Tag Archives: 1970

The Velvet Underground ‎- Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ (1970)

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I’ve got a dose of post-holiday blues. Oh my, Oh! Sweet Nuthin’. This song features on Loaded, The Velvet Underground’s last real long player. Lou Reed narrates the story of poor Jimmy Brown, the homeless Ginger Brown, the street cat Polly May, and the love-lost Joanna Love. I’ve always thought of this song as a thing of beauty and misery. However, the sound does kick into a drum-led celebration of sorts. Moe Tucker was off on maternity leave and so Doug Yule did a very good job filling in on drums, leading the band to the song’s climax.

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The Stooges ‎- Down On The Street (1970)

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Mornin’ folks. Let’s get this week off to a big start. ‘Down On The Street’ is the opening salvo off The Stooges 1970 album Fun House. The sound exploded off the vinyl, marking a louder, rawer, more live sound for the band. The power certainly suited the charms of Iggy Pop, all maniacal grunts and yelps. Have a great week.

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Wilson Pickett – Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You (1970)

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It’s not a ‘Land Of 100 Dances’ or ‘In The Midnight Hour’, but the equally classic ‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’. The song was written by The Formations (Jerry Akines, Victor Drayton, Johnnie Bellmon and Reginald Turner) but Wilson Pickett’s version was its first release as a  7″ single. And what a single?! Pressed on Atlantic Records, it also featured the funky ‘Ain’t No Doubt About It’ on its flipside. ‘Don’t Let The Green Grass …’ has since been covered by many fans of Pickett, including The (Detroit) Spinners, Huey Lewis and The California Honeydrops.

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Alice Coltrane – Turiya And Ramakrishna (1970)

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John Coltrane’s second wife was Alice Coltrane née Alice McLeod. Alice was able to establish herself in her own right as a talented composer and performer. None more so than on the Astral Jazz album Ptah, the El Daoud. More specifically, listen to her late-night piano solo on ‘Turiya and Ramakrishna’. Soothing jazz and blues to take us into the weekend. Have a good one.

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Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed (1970)

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An oldie but a goldie… ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Paul McCartney. McCartney recorded his eponymous album during a period of depression following John Lennon’s announcement in 1969 that he was leaving the Beatles. This song is dedicated the song to his wife Linda, who had helped him get through those dark days that led to the break-up.

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Eric Burdon & War – Spill The Wine (1970)

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Ex-Animals frontman Eric Burdon sang the lead on ‘Spill the Wine’. The song was released as a single in May 1970  and was War’s first chart hit. Paul Thomas Anderson used in the movie Boogie Nights as part of a pool party scene. R.I.P. Burt.

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The Beatles – Across The Universe (1970)

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The Beatles’s ‘Across The Universe’ off 1970’s ‘Across The Universe’.

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The Kinks – Strangers (1970)

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Beloved by diehard Kinks fans, ‘Strangers’ featured on their 1970 LP Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, but was never released as a single. The Dave Davies line “If I live too long, I’m afraid I’ll die” was inspired by his old school friend George Harris. They were going to start a band, but Harris succumbed to bad habits and eventually died of a meth overdose. “Strangers on this road we are on/we are not two we are one.”

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Clarence Carter – Patches (1970)

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He’s had a long career, but I am not too familiar with Clarence Carter’s canon. However, the title track off his 1970 album Patches is a classic. Have a great weekend.

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The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child (1970)

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At about the same time that The Jackson 5 were making waves, the first family of soul, The Five Stairsteps, released the song ‘O-o-h Child’.  The family were Betty and Clarence Burke Sr.’s five children: Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis and Keni. Maybe it’s just me, but that earworm chorus, the drum rhythm and the singing siren (at roughly a minute in) make me wonder why this disc only sold a million copies. Have a great weekend.

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Black Sabbath – Iron Man (1970)

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Containing one of rock’s greatest guitar riff, ‘Iron Man’ is hard rock personified. Tony Iommi’s riff is slow tempo, mind-blowing and apocalyptic. You won’t like the Iron Man when he’s angry. He featured at the end of the first side of their second album, Paranoid.

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Sixto Rodriguez – Jane S Piddy (1970)

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While George Harrison was knocking out the hits that he’d been holding back, Sixto Rodriguez was recording his talent for tomorrow. Not at all popular in 1970, Rodriguez would be rightly rediscovered 30 years later. ‘Jane S Piddy’ is off the singer-songwriter’s debut album Cold Fact.

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George Harrison – Isn’t It A Pity (1970)

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Coldplay and Chris Martin will always be under represented on this blog, but I’ll give him his dues. When suffering a touch of writers’ block, Martin reached for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. As he sat at the piano trying to play ‘Isn’t It A Pity’, he accidentally found the chord that became ‘The Scientist’. Fine song that it is, it is a pale imitation.

 

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Led Zeppelin – Friends (1970)

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Another track that sticks out for its disquieting string arrangement is ‘Friends’ off Led Zeppelin III. By 1970 had no shortage of pomp. Having returned from an exhausting tour of the US, the band retreated to Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in the Dyfi Valley. Hats off to John Paul Jones. The bass player took the tranquility of their setting and created a string arrangement that would open a creative door – a precursor to ‘Kashmir’.

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Jorge Ben – Oba, Lá Vem Ela (1970)

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Now if there’s a cult instrument that I like even more than the cowbell, it’s the monkey sound of the cuíca drum. Enter Jorge Ben’s ‘Oba, Lá Vem Ela’ off his 1970 pressing Fôrça Bruta. Throw in some sweeping strings and what you have is heaven. Jorge Ben, you are the man.

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