Category: Tunes

Top 11 Trip Tunes 9/23 – Part II

And the countdown continues…

5. Brain Damage/Eclipse – Pink Floyd (1973) – The grand finale to arguably the top album of all-time. Forever linked and you shouldn’t really listen to one without the other, wonderfully loony and heavy at the same time. If you are among the few on the planet who has yet to purchase a copy of this classic Floyd album, the time has come. See you on the “Dark Side of the Moon.”

4. Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression Part II) – Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1973) – If I were to pick a theme song for my blog, this might be the one. “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends…” And in regards to this blog thing, well “you’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo.” “Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth” (it’s free by the way) and every now and then “you’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll.”

3. Let’s Groove – Earth, Wind & Fire (1981) – What can you say? This is the jam, even got my boys hooked as they call it the “Boogie on down” song. Gotta pat myself on the back as a good Dad for that one. Just cool, gets you moving and singing along even if you’re not sure of some of the words, go ahead and make ‘em up as you go, more about the vibe than the lyrics anyhow. Although, “just move yourself and glide like a 747” is pretty hip.

2. American Girl – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1977) – Just my opinion but I favor the old Tom Petty (say 1977-1985) over the rest of his lengthy and illustrious career. This one is a perfect example of my preference as the older stuff just seems a little more varied and a little rawer. Got lots of favorite lines in lots of songs and for this one I would definitely choose “she stood alone on her balcony” as Petty’s pronunciation and delivery are quite fun.

1. My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars (1978) – Second straight Top Tunes post that features The Cars at the top spot (see 7/28 list – Bye, Bye Love) and both tunes are from the same album, the band’s self-titled debut. Yet again, a solid mix of musicianship, lyrics and delivery, straight up Cars magic as we prepared to leave disco behind in favor of something new, as in New Wave. And who wouldn’t be a little envious of his buddy’s lady with her “Nuclear boots” and “suede blue eyes?”

Ah yes, another one of my distractions. I have fun with the tunes, hope no one minds the occasional bit of meandering. Next up though, back to some fishing with a report and a flashback to get us through the weekend. Talk to you later. Troy



Top 11 Trip Tunes 9/23 – Part I

Hey, let’s do this again.

And one better than a Top 10 in “turning it up to 11” as I just had too many good cuts to choose from on this particular trek to the Knox County strip mines.

11. Youth Gone Wild – Skid Row (1989) – For a number of years I had trouble coming to grips with my affliction for that interesting period of rock music when “hair” bands roamed the radio and television dial. But then I just flat out decided that I like it (and I know you like it too). Many great high voices (tone and otherwise) rocked the airwaves but tough to beat Sebastian Bach’s pipes when he wailed away. Rock has long been the domain of the rebel and this offering represents an anthem for the hair generation. Additionally, kind of cool when you can work your band name into the lyrics (see also Boston, Bad Company, The Who…)

10. Midnight Blue – Lou Gramm (1987) – Anybody ever associate a particular song with a time or a place or a person? Of course you have, that’s what good tune does. Anybody else hitting that age where you recall something and then wonder if the memory is correct? In the case of this song, I seem to recall a lefty on the Knox College baseball squad nicknamed Giddy who really dug this cut and I do too. Giddy, I know you’re out there, if you read this let me know if I’ve got it right or simply losing my mind.

9. Let It Whip – Dazz Band (1982) – Speaking of Knox College, back in the early 80s the college radio station, WVKC 90.7FM, used to feature a weekly program focusing on a mix of funk, hip hop, rap, post-disco and R&B infused pop. Interesting stuff for a kid normally tuned in to WLS 89AM or the local Top 40 station, Q93. Spent many of those Saturday nights tuned into “The Voice” as the station was nicknamed (Sunday nights was Dr. Demento on 97X). Anyway, what a treat it was to hear stuff like this one or “Controversy” by Prince or “White Horse” by Laid Back or “Take Your Time Do It Right” by The S.O.S. Band or “The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow or “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five or…time to revisit these jams on the internet once I get this post completed.

8. Wasted on the Way – Crosby, Stills & Nash (1982) – This is another one of those cuts that hits a little closer to home these days than it did when released in the summer before my sophomore year of high school. Would make a nice addition to side two of a cassette tape along with “Time” from Pink Floyd, “Running on Empty” from Jackson Browne, “Long May You Run” from Neil Young and “Like a Rock” from Bob Seger. “Oh when you were young…”

7. Sooner or Later – The Grass Roots (1971) – Dare you not to sing along to this catchy love song. Plenty of vocal roles to choose from, too. Maybe you’re a lead singer, perhaps you opt for harmony, possibly just pitch in with the punctuated “time”, “mind”, “when”, “again”, take part in a little call and response or go ahead and let it all hang out during an improvised finale. Just one of those make you feel good, could listen to it all day, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore tunes.

6. The Ballad of Curtis Loew – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974) – Discovered this one rather late. Never was much of an album kid, didn’t have any money after buying baseball cards, so never heard this tune until sometime in the 90s on the radio. Knew who it was right away but not quite what it was and always a treat to find something old on the dial that’s brand new to my ear. Great story song about a wonderful piece of common ground called music.

How’s that for a blog entry? You get Curtis Loew and Kurtis Blow all in one post. And on an “outdoor” blog to boot! Now that’s some good stuff. Part II tomorrow to finish off our eleven songs for the price of ten. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 7/28 – Part II

On with the countdown…

5. Jane – Jefferson Starship (1979) – I dig this song on several levels. Such a cool blend of instrumentation with everybody getting in on the action and briefly taking center stage at various points as this one chugs along. Mickey Thomas’ vocals are top notch and there’s even a cool kind of grunt after the disco themed interlude which itself is a killer sort of nod to the fading fad. And I’ve got this thing for repetition, certainly a hook when it works, and 35 “Janes” (or “Janeys”) in this one does for me (may have missed a few, let me know what you come up with). Note: also see “Lola.”

4. Your Song – Elton John (1970) – One of the earliest hits from a legendary performer but how about the guy who wrote the words? Shout out to Bernie Taupin for his role in this partnership. Many characters, many stories and a whole lotta love songs including this favorite. This one is endearing and enduring, gets better the older I get. And how cool that Taupin penned these lyrics before he reached his 20th birthday. Simply amazing.

3. Stranglehold – Ted Nugent (1975) – Does it get any more fun than a rocker from Uncle Ted? A nasty groove to get things warmed up before you get hit with “Here I come again now baby, like a dog in heat.” Are you kidding me? And there’s still seven and a half more minutes of rocking to go. I don’t care if I sound old but they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

2. You Better You Bet – The Who (1981) – I’m a fan of this pretty fabulous foursome that often seem to take a backseat to another fab quartet as well as a batch of Stones.Gotta give Roger Daltrey some props on this one too. Solid, solid frontman who could always “sing a razor line.” Great stuff here and one of the first videos to be played on something called MTV.

1. Bye Bye Love – The Cars (1978) – Endless debate, no definitive answer, but what is the finest debut album of all-time? Take a listen to this band’s self-titled 1978 release as it certainly deserves some votes. Tough to pick my favorite track, kind of depends on the mood when one of them comes on the radio. This one was the winner on this trip, fun flow to Ric Ocasek’s lyrics and outstanding delivery from Benjamin Orr mixed with a new sound coming out of my clock radio back in the late 70s, something called “New Wave.”

Ah, another fun tangent that brings back more than a few memories and finds me wandering through my own personal request line in cyberspace. This whole internet thing is indeed good for more than just telling “fish stories.” Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 7/28 – Part I

Hey, haven’t done one of these for a while and too busy to fish so here we go. This one was actually compiled during my last solo bass fishing outing back on July 28. Too busy to write, too.

10. Afternoon Delight – Starland Vocal Band (1976) – Okay, so gotta make the short list of dirtiest songs of all-time and extra fun because it was one of my favorites as an eight or nine year old kid back in the Bicentennial. Even has a fishing verse tucked away in there. But nowadays, with a 51-year old body and four kids running around the house all the time, a little afternoon delight is more like a nap.

9. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The Fifth Dimension (1969) – Always dug this groovy ditty from when I was way too young to actually recall its original release. Must have caught it on the airwaves and seems like there was an album around the house. And what a beautiful lady and voice in Marilyn McCoo. Still a cool cut nearly 50 years later as my oldest daughter, Helena, took a liking to it when featured as a tune in a recent performance of her Quad City Music Guild group.

8. Love Takes Time – Orleans (1979) – I believe this completes the run of Orleans Top 40 hits as their two previous qualifiers have already been featured in Top 10 Trip Tunes (see “Dance With Me” and “Still The One”). Just one of those mellow tunes that finds me off in search of a playlist with the likes of Firefall, Poco, Pablo Cruise, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Ambrosia, Pure Prairie League…

7. Junior’s Farm – Paul McCartney & Wings (1974) – Kind of rock and roll meets Dr. Seuss. I really have no idea and it really doesn’t matter. Good old Sir Paul with a battery of hooks so no surprise that this one always catches my ear. Quite a cast of characters including an Eskimo, a card dealer, a politician and Ollie Hardy. And how about trios of rhyming words like “Parliament”, “President” and “cement” as well as “sense”, “fence” and “pence”? How fun would it be to have such lyrical talent?

6. China Grove – The Doobie Brothers (1973) – This whole internet thing can get distracting, weird and even a bit addictive but it’s totally worth it when it comes to song lyrics. Anybody else out there been singing the wrong words or substituting some runs of gibberish for decades? “Samurai swords”, huh? Makes perfect sense, sorta. At any rate an outstanding piece of 70s classic rock from a band with a little bit of everything sonically thrown into the mix. Hits you right from the start, ends without much warning and keeps driving all the way in between.

Round two tomorrow with another batch of classics. Talk to you later. Troy


Top 10 Trip Tunes 6/17 – Part II

Here we go with the Top 5, some heavy hitters from a range of genres that take me back to some good times I remember and feed my fix for quirky terms, categorical titles and classic lines. Fun to get lost in Part II of the Trip Tunes.

5. Black Friday – Steely Dan (1975) – No such thing as a bad Steely Dan song. Clever, fun and interesting lyrics mixed with impeccable, layered musicianship it’s all right on the money. And while it’s fun to speculate on the meaning of their tunes, in the end I just find myself sonically enjoying those few minutes of escape when it can mean whatever you want or nothing at all. Another part of my fun is mentally categorizing unique words. For example “kangaroo”. “Archbishop” and “Muswellbrook”, seriously, in the same song? And I also like to play the “name another song with a color in the title” or the “songs with a day of the week” game. Ain’t music fun?

4. One Way or Another – Blondie (1979) – I believe this would hold the top spot on my list of “stalker” songs, edging out “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. Both cuts do a nice job of disguising something more than a little scary as a catchy little ditty, even bordering on a love song in the case of my stalker runner-up. Blondie rides that fine lyrical line of redundant repetition and winds up with a winner instead of something tiring. Catchy riff, driving backbeat and well, what can you say about that lead singer? Not all bad if Debbie Harry was to “get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya”, huh?

3. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses (1988) – I turned 25 in Indianapolis, IN at the Hoosier Dome as the clock struck midnight and July 22, 1992 passed into July 23, 1992 while jamming to these guys in concert with my youngest brother and his buddy (my original concert tee pictured above, still got it). Flat out awesome performance including this cut, of course, which rocks with an anthemic quality custom made for a crowd. These guys had it dialed in from the get go and I wore out my Appetite for Destruction cassette on a boombox, quite memorably with my buddies and some beer around the weekend campfires (often like bonfires) at a spot called “Green Oaks”, the Knox College biological field station. Those were the days, fond memories but content to have toned it down these days.

2. Old Days – Chicago (1975) – The definition of a good “oldie” here as it kicks that old nostalgia gene into full gear, an important aspect of my fondness for music. This 70s cut hits on a number of items that made up my childhood as it references “baseball cards”, “drive-in movies”, “summer nights” and “birthdays.” One in a nearly endless list of tunes that “Take me back to a world gone away, boyhood memories seem like yesterday.” Does what music is supposed to do, with a horn section to boot. Great stuff.

1. Stomp! – The Brothers Johnson (1980) – I got no rhythm and ain’t remotely hip but this is my jam, gets me moving and singing along. So “Fill it up, let’s blast the jams and ride” and “slap me five” because “The heat is on and the funk just won’t leave us alone.” Heck, yeah!

And with that last jam, I leave you as I head back to 1979-1981 on the internet with my ears set on “Give Me the Night” by George Benson, “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder, “Take Your Time” by the SOS Band, “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “Don’t Let Go” by Isaac Hayes, maybe some Kool & The Gang, Commodores…Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 6/17 – Part I

On the road around 4:00am on a Father’s Day morning fishing trip. Wonder if I can find anything worthwhile on the radio dial? Yep, not an issue finding some tunes worthy of the latest Top 10 Trip Tunes. Part I today, Part II tomorrow.

10. Undun – The Guess Who (1969) – Mentioned in a Top 10 edition from last year that you just don’t hear this band’s work very often on the airwaves so when this one hit my ears it was an automatic inclusion. Written by band member, Randy Bachman, later of Bachman-Turner Overdrive; moody, jazzy, and a flute solo. Also kind of fun with the deliberate misspelling of the title, I dig that stuff (band names as well, put on those musical thinking caps…)

9. Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) – Billy Joel (1976) – I’ve always liked “story songs” and this one fits the bill with a native New Yorker penning a song that looks forward from the perspective of someone looking back. Gotta admire the effort from a songwriter who knew his subject, and besides, it is a fun ride musically as well. Don’t know much about New York City and its troubles in the 70s but pretty bad shape. Not a big city guy, too many people, too much hustle and bustle and in the case of my state, too much corruption. Perhaps I should get to work on a ditty about Chicago breaking free from the rest of us “downstate” and becoming its own solitary island afloat somewhere out on Lake Michigan.

8. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart (1978) – Don’t answer…This one occupies a spot that takes me back to a kid on the verge of becoming a teenager and brings to mind a new television music countdown program known as “Solid Gold.” Now, I had long dug my 70s tunes on the radio but getting a weekly look at some eye catching dancers to go along with my music, well, let’s just say “Wow!” Also an awkward time when a song like this came on the radio when riding somewhere with your folks, much less the music video, makes you feel like singing along but not sure if it’s appropriate…Fast forward about 40 years and I just hope my kids don’t really have a clue what most of the current stuff on the radio is all about yet.

7. The Zoo – Scorpions (1980) – A classic rocker, this was probably my top pick on the jukebox at a local watering hole known as “G.P.s Lounge” where once upon a time me and my buddies spent more than a few evenings, and nights and afternoons…More than a few quarters invested in this one and some darts and just a few cold ones.

6. Fly By Night – Rush (1975) – Very fitting that this one came over the airwaves at 5:02am, still dark on my escape to the fishing hole while any young anglers who may wish to tag along were still snuggly tucked in bed. Just had to grin at the timing. I’ve got this mental list of favorite lyrics and this song features a few lines that will make that list one of these days, maybe when I start up a music blog, yeah right, got time for that. Anyway, “Quiet and pensive, my thoughts apprehensive” is pure genius, might trade fishing for such literary ability.

Five down, five to go, back tomorrow. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 5/28 – Part II

Some heavy hitters round out this version of the countdown, forgive me if I get carried away.

5. Just What I Needed – The Cars (1978) – Okay, its summer break after 5th grade and things are starting to change on the radio. Of course, I don’t realize it as an eleven year-old kid but it won’t be long until we leave Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees behind and get some new wave in the mainstream. I may overdo it a bit, but got to mention MTV coming down the road with exposure to some interesting variety in the musical landscape. As far as The Cars, their recent induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (for whatever that’s worth) has prompted me to revisit their catalog leading to a few late nights with YouTube. Great stuff.

4. Call Me – Blondie (1980) – So, if you were a 13 year-old boy and got the occasional glimpse of Deborah Harry in the days of limited television music offerings, well, let’s just say it left an impression. Remember those were the days when you had to rely on The Midnight Special, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Saturday Night Live or The Old Grey Whistle Test when you caught it on PBS. No internet, YouTube or MTV back in 1980. But an internet search nearly forty years later confirms that my 13-year old eyes and hormones did not deceive. And yes, I know Blondie was a band, but…

3. Gimme Three Steps – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973) – “I was cutting the rug, down at a place called The Jug with a girl named Linda Lu.” I dig opening lines and these are a winner, grabs you right from the start and keeps you hooked for the rest of the story. Not to mention the killer intro that leads up to those vocals. What else can you say other than “Turn it up!”

2. Locomotive Breath – Jethro Tull (1971) – Now if we’re talking top intros, this one’s got to have a spot on the list. And once this sucker kicks in it is sonic onomatopoeia, if there is such a thing. And how about a song that lets me use the term “flautist” in my tribute? Ian Anderson rocks it with a trademark bit of flute solo, pure genius, pure rock and pure flautist.  Also certainly worth a look at the bands live footage over the years as Anderson is a hoot, one of the ultimate front men of rock.

1. Doctor My Eyes – Jackson Browne (1972) – One of these days I’m going to compile a list of my favorite intros. And while this one is not as lengthy as the two previous cuts, it has the same effect as it gets your attention, gets you moving and puts you on the edge of your musical chair ready for what’s next. In terms of lyrics, it still amazes that Browne penned this and a several other favorites in his 20s as they seem right on target to a 50 year-old guy who sometimes wonders where did all the time go and what the heck happened.

Always fun to sneak my tunes in when I can. Now just need a way to get some baseball, or sports in general, into this thing. Believe it or not, I’ve got a few ideas. But first, another Monday Top 5 update and looking to create a firsthand fishing report soon. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 5/28 – Part I

Back with another distraction from my latest drive to the fishing hole. Only 25 minutes to my destination, Lost Grove Lake in this case, and I was concerned that I may only get a “Top 5” off the radio dial. But I needn’t have worried as the presets that span the airwaves came through yet again.

10. Blurry – Puddle of Mud (2001) – Well, not the most uplifting song but still stops me in my search across the radio dial. Glad that I can only relate on a sonic level and dig the emotion without being vested. I understand that the singer is a real piece of work but those experiences and the fallout are how you get tunes like this one. Yet another piece of this musical fascination, several minutes of escape that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

9. Still The One – Orleans (1976) – Great sing along song, cool harmonies and one of those cuts that gets me to thinking “I could’ve written that” even though it’s not quite that easy. Classic love song formula in the vein of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” Well, “you’re still the one that…” and you’re off and running. Now, for better or worse, what other outdoor website is gonna go there? And tell me you’re not opening a new browser tab to revisit this cut.

8. My Life – Billy Joel (1978) – Takes me back to recording my favorite songs off my old clock radio with a cassette tape player, all the while hoping my siblings would be quiet for 4:44. A few years later I could listen to the recorded cut on my “52nd Street” 8-track tape via the radio/phono/8-track stereo. Prized possessions long gone but fondly remembered.

7. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (1983) – Side One, Track One on my cassette tape of the legendary “Thriller” album. Jackson was definitely in the zone and just killing it on my favorite television channel, the still new MTV. And still a hit as my kids dig this cut and a slew of other Michael Jackson tunes all these years later. And I used to wonder, is he singing “you’re a vegetable”? Indeed, he was. Gotta be a superstar to pull that one off.

6. Get Down Tonight – KC & the Sunshine Band (1975) – Makes you smile, makes you move, makes you sing. Harry Casey’s formula of groove and repetition was magic back then and still a winner today. And I always dig what I call “horny songs”, you know, cuts with a horn section (see Chicago, Kool & the Gang, Earth Wind & Fire…). KC and his crew were right on the money and those “horny songs” took on a dual meaning beyond the brass upon being a few years removed from an 8-year old kid in the summer of 1975.

Top 5 up tomorrow and the variety continues with some New Wave, a leading lady, Southern Rock, Prog Rock and a singer/songwriter. Ain’t music great? Talk to you tomorrow. Troy

Trip Tune, Daniel Boone – 5/5

Bear with me on this one folks, it may make some sense before we’re done

If I haven’t conveyed enough already over the past blogging year about just how much I dig the good, old radio, today’s post is yet another example.

During a May 5 fishing trip with my boy, Jayce, the whole Top 10 Trip Tunes thing flew by the wayside with a drive dominated by conversation and a Cubs game. And that was just perfect as we hung out shooting the breeze until the occasional rise in tone from the great Pat Hughes on the radio alerted us to something significant going down in the ballgame. One of those highlights this time around was the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber losing a shoe during a fly ball adventure that wound up with him recovering to make the catch.

And here’s what was extra cool about the play.

Jayce said, “Dad, did you hear that, he lost his shoe?” Very rewarding when your 8-year old is tuned into a ballgame on the radio instead of some YouTuber on a device. Jayce also noted, “We’ve got to ask Papa if he saw that next time we see him.” The Cubs, and baseball fandom in general, run deep in our family so it was also cool to hear Jayce excited about sharing a baseball story.

While returning home, with the Cubs game over and truly anticipating my young angler taking a nap, it was on to a 70s weekend radio program to mix in with our discussion of the trip. The program host previewed an upcoming track as a one-hit wonder by an artist whose stage name was borrowed from an American pioneer and folk hero. Well, that old useless knowledge thing kicked into gear upstairs and I was quite certain that “Beautiful Sunday” was on the way from Daniel Boone (peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972).

The singing Daniel Boone

Turns out I was right on target and Jayce was pretty excited when he heard Daniel Boone’s name come over the airwaves. Now you see, while hanging with Papa, Jayce gets a dose of some History Channel type stuff which is really cool considering he also ingests a fair amount of SpongeBob, Uncle Grandpa, Teen Titans and so on.

Anyhow, Jayce gets rolling on the Daniel Boone tales with “he got captured”, “he ran a hundred miles through the woods”, “he had to rescue his daughter” and “he survived getting beat up.” Each anecdote was an accurate snippet from the Boone biography but it was Jayce’s final assessment which proved to be the best quote for me.

Jayce summed up the American legend by saying, “Daniel Boone was a beast.”

Ah yes, a “beast” indeed. Gotta dig the lingo of a new generation.

And as far as the tune by the fellow who adopted the hero’s name as a pseudonym, it’s a classic, happy, sing along tune perfect for any day. For it was certainly a beautiful Saturday with my boy and I getting to share some quality father-son time on the water and in a truck. Don’t get much better than that and extra valuable in a one on one setting that is a rarity in a family with four kids.

Many thanks, to my man, Jayce, for reinforcing that fishing trips are about a whole lot more than fish. Talk to you later. Troy

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

And now…the countdown continues. A new wrinkle this time around with a countdown within the countdown as I rate my all-time favorites from one of the artists.

5. Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac (1977) – Lead cut from legendary “Rumours” album which hit the charts and made a mark on this kid who was in fifth grade at the time. But it wasn’t until many years later that I actually owned the CD and was able to discover that the hits just kept on coming beyond the singles on the radio. Love songs come in many guises, such as this peppy, driving, breakup cut. And it don’t get any better lyrically than “Won’t you lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff.”

4. Count on Me – Jefferson Starship (1978) – Hey, what do you know?  I guess you can count on me for another love song in the countdown.  Number two on my Top 10 list from the various incarnations of the band.  A list dominated by the 1975-79 time frame, a period between an Airplane and a simple Starship.
My Top 10 Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship Songs
1. Miracles (1975)
2, Count On Me (1978)
3. Runaway (1978)
4, With Your Love (1976)
5. Jane (1979)
6. Play On Love (1976)
7. Somebody To Love (1967)
8. White Rabbit (1967)
9. No Way Out (1984)
10. Guess it’s a tie for all the rest

3. Sweet Talkin’ Woman – ELO (1978) – Among my favorite bands and fun to discover some themes in my favorite tunes. Unique instrumentation, another batch of call and response along with a pattern of dropping a “g” for some bad grammar. You know, searchin’, hopin’, waitin’, runnin’, talkin’… I kind of like to use that trick in my writin’ too. At any rate, a true audio treat.

2. Tiny Dancer – Elton John (1972) – Sir Elton and his buddy, Bernie Taupin, picking up steam, just nailing it with a battery of killer cuts and the rest is prolific pop music history. Got a great “Old Grey Whistle Test” 1971 performance of this one on DVD, just a guy and his piano doing it up right before the over the top theatrics, which were also a wacky bit of fun. And admittedly a sucker for the “Almost Famous” sing-along scene (got it on DVD too).

1. Running On Empty – Jackson Browne (1978) – Bucking for my favorite song of all-time, how did Browne write this before he even turned 30? What a gift to write something about a place in time or state of mind that not only strikes a chord with a listener but will remain relevant, well, forever. And I’ve long dug that wistful, nostalgic slide guitar amidst the driving beat to add to my interpretation of this song. A song that speaks to me a little more with each passing year. “Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels…” Keeps moving faster all the time.

Until next time, I hope this tangent may prompt a few to revisit the radio, dust off the music collection or surf in search of an oldie but goodie.

Back to the outdoors come Monday with a Top 5 Update followed by a birthday blowout, a new look and who knows what else. You wouldn’t want to miss that, right? Talk to you later. Troy