Music Monday: February 27, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Saturday marked the 80th birth anniversary for George Harrison. The Quiet Beatle was born born February 25, 1943 in the London city he & his fellow Beatles would make famous, Liverpool. He was the first from the group to have a solo #1 song (“My Sweet Lord” in December 1970-January 1971) and the first artist to host a benefit concert to raise money & bring awareness to a cause he believed in (The Concert For Bangladesh held on August 1, 1971). And as if his years with The Beatles and his solo work were not enough, in 1988 he became a Traveling Wilbury with four other musical superstars: Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

The year 2001 was already horrible due to 9/11, but unimaginably it became even worse two months later when we lost Harrison to cancer at age 58 on November 29, 2001. It was a terrible blow to music and to me personally as George was always my favorite Beatle. His song, “Something”, is my favorite by the band despite the preponderance of Lennon and McCartney tunes.

Today’s track is the one that started my own music collection. It was released 50 years ago in May 1973 and it was the first single-yes, a 45-I ever bought for myself. It was Harrison’s second #1 single, hitting the top spot for one week on June 30, 1973. It also dethroned Paul McCartney & Wings’s song, “My Love” from the #1 spot after four conseciutive weeks.

Happy birthday, George. You are missed. Every. Single. Day.

Give me hope
Help me cope with this heavy load
Trying to touch and reach you with
Heart and soul

Beatles Mag Mystery Tour era

George 1970

Traveling Wilburys

Top: The Beatles circa 1967 (L-R: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon). Middle: Harrison circa 1970. Bottom: The Traveling Wilburys circa 1988 (L-R: Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Harrison and Tom Petty). (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

George Harrison: “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” (1973, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.


Music Monday: February 20, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today marks two milestones for the band, Steely Dan. This is from my 2021 post:

On February 20, 1950 Steely Dan co-founder, guitarist & songwriter Walter Becker was born in Queens, NY. He started the band with keyboardist & songwriter Donald Fagen after the two men met when they were both students at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, NY. On that same date in 1974, the group released their third studio album, Pretzel Logic. Let’s just take a minute to bask in the brilliance of that title, shall we?

You tell yourself you’re not my kind
But you don’t even know your mind
And you could have a change of heart

Walter Becker (L) and Donald Fagen (R) of Steely Dan circa 1974 & the album they released that year. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Steely Dan: “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (1974, written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 13, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

There have been many losses in the music world lately but this one is almost too much to bear. Burt Bacharach died on February 8, 2023 at the age of 94. And saying farewell to this absolute genius is hitting me incredibly hard.

Yes, he lived a very long unbelievably rich life where he established himself as one of the premier songwriters the world ever gave us. I discovered the ravishing music he wrote through his stunning collaborations with his equally talented lyricist, Hal David. The first time I heard “One Less Bell To Answer” I knew I had stumbled upon something glorious. And it only got better from there.

But any time I hear any one of their songs, I always come back to the first one. And any time a song transports me back to the innocent days of my childhood, when my world was beautiful, complete and whole, then I am reminded that for a little while, all was right in my universe. Nothing illustrated that point better than the soundtrack of that moment. And Bacharach was a significant contributor to mine.

I know I am not alone in my feelings. Tributes to this man are everywhere. Another one of my early musical loves, Michael McDonald, shared this on his Facebook page: “It’s hard to quantify the importance much less the beauty and pure joy of the musical legacy of Burt Bacharach. It will live on in the hearts of all of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, and no doubt, inspire this world with “Love Sweet Love” for generations to come”.

Pete Yorn shared this on on Twitter: “Burt hits home. Even though he had a great run, long life, so much music, his sound just reminds me of being a kid/driving around with my parents, and of that moment in time, of their time, brings it all up”.

And one of Bacharach’s friends, not to mention another musical legend, Herb Alpert, shared this on Instagram: “Burt was a dear friend, who was a humble creative giant with a big heart”.

In a post I wrote back in 2020 I described that when I first heard today’s Bacharach & David song, I absolutely swooned.  The singer is not one of my favorites but her work with this extraordinary writing team was a powerful force in the 1960’s.  Her voice is so soft and pretty, and delivers a great vocal to a gorgeous arrangement.  It is the best of what a sad love song should be:  succinct, poignant, evocative and leaving you begging for one more note.  I love so many Bacharach & David compositions (“Anyone Who Had A Heart”, “This Guy’s In Love With You”, “A House Is Not A Home” “The Look Of Love” to name a few) but this one I adore. I also love the sultry version of this track by Mr. Soul himself, Isaac Hayes.

Farewell, Mr. Bacharach. Artist. Maestro. Genius.

Top: Hal David, Dionne Warwick & Burt Bacharach circa 1964. Bottom: Bacharach circa 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Dionne Warwick: “Walk On By” (1964, written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David).

Isaac Hayes: “Walk On By” (1969, written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 6, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

February 7, 1964: The Beatles arrive in America for the first time. It changes their world.

February 9, 1964: The group appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. It changes our world.

January 30, 1969: The band holds an impromptu concert on the roof of Apple studios.

April 10, 1970: The Fab Four officially break up.

The six years between the first and last date might as well have been 60 years. In basically half a decade, The Beatles changed everything: music, culture, history, their own lives-past, present & future-and the lives of those around them. Thank you John, Paul, George & Ringo, for everything.

Beatles 1964

Beatles Hey Jude photo shoot

Top: The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964. Bottom: The Beatles in 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “I Saw Her Standing There” (1963, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe & well.