A Robyn Hitchcock song is so unique, it could only come from the mind of Robyn Hitchcock. From his first recordings with The Soft Boys in the ’70’s through to his solo work today, Robyn is a singular artist with a vision all his own. This is a track from my favorite Hitchcock album, Element Of Light.  

“Airscape” (Robyn Hitchcock) Copyright 1986 August 23rd/Bug Music

As mentioned during the podcast – the Glass Harmonica:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_harmonica

— My podcast is just one of many great music-related shows on the Pantheon network. Check ’em out!

On this episode, we revisit the great ’70’s hard rock/power pop album Attention Shoppers! by Starz. “X-Ray Spex” is a blast of punky pop with some interesting use of studio effects. Turn it up!

“X-Ray Spex” (Peter Sweval, Joe X. Dube, Michael Lee Smith, Brendan Harkin & Richie Ranno) Copyright 1978 Starzongo Music, Inc/Rock Steady Music, Inc/ASCAP

Michael Carpenter is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer & engineer from Australia who, in a better world, would be a lot more famous. A master of hooks & harmony, he’s one of the best modern power pop artists out there. Here’s a track that’s a personal favorite of mine. Check it out & then go buy some of his music. 

“Kailee Anne” (Michael Carpenter) Copyright 2000 Michael Carpenter; Copyright 2000 Not Lame Recording Company

After a few longer-than-usual episodes, I thought it was time for a quick take on a straight-forward rocker with a premise not often heard in rock, pop, metal or rap — Graham Day & The Gaolers (pronounced “Jailers”) with “Glad I’m Not Young”.

“Glad I’m Not Young” (Graham Day) Copyright 2008 Graham Day (MCPS)

70 years ago this month (June 2019), George Orwell’s “1984” was first published.  So let’s give George an ol’ Rock & Roll salute by looking at one of the many songs inspired by his book.  Sure, I could’ve done David Bowie’s “1984”, but that would be too easy.  I’m a big Utopia fan, so this is a good excuse to take a look at another one of their tracks.  It’s Utopia in dystopia!

For more 1984-inspired songs, check out Eurythmics “Ministry of Love”, Radiohead’s “2+2=5”, or “Standards” by The Jam, just to name a few.

“Winston Smith Takes It On The Jaw” (Utopia) Copyright 1983 Unearthly Music/Fiction Music (BMI) Terrestrial Music/Fourth Floor Music (ASCAP)

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)

This is the episode where I try to explain why I think Todd Rundgren’s “Cliché” is the most beautiful song ever written.  Of course it’s all subjective, but I don’t know how anyone could deny the beauty and emotional resonance of this song.  I probably can’t do it justice, but here’s my attempt anyway.

“Cliché” (Todd Rundgren) Copyright 1976 Warner Publishing Corp.

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

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