Instead of picking from shuffle, I figured I’d use songs that have been my jam recently…
‘Standing at the Crossroads of Love’ – The Supremes, Where Did Our Love Go? (1964) – I’m a recent Supremes convert. Their vocals, coupled with the production, makes for such a delicate sound. This particular song covers a lot of ranges, it works off of a seemingly simplistic structure. It is overall a showcase of why they were so good.
‘California’ – John Mayall, The Turning Point (1969) – A lengthy, live workout from the premier British blues-rocker, ‘California’ has few lyrics that take a back seat to the very jazzy middle portion. It’s one of those long songs that doesn’t lose you, and as it unwinds, it just gets more and more intriguing. There’s even build-up to the final, flute-y section that takes it into a more mysterious corner.
‘Gone to Your Head’ – The Mirage, 1966 recording, Tomorrow Never Knows: Singles & Lost Sessions 1966-1968 (2006) – A fine straight rocker from a more obscure British light-psych band, apparently never released! Shows these guys, some of which later joined Spencer Davis Group, had some potential. Perhaps by 1966, it was too late for this kind of rock.
‘Send My Love to Lucy’ – The Toyshop, 1969 single – Good luck if you find this one outside of a YouTube video, because it’s a real rarity. A B-side, it’s got a bit of a dreary texture but it’s counteracted by warm vocals and a bit of a psychedelic flair.
‘Stare solo’ – Spettri, 1972 recording, Spettri (2011) – Italian progressive rock of the early 1970s was quite something, taking cues from the prog sounds of the UK and US while being a springboard for musical innovation in Italy, a country that may have been lacking that throughout the 1960s. Spettri’s brand of prog, unreleased during the genre’s prime on the peninsula, is a bit rougher and more rockin’.
‘These Eyes’ – The Guess Who, Wheatfield Soul (1969) – The Guess Who at the mid-point of their career, another great soulful piece of psychedelia with a dizzying last minute.
‘7 By 7’ – Hawkwind, Space Ritual (1973) – Space Ritual is one of those “What more can I say about it?” kind of albums. If you want music that makes you feel like you’re being beamed up or zoomed through the cosmos, Hawkwind is your prime pick. Surprisingly a live recording, ‘7 By 7’ feels like a big epic up in the galaxy… Like most of the songs on the double-LP knockout.
‘Torero’ – Renato Carosone, Serenatella (1957) – An Italian pop number that goes for a quasi-Spanish sound, that comes off like a fun little novelty single. Carosone sounds like he’s having a good ol’ time.
‘Misirlou’ – Dick Dale and His Del-Tones, single (1962) – ‘Misirlou’ has turn-of-the-century Mediterranean origins, but rocking surfer Dick Dale and his band re-imagined it into a rough wave-riding rocker. For all you animation fans, listen carefully – a recent masterpiece integrated this into its credits music!
‘Nightrider’ – Electric Light Orchestra, Face The Music (1975) – ‘Nightrider’ may not have been a chart-topping single for ELO, but like many of the tracks on the Face The Music LP, it’s a dizzying blend of ELO’s usual futuristic/sci-fi classical tricks and a rocking structure.