This is definitely one of Mudhoney’s best songs, worthy of being on Superfuzz Bigmuff, but for some reason it was only released on vinyl. Definitely needs to be released on CD/mp3!
Neil Young–Sample and Hold (live, Berlin 1982)
Awesome! From the album Trans from 1982. Way before the band Trans Am from the 1990s, Neil Young in 1982 busted out the vocoders and made Styx-Roboto-like new wave postpunk music with guitars, drums, bass, and vocoders!!! He was friends with Devo in the late 70s/1980s, I wonder if any of that influenced his robotic excursions on his “Trans” album.” Viva la 80s!!!
Here’s a trailer of the film “Human Highway” starring Neil Young and Devo!!!
Human Highway Trailer (Neil Young and Devo)
David Essex–Rock On
Yo, what’s up with this song–David Essex. It’s crazy good–catchy, minimalistic, funky, psychadelic. It’s like a weird distillation of rock and roll without noticeable guitars or typical rock drums! It’s aggressive and full of rock swagger, with catchy rhyming lyrics almost like a precursor to rap or 90s/00s pop,yet super mellowly soulful and quietly funky at the same time. It’s clearly rock, classic rock, glam rock, but funk and soul too. I think JDilla samples it on Jay Stay Paid, I’ll have to check it out to make sure. But it sure sounds futuristic and hip hop worthy, maybe the best mixture of rock and soul and funk ever, as it’s so pure and distilled/minimalistic and futuristic for 1973. I hear Def Leppard covered it later, it’s an obvious influence for their rhyming, catchy lyrics on songs like “Rock of Ages.” Though obviously “Rock On” is way, way, way, way, way, way, way better, without all the cheese.
Def Leppard–Rock of Ages
Ah, David Bowie…check out the videos below. Defining moments of the 1970s and 1980s…
David Bowie–Moonage Daydream
Embedding has been disabled on the below videos, so you’ll have to click the lower-right corner of the youtube window in each of the videos to view the videos on youtube.com…
David Bowie–John I’m Only Dancing
David Bowie–Let’s Dance
David Bowie–Ashes to Ashes
WHOA…Summer 2009 ZZ Top and Aerosmith tour! There is no way I am going to miss this…I can’t think of anything more rock and roll, frankly…
OMG the Google overlay ad text for this ZZ Top video right now reads “Vaporize Your Herb”
I’ve always been a huge fan of the Mahavishnu Orcehstra’s first two albums, Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire, and just recently realized how amazing their third album is, Visions of the Emerald Beyond. For more context, I think the track Devotion on John McLaughlin’s 1970s solo album Devotion is amazing, as are his When Fortune Smiles and Extrapolation albums, and the Tony Williams Lifetime albums on which he plays guitar. I will now have to pull out the Apocalypse album to see if I like it as much as I like Visions of the Emerald Beyond (which I like better than the Lost Trident Sessions–they messed up on the mixing of the Trident Sessions big time, it sounds like too contemporary of a mix/too digital/fake, what’s with the weird drum placement in the mix, maybe the guitars stand out too much if I remember correctly, they should remix that album to sound more like the mix of all the other 70s Mahavishnu albums).
I could do without the sixth or seventh Mahavishnu Orchestra album Inner Worlds, which features lots of bland weird 70s hippie R&B cult ballads–he really should have dropped the name Mahavishnu Orchestra for that album. John McLaughlin’s Electric Dreams album in the late 1970s is very bland to my ears (oh, actually I like some of it as I’m listening to it more!), and his early 80s album Mahavishnu really blows too.
The Mahavishnu 80s album is like Herbie Hancock’s Rockit mixed with the Main Street Electrical Parade mixed with muzak, which might sound good in concept, but here it’s totally devoid of any funk, hard edged rock touches, or even any electric guitar solos (on an album with John McLaughlin???)–and filled with tons of terrible, awful bad 1980s synth sounds (as opposed to good 1980s synth sounds, which do exist elsewhere in the universe, just not on the 1980s Mahavishnu album). There’s like 10 seconds of actual electric guitar on Radioactivity…the rest sounds like some bad Sega video game synth-guitar farting noises…in an elevator…in a Nordstroms…opening out into the section with the perfume counters and the lingerie section…in Moraga…bland, bland, bland, yuck, yuck, yuck.
But here’s the thing…the 1984 Mahavishnu band playing the Mahavishnu songs on the 1984 disc of the Live at Montreux DVD set rocks! I mean, John does play the synth guitar, but he also pulls out his real electric guitar too (he will literally take one off and puts the other on all during the same song) in equal measure, and plays some of the best electric guitar solos he is capable of playing, all caught on great looking and sounding footage. There’s awesome feedback on the first song, and he does this awesome hammer on hammer off stuff or something, it’s kind of like John McLaughlin meets Van Halen or something.
The band actually rocks, it’s weird, the Mahavishnu 80′s album is so bland, and there are some cheesy moments on the 1984 DVD too, but all of the musicians really shine. The keyboardist breaks out his Rhodes sometimes, and plays this really amazing Rhodes solo. The bassist plays this Jimi Hendrix song on his bass, the drummer and saxophonist do their thing. Too bad they didn’t play like this for the album!!! It kind of reminds me of a really good night at Yoshis or something…kind of cheesy, just edging into adult contemporary, but really good too. ; ) Is this show the beginning of that kind of “Yoshis” rock? Oh, and what’s that amazing low pitched sound John McLaughlin gets in that one part on his synth guitar, he should have used that more…
The 1974 show is awesome as well. It’s MO II, with the lady, the other drummer, the other bassist (I should probably know all this, Narada Walden Smith or something, Ralph something maybe, Gayle Moran maybe, too lazy to look it up) and the awesome Jean Luc Ponty. The playing is really fantastic. Only maybe half of the show has video–but that’s still a good 74 minutes or so of great video!
I’m going to be seeing the John McLaughlin/Chick Corea Five Peace Band soon, and I really, really like John McLaughlin’s Floating Point album–it’s awesome, he plays synth guitar and killer electric guitar in equal measures here too, with awesome songs and solos, and the drums are crazy. The drums are like real prog rock/jazz fusion drums in the style of Billy Cobham and Bill Bruford in their heydays, but there are two drummers, from India, and it’s cacophonous in a good way, almost like good drum and bass in parts–John McLaughlin and a keyboardist will be playing these relaxing synth parts but the drummers wil be making this incredible racket in the background, it makes for a great contrast and is kind of unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, drum-wise. With all of this great material and touring coming out it’s a great time to be a John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra fan, thanks John McLaughlin!
Screen cap from All About Jazz
Mahavishnu Orchestra–Visions of the Emerald Beyond and Live Skull–Positraction: these are both late period records by these two bands, and I have typically preferred their harsher, rawer, earlier records. However, I just realized that not only are these records very good, they’re sort of masterpieces in their own rights–they’re both very, very good. Just a bit different from their earlier stuff.
Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Visions of the Emerald Beyond is very much looser, and larger in scope than earlier Mahavishnu–it’s quite an atmospheric and expansive record, not all heavy prog/math rock like their earlier stuff. There’s crazy stuff going on, but on such a large and expansive scale that you might not notice it/realize it at first.
Similarly with Live Skull’s Positraction. Positraction is very atmospheric and sophisticated, though the complexity is not so initially as obvious as with their earlier records which had more obviously walloping rhytms and harshness. Positraction is still very complex and interesting but the complexity is drenched more in mood and atmosphere. Maybe 10, 20 years ago Positraction didn’t make as much sense when heavy math-rock riffs and noise were more in style, but atmospheric music has come more into vogue in the last few years/last decade or so with music like Godspeed You Black Emperor, indie folk, some Radiohead, etc. Great records, both.
Stevie Nicks–Stand Back (with Prince on synthesizers)
Wow!!! This song is a great 80s synth classic rocker–but did you know that Prince played the synths on it??!!! Apparently Stevie Nicks wrote the song to the melody of Prince’s Little Red Corvette–she told Prince, and he came over and recorded the synths to it!!!
Nicks has often told the story of how she wrote the song. She wrote it shortly after she was married to Kim Anderson. The newlyweds were driving up to San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara when Prince’s song “Little Red Corvette” came on the radio. Nicks states that she started humming along to the melody of the song, and “Stand Back” was born. They stopped and got a tape recorder and she recorded the demo right there in the honeymoon suite that night. Later, when Nicks went into the studio to record the song, she called Prince and told him the story of how she wrote the song to his melody. He came to the studio that night and played synthesizers on it, although his contribution is uncredited on the album. Then, she says, “he just got up and left as if the whole thing happened in a dream.”
PS–Prince, man, get with the 21st century and put your videos on YouTube!!!
Prince: Little Red Corvette (I would have linked the video, but of course, Prince doesn’t have any of his videos on YouTube…)
Here’s a song Kate Bush worked on with Prince, “Why Should I Love You?“
I have to find a list of uncredited Prince projects…