Friday, August 07, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special Your Favorite Band [or Song] Sucks! Audio Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental Me Love You Long Time! girl computer consultant Fah Lo Suee and I are off to a Ford dealership in South Jersey where we'll be trading in my gas guzzling '23 Alfa Romeo for a brand new 2009 Taurus and getting a Cash for Clunkers rebate in the bargain. Hey -- am I sticking it to The Man, or what?

So posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little project for you all:

Band or Song (or Both) You've Taken the Most Snark For Liking From Folks Over the Years!!!

Self-explanatory, obviously, and no arbitrary rules whatsoever, you're welcome very much. Basically, if anybody's ever looked at you with an alarmed raised eyebrow when you noted that, oh, The Swans' Filth was the record you'd most like to have played at a memorial service, then this category is for you.

And my totally top of my Top Three is:

3. The Guess Who





Seriously, back in the 70s, I can't tell you how often I would mention my fondness for these guys, only to notice that the people I was talking to were moving away, ever so slowly but firmly, from where I sat.

The clip above -- a medley called "Hi, Rockers!" -- is my favorite of several true gems from the band's masterpiece album. The transition from the hilarious beer-soaked barroom meeting of the minds that opens it into the seraphically lovely clavinet-driven "Heaven Only Moved Once" and finally the witty mutant rockabilly revenge number "Don't You Want Me" -- complete with faux Jordanaires harmony vocals -- is, frankly, a marvel to behold, and from where I sit one of the very greatest moments in 70s rock. I'm not kidding about this!!!

2. Procol Harum





These guys, although there's still a perception out there that they were one-hit wonders (hah!), actually get a fair amount of respect -- it's amazing how often I run into people who turn out to be closet fans. So I'm mostly including them here because the luminous NYMary, annotating a piece I'd written about the band in the early 70s for reprint in these precincts, couldn't resist taking a shot at "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (bless her heart). I think the phrase she used was "Dodgiest lyrics ever..."

Naturally enough, then, the clip above is "Repent Walpurgis," an instrumental that remains one of my all-time fave Procol numbers. It's a live version, featuring the classic five piece original lineup with Robin Trower and Matthew Fischer (the latter four decades away from settling his authorship suit over AWSOP last week) at the Fillmore West on April 11, 1969. I've been looking for a high quality boot of that incarnation of the band for years, actually, so it's a genuine pleasure for me to share this.

And the numero uno band or song whose Name I Most Dared Not Speak over the years, is obviously --

1. The Four Seasons -- Marlena





The Four Seasons, despite (or perhaps because of) their recent metamorphosis into the inspiration for a world-wide hit musical, remain somewhat less than hep in certain rock critic circles. I, of course, have said on numerous occasions (including here, if memory serves) that their great run of hits -- spanning the period between "Sherry" in 1962 through, say, "I've Got You Under My Skin" five years later -- comprise the purest pop confections in the history of the genre (the grittier class conscious romanticism of "Dawn" and "Rag Doll," and those songs' influence on Bruce Springsteen, is, of course, a subject for another day).

In any case, my advocacy of "Marlena" (which I think is their most profoundly silly accomplishment, and that's meant as a compliment) has gotten me into trouble on a couple of occasions, most notably sometime in the late 70s, when I -- along with twenty or thirty other folks, mostly writers and musicians -- was asked to make a list of our Five All-Time Favorite Songs by New York City rock colossus WNEW-FM (the station then played everybody's lists over the course of an entire day). I don't remember all five songs I picked -- one was The Who's "Glow Girl" -- but I did nominate "Marlena," and I recall that after the deejay ID'd it as one of my choices, I got at least three frantic phone calls from erstwhile friends questioning my sanity. Okay, I exaggerate just a tad, but you get the idea.

In any case, I think history has vindicated my assessment.

Incidentally, the audio clip of "Marlena" above is the original mono single mix, which I was able to find only after great personal effort and considerable financial expense. This is important because most currently available Four Seasons comps have the song in stereo, and as Pete Townshend famously said about The Who's "I Can See For Miles," the mono mix of "Marlena" makes the stereo sound like The Carpenters.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: Best or Worst Screen Performance By a Teen Idol of Any Age!!! -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, I would take it as a personal favor if you could take the time to go over there and leave as snarky a comment as you like. Thanks!]

64 comments:

Mister Pleasant said...

Band I've Taken the Most Snark For Liking From Folks Over the Years:

The Guess Who - What is it with these guys that makes sensible folks go silent when this band comes in up conversation? One of my college roomates in the 70s gave me untold grief for owning their albums. "Albert Flasher/Broken" has to be one of the greatest non-album 45 singles ever.

Sparks - Definitely a love 'em or hate 'em kind of band. Even this fine blog has taken a potshot or two at them. I tend to ignore their 80s/90s output myself, but the music that came before and after is still on my weekly playlist. Yeah the Mael brothers can be smug, too cutesy, and the singing sometimes pops into the stratosphere, but their melodies are often breathtaking. And I have to mention that it was Stereo Review that turned me onto them when Kimono My House made the best of the month pick back in '73. Rest assured Steve was not the reviewer :)

Moose said...

Love that back cover shot of the double LP set "The Beatles vs The Four Seasons" on Vee-Jay. Nice!

Gummo said...

The number one band I've taken snark for liking over the years, hands down, don't even try arguing, has to be:

The Grateful Dead -- the ultimate love'em or hate'em band, and the one non-fans feel the most free in mocking. Well, go ahead, make fun, I've got a great 15-minute version of Bird Song I'm gonna listen to here and don't crowd me, I don't wanna smack you in the face while I'm twirling....

But seriously, a good Dead show was some of the best fun you could have, with or without chemical enhancement, the music was wonderful, and unlike so many jam bands that followed in their wake, they wrote actual SONGS, not just hooks to hang the jams on.

And can someone explain to my how someon like author Clinton Heylin can sing the praises of bands like Television for their "free jazz" jams, then turn around and pour vitriol on the Dead for doing pretty much the same thing? Must be Grateful Dead Derangement Syndrome....

NYMary said...

I don't really have to answer this, do I? Because as I get deeper into this project, even my nearest and dearest have said things like, "I don't think the problem with your failed pop stars is that they have been insufficiently theorized." Umm, yeah.

I would point out that the purpose of this blog is to defend to a skeptical audience, our particular shades and flavors of music. Sometimes just liking it is enough.

Sal Nunziato said...

I have two answers. The first and proper answer would be Queen. From 1974-1979, everyone in my circle loved this band and those I still keep in touch with, still do. But once I hit my 30s, and my "circle" changed completely, listening to Queen turned into the equivalent of reading comic books or standing in line overnight for a new Star Wars movie. I still don't get it.

BUT...even more verbal abuse came over my passion for all music from New Orleans. It could be anyone from The Meters to The Nevilles to Pete Fountain to Dr. John. I somehow disgust people (or at least one person I know for sure) when I talk about any one these bands.

TMink said...

I get copius merde whenever I play me some Monkees. My wife does not understand how I can love This Year's Model and Pet Sounds equally. My recent purchase of Lights brought a raised eyebrow from all my friends too.

Most of my grief comes from liking seemingly wildly disparate music. But as Leonard Bernstein said, there are only two kinds of music: good and bad.

Trey

TMink said...

Oh yeah, I forgot the silly psychedelic stylings of Aorta. But the songs Main Vein and Heat Attack really do it for me. Not as much as What's In My Mind's Eye, but then even Frank Sinatra had to clear his throat.

Trey

NYMary said...

But once I hit my 30s, and my "circle" changed completely, listening to Queen turned into the equivalent of reading comic books or standing in line overnight for a new Star Wars movie. I still don't get it.

Sal, would that have to do with Queen starting to get hits in the US (aside from "Bohemian Rhapsody," natch)? Just curious, because it could be a whole "I used to like them but they sold out/suck now" thing.

Ornella Muti said...

Hey Sal,

Queen has been a terrible band from the get go. You grew up, but still hold on to your childish love for a comic book band. That's fine by me - to each his own when it comes to guilty pleasures.

But Queen is not the equivalent standing in line overnight for a new Star Wars movie. It's the equivalent of standing in line overnight to see Flash Gordon.

NYMary said...

Jeez, I was pretty sure this was a "No Dick" zone....

Kid Charlemagne said...

I would have to go with the Bee Gees. I can think of few bands whose later output completely overwhelmed their outstanding early work.

Sal Nunziato said...

Well, Ornella, that's funny, but Queen was hardly "terrible from the get go. Live maybe, but not on record. At least, I and many others don't think so. Let's play nice.

NYMary--
Queen truly did "suck" after 1980, but I still find the first 5 records to be absolutely amazing.

steve simels said...

Re: Queen.

Worst live band I ever saw, and I'm talking about at the Beacon Theater (I think -- maybe it was the Academy of Music) touring the first or second album.

I mean, headache inducingly bad. I remember thinking that the whole "No synthesizers" boast in their album credits was not such a good thing when it came to their live show. Most anemic and underwhelming sounding yet annoying power trio plus singer I ever heard.

To the point where I didn't give the records a fair shake for years....

David said...

Well, I don't actually reveal this to a lot of people, but I imagine that if I did tell people that I listen to a passel of Al Stewart songs regularly I know I would be snarked at. I guess it's like comfort food in this angsty world: somehow I just can't find it in me to feel stressed out when I'm singing along to "Time Passages," and Al's strange pronunciation of the line "A girl comes toe-awds you..." I also like some Phil Collins-era Genesis, pre-Duke and ABACAB...and that sure aint cool!

Sal Nunziato said...

What have I started?

Gummo said...

David --

I was a BIG Al Stewart fan back in his mid-70s heyday, even saw him live once (disappointing). His albums were literate, fun, well-produced -- I even owned a copy of his very early opus, Love Chronicles (I think that was the name of it) -- delightfully adolescent musings on love & sex.

David said...

Thanks Gummo, now I don't feel so alone. I agree with the merits of Al's records you mentioned. And no matter how many times I hear "Year of the Cat" I always go along for the ride. Also, the extended flanged-out strumming on "Nostradamus" always sounded wicked cool under the influence of cheap Mexican reefer...
One last note: Queen may have lost it around Jazz, but those early albums are nothing to apologize for! I was deeply into the first record: songs like "The Night Comes Down" and "Doing All Right" were mini-opuses that provided the epic sweep I was searching for at the time...

Brooklyn Girl said...

I like disco.

There, I said it.

Cleveland Bob said...

Top three in chronological order would have to be Grank Funk Railroad, Devo and in this decade, The Decemberists.

Oh and FWIW, I saw Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody tour and thought the best fracking thing I had ever witnessed.

Gummo said...

Also, the extended flanged-out strumming on "Nostradamus" always sounded wicked cool under the influence of cheap Mexican reefer...


Headphones. Don't forget the headphones!

And here's another guilty pleasure from college days:

Welcome back, my friends
To the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside....

Finch said...

Enuff Z'nuff. There. I said it.

David said...

Oh, yes, Side 2 of Brain Salad Surgery. I actually picked up the remastered CD, which came with band interviews. Kind of cool to hear them talking about meeting HR Giger and his original cover, which had a penis in it. Also, Greg Lake addresses the punk backlash. It is so much part of the received wisdom of punk history that ELP represented all that was wrong with the music scene at the time, that no one ever questions whether the group deserved to be despised so much. But according to Greg Lake. “ELP was so bloody dark and aggressive. When the whole punk rock thing came out we used to laugh at them. Because if you’re talking about aggression—real aggression—that’s ELP. This was a truly aggressive band, aggressive to each other, aggressive in the music, aggressive in performance, aggressive in stage production. It makes Johnny Rotten look like a fucking walk in the park.”

MBowen said...

Sorry, Greg Lake, but playing in enormodomes with 50-piece backing orchestras, $12,000 Persian rugs for the bass player to stand on, and spinning drum kits are perfectly good reasons for people to reject you.

That being said, most of my choices have already been listed, from '70s prog to Al Stewart. I'm still kind of fond of Queen II (which I thought was their high point). Looking back now, I also find myself enjoying classic disco singles that I would have pretended to despise at the time.

I suppose that my current likes that people would question most are towards the twee end of the spectrum, from Belle & Sebastian to The Decemberists (who are one of the best stage bands I've ever seen, BTW) and The Softies.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

The band that people who love music as much as I do (and I only know one or maybe two such) (not counting all the great folks I read here at PowerPop) give me the most snark about = Led Zeppelin. The Grateful Dead are only a close second! Smart people hate the Zep! Trust me, I know! But I can handle all that, because am I a man or am I a mouse? Don’t answer that! And but the band I actually feel the most truly guilty about liking, and even at this moment have a hard time copping to is … The Moody Blues.

I often sneak 1 or 2 random Moodies onto my iPod shuffle – and I limit myself to 1 or 2! Don’t look at me like that! I’m a user, not an addict! It’s under control!! -- & when one of them suckers pops up I always find this sneaky grin coming over my face under the headphones. Only reason I don't get as much snark for the Moodies is I keep it well hid.

The Kenosha Kid said...

Even though he's now way beyond cool, when I was a teenager I was perhaps a little too evangelistic about turning people on to Syd Barrett and got smacked down for it.

These days?
Carmen Miranda
The Smiths
Revillos/Rezillos

Feral said...

Steve, I heartily second your opinion of "Rockin'", what a range of styles on that album. It's criminal that it's not in print.

Although he faded into irrelvancy (and wingnuttry) I love George Thorogood's early stuff. Yeah, the originals were usually better, but he breathed new life into some of the old blues.

And as obtuse and overdone as it may be, I still like Gabriel era Genesis.

David said...

Yeah, the Moody Blues (post "Go Now") are definitely ones to keep under your hat. The spoken intro for "Ride My Seesaw" has to be one of the silliest moments of the art-rock era...There's a great (awful?) version on the DVD collection of the Tom Jones Show that just stops me in my tracks every time...

cthulhu said...

A second on the Guess Who - Burton Cummings is one of the greatest rock singers ever, and they did a bunch of really great songs, from the sublime (No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature) to the almost pretentious (Hang On To Your Life, with its spoken word coda) to almost easy listening (Glamor Boy); but they get little respect from "real" rock-n-roll fans.

Electric Light Orchestra - These guys were a great live band (light show or no light show); the four-album run of "Eldorado", "Face the Music", "A New World Record", and "Out of the Blue" features more gorgeous pop songs and hooks than anybody since a certain band from Liverpool, but...Randy Newman finds the time to write and record an entire song dismissing them, and nowadays I get comments like "weren't they really gay? - not that they're anything wrong with that..."

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Rush yet (I can't stand them, but they're a perfect band to give somebody shit about...)

MBowen said...

Oh, and my favorite Jethro Tull album is "A Passion Play", although I prefer the CD version that lets you edit out "The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles".

Dave said...

Other David,

According to my iPod, "Time Passages" is one of my ten most played songs. Heck, even Al Stewart puts the song down.

Personally, I've never felt guilty or uncool about my musical preferences. Really, the only group I remember getting much flack for liking was the Beach Boys during the English invasion. I feel vindicated.

I think it's safe to say that the two most abused groups are those who are perceived as overreaching and pretentious (e.g., ELP, Vanilla Fudge) or wimpy and unhip (e.g., Bee Gees, Al Stewart, James Taylor). My own tastes veer toward the latter.

I remember visiting Sal's NYCD and having a long conversation about Hall & Oates, who at the time were universally reviled by the hipnoscenti but we both thought were wildly underrated. Yes, Oates has a funny mustache. Big deal.

How anyone can think that the 4 Seasons are uncool is beyond me.

steve simels said...

feral liberal:

Funny you should mention -- you can download Rockin' for free from this site -- went up yesterday. Total coincidence, and annoying because I got a Canadian import from Amazon for a pretty penny a few months ago.

http://nevergetoutoftheboat.blogspot.com/2009/08/guess-who_06.html

NYMary said...

BTW, steve, I'm pretty sure what I said about "Whiter Shade of Pale" was "poxiest bleeding lyrics ever," which is a quote from The Commitments, where two of the band members agree that it's a brilliant song despite its lame lyrics.

NYMary said...

(I also had a Pink Floyd phase.)

(ducking)

steve simels said...

NYMary:

Ah -- can you believe I've never seen "The Committments?"

Also -- I had a Pink Floyd phase. Loved the first album, hated everything afterwards during their birds-chirping-in-the-night period, and then decided that "Wish You Were Here" was great.

Okay, not sure if that counts as a phase....
:-)

Noam Sane said...

I've spent years trying to turn my friends and family into Jimmy Scott fans. Nobody gets it. I get strange looks and rolled eyes. The "All The Way" album is about the most sublime musical experience available to human beings.

Beyond that, my newfound love of country music is perplexing those same people. Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, George Strait (some of it, once he stopped using cheesy drum machines), Brad Paisley (also a cheese merchant at times). I dig just about all of it. Little Jimmy Dickens rocks my world.

But none of those folks really give me much shit because they know deep down that I'm right.

NYMary said...

(whispering)

(the wall)

(hides in closet)

NYMary said...

(In my defense: I was in college, and there were substances involved.)

Anonymous said...

i must admit i dig SPANDAU BALLET -SIMELS PLEASE NO UNCLE TONOOSE -

another guilty pleasure "level 42"

Libby Spencer said...

I was also a Pink Floyd fan for a while but didn't take snark for it because so were all my friends. Got over it before they become uncool. Otherwise, I probably took the most snark for liking Paul Revere and the Raiders. Used to watch their teevee show after school. Came on right before Dark Shadows. And was mocked some for liking Dave Clark Five.

Libby Spencer said...

I might add that I'm still a fan of Roger Waters and I don't care who mocks me for it. Love some of his solo stuff.

Gummo said...

POCO!


(ducks & runs)

steve simels said...

Hey Libby:

Paul Revere and the Raiders totally rule.

Just saying...
:-)

cthulhu said...

"Wish You Were Here" is far and away the Floyd's best. I heard part of "The Wall" a few years ago and was astonished how poorly it held up - it was a major touchstone in my high school.

Bryan Ferry (solo) and Roxy Music - irredeemably passe for most, but Roxy's poppier stuff - "Love is the Drug" or "More than This", say - and Ferry's brilliant "Bete Noire" disc from the mid-'80s - will retain an honored place in my iPod rotation.

ms. rosa said...

Sorry, Charlie's, but Queen's A Night At the Opera is badass!!! And 'hells yeah' to Carmen Miranda...

I wouldn't call them GUILTY pleasures (okay well maybe REM makes me blush) because i'm pretty nervy BUT these creeps DO induce groans from my brethren:

Bruce Springsteen
Rod Stewart
Bob Seger
Rick Dillinger
Deep Purple
Abba
Hall & Oates
Led Zeppelin
and the early 70s...

billy b said...

I still like the Guess Who.

Great stuff for jr hi dances.

Noam Sane said...

Wish You Were Here is in my all-time Top 10. Nothing to be ashamed of there. Select cuts from "The Wall" are wonderful too, but the whole thing got a bit...overbaked.

I listen to Steppenwolf more than most people. Early stuff, and Steppenwolf 7, which for some reason captured my heart at an early age.

steves said...

I'm shocked, shocked, that our host neglected to mention his fondness for obscure and somewhat schlocky Beach Boys tunes. As for my own guilty pleasure, the only one that springs to mind is Steely Dan, whom I still like a lot.

Back in the bad ol' days of the DylanPool, admitting one's fondness for "the Dan" would get you verbally pelted for months.

NYMary said...

steves,
one of our members calls himself "Kid Charlemange." Duh.

steve simels said...

Noam Sane said...
I listen to Steppenwolf more than most people. Early stuff, and Steppenwolf 7, which for some reason captured my heart at an early age


Okay. I'm gonna come out of the closet about Steppenwolf.
:-)

First two albums are works of genius...

megisi said...

er ...

um ...

Chicago

I've never publicly admitted that before.

I feel lighter, purged really.

Brooklyn Girl said...

Gummo said...
POCO!


(ducks & runs)



Okay, I REALLY hate to admit this, but you started it ...


I have "The Eagles Greatest Hits" on my iPod.


(hails cab and takes off for the airport)

Gummo said...

Okay. I'm gonna come out of the closet about Steppenwolf.
:-)

First two albums are works of genius...


Okay -- every 4th of July I like to commemmorate by playing the "Monster" suite on the old victrola, it's aged sadly well....

Gummo said...

"Monster," that is, not the old victrola....

Libby Spencer said...

Not getting the Led Zep hate here. Granted the music didn't age well. I can't think of one song I'm dying to listen to right now, but they were great for their time when they were big.

And since we still seem to confessing our dark secrets, I'll cop to still liking Sinead. There's some of her songs I would still put on my iPod if I owned one.

TJWood said...

I've actually been waiting for this Listomania to come along.

I have already admitted at least once here to having fondness for Tales From Topographic Oceans by Yes, as much an anomaly as it seems to be admitting such on a blog called PowerPop. I will also admit that the album is everything its most vicious critics (which include Rick Wakeman, after all) accuse it of being.

Someone did mention Rush, and while I won't consider myself a major fan, there are quite a few songs from the 1980's on that are quite good, including several from the most recent album.

Some have namechecked the Grateful Dead, and it should be mentioned that no less than Elvis Costello has commented that people overlook just how good their songs are.

One that hasn't been mentioned so far: the post-Beatles Paul McCartney. Has his solo career been overall uneven? You bet. Does he have some truly dodgy things to answer for, particularly in the late '70's and early '80's? Hmm-mmm. But even allowing that it's coming up on 40 years as a solo artist, there is a good deal of quality solo work to fill the eventual Paul McCartney Retrospective--and much of it would be of recent vintage.

John Fowler said...

My confessions:

Well, it's not really a band or a song, and I suppose show tunes deserve their own category, but I'll list first the Sound of Music movie soundtrack. Yes, it is hopelessly saccharine and artificial. And some of the songs are too sweet & overblown for me, even - e.g., "Climb Every Mountain". But many of these songs are so easily sing-able, and tied to childhood nostalgia, I suppose, that I can't resist - "My Favorite Things", "Do Re Mi". And "Edelweis" is lovely. It undoubtedly is an influence that my four-year-old knows and loves these songs. (Am I a bad parent for exposing her? In my defense, she also loves the songs from "Yellow Submarine").

I am less embarassed to confess to my love of The Music Man soundtrack - the original, of course - Robert Preston is fabulous!

I will also confess to an occasional strong desire to listen to vintage Yes or Genesis - the mood has to be right, and I favor only a few select albums - e.g., Close to the Edge or Selling England By the Pound. I was whole-hog into these bands in high school/early college, and then went through a period of completely rejecting them after discovering 'alternative'. However, I think now that, taken with a grain of salt and a clear understanding that they are "obtuse and overdone" (as Feral says), there are some good tunes here.
(As an aside, I think that it was the occasional ribbing that Steve gets over at Eschaton, with YouTube clips of live Yes, that led me to first find this site...)

Finally, there are a number of hit singles from my 'growing-up' years in the 80's that are probably deserving of scorn, but well, I like 'em. Here are a few: "Billie Jean" by M. Jackson, "Popmuzik" by M, "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol, "Word Up!" by Cameo, "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" by Flock of Seagulls, and "Faith" by George Michael.

Mister Pleasant said...

I should have mentioned The Hollies - and specifically, the Mikael Rickfors-era Hollies. Their two Rickfors-led albums are the band's only cohesive LPs, and Romany is their little masterpiece. But mention that on a Hollies forum and prepare to get roasted.

midnight caller said...

The 4 Seasons are irrevocably vomit inducing for me - my parents played them incessantly, and I could never get over Frankie Valli's nonstop vocal fluctuations, especially on Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, and most of all on Save It For Me.

As far as stuff I like that gets the bum's rush, it's Steely Dan for me.

steve simels said...

John Fowler:

Word Up by Cameo is one of the greatest fucking rock and roll records ever made. Needs no defense from anybody.

And I concur about "Wishing" by Flock of Haircuts. Strip away the synths and it's a beautiful Buddy Holly-ish little ballad. I have long thought that some smart alt-country band could do it and get a hit out of it..

Hmm...and I haven't even had coffee yet...
:-)

half glass full said...

I just listened to Romany a couple of days ago. Found it for less than a buck in a cut-out bin (same with Rockin' by the Guess Who) about 30 years ago and enjoyed it from day one. If it wasn't for the Hollies and the Turtles I probably would have never listened to Judy Sill.

Jim

Mister Pleasant said...

Jim - Rockin' was also a cut-out bin purchase for me. Based on all the comments here I would say that Mr. Simels should feel vindicated on behalf of the Guess Who.

Took me years to discover Judee Sill, and it was the Hollies cover that spurred me to do so too. She is a real lost treasure.

John Shipley said...

1. Jethro Tull. Easy. I gave up after "A" (though I have a few Ian Anderson solo things on the iPod) but they're among my four or five favorite bands, and I don't really understand the hate. Why, childrens, why?

2. Sparks. As mentioned above, you either love them or hate them. Their Island years were monsters (hey, MOJO, when's THAT article coming?) and certainly there has never been anything else like them.

3. Yes. OK, I listen to virtually nothing post-"Fragile," but before that they were occasionally brilliant -- and "The Yes Album" is one of the all-time greats. Unfortunately, they got ridiculuous.

4. Boston. Funny how some power popsters love guitars and harmonies and yet hate Boston. Listen to "Something About You." I heard a radio show recently that revealed most of the first two albums were recorded at once with just Delp and Scholz, which may explain why everything else they ever did sucked.

Honorable mention: The Knack, Cat Stevens, ABBA, Bread and (some) Kansas.

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