Monday, July 10, 2006

Full Moon Fever

Around the music blogs today:

From somewhere in Canada, Homercat at Good Rockin' Tonight is going south for a couple of tunes from the Marshall Tucker Band. Although they were squarely in the AOR mix during the late 70s, I'm not sure they belong on classic rock radio today. Is it possible that the definition of "classic" or, as my radio station puts it, "timeless," can change? Listen and tell me what you think.

Anybody who remembers 70s TV can summon up the sound of Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton as Archie and Edith Bunker singing the All in the Family theme. But did you know they made a record of pop songs in 1973? The Record Robot has uncovered it. Whether that's a service to musical history or a crime against humanity is up to you to decide.

(Speaking of 70s artifacts, VH1 has finally gotten around to I Love the 70s Volume II, three years after Volume One. Episodes covering 1970 and 1971 air tonight from 7 to 9PM Central, and other years will be featured every night this week.)

I'm over a week late getting to the following two posts, but you shouldn't dawdle in getting to them yourself. At Take Em as They Come, Danny Alexander wrote about Bruce Springsteen and his Seeger Sessions album and tour as subversive of just about everything you'd expect Springsteen, and rock itself, to be. Meanwhile, He's a Whore posted on the career of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with capsule review/summaries of each of their albums through the early 90s, and this amazing trivia nugget: Petty's record company rejected Full Moon Fever at first, despite the inclusion of such now-classics as "I Won't Back Down" and "Free Fallin'." It took a regime change at the company to get it released.

Coming tomorrow: A brief and modest celebration of this blog's second anniversary.

4 Comments:

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Willie said...

Your question about Marshall Tucker being classic rock is a valid one. It brings up many more.

Personally, I think MT can be played on classic rock stations. It goes along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, and all of the other southern rock groups.

Where do you draw the line? That is a difficult question. Does Johnny Lee's music qualify for classic rock? Is it country? Or both?

What about Kenny Rogers? A duet with Dolly Parton is probably country. What about a duet with Sheena Easton? Where does that fit?

Why is disco played on some classic rock stations? It seems incongruous with the classic rock format.

My last point is about Bob Seger. Why aren't some of his tunes played on more classic country stations? They were in the 80's. Now, classic country avoids him like the plague.

Just some random thoughts for you to ponder.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger jabartlett said...

Skynryd still works as classic rock--the southern twang of Ronnie Van Zant's vocals is more than offset by their big guitar sound. But when Daniels and Tucker start sawing away on fiddles or using steel guitar sounds, it sounds weird next to Zeppelin or Yes.

I wouldn't consider Kenny Rogers classic rock. Apart from a couple of early First Edition singles, Rogers was strictly a country and pop singer. Johnny Lee only had a couple of singles cross from country to pop radio, and they were clearly pop records. I guess I'd have to see/hear some examples of disco on classic rock stations, because I haven't heard it here in the Midwest.

As for country radio, who knows what's going on there? You'd think they'd play MTB, Daniels, and Skynryd before they'd play Kid Rock, but they don't.

 
At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Curious, and a little sad, how some music that had a place on the radio in the '70s has no place now.

It was a blessing that the FM rock station in our mid-sized town in central Wisconsin had to appeal to everyone, thus played everything. So you would have Marshall Tucker stuck next to Chaka Khan next to Fleetwood Mac next to the Isley Brothers next to the Carpenters next to Lynyrd Skynyrd next to the Moody Blues next to KC and the Sunshine Band. And after 10 p.m., when listenership and advertising dropped off, it got much more adventurous.

The tent seemed much larger then. Perhaps it was not. Perhaps I'm just remembering it wrong. But how else would I have heard all that? There was just one other station, an AM top-40 station valued only for airing the National Lampoon Radio Hour. And certainly not on TV.

There really didn't seem to be the "does it belong?" debate. At this one FM station, for a time in the '70s, If the kids liked it, no matter the style or genre, you played it. Or so it seemed.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger jabartlett said...

I should probably make clear where I stand on variety in general: I'm for it. After all, I was weaned on AM Top 40, where the kind of variety Jeff mentions in his comment was commonplace. (And I have a car tape that segues from the Jackson Five into the Statler Brothers.) But I was at the radio station the other day and heard "Fire on the Mountain" next to something by Hendrix and the contrast, which wouldn't normally bother me, seemed really, really weird.

Sounds like the opinion coming down here is that yes, country rock still fits, even next to Zeppelin and Yes.

 

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