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!
Free As A Bird The Beatles Anthology 1 Apple Records / Capitol Records 1995
Free As a Birdwas 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 AnthologyCD 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 Loveonly 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…
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…
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.
Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Take The A-Train – Duke Ellington
Blue Monk – Thelonius Monk Trio
I can’t decide on which classic jazz song should lead off. I settled on all three of these.
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.
New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
I don’t really like this particular song, but I feel like I must include it.
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.
Personality Crisis – The New York Dolls
Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
I Wanna Be Seated – The Ramones
One Way or Another – Blondie
If I could go back in time, I would go straight to 1977 at CBGB.
Shattered – Rolling Stones
Bite the Big Apple…
New York Groove – Ace Frehley
Great tune! That is all.
Angela – Bob James
Soft jazz song that you will recognize as the theme to the gritty NY sitcom Taxi.
In The City – Joe Walsh
More theme music – this time from the cult classic film The Warriors!
Double Fantasy – John Lennon
I can’t choose just one song from this album that defines New York City for me.
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.
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.
New York Minute – Don Henley
Layers and layers of good stuff here.
The Great American Nightmare – Rob Zombie
It’s been the theme to The Howard Stern Show for 20 years. That’s pretty New York.
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.
As of this week, The Loop is gone from our radio dials. I rarely feel sad for dead celebrities, but I am a bit heartbroken over the passing of The Loop. For those of you not in the Chicago area, it was the greatest rock station in the universe. More on that debate later.
Sure, The Loop hasn’t really been “The Loop” for a decade or two. I’ve lost track of the ownership changes and lately it’s been programmed by some automated robot, or even worse, a Millennial who wouldn’t know the difference between Bon Scott and Brian Johnson.
There’s no Steve Dahl, Johnny B, or breaking cool Tom Petty records anymore. It’s pretty much full of 30-year-old Def Leppard songs lately like every other lame classic rock station owned by a failing conglomerate in America. I haven’t bothered to tune in for many years. And you haven’t tuned in either; if we had, The Loop may have survived. It’s just another underperforming media property being sold and dismantled.
Influence on My Life
The Loop was the most influential radio station in the universe from ’79 until about ’84. Well, in my universe anyway! My biggest influencers from the world of radio in my childhood were:
The iconic one: WLS
The fictional one: WKRP
The real one: The Loop
The Loop influenced me in many ways from adolescence through adulthood. It was my friend in times when I had no friends. The Loop was a factor in my wanting to work in (and my obsession with) radio. Without The Loop, I would not have wanted to be a rock jock, and therefore would never have met my wife and therefore we would not have our daughter! Wow!
Without The Loop, there would be no Steve Dahl. Without Dahl, there would be no Howard Stern. Without Stern, there would be no Social Geek Radio. Okay, that last one is a stretch, but throw me a bone.
Many people in Chicago will tell you that WXRT was much more influential and far superior to The Loop. Don’t get me wrong – someday when XRT inevitably folds, I’ll be writing about that brilliantly-programmed entity too.
As far as the availability of the Loop’s or XRT’s music, a few channels on Sirius XM currently fill that void for most of us Gen Xers who are not dead or have not relocated to Texas or Florida.
The Loop hadn’t been cool for many years and wasn’t yet old enough to be retro chic. But now that it’s officially gone, perhaps it will be cool to wear The Loop t-shirt again. I just hope it still fits.