Saturday, September 21, 2013


As part of BadCatRecords  website I listen to lots of obscure bands and here's a list of songs that have stuck with me over the past year.   They're not in any particularly order, but all ten managed to worm their way into my head where they spent way too much time taking up what little valuable space I had left at this point in my life.
What You Will   (Steve Woodard) - 2:23
ON album full of prime country-rock tunes, this one came as a major surprise.  While it slotted perfectly in he group's country-rock leanings,     this one was wrapped up in a much heavier rock arrangement, including an intriguing set of "kiss-off" lyrics, a great melody, nice harmony vocals, and one of the album's best guitar solos.   This is one of the tunes I would have tapped as the single.

Along Too Long To Be Lonely   (Mike Collings - Roger White) - 3:45
Another track off the "Friends By Feather" LP, this one was a  heavy pop tune with more hooks than most entire albums contain, 'Along Too Long To Be Lonely' definitely had top-40 slapped across it.   Imagine the kind of song Mark Lindsay and the Raiders always wanted to write and you'd have a feel for how good this one was.  It sounds even better when cranked up to maximum volume on the stereo.   Geez, I simply can't shake the double timed chorus out of my head. 

Fleetwood Mac
Future Games   (Bob Welch) - 
I always liked the weird, slightly ominous Southern California vibe Bob Welch brought to the band - kind of a rustic precursor to the Buckingham-Nicks era sound.   Regardless, 'Future Games' was one of the most commercial things Welch ever wrote.  While it took a minute to kick into gear, once it got some traction, the song revealed a beguiling melody, some tasty Kirwan lead guitar, and wonderful harmony vocals between Welch and McVie.    Could have been a hit for the band with a bit of support.   Welch certainly thought so, re-recording the track for his 1979 solo album.

Turn Turtle    (Ollie Halsall - Mike Patto) -
One of those English bands that deserved a far better fate than they were given ...  With Mike Patto sounding like he was about to explode, sexual frustration has seldom been wrapped in such a catchy tune ...   Always loved OllieHalsall's rollicking keyboards and the bouncy female backing vocals "la lal la la la ..." were mesmerizing - turn turtle, play dead ... 

Poor Little Heartbreaker   (Ollie Halsall - Mike Patto) -
I've always found it hard to believe 'Poor Little Heartbreaker' was relegated to a 'B' side.   Kicked along by Halsall's screaming Byrds-styled guitar, this was a killer rocker with a slightly West Coast psych-ish feel.   The liner notes describe it as "Definitely a late Timebox track, Halsall having switched to electric guitar/this early "punk" track closest to Boxer sound."    Not sure I agree with the punk description - yeah it had that angry edge, but the sound was simply too sophisticated to be considered punkish.  

Johnny Jenkins
Walk on Guilded Splinters   (Dr. John Creaux) - 5:23
Dr. John's version was the one I grew up with and as much as I love it, this version may be even better.  Kicked along by Jenkins sandpaper voice and Duane Allman on dobro (Jenkins and Pete Carr on guitar), this song simply oozed backwoods soul.  The irony is that as good as Jenkins performance was, in recent years the song's rhythm track has fueled the song's rediscover.  Powered by Allman Brothers Butch Trucks on drums and Jai Johnny Johnston on percussion, the song's been sampled by scores of songs including Beck's 'Loser', Blackalicious' 'A to G', Oasis 'Go Let it Out', and a bunch of others.   None of the samples come close to the original performance.  Capricorn tapped the song as a single, but didn't seem to have a clue how to market it.   I've only seen promo copies of the 45.


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