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Bsbloom Customs - Update: 9/26/20 Soul Sacrifice

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A huge pack for you, from the incredibly popular cover group, Three Dog Night.


The band started around three singers, who had worked for other artists, including Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys), and then formed their own trio, called Redwood. These were Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, and Cory Wells. They took on some session musicians and formed a full band, which became Three Dog Night. The name referred to the three lead singers, and to an old outback expression, about a night so painfully cold that you had to sleep with three dogs to keep comfortable.


These were singers, and, with their new additions, great musicians, but not songwriters. They normally did covers of old songs, or covers of obscure material, or covers of songs that did well in other countries. Occasionally, they bought songs from writers, written specifically for their group. All three lead singers were amazing mimics, and they could totally capture the nuances and phrasing of a female singer, like Laura Nyro, on one piece, and then sound exactly like Otis Redding on another.


The band was wildly successful for about a decade, selling something like 40 million albums, recording 21 Billboard Top Forty hits, including three number one songs.


They still tour and perform today, though only Hutton, and guitarist Michael Allsup are around from the early days.


Here are the customs:




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5aa13a5cf41063.98579524



Tenderness was written by Campbell, Connelly, and Woods, in the early 1930's. Bing Crosby was one of the first to record this, and had a hit in 1933 with Tenderness. Otis Redding did a smash hit recording of this in 1966, and TDN released their take on this on their first album. Their version, and the Redding hit, sound very similar, particularly in the vocals, by Cory Wells. The backing is stronger, and I really love the wonderful ascending guitar theme. I get chills every time I hear that, or play it.


This was my first TDN chart, finished two months ago, and I have probably played this one fifty times. It is a great song, maybe the best of these customs.


Drums and tempo map are by AJFOne23.


The next three come from their second album:




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5ad491edd1ec05.48143837


This was written and performed by Laura Nyro in 1967. Her version, and TDN are quite similar, and, once again, the lead singer is Wells.




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5ad4e591dfdd43.59309920


This pretty ballad was written by MacDermot, Rado, and Ragni, for the rock opera Hair. Negron takes the lead singing duties.




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5ad4e5fc661cf9.70744797


Again, drums and tempo map are by AJFOne23.


This one was written specifically for TDN, by Bonner and Gordon. It starts out with a Cinderella type theme, slow music, talking about dressing up for the big ball. Then it shifts into pop anthem mode - indeed, "Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music" is often heard today at rallies and sporting events.


The lead singing shifts from one to another, all three members took turns leading this one. You may never have heard of this band, but you will recognize this song.


And, even more so, you will recognize this one:




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5ad4e691b888b2.98975106


Drums, tempo also from AJ.


Another anthem song, written specifically for the band, by Hoyt Axton. His first version started out, "Jeremiah was a prophet" , but, no one in the band liked that. Someone changed prophet to bullfrog, and the song was born. Negron is on lead for this one.


Like Celebrate, this one is used today at lots of events. In fact, in Denver, this one blasts over the loudspeakers whenever the Broncos wrap up a home game win. Broncos win, Broncos win, and we have joy to all the fishes in the deep blue sea.




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5ad4e70b924160.25090054


This one was written by Arkin and Robinson in 1954, and first released by the folk legend, Pete Seeger, in 1956. Three Dog's version was a huge hit, one of their number one songs. Hutton has the lead for this one.


In 1954, we had "separate, but equal" schools. In 2018, we still shoot and kill people of a certain color at traffic stops. Has anything changed?


Finally, my other real favorite from this collection:




Download: http://d.c3universe.com/5ad4e7a15bee03.55177480


This was written, and recorded, by Leo Sayer, in 1973, and did quite well on the UK charts. Sayer threw in a 45 second introduction of circus music, the piece, Entrance of the Gladiators, by Julius Fucik. Then the actual song kicked in.


Unlike the other covers by TDN, they made major changes to this one. First off, they threw in a calliope to play the Fucik circus music. Then they repeated that theme throughout the song. The theme is gorgeous, and, from our Rock Band perspective, huge fun to play. It should, of course, be charted to keyboards, with no guitar at all there, but, as a guitar player, I wanted to play along. So, I charted the calliope theme to both guitar and keyboard.


That might offend some purists, and, for you,




Same song, and charts, but with the guitar idle during the circus sections.


The other big change came to the lyrics. Sayer wrote, and sang, "I won't let the show go on." TDN changed this to the ironic "I must let the show go on." I think this is a great improvement. Sayer thought not, and was quite pissed at the change.


Negron has the lead.


Great song. Get it! This, and Tenderness are jewels, and perfect for Rock Band.






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  • 2 months later...

This month we are going pop, full bubblegum and sap. As my buddy likes to say, Pop Goes RockBand!


I bring you five by five, five songs from the pop sensation group of the 60's and 70's, the Fifth Dimension.


The group has not appeared in RockBand yet, and for good reason. They were basically five superb singers, and paid little attention to the instruments. All of their recordings featured LA session musicians, and, on many of these songs, the guitar work was simply chord work. There is one lovely exception to that trend: Up, Up, and Away featured phenomenal guitar work by the session musician Al Casey. As a plastic guitarist, this is my favorite song here. The guitar work is a blast.


Despite keeping the instruments in the background, two of their regular fill-ins really let loose. Hal Blaine was always fun and interesting on drums, and the drum charts are nice. AJ, as usual, did a superb job capturing Blaine on three of these tracks. Then there was Joe Osborn, who really let loose on bass. If you like bass, you will love these songs.


So, I lead off, from their first album:




Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/up-up-and-away-r21306


Drums by AJFOne23.


This song was written by Jimmy Webb, with lead vocals by Marilyn McCoo.


My next two customs are from their second album, Age of Aquarius.






Aquarius/Sunshine is a medley from the musical Hair. Billy Davis Jr. has the lead singing duty, and does a great job. However, he is really leading only on the second part, Sunshine. McCoo takes the lead on Age. That makes the singing, in RockBand, a little weird. The highlighted vocalist starts out doing backing, and does not take over the song until the second part.


AJ did the drums for both of these, and redid the tempo map on Age of Aquarius.


Downloads: Age: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/age-of-aquariuslet-the-sun-r21307


Wedding: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/wedding-bell-blues-r21308


Wedding Bell Blues was written by Laura Nyro. It is funny - I had never heard of Nyro, nor did I know her work at all. Yet, last month, I released a Three Dog song written by Nyro, and here, another one by the 5D. The music is great, but the lyrics ...? Pretty stupid. I guess it was a sign of the times, that a young woman had to measure her self-esteem by her marital status.


My final two offerings are break-up songs, sad, mournful, and memorable.






Downloads: Bell: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/one-last-bell-to-answer-r21309


Sleep: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/last-night-i-couldnt-g-r21310


Marilyn McCoo has the lead for vocals. One Less Bell is a Burt Bacharach tune, co-authored with Hal David. Sleep was written by Tony Macauley.


Hope you enjoy. I promise to return to harder rock next month. I've finished several Guess Who songs, for AJ, and those will appear in his thread soon. And I have started on some Pink Floyd songs.

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  • 1 year later...

For this month, all classic rock customs, picking on bands that have little or no Rock Band exposure.


For starters, what is mostly an update, Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. This was one of my very first charts, adding guitar to a drums only FOF cut by Oscarj08. I love the song, but my chart was not very good, and I have wanted to fix it up for some time. This new version is full band, with the guitar track completely rewritten, and the synthesizer charted for Pro Keys.



Download is here: http://www.mediafire.com/download/77igse3hfi173h4/LuckyManv4FB_rb3con


The next band is an old one that achieved newfound fame thanks to Rock Band II, yet, oddly enough, has never appeared yet in any Rock Band song, or C3 release. The band is The Outlaws. Everyone here has played through Green Grass and High Tides, but that song is actually a cover, an "As made famous by". Actual songs by The Outlaws are nowhere to be found. That ends here - yippee-ki-yay!



Download: http://www.mediafire.com/download/fulc9sf2n93wcl3/GhostRiders


The third group for this month is Ten Years After. This was one of many middling bands asked to fill in at a festival held in a small upstate New York town, Woodstock. At some point during their set, their guitarist/singer broke out an old blues tune from their Undead album, I'm Going Home, and blew the audience away. Suddenly these nobodies were famous, and remained a top-tier band until they split up a few years later.


Here is that pivotal Woodstock moment:


During their run, they had only one true mega-hit, I'd Love to Change the World. You may not have heard this song before from Ten Years After, but many other groups have covered it since, so the song is likely familiar. Check it out here:



Here are the two big songs from Ten Years After:



Change the World was originally done, for guitar only, by Ivanmq1, on Frets on Fire. I rewrote much of that chart, and added the rest.


Both downloads are here:



The last group is Iron Butterfly, with a song that needs no introduction.



Drums are by Blitzbob. Download is here:



So, break out the bongs and tie-dyes. Bang away on some RB drums, or some plain old air drums, and trip away.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Two new customs for you, and one announcement:


First up,




This is my fifth song from this 60's band. I did four for Chart-a-thon, and, as I mentioned then, the band, in their first incarnation, revolved around three musicians, group leader, Dave LaFlamme, who played violin, did all the arrangements, and much of the vocals. Patty Santos, on vocals, and Dave's wife Linda, for keyboards and some song-writing.


Linda helped pen three songs on their debut album, the three best songs, in my opinion. Girl With No Eyes and White Bird appeared in my last trip charting this group. Her third song was Hot Summer Day, written after and about the LA protests and riots. So, in this round of new protests, this seems like a fitting song to present.


Linda had already left the band - Fred Webb was now on keys. Santos would stay for another year or so, then also leave. Once both of these women left, the band fell back into obscurity.


I opted for the live version for several reasons. First, and most importantly, Santos. She is singing back-up only, but her incredible range is really on display here. She had one of the best voices of her era.


Next, every instrument is fun - this is perfect for our game. The drums are wicked, interesting, and complex. The bass is pretty straight-forward, but never lets up. I got tired playing through the part. Keys are easier, and are often quiet, but keyboardists get the real highlight of the song - there is a very long solo, in the middle, charted to keys. The solo actually starts with the organ, and ends on violin.


Finally, there is guitar, and the guitar work is great. During the body of the song, the guitar alternates between heavy-metal-like chords, during the chorus, and finger-picking arpeggio for the verses. The guitar turns really sweet and lyrical during the interlude, and then explodes into a finishing solo.


The drum chart was done by AJFOne23.


Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/hot-summer-day-live-r26548


Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vexOSps0FoM



Next - my announcement: I had quite a lot of fun charting for the last C3Next tour, and Chart-a-thon. I decided to commit to the next tour, and pledged to do two S-bands, Santana, and Steppenwolf. I reserved a slot on their scheduler, and started to put in charts, as they finished. Currently, I have 19 finished charts - 5 Steppenwolf songs, 14 Santana. However, it now looks like that next tour leg is on indefinite hold.


So, I have decided to release the songs here, one each week, on an S-day, of course. Each Saturday, I will release one song from either Santana or Steppenwolf. This will continue until I run out of charts.


My first S-band offering is from Santana:





Carlos Santana is the guitarist's guitarist. Everything he records is pitch-perfect. This instrumental is no different.


Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/aqua-marine-r26549


Video Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK9wql4yRfI


Why choose this one first? No reason - the song is simply the first one I charted when I started this project. So, the first one up.


I plan on presenting another Santana song next Saturday, then a Steppenwolf song the week after.


As usual, requests are welcome. If you give me a request, and the song is in my collection, I'll move up its release date. So, you can help me decide the songs to release for the next two weeks. If you have a request not in my collection, I'll at least consider charting the song.

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It's Saturday, so another S band custom.


For this week,




Abraxas was the second album from Santana, and Samba Pa Ti, or Samba for you, was the only song actually written by Carlos. Another sweet, lyrical instrumental, this one has become a real classic.


The song was not released as a single when Abraxas appeared, but was released a few years later, to help promote their Greatest Hits album. Rather surprisingly, that single marked the first time a Santana song broke into the UK charts. As the band gained fame and popularity, this song also grew in fame and popularity, and became a staple at their concerts for years to come.


This one was requested, and, like I said last week, request, and I'll try to oblige.


Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/samba-pa-ti-r26592


Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5AUm_xaE9A

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It's Saturday, and time for a Steppenwolf custom. It is also the Fourth of July. Happy Fourth, everyone. And, for Independence Day, there can only be one Steppenwolf song, no choice here at all.



America, where are you now?

Don't you care about your sons and daughters?

Don't you know, we need you now.
We can't fight alone against the monster.

Yes, their incredible three-part Rock Opera, Monster, Suicide, America:




The song seems timeless, seems like it was written yesterday, not half a century ago. Verses like



We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole world's got to be just like us.
Now we are fighting a war over there.
No matter who's the winner we can't pay the cost.


aren't about Afghanistan, but they could be.


Verses like



The cities have turned into jungles.
And corruption is stranglin' the land.
The police force is watching the people.
And the people just can't understand.


refer to Chicago and Los Angeles, but they could be about Atlanta and Minneapolis.


The Monster is really any politician, from any party, from any era.


When I started this, I checked out some live concert footage, then settled on the Studio cut. One video I found seemed to be from a concert in February, 2017. The video footage playing behind the stage had pictures of our newly inaugurated president. That was really cool - the band had reunited and gave a protest concert in 2017! Turns out that was all bullshit. A closer look at the video revealed that the footage was from an old concert, and the poster had simply replaced some of the video with pictures of Donald Trump.



Drums by AJFOne23, and the drums are great. Thanks.


Download: http://customscreators.com/index.php?/page/index.html/_/monster-suicide-america-r26713


Video Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk3sURDS4IA


Again, have a great holiday.


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