10 Songs is a weekly list of ten songs that happen to be on my mind at the moment. The lists are usually dominated by songs played on the previous Sunday night's edition of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. The idea was inspired by Don Valentine of the essential blog I Don't Hear A Single.
This week's edition of 10 Songs draws exclusively from the playlist for This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1103.
THE MONKEES: You Just May Be The One
"You Just May Be The One" is a track from the Monkees' 1967 album Headquarters. It was produced by Chip Douglas (credited under his real name Douglas Farthing Hatlelid) and engineered by Hank Cicalo. Douglas also sang back-up on the track.
You know who else was on that session? The Monkees. And no one else.
The song was written by Michael Nesmith, who sang lead and played electric and acoustic guitars. Peter Tork played bass. Micky Dolenz played drums. Davy Jones played tambourine. Yes, the precise line-up and instrumentation we saw on their TV show. Peter, Micky, and Davy joined de facto deputy Monkee Chip Douglas to sing behind their wool-hatted prime mate Michael. It's the Monkees. For all the ill-informed crap we've heard about the Monkees not playing their own instruments, this is the Monkees. No slight to the amazing Chip Douglas, whose integral contributions made it all happen, but on "You Just May Be The One," it is effectively only the Monkees.
And it's fantastic. It shoulda been a single.Both Davy and Peter have left us. On Sunday night, as This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio blared its mighty sound across the whole friggin' planet, surviving Monkees Mike and Micky took the stage in Los Angeles for the final date of the Monkees' farewell tour. There will still be a few more stand-alone shows--a cruise with the Beach Boys, and isolated make-up dates for previously-scheduled concerts postponed because of...well, you know--but this is the end of the road.
THE GRIP WEEDS: Porpoise Song
The Grip Weeds appreciate the Monkees. Smart folks, those Grip Weeds. And those very same smart folks have a new covers album called DiG, which is available in single-, double-, and triple-disc editions. You know how sometimes less is more? With the Grip Weeds, more is more, and the two- and three-disc versions of DiG include two Monkees covers, of "For Pete's Sake" and the sublime Gerry Goffin-Carole King number "Porpoise Song." The Monkees' "Porpoise Song" merits a chapter in my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), and the Grip Weeds serve the song well. Dig?
SPYGENIUS: Paper Sun Love Is Only Sleeping
Spygenius appreciate the Monkees. And their fab new covers album Spygenius Blow Their Covers also includes two Monkees songs. Both the Grip Weeds and Spygenius cover "For Pete's Sake," and Spygenius deliver their rendition of the Monkees' "Love Is Only Sleeping" as a medley with their take on Traffic's "Paper Sun." This is a brilliant gathering of the tribes, mixing Traffic's classic rock perennial with a Monkees album track. For those of us who remember the condescension some FM radio rock fans used to ooze while smugly disdaining the Monkees, this medley demonstrates the prevailing silliness of that artificial divide, that arbitrary insistence that one thing is hip and one thing is not. In Spygenius' capable hands, the Monkees song is as heavy as the Traffic song, and the Traffic song as pop as the Monkees song. And since Spygenius accomplishes faithful covers of both, that even-handed compasrison applies equally to the originals. I spy genius at work here.
THE DOORS: Hello, I Love You
The Doors appreciated...man, I have no idea whether or not the Doors appreciated the Monkees. But they should have. Let's presume they did.
And my introduction to the Doors was no less (potentially) prosaic as my introduction to the Monkees via a weekly TV show: I first recall learning of the Doors in the pages of a superhero comic book.In 1972, the 38th issue of the DC Comics title Teen Titans opened with a scene of clairvoyant Titan Lilith dancing to the Doors' "When The Music's Over." Since twelve-year-old me already had a little bit of a crush on our Lilith, her recommendation of what rock group I oughtta be listening to could not be taken lightly. The men didn't know. This little boy understood. Sort of.
|Lilith's first appearance, Teen Titans # 25, drawn by Nick Cardy|
(And later, when I became a fan of the Kinks during my senior year in high school, I realized that "Hello, I Love You" was very heavily influenced by the Kinks' "All Day And All Of The Night." Lilith may have known. I'm sure she understood.)
WENDI DUNLAP: Buildings
Pop music. Gorgeous, inviting pop music. What more do you need? Wendi Dunlap's new album Looking For Buildings offers your opportunity to fall heart-first into a dreamy, luxurious bed of pure radio-ready bliss. Wendi Dunlap has just the building you're looking for.
LITTLE RICHARD: Good Golly Miss Molly
I was born in 1960. Growing up in the '60s and early '70s, most of my introductions to 1950s rock 'n' roll came via proxy, and that proxy was usually your John, your Paul, your George, and your Ringo. I first heard the music of Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Larry Williams in cover versions by the Beatles on the American hodgepodge LPs Beatles '65 and Beatles VI. That's also how I first heard Little Richard.
For my money, the Beatles improved Berry's "Rock And Roll Music," Holly's "Words Of Love," and Williams' "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Bad Boy," and drew a tie with Perkins on "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby." Even the Beatles couldn't improve on the Georgia Peach. Little Richard's songs were done best by Little Richard.
(And, ever the adolescent, I'd say Miss Molly sounds like a fun date if she sure likes to ball. No, you grow up.)
HAYLEY MARY: Like A Woman Should
Intrepid TIRnRR listener Dave Murray introduced us to Australian singer Hayley Mary with a YouTube video of her 2020 single "Like A Woman Should," with Dave commenting, "I love everything about this song." We agree. Oh man, do we ever agree.
MANDY MOORE: Moonshadow
As I continue my current obsession with the TV series This Is Us, we welcome one of that show's stars, singer and actress Mandy Moore, back to the ol' playlist with a spin of her cover of the Cat Stevens hit "Moonshadow." The original was a big hit during the prolonged heyday of my '70s AM Top 40 thrall, but Moore gives the song a glossy shine that suits it well.
THE QUICK: It Won't Be Long
By the time of my senior year in high school, 1976-77, my radio allegiance had migrated from AM Top 40 to freer-form FM, specifically WOUR-FM, The Rock Of Central New York. OUR played Michael Nesmith, so I exempt the station and its jocks from the charge of anti-Monkees bias I leveled at other, lesser FM outlets a few paragraphs North of here. In that time frame, WOUR also introduced me to Graham Parker, the Rubinoos, Greg Kihn, Nick Lowe, and the Sex Pistols, and the station wasn't afraid to play oldies by the Yardbirds, the Animals, the Rascals, and the Dave Clark Five.
And WOUR played the Quick. Or at least they played the Quick's cover of the Beatles' beloved Meet The Beatles LP track "It Won't Be Long," from the Quick's 1976 album Mondo Deco. I don't recall having heard anything by Sparks by this point in my time line, so I was oblivious to Sparks' influence on the Quick. And while the Quick's take on "It Won't Be Long" certainly didn't steal any of my affection away from the early Beatles, I did get its quirky pop appeal, then and now.
ANDY WILLIAMS: A Fool Never Learns
Something about following Dana's spin of the Velvet Underground's S & M ode "Venus In Furs" with Andy Williams' jaunty 1964 hit "A Fool Never Learns" was immediately appealing and irresistible. It's all pop music.
"A Fool Never Learns" was written by Sonny Curtis, whose own rockin' pop c.v. spans working with Buddy Holly before the formation of the Crickets (a group Curtis himself later joined) and writing all-time touchstones "I Fought The Law" and "Love Is All Around," the latter used as the much-loved theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Andy Williams' "A Fool Never Learns" was yet another part of my cherished soundtrack as a kid. I have learned of no reason to forsake that foolish thing. I suspect it's not really foolish at all.
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This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.
The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:
Volume 1: download
Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio: CD or download
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