Monday’s Music Moves Me: By George! Part 2

Two weeks ago, I did a playlist of songs that George Harrison wrote when he was with the Beatles that were included on The Fab Four’s albums. This is the second part of that list. It’s a little longer than the first, because I went back and forth about whether to include the three songs featuring Indian instrumentation and whether or not to include two songs that weren’t actually issued as part of an official Beatles release. In the end, I decided to include all of them.

  1. “Love You To” George was introduced to Indian classical music by David Crosby, then a member of The Byrds, in 1965. He first tried his hand at the sitar on Rubber Soul, playing it on “Norwegian Wood.” later, he took lessons from Ravi Shankar on the instrument, and began to write songs that were accompanied by himself and Indian musicians. The first included on a Beatles album was “Love You To,” from the Revolver album. George wrote three songs in total for that album.
  2. “Within You Without You” George’s lone contribution to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. There’s an analysis of this song on Wikipedia.
  3. “The Inner Light” George’s third Indian piece was done as the flip side of “Lady Madonna.”
  4. “Blue Jay Way” From the Magical Mystery Tour album (in the US, an EP in the UK), George was staying in Los Angeles near a street called Blue Jay Way. He wrote this one while he was waiting for publicist Derek Taylor one evening. It has a definite Indian feel to it, although played with guitars, drums, and a harmonium. It sounds a bit draggy, but that was the mood he was going for.
  5. “Only A Northern Song” George wrote this for Sgt. Pepper, but the band decided not to include it there (much to George’s chagrin). It incorporates a few elements of the later “Revolution No. 9.” It was included on the soundtrack for Yellow Submarine to help fulfill a “four new songs” requirement that United Artists had for the film.
  6. “Think For Yourself” Also included on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, only parts of it were actually played in the film. As Wikipedia puts it, “The song’s lyrics advocate independent thinking and reflect the Beatles’ move towards more sophisticated concepts in their writing at this stage of their career.”
  7. “Something” This song, from Abbey Road, was the first song written by George to appear as the A side of a Beatles single. It was held in high regard by the other three Beatles, especially John Lennon, who insisted that it be the first single from the album. It’s been covered many times, including by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Andy Williams. Apparently, there’s no truth to the rumor that Allen Klein, the band’s manager, issued the song because they needed the money. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and #2 on Cash Box, as well as #17 on the Easy Listening chart.
  8. “Here Comes The Sun” One of George’s better-known songs; he describes it as playing around with the D chord. George recorded a reply for it on his eponymous 1979 album called “Here Comes The Moon.” From Abbey Road.
  9. “I Me Mine” from Let It Be. It was the last new track recorded by the band before their breakup in April 1970.
  10. “For You Blue” Also from Let It Be, a better-than-average 12-bar blues song. Slide guitar is played by John Lennon.
  11. “Old Brown Shoe” The band chose this as the B side to the non-album single “The Ballad Of John And Yoko.” George plays both lead and bass guitar and provides the vocal. John is missing from this track, recovering from a car accident.
  12. “Cry For A Shadow” This is an early instrumental piece written by George and John that was never released on any album until the first Beatles Anthology album.
  13. “All Things Must Pass” George had presented this song to the band for inclusion on the Abbey Road album, but it was bypassed in favor of Paul’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” It became the title track for George’s debut solo album.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 20, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Body Parts!

Michele, our guest conductor this month, chose “body parts” as the theme for today. I had this incredible feeling of déja vu when I was putting this playlist together, and I figured out why: I’ve done body parts before. In fact, several days later, my readers came up with a list of their own, and I presented it as my regularly-scheduled M4. I could leave it at that, but here’s a playlist that I put together for this week that contains some of the same songs and a couple of new ones.

  1. Ocean, “Put Your Hand In The Hand” Some early ’70’s “Jesus rock” that was becoming popular at the time (another example would be “Jesus is Just Alright,” which was done by several artists). It peaked at #2 in the US, held out of the #1 spot by “Joy To The World,” which sounds like it might also be “Jesus rock.”
  2. Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Goin’ Out Of My Head” An oft-covered song by Tony Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein, this original version was released in 1964 and reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the RPM list in Canada.
  3. Johnny Otis, “Willie and the Hand Jive” Johnny, Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes, had quite a resumé in the music business: “singer, musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, talent scout, disc jockey, record producer, television show host, artist, author, journalist, minister, and impresario,” according to The Blogger’s Best Friend™. This was released in 1958 and peaked at #9. Johnny is the father of blues guitarist Shuggie Otis.
  4. Jimmy Reed, “Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth” One of the great Chicago bluesmen, this record was released in 1962 and only rose to #93 nationally and didn’t make a dent on R&B chart, strangely enough.
  5. Elton John & Kiki Dee, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” This was a #1 single for Elton and Kiki in 1976. I always liked her; it’s a shame she didn’t go further.
  6. Allan Sherman, “Skin” The great song parodist, who practically vanished when The Beatles became popular, originally recorded this on his 1964 album Allan In Wonderland. He was my favorite recording artist until The Beatles…
  7. Blondie, “Heart of Glass” New Wave chanteuse Deborah Harry and Blondie released this in 1979 and it reached #1 in the US and was a Top 10 hit in most of the rest of the world.
  8. ZZ Top, “Legs” I considered using “Tush” here, but I like this video better. They’ve been together for 50 years now, the same three guys. That’s some kind of a miracle.
  9. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, “Cheek To Cheek” Written by Irving Berlin in 1935 for the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers vehicle Top Hat, it’s become a standard. You wouldn’t think so, but they sound really good together. It was on Ella And Louis’s 1956 Ella and Louis album.
  10. Helen O’Connell and Bob Eberly with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, “Green Eyes” Originally “Aquellos Ojos Verdes” and written by Adolfo Utrera and Nilo Menéndez in 1929, the English lyrics were written by Eddies Rivera and Woods in 1931. This was the first hit recording, from 1941, and it was popular through World War II. Allan Sherman recorded a parody of this called “Green Stamps” on Allan In Wonderland.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 13, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: By George! (Part 1)

I woke up this morning thinking about George Harrison and the contributions he made to The Beatles, as a musician, singer, and songwriter. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the bulk of The Fab Four’s songs, and in fact really didn’t take him seriously as a songwriter until The Beatles (aka the white album). So I set about finding his songs on the band’s original collection of albums (the ones made between 1963 and 1970) and was surprised to find that there were almost 20. So, I broke that playlist in half (no need to thank me) and will give the first half today and the next on our next freebie Monday.

  1. “Don’t Bother Me” Appeared on the second British album, With The Beatles, and the second US album, Meet The Beatles. It was also featured in the movie A Hard Day’s Night.
  2. “I Need You” Appeared on the US and UK Help! soundtrack albums.
  3. “Think For Yourself” From the US and UK album Rubber Soul.
  4. “If I Needed Someone” Also from Rubber Soul. George’s contributions started to become a little more prevalent with this album.
  5. “Taxman” The way I heard the story, the only way Paul would keep this on Revolver (US and UK) was if he played the guitar solo. George obviously agreed.
  6. “I Want To Tell You” Also from Revolver. A third George song, “The Inner Light,” was on Revolver; that’ll be on the next playlist.
  7. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” The white album had four sides (2 records, two sides each), and George had a song on each side. Things were not well among the members of the band, so George invited Eric Clapton to play on this song. The Les Paul that Clapton plays on this song had been gifted to George from Eric; George told Eric that he didn’t have to bring a guitar with him, that he had a good one. Eric adjusted his tone to make his solo sound a little more “Beatle-y.”
  8. “Piggies” George’s sense of humor and social consciousness are evident here in a rather funny song.
  9. “Long, Long, Long” This followed “Helter Skelter” on record 2, side 1. It was a welcome relief from the loudness and violence of that track.
  10. “Savoy Truffle” Per Wikipedia: “”Savoy Truffle” is a song by the English rock group the Beatles from their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). The song was written by George Harrison and inspired by his friend Eric Clapton’s fondness for chocolate. The lyrics list the various flavours offered in Mackintosh’s Good News chocolates and serve as a warning to Clapton about the detrimental effect that his gorging would have on his teeth.”

Part 2 in 2 weeks. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 6, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Pipes & Drums!

I’m taking pity on you today: only one video.

To me, nothing says motivation like bagpipe music. The video is a homecoming parade by The Black Watch (42nd Royal Highland Regiment) through the streets of Perth from last year. The tunes they play on the parade are:

  1. The Atholl Highlanders/The Glendaurel Highlanders
  2. The Green Hills of Tyrol/A Scottish Soldier (When The Battle’s O’er)
  3. Hielan Laddie
  4. Scotland The Brave
  5. The Black Bear
  6. Wha’ Wouldna Fecht for Chairlie, also known as “Wha’ Saw the 42nd”
  7. The Atholl Highlanders/The Glendaurel Highlanders

Thanks to Jim Ramsay, who posts a lot of piping on his YouTube channel.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for April 29, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Music That Has Moved Me

So today, Kim asked us to share “Songs where a particular instrument has moved you – whether it’s a favorite vocal sound, bass line, drumming/beats, piano, guitar solo…” I never quite follow the instructions here, because there are a few places where I named more than one instrument or instrumentalist. But, you know what? I like these, and all of them move me, and that’s what counts.

  1. Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Snow Queen/Maiden Voyage” Maybe the only reason to own BS&T’s 1972 New Blood album is the almost 12-minute final track (two tracks, really, but they blend so nicely together) matching Carole King’s “Snow Queen” with Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage.” The horns are on fire here (Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield, trumpet; Dave Bargeron, trombone; Lou Marini, saxophone), Larry Willis’s keyboard work anchors the rhythm section throughout, and he does a tremendous solo starting at about 2:45, and Georg Wadenius does an extended voice-and-guitar solo during the “Maiden Voyage” section. This is what jazz-rock should sound like.
  2. Django Reinhardt, “Limehouse Blues” How Django Reinhardt did all that he could do with the ring and pinky on his left hand essentially unusable blows me away.
  3. Toots Thielemans, “Bluesette” Having played guitar all those years ago, I can tell you that one of the hardest things to do is try to solo and sing the notes along with your soloing. Georg Wadenius did it in “Maiden Voyage,” above, and now we have Jean “Toots” Thielemans, not singing, but whistling as he plays guitar. He originally wrote it for the harmonica, by the way.
  4. Chase, “Open Up Wide” Bill Chase was a jazz trumpeter who decided to put together a rock band with four trumpets up front. This is the first track off of their 1971 eponymous debut album. There is some incredible trumpet in this, but listen to the job Dennis Johnson and Jay Burrid are doing on the bass and drums. That’s what’s incredible here.
  5. Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Samba de Orpheus” Monty Budwig, on bass, starts this one by playing the melody, and when Vince comes in, he seamlessly makes the transition to supporting player. Listen to what he’s doing behind Guaraldi. It’s incredible.
  6. Julie London, “Cry Me A River” Julie has this voice, you know? But it’s the tasty accompaniment by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass that makes this track unforgettable.
  7. June Christy with the Ernie Filice Quartet, “Taking A Chance On Love” Arlee Bird used this in a Battle of the Bands a while back, and I think my exact words were “damn, that quartet behind her swings!” Now, there are five guys there, but I always heard that they don’t count the bass player, which, as a former bass player, I think that sucks. June is just lovely, isn’t she? And what a voice…
  8. Chicago, “Poem 58” The jam between Terry Kath on guitar, Peter Cetera on bass, and Danny Seraphine on drums that takes up the first five minutes of this is … I don’t have the words. Just, wow.
  9. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Blue Collar” From their debut album, this is the largely-forgotten single that only reached #68 on the Hot 100. It has some of the jazziest guitar work in a rock tune I’ve heard, especially the last minute and a half.
  10. Paul Jackson Jr., “It’s A Shame” Paul Jackson Jr. takes a song written by Stevie Wonder and originally done by The Spinners and works his guitar magic. Listen especially at 2:45, the way he transitions out of solo mode and back into doing the melody.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for April 15, 2019. Hope you got your taxes done…

Monday’s Music Moves Me is brought to you each week by Marie aka X-Mas Dolly, Stacy, Cathy, Alana, Callie, and Michelle. Be sure and visit them, because they have the Linky for everyone else.