My Sunday Song – “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson

For My Sunday Song #124, the instrumental this week is none other than Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover”.  The song was released in 1990 and is off his album ‘Ah Via Musicom’.  The song garnered Eric a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1992 and it has been named #17 in the list of 100 Greatest Guitar Solos by Guitar World Magazine. That should tell you something about how great this song is.

The song starts off with one wicked guitar solo before kicking in to that familiar riff of the song.  What I really love about the song is the melody.  It is so infectious and gets stuck in your head.  When you hear the song, you immediately strap on your air guitar and strum along.  It is taking everything for me to not stop typing and do just that as I am listening to it.  Forget, I will be right back…(air guitar strumming)…(still going)….(almost done)…okay, I’m back.

Eric Johnson claims the song came to him quickly and he was done in about 5 minutes.  I guess he knew a good thing when he heard it.  If it was only that easy for every song.  Now, that creative output occurred back in 1982.  Eric being the perfectionist that he is spent a lot of time tweaking the song and trying to get it right.  He was going to included it on his 1986 debut, but it was nixed by the powers that be.  And some 8 years after he first created the song, it was finally released.  At least the idea was quick!

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My Sunday Song – “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum

My Sunday Song #89 is going Country with Lady Antebellum’s song “Need You Now”.  The song is the title track to their sophomore album and the single was released on April 11, 2009.  The song became one of their biggest hits selling millions of copies and garnering a Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year a feat which not many Country Artists have ever been able to do.  Only one other Country Artists has ever done that and it was the Dixie Chicks just two years earlier.

The song was written rather quickly according to one of the co-writers of the song Josh Kear.  He stated the following (Songfacts.com):

“Actually, it was the second song we wrote that day,” he said. “We were only together for two-and-a-half hours. We finished the first one in the first 45 minutes. Charles had a guitar thing and an opening line for a song and we wrote ‘Need You Now’ really fast and went, ‘great, that was fun.’ It was the first day I’d ever spent with them. They went their separate ways: it was Charles wife’s birthday, I went home to my wife. Next thing you know it, it’s on the record, title track, first single and here we are. It was actually the very last song they played for the label for deciding what songs were going to put on the album.”

The song is about that late night hook-up.  You get so lonely and you yearn to be with someone so you pick up that phone and the next thing you know…booty call.  The record label was not real keen about one of the lyrics “It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk and I need you now”.  They had an issue with the little drunk part. Smart heads prevailed and the lyric remained and thankfully so because it does add a bit of truth to the whole story.  Who hasn’t done that when they were drunk?  Hell, that was probably when most people did it.

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My Sunday Song – “Hotel California” by The Eagles

My Sunday #50 is “Hotel California” by The Eagles.  When you add on 2 special edition weekends, this is the 52nd week of My Sunday Song.  One full year!!  Each 10 weeks I have been switching up the theme, but I am enjoying going through my favorite songs so much that I will continue with this theme for a lot longer.

I had to choose a very special song to celebrate a year’s worth of My Sunday Song so I chose what just might be one of the songs ever written or ever played.  “Hotel California” is pure magic in songwriting.  Musically it can’t be beat and lyrically it conveys a mastery of storytelling.

“Hotel California” is the title track to the album of the same name.  The single was released in February 1977 and went all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song also won the band a Grammy (which they did not attend because Henley didn’t believe in contests or something like that).  The song was written by Don Felder (who wrote the music), Don Henley (who wrote the lyrics) and Glenn Frey (who contributed some lyrics, but mostly helped with the outlining of the story).

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