Music Notes The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30.html Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:52:04 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Soldier of Fortune http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/21976-soldier-of-fortune.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/21976-soldier-of-fortune.html Soldier of Fortune

In a classic example of life imitating art — album cover art, to be precise — there were storm clouds brewing ominously on Deep Purple’s career horizon as the storied British hard rockers unveiled their ninth studio album, ‘Stormbringer,’ in November of 1974. Blackmore leaving to form Rainbow soon after its release. The main reason for Blackmore's departure were the overt funk influences brought to the band by new members David Coverdale and (especially) Glenn Hughes. The album closes with the incredible "Soldier of Fortune", a Coverdale/Blackmore penned composition, which is a soft, slow ballad (regarded by many as a Purple classic,) where Coverdale shows the full extent of his fabulous voice.

Soldier of Fortune

Deep Purple were formed in Hertford, England, in 1968, with an inaugural lineup that featured guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, vocalist Rod Evans, bassist Nick Simper, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice. With their self-titled third LP, Deep Purple's ambitions grew the songs reflecting a new complexity and density as Lord's classically influenced keyboards assumed a much greater focus. Soon after the album's release, and with the dismissals of Evans and Simper, the band started fresh, recruiting singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover from the ranks of the pop group Episode Six.

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Deep Purple 1968 - 1969

 

1970's ‘Deep Purple in Rock’ heralded the beginning of the group's most creatively and commercially successful period. At home, the album sold over a million copies, with the subsequent non-LP single "Black Night" falling just shy of topping the U.K. pop charts. Released in 1971, ‘Fireball’ was also a smash, scoring a hit with "Strange Kind of Woman." "Smoke on the Water" featured on the multi-platinum classic ‘Machine Head,’ reached the U.S. Top Five in mid-1972 and positioned Deep Purple among rock's elite.

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Deep Purple 1969 - 1973

 

However, long-simmering creative differences between Blackmore and Gillan pushed the latter out of the group that same year, with Glover soon exiting as well. Singer David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes were recruited for 1974's ‘Burn,’ and Gillan meanwhile formed a band bearing his own name. ‘Burn’ and ‘Stormbringer’ both reached the Top 10, but Blackmore grew increasingly dissatisfied with the group's direction and in May 1975 left to form Rainbow with vocalist Ronnie James Dio.

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Deep Purple 1973 - 1974

 

“Soldier of Fortune” is a memorable and stunning melancholic acoustic song with vocal perfectly matched by the weary and time-battered voice of David Coverdale and dramatic guitar play by Ritchie Blackmore, one of the most distinguished guitarist in history.

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Ritchie Blackmore & Ronnie James Dio

 

In the Jerry Bloom biography, “Black Knight. Ritchie Blackmore,” former lead guitarist says of "Soldier Of Fortune" it is "one of my favorite songs. It's got a few of those mediaeval chords." This slow, sentimental ballad was co-written with new vocalist David Coverdale for the first album by ‘Deep Purple Mark Three.’ Unfortunately, the rest of the band didn't like the song, but Blackmore continued to play it after leaving the supergroup, including with Blackmore's Knight, where the soft feminine voice of Candice Night although obviously not as fitting as David Coverdale's, does not sound out of place.

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Glenn Hughes & David Coverdale

 

Upon leaving Deep Purple, Coverdale formed Whitesnake. The green young singer from 1974 became a swashbuckling superstar, and even hired former Purple alumni Jon Lord (keys) and Ian Paice (drums). Meanwhile, Jon Lord also had a say on the song. He had retired from Deep Purple in 2002, and later he formed a group that toured the world with the Concerto for Group and Orchestra and some songs from his past with an added orchestral overtone. In 2009, he included “Soldier of Fortune” in the setlist. “I love this song, even though I didn’t write it”, said Jon.

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Jon Lord

 

Though Deep Purple has never released the song as a single and it has never placed on the record charts, it has developed a cult following over the years, and cover versions have been released by Whitesnake, Opeth, Black Majesty.

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Deep Purple - Stormbringer, 1974

 

Deep Purple - Soldier of Fortune, lyrics


I have often told you stories
About the way

I lived the life of a drifter
Waiting for the day
When I'd take your hand
And sing you songs
Then maybe you would say
Come lay with me love me
And I would surely stay

But I feel I'm growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill goin' 'round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune

Many times I've been a traveller
I looked for something new
In days of old
When nights were cold
I wandered without you
But those days I thougt my eyes
Had seen you standing near
Though blindness is confusing
It shows that you're not here

Now I feel I'm growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill goin' 'round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune
Yes, I can hear the sound
Of a windmill goin' 'round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune

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Whitesnake play 'Soldier of Fortune' (acoustic)

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:09:48 +0000
Love Is All Around http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/21796-love-is-all-around.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/21796-love-is-all-around.html Love Is All Around

The stereotype of the Troggs that is fixed in the minds of many listeners is that of the crude cavemen of "Wild Thing" fame. The Troggs did indeed offer lewd beat on that song and many others, but it mustn't be overlooked that they had a surprising facility for tender ballads. There is no better, and better known, example of that talent than "Love Is All Around," a Top Ten hit in 1968 (and their only big hit in the United States aside from "Wild Thing").

Love Is All Around

For the Troggs were a "three-trick pony". Their most famous genre was dirty, distorted, 'caveman' garage rock, and clearly that was the genre where they excelled at most, being born to do that kind of stuff: as subtle as your local brontosaurus poking his head through your window, as unprofessional as you yourself on your very first day of guitar playing, and occasionally, as catchy as your local national anthem. 'Wild Thing' was this genre's culmination, and though they never recorded anything as primal and ferocious, they occasionally came close - especially early on in their career.

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The Troggs

 

Their second trick was bubblegum - in fact, bublegum and dirty garage rock do have a lot in common, don't you think? The simplicity, the shortness, the up-to-the-point vibe... overall, garage rock is just bubblegum done with speed, distortion, and roughness. So occasionally the Troggs just dump the roughness and distortion and stay with the bubblegum skeleton, and again, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but in any case, it makes them legitimate predecessors of the Ramones... doncha think?

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Love Is All Around

 

Finally, the last thing the Troggs were quite fond of were sappy ballads... yep. AC/DC these guys were not, and they regularly allowed themselves a bit of inner contradiction, with lead vocalist Reg Presley sounding like a sex-obsessed maniac on one song and then sounding as the International Romeo Contest Winner on the next one. This is, of course, an ungrateful genre, and while I've certainly heard a lot of balladry compared to which the Troggs were a collective bunch of Brian Wilsons, this doesn't mean I'd be the first person to recommend you to spend all your days listening to 'Love Is All Around', no sir.

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The Troggs

 

Troggs lead singer Reg Presley wrote this in about 10 minutes. He was inspired by the Joy Strings Salvation Army band he'd seen on TV. Presley recalled the inspiration for the song in the July 2011 edition of Mojo magazine:

"I got back from America, I smelt the Sunday lunch cooking (inhales deeply), phaaaaw - after about 25 years on burgers - I kissed my wife, my little daughter, four years old. We went into the lounge and those Salvation Girls, The Joystrings, were on television, banging their tambourines and singing something, 'Love, love,' love.' I went over to turn it off, knelt down and hearing that 'Love, love' I got a bass line, (sings) 'doom, doomdoom, doomdoom, doomdoom, doom,' and I got: 'I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. My wife, my kid… And so the feeling grows.'"

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Reg Presley

 

The record opens with a gentle, playful, circular guitar riff, with little backup rhythm save a light metronome-like tick-tock. Reg Presley's vocals often blended a sardonic sense of camp with suppressed fury, but in this case they were, to all appearances, sincere in their loving tones, if witty in their images of feeling love through fingers and toes. The vocals, too, are either double-tracked or fattened by backup unison harmonies from the rest of the band. The constantly rising melody is simple but ingratiating, the basic guitars joined by tasteful strings in the latter verses. "Love Is All Around," in sum, is one of the loveliest flower-power ballads of the hippie era, working in no small part because it's understated.

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Love Is All Around, single 1967

 

The song was first released as a single in the UK in October 1967, peaking at number 5. On the Hot 100, peaked at number 7 on 18 May 1968, was on the chart a total of 16 weeks, and ranked number 40 for all of 1968. On the UK Singles Chart Top 50, the record debuted at number 50 peaked at number 5 on 22 November 1967. In 1994 this became a huge hit when Wet Wet Wet covered it for the movie Four Weddings And A Funeral. Their version was UK #1 for 15 weeks and became the best selling single in the UK in 1994. R.E.M.'s cover was a B-side on their 1991 "Radio Song" single, and they also played it during their first appearance at MTV's Unplugged series that same year.

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Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around, poster

 

The Troggs tempered their first image on subsequent ballads, which utilized a sort of pre-"power ballad" approach. These weren't bad, and a few of them were British hits, but they weren't as fine as the initial blast of singles which established the band's image. "Love Is All Around," which restored them to the American Top Ten in 1968, was their finest effort in this vein. It was also their final big hit on either side of the Atlantic.

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Love Is All Around, Fontana Records 1967

 

Love Is All Around by Reg Presley


I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.
Well love is all around me, and so the feeling grows.
It´s written on the wind, it´s everywhere I go.
So if you really love me, come on and let it show.

You know I love you, I always will.
My mind's made up by the way that I feel,
There´s no beginning, there´ll be no end
Cause on my love you can depend.

I see your face before me as I lay on my bed
I kinda get to thinking, of all the things you said.
You gave your promise to me, and I gave mine to you.
I need someone beside me in everything I do.

You know I love you...........(etc)

It´s written on the wind..........(etc)

Come on and let it show
Come on and let it show
Come on and let it show

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Love Is All Around

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:46:48 +0000
The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/20763-the-kinks-all-day-and-all-of-the-night.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/20763-the-kinks-all-day-and-all-of-the-night.html The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night

In a September 2012 interview with Mojo magazine The Kinks’ Ray Davies recounted the tale: “The funniest thing was when my publisher came to me on tour and said The Doors had used the riff for ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ for ‘Hello, I Love You.’ I said rather than sue them, can we just get them to own up? My publisher said, ‘They have, that’s why we should sue them!’ (laughs) Jim Morrison admitted it, which to me was the most important thing. The most important thing, actually, is to take (the idea) somewhere else.” (The UK courts ordered The Doors to pay royalties to The Kinks songwriters for borrowing their riff.)

All Day and All of the Night

Ray Davies wrote this song. He called it, "A neurotic song - youthful, obsessive and sexually possessive." Originally released in late 1964, ‘All Day and All of the Night’ was the follow-up to their first big hit, ‘You Really Got Me.’ The song took that signature choppy riff used on its predecessor, although this song's riff is slightly more complicated, incorporating a B Flat after the chords F and G. Otherwise, the recordings are similar in beat and structure, with similar background vocals, progressions, and guitar solos. ‘All Day’ was a No. 2 hit in England, one of 17 Top 40 singles the band would have in the ’60s. It fared very well stateside as well, clocking in at No. 7.

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Ray Davies

 

The Kinks were formed in 1963 by two brothers, Ray and Dave Davies and at first were named the Ravens. Ray was the lead singer and sometimes played guitar, Dave was the lead guitarist. Ray's friend Peter Quaife join then and played bass and the drummer was Mickey Willett. The first song they recorded, Ray's "I Took My Baby Home" was sent to Pye Records in late '63 and they were signed to a contract in '64. Just before doing so, Willett was replaced by Mick Avory on drums. They recorded their first single, a cover of Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" and just before it's release renamed the group "the Kinks".

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The Kinks, 1964

 

Although they weren't as boldly innovative as the Beatles or as popular as the Rolling Stones or the Who, the Kinks were one of the most influential bands of the British Invasion. Like most bands of their era, the Kinks began as an R&B/blues outfit. Within four years, the band had become the most staunchly English of all their contemporaries, drawing heavily from British music hall and traditional pop, as well as incorporating elements of country, folk, and blues.

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The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night, 1964

 

But for moptop-crazed America during the middle ’60s, the version of Cool Britannia presented by the Kinks was a bridge too far — a confusing mélange of roughnecked working-class rage and foppish, pansexual dandy-ism that was as unkempt as the group’s thrillingly rambunctious live shows. Following a disastrous 1965 tour, the Kinks were functionally banned (for unspecified reasons) from the US for the better part of a decade, robbing them of the untold spoils of their contemporaries and perhaps further inculcating the deep, proud provincialism that would come to define the best of Ray Davies’ writing.

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The Kinks on Their Way To The USA, 1965

 

"All Day and All of the Night" was rock's first heavy metal song even though heavy metal was still a good five years from happening. Truth being, nobody really ever heard a guitar solo like the one Dave delivered on this song. Dave Davies claimed that the song was where he "found his voice," saying, "I liked the guitar sound on 'All Day And All Of The Night,' the second single we had. When they tried to develop amplifiers that had pre-gain and all, I thought it wasn't quite right, and I struggled with the sound for a while. I never liked Marshalls, because they sounded like everybody else. Then in the mid '70s I started using Peavey, and people said, "Nobody uses Peavey - country and western bands use them" [laughs]. I used to blow them up every night. I used two Peavey Maces together, and it was brilliant."

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The Kinks, London 1964

 

”All Day And All Of The Night” stands on it’s own as a powerful two and a half minutes of raw, visceral, driving rock and roll. The sliding guitar chords are in fact slightly more complex than its predecessor, allowing for a bite more swing in the otherwise tough groove set down by drummer Mick Avery, who seems never to miss an opportunity to put multiple dents in his snare skin throughout the recording. The guitar sound seems even more distorted and nasty and Dave Davies’ anarchic solo no less manic while both tracks brilliantly raise tension by twisting key changes to the breaking point and releasing in a jubilant shout-a-long title lyric. With ”All Day And All Of The Night”, The Kinks seemed to have pulled off the rare feet of releasing back to back classics and at the same time launching a new rough and tumble sound that would help distortion become the signature guitar sound of rock and roll in the very near future.

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The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night, Live on TV

 

The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night, lyrics


I'm not content to be with you in the daytime
Girl I want to be with you all of the time
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl I want to be with you all of the time

All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night

I believe that you and me last forever
Oh yeah, all day and nighttime yours, leave me never
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl I want to be with you all of the time

All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night
Oh, come on

I believe…

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The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night, Pye 1964

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Sat, 03 Dec 2016 23:26:53 +0000
Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/19903-chuck-berrys-johnny-b-goode.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/19903-chuck-berrys-johnny-b-goode.html Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode

No one predicted that “Back to the Future” would top the U.S. box office for 11 weeks, would go on to make more money than any other film in 1985, and would 30 years later be a major pop culture touchstone beloved by generations.

And Marty’s rendition of “Johnny B. Goode” at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance was perhaps the critical moment that cemented the movie’s place in film history. The 17-year-old hero, by this point, has won over the audience by being both totally cool and adorably dorky — and both sides of him are on display as he gets carried away playing the Chuck Berry’s rock and roll hit. It’s a scene packed with 1950s nostalgia, wink jokes, memorable one-liners, and a crowd-pleasing musical performance, and it supplied the feel good moment that solidified the film’s emotional hold over its audience, transcending it from mere time travel genre adventure to a beloved instant classic.

Johnny B. Goode

Once upon a time, rock'n'roll was an idiom that enabled young people from humble circumstances to escape poverty and make a name for themselves. This was before scions of the landed gentry, masquerading as outcasts, began forming bands like the Wallflowers and the Strokes, producing a brand of music best described as plutocrap: cute, but extraneous.

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Michael Fox as Marty McFly

 

In the official version of events, supplied to Rolling Stone magazine by Berry himself, the song is autobiographical: A poor boy from a rustic corner of the Deep South with little education and few prospects masters the electric guitar and becomes the leader of a famous band. In fact, Berry was not from the Deep South; he grew up on Goode Avenue in Saint Louis, an unusually cosmopolitan Midwestern city with a rich musical tradition.

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St. Louis, Goode Avenue

 

“The song had its birth when a [1955] tour first brought me to New Orleans, a place I’d longed to visit ever since hearing Muddy Waters’ lyrics, ‘Going down to Louisiana way behind the sun,’ ” writes Berry in his autobiography. “That inspiration, combined with little bits of dad’s stories and the thrill of seeing my black name posted all over town in one of the cities they brought the slaves through, turned into ‘Johnny B. Goode.’ ”

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Chuck Berry

 

After naming the song’s protagonist Johnny after his keyboardist Johnnie Johnson, Berry wrote the lyrics in two weeks of “periodic application.” The repeated chorus calls of “Go Johnny Go” are a tribute to Berry’s mother’s constant encouragement, while other imagery was also inspired by his family. “I’d been told my great grandfather lived ‘way back up among the evergreens’ in a log cabin,’ ” Berry writes. “I revived that era with a story about a ‘colored boy name Johnny B. Goode’…but I thought that would seem biased to white fans...and changed it to ‘country boy.’ ”

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Chuck Berry

 

“Johnny B Goode” was produced by Leonard and Phil Chess, founders of Chicago's celebrated Chess Records. Berry was introduced to the Chess brothers by blues legend Muddy Waters, who, according to one apocryphal tale, was busy painting the walls of the recording studio when a very young Mick Jagger popped by for a visit.

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Johnny B. Goode, singel 1958

 

The opening guitar riff on "Johnny B. Goode" is essentially a note-for-note copy of the opening single-note solo on Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" (1946), played by guitarist Carl Hogan. Neither the guitar intro nor the solo are played at once. Chuck Berry played the introducing parts together with the rhythm guitar and overdubbed later the missing solo runs.

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Chuck Berry

 

The single was recorded on December 29 or 30, 1957, with Berry backed by a lean, swinging blues trio of Willie Dixon (bass), Lafayette Leake (piano) and Fred Below (drums). The same session also yielded “Reelin’ and Rockin’ ” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

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Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode

 

"Johnny B. Goode" was the first rock & roll hit about rock & roll stardom. It is still the greatest rock & roll song about the democracy of fame in pop music. As Billy Altman notes in his liner notes to The Chuck Berry Box (MCA), the song has become so ingrained in American culture that it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist. And, thanks to the late astronomer Carl Sagan, the whole universe may know the tune by now; it was hauled off on the Voyager 1 space probe, hurtling past Jupiter and Saturn and toward Neptune, some four-billion miles away.

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John Lennon & Chuck Berry sing Johnny B. Goode

 

"Johnny B. Goode" is the supreme example of Berry's poetry in motion. The rhythm section rolls with freight-train momentum, while Berry's stabbing, single-note lick in the chorus sounds, as he put it, "like a-ringin' a bell" — a perfect description of how rock & roll guitar can make you feel on top of the world.

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Chuck Berry

 

Johnny B. Goode lyrics


Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play the guitar just like a ringing a bell

Go go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
Go
Johnny B. Goode

He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Go sit beneath the tree by the railroad track
Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made
People passing by they would stop and say
Oh my that little country boy could play

Go go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
Go
Go Johnny go
Go
Johnny B. Goode

His mother told him "Someday you will be a man,
And you will be the leader of a big old band.
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying Johnny B. Goode tonight."

Go go
Go Johnny go
Go go go Johnny go
Go go go Johnny go
Go go go Johnny go
Go
Johnny B. Goode

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Chuck Berry

 

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Sun, 19 Jun 2016 19:04:32 +0000
Let Me Roll It by Paul McCartney & Wings http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/19474-let-me-roll-it-by-paul-mccartney-a-wings.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/19474-let-me-roll-it-by-paul-mccartney-a-wings.html Let Me Roll It by Paul McCartney

"[This song] was a riff, originally, a great riff to play, and whenever we played it live, it goes down great. We'd play it on two guitars, and people saw it later as a kind of John pastiche, as Lennon-ish, Lennon-esque. Which I don't mind. That could have been a Beatles song. Me and John would have sung that good." (Paul McCartney, 2001)

Let Me Roll It

"Let Me Roll It" is a song by Paul McCartney & Wings, and was released on the 1973 album ‘Band on the Run.’ The song was also released as the B-side to "Jet" in early 1974. It was interpreted by many as an echo of the stripped-down production of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album and Lennon's single ‘Cold Turkey.’ “ I still don't think it sounds like him [John Lennon], but that's your opinion. I can dig it if it sounds that way to you.” -Paul McCartney

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Band On The Run, album

 

“Let Me Roll It” was written by McCartney at High Park Farm in Scotland. Although the song's similarities to Lennon's debut solo album were said to be coincidental, the use of echo, heavy bass and stinging lead guitar made such comparisons inevitable. “Let Me Roll It was not really a Lennon pastiche, although my use of tape echo did sound more like John than me. But tape echo was not John's exclusive territory! And you have to remember that, despite the myth, there was a lot of commonality between us in the way that we thought and the way that we worked.” -Paul McCartney, Club Sandwich.

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Paul McCartney & Wings, 1974-1975

 

Many have interpreted this song as an olive branch offering to John Lennon after all the bitterness arising from his Beatles breakup song, "How Do You Sleep?." However, in an interview with Clash magazine in 2010 McCartney explained this was more of a drugs song. Said Macca: "'Let Me Roll It' wasn't to John, it was just in the style that we did with The Beatles that John was particularly known for. It was really actually the use of the echo. It was one of those: 'You're not going to use echo just cos John used it?' I don't think so. To tell you the truth, that was more [about] rolling a joint. That was the double meaning there: 'let me roll it to you.' That was more at the back of mind than anything else. 'Dear Friend,' that was very much 'let's be friends' to John."

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Paul & John. Tour z Wings 1976

 

The titular phrase was, like the central refrain of the song ‘Band On The Run,’ inspired by a quotation by George Harrison. "Let me roll it to you" was a line in “I'd Have You Anytime,” the opening track on his 1970 album ‘All Things Must Pass.’

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Paul McCartney sings Let Me Roll It

 

It’s a straightforward song lyrically—there are only nine total lines—but it remains one of a favorite vocals from solo McCartney, perhaps because it harkens back to the best Beatles era, circa ‘The White Album/Abbey Road.’ McCartney’s growling vocal, the general chord progression, and doo-wop feel on “Let Me Roll It” sounds so much like those from Abbey Road’s “Oh! Darling,” that he’s been accused more than once of trying to encode the song with messages about his relationship with the other Beatles, particularly John Lennon.

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Jet, single 1974

 

But when he was asked about this album a few years ago, McCartney revealed that although the use of echo could perhaps be tied back to Lennon, the song itself was less a message to his former bandmate than it was an allusion to rolling a joint. In the ’70s McCartney was fond of marijuana, and he had a string of cannabis-related arrests throughout the decade.

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Fiona Apple sings Let Me Roll It

 

"Let Me Roll It" was regularly performed live by Wings in their 1975-76 concerts, and returned to McCartney's setlist from his 1993 world tour onwards. It has frequently appeared in concert recordings.

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On World Tour 1993

 

Paul McCartney - Let me roll it, lyrics


You gave me something I understand, you gave me loving in the palm of my hand.
I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

I wanna tell you, and now's the time, I wanna tell you that you're going to be mine.
I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

You gave me something I understand, you gave me loving in the palm of my hand.
I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

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Let Me Roll It

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Tue, 29 Mar 2016 16:34:24 +0000
The Little Drummer Boy (Chicago) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/18969-the-little-drummer-boy-chicago.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/18969-the-little-drummer-boy-chicago.html The Little Drummer Boy (Chicago)

 

 

Christmas is the most magical time of year.

Let’s share the magic with each other 

this entire season and in the new year.

 

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Wed, 23 Dec 2015 20:50:56 +0000
Epitaph by King Crimson http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/18658-epitaph-by-king-crimson.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/18658-epitaph-by-king-crimson.html Epitaph by King Crimson


"And nothing can we call our own but death
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings."
- William Shakespeare, King Richard II

Epitaph

The In the Court of the Crimson King album is generally viewed as one of the first works to truly embody the progressive rock genre, where King Crimson largely departed from the blues influences that rock music had been founded upon and mixed together jazz and classical symphonic elements. Epitaph is a microcosm of the album. Like the album, Epitaph travels through time, though the album travels in one direction (future to past), while the song travels in the other direction (past to future). This is one way in which Epitaph is a reflection of the album as a whole. Beginning in the past tense, by referring to the walls on which the prophets wrote, Epitaph continues in the present tense, and concludes in the future tense with "I fear tomorrow I'll be crying".

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In the Court of the Crimson King

 

The song music written by King Crimson (Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Robert Fripp) but lyrics written by Peter Sinfield. Sinfield, poet and songwriter, sometimes wrote visionary lyrics that at the end of the '60s were common in bands like King Crimson who were doing progressive rock. LSD was trendy and many songwriters went through it, some more than others. Sinfield is apocalyptical in his writings, just like many other artists who were also seeing gurus. People had a deep curiosity and the mind had just been discovered and marketed: "The only way out is inside" said Timothy Leary. Vietnam was still on, there was an inner war in society, a big generation gap. Fear was in the air sometimes too. So take mind-expanding drugs, the growing power of the media, revolved and curious minds, gurus talking about how bad our society was doing, etc. and it reflects on many lyricist works, Sinfield as well.

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King Crimson, 1969

Ian McDonald, Michael Giles, Peter Sinfield, Greg Lake, Robert Fripp

 

This song title as well as the lyrics of this song refer to the message that is displayed on a gravestone. In this song, the singer is facing a struggle and fears that his epitaph will be "confusion." Greg Lake, explained: "'Epitaph' is basically a song about looking with confusion upon a world gone mad. King Crimson had a strange ability to write about the future in an extremely prophetic way and the messages this song contains are even more relative today than they were when the song was originally written."

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Gregg Lake

 

At that time, nearly all the British bands were using the blues or soul music – American music – as their influence. King Crimson had added a conceptual expansiveness more associated with classical. Robert Fripp says this unique mixture came to him in pieces – he’d worked at a hotel, for instance, where the sounds of a dance orchestra echoed through the halls – and then, almost all at once, when he by chance heard the colossal ending the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life” on Radio Luxembourg. “It was terrifying; I had no idea what it was,” told Perfect Sound Forever. “Then it kept going. Then, there was this enormous whine note of strings. Then there was this a colossal piano chord. I discovered later that I’d come in half-way through Sgt. Pepper … My life was never the same again.”

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Robert Fripp

 

Fripp started making connections between things like Jimi Hendrix and Bartok string quartets. “My experience was of the same musicians speaking to me in different dialects – one musician speaking in different voices,” he added. And with drummer Michael Giles, McDonald, lyricist Peter Sinfield and – in particular, it seemed – Greg Lake, Fripp had found a group of collaborators who were hearing it, too. The result, Fripp said, was simply magical. “As I heard it expressed later and even now, it was as if the music took over and took the musicians into its confidence”.

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Ian McDonald

 

“Epitaph” begins with a dramatic drum roll and pseudo-orchestral sweep of somber melody. This gives way to a rather folky verse -- many prog rockers used folk-rockish structures as the backbone of some of their material -- in which the singer records rather gloomy images of nightmares, death, and decay, accented by doom truck drum thumps. The singing becomes more passionate on the following verses, leaping a whole octave upward, as the vague poetic words continue to evoke dark places where nothing is known and threat is looming. This leads up to a more dramatic chorus in which the words are punctuated by more spacious pauses and brief dabs of notes before concluding on a more thunderous, apocalyptic note, expressing the singer's fear that things aren't going to turn out all that well. Cheerful stuff indeed, but the tune is pretty attractive.

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Peter Sinfield

 

The arrangement is good too, with Robert Fripp's guitar undulating like a weeping willow and Ian McDonald's Mellotron adding a layer of fear. An extended instrumental break finds the reeds and woodwinds playing off particularly gloomy guitar chords, the stop-and-start beats and frequent beats mirroring the oncoming crawl of a grim reaper. The extended fadeout on the last part of the chorus pushes the Mellotron up front to seal the spooky, desolate atmosphere.

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Michael Giles

 

In 1976, "Epitaph" was released as a single with "21st Century Schizoid Man" as the B-side, a companion to the compilation “A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson.” “In the Court of the Crimson King” remains the group’s best-selling U.S. album and second-highest charting U.K. release. “There was a sort of underground cult following, which came from nowhere and grew and grew,” Giles told Aymeric Leroy. “It was quite surprising to us all, because all of us had spent probably the previous five to 10 years without it. So, it was quite overwhelming – overwhelming and humbling.”

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Epitaph, single 1976

 

King Crimson – Epitaph, lyrics


The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
When silence drowns the screams.

Confusion will be my epitaph.
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying.
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying.
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying.

Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown.
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
When no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools.

The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
When silence drowns the screams.

Confusion will be my epitaph.
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying.
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Crying..
Crying...
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Crying...

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Epitaph

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:19:30 +0000
Crimson & Clover http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/18527-crimson-a-clover.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/18527-crimson-a-clover.html Crimson & Clover

It's pretty much a three-chord pop song with inarticulate lyrics, but Tommy James and the Shondells' classic is up there with the best. The weird logic of dreams. Images, colours, nonsense word combinations. They seem to make sense. Tommy James woke up one day with the phrase ‘Crimson & Clover’ in his head. Crimson, his favourite colour, clover, his favourite flower. (There is also a species of clover native to Europe called the crimson clover.)

Crimson & Clover

A song to fit the phrase was written by Tommy James and bassist Mike Vale, but was scrapped. His following collaboration with drummer Peter Lucia, Jr. was more successful. In interview with Tommy James, he told: "They were just two of my favorite words that came together. Actually, it was one morning as I was getting up out of bed, and it just came to me, those two words. And it sounded so poetic. I had no idea what it meant, or if it meant anything. They were just two of my favorite words. And Mike Vale and I – bass player – actually wrote another song called 'Crimson and Clover.' And it just wasn't quite there. And I ended up writing 'Crimson and Clover' with my drummer, Pete Lucia, who has since passed away."

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Crimson clover

 

Tommy James scored two chart toppers and five other top 10 hits in the US between 1966 and 1969 with his group the Shondells. After all, this was achieved while not only making the difficult, rarely successful transition from garage rock and bubblegum pop to full‑fledged psychedelia, but for a label, Roulette Records , that didn't exactly believe in paying its artists their rightful dues.

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Tommy James

 

The group had worked with producers Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell since early 1967, beginning with the classic "I Think We're Alone Now." The Gentry-Cordell formula continued to bear fruit with "Mony Mony" in the early summer of 1968, but Tommy felt it was time for a change, as he wanted to take control of his own records.

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Tommy James and the Shondells

 

In late 1968 during in the midst of psychedelia, “Crimson & Clover” was recorded in about 5 hours, with Tommy playing most of the instruments, Mike and Peter on bass and drums. It´s a very simple chord progression, just C, F and G with a key jump midway through. The tremolo effect on the guitar vibrates along with the song´s rhythm and it gets me every time. The band had the idea to stick the same effect on the vocals, with the microphone plugged into an Ampeg guitar amp with the tremolo effect, and Tommy singing “Crimson & Clover, over and over.”

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Tommy James and the Shondells

 

Tommy made a rough mix to play to record exec Morris Levy, for his feedback. The band had intended to improve on the mix with ambient sound and echo. A few days later James stopped by WLS radio station in Chicago, a station he´d already had a good relationship with, to get their view on it. After an interview talking about the forthcoming single, he agreed to play a rough mix for WLS off-air. Without his knowledge, they recorded the song, and played it on air in November 68 as a world exclusive.

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Tommy James and Morris Levy

 

Morris Levy initially pleaded with WLS not to play the record before the release, but changed his mind after the enthusiastic reaction it generated. Roulette Records produced a specially pressed single and posted it to listeners who had called up about the song. WLS was also sent 800 copies for promotional purposes. James wasn´t allowed to produce the initial mix, and the rough mix was released as a single, with “Some Kind of Love” as the B-Side.

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Crimson & Clover, single, 1968

 

Tommy says he is thankful for the complete artistic control that Roulette gave him at this critical point in his career "Probably no artist was given more creative freedom that I was, and I must say that I'm very grateful to Roulette for giving it to me," he notes. "I literally did everything from the artwork to the producing and recording -- everything but setting up record racks on the street corner. Roulette trusted me with huge budgets and allowed me to trust my own instincts. If I had been with a bigger label, I don't think I would have been given that kind of freedom."

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Tommy James

 

The single took off like a rocket in late 1968. It reached the Top 40 its second week on the chart. On January 26th 1969, Tommy James and the Shondells performed "Crimson and Clover" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show' and on that very same it day it peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart.

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The Ed Sullivan Show with Tommy James & The Shondells'

 

While putting the finishing touches on the album, Tommy decided that it should include a long version of "Crimson & Clover." It was common in the late '60s for an album track to be edited for single release, but "Crimson & Clover" had been recorded in its "short" single version, so it was necessary to either re-record or expand it to create a long version. Tommy opted to lengthen the existing master, and the group duly went back into the studio to record a new middle section featuring a series of solos played in different styles by lead guitarist Ed Gray who used steel guitars and fuzz guitars.

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Crimson & Clover, album

 

This magical song was covered by Elijah Blue and his mom, Cher, for a 1999 film, “A Walk on the Moon,” but it was Joan Jett who brought it Top Ten in 1982 -- her second biggest hit following "I Love Rock & Roll."

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Cher and Elijah sing 'Crimson & Clover'

 

Tommy James & the Shondells - Crimson And Clover, lyrics


Oh
Now I don't hardly know her
But I think I could love her
Crimson and clover

Ah
When she comes walking over
Now I've been waiting to show her
Crimson and clover
Over and over

Yes (Da-da, da-da, da-da)
My mind is such a sweet thing (Da-da, da-da, da-da)
I want to do everything (Da-da, da-da, da-da)
What a beautiful feeling (Da-da, da-da, da-da)
Crimson and clover (Da-da, da-da, da-da)
Over and over

Crimson and clover, over and over

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Joan Jett - 'Crimson & Clover'

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:32:18 +0000
Don’t Let Me Down http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/17844-dont-let-me-down.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/17844-dont-let-me-down.html Don’t Let Me Down

“When you’re drowning,” John Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, “you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me.’ You just scream.”

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John Lennon

 

“Don’t Let Me Down” is Lennon’s anguished scream to his lover, Yoko Ono. When he and the Beatles recorded the song during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions in late January of 1969, Lennon asked Ringo Starr to hit the cymbal very hard at the beginning, to “give me the courage to come screaming in.”

Don’t Let Me Down

Paul McCartney in his book ‘All Those Years Ago’ said that early 1969 was a tense period for The Beatles. John Lennon was now with Yoko Ono, and she was omnipresent in his and The Beatles life. Paul McCartney commented on the song also later saying that John and Yoko had escalated into heroin with all the accompanying paranoias. “I think that as much as it excited and amused John, it secretly terrified him, and that Don’t Let Me Down was a genuine cry for help”.

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono

 

"Don't Let Me Down" was one of the Beatles' most powerful love songs, used for the B-side of "Get Back," and fairly popular on its own merit, reaching the Top 40 under its own steam. As with other of Lennon's songs from the late '60s, "Don't Let Me Down" manages to harmoniously string together what sound like fragments that could have developed into two or three different songs. The tune's mainstay is its chorus, with its rich wailing harmonies, consisting of nothing but the title.

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The Beatles - Get Back, single 1969

 

The song is in the key of E and is in 4/4 time during the verse, chorus and bridge, but changes to 5/4 in the pick-up to the verse. It grew from the F♯m7- E changes ("like she does" [F♯m7] "yes she does" [A, Am] "yes she does" [E]) with McCartney arranging instrumental and vocal parts and Harrison adding a descending two-part lead guitar accompaniment to the verse and a countermelody in the bridge. Pollack (musicologist) states that "the counterpoint melody played in octaves during the Alternate Verse by the bass and lead guitars is one of the more novel, unusual instrumental touches you'll find anywhere in the Beatles catalogue."

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The Beatles - Get Back/Don’t Let Me Down

 

Billy Preston, who The Beatles met when he was on tour with Little Richard in 1962, played keyboards on this track. Preston was one of the few outside musicians (excluding members of orchestras) to play on any Beatles song. George Harrison brought him in to smooth tensions in the studio. He did the same thing during ‘The White Album’ sessions, when he brought in Eric Clapton. The presence of a musician The Beatles respected had a way of making them put aside their differences.

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Paul, Linda, John and Yoko

 

The vocal arrangement here is a bit less neat than usual. The Refrains are done with some consistency, but not so for the verses. In the first Verse, John starts off solo with Paul joining him for the second phrase; in the final verse John sings solo all the way through.

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John Lennon

 

Paul McCartney: “We recorded it in the basement of Apple for ‘Let It Be’ and later did it up on the roof for the film. We went through it quite a lot for this one. I sang harmony on it, which makes me wonder if I helped with a couple of words, but I don't think so. It was John's song.”

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The Beatles- Roof Top Concert

 

Nevertheless, "Don't Let Me Down" curiously failed to make the cut for the ‘Let It Be’ album. It appears in official release only as a lowly single B-side, taken no less, from a take that sounds peculiarly muddy, and in humble opinion is not necessarily the best take that was available to them.

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The Beatles - Get Back/Don’t Let Me Down

 

The Beatles - Don't let me down


Don't let me down, don't let me down.
Don't let me down, don't let me down.

Nobody ever loved me like she does,
Ooh she does, yeah she does.
And if somebody ever loved me like she done me,
Ohh she done me, yeah she does.

Don't let me down, don't let me down.
Don't let me down, don't let me down.

I'm in love for the first time.
Don't you know it's gonna last.
It's a love that lasts forever,
It's a love that has no past.

Don't let me down, please, don't let me down.
Don't let me down, don't let me down.

And from the first time that she really done me,
Ooh she done me, she done me good.
I guess nobody ever really done me,
Ooh she done me, she done me good.

Don't let me down, don't let me down.
Don't let me down, don't let me down.

Please! Please! Please! Please!

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Fri, 29 May 2015 12:55:45 +0000
I Love Rock And Roll http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/17421-i-love-rock-and-roll.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/17421-i-love-rock-and-roll.html I Love Rock And Roll

The story of “I Love Rock N Roll” began in London England in 1975, where a band called The Arrows were trying to come up with a song for their fourth single. The Arrows recorded two songs, the titles were “Broken Down Heart” and “I Love Rock N Roll.” The band went into Morgan Studios in London in early ‘75 and recorded both songs. The Roger Ferris composition “Broken Down Heart” was worked on for many hours, and the band composed title “I Love Rock N Roll” was knocked out in a fast 45 minutes. When they were done, Mickie Most, who really wasn’t totally sold on the song from the get go, didn’t hear the energetic raw “I Love Rock N Roll” as a hit, instead putting the polished ballad “Broken Down Heart” on the A-side of the single.

I Love Rock and Roll

The Arrows lineup at the time of the recording was Alan Merrill lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, Jake Hooker on guitar, background vocals, and Paul Varley, drums, background vocals. A three piece band. The song “I Love Rock N Roll” was written by two of the Arrows band members, Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker.

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The Arrows

 

Joan Jett saw Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly television series The Arrows Show when she was touring England with The Runaways in 1976. She first recorded the song in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols: Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was not released until 1993 in Flashback. In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, The Blackhearts. This recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, effectively launching Jett’s solo career.

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Alan Merrill

 

Jett recalled to Uncut August 2010 her version with the Pistols duo: “I did a very early version with them, it was great working with them, and no, there was no sense of trepidation on my part, despite the fact that everyone was telling me they were the most notorious band on the planet.”

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Joan Jett and Sex Pistols

 

In the Billboard piece Jake Hooker denigrates his own band The Arrows original 1975 version of the song, saying: “anyone could have done it better!“ Considering he wasn’t the lead singer of The Arrows, and also that he’s made a bundle of money as a co-writer of the song, Mr. Hooker is pretty ungrateful in his whimsical dismissal of his old band The Arrows.

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Jake Hooker

 

The fact is indisputable that The Arrows version of the song impressed and inspired Joan Jett enough for her to cover it, not just once, but twice. The Arrows 1976 televised performance of the tune must have been quite an epiphany for the young Ms Jett.

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Joan Jett

 

In the original version, the lyrics are about a guy picking up a young girl and taking her home, which was fairly typical Rock and Roll subject matter. When Jett covered this, however, it became a song about a girl who notices a guy next to a jukebox and brings him home to have sex. Other hit songs also had sexual overtones, but Jett sang about aggressively pursuing the guy, which for many women made this a female-empowerment anthem. This song helped shape Jett’s image as a tough, confident rock star and became an inspiration to many female musicians.

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It’s more as if it never even occurred to Jett that a simple song about loving rock & roll and getting laid could be performed with anything less than raucous, butt-kicking, life-affirming enthusiasm. And that assumption was a revelation to many female musicians who followed Jett, particularly in the riot grrrl punk movement, which hailed Jett as a pioneer and a role model.

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I Love Rock and Roll

 

At a time when traditional female roles in popular music were being subverted, re-imagined, or flat-out junked, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” declared rock’s sweaty machismo an integral part of the music itself, there to be claimed by any performer who wanted it.

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I Love Rock and Roll

 

Before being signed by Boardwalk, Jett’s demo tape for the song was rejected by 23 record labels.

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Joan Jett

 

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - I Love Rock’N’Roll lyrics


I saw him dancin’ there by the record machine,
I knew he must have been about seventeen.
The beat was goin’ strong playin’ my favourite song.
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was with me, 
Yeah me, and I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was
With me.
Yeah me - singin’

I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.


He smiled so I got up and asked for his name,
That don’t matter he said ‘cos it’s all the same.
I said “can I take you home where we
can be alone” -
Next we were movin’ on and he was with me, yeah me,
Next we were movin’ on and he was with me, yeah me - singin’

I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.


I said “can I take you home, where we
can be alone”,
Next we were movin’ on and he was with me, yeah me,
And we’ll movin’ on and singin’ that same old song,
Yeah with me - singin’

I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.

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Arrows - first released single

 

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Sat, 07 Mar 2015 09:42:12 +0000