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Posts Tagged ‘1975’

At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen is one of my favourite songwriters, I would rank him in my personal top 10. I first came across Springsteen in the late 1970s, when I became aware of his 1975 song “Born to Run”, and bought the album Born to Run on the strength of liking this song.

Springsteen was born in 1949 and grew up in a working class home in New Jersey. His father was mainly unemployed, and this poor upbringing coloured much of his music throughout his career; many of his songs deal with despair and desperation. Springsteen’s first album was the 1973 Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. (Asbury Park is a city in New Jersey and located on the Jersey shore. It is part of the New York City metropolitan area).

The first track on this debut album, “Blinded by the Light”, was released as a single, but failed to make any impact on the charts. It was later covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, who had a number 1 hit with  it in 1977. I remember this song in 1977, but at the time I had no idea that it was written by Bruce Springsteen; I had no idea who Springsteen was until about 1979.

 

At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Bruce Springsteen.

At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen’s breakthrough album was his third, Born to Run, which was released in 1975. This album opens with the incredibly energetic song “Born to Run”, one of the great rock anthems of all-time. This song was released as a single in August 1975 and was Springsteen’s first single to be released worldwide. Its chart success was modest, but it has since gone on to be considered one of the greatest songs of all time, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it at 21 in their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, I blogged about it here.

After Born to Run, Springsteen went on to have a string of hit albums and singles, including “Hungry Heart”, “The River” (which I blogged about here), “Dancing in the Dark” (one of his biggest hits), “Born in the U.S.A” (one of his best known songs) and “Streets of Philadelphia”.

The song which I have decided to share today is his 1994 hit “Streets of Philadelphia”. This poignant song was written for the movie Philadelphia, a movie starring Tom Hanks, who won an Oscar for his performance of a lawyer who contracts HIV and is fired from his job. It illustrates beautifully Springsteen’s songwriting skills, both with its wonderful lyrics but also its haunting melody.

I was bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt.
I was unrecognizable to myself.
Saw my reflection in a window and didn’t know my own face.
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin’ away
On the streets of Philadelphia.

I walked the avenue, ’til my legs felt like stone,
I heard the voices of friends, vanished and gone,
At night I could hear the blood in my veins,
It was just as black and whispering as the rain,
On the streets of Philadelphia.

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me.
It’s just you and I my friend.
And my clothes don’t fit me no more,
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip this skin.

Night has fallen, I’m lyin’ awake,
I can feel myself fading away,
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss,
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia.

Here is the official vide of this wonderful song. Enjoy!

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Today I am going to start my countdown of the top 30 songwriters according to Rolling Stone Magazine – I blogged a summary of the top 100 in this blog here. At number 30 in their list is Pete Townshend, who was/is The Who’s songwriter and lead guitarist. I have already blogged about my favourite Who song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” here, and also their best known song “My Generation” here. So, today I thought I would blog about their song “Pinball Wizard”.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Pete Townshend of The Who.

At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Pete Townshend of The Who.



“Pinball Wizard” was the hit song from The Who’s rock-opera Tommy, and the reason I have chosen to blog about this song is that it shows Pete Towshend’s ambition; writing a rock-opera is not something many other songwriters who had sung in the 1960s had done. But, Towsend often saw things on a bigger canvas than many of his contemporaries, and writing a rock-opera illustrates this nicely.

The first version of “Pinball Wizard” which I remember hearing was the 1975 version sung by Elton John, who sung it in the movie version of the rock opera. I only later became familiar with The Who’s version, which was released in 1969 on their album Tommy. It was also released as a single and got to number 4 in the Disunited Kingdom and to number 19 in the US Singles charts. Elton John’s 1975 version reached number 7 in the DUK.


Ever since I was a young boy,
I’ve played the silver ball.
From Soho down to Brighton
I must have played them all.
But I ain’t seen nothing like him
In any amusement hall…

That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!

He stands like a statue,
Becomes part of the machine.
Feeling all the bumpers
Always playing clean.
He plays by intuition,
The digit counters fall.

That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!

He’s a pinball wizard
There has to be a twist.
A pinball wizard’s got such a supple wrist.

‘How do you think he does it?
I don’t know!
What makes him so good?’

Ain’t got no distractions
Can’t hear no buzzers and bells,
Don’t see no lights a-flashin’
Plays by sense of smell.
Always gets a replay,
Never seen him fall.

That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball.

I thought I was The Bally table king
But I just handed my pinball crown to him.

Even on my favorite table
He can beat my best.
His disciples lead him in
And he just does the rest.
He’s got crazy flipper fingers
Never seen him fall…

That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball.


Here is a video of Elton John’s version of “Pinball Wizard” as he sung it in the movie Tommy.





And here is Tho Who’s original version, with Roger Daltrey singing it.






Which version do you prefer?

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At number 55 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs is “Walk this Way” by American rock group Aerosmith. This song was originally released in August 1975, getting as high as number 10 in the US singles charts. It was re-released in November of 1976, but actually didn’t come to my attention until it was covered by the rap group Run DMC in July 1986. The Run-DMC version became a World-wide hit, reaching number 4 in the US singles charts, and it got to number 8 in the Disunited Kingdom.



At number 95 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 best guitar riffs is "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith

At number 95 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs is “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith



In the Run-DMC version, Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry also feature, making the song more of a cross-over between rock and rap. The video features Run DMC practicing and being disturbed by Tyler and Perry also practicing the other side of a wall. After some banging on the wall, Run-DMC decide to carry on with their practice of what turns out to be a rap version of “Walk this Way”. After rapping the first two verses, just as the chorus is about to begin, Tyler’s head bursts through the wall to sing the chorus. In short measure the two bands are performing the song together live in front of an ecstatic audience. It is a funny and memorable video, and was most probably a factor in the song’s huge chart success. Both versions feature the guitar riff by Joe Perry which has made this song so well-liked.



The Run DMC cover of , released in 1986, was a much bigger hit than the original version

The Run-DMC cover of <em"Walk this Way", released in 1986, was a much bigger hit than the original version




backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
till I talked to your daddy, he say
he said “you ain’t seen nothin’ till you’re down on a muffin
then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways”
I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder
oh, the times I could reminisce
’cause the best things of lovin’ with her sister and her cousin
only started with a little kiss
like this!

seesaw swingin’ with the boys in the school
and your feet flyin’ up in the air
singin’ “hey diddle diddle”
with your kitty in the middle of the swing
like you didn’t care
so I took a big chance at the high school dance
with a missy who was ready to play
wasn’t me she was foolin’
’cause she knew what she was doin’
and I knowed love was here to stay
when she told me to

walk this way [8x]
just gimme a kiss
like this!

schoolgirl sweetie with a classy kinda sassy
little skirt’s climbin’ way up the knee
there was three young ladies in the school gym locker
when I noticed they was lookin’ at me
I was a high school loser, never made it with a lady
till the boys told me somethin’ I missed
then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor
so I gave her just a little kiss
like this!

[repeat second verse, substitute this at the end]
when she told me how to walk this way, she told me to

walk this way [8x]
just gimme a kiss
like this!


This is a video of the original Aerosmith version.





Here is the video of the Run DMC / Aerosmith cover version.





Which is your favourite version of this song?

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At number 21 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. I have already blogged about this amazing song here when I blogged about the album of the same name, but such a great song cannot be shared too many times!

This song is the opening track on the second side of the “Born to Run” album, and the song’s opening bars hit you like a freight train. It was released as a single in the summer of 1975, but surprisingly did not perform that well in the charts. It only got as high as number 23 in the US singles charts.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 21 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.




In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin’ out over the line
Oh-oh, Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

yes, girl we were

Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims
and strap your hands ‘cross my engines
Together we could break this trap
We’ll run till we drop, baby we’ll never go back
Oh-oh, will you walk with me out on the wire
`Cause baby I’m just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta know how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
Babe I want to know if love is real

Oh, can you show me

Beyond the Palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
Girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight
In an everlasting kiss

1-2-3-4!

The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody’s out on the run tonight
but there’s no place left to hide
Together Wendy we can live with the sadness
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul
Oh-oh, someday girl I don’t know when
we’re gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
and we’ll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Oh honey, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Come on with me, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Ru-uh-uh-un
Mm-mm-mm-mm
Uh-uh-uh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Ru-uh-uh-uh-un
Mm-mm-mm-mm
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Ru-uh-uh-un


Here is a video of this wonderful song. Enjoy!





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Today I thought I would share this song by Minnie Riperton – ‘Loving You’. I remember this song very vividly from my childhood, it was released in January 1975, and it is my understanding that it has one of the highest notes ever recorded on a pop song. It reached number 2 in the Disunited Kingdom, and number 1 in the US.



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Here are the lyrics.


Lovin’ you is easy cause you’re beautiful
Makin’ love with you is all I wanna do
Lovin’ you is more than just a dream come true
And everything that I do is out of lovin’ you
La la la la la la la… do do do do do

No one else can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtime
Cause lovin’ you has made my life so beautiful
And every day my life is filled with lovin’ you

Lovin’ you I see your soul come shinin’ through
And every time that we oooooh
I’m more in love with you
La la la la la la la… do do do do do

And here is a YouTube video of her performing the song (I’m not sure why she has a bush growing out of the side of her head, but this was the 1970s! 😛 ). Enjoy!





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Today I thought I would blog about this great song “Cân Yn Ofer” (“A song in Vain”) by the Welsh band Edward H. Dafis. It’s been too long since I shared a Welsh song, so today I am starting to put that right. This song was on the band’s 1975 album “Ffordd Newydd Eingl-Americanaidd Grêt o Fyw” (“Great new Anglo-American way of living”), and as you can hear and see from the lyrics, it is quite a plaintive song, with very powerful lyrics about indifference and following the crowd rather than attempting to make a difference. The lyric “Dinesydd bach fyddlon, rwy’n talu pob treth. Mae gen i statws, o ryw fath ‘ta beth” (I’m a faithful citizen, I pay all my taxes. I do have status, of some kind anyway”) is probably my favourite in the song, but the whole song has some wonderful lines.



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Pam ‘dan ni’n cefnu o hyd ac o hyd
Ar yr anobaith sydd yn y byd?
Pam yr holl falais? Pam yr holl drais?
Mae’n hen bryd i rywun godi ei lais.

Miliwn fan yma, miliwn fan draw,
Pam na all rywun estyn ei law?
Teimla eu hangen am luniaeth na ddaw,
Agor dy lygaid i’w newyn a’u braw.

Ac mae’r byd eto’n troi a throi,
Ofer yw ceisio ffoi,
Ac mae’r byd eto’n troi a throi,
Troi a throi, troi a throi.

Dinesydd bach ffyddlon – rwy’n talu bob treth.
Mae gen i statws, o ryw fath ‘ta beth,
Rwy’n ffug-resymegol, rwy’n swnllyd fel gweill,
Fy mhwrpas mewn bywyd yw dilyn y lleill.

Ac mae’r byd eto’n troi a throi,
Ofer yw ceisio ffoi,
Ac mae’r byd eto’n troi a throi,
Troi a throi, troi a throi.


Here is the video of the song, with the lyrics and an English translation. I may have translated the lyrics slightly differently in some places, but not enough to warrant my doing a different translation 🙂 Enjoy!




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