Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Vinyl Voyage Radio Song of the Week - "Cycles" by Frank Sinatra

Just this week, Frank Sinatra's widow, Barbara Marx Sinatra, died at the age of 90.  So this week, we are dusting off a relatively unknown Frank Sinatra album from 1968.

The song is "Cycles," perhaps one of the greatest Sinatra songs of all time. This song truly highlights Sinatra's ability to interpret lyrics.

The Song of the Week can be heard on Wednesdays, 10am and 10pm, Central (-5 GMT) and throughout the week.

Listen to the song now, played on glorious vinyl.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Song of the Week Anthology, #1-10

Join us today at 2 pm for the first Song of the Week Anthology. We just wrapped up 10 weeks of "Song of the Week."  On this show, we will play all 10 songs as we head into week #11.

This show will feature our songs from Over the Rhine, the Allman Brothers, Postmodern Jukebox, The Beatles and several more.

You can hear this episode at 2 pm (Central) Sunday July 23 and July 30, 2017.  Plus, Wednesday, 3 pm (Central) July 26 and August 3, 2017

You can also listen on-demand via Mixcloud.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Motels: The Most Underrated Band of the 80s

Martha Davis can sing.  Boy, can she sing.

The first time I heard the Motels was probably the same for most people when their single, "Only the Lonely" was released in 1982. It had heavy radio and MTV air-play.  That song, though, appeared on their third album.

Yes, the Motels had two albums before "Only the Lonely" was released. In fact, the band was formed int he early 70s.  And they produced some great stuff that is hard to classify, as it spans genres and styles.  Perhaps that is why they weren't necessarily promoted like they deserved. Most wanted to pigeon-hole them as a "New Wave" band. but they were much more than that.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1979 on Capitol Records and it was ahead of its time.

The last song on the album is "Counting." To me, this is a song that fits in just as well today as it did back in '79.  It is the Vinyl Voyage Song of the week.

Join us for the song on the week at 10 am and 10 pm (Central, -5 GMT) on Wednesday, July 19 and throughout the week.

By the way, Martha Davis is still touring with the Motels and can be seen this summer. Click here for more information.

Watch as an new copy of the song is played for the first time on original vinyl.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

God Only Knows, the Vinyl Voyage Song of the Week

I've been on a Beach Boys kick for a bit. Never a big fan of the band, I recently purchased the 50th anniversary mono pressing of Pet Sounds from 1966.  It was an essential album to have in my collection, that is for sure.

I listened to it for the first time in a long time and was blown away.

Although I was never much of a Beach Boys fan, I've always regarded "God Only Knows" as one of the best songs ever written.  The harmonies, the sentiment, the instrumentation -- all come together in a perfect 3 minute pop song.  It doesn't get better than this song.

"God Only Knows" is the Vinyl Voyage "Song of the Week."  Listen to our breakdown of the song, today at 10 am and 10 pm Central.

Listen to the mono version played below.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bea Wagner's Everly Brothers Album from 1963

I love finding old albums. I recently wrote about the 15 Everly Hits album that I picked up. ("Let It Be Me" is the Song of the Week)

It just so happens that this Everly Brothers album was owned by Bea Wagner. She wrote her name on the back of the album, first in pen then in a large black marker.  When people wrote their names on albums it usually meant something. It was the marking of territory; the declaration of fandom.

I am sure she had her favorite brother; I wonder who it was?

She bought the album for $2.88 at F.W. Woolworth. The price tag is still there.

If anyone knows a Bea Wagner, let her know that her album is in good hands.

Thanks Bea.

Here is "Let It be Me" from Bea's album being played.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Underrated and Overlooked: The Everly Brothers

I realized recently that I had very little Everly Brothers in the Vinyl Voyage library. After all, I could only name a few songs of theirs off the top of my head.  So it didn't seem to me to be much of a deficit.  I had "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream."

What else was I missing?

Two days ago, I stumbled upon a 1963 greatest hits album of the Everly Brothers entitled, 15 Everly Hits.

I gave the album a nice cleaning and put it on the turntable. Almost immediately, I recognized that my library was woefully deficient.

The Everly Brothers had amazing vocal harmonies, and reminded me of a Simon and Garfunkel prototype, singing folk infused, acoustic guitar tunes before it was a thing some 10 years later. Indeed, Paul Simon often referred to the Everly Brothers as his "heroes."

"Wake Up Little Susie," of course, is pure rock and roll. Risque, no doubt for the times, but hitting on the themes that built rock and roll. "Bye Bye Love" and "('Til) I Kissed You" are pop gold.

"Bird Dog" is a fun tune, in the vein of Chuck Berry or the Big Bopper. I knew "When Will I Be Loved" first from the Linda Ronstadt version, forgetting that it was an original Everly Brothers tune.

And then there's "Let It Be Me."

Although not written by the brothers, "Let It Be Me" was undeniably performed with an Everly Brothers style when recorded by them in 1960. It was originally a French tune from 1955, adapted into English by songwriter Manny Curtis and given to the Everly Brothers.

What can I say? The song is sublime.

I've heard the song performed many times by many other artists (the first time was probably the Petula Clark version, played often in my childhood). Even though I have heard the Everly Brothers version many times before, this time the song really struck me.

It reminded me of "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys--perhaps the greatest pop song ever

And here are the Everly Brothers, a full six years before Brian Wilson penned "God Only Knows" with what seems to be the forerunner to that song.  Not just the themes, but the harmonies, the use of strings, the structure and the sentiment are very similar. Musical relatives, actually.

One has to wonder if Brian Wilson would have ever written "God Only Knows" in that way if it had not been for "Let it Be Me."

Take a listen below. "Let It Be Me" is the upcoming Song of the Week.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

AiV-Episode 48: K-Tel's "Hit Explosion" from 1983

On this new episode of Adventures in Vinyl, we are taking a time trip back to 1983 for the K-Tel compilation, "Hit Explosion." This album features hit songs from 1982 and 1983, including Haircut One Hundred, Toni Basil, Pat Benatar, Santana, Rush and many, many more.

This album was released in 1983 simultaneously with another K-Tel compilation, "Get Dancin'."

You can hear "Hit Explosion" on weekends throughout the month of July. Saturdays at 12:30 pm, Central (-5 GMT) and Sundays at 4:00 pm, Central (-5 GMT) and Wednesdays at 2 am, Central (-5 GMT)

Or, listen on demand via Mixcloud.