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Reelin’ in the Years – 1968

Of note – Wendy (formely Walter) Carlos released Switched-on Bach in 1968, groundbreaking in more ways than one. Pianist Glenn Gould said “Carlos’s realization of the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto is . . . the finest performance of any of the Brandenburgs – live, canned, or intuited – I’ve ever heard.” portlandpianolab.com – Image via Joe Haupt Flickr

It’s 1968 and I’m 6 years old.

This time around I checked the American and Canadian charts to decide on my fav pop radio song for ’68.

I don’t even know if it really is my fav song. But I thought I would highlight The Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye” as a fantastic example of a finely crafted pop tune. Also, time to stop ignoring The Beatles, arguably the best pop-rock band to appear in musical history.

There are several great songs this year. “Hello Goodbye” was listed on the Canadian but not the US Billboard charts for ’68. I’m not sure if that’s a release date or national preference discrepancy.

I remember hearing it as a kid in my brother’s room. He had a pretty good stereo for those days. And it really jumped out of the old speakers. If was fresh. Different. And the lyrics caught my young mind.

Paradox?

Someone liking someone who dislikes them? And the main character in the song is confused about it?

Magical Mystery Tour

Magical Mystery Tour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All pretty new for a six year old. So that one really stuck.

As an adult, of course, I totally get it. But back then… intriguing.

I think the video (below) is a bit weak. The Sgt. Pepper’s imagery was already stale when Magical Mystery Tour came out. But the song itself sparkles.

Paul McCartney was widely recognized as a great bassist from the late ’60s to the mid-’70s, and rightly so. Just listen to that bassline. So innovative, yet it always finds its way back to the root. And Ringo’s drumming. Well, I think Ringo is a fabulously creative drummer. Some say he was terrible and couldn’t drum his way out of a wet paper bag. Others feel like I do. Ringo = Brilliant.

Ringo grew up not being able to afford a real drum kit so practiced on anything he could get his hands on. It shows. In a great way. His rolls are so Ringo. Nobody else could come up with the stuff he produced. A standard rock drummer wouldn’t have cut it with the Beatles. Everything had to be different, unconventional. Including the drums.

And just when you think “Hello Goodbye” is over, we find a false ending. What starts up after isn’t just more of the same but a whole new singalong jingle.

I don’t think that was too common for 1968.

So for its sheer originality and expert craftsmanship, this is the tune for ’68.

Magical Mystery Tour actually has several outstanding songs. Songs I probably like better as an adult. But in ’68 they were more for FM than AM. And as a 6 year old, I just wasn’t there yet.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Budget Beats (ask.metafilter.com)

 North Korean Figure Skaters Make Olympic Debut, To Cheers (gpbnews.org)

 Music icon Quincy Jones says Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen can play guitar ‘just like’ Jimi Hendrix (businessinsider.com)

 Upcycling Your Musical Instruments (builddirect.com)

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Ray Thomas

The Moody Blues were important to me growing up. Was just thinking how I didn’t really mark the passsing of Ray Thomas. He was an essential component of the band, especially during its classic 70s years.

Pretty sure he wrote this tune. He’s definitely singing.


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1966

The Monkees, 1966 via Wikipedia

Boy oh boy. There are so many good tunes for the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1966 that I really had to scratch my head over choosing just one. I am now 4 years old and remembering more songs as I grow older.

We had the Monkees 33.3 record with “Last Train to Clarksville.” My last name is Clark so as a kid that got my attention.

Even as a child, though, I sensed that the Monkees weren’t really the best of bands. A made-for-TV copy of the Beatles. We had oodles of Beatles 33s and 45s kicking around. So I had a good basis for comparison.

The Monkees were catchy. But they weren’t the Beatles.

Most cars in the mid-60s only had an AM radio. 8-track, FM and cassette were soon to follow. In Canada, the speedometer still used MPH. We took a turn to KM (and Celcius) in the 70s. I remember reading in the paper that metric was more “international.” – Image via Wikipedia

Later in life I came to appreciate and really adore Frank Sinatra. But in ’66 he was more of a middle-aged act than a young person’s thing. Frank was going out of style. “Strangers in the Night” did chart and won a Grammy for Record of the Year. But it didn’t fly with the teeny-bop crowd. Rock and Roll was “here to stay” as Neil Young would sing.

Mind you, that swanky era wasn’t totally gone. My parents’ generation still bought records like that. Funnily enough, I don’t remember seeing any Sinatra records in my parents’ collection. My love for Frank just came naturally later in life as I enjoy most types of music, especially the greats.

Sinatra, pictured here with Eleanor Roosevelt ...

Sinatra, pictured here with Eleanor Roosevelt in 1960, was an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party until 1968. – Image via Wikipedia

For the 1966 best song, however, I chose The Mamas & The Papas’ “Monday Monday” because, like “Downtown” (1965), it was one of those songs that stayed with you, even when you weren’t near the radio.

Notice the pre-hippy fashion in this video. Elvish colors and collars. Pinstripe pants. Hair getting a bit longer and shaggier. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, The Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed , Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy and Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow were just around the corner. And that, my friends, was a whole new ballgame.

To me, the opening vocals in this tune are like a tulip coming out in April. Something so new, so fresh, so positive. Even though the song is about a sad Monday, it’s still upbeat, uplifting.

That’s flower power, man!

You can just see Sinatra and his fellow crooners burying their heads in their hands, heading for Vegas where they can still squeeze out a few bucks for booze, cigarettes and who knows what else.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Rita Ora, Grace Jones, and English National Opera to headline Henley Festival 2018 (telegraph.co.uk)

 An Interview With Quincy Jones Is Like A Box Of Chocolates. You Never Know Who He Met … And What He Did (allaccess.com)

 Jay-Z opens up about why he boycotted the Grammys in 1999 (bostonherald.com)

 Music icon Quincy Jones says Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen can play guitar ‘just like’ Jimi Hendrix (businessinsider.com)

 Why the UK Just Appointed a Minister of Loneliness (livescience.com)

 Prince Honored By Justin Timberlake In NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show [Social Media Reactions] (business2community.com)


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1964

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arrivi...

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport – Wikipedia

So it’s time once again to pick my fav song for a particular year. This time 1964.

’64 was the year of the British Invasion. Take a look at the Billboard top 100 for that year and you’ll be amazed how many Beatles tunes fill the chart. I started to get mixed up counting at around 10 or 11. The top two songs are also Beatles songs. Simply amazing.

Oh, did I already use that word? 🙂

We all know about the Beatles, so I thought I’d skip those tunes, as fabulous as they are, and focus on another one I really like. My brother had this 45 record and I remember playing it as a young boy and being entranced by the storyline.

Basically, a guy loses his gal in a car wreck and vows to be good so he can reunite with her in heaven.

I guess that was the beginning of my turn to spirituality, but I didn’t know it then.

Enjoy the tune.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years


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Plastic Bags – Fix Mix

Duh… I mixed the first one with my computer EQ boosted around the voice level (to hear an old movie). This morning I realized the error, which made “plastic bags” a bit quieter than intended. Here’s a quick fix.

I’ll leave the first one because sometimes my fixes turn out not as good as the originals. It usually takes a bit of time to find out which is best.


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Plastic Bags

goofing around with some freeware…


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Interesting Katy Perry version of Head Over Heels (classic 80s tune by Tears for Fears)