I’ve said it before, this is the greatest of rock songs. Passion, euphemism, nursery melodies, giant drums, go-go dancers, and a sax solo. Case closed.
Category Archives: Great Songs
If You Don’t Know Me By Now
Tony Allen is Dead.
Tony Allen is drumming on this, maybe Fela and Afrika 70’s greatest song.
John Prine, Sam Stone
Voices of East Harlem, Shaker Life
Miles Davis and John Coltrane and Wynton Kelly and Paul Chambers and Billy Cobb, So What
This is jazz, recorded live in 1960 in Sweden. So What is a classic jazz cut, the first track on Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. It is the kind of music that even if you think you haven’t heard it, you’ve heard it.
This live performance from Sweden is a classic demonstration of jazz and why. Fantastic performers, all five of them, take the tune and turn it into something huger. Yeah, that’s the best word I can come up with. Huger. A better word than amazing, but that, too.
If you want to check out the original album cut, which is great, too, here it is.
Wikipedia note: The actor Dennis Hopper at some point claimed that the name of the song came from a philosophical conversation Hopper had with Davis, during which Davis would say something and Hopper would say, So what?
I’m not much of a Clapton fan. As a matter of fact, anything he did in the past 25 years I likely don’t know.
But there’s a new Showtime doc on Clapton that you guys are bound to run into pretty soon. I stumbled into it and was interested enough to stick with it from about Cream through the middle of Clapton horndogging after George Harrison’s wife. Switched to the local news then, but I recorded it to watch the rest of what I want to later.
Anyway, Clapton went to see the Allmans. which led to the recording of Layla, of course. What struck me was a quote from Duane Allman saying something like, “I played the Gibson all the way through and he played the Fender all the way through.”
The movie then plays the Allman Layla guitar track naked and I never realized how much that gritty Gibson undertune contributes to the greatness of the song.
Forgive me if this is common knowledge to the Dave Marshers. I point it out because the Dave Marshers usually point out stuff like lyrics and jazz.
I’ve always been a Gibson man.
Wish I had the naked Allman track, but the best I can do is the whole song. Hopefully you can pick out the Gibson base guitar part (not bass guitar part). Watch the movie.
By the way, this is a funny “greatest guitar solo”, which starts closer to four minutes in than the 3:40 as advertised. But also fun, and swinging.
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, 1969
The subject applies to so many things these days, but of course the subject is the name of a song. A Rolling Stones’ song.
It is a Rolling Stones’ song from the days of Andrew Loog Oldham, Brian Jones, and Nanker Phelge, attributed to Jagger-Richards. Recorded in 1965, it was the Stones’ first No. 1 hit. Mick Jagger said the song is the one that made the Stones different than other bands. He’s surely right, at least up to a point a few years later.
So it isn’t amazing or anything that the Stones played this song at their 1969 shows at Madison Square Garden. These shows became the meat of Get Yer Ya Yas Out, one of the great live albums of all time.
But what I found tonight was the video of the Stones playing the song at the Garden during those Ya Yas shows, mostly because I was looking for Janis Joplin things and she was standing beside the stage that night.
The original is a riff-based song where the music totally propels the satirical lyrics.
This live version introduces Mick Taylor to the band, and the results are not surprisingly magical. What is old becomes new. This doesn’t diminish the brilliance of what Mick and Keith started, and Brian Jones arranged, but how awesome to add lovely guitar solos!
I hadn’t heard this before. If you have, please be patient. I’m not saying it’s the best version. But it is a fantastic version by a band operating at peak effect.
And Janis Joplin, how I got here, is standing in the crowd.
We’ve talked about them but not enough. They’re every bit as good the Beatles and the Stones and the Dolls and Howlin Wolf. The truest mark of greatness is that it keeps revealing. As it happens I have a dead speaker, which means I only hear one channel. Listening to Roxy with only one channel is amazing. What a band, including every single bass player, and there’s a different great one on every album. I mean, check out the bass on this, not to mention everything else. I also believe that Ferry writes lyrics to match anyone’s, including this song if only because he’s “growing potatoes by the score.”