Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Music Break

This month's music break includes songs that are not all that well-known (at least on this side of the pond) but in my opinion, deserve better.

The British group T-Rex consisted of guitarist/singer/songwriter Marc Bolan, percussionist/backup singer Steve Peregrin Took or his replacement Mickey Finn, and whichever musicians they took (if you'll forgive the pun) into the studio with them.  Their live act most often included bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend.  Their most famous song is Get It On (Bang A Gong), which featured future Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman on piano.  In Telegram Sam, Bolan sings about several characters, including Purple Pie Pete, Jungle-Faced Jake, and of course, Telegram Sam himself.  The song was a #1 hit in Great Britain, but failed to chart in the United States.  In the thumbnail, from left to right, are Legend, Finn, Bolan and Currie.

The next song is Dream On, not by Aerosmith, but by the Scottish group Nazareth.  The early 1980's video shows the band (singer Ed McCafferty, guitarists Manny Charlton and Billy Rankin, bassist Peter Agnew and drummer Darrell Sweet) as astronauts.

From the near side of the pond, but to our north, came the Canadian group The Guess Who, which included keyboardist/singer Burton Cummings, guitarist Randy Bachman, bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson.  After Bachman left, they expanded to a two-guitar lineup with Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw.  Hang On To Your Life features Cumming's screaming vocals, impressive guitar work from Winter and Leskiw, and a reading from Psalm 22.

After Randy Bachman left The Guess Who, he founded Bachman Turner Overdrive with his brothers Tim (guitar) and Rob (drums), and their friend Fred Turner (bass), with whom Randy would share the lead vocal duties.  Turner, famous for his vocals on Let It Ride and Roll On Down The Highway, sings the lead on Gimme Your Money Please.  The thumbnail shows, if I'm not mistaken, from left to right, Fred (who later trimmed his hair), Rob, Tim and Randy.  After several lineup changes, and some controversy about who owns the full name and who owns the abbreviation "BTO", Randy and Fred are back as Bachman & Turner.

Fleetwood Mac became hugely successful in 1975 after they added guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks to the lineup. A few years earlier, the band included guitarist/singers Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch, along with keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood.  This is the title song of their 1972 album Bare Trees, written and sung by Kirwan, one of many (in my opinion) good but not well-known songs from the pre-1975 versions of Fleetwood Mac.

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