Monthly Archives: May 2012

Janis Ian: “At Seventeen”

MAY 1975 (37 YEARS AGO)
Janis Ian: “At Seventeen” b/w “Stars” (Columbia 3-10154) 45 single is released in the US.
“At Seventeen” is a song by Janis Ian, released in 1975 on Between the Lines (her seventh studio album) and as a single. Ian’s most successful recording, the song is a commentary on adolescent cruelty, the illusion of popularity, and teenage angst, as reflected upon from the maturity of adulthood. It is told from the point of view of a woman who was an “ugly duckling” as a girl and ignored in high school while the popular (albeit shallow) girls got all of the attention.
Janis Ian, then 22, wrote “At Seventeen” in 1973 at her mother’s house over the course of three months. In her autobiography Society’s Child, Ian says that the song was inspired by a newspaper article about a former teenage debutante who learned the hard way that being popular did not solve all her problems. The article included the quote, “I learned the truth at eighteen”; Ian found that the word “seventeen” worked better than “eighteen” when she tried to put this lyric with the Bossa Nova-style melody she had been composing on guitar. She also says she initially did not want to record or perform the song because she felt it was far too personal to share, but eventually changed her mind after adding the song’s final verse (“To those of us who knew the pain/Of Valentines that never came…”).
Promoting the song was challenging, as it was longer than most radio hits and packed with lyrics. Along with the promotions team at her record company, Ian decided that their best chance to market the song was to promote it to women, which was no easy task when so many radio stations were controlled by men. Ian did a grueling series of daytime talk shows for six months before she was granted an appearance on The Tonight Show where she performed the song and it took off.
“At Seventeen,” released as the second single from Between the Lines, became Ian’s first national hit single since her first hit “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)” in 1967. The single version omitted the longer instrumental verse and chorus because it was considered too long and it was feared that the radio stations would refuse to play it. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and at #3 on the Pop Singles chart in September 1975. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1976, beating out the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton-John, and Helen Reddy and was nominated for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”.


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Peter Frampton: Frampton’s Camel

MAY 1973 (39 YEARS AGO)
Peter Frampton: Frampton’s Camel is released.
# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Frampton’s Camel is Peter Frampton’s second album, released in May 1973 in the UK. It was the first album that Frampton recorded in the United States. Most of the album was written in New York. It reached #110 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart.
Frampton pursued a somewhat grittier sound on his second solo outing, 1973’s Frampton’s Camel, which was recorded in New York at Jimi Hendrix’s old Electric Lady Studios. Four years later, Frampton would record there again for his #2 hit album I’m in You.
Frampton’s original drummer Mike Kellie decided to leave the band because of differences with Frampton. The album shared its name with the band Frampton assembled for the occasion, which was actually more of a group project, including bassist Rick Wills, new drummer John Siomos, and keyboardist Mick Gallagher.
Peter Frampton has finally assembled a full-time band and this album is its initial offering. While Frampton’s Camel doesn’t quite reach the strata of excellence attained by Peter’s stunning Wind Of Change, it’s still a strong, solid effort that does little to tarnish Frampton’s image as one of rockdom’s coming stars.
Ever since he left Humble Pie Frampton has displayed a musical sensibility and flair for snappy arrangements that belie his metal-masher past. Both here and on his solo LP he’s combined good material, good musicianship and, most importantly, good sense into a colorful collage of songs, that doesn’t have to be played at peak volume to be enjoyed.
As he did on Wind Of Change Frampton here displays the remarkable breadth of his prior musical experience and just how well he’s absorbed his influences. The jazz roots he sprouted during his days with the Herd show throughout his spicy guitar solos (particularly so during “Which Way the Wind Blows”) and his outright rockers (“All Night Long” and “White Sugar”) prove he can still move as he did with the Pie. Frampton even does a credible cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe,” which, while not as convincing as the original, is still catchy enough that it gets me to sing along with the chorus.
But it’s the ballads where Frampton scores most heavily. “Lines on My Face” is the album’s strongest cut, a song in which everything seems to fall into place. Frampton’s Winwood-like vocal and razor-sharp guitar lines counterbalance perfectly, the latter accentuating the former’s inner mourning with darting bursts of instrumental conviction. “Don’t Fade Away” also works well, treading the fine line between acoustic and electric in a way that captures the best of both sounds.
Frampton’s fellow dromedaries are Mick Gallagher on keyboards, bassist Rick Wills and drummer John Siomos. A competent lot, but if this album is any indication their roles are solely those of permanent sidemen. “Do You Feel Like We Do” is the only song where they could conceivably display their instrumental chops, but even there Frampton’s incisive vocals and playing dominate them completely.
My only complaint is that the album breaks little new ground—at times Frampton’s Camel sounds like little more than Wind Of Change out-takes. But since it’s Frampton’s first effort with a full-time band that’s easily overlooked. And besides, for my money Wind Of Change was 1972’s best album, so what better material could they regurgitate? Frampton’s Camel probably won’t be ’73’s chart-topper (at the half-way point Raw Power is still in the lead), but on my list it’s gonna be mighty close. (RS 139)
~ GORDON FLETCHER (July 19, 1973)
All tracks composed by Peter Frampton; except where indicated
Side one
“I Got My Eyes On You” – 4:29
“All Night Long” – 3:19 (Frampton, Gallagher)
“Lines On My Face” – 4:50
“Which Way the Wind Blows” – 3:32
“I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)” – 4:10 (Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright)
Side two
“White Sugar” – 3:37
“Don’t Fade Away” – 4:39
“Just The Time Of Year” – 3:58
“Do You Feel Like We Do” – 6:44 (Frampton, Gallagher, Wills, Siomos)

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Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane: Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane

MAY 1963 (49 YEARS AGO)
Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane: Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane is released.
# Allmusic 4/5 stars
Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane is an album by Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane, originally released on the New Jazz label as NJ 8276 in 1963, then reissued in 1967 on Prestige as PRLP 7532, with a different cover and retitled The Kenny Burrell Quintet With John Coltrane.
During his final months with Miles Davis’ group, John Coltrane participated in a number of recording sessions for Prestige independently of Davis. This album is but one such recording. In 1958, when this recording was made, Coltrane may have been at his creative peak. During this period, his work began to transcend “bebop” and “cool,” anticipating even more modern developments in jazz-changes that would affect a whole generation of musicians.
On Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane, we hear the two jazz masters creating time-honored renditions of tunes such as “Why Was I Born,” a duet that highlights the musicians’ ability to not only savor each note, but to take a rather plaintive composition and develop it organically. Burrell, Coltrane, and company swing “Freight Trane” with great authority, thanks to the drumming acumen of Jimmy Cobb. On this tune, Coltrane uses a variety of sudden flourishes and lyrical lines, while Burrell comps chords in simpatico. Most importantly, this album represents the one-time chemistry of Burrell and Coltrane.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on March 7, 1958.
Kenny Burrell — guitar
John Coltrane — tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan — piano
Paul Chambers — bass
Jimmy Cobb — drums
~ Lindsay Planer, allmusic
For his final Prestige-related session as a sideman, John Coltrane (tenor sax) and Kenny Burrell (guitar) are supported by an all-star cast of Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Tommy Flanagan (piano). This short but sweet gathering cut their teeth on two Flanagancompositions, another two lifted from the Great American Songbook, and a Kenny Burrell original. Flanagan’s tunes open and close the album, with the spirited “Freight Trane” getting the platter underway. While not one of Coltrane’s most assured performances, he chases the groove right into the hands of Burrell. The guitarist spins sonic gold and seems to inspire similar contributions from Chambers’ bowed bass and Coltrane alike. Especially as the participants pass fours (read: four bars) between them at the song’s conclusion. The Gus Kahn/Ted Fio Rito standard “I Never Knew” frolics beneath Burrell’s nimble fretwork. Once he passes the reigns to Coltrane, the differences in their styles are more readily apparent, with Burrell organically emerging while Coltrane sounds comparatively farther out structurally. Much of the same can likewise be associated to Burrell’s own “Lyresto,” with the two co-leads gracefully trading and incorporating spontaneous ideas. While not as pronounced, the disparity in the way the performance is approached is a study in unifying and complementary contrasts. The delicate “Why Was I Born” is one for the ages as Burrell and Coltrane are captured in a once-in-a-lifetime duet. Together they weave an uncanny and revealing sonic tapestry that captures a pure and focused intimacy. This, thanks in part to the complete restraint of the ensemble, who take the proverbial “pause for the cause” and sit out. What remains is the best argument for the meeting of these two jazz giants. The performance can likewise be located on the various-artists Original Jazz Classics: The Prestige Sampler (1988) and Playboy Jazz After Dark (2002) and is worth checking out, regardless of where one might find it. In many ways the showpiece of the project is Flanagan’s nearly quarter-hour “Big Paul.” The pianist’s lengthy intro establishes a laid-back bop-centric melody with his trademark stylish keyboards perfectly balancing Chambers and Cobb’s rock-solid timekeeping. Coltrane’s restraint is palpable as he traverses and examines his options with insightful double-time flurries that assert themselves then retreat into the larger extent of his solo. Those interested in charting the saxophonist’s progression should make specific note of his work here.
“Freight Trane” (Tommy Flanagan) — 7:18
“I Never Knew” (Ted Fio Rito, Gus Kahn) — 7:04
“Lyresto” (Kenny Burrell) — 5:41
“Why Was I Born?” (Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern) — 3:12
“Big Paul” (Tommy Flanagan) — 14:05

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Willie Nelson: Red Headed Stranger

MAY 1975 (37 YEARS AGO)
Willie Nelson: Red Headed Stranger is released.
# Allmusic 5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)

Red Headed Stranger is an album by Willie Nelson, released in May 1975. It was ranked #184 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and number one on CMT’s 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music. In 2010 it was inducted to the National Recording Registry.  Red Headed Stranger reached number one on the Billboard chart for Top Country Albums, and number twenty-eight for forty-three weeks in Top LPs & Tapes. On March 11, 1976, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and on November 21, 1986, it was certified double-platinum. The cover of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, released as a single previous to the album full release became Nelson’s first number one hit. 

A concept album, Red Headed Stranger is about a fugitive on the run from the law after killing his wife and her lover. The content consists of songs with brief poetic lyrics and arrangements of older material such as Fred Rose’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, Wolfe Gilbert’s “Down Yonder” and Juventino Rosas’ “O’er the Waves”. Despite Columbia’s doubts and the limited instrumentation, Red Headed Stranger was a blockbuster among country music and mainstream audiences.

After the wide success of his recordings with Atlantic records, Nelson signed a contract with Columbia Records, a label that gave him total creative control over his works. The concept for the album was inspired by the Tale of the Red Headed Stranger, a song that Nelson used to play as a disk jockey on his program in Fort Worth, Texas. After signing with Columbia he decided to record the song, and arranged the details during his return to Austin, Texas, from a trip to Colorado. It was recorded at low cost in a studio in Garland, Texas. The songs featured sparse arrangements, largely limited to Nelson’s guitar, piano and drums. Nelson presented the finished material to Columbia executives, who were dubious about releasing an album that they at first thought was a demo. However, Nelson had creative control, so no further production was added.

When Teddy Roosevelt claimed loneliness is a quintessential ingredient of our national character, he hit the psychic bull’s-eye, ringing up images of pragmatic pioneers, existential outlaws and a long line of heroes who dreamt of the purity of their youth even as they drew their guns to eliminate it. “There are no second acts in American lives,” someone once said, and a cursory glance at our gods — the cowboy/desperado, the gangster/detective, the movie star/rock & roller — whose lifestyles generally suggest either early and unnatural death or obsolescence, easily reinforces such a statement. To the quiet American, violence, like the perpetual but unreal motion of life on the road, seems to serve as solicitous coin in the realm of the solitary survivor, some kind of necessary stop-gap and occupation while a man waits in the sanctified state of loneliness for something to happen, someone to come along or return, his vague search to end.

From Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid to Dirty Harry Callahan, the mythic American hero is a man, almost always womanless, who has somehow been trapped in that curious nether world between comic innocence and tragic experience; unable or unwilling to make a choice, he can at best (or worst) embrace either adjective, neither noun. He has known happiness once, lost it, and now nothing will help. for the sentimental there is Christianity, the “official” solace, itself an uncanny mixture of loneliness and death, its hero a lost and forsaken son slain only to rise again with the promise of a glorious but distant new childhood in exchange for a worn out, hopeless past. It is small wonder that most Americans worship no god except their own lost innocence, have had, in fact, to rely on popular literature, films and music to provide plausible and workable archetypal “religion,” that is more Jungian and Freudian.

Veteran country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson knows all of this — and much more. His Red Headed Stranger is extraordinarily ambitious, cool, tightly controlled. A phonographic Western movie which brilliantly evokes the mythopoeic imagery of McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Shane and the works of John Ford, the album traces the life of a Montana cowboy who finds his true love with another man, kills both of them and later another woman, then drifts through Denver dance halls into old age, forever unable to cut his early loss but managing in the final years of his life a moving, believable and not unwarranted synthesis of all he has missed. The narrative may not sound especially promising or unusual — like most fables, it is, after all, the same old story: “That is its point — but in Nelson’s hands, its hard-won simplicity calls forth the same complex and profound metaphysical responses as those brought about by the matter-of-fact awesomeness of the Rocky Mountains. Hemingway, who perfected an art of sharp outlines and clipped phrases, used to say that the full power of his composition was accessible only between the lines; and Nelson, on this LP, ties precise, evocative lyrics to not quite remembered, never really forgotten folk melodies to creat a similar effect, haunting yet utterly unsentimental. That he did not write much of the material makes his accomplishment no less singular.

Red Headed Stranger, not unlike Dylan’s much underrated Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack, is concerned with great universals; its heroic songs, somewhat reminiscent in mood of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and the magnificent instrumental anthems (particularly “Final Theme”) of the latter album, seem both vulnerable and inevitable, strapped to the lifeline, equally suitable for weddings or funerals. “It was a time of the Preacher,” Stranger begins, and with this life-and-death invocation, the once Edenic West becomes a land populated by fallen innocents (“My eyes filled with tears and I must have aged ten years/ I couldn’t believe it was true”) who deal out Biblical revenge (“Now the lesson is over and the killin’s begun”) less in anger than in a state of agonized confusion:

Don’t cross him, don’t boss him
He’s wild in his sorrow
Ridin’ and hidin’ his pain
Don’t fight him, don’t spite him
Just wait till tomorrow
Maybe he’ll ride on again.

When the killing comes, it is quick, hypnotic and terrible in its finality (“And they smiled at each other as he walked through the door/ And they died with their smiles on their faces”), the belligerent bullets almost an afterthought, transient, symptomatic explosions in a field of loneliness (“He bought her a drink and gave her some money/ He just didn’t seem to care/… He shot her so quickly they had no time to warn her”). The stranger has reached the penultimate point in his journey, but with omniscient irony the century rolls on:

It was the time of the preacher
In the year of ’01
And just when you think it’s all over
It’s only begun.

On side two, cyclic catharsis begins, its inception again ironic. The wanderer enters a tavern, is drawn to a woman, but this time the lovers dance “with their smiles on their faces.” “Can I sleep in your arms tonight, lady?” the cowboy asks, adding “I assure you I’ll do you no harm.” Life’s verities seem ambiguous (“It’s the same old song — it’s right and it’s wrong/ And livin’ is just something I do”) as the hero ages. Stranger ends with an image reminiscent of the final tableau of Bergman’s Wild Strawberries: Time, memory and expectations have magically fused, transitory people have somehow become luminous legends, happiness has been found.

And in the shade of an oak down by the river
Sat an old man and a boy
Settin’ sails, spinnin’ tales and fishin’ for whales
With a lady they both enjoy.
I can’t remember when a record has taken such a hold on me.
~ Paul Nelson (August 28, 1975)


Side one
1 Time of the Preacher (Willie Nelson) – 2:26
2 I Couldn’t Believe It Was True (E. Arnold, W. Fowler) – 1:32
3 Time of the Preacher Theme (Willie Nelson) – 1:13
4 Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger (Nelson, Carl Stutz, Edith Lindeman) – 1:36
5 Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (Fred Rose) – 2:21
6 Red Headed Stranger (Carl Stutz, Edith Lindeman) – 4:00
7 Time of the Preacher Theme (Willie Nelson) – 0:25
8 Just As I Am (Charlotte Elliott, William B. Bradbury) – 1:45

Side two
1 Denver (Willie Nelson) – 1:47
2 O’er the Waves (J.Rosas, arranged by Willie Nelson) – 0:47
3 Down Yonder (L. Wolfe Gilbert) – 1:56
4 Can I Sleep in Your Arms (Hank Cochran) – 5:24
5 Remember Me (Scotty Wiseman) – 2:52
6 Hands on the Wheel (Bill Callery) – 4:22
7 Bandera (Willie Nelson) – 2:19

Reissue (2000)
The album was reissued by Columbia/Legacy in 2000. The new issue features remastered sound, as well as the inclusion of previously unreleased songs.
1–15. Original tracks
16. “Bach Minuet in G” (arranged by Nelson) – :37
17. “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You” (Hank Williams) 
18. “A Maiden’s Prayer” (T.Bądarzewska-Baranowska, B.Wills)  
19. “Bonaparte’s Retreat” (Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart) – 2:26

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Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle

MAY 1976 (36 YEARS AGO)
Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle is released.
# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Fly Like an Eagle is the ninth studio album by the Steve Miller Band. The album was released in May 1976 by Capitol Records in North America and Mercury Records in Europe. In 2003, the album was ranked number 450 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. On an updated list in 2012, the magazine listed the album at number 445.
In 2006 the album was re-released to celebrate its 30th Anniversary. The CD is digitally remastered and includes three bonus tracks and a bonus DVD features a concert performance at Mountain View, California’s Shoreline Amphitheater in 2005 with over two hours of music in 5.1 Surround Sound. Guest musicians include George Thorogood and Joe Satriani. The DVD also features a lengthy interview with Steve Miller, archive footage, never-before-seen photographs, and early demo recordings.
Fly Like An Eagle may be the most complete and effective musical statement Steve Miller has ever made. Always enigmatic, always eclectic, Miller’s albums have usually been ill-fitting jigsaw puzzles, but in this latest album he puts all of his cards on the table, face up. The result is a full house of rock & roll.
As usual, Miller taps various genres such as the blues and straightforward rock, and, as usual, he’s lyrically preoccupied with mental and physical space. He pieces it all together with surprising simplicity.
A measure of how skillfully the songs have been constructed and arranged is the absence of any riff-based guitar solos. The approach here is raw, with rhythm guitar, bass and drums so completely to the point that a hot, flashy solo would seem gratuitous. In this context, the diversity of an album which contains the jaunty, pop-styled “Take the Money and Run,” the three-chord bliss of “Rock’n’Me” and the two riveting blues numbers, “Mercury Blues” and Sweet Maree” (the latter neatly enhanced by James Cotton’s harmonica) is that much more impressive.
There are echoes from a past in “Serenade,” a long, hypnotic track propelled by Gary Mallaber’s tense, smart drumming, “Wild Mountain Honey,” with its swirling electric sitar strains, and the dreamlike “The Window.” I’ve never doubted that Steve Miller could do anything he wanted musically. On Fly Like An Eagle, he does more than I could ever hope to ask for.
~ Billy Altman (July 15, 1976)
Side one
“Space Intro” (Steve Miller) – 1:15
“Fly Like an Eagle” (Miller) – 4:42
“Wild Mountain Honey” (Steve McCarty) – 4:51
“Serenade” (Miller, Chris McCarty) – 3:13
“Dance, Dance, Dance” (Miller, J. Cooper, Brenda Cooper) – 2:18
“Mercury Blues” (K. C. Douglas) – 3:30
Side two
“Take the Money and Run” (Miller) – 2:50
“Rock’n Me” (Miller) – 3:05
“You Send Me” (Sam Cooke) * – 2:42
“Blue Odyssey” (Miller) – 1:00
“Sweet Maree” (Miller) – 4:16
“The Window” (Miller, Jason Cooper) – 4:19

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Ramones: All the Stuff (And More!) Volume One and All the Stuff (And More!) Volume Two

May 31, 1990 – Ramones: All the Stuff (And More!) Volume One and All the Stuff (And More!) Volume Two are released.
# Allmusic 5/5 stars (VOL. One)
# Allmusic 5/5 stars (VOL. Two)
On this date in May 1990 both volumes are released.
All the Stuff (And More!) Volume One
All the Stuff (And More) Volume One is a compilation album by the Ramones. It includes their first two albums, Ramones and Leave Home, in their entirety, with the exception of “Carbona Not Glue”, a song that was on the original release of Leave Home but was later removed from the album under pressure from the Carbona company and replaced with “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”. Also included are a handful of bonus tracks of varying origins, including “I Don’t Wanna Be Learned/I Don’t Wanna Be Tamed” and “I Can’t Be”, which were early, previously unreleased demos; Babysitter”, originally the b-side to the “Do You Wanna Dance?” single, was the first replacement of “Carbona Not Glue”; and the final two tracks, “California Sun” and “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You”, are live recordings.
Although their straight-ahead buzzsaw Punk may not raise eyebrows today, when these albums were originally released 30 years ago, they signaled a change in the musical climate and kick-started the Punk Rock movement! The Ramones didn’t set out to create a new scene, they just wanted to take Rock back to basics and keep the songs short and catchy without those somewhat distracting guitar solos. Little did they know it at the time but these albums would change the world!
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic
All the Stuff (And More), Vol. 1 compiles the Ramones’ first two albums — Ramones and Leave Home — onto one compact disc, adding a handful of B-sides, demos, and live songs as bonus tracks as well. While the music on the disc is terrific and timeless, having both albums on one disc actually dilutes some of its impact, since the records were designed as a relentless rush of brief, speedy songs; in this form, the assault becomes a little tiring, and the distinctions between the two albums — and they are there — are lost. Still, these are minor flaws, especially considering that the music on All the Stuff (And More), Vol. 1 is essential for any rock & roll library.
All songs written by the Ramones except where indicated.
“Blitzkrieg Bop” (Tommy Ramone) – 2:12
“Beat on the Brat” (Joey Ramone) – 2:31
“Judy Is a Punk” (Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone) – 1:30
“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” (Tommy Ramone) – 2:15
“Chain Saw” (Joey Ramone) – 1:55
“Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:35
“I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement” (Dee Dee Ramone / Johnny Ramone) – 3:37
“Loudmouth” (Dee Dee Ramone / Johnny Ramone) – 2:14
“Havana Affair” (Dee Dee Ramone / Johnny Ramone) – 1:56
“Listen to My Heart” – 1:57
“53rd & 3rd” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:21
“Let’s Dance” (Jimmy Lee) – 1:52
“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:43
“Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:10
“I Don’t Wanna Be Learned / I Don’t Wanna Be Tamed” (Joey Ramone) – 1:03
“I Can’t Be” (Joey Ramone) – 1:51
“Glad to See You Go” (lyrics by Dee Dee Ramone, music by Joey Ramone) – 2:10
“Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” (Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone) – 1:38
“I Remember You” (Joey Ramone) – 2:15
“Oh Oh I Love Her So” (Joey Ramone) – 2:03
“Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” (Joey Ramone) – 2:44
“Suzy Is A Headbanger” – 2:08
“Pinhead” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:42
“Now I Wanna Be a Good Boy” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 2:10
“Swallow My Pride” (Joey Ramone) – 2:03
“What’s Your Game” (Joey Ramone) – 2:33
“California Sun” (Henry Glover, Morris Levy) – 1:58
“Commando” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:51
“You’re Gonna Kill That Girl” (Joey Ramone) – 2:36
“You Should Never Have Opened That Door” (Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone) – 1:54
“Babysitter” (Joey Ramone) – 2:45
“California Sun” (Henry Glover / Morris Levy) – 1:45
“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” (Dee Dee Ramone) – 1:35
All the Stuff (And More!) Volume Two
All the Stuff (And More!) Volume Two is a compilation album by the Ramones. It includes their third and fourth albums, Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin, excluding the song “Go Mental”, plus bonus tracks. Some versions of the album do include “Go Mental” as track 24, after “I Wanna Be Sedated” and before “Questioningly”, for a total of 30 tracks.
By the end of 1978, the Ramones had cut a fourth album in a short three years; the world was still reeling from the initial shock of their brand of chainsaw guitar-driven pop. All the Stuff (And More!) Volume Two compiles the third and fourth albums along with a few rare tracks culled from early singles.
The tracks compiled here are already lighter in subject matter and style than the earlier two albums, revealing both the Ramones’ pop sensibility and aspirations towards a punk version of the Beach Boys. Noteworthy tracks include “Cretin Hop,” “I Just Wanna Have Something To Do,” and favorites such as “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.” A whopping 30 songs are included here, pointing to the fact that the Ramones didn’t mess around when it came to making music. They came, they played, they conquered, all in less than 2 minutes.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic
The second volume of All the Stuff (And More) compiles the Ramones’ third and fourth albums — Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin — onto one compact disc, adding several live cuts, demos, and B-sides as bonus tracks. Like its predecessor, All the Stuff (And More), Vol. 2 suffers slightly from its length, which happens to contradict the loud-fast nature of the band’s songs and albums, yet the music isn’t hurt by its presentation. Rocket to Russia is one of the classic rock & roll albums, and while Road to Ruin isn’t as consistent, it does have its moments, making All the Stuff (And More), Vol. 2 a good bargain.
All songs written by the Ramones except where indicated.
“Cretin Hop”
“Rockaway Beach” (Dee Dee Ramone)
“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” (Joey Ramone)
“Locket Love”
“I Don’t Care” (Joey Ramone)
“Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” (Joey Ramone)
“We’re a Happy Family”
“Teenage Lobotomy”
“Do You Wanna Dance?” (Bobby Freeman)
“I Wanna Be Well”
“I Can’t Give You Anything”
“Surfin’ Bird” (Carl White / Alfred Frazier / John Harris / Turner Wilson)
“Why Is It Always This Way?”
“I Want You Around (Original Version)”
“I Just Want to Have Something to Do” (Joey Ramone)
“I Wanted Everything” (Dee Dee Ramone)
“Don’t Come Close”
“I Don’t Want You”
“Needles And Pins” (Sonny Bono / Jack Nitzsche)
“I’m Against It”
“I Wanna Be Sedated” (Joey Ramone)
“Go Mental”
“Questioningly” (Dee Dee Ramone)
“She’s the One”
“Bad Brain”
“It’s a Long Way Back” (Dee Dee Ramone)
“I Don’t Want To Live This Life (Anymore)”
“Yea, Yea”

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Filed under 1990, All the Stuff (And More), Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Marky Ramone, Punk Rock, Ramones

Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues

May 31, 1983 – Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues is released.
# Allmusic 4/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Speaking in Tongues is the fifth studio album by the Talking Heads, released on this date in May 1983.  The album was a commercial breakthrough that produced the band’s first (and only) American Top 10 hit, “Burning Down the House”, which was accompanied by a promotional video. In addition, the album crossed over to the dance charts, peaking at number two for six weeks. In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at #89 on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980’s”.
The following tour was documented in Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, which generated a live album of the same name. (The concert film and live album’s title comes from the repeated phrase “Stop making sense!” during the song Girlfriend is Better.)
David Byrne designed the cover for the general release of the album. Artist Robert Rauschenberg won a Grammy Award for his work on the limited-edition LP version. This album featured a clear vinyl disc in clear plastic packaging along with three clear plastic discs printed with similar collages in three different colors.
Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads’ first studio release in three years, is the album that finally obliterates the thin line separating arty white pop music and deep black funk. Picking up where their 1980 Afro-punk fusion Remain in Light left off, this LP consummates the Heads’ marriage of art-school intellect and dance-floor soul. Imbued with an adventurous spirit that’s as close to Television’s Marquee Moon as it is to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Grand Master Flash’s “The Message” and Nigerian high-life music, Speaking in Tongues gives new meaning to the word crossover.
The impish “Making Flippy-Floppy,” the second track on side one, is an immediate tip-off that something new is going on here. “Everybody, get in line!” commands singer-guitarist David Byrne as the Heads step straight into a brassy strut counted off by a scratchy guitar figure and Chris Frantz’ martial drumming. Ominous synth-bass effects undulate beneath the surface of the beat before Byrne cuts into a bright, saucy chorus that would make Prince envious. Wobbly, whining synthesizers and a walking bass-and-piano line keep up the funk, while violinist L. Shankar shoots the whole affair into a strange Far Eastern space with his brief raga-like solo.
The Heads have never cut the funk into finer, more fluent pieces. Nor have they ever displayed such a sense of purpose and playfulness (check out, for example, the murky boogie and Byrne’s comic John Lee Hooker growl in “Swamp”). One detects here the influence of Frantz and his wife, bassist Tina Weymouth: on holiday from the Heads, they took the third-world forms and urban-funk gestures of Remain in Light and dressed them up with pop spangle and good humor on their Tom Tom Club LP.
Jerry Harrison’s experiments with polyrhythmic keyboard layers on his solo LP, The Red and the Black, have also been incorporated into Speaking in Tongues. Along with P-Funkster Bernie Worrell and reggae keyboard specialist Wally Badarou, Harrison fortifies the beat with ahem color and contrapuntal muscle without complicating it.
But it is David Byrne’s propulsive score for Twyla Tharp’s 1981 dance piece The Catherine Wheel that may be the most important influence on Speaking in Tongues. The severe constraints of matching music to movement–of making music inspire expressive movement – forced Byrne to write and arrange his Catherine Wheel score with both crisp dramatic precision and provocative imagistic flair.
The nine songs on Speaking in Tongues – the group’s first self-produced studio album – demonstrate that same precision and flair in remarkable combinations. On the surface, “Girlfriend Is Better” is a brassy, straightforward bump number sparked by Byrne’s animated bragging (“I’ve got a girlfriend that’s better than that She has the smoke in her eyes She’s comin’ up, goin’ right through my heart She’s gonna give me a surprise”) and by the kind of rapid, zigzagging synth squeals so common on rap and funk records. But the edgy paranoia smoldering underneath (“We’re being taken for a ri-i-ide again,” a double-tracked Byrne brays woefully at one point) is colorfully articulated by guitar and percussion figures that burble along in a fatback echo, sounding like a sink backing up.
“I Get Wild/Wild Gravity,” Byrne’s unsettling account of isolation and disorientation, alludes to the funky voodoo reggae of Grace Jones and is heightened by arty dub intrusions and electronic handclaps. “Burning Down the House” is busier in its rhythmic design: tumbling drum breaks punctuate Frantz’ authoritative pace, while springy synthesizer pings and the desolate chime of a keyboard solo rebound off Byrne’s brisk acoustic-guitar strumming.
But the complexity of these songs doesn’t keep any of them from being great dance tracks. They are all rooted in a shrewd yet elastic sense of rhythm, thereby avoiding the brittle, plastic feel of such glorified disco troupes as the Thompson Twins or Spandau Ballet. And unlike, say, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Byrne’s academic safari with Brian Eno, Speaking in Tongues is an art-rock album that doesn’t flaunt its cleverness; it’s obvious enough in the alluring hooks, deviant rhythms and captivating mix of rehable funk gimmicks and intellectual daring.
The real art here is the incorporation of disparate elements from pop, punk and R&B into a coherent, celebratory dance ethic that dissolves notions of color and genre in smiles and sweat. A new model for great party albums to come. Speaking in Tongues is likely to leave you doing just that. (RS 397)
~ DAVID FRICKE (June 9, 1983)
All lyrics written by David Byrne; all music composed by Talking Heads.
Side one
“Burning Down the House” – 4:00
“Making Flippy Floppy” – 4:36
“Girlfriend Is Better” – 4:25
“Slippery People” – 3:30
“I Get Wild/Wild Gravity” – 4:06
Side two
“Swamp” – 5:09
“Moon Rocks” – 5:04
“Pull Up the Roots” – 5:08
“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” – 4:56
2006 DualDisc reissue
“Burning Down the House” – 4:01
“Making Flippy Floppy (Extended Version)” – 5:53
“Girlfriend Is Better (Extended Version)” – 5:42
“Slippery People (Extended Version)” – 5:05
“I Get Wild/Wild Gravity (Extended Version)” – 5:16
“Swamp” – 5:12
“Moon Rocks (Extended Version)” – 5:45
“Pull Up the Roots” – 5:09
“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” – 5:03
“Two Note Swivel (Unfinished Outtake)” – 5:51
“Burning Down the House (Alternate Version)” – 5:09

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Filed under 1983, David Byrne, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads