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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Here’s the first episode of a new series that we’ll be exploring occasionally here on the “I’m In Love With That Song” Podcast. I’m always interested to hear about music that made a big impact on other people’s lives; in this series, I’m inviting some fellow podcasters and friends in the music industry to discuss an album that shaped their lives in some way.

For this first episode, Podcaster Extraordinaire Eric Miller joins us to talk about Living Color’s “Vivid”. And I discuss one of my influential albums, “Anthology” by Sly & The Family Stone. Hope you enjoy the conversation!

The Ohio Players paid their dues for 15 years before their first #1 Top 100 hit, but by then, they were on fire (pun intended). Built on an incessant groove that won’t quit, they brought heavy funk to the top of the pop charts. On this episode, we take a look at all the elements that make up this funky classic.

“Fire” (Ralph Middlebrooks, Marshall Jones, Leroy Bonner, Clarence Satchell, Willie Beck & Marvin Pierce) Copyright 1974 Play One Music and Segundo Suenos Music

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What’s the difference between a “riff” and a “lick”? Between “reverb” and “slapback echo”? We try not to get too technical on this podcast, but occasionally some listeners will get stumped by some of the terminology. So for our 75th episode, I thought I’d explain some of the terms we use on this show– and why it’s necessary to have this “language” to begin with. (Because there’s no sheet music notation for “fuzz tone”.)

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Every once in a while you hear a song by a band you’ve never heard of and it knocks you out. This was one of those songs for me. A band from Ireland came out of nowhere (as far as the USA is concerned), got some radio play with a great song, and then is largely forgotten here. Same ol’ story. Should’a been a big hit, if ya ask me. But what do I know? Listen to this track along with me and see if you love it as much as I do.

“Hello Hello Hello Hello Hello (Petrol)” (Written by Something Happens) Copyright 1990 Virgin Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

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Sometimes, when times are tough and it seems like the world’s against you, a song like this can keep you going. A stunning mix of jangling guitars, sparkling harmony vocals, and a heart-wrenching lead vocal by Alex Chilton, this is my favorite song from my favorite album by the band often referred to as “the greatest band you’ve never heard”.

“The Ballad Of El Goodo” (Alex Chilton & Chris Bell) Copyright 1972 Ardent/Koala Music Inc/Birdees Music Corp./Irving Music Inc USA

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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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Merry Clayton never had a big hit, but her voice can be heard in dozens of songs you know (we’ve listened to one of them here before– see episode #42). One of the legendary background singers profiled in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, most of her solo work is largely unknown– which is a shame, because there’s some great music on those albums. Take this example from her first album, Gimme Shelter. Merry takes this James Taylor classic to a whole new place, one of my favorite cover songs of all time.

“Country Road” (James Taylor) Copyright 1970 Blackwood Music Inc./Country Road Music Inc. (BMI)

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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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