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Deep Cuts: Five Successful Rock Bands From The 1970s You've Probably Forgotten

This week, we highlight five bands that were wildly successful in the 1970s. But you've probably never heard of them if you're under the age of 50.

THREE DOG NIGHT

If you're judging success solely by the number of hit singles, the trio of Cory Wells, Chuck Negron and Danny Hutton were arguably one of the most successful rock bands of the early 1970s. They had a string of 21 consecutive Top 40 hits between 1969 and 1975. Even more impressive, many of those hits were songs from little-known songwriters ranging from Laura Nyro and Hoyt Axton to Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson. But for all their success then, their musical legacy now is spotty at best. Some of their songs get played on Oldies stations, but few people under 50 can even identify the band.

Part of the problem is that even at the height of the band, it was a fairly anonymous group. And since they didn't write most of their hits and swapped off lead vocals from song to song, no real "star" emerged from the group. And to be blunt, even at their creative peak, the band's live performances were half-ass at best. It also doesn't help that the band dissolved the first time in 1976, due in large part to Negron's then $2,000-a-day drug habit. The band has reunited several times in the interim and continues to tour today with two of the three original band members. But they never have managed to break through to the pop culture zeitgeist.




GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
There's probably no better example of a hard-charging 1970s American rock band than Grand Funk. Mark Farner, Don Brewer and Mel Schacher were loathed by critics and dismissed by serious music fans. But thanks to savvy marketing by manager Terry Knight and a relentless touring schedule, the band was a huge concert draw and staple of early 1970s album rock radio stations. They formed in late 1969 and by their second album, they were cranking out rock radio classics like "I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)." But the band was plagued by friction with their label, manager and often each other. A dispute with manager Terry Knight led him to repossess the band's instruments before a 1972 performance at Madison Square Garden.

The band regrouped and attempted to hire Peter Frampton to join the band, but he had already signed a solo recording deal. They added Craig Frost on keyboards and convinced Todd Rundgren to produce their next two albums. The result was a string of slicker rock hits, including the #1 singles "We're An American Band" and  "Locomotion." The next couple of years brought new producers (including Frank Zappa) and some more hits ("Some Kind Of Wonderful," "Bad Time"). But by 1976 the stress of non-stop touring and disputes with their label ended the band. Mark Farner later released two solo albums and later toured as a Christian rock artist. Don Brewer toured for a number of years as part of Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band.

The band has reunited a number of times in the years since and have released several albums of original material, but like a lot of bands of that era, the creative spark had just dissipated. They left behind some great tracks but I suspect their music hasn't connected with later generations because much of it has a very specific 1970s feel to it that seems dated in 2021.




JETHRO TULL
Although Jethro Tull was founded in the late 1960s and released several of its biggest U.S. tracks in 1969, the band hit its biggest commercial peak in the early 1970s. More artsy progressive rock band than traditional classic rock group, Jethro Tull had a series of hit singles and albums in the middle of the decade. The band was popular enough that its first #1 album in the U.S. - "Thick As A Brick" - consisted of one long 43-minute track split onto both sides of an album. By the end of the 1970s, the band had gone through a dizzying series of personnel changes and released three increasingly folk-inspired albums. By 1980, the band had released "A," a more electronic-sounding album that had been originally planned as a solo album by the band's singer and lead songwriter Ian Anderson.

Despite the fact that the song "Aqualung" has one of the most distinctive opening guitar riffs of the era. Jethro Tull is little appreciated by younger audiences. Part of the problem is the band's music has a wide range of sounds and styles, making it difficult to pigeonhole the band. Also, lead singer Ian Anderson never really became a well-known name to audiences, leading more than one person to ask band members "which one is Jethro?"




RARE EARTH
While 95% of Motown's acts in the 1960s and 1970s were African-American, the label did try and expand into other directions-albeit with mixed success. When the label signed Rare Earth in 1969, it put the band on the "Rare Earth" label because they hadn't yet come up with their "non-Motown white guy" record label name.

Rare Earth had released one unsuccessful album for Verve in 1968, but the band thrived at Motown. The band had a traditional 1970s rock sound, but Peter Hoorelbeke had a vocal style that hit the sweet spot between rock and R&B. Rare Earth had its first two hits in 1970 with songs that were originally released by The Temptations: "Get Ready" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You." But the band began losing members at the end of 1971 and the continuing procession of changes didn't help the band build a long-term image in the public eye.

"I Just Want To Celebrate" was a Top Ten hit in 1971 and there was some mid-level hits over the next couple of years. But while the band remained a popular live act going into the end of the decade, other than an odd barely Top 40 1978 hit penned by the Bee Gees, the golden days of the band were over.

In 2021, most people are familiar with "I Just Want To Celebrate," but they have no idea who originally made it a hit.



ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION
There was once a genre of music called "soft rock," which was really a nice way of saying "gentle pop music with the hint of guitars." The Atlanta Rhythm Section became a successful band in the late 1970s and early 1980s by cranking out a stream of catchy, if forgettable soft rock tunes. "So Into You," "I'm Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight," "Doraville," "Imaginary Lover," "Spooky," "Champagne Jam," and a few other minor hits made the band a staple of radio, even though they never quite broke into the ranks of fellow Southern bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Part of the problem was that while the band's sound was much edgier in concert, their radio hits always sounded like they were just ten seconds away from rocking, even though they never quite managed the stones to do it. The result was a band that cranked out a string of successful and ultimately forgettable tunes.

To be fair to ARS, I could have picked a half-dozen other bands of the era for this spot, including Australia's contribution to half-ass pop-rock, The Little River Band.

Have a suggestion for a future piece or a comment on this one? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow me on Twitter at @AYSRick.

Last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021 13:32

Reissue Of The Classic 'Merry Christmas Baby' Album Coming In November

Written by 16 September, 2021

When it comes to Christmas music, my favorites tend to be the old classic R&B and soul tracks. The holidays are an emotional time for everyone and no genre of music is filled with more emotion than R&B and soul. And of all the great tunes in those genres, one of the best is the Charles Brown hit "Merry Christmas Baby."

Released in 1947 while Brown was still part of the Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, the song eventually peaked at No. 3 on Billboard‘s R&B Jukebox chart. Brown re-recorded it several times over the years and it has been covered by everyone from Otis Redding and Bruce Springsteen to Chuck Berry and BB King.

The song's first appearance on an album was on the 1956 Hollywood Records release "Merry Christmas Baby," which was one of the earliest R&B Christmas compilation albums. It has been out of print for decades, but on November 5th, it is being rereleased by Real Gone Music. This is the first time it has been released on CD,  and it has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVison and features liner notes by Bill Dahl.

Along with the Charles Brown hit, the album includes Lowell Fulson’s "Lonesome Christmas (Parts 1 and 2)," which went to #7 on the R&B charts when it was released in 1950. Mabel Scott’s 1947 single "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" topped out on the R&B charts at #14 and the album also includes the classic Jimmy Witherspoon track "Christmas Blues." The entire album is just spectacular and even though you've probably never a number of these songs, you'll add this release to your rotation every Christmas.

Here is the complete track list for the CD, which can be ordered here on Amazon:

  1. Merry Christmas, Baby – Charles Brown
  2. Sleighride – Lloyd Glenn Trio
  3. Christmas Everyday – Johnny Moore’s Blazers
  4. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – Mabel Scott
  5. Lonesome Christmas (Part 1) – Lowell Fulson
  6. Christmas Dreams – Johnny Moore’s Blazers
  7. Christmas Eve Baby – Johnny Moore’s Blazers
  8. Christmas Letter – Johnny Moore’s Blazers
  9. Love for Christmas – Jackson Trio
  10. Lonesome Christmas (Part 2) – Lowell Fulson
  11. Christmas Blues – Jimmy Witherspoon
  12. Jingle Bell Hop – Jackson Trio
Last modified on Thursday, 16 September 2021 23:10

Today's Song You Should Know: Alan Jackson - 'Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)'

Written by 11 September, 2021

While country music in 2021 might seem like it's more about tight shorts and drinking beer in the bed of your truck than real emotions, the genre has always been much more than that. The best country music not only tells a story but it provides an emotional connection between the music and the listener. And as we remember the events on 9/11, I wanted to highlight the one great song to come out of that event: Alan Jackson's haunting "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)."

In the days following 9/11, Jackson had struggled to process the events and according to an interview he later gave to Christianity Today, he wanted to find the right tone: "I didn't want to write a patriotic song," Jackson said. "And I didn't want it to be vengeful, either. But I didn't want to forget about how I felt and how I knew other people felt that day."

Jackson resisted recording the song because he worried it might seem as if he was somehow trying to capitalize on the tragedy. But everyone he played the song for encouraged him to record and release it. And when he played the song for track for a group of executives at his record label days after recording it, "We just kind of looked at one another," RCA Label Group chairman Joe Galante said later. "Nobody spoke for a full minute."

The song was introduced to the public live at the Country Music Association Awards, which aired on CBS in November, 2001. He had originally planned to perform his then-current #1 Country song "Where I Come From," but the decision was made at the last minute for Jackson to sing "Where Were You" instead. The audience simply knew Jackson was going to sing a new tune, but four CMA executives had previewed the track ahead of time and they were all crying by the end of the song.

The performance was one of those rare television musical moments that everyone was talking about the next day. Within weeks, the song was a #1 hit on the Country charts and it reached #28 on the Pop Top 100 chart. "Where Were You" is one of the few songs inspired by 9/11 that isn't overtly political or patriotic. It's about the struggle to make sense of tragedy and loss and that's why it's easily the song you should know today.

Here are the complete lyrics to the song, with the video below:

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin' on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
That September day?
Teachin' a class full of innocent children
Or drivin' down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor?
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset for the first time in ages
And speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on I Love Lucy reruns?
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Stand in line to give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'

On that September day?

Last modified on Saturday, 11 September 2021 13:11

'Feel Flows' Is The Best Beach Boys Music You've Never Heard

Written by 27 August, 2021

For most people familiar with the music of the Beach Boys, their music falls into three general categories: the early, hit-driven surf-oriented songs, the Pet Sounds album and the later, post Brian Wilson stuff that includes Kokomo, which the band didn't write.

But there is another group of songs you should know about, and they are highlighted in the expansive new 5-CD set from the band entitled Feel Flows. The set highlights the criminally overlooked Sunflower and Surf's Up albums, along with a staggering number of previously unreleased live tracks and studio outtakes. The set will be a revelation to casual fans who see the post Pet Sounds period as a creative wasteland. I'd argue some of these tracks are as good as anything ever produced by the band, although few people are familiar with the music.

When the album Sunflower was released in 1970, the Beach Boys were at a financial and creative low point. It had been four years since the release of Pet Sounds and Brian Wilson was primarily curled up in a fetal position on most days. The band had released several poorly received low-fi albums (Friends, Wild Honey) and the only music fans were buying were the string of Greatest Hits packages being released the band's former label. The band was split into new camps: the Mike Love "let's give the fans the surf music they want" contingent and the Carl & Dennis Wilson-led members who believed they could create new music as a band that fans who learn to appreciate.

Even worse, the band was essentially broke. A 1968 tour had been a financial disaster and Capital Records essentially deleted all of the non-Greatest Hits albums from their catalog, further impacting the band's revenue. And in late 1969, Murray brothers manager and father Murray sold the entire Sea Of Tunes publishing catalog for what is the modern-day equivalent of less than $5 million. 

The "new music" group briefly carried the day and the result was the group's best post-Pet Sounds album. Sunflower (and the follow-up album Surf's Up) were the closest to a group effort the Beach Boys ever managed to release. Sunflower contained a new song from Brian (This Whole World), several tunes from Brian Johnston as well as the best song Dennis Wilson ever contributed to the band (Forever). The band and its new label Reprise had high hopes for the album, but the lead single (Add Some Music To Your Day) topped out at #62 on the singles charts and the album became the band's worst-selling album to date. Which was ironic, given that the album received consistently rave reviews at the time and in the year's since, Rolling Stone listed it on the magazine's "Best 500 Albums Of All Time" list.

The 1971 album Surf's Up sold better, topping out at #29 on the album charts. While it didn't have a hit single, the album's strong environmental focus as well as the addition of the Brain Wilson title track was also very well received by critics. There were also two strong tracks co-written by Carl Wilson (Long Promised Road and Feel Flows), the Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks track 'Til I Die and the Brian Johnston original Disney Girls (1957), which has been covered by a number of musicians in the years since. On the downside, Surf's Up also included one of the band's worst tracks of the period, the Mike Love-led Student Demonstration Time, which was a lame reworking of the track Riot In Cell Block #9.

Unfortunately for the band, these two albums were their mid-career highwater mark. Love and Johnston brought in Jack Rieley was the band's controversial new manager and Brian Wilson retreated back into seclusion. And the music from these two albums has been overlooked by everyone except the die-hard fans in the interim. which is a shame. 

Hopefully that neglect will change with the release of Feel Flows, a massive 5-CD release that features fully remastered versions of the original Sunflower (1970) and Surf’s Up (1971) albums – plus numerous outtakes, live recordings, alternate takes and mixes. Produced by Mark Linett and Alan Boyd, Feel Flows has a 48-page booklet featuring photos, memorabilia images, and a new essay by Howie Edelson incorporating new and archival interviews with the band members. There are also 2-LP, 2-CD, and 4-LP versions of the set.

The first CD includes the entire remastered Sunflower album, plus six live performances of song's from the album (ranging from 1971-1988), a radio spot and eight bonus tracks, including the 1969 Beach Boys single Breakaway, which was the band's final single on Capital.

Disc two includes the entire remastered Surf's Up album, plus five live performances from 1971-1973, a radio spot and eight bonus cuts, including performances of Seasons In The Sun and both sides of Dennis Wilson and Rumbo’s rare 1970 single Sound of Free b/w Lady (Fallin’ in Love).

Disc three is called The Sunflower Sessions and includes 29 cuts of outtakes, extended mixes and a capella tracks. Disc four includes 18 tracks from The Surf's Up Sessions, plus six other bonus tracks. Many of these tracks have never been heard before, including the previously unreleased tracks Awake and Baby, Baby.

Disc five includes 29 tracks, including the previously unreleased songs Before, Behold the Night, Hawaiian Dream, Old Movie (Cuddle Up), and Brian and David Sandler's It’s Natural.

Feel Flows is delight for devotees of The Beach Boys, but it's also going to be a revelation for casual listeners of the group's work, who may be more interested in the two CD version instead of the deep tracks also included in the full five CD set.

Here is the track rundown for each version of the release:

5 CD Version
CD 1:

Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2019 master) (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (2019 master) (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (2019 master) (3:36)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2019 master) (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (2019 master) (3:30)
  6. It’s About Time (2019 master) (2:57)
  7. Tears In The Morning (2019 master) (4:07)
  8. All I Wanna Do (2019 master) (2:36)
  9. Forever (2019 master) (2:42)
  10. Our Sweet Love (2019 master) (2:41)
  11. At My Window (2019 master) (2:32)
  12. Cool, Cool Water (2019 master) (5:03)
  13. Sunflower Promo 1 (previously unreleased) (0:59)

Sunflower Live

  1. This Whole World (Live 1988) (2:10) [Sunflower Live]
  2. Add Some Music To Your Day (Live 1993) (3:23) [Sunflower Live]
  3. Susie Cincinnati (Live 1976) (2 :46) [Sunflower Live]
  4. Back Home (Live 1976) (3:15) [Sunflower Live]
  5. It’s About Time (Live 1971) (3:45) [Sunflower Live]
  6. Riot In Cell Block 9 (Live 1970) (3:34) [Sunflower Live]

Bonus Tracks

  1. Break Away (original 1969 single mix) (2:55)
  2. Celebrate The News (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:37)
  3. Loop De Loop (previously unreleased 1969 mix) (2:59)
  4. San Miguel (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:33)
  5. Susie Cincinnati (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (3:02)
  6. Good Time (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:56)
  7. Two Can Play (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:06)
  8. Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) (2021 stereo mix – previously unreleased) (3:21)

CD 2:

Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2019 master) (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (2019 master) (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2019 master) (2:32)
  4. Disney Girls (1957) (2019 master) (4:08)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (2019 master) (3:59)
  6. Feel Flows (2019 master) (4:44)
  7. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (2019 master) (1:57)
  8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (2019 master) (3:09)
  9. Til I Die (2019 master) (2:32)
  10. Surf’s Up (2019 master) (4:14)
  11. Surf’s Up Promo (previously unreleased) (1:02)

Surf’s Up Live

  1. Take A Load Off Your Feet (Live 1993) (2:35)
  2. Long Promised Road (Live 1972) (4:14)
  3. Disney Girls (Live 1982) (4:23)
  4. Surf’s Up (Live 1973) (4:58)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (Live 1971) (4:42)

Bonus Tracks

  1. Big Sur (previously unreleased) (2:35)
  2. HELP Is On The Way (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:31)
  3. Sweet And Bitter (previously unreleased) (2:33)
  4. My Solution (previously unreleased) (3:44)
  5. 4th of July (2019 mix – previously unreleased) (3:11)
  6. Sound of Free (1970 single mix, 2019 master) (2:22)
  7. Lady (Fallin’ In Love) (1970 stereo mix – previously unreleased) (2:21)
  8. Seasons In The Sun (previously unreleased) (3:27)

CD 3:

The Sunflower Sessions

  1. Sunflower Promo 2 (previously unreleased) (0:59)
  2. Slip On Through (track and backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:47)
  3. This Whole World (long version track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:10)
  4. Add Some Music To Your Day (track and backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:35)
  5. Deirdre (track – previously unreleased) (3:34)
  6. It’s About Time (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:53)
  7. Tears In The Morning (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:08)
  8. All I Wanna Do (session intro, track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:46)
  9. Forever (session highlights – previously unreleased) (3:36)
  10. Forever (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:01)
  11. Our Sweet Love (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:39)
  12. At My Window (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:50)
  13. Cool Cool Water (alternate 2019 mix – previously unreleased) (6:24)
  14. San Miguel (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:57)
  15. Loop De Loop (track – previously unreleased) (2:49)
  16. Good Time (session intro, track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:27)
  17. When Girls Get Together (track – previously unreleased) (1:47)
  18. Slip On Through (alternate 1969 mix with session intro – previously unreleased) (3:25)
  19. Our Sweet Love (string section – previously unreleased) (1:00)
  20. San Miguel (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (1:00)
  21. Break Away (Tag) (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:18)
  22. Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) (a Cappella – previously unreleased) (2:44)
  23. Good Time (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:19)
  24. This Whole World (backing vocals section – previously unreleased) (1:05)
  25. Add Some Music To Your Day (a cappella – previously unreleased) (3:30)
  26. Got To Know The Woman (a cappella – previously unreleased) (2:52)
  27. It’s About Time (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:50)
  28. All I Wanna Do (a cappella – previously unreleased) (2:58)
  29. Forever (previously unreleased 2019 a cappella mix) (2:52)

CD 4:

The Surf’s Up Sessions

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:45)
  2. Long Promised Road (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:38)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (alternate vocal – previously unreleased) (2:28)
  4. Disney Girls (1957) (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:17)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:46)
  6. Feel Flows (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (5:02)
  7. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (session intro and alternate mix – previously unreleased) (2:43)
  8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:55)
  9. Til I Die (long version with alternate lyrics – previously unreleased) (4:47)
  10. Surf’s Up (2019 mix – previously unreleased) (4:08)
  11. (Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again (extended 2019 – previously unreleased) (6:50)
  12. Don’t Go Near The Water (previously unreleased 2020 a cappella mix) (2:36)
  13. Long Promised Road (a cappella – previously unreleased) (4:00)
  14. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:33)
  15. Disney Girls (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:36)
  16. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:32)
  17. Til I Die (a cappella – previously unreleased) (2:36)
  18. Surf’s Up (a cappella – previously unreleased) (4:04)

Bonus Tracks

  1. I Just Got My Pay (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:43)
  2. Walkin’ (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:44)
  3. When Girls Get Together (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (3:45)
  4. Baby Baby (previously unreleased) (3:13)
  5. Awake (previously unreleased) (3:44)
  6. It’s A New Day (previously unreleased) (2:20)

CD 5:

Bonus Disc

  1. This Whole World (alternate ending – previously unreleased) (1:41)
  2. Add Some Music To Your Day (previously unreleased alternate version) (3:27)
  3. Don’t Go Near The Water (alternate version – previously unreleased) (2:42)
  4. Surf’s Up Part 1 (1971 remake track with 1966 Brian vocal – previously unreleased) (1:41)
  5. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:14)
  6. I’m Goin’ Your Way (previously unreleased alternate mix) (2:24)
  7. Where Is She (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:22)
  8. Carnival (Over The Waves/Sobra Las Olas) (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (1:34)
  9. It’s Natural (previously unreleased) (2:35)
  10. Medley: All Of My Love / Ecology (previously unreleased) (5:05)
  11. Before (previously unreleased) (2:25)
  12. Behold The Night (previously unreleased) (2:26)
  13. Old Movie (Cuddle Up) (previously unreleased) (3:37)
  14. Hawaiian Dream (previously unreleased) (4:33)
  15. Settle Down / Sound Of Free (basic session outtake – previously unreleased) (2:17)
  16. I’ve Got A Friend (previously unreleased) (2:26)
  17. Til I Die (piano demo – previously unreleased) (1:55)
  18. Back Home (previously unreleased demo) (2:20)
  19. Back Home (alternate version – previously unreleased) (2:34)
  20. Won’t You Tell Me (demo – previously unreleased) (2:01)
  21. Won’t You Tell Me (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:54)
  22. Barbara (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:59)
  23. Slip On Through (early version track) (2:48)
  24. Susie Cincinnati (basic session highlights – previously unreleased) (3:05)
  25. My Solution (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:04)
  26. You Never Give Me Your Money (previously unreleased) (0:40)
  27. Medley: Happy Birthday, Brian / God Only Knows (previously unreleased) (2:47)
  28. You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:32)
  29. Marcella (a cappella – previously unreleased) (3:27)

2 CD Version

CD 1: Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2019 master) (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (2019 master) (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (2019 master) (3:35)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2019 master) (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (2019 master) (3:29)
  6. It’s About Time (2019 master) (2:56)
  7. Tears In The Morning (2019 master) (4:11)
  8. All I Wanna Do (2019 master) (2:36)
  9. Forever (2019 master) (2:42)
  10. Our Sweet Love (2019 master) (2:41)
  11. At My Window (2019 master) (2:32)
  12. Cool Cool Water (2019 master) (5:04)

Bonus Tracks

  1. Loop De Loop (previously unreleased 1969 mix) (2:58)
  2. San Miguel (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:19)
  3. Susie Cincinnati (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:01)
  4. Good Time (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:55)
  5. I Just Got My Pay (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:43)
  6. Two Can Play (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:06)
  7. I’m Goin’ Your Way (previously unreleased alternate mix) (2:10)
  8. Where Is She (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:21)
  9. Break Away (Tag) (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:17)
  10. Our Sweet Love (string section – previously unreleased) (1:00)
  11. This Whole World (alternate ending – previously unreleased) (1:41)
  12. Add Some Music To Your Day (previously unreleased alternate version) (3:27)
  13. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:00)
  14. All I Wanna Do (a Cappella – previously unreleased) (2:41)
  15. Back Home (alternate version – previously unreleased) (2:34)
  16. When Girls Get Together (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:45)
  17. This Whole World (Live 1988) (2:01)

CD 2: Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2019 master) (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (2019 master) (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2019 master) (2:31)
  4. Disney Girls (1957) (2019 master) (4:11)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (2019 master) (3:59)
  6. Feel Flows (2019 master) (4:48)
  7. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (2019 master) (1:58)
  8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (2019 master) (3:09)
  9. Til I Die (2019 master) (2:32)
  10. Surf’s Up (2019 master) (4:14)

Bonus Tracks

  1. It’s A New Day (previously unreleased) (2:20)
  2. Big Sur (previously unreleased) (2:35)
  3. (Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again (extended 2019 – previously unreleased) (4:36)
  4. 4th of July (2019 mix – previously unreleased) (3:09)
  5. Lady (Fallin’ In Love) (1970 stereo mix – previously unreleased) (2:21)
  6. Behold The Night (previously unreleased) (2:23)
  7. Medley: All Of My Love / Ecology (previously unreleased) (4:16)
  8. Sweet And Bitter (previously unreleased) (2:20)
  9. My Solution (previously unreleased) (3:43)
  10. Awake (previously unreleased) (3:17)
  11. Disney Girls (Live 1982) (4:19)
  12. Surf’s Up (Live 1973) (4:55)
  13. You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:15)
  14. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:32)
  15. Disney Girls (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:19)

2 LP Version

LP 1, Side A: Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (3:36)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (3:30)
  6. It’s About Time (2:57)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Cotton Fields (2020 stereo mix) (3:16)
  2. San Miguel (backing vocals excerpt) (0:35)
  3. It’s About Time (backing vocals excerpt) (0:50)

Side B (Sunflower continued)

  1. Tears In The Morning (4:11)
  2. All I Wanna Do (2:36)
  3. Forever (2:42)
  4. Our Sweet Love (2:41)
  5. At My Window (2:32)
  6. Cool, Cool Water (5:05)

Bonus Track (previously unreleased)

  1. This Whole World (live 1988) (2:01)

LP 2, Side C: Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2:32)
  4. Disney Girls (4:11)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (3:59) (based on “Riot In Cell Block 9”)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Disney Girls (live 1982) (4:19)
  2. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt) (0:33)

Side D (Surf’s Up continued)

  1. Feel Flows (4:48)
  2. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (1:59)
  3. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (3:09)
  4. ‘Til I Die (2:33)
  5. Surf’s Up (4:14)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (track & backing vocals) (2:54)
  2. Til I Die (a cappella) (2:11)

4 LP Version – Black Vinyl 

4 LP Version – Translucent Blue & Translucent Gold (exclusive to The Beach Boys online store)

LP 1, Side A: Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (3:36)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (3:30)
  6. It’s About Time (2:57)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Cotton Fields (2020 stereo mix) (3:16)
  2. San Miguel (backing vocals excerpt) (0:35)
  3. It’s About Time (backing vocals excerpt) (0:50)

Side B

  1. Tears In The Morning (4:11)
  2. All I Wanna Do (2:36)
  3. Forever (2:42)
  4. Our Sweet Love (2:41)
  5. At My Window (2:32)
  6. Cool, Cool Water (5:04)

Bonus Track (previously unreleased)

  1. This Whole World (Live 1988) (2:01)

LP 2, Side CBonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Loop De Loop (original 1969 mix) (2:59)
  2. San Miguel (2020 mix) (2:20)
  3. Susie Cincinnati (2020 mix) (3:02)
  4. Good Time (2019 mix) (2:56)
  5. I Just Got My Pay (2019 mix) (2:43)
  6. Two Can Play (2019 mix) (2:06)
  7. I’m Goin’ Your Way (alternate mix) (2:10)
  8. Where Is She (2019 mix) (2:22)
  9. Break Away Tag (backing vocals excerpt) (0:18)
  10. Our Sweet Love (string section) (1:00)

Side D (Bonus Tracks continued)

  1. This Whole World (alternate ending) (1:41)
  2. Add Some Music To Your Day (alternate version) (3:27)
  3. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (2019 mix) (3:00)
  4. All I Wanna Do (a cappella) (2:41)
  5. Back Home (alternate version) (2:34)
  6. When Girls Get Together (2019 mix) (3:45)
  7. It’s About Time (live 1971) (3:55)
  8. This Whole World (backing vocals section) (0:34)

LP 3, Side E: Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2:32)
  4. Disney Girls (4:11)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (3:59)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Disney Girls (live 1982) (4:19)
  2. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt) (0:33)

Side F (Surf’s Up, continued)

  1. Feel Flows (4:48)
  2. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (1:59)
  3. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (3:09)
  4. ‘Til I Die (2:33)
  5. Surf’s Up (4:14)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (track & backing vocals) (2:54)
  2. ‘Til I Die (a cappella) (2:11)

LP 4 (Bonus Tracks)

Side G (previously unreleased)

  1. It’s A New Day (2:20)
  2. Big Sur (2:35)
  3. (Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again (2019 mix) (4:35)
  4. E.L.P. Is On The Way (2019 mix) (2:31)
  5. 4th Of July (2019 mix) (3:09)
  6. Lady (Fallin’ In Love) (1970 stereo mix) (2:21)
  7. Behold The Night (2:24)
  8. ‘Til I Die (piano demo) (1:55)

Side H

  1. Medley: All Of My Love / Ecology (4:15)
  2. Sweet And Bitter (2:21)
  3. My Solution (3:43)
  4. Awake (3:17)
  5. Take A Load Off Your Feet (Live 1993) (2:26)
  6. Surf’s Up (Live 1973) (4:56)
  7. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (backing vocals excerpt) (0:32)
  8. Disney Girls (backing vocals excerpt) (0:20)








Last modified on Friday, 27 August 2021 22:21

Kiss Concert Canceled After Paul Stanley Tests Positive For COVID-19

Written by 26 August, 2021

KISS frontman Paul Stanley has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the band to scrap a show in The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, PA. 

This statement was released via the band's social media accounts early Thursday evening:


Last modified on Thursday, 26 August 2021 21:03

Today's Song You Should Know: 'Summer Days' By The Wildroots

Written by 21 July, 2021

One the heartbreaking things about loving music is that at some point you realize that there are so many great musicians, so many incredible bands who will never get that big break. The history of rock & roll is filled with dreams, but also with even more stories of talented people who were unable to build a commercially successful career.

The same thing is also true for local music scenes. For every success like the Bay Area "Summer of Love" scene in the 60s or Seattle's 90s grunge scene, there are lots of vibrant music scenes that never make it past local fame. Maybe the timing is wrong or there's just too much going on in other hipper parts of the country. But the world of rock music is littered with amazing bands that should have been your next obsession.

Chicago in the late 1970s and 1980s was lousy with great pop rock and roots rock bands. Cheap Trick led the first wave of late 1970s groups to reach national success and while others like Off Broadway and Shoes managed only modest chart success, there was a sense that a real important music scene was building. By the early/mid 1980s, Chicago was lousy with great rock bands. Every club seemed to have another potential star band in the making and the consensus was that once one band broke big, Chicago would have its musical moment in the sun.

And that never quite happened. A lot of bands were signed to major labels, from the staggeringly great root rocks band Insiders (who had a modest hit with "Ghost On The Beach"), to The Elvis Brothers and The Bad Examples. There were at least a dozen bands that were signed to major labels and by the time the 90s rolled around, most of them had lost their deals and none of them had broken big.

But for all of that energy, there were also some great bands that never inexplicably got as far as a major label release. I was living in Chicago back then and The Wildroots were a band you'd always see playing around the local clubs. With incredible hook-filled original tunes and a charismatic lead singer, The Wildroots always felt like they were one break away from making it big.

They didn't. I left Chicago towards the end of the decade and I'm not sure what happened to the band. The only official recording they left is a single track on a local 1987 compilation album entitled "Live From Jay's Garage." Lead singer JD Dragus seems to have worked with local Chicago rocker Hugh Hart on a couple of projects after the Wildroots broke up. But I can't find out much more online. I seem to remember they had recorded some demos for Island Records at one point, but I could be mistaken.

"Summer Days" is a great rocker and when I ran it across it on YouTube while back I was thrilled. It reminded me how great The WildRoots were back then and hearing the song again is more than a little bittersweet. The Wildroots deserve to be remembered and for right now, this is just about all that's left of the band.

The Wildroots were:
JD Dragus: lead vocals & lead guitar
Tom Gerlach: vocals & guitar
Kerry Kelekovich: bass
Dan Massey: drums

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 July 2021 21:31

Today's Song You Should Know: 'Popcorn' By Hot Butter

Written by 07 July, 2021

In 1968, Wendy Carlos had a Top 40 hit with a synth-pop instrumental song called "Switched-On Bach" and that success inspired a bunch of other attempts from Moog synthesizer-based bands. But the most of the successful of the bunch was an anonymous band who called themselves Hot Butter. 

"Popcorn" was first recorded by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 and he later re-recorded it with his First Moog Quartet in 1971. But the following year, Stan Free (who was a member of the FMQ) recorded it once again with his cover band Hot Butter and that version became a worldwide hit. It hit #1 in places ranging from Australia to the Netherlands and it hit #9 on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 charts. The single sold more than two million copies worldwide and even though Hot Butter only released two albums and a handful of other singles, "Popcorn" is notable for being only of the most insane instrumentals to ever become a hit single.

Even by 1970s standards, "Popcorn" is simplistic and listening to it in 2019, it sounds like something a kid would create randomly pounding synth track buttons on a $5 keyboard. But it was an actual worldwide hit and as you can see in the video below, people really danced to it. Although whomever was the director of this TV segment was likely yelling "quick, another shot of breasts" to the camera crew during the performance.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 July 2021 18:36

Today's Song You Should Know: 'Blitzkreig Bop' By The Sweet

Written by 06 July, 2021

The Sweet have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. These British glam-rockers had a string of hook-filled hits in the 1970s, after teaming up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. But they eventually began writing their own music and the band's last hit single was 1978's "Love Is Like Oxygen." Longtime vocalist Brian Connolly left the band following an increasingly drunken tour opening for Bob Seger the same year and the band has limped along ever since.

While often competing versions of the band have toured regularly over the ensuing years, The Sweet had only released a couple of albums with various lineups before 2012's "New York Connection." That album featured only one original member of the band and was essentially a collection of cover versions, with a few snippets of Sweet hits included for flavor. The album included covers of "You Spin Me Round" and "Join Together," along with this cover of The Ramones song "Blitzkreig Bop." It's a surprisingly lively version of the song and while I'm not sure I can recommend it, it doesn't suck. Which is pretty much the gold standard for any band's attempt to cover The Ramones.

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 July 2021 23:22

Today's Song You Should Know: 'Call Me Anti-Social' By New Found Glory

Written by 05 July, 2021

When New Found Glory released their album Makes Me Sick in 2017, I immediately fell in love with the track "Call Me Anti-Social," which I spent a lot of time arguing was the hidden "song of the summer." Despite my one-man promotional campaign, the song (and album) never seemed to get the attention it deserved, so I'm glad for an excuse to highlight this song again.

The track is the perfect balance of pop and punk and it has a guitar break that just screams "throw your hands up and dance!" Did I mention I love this song? I do and if I couldn't make this ear candy the summer song for 2017, then maybe I'll be more successful in 2021. 

There aren't many bands that have been around since the late 1990s who can still claim to be performing at the top of their game, but New Found Glory is one of them. Their brand of pop-flavored punk can often seem stale in 2021, but these guys are as vital and inventive as they've ever been. Their moist recent album is 2020's Forever + Ever x Infinity, but I would also recommend the 2019 album From The Screen To Your Stereo 3, where they tackle fun covers of songs ranging from "The Power Of Love" and "Eye Of The Tiger" to "Let It Go" and "Cups."

So why am I featuring this song on the July 4th weekend? Well, it goes out to all of the people out there who struggle to socialize on a day that's all about hanging out and having fun with friends and family.

Last modified on Monday, 05 July 2021 13:38

Today's Song You Should Know: 'Riding With Private Malone' By David Ball

Written by 04 July, 2021

I've always had a soft spot for old-school country songs that tell a story and on the 4th Of July I'd like to highlight the really distinctive 2001 hit "Riding With Private Malone" by country singer David Ball. Written by Wood Newton and Thom Shepherd, the song tells the story of a man just out of the military who buys an old Corvette and discovers it was previously owned by a "Private Malone," who was killed in Vietnam. Of course there's a twist, but what makes the song special is that unlike a lot of songs about veterans, it's up-tempo with a memorable hook.

The song went to #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Ball's biggest hit since 1994's "Thinkin' Problem" and it was last big single. Ball continues to tour although his last album was 2010's "Sparkle City."


Last modified on Monday, 05 July 2021 13:19
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