LATEST UPDATE 2/22 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #22 Motown 2 pack
There aren't many songs out there that by simply mentioning title are capable of bringing a smile to my face... this is definitely one of them. I can't put a finger on it...Is it that snazzy rhythm guitar intro, laying the 'funky' down with a vigor that simply oozes uplifting?...could be!
Maybe it's Stevie's vocalizations, full of joyous conviction,..is that the heartbeat of it all?...that's a very strong possibility!!
Well, there's always that bombalicious, boogieful, fun loving 'Stevie Harmonica' that when blown, emits an electrifying surge of energy, lifting the spirit up a couple or four notches on the 'amazingly good vibe' scale.....Good gawd!...That's gotta be it !!!!
Whatever the reasons, surely the backing of bassist extraordinaire James Jamerson and the rest of the Funk Brothers crew round out a phenomenal and overall sound to this exhilarating musical arrangement. As much as Stevie Wonder's essence and energy permeate the song, it's hard to believe he himself didn't write it. That credit goes to a member of Berry Gordy's song writing team of 'Motown Hit Factory' writers by the name of Ron Miller along with the musical talents of Orlando Murden. Not a hard or particularly challenging song to play for RB3, but it sure feels good doing it, don't it?!
Anyone who's seen John Legend perform knows the 35-year-old has been covering the Smokey Robinson classic "Quiet Storm" in his concerts for years. Legend does such a great job of it that Robinson urged the singer to record the song himself. But Legend did one better. He teamed up with Robinson to record a duet of the classic '70s tune for Robinson's new album, Smokey & Friends. The result is a blended mix of silky smooth old school and new school soul that is beyond music to the ears. Legend says at the beginning of the track, "Bob Dylan called Smokey Robinson one of the greatest poets of our time. Smokey, it's an honor to sing this with you."
LATEST UPDATE 2/21 - AMOUR MONTH DAY #21 Silverchair 2 pack
Not quite a grunge song, but still a definite rock song and the best of the type on the album, Without You sounds like a sum up of everything Silverchair has done up to this point. The chorus has just enough hook to pull you in, but doesn't sound overproduced or like they're trying too hard. After a typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus song structure, the band throws something else out to please the listener at the end of the song. There's a minute long instrumental outro that flat out rocks. The chord structure at the end really drives the song home.
The song was written when Johns was suffering from severe depression among other things. In an interview with Kerrang! Magazine, Johns said that the song was "about not being able to establish a relationship with anyone, not being able to experience love outside of family". He also said that he "wanted a song that people could perceive as a love song, while the lyrics are actually very angry".
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."
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)