Monday, February 16, 2009

The 45.2 Minute Workout

It's been awhile since I've posted here and the truth is that I've just been lazy. But I'm turning over a new leaf now. Although it may still be cold outside the warm weather is not all that far off. Pretty soon it will be t-shirt and bikini time. And as this winter has lasted for what seems like forever, many of us may have put on an ounce or two. So, as a public service and because no one wants to look at a bunch of flabby bodies, I've provided the 45.2 minute workout. Think of it as YankeeBoy's version of 'Sweating to the Oldies'. So get up offa that couch and shake that funky groove thang!   

King Coleman - The Boo Boo Song Pt. 1
I realize that I already posted this song back in October but it seemed like such a perfect way to start this playlist that I figured 'what the hell'. Either that or I totally forgot that I had previously posted this song until a few minutes ago. 
Billy Ocean - Love Really Hurts Without You
I'm pretty sure that this was Billy's first single back in 1976. He went on to have a whole slew of hits in the 80s but this Motown soundalike is definitely where my interest in him begins and ends.
Bobby Bennett - You're Ready Now
With Northern Soul being the rage in England for the last 30 years it comes as no surprise that they have their share of home grown talent. This track comes from a Goldmine Soul Supply compilation of British soul records.
Billy Butler - The Right Track
Billy recorded a number of tracks for Okeh Records in Chicago that are now rightly regarded as Northern Soul classics. "Right Track" has been included on a number of NS compilations over the years. 
Chubby Checker - The Twist
This is probably the all-time ultimate dance record. Back when it came out it seemed that the whole world was twisting up a storm. I remember one Thanksgiving when I was about 9 or 10 watching some program on TV and every half hour Chubby would come on and give twisting lessons. In it's way and for a short time the whole twist craze was actually more popular than The Beatles would be a few years later. Of course The Beatles defined a generation. It was us young hip folks against the older generation of squares who just didn't get it. But back in the much more innocent early 1960s, literally everyone was twisting, young and old. I think even my parents might have tried a twist or two.  
Dr. Feelgood - Baby Jane
Even Johns & The H-Bombs - Rollin' Through the Night
While each of these bands got their start and learned their craft on different continents, it's pretty obvious that they are both coming from the same place musically. Sun Rockabilly and Chess Blues nurtured by a steady diet of 3-chord loud and fast Rock & Roll. It work every time. 
Joe 'King' Carasco - Caca De Vaca
I saw Joe with his band the Crowns a few times in the late 70s and they never failed to get the whole house dancing like lunatics. I always thought they should have been more popular than they were but for whatever reason they never really broke through.    
Little Carl Carlton - Competition Ain't Nothin'
Carl had a Top 10 hit in 1974 with his cover of Robert Knight's "Everlasting Love" but this was his first chart entry back in 1968, making it to number 75 on Billboard's Top 100.   
Chris Clark - Do I Love You
I'm not sure which one was recorded first but Chris' has the same backing track as the more notorious (i.e expensive) version by Frank Wilson. Both are great and I can't imagine why one of them wasn't at least a minor hit.   
The Contours - First I Look at the Purse
This used to be a favorite at the Empire State Soul Club dances and it's just as infectious today as it was back then. And who knows, with the economy being what it is these days, these may be words to live by.    
Sam the Sham & The Pharohs - I've Got A Voodoo Doll
"...Voodoo Doll"was, as far as I know, only an album track and never released as a single. But it has all of the ingredients that made their records so irresistible.   
The Standells - Dirty Water
To me, "Dirty Water" was the quintessential garage record with it's 1-4-5 chord structure, pounding beat and snarly vocals. I still have my original copy on the brown Tower Records label and although I've played it to death, this is one record I'll never grow tired of.
The DC5 - Concentration Baby
This is one of the DC5's later b-sides although it went quite unnoticed at the time as, by 1967, they were generally considered to be passe. Nonetheless, it's a great dancer and one that I can imagine The Fleshtones covering and doing a great job of.  
The Sonics - Money
Set the amps to 11 and let 'er rip. From the very beginning that's what the Sonics were all about and once you've achieved perfection, there's no need to ever change. I sorely regret missing them at last years' Cavestomp but I've seen some of the videos on Youtube and they were simply incredible.
The Soul Survivors - Shakin' With Linda
According to the garage database there were at least 4 bands calling themselves the Soul Survivors back in the 60s and this particular bunch came from Pittsburgh. I've always loved their version of the old Isley Brothers classic.  
The Lyres - Help You Ann

"..Ann" has always been one of The Lyres' best known records, even making it onto Rhino's "Children of Nuggets" box a few years ago. The Lyres had their own unique sound and this song is them at their best.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Less Talk More Music Pt. 3

Once again there's not a whole lot to report on in YankeeBoy land. Winter is definitely beginning to wear out its welcome but the good news is that Spring Training is right around the corner. One has to wonder though, with things being in the state that they're in, will there be anyone left who can actually afford to go to the new high priced stadiums here in New York. But that's another conversation for another time. For now I am sick of the economy, sick of job hunting, sick of thinking about job hunting and sick of talking about it.  So enough of this  - let's get to the music.
The Couriers - Feelings
This track comes off a comp called "Crude P.A." and crude it certainly is. Basically we're talking about yet another variation on  "Louie Louie" with a slightly different melody and new lyrics. Not that there's anything wrong with that. No siree.  
Dan Kibler - So Wendy Says
Last Sunday I went to my friends annual Anti-Superbowl party. It's one of the few things that makes the post-holidays winter tolerable as I get to hang out with friends I that I don't see as often as I used to. At one point my friend Wendy said that, with the exception of the Beach Boys song, there just aren't any really good Wendy songs out there. So Wendy, if you're out there, this one's for you. 
Bobby Freeman - Little Girl Don't You Understand
"Little Girl..." is your basic Chuck Berry/Little Richard influenced late 50s rocker. While it may never have been very 'innovative' or 'new', it still shakes some serious ass. 
The Kinks - Low Budget
A friend mentioned to me recently how he heard this song for the first time in a few years and how it really was quite relevant to these times. He's certainly right on that account. Ray Davies' understated sense of humor gets the point across without sounding pedantic.  
Len Barry - I Struck It Rich
Here's a little blue-eyed Northern Soul from the former lead singer of the Dovells. It was even a minor hit for Len, making it to number 98 on Billboard's Top 100 in September of 1966. 
Bob Dylan - Boogie Woogie Country Girl
Lou Reed - This Magic Moment
These 2 songs are being lumped together because they both come from the long out-of-print Doc Pomus tribute album. I've always loved Dylan's take on Joe Turner's hit and Lou Reed takes this old pop standard to places it's never been before or since. The list of records and artists that Doc Pomus was involved with goes on forever. I was lucky enough to spend a little time with him near the end of his life and he was always a gentleman with great stories to tell.
The Original Sins - Not Gonna Be All Right
The Sins were definitely one of the bright lights of the East Coast garage scene in the 80s and 90s. There was a point when it seemed that JT was writing songs in his sleep, so plentiful was his output. "...Alright" is from their first album "Big Soul", which I see is now out-of-print and selling for $40 on Amazon. Ouch!   
Big Boy Pete - Sheer Lunacy
The story is that BBP recorded a whole slew of songs, at least 2 albums worth, back in the mid-late 60s, most of which never saw the light of day. I hadn't heard of him until his music started being reissued about 5 or so years ago. This is from my favorite period of British psych, that short time when bands were just beginning to experiment but had yet to start to take themselves too seriously and get 'progressive'. 
The O'Jays - Deeper - In Love With You
"Deeper..." was recorded in the late 60s, a few years before they had all of those records on Philadelphia International. This too was a Gamble/Huff production, although with a grittier sound than their later hits.     
The Vertebrats - Left In The Dark
A little bit of power pop from the early 80's, although this has a few more rough edges than much of the skinny tie music being produced at the time. Fans of "Tim" era Replacements will surely like this. 
William Walker&The Ray O-Vacs - Party Time
This was totally unknown, at least to me, until it was reissued a few years ago on the "Black Huthia Cuthia" comp. Loud and crude with all the subtlety of  a bullet in the head, this is meant to be cranked up LOUD.
John Coltrane - Greensleeves
"Greensleeves" is an old folk songs that many of us have been hearing since childhood. I never thought of it as a vehicle for an extended jazz piece but then again I don't possess the genius of John Coltrane. Coltrane and his band, especially pianist McCoy Tyner, take this simple melody and turn it inside out in more ways than anyone could have dreamed possible.