March 15, 2021
What would The Beatles' 1 album sound like if The Beatles never existed? What? That makes no sense. I did this show as a tribute to how every song they wrote (almost) was enduring and solid enough to be covered by their contemporaries as well as artists of the future.
The Kids From The Brady Bunch - Love Me Do (1972) This was the album on which "It's A Sunshine Day", "Keep On", and "Drummer Man" appeared. I guess you could call this album their Rubber Soul.
The Crickets - From Me To You (1964) At this point, The Crickets consisted of Sonny Curtis, Jerry Allison, Glen Hardin, and Jerry Naylor. Arranged by Leon Russell. Curtis would later write and sing the theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, "Love Is All Around". He wrote two other songs POACA know. "I Fought The Law", originally recorded by Bobby Vee (who replaced The Crickets on the bill the night Buddy Holly died), and "More Than I Can Say" which was a huge hit years later for Leo Sayer.
Brenda Lee - She Loves You (1965) The Beatles had acted as a support act for Brenda Lee when she headlined a gig at the Star Club in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1962. For any other artist of the time, that must have seemed like the toppermost of the poppermost. The year before this, she recorded "Is It True" featuring Jimmy Page on guitar.
Sparks - I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1975) Produced by Tony Visconti, who also produced Bowie's Berlin trilogy. I cannot listen to Sparks for very long. I think the people who love them have some sort of soul deficiency. But for completion's sake, here.
David Clayton-Thomas - Can't Buy Me Love (1975) I think this was his last solo album before rejoining Blood, Sweat and Tears. Whew. Hard to believe this was never issued on CD. After he rejoined, or maybe BECAUSE he rejoined, but more likely due to those old contractual obligations, their next two albums with him would be credited to Blood Sweat and Tears - Featuring David Clayton-Thomas. Did it make one damned bit of difference? It did not.
John Mayall - A Hard Day's Night (1976) The Beatles were deceptively excellent singers. This comes into evidence when others try to ape their recordings. Produced by Allen Toussaint, who wrote the entire record except for this one track. This album charted nowhere.
The Runaways - Eight Days a Week (1978) The Runaways were pretty limited instrumentalists. This is another deceptively difficult song to carry off. I don't think it's very good.
Alma Cogen - I Feel Fine (1967) "I'm so glad...he's got me in a whirl..." This recording was released posthumously a year after her death from leukemia. It is speculated that she had an affair with John Lennon, who shagged everything not tied down or named Cynthia at that point. Because he could.
Bee Gees - Ticket To Ride (1965) Released in 1970 without the consent of the group... but only in Germany, France, and Japan. The brothers didn't even know about it until they found it in a Swiss record store after the fact. They should have waited 7 more years. They would have made a mint.
Dolly Parton - Help! (1979) The bassist, Abe Laboriel, saw his son become Paul McCartney's drummer.
Marvin Gaye - Yesterday (1969) His next album was What's Going On.
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Day Tripper (1979)
Progress Organization - We Can Work It Out (1971) A Czech rock group. A little like Vanilla Fudge. They released exactly one album. This was on it. Aren't you happy I am here to do this stuff?
Kenny Rogers & The First Edition - Paperback Writer (1973) "If you really like it, you can help me write..." I imagine after this Kenny Rogers asked for his deposit on the practice room returned. This album was a soundtrack of their TV show of the time. I cannot tell if Thelma Camacho is on this record. I played a set of her solo stuff on one of my shows. It's awful.
Revelation - Yellow Submarine (1980) Sounds like Chic. Almost a carbon copy.
The Singers Unlimited - Eleanor Rigby (1977) A pretty cool reinvention of this excellent song. From Wikipedia:
Gene Puerling took advantage of cutting-edge, multi-tracking techniques of German studio engineer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer to create his harmonic concepts and the group's signature sound. In the overdubbing process, baritone Puerling and tenor Shelton would often add two additional middle parts, after which all parts were "doubled" and "tripled." Creating these extra tracks created the fuller, richer sound of the group's recordings. The group would record their songs by having Bonnie Herman record a simplified version of the melody, after which, Len, Gene, and Don would fill in the remaining parts. Once this process had been completed, Bonnie Herman's original melodic line would be replaced with a new one, in which she could add melodic embellishments and add "color" to the group's sound.
Bass singer Len Dresslar was known as the voice of the Jolly Green Giant ("Ho, Ho, Ho!") for over 40 years, as well as the voice behind other jingles.
Bonnie Herman was the singer of the original "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There" commercial jingle, which ran for several years. She is the daughter of Lawrence Welk's original Champagne Lady Lois Best and Jules Herman, who was a trumpeter in the Welk orchestra. She is the niece of big band leader Woody Herman.
Amen Corner - Penny Lane (1969) Amen Corner was a Welsh R&B-tinged pop band of the late '60s featuring singer Andy Fairweather-Low, organist Blue Weaver, guitarist Neil Jones, bassist Clive Taylor, saxophonists Allen Jones and Mike Smith, and drummer Dennis Bryon. You remember Dennis and Blue as two rock-steady members of that wonderful Bee Gees incarnation of the mid-to-late '70s.
The Anita Kerr Singers - All You Need is Love (1967) Another song that seems very simple, but without the dotted eight notes, it sounds like your rich Aunt is reading you a book. I like the touches of electric guitar.
François Glorieux - Hello, Goodbye (1977) This song translates unexpectedly well to slow classical piano...That caveman in the lower-left corner was a hidden member of The Beatles named Oook.
Buck Owens - Lady Madonna (1976)
Brothers Johnson - Hey Jude (1976) You should know, if you do not, about an album released in 1976 called "All This and World War II". The soundtrack made money but the movie tanked.
Get Back - Clarence Reid (1969) Reid had the talent and chops to be as big as Otis Redding or Wilson Pickett, but he became more popular doing dirty parodies of soul hits (“S–ting off the Dock of the Bay,” “What a Difference a Lay Makes?”) with his XXX-rated alter-ego Blowfly.
The Percy Faith Strings - The Ballad of John and Yoko (1970) Squaresville!
Isaac Hayes - Something (1970) All 11 minutes of it.
Willie Bobo and The Bo Gents - Come Together (1971)
Aretha Franklin - Let It Be (1970) Maybe the best of all of these. Aretha made some shitty choices, but she was an angel in front of a mic.
Peter Frampton - The Long and Winding Road (1978) This happened. We all traipsed down to the theater in anticipation of some connection, some meaningful validation of what looked like a miracle about to happen. I cannot lie. When Billy Preston popped out of that statue or whatever, I felt pretty let down.
The Hollies - Draggin' My Heels (1977)