July 22: Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True (1977)

elvis costello my aim is true

On My Aim Is True, Elvis’ raw energy comes through in a way that’s never completely recaptured on later records. While the songs range from mellow country twang to full-on, spitting assault, there’s a strange cohesiveness to the album simply by virtue of its rough, rushed feel. Although it’s a studio album, there’s a latent energy to Nick Lowe’s production that grants My Aim Is True all the immediacy of a live show.
~Matt LeMay (pitchfork.com)

Elvis Costello’s debut album brought home to me just how timid Little Criminals really is. Costello’s best songs are anything but timid, but they’re as intelligent as some of Newman’s finest, as endearingly elusive in their meanings, and funny in the same bitter, self-deprecating manner. They are also, like Newman’s signature songs, very weird.
~Greil Marcus (rollingstone.com)

.. it’s that his sensibility is borrowed from the pile-driving rock & roll and folksy introspection of pub rockers like Brinsley Schwarz, adding touches of cult singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and David Ackles. Then, there’s the infusion of pure nastiness and cynical humor, which is pure Costello. That blend of classicist sensibilities and cleverness make this collection of shiny roots rock a punk record — it informs his nervy performances and his prickly songs. Of all classic punk debuts, this remains perhaps the most idiosyncratic because it’s not cathartic in sound, only in spirit.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (alldylan.com)

Welcome to the working week
Oh, I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you
Welcome to the working week
You gotta do it till you’re through, so you better get to it
~Elvis Costello (Welcome to the working week)

Welcome to the working week

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July 21: The Beatles Recorded “Come Together” in 1969

beatles-come-together

“It was a funky record – it’s one of my favorite Beatle tracks, or, one of my favourite Lennon tracks, let’s say that. It’s funky, it’s bluesy, and I’m singing it pretty well. I like the sound of the record. You can dance to it. I’d buy it!”

“The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook, Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him, you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?”
– John Lennon (Playboy, 1980)

Come Together” is a song by The Beatles written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on the album Abbey Road, and was released as a double A-sided single with “Something”, their twenty-first single in the United Kingdom and twenty-sixth in the United States. The song reached the top of the charts in the US, and peaked at number four in the UK.

I really love the song, one of John’s masterpieces!

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar, handclaps and tambourine
Paul McCartney: harmony vocals,electric piano and bass
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, maracas

 

uk_come-together

 

A-side Something
Released 6 October 1969 (US), 31 October 1969 (UK)
Format 7″
Recorded 21 July 1969,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Blues rock, hard rock
Length 4:18
Label Apple
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin

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1976: 20 Songs you Must hear from 1976



The Year 1976 summary

  • Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot becomes prime minister (and virtual dictator) of Cambodia after Prince Sihanouk steps down (April 2).
  • Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda’s Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4).
  • 19-month civil war ends in Lebanon after threatening to escalate to global level (Nov.).
  • US: US Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24).
  • US: US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3).
  • US: Jimmy Carter elected US President (Nov. 2).
  • Movies: Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, All the President’s Men
  • Deaths: Agatha Christie, Andre Malraux

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

As usual.. a lot of wonderful music was released in 1976, again hard to pick only 20.

July 17: Jazz Legend John Coltrane Died 51 years ago in 1967

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being…When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups…I want to speak to their souls.”
~John Coltrane

All a musician can do is to get closer to the sources of nature, and so feel that he is in communion with the natural laws.
~John Coltrane

John Coltrane Quartet – Impressions (video)
McCoy Tyner:Piano
Jimmy Garrison:Bass
Elvin Jones:Drums:

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July 13: Happy 76th Birthday Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn’s sparkling, chordal 12-string Rickenbacker riffs on the Byrds’ early hits were the sonic bridge between folk and rock – and an irreplaceable color in rock’s palette: Every indie band who’s more interested in beatific strumming than screaming solos owes him a debt (the striking break in “Bells of Rhymney” could be on a Smiths record). McGuinn could do a lot more than chime, however, as demonstrated by his still-astonishing psychedelic-raga-Coltrane licks on “Eight Miles High.
rollingstone.com

James Roger McGuinn (born James Joseph McGuinn III on July 13, 1942) known professionally as Roger McGuinn and previously as Jim McGuinn, is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for being the lead singer and lead guitarist on many of The Byrds‘ records. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with The Byrds.

The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (aka Jim McGuinn) remaining the sole consistent member until the group disbanded in 1973.

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July 10: The Beatles released A Hard Day’s Night in 1964

A_Hard_Day's_Nigth

We were different. We were older. We knew each other on all kinds of levels that we didn’t when we were teenagers. The early stuff – the Hard Day’s Night period, I call it – was the sexual equivalent of the beginning hysteria of a relationship. And the Sgt Pepper-Abbey Road period was the mature part of the relationship.”
– John Lennon (1980)

A Hard Day’s Night is the third album by The Beatles; it was released on July 10, 1964. The album is a soundtrack to the A Hard Day’s Night film, starring the Beatles. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. This is the first Beatles album to be recorded entirely on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes.

HDN

In 2000, Q placed A Hard Day’s Night at number 5 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The soundtrack songs were recorded in late February, and the non-soundtrack songs were recorded in June. The title song itself was recorded on April 16.

…but A Hard Day’s Night is perhaps the band’s most straightforward album: You notice the catchiness first, and you can wonder how they got it later.

The best example of this is the title track– the clang of that opening chord to put everyone on notice, two burning minutes thick with percussion (including a hammering cowbell!) thanks to the new four-track machines George Martin was using, and then the song spiraling out with a guitar figure as abstractedly lovely as anything the group had recorded.”
– Tom Ewing, Pitchfork

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