For My Sunday Song #224, we are going to discuss one of Queen’s fun songs, “I’m in Love With My Car”. The song is off the album, “A Night at the Opera” which was released in 1975. The song was written by Roger Taylor and is one of his more famous songs mainly because it was the B-Side to a little known Queen hit “Bohemian Rhapsody”, you may have heard of that one. There is a whole story to that which we will get to shortly.
The song was actually inspired by one of the band’s roadies, Johnathan Harris. Johnathan loved his car to death which was a Triumph TR4. Roger wrote it and played all the instruments for the demo and the band kind of thought of it as a joke, but Roger wasn’t joking. They recorded the song and Roger pitched a royal tantrum to get on the B-Side of “Bohemian Rhapsody” which the band finally caved after Roger had locked himself in a closet (or cupboard) until Freddie finally agreed. This ended up causing a lot of tension between him and Freddie because Freddie was pissed he got as much in royalties for that “Bohemian Rhapsody” single he didn’t write-it. But because his song was on the B-Side he got a big piece of the pie as well. Turned out that whole tantrum trick worked out quite nicely in Roger’s favor.
The song is actually pretty great. What guy hasn’t fallen in love with his car. I had a friend that spent so many long hours fixing up their 69 Firebird and they loved their car so much. It was also fun to do burnouts with. And I love my car now as it is fun to drive and just hugs the road. So I get it. Musically, Brain May’s guitar work is great as he recorded it with his own Red Special guitar. Freddy is on the piano playing away and Roger’s vocals sound great. The song ends with a motor revving and that was Roger’s own car which was an Alfa Romeo.
Here in the States, yesterday was Thanksgiving and this year we really do have a lot to be thankful for despite how bad 2020 has been. And since it is New Release Friday, we have even more to be thankful for and this is also Record Store Black Friday so dang, even more. I am not listing the Record Store Day stuff as it is too numerous plus not everyone has a local, independent store to buy from. If you want the list, click…RECORD STORE DAY LIST. Now, this Friday on our normal releases, they are plentiful as well. Take a look at the list and let me know what you want to hear. There isn’t anything I am running out to buy right now, but a few I will stream in the meantime to see what they brought. Thanks for stopping by and have a great and wonderful Weekend!! Oh yeah, my choices are in Blue…as usual.
Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts – (RCA / Sony): Miley has been putting out some rocking covers lately and she has a voice that suits that genre pretty well. For that reason alone, I am looking forward to hearing this to see if she is bringing the rock…plus I am sure my kids will be listening to it so I am hearing it regardless.
Smashing Pumpkins – CYR – (Sumerian Records): Here is the thing. I am not a huge Pumpkins fan, but I am still interested in hearing what they have for us for some strange reason.
It is Thanksgiving 2020 and dang what a crazy year it has been. One thing I have found to give me peace and help deal with stress during this Covid impacted world is my vinyl collection. I am of course thankful for my health and my family as that is a given, but since this is a music site, I need to tie in music somehow, I am also thankful for my vinyl collection. It brings me great joy. To be able to pull out an album and play it and it might help my mood brings me great satisfaction. There are so many things I love about it.
One of the things I love about vinyl is that occasionally you find an album cover that is interactive in some way. Something about the picture can be manipulated, changed or just turned to a different angle for a dramatically different picture. This makes for the most fun and enjoyable album experience. For this version of Turntables & Vinyl, we are going to explore those I have in my collection and maybe one I want to get in the future. I will break it out in to different categories. And let’s get right in to the first category…
Some album covers have a cover that changes the look of the cover strictly from the perspective of how you are looking at it. A changing perspective is actually a good thing to have in life as well. We change our perspective on the world depending on how we look at it. Why not take that ability and turn it in to an album cover. A couple I have in my collection do just that.
Def Leppard – ‘Retro Active’: This album cover looks different depending on the position you hold it. Up close, it is a beautifully lady sitting in front of a mirror doing make-up. From far away it is a Skull. See what I mean below…Look at the picture closely on your screen and see the girl, pull the screen away from you (or sit further back) and you will see the skull.
If you read this blog regularly, you would notice that I started collecting Kiss Tour Books and this collecting is a very recent thing. As a result, I have suddenly had numerous Tour Books fall in to my lap almost literally. First were a couple of Bon Jovi Tour Books and now I stumbled across not 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 Rush Tour Books. It is like the Tour Book Gods are speaking to me. I grabbed all 4 as the prices were really great and made it worth owning. This here is the final of the 4 Rush Tour Book posts that have been done. The place I found these was Hardy Boy Records in Mint Hill, NC. I always seem to find some cool stuff from him as I have found numerous Kiss Bootlegs at his shop. His shop is quickly becoming my favorite place to go.
We’ve already covered three tour programs for ‘Power Windows’, ‘Roll the Bones’ and ‘Counterparts’. We are now the final one in this set of tour books I picked up and it is for the Test for Echo Tour which was the band’s first tour without an opening act, and was billed as “An Evening With Rush.” The tour kicked off October 19, 1996 and ran until July 4, 1997. This was the only concert tour in which Rush played the song “2112” in its entirety. The set list was broken in to 3 parts and it is the best yet…
“Dreamline” “The Big Money”/”Wipe Out” (Replaced with “Limelight” for the second leg) “Stick It Out” (Second leg only) “Driven” “Half the World” “Red Barchetta” “Animate” “Limbo” “The Trees” “Freewill” (Second leg only) “Red Sector A” “Virtuality” “Nobody’s Hero” “Closer to the Heart” “2112”
“Test for Echo” “Subdivisions” (Dropped from the second leg) “Freewill” “Roll the Bones” “Resist” “Leave That Thing Alone” “The Rhythm Method” (drum solo) “Natural Science” “Force Ten” “Time and Motion” (Moved around the setlist before being dropped on 9 Nov 1996) “The Spirit of Radio” “Tom Sawyer”
We are now on the 13th Kiss studio album called ‘Asylum’ which came out on September 16, 1985. And this is actually the 30th review in the Kiss Review Series…I can’t believe we are already to #30 is pretty much the half way mark of the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far and I hope you have as well.
Now Kiss is in a good place, for the most part. Yes, Gene isn’t as involved as he should be and Paul is still running the show, but they have a solid line-up now that Bruce Kulick is an official member of the band. The line-up seems to be relatively issue you free (except for the Gene part). The line-up was now Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick. It would stay this way for the next 6 years and there would not be as much drama as before…thank goodness, but at the same time it does make for great story telling.
For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are going to cover one of the greatest songs of all time, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones. No, I’m not being bold in saying that as the song has actually been voted as #2 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and is in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Cover we are going to look at is not the Britney Spears cover because, well, we have taste. That was harsh, it is really because there is no way it would have a chance to win. The cover we will actually discuss is the one by Devo from 1978 which I probably knew first thanks to MTV.
The song was written by the legendary duo of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It is said that Keith wrote the music in his sleep and they have a tape that proves it. You get two minutes of guitar and 40 minutes of him snoring…pretty awesome. Jagger wrote the lyrics sitting poolside down in Clearwater, Florida. The song was extremely controversial for its day because the song spoke out against commercialism as well as rather sexually suggestive. In fact, in the UK, the song was only played on Pirate Radio due to that controversy. Eventually it made it to #1 in the UK and in the US (where it was less controversial.
For My Sunday Song #223, we are discussing another Queen classic, “Radio Ga Ga” off their 1984 album ‘The Works’. The song was a worldwide hit and reached #16 on the US Billboard Top 40 and #2 in their home country of the UK. It was actually so popular that singer Lady Gaga actually took her name from the song…true story. She was is a massive fan of Queen and loved the song.
The song was written by Roger Taylor and he thought it would work great on his solo. The band heard and thought this could be a hit and suddenly it became a Queen song. Roger’s inspiration came from his son and hearing him say “Radio Ca Ca”. He took that and turned it in to a commentary on how TV and Music Videos were changing the way we listened to music and the radio. Radio was becoming less important, but he wanted to wax poetic about its greatness. The song actually makes reference to a couple of major radio events such as Winston Churchill’s “This is their finest hour” speech to the House of Commons in 1940 and to Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” in 1938.
Musically this song was a pure synth song . Roger wrote it on a Roland Jupiter-8 synthesizer and a drum machine. The song was recorded using a Roland VP330+ vocoder synthesizer and John Deacon wrote the bass line on a Roland Jupiter-8. When you hear it, it is basically nothing but synths. Fred Mandel, a Canadian musician, was brought in to program the synths for the right sounds. Freddie took the lyrics and massaged them a little and then sang it so beautifully and effortlessly as only Freddie can do. The song is so 80’s in the sound, but still holds up today. It is a little anthemic especially with the hand claps sounds added. It is a favorite song when played live and they still play it live even today with Adam Lambert. I am usually not a huge fan of synthesizer music, however, this song is a major exception to that rule. Queen has a way to make you listen to the whole song and not focus on one part.
Another week of a ton of new releases as everyone tries to get their albums out in time for the Christmas rush. And there are quite a few that interest me and one that interests a ton of my fellow blogging friends which is why it is #1 on the list. For those of us in the U.S., this coming week is Thanksgiving and with a year like we’ve had, we do have a lot to be thankful for and now more than ever we should make sure we let everyone know how special they are in our life and what they mean to us. But before we do that, why don’t you check out the releases this week and let me know which ones you want to hear or what I may have missed as everyone needs to know. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend! Oh yeah, my choices are in Blue!!
Iron Maiden – Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City – (Sanctuary Records): I am not a huge Iron Maiden fan, but that doesn’t stop me from listing this as the #1 release of the week. My first thought is that this is yet another live album as Maiden has millions of them it seems. But a friend told me that this one is cool as the track list is so different the last album and there are songs they haven’t done in awhile. I would agree that would make this one worth getting. What are those songs? I don’t remember, but if you are real fan, you will know when you see the track listing. I hope you all enjoy. And yes, I will give it a spin.
The Wild Feathers – Medium Rarities – (The Wild Feathers): This is my top choice. An album of rare tracks from The Wild Feathers and since I have everything they have done and for the fact that I love rare tracks, demos any thing new by a band, this has been ordered and on its way. Oh yeah, and it will be signed by the band!!! Cool stuff. And if you want to know, they are a little country, a little folk, a little southern rock and a whole lot of awesome.
The first concert video Kiss had ever released was ‘Animalize Live Uncensored’ and I had this on VHS and I remember it vividly although I did watch it again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It came out on April 19, 1985 and I was so excited when this came out mainly because I saw this tour. My second Kiss show ever and now I was getting a video from that tour, how cool was that. Here is my ticket stub and you can view the Animalize Tour Book which I bought at the show by clicking the link.
The stage was a simple set up in Kiss terms. A couple ramps on each side of the drum set with an elevated platform behind them. The stage floor was covered in the same animal print as the Animalize album cover…makes sense. The show had a varied setlist with some old and some new. They kick off and end with some classic Kiss songs, but everything else in the middle was all 80’s from ‘Creatures of the Night’ (4 songs) to ‘Lick It Up’ (3 Songs) to ‘Animalize’ (3 Songs). For me, this is where I wanted them to spend their time as I was discovering Kiss on my own with these albums so I wanted these songs and I got my money worth with it.
The video opens with Kiss rising from the stage and then they explode in to “Detroit Rock City” and they are in Detroit! The song is so sped up and Eric’s drums are so heavy. I don’t think I’ve seen it played this fast before. After the song, Paul goes in to his his “Cold Gin” spill and they blast in to “Cold Gin” with Bruce Kulick laying down that nasty riff. Bruce was a full time member of the band at this point (which they announced before this very show) since Mark St. John was let go around the beginning of the tour due to his health issues. The show was also a radio broadcast and being filmed for an MTV concert (and this video).
If you read this blog regularly, you would notice that I started collecting Kiss Tour Books and this is a very recent thing. As a result, I have suddenly had numerous Tour Books fall in to my lap almost literally. First were a couple of Bon Jovi Tour Books and now I stumbled across not 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 Rush Tour Books. It is like the Tour Book Gods are speaking to me. I grabbed all 4 as the prices were really great and made it worth owning. This here is the first of the 4 Rush Tour Book posts that coming. The place I found these was Hardy Boy Records in Mint Hill, NC. I always seem to find some cool stuff from him as I have found numerous Kiss Bootlegs at his shop. His shop is quickly becoming my favorite place to go.
We’ve already covered the tour programs for ‘Power Windows’ and now ‘Roll the Bones’. This time we are going through the tour book for the Counterparts Tour which ran from January to May of 1994 and covered only 55 dates all across the U.S. And although a short tour, the setlist was pretty impressive…
“Dreamline” “The Spirit of Radio” “The Analog Kid” “Cold Fire” “Time Stand Still” “Nobody’s Hero” “Roll the Bones” “Animate” “Stick It Out” “Double Agent” “Limelight” “Bravado” (added 4/20/94) “Mystic Rhythms” “Closer to the Heart” “Show Don’t Tell” “Leave That Thing Alone!” “The Rhythm Method” “The Trees” “Xanadu” (abbreviated) “Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres” (Prelude) “Tom Sawyer” “Force Ten” “YYZ” “Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage” (teaser)