These will be kinda brief for the next few weeks, as I’m writing them all at once before I leave the country for a bit.
1. Bob Dylan, “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)”. In retrospect, Blood on the Tracks was the winner in the bunch of mid-70s Dylan releases, but at the time, Desire seemed just as important. Nowadays, I don’t think anyone wants to hear “Hurricane” or “Joey”. On this track from Desire, Dylan sings with Emmylou Harris. It’s hard to find the original on YouTube, so the link is to the White Stripes cover.
2. Patti Smith, “Pumping (My Heart)”. The version on Radio Ethiopia is tight … makes your heart pump. The version on the video reminds us that the chorus revolves around the phrase “total abandon”.
3. Vicki Sue Robinson, “Turn the Beat Around”. Love to hear percussion.
4. The Andrea True Connection, “More, More, More”. True was a porn star who became a one-hit wonder. This one hit #1 on the disco charts, and she did chart with a couple of other singles, but this is what she’s remembered for.
5. Boston, “More Than a Feeling”. The very thing that made it great is what made any follow-ups so unlikely. It’s a perfect record … how do you top that? Especially when what makes it perfect isn’t anything recognizably human. It’s not a feeling, it’s more than that.
6. Klaatu, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day)”. There was a rumor this band was The Beatles under a pseudonym. The rumor was incorrect.
8. The Wild Tchoupitoulas, “Meet de Boys on the Battlefront”. They only recorded one album, less than 35 minutes of music. But it’s 35 minutes that has never grown old.
9. Johnnie Taylor, “Disco Lady”. Some songs require that you say, “They don’t write ‘em like that anymore”. “Move it in, move it out, shove it in round, disco lady.”
10. David Bowie, “Stay”. Arguably my favorite Bowie track of all time. I’ve never paid enough attention to the lyrics to know what it’s about, and I can’t tell which guitar is Carlos Alomar and which is Earl Slick. Don’t care, either.