Friday, June 25, 2010


I have had a love/hate affair with Chicago for the past 40-plus years.

I think a lot of their music is little more than pap. However, some of what they've put out I've found to be outstanding.

This particular song was a hit for them in February 1975, when it reached #13 on the Hot 100. Yes, it is about one of our most popular presidents.

For some unknown reason, you will never find it on any of their greatest hits albums, it is never played on the radio, it is never played in concert, and it is never spoken about when talking about the best things they ever did.

But it is, and here it is.

Chicago - Harry Truman.mp3
Chicago - Till We Meet Again.mp3

Chesterfield Kings With Mark Lindsay

The Chesterfield Kings have never been a mainstream act, but they have kept the idea of a garage band burning for many years. They have the look, they have the chops, and their music is right out of some garage in 1965.

And then you have one of the original garage band guys, the lead singer of the one of the all-time garage bands that made it big, Mark Lindsay, the long-time lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Put them together, and you get ...

This must have seemed like a good idea on paper, but it doesn't always work on record. The A side sounds Byrds-like, while the B side, a cover of a Raiders classic that was recorded at Cavestomp '98 in New York, is dizzying good.

This is a one-shot pairing, and while it probably isn't the greatest thing you've ever heard, you have to give the Chesterfield Kings, Lindsay, and whoever thought this one up an "A" for effort.

Chesterfield Kings With Mark LIndsay - Where Do We Go From Here.mp3
Chesterfield Kings With Mark LIndsay - Louie, Go Home (Live at Cavestomp '98).mp3

Cheap Trick, Cheap Trick/Harold Faltermeyer

Cheap Trick is one of my favorite bands of all time. Their mix of pop, rock, metal and bubblegum has never been equaled.

They--Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos, Robin Zander, and most of the time Tom Petersson--are one of those bands that probably came around about 10 years too late. If they had started in the mod 1960s, Cheap Trick would have been huge. They have it all--the visuals and the musical chops that would have put each one of their singles in the highest reaches of the chart way back when.

As it is, they came on the scene in 1975, as the disco era was dawning. It's clear to me that Epic Records had no idea what to do with these guys, and when their Budokan live album became a huge hit overseas, they figured they would give the band the "Frampton Comes Alive" treatment and try to create a hit from a live album.

And it worked to a charm. They followed with an uneven recording career that has had as many ups as downs. They hit No. 1 with "The Flame," oddly as un-Cheap Trick sounding a song as they ever recorded.

Here I have uploaded one of their most schizoid singles ever. "Dream Police" is one of their best songs, a mix of bubblegum and metal that is hard to resist. It hit No. 26 in October 1979. "Heaven Tonight," the flip side, is the title cut from their album of that time, and it can put you to sleep if you let it.

Their recording career aside, you really have to see these guys in concert. That is where they are truly the coolest.

As far as picture sleeves, they have had many released both here and abroad. The Japanese picture sleeves really aren't even that, they are basically one sheets with pictures on the front and lyrics on the back.

Anyway, although Cheap Trick was probably never as huge as they should have been, they have had a fantastic 35-year career, and I am glad that I was with them at the start.

Cheap Trick - Dream Police.mp3
Cheap Trick - Heaven Tonight.mp3

Friday, June 18, 2010


The Cars were one of the most popular American rock groups of the mid 1970s and into the 1980s. They had numerous hits during this period, hit albums and branched off into solo work and numerous outside projects.

Rick Ocasek and his band--includng Elliot Easton, who, as Elliot Eisenstat, graduated the same high school I did but a few years earlier than me--had one of their bigger hits with "You Might Think," which reached No. 7 in March 1984.

The other picture sleeve that I have posted here is the sleeve to a picture disk that was released in Europe. It is a vinyl sleeve holding a nice looking disk. And with CDs and downloadable files now the norm, the age of the picture disk is over. This one is one of the nicer ones I have.

Cars - You Might Think.mp3
Cars - Heartbeat City.mp3

Paul Carrack

Paul Carrack was a voice for hire during the 1980s, and his lead singing was heard in several bands, including Ace, Squeeze, and Mike + the Mechanics.

He also had a short solo career, and this single was by far his biggest hit in the U.S., reaching No. 9 in November 1987.

Paul Carrack - Don't Shed a Tear.mp3
Paul Carrack - Merilee.mp3

Kim Carnes

The raspy voiced singer had a number of hits, but one made more of an impression than "Bette Davis Eyes," which was co-written by Jackie DeShannon. It reached No. 1 in March 1981, and became one of the decade's biggest hits.

Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes.mp3
Kim Carnes - Miss You Tonite.mp3

Friday, June 11, 2010

Belinda Carlisle

The ex-Go Gos lead singer broke out on her own in 1986, and had several big hits through the 1990s. This was her first solo hit, which reached No. 3.

The B side was written by Go Gos bandmate Charlotte Caffey. I always thought it sounded a bit like Joan Baez's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," but this song is less forceful even with the similarities.

After her solo career petered out, she returned to the Go Gos as lead singer, and performs with them--singing their hits together and her solo hits--to enthusiastic audiences.

Belinda Carlisle - Mad About You.mp3
Belinda Carlisle - I Never Wanted a Rich Man.mp3

D.L. Byron

This is another one of those singles whose singer I really don't know too much about, but listen to the vocal inflection similarities to Bruce Springsteen on the A side.

This cover version of the old Billy Joe Royal song isn't too bad. The B side, however, is much better.

And by the way, for Billy Joel completists, the Piano Man adds background vocals to both cuts.

D.L. Byron - Down In the Boondocks.mp3
D.L. Byron - 21st Century Man.mp3

Eric Burdon and War

Eric Burdon and Animals had a great run, with many hits with both Burdon as lead singer and as frontman with keyboardist Alan Price leading the band. But as the 1960s were petering out, Burdon was looking for a new challenge, and that challenge was leading a predominately minority band.

This California-based rock/jazz/soul outfit, led by Lee Oskar, had numerous hits after Burdon left early on, but this remains one of their best. It reached No. 3 in 1970.
Eric Burdon and War - Spill the Wine.mp3
Eric Burdon and War - Magic Mountain.mp3

Downloading Files/Site Participation

I just checked to see how many downloads of songs the site has experienced, and so far, most visitors are hitting the site regularly, based on the number of downloads registered.

The top downloaded song is the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays."

However, it would be nice if those downloading the music actually left some messages.

Leaving messages is the way I can gauge feedback to what I am doing.

Also, if I am putting up the songs, it might be nice to give a "shout out" once in a while.

I promise to answer each and every one.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Talking about a song coming out of left field to become a major hit, the Buoys' "Timothy" certainly fits the bill as one of the strangest songs ever to hit the Top 20.

Rupert Holmes wrote this song about people trapped in a mine, and what they supposedly did to keep themselves alive, and the subject matter turned off many stations--but enchanted the public--so a few different versions of this song exist. I know that one has tamer lyrics than the other, but whatever, the song is lots of fun.

And this is one of my favorite picture sleeves of all time. The front isn't much to speak about, but you must read the back. Evidently, some girl of school age had several questions to ask about this song, and she sent in a letter asking those questions. I don't know if this is a phony letter or not, but whatever the case, this is one of the few instances where the back of the picture sleeve is better than the front.

Buoys - Timothy.mp3
Buckinghams - Can We Talk About It.mp3


Coming out of Chicago in 1966, the Buckinghams helped shaped the city's rock image. Their mix of rock, punk, garage and soul was extremely influential, and laid the groundwork for several area bands that followed them onto the national stage, including the Cryan Shames and the New Colony Six.

Their use of a horn section also and some of their more experimental album tracks certainly opened the door for the band Chicago to establish itself as the city's most popular rock export.

Years later, in 1985, the surviving members of the band regrouped, and released "Veronica," which pretty much followed the then-current new wave genre. It's certainly not as good as "Susan," but it has its merits.

Today, the Buckinghams, with two original members, are popular on the oldies circuit.

Buckinghams - Veronica.mp3
Buoys - It Feels Good.mp3


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