Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #62 T. Rex

Starting out as Tyrannosaurus Rex in 1967 London, Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took played an odd psychedelic folk. It wasn’t very successful. In 1970, Took left the band and the name was shortened to T. Rex. Bolan recruited percussionist Mickey Finn, bassist Steve Currie, and drummer Bill Legend and developed a new sound called Glam Rock. Many date the very beginning of glam rock to Marc Bolan’s March 1971 appearance on Top of the Pops playing Hot Love. The new sound took off and created T. Rextasy across Britain. They considered it the new Beatlemania. In September of ’71, Electric Warrior, one of the great 70s albums, was released and cemented the band’s place in the rock pantheon. Tragically, Marc Bolan was killed in a car crash in 1977 two weeks from his 30th birthday.

His first big hit with the new sound.

The T. Rex performance of this song on Top of the Pops in 1971 is considered by many to be the birth of Glam Rock.

One of my favorites. Girl, I'm just a Jeepster for your love.

Here's his one big hit in the US that everyone knows. Hey look, there's Elton John at the piano.

Is it strange to dance so soon?

Oh yes you are.

Life's a gas, I hope it's gonna last.

You won't fool the children of the revolution.

Metal Guru, is it you? yeah yeah yeah!

Telegram Sam! He's my main man!

and we conclude our look at T. Rex with 20th Century Boy. Great guitar riff here! 

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #63 Sly & the Family Stone

What would funk have been without Sly Stone? Sly and the Family Stone came together in San Francisco in 1966 and meshed together rock, soul, and psychedelia to create a very original new funk music. Their songs extolling the virtues of peace and love, celebrating everyday people, taking us higher where everybody is a star, telling us to stand and sing a simple song, coming from this integrated band of male and female, white and black musicians making beautiful harmony together was an inspiration for their era. The members of the actual Stone family were Sly Stone on organ, Freddie Stone on guitar, and Rose Stone on keys. The other members were drummer Gregg Errico, sax-man Jerry Martini, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, and the phenomenal bass player Larry Graham. They had a great string of hits through the late sixties and got even funkier as they traveled through the seventies. Unfortunately, Sly’s drug problems caught up with him and led to the dissolution of the band by 1975. Their influence remains and can still be heard in popular music today.

Whoever put this video together did a great job.

Great guitar and horn work on this one.

Are y'all having hot fun in the summertime yet?

Don't you know that you are free
Well at least in your mind if you want to be

Sly & the Family Stone's legendary performance of I Want to Take You Higher at Woodstock. If I had access to a time machine and I was told that I could visit any time in all of world history, you better believe the first thing I would do would be going to Woodstock.

People talk about Sly and Larry Graham a lot, but this video really shows how awesome Cynthia Robinson and Rose Stone were. Those two make this song. Cynthia can blow the hell out of that trumpet.

Here's the big hit that everyone knows. They even made a little video for it back in those pre-MTV days. I can't figure out why Sly keeps punching that big dude in the stomach though.

All Together Now!

Sly performs his best song Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) on Soul Train! Check out Larry slapping that bass. This band was tight and this song is some of the best funk ever recorded. Oh yeah!

Very pretty song and sentiment.

I love you for who you are, not the one you feel you need to be.

and we conclude our look at Sly & the Family Stone with the pure funk pleasure of Family Affair.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The 100 Greatest Bands of all time - #64 Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

In the days before rock and roll was born, the biggest musical genre in America was swing. The big bands had people dancing all over the country in the 30s and 40s. In the early 30s, Bob Wills and Milton Brown created something a little different with a band called the Light Crust Doughboys. The fusion of jazz with country music became what was called Western Swing. In 1933, Bob left the Doughboys and formed the Texas Playboys in Waco. They became the dominant practitioners of the genre and had multiple hits over the next three decades. Bob Wills played the fiddle and led the band calling out the players by name and interjecting those wonderful falsetto proclamations. Ah-ha! Tommy Duncan was a fantastic singer. Leon McAuliffe was one of the finest steel guitar players of all time. Al Stricklin played hot piano. Bob made sure to keep his band filled with the best players of the day. There is very little that makes me happier than listening to the great sounds that these fellas produced. Like Waylon Jennings said, “Bob Wills is still the king.” Ah-ha Yess!!!

The Steel Guitar Rag from way back in 1936. Leon McAuliffe played the hell out of that steel guitar.

Chicken in the bread pan, peckin' out dough.
Granny, will your dog bite? No, child, no.

Ida Red, Ida Red
I'm a plumb fool 'bout Ida Red.

A lot of folks have recorded this song over the years, but nobody did it better.

Fantastic live performance of one of Bob's biggest hits.

Moon in all your splendor, know only my heart.
Call back my Rose, Rose of San Antone.
Lips so sweet and tender like petals falling apart.
Speak once again of my love, my own.

Bob, Tommy, and the boys were featured in a great many Westerns back in the 30s and 40s. Love this song.

Take Me Back to Tulsa. Is it just me or does that singer look like Corey from Pawn Stars?

This is a good one.

Here's those boys again. Ah-Haa!

This song strikes me as being quite relevant to the youth of today.

My favorite Bob Wills song.

Stay all night, Stay a little longer.
Dance all night, Dance a little longer
Pull off your coat, throw it in the corner
I don't see why you don't stay a little longer.

and we conclude our look at Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys with the beautiful love song Faded Love.