By the time Aerosmith recorded their 2nd album, they had refined their sound, improved their songwriting chops, and Steven Tyler had found his authentic voice.  “Seasons Of Wither” is one of the moodiest tracks Aerosmith ever committed to vinyl.  Still sounds every bit as great today.

“Seasons Of Wither” (Steven Tyler) Copyright 1977 Music Of Stage Three and Song & Dance

Do we expect too much from music?  A great song can do a lot, but it can’t fix everything.  This song is 2 minutes of joy… sometimes, that’s enough.

“Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” (James August Wilbur, Jonathan Patrick Wurster, Laura Jane Ballance, Ralph Lee Mccaughan) Copyright 2013 All The Songs Sound The Same Music

Welcome to 2019!  Let’s start the year off with one of the Greatest Rock Bands Of All Time. There is simply no other band like The Who.  Genius and violence, vulnerability and madness… all words that can be used in equal measure to describe The Who.  Four larger-than-life characters that created a dozen indelible classic albums; a band that recorded so much great music that a song like this was tossed aside, eventually released on a ramshackle album of leftovers & outtakes.  Most bands would give an arm & a leg for a song this good.

“The Naked Eye” (Peter Townshend) Copyright 1974 Fabulous Music Ltd/Towser Tunes Inc.

On this special Bonus podcast, I thought I’d put together a short little episode and play a favorite holiday song. It’ll be a new “I’m In Love With That Song Podcast” tradition! So let’s start with a great track from The Kinks. Happy Holidays, everyone! 

“Father Christmas” (Ray Davies) Copyright 1977 Davray Music Limited, Sony/ATV Music Publishing

His career spanned over 60 years; he toured around the world (playing 200 shows a year, well into his 70’s), and released more than 50 albums.  But B.B. King will be remembered primarily as one of the most influential guitarists in history.  His impact is so embedded in the DNA of the guitar that no player is untouched by his influence.

This is one of many great songs in his vast catalog; a great example of his powerful voice, his ability to embody a song, and his mastery as a guitar soloist.

“There Must Be A Better World Somewhere” (Doc Pomus & Dr. John) Copyright 1981 Daremolby Music/Stazybo Music, Inc. (BMI)

Graham Parker arose from the UK Pub Rock scene, a back-to-basics sound that was a precursor to Punk.  Along with his band, The Rumour (which included guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, a legend in his own right), he recorded a handful of essential albums in the ’70’s and has released a string of great records throughout his long career.  A notable songwriter with a distinct edge and a wonderfully biting voice, he’s influenced many artists that followed.  Here’s one song that represents everything I love about Graham Parker.  

“Stupefaction” (Graham Parker) Copyright 1980 Street Music

When the band released their first 2 albums in 1968 & 1969, they set off a musical revolution; the psychedelic sounds of the ’60’s were out and a return to the roots was back in style.  “Whispering Pines” is their most haunting, beautiful ballad, with a lead vocal from Richard Manuel that’s so vulnerable it makes you ache to hear it.  The Band were at their peak during this time, with every member writing & performing at their best.  Let me know what you think — write a review, leave a comment, and share with your friends!

“Whispering Pines” (R. Manuel and J.R. Robertson) Copyright 1970 Canaan Music, Inc.

I will admit that I can be prone to hyperbole, but I’m convinced this is The Best Album Of The 1980’s and one of the greatest albums of all time.  It is a perfect album.  A magnificent song cycle that reveals something new each time you listen to it.  A masterwork of songwriting and production.  I could go on…

This song is a blast of pure pop; catchy, clever and concise– 3 minutes and 20 seconds of pop genius.  It will make you smile.

NOTE: During the podcast, I reference “The Fool Guitar”.  More details on that legendary instrument can be found here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fool_(guitar)

“That’s Really Super, Supergirl” (Andy Partridge) Copyright 1986 Virgin Nymph Music, Inc (BMI) – Copyright 2010 Ape House Ltd

Forget talking about “women who rock”, Sass Jordan is one of the best rock vocalists out there, male OR female.  This Canadian singer & songwriter is not well known in the USA, which is a shame because she’s got a voice that’s unique, powerful and compelling.  This song is from her 1994 album, “Rats”, which is her hardest-rocking album (and, in my opinion, her best).  Check out this song, then go find more music by Sass Jordan.  And don’t forget to share & leave comments!

“Head” (Sass Jordan & Stevie Salas) Copyright 1994 WB Music Corp/Cat Sass Music/Green Lantern Music (ASCAP)/Songs Of Polygram International Inc. and Salidified Songs (BMI)

One of the most underappreciated bands in rock.  Undaunted by the ups & downs of the fickle music business, Cheap Trick have played over 5000 shows and released 20 albums, including “Rockford” in 2006, one of their best albums ever.  I could’ve picked any song from this album– it’s that good– but I settled on “If It Takes A Lifetime”.  If you don’t have this album in your collection, don’t wait– Go get it now.

“If It Takes A Lifetime” (Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, Rick Neilsen, Bun E. Carlos & Julian Raymond) Copyright Z.P.N.&C./Sony/ATV (BMI) and Maxiva (ASCAP)