Songs You May Have Missed #524


The Kinks: “Apeman” (1971)

It only peaked at #45 on the pop charts in 1971, but for my money this is one of the great rock songs of all time.

The desire to escape the everyday routine was a perennial theme in the songwriting of Ray Davies (see below).

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Microtonal Guitar, Anyone?

Video of the Week: Wheel of Musical Impressions with Christina Aguilera

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What Song Was Number One on your Birthday?


Enter any date on the above site to find the #1 song on that date.

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Songs You May Have Missed #523


The Moody Blues: “The Actor” (1968)

Outside the loyal circle of Moody Blues fanatics (the ones who’ve helped them remain an in-demand touring entity to this day despite the lack of a top 40 single since 1988) the band’s reputation is built on but a small handful of songs–songs such as “Tuesday Afternoon”, “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)”, “Your Wildest Dreams” and, most especially, “Night in White Satin”.

But the transcendent grandeur of 1968 album track “The Actor” is surpassed by nothing in their catalogue, not even the aforementioned “Nights”. This is the sound that won them such adulation that they felt the need to remind their legions of American fans that they were “just singers in a rock and roll band”.

If this whets your appetite, the seven albums this band’s classic lineup released between 1967-72 with mellotron ace Mike Pinder and flutist Ray Thomas still in the fold could not come more highly recommended.

Pure ecstasy.

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Songs You May Have Missed #522


Marmalade: “I See the Rain” (1967)

Some things just don’t travel across the pond well. Artists like Dan Fogelberg and John Denver never had a Top 40 single in the UK. And bands like Madness and Small Faces, who were significant hit makers in England, somehow missed the boat, as it were, when it came to success here. Cliff Richard was a monster in England: fourteen #1 singles, his first in 1959. In America he was a virtual non-entity until “Devil Woman” went to #6 in 1976, and he never charted any higher here. ABBA had nine #1’s in England to only one in the US (sadly, “Dancing Queen”). Remember Take That? I didn’t think so. While they topped the British singles chart eleven times, they were a one-hit wonder to us with “Back For Good” in 1995.

Scotland’s Marmalade (called The Marmalade on some record labels) only hit the American Top 40 one time, with their transcendent “Reflections of My Life” in 1970. But both before and after it they produced music that fans of the Kinks, the Zombies, Badfinger and similar bands will surely appreciate.

“I See the Rain” is a great lost psych nugget with some fine harmonies (Graham Nash guested on the session) that sounds like a standout Badfinger album track. Jimi Hendrix called this the best song of 1967–a year that didn’t lack for great songs. Despite the fact that the single never charted in either the UK or the US, it’s attained a degree of cult status in latter years.

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