Live on Stage 60's, 70's & 80's Artists

Paul McCartney & Billy Joel - "Let It Be"



Live at Shea Stadium, 2008. t takes a lot to upstage Billy Joel at Shea Stadium.
But late on Friday night, nearly three hours into a career-spanning performance advertised as the last concert at Shea before it was to be demolished, Mr. Joel seemed happy to turn over the spotlight to Paul McCartney, who, he said, had just flown in from London. The sold-out crowd of 55,000 people let out an ear-splitting roar as Mr. McCartney sang the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There,” with Mr. Joel singing backup and, fitting his reputation as a self-deprecating rock star, looking on from his piano as if he were just another fan himself. Before beginning “Let It Be,” Mr. McCartney alluded to the Beatles’ first concert at Shea in 1965, the year after the stadium opened.“It’s so cool to be back here on the last night,” he said. “Been here a long time ago — we had a blast that night, and we’re having another one tonight.”

 

The concert was the second of two farewell shows by Mr. Joel, who told the crowd earlier in the night: “They’re tearing this house down. I want to thank you for letting me do the job and keep doing it — the best job in the world.” Mr. McCartney wasn’t the only big guest. The country star Garth Brooks, dressed in a Mets T-shirt, sang Mr. Joel’s “Shameless,” which was a big hit for Mr. Brooks; Steven Tyler of Aerosmith performed “Walk This Way;” and Roger Daltrey of the Who — which played at Shea in 1982 — sang “My Generation” as Mr. Joel smashed a guitar on the center-field stage. Before the show, fans praised Mr. Joel, Long Island’s favorite son, as an approachable superstar whose songs chronicle everyday New York lives and struggles. “Only New Yorkers have a true sense of what he talks about,” said Lauren Marchiano, 26. As an avowed follower of both Mr. Joel and the Mets, she said, the night was doubly poignant for her. 

 

- New York Times 

Lionel Richie - "All Night Long"



Live from the 'Can't Slown Down Tour'. 1984. Lionel Richie told CNN: "What I try to write about are real events. There will always be an easy like Sunday morning. There will always be an endless love. There will always be an all night long." Richie said to CNN that it took him about two months write this song. He explained: "I just couldn't find the ending - I couldn't find all night long to save my life. I had everything, the verses, the middle part, all the stuff. I just did not have all night long. It took me forever to find it. And finally one night, the heavens opened up and came through."

Written by the man himself, this was Lionel Richie's fourth solo single - the first being a duet with Diana Ross. "All Night Long..." is basically a fun track. Released on the Motown Label in both 7-inch and 12-inch formats, co-produced with James Carmichael and backed by "Wandering Stranger," it topped the Hot 100 for four weeks. The radio edit runs to 4 minutes 16 seconds; the album version to 6 minutes 25 seconds. The song also sold well internationally, and was performed by Richie at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Richie told The Epoch Times that he got the vibe for this song from his vacations in the Caribbean. He explained: "I'm one of those guys that - I don't look for something new. I look for what people do everyday. And I noticed that, anytime I would come on vacation, everybody who can rap is on vacation doing a calypso dance. Everybody who's singing Opera, they conform to some form of calypso or some form of reggae. So when I went back to do 'All Night Long' it was very simple. All I had to do was find that beat that everybody dances to when they go on vacation."

The Bee Gees - "To Love Somebody"



1967. This moving ballad was released on the first Bee Gees album. Years later, they became one of the most popular disco acts, but in the '60s they were known for slower songs like this one and "Words." Legend has it that this song was written for Otis Redding, who died before he had the chance to record it. While this is a chance Redding would have recorded the song, that's not who the Bee Gees had in mind when they recorded it. The Animals, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Nina Simone (who had a big hit with it in the UK), Janis Joplin, Michael Bolton and Tom Jones, among others, have recorded this song.

The Bee Gees wrote the song for their manager, Australian-born impresario and entertainment entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, who was an influential part of London's gay showbiz establishment. Barry Gibb explained in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine: "It was for Robert. I say that unabashedly. He asked me to write a song for him, personally. It was written in New York and played to Otis but, personally, it was for Robert. He meant a great deal to me. I don't think it was a homosexual affection but a tremendous admiration for this man's abilities and gifts.". Billy Corgan (with Robert Smith singing backup) included his take on this song on his debut album, marking the first time Corgan let an old song be placed on one of his albums. Corgan sings this very different from The Bee Gees' original. His version is much more sad, and he even changes the words in the second verse, adding "Yeah" on most lines.

Donna Summer - "Last Dance"



Live1983. The lyrics could be viewed as a woman looking for the love of her life, but in more literal terms, it's the last song before closing time at the disco and she is looking for someone to go home with for the evening. Paul Jabara wrote this for the 1978 movie Thank God It's Friday. The movie takes place at a dance club, and Jabara played the role of Carl, a clueless club patron. The film didn't do nearly as well as Saturday Night Fever, which was released a year earlier and was also centered around a disco. This song, however, was a huge hit and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Jabara also wrote "It's Raining Men" for The Weathergirls, as well as Barbra Streisand's theme to her 1979 movie The Main Event. Jabara died of AIDS related causes in 1992 at age 44. Summer performed this in the movie, which also featured a performance by the Commodores singing "Too Hot To Trot." It was Summer's first role in a major motion picture, and she played an aspiring young singer named Nicole. In the film, she tries to convince the DJ at a hot nightclub to let her sing, and at the end of the night, she gets her chance and performs this, knowing it might be her last chance.

The Doors - "Roadhouse Blues"



When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing blues numbers at The Doors jam sessions. This in one of the songs he came up with at one of those inebriated sessions. When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing blues numbers at The Doors jam sessions. This in one of the songs he came up with at one of those inebriated sessions. There was a cabin behind the Topanga Corral that many sources say Morrison bought for his girlfriend, Pamela Courson. This could be what provided the line, "In back of the Roadhouse they got some bungalows."

John Sebastian from the Lovin' Spoonful played harmonica. He is identified on the album as "G. Puglese" because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors in light of Morrison's arrest at a concert in Miami when he was accused of exposing himself to the crowd. Morrison was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, Florida governor Charlie Crist granted Morrison a pardon, clearing him of the charges.

Three Dog Night - "One"



Live 1969. This was written by Harry Nilsson, a popular songwriter who had hits as a singer with "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Without You." Nilsson was inspired to write "One" from the rhythm of a telephone busy signal that he kept hearing. This was the first song on Three Dog Night's first album. It was one of 21 US Top 40 hits for the group, who did very well with songs written by other artists. Other hits by Three Dog Night include "Joy to the World" (written by Hoyt Axton), "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" (written by Randy Newman) and "The Show Must Go On" (written by Leo Sayer). This is about loneliness. It was used in the film Recess: School's Out when the character of TJ is lonely and bored after all his friends go to summer camps.

Neil Young - "Heart Of Gold"



Live at Farm Aid 1985. With a straightforward metaphor and complete lack of pathos, this is not a typical Neil Young song. It finds him mining for a "heart of gold," which depending on your perspective, is either a touching and heartfelt sentiment, or a mawkish platitude. Rolling Stone took the churlish view, complaining that the album evoked "superstardom's weariest clichés." The listening public and Young's fans were far more accepting, however, and the song became his biggest hit. By far, this was the biggest hit for Young as a solo artist, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 on March 18, 1972 (the Harvest album went to #1 a week earlier, supplanting Don McLean's American Pie). A very influential musician, he was never too concerned about making hit records. His next-highest Hot 100 entry was his next single, "Old Man," which reached #31.

Young wrote this in 1971 after he suffered a back injury that made it difficult for him to play the electric guitar, so on the Harvest tracks he played acoustic. Despite the injury, Young was in good spirits (possibly thanks to the painkillers), which is reflected in this song. The next few years were more challenging for Young, as he suffered a series of setbacks: his son Zeke was born with cerebral palsy, his friend Danny Whitten died, and he split with his girlfriend, Carrie Snodgress. His next three albums, which became known as "The Ditch Trilogy," expressed these dark times in stark contrast to "Heart of Gold."

This song was recorded at the first sessions for the Harvest album, which took place on Saturday, February 6, 1971 and were set up the night before. 

Neil Young was in Nashville to record a performance for The Johnny Cash Show along with Tony Joe White, James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Elliot Mazer, a producer who owned nearby Quadrafonic Studios, set up a dinner party on February 5, inviting the show's guests and about 50 other people. Mazer was friends with Young's manager Elliot Roberts, who introduced the two at the gathering. Young and Mazer quickly hit it off when Neil learned that Elliot has produced a band called Area Code 615. Young asked if he could set up a session the next day, and Mazer complied.

Nashville has an abundance of studio musicians, but getting them to work on a Saturday could be a challenge. Mazur was able to get one member of Area Code 615: Drummer Kenny Buttrey. The other musicians he found were guitarist Teddy Irwin, bass player Tim Drummond, and pedal steel player Ben Keith. All were seasoned pros.

Keith, who had never heard of Neil Young, recalls showing up late and sitting down to play right away. He says they recorded five songs before they stopped for introductions.

Source: Songfacts.com

The Rascals - "A Beautiful Morning"




Concert unknown. 1968. A Beautiful Morning written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati is performed live by The Rascals. The single recorded in 1967 was the first under that name instead of The Young Rascals. The song first appeared on the album Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits. A Beautiful Morning is one of The Rascals most popular hits, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1968.This was the first of the group's singles to be credited to "The Rascals," the original name of the group, rather than "The Young Rascals" which their producer had them take in order to avoid confusion from listeners with another group "The Harmonica Rascals."

Huey Lewis And The News - "The Power of Love"



Live August 1987. This was featured in the movie Back to the Future and included on the soundtrack. It plays in a scene where Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) hears it as he rides his skateboard from Doc's house to school. The film's director Robert Zemeckis wanted Lewis to do the song - Huey Lewis & the News were rising stars with a modern sound that worked well in the movie, which takes place in both 1955 and 1985. Lewis had never done film work and hesitated at first, since he didn't want to write a song called "Back to the Future." When Zemeckis told him that the song didn't have to be about the movie, Lewis accepted the challenge.

The song has a very universal message that works very well outside of the film. Lewis was newly married and had two young children when he wrote it with his bandmates Johnny Colla and Chris Hayes. His family provided inspiration for the lyrics. Lewis was working on this song while the movie was in post production. By the time Lewis delivered the song, most of the scenes were mixed; the only place the song worked was the scene where Marty is on his skateboard going to school. This scene has nothing to do with the power of love, but music fits the vibe and works in context.

The Eagles - "Hotel California"



Written by Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Don Henley, this song is about materialism and excess. California is used as the setting, but it could relate to anywhere in America. Don Henley in the London Daily Mail November 9, 2007 said: "Some of the wilder interpretations of that song have been amazing. It was really about the excesses of American culture and certain girls we knew. But it was also about the uneasy balance between art and commerce."

On November 25, 2007 Henley appeared on the TV news show 60 Minutes, where he was told, "everyone wants to know what this song means." Henley replied: "I know, it's so boring. It's a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and about excess in America which was something we knew about."

He offered yet another interpretation in the 2013 History of the Eagles documentary: "It's a song about a journey from innocence to experience."

Don Felder came up with the musical idea for this song. According to his book Heaven and Hell: My Life in The Eagles, he came up with the idea while playing on the beach. He had the chord progressions and basic guitar tracks, which he played for Don Henley and Glenn Frey, who helped finish the song, with Henley adding the lyrics.

Felder says they recorded the song about a year after he did the original demo, and in the session, he started to improvise the guitar part at the end. Henley stopped him and demanded that he do it exactly like the demo, so he had to call his wife and have her play the cassette demo over the phone so Felder could remember what he played.

The lyric, "Warm smell of colitas," is often interpreted as sexual slang or a reference to marijuana. When we asked Don Felder about the term, he said: "The colitas is a plant that grows in the desert that blooms at night, and it has this kind of pungent, almost funky smell. Don Henley came up with a lot of the lyrics for that song, and he came up with colitas."

The Eagles aimed for a full sensory experience in their songwriting. Felder adds, "When we try to write lyrics, we try to write lyrics that touch multiple senses, things you can see, smell, taste, hear. 'I heard the mission bell,' you know, or 'the warm smell of colitas,' talking about being able to relate something through your sense of smell. Just those sort of things. So that's kind of where 'colitas' came from."

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/eagles/hotel-california

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/hear-eagles-perform-a-rousing-live-version-of-hotel-california-202441/

Diana Ross - "I'm Still Waiting"



This was originally just an album track, however the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show DJ Tony Blackburn, who was a massive Diana Ross fan, had other ideas. He told Motown Records that if they released it as a single, he would make it his "Record Of The Week," playing it every morning for 5 days. The label did, Blackburn kept his word, and the result was Diana Ross' first UK #1 as a solo artist. It was not a major hit in the US, reaching only #63. However when Diana Ross performed the number on her UK tour, she was amazed at the reaction of the British public and even more astounded when she received standing ovations.

Creedance Clearwater Revival - "Bad Moon Rising"



In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words "I feel the hurricane blowin', I hope you're quite prepared to die." Overall, he said the song is about the "apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us."

In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words "I feel the hurricane blowin', I hope you're quite prepared to die." Overall, he said the song is about the "apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us."

This was used in two science-fiction movies of the 1980s: An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982). In the former, it plays as the main character is awaiting a full moon and wondering if he will turn into a werewolf.

Allman Brothers - "Blue Sky"



Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this about his Native Canadian girlfriend, Sandy "Bluesky" Wabegijig. They married in 1973 and divorced two years later. This was the first time Betts sang lead on an Allman Brothers song. He also sang lead on their biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man."
For a while after his 1975 divorce from this song's muse Sandy, Dickey Betts refused to perform this song. This was released after Duane Allman's death on Eat A Peach. The album is dedicated to him. Betts and Sandy Bluesky had a daughter, Jessica, on May 14, 1972. Betts wrote "Jessica" about her a year later. Duane Allman and Dickey Betts played on the bridge solo - one playing "lead" lead, the other playing "rhythm" lead. They switch up half way through - listen very carefully and you will hear them synch up on a riff for two measures or so right around 2:30 into the track.

Whitney Houston - "Greatest Love Of All"



 

Live Washington D.C. 1997. This was written by songwriters Michael Masser and Linda Creed. Linda Creed was recovering from breast cancer when they wrote the song in 1977. Originally recorded by George Benson, his version went to #24 in the US. In 1985, the song was revived by Whitney Houston, and on May 17, 1986, it went to #1 for the first of three weeks.

Creed's cancer claimed her life on April 10, 1986. She was later inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on the strength of this song and the many hits she co-wrote for The Spinners, The Stylistics, and other acts on the Philadelphia International label. Phil Hurtt, who also wrote for the label, told us, "There are thousands of ways to say I Love You, and the difficulty is trying to find a nuance, a new way to say what's been said thousands of times, and Linda Creed is someone who was able to do that."

Masser and Creed wrote this for the 1977 film biography of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, and the song first appeared on the film's soundtrack recorded by George Benson. Ali played himself in the movie, essentially recreating his defining moments intercut with clips of his actual fights. Ali was the heavyweight champ at the time of the film's release. 

Don Mclean - "American Pie"



According to McLean (as posted on his website), this song was originally inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. "The Day The Music Died" is February 3, 1959, when Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash after a concert. McLean wrote the song from his memories of the event ("Dedicated to Buddy Holly" was printed on the back of the album cover). The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album was also a huge influence, and McLean has said in numerous interviews that the song represented the turn from innocence of the '50s to the darker, more volatile times of the '60s - both in music and politics.

Talking about how he composed this song when he was a guest on the UK show Songbook, McLean explained: "For some reason I wanted to write a big song about America and about politics, but I wanted to do it in a different way. As I was fiddling around, I started singing this thing about the Buddy Holly crash, the thing that came out (singing), 'Long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.'

I thought, Whoa, what's that? And then the day the music died, it just came out. And I said, Oh, that is such a great idea. And so that's all I had. And then I thought, I can't have another slow song on this record. I've got to speed this up. I came up with this chorus, crazy chorus. And then one time about a month later I just woke up and wrote the other five verses. Because I realized what it was, I knew what I had. And basically, all I had to do was speed up the slow verse with the chorus and then slow down the last verse so it was like the first verse, and then tell the story, which was a dream. It is from all these fantasies, all these memories that I made personal. Buddy Holly's death to me was a personal tragedy. As a child, a 15-year-old, I had no idea that nobody else felt that way much. I mean, I went to school and mentioned it and they said, 'So what?' So I carried this yearning and longing, if you will, this weird sadness that would overtake me when I would look at this album, The Buddy Holly Story, because that was my last Buddy record before he passed away."

This song made the 26-year-old McLean very famous very quickly, which was difficult for the songwriter. McLean was prone to depression, losing his father at age 15 and dealing with a bad marriage when recording the album. So when the song hit, it thrust him into the spotlight and took the focus away from the body of his work. In a 1973 interview with NME, he explained: "I was headed on a certain course, and the success I got with 'American Pie' really threw me off. It just shattered my lifestyle and made me quite neurotic and extremely petulant. I was really prickly for a long time. If the things you're doing aren't increasing your energy and awareness and clarity and enjoyment, then you feel as though you're moving blindly. That's what happened to me. I seemed to be in a place where nothing felt like anything, and nothing meant anything. Literally nothing mattered. It was very hard for me to wake up in the morning and decide why it was I wanted to get up."

 

Source: Songfacts.com  (learn more at songfacts.com) 

David Bowie - "Imagine" Tribute to John Lennon



 

The last show of the Serious Moonlight tour, 8th December, 1983, was the 3rd anniversary of John Lennon's death, whom Bowie and Slick knew. Slick suggested a few days prior to the show that they play "Across the Universe" as a tribute; but Bowie said, "Well if we're going to do it, we might as well do 'Imagine'." They performed the song on the final night of the tour as a tribute to their friend. John Lennon wrote and recorded this song at his Tittenhurst Park estate in the English countryside where he and Yoko took up residence in the summer of 1969. When they moved to Tittenhurst, The Beatles hadn't officially broken up, but they were on the outs and would never record together again (the last Beatles photo shoot took place there in August, 1969).

Lennon had released two avant-garde albums with Yoko: Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins and Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions. At the end of 1969, they released another: Wedding Album, which contained sounds gathered at their wedding and "bed-in" honeymoon. In 1970, after a round of primal scream therapy, Lennon released his first commercially viable non-Beatles album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, with contributions from Ringo Starr and production by Phil Spector.

n early 1971, Lennon worked up songs for a new album - "Imagine" was one of them. In May, he summoned several of his musical cohorts to Tittenhurst to record it, including Spector, George Harrison, bass player Klaus Voormann, piano man Nicky Hopkins, and drummers Alan White and Jim Keltner. They recorded on-campus in the studio Lennon had recently built, which he called Ascot Sound Studios. It was a genial atmosphere; footage from the sessions shows Lennon and his cohorts enjoying each others' company, but also getting down to business when it came time to work - Phil Spector kept the sessions on track, and Lennon was exacting in his musical detail. "Imagine" was one of the first songs they recorded. With a very simple arrangement designed to spotlight the lyric, it required just Lennon's vocals and piano, Voormann's bass, and White's drums. Strings were overdubbed later.

Aretha Franklin - "Natural Woman"




This was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. They were a married couple who helped shape the Brill Building sound, named for the famous building in New York City where many hits from the '60 were written and recorded. Ode Records owner Lou Adler, who worked closely with King and Goffin, said: "Gerry Goffin is one of the best lyricists in the last 50 years. He's a storyteller, and his lyrics are emotional. 'Natural Woman,' 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.' These are perfect examples of situations, very romantic, almost a moral statement. Coming out of the 1950s, with the type of bubble gum music, and then in 1961, Gerry is writing about a girl who just might let a guy sleep with her and she wants to know, 'is it just tonight or will you still love me tomorrow?' Goffin could write a female lyric. If he could write the words to 'Natural Woman,' that's a woman speaking. Gerry put those words into Carole's mouth. He was a chemist before he was a full time lyricist. He's very intelligent and obviously emotional."

Regarding the origins of the song, Adler added: "Last year (2007) I spoke to Jerry Wexler at his home in Florida, and he told me the story that Gerry was coming out of a building in New York, (Goffin now remembers it as an Oyster House), and Jerry Wexler is passing in a car, and yells out, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Natural Woman'?' They felt the title was so distinct and so important to the song that they gave him a piece of it. So, when I spoke to Jerry recently to call him on his 90th birthday, he said, 'Isn't it amazing what those kids gave me? The checks keep coming in and I'm really happy about it.' Knowing how much he added to the song, not really as a third writer but the title and the inspiration of what was to be, a great song."

George Thorogood - "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer"



 

7/5/1984 - Capitol Theatre "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" (or "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer") is a blues song written by Rudy Toombs and recorded by Amos Milburn in 1953. It is one of several drinking songs recorded by Milburn in the early 1950s that placed in the top ten of the Billboard R&B chart. Other artists released popular recordings of the song, including John Lee Hooker in 1966 and George Thorogood in 1977.Amos Milburn's "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" is a mid-tempo blues song, sometimes described as a jump blues, with pop-style chord changes. It tells the story of a man who is "in a bar at closing time trying to get enough booze down his neck to forget that his girlfriend's gone AWOL, harassing a tired, bored bartender who simply wants to close up and go home into serving just one more round". During the one break in the song, Milburn implores the bartender:

One more nip and make it strong
I got to find my baby if it takes all night long
One scotch, one bourbon, one beer

The song was a hit, reaching number two in the R&B chart during a fourteen-week stay in 1953.[1] The single lists the performers as "Amos Milburn and His Aladdin Chickenshackers" after his first number one single "Chicken Shack Boogie". Mickey Baker provided the guitar parts. Several of Milburn's contemporaries commented on his indulgence;[3] for his part, Milburn added "I practiced what I preached".

Fleetwood Mac - "Landslide"



This song is about a father-daughter relationship. Stevie wrote it on the guitar in about five minutes in Aspen, Colorado. She was surrounded by mountains and thinking, "Wow, all this snow could just come tumbling down around me and there is nothing I can do about it." When she feels like this she just goes to a room and writes her thoughts down so she can read it and ponder what she has written.

Nicks said of this song: "My dad did have something to do with it, but he absolutely thinks that he was the whole complete reason it was ever written. I guess it was about September 1974, I was home at my dad and Mom's house in Phoenix, and my father said, 'You know, you really put a lot of time into this [her singing career], maybe you should give this six more months, and if you want to go back to school, we'll pay for it. Basically you can do whatever you want and we'll pay for it - I have wonderful parents, and I went, 'cool, I can do that.' Lindsey and I went up to Aspen, and we went to somebody's incredible house, and they had a piano, and I had my guitar with me, and I went into their living room, looking out over the incredible Aspen skyway, and I wrote 'Landslide.' Three months later, Mick Fleetwood called. On New Year's Eve, 1974, called and asked us to join Fleetwood Mac. So it was three months, I still had three more months to go to beat my six month goal that my dad gave me." 

Don Henley - "The Boys Of Summer"



Don Henley told the NME that he really did see a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. Said the Eagles frontman: "I was driving down the San Diego freeway and got passed by a $21,000 Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie – all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants – and there was this Grateful Dead 'Deadhead' bumper sticker on it!" The opening lines, "Nobody on the roads, nobody on the beach," refer to the California coast as summer turns into fall. It becomes a much quieter place when the weather gets cold. The title comes from a 1972 baseball book by Roger Kahn called Boys of Summer, which is about The Brooklyn Dodgers, who broke the hearts of their fans when they moved to Los Angeles. That book got its title from a Dylan Thomas poem called I See the Boys of Summer, which was published in 1939.

Hall & Oates - "She's Gone"



Many Hall & Oates songs were written primarily by one member of the duo, but this song was an equal collaboration. In our interview with Daryl Hall, he explained that Oates came up with the chorus, which he wrote on acoustic guitar. Hall thought it sounded like the Cat Stevens song "Wild World," so he went to his Wurlitzer keyboard and reworked the groove. From there, it was a matter of finding the progression and coming up with the lyrics. 

"We sat down together, and the first line that came out was, 'Everybody's high on consolation,'" said Hall. "It was one of those things where the lines just flowed out, and we were banging it back and forth. To me that is the ultimate Daryl and John song, because that was so collaborative, and so much a part of both of our experiences and lives thrown together."

This is one of the duo's favorite Hall & Oates songs. Daryl Hall told Entertainment Weekly (October 16, 2009): "It's very autobiographical. What we wrote about was real, even though it was two different situations. And it's very thematic with us: this soaring melody and uplifting chord progression, but about a very sad thing."

Joan Jett - "I Love Rock & Roll"

This was originally recorded by a British group called The Arrows in 1975, and it was written by their lead singer Alan Merrill and guitarist Jake Hooker. Merrill explained in a Songfacts interview how this song came about: "That was a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones' 'It's Only Rock 'N' Roll.' I remember watching it on Top of the Pops. I'd met Mick Jagger socially a few times, and I knew he was hanging around with Prince Rupert Lowenstein and people like that – jet setters. I almost felt like 'It's Only Rock and Roll' was an apology to those jet-set princes and princesses that he was hanging around with - the aristocracy, you know. That was my interpretation as a young man: Okay, I love rock and roll. And then, where do you go with that?"

The song was released as a B-side with The Arrows' "Broken Down Heart." The group was recording for RAK Records, which was run by Mickie Most. As Merrill explains, "I Love Rock And Roll" didn't suit his current tastes, as during that time Most preferred ballads and blues. Most's wife Christina Hayes encouraged him to flip the sides, but the song didn't catch on, as it suffered from a poor run of luck at the time of its release. First, it had to be re-released as an A-side. Second, the song came out during an English newspaper strike, so new songs weren't getting the exposure they'd normally get. Third, The Arrows were feuding with their record label. As a result, the song didn't chart and was banished to obscurity.

All was not lost, however, as The Arrows performed this song when they were guests on the UK TV series Pop 45. The show's producer, Muriel Young, was so impressed that on the strength of this performance, she gave them their own TV show, simply called The Arrows Show, which ran from 1976-1977 in the UK for two full 14-week seasons on the ITV network. It was this show that Joan Jett saw in 1976, which prompted her to acquire a copy of "I Love Rock and Roll" and later cover it in 1981, producing what is arguably one of the most successful covers in rock history.

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones - "Baby Please Don't Go"



On 22 November 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon.  Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 is a concert video and live album by American blues musician Muddy Waters and members of British rock band the Rolling Stones. It was recorded on November 22, 1981 by David Hewitt on the Record Plant Black Truck, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and released on July 10, 2012.[1] The Checkerboard Lounge was a blues club in Bronzeville, on the South Side of Chicago, which was established in 1972 by Buddy Guy and L.C. Thurman.[6][7]

Player - "Baby Come Back"



This was written by Peter Beckett and J. C. Crowley, the two founders of Player. Beckett was the lead singer and guitarist. He is originally from Liverpool, England (home of The Beatles). After the demise of Player, Beckett joined Australia's Little river Band, who included this on a live album. Beckett also wrote "Twist of Fate" for Olivia Newton-John and "After All This Time" for Kenny Rogers.

According to Beckett's webmistress Patricia, he and a girlfriend of five years had broken up, and Beckett wrote the song from what he was feeling in his heart. She told us: "I had asked him if he ever heard from the girl again and he said 'No! Thank God!'"

A staple of soft rock radio, "Baby Come Back" exemplifies what would later be known as "Yacht Rock": mellow, sophisticated (and often maligned) music. Nicholas Niespodziani of the Yacht Rock Revue told us that this song is a crowd-pleaser. "'Baby Come Back' is such a great tune melodically, and the emotion of it really connects with people," he said. "I noticed that when we do it, there's something undeniably sexy about it, and it still works for those dudes all these years later."

George Michael - "Careless Whisper"



Live in China, 1984.  "Careless Whisper" is a pop ballad written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham!. It was released on 24 July 1984 on the Wham! album Make It Big. The song features a prominent saxophone riff, and has been covered by a number of artists since its first release. It was released as a single and became a huge commercial success around the world. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about 6 million copies worldwide—2 million of them in the United States

Unlike most of the other Wham! singles, the song was co-written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. The two wrote it together as developing artists three years earlier in Watford, England.[4] Michael and Ridgeley wrote the song when they were 17, taking inspiration from stories from Michael's early romantic overtures.[5] Michael explained in his autobiography, Bare, that much of the song's content is based on events from his childhood. Michael wrote in his biography, "With 'Careless Whisper' I remember exactly where it first came to me, where I came up with the sax line... I remember I was handing the money over to the guy on the bus and I got this line, the sax line..."[6]
 

The song went through at least two rounds of production. The first was during a trip Michael made to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he went to work with producer Jerry Wexler at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.[7] Michael was unhappy with the original version produced by Wexler, and decided to re-record and produce the song himself; the second version was the one ultimately released as a single.
 

After the backing track and George's vocal had been recorded, Wexler had booked the top saxophone player from Los Angeles to fly in and do the solo.[8] "He arrived at eleven and should have been gone by twelve", recalled Wham! manager Simon Napier-Bell. "Instead, after two hours, he was still there while everyone in the studio shuddered with embarrassment. He just couldn't play the opening riff the way George wanted it, the way it had been on the demo. But that had been made two years earlier by a friend of George's who lived round the corner and played sax for fun in the pub."[8]

 

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