Let’s give some overdue respect to a band of 4 great players who knew how to rock. Here’s a guitar-driven update on an old blues classic, from one of the best live albums of the ’70’s. As a bonus, we take a side trip to explore the origins of a familiar guitar riff.

“Honey Hush” (Lou Willie Turner) Copyright 1963 Unichappell Music Inc

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I’ll happily go out on a limb and say Deep Purple was THE hard rock band of the ’70’s. They could shift from monster guitar riffs to complex classical-influenced passages to outright improvised jams– all within one song. Built around a trio of top-of-their-game players (guitar, organ & drums), with a series of distinctive, powerful singers & bassists — the lineup changes so iconic they became known as Deep Purple Mark I, Mark II, Mark III, etc. This episode, we’ll break down the classic Mark III track, “Burn”, and listen to all the ingredients in this witch’s brew.

“Burn” (Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Jon Lord and Ian Paice) Copyright 1974 Purple (USA) Music

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There’s never been any shortage of drama with Fleetwood Mac… long before the soap opera of Rumours, there was the psychodrama of Peter Green (and Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan…). The saga of how Peter Green– one of the brightest guitarists to come out of ’60’s Britain, right up there with Clapton/Beck/Page– was lost to a drug-fueled spiritual black hole is one of the great “if only…” tales in Rock History. When he passed away in July 2020, I knew it was time to tackle a Green-era Mac classic… I just had to gin up the courage to revisit the nightmare that awaits in “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)”

“The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)” (Peter Green) Copyright 1970 Palan Music Publishing Ltd.

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It Came From Boston (Vol. 3): MIT graduate/Polaroid employee Tom Scholz recorded an album’s worth of songs in his basement in Watertown, MA after work, and somehow the record eventually sold 25 million copies worldwide. Along with Brad Delp, Sib Hashian and some other guys (maybe?), were they the inventors of Corporate Rock or the most successful DIY debut of all time? You decide.

“Hitch A Ride” (Tom Scholz) Copyright 1976 Pure Songs – All Rights Administered  by WB Music Corp.

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If you know Richard Lloyd at all, it’s either as a member of Television (the first band to play CBGB’s) or as the guitarist on many of Matthew Sweet’s best tracks.  But Richard released some great solo work in between those gigs, including an album called Field Of Fire.  Overlooked & forgotten, this is one of the best records of the 1980’s (in my opinion, of course).  The title song features some of his best ever guitar work.

On this episode, we’re listening to a great rockin’ track called “Backtrack” that’s as close to “classic rock” as Richard Lloyd will ever get– and I mean that in the best possible way.  Keith Richards would be proud of this guitar riff.

“Backtrack” (Richard Lloyd) Copyright 1985 Richard Lloyd (ASCAP) Anapestic Music/Basement Music LTD. (PRS)

Welcome to the 25th episode of the “I’m In Love With That Song” Podcast!  I thought we’d do something a little different for this episode: I’ve picked a handful of my favorite guitar solos and we’ll take a listen to what I think makes a solo great.  In my book, it doesn’t have to be flashy or technically brilliant (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but it does have to be memorable, it has to fit the song, and it should take the song to another level. 

I’m not saying these are the greatest solos of all time, they’re just a few that I think are pretty special.  So turn it up to 11 and put your guitar face on!

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)

Adrian Belew is best known as a brilliant sideman & guitar foil (Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads) and a member of King Crimson, but most people are unaware of his “band on the side”, The Bears.  The other 3 members are no slouches either– this was really a band of 4 equal members that could all write great songs.  The Bears blend Art-Rock and Power Pop in their own distinctive way.  This song features lead vocals by 3 members, and packs plenty of substance & meaning into a 4:53 pop song.  If you’re unfamiliar with The Bears, this song provides a great entry point.

“As You Are” (The Bears) Copyright 2001 Car Caught Fire Music/ASCAP