Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In praise of April Wine and every other band like'em

Most of the CDs in my car are "mix tapes" of the songs I liked best at the time I made the CD. Thus, I have very few complete, original albums since there aren't many I want to listen to in transit and essentially interrupted. One of the very few I have is April Wine's Nature of the Beast, a favorite from my teen years.

For a while in my hipper late 20s and early 30s, it fell out of favor. It seemed too cheesy and retro, and I cringed internally if I put it on for fear someone would hear.

Now that I'm an old fart and have gotten past the years of being "hip", or "in", or whatever the hell it's called now, I couldn't give less of a flying fuck at a donut about being caught rocking out to it.

Last week I slid'er in and found that I've gained a new appreciation of the energy and musicianship (not to mention the production, which is stellar and was renowned at the time of its release - rumor has it they recorded it "live" with their concert setup at one end of the recording space, and the recording stuff at the other end to give it the thump and presence of a live set).

So, I decided to jump onto the MP3 store at to see what else they might have out, and found another one of my favorite songs of theirs: "I Like to Rock". Beside being a great tune, at the end they play the classic riffs from "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on the left channel and "Day Tripper" on the right, with the riff from the song itself joining in center channel. It's ... kinda cool.

Well, since I was there, I checked yet again to see if they'd put out "Memory Pain" from Johnny Winter, and by God they had! (Into the shopping cart it went.) Even if you don't like the other songs here, you should drive this on around the block a couple times. I don't think there's a better classic rock/classic blues song in existence. I simply don't.

Usually, Amazon's recommendation "if you like that you might like this" algorithms either make me laugh or just piss me off. Another happy surprise, the ones offered with the various albums above were relevant, and I'd been looking for songs from those guys, too.

So, here's some great old late 70s/early 80s rock chestnuts that are now provided for your pleasure:

- "Bad Motor Scooter" by Montrose

- "Highway Song" by Blackfoot

- "Flirtin' With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet

Oh, and even though I popped for the best of the ovure of Foghat long ago, and didn't need "Slow Ride" and other classics of theirs, I was amused to see this album. Back when I was young and thought I'd try to be a rock star, I swore I'd make an album with this cover. I didn't know until now it'd already been done.

It took me so long to put together this post (this baby's been on the stove for a week or so now), I've since found another couple great songs that aren't classic rock, but are gems just the same.

You can now finally get the theme song to National Lampoon's Vacation, "Holiday Road" by Lindsey Buckingham. This is a new live version, but it seems better than the studio version.

You've no doubt seen the commercial for the new ultra-super-slim Macbook that has the song "New Soul" by Yael Naïm. Click the link and that baby's yours for 89 cents. If you don't know the one I'm talking about, watch this:

Oh, and if you want the ethereal song "Creep" by Radiohead used in one of the clips in the post directly below, here it is.



Sya said...

Oh man, that Foghat album art made me giggle. I'm too easily amused.

yahmdallah said...

Well, I'm right there with ya. I've always thought that sight gag would kill.

Whisky Prajer said...

"I Like To Rock" almost single-handedly kept my Grade 9 year from disappearing into complete suckitude. But Rush's "Spirit of Radio" was also helpful.