Tag Archives: 1977

October 14: David Bowie released “Heroes” in 1977

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“And you,
You can be mean
And I,
I’ll drink all the time
‘Cause we’re lovers,
And that is a fact
Yes we’re lovers,
And that is that”
― David Bowie (“Heroes”)

Continue reading October 14: David Bowie released “Heroes” in 1977

September 2: Bad Reputation by Thin Lizzy was released in 1977

Thin_Lizzy-Bad_Reputation-Frontal

Bad Reputation is Thin Lizzy’s eighth studio album, released in 1977. As the front cover suggests, most of the tracks feature only three-quarters of the band, with guitarist Brian Robertson only credited on three tracks. He had missed most of their earlier tour, following an injury sustained in a brawl, and this album turned out to be his last studio effort with Thin Lizzy.

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Phil Lynott at Winterland 1977 Photo: Chris Bradford

Allmusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote:

“Teaming up with legendary producer Tony Visconti, Thin Lizzy managed to pull off a nifty trick of sounding leaner and tougher than they did on Johnny, yet they also had a broader sonic palette. Much of this is due, of course, to Visconti, who always had a flair for subtle dramatics that never called attention to themselves, and he puts this to use in dramatic effect here, to the extent that Lizzy sound stripped down to their bare bones, even when they have horns pushing them forward on “Dancing in the Moonlight” or when overdubbed vocals pile up on the title track. Of course, they were stripped down to a trio for most of this record: guitarist Brian Robertson (who’d injured his hand) had to sit out on most of the recording, but Scott Gorham’s double duty makes his absence unnoticeable. Plus, this is pure visceral rock & roll, the hardest and heaviest that Thin Lizzy ever made, living up to the promise of the title track. And, as always, a lot of this has to do with Phil Lynott’s writing, which is in top form whether he’s romanticizing “Soldiers of Fortune” or heading down the “Opium Trail.” It adds up to an album that rivals Jailbreak as their best studio album.”

My three favorite Lizzy albums are:

1. Bad Reputation
2. Johnny The Fox
3. Jailbreak

It is strange to listen to these albums now, they are so mellow and soulful. We regarded them as hard rock records in the late 70s, but now I will describe them as Hard-rock/soul albums. And how great is Phil Lynott’s singing, he’s a great soul singer!

Dancing In The Moonlight (Live and Dangerous, DVD):

Continue reading September 2: Bad Reputation by Thin Lizzy was released in 1977

Classic Concert: Tom Waits Rockpalast 1977

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Classic Concert: Tom Waits Rockpalast 1977

Excellent quality recording of Tom Waits, live at WDR Studios, in Koln, Germany on April 18th, 1977. Running time is 79 minutes, the quality is 8 out of 10. The performance is great, classic, jazzy Tom Waits. I’ve collected the whole show into one playlist.

Rockpalast (Rock Palace) is a German music television show that broadcasts live on German television station Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR).Rockpalast started in 1974 and continues to this day. Hundreds of rock and jazz bands have performed on Rockpalast. Some acts were recorded for broadcast and for retail sale. All-night marathon shows called “Rock Night” (Rocknacht) were produced once or twice a year from 1977 through 1986 and simulcast throughout Europe via the Eurovision network of TV broadcasters. This was one of the most important influences on my musical education growing up. I longed and lived for those “Rock nights”. We all did, and we arranged all night parties when they aired. Ah, good times!

This is early jazz-quartet style Tom Waits as opposed to the more ragged and loose Waits he turned into after Swordfish Trombones and Rain Dogs. It is different but I love both eras. This is maybe the best tv-concert from that period.

Enjoy!

Continue reading Classic Concert: Tom Waits Rockpalast 1977

The Best Songs: Tecumseh Valley by Townes Van Zandt

The Best Songs: Tecumseh Valley by Townes Van Zandt

I first heard this song when Emmylou Harris sang it, then I heard Nanci Griffith’s version on the album, Other voices other rooms. Great interpretations both of them. It made me seek out Townes Van Zandt’s versions, they’re even better!

John Townes Van Zandt I (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), best known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American singer-songwriter. Many of his songs, including “If I Needed You” and “To Live Is to Fly”, are considered standards of their genre.

While alive, Van Zandt had a small and devoted fanbase, but he never had a successful album or single and even had difficulty keeping his recordings in print. In 1983, six years after Emmylou Harris had first popularized it, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song “Pancho and Lefty,” scoring a number one hit on the Billboard country music charts. Despite achievements like these, the bulk of his life was spent touring various dive bars, often living in cheap motel rooms, backwoods cabins, and on friends’ couches. Van Zandt was notorious for his drug addictions, alcoholism, and his tendency to tell tall tales. (Wikipedia)

Early version from the album, For the sake of the song:

Late version (more like the one on Our Mother The Mountain):

Continue reading The Best Songs: Tecumseh Valley by Townes Van Zandt

Today: Iggy Pop released The Idiot in 1977

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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)

Iggy Pop (w/ David Bowie) – Funtime and Sister Midnight (live 1977):

“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:

Iggy Pop – vocals
David Bowie – keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, piano, saxophone, xylophone, backing vocals
Carlos Alomar – guitar
Dennis Davis – drums
George Murray – bass
Phil Palmer – guitar
Michel Santangeli – drums
Laurent Thibault – bass
Continue reading Today: Iggy Pop released The Idiot in 1977