My Crazy Heart

1coIn the late 1960’s
songwriter J.D. Souther
penned the lyrics to a song
that I have always related to–

It was called “The Fast One“,

— although I remember
it best as:
“My Crazy Heart”

For some reason,

I’ve always thought of it
as my personal Valentines
Day Theme song —

and,

1amwith V.D. only a couple drips …
eerrr….

I mean….
… only a day away,

I figured
let’s post the lyrics ! ”

Well,
why not,
I ask you ?????

Ok, so,
I’ve added some very,
very cool vintage Valentines
to the mix, too —

I’m figuring these are all pre-1960,
— and some are much older.
1hammer
Actually,

several of the great cards on today’s post were brought to you by:
Jen at Blog It or Lose It

your first stop shop
for all things poetic.

1lawAlso a honorable mention
to my old friend R for
demanding more cards,

— and thus prompting
this somewhat impromptu
post in the first place.

And my friend SC had
also dropped a few of
these in my inbox, too —

but she likes to keep
a low profile, so, ’nuff said.

Alrighty, then —

— music, maestro.

“The Fast One”
words and music by J.D Souther.

a2You don’t know how I feel
You don’t seem to care
If I let you see it through my eyes
You wouldn’t see anyone there

It’s no wonder I been crying
It’s no wonder that I’m blue
My crazy heart was gone and let somebody know
When it’s time for me to go

Tired of being lonely
a3Tired of what you do to me
Hear it raining in my heart

Well I’ve been lonely before
But I’ve been so long without sunlight
I can’t take another day more

No wonder I been crying
It’s no wonder I been blue
My crazy heart can’t tell me why

I can’t tell you goodbye
Oh no, I’m tired of all this tragedy
I’m giving you back your misery

a4You better put on a fast one
I think I’m gonna pull through
You better play another fast one
No matter what you do

Put your money in a fast one
I don’t wanna hear the blues
Put on another fast one
Trying to forget about you

Well it ain’t no wonder I been crying
It’s no wonder I been blue
a6My crazy heart can’t tell me why

I can’t tell you goodbye
Darling I’m tired of being lonely
Tired of what you put me through

Now you better put on a fast one
If you want me to pull through
You better play another fast one
No matter what you do

Put your money in a fast one
I don’t wanna hear the blues
Put on another fast one
Trying to forget about you

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1satisfyNow,
just in case you don’t recognize those lyrics,

Linda Ronstadt’s terrific version of the song is below.

On a more personal note,

1waI hope all my friends up in the Northeast U.S. are doing fine,

— staying warm and indoors.

It’s been cold here in the South,

but nothing like those guys up there and out west have been dealing with.

Just remember we’re thinking about y’all.

Hoy!

a8

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Sunday Morning Music — Chick Singers

maebassI’m guilty.

An online friend called me on this recently,
on my post about the “Top Rock Albums of the 80’s”.

I had only one female performer listed.

( if you don’t count the bass player
for the Talking Heads, Tina Weymouth —
—-who is very, very, very good. )

I’m sorry, dammit.

Not withstanding the fact that I have every album that:
Carly Simon,
Diane Shuur,
Amy Winehouse,
Lydia Pense,
Janis,
Linda Ronstadt,
Anita Baker,
or Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries) ever made….

Hey-
I’m the only guy I know who owns all of Karen Carpenter’s solo work.

So, I do recognize what a force women have been in rock and roll…

And today’s post will be on “Cool Chick Singers” .

Ok— admittedly, it has a rather androcentric title,
but you wouldn’t want me to go turnin’ over a new leaf, now, would ya?

Now, I’m not gonna pretend to be all encompassing here…..
everybody knows that there are a gazillion good ones out there…..

And I figure the thousands that I skip
will leave me plenty of room for part 78 or part 117 blogs — etc, etc, etc…. ad nauseum.

But, I’d certainly appreciate you letting me know if I left any of your favorites out.

I recognize that some artists,
like Janis Joplin certainly belongs on any list of chick singers, no matter what genre ……

( have you heard her rare single:
” Janis Joplin — ” One Night Stand “? –
with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band ???)

…. as does Grace Slick,
Big Mama Thornton,
Dusty Springfield, Billie Holliday,
Sarah Vaughan, Cass Elliott,
Petula Clark, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Not to mention Joanie Mitchell, Janis Ian, Ruby Starr,
Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Judy Collins……

ooops…
there, I went and mentioned them anyway.
oh well.

A couple of these artists I have already focused a post on elsewhere,
like Ruby Starr, or Lydia Pense, so they might not get a further mention here.

This list ain’t in no particular order, either….

I hate to play favorites, ya know.

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Ok… this first one is a favorite, and I am playing it.

winehouse

Amy Winehouse has been described in a number of different ways–

Newsweek called her a “perfect storm of sex kitten, raw talent and poor impulse control”,

and the New Statesman was less kind: referring to her as a “filthy-mouthed, down-to-earth diva”.

Fuck them.

Nobody with any taste reads those crappy magazines anyway.

What is important is Winehouse’s voice, style and phrasing —
Absolutely phenomenal.

Of course, most people only know one song of hers, “Rehab”,
….. which I have to say is less than stellar.

And since she prematurely self-destructed on drugs and alcohol in 2011 at age 27, the likelihood of hearing more of her MUCH, MUCH better work on the radio is pretty unlikely.

So, take it from your Ole Uncle Nuts —
— spend your last 10 bucks on her last recorded album — “Back To Black“.

Forget what you heard about her, forget the socio-cultural clap-trap.

On this, her second and last album to be released before her death…
you will hear a voice as sweet and soulful as Mahalia Jackson,
but as down & dirty as Janis ever was,
phrasing like only Blue Eyes used to use,
and raw power like Rollins on Stanozolol.

Important cuts are “Love is a Losing Game”, “Back to Black”, and “You Know I’m No Good”.

Man, it breaks my heart she won’t be around to do more stuff like this one.

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lindaLinda Ronstadt was unquestionably one of the most important female singers of Rock’s most important decade — the 1970’s.

The fact that she was only recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, 2014, doesn’t diminish this importance — it might even emphasize it, considering how many great artists have been ignored by it.

In Linda’s case, her innate talent carried her through these years with a string of hits like “Tumblin’ Dice”, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, and “Just One Look” —

— but not until she started working with Nelson Riddle on the first of three albums of classic American pop songs, like the Gershwins’ “I’ve Got A Crush On You”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do?”, Rodgers and Hart’s “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”, or Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady”, did her ability get matched up with technique.

Linda credits Nelson Riddle with teaching her breath control, phrasings and tonalities–

Now, she was free to reach her full potential as a great singer– and she certainly did so, with a number of beautifully and well-crafted albums, that ran the gamut from Jazz and Country to R&B, and of course, Rock.

Here’s Linda singing one of Warren Zevon’s pieces — “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me” .

 

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Christine McVie and Fleetwood Mac :fleetwood

Yes, they’re touring again…..

And it might surprise you to hear me say that Stevie Nicks was not my favorite singer in Fleetwood Mac.

Christine McVie has a much more beautiful voice, with a wider range, and better phrasing too.

Sure, maybe Stevie is sexier, in a goofy, impenetrably Orphic way,
….. but Christie’s mellow, mature delivery has always been much more appealing in the long run– and she’s a much better songwriter.

Her solo albums, at least the last two, one self titled,
from 1984, and “In The Meantime” from 2004, are real gems.

Important solo cuts include:
“Got A Hold On Me”, “Friend”, and “You Are”.

The fact that Christie was no longer touring with the group
was a painful reminder for me that all good things must come to an end—-

——— but she’s back — as of May, 2014.

Miracles really can happen, I guess.

I think I’ll actually go see them this year.

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I’m gonna get a bit wonky on this next one, and if you call me crazy, well, I can dig that…

It seemed a bit crazy when I had the idea, but I figured I’d run it up the flagpole and see who dropped their pants.

everythingIf you’re in the United States,
you probably never heard the music of Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt —

Collectively known as “Everything But The Girl“.

Right?

How about Corinne Drewery and Andy Connell —
and “Swing Out Sister” ?swing

Ah.

Hmmm….
how to explain, how to explain.

It’s like this…..
both of these groups have a huge following in the U.K.,
and I got to see Swing Out Sister in Japan and they took the place over.

They just don’t get any airplay here in the States.

You might have heard Sister’s “Breakout” ,
and maybe you’ll recognize Tracey’s voice from “Driving” —

As different as the groups are musically, they still have the same easy-going but still relevant pop groove going for ’em, and that’s why they ended up grouped together here—

That, and because I keep a playlist on my IPod dedicated just to their music.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, start out with these cuts :

Swing Out Sister : ” Something Every Day” , ” Time Tracks You Down” , “LaLa Means I Love You” —
…… the whole “Beautiful Mess” album is wonderful.

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Everything But The Girl: ” Temperamental”, ” Rollercoaster”, “Meet Me in the Morning”.

I like “Amplified Heart” as their best album.

Oh, and pull yer pants up.

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Goldfrapp: goldfrapp

Actually another English duo — with Alison Goldfrapp on vocals, and Will Gregory on synth,

their sound is fresh, poppy, and hard to explain………

Maybe it’s just a state of mind.

Whatever it is, it’s fun , sexy, and easy to dance to.

And it makes great gym music.

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Grace Potter and the Nocturnals:

graceA singer and a band that plays straight from the heart —

it feels like music straight from those heady funk-rock-fusion days of the 1970’s…..

You must hear them LIVE if you can….

…. they toured with Gov’t Mule last year and really kicked up some dust.

Grace Potter plays organ, piano, guitar — and of course, she does vocals.

There’s no need for any studio tricks or auto-tune for this chick —
—- she can sing, dammit.

Sure, she’s hot, too.

But that’s not why she’s on this list.

She’s even got Vermont chocolates named after her– with red pepper flakes and pistachio.

They’re called “Grace Under Fire”.

Watch her play, and you’ll get it.

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Sandy Denny Sandy

Dammit, I’m running out of time for this post, but I was determined I would get time to talk about the ultimate folk-rock diva — Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention.

As is often the case with abundantly talented people, Sandy was as hard to handle as a runaway dog sled, but her singing overrode all that — for a while, anyway.

She was a
( oh forget it, I’m tearing up and I’m outta time. )

I adored this lady.

The sound of Sandy’s voice still makes me stop, in wonder, in admiration, in ennui.

Here’s the song she is most remembered for, and one that has been redone so many times over the years in tribute to her songwriting —

“Who Knows Where The Time Goes”, with Fairport Convention.

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So anyway, I’m gonna have to revisit this topic later–
———- there’s way too many great ones I left off.

Care to make any suggestions?

HOY!

Sunday Morning Music Post

a1aaWelcome to our Sunday Morning Music Post !

Dammit — it’s pouring down rain.

Not great weather for a motorcycle,
but, oh, well.

Being wet ain’t all bad, ya know.

Today we’re gonna feature some cool cuts and rare performances
from two of the most talented ladies who ever graced the popular music stage.

Minnie Riperton and Linda Ronstadt .

To start you out, check out this rare studio tape
of the Magnificent Minnie Riperton singing:

Inside My Love” —
from the Mike Douglas Show, 1977.

.
minnieThe first time I heard her voice,
I knew I was in love.

She had a sweetness, a verve, a way of phrasing……..

but much more importantly, did she have a range —
more than five octaves wide.

And she could hold a note-
— any note —
for what seemed an eternity.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing….

The skill with which she practiced her craft,
the freshness and joie de vive.

Her personality just came alive in her music.

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” Here We Go ” (with Peabo Bryson )

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And she could move you to any emotion she pleased, just using her voice.

Minnie, born in Chicago in 1947, studied music and dance from an early age, and performed often at Lincoln Center in her youth.

By the time she was twenty, she had worked with such big name artists as Etta James, Chuck Berry, Ramsey Lewis, and Muddy Waters.

She sang for a time with a group called “Rotary Connection” – and it was with this group that she performed at the first official Catholic Rock Mass in Milwaukee, in 1969.

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” Perfect Angel ”

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Her solo albums are really where you will hear her voice shine, though….

Although she is best known for her “Perfect Angel” album,
… and particularly the single “Loving You”,
it would be a shame if this was the only work of hers that was available.

Happily, that is not the case….
and much of her best work is available on a set called “Capitol Gold: The Best of Minnie Riperton”.

.

” If I Ever Lose This Heaven ”
( with Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, and Leon Ware )

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Her most outstanding album by far is called “Come to My Garden” (1972) —
– which was her first solo album, and produced by Charles Stepney.

Her fifth album, “Minnie”,
was also extremely well done and always an enjoyable listen,

….. despite the fact that this was her last album
before her tragic, premature death from cancer at age 32.

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Lovin’ You

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Every time I see her daughter, Maya Rudolph, on TV,
I can’t help but remember the beauty of Minnie’s music…
and the legacy for everyone that she left.

” Loving You” was a song written specifically for Maya.

You can hear Minnie sing Maya’s name at the end of the song.

Minnie was a joy, and her early loss a tragedy for popular music.

Mere words cannot do justice to her work.

I hope you will check out a couple of these videos, and become a fan of Minnie’s, too!!

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Adventures In Paradise – LP

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lindaLinda Ronstadt was unquestionably one of the most important female singers of Rock’s most important decade — the 1970’s.

The fact that she was only recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, 2014, doesn’t diminish this importance —

— it might even emphasize it, considering how many great artists have been ignored by it.

In Linda’s case, her innate talent carried her through these years with a string of hits like:

Tumblin’ Dice”,

Poor Poor Pitiful Me”,

and “Just One Look” —

— but not until she started working with Nelson Riddle
on the first of three albums of classic American pop songs,

like the Gershwins’ “I’ve Got A Crush On You”,

Someone To Watch Over Me”,

Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do?”,

Rodgers and Hart’s “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”,

or Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady”,

— did her ability get matched up with technique.

Linda credits Nelson Riddle with teaching her breath control, phrasings and tonalities–

Now, she was free to reach her full potential as a great singer–

— and she certainly did so, with a number of beautifully and well-crafted albums,
that ran the gamut from Jazz and Country to R&B, and of course, Rock.

She even did a wonderful album in the New Wave style — ” Mad Love

I hope you enjoy the links –
As a bonus,
here’s Linda singing one of Warren Zevon’s pieces —
Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me” .

And of course, one of Linda’s best albums —
Hasten Down The Wind

I hope you had a gas listening to this post, y’all.

HOY!

Gorilla, You’re A Desperado

poopI was semi-pleased to see Warren Zevon finally- if posthumously– has made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…

Poor Linda Ronstadt had to wait until she was too sick to be able to attend her own induction before she was selected….

…. despite being one of the Muscleheaded Blogs’ Top Five Rock and Roll Chick Singers of All Time.

And of course, Warren ain’t going to his induction either, having died in 2003.

Warren always put a lot of wit and snarky-ness into his music,

…. which I very much appreciate —

And sometimes I feel like he was writing this stuff about my life.

If you haven’t heard Warren’s music,
I can give you an example of the kind of lyrics he loved to write ,

……… from a song called “Gorilla, You’re A Desperado”.

zevon

Big gorilla at the LA Zoo
Snatched the glasses right off my face
Took the keys to my BMW
Left me here to take his place

I wish the ape a lot of success
I’m sorry my apartment’s a mess
Most of all I’m sorry if I made you blue
I’m betting the gorilla will too

They say Jesus will find you wherever you go
But when He’ll come looking for you
They don’t know
In the meantime, keep your profile low
Gorilla, you’re a desperado

He built a house on an acre of land
He called it Villa Gorilla
Now I hear he’s getting divorced
Laying low at L’Ermitage of course

Then the ape grew very depressed
Went through transactional analysis
He plays racquetball and runs in the rain
Still he’s shackled to a platinum chain

Big gorilla at the LA Zoo
Snatched the glasses right off my face
Took the keys to my BMW
Left me here to take his place

I’ve posted a link to the piece, so you can get a full appreciation of it
…..  it’s a favorite of mine.

I don’t know how really I feel about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though.

I know that people of my generation are supposed to be all enthusiastic supporters of the whole deal….

Well, rah, rah, rah.

But, in a way, I feel like it’s the very antithesis of what Rock and Roll was originally supposed to be about…. isn’t it ?

The idea that music business moguls would build a multi-million dollar museum to honor the great artists of the genre seems natural, I guess.

As you’d expect,

it’s a big, fancy, rather over-done place with plenty of glitz, glamor, and extremely valuable artifacts–

—- right there next to the river in Cleveland, Ohio.

And you figure that 25 bucks admission times 8 million —
( not to mention the fortune being made on gift items and souvenirs..)
— that’s
….. ummm… carry the 7, lessee….

Well, it’s a lotta money, man.

Now, wait just a mo, here.

Has Rock and Roll really been hijacked by a bunch o greedy bastards just for the love of money ?????gorilla

:-O

Say it ain’t so.

Ok,

And since you probably already know,

— that I’m a bit of an anti-establishment crank when it comes to that kinda thing …

You may ask the obvious question, now.

???? Where the hell have you been ????

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But, just in case you do wanna contribute to the further enrichment of the already obscenely rich and famous —

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is open every day from 10 am-5:30 pm,
–and in summer, it’s open Saturdays until 9pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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drano