Woot! We got more server space. I have been working on this set list for some time in anticipation of this momentous occasion. I am a big fan of 70s rock, and I have put together for your listening enjoyment, a mix tape’s worth of my favorite songs from the 70s. I hope you enjoy them. I’ll have to leave them up for a while, since there are so many favorites here.
Here is the set list, complete with album details and my editorial comments:
- “Here Comes My Girl” — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This song originally appeared on my favorite Tom Petty album, Damn the Torpedoes. Originally released in 1979, Tom Petty’s third album is rightfully an Amazon.com Essential Recording.
- “Behind Blue Eyes” — The Who. I heard Limp Bizkit’s cover of this song the other day, and it simply can’t hold a candle to the original. The drummer doesn’t have near the chops that Keith Moon had (but few do, I suppose). This one comes from Who’s Next, another Amazon.com Essential Recording, which, according to Genevieve Williams (of Amazon) is “one of the defining albums of 70s hard rock.” It was released about a month before I was born, in August 1971.
- “Lola” — The Kinks. Released in November 1970, this one comes from Lola versus Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, Part One. It’s another Amazon.com Essential Recording. Steven Stolder at Amazon refers to “Lola” as the album’s “linchpin,” and I can’t disagree at all.
- “Jeepster” — T. Rex. Before Marc Bolan died, T. Rex was actually a serious competitor of David Bowie’s (and probably the reason for Bowie’s many ch-ch-changes in the 1970s — T. Rex was glam). I think their music is infectious. I disocovered in high school after reading a book about classic rock history. I was intrigued enough by what I read there to purchase a cassette tape of an album that must not be in print anymore, because I can’t find it on Amazon. It was a best of compilation. This song originally appeared on Electric Warrior, which came out the very month I was born — September 1971.
- “Maggie May” — Rod Stewart. From 1971’s Every Picture Tells a Story. Michael Ruby at Amazon calls it his “desert island disc,” adding “Rod Stewart made such a perfect record with this 1971 classic that he never really recovered.” I agree totally. Yet another Amazon.com Essential Recording. There seems to be a pattern here.
- “Ten Years Gone” — Led Zeppelin. A “deep cut” from 1975’s Physical Graffiti, which many Zeppelin fans (myself among them) count as their favorite album by the group. Led Zeppelin is my favorite band, and they have so many excellent songs, but this one has always resonated with me. I think it’s because Jimmy Page makes his guitar weep right along with Robert Plant’s plaintive voice. And yes, it’s an Essential Recording. How’d you guess?
- “Sara” — Fleetwood Mac. Before we go on, yes, 1979’s Tusk is an Essential Recording. I named my daughter for this song, though I like the spelling of “Sarah” with the “h” better, so I used that one. If that isn’t a recommendation, I’m not sure what is.
- “Bell Bottom Blues” — Eric Clapton (Derek and the Dominoes). Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Obviously an Essential Recording (probably Clapton’s most essential, in my opinion). This song is often overshadowed by the epic “Layla,” but it’s just as good, with bluesy guitar and sung with great emotion.
- “Tiny Dancer” — Elton John. From 1971’s Madman Across the Water (yet another Essential Recording). Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) loves this song. He has performed this show on television, introducing it with the following: “Tiny Dancer…..two words that strike a chord in the heart of every sensitive 32 year old man in the country.” That is something else, isn’t it? Anyway, it was featured in Almost Famous. I’ve noticed a lot of these songs were released in the year of my birth. Hmm.
- “American Pie” — Don McLean. From 1971’s American Pie. Poor Don McLean. Did he do any other songs? Seriously, a classic like this overshadows everything else he’s done. I cannot listen to this song without singing it at the top of my lungs. It’s a pity Madonna butchered in with a cover and it became (however nebulously) associated with that film of the same name.
- “Captain Jack” — Billy Joel. If you are my age or younger, you grew up with a Billy Joel who was basically just a pop hit factory. In the 1973, when Piano Man was released, Billy Joel was as poetic as Simon and Garfunkel, in my opinion. A damned fine song writer. I can listen to this song over and over. Who doesn’t remember being in high school and wishing they could get out that one-horse town? This is another song that gets overshadowed by a bigger hit on the same album — “Piano Man.” And yes, an Essential Recording.
- “Blue Sky” — The Allman Brothers Band. It’s a crime what the Allman Brothers did to Dickey Betts a few years ago. Setting that aside, this tune is performed by Betts on 1972’s Eat a Peach (an Essential Recording). You know, I heard a story that the title of the album came from the circumstances that surrounded Duane Allman’s death. He died in a motorcycle accident while they were recording this album. I heard he hit a peach truck — hence the title, Eat a Peach.
We went to see Shrek 2. It was wonderful. Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots (one of my all-time favorite fairy tale characters). We must get the DVD as soon as it comes out. Lots of laughs. Very cute movie.