Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Explosion

Kat-Tail Records presents Summer Explosion, 21 songs as recorded by the original artists for a limited time only. Summer's in full glorious swing, homercat is turning into an older fart this summer and I still haven't located any new K-Tel records to rip. All of this makes it a great time for one of my special compilations in honor of the late great K-Tel records. This edition includes some of the best summer songs ever as interpreted by homercat. I've compiled 21 here and will take constructive criticism for any gems I may have missed. Maybe you may want to share your feelings on a personal fave summer song in the comments. Feel free as it makes for some great reading and conversation for everyone. Actually I could have compiled 40 personal favorites in a heartbeat, yet that wouldn't be in the K-Tel spirit. My Kat-Tail compilation will not contain any Beach Boys songs as that is just too easy a choice, and yes I know Jan and Dean should have been on here too. I want other, different representation of summer songs. A classic summer song doesn't even have to be about summer, although that helps. The best summer song has a certain vibe and attitude. Maybe it brings back an old memory of a past summer with fond memories as is usually the case.

The lead off track here is probably the best summer song ever recorded, by War (not the Beach Boys), simply titled Summer. War was one of the most popular funk groups of the '70s. Just hearing any War song makes you think of summer. Low Rider, Spill the Wine, and The Cisco Kid are just a few examples of songs with that summer feel. Maybe it's the melding of soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock into an effortless funky groove that does the trick. Their music almost always had a sunny, laid-back vibe mirroring their Southern California roots. War kept the groove loose. Summer came out in 1976 and it turned out to be War's final Top Ten pop hit. Everytime I hear this song it just makes me want to do some chillaxion. Smooth grooves. It has been a tradition at Good Rockin' to feature this song at the beginning of every summer.  Being that we're at the midpoint, I just made this compilation instead.  Fall will be swooping down upon us before you know it, so grab the Explosion, get together with some friends and some barley pop and take time out this weekend to truly enjoy summer and these Kat-Tail classics.


Artist- Title
War- Summer
Everclear- AM Radio
Shaggy- In The Summertime
Sparks- Cool Places
The First Class- Beach Baby
The Undertones- Here Comes the Summer
The Fat Boys & the Beach Boys- Wipe Out
Chicago- Saturday in the Park
Seals and Crofts- Summer Breeze
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts- Everyday People
Clint Holmes- Playground in my Mind
Jimmy Buffett- Summerzcool
Three Dog Night- Shambala
The Sweet- Fox On The Run
Chad & Jeremy- A Summer Song
Lighthouse- Sunny Days
Cheap Trick- Hot Love
Electric Light Orchestra- Summer And Lightning
Doug and the Slugs- St. Laurent Summer
Billy Idol- Summer Running
The Kinks- Summer's Gone (Extended Edit)

Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download

Funny Toon

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stars on Long Play

Stars on 45 was a Dutch novelty pop act that was briefly very popular in the United Kingdom, throughout Europe, and in the United States in the early 1980s. Actually, depending on where you lived in the world they were known as a different name. In the US they were called Stars On, in England they were known as Starsound. The band consisted solely of studio session musicians under the direction of Jaap Eggermont, formerly of Golden Earring. In the eighties these guys popularized the medley, by recreating hit songs as faithfully as possible and stringing them together, with a common tempo and relentless underlying drum track. The point was to provide a danceable disco record which used familiar tunes. This album in its entirety and in its original form remains unreleased on CD. There are actually only 4 tracks on the album, 1 on side one and 3 on side two.  I'll break down each song on the  track I've posted here for you for you. Again depending on where you lived the album was called something different so this is the North American release. 

1. "Medley", performed by Stars On 45/Stars On/Starsound - 15:48 (US: 15:33)

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless otherwise noted

* "Stars on 45" (Eggermont, Duiser)
* "No Reply"
* "I'll Be Back"
* "Drive My Car"
* "Do You Want to Know a Secret"
* "We Can Work It Out"
* "I Should Have Known Better"
* "Nowhere Man"
* "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
* "Ticket to Ride"
* "The Word"
* "Eleanor Rigby"
* "Every Little Thing"
* "And Your Bird Can Sing"
* "Get Back"
* "Eight Days a Week"
* "It Won't Be Long"
* "Day Tripper"
* "Wait"
* "Stars On 45" (Eggermont, Duiser)
* "Good Day Sunshine"
* "My Sweet Lord" (Harrison)
* "Here Comes the Sun" (Harrison)
* "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (Harrison)
* "Taxman" (Harrison)
* "A Hard Day's Night"
* "Things We Said Today"
* "If I Fell"
* "You Can't Do That"
* "Please Please Me"
* "From Me to You" (song not included on the US release)
* "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
* "Stars on 45" (Eggermont, Duiser)

Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't Hold Back

Sky was an American rock power trio active in the early 1970s, based out of Detroit, Michigan. They released two albums with RCA before breaking up in 1973. Maybe best known (if at all) as being the late Doug Fieger's first band. Not to be confused with British classical rockers Sky, these boys were fresh out of high school and developed a steady following in the motor city opening shows for Jethro Tull, The Who and Joe Cocker as well as local favorites Bob Seger and The Stooges. In the late 60s, he apparently sent a letter off to uber-producer Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones, Traffic among many others) and suggested that if he were ever to come to the Motor City, he should drop in and hear Fieger’s band, that being Sky. Miller took him up on his offer, and at the ripe old age of 17, Fieger and his bandmates were spirited off to the UK where they recorded their debut album, ‘Don’t Hold Back’ in 1970. Fieger played bass and sang vocals and wrote all the material. They would record a second LP with Miller (this time back in the States) before breaking up in 1972. The sound of Sky is a mix of 1970-appropriate heavy guitars, mixed with some great hooks. They were clearly ahead of their time, which is probably what doomed them to obscurity. From my experience both albums from The Sky are getting difficult to find and going for big money. Yet how delighted was I to find a copy of their debut for a mere 15 dollars. The album really holds up well today and folks shouldn't be scared away just because Fieger went on to form The Knack.

I have officially switched back to vinyl. From now on 95% of all my music purchases will be on vinyl, now that I have tracked down a couple of great used record stores. Just last week I was in this one store and homercat thought he might actually shed a tear. The amount of music that has never made the transition to digital is mind boggling. Oh the albums I saw and wanted to purchase, alas I was short on time and cash but now know where to find treasures such as this Sky album. Unfortunately my purchases won't be supporting the artists as these are used records, but then again at one time they were new and had been purchased at the original price so in a sense they've received their payment. Also it's not homercat's fault that they won't make the out of print stuff available for us to purchase. Really both Sky albums should be re released instead of fading into oblivion. If anyone would like a copy of Don't Hold Back, an email might be sent to the homercat and one might get a reply. I hope you dig these tracks, and while you're at it, raise a glass in memory of Doug Fieger who passed in Feb of this year.

Goodie Two Shoes
Make it in Time

Funny Toon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Mean City

No Mean City is the 10th studio album by the hard rocking Nazareth. It was released in 1979. After playing as a four piece since it's inception, Nazareth added guitarist Zal Cleminson to the band. With the release of this album the Scottish lads now had a dual guitar assault to enhance their sound. A couple of the cuts on this album are just as mean and nasty as the cover would lead you to believe. Tucked in the middle of the album is probably the one of the best ballads Nazareth ever recorded. Star should have been a way huger hit for them. It's a power ballad about a love affair broken up by the music biz that is driven by a sweetly harmonized guitar riff almost as heart-tugging as the song's lyrics. I prefer it over their mega smash, Love Hurts.  A couple of good examples of the group's new twin guitar firepower include "Just to Get Into It," a blinding speed rocker that provides the album with a kick in yer face opening track, and "Simple Solution," a hard-driving slab of boogie rock that sets cynical lyrics against the backdrop of a gritty, hypnotic guitar riff. When the album originally came out it only had a short running time with a mere eight, although powerful  tracks. It has since been re released a couple times with bonus tracks.  The 2002 release is already out of print and a 2010 release is only available as an import with less bonus tracks.

Simple Solution, Part 1 & 2
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, July 16, 2010

Light of Day

In theme with what makes me think of summer we'll explore the hard to find soundtrack to the film Light of Day starring Joan Jett and Michael J Fox which came out in 1987. Four of the tunes are performed by the Barbusters which consists of Jett, Fox and Michael McKean and two other dudes.  These guys actually played together as a unit and they also played a couple of live gigs togehter as the Barbusters.  Bon Jovi, Ian Hunter, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and a song written and performed by Michael J Fox round out the album.  Jett's performance in the film has received critical praise , yet writer director Paul Schrader did not care for Joan's performance.  As most know the title track was written by Bruce Springsteen especially for Joan and even today it is a staple for both artists in their live shows. The film may also be the first real attempt for Fox to escape his image as a slacker that he created in films such as Back to the Future. Light of Day is one of the very few projects where Fox has smoked in front of the camera, even though he was himself a chain smoker at the time. Yet he avoided being photographed with a cigarette out of fear that it would encourage smoking.

This soundtrack album is certainly not the best that the 80's had to offer, but it is now hard to find and if you're a fan of Jett like the homercat then it's one that has to be found.

Light of Day by the Barbusters (Joan Jett and Michael Fox)
You Got No Place to Go by Michael J Fox
Buy It

Funny Toon

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot Water

Summer has finally come to the Island. Living in such an awesome temperate climate really spoils us sometimes. So far this year the temperature hasn't exceeded 20 degrees. Just this Monday the high was only 13. Then Tuesday rolled around and it's been 31 or over every day. So summer is finally here and you know what really gets homercat into the summer mood? Two artists in particular go hand in hand with summer, in my humble opinion. None other than Jimmy Buffett and Joan Jett. Jimmy is an obvious choice, but with Joan it goes deeper for me because of that summer in the early eighties when I followed Joan around to all of her shows in the midwest, landing in the front row for many of them.

Hot Water was Jimmy Buffett's 17th studio album coming out in the summer of 1988. The album continued Buffett's new use of a wide variety of musical instruments more than was typical for Buffett's earlier works, notably horns and percussion. All but two of the album's songs were written or co-written by Buffett. The other two songs are cover songs. Critics have never been kind to Jimmy and this album was no exception. Most didn't like it, but us parrtoheads know better. Admittedly maybe not his strongest work but any Buffettphile will tell you that there is no such thing as a bad Buffett album. Once people "get" Buffett, they become a die hard fan for life. As with any of his albums there are a couple real gems here and it's great summer music. Hot Water or did he mean Hot Weather. We got em here folks.

Bring Back the Magic
That's What Living is to Me
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Avalon, released in 1982, was Roxy Music's eighth (and, to date, final) studio album. Definitely one of the best albums to be released in the 80's it also appears on my list of Top 100 albums of all time. It was the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. It was a decent commercial success, hitting #1 in the UK (for 3 weeks) and staying on the album charts for over a year, yet only peaking at #53 in America. One of the sexiest and aurally rich albums ever recorded, and yes, it's true what's been said time and time again about Avalon- it is, undoubtedly, THE album to have playing for that ideal intimate encounter! There is something so seductive and sexy about the overall atmosphere of the entire album. The record is steller from the first track to the last and the songs are just beautiful. More Than This, Avalon, Take a Chance With Me and To Turn You On are guaranteed heart melters. It's a rich, textured album and was a hell of a way to end the band's career. It has been 28 years since its release, and it still gives me chills.

To Turn You On
Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, July 05, 2010

Out of Print Repost Day

Todays entry is a repost from 2 years ago that I felt was time to resurrect again, especially with the shortage of time on my hands. Also to avoid this album from being relegated to the lost, never to be found again files. Older readers have probably snagged this already, newer readers might want to take a gander.

Sue Saad and the Next is a lost gem in rock history. Sue Saad and the Next only did one album way back in 1980. If you have it, you are lucky. Especially judging from the number of requests I get for this album. If not, look around the used record stores, because it never made it to CD although it should have. It would be a prized addition to any vinylphiles collection. A solid rock band, sounding a little like a female fronted Loverboy. At times Sue sounds like Ann Wilson, and the band rocks - well played early 80's rock. They have a bass-heavy beat that is not dance music, and the guitar riffs are memorable. They also have one song on the Roadie soundtrack which was how I was introduced to them. They never made a second album, although Sue and band went on to write music for several movies most notably the soundtrack to Looker and Radioactive Dreams (which I am looking for, any help?).

So here's another example of a lost classic that is unavailable for the masses, unless someone you happen to know someone has ripped it from vinyl for you. It's lucky for you guys that you know homercat. While I don't endorse the whole album download thing, I do in this particular case, because it's criminal. Like I said before, I've had a lot of requests for this album from some buds as it is extremely hard to find. Like so many other hard to find out of print albums (can anyone say Cheap Trick catalogue), It's time that that an injustice be rectified and have this and other lost classics be restored to the masses.

192 kbps

Gimme Love Gimme Pain
It's Gotcha
Young Girl
I I Me Me
Your Lips-Hands-Kiss-Love
I Want Him
Cold Night Rain
Won't Give It Up
Danger Love

Funny Toon