April 2011

Song of the Day: "The Joker"

If there were ever a Ballad of the Lackadaisical Hippie, it would totally be The Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker,” also popularly known as “Space Cowboy.” It’s got twangy, sexy guitar playing, the slowest drumbeat ever, and lyrics about the boy of many girls’ dreams—and many parents’ nightmares.

No, he’s not a hog-riding metal head, but he’s a joker, and a smoker, and a midnight toker, and he gets his loving on the run—which means he could very well be the guy from “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” who made the sixteen-year-old girl “a gal in trouble” after she hadn’t seen him for a while!

School's Out

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School's Out

I never really got into the bizarre stage shows of Alice Cooper, but I really liked his song “School’s Out” released in 1972 as a single and on his 5th album. He said that he got the idea from thinking about the greatest 3 minutes in your life. One answer is the last 3 minutes of the school year. You always feel something stirring deep inside when you listen to this song!

Blue Collar

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Blue Collar

Bachman Turner Overdrive was a great 70s Canadian band. They were most famous for rockers like “Taking Care of Business” and “Let It Ride” but they also had a softer side. Blue Collar is an amazing soft jazz number released as a single and on their first album. I especially like the guitar solo!

 

Stuck in the Middle with You

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Stuck in the Middle with You

I remember going to a dance place in the 70s where they often played “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheels. The group was founded by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan. The song was released in 1972 as a parody of Bob Dylan’s style and was used on the sound track of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in 1991.

 

Jackie Blue

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Jackie Blue

“Jackie Blue” was released in 1974 on “It’ll Shine When it Shines” by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, once referred to a “countrified Steely Dan.” The first version of Jackie Blue was about a strange drug dealer but the record company suggested changing it to be about a girl with the drug references scaled back. I like the musical arrangement and the lyrics remind me of some women I have known.

 

Song of the Day: “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”

While I’d like to say that today’s song is based on the awesome songs of Sir Elton John in the new animated children’s movie, Gnomeo and Juliet (which is actually pretty cute, and not as misogynistic as most cartoons these days), I must admit that it’s simply inspired by the day of the week. I love to play both this song as well as “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers on Saturdays. Not only do they get me in the mood for the weekend; they’re also such wonderful, fun songs that dismantle any doldrums you’ve got hanging around. Forget the week you left behind; it’s Saturday, and Saturday night’s alright!

Song of the Day: "Smoke on the Water"

Deep Purple’s trademark “Smoke on the Water” riff only needs to sound off three notes before hard rock fans crank up the volume. “Dun, dun, dun—“ goes the guitar, and Ritchie Blackmore doesn’t have to tell us twice. Remember when Jack Black had those kids play the song in School of Rock way back when? I remember just nodding and grinning, thinking about how cool it was that these private school kids were playing Deep Purple.

“Smoke on the Water” is bluesy but hard, has an electric guitar and bass yet also an organ; it’s one of those bending genre songs that you love and could listen to throughout any day. It’s actually also based on a true story, when the band was recording a record in Switzerland and a fire broke out at a local music festival—hence, the smoke on the water.

‘70s Song of the Day: “Carry On My Wayward Son”

Every day at That 70s Bog, you can now find a featured song of the day. ‘70s music is probably my favorite genre and I’m so excited to share these songs with you. I’d also love to hear about your own favorites from the decade of glam, glitter, disco, and classic rock.

Today’s song is inspired by my life right now. I’m completely obsessed with the TV show Supernatural, and this song is often featured on the show. Kansas’s “Carry On My Wayward Son” features amazing guitar playing as well as some of the most gorgeously rounded vocals from any Kansas song. The song starts out acappella, drawing you in to a slow tempo and then the hard guitar bursts through after the first, “Don’t you cry no more,” and by then you’re gone. If the radio isn’t maxed out in your car, then you obviously don’t have the song on!