Friday, April 17, 2015

Music Break

Since I didn't put up a music post last month, I'd better do one this month.  These are mostly obscure songs, but one is very well known, and I'd even say obvious.

In the tradition of "ladies first", the opening song is by the all-female group Fanny, consisting of June Millington (guitar), Jean Millington (bass), Nickey Barclay (keyboards) and Alice de Buhr (drums).  All contributed vocals to some extent.  On this live version of Blind Alley, recorded for the German TV show Beat Club, Barclay sings lead and moves (literally) between the piano and the organ.  The Millington sisters were born in the Philippines, but with their family immigrated to California.

During their early years, Styx recorded several albums on the Wooden Nickel label, including 22 Years, from their third album The Serpent Is Rising.  Keyboardist Dennis DeYoung and guitarist James Young share the lead vocal, but the song was written by guitarist John Curulewski, who was later replaced by Tommy Shaw.  The band also included the Panozzo brothers Chuck on bass and John on drums.

And now, something from one of the few rockers who might be to the political right of yours truly.  Ted Nugent's first solo album, named after himself, includes Snakeskin Cowboy.  As with most of that album's songs, the lead vocal is by Derek St. Holmes, who plays rhythm guitar.  The band also includes Rob Grange on bass (including an 8-string bass on this song) and Cliff Davies on drums.  Guest musician Steve McRay plays piano.

Only recently have I come across Speak Of The Devil by Chris Isaak, the title song of his seventh album.

To finish, here's what I believe to be the best known song of this bunch, The Bitch Is Back by Elton John, from his Caribou album.  Elton (vocals & piano) is joined by Davey Johnstone (guitar), Dee Murray (bass), Nigel Olsson (drums) and Ray Cooper (percussion).   The Tower of Power horn section provide the brass, with Lenny Pickett playing the sax solo. This song was the obvious response to Hillary Clinton's renewed presidential campaign.  She even appears in this video.

By the way, if anyone thinks I've been a bit inconsistent in my attitude toward women by featuring the all-female group Fanny but implicitly insulting Mrs. Clinton, let's just say that I like female musicians, but female left-wing politicians, not so much.

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