Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – The Chicago Transit Authority – 1970

January 30, 2014

chicago-does_anybody_really_know_what_time_it_is_sNot once but twice – haven’t heard Chicago for so long and then twice in one week, once on the Grammy’s singing Saturday in the Park, and then this song – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – as part of the soundtrack to American Hustle.

chicago fax

  • Chicago began life as The Chicago Transit Authority way back in 1967 and are still performing.
  • The band changed their name to Chicago very soon after the release of their first album when the real Chicago Transit Authority threatened legal action.
  • Amongst American bands, Chicago is second only to The Beach Boys in terms of singles and albums chart success.
  • According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading US singles charting group during the 1970s. In all, they have sold over 38 million albums US alone – 22 gold, 18 platinum, and 8 multi-platinum albums.
  • Chicago had five number-one albums and 21 top-ten singles; but only three #1 singles: If You Leave Me Now, Hard to Say I’m Sorry, and Look Away.
  • The titles of most of the band’s albums have been chronological roman numerals.
  • Jimi Hendrix once said to band member, Walter Parazaider;

Jeez, your horn players are like one set of lungs and your guitar player is better than me.

 does anybody really know what time it is? fax

  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? was written and sung by Robert Lamm.
  • It comes from Chicago’s first album, The Chicago Transit Authority, which was the band’s original name.
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? was the band’s third single. The previous two – Make Me Smile and 25 or 6 to 4 – came from the band’s second album. All three singles made the US Top Ten.
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? was recorded in January 1969 but not released as a single until October 1070. There have been four versions of the song, all getting progressively shorter: 4:36 (album track), 3:20 (single), 2:54 (greatest hits edit), 2:46 (promo single edit).
  • The song has featured in at least two movies, Little Nicky (2000), and American Hustle (2013).
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? lyrics.

 does anybody really know what time it is? – the chicago transit authority – 1970 – video – short version

 does anybody really know what time it is? – the chicago transit authority – 1970 – video – full version

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More Than a Feeling – Boston – 1976

January 23, 2014

Boston-More than a feeling-coverWhen Vintage Guitar magazine published its list of the top guitar solos of the 70s, Boston’s, More Than a Feeling came in at #7.

boston fax

  • Boston is an American rock band from, not surprisingly, Boston.
  • Their sound centred on the works of Tom Scholz, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer for the band.
  • Boston has sold over 31 million albums in the United States; 17 million of those were their self-titled debut album. Their second album, Don’t Look Back, accounted for another seven million. That leaves five million spread aBoston 1round their other four studio albums.
  • For many years Boston was the best-selling debut album in the US. That record was taken from them by Guns N’ Roses’ debut set Appetite for Destruction (18 million sales).
  • Tom and the band Boston still make music and tour. Tom has spent years embroiled in lawsuits some involving what he claims is defamation over his alleged role in the suicide of original Boston lead singer, Brad Delp; most involving the use of the band’s name by former band members.

boston and the spaceship

One of the themes of Boston’s album cover art is the presence of a guitar-shaped spaceship. This is, apparently, representative of a colony ship bearing the city of Boston, with the city’s name emblazoned across the front, to a new and better place.

The album appearances of the spaceship:

  • Boston – Two long lines of guitar shaped starships flee a planet that is breaking apart. The ships all have blue flames coming out of the bottom.
  • Don’t Look Back – The Boston ship is flying low or perhaps hovering over a grassy, crystalline planet. The ship has searchlights on.
  • Third Stage – The Boston ship is either headed towards, or perhaps has just undocked from, a large flat spaceship resembling a bank of pipe organ pipes.
  • Walk On – The Boston ship is shown crashing through a rock outcropping.
  • Greatest Hits – The Boston ship is flying low over a planet with turquoise rocks and a turquoise tower in the distance.
  • Corporate America – The Boston ship is flying towards an Earth-like planet.
  • Life, Love & Hope – The Boston ship is flying in space, near a nebula.

more than a feeling fax

  • Written by Tom Scholz, More Than a Feeling was Boston’s first and most successful single. It was released in September 1976. The song took Tom more than five years to complete – he said his inspiration was the fabulous Left Banke song, Walk Away Renee.
  • More Than a Feeling peaked at #5 on the US singles chart.
  • The album version of the song is over a minute longer than the single version – it includes an extra chorus and verse.
  • In 2009, More Than a Feeling was named the 39th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
  • Covers of More Than a Feeling have included versions by: Nirvana (Kurt Cobain noted the similarities between the song’s main riff and that of Nirvana’s hit Smells Like Teen Spirit), No Mercy and *NSYNC.
  • More Than a Feeling can be heard in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • More Than a Feeling lyrics.

more than a feeling – boston – 1976 –video

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Welcome Back – John Sebastian – 1976

January 16, 2014

John Sebastian Welcome Back single cover 1976There we were listening to the young ‘uns talking about great American sit-coms from the distant past.  Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Full House, etc.  That’s when the older ones joined in.  “That’s nothing,”  said one “You should have seen Taxi.”  “Cheers,” shouted someone else.  “Bill Cosby Show,” said the next 70s survivor. 

Then someone starts singing, “Welcome back… your dreams were your ticket out…”

welcome back, kotter fax

  • Welcome Back, Kotter was an American television sitcom starring Gabe Kaplan, but which gave John Travolta his first break. It John Sebastian 1was produced from September 9, 1975, to June 8, 1979.
  • The programme featured a teacher who was given a class of difficult students known as “the sweathogs.”
  • Gabe Kaplan is still on TV – these days he is an expert poker player and features on programmes such as World Series of Poker and Poker After Dark.
  • John Travolta has gone on to even greater things!

john sebastian fax

  • John Sebastian was originally known as the frontman for American Band, The Lovin’ Spoonful.
  • The Lovin’ Spoonful where inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and John’s distinctive 60s tie-dyed denim jacket is displayed there.
  • The band’s best known hits were, Do You Believe in Magic, and Summer in the City.
  • John began a solo career when the band broke up in 1968. He appeared at Woodstock.
  • John also has the distinction of being the harmonica on The Doors’ song Roadhouse Blues under the pseudonym G. Puglese. He also played harmonica on Crosby Stills Nash & Young’s Déjà Vu.
  • Welcome Back was John’s only top 40 solo hit.
  • Many musicians have covered John’s songs, including: Elvis Costello, Dolly Parton, Helen Reddy, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin, Slade, Joe Cocker, The Everly Brothers, Tom Petty and Jimmy Buffett.

welcome back fax

  • Welcome Back is the theme song to the television sit-com Welcome Back, Kotter.
  • Welcome Back was written and sung by John Sebastian and became a #1 hit on the US singles chart in late 1976. It sold over a million copies.
  • The TV show was originally called, “Kotter.” However, the producers liked John’s song so much that they changed the name of the series to Welcome Back, Kotter, to go with the song.
  • When John performed the song on Saturday Night Live (April 24, 1976), he sang the opening lyrics wrong – he’s been ribbed about it ever since.
  • The song has been sampled by at least three rappers in various songs.
  • Welcome Back lyrics.

welcome back – john sebastian – 1976 – video

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Phil Everly – The Everly Brothers –

January 5, 2014

Phil Everly heading 960

Phil and Don released 21 studio albums, 2 live albums, 29 compilation albums and 75 singles – 11 singles hit #1 in the US.

Everly 1The brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.  In 1997, they were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and they have a star on Hollywood Boulevard.

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon who worked with the pair on his hit Graceland said in an email the day after Phil’s death:

Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard. Both voices pristine and soulful. The Everlys were there at the crossroads of country and R&B. They witnessed and were part of the birth of rock and roll.

Click here to read a full report of Phil Everly’s sad death.

The Everly Brothers – Wake Up Little Susie – 1957 – video


Part of the Union – The Strawbs – 1973

January 2, 2014

The Strawbs - Part of the Union single - 1973Pro trade-union or anti? No one seems to sure but that didn’t stop The Strawbs 1973 song, Part of the Union, becoming a hit record.

the strawbs fax

  • Believe it or not, the Strawbs were originally a bluegrass band known as the Strawberry Hill Boys.
  • The band’s line-up has changed over the years and has featured notable musicians, Dave Cousins, Sandy Denny, Rick Wakeman, and Rick’s sons Oliver and Adam (both keyboard players). Also part of the band were John Ford and Richard Hudson who went on to form the duet with the imaginative name, Hudson Ford.
  • By 1972, The Strawbs had morphed from a country to a folk to a harder rock band. Their third album, Bursting at the Seams featured two singles, Lay Down, which peaked at #12 on the UK charts, and Part of the Union.
  • Bursting at the Seams made it to #2 on the UK album charts.
  • The Strawbs separated ways in 1980 only to reunite in 1983. They have been playing in various forms ever since.

part of the union fax

  • Part of the Union was the second single from The Strawbs album, Bursting at the Seams. It was released on October 13, 1972.
  • The song is written by Richard Hudson and John Ford, although the lyrics are often likened to the Woody Guthrie song Union Maid.
  • Part of the Union peaked at #2 on the UK singles chart – the band’s highest charting single.
  • The song was, not surprisingly, adopted by the trade union movement in the UK, although some see the lyrics as being sarcastically union. Indeed, Rick Wakeman, a strong supporter of the Conservative Party, has said that the lyrics were supposed to be sarcastic.
  • Part of the Union lyrics.

part of the union – the strawbs – 1973 – video

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