#TBT #Vinyl Sponge, Rotting Piñata, 1994

Sponge Rotting Piñata

Sponge
Rotting Piñata
WORK Group Records / Sony Music
1994

Sponge was a favorite band of mine in the 90s. My radio station was one of the first to play these guys outside of their native Detroit, so the band’s management and label sent me a gold record when they hit 500,000 units in sales. 

This was my first gold record I ever received from a band and I was thrilled!!!

Then …  I unwrapped it and realized they spelled my name wrong. Oh, well. I still love this album, the band, and the gift. 

 

Sponge Rotting Piñata

Sponge Rotting Piñata

 

 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl The Blues Brothers Soundtrack, 1980

Blues Brothers Soundtrack

The Blues Brothers 
Orignal Soundtrack 
Atlantic Records
1980

The greatest soundtrack ever. The greatest movie ever. Filmed in the greatest city ever.  Hit it. 

Blues Brothers Soundtrack

Blues Brothers Soundtrack

#TBT #Vinyl The Who Collection, 1985

The Who Collection

The Who
Collection
Polydor Records
1985

This compilation available only in the UK was the first import record I ever had. Teenaged me: “Wait, records are different in other countries?” Hooked.

It had a cool remix of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and great packaging as you can see here.

 

The Who Collection

The Who Collection

The Who Collection
“The Wasteland” – Etching by Anthony Davies

The Who Collection

 

 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, 1994

 

Various Artists
Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved
Mercury Records
1994

I generally dislike tribute albums. But this Kiss tribute from 1994 was cool and the red vinyl version was even cooler! It featured some great signature bands of the 90s including Gin Blossoms, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and Lenny Kravitz. 

Garth Brooks’ performance of my favorite Kiss song, “Hard Luck Woman” made me a Garth fan!

Kiss My Ass

Kiss My Ass

 

 

#TBT The Beatles, Free As a Bird, 1995

Beatles Anthology

Free As A Bird
The Beatles
Anthology 1
Apple Records / Capitol Records
1995

 

Free As a Bird was released in 1995 as the first “new” song by all four Beatles in 25 years. It was part of a multi-media blitz of the Anthology CD releases and the Anthology mini-series on ABC television.

Yes kids, in 1995, multi-media meant CDs and a TV show (plus a lot of promotion on something called FM radio).

At the time, Free As a Bird was received as a novelty. It was a publicity stunt as part of the Anthology releases. Most fans watched, listened, and said, “Okay, it’s good, but play something from Rubber Soul or Sgt Pepper again!”

But 23 years later, Free As a Bird is BRILLIANT. If you haven’t heard it in a while, give it a listen again please:

 

How did we get here?

Perhaps our standards just that much lower now. As musicians stopped playing actual musical instruments, did we lower the bar of what constitutes a good song?

In spite of the media’s phony accolades poured upon the likes of Jay-Zee, Beyoncé, and Adam Levine as “geniuses,” the universe hasn’t produced songwriters close to Lennon and McCartney in decades.

Even an unproduced, unfinished scrap song demo from John Lennon is brilliant compared to anything by Kanye West.

 

A True Beatles Song

I’m a huge fan of the Anthology albums and the mini-series. At the time, I had thought of the new songs Free As a Bird and Real Love only as interesting codas. But now I consider them full-fledged Beatles creative achievements.

And unlike Real Love, which is fantastic in its own way, Free As a Bird was not a complete recording. Real Love allowed Paul, George, and Ringo to come in as a backup band to provide backing vocals and a guitar solo to John’s nearly-complete song. But on Free As a Bird, the other three Beatles created 75% of the song that John started.

Also, in writing this, I realize for the first time that Free As a Bird can be abbreviated as FAB. Heh…

 

2018

I’m glad Free a Bird was made back in 1995 and not 2018.  If created in 2018, someone may have convinced the surviving Beatles to use auto-tune. John Lennon auto-tuned. Imagine that…

 

 

 

 

 

New York Playlist

New York Playlist

 

The most important part of any travel for business or pleasure is planning out the proper soundtrack for your trip. With the 2018 International Franchise Expo starting this week, I wanted to share my playlist of my favorite songs by New York artists, recorded in New York, or about New York.

  1. Love Supreme – John Coltrane
  2. Take The A-Train – Duke Ellington
  3. Blue Monk – Thelonius Monk Trio

I can’t decide on which classic jazz song should lead off. I settled on all three of these.

 

  1. Pennies from Heaven – Louis Prima

Face it, when you set foot in New York, you feel as excited and sugared-up as Buddy in Elf.

 

  1. New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

I don’t really like this particular song, but I feel like I must include it.

 

  1. Piano Man – Billy Joel

This song always painted such a perfect a picture of an old piano bar in the city. I can smell the beer on the microphone.

 

  1. Personality Crisis – The New York Dolls
  2. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
  3. I Wanna Be Seated – The Ramones
  4. One Way or Another – Blondie

If I could go back in time, I would go straight to 1977 at CBGB.

 

  1. Shattered – Rolling Stones

Bite the Big Apple…

 

  1. New York Groove – Ace Frehley

Great tune! That is all.

 

  1. Angela – Bob James

Soft jazz song that you will recognize as the theme to the gritty NY sitcom Taxi.

 

  1. In The City – Joe Walsh

More theme music – this time from the cult classic film The Warriors!

 

  1. Double Fantasy – John Lennon

I can’t choose just one song from this album that defines New York City for me.

 

  1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues with Kristy MacColl

Yes, it’s a Christmas song. But it also paints an amazing picture of New York City. It’s beautiful & ugly as well as sad & happy all at the same time.

 

  1. Unplugged in New York – Nirvana

Recorded in New York but not really a NY record. It’s the best live album ever, so I just look for any reason to put it on any list.

 

  1. New York Minute – Don Henley

Layers and layers of good stuff here.

 

  1. The Great American Nightmare – Rob Zombie

It’s been the theme to The Howard Stern Show for 20 years. That’s pretty New York.

 

  1. New York State of Mind (Live) – Billy Joel

Two Billy Joel songs on this list? Yep.

And, go for the live broadcast version from the post-911 televised Tribute to Heroes concert.

 

 

And for those wondering where Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are … I’m sorry, I just can’t.