March 18: Iggy Pop released The Idiot in 1977

The Idiot is the debut solo album by Iggy Pop. It was the first of two LPs released in 1977 which Pop wrote and recorded in collaboration with David Bowie. Although issued after Low, the opening installment of Bowie’s so-called Berlin Trilogy, the pair began writing and recording songs for The Idiot in mid-1976, before Bowie started work on his own album. As such, The Idiot has been claimed as heralding the unofficial beginning of Bowie’s ‘Berlin’ period, being compared particularly to Low and “Heroes” in its electronic effects, treated instrument sounds, and introspective atmosphere. A departure from the hard rock of his former band the Stooges, the album is regarded by critics as one of Pop’s best works. Its title was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot, three of the participants in the recording—Bowie, Pop and Tony Visconti—being familiar with the book. I will argue that there’s really a “Berlin-quintet” consisting of: The Idiot, Low, “Heroes”, Lust for life and Lodger.

Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, is equally a David Bowie album as a guest singer/composer; Davis Bowie co-wrote all the songs (except Sister Midnight that was co-written with Carlos Alomar and David Bowie) , played many of the instruments and produced it (kind of…). Tony Visconti tried to salvage the over-modulated tapes at the mixing stage.

Released March 18, 1977
Recorded July 1976 – February 1977,Château d’Hérouville, Hérouville, France, Musicland Studios, Munich, Hansa by the Wall, Berlin
Genre Post-punk, art rock
Length 38:49
Label RCA
Producer David Bowie (and Tony Visconti)

Funtime:

“Poor Jim, in a way, became a guinea pig for what I wanted to do with sound. I didn’t have the material at the time, and I didn’t feel like writing at all. I felt much more like laying back and getting behind someone else’s work, so that album was opportune, creatively”
– David Bowie

So, Iggy Pop acted as a guinea pig. David Bowie seemed tired of his ever-changing narrative or masks, so he used the opportunity making an Iggy solo record as a way to start re-inventing himself as well as Iggy. Iggy Pop and David Bowie worked extremely well as a team.

Personell:

March 16: Hank Williams recorded “Hey, Good Lookin'” in 1951

hank williams hey good lookin

Recording session:

Date: March 16, 1951 (1:30 – 5:00 pm)
Location: Castle Studio, Nashville, TN
Label: MGM

  • Hank Williams (vocal, guitar)
  • Jerry Rivers (fiddle)
  • Don Helms (steel guitar)
  • Sammy Pruett (electric guitar)
  • Jack Shook (rhythm guitar)
  • Ernie Newton or “Cedric Rainwater” (Howard Watts) (bass)
  • Owen Bradley or Fred Rose (pn)

Session:

  1. I CAN’T HELP IT (IF I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU) – 2:22 (Hank Williams)
  2. HOWLIN’ AT THE MOON – 2:41 (Hank Williams)
  3. HEY, GOOD LOOKIN’ – 2:53 (Hank Williams)
  4. MY HEART WOULD KNOW – 2:24 (Hank Williams)

4 great songs, but my fav is Hey, Good Lookin’.

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Great Song: Elvis Costello – Veronica

A great songwriter can take even an uncomfortable or difficult subject and turn it into an enjoyable and inviting song. When two of the best songwriters in the world come together, they can take that same subject and not only create a hit but also illuminate the subject in ways both surprising and moving.
-Jim Beviglia (Pump It Up: Elvis Costello’s 100 Best Songs)

Here are some facts, original version, lyrics & live versions.

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March 7: The late Townes Van Zandt was born in 1944

“I’m trying to define the relationship between man and the universe,….. often it’s between man and man, or man and woman, or man and the cosmos. Whatever song comes through the door I’m happy with.… I’m lucky just to play the guitar and sing.”
~TVZ (on the purpose behind his songwriting)

“Figures like Townes Van Zandt remind us that the wandering bard, that American archetype, is still very much with us—and his music will live long after the voices that declare it in or out of fashion have been stilled or forgotten.”
~Robert Palmer (New York Times/Deep Blues/++)

“I lived in Fort Worth till I was 8, Midland till 9, Billings, Montana, till 12, Boulder, Colorado till 14, Chicago till 15 … Houston till I was 21. And then I started traveling.”
~TVZ (to Contemporary Musicians (CM) in 1992)

If I Needed You:

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March 6: Furry Lewis Birthday

Good Morning, Judge.
What will be my fine?
Good Morning, Judge.
What will be my fine?
He said I’m glad I got to see you,
That’ll be a dollar forty-nine.

They arrested me for forgery, I can’t even sign my name
(Judge Harsh Blues)

Furry Lewis was the only blues singer of the 1920s to achieve major media attention in the ’60s and ’70s. One of the most recorded Memphis-based guitarists of the late ’20s, Lewis’ subsequent fame 40 years later was based largely on the strength of those early sides. One of the very best blues storytellers, and an extremely nimble-fingered guitarist into his seventies, he was equally adept at blues and ragtime, and made the most out of an understated, rather than an overtly flamboyant style.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

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March 3: Nick Cave – The Boatman’s Call (1997)

..It speak volumes about the album’s universality that its songs have soundtracked everything from Michael Hutchence’s funeral to Shrek 2.
~Stuart Berman (pitchfork.com)

The Boatman’s Call is one of his finest albums and arguably the masterpiece he has been promising throughout his career.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Into My Arms – live

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