmth Of The Sun – Shut Down Volume 2, The Beach Boys

Blister In The Sun – Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes

Walking On Sunshine – Sounds Of The Eighties: 1985, Katrina and The Waves

The Sun Rising – Single File, The Beloved

Sun Dirt Water – Sun Dirt Water, The Waifs

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore –  The Walker Brothers

Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying – Gerry & The Pacemakers, Gerry and The Pacemakers

Who Loves The Sun – High Fidelity [Bonus Tracks], The Velvet Underground

Why Does The Sun Shine? – Severe Tire Damage, They Might Be Giants

The Sunshine Drive – Suburban Mayhem Soundtrack, The Spazzys

Waterloo Sunset – The Ultimate Collection [Disc 1], The Kinks

Solar Sex Panel – Little Village, Little Village

Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun – A Saucerful Of Secrets, Pink Floyd

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT DRINKING

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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BAD WEATHER

The weather has been in the news, more than usual of late, what with hurricanes, tornadoes and our own Lennox Head being declared a national disaster area after a mini tornado destroyed homes and caused chaos to this beautiful little coastal town. What’s a girl to do but to create a playlist around BAD WEATHER?

We opened the show with a request from Robyn: the incredibly seductive BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE by Ray Charles and Betty Carter. The song could just as easily fitted into our Sexy Songs list for last week, but glad we held it over.

Now when it comes to songs about the weather, rain seems to be the metaphor of choice. It can describe heartache or happiness, and lots more in-between.  The Ronettes daydream about the qualities that make up the perfect boyfriend on WALKING IN THE RAIN. However, the Walker Brothers – with their remake of Frankie Valli’s THE SUN AIN’T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE – see bad weather as a symbol of loneliness. Either way, two great songs. Here’s a blast from the past for all you baby boomers, the Walker Brothers on Ready, Steady, Go in 1966:

Next it was Status Quo with RAIN from their Blue for You album, released in 1976. The track was originally intended for  the album On The Level, but at the time of the recording sessions Rick Parfitt had not completed the song and so it was held over to the band’s next release.

Shirley Manson only seems to be happy when she’s miserable in the Garbage song I’M ONLY HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS. Fitting then that we followed with the Prince of Darkness himself, Nick Cave. The song TUPELO, with its great sound effects and talk of black clouds, was also a perfect fit for a show on Bad Weather.

A great song that carries an emotional whallop is LOUISIANA 1927, a devastating account of the great Mississippi floods, which has become identified with the more recent Hurricane Katrina.  Written, and originally recorded by Randy Newman, Aaron Neville’s version is sublime. Here he is performing at the Concert for Hurricane Relief in 2008:

We followed with the great Muddy Waters and BLOW WIND BLOW and then it was Leon Russell with a cover of the Bob Dylan classic, A HARD RAINS A GONNA FALL. This track was requested by  for Judi, listening in Cairns, where they know a little bit about a rainy season. The song STORMY WEATHER is one of my favourites. Written and originally recorded in 1933,  its been covered by all the greats, but I do particularly like the Etta James version that we played this week.

The inspiration for RAIN, by the Beatles – according to Neil Aspinall, the Beatles roadie, and John Lennon – was Australia’s own weather. Apparently when they arrived here to tour, the weather was so bad that Lennon was quoted as saying that: “I’ve never seen rain as hard as that.” He went on to say that RAIN was “about people moaning about the weather all the time”. Three promotional films were made for the song. These videos, along with other Beatles videos at the time, sparked George Harrison  to say during the Beatles Anthology, “So I suppose, in a way, we invented MTV”.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers track SNOW may not be about the kind of snow that makes cute little snowmen, but it is a great song in any case. Its from the Stadium Arcadium album. And while we’re talking of metaphor, Tom Waits has a lot to say about the weather on EMOTIONAL WEATHER REPORT. The track is featured on the album Nighthawks at the Diner, recorded in 1975.  The title was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting Nighthawks. Here’s Tom performing the song at the Rockpalast in Koln, West Germany in 1977:

Irma Thomas is quite rightfully called “the Soul Queen of New Orleans” and she has several songs about the weather that fitted the bill, but none better, in my opinion, than ITS RAINING SO HARD. We followed with Bill Withers and AIN’T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE. Neil Young was lucky enough to get some help on harmonies from the wonderful Nicolette Larsen on FOUR STRONG WINDS. Larsen, who died in 1997, had a big hit with a cover of Young’s LOTTA LOVE in 1978.

I couldn’t do a show on Bad Weather and not include AC/DC’s THUNDERSTRUCK. Rumour is that the song was inspired by Angus Young’s hair-raising experience when a plane he was on was struck by lightning. Not sure if that’s true or not.

What I do know is that Natalie Merchant and the 10,000 Maniacs “get a shiver in their bones” just thinking about the climate conditions on LIKE THE WEATHER. We  followed with Blur and THIS IS A LOW, which was inspired by, of all things,  a shipping forecast.

Back to some rock with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s HAVE YOU SEEN THE RAIN and a song for Alex in Sydney, and all the other Deep Purple fans,  STORMBRINGER.

When it comes to R&B, The Temptations just want the weather to match their mood on I WISH IT WOULD RAIN but Anne Peebles finds the weather brings back unwanted memories of a past love on I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN.

I love the infectious tone of Bob Dylan’s RAINY DAY WOMEN, which is matched by the very excellent COLD COLD FEELING from T-Bone Walker. As much as I was enjoying myself, we closed the show with The Doors and RIDERS ON THE STORM. The song was inspired by the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend”.  It incorporates real sound effects of thunder and rain, along with Ray Manzarek’s Fender Rhodes electric piano playing, which emulates the sound of rain. Good stuff.

The topic for next week’s show is a doozy. They say success is the best revenge, but, when it comes to musos a bitchy payback song seems to fit the bill. I thing we’ll have a lot of fun with our playlist of REVENGE SONGS, so I hope you’ll join me then. And if you have any suggestions for the playlist please get in touch. It’s always great to have your input.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Soulful Christmas, Ray Charles & Betty Carter

Walking In The Rain – Phil Spector Wall of Sound Vol. 1 – The Ronettes

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore –  Walker Brothers

Rain – Blue For You, Status Quo

I’m Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage, Garbage

Tupelo – The Best Of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Louisiana 1927 – Warm Your Heart, Aaron Neville

Blow Wind Blow – Baby Please Don’t Go, Muddy Waters

A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall – Remember the Titans (Movie Soundtrack), Leon Russell

Frosty – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues – A Musical Journey, Albert Collins

Stormy Weather – At Last!, Etta James

Rain – Past Masters Volume Two, The Beatles

Snow ((Hey Oh)) – Stadium Arcadium, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Emotional Weather Report – Nighthawks at the Diner, Tom Waits

It’s Raining So Hard – Irma Thomas

Ain’t no Sunshine – Bill Withers

Four Strong Winds – Comes a Time, Neil Young

Thunderstruck – The Razors Edge, ACDC

Like The Weather – MTV Unplugged, 10,000 Maniacs

This Is A Low – Parklife, Blur

Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Stormbringer – Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple, Deep Purple

I Wish It Would Rain – My Girl: The Very Best Of The Tempations [Disc 1], The Temptations

I Can’t Stand The Rain – I Can’t Stand The Rain, Ann Peebles

Rainy Day Women – Forrest Gump (Movie Soundtrack),  Bob Dylan

Cold Cold Feeling – The Talkin Guitar (The Best Of), T-Bone Walker

Riders on the storm – The Doors (movie soundtrack), The Doors

Next week: REVENGE SONGS

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


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