Friday, April 30, 2010

Best Opening Lines

A couple years ago somebody ran an online poll asking people what they thought were the Greatest Opening Song Lines in rock 'n' roll history. I think it was BBC radio although it seems like I saw some organization in America did it too. That's a pretty broad category as there's so many to choose from. On this particular pole Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London took the number 1 spot with this opening lick, "Saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain, he was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's, going to get a big dish of beef chow mein".

I think I agree with that choice because it's a pretty freakin awesome opening line. The imagery it conjures up is amazing and it grabs you by the nads right off the bat and doesn't let go till the end of the song. For me, I think the criteria is how strong is it and what kind of emotion does it invoke. Sadly there are some on this particular top ten list that don't quite cut in my humble opinion. Here is the list so you can see what you think.

1. Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London - "I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's Going to get a big dish of beef chow mein."

2. Bill Haley - Rock Around The Clock - "One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, rock."

3. Jimi Hendrix - Hey Jo - "Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand."

4. Little Richard - Tutti Frutti - "A Wop Bop A Loo Bop A Lop Bam Boom!"

5. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird - "If I leave here tomorrow, Would you still remember me?"

6. Bruce Springsteen - Hungry Heart - "Got a wife and kids in Baltimore Jack I went out for a ride and I never went back."

7. ELO - Telephone Line - "Hello. How are you? Have you been alright, through all those lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights That's what I'd say. I'd tell you everything If you'd pick up that telephone."

8. Paul Simon - Kodachrome - "When I think back On all the crap I learned in high school It's a wonder I can think at all."

9. Morrissey - Every Day Is Like Sunday - "Trudging slowly over wet sand Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen."

10. Elvis Costello - Alison - "Oh it's so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl. And with the way you look I understand that you are not impressed."

While they are all admittedly great classic tunes I feel like numbers 234579 and 10 are not quite as good as many others that I can think of. So that is what today is about. I'm going to post a couple of my favorites and then maybe some readers can round out the list. Maybe even no one cares eh.

Pacing the Cage as recorded by Jimmy Buffett Lyrics by Bruce Cockburn

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it's pointing toward

Nowhere Road by Steve Earle
There's a road, in Oklahoma
Straighter than a preacher
Longer than a memory

Spare Me the Details by The Offspring
My girlfriend, my dumb donut
Went out to a party just the other night
But three hours later and seven shots of j├Ąger,
She was in the bedroom with another guy

Stay Free by The Clash
We met when we were in school
Never took no shit from no one, we weren't fools.

Somebody Saved Me by Pete Townshend
I stood at the door beside her
But she wouldn't let me pass
I was such a bore and I lied to her
I said I didn't really want her ass
Yalla Yalla by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Well, so long liberty
Let's forget you didn't show

So there's just a couple of my favorites that really deserve a top ten spot. They realy grab you and evoke some kind of emotion. I could easily list a lot more that deserve a spot. I figure maybe some folks have a few of their own favorites. Have a great weekend all.

Funny Toon

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Code of Honor

I am fed up with the music industry and record companies in general, even some of the artists are starting to tick me off. Let me explain, although if you've been visiting here for a while you know homercat is about to go off on another rant.

I went out to the store today to pick up a couple new releases. In fact I went to a couple different ones as I couldn't find what I was looking for. I had to go to Wal Mart for one because of one of those artists exclusively signed with them to release their new thing. This pisses me off extremely, especially since Canada's Wal Mart wasn't involved with this one and I can't get it. Personally I hate Wal Mart and avoid it like the plague. I beg and plead with artists please don't do an exclusive deal with Wal Mart, you're killing music. The other two albums I wanted weren't being stocked at the other record stores either. Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, here is an honest cat trying to make an honest purchase for his music and I am being blocked at every turn. Can't a cat catch a break? I could order it from the internet but that means a couple things, having to wait for it, buying mp3's from that silly itunes which I refuse to do because if I can't get a hard copy I won't buy it and or getting my credit card number floating out in cyberspace, which I don't like any of these scenarios at all. Now what? Well it happens that I know a couple places to go to download stuff for free and that's what I did, except for the Wal Mart artist, can't get that sucker anywhere. Now I'm hearing that some artists aren't even going to release albums any more, they'll just release a song every now and then through itunes and call it good. For example Rob Zombie said that his latest album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, will be his last album. From now on he'll just release songs through itunes. Can you say goodbye to getting my hard earned dollar? Not to mention that if the industry goes that way you can say goodbye to ever having classic concept albums such as the Wall, 2112, or Welcome to My Nightmare. So I say this to record companies and artists, you're gradually losing me as a paying customer only because you're making it impossible for me to buy the stuff I want. I won't even rant about having to rebuy an album everytime there's a format change. Vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD and now mp3s. I won't rant about that because that really gets my cat dander in an uproar.

This goes for my biggest gripe too, Out of Print material. Most of you know that is what I mostly deal with on this site. I know I offer other stuff that may be newer once in a while just because I feel people should be listening. I feel that if a title is out of print and I can't buy it new anywhere then we should be able to download it and share it all we want. Of course I can and do go to used record stores and buy used copies of stuff and I also scour thrift stores and flea markets for that elusive piece of vinyl to which not a dime of what I spend on it is going to the artist. Not my fault folks that an album I wish to buy is out of print. If it was available I would march right down and buy it. So as consumers what are we to do? For me I am buying as much back catalog as possible on vinyl, in fact 95% of my music purchases this year has been for used vinyl.

I think I'm through ranting. I have much more to say on the subject but it's time to get to today's out of print download which will probably get homercat in trouble. Joanna Dean was an up and coming promising rocker whose voice was a cross between Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. If you've never heard her you'll be floored at the raspy,gritty,soulful power of her voice. Joanna Dean released her first album in 1988 called Misbehavin', which is very hard to find now. I posted that album earlier in case you missed it so get it quick. Joanna Dean is a rare talent that most people will never have the pleasure of knowing. Not since the likes of Janis Joplin, has there been a singer that put as much of her soul in a song. With only two albums to her credit it is impossible to compare her to Janis, but she is close.

For her second album Dean formed a band and they called themselves Bad Romance. Joanna wrote or co-wrote all but one tune on her second album, "Code of Honor." The album was marked by a dark, somber tone and included songs about alcoholism and suicide. One tune, "Love Hurts," was recorded as a duet with Tom Kiefer of Cinderella. Don't let the album cover or the dark somber tone fool you. This album is categorized as Heavy metal and from the opening track it packs a helluva punch. A review on her self titled album says she is no longer recording and is now a graphic designer. What a shame. Truly an overlooked talent that should have been huge.

1. Up and Coming
2. House of My Father
3. Code of Honor
4. Hunger
5. Move Me
6. Eye of the Storm
7. Bad Romance
8. Whitest Lies
9. Love Hurts
10. Love Is Blind
11. Hang Tough

Copy and paste this link in your browser to download

Funny Toon

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Mere months after the release of Who Are You in 1978, Keith Moon died and the future of The Who was uncertain. The remaining members felt that with Keith gone they would never be the same. So for a few years Pete, Roger and the Ox piddled around with their own projects. Roger was working on a film version Of John McVicar's autobiography. McVicar was an armed robber who was tagged 'Public Enemy No. 1' by Scotland Yard with a 'dead or alive' reward on his head. He was apprehended and given a 26 year jail sentence, escaping from prison on several occasions. He was released in 1978. He wrote McVicar by Himself while still in prison and scripted the 1980 biographical film McVicar, which starred Roger Daltrey in the title role.

The soundtrack for the film was also dubbed a Roger Daltrey solo effort. In reality the soundtrack for McVicar could be tagged "the best, post Keith Moon, Who album". Townshend, Entwistle and Kenney Jones all contributed to this album a year before Face Dances was released as the first Who album without Keith. Even the movie posters touted, "Soundtrack by The Who". Daltrey is in excellent form on this album. More so than his ok vocals on Face Dances. Don't get me wrong, I love The Who and I think Face Dances is a fine album, I just like this one better. McVicar is a pretty darn good album that showed the world that the Who were back. Anyways the album should be a part of any serious record collection.

Bitter and Twisted
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, April 16, 2010

Those K-Tel Days

I don't know if anyone has noticed but homercat has kinda been taking a break from Good Rockin' during this fine April. Fine weather, hockey playoffs, more work and other assorted goings on has kept my computer time limited.

Last week homercat's ole lady finally got the rest of her vinyl collection transported to our place from it's former resting place in Alberta. Most of her collection hasn't seen the light of day for thirty years or more. I found it interesting that she has quite a few of those K-Tel collections. If you weren't around in the seventies then you probably have no idea what a K-Tel record is. They were budget compilations mostly advertised on TV that you had to send away for. For you younger folk, think of your NOW cd's, ceptin cheaper. For us old fogeys it might bring back some memories. What I found amusing is that almost all of her vinyl collection is in pristine shape except for her K-Tel records. You can obviously tell she played them a lot in her preteen years before she began taking proper care of her collection. .So I thought out of curiosity sake and a cruise down memory lane, I would rip a few of these classic discs and put up some of the more obscure tunes because K-Tel always seemed to put a few not so big hits on each collection.. Most of them are in fairly decent shape and those that were rough, I managed to clean up pretty good. These songs came from a collection called Disco Rock and came out in 1975.

Rockin' Chair by Gwen McCrae
Dynomite by Bazuka
Up in a Puff of Smoke by Polly Brown

Funny Toon

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sgt. Pepper Live

In 2007 Cheap Trick teamed up with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and several guest artists and performed several sold out shows of a track by track rendition of The Beatles Sgt' Peppers album. This was in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the release of the historic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. Both a live album and a companion DVD of the performance were released in 2009 simply titled Sgt. Pepper Live. Cheap Trick has never shied away from their love of The Beatles. From their early cover of "Day Tripper" to making "Magical Mystery Tour" the lone new cut on their original Greatest Hits CD, Robin Zander, Tom Peterssen, Bun E Carlos and Rick Nielsen could knock 'em out like nobody's business. But to recreate the landmark Sgt. Pepper's album as a live event, played from start to finish? That takes some major cojones, especially since John Lennon said it could never be done but Cheap Trick has proved him wrong and I'm sure he would be pleased. The album is entertaining in that it is very true to the original Sgt. Peppers album. My only knock on this album is the appearance of guest vocalist Joan Osborne on Lovely Rita, she ruined the song whereas I would have loved to hear Robin sing the tune. Otherwise it's a flawless performance of a classic album. On a couple tracks Zander's vocal will send chills down your spine. Check out these excerpts and if you like it track it down and please buy it as all proceeds from sales of the album or DVD go to a great cause, fighting prostate cancer.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
She's Leaving Home
A Day in the Life

Buy It

Funny Toon