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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Some songs call for you to speak out & demand action. Some songs explore the deepest depths of your soul. Some songs are timeless expressions of love. This song… it just kicks ass. Humble Pie was a guitar riff machine, and Steve Marriott was 5′ 5″ of vocal dynamite. Add a trio of the finest backing singers– Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews– and you’ve got a party.

“Thunderbox” (Clemson/Marriott) Copyright 1974 Almo Music Corp/Rule One Music (ASCAP)

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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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When Alice Cooper recorded “Elected” in 1972, it was a satire about a rich, grandstanding, self-obsessed celebrity running for president. He’s a “yankee doodle dandy in a gold Rolls Royce”. We all laughed. That kind of thing could never happen in real life, right…?

“Elected” (Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith & Glen Buxton) Copyright 1973 Ezra Music Corporation, administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Some bands take time to develop a unique sound, but Queen sounded like Queen right from the beginning. “Keep Yourself Alive” was the opening track on their first album, and it contains all the requisite Queen elements: the heavy riffs & orchestrated guitars, the vocal harmonies, dramatic musical shifts and Freddie’s powerful voice. The band would go on to scale bigger heights, but the magic was there from the start. Let’s have a listen.

“Keep Yourself Alive” (Brian May) Copyright 1972 Queen Music Ltd

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Aqualung was the album that made Jethro Tull famous, and features 3 songs that became classic hits.  But the song at the heart of the album is “My God”, Ian Anderson’s very personal statement on religious institutions.  It’s the most instrumentally adventurous track on the album and features great guitar by Martin Barre and a flute workout from Anderson.

“My God” (Ian Anderson) Copyright 1971 Chrysalis Music, Ltd.

On this episode, we revisit the Destroyer album and take a look at the song “King Of The Night Time World” to see how it evolved from an obscure track by a short-lived LA band into a teenage anthem by larger-than-life rock legends.  We’ll listen to both versions and hear what changed & what remained.  Come live your secret dream!

“King Of The Nighttime World” (Kim Fowley/Mark Anthony/Paul Stanley/Bob Ezrin) Copyright 1976 Cafe Americana, Inc/Kiss Songs, Inc (ASCAP)/Bad Boy Music/Eighth Power Music/All By Myself Publishing Co Ltd. (BMI)

Why this song?  Simple: because Thin Lizzy was as good as a 4-piece rock band could be and this song has everything you want in a rockin’ song– a killer guitar riff, a singable chorus, a great hook for the lyrics, and a perfect performance.  Written by Bob Seger, Thin Lizzy took it to another level and added some of their special sauce to make this song their own.  I truly love this song!  Let me know your thoughts — write a review, leave a comment, share with your friends.

“Rosalie” (Bob Seger) Copyright 1972 Gear Publishing Co.

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

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)