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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #140

Just the TWO songs this week:

Caravan - Van Morrison (1973)

Honky Cat - Elton John (1972)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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"Honky Cat"

Elton John

Written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin. Released in July 31, 1972. The B-side was "Slave" It´s also a track of his album "Honky Château" (it refers to the Château d´Hérouville, in France, near Paris, where the album was recorded)

It reached #31 in the UK and #8 in the US.

From Wiki:

A fast, spirited number (circa 150 bpm) played without any guitar, "Honky Cat" is essentially about the illusion created by city life. The song is dominated by John's piano, but features the most extensive horn section on any Elton John song of the time to provide additional rhythm elements.

"Honky Cat" was his most "soul" like song of his classic period.

From Allmusic:

Not nearly as dark and progressive-oriented as Madman Across the Water and returning a hint of Tumbleweed Connection's fascination with American musical forms, Honky Chateau was overall a strong return to excellence for Elton John, and the opening "Honky Cat" is perfectly indicative of John and Bernie Taupin's renewed energy and lighter mood. A playful fusion of solo Beatles (the blaring horn blasts that decorate the choruses sound like they're straight out of John Lennon and Ringo Starr's singles) and the shaggy, loose-limbed groove of Allen Toussaint or Dr. John ( John seems to be going for a rough approximation of New Orleans stride piano in his solo interjections), "Honky Cat" sets up a sound and a mood instantly and then works them for over five lazily good-humored minutes. Somewhat improbably released as a single, "Honky Cat" made the lower reaches of the U.S. Top Ten, near the beginning of the period when seemingly everything Elton John touched went to gold.

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"Caravan"

Van Morrison

Written by Van Morrison. A track of his 1970 album "Moondance", included on his 1970 album, Moondance. According wikipedia,

...it was a concert highlight for several years and one of the songs on Morrison's 1974 acclaimed live album, It's Too Late to Stop Now.

It was also performed by Morrison with The Band in the 1978 film by Martin Scorsese entitled The Last Waltz which commemorates The Band's last concert appearance together before disbanding in 1976.

This song is about gypsy life and the radio which are both images of harmony. Van Morrison also based the song on real memories while living in a rural house in Woodstock, New York, where the nearest house was far down the road.

Morrison has said about the writing of this song:

I could hear the radio like it was in the same room. I don't know how to explain it. There was some story about an underground passage under the house I was living in, rumours from kids and stuff and I was beginning to think it was true. How can you hear someone's radio from a mile away, as if it was playing in your own house? So I had to put that into the song, It was a must.

Eric Clapton, when asked about his enjoyment performing in The Last Waltz said: " For me, Muddy [Waters] and Van [Morrison] steal the show. Van doing ["Caravan"] with the leg kicks. Some of the greatest live music you'll ever see."

Personnel on original release

* Van Morrison - vocals

* John Klingberg - bass guitar

* Jeff Labes - piano

* Gary Mallaber - drums

* John Platania - guitar

* Jack Schroer - alto saxophone

* Collin Tilton - tenor saxophone

Greil Marcus and Lester Band wrote in Rolling Stone, 3/19/70,

With "Caravan" one might begin to remember the early Impressions: the instantaneous aura of fantasy and desire that Curtis Mayfield created for "Gypsy Woman" tumbles down again as a fanfare on piano and the roll of drums and guitar open a composition of seductive grandeur. "Caravan" is a strange song; the images are easily real and the music is profoundly comforting, yet there's the edge of a story here that fades without ever revealing all it has to tell. "Now the caravan has all friends/Yes, they'll stay with me until the end...Gypsies...tell me all I need to know..." Woven between the fragments and framed by the textures of the horn with blazing imagination: "Turn up your radio/And let me/Hear the song/Turn on your electric light/So we can get down/To what is really wrong." The singer moves from the gypsy campfire to his lover and back again, with a lovely sort of affection. Van's singing is pure expression, pure sound; the band moves off and then forward again. A graceful soprano saxophone holds notes behind Van's words: "Now, the caravan is painted red and white/That means everyone is staying overnight..."

"It's a good thing he doesn't have much stage presence," said a friend after watching Van perform this song. "Otherwise it'd be too much to take."

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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #141

Just the two songs missing this time:

Everybody Plays The Fool - Main Ingredient (1972)

Sara - Bob Dylan (1976)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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"Sara"

Bob Dylan

Written by Bob Dylan. The last track of his 1976 album "Desire". According to wikipedia ...arguably Dylan's most public display of his own personal life. An ambitious tribute to his wife, Sara, it is possibly Dylan's only song in which he steps out of his public persona and directly addresses a real person, with striking biographical accuracy. Tim Riley wrote that it was "a fevered cry of loss posing as sincere devotion."

Dylan's marriage was in a turbulent state when he wrote the song. Dylan's estrangement from his wife had led to at least one separation in the previous year. Sara was present at the song's recording session, (on the same day he recorded two other songs that touched on the subject of marriage: "Isis" and "Abandoned Love"). However, In March of 1977, Sara Dylan filed for divorce.

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"Everybody Plays the Fool"

The Main Ingredient

Written by J.R. Bailey, Rudy Clark and Ken Williams. It was released in 1972 and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the Billboard R&B chart and at #25 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart.

The Main Ingredient were Cuba Gooding, Sr., Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons, Jr. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best R&B Song in 1973.

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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #142

THREE songs without facts this week:

Forever Young - Bob Dylan (1974)

No Particular Place To Go - Chuck Berry (1964)

Be My Lover - Alice Cooper (1971)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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"Forever Young"

Bob Dylan

Written by Bob Dylan. Performed by Bob Dylan and The Band. A track of his January 1974 album "Planet Waves". (there are two versions in the album).

It was first recorded by Joan Baez in 1970. Dylan also recorded a demo in 1973 (it was released in 1985). He wrote this song for his children.

According Wikipedia,

Though two different versions were released on the album, most critics and listeners defer to the "beautiful slow waltz of a performance" recorded on November 8th as the primary recording.

It´s one of the few songs from Planet Waves he still performs live.

Allmusic said:

One of Dylan's most charming and popular songs, "Forever Young" is an ode written for Dylan's children, a prayer for their youth, and although slightly cloying in places, it works beautifully. The lyrics are almost hymnal in their simplicity and grace — "May God bless and keep you always/May your wishes all come true/May you always do for others/And let others do for you" opens the song, and Dylan sings with full commitment to every word. One of the most touching images in the song is "May you build a ladder to the stars/And climb on every rung," preceding the chorus of "May you stay forever young." The song also produces one of the Band's finest performances on Planet Waves. Robbie Robertson's guitar especially is inspired. A slow, stately hymnal ballad, the song has been enduringly popular with Dylan's fans and is a regular concert favorite. The song has also been extremely popular with other artists, with artists as diverse as Diana Ross and Tim O'Brien recording versions of it, to varying degrees of success.

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"No Particular Place To Go"

Chuck Berry

Written by Chuck Berry. Released as a single in 1964, it reached #10 on Billboard Hot 100. It´s also a track from his album of the same year, "From St Louis to Liverpool". Paul Williams plays the piano.

Allmusic:

..."a characteristic rocker that found the singer in a car with his girl by his side, once again reflecting on the joys of youth and driving. Berry's comic sense came out in the song's narrative, as the singer and his girl have their romantic plans foiled by a seat belt that won't open — a typical metaphor from the lightly poetic songwriter. (And was it any accident that, late in the song, he referred to his car as a "calaboose" [i.e., a jail]?) Fronting a rhythm section, Berry played more guitar than usual, but "No Particular Place to Go" sounded a lot like his 1950s recordings, especially 1957's "School Days." At a time when the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Johnny Rivers were hitting the charts with his old songs, however, that only made "No Particular Place to Go" timely, and by July 1964, it was in the Top Ten — Berry's first Top Ten hit in six years and his last one for eight. That same month, Jerry Lee Lewis covered it at a concert recorded for his The Greatest Live Show on Earth LP, released later in the year. But it has not earned as many cover versions as many of Berry's other songs; his followers seem to prefer his '50s work to the material he recorded in much the same style in the '60s. One exception is George Thorogood, who played "No Particular Place to Go" frequently in his shows and put it on his gold 1982 album Bad to the Bone.

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"Be My Lover"

Alice Cooper

"Be My Lover" is the second cut off the band's 1971 album, "Killer". It was written entirely by guitarist Michael Bruce. It's just a simple tune about a woman Bruce met at a club...a simple tune with an AMAZING guitar riff.

The lyrics make reference to the woman wondering why the singer is named Alice (you know, being a man, and all), to which Bruce replies that it's a long story and "you really wouldn't understand." The band has differing stories to how they actually got the name, Alice Cooper....the most popular being that the name came up on the board while playing a game of Ouija.

She struts into the room

Well I don't know her

But with a magnifying glance

I just sort of looked her over, hmm

We have a drink or two

Well, maybe three

And then suddenly she starts telling me

Her life story

She says

Baby, if you wanna be my lover

You better take me home

'Cause it's a long long way to paradise

And I'm still on my own

Told her that I came from Detroit City

And I played guitar in a long-haired rock and roll band

She asked me why the singer's name was Alice

I said listen, baby, you really wouldn't understand

And I said

Oh baby, if you wanna

Be my lover

You better take me home

'Cause it's a long long way to paradise

And I'm still on my own

Oh baby, if you wanna

Be my lover

You better take me hoooooome

'Cause it's a long long way to paradise

And I'm still on my oooooown

Ooooooh

:afro: :afro: :afro: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #143

THREE songs needing facts:

Wrong Thing To Do, The - Mudcrutch (2008)

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five - Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)

New Orleans Is Sinking - The Tragically Hip (1989)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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"Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five"

Paul McCartney & Wings

Written by Paul McCartney, recorded in 1973 and released in 1974 as a single -the B side for the single "Band On The Run"- and as a track of his album "Band On The Run". It is said that it´s also an answer to John Lennon´s "How Do You Sleep".

Wikipedia says that

...sometimes also spelled "1985".... this tune is the climactic track of the album...

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"New Orleans Is Sinking"

The Tragically Hip

From their album "Up To Here", released in 1989.

Written by The Tragically Hip: Gordon Downie (vocals), Bobby Baker (guitar), Paul Langlois (guitar), Gord Sinclair (bass), and Johnny Fay (drums).

The group from Ontario took their name from a Michael Nesmith video entitled Elephant Parts.

According Wikipedia,

"New Orleans is Sinking" is perhaps the band's most well-known song. When performed live, Downie often goes off on an ad-libbed tangent. In the most famous such version, a B-side from the 1994 CD single "Grace, Too", he performs a monologue about swimming with orcas, one of which bites his arm off after its mate falls in love with him. This version is often known as "Killerwhaletank". In other known versions, including the one that appears on the live album Live Between Us, he sings additional verses from songs by David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and The Beach Boys.

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Sorry these are late, I've been extra busy with work lately.

The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten #144

Just TWO songs factless this week:

Keep The Customer Satisfied - Simon & Garfunkel (1970)

Down To Zero - Joan Armatrading (1976)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five - Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)

From Wiki:

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (sometimes also spelled "1985") is a song by Paul McCartney and Wings. Recorded in 1973, this tune is the climactic track of the album Band on the Run. One of Paul McCartney's lesser-known songs, it is generally considered by fans as an answer song to John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?" (another answer song, "Let Me Roll It", also appears on the Band on the Run album). It has been featured on the 2001 documentary DVD Wingspan and Paul McCartney & Wings' 1974 TV special One Hand Clapping. The song has a grandiose ending with a full orchestra and the band. On the album Band on the Run, it suitably ends the album with an excerpt of the opening song. This song is featured on several episodes of Trigger Happy TV.

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Keep The Customer Satisfied - Simon & Garfunkel (1970)

The B-side of the 1970 single, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and also included on the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album, "Keep the Customer Satisfied" is perhaps Simon and Garfunkel's closest approach to "rock". The duo shares the lead vocals, harmonising every word from start to finish, and the song builds throughout reaching a wild climax on the back of the increasingly uninhibited brass section.

That's my own quickie summary. It's hard to find much written about the song out there on the interwebs.

LBB

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"Down To Zero"

Joan Armatrading

Written by Joan Armatrading, it´s the first song of her eponymous third album. It was released in September 1976.

Produced by Glyn Johns, with members of Fairport Convention and The Faces collaborating. B.J. Cole plays pedal steel guitar.

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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten 145

TWO songs missing this week:

Down By The Water - PJ Harvey (1995)

Stray Cat Strut - Stray Cats (1981)

If you have any info on any of the songs mentioned anywhere in this thread, please feel free to post your knowledge here. Submissions on songs will be collated and sent to the main site and you will receive credit for your contribution.

The Songfish thanks you.

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Stray Cat Strut

Stray Cats

Written by Brian Setzer. Produced by Dave Edmunds.

Released in April 1981 in the UK and in December 1982 in the US. It was a single that had "Drink That Bottle Down" as the B-side, but in the US it was "You Don't Believe Me"and

"What's Goin' Down (Cross That Bridge)" was the B-side in Japan.

A track of their debut album “Stray Cat Strut†in the UK, it appeared on "Built for Speed" a year and a half later in the US. The song peaked at #3 on the Bilboard Hot100. The video was among the first videos aired by MTV.

Wikipedia:

In the October 1998 issue of Guitar World magazine, Brian Setzer's solo from Stray Cat Strut ranked #92 on the "Top 100 Guitar Solos Of All Time" list.

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