News for October 2014

Groovy Ghouls and Haunted Hits – The Ultimate Halloween Playlist by Eric Berman


Groovy Ghouls and Haunted Hits – The Ultimate Halloween Playlist by Eric Berman

For your Halloween party pleasure, cue this ghoulish playlist up in Spotify!

  1. This Is Halloween from the Nightmare before Christmas
  2. Monster Mash – Bobby Boris Pickett
  3. Boris the Spider – The Who
  4. Haunted House – Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
  5. I Put a Spell on You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  6. Theme from the Munsters – Billy Strange
  7. The Blob – The Five Blobs
  8. The Adams Family Main Theme – Vic Mizzy
  9. Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
  10. Witch Doctor – David Seville
  11. They’re Comin’ to Take Me Away – Napoleon XIV
  12. Frankenstein – Edgar Winter Group
  13. Welcome to My Nightmare – Alice Cooper
  14. Witchy Woman – The Eagles
  15. Season of the Witch – Donovan
  16. Hocus Pocus – Focus
  17. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  18. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  19. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
  20. Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo
  21. Ghost Town – The Specials
  22. Twilight Zone – Golden Earring
  23. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
  24. Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band
  25. Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
  26. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – David Bowie
  27. The Creature from the Black Lagoon – Dave Edmunds
  28. Pet Semetary – Ramones
  29. Zombie Zoo – Tom Petty
  30. Devil Inside – INXS
  31. I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

Edited: October 30th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Footprints” by Miles Davis Quintet


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Footprints” by Miles Davis Quintet

They were known as Miles Davis’ second great quintet featuring Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Wayne Shorter on sax and Tony Williams on drums, but to some, they were his most important lineup. It was here that Miles was surrounded by a talented group of musicians who were much younger than he was.

The first great quintet featured John Coltrane on sax, Philly Joe Jones on drums, Red Garland on piano and Paul Chambers on bass and were responsible for creating a new modal language of cool Jazz on quintessential classic albums like Kind Of Blue, Round About Midnight and Milestones.

The ’60s quintet’s approach to improvisation was far more free-wheeling and the group’s musical language was far more advanced…they were all on the same plane, and that plane was otherworldly.

This quintet were responsible for classic albums like E.S.P., Miles Smiles, Sorcerer, Nefertiti, Miles In The Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro which were recorded between the years 1965 and 1968, and can be heard live from the concert stage on the 5 CD Complete Live At The Plugged Nickel recorded in 1965 and on the 3 CD Live In Europe 1967 where today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman was culled.

This version of Shorter’s “Footprints,” originally from the Miles Smiles album, but is heard and seen here from the DVD that came with the Live In Europe 1967 set which was the first volume of the ongoing The Bootleg Series. So far, there have been three volumes in the series…let’s hope Columbia will keep them coming.

Edited: October 29th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Toledo” by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Toledo” by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach

THE SUMMIT…that’s the term Fran Sinatra coined to sum up the grouping of Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and himself many years ago. To me, THE SUMMIT equals two of my very favorite artists collaborating together for an album and a tour…and one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen!

Elvis Costello was always a fan of Burt Bacharach. He covered his song “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” right from the beginning of his career. The Bacharach-Costello collaboration began with the song “God Give Me Strength” which was written for the exceptional 1996 Allison Anders film Grace of My Heart” which was loosely based on the story of 1960s Brill Building pop songsmiths.

After the film, the two worked together by email and telephone and found they had a knack for writing great songs. They continued their long distance collaboration writing a batch of songs that became their sole album from 1998, Painted From Memory which today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman was culled.

Here fans got the best of both worlds…Bacharach’s singular and angular way with a melody matched with Costello’s knack for the turn of a phrase. The ensuing 1998 tour was, for my money, a meeting of two of the greatest songwriters of all time…right up there with Lennon and McCartney!

Edited: October 28th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Crossword Puzzle” by Sly Stone


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Crossword Puzzle” by Sly Stone

Today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman comes from Sly Stone’s oft-neglected 1975 album High On You. Yes, it was the beginning of the end for Sly’s relevance, but this album still offers plenty of good listening.

Hip-Hop aficionados will recognize the indelible horn riffs from De La Soul’s “Say No Go” featured on their classic 3 Feet High And Rising album.

Edited: October 27th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Circle Sky” by The Monkees


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Circle Sky” by The Monkees

Right from the beginning, it was always intended that The Monkees would make the jump from the small screen to the big screen. However, by 1968 when the group made their debut film Head, The Monkees’ TV show had been cancelled and they were in dire need of some credibility in the music world.

Enter film maker Bob Rafelson and an up-and-coming actor named Jack Nicholson who wrote and directed a film that made Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels look positively coherent in comparison. Head is a psychedelic mess in the first degree…but an interesting one interspersing drug-induced visuals with graphic scenes of war…and, of course, The Monkees.

The Head album had some fine songs on it sprinkled with sound collages that made it an uneven listening experience. Today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman is one of Mike Nesmith’s finest songs which also served as the centerpiece performance of the film.

The Head album was expertly expanded into a 3 CD box set by Andrew Sandoval and Rhino Handmade several years ago…it’s not for the casual fan for sure…but if you are a Monkees obsessive it’s well worth the price of admission.

Edited: October 26th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” by Country Joe & the Fish


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” by Country Joe & the Fish

Today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman is a splash of orange sunshine from the 1967 debut album by Country Joe & the Fish called Electric Music for the Mind and Body.

Country Joe McDonald, Barry “The Fish” Melton and company were already well established on their San Francisco home turf releasing several albums before their landmark appearance at Woodstock put them on the map. While many thought the band’s name was goofy, it actually carried political overtones for those in the know.

“Country Joe” was a nickname for Joseph Stalin in the 1940s while “the fish” is a reference to Mao Tse Tung’s famous statement that a true revolutionary must “swim among the people as fish.” For a time, the band considered going under the name “Country Mao & The Fish.”

While many consider the band to be just a footnote to the psychedelic era, their influence and their records still hold up today. I put this album by ol’ Country Joe & the Fish right up there with the best from Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

Edited: October 23rd, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Savoy Truffle” by Ella Fitzgerald


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Savoy Truffle” by Ella Fitzgerald

A few days ago, I featured Fats Domino’s recording of “Lady Madonna” from the 1969 album Fats Is Back. That record was produced by Richard Perry for Reprise Records, and today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman follows Perry to the very next project he worked on, Ella by Ella Fitzgerald.

Reprise records of the late ‘60s was an artist’s haven due in no small part to the approach label head Mo Ostin took towards nurturing his roster. As a result, the label attracted top-shelf folk and rock attractions like Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Ry Cooder and Arlo Guthrie.

But let’s face it, Reprise was once Frank Sinatra’s label and it always had a sweet spot for its easy listening releases. Under Sinatra’s leadership, the Reprise roster featured records mostly by him and cronies like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Jo Stafford. When Sinatra sold the label in 1963 to Warner Bros., the label came under the direction of Mo Ostin.

Under Ostin’s tutelage, the label’s easy listening roster grew hipper and included releases by Theo Bikel, Petula Clark, The Vogues, Gordon Lightfoot, Rod McKuen, Randy Newman, Dion, Harper’s Bizarre, Lee Hazelwood, Tom Lehrer, Mike Post Coalition and Kenny Rogers & The First Edition.

One of the label’s early strategies was to find worthy artists who had fallen out of the spotlight, and match them up with a sympathetic producer who could give their recordings a contemporary sheen. For Ella Fitzgerald’s Reprise debut, Ostin matched her up with producer Richard Perry.

Perry booked time at Olympic Studios in London and had Ella record no less than three tunes by Smokey Robinson, including a sumptuous take on “Ooh Baby Baby,” The Temptations’ “Get Ready” and a sultry and soulful version of “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game.” And under Perry’s direction in choosing repertoire, she also turned in more than credible versions of songs by Randy Newman (“Yellow Man” and “I Wonder Why”), Bacharach and David (“I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”), STAX men Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd (“Knock On Wood”) and Harry Nilsson (“Open Your Window”).

However, no late ‘60s career resuscitation could be complete without a couple of Beatle tunes thrown in for good measure, and on this album Ella sings “Got To Get You Into My Life” which had been covered by numerous artists, and George Harrison’s “Savoy Truffle,” which was covered by almost no one, making Ella’s version such a treat. Although Ella sang well throughout the album, no hits ensued and the album quickly went out of print.

For her second and last album for Reprise, Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (And You Better Believe It), Ella teamed up with the late, great arranger Gerald Wilson and producer Norman Granz to record a record with far more traditional jazz arrangements, while still offering some outstanding cover choices like “Sunny,” “Mas Que Nada,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “A Man And A Woman” and “Days Of Wine And Roses.”

Edited: October 21st, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Lady Madonna” by Fats Domino


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Lady Madonna” by Fats Domino

Reprise Records was one of the labels to be on in the 1960s. What started out as the house that Frank Sinatra built, chock full of releases by his cronies like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., turned into Mo’s home when Sinatra sold the label to Warner Brothers in 1963, and Mo Ostin began to sign artists to the label. Ostin ran the label as a haven for artists, and under his aegis a hip cadre of musicians like Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, The Kinks, Arlo Guthrie, Ry Cooder, Neil Young, T. Rex, Pentangle, Gram Parsons, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Gordon Lightfoot, Jimi Hendrix and many others, came on board.

Along the way, Reprise began to look into the not too distant past to revive a few careers, which brought both Little Richard and Fats Domino to the label. While neither artist delivered the hits that Reprise, no doubt had hoped for, they both cut terrific records for the label that came and went without a trace.

Richard Perry was brought on board as producer for Domino’s “Fats Is Back,” the first of his two Reprise albums. Perry surrounded Fats Domino with an all-star list of session musicians who were sympathetic to what Fats and Reprise were trying to achieve, which was to update his sound without changing too much of what made Fats a great artist. To that end, Fats was backed by King Curtis, Eric Gale, Larry Knechtel, Chuck Rainey, Hal Blaine, James Booker and Earl Palmer, with horn charts arranged by none other than Randy Newman.

Fats Is Back came out in 1968, and featured remakes of some of Domino’s own hits including “I’m Ready,” “Wait Till It Happens To You,” and “One For The Highway.” The album’s opening track is called “My Old Friends” and begins with a medley of snippets of some of Fats’ original hits, before fading into the new, up-to-date opening song that ends with the declaration that “Fats Is Back.” The album also features Fats covering the Barbara George hit “I Know” (later remade by Bonnie Raitt), a version of James Booker’s “So Swell When You’re Well,” and a couple of Beatles favorites– “Lovely Rita” and today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman, “Lady Madonna” – which was Domino’s last chart hit.

It’s no surprise that Domino would take a crack at “Lady Madonna,” since Paul McCartney wrote the Beatles song in his style with an eye towards giving it to him to record. And Fats does not disappoint with his version, and for that matter, the rest of the tracks on this essential album.

Edited: October 19th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “The Mercy Seat” by Johnny Cash


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “The Mercy Seat” by Johnny Cash

By the year 2000 and the third album in the American series, Johnny Cash had reestablished himself as one of the greatest singers, not just in country music, but in all music. Producer, Rick Rubin, began working with him several years before and allowed Johnny Cash do what he did best in the studio…be JOHNNY CASH!

Cash began working with Rick Rubin in 1994. Rubin was the founder of Def Jam Records, and was responsible for producing seminal recordings by Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys. It must have taken quite a leap of faith for Johnny Cash to, not only work with Rick Rubin who was much younger than him, but to put his career in his hands.

When they first began working together, Cash’s career was pretty much over. He had recorded several ho-hum records for the Mercury label during the mid-to-late 1980s that were nothing special, and even resorted to re-recording some of his older hits for the label. I caught Cash in concert in a small New York City bar back in 1986 when he was touring behind the album Water from the Wells of Home. His career was so far off the mark, that the place was not even half full, although I must say that he was terrific. The performance was marred by his proclivity to allow his son and wife to take precious concert time away from the main attraction, in order for them to perform their own material.

Rubin’s whole modus operandi with Cash was to make bare guitar and voice recordings that would highlight what a great interpreter of material he was. In doing so, Rubin sent Cash tapes of songs he liked, exposing him to material he had never heard by the likes of Tom Petty, Beck, Soundgarden, U2 and Nick Cave, who wrote today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman.

For American III: Solitary Man, Rubin assembled an all-star list of backing musicians including Norman Blake, Mike Campbell, Randy Scruggs and Marty Stuart on guitar, Tom Petty, Merle Haggard and Shreyl Crow on backing vocals and Bentmont Tench on organ. “The Mercy Seat” is probably Cash’s most harrowing recording, even more so than Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ original from their 1988 album Tender Prey.

Of the five American Recordings albums, not to mention the five CD Cash Unearthed box set with more Rubin/Cash collaborations, the American III: Solitary Man album is one of the most enjoyable on every level mainly because of its superb choice of cover songs by Tom Petty (“I Won’t Back Down”), Neil Diamond (“Solitary Man”) and U2 (“One”). Together, Cash and Rubin formulated a record that kept Johnny Cash not only relevant with the hip cognoscenti, but also true to himself as a recording artist.

And as for what Nick Cave thought about Cash’s cover, his pride oozes out of every word in the following quote… “It doesn’t matter what anyone says, Johnny Cash recorded my song.”

Edited: October 15th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Paradise Girls” by Deerhoof


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Paradise Girls” by Deerhoof

Last year’s Breakup Songs was the album that topped my Best Albums list of 2013, and now Deerhoof return with their new album La Isla Bonita. (out Nov. 4)

Emanating from San Francisco (Greg Saunier, Ed Rodriguez & John Dieterich) by way of Japan (Satomi Matsuzaki), Deerhoof have released 13 albums over 20 years of unpredictable music with a sound that would have made Yoko Ono proud and John Lennon jump for joy.

It has finally come to pass that the dance ingredients of Yoko Ono’s recordings circa Double Fantasy coupled with the crunchy noise of her earlier albums which were championed by John Lennon have somewhat reached the mainstream with Deerhoof and their brand new album La Isla Bonita.

The album consists of rough tracks that were recorded in Rodriguez’s basement with the intent to send them to their producer before going into the studio. Upon playing the tracks back, the band realized that they already had the album they wanted to make.

Greg Saunier: “No one gave much thought to microphone placement and other technical matters, or playing the parts perfectly, or even staying in tune. It was unselfconscious, spontaneous and fun, all four musicians playing in the same tiny room at the same time.”

Satomi Matsuzaki later added her simplistic, repetitive lyrics and baby-doll vocals on top of the tracks solidifying the Deerhoof sound that fans have come to love.

Part electro-crunch, part sing-song melodies, part twee vocals and completely infectious in the dance rhythm department, “Paradise Girls” is a prime example of this band’s unique and irresistible sound.

Edited: October 14th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Five Years” by David Bowie


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Five Years” by David Bowie

I never get tired of this guy and he’s been a favorite of mine since the early 1970s…and look how friggin’ young he is in this clip!

Today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman features a clip of David Bowie from 1972 appearing on the British music TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test performing the opening song from Ziggy Stardust.

I’ve been fortunate over the years to see Bowie in concert in 1976, 1978, 1980 (in The Elephant Man on Broadway), 1983, 1987, 1989 (with Tin Machine for a club show), 1994 and 2004…and he’s never disappointed!

Let’s hope with his latest bout of activity: last year’s The Next Day album, this year’s forthcoming three-disc greatest hits collection Nothing Has Changed including the newly released seven and a half minute single “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)?” that will be released as a limited 10” vinyl single or download on the next Record Store Day (, and talk of a now-completed new album, that there might be a tour in the offering in the not too distant future.

Edited: October 12th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Midnight Moonlight” by Old & In the Way


Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Midnight Moonlight” by Old & In the Way

This happened 41 years ago the other day…

When not playing with The Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia liked to dabble in side projects including stints with his own Jerry Garcia Band, The New Riders Of The Purple Sage, gigging with Merle Saunders, recording with John Wales and guesting on albums by the likes of Ornette Coleman, David Bromberg, Brewer And Shipley, Bob Dylan, CSN&Y, Jefferson Airplane and many others.

But Garcia was also a member of a bona-fide “supergroup.” When most people hear the term “supergroup,” bands like Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, CSN&Y and The Traveling Wilbury’s come to mind.

Garcia’s supergroup was Old & In The Way, a bluegrass collective of great pedigree featuring Jerry Garcia on banjo and vocals, David Grisman on mandolin, Peter Rowan on guitar, Vassar Clements on fiddle and John Kahn on bass. (John Hartford sat in with the band before Clements came on board.)

Rowan and Grisman played together with ex-Byrd Clarence White in the bluegrass group Muleskinner, and also in the Elektra Records recording group, Earth Opera. Grisman also played with The Even Dozen Jug Band and guested on The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty album. Rowan and Clements were members of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, and John Kahn played with Muleskinner, Howard Wales and Garcia.

Garcia formed Old & In The Way in 1973 as a vehicle to play bluegrass banjo. The group grew out of living room jams between Garcia, Grisman and Rowan who all lived near each other in Marin County, California. Together they would gig around locally with John Kahn in tow and John Hartford on fiddle. After Hartford could not commit to a tour, the group called on Vassar Clements to take his place.

They were together for a total of nine months, and the Old & in the Way album was recorded on October 1st and 8th 1973 in front of an audience at The Boarding House in San Francisco.

Their one-off eponymously titled album was subsequently released on The Grateful Dead’s Round record label in 1975 featuring today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman, which was penned by Peter Rowan. The album also included their bluegrass cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” a version of the Peter Rowan-penned New Riders’ tune “Panama Red,” and traditional tunes like the Delmore Brothers’ “Pig In A Pen” and Carter Stanley’s “White Dove.”

With great harmonies and instrumental interplay, Old & In The Way’s old timey, good-feeling vibe struck a chord with Grateful Dead heads, making it one of the best selling bluegrass albums of all time. And indeed, several songs from the album have gone on to become standards of the Bluegrass repertoire including “Midnight Moonlight, “Wild Horses” and the album’s title track. Even more so, today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman became a standard of the Grateful Dead repertoire as well.

Garcia continued to record numerous records with David Grisman, including Not For Kids Only, one of the greatest children’s albums of all time, and two Old & In The Way albums were subsequently released featuring live recordings from the same gigs after Jerry Garcia’s death.

Last year, Grisman’s label finally got around to releasing all of the group’s recordings which consisted of two nights encompassing four sets of music in the order in which it happened, and it was all recorded 41 years ago this week.

Edited: October 9th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Worst Band In The World” by 10cc


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Worst Band In The World” by 10cc

Hey! It’s Kevin Godley’s birthday today! I found this out by listening to my friend Steve “The Professor” Leventhal today on WMXM, the Lake Forest radio station where he does a show every Wednesday morning. Actually, Steve called me last night to consult on the playlist, so you know it must have been good!

What’s that? You say you don’t know who Kevin Godley is? Well, read on…and as a matter of fact, if you already know who he is, read on anyway! (And if you missed the show, you can always stream it on demand at .)

The premise of a super group is that all of the members are well known entities unto themselves. Everyone knew who Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were, and what bands they played with before they united. The group members behind today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman were also a super group, however they were behind-the-scenes super stars that few people knew before they joined forces.

10cc consisted of two sets of incredibly talented songwriters: Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, and Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Gouldman wrote the classic hits “For Your Love,” “Heart Full Of Soul,” and “Evil Hearted You” for The Yardbirds, “Bus Stop” and “Look Through Any Window” for the Hollies and “No Milk Today” for Herman’s Hermits. His partner, Eric Stewart, was a member of Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders scoring hits with “Groovy Kind Of Love” (which he also sang) and “The Game Of Love.” Kevin Godley and Lol Creme (along with Eric Stewart) were session musicians who became members of the group Hotlegs scoring the #2 UK hit “Neanderthal Man.”

The group’s story revolves around a recording studio named Strawberry Studios (after The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”). Stewart became a partner in the studio and worked with Gouldman, Godley and Creme recording Bubblegum tunes for producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz of Super K Productions (and Buddah Records).

Kasenetz and Katz were best known as the producers behind the biggest hits by Ohio Express, The 1910 Fruitgum Company and Crazy Elephant. (It was Graham Gouldman’s vocals that graced the Ohio Express single “Sausalito,” while the rest of the group members appeared on tracks credited to Crazy Elephant, Freddie & The Dreamers, Silver Fleet and Fighter Squadron.) The Kasenetz and Katz deal afforded the group the ability to properly outfit Strawberry Studios where ultimately all of 10cc’s recordings were made.

Godley, Creme & Stewart stumbled upon a catchy drum pattern while working at Strawberry and recorded “Neanderthal Man,” which became a big hit under the moniker Hotlegs. The group also toured behind the single, opening for The Moody Blues. After working with Neil Sedaka at Strawberry on his hit album Solitaire, the group decided to give it a go on their own and began to record songs with an eye towards scoring a record deal.

The quartet were eventually signed to U.K. Records by label head Jonathan King (after being rejected by Apple), who dubbed the group 10cc, named after the average amount ejaculated by men. (Jonathan King was well known for his own hit single, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon,” and for signing Genesis to Decca Records.)

Their 1972 self-titled debut album included the European hit singles “Donna,” “Rubber Bullets” and “The Dean And I.” The dynamics within the group had Stewart and Gouldman writing their most poppy tunes, while Godley and Creme delved into artier and more experimental side.

Their second album was called Sheet Music and is their best and most consistent recording, featuring the hit singles, “Wall Street Shuffle” and “Silly Love.” The record covered all bases from the sublime of “Wall Street Shuffle,” “Old Wild Men” and “Silly Love” to the ridiculous of “The Sacro-Iliac,” “Clockwork Creep” and today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman, all filtered through a Beatle-esque sheen.

The group’s keen sense of humor shines through especially on “The Worst Band In The World” which was sampled by J Dilla for his track “Workinonit,” “The Sacro-Iliac,” a pseudo dance craze that never was, and the ticking time bomb waiting to explode of “Clockwork Creep.”

Elsewhere, “Somewhere In Hollywood” is a multi-part suite that points in the direction the band would take with “Une Nuit A Paris,” the opening track from their breakthrough album, The Original Soundtrack. Rounding out the album is two of the groups most wigged out tunes: “Baron Samedi” and “Oh Effendi.”

After Sheet Music, the group signed with Mercury Records and released The Original Soundtrack in 1975 which included their worldwide smash hit “I’m Not In Love.” They followed the release with another five-star platter, How Dare You! in 1976, which included the hit “Art For Art’s Sake.”

Godley and Creme left the fold in 1976 to promote an early guitar synthesizer they invented called The Gizmo. They released the triple album called Consequences, however neither the album nor The Gizmo ever took off. They persevered over the next decade by becoming video vanguards, producing hit videos for the likes of Sting, The Police, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Duran Duran. They also scored a late ‘80s hit with their video and song, “Cry.”

Meanwhile the Stewart-Gouldman version of 10cc went on to score the hits, “The Things We Do For Love” (from the album Deceptive Bends) and “Dreadlock Holiday” (from Bloody Tourists). Stewart left the band in 1996, and today 10cc regularly tour Europe with Gouldman at the helm.

Edited: October 8th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Uncle Meat Variations” by The Mothers Of Invention


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Uncle Meat Variations” by The Mothers Of Invention

Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Dvorak…the alphabet of classical composers goes on and on…and then you come to “Z.”

May I offer “Zappa?” Yup, Frank Zappa…an artist whose music will be studied by serious composers for generations to come.

You don’t believe me? Then check out today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman, “The Uncle Meat Variations” from Uncle Meat.

The Uncle Meat album was released in 1969 and was conceived as a soundtrack to a science fiction film that was never finished. The front cover sported the following subtitle: “Most of the music from the Mother’s movie of the same name which we haven’t got enough money to finish yet.”

A finished version of the film was released in the late 1980s bearing many of the scenes filmed for the movie and was rather incoherent. The double album was also planned as part of a suite of albums called No Commercial Potential that included the Mothers’ records Lumpy Gravy, We’re Only In It For The Money and Cruising with Reuben & the Jets.

Frank Zappa: “It’s all one album. All the material in the albums is organically related and if I had all the master tapes and I could take a razor blade and cut them apart and put it together again in a different order it still would make one piece of music you can listen to. Then I could take that razor blade and cut it apart and reassemble it a different way, and it still would make sense. I could do this twenty ways. The material is definitely related.” (Zappa: A Biography – Barry Miles)

The Mothers consisted of Frank Zappa, Ray Collins on vocals, Jimmy Carl Black on drums, Roy Estrada on bass, Don Preston on keyboards, Billy Mundi on drums, Bunk Gardner on woodwinds, Ian Underwood on keyboards, Artie Tripp on percussion and Euclid James “Motorhead” Sherwood on saxophone.

The album is one of The Mothers’ and Zappa’s finest, and I opine that it will be studied by serious musicians for years to come.

So, “Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news.”

“Fuzzy dice and bongos”…indeed!

Edited: October 7th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Just Like Me” by Paul Revere & The Raiders


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Just Like Me” by Paul Revere & The Raiders

Silly costumes aside, Paul Revere & the Raiders was responsible for some of the most infectious garage rock singles of the late 1960s and early ‘70s.

They recorded “Louie Louie” in the same studio as the Kingsmen classic at around the same time, and were the first to record “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” before The Monkees took it to the charts. They also promoted themselves on TV dressed in full Revolutionary War regalia to help sustain their popularity with appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, Where The Action Is, Happening ’68, Happening, The Ed Sullivan Show and even an episode of Batman.

It was those silly costumes and wacky TV antics that somewhat obscured the great records they committed to wax and took to the upper regions of the charts including indelible singles like “Kicks,” “Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be!,” “Hungry,” “Good Thing,” and their sole number one hit which was actually a Mark Lindsay solo single “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” and this one from 1965. Today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman is “Just Like Me,” an unhinged garage rock classic that climbed all the way to #11 on the charts in 1965.

Paul Revere, whose real name was Paul Revere Dick, succumbed to cancer this past weekend. He wrote on Facebook this past July that he was taking a break from touring because of health issues. “It breaks my heart to have to stay home while the band goes out without me to our next block of dates,” he said. “You don’t even know how much it kills me.”

It kills ‘60s garage rock fans the world over to know that their beloved Paul Revere is now gone. RIP

Edited: October 6th, 2014