This 1971 combination [album] is a bit of a rocky road – the medley of “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” & “I Say a Little Prayer” is moronic, but you do get their version of the Brotherhood of Man’s 1970 hit “United We Stand”. There’s also some Randy Newman and Hoyt Axton . . . → Read More: Anne Murray, Glen Campbell – Let Me Be the One, by Pat Thomas
Garage rock in the 80’s and beyond was always very hit and miss for me – often miss. But when I heard this and saw MonoMan do it live – I thought to myself, this is “god-like.”
– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power . . . → Read More: Lyres – Help You Ann, by Pat Thomas
I recently had dinner with longtime Beach Boy Bruce Johnston – just happened to sit next to him and he was eating alone. 90 minutes of him honestly answering any question – he was egoless, sincere, with no axes to grind with Brian Wilson or anyone else. Given all the wacko shit he’s witnessed . . . → Read More: Beyond the Life of Brian, Beach Boys Article, by Pat Thomas
Starting in the early 70s, I’ve never had a casual relationship with The Who – just like I’ve never had a casual connection to my head, heart or groin. The Who always exemplified the visceral, mercurial, macho, homoerotic, thunderous, vulnerable side of rock music, they made me feel more alive reflecting my changing moods. . . . → Read More: Mark Blake – Pretend You’re in a War: The Who and the Sixties, by Pat Thomas
Easily the highlight from the mid-70’s “Brian’s Back” promotional campaign, this was done to celebrate the Beach Boys’ 15th anniversary and to promote their album, 15 Big Ones. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd play a pair of California Highway Patrol officers who burst into the bedroom of Wilson’s Bel Air home and force him . . . → Read More: John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd take Brian Wilson Surfing 1976, by Pat Thomas
While Dream Letter remains the definitive live Tim Buckley album, I often prefer Live at the Troubadour 1969 recorded a year later. A year was a long time in the arc of his art, which now blended folky Tim with jazzy Tim, funky Tim, oversexed (but still horny) Tim, speedball (heroin meets coke) Tim . . . → Read More: Tim Buckley – Live at the Troubadour 1969, by Pat Thomas
Today is Miles Davis’ birthday – as Joe Zawinul said about him “a genius isn’t someone who invents one great thing and keeps doing it over and over again, a genius is someone who keeps changing and evolving” – In 1970 Miles and company (including tabla and sitar) cut a version of Crosby Stills . . . → Read More: Miles Davis – Guinnevere, by Pat Thomas
Recently, a new article about the origins of Van Morrison‘s Astral Weeks was making the rounds of Facebook, here’s a few words that I’ve jotted down on how I “hear” that album: I’ve never understood why people feel the need to expand the tale (and myth) of Astral Weeks. It’s perfect just the way . . . → Read More: Come On People, It’s Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, by Pat Thomas
In the 1980’s there were a handful of life-changing records. Not just records that I loved -but ones that caused me to actually make changes in my life. The Dream Syndicate inspired me to move to California. The Rain Parade is partially why I got into the music business. One record that also affected . . . → Read More: 28th Day – 25 Pills, by Pat Thomas
No thanks to Mojo, all classic rock bands have been covered to death. So the most interesting action is now the ‘sidebar’ stories. The Beatles Good Ol’ Freda movie was better than covering Sgt. Pepper for the 1000th time! With that in mind, this NEW movie is a gift for WHO fans. for anyone . . . → Read More: Lambert & Stamp Who Documentary, by Pat Thomas
Fantagraphics Books has just released Invitation To Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography Of Les McCann 1960-1980 a beautiful hardcover coffee table book which collects the photographs of legendary musician Les McCann; he documented the jazz and soul scene —across several decades. All of them previously unpublished until now. Perhaps the largest collection of . . . → Read More: Invitation To Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography Of Les McCann 1960-1980
45 years ago today, 2/28/1970 – Van Morrison released the Moondance album. I jotted down a few thoughts on what I think in 2015.
Van Morrison’s second Warner Brothers album is so good; it arguably could have been a ‘best of’ collection. One of those rare records in which there’s no bad tracks. At . . . → Read More: Van Morrison’s Moondance: A Perfect Album, by Pat Thomas
I’ve never understood the fascination that my friends have for ABBA. My ABBA compilation, would be a 4 song EP. Their music is a piece of chalk marinated in vinegar. However, I have a soft-spot for the 1975 Frida ensam (“Frida Alone”) LP. Sung all in Swedish, it includes versions of Bowie’s “Liv på . . . → Read More: Frida Ensam, by Pat Thomas
Was interesting to hear in both the movie and the panel discussion afterwards last night in LA, how many “punk legends” got inspired by “prog-rock” in the early 70’s. Great discussion by Jello Biafra about Hawkwind and Keith Morris praising Yes, King Crimson, etc. He wasn’t mentioned but John Lydon also went down that . . . → Read More: Records Collecting Dust Movie Coming to Portland Feb. 11, by Pat Thomas
Not only the best LP to come out of the massive Flying Nun / Kiwi stable (which had much good to great talent, but few who delivered complete albums as consistent and captivating as this one), but amongst the best indie albums anywhere by any group in the second half of the 80’s.
. . . → Read More: The Bats – Daddy’s Highway, by Pat Thomas
Joe Cocker was one of those guys that my pals liked to mock and was fun for John Belushi to parody. But at his peak, Joe was “thee song interpreter” of his generation. Most famously, he was one of the first and best to really rework a Beatles song into something new, different and . . . → Read More: Joe Cocker – Darling Be Home Soon, by Pat Thomas
For me, this 1970 LP is the best “holiday” album. Why? Laura Nyro wrote all the songs, except one, which Carole King did. Felix Cavaliere and Arif Mardin produced it. The backing band are the Swampers from Muscle Shoals – plus Duane Allman AND Alice Coltrane play on it. What more could you want?
. . . → Read More: Laura Nyro – Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, by Pat Thomas
For me, the soundtrack of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the definitive ‘indie rock’ artist, was Barbara Manning. Her ethereal vocals over the top of a 1960s English folk / 70’s Krautrock / 80’s Kiwi Flying Nun blend was not only unique, it was transcendent. Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock . . . → Read More: Barbara Manning – Scissors, by Pat Thomas
I’ve always liked this movie, Redford’s character as an incredibly driven loner from a small town, who is drawn to the spotlight and Europe is a good role for him – the cinematography of the skiing and small towns is incredible (filmed on location providing a great snapshot of small European towns circa 1969). . . . → Read More: Downhill Racer, by Pat Thomas
Listening to the new Robert Plant album Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar and while it’s not nearly as captivating as 2010’s Band of Joy (which ranks with Plant’s best work ever) – this new one, at this stage in his nearly 50 year career is fairly fresh and different from previous work. Quality-wise, I’d . . . → Read More: Robert Plant – Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, by Pat Thomas