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The Songfactor's Choice Top Ten Facts


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The Songfactors' Choice Top Ten #234

This week there are three songs needing facts.

Swingtown - Steve Miller Band (1977)

When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) - The Beach Boys (1965)

Hymn 43 - Jethro Tull (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.

As always the Songfish thanks you :bow: :bow: :bow:

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Jethro Tull’s Aqualung was widely considered one of the first concept albums—a thematic set of songs that looked at society’s lower rungs on the first side, and at organized religion on the second.

The first side, of course, produced the famous title track, inspired by the homeless who lived near leader Ian Anderson’s London neighborhood. On the second side, Anderson came out against organized religion and in favor of a personal relationship with God.

The snarling, satirical “Hymn 43†comes from that side and featured much mad guitar riffage from Martin Barre, with just a little taste of Anderson’s trademark flute at the end.

Courtesy: Rockband.com

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"When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)"

The Beach Boys

Written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson.

It was released as a single in August 1964 with "She Knows Me Too Well" as the B-side, reaching #7 in Cash Box and #9 in the Billboard charts. The B-side was also a hit reaching#101 in Billboard and #93 in Cash Box.

In 1965 it was included in the Beach Boys LP "Beach Boys Today!"

The song was recorded over two sessions in 1964 at Western Recorders. The instrumental track was most likely recorded on August 5 with the vocals being overdubbed five days later on August 10. The instrumental track, arranged by Brian Wilson, featuresCarl Wilson on lead and rhythm guitars; Al Jardine on electric bass guitars; Brian Wilson on acoustic piano & harpsichord; Carrol Lewis on harmonica and Dennis Wilson on drums. The song features both Mike Love and Brian Wilson on the lead vocals with backing vocals by Brian, Carl & Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine.

Certainly one of the most important transitional-period Brian Wilson songs, "When I Grow Up" is one of Wilson's first songs to address some of his psychological concerns. Essentially a simple, somewhat childlike song about aging, the song relates the fears and insecurities about the process, pure and simple. The refrain over the chorus, where the band counts off the ascending years, is an extremely effective hook. Buttressed by a fine series of harpsichord runs -- clearly thought of during the songwriting and not the arranging process -- is an early example of Brian Wilson thinking about arrangements during the song's construction. Wilson would soon master this on more ambitious projects, namely, Pet Sounds.
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In April 1971, Aqualung peaked at number 4 on the UK Album Chart; 26 years later it almost cracked the Top 50.[6] It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Music Charts' North American pop albums chart; the single "Hymn 43" hit #91 on Billboard's pop singles chart. Wikipedia

Released at a time when a lot of bands were embracing pop-Christianity (à la Jesus Christ Superstar), Aqualung was a bold statement for a rock group, a pro-God antichurch tract that probably got lots of teenagers wrestling with these ideas for the first time in their lives. This was the album that made Jethro Tull a fixture on FM radio, with riff-heavy songs like "My God," "Hymn 43," "Locomotive Breath," "Cross-Eyed Mary," "Wind Up," and the title track. And from there, they became a major arena act, and a fixture at the top of the record charts for most of the 1970s. Mixing hard rock and folk melodies with Ian Anderson's dour musings on faith and religion (mostly how organized religion had restricted man's relationship with God), the record was extremely profound for a number seven chart hit, one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners. Indeed, from this point on, Anderson and company were compelled to stretch the lyrical envelope right to the breaking point. [in the digital age, Aqualung has gone through numerous editions, mostly owing to problems finding an original master tape when the CD boom began. When the album was issued by Chrysalis through Columbia Records in the mid-'80s, the source tape was an LP production master, and the first release was criticized for thin, tinny sound; Columbia remastered it sometime around 1987 or 1988, in a version with better sound. Chrysalis later switched distribution to Capitol-EMI, and they released a decent sounding CD. Chrysalis also issued a 25th anniversary edition in 1996.] ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

Hymn 43 - Jethro Tull

".... is a blues for Jesus, about the gory, glory seekers who use his name as an excuse for a lot of unsavoury things. You know, 'Hey dad, it's not my fault - the missionaries lied.' "

* Ian Anderson in Disc and Music Echo, 20th March 1971

I always thought Hymn 43 was like the Nietzsche "God is Dead"-bit, where he was only symbolically speaking of religious figures, and was literally speaking about the religion itself (when Nietzsche said that God was dead, he meant that the idea of God - religion, is dead, and meaningless); how it's been corrupted over the years in ways that have been said time and time again. "If Jesus saves, then he'd better save himself, from the gory glory-seekers, who would use his name in death" ... This is not ridiculing Jesus, is it? I think, generally, that Ian is using Jesus as a symbol to describe Christianity; and that's why he's in such bad shape in the last verse; so is modern Christianity, in Ian's eyes... nothing wrong with the religion, but everything wrong with how it's being used and abused. That symbolism extends to the first verse, as well: "Smile down upon your son", Christianity, "who's busy with his money games", etc.. (isn't Christianity as much God's son as Jesus is?) Ian has said time and time again that he has no objections to religion, but does object to some of the organized religion which exists today. This song is attacking just that; not Christianity, not the real Jesus, but evangelists and the like. The Jesus he talks about is the one they mention on the religious channels: "I have a message for you. Jesus loves you".

* Alex Lozupone

Though I do agree with most of what Alex points out here, I think there is more to say about this song. First of all it is striking how raucous and angry the vocals are, supported by Martin's heavy electrical guitar playing. It is important to bear in mind that every verse that contains criticism on this album has this feature. When it comes to the lyrics, I want to point out, that the first and the second verse show us the hypocrisy and ambiguity of people praying to God and Jesus as well, while in the meantime they commit all kind of crimes and vices: "... his money games, his women and his gun", "... killed an Indian or three".

The second verse and - more explicit - the third verse attack the violent way in which people in The America's and Africa were christianized by the Europeans, especially in the 17th and 18th century: "the gory glory seekers, who use his name in death". My interpretation of the image of Jesus in the last verse differs from Alex's: "His cross was rather bloody, he could hardly roll his stone". Here we see Jesus depicted as a tortured man, worn out and exhausted by the hypocrisy and crimes that were committed in his name.

* Jan Voorbij

courtesy: Cup of wonder.com

Lea, Lots of information. Hope it helps

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"Swingtown"

Steve Miller Band

The song itself was written by Steve Miller and Chris McCarty.

Thank you, Pinkstones... :cool:

Not much info on this song... :P

I found a global review from Rolling Stone Magazine -about "Book of Dreams"-:

...Miller obviously knows exactly what he's doing. Every production decision—as usual, he's produced himself—was made to maximize the dramatic impact of the deep, easy roll that powers most of these songs. The producer's touch is light and sure; it brightens the sound and stretches its spatial dimensions. Miller's voice, open and adolescent as ever, comes through fresh and bouncy. All this gives songs like "Swingtown" and "True Fine Love" and "Jet Airliner" the kind of simple-minded but irresistible appeal that's so essential to Miller's style.
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Country Top Ten Special

This week there are three songs needing facts.

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hank Williams

Wild Horses - The Flying Burrito Brothers

Working Man Blues - Merle Haggard

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.

As always the Songfish thanks you :bow: :bow: :bow:

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"Wild Horses"

The Flying Burrito Brothers

Written by Jagger-Richards for their 1971 LP "Sticky Fingers" . Also released a single with "Sway" as the B-side.

It's among the 500 most important -and beautiful- songs according Rolling Stone Magazine.

It has been covered by many artists.

Gram Parsons, a founder of The Flying Burrito Brothers, was a close friend of Keith Richards and he recorded the song with his band for their second album, "Burrito Deluxe", released in April 1970.

Parsons seemed less interested in working with his own band than on hanging out with the Rolling Stones, in town for several months to mix Let It Bleed(London, 1969). Hillman said of this period, "After that brief initial burst, Gram and I just couldn't seem to hook up again.... Burrito Deluxe [(A&M, 1970)] was written and recorded without any of the feeling or intensity of the first album, and it seemed that we were walking on different roads."*

Hillman recalled the root of Parsons', and the band's, problem: "He was getting into a lot of drugs and -- well, you know the story.... He just went headlong in the direction of physical abuse and it was an area where I just couldn't help him at all. There was nothing that any of us could do. I think his major failing, as far as being a member of the group was concerned, was that he lacked the sense of professionalism, discipline, reliability and responsibility which you must have if you work with others."

According wikipedia, "Prior to its release on Sticky Fingers, Gram Parsons convinced Jagger and Richards to allow him to record "Wild Horses" with his band, The Flying Burrito Brothers. While the Rolling Stones had already laid the track to tape, the Burrito Brothers' version was actually the first to be released"

"Wild Horses" is one of the Rolling Stones' most beautiful ballads, and one of the most worthwhile country-influenced rock songs ever done by a major rock band. It has often been speculated that its composition bore a strong influence from Gram Parsons, a friend of the group who spent a great deal of time with Keith Richards in particular in the late '60s and early '70s. While it's true that the tune has some of the drawn-out languorousness found in Parsons' music, and indeed within much country music in general, this is not a bandwagon-jumping country outing. It's a rock song, and more important, a Rolling Stones song, with typically salacious, drawling Mick Jagger vocals. (...) On record, "Wild Horses" was one of the very few noted Rolling Stones compositions ("As Tears Go By" was another) to have been released by another artist prior to the release of the Stones' version.

...he was able to wrangle the song "Wild Horses" away from his buddy Keith Richards and record it a year before the Rolling Stones' version would surface)

Eventually, Gram Parsons left -or was fired, due to his lack of interest- from the band before the album was feleased.

One year later he went to the South of France to live fior a while, in 1971, with Keith Richards and family at Villa Nellcôte, where the Rolling Stones were prepairing "Exile On Main Street".

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"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"

Hank Williams, Sr.

"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams in 1949. The song about loneliness was largely inspired by his troubled relationship with wife Audrey Sheppard. With evocative lyrics, such as the opening lines "Hear that lonesome whip-poor-will/He sounds too blue to fly," the song has been covered by a wide range of musicians.

Rolling Stone ranked it #111 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It's the second oldest song on the list, and one of only two from the 1940s.

Hank Williams wrote so many classics that it's hard to single one out that's better than the next, but "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" holds a special place in his catalog. A mournful tale of loneliness, the song contains some of the most evocative lines Williams ever wrote: The opening couplet of "Hear that lonesome whippoorwill/He sounds too blue to fly" is a model of simple, elegant poetry. He married the lyric to a melody that is equally simple and graceful, resulting in the kind of song that sounds like it was never written -- it was just always there. That quality is the reason why the song has been performed by all kinds of musicians, each shaping the song in their own style and often delivering a unique interpretation. Even within the scope of country music, there are a number of unique readings -- Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, and Charlie Rich's versions have different emotional tones -- but Al Green's soulful interpretation was moving, as was Cassandra Wilson's jazzy take. Williams pulled off a neat trick writing a song that's undeniably personal, yet universal enough to make it convincing -- even personal -- in the hands of other musicians.
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"Working Man Blues"

Merle Haggard

Written by Merle Haggard.

Recorded and released by himself in July 1969 as a single. Also a track of his album "A Portrait of Merle Haggard".

It went #1 on Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

It's one of his signature songs.

"Workin' Man Blues" is Haggard's tribute to a core group of his fans: The American blue-collared working man. Backed by a strong electric guitar beat that typified Haggard's signature Bakersfield Sound, he fills the role of one of those workers expressing pride in values such as hard work and sacrifice, despite the resulting fatigue and the stress of raising a large family. He admits to relaxing during the off-working hours ("I drink my beer in a tavern, sing a little of these workin' man's blues.") and vows that as a result of keeping his values, he will never need to go on welfare ("... cause I'll be working, long as my two hands are fit to use.").

" ...the song was among three of Haggard's finest songs to appear on the album; "Silver Wings" and "Hungry Eyes" were the other two. "Most country artists would be happy to cut three tunes this strong during the course of their career, let alone as part of one of six albums Hag would release in 1969,"

James Burton and Lewis Talley played guitars for the recording session; Chuck Berghofer played bass and Jim Gordon was on drums.

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Thank you Edna and Pinkstones for your help this last week as always greatly appreciated.:bow: :bow: :bow:

The Songfactors' Choice Top Ten #235

This week there are three songs needing facts.

You'll Lose a Good Thing - Barbara Lynn (1962)

Please Come To Boston - David Loggins (1974)

Queen Bitch - David Bowie (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.

As always the Songfish thanks you

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"You'll Lose A Good Thing"

Barbara Lynn

Singer Joe Barry introduced Lynn to producer Huey P Meaux who ran SugarHill Recording Studios and several labels in Houston. Her first single "You'll Lose A Good Thing" was a #1 R&B hit and Top 10 pop hit in 1962 and was later a country hit for Freddy Fender.

Singer/guitarist Barbara Lynn was a rare commodity during her heyday. Not only was she a female instrumentalist (one of the very first to hit the charts), but she also played left-handed -- quite well at that -- and even wrote some of her own material. Lynn's music often straddled the line between blues and Southern R&B, and since much of her early work -- including the number one R&B hit "You'll Lose a Good Thing" -- was recorded in New Orleans, it bore the sonic imprint of the Crescent City

Lynn did receive a first-class education in popular music, scoring a #1 R&B hit and Top 10 pop hit in 1962 with her first single, "You'll Lose A Good Thing" (later also a country hit for Freddy Fender). More chart records followed, and touring with such soul greats as Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke, as well as one of her guitar heroes, B.B. King.
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"Please Come To Boston"

Dave Loggins

"Please Come to Boston" is the title of a song from 1974 by American singer-songwriter Dave Loggins. It first appeared on Loggins' 1974 album Apprentice (In a Musical Workshop) and was produced by Jerry Crutchfield.

Released as a single in 1974, "Please Come to Boston" spent two weeks at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August of that year.[1] The song also spent one week atop the Billboard easy listening chart that same month.[2]

"Please Come to Boston" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Male Pop Vocal performance.[2]

The song has been covered numerous times, most notably by David Allan Coe and Joan Baez (who actually began her career in the Boston-Cambridge area), who included the song on her 1976 live album From Every Stage. Other notable artists to have covered the song include Babyface, Kenny Chesney, Wade Bowen, Jackopierce, Reba McEntire and Confederate Railroad.

Dave Loggins is also of course, Kenny Loggins' cousin.

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