‘The Meaning Of Love’ features on Steve Kuhn’s self-titled 1971 long player. While the album is a little experimental, the tempo of this song is simply beautiful. Have a great weekend.
Finishing the week on a very high note, ‘Moonlight Mile’ is an astonishing song. It closes The Rolling Stones’s definitive 1971 album Sticky Fingers on a sombre yet euphoric note. Listen to the those gorgeous string and piano arrangements in the second half. The Stones’ next record Exile On Main St. would continue and expand the sound established here. Have a great weekend.
After over 6 years of daily blogging, you don’t get many more opportunities to post your favourite songs of all time. ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ is from Leonard Cohen’s third album, Songs of Love and Hate, released in 1971. It’s a about a love triangle between Jane, Leonard, his “brother”/his “killer”. The famous blue raincoat in question is a Burberry that Cohen bought in London in the late 1950s. A slightly less cool fact is about that hook line that accompanies the lyric “Jane came by with a lock of your hair, she said…”. It is identical to the one used by writers Hammond and Bayer Sager for the chorus on Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’. It still makes me mad.
For me, the climactic finish to The Who’s classic album Who’s Next is all about Pete Townsend. Firstly, there’s his decision to use the synthesizer throughout, and then, his delivery of the most awesome power chords… sweeeet. Even Roger Daltrey could only scream. In 1971, these guys were on fire. Have a great weekend.
Rather later than normal, I bring you Bob Marley & The Wailers. The sounds helps soothe the sickness that’s pestered me for the last couple of days. “I Like It Like, I Like It Like.” ‘Don’t Rock My Boat’ was originally released in 1968 in a rocksteady style. By 1971, the group had hooked up with Lee Perry and resurrected the track with a stripped back sound and Marley’s new-found soul. This version of the track first appeared on their Soul Revolution album.
Now for the sound of some old school soul. In 1971, the Coasters had a minor hit with Leiber and Stoller’s ‘Love Potion No. 9’, a song about an aphrodisiac bought from a gypsy with a gold-capped tooth. The cheeky lyrics must have caused a bit of a stir back in 1959 when the song originally penned. Have a great weekend and don’t kiss everything you see.
Better known as Baby Huey, James Ramey was the front man to The Babysitters. He was just 26 years old when he died in 1970. The long player The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend was released posthumously on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in 1971. Produced by Mayfield, the album featured ‘Hard Times’ – a track that’s up there with the Superfly’s best as one of the most influential and sampled slices of deep funk. Have a great weekend.
There’s going to be a certain groove to this week, prior to the festivities of next. When a couple of Miles Davis collaborators, jazz guitarist John McLaughlin and foremost fusion drummer Billy Cobham got together with keyboard pioneer Jan Hammer, they created something quite mind-blowing. ‘You Know, You Know’ features on jazz-rock album The Inner Mounting Flame. The workout was notably sampled by Massive Attack (‘One Love’) and Mos Def (‘Kalifornia’). Billy Cobham was a drumming machine before such things existed.
Featuring on the gloriously plotted album Naturally, J.J. Cale’s ‘Magnolia’ may not be as well known as ‘After Midnight’, but it is as good. Many successive acts have included hymns to Cale is their sets, including a straight cover of this song by Jeff Beck, and much of the more Appalachian output of Lambchop.
1971 was a melting pot. Across the board, there was a fusion of genres. It was also was the year that Booker T. & the M.G.s released their last album on Stax with their classic lineup – bassist Duck Dunn, drummer Al Jackson Jr., guitar hero Steve Cropper and the hammondmeister Booker T. Jones. The album opens with its title cut – a swirling jazz funk workout. Despite the eight-minute length, the quick fade leaves a void. Glorious stuff! (MOMENT ALERT: Jackson’s drums at 2:33 quickly followed by Booker T’s hammond crescendo.)
‘Me And My Woman’ completes Roy Harper’s breakthrough album Stormcock, released on EMI. 1971 was the year of Led Zeppelin IV, Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Pink Floyd’s Meddle. Despite the high bar, Stormcock stands cheek by jowl with its formidable contemporaries. Harper’s sound manages to be both acoustic and progressive. And as if you needed any more proof than this song, Joanna Newsom and Fleet Foxes have spoken of the influence that the album has had on their work. What’s more, the first part sounds more than a little like Radiohead’s ‘How To Disappear Completely’.