Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Speaking of collecting... Old school tunes

So I've starting downloading songs from iTunes again. I've been meaning to start downloading old tunes from the 60's and 70's for a while, but now I've actually started getting them. Some of the facts I found were at a website linked in the title called songfacts.com. Pretty cool site.

For the most part I tend to call them somewhat obscure, but that's just because either 1) the artist is obscure or 2) the artist had other songs that overshadowed these tunes. And I'm quickly realizing that most of these songs are on the list because they are obscure to your average 28 year-old like myself.

The first song I downloaded was "I Was Made To Love Her" by Stevie Wonder. He recorded it in the mid-'60s and it's just a great song and probably my most favorite. Really awesome bass work. In fact, the bass is practically featured and whoever was playing it probably made it all up as he went.

Now is where we get really obscure. "Lay Down (Candles in the rain)" by Melanie recorded in 1970 following Woodstock. She played Woodstock when the rains came and the fans lit candles and if you listen to the lyrics (which I found on the net) you'll see it in the song. It's great because she got the Edwin Hawkins Singers to back her up. Like I told Piccu, she belts it out and that means a lot. They also recorded the lead vocals at near break neck levels. Loud and ragged which adds feeling. At least in this song Melanie strikes me as a female version of Joe Cocker (who is next on the list) except with a little more control, like Stevie Nicks on acid. Cocker just goes nuts.

Speaking of Joe, "The Letter (LIVE)" is the next song. It was originally written by The Box Tops and was the last song under 2 minutes to reach number one, allegedly. This version is well over twice that long. The reason I put the live version on there is because it's the absolute best. I doubt that Cocker did anything in the studio that he didn't top every night on the road. The version I got was from Joe Cocker's "Definite 1964-1986--His Greatest Songs" CD. All I gotta say is that, while Joe Cocker doesn't have a lot of great songs in my opinion, his best songs are great because he gives it all he's got. At any moment it always seems like Cocker could explode and that would be the end of it. In this live version the horns and background singers ice the proverbial cake.

My last song for my currently small collection is "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers. It won a Grammy for best R&B song in 1972 and this is the studio version from Withers' album Just As I Am. Honestly what makes this song really great is that it's 2 minutes and 10 seconds long and when it's over you wish it was 10 times as long. Just a slow ballad with all acoustical instruments and strings which I dig. You can even hear him tapping his foot in the beginning before the strings build into the guitar and bass.

That's my collection so far. My next download could be "Use Me" by Bill Withers as heard in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. I intend to use my XM radio to help me find out more songs because we all have a song or two that we love, but have no idea who sings it or maybe what the title is. XM solves that by telling you all of that. I'm also flirting with "Across 110th Street" by Bobby Womack. Although Piccu has the Jackie Brown soundtrack somewhere I think.

Got any old tunes I need to check out? List them in the comments.


Piccu said...

I have just collected some old tunes, most of them from the Anchorman soundtrack. Cherry, Cherry by Neil Diamond, Use Me by Bill Withers, Groovy Situation by Gene Chandler, Treat Her Like a Lady by Conelius Brothers and Sister Rose, Help Yourself by Bratch's favorite Tom Jones, and finally Afternoon Delight by the cast of Anchorman.

Travis said...

Reflections by the Supremes.
Don't It Make You Wanna Go Home by Joe South.
I'm Not Scared of Dying, Spinning Wheel, and God Bless the Child by Blood, Sweat and Tears.
Operator by Jim Croce.
Mamas and the Papas are a must.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the Boxes by Simon and Garfunkle.
and for goodness sakes download some Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson old school stuff.

You can thank me later.

BRATCH said...

Say, you reminded me. Having the memory of a walnut you mentioned some that I intended to get, but forgot.

I like Reflections, but there are some other songs I need to remember from the Supremes. Blood, Sweat, and Tears isn't my favorite, but I need to get my Mamas and Papas stuff. Bridge Over Troubled Water is good, but it's not the Sound of Silence.

I'm kind of trying to stay away from country, but I might get some of that.

Travis said...

Calling Cash, Willie and Waylon country is like saying Pearl Jam was alternative grunge rock. PJ was just good rock (at least early on) Cash, Willie and Waylon were pioneers in their heyday.

As for the BS&T, you're missing out. You should at least get God Bless the Child. David Clayton-Thomas was a superb lead vocalist.

The Boxer is my favorite S&G song, except I hate the overdramatic crash after "Lie, lie, lie, lie."

Travis said...

I almost forgot a BS&T song. "Go Down Gamblin'" is great. If you like Vehicle by the Ides of March, you should like Go Down Gamblin'

BRATCH said...

Found the Supremes song. Keep Me Hangin' On is their very best.

I'll be getting that little jewel tonight. And maybe some Fifth Dimension.

That's right.