This song is simply mesmeric.
Strumming some chords on the guitar the other day, His Guiding Hand suddenly leapt from my memory and became a record I just needed to hear again immediately.
Formed by a couple of grammar school boys, Medicine Head started to play together around 1968.
They were seen at the Lafayette club by John Peel who then played a tape of their songs to John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend and, at Lennon’s insistence, Peel signed them to his Dandelion record label.
The demo recording of “His Guiding Hand” was released as a single, Peel describing it as “the cheapest single ever made and one of the classic records of all time” and keeping the single in his box of most treasured records. The duo’s first album, New Bottles Old Medicine, was recorded in a single two-hour session, and they toured with Peel at many of his gigs, Peel paying them out of his own fee!
A perfect record.
Listening to the Danny Baker Show this morning, he repeated once again his assertion that Steely Dan are the second greatest band in history (only The Beatles he rates ahead of them).
Not sure I could personally sign up to this conclusion but, deciding to have a bit of a Steely Dan afternoon, one does have to acknowledge that they’ve made some superb records.
And none is finer than the first track on their debut LP Can’t Buy A Thrill.
“Do It Again” is just a perfect record; Latin-esque percussion, killer keyboards, great lyrics and possibly the finest electric sitar solo in the history of recorded music (hats off to Denny Dias).
The LP version and the a fantastic performance live on The Midnight Special in 1973.
Stumbled upon this track first thing this morning while surfing Spotify. Half a dozen listens later and it is rapidly escalated into the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!
A single from CCR’s final LP “Mardi Gras”, the motivation for the song is explained succinctly by composer John Fogerty:
“Someday Never Comes” is simply a song about my parents undergoing a divorce when I was a child and me not knowing many things. When my dad left me, he told me to be a man and someday I would understand everything. Now, I’m here basically repeating the same thing really. I had a son in 1966 and I went away when he was five years old or so and again told him “someday” he would understand everything. Really, all kids ask questions like “Daddy, when are we going fishing?” and parents always answer with “someday”, but in reality someday never comes and kids never learn what they’re supposed to learn
With a perfect chorus:
Well, I’m here to tell you now each and every mother’s son
You better learn it fast, you better learn it young
‘Cause ‘Someday’ never comes
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
I am not a big Pink Floyd fan.
However, after a major catastrophe with my iTunes library, I found this inadvertently on the playlist tonight. And, to be fair, it is a stunning record.
Also, with the 50th birthday just ticking by, one becomes conscious that friends and family are gradually taking their leave physically and/or spiritually from this mortal coil. Really wish they were all still here.
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
The LP version then a stunning Unplugged take.
For many years, I had always felt that this was just below the pantheon of all time Beatles classics.
My mind was changed in the 24 hours leading up to my dad’s death a few years ago.
Having heard that he was in a very bad way, I was driving up to Lancaster Infirmary in the very early hours of a Saturday morning to try and see him. Around Birmingham, I encountered some lunatic on the M6 who seemed intent on killing me rather than letting me pass (at my steady 71 mph …).
Every time I tried to pass, he/she swerved in front of me for 20+ miles. Eventually, I dropped back and winding the X Reg Clio to its full might of 105 mph, I managed to get past. I arrived in Lancaster after he had already slipped from the consciousness that he would never regain. Falling asleep myself around 6am to await news, this song was on Radio 2 and seemed prescient.
Later that day, in the early evening, with life support turned off, the soundtrack for my dad’s passing was early Saturday night TV in the hospital ward. When “Let It Be” turned out to be one of the songs that people were karaoking to, the end had come.
A beautiful record.
This was one of my favourite records when I first met my other half in Manchester in late 1984.
Relentless pop music from the late, great Lou Reed.
Still sounds perfect.
The original LP/single version then live on Whistle Test in 1984.
What a terrible evening; Joe Hart throws away the match at Stamford Bridge and then I learn that Lou Reed has passed away.
Quite simply, one of the most important people in the history of popular or any music and one of my favourite guitarists of all time.
I found a reason to keep living
Oh and the reason, dear, is you
I found a reason to keep singing
Oh and the reason, dear, is you
The original LP version then a great demo version.