Saturday, January 30, 2010

Song of Joy


Captain & Tennille are American pop music recording artists who achieved chart success from 1975–80 with a buttload of hit pop songs. The duo consists of "Captain" Daryl Dragon, and Toni Tennille. They are probably best known for their singles, "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Do That to Me One More Time," as well as their television variety series which appeared on the ABC network in the 1976–77 season. Song of Joy was the second album released by Captain & Tennille in 1976 which yielded two hit singles. During their heyday Toni did a lot of session work for prominent artists of the day, most notably work she did on three Elton John albums and particularly on one big hit called Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me. Also you may want to check the liner notes for Pink Floyd's The Wall album and you'll see Toni's name listed there for backing vocals on that album. Yeah I know it surprised me too. Toni and Daryl got married in Virginia City Nevada back in 1975 and it seems that love has kept them together all these years. In fact hey were married in the 'Silver Queen Saloon', wedding chapel, & they renewed their vows in the same chapel in 1995. According to Toni's blog, The Captain had been having problems with a tremor in his left hand and he was finally diagnosed with Parkinson's disease back in November. It is a very slow progressing type..... more emphasis on the tremor and less on the rigidity, stiffness and bradykenisia (slow movements). We wish you the best of luck Daryl.

Lonely Night (Angel Face)
1954 Boogie Blues
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Get the Knack


Don't anybody groan because I'm doing a post on The Knack. I've been listening to a lot of power pop lately and you can't talk about power pop without talking about The Knack. Hailing from Los Angeles the Knack played the club scene incessantly in 1978. By November of 78, 13 record companies were engaged in bidding war for their services. Capitol records won. They entered the studios and eleven days later came out with their first album, "Get the Knack", for a cost of 17,000 dollars and came out in 1979. The songs were recorded live with nary an overdub.

With marketing support from Capitol and a bunch of infectious power pop tunes, the record flew off the shelves. Gold certification took 13 days. Platinum certification came in less than seven weeks, making "Get The Knack" one of the fastest to gold / platinum debut albums of all time. By the time they released their second album in 1980, a Knuke the Knack campaign was started and so did their downward spiral. The Knack never fully received the respect they deserved from critics and that's truly a shame. Those who bash them and say "one hit wonder" really just don't get it and never will. If the Knack were not successful you would probably be reading high praise calling them unsung power-pop legends! But it was a good album so it didn't bug me. Throughout the years I have purchased every single Knack album and enjoyed them immensely. They are still out there kickin' around and playing with the exception of drummer Bruce Gary who died from lymphoma on August 22, 2006 at the age of 55. Currently Pat Torpey (from Mr. Big) is playing the drums for the group. Another great power pop album.

Your Number Or Your Name
That's What The Little Girls Do
Buy It


Funny Toon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jesus of Cool


Jesus of Cool is the solo debut album by British singer-songwriter Nick Lowe after leaving Brinsley Schwarz in 1974. Produced by Lowe, it was released in March 1978 in the UK. On the cover of the album, Nick Lowe is pictured in six rock & roll get-ups, such as hippie, folkie, greasy rock & roller, new wave hipster. The cover gives one the not-so-subtle implication that this guy can do anything. Well he adequately proves that assumption correct on this album, a record so good it was named twice. Lowe's American record label got the jitters with the Jesus title and renamed it Pure Pop for Now People for release in the US, so as not to offend America's delicate sensibilities. The American version made a few track substitutions and changed the running order. The album is highly acclaimed by most critics and a number of tracks attack the commercialism and greed of the record industry and the shallow content of pop music : "Music for Money", the fraternal twin songs "Shake and Pop" and "They Called It Rock", and "Rollers Show"; the last being a parody of the teen audience of the Bay City Rollers. One of the best power pop albums of all time.

So It Goes
Shake and Pop
Buy It


Funny Toon

Friday, January 22, 2010

Top Ten Albums of 2009

Finally I have got around to making my top ten albums of 2009 list. So what is the homercat criteria for being a "best" album. I could go into all the things I gauge it on, but it simply boils down to which full albums did I listen to the most after purchasing them. I have listened to the albums on this list countless number of times and personally I am thrilled to death with each and every one. My list looks like no other top ten list from last year and that's the way I like it. I don't follow the trendy set. Homercat blazes his own trail. Each album here is a worthy addition to any collection even if a couple of them make you groan out loud.

#1 Rooftops and Satellites by Colin James
Colin James
It was close as to what the number one album was going to be. Willie Nile came close. but I have been listening to this over and over and over again. I have been trying to get the James name out there over the years as he is relatively unknown outside his native Canada. If you buy only one album this year this should be the one.

Find My Home
Buy It

#2 House of A Thousand Guitars by Willie Nile
Willie Nile
Back in 2006 Willie Nile released what I considered the best (albeit unknown) record of the year and quite possibly may be the best album to be released in the last five years. The album was called Streets of New York and it was fantastic. House of a Thousand Guitars is Willie Nile's sixth studio album and it literally picks up right where his previous album left off. There is a song for every mood on this album. Another masterpiece from another relatively unknown that needs more love. This song I have here is simply stunning and heartbreaking.

Now That the War is Over
Buy It

#3 21st Century Breakdown by Green Day
Green Day
Green Day really nailed it with this album. This was the first Green Day album I ever purchased because I never really got into them. I liked a couple tunes by them but never enough to go out and buy one of their albums. A great concept album that really needs to be listened to in it's entirety to truly appreciate the greatness of this album. Of all the albums I have listed here this one has probably had the most exposure. So I won't be putting up a song for this one.

Buy It

#4 Let the Dominoes Fall by Rancid
Rancid
Let the Dominoes Fall is the seventh full-length album from punk rock band Rancid. This is their first album of new material in nearly six years and it debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200, making this Rancid's highest charting album to date. The first four songs on the album showcase everything that's right about the band. There's a few cosmetic differences here and there but the fire, spirit, and strength the band exhibited since their debut in the early '90s hasn't faded at all. Songs like "Dominos Fall" and "Locomotive" fly out of the speakers like demons on pcp. Almost manages to recapture the glory of Out come the Wolves. I said almost. A very satisfying
punk album and fer god's sake , don't wait another six years to put out a new one.

Dominoes Fall
Last One to Die
Buy It

#5 The Latest by Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
Any album by Cheap Trick is a top ten album in the year it came out. One reason for this is that the tricksters are my favorite group of all time. On The Latest, power pop goodness abounds. Ya got yer rockers, yer ballads and Zander still sounds fantastic after all these years. Reinvention isn't the order of the day, Just a tight, tuneful collection of proudly unfashionable power pop in this collection of 13 guitar-heavy pop tunes.

Sick Man of Europe
Miss Tomorrow
Buy It

#6 Greatest Hits Vol. 16 by The Donnas
The Donnas
Don't let the title fool you, this is not a greatest Hits album. It's a retrospective album of sorts. It contains unreleased material, live tracks, Re recorded tracks of earlier material, alternate versions and a remix or two. A gold mine if you're as big a fan as I am. Most of the stuff is lesser known stuff and as a whole it really rocks.

Get Rid of That Girl (2009 Version)
Buy It


#7 Tinted windows
Tinted Windows
Speaking of power pop you must get this album. Tinted Windows is an American rock supergroup formed by guitarist James Iha, previously of The Smashing Pumpkins, singer Taylor Hanson of Hanson, bassist Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. The combination looks almost odd, but boy does it work. The album came out in April and it debuted at #59. Not so much a supergroup, it's really just a bunch of longtime veterans getting back to basics and playing their first love, glorious power pop.

Messing With My Head
Buy It

#8 Antennas Up
Antennas Up
I covered these guys a while back if you want to check through the archives. Half of the tunes on this album just won't get out of my head. Since I've covered them earlier, no sample. Take a chance and pick it up.

Buy It

#9 Chickenfoot
chickenfoot
Another supergroup? You bet. I knew it was gonna be a gooder just because of Sammy Hagar. The other guys are just a great bonus. Just get it, I'm getting tired of writing.

Sexy Little Thing
Buy It

#10 Glee The Music Volume 1
Glee
Much like the TV show itself, there is so much about this soundtrack that shouldn't work. We initially started watching Glee solely because of Jane Lynch. We have liked everything she has appeared in and her role as Sue Sylvester is glorious. Along the way we became Gleeks and our house is a huge fan of the show. Without a doubt Lea Michele's vocal performances are the star of this show. I have to say that the material along with the arrangements have been stunning. They have managed to take songs from artists I don't like or would never listen to and made them some of my favorites. When they did their cover of Queen's Somebody to Love on the show, the performance and arrangement absolutely sent chills down my spine. Good stuff and very listenable. If you haven't heard any of these cuts give em a chance.

Defying Gravity
Don't Stop Believin'
Buy It

Well that's it, a little bit late, but my top picks. I had several others that almost made the list, but I had to go with these. Feel free to lambast or praise homercat for these picks. Just a side note here, haloscan commenting is shutting it's doors Feb 4, so I am in the process of adjusting my template and come the 4th I'll have to revert to blogger commenting. Yuck.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love Crimes


Harlequin is a Canadian rock band that formed in Winnipeg in 1975 and lasted until the mid-1980s. In 2004, the band reformed briefly as Harlequin II. In 2008 the band resurfaced as just Harlequin again and released a live album in 2009.

Their second album, Love Crimes, came out in 1980, and went on to go Platinum, powered in part by Harlequin's biggest hit to date 'Innocence." Another track, "Thinking of You" became a staple of rock radio, and a highlight of the live show. This album is very much out of print and I have seen prices for this album range from 75 to 125 dollars. It baffles me that titles such as this one are unavailable in a century where everything is available. All their records showed a lot of promise and I believe they deserved better than obscurity. Perhaps being labeled as nice guy rock back in the day gave them a bad rep. Over the holidays I was lucky enough to come across a vinyl copy of this album in very good condition at a Salvation Army store where I only paid 75 cents. That my friends is a great deal for a great album. And finally, coming sometime this week, homercat's top ten of 2009.

Love on the Rocks
Heaven (Dial 999)
Innocence
out of print

Funny Toon

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The BAD Files


After Mick Jones was fired from the Clash in 1983, he formed Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D.) one year later with video artist Don Letts (effects and vocals), Greg Roberts (drums), Dan Donovan (keyboards), and Leo "E-Zee Kill" Williams (bass). B.A.D. debuted on record with the single "The Bottom Line" in September 1985. The group followed the more experimental funk elements of the Clash's Combat Rock, adding samplers, dance tracks, and found sounds to Jones' concise pop songwriting.

Through it's 12 years of existence from 1985 to 1997 they released 8 official albums. Their last and ninth album never made it to print as BAD was dropped from their label. The album was eventually released online as a free download from the band. Also during those 12 years they underwent 4 name changes. They started out as Big Audio Dynamite and changed to Big Audio Dynamite II in 1991. In 1994 it changed to Big Audio and finally back to Big Audio Dynamite in 1995. If you're a fan of the band then the BAD Files Volumes 1 through 8 is a definite must have for collector's such as homercat. What exactly is the BAD Files? It's a massive collection of remixes, B sides, 12 inch dance mixes and unreleased material that never appeared on any album and BAD fans will certainly drool over. There is approximately 100 tracks and hours upon hours of great music. Having acquired all 8 volumes with all artwork intact, I would love to share it here with everyone. Being that would probably result in Good Rockin' being shut down by blogger big brother I can only put up a couple tracks from the first volume. However, if you are interested in all 8 volumes, drop homercat an email at homercat at shaw dot ca
(figure it out)and he can provide details on how to hook you up.


The Bottom Line (UK Remix)
E=MC2 (Extended Remix)
Contact (12 Inch Remix)


Funny Toon

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wonderful


Wonderful was Adam Ant's fifth (official, without the Ants) and final solo album. The album topped at #143 on the Billboard 200 chart. Released in 1995, the title track was a successful single, as was a tour of the U.S. in support of the album. While Ant and his group (which retained longtime guitarist Pirroni) played in smaller venues than they had played in the 1980s, the houses were often packed with enthusiastic fans. The tour was curtailed, however, when Ant and Pirroni both contracted a respiratory illness.

Gone are the tribal rhythms, the warpaint and other signature antmusic motifs. Instead Adam shows off a mature AOR sound that is rather enjoyable and Wonderful is a most excellent song. In early 2002, Ant was charged with threatening members of the public with an imitation firearm in a London pub. The court also ordered that he undertake rehabilitation, although he was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression).Since the 2002 incident, Ant has occasionally been featured in news stories surrounding potential projects and his medical condition. A television special entitled The Madness of Prince Charming was aired in the UK in 2003 documenting his career and his struggle with mental illness. Hopefully Adam can get his bipolar disorder under control and think about recording some new material with Marco. Rumours have been floating around that new material has been worked on and there may be an album in the future. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Beautiful Dream
Wonderful
out of print


Funny Toon

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mac Davis


Ya gotta be at least as old as homercat to remember Mac Davis. He was a great singer songwriter who started out as a songwriter, with several of his early songs being recorded by Elvis. For example he wrote A Little Less Conversation in 1968 and Elvis promptly recorded it for one of his movies. In 2002 Conversation was remixed by Junkie XL for the NIKE Football World Cup advertising campaign and it went on to become a Number 1 hit in over 20 countries.

Davis soon signed to Columbia Records in 1970. His big success came two years later in 1972 when he topped the Country and Pop charts with the success song "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me". From 1974 to 1976, Davis had his own television variety show on NBC, The Mac Davis Show. By the mid-1980s, his career in music was declining. His chart success was decreasing rapidly; Davis was one of many Country singers who had Pop music crossover success in the 1970s and 1980s whose careers slowed down to make way for artists like Garth Brooks and Clint Black. Every song on this 1979 Greatest Hits album is a winner. Mac is still kickin around and occasionally will pop up in a small role on the small and big screen.

Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me
I Believe in Music
Buy It

Funny Toon