Tag Archives: 1969

Bob Dylan – Lay, Lady, Lay (1969)

YouTube – Spotify – iTunes – Discogs

Bob Dylan wrote the grammatically incorrect ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’ for the John Schlesinger movie Midnight Cowboy, but it had stiff competition. Harry Nilsson‘s award-winning ‘Everybody’s Talkin” was ultimately selected as the film’s ubiquitous theme. Instead, Dylan fans were treated to the song on release of his 1969 album Nashville Skyline.

Tagged ,

The Harry J All Stars ‎- Liquidator (1969)

YouTubeSpotifyiTunesDiscogs

A year after producing the riddim ‘Cuss Cuss’ with singer Lloyd Robinson, Jamaican-born Harry Johnson broadened his audience further with the success of ‘Liquidator’. This time it was his session band The Harry J All Stars that left an indelible mark; and more specifically the organ work of Winston Wright on what quickly became a rocksteady/reggae standard. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , , , , ,

The Beatles ‎- Carry That Weight (1969)

YouTubeSpotifyiTunesDiscogs

I got into a conversation last weekend about The Beatles. A friend dismissed all of their works. Like sun and chocolate, I still assume that there must be some situations in which you like the aforementioned. Looking back at the songs that I’ve featured on this blog, I can see that there is an off-the-beaten-track theme to my selections: ‘The Fool On The Hill‘, ‘Sun King‘, ‘Sexy Sadie‘, ‘Now And Then‘, and arguably ‘Across The Universe‘. So continuing this trend (and in hope that I can help convert the insane), I give you ‘Carry That Weight’. Like ‘Sun King’, it forms part of the Abbey Road medley during which songs meld into one another. In fact, ‘Golden Slumbers’ and ‘Carry That Weight’ are essentially one song and the latter clearly flows from ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’. They were evidently reiterating a point before they split, but it didn’t hamper the incredible sound that they were able to capture in the studio as a creative team.

Tagged ,

Massimo Ranieri ‎- Se Bruciasse La Città (1969)

YouTubeSpotifyiTunesDiscogs

Good morning. A touch of Napoli to kick things off his week. ‘Se Bruciasse La Città’ was part of a string of hits that Massimo Ranieri enjoyed in 1969. Mediterranean guitar, Italian passion and a northern soul beat … it puts a smile on my face. Have a good week.

Tagged ,

Toots And The Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number (1969)

YouTubeSpotifyiTunesDiscogs

Good morning. I only learnt this weekend that Toots Hibbert has recently passed. With his band The Maytals, he created some of the most indelible sounds of reggae, including ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘Monkey Man’, ‘Funky Kingston’ and the band’s relatively recent cover version of Radiohead’s ‘Let Down’. In fact, Hibbert coined the term “reggae”. Just as he was about to tour Europe with his new sound, he was was arrested for possession of marijuana and imprisoned. Hibbert wrote this song about this ordeal. ’54-46 Was My Number’ is a more upbeat version of ’54-46 (That’s My Number)’ originally released on the Beverley’s label a year earlier. Have a great week.

Tagged , , , ,

Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well (1969)

YouTube – Spotify – iTunesDiscogs

Before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, ‘Oh Well’ was the only Fleetwood Mac song that created a ripple in the U.S. Penned by the late great Peter Green, it was one of his last contributions to the band before he became another casualty of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. Well actually, it wasn’t so much the sex and rock’n’roll that caused his breakdown in 1970. Until then, he’d had a great run as a revered guitarist with impeccable credentials, having replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before forming Fleetwood Mac in 1967. The stop and start technique of ‘Oh Well’ inspired Jimmy Page to do the same thing on ‘Black Dog’. Now that’s influence. R.I.P. Peter Green, who died on Saturday. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , ,

Evie Sands – Any Way That You Want Me (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

I short changed regular viewers of this blog in this strangest of weeks. So…

In 1969, Evie Sands finally notched a hit with ‘Any Way That You Want Me’, the title track off her LP that year. In the preceding years, she had endured a lot of bad luck. Brooklyn-born Sands was gifted a soulful voice and secured a recording contract with the Blue Cat label in 1965. Her debut single ended up in the courts when Chess Records put out the same song; her follow-up ‘I Can’t Let Go’ was drowned out by the litigation before being more successfully covered by the Hollies. So she moved to Cameo Records, released the single ‘Angel of the Morning’ and then the label went bankrupt. By 1970, with a hit under her belt, she quit while ahead and moved into songwriting.

Tagged ,

Moondog – Lament I, “Bird’s Lament” (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

From one pioneer to another. It may only be 1min 53secs long, but Moondog’s ‘Lament I, “Bird’s Lament”‘ is an avant-garde jazz masterpiece. Louis Thomas Hardin lost his sight at the age of 17 in an accident involving a dynamite cap. As Moondog, he wrote most of his music in braille –  it did not hold him back. ‘Bird’s Lament’ features on his eponymous album, which he released in 1969.

Tagged , ,

David Axelrod – The Human Abstract (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Before DJ Shadow and Lil Wayne successfully sampled the sounds of David Axelrod, listening to his music may have been unnecessarily limited to the cool kids of jazz. The slow, ascending piano of ‘The Human Abstract’ presents the listener with a journey into a sea of strings. It’s a timely dose of midweek jazz junk.

Tagged , , , ,

Love – Always See Your Face (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Another song that has been used to great effect on screen is Love’s Always See Your Face. It closed the band’s (or more factually it was really Arthur Lee’s) 1969 album Four Sail; it later featured in the 2000 film High Fidelity alongside John Cusack, helping him with a bout of misery; and then took a bow on the sountrack of this year’s sublime Once Upon A Time In Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino.

Tagged , , , , ,

Cream – Badge (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Eric Clapton co-wrote ‘Badge’ with his pal George Harrison. And as with their earlier collaboration on the Beatles’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, the pair swap guitar lines. ‘Badge’ ended up being Cream’s last charting single, never peaking above no.18 in the UK and no. 60 in the US. How is that possible?

Tagged , , ,

The Velvet Underground – Pale Blue Eyes (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

And now for the come-down… three months after The Stones were chanting in ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, The VU released ‘Pale Blue Eyes’. It featured on the their self-titled third studio album. It was the first recording after John Cale’s departure from the band. Linger on…

Tagged ,

The Beatles – Something (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

‘Something’ was written by George Harrison. John Lennon felt it was the best track on Abbey Road. If that wasn’t high praise enough, it was also Frank Sinatra’s favourite Beatles song and one of those sounds that put this Sceptred Isle on top of the world of pop music. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , , ,

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

And now for a slight change of style… Joni Mitchell’s 1969 album Clouds was a breakthrough work for the singer-songwriter. It featured two of her standards ‘Chelsea Morning’ and ‘Both Sides Now’. The truth is that I prefer a number of cover versions of the former; not so for ‘ Both Sides Now’ and its ice cream castles in the air. Have a great weekend.

Tagged ,

Crosby, Stills & Nash – Helplessly Hoping (1969)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

In May 1969, Atlantic Records released Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s self-titled debut album. A  month later, they released “Marrakesh Express” as the supergroup’s debut single. Its B-side, was the alliterate ‘Helplessly Hoping’, the achingly beautiful song penned Stephen Stills.

Tagged , , , , ,