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Spectropop V#0050

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 3/6/98 2
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              Volume #0050       03/06/98
                      Boss Radio
    Subject:     Do the 1970s Suck?
    Sent:        3/5/98 11:59 AM
    Received:    3/6/98 2:22 AM
    From:        Marc Wielage,
    Paul MacArthur  commented:
    >Which proves my KHJ point perfectly.  There was great music
    >in the 70s, but not nearly as much as the decade before, and
    >that's why it is so maligned. Look what was before it: The
    >Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Billy
    >Preston, Jimi, Janis, Morrison, Spector, Woodstock,  The
    >Miles Davis and John Coltrane groups, BS&T, Electric Flag,
    >Supremes, 04 Tops, Stax/Volt/Atlantic Soul, Chicago Transit
    >Authority.  I'm not even close to scratching the surface.
    >The post-Nixon seventies?  Saturday Night Fever. The Sex
    >Pistols.  Boston.
    >Okay, yeah they gave us Blondie too, but there were far too
    >few Blondies are far too many Sylvers.
    I recall spending most of the 1970s generally hating the 
    music of the decade, but looking back on it today from a 25+ 
    year perspective, I find I have a lot more fondness for that 
    music than I thought.  Part of it is just nostalgia, but I 
    think the time elapsed has also forced me to look and listen 
    to the music a little more objectively.
    After spending more than a decade working on my long-in-
    progress rock database project, I was stunned a few years 
    ago to find that although I thought of myself as primarily a 
    1960s music fan, I had only about 200 songs I checked off as 
    "favorites" for that decade, vs. nearly 300 for the 1970s.  
    After my initial shock wore off, I reexamined a lot of that 
    music, and found I liked quite a bit of what I found.
    Finally, about two years ago, I started working on getting 
    the Usenet group up and 
    running, which I was able to do with the help of Marc 
    Dashevsky, Norm Katuna, Rick Shubert, and the other guys on 
    the old A-R-O group.
    Your brief list of the post-Nixon seventies leaves a lot 
    out.  Just to name a few:
    Abba, The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, The Eagles, ELO, 
    George Harrison, Carole King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, 
    Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder...  those 
    were just some of the bright spots in the 1970s. Each of 
    these artists had dozens of songs that I suspect would 
    appeal to many of the people on this list.  Even some of the 
    disco hits had their moments.
    My point is:  the glass may be 75% empty, but it's also 25% 
    full.  :-)
    -= Marc Wielage      |   "The computerized authority     =-
    -= MusicTrax, Ltd.   |       on rock, pop, & soul."      =-
    -= Chatsworth, CA    |         =-
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     what's so special about the 60's
    Sent:        3/5/98 12:52 AM
    Received:    3/5/98 9:12 AM
    From:        Jack Madani,
    Keeping in mind that what we are here to celebrate is that 
    pre-Haight Ashbury, pre-Jimi Hendrix, pre-Woodstock portion 
    of the sixties, I wonder if this may not be what happened to 
    pop music in moving from the sixties to the seventies to the 
    eighties and so on (and also why we love David Gates the 
    Brill Building man and not David Gates the Bread man):
    Could it be that studio techniques are what changed?  I have 
    seen reviews of the recent Pet Sounds box set referring to 
    PS as the last hurrah of working with a studio full of 
    musicians.  Once recording decks went from 4 tracks to 8 
    tracks to 16, it no longer was necessary to have to get 
    everyone together at once.  From that point on, everything 
    became multitrack, isolated, mono-point recordings of 
    individual instruments and voices that could be fiddled with 
    and fiddled with until all the life went out of the 
    recordings, and while it wasn't necessarily IM-possible to 
    make a pop masterpiece from the seventies onwards, it 
    certainly became a wholly different process.  No longer 
    would you have that "fifth voice" the Mamas and the Papas 
    referred to when they were all singing together and the 
    blend was perfect.  No longer would you have those moments 
    of inspiration like the studio musician who suddenly says to 
    Brian, "what if we play staccato during the break" of God 
    Only Knows.
    In a related way (although this artist lies well outside our 
    purview), it's why I love Todd Rundgren's "Nearly Human" 
    album.  A studio full of musicians, making that murky wall 
    of sound the old-fashioned way:  playing at the same time.
    Hey Chuck, would it be okay if we brought a horse in the 
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     Post-Nixon Music
    Sent:        3/5/98 5:45 AM
    Received:    3/5/98 9:12 AM
    From:        David Marsteller,
    On Thu, 05 Mar 1998, Paul MacArthur wrote:
    > The post-Nixon seventies? Saturday Night Fever. The Sex 
    > Pistols. Boston.
    On one hand, I tend to agree. There was a distinct period 
    where most of what was popular was really awful. I actually 
    started listening to classical music to avoid Frampton 
    Comes Alive... But there was a lot of good music in the mid-
    to-late 70s. Stevie Wonder was still in creative mode 
    through the 70s. John Cale was doing some of his best work 
    for Island. Roxy Music and Eno were both active. The 
    Flamin' Groovies slaved away to little US impact. Then the 
    whole New York scene came alive- Blondie, yes, but also 
    Talking Heads, Television, and the British contingent of 
    Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and others. Unfortunately, if 
    you were listening to the radio and not seeking out 
    publications like Trouser Press, you were in the dark.
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     The 80s
    Sent:        3/5/98 4:29 AM
    Received:    3/5/98 9:12 AM
    From:        D mirich, DmirXXX@XXXXXXm
    In a message dated 98-03-04 13:25:26 EST, you write:
    << Come on.  The 80s gave us MTV... >>
     Devo, Clash, Gang of 4, Haircut 100, Psychedelic Furs, 
    Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, B52s, Human League, 
    Gruppo Sportivo, Soft Cell, X, Siouxe and the Banshees 
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     Re: Music Time Lines
    Sent:        3/5/98 4:02 AM
    Received:    3/5/98 9:12 AM
    From:        Paulurbahn, PaulurbXXX@XXXXXXm
    I have always considered the time line as such: The 40's 
    ended and 50's started with Rock Around The Clock. The 60's 
    started with the beatles in 1964 The 70's started in about 
    1974 as that was the end of Top 40 radio. The music that 
    followed has been so different that I don't think it fits 
    into any catagory as far as 80's and 90's. Disco didn't last 
    long enough to call the Disco years a decade. The 30's ended 
    when Frank Sinatra became a solo performer and stepped out 
    from behind the big band, but I'm not sure of the date off 
    the top of my head. because in the 30's Big Bands were king, 
    in the 40's people talked of singers and the bands served as 
    accompaniment. Just one view of the music business, I'd like 
    to hear others.
    Paul Urbahns
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     Colin Blunstone on Steve Hackett cd
    Sent:        3/5/98 2:17 PM
    Received:    3/6/98 2:22 AM
    From:        Marie-J. Leclerc,
    Interesting news for Colin Blunstone fans. Steve Hackett 
    latest album,"Watchers of the skies", which is composed of 
    new versions of Genesis songs, period 70's, has a song 
    called "For absent friends", sung by Colin. I haven't heard 
    it yet but will finally have the cd this Saturday. For those 
    who remember Steve, he was the gifted guitarist in the Peter 
    Gabriel days, when Phil Collins played drums, occasionally 
    leaving the kit to shyly sing "More fool me". Here are the 
    other songs of "Watcher of the skies":    Watcher of the 
    skies, Your own special way, Dance on a volcano, Fountain 
    of Salmacis, Valley of the kings, Waiting room only, Deja 
    Vu, I know what I like, Firth of fifth, Los Endo, For 
    absent friends.
    Thanks for listening and take care, Marie
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     He's A Rebel
    Sent:        3/5/98 5:58 AM
    Received:    3/5/98 9:12 AM
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXX@XXXXXXom
    >First track is He's A Rebel, which if I understand the 
    >history of it, is actually the "original" recording of the 
    >song, which Spector managed to hear before it was released 
    >and then he recorded and released the famous Crystals 
    >version, thus forcing Vikki's version to stall at #115. 
    >Vikki's version is inferior to Spector's, being built atop 
    >an extremely martial rhythm; it's like what Sgt. Barry 
    >Sadler's version might've sounded like. However, it's 
    >interesting to note that Vikki's version also features the 
    >surprise key change just before the first chorus, just as 
    >the Spector version did.
    For the record, based on interviews with Gene Pitney (the 
    writer of "He's A Rebel"), Fanita (of the Blossoms), and 
    Snuff Garrett (Vikki's producer), Spector's version of 
    "Rebel" was recorded about an hour before Vikki's. The song 
    was written for the Crystals' as a follow up to "Uptown." 
    But Aaron Schroeder, the publisher, offered it first to the 
    Shirelles, who turned it down as too rough. Then he offered 
    it "exclusively" to Spector and Snuffy, simultaneously.
    Spector did not steal the song, nor did her record it in 
    secret or in a particular rush. There were no hard feelings 
    with Liberty. There were hard feelings with Aaron Schroeder.
    Vikki's version was in fact a big hit. It was #1 in Dallas 
    and in Australia. Finally, for those who do not like 
    Vikki's version (I love it, tho' I prefer the "Crystals" 
    version, as does Snuffy) I wonder how The Blossoms and 
    Spector would have done "Downtown. . . ."
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     Vikki in England?
    Sent:        3/5/98 6:09 AM
    Received:    3/6/98 2:22 AM
    From:        Jack Madani,
    >Vikki Carr...on the EMI Legendary Masters CD. I have 
    >been trying to find out what she recorded in England (where 
    >I am) in the 60s. Jack - are there any English recorded 
    >tracks on the CD. I know that she did do at least two tracks 
    >(a single?) with Charles Blackwell as Musical Director.
    The *only* mention of the UK in the liner notes is this 
    brief comment relating to the song It Must Be Him:  "Vikki 
    finally broke the record out through her efforts during an 
    extended round of promotional activities in England."
    Some of the tracks on the disc have ASCAP master numbers, 
    and some have BMI master numbers, but I'm pretty sure that 
    doesn't mean anything (e.g., He's A Rebel has a BMI number, 
    and that was definitely recorded in the States).
    Charles Blackwell is not listed anywhere on this disc.  
    Snuff Garrett gets one production credit (He's A Rebel), 
    Nick De Caro gets several production and arranging credits, 
    Bob Crewe even has one prod credit.  But no Charles 
    Blackwell.  Sorry.
    Jack Madani 
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---
    Subject:     Re: Spectropop V#0049
    Sent:        3/5/98 5:30 PM
    Received:    3/6/98 2:22 AM
    From:        George Handlon,
    Hello, Spectropop! 
    This is my first post on the Spectropop Mailing List. I've 
    been reading it since the beginning... and it's just great! 
    My personal thanks to Jamie LePage for the invitation to the 
    Perhaps a little bit of my background, as related to the 60s 
    in California, "Sunshine" Rock, Spector, "Nilsson, Newman 
    and Parks". I was here in L.A. throughout the 60s and 
    active in the clubs - and remember the scene very well.
    I enjoyed reading a previous session on "Sunshine Rock" here 
    in California in the late 60s. It was a great time. I was 
    in Miami 1964-1966.. playing in the hotels and clubs in the 
    area. Our band was originally the "Boss Beats" - some of 
    you may recall the "Boss Radio" era at that time... and the 
    Beatles were very big in Miami and the Caribbean Area 
    ("Help!", etc.) - so we did well with that. Some members 
    moved and we became "The Poor Boys"... dressed in Carnaby 
    Street "leather" suits... or blue velour leather-laced pull-
    over jackets. We got a deal with a subsidiary of the Robert 
    Stigwood Organization out here, and did the Cross-country 
    Band Trek-with-UHaul Trailers in 1966. Amazing old cars, 
    and an amazing journey. Dylan's cross country trek with his 
    pals from the Village a few years before... could not have 
    been more event-packed! haha.  Just in time for the 
    "Sunshine" era in California. 
    I knew the Sunshine Company...(and many others) especially 
    the members who had started out in the Grains of Sand... 
    Doug Mark & the Drummer, Merle - I think...(long time). 
    Doug had joined up with us, as The Poor Boys, when our organ 
    player from the Miami days was hauled off for dodging the 
    draft. But, Doug soon got an offer to join former Grains of 
    Sand members in "The Sunshine Company"... and they did very 
    well - I have their albums, of course. Later, Doug went on 
    to form "Redeye"... quite an accurate personalization of 
    himself. haha. I've lost track of them over the years. But, 
    there was a lot of great vocal harmony with those bands... 
    and a lot of great LA songwriters represented in their 
    material.  We went on to become "The Popcycle" - and 
    played in Orange County, L.A. and the Manhattan Beach area 
    of L.A. - often holding steady gigs for months at a time in 
    clubs. We were the "studio band" for a show that (the 
    Great) Ray Peterson and the (also great) Dorsey Burnette put 
    together... on Channel 13, I think. "The New Sound". We 
    backed Ray and Dorsey on about 6 or 7 shows. Brian Hyland, 
    Jackie DeShannon - I remember them being guests... and 
    probably Freddy Cannon - we backed him in the clubs too. 
    But, we never got around to getting into a Studio and 
    cutting anything - personnel changes, good solid club gigs, 
    & backing a lot of great people - we were happy. So you 
    won't find our "recorded legacy" out there. However, the 
    Popcycle played a wide style of music.
    We used to back Wolfman Jack's original "Oldies Review" 
    stars in club dates. Of course, the oldies weren't that 
    old, then! Bo Diddley, Coasters, Drifters, Shirelles 
    (various incarnations of some of these groups), Secrets, 
    Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon: "...they call me 'Boom Boom" 
    because I'm such an explosive performer!" (actual backstage 
    revelation one night...) Freddy went on to leave his 
    beautiful Gibson Acoustic - the same model as the one Elvis 
    used in "Loving You".... at the club that night! We saved 
    it, & got it back to him.) There was Paul & Paula, Harmonica 
    Fats (still playing in L.A.!) Ray Peterson, Righteous 
    Brothers, Jose Feliciano, Donny Brooks (a great singer, by 
    the way...Donny was married to one of the original 
    Mouseketeers - I just can't remember her name now, though!) 
    Jose Feliciano used to come in an jam with us often - he 
    lived nearby. Ike and Tina Review with the Ikettes. Many 
    others. So much for all that.
    At that time, the Everly Brothers had a television show of 
    their own... and it was great! But, Johnny Cash, Glen 
    Campbell, The Smothers Brothers, Donnie and Marie... had 
    some great moments on the tube with their shows. In 1968, 
    The Everly Brothers released an eclectic album that wedded 
    their country past with their 60s personae. It was called 
    "Roots". Harry Nilsson released "Aerial Ballet" that year, 
    and Van Dyke Parks blew a lot of local musical minds with 
    "Song Cycle". 
    "Roots" is a great album. I always considered it to be "The 
    Everly Brothers Sergeant Pepper". The remake of "I Wonder If 
    I Care As Much" (a beautiful song from the flip side of 
    their first hit, "Bye Bye Love") is 60s Pop Perfection. 
    Other great songs, "Living Too Close To The Ground", 
    "Ventura Boulevard", "Less Of Me"... Produced by Lenny 
    Waronker. Their harmony is as good as it gets.. and that 
    follows in a tradition of Ira and Charlie Louvin... and the 
    Blue Sky Boys. Hope you all get a chance to have this 
    All the best... really enjoy the dialogue.
    George Wesley Handlon
    ---[ archived by Spectropop - 03 /6/98 - 02 :35:52 AM ]---

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