I dunno if this bugs anybody else but me…..
But, you know when you’re listening to the radio,
— and a song comes on —
….especially one you haven’t heard for a while….
And as it’s playing, you suddenly realize your favorite part of the song is missing?
………. fucking ‘radio edits’.
Yeah, you know what I mean, alright.
I thought FM Radio meant the end of those damn radio edits,
— but NOOOOOOOO.
I got some of my favorite classic Rock and Roll and R&B songs cued up–
— that sounded one hundred times better before they were edited down to 2 1/2 minutes so the stations could play more commercials.
if you got any of your own,
…. drop me a line and tell me about it.
After you’ve listened to mine, of course.
Cause some of these are on your list,
(Note: all these links were working as of 17 February 2015, at 0600.)
“Layla” by Derek and the Dominos — is a legendary recording —
A 7:01 long piece that is dominated by a gorgeous instrumental, starting around 3:10, featuring soaring slide guitar runs by Duane Allman….
Usually today, you hear only the first 3:10, with a fade out before the good part really kicks in.
What a buzz kill THAT is.
The story of this record, some of which is apocryphal, goes something like this:
A group of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends alumni, including Dave Mason, Jim Gordon, Carl Radle, Bob Whitlock, and of course, Eric Clapton– started on an unnamed recording project ( the provisional name of the band was Eric and Friends ) — but it was slow going.
While visiting Dickie Betts and Duane Allman, who were recording at Miami’s Criterion studios, the band met Tom Dowd, who agreed to produce them if they would record the album there.
Duane agreed to add his talents to the work, and all of a sudden, the project took off.
“Layla“, was a piece written for the album primarily by Eric Clapton as a love song dedicated to George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd.
But, the instrumental piano piece at the end is credited to drummer Jim Gordon —
Although, according to Bobby Whitlock, Gordon ‘borrowed’ it from Rita Coolidge:
” Jim took that piano melody from his ex-girlfriend Rita Coolidge. I know because in the D&B days I lived in John Garfield’s old house in the Hollywood Hills and there was a guest house with an upright piano in it. Rita and Jim were up there in the guest house and invited me to join in on writing this song with them called ‘Time.’… Her sister Priscilla wound up recording it with Booker T. Jones…. Jim took the melody from Rita’s song and didn’t give her credit for writing it. Her boyfriend ripped her off.”
The piece rarely got played live, either —
Duane died within a year in a motorcycle accident, Eric got hooked on hard drugs, Radle was drinking heavily, and the band broke up before they could do another album.
Yes, quite a lot of drama circled around this project…..
And, since Gordon has been confined to a mental institution since 1984, for killing his mother with an axe during an LSD flashback, ( because his dog told him to do it ) , we’ll probably never know the truth about the mysterious origins of the song’s mesmeric last 4 minutes.
One thing’s for sure, though —
“Layla“- in it’s entirety-
represents an important piece of rock and roll history.
This next one also drives me nervous , because the song’s best part is at the very end, and you never get to hear it on a radio cut.
It’s “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues, and many of you probably never even heard the GONG on the 7:38 long album cut, nor the spoken word portion that lies between 4:26 and the gong.
Is it somewhat reminiscent of a Renaissance Faire, and also a bit pretentious?
But it’s also hauntingly beautiful and emotionally stirring.
Hey, what’s a bit too much heraldry among friends, right?
It’s a masterpiece in E-minor–
……………… you can’t tell me it ain’t better this way.
Here’s the full version….
My third choice is a song I heard for the first time when I was age 11 —
and of course, it was the full, original version on FM Radio.
Iron Butterfly’s ” In A Gadda Da Vida ” —
……… and not the lousy live version, either.
Sure, the thing can be cut down from the original 17 minutes —
—-to a ridiculously ridiculous 2 minutes, 52 seconds—
But then you’d miss the whole minor key G-E-G-E-A-F#-A-F#-B-Dm-A-A7 vibe,
……not to mention the tremendous Ron Bushey drum solo.
Are you kidding???
A piece of music that I always enjoyed stumbling across on the FM dial when I was a teenager,
— was a rather strangely titled song written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi, which originally ran about 12 minutes.
I’m not saying I understand the lyrics….
But, the music is a masterwork of jazz-rock with a myriad of cool shadings and a very interesting vibe.
AM Radio sheered it down to a meaningless 3:12.
Here’s the full version of Traffic’s “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys“.
Rare Earth’s “Get Ready” was done at a time when rock bands were being given a relatively free hand to record their art the way they wanted.
At least, that’s what happened in Rare Earth’s case.
The truth is, Rare Earth was a white blues-rock band signed to a primarily R&B label, Motown Records.
Motown executives knew they had a potential winner, but didn’t have the slightest idea what Rock and Rollers really wanted.
So, they gave them a Smokey Robinson tune to record for their second album, named the Rare Earth side label after them, and let the band do their thang.
The resulting album version, rarely aired today, is a joy to hear !
Ok– The Temptations.
Instantly you probably think of one of those classic Motown hits that made those guys the icon they are today.
“Papa Was A Rolling Stone”,
“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”
……………. et al.
But, some of their best work was done during their ‘psychadelic’ period.
If you’ve never heard the full version of “Masterpiece” —
Well, here’s your chance.
Probably not many folks remember the Chambers Brothers….
A Southern-rock-pop-soul-funk-psychadelic act from Mississippi,
— they hit it really big with one song —
But, if you do get to hear it on the radio, it’s usually a chopped up mess.
On the other hand, if you’re into the music of the late 1960’s, the original 11 minute “Time Has Come Today” will blow your proverbial mind.
And speaking of Motown….
( I was, ya know… )
My last record for today’s post is an interesting piece of R&B history– if not Motown, exactly.
Actually, more like Philadelphia.
And, truthfully, it’s not even an original version.
I know, terror of terrors, right?
I’m sure you’ve heard the O-Jays’ “Backstabbers ” ….
What you probably haven’t heard is the best version of it —
…… cut from the original masters and remixed by the ingenious ‘Philly Sound’ producer Tom Moulton.
I’m sorry, I really am…. but fax is fax, ya know.
Inspired by another ‘Philly Sound’ piece,
– namely the Undisputed Truth’s ” Smiling Faces Sometimes” –
It tells the unhappy story of a pop star who can’t keep his buddies from visiting his house (and his wife) while he’s gone.
Somehow, Tom Moulton has found a way of increasing the angst value in an already angry call to arms.
Here it is.
OK— now, it’s your turn —
Let me know your favorites !!!!
Alrighty — as for the readers favorites:
Here’s Jen from Blog It or Lose it’s List:
Beatles’ Hey Jude. And on the subject of Beatles, it was a sneaky trick to put the FAST “Revolution” on air and the SLOW “Revolution on the White Album.
Doors – Light My Fire AND Riders on the Storm
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant — song NEEDS the comedy behind it!
Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Chile
Pink Floyd — Shine on You Crazy Diamond.
And hey — I think a lot of Floyd got “chopped” — hmmm…
Guns & Roses – November Rain
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s longer, instrumental version of Little Wing kicks ass.
Jadi Campbell’s choice is Golden Earring’s Radar Love —
— it’s hard to argue with THAT selection, for sure….
it’s so much better in the long version it’s not even funny!!!
My old friend Brett’s suggestions:
In the past year I stumbled on Steve Gunn, a bluesy guitarist who seems to specialize in longer play numbers. Check out his “The Lurker” and “Old Strange” for some mesmerizing guitar punctuated with just the right amount of lyrics. The Tedeschi-Trucks Band has a great long-play version of “Darling Be Home Soon” with an extended guitar solo by Derek Trucks that leads to a riveting crescendo ending. For something different and wonderful that mixes East and West, Krishna Das’s kirtan music is fantastic with its extended numbers, such as “Bhajelo Ji Hanuman”. All of these can be found easily on YouTube.
Cheryl-Lynn at Tracesofthesoul also had some interesting suggestions:
More Than Words by Extreme is probably 20 years old but the last guitar piece is rarely aired, and Girl on Fire (Inferno Version) the beginning is not often aired as well which is the raison d’être of the song.
Carolyn from Doesitevenmatter3 selected some cool ones, too:
Pink Floyd “Echos”
Steve Miller “Macho City”
Doors “Light My Fire”
Don Henley “Heart of the Matter”
Sugarloaf “Green Eyed Lady”
Don McLean “American Pie”
Note: That Sugarloaf piece really was OUTSTANDING!!
and Carolyn made me think of another long, lost long version that I always loved:
The Canadian Band Lighthouse doing “One Fine Morning”
and while we’re talking about BRASS —
Well, here’s Chicago’s album version of “Beginnings”.
MrsFever submitted a link to a wonderful Clapton piece:
Keep your favorites rolling in , y’all !!!! 🙂