LATEST UPDATE 2/20 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #20 The Allman Brothers - Melissa
A plaintive country-rock ballad, "Melissa" finds the Allman Brothers in melancholy mood on their first outing after the death of founder Duane Allman, the 1972 LP Eat a Peach. Written by Gregg Allman and Stephen Alaimo, the song was an FM radio hit and propelled the album to commercial success. It is a classic rock radio staple to this day.
One of the great soul singers, Gregg Allman sounds absolutely bruised and ravaged on "Melissa." His voice constantly struggles with the pitch on the original recording, the ultimate effect of which is to convey deep vulnerability and weariness. Throughout the entire arrangement, Dickey Betts soars on wistful guitar lines through a slap-back tape-echo effect and a volume pedal that allows the musical runs to float in and out like a pedal steel. He hits some notes that he chooses to leave hanging, sustaining for impossible lengths, saying so much with single notes that fade away. It is one of his career-making performances.
LATEST UPDATE 2/19 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #19 The Cardigans - Carnival
"Carnival" opens with a nice uptempo funk beat and an insistent jazzy pop melody with some well orchestrated strings. Surely one of those hit songs that was also instrumentally rich at the same time. Turn to this song if you want to be reminded of the spirit of young love and fun, this song's carnival will have you smiling in seconds.
LATEST UPDATE 2/18 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #18 Foo Fighters 3 pack/Hall & Oates
"Dear Lover", once a B-side of "My Hero" and a castaway on the Screams 2 soundtrack, turns out to be a perfectly poignant little thing that never gets as melodramatic as, say, "Walking After You". Really, it's the quiet, reflective side of "Everlong" and the aftermath of the events that inspired the album; "Now I know the way true love should be," Grohl sings with a sort of contented sorrow, as the rest of his life opens up and the painful memories start to fade.
In 1997 Dave Grohl composed all 13 songs for the original motion picture soundtrack for the movie Touch including the title track "Touch", a duet with Grohl's then girlfriend Louise Post of the band Veruca Salt. Grohl played all the instruments.
"How Do You Do" was the only other new song with vocals and features Dave's classic blazing guitars and signature drum work all wrapped in a little Beatles pop-rock package, circa The Colour and the Shape.
In keeping company with the likes of The Rascals, Boz Scaggs and Steve Winwood,..Hall & Oates are yet another prime example of what 'Blue Eyed Soul' delivers. Reaching #4 on Billboard's 'Hot 100' in 1976, "Sarah Smile" took to the airwaves and launched the beginnings of a very lucrative and successful run of top selling songs for Philly's own dynamic duo. The song begins with a tender and thoughtful, almost melancholy lead guitar line that invokes the listener in for a singular sit down, 'heart to heart'. "Sara Smile" captures one lover's assessment of his romance with his woman. In it's quiet reflection, the lyrics ride along on a subtle mix of keyboards and bottom end. Backing vocals are simple and sustaining in delivery and the occasional string arrangement backs an emotional mood setting. Compositionally, one can't help but feel that the song illustrates what it's like when talking to oneself or thinking aloud. Some may disagree with that perception, but I just feel that way. All in all, a very soulful expression that leaves one to ponder what becomes of the relationship, which I think is a rather cool way of presenting the song and allowing the listener to come to their own conclusion. Great song with an impressive feel and flair.
LATEST UPDATE 2/17 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #17 Billy Joel 3 pack
On “Through The Long Night” Billy Joel does one of the things he does best; he takes a dark and difficult subject and wraps a sweet and gentle song around it. The difficult subject is a partner dealing with depression and the sweetness is the melody that plays out over a quiet arrangement like a lullaby sung to help a troubled mind stop racing long enough to feel some peace. Like most of the songs on side two of Glass Houses, "Through The Long Night," did not get much recognition and is rarely played, but hardcore Billy Joel fans are fond of this sad and introspective ballad. It’s my favorite Billy Joel tune of all time.
The least known song from The Stranger is probably "Get It Right The First Time." It is an upbeat, funky, Latin-tinged, disco-like song; just a nice bit of fun. The song opens with Liberty Devitto and Doug Stegmeyer laying down a funky drum and bass line, and then Richie Cannata comes in playing the flute. The song is catchy and the bossa nova type beat is irrestible. Thematically, the song is about taking a chance on making a good first impression with someone. You have to seize the moment and make the most of your opportunity because you may not get another.
The first side of 1982's The Nylon Curtain is so packed with hits ("Allentown," "Pressure" and "Goodnight Saigon") that "Laura" is often overlooked. Joel says the extremely bitter tune wasn't inspired be a single person. "Let's put it this way," he said in 1996. "It's not about anybody in particular like a lover. It's whoever the one person is that knows how to push your buttons. It can be someone in your family. It can be a lover, a wife, a husband, a child. I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. It was that one person in my life who knew how to push my buttons."
LATEST UPDATE 2/16 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #16 Stone Temple Pilots 2 pack
"Wonderful," a beautiful, spacey ballad with gorgeous slide guitar. The verses are acoustic and beautiful along with Scott's voice. The pre-chorus is what makes the song however, when Scott sings "Must be moving on", it's basically the high moment of beauty in the song. Great slide guitar solo that fits with the acoustics in the background. A live version appears on The Family Values Tour 2001 compilation album, which features Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.
"I Got You" is a sixties-influenced melancholy countryish song that sounds like nothing else on this album. Slow, brooding, beautiful. Like "Sour Girl," Scott Weiland wrote this song's lyric about his first wife Janina Castaneda, who he was in the process of divorcing. In "I Got You," Weiland explains that no matter how many times she tried to right his course, he always went back to his old ways: drug addiction and volatile behavior.
There are some very overt drug references in the track, as Weiland sings, "The mind begins to wander to the spoon," and "The fix begins to twist my troubled mind."
LATEST UPDATE 2/15 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #15 The Ides of March - Vehicle
Quaking with booming soulful vocals, funky hard edged frequencies and screaming horns, “Vehicle” yields an admirable job of combining a big-band beat with rough and tumble blues rock, capped off with cushions of gospel styled choruses. Imagine a collaboration between the Chambers Brothers, Steppenwolf and Glenn Miller, and there you have it. The lyrics were inspired by a girl who always asked him to drive her here, there and everywhere. He had a crush on her but the feeling did not appear mutual. Jim was under the impression the young lady was simply using him for rides. Well, to make a long story short, they did get together, became husband and wife and remain happily married after all these years!
CHICAGO (THE CHICAGO CHRONICLES)
Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
Chicago II (1970)
Chicago III (1971)
Chicago IV (1971)
Chicago V (1972)
Chicago VI (1973)
Chicago VII (1974)
Chicago VIII (1975)
Chicago X (1976)
Chicago XI (1977)
Hot Streets (1978)
Chicago 13 (1979)
Chicago 14 (1980)
Chicago 16 (1982)
Chicago 17 (1984)
Chicago 18 (1986)
Chicago 19 (1988)