Unpopular Gems

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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Susan Butcher on Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:12 pm

I think the best "prog" is from around 1969, when acid started to mutate into progressive. The complexity of the music seemed to have some point to it then.

The Raspberries were good, but they obviously wished they were English.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby willie on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:33 am

Susan Butcher wrote:The Raspberries were good, but they obviously wished they were English.

Doesn't everybody?

There's a show on BBC 6music called The Freak Zone... Some real gems on there, though at times it's pretty hard going. I listen on the iplayer and skip the '22 minute nose flute jazz' sections.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby jimmie ray on Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:52 am

redrabid wrote:I am afraid that I don't understand you, Jimmy Ray. No worthwhile instrumentation? Did you ever hear one of his (preferably early 70s) albums? The best musicians wanted to play on Randy Newman's records. Take for instance "12 Songs": Ry Cooder, Jim Gordon, Clarence White. Fabulous songs performed by great musicians. An excellent record that surpasses any prog rock album.


I know he wrote "Mama Told Me Not to Come", which was covered wonderfully by Three Dog Night. Other than that, he got a bunch of drivel featured on kiddie comedy movies that all sounds the same, with uninspiring piano accompaniment. Oh yeah, and his big hit - "Short People". Having world class musicians and award nominations credited to this level of putridity only makes it the more an absurdity. I'd file most of this under "Overhyped Turds", not "Unpopular Gems"?
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby redrabid on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:17 pm

Randy Newman's songs were featured in kiddie movies? I find that very amusing. I mean the guy wrote great satirical lyrics like:
"They all hate us anyhow.
so let's drop the Big One now'
let's drop the Big One now" (Political Science on Sail Away)

"We're rednecks, we're rednecks,
we don't know our ass from a hole in the ground" (Rednecks on Good Old Boys)

Of course he also wrote lyrics about an idyllic, lost America.
But again, I don't understand you, Jimmy Ray: Putridity? Why do you call his songs so?
You may not like his music, but a lot of artists did and recorded his songs. "You can leave your hat on" or "Guilty" for instance.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Susan Butcher on Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:12 pm

I loved "Simon Smith" when Alan Price did it, and I still do.

You aren't mixing Newman up with Nilsson, are you?
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby jimmie ray on Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:29 am

redrabid wrote:Randy Newman's songs were featured in kiddie movies? I find that very amusing. But again, I don't understand you, Jimmy Ray: Putridity? Why do you call his songs so?
You may not like his music, but a lot of artists did and recorded his songs. "You can leave your hat on" or "Guilty" for instance.


You have to understand, I'm not a movie buff or witty lyrics type person. My familiarity with this fellow is mostly songs done for the countless movies I've been dragged to, that he did songs for. Obviously, you are more familiar with his earlier albums - which may have had better instrumentals or meaning, and didn't suffer through "Toy Story" or "Awakenings". Joe Cocker did a good version of "You Can Leave your Hat On" in 9 1/2 Weeks, a movie that at least provided some naughty action afterward...
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby redrabid on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:32 pm

Thanks for your last post, Jimmy Ray. If you ever happen to find a copy of "Sail Away", give it a try. Randy Newman isn't much of a singer, but hey, you're a Hot Tuna fan, aren't you? So that may not be a big problem for you.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby jimmie ray on Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:21 am

Just about every Hot Tuna song is an "Unpopular Gem", to me. It kinda pisses me off that the radio never, ever plays any of their songs anymore. I would even think a song like "True Religion" would work well in a movie soundtrack, but what the fuck do I know?
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby PrayForPlagues on Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:48 pm

yeah, Hot Tuna is unpopular as far as I know. I've read so much about how Jorma has a "dreadful, flat and annoying voice" but I disagree. In all honesty, I like his voice much more than Marty Balin's
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby plasticfantastic on Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:06 pm

On the subject of unpopular or obscure bands, does anyone know anything about a band called The Velvett Fogg? I heard their version of "Come Away Melinda", and it was great, but I don't know of anything else by them.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:00 am

Jorma is too amazing a guitarist to even think about his vocals.I dont really care all that much if his voice isnt golden, I like it, it works with his stuff.Plus, people are born with the voice they have.He cant change that.I would like to find the person who said he had a "dreadful, flat and annoying voice" and smash them over the head with one of Jormas guitars.

I remember hearing Velvett Froggs version of Come Away Melinda a while back.Really liked it and almost put it on a rare prog/psych compilation I made years ago.

More rareness-
Bachdenkel - Lemmings(1973).Interesting band, had this and Stalingrad(1977), but never heard the latter.Similar to Pink Floyd around 1969-1970, just no keyboards.Lemmings appearently took three years to record.
Attila - Attila(1970) - Billy Joel pre-piano man.Nothing like his stuff everyone knows.Its a drummer, and Joel playing an electric organ of sorts, hooked up with wah-wah pedals and into marshal stacks with probably every switch on and the volume to 11, and he screams instead of sings the words, dressed as Attila the Hun.Wonderful album, dispite being called the worst record ever band by some throwaway album review and alot of people.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby redrabid on Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:26 am

Hot Tuna would have been much more succesful if Jorma Kaukonen would have allowed a strong vocalist next to him in the spotlight. Too bad Marty Balin wanted to be Boz Scaggs. I've always liked Hot Tuna but most of my friends declare me crazy for doing so. That I go apeshit overJefferson Airplane, well, that is something they are willing to understand but Hot Tuna? For them the main problem is Kaukonen's vocals. Personally, I don't care very much as long as Jorma and Jack heavily mistreat their instruments. But I do understand my friends. Jorma's voice is limited and it gives the recordings a nagging, droning quality, that puts many people off. Strangely enough I think that Jorma is more convincing singing ballads than hard rocking numbers. But supporting vocals by others are usually a great improvement. For instance "Third Week In The Chelsea". The harmonies by Grace Slick improve the recording of this beautiful song (that couldn't have been sung by anyone other than Jorma) very much.
If only Marty had sung "Startrack", it would have made a great JA single.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby plasticfantastic on Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:53 pm

Well, to be totally honest, I actually like Jorma's voice a lot. A bit folky, a bit blues-y, a bit keyless at times, but hell, so is Paul Kantner's and we aren't complaining about him. It's all totally opinion-based, but I really find his Hot Tuna vocals quite compelling.

Aside from the song "Crown of Creation," "Startrack" is my favorite thing on that album. I think it's quite a good vocal.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby PrayForPlagues on Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:01 pm

I have read in many places (like amazon) that Crown of Creation is a perfect album with the exception of "Star Track". I don't understand that at all- I think it is a great song! I have heard that it interrupts the flow of the album, but when I try to imagine another Kantner or Balin song in its place, I think that would make the album a bit stagnant. JA was great because they were all talented and provided their own unique "spice" to the albums. Jorma's songs tend to be among my favorites on JA albums because they bring in another sound and make the album feel... complete.
As for Hot Tuna, I think Jorma's voice does fine.

Unpopular gems? Um, I really like the Brazilian Tropicalia-Psych band Os Mutantes. They aren't unpopular in Brazil (they have a somewhat Beatlesque status with young people) but I haven't met another fan here in the states. Their music is fun and full of lots of different influences. They were actually considered outrageous in Brazil, because the band consisted of two older "bizarre" men and a very young pretty redheaded woman Their first album is more bossa nova influenced, with an overall folky-rock sound. The second album is their equivalent of After Bathing at Baxters, with many things that were considered radically experimental in Brazil such as sound effects, false starts, cartoon voice samples and a lot of genre bending. They went into a more classic rock sound towards the 70s. I reccomend them for someone interested in foreign psychedelic music!

Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothear are pretty cool too, they are Cambodian rock artists.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby redrabid on Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:37 am

"Star Track" is indeed a great song. Its heavy treatment foreshadows things to come. But again Jorma lacks technique and experience as a vocalist. The song suffers from it. It seems vain that Jorma wanted to sing his own songs. JA had two of the best rock singers ever (most bands nowadays don't even have one decent singer). But that "do-your-own-thing"-approach was what the Airplane was all about. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. But blessed with a sometimes overactive imagination I do hear Marty singing the lead on "Star track": Powerful, aggressive, as on "Volunteers", pushing the song forwards. It would have paled the Who.
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