Category: Tunes

Top 10 Trip Tunes 4/21 & 4/22 – Part I

Time to kick out some jams from the trip to the fishing hole. Actually from surfing the radio dial during a pair of trips combined into one Top 10 countdown. Gotta reign this concept in a bit although I dig talking tunes, don’t want to wear it out. You know, kind of like after you hear a tune too many times it loses some of its luster?

Yeah right, been jamming to most of these cuts for over 40 years, good tunes never get old.

10. Disco Inferno – The Trammps (1978) – Told you this tune would make a second appearance on the blog within a week. Where else on the web are you gonna get that kind of content? Oh man, eleven years old, not hip, still ain’t, but lyrics like “people gettin’ loose y’all”, “the funk was flamin’”, “the boogie started to explode” and “burn the mother down” were a hit and remain so to this day. Singing along as I type y’all.

9. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas (1966) – Although this one predates me by a year, just cool. I ‘m a sucker for the whole call and response format in a song and this one definitely hits the spot. And while I left the 60s as a two-year old and I’ll never get “California”, kind of cool that a song older than me still stops me on the radio dial.

8. Breakfast in America – Supertramp (1979) – Title cut to one of the few vinyls I could afford after investing most of my money on baseball cards and a couple bicycles. “Not much of a girlfriend, never seem to get a lot.” Some lyrics just stick with you and while I will not touch Roger Hodgson’s lament from the lead verse (and repeated later), they would comprise a portion of my list of all-time best opening verses.

7. Ebony Eyes – Bob Welch (1978) – Best “Ebony” song ever, sorry Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Interesting video from back in the day with an intriguing collection of hats including beret, top hat, fez and gaucho, perhaps? From the album “French Kiss” which was an eye catcher to an eleven year old boy perusing the albums at the local record shops.

6. Walk Away – James Gang (1971) – But seriously, folks…does it get any better than some Joe Walsh guitar, lyrics, vocals and just flat out crazy rock and roll fun? No way, Jose.

I can only hope that music means as much to some out there as it does to this guy and you will continue to cut me some slack on this here “outdoor” website. Top 5 tomorrow. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 3/31 – Part II

Songs will have to suffice for this week’s Top 5 update but if the weather holds out…

5. Too Late For Love – Def Leppard (1983) – The Pyromania album was certainly an integral part of my high school soundtrack with heavy radio rotation and frequent flying MTV videos for “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages.” But for my money, the best of this bunch is this cut. And while I also dug the next Def Leppard release, Hysteria, some of it sounds like Shania Twain in hindsight thanks to Mutt Lange’s commercial touch.

4. Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police (1980)  – From haunting to frustrated to peppy, more than a bit taboo and rife with the good, old repetitive Police hook kicking in at high energy and high volume over that distinctive drumming. Don’t get much better than that.

3. Lido Shuffle – Boz Scaggs (1977) – One of those songs that finds me saying, “Man, that was my favorite song…” Back in fifth grade in this case. Didn’t understand it and still not entirely sure, but just sounded good.

2. Reelin’ In The Years – Steely Dan (1973)  – If there is such a thing as a bad Steely Dan song, I have yet to discover it. Impossible to pick a favorite but this one is definitely in the mix. Somehow or another this one has also become my go to track when periodically testing the conference room sound and video at work. The 1973 Midnight Special appearance that I pull up for the test features an intro by someone named Bill Cosby. Wonder whatever happened to that guy?

1. Fool In The Rain – Led Zeppelin (1979) – So much to like in the Zeppelin catalog for so many different reasons. This one is just plain fun while following a fellow who’s been had but can’t seem to admit it. Or does he as “a fool waiting on the wrong block”?

There you have it, the first Top 10 tunes of 2018.

And as a follow up to yesterday’s trivia tidbit concerning the phrase “perpetual motion” in song lyrics, here is my trifecta.

“You’ve really slipped me a potion, I can’t get off of the floor, all this perpetual motion, you gotta give me some more…” – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Leo Sayer

“You can ponder perpetual motion, fix your mind on a crystal day…” – Up Around the Bend, Credence Clearwater Revival

“Through 86 years of perpetual motion, if he likes you he’ll smile and he’ll say, Jimmy some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic but I had a good life all the way.” He Went to Paris, Jimmy Buffett

Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 3/31 – Part I

Got my baseball fix in earlier this week with a fishing related project so now it’s time to work in some favorite jams. If you stopped by last year perhaps you are familiar with my Top 10 Tunes series. If not, the concept is to present the Top 10 tunes heard while surfing the radio dial on a trip to my longtime stomping grounds. With roughly an hour drive each way, the two-hour round trip provides ample time to cross paths with some blasts from the past (and the occasional, rare “new” tune that has caught my ear).

I had fun with this tangent in 2017, so here we go again.  Back by popular demand, or not. Apologies in advance for a couple of these but honesty is the best policy.

10. Bad Blood – Neil Sedaka (1975) – My teenage daughter, Helena, uses the word “cringey” fairly frequently and it could certainly describe this #1 cut from Sedaka’s mid-70s resurgence. “Cringey” signifies something that is awkward or makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, literally cringing. Despite, or maybe because of, that cringey feeling, I feel I must include this tune. Just a weird fit for the 60s pop star, made even stranger via an appearance on the classic Midnight Special television program (click here if you dare). The performance features “Bad Blood” along with bad hair, bad attire and bad dance moves. Cringey indeed, but in a way that has always made me smile and resist the urge to change the radio dial.

9. Is She Really Going Out with Him – Joe Jackson (1979) – I’ve got a thing for catchy first lines in songs and this one has always been an attention getter. “Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street.” Pretty sure we’ve all been there, not the gorilla, of course, but the person scratching his head. And when it comes to rock stars and their mates, I guess charisma rules. As Jackson also adds, “They say that looks don’t count for much, if so, there goes your proof.”

8. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer (1976) – For my money, a good tune should make you feel like something; dancing, singing, smiling, crying or well, you know. This one fits the bill and is just as fun and catchy as when I was a nine year old kid. The falsetto is a winner and I always dig hearing the version with a third verse that uses the term “perpetual motion” in the lyrics. Quick, name two other songs with that phrase in the lyrics (answer in tomorrow’s post).

7. With A Little Luck – Wings (1978) I’m always on the lookout for unique words in song lyrics and this one has long been on my list with “inclement.” A timeless cut with yet another Sir Paul McCartney hook. And definitely a timely term as my 2018 fishing has certainly been met with some “inclement weather” of which it seems “there is no end.”

6. Flirtin’ With Disaster – Molly Hatchet (1979)Killer Southern Rock jam and I still can’t quite get all the lyrics right after singing it with occasional bouts of gibberish thrown in all of these years. And how about those Frank Frazetta album covers on the early releases? Digital downloads from app stores and websites will never equal the days of flipping through albums at the old local haunts like Co-Op, Musicland, Lindstrom’s or The Platter.

Okay, kind of all over the place but that’s yet another aspect of how cool the music was for this kid of the 70s. More classics headed your way tomorrow with the Top 5 as I’m still looking for another Top 5 fish update. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 11/4 – Part II

The Top 5 goes a little more “classic” than yesterday’s favorites with some pretty heavy hitters, all-time greats in fact.

5. “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” – Sammy Hagar (1982) – Between Montrose and trying to replace David Lee Roth, “The Red Rocker” was successfully jamming solo with a batch of hits. For my money, this is the best of that bunch.

4. “Shattered” – The Rolling Stones (1978) – Always kind of lukewarm on The Stones but Mick and the boys doing their thing on this one is a treat. A rambling, seedy, dirty, nasty bit of a musical trek through the big city. “Pride and joy and greed and…” well, you know, along with rats, bedbugs, maggots and a battered brain. Cool when a song such as this gets me wandering back through the catalog for another listen, so many songs are cooler the older you (and they) get. Oh yeah, it also says “Shadoobie” a lot of times.

3. “Surrender” – Cheap Trick (1978) – What a cool song from the band hailing from Rockford, Illinois. Not only a great hook but also a warning about what was called “VD” back in the day. Also included is a quick shout out to KISS amidst a rough visual of walking in on the folks. Last but not least, it brings back memories of the 80s classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” with Damone pitching Cheap Trick concert tickets. How’s all that for a tune?

2. “Over the Hills and Far Away” – Led Zeppelin (1973) – Another great intro, interesting finish and keeps chugging along in between. In addition, I’ve long had a thing for tunes that never use the title in the lyrics, kind of a fun trick to pull out every once in a while I suppose.

1. “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd (1975) – Speaking of intros, here’s another to add to the list. The title track from the how do you follow up “Dark Side of the Moon” album. A wistful lament on a lost relationship with a lost soul and what a wonderful title to sum it up. Sonically hits the spot and one of those cuts that always amazes with the depth of emotion conveyed while needing only a sparse lyrical accompaniment.

Hey, it’s been fun, but this will wrap up the musical portion of my “outdoor” blog for 2017. What was kind of a whim with the first Top 10 batch wound up being a fun rundown of sixty tunes. I guess that would work out to $1.20 worth of my two cents from a half dozen drives with a lifelong companion known as the radio. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes – 11/4 Part I

I’ve had a good time finding an excuse to delve into some music via my Top 10 Trip Tunes series that debuted back on September 5 and has reappeared several more times. Well, as we near the end of 2017, as a rockstar might holler from the stage, “One more time!”

As always, first half today, second half tomorrow.

10. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon (2014) – Every once in a great while, something my kids are listening to strikes a chord with me and this one fits the bill. The 80s feel is a winner for a guy who became a teenager in 1980, rode the MTV wave and finds it fun when a new song reminds him of an old song.

9. “Stand” – REM (1989) – Never much of an R.E.M. fan, too college or something, but this goofy, orienteering ditty hit the spot. Sometimes it’s the time period as much as the cut and I will always associate this one as part of the soundtrack of several “wasted” days watching NCAA March Madness with a group of friends. Time well spent though as the “wasted” reference pertains to a bit of imbibing.

8. “Cherry Pie” – Warrant (1990) –You just can’t help what catches your ear and although some may be loath to admit it, I’m not. While this rock n’ roll love songs lyrics seem rather inane on the surface, there’s actually some solid advice such as “think about baseball” and “lock the door.” Say what you will, but gotta give some props to a hair hit that still shows up on the airwaves nearly 30 years later and finds me cranking it up, belting it out and thinking about “dessert.”

7. “Learn to Fly” – Foo Fighters (1999) – Bought the Nirvana stuff when they hit it big but just didn’t last for me, nor did the band in the end. In contrast, the fellow who stepped out from behind their drum kit has made quite an impact with his band and beyond. Personally, I’d take Dave Grohl’s rock contributions, such as this one, over his former front man any day.

6. “Word Up!” – Cameo (1986) – An 80s classic and if it doesn’t brighten your day, well, I don’t know what to tell you. I was a bit beat from the weekday grind but the first cut I heard on this drive immediately turned my surly frown upside down and made for a better day no matter what the fishing results were going to be. And, you know, the mental picture of Larry Blackmon in that darn codpiece brings a grin as well, kinda weird but I know I’m not alone.

Ah yes, memories as much as music, 30 years of Memory Lane in this eclectic first half of the final Top 10 Trip Tunes of 2017. Top 5 headed your way tomorrow. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 10/21 – Part II

The October 21st trip’s Top 5 features several heavy hitters that would likely have a place on that lifetime greatest hits sort of thing I think about compiling from time to time. Perhaps another day or another blog.

5. “Ballroom Blitz” – Sweet (1975) – This song has had several lives but I am proud to say that I’ve dug it since back in the day. Now I get to listen to my kids sing it thanks to all of those “Suicide Squad” movie trailers (and let’s not forget the “Wayne’s World” version). Glam rock at its finest and kind of fun what I see and hear in Sweet’s videos and tunes all of these years later; Queen, Kiss, Ramones, Motley Crue…

4. “Sir Duke” – Stevie Wonder (1977) – One bad dude giving us a musical history lesson and tribute to some greats. And how about 1977 for this fifth grade kid; “Rocky” (released December 1976), “Star Wars”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”, Dr. J leading the Sixers to the NBA Finals, Reggie’s three swings in the World Series (best home run trot, period) and the Dallas Cowboys on the way to a Super Bowl title. Best year ever?

3. “Black Water” – The Doobie Brothers (1974) – Gotta like a song that mentions “catfish” and even if you can’t sing, like me, you can’t help but do some singing along to this one. And any song with “pretty mama” in the lyrics is also way cool (also see Boston’s “Let Me Take You Home Tonight”).

2. “Solsbury Hill” – Pater Gabriel (1978) – I dig everything about this well-crafted cut and particularly enjoy the rhyme scheme in each of the three verses. I honestly wanted to include the full lyrics but will leave it to you to search out the rest if you so desire. The final verse simply takes it to another level, utilizing “net”, “pirouette”, “silhouettes” and “etiquette.” Are you kidding me? One of my three wishes if I ever find a genie is to write something like that.

1. “Right Down the Line” – Gerry Rafferty (1978) – Just might be my favorite song of all-time, really tough to pin down though with more than a few years of hanging out with the radio. Paired up with “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” from King Harvest it comprised the dynamic duo of first dance songs for Julie and me at our wedding reception fifteen years ago. Best day and best songs ever.

Thanks for tagging along on another tangent. Got one more of these in the works from what was likely my final fishing trip of 2017. Stay tuned for that fishing report and those Top 10 Tunes. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 10/21 – Part I

A little behind on this one but here’s a Top 10 Trip Tunes from an October 21 outing. I thought about just skipping it, but what fun is that? Besides, none of the tunes are current, so who cares if this post is either?

10. “Lady (You Bring Me Up)” – Commodores (1981) – One of two final smash hits with Lionel Richie aboard (also see “Oh No”) and right on the verge of a whole new direction in music. Takes me back to the late 70s/early 80s prior to the impact of MTV and gets me lost on the internet with some Spinners, Kool & The Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.” Oh yeah.

9. “D’yer Mak’er” – Led Zeppelin (1973) – Never knew how to pronounce it and never really got it before search engines but just a different tune from kind of a different album from a one of a kind band.

8. “I’m Not in Love” – 10CC (1975) – A childhood favorite, no concept of the subject matter, just sounded good. Takes me back to a specific place as well, a classic summer cut on heavy rotation while tagging along with my cousin to Galesburg’s Lakelawn pool, those were the days.  And the line “Big boys don’t cry” was featured in the novelty hit “Mr. Jaws” cashing in on the latest blockbuster. Did I mention, those were the days?

7. “Love Is Like a Rock” – Donnie Iris (1981) – Once MTV hit, there was a wild landscape of tunes to enjoy, kind of all over the place in terms of genre, which was pretty cool. If memory serves me right, this one was a frequent flyer in those first several eye opening months of an unforgettable music revolution and yet another love song left a lasting impression.

6. “Somebody’s Baby” – Jackson Browne (1982) – From the “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” soundtrack, a classic (and Phoebe Cates). Long been a fan of this fellow’s tunes (not so much his crusades or habits) and got to see him in concert a few years ago. I was fired up about the opportunity upon winning tickets on the radio but after he forgot the words to a couple songs, I just felt old.

Stop by tomorrow for the Top of this Top 10. Talk to you later. Troy