Video of the Week: You Can’t Do That–The Making of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

Songs You May Have Missed #660

the sensual world 

Kate Bush: “This Woman’s Work” (1988)

Written for the 1988 John Hughes film She’s Having a Baby, “This Woman’s Work” accompanies the film’s climactic scene, in which Jake (played by Kevin Bacon) learns that his wife Kristy (Elizabeth McGovern) is having life-threatening complications during childbirth.

The melancholy song’s lyrics match the subsequent montage in beautiful, heartrending fashion, and are sung from the point of view of a helpless Jake as he recalls their happy times together during what seems an interminable wait for news of his wife and baby.

Kate Bush wrote the song specifically for the film, and matched her words to visuals which had already been filmed.

A slightly edited version appeared on her album The Sensual World the next year, and when the song was released as a single it was tweaked yet again. A fourth version of the song appeared on Bush’s 2011 album Director’s Cut.

This is the original 1988 version from the She’s Having a Baby soundtrack. The film itself comes highly recommended too.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2015/11/04/songs-you-may-have-missed-566-2/

Songs You May Have Missed #659

Pete Gardiner: “Bourbon and the Truth” (2020)

And right before I wrote a song that mattered

The industry turned into glass and shattered

Video of the Week: ‘Rapper’s Delight’–Brian Williams feat Lester Holt

On a Lighter Note…(Coronavirus Edition)

james brown

Video of the Week: A Note-Perfect ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End’ from the Analogues

…and if that whets your appetite for more, or for that matter if you’re just curious to see what a live version of ‘Revolution 9’ looks like, here’s their complete live performance of The White Album–a staggering undertaking considering the diversity of the material.

Recommended Albums #79

Yacht Rock Revue: Hot Dads in Tight Jeans (2020)

When is a cover band not a cover band?

In the case of front man Nick Niespodziani and his band Yacht Rock Revue, the answer would be when after a decade your tribute to 70’s and 80’s soft rock takes on such a life of its own that it pushes aside other musical aspirations and, like it or not, you’re a dedicated career yacht rock band. Writing new and original yacht rock.

What is yacht rock? It is–or was–or actually still is, I guess, a brand of Adult Oriented Rock that had a West Coast flavor and proliferated mostly from around the mid-70’s to the early 80’s.

The term came later, like around 2005, and was meant to be a less-than-complimentary label ascribed to the music of artists such as Boz Scaggs, Toto, Styx, Player, Little River Band, Orleans, Robbie Dupree, Christopher Cross, Atlanta Rhythm Section and the Michael McDonald-era Doobie Brothers.

But the thing is: people love Boz Scaggs, Toto and the rest. They can’t get enough “Africa” and “Lido Shuffle”. And bands like Yachtley Crew and Yacht Rock Revue can seemingly make a living leading lively polyester pop singalongs and crooning ‘how long has this been going on‘ for, well, as long as they want it to go on.

The genre is too legit to quit.

revue

With artists like Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Fitz and the Tantrums and Lizzo seasoning the pop charts with retro-leaning sounds, Niespodziani and company saw this as the time to surf the nostalgia wave with a collection of new tunes that seems to fall midway between this new/old soft funk and that breezy late-70’s California sound.

Even Rolling Stone magazine has taken notice of a new pop album that–far from being a throw-away genre exercise–is actually crafted with the same care and attention to musical detail as the music it pays homage to, thanks to producer Ben Allen.

While the sax solo in “Step” might hit boomers right in the Kenny Loggins, it’s the musical equivalent of an in-joke in the context of a winning pop tune.

The flute in “Another Song About California” could evoke Firefall or Lizzo, depending who’s listening. The song has an intro that was naggingly familiar-sounding; took me a while to realize what it reminded me of: the first chords of Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone”.

As for “Bad Tequila”, I don’t know how any pop fan could find it anything but irresistible.

Yacht Rock Revue have successfully updated a genre much loved and much maligned but universally thought to be passé. And they’ve done so with a winking self-deprecation that is itself refreshing considering it’s the self seriousness of some 70’s bands (I’m looking at you, Eagles) that makes them off putting to some younger listeners.

These guys clearly don’t take themselves too seriously. But they have crafted a seriously ear-friendly pop–excuse me–yacht rock album.

 

Listen to: “Step”

 

Don’t miss: “Bad Tequila”

 

Listen to: “Another Song About California”

 

Listen to: “House in the Clouds”

Songs You May Have Missed #658

The Marshall Tucker Band: “This Ol’ Cowboy” (1974)

Though Marshall Tucker Band were usually categorized as southern rock, at their best–and they’re at their best here–they weren’t easily pigeonholed.

Tasty Toy Caldwell guitar licks, jazzy chords and a breezy vibe complement a philosophical, carefree lyric on a song that deftly straddles genres. A radio edit of “This O’ Cowboy” charted at #78 in early 1975.

Where We All Belong was a double album, with one record of new material and another featuring smoking live performance cuts.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/04/21/songs-you-may-have-missed-87/

Why the Brilliantly Cynical Music of Steely Dan Is the Perfect Quarantine Binge

(via Mel) by Tim Grierson

Global catastrophe? A spiritually sick society beyond the point of saving? Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have been waiting for this moment.

During times of chaos, it’s natural to seek some semblance of control. So it’s probably no surprise that, as the coronavirus quarantine took hold, I turned to a band I always find comforting. I can’t think of music more perfectly controlled than the roughly six hours and 10 minutes worth of songs that Steely Dan recorded. Just don’t call it easy-listening. Sure, as they evolved from an ace L.A. rock band to a precision jazz-pop unit, their tunes only grew more swinging and pretty. But beneath all that beauty were tales of killers and creeps, dudes who were into their cousins or dudes who were into women way too young for them. No amount of gorgeous saxophone solos could mask the spiritual wretchedness at the center of these songs. If this is how the world ends — with idiots ignoring warnings to practice social distancing and the rich hogging access to medical help — then I won’t be shocked. Steely Dan prepared me…

Reed more: https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/why-the-brilliantly-cynical-music-of-steely-dan-is-the-perfect-quarantine-binge

Songs You May Have Missed #657

Sports Team: “Here’s the Thing” (2020)

First: This song literally took twenty seconds to become my latest infatuation.

Second: I sent it to my Gen Z son, who responded thusly, and I quote: “The lyrics are basically the panicked cry of my generation tbh”

sports

Third: Realizing what I thought was just a fun song may actually be a generational anthem, I searched for band bio info to discover:

Sports Team have been playing huge headlining tours in England, selling out venues such as Electric Ballroom and Kentish Town Forum, were named Elle Magazine’s ‘Band to Watch’ in their March issue, had front man Alex Rice featured in British Vogue’s Top Boys, and had Annie Mac feature this particular tune on BBC Radio 1 as her Hottest Record in the World.

Folks, this is all prior to releasing their debut album, which is due next month.

And here I’ll repeat my rant/lament that so much great music receives airplay in Europe but finds no place on American pop radio, dominated as it is by mumble rap, bro country and EDM. Occasionally something fresh breaks through the gridlock of the sound-alikes, but not often enough if we’re missing out on stuff like this.

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