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Music of Our Times

We are going to post a music video each week up to Reunion and we want you to choose the Music of our Times. Doesn’t have to be 1971 or 1972 vintage…just the songs and artists that makes you remember.  We all had favorites…what’s yours?

We will play requests posted on our Facebook Group Page and post a new one every weekend. If you are not a Facebook user, then you can use the Contact Us feature.

Come on home and be with your friends! 

Register HERE to come to our 50th reunion!

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September 23, 2022

More Than a Feeling - Boston (1976)

Requested by:  Brian Riley

More Than a Feeling is a song by the American rock band Boston, released as the lead single from the band's 1976 debut album by Epic Records in September 1976.  Tom Scholz wrote the whole song. 

The lyrics express the author's discontent with the present and his yearning for a former love named Marianne, whose memory is strongly evoked by an old familiar song. In an interview Scholz was asked, "Who is Marianne?" He replied, "There actually is a Marianne. She wasn't my girlfriend." He explained that when he was 8 or 9 years old he had a much older cousin who he thought was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and that he was "secretly in love" with her (laughs). 

But he has also stated that the lyrics were inspired by his emotions after a school love affair ended, and were influenced by the lyrics of the Left Banke song Walk Away ReneeMaximum Guitar author Andy Aledort pointed out that the guitar chord progression of G-D/F#-Em7-D that follows the line I see my Marianne walking away also comes from Walk Away Renee.

Great choice, Riles..thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

Suffrin Blye! .... LIVE! at our 50th Reunion!

 

  • Steve Blakeney (NHS '72)
  • Dave Lopresti (NHS '72)
  • Dave Cintolo (NHS '72)
  • Bill Bergin (NHS '73)
  • Steve McDonnell (NHS '73)
  • Pete Loven (NHS '73)
  • Dave Arbuckle (NHS '73)
  • Tom Roberts
  • Al Tutlys
  • Sound Engineer: Al Kennedy (NHS '73)

 

These guys have been rocking for 50 years!  They came to us and generously offered to play for free at our reunion and we graciously accepted.  You are going to love their sound.  Many of us have been listening to them over the years.  Thanks, Steve Blakeney, Dave Lopresti, Dave Cintolo and all the guys...we can't wait!

 

Suffrin Blye as they are today.

 

Suffrin Blye as they were back in the day.

 

 

Previous Weeks:

September 16, 2022

Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwod Mac (1977)

Requested by:  DJ's Choice

Gold Dust Woman is a song from British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac's 11th studio album, Rumours (1977). The song was written and sung by Stevie Nicks and released as a B-side to the Don't Stop single (in the UK) and the You Make Loving Fun single (in the US).

The take chosen for release on the 1977 Rumours album was reportedly recorded at 4 a.m., after a long night of attempts in the studio. Just before and during the final take, Stevie Nicks had wrapped her head (though not mouth) with a black scarf, veiling her senses to tap memories and emotions. Many unusual instruments were used in the recording, including an electric harpsichord with a jet phaser, which was marked with tape so Mick Fleetwood could play the right notes.

To accentuate Nicks's vocals, Fleetwood broke sheets of glass. According to producer Ken Caillat "He [Fleetwood] was wearing goggles and coveralls — it was pretty funny. He just went mad, bashing glass with this big hammer. He tried to do it on cue, but it was difficult. Eventually, we said, 'Just break the glass,' and we fit it all in."

The song's title, Gold Dust Woman, comes from Gold Dust Lane, a street in Wickenburg, Arizona where Nicks spent time as a child.

Stevie Nicks...one of my all time favorite lady vocalists off one of my all time favorite albums. Enjoy.

September 9, 2022

Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding - Elton John (1973)

Requested for:  Lilibet

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding is a medley of two songs written by English musician Elton John and songwriter Bernie Taupin, and performed by John. It is the opening track of the 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

The first part, Funeral for a Friend, is an instrumental created by John while thinking of what kind of music he would like at his funeral.This first half segues into Love Lies Bleeding.

Elton John said the two songs were not written as one piece, but fit together since Funeral for a Friend ends in the key of A, and Love Lies Bleeding opens in A, and the two were played as one elongated piece when recorded. (However, the songs are published and copyrighted individually and remain separate entities with separate sheet music.) 

Billboard magazine listed this song as number two in the list of Elton John's best songs as picked by critics, second only to Bennie and the Jets.

September 2, 2022

We're an American Band - Grand Funk Railroad (1973)

Requested by:  Betty Ann Spencer (Dietz)

We're an American Band is the seventh studio album by American hard rock band Grand Funk Railroad, credited as Grand Funk. The album was released by Capitol Records on July 15, 1973 and was certified gold by the RIAA a little over a month after its release. Two singles were released from the album. The first single, We're an American Band, was released on July 2, 1973 and the second, Walk Like a Man, was released on October 29, 1973. Both singles were sung by drummer Don Brewer

The album's original issue, as well as the We're an American Band single, was on translucent yellow vinyl, symbolic of a 'Gold record'. The album labels, above the side numbers, instructed listeners to play "at full volume". It included four stickers (two blue, and two red) with the Grand Funk "Pointing Finger" logo. Emphasizing the shortening of the group's name, the word "Railroad" does not appear anywhere on the album sleeve, liner, or vinyl record, except as the title of the first song on side two of the album.

When the video appears, you'll see warning message that "the video is unavalaible".  Just click  "Watch on You Tube"

August 26, 2022

American Woman - Guess Who (1970)

Requested by:  My good friend and fraternal brother, Frank Rice.

American Woman is a song by Canadian rock band the Guess Who and was released January 1970, from the album of the same name. It was later released in March 1970 as a single backed with No Sugar Tonight, and it reached number one for three weeks commencing May 9 on Billboard Hot 100.

The music and lyrics of the song were improvised on stage during a concert in Southern Ontario. Randy Bachman was playing notes while tuning his guitar after replacing a broken string, and he realized he was playing a new riff that he wanted to remember. He continued playing it and the other band members returned to the stage and joined in, creating a jam session in which Cummings improvised the lyrics. They noticed a kid with a cassette recorder making a bootleg recording and asked him for the tape. They listened to the tape and noted down the words that Cummings had extemporized, and which he later revised.

The song's lyrics have been the matter of debate. Bachman expressed the view in 2014 that it was "an anti-war protest song", explaining that when they came up with it on stage, the band and the audience had a problem with the Vietnam War. Said Bachman: "We had been touring the States. This was the late '60s, one time at the US/Canada border in North Dakota they tried to draft us and send us to Vietnam. We were back in Canada, playing in the safety of Canada where the dance is full of draft dodgers who've all left the States".

The Guess Who were invited to play at the White House on July 17, 1970, shortly after the song's release. Because of its perceived anti-American lyrics, Pat Nixon, the wife of President Richard Nixon, asked that they not play American Woman.

When the video appears, you'll see warning message that "the video is unavalaible".  Just click  "Watch on You Tube"

August 12, 2022

Wipe Out - Surfaris (1963)

Requested by:  Bob Morrissey dedicated to Dave Lopresti (Drummer for Suffrin' Blye)

Wipe Out is a surf rock instrumental composed by Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson. Composed in the form of twelve-bar blues, the tune was first performed and recorded by the Surfaris, who became famous with the single in 1963.

Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson wrote Wipe Out almost on the spot while at Pal Recording Studio in Cucamonga, California, in late 1962, when they realized they needed a suitable B-side for the intended Surfer Joe single. One of the band members suggested introducing the song with a cracking sound, imitating a breaking surfboard, followed by a manic voice babbling, "ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out". The voice was that of the band's manager, Dale Smallin.

The single spent a grand total of 30 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Wilson's energetic drum solo for Wipe Out (a sped-up version of his Charter Oak High School marching band's drum cadence) helped the song become one of the best-remembered instrumental songs of the period.

August 12, 2022

Crossroads - Cream (1968)

Requested by:  Steve Blakeney (with a strong thumbs up from Frank Rice)

Cross Road Blues (also known as Crossroads) is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. Johnson performed it as a solo piece with his vocal and acoustic slide guitar in the Delta blues-style. The song has become part of the Robert Johnson mythology as referring to the place where he supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical talents, although the lyrics do not contain any specific references.

Bluesman Elmore James revived the song with recordings in 1954 and 1960–1961. English guitarist Eric Clapton with Cream popularized the song as Crossroads in the late 1960s. Their blues rock interpretation inspired many cover versions and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included it as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Rolling Stone placed it at number three on the magazine's list of the Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time in recognition of Clapton's guitar work.

August 5, 2022

Your Wildest Dreams - Moody Blues (1986)

Requested by:  Dave Stewart

Your Wildest Dreams is a 1986 single by the progressive rock band the Moody Blues, written by Justin Hayward. The song was first released as a single, and later released on the Moody Blues' 1986 album The Other Side of Life.

Moody Blues singer and guitarist Justin Hayward was inspired to write Your Wildest Dreams after reminiscing about his first love. Of the song's lyrics, he stated, "For me, wanting to know about the first girl you ever fell in love with, really fell in love with and broke her heart, you always want to know, I wonder what happened. I wonder where they are. Hop into that time machine." 

Hayward has since noted the universal nature of the song's lyrics. He explained, "I thought 'Wildest Dreams' would be a throwaway thing that people wouldn't really take much notice of lyrically. But I found out that it was a common experience and desire by a lot of people. So that was very revealing."

This is the second appearance of the Moody Blues on Music of Our Times.  For me, The Moodies are my favorite band of all time.  Thanks Pastor Dave...thanks very much!

Enjoy this early MTV-like music video.

July 29, 2022

Kashmir - Led Zeppelin (1975)

Requested by:  DJ's Choice

Kashmir is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. Included on their sixth album Physical Graffiti (1975), it was written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with contributions from John Bonham over a period of three years with lyrics dating to 1973.

The song became a concert staple, performed by the band at almost every concert after its release. It has been described as one of Led Zeppelin's two most overtly progressive epics (the other being Stairway to Heaven).

All four members of Led Zeppelin have agreed that Kashmir is one of their best musical achievements. John Paul Jones suggested that it showcases all of the elements that made up the Led Zeppelin sound.

Led Zeppelin archivist Dave Lewis comments: "Unquestionably the most startling and impressive track on Physical Graffiti, and arguably the most progressive and original track that Led Zeppelin ever recorded. Kashmir went a long way towards establishing their credibility with otherwise skeptical rock critics. Many would regard this track as the finest example of the sheer majesty of Zeppelin's special chemistry."

July 22, 2022

Taxi - Harry Chapin (1972)

Requested by:  Mark Thompson (FB Trivia Question Winner)

Taxi is a song written by Harry Chapin, released as a single in early 1972 to coincide with the release of his album Heads & Tales. Chapin debuted the song on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, which prompted calls and telegrams from viewers requesting that Chapin return to the show. It was the first time in the show's history that host Johnny Carson brought a performer back the very next night for an encore performance.

Taxi helped to establish Chapin's musical style and emerged as the singer-songwriter's early signature song, with Chapin often associated with taxi-related imagery. Jim Connors, music director and disc jockey at Boston AM radio station WMEX, is credited with discovering Chapin. The single charted on both Boston stations WMEX and WRKO in late February, reached number one on both stations in April and ranked 4 for the year on both stations. The single's early Boston success helped Taxi to hit big on Billboard's Hot 100, where in June 1972 it reached no. 24 during a then-lengthy 16-week chart run.

 

July 15, 2022

Chest Fever - The Band (1968)

Requested by:  Peter Bielski

 

Chest Fever is a song recorded by the Band on its 1968 debut, Music from Big Pink. It is, according to Peter Viney, a historian of the group, the album track that has appeared on the most subsequent live albums and compilations, second only to The Weight.

The music for the piece was written by guitarist Robbie Robertson. Total authorship is typically credited solely to Robertson, although the lyrics, according to Levon Helm, were originally improvised by Helm and Richard Manuel, telling the story of a man who becomes sick when he is spurned by the woman he loves.

Robertson has since said the lyrics were nonsensical, used only while the instrumental tracks were recorded. "I'm not sure that I know the words to Chest Fever; I'm not even so sure there are words to Chest Fever." He has also stated the entirety of the song does not make sense.

At the Woodstock Festival in 1969, the Band performed on the final day, between Ten Years After and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. They opened the set with Chest Fever.

July 8, 2022

Superstition - Stevie Wonder (1972)

Requested by:  DJ's Choice

Superstition is a song by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder. It was released on October 24, 1972, as the lead single from his fifteenth studio album, Talking Book (1972). The lyrics describe popular 
superstitions and their negative effects.

Jeff Beck was an admirer of Wonder's music, and Wonder was informed of this prior to the Talking Book album sessions. Though at this point he was playing virtually all of the instruments on his songs by himself, Wonder preferred to let other guitarists play on his records, and he liked the idea of a collaboration with Beck. An agreement was quickly made for Beck to become involved in the sessions that became the Talking Book album, in return for Wonder writing him a song.

Between the album sessions, Beck came up with the opening drum beat. Wonder told Beck to keep playing while he improvised over the top of it. He improvised most of the song, including the riff, on the spot. Beck and Wonder created a rough demo for the song that day.

After finishing the song, Wonder decided that he would allow Beck to record Superstition as part of their agreement. Originally, the plan was for Beck to release his version of the song first, with his newly formed power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. However, due to the combination of the trio's debut album getting delayed and Motown CEO Berry Gordy's prediction that Superstition would be a huge hit and greatly increase the sales of Talking Book, Wonder released the song as the Talking Book lead single months ahead of Beck's version, the latter being issued in March 1973 on the Beck, Bogert & Appice album.

The funky clavinet riff played on a Hohner Clavinet model C, the Moog synthesizer 
bass and the vocals were also performed by Wonder.

Stevie on Soul Train 1972

Happy 4th of July, Rockets! 

July 1, 2022

Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1982)

Requested by:  All of Us

The man, the band and the song need no introduction.

If you want some 4th of July chills, watch this live performance video of the Boss and his band.  It is the best rendition I've ever seen.

 

June 24, 2022

Just What I Needed - The CARS (1978)

Requested by:  Kris Bouyoukas

Just What I Needed is a song by American rock band The Cars from their self-titled debut album (1978).
The song, which first achieved radio success as a demo, took inspiration from the Ohio Express and the Velvet Underground. The song is sung by bass player Benjamin Orr and was written by Ric Ocasek.

The Cars were an American rock band formed in Boston in 1977. Emerging from the new wave scene 
in the late 1970s, it consisted of Elliot Easton (lead guitar), Greg Hawkes (keyboards), Ric Ocasek (rhythm guitar), Benjamin Orr (bass guitar), and David Robinson (drums). Ocasek and Orr shared lead vocals, and Ocasek was the band's principal songwriter.

The Cars disbanded in 1988. Orr died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer. The surviving original members of the Cars reunited in 2010 to record the band's seventh and final album, Move Like This, which was released in May 2011. Following a short tour in support of Move Like This, the band once again went on hiatus. 
In April 2018, the Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and reunited to perform at the induction ceremony.[4] It was the band's final performance with Ocasek,  who died on September 15, 2019 of cardiovascular disease.

Just another band out of Boston.

June 17, 2022

Dream On - Aerosmith (1973)

Requested by:  Kris Bouyoukas

Dream On is a power ballad by Aerosmith from their 1973 debut album, Aerosmith. Written by lead singer Steven Tyler, this song was their first major hit and became a classic rock radio staple. Released in June 1973, it peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 but hit big in the band's native Boston, where it was the number one single of the year on WBZ-FM, number five for the year on WRKO and number 16 on WMEX (AM). The song also received immediate heavy airplay on the former WVBF (FM), often showing up in the #1 position on "The Top Five at Five" in June 1973. 

Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford...just another band out of Boston. Thanks, Kris...great choice!

 

June 10, 2022

The Weight - The Band (1968)

Requested by:  DJ's Choice

The Weight is an original song by the Canadian-American group the Band that was released as a single in 1968 and on the group's debut album Music from Big Pink.  Written by Band member Robbie Robertson, the song is about a visitor's experiences in a town mentioned in the lyric's first line as Nazareth. The Weight has significantly influenced American popular music, having been listed as No. 41 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time published in 2004.

The colorful characters in The Weight were based on real people that members of the Band knew. In particular, "young Anna Lee" mentioned in the third verse is Helm's longtime friend Anna Lee Amsden, and, according to her, "Carmen" was from Helm's hometown, Turkey Scratch, Arkansas. "Crazy Chester" was an eccentric resident of Fayetteville, Arkansas, who carried a cap gun. Ronnie Hawkins would tell him to "keep the peace" at his Rockwood Club when Chester arrived.

June 3, 2022

I Got a Line on You - Spirit (1969)

Requested by:  DJ's Choice

I Got a Line on You is a rock song by American rock band Spirit, originally recorded during the sessions for their second album, The Family That Plays Together, between March 11 and September 18, 1968. 
The song was composed by guitarist/singer Randy California and released as a single ahead of the album by Ode Records in the US in October 1968, it began a slow rise up the charts.

It was picked up by college radio in late November. It was the second single released by the band and the song finally peaked at No. 25 on the U.S. Top 100 on March 15, 1969.

Unofficial start of Summer is upon us, Rockets.  This is a great roll-the-windows-down pedal-to-the-metal driving song.  Graduation is done and we are headed to the Cape!  TURN IT UP!

 

Happy Graduation Day, Rockets! 

50 Years ago June 1, 1972

We marched into Graduation to War March of the Priests.  Not sure which war or which preists?!

School's Out For Summer!....School's Out Forever!

 

May 27, 2022

I'll Be Around - The Spinners (1972)

Requested by:  Barb Nicoll (Scher)

 

I'll Be Around is a song recorded by the American R&B vocal group The Spinners (known as "Detroit Spinners" in the UK). The song was co-written by Thom Bell and Phil Hurtt and produced by Bell.

Recorded at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, the house band MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother) provided the backing. The production of the song gives it a smooth, mid-tempo feel, with the signature guitar riff (in octaves) played by Norman Harris at the forefront and punctuation from female background singers, the MFSB horns & strings and conga-playing from Larry Washington. Bobby Smith handles lead vocals on the song.

The song was included on the group's 1973 self-titled album on Atlantic Records, their first album release for the label. It was initially released as the B-side of the group's first single on Atlantic Records, with How Could I Let You Get Away being the A-side. Radio deejays, however, soon opted for I'll Be Around which led to Atlantic flipping the single over and the song became an unexpected hit, eventually spending five weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart (the group's first number-one on the R&B chart), and reaching number three on the U.S. Pop chart in the fall of 1972. It also reached sales of over one million copies, 
The Spinners' first record ever to do so. The success of I'll Be Around would be the first in a series of chart successes The Spinners and Bell would have together during the 1970s.

Thanks, Barb...Great choice!

May 21, 2022

Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith (1969)

Requested by:  Bob Spence

Can't Find My Way Home is a song written by Steve Winwood that was first released by Blind Faith on their 1969 album Blind FaithRolling Stone, in a review of the album, noted that the song featured "Ginger Baker's highly innovative percussion" and judged the lyric "And I'm wasted and I can't find my way home" to be "delightful"

Blind Faith was a Supergroup made up of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. They released just one album, which topped both the UK and US charts around the same time the group was breaking up.  Many critics noted that Blind Faith sounded a lot more like Winwood's  old band Traffic than Clapton's Cream, which is what Clapton was going for.

Clapton played acoustic guitar on this track, which is something he rarely did. In his previous group, Cream, he played long, intense solos, something he wanted to get away from with Blind Faith.

This is the thrid appearance of Clapton on our Music of Our Times page. 

Clapton and Winwood 2007

May 13, 2022

Take the Long Way Home - Supertramp (1979)

Requested by:  DJ's Choice

Take the Long Way Home is the third US single and sixth track of English rock band Supertramp's 1979 album Breakfast in America.

According to its composer Roger Hodgson, the song deals with how the desire to go home can go both ways:

"I'm talking about not wanting to go home to the wife, take the long way home to the wife because she 
treats you like part of the furniture, but there's a deeper level to the song, too. I really believe 
we all want to find our home, find that place in us where we feel at home, and to me, home is in the 
heart and that is really, when we are in touch with our heart and we're living our life from our heart, 
then we do feel like we found our home."

Take the long way home and be with your friends at our 50th Reunion.  We are all going to be there, so should you. Register for reunion today!

Roger Hodgson (Supertramp)

 

May 6, 2022

I'd Love to Change the World - Ten Years After (1971)

Requested by:  Steve Blakeney

I'd Love to Change the World is a song by the British blues rock band Ten Years After. Written by Alvin Lee, it is the lead single from the band's 1971 album A Space in Time. It is the band's only US Top 40 hit, peaking at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their most popular single in the United StatesWhen it was released, I'd Love to Change the World was a staple of both FM and AM radio, a rarity for the time.

 

Matthew Greenwald of Allmusic highlighted Lee's guitar work as the "most expressive—and most tasteful—electric guitar performance of his career", and added "if there is a single song that can describe the overall vibe of the counterculture in 1969/1970, this may very well be it. The band and Lee never quite matched the song's supple power in their later efforts, but this song is representation enough of their awesome artistry."

 

Thanks, Steve for this one.  Hard to find LIVE video...this is the best I could find.

April 30, 2022

Blue Sky - Allman Brothers (1972)

Requested by:  Jeff Helm

Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this about his Native Canadian girlfriend, Sandy "Bluesky" Wabegijig. They married in 1973 and divorced two years later. This was the first time Betts sang lead on an Allman Brothers song. He also sang lead on their biggest hit, Ramblin' Man. For a while after his 1975 divorce from this song's muse Sandy, Dickey Betts refused to perform this song. This was released after Duane Allman's death on Eat A Peach. The album is dedicated to him. Betts and Sandy Bluesky had a daughter, Jessica, on May 14, 1972. Betts wrote Jessica about her a year later.

Thanks, Jeff for this excellent choice

Allman Brothers Band - Great Woods - 1991

April 15, 2022

Turn the Page - Bob Seger (1972)

Turn the Page is a song originally recorded by Bob Seger in 1972 and released on his Back in '72 album in 1973. Tom Weschler, then road manager for Seger recalls, Turn the Page, Bob's great road song, came along in '72, while we were driving home from a gig. I think we were in Dubuque, Iowa, in winter and stopped at a restaurant. We stood out when we entered a store or a gas station or a restaurant en masse. At this restaurant it was particularly bright inside, so there weren't any dark corners to hide in. All these local guys were looking at us like, "What are these guys? Is that a woman or a man?" – just like in the song. ... That was one incident, but there were so many others on the road that led Seger to write that song.

April 15, 2022

Taxman - Beatles (1966)

Taxman is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1966 album Revolver
Written by the group's lead guitarist, George Harrison, it protests against the higher level of progressive tax imposed in the United Kingdom by the Labour government of Harold Wilson, which saw the Beatles paying over 90 per cent of their earnings to the Treasury. The song was selected as the album's opening track 
and contributed to Harrison's emergence as a songwriter beside the dominant Lennon–McCartney partnership. It was the group's first topical song and the first political statement they had made in their music.

This video features George Harrison and Eric Clapton LIVE from Tokyo

April 8, 2022

Question - Moody Blues (1970)

Requested by:  Me

Question is a 1970 single by the English progressive rock band the Moody Blues. It was written by guitarist Justin Hayward, who provides lead vocals. Question was first released as a single in April 1970 and remains their second highest-charting song in the UK, reaching number two and staying on the chart for 12 weeks. 
The song reached number 21 on the Billboard Top 40 in the USA. It was later featured as the lead track on the 1970 album A Question of Balance

Justin Hayward – 12-string acoustic guitar, lead vocals
John Lodge – bass guitar, backing vocals
Mike Pinder – Mellotron, backing vocals (1970 recording)
Ray Thomas – tambourine, backing vocals
Graeme Edge – drums, percussion 

The Moody Blues - Royal Albett Hall - London Philharmonic

 

April 1, 2022

More Today than Yesterday - Spiral Starecase (1969)

Requested by:  Janis Connell (Taylor)

The Spiral Starecase was an American pop band, best known for its 1969 single More Today Than Yesterday. The band, from Sacramento, California, United States, was recognizable for its horns and lead singer/guitarist Pat Upton's voice.

The band had hits with More Today Than Yesterday, released in January 1969, and the follow-up She's Ready. More Today Than Yesterday has been covered by, among others, Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross, and Goldfinger, and was featured in the 1991 film My Girl, on the soundtrack of The Waterboy in 1998, and in an episode of Ally McBeal entitled Silver Bells.

The group evolved from a four-piece instrumental group called the Fydallions, which formed in 1964 in Sacramento, California, for an Air Force talent contest. After leaving the Air Force, the band went on the road, playing five-hour lounge jobs on the Las Vegas circuit.

Columbia signed the band, but insisted that they change their name. The band was renamed after the movie The Spiral Staircase, but with a deliberate misspelling. About 18 months after the single's release, after releasing one album and a few more singles, the group disbanded due to poor management and squabbles over finances. 

Thanks, Janis...great choice!

 

 

March 26, 2022

Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf (1968)

Requested by:  Kris Bouyoukas

"Born to Be Wild" is a song written by Mars Bonfire and first performed by the band Steppenwolf. The song is often invoked in both popular and counter culture to denote a biker appearance or attitude. It is most notably featured in the 1969 film Easy Rider. It is sometimes described as the first heavy metal song, and the second verse lyric "heavy metal thunder" marks the first use of this term in rock music (although not as a description of a musical style but rather a motorcycle).

"Born to Be Wild" was the band's third single off their 1968 debut album Steppenwolf and became their most successful single, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed "Born to Be Wild" at No. 129 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

In 2018, the song was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a new category for singles.

Here are clips from the movie Easy Rider with Born To Be Wild as background music.  Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson headin' out on the highway.

Another great pick, Kris!  

Happy Birthday, MB!

 

March 19, 2022

American Pie - Don McLean (1971)

Requested by:  Karen Hall (Hasenfus)

"American Pie" is a song by American singer and songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was the number-one US hit for four weeks in 1972 starting January 15 after just eight weeks on the Billboard charts (where it entered at number 69)

The song has nostalgic themes, stretching from the late 1950s until late 1969 or 1970. Except to acknowledge that he first learned about Buddy Holly's death on February 3, 1959 – McLean was age 13 – when he was folding newspapers for his paper route on the morning of February 4, 1959 (hence the line "February made me shiver/with every paper I'd deliver"), McLean has generally avoided responding to direct questions about the song's lyrics; he has said: "They're beyond analysis. They're poetry."He also stated in an editorial published in 2009, on the 50th anniversary of the crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson (who are alluded to in the final verse in a comparison with the Christian Holy Trinity), that writing the first verse of the song exorcised his long-running grief over Holly's death and that he considers the song to be "a big song ... that summed up the world known as America". McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Holly.

Put your feet up and get comfortable and enjoy the nearly 9 minutes of Don McLean's American Pie... LIVE back in the day.

March 12, 2022

Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations (1968)

Requested by:  Barbara Burke (Quinif)

Field Hockey Team Bus Song

Build Me Up Buttercup is a song written by Mike d'Abo and Tony Macaulayand released by The Foundations in 1968 with Colin Young singing lead vocals. Young had replaced Clem Curtis during 1968 and this was the first Foundations hit on which he sang.

It hit No. 1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1969. 
It was quickly certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over a million US copies.

Build Me Up Buttercup is featured in the 1998 romantic comedy film There's Something About Mary and the 2020 film The Kissing Booth 2, as well as in a series of 2020–21 Geico commercials. It is also one of the 7th inning stretch tunes played at the Angel Stadium since 1990, home of the Los Angeles Angels.

Dedicated to the Needham High School Class of 1972 Varsity Field Hockey Team.

Class of '72 Players:

* Kate Grasso * Kathi Nye * Valerie Jones * Mary Ann Power * Janis Merkel * Barbara  

They didn't lose a game that season!

The Foundations 2012 - Build me Up Buttercup

February 26, 2022

NHS Class of 1972 - Our Class Song

You've Got A Friend - Carole King (1971)

Requested by:  Sheila Vara

You've Got a Friend was written by Carole King during the January 1971 recording sessions for her own album Tapestry and James Taylor's album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. King has stated that "the song was as close to pure inspiration as I've ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside myself, through me." According to Taylor, King told him that the song was a response to a line in Taylor's earlier song Fire and Rain that "I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend."


King's album was recorded in an overlap with Taylor's, and King, Danny Kortchmar (congas), and Joni Mitchell (back up vocals) perform on both. The song is included on both albums; King said in a 1972 interview that she "didn't write it with James or anybody really specifically in mind. But when James heard it he really liked it and wanted to record it".

Thank you, Sheila for dusting off our class song.  

Come back home for reunion and we will form a circle hand-in-hand and sing out loud our CLASS SONG!...(I don't think so).  

Carole King - LIVE at Mantreux (1973)

February 19, 2022

Layla - Derek and the Dominoes (1972)

Requested by:  Kris Bouyoukas

The song was inspired by a love story that originated in 7th-century Arabia and later formed the basis of 
The Story of Layla and Majnun by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, a copy of which Ian Dallas had given to Clapton. The book moved Clapton profoundly, because it was the tale of a young man who fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful young girl, went crazy and so could not marry her. The song was further inspired by Clapton's love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend and fellow musician George Harrison of the Beatles. Clapton and Boyd eventually married.

In 2004, "Layla" was ranked number 27 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

This is the second appearance of Eric Claption on our Music of Our Times page.  The first being our initial entry way back on December 4, 2021.  

"Every time you pick up your guitar to play, play as if it's the last time." - Eric Clapton

Thank you, Kris Bouyoukas...excellent choice!

Eric Clapton - Derek and the Dominoes - LIVE Madison Square Garden 1999

 

February 12, 2022

Joy to the World - Three Dog Night (1970)

Requested by:  Betty Ann Spencer (Dietz)


 Joy to the World is a song written by Hoyt Axton and made famous by Three Dog Night.
When Hoyt Axton performed the song to the group, two of the three main vocalists – Danny Hutton and Cory Wells – rejected the song, but Chuck Negron felt that the band needed a "silly song" to help bring the band back together as a working unit. Negron also felt that the song "wasn't even close to our best record".

The single had been out less than two months, when on April 9, 1971, Joy to the World 
was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

When the song hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1971, Axton and his mother, Mae Axton,
became the first mother and son to each have written a number one pop single in the rock era. 
Mae Axton co-wrote Heartbreak Hotel, which was the first number one hit for Elvis Presley.

The single went on to sell 5 million copies worldwide.

Thanks, Betty Ann

Joy to the World - Three Dog night LIVE (1975)

February 5, 2022

Lookin' Out My Back Door - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)

Requested by:  Bob Morrissey

Creedence Clearwater Revival Lookin' Out My Back Door was written by the band's lead singer and guitarist, John Fogerty, from their 1970 album Cosmo's Factory.

The song's lyrics, filled with colorful, dream-like imagery, lead some to believe that it is about drugs.
According to the drug theory, the "flying spoon" was a reference to a cocaine or heroin spoon, 
and the crazy animal images were an acid trip. Fogerty, however, has stated  that the song was actually written for his three-year-old son, Josh. Fogerty has also said that the reference to a parade passing by was inspired by the Dr. Seuss book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

The song begins and ends with the mention of Illinois, and locking the front door in a vain attempt 
to prevent his troubles there from following him home. Country singer Buck Owens is also mentioned in the song, and the music reflects some of the Bakersfield sound Owens made famous.

Thanks, Bob...this is a good one!

CCR - Lookin' Out My Back Door (Lip Sync?...you be the judge)

 

January 28, 2022

Baba O'Reilly - The Who (1971)

Baba O'Riley, also erroneously referred to as its chorus refrain "Teenage Wasteland", was written by Pete
Townshend for his Lifehouse project, a rock opera intended as the follow-up to the Who's 1969 opera, Tommy. When Lifehouse was scrapped, eight of the songs were salvaged and recorded for the Who's 1971 album Who's Next, with Baba O'Riley as the lead-off track.

The song is played at halftime of most New England Patriots home games, leading up to the second-half kickoff. Baba O'Riley appears at No. 159 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

The Who LIVE in 1979.  Daltry and Townshend... the consummate performers.

 

January 22, 2022

Teach your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)

Requested by: Bob Ponte

"Teach Your Children" is a song by Graham Nash. Although it was written when Nash was a member of the Hollies, it was never recorded by that group in a studio. The song first appeared on the album Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released in 1970.


David Crosby from the Byrds, Graham Nash from the Hollies, Steven Stills  and Neil Young from the Buffalo Springfield.

Thanks, Bob....excellent choice!

Teach Your Children - 11/3/1991 - Golden Gate Park

 

 

January 15, 2022

Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin (1970)

Requested by: Betty Ann Spencer (Dietz)

Janis Joplin recorded the song for inclusion on her Pearl album only a few days before her death in October 1970. Kris Kristofferson (the song writer) had sung the song for her and did not know she had recorded it until after her death. The first time he heard her recording of it was the day after she died. Joplin's version topped the charts to become her only number one single in 1971. Her version of this song is ranked No. 148 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

There are no live recordings of Janis singing this iconic song. 

Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee - Mix of TV Appearances

 

January 8, 2022

This Weekend's Song:

Sweet Baby James - James Taylor (1970)

Seems appropriate for those of us currently covered in snow.  James Taylor needs no further introduction.

 

January 1, 2022

New Year's Day - U2 (1983)

A VERY young Bono, Edge and Adam Clayton.  This was the released single off their War album and their first international hit.  Happy New Year, Rockets!

U2 - New Year's Day 

 

December 25, 2021

Little Saint Nick - Beach Boys (1964)

Before there was YouTube and music videos there was SHINDIG!  

 

"Run, run reindeer..he don't miss no one"  Happy Christmas, Rockets!

 

December 18, 2021

Maggie May - Rod Stewart (1971)

Requested by: Betty Ann Spencer (Dietz)

Sir Rod Stewart (“Rod the Mod” not “Rod the Bod”) released "Maggie May" on his Every Picture Tells a Story album, in 1971 and the song launched his solo career.  "Maggie May" expresses the ambivalence and contradictory emotions of a boy involved in a relationship with an older woman and was written from Stewart's own experience. In the January 2007 issue of Q magazine, Stewart recalled: "Maggie May was more or less a true story, about the first woman I had sex with. The woman's name was not "Maggie May"; Stewart has stated that the name was taken from an old Liverpudlian song.

 

Rod Stewart - Maggie May (Live Unplugged) Dedicated to NLS71

 

December 11, 2021

You're So Vain - Carly Simon (1972)

Requested by: Betty Ann Spencer (Dietz)

The subject of the "You're So Vain" song itself became one of the biggest mysteries in popular music, with the famous lyric "You're so vain/I bet you think this song is about you". For more than 40 years, Simon has not publicly revealed the name of the subject. She hinted that it could be a composite of several people, with most press speculation considering Mick Jagger, who sings backup vocals on the recording, and Warren Beatty. Simon hinted the identity to a variety of talk shows and publications over the years, and, on August 5, 2003, auctioned off the information to the winner of a charity function for US$50,000, with the condition that the winner, television executive Dick Ebersol, not reveal it. Finally, in November 2015, Simon, promoting her about-to-be-published memoir, said, "I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren" and added that while "Warren thinks the whole thing is about him", he is the subject only of that verse, with the remainder of the song referring to two other, still unnamed men.

For me, this is the perfect example of "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and to keep it alive in music lore for decades is pure mastery of "getting even". As you watch Carly sing in this video, you'll see she is still "sticking it to 'em."

Thank you, Betty Ann...great choice!

Carly Simon ...live on the Queen Mary (2005)

 

December 4, 2021

My Back Pages - Bob Dylan (1961)

“Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now “  

 Weren't we all!  

We’ll start it off with “My Back Pages”.  The 1961 version is vintage folk/poet Dylan.  The BYRDS (Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and others) covered the tune in 1967 off their “Younger than Yesterday” album.  My favorite is from the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert (1992) with Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton & George Harrison.