Wednesday, February 24, 2010

5 Turn-it-Up! Songs to Love

Today we discuss five songs that, when they come on the radio or my iTouch, I turn 'em up loud enough that no one can tell I can't carry a tune. But when you're at the heart of your rock-star-wannabe glory, who cares?

Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

What's better here? The head banging intro., Robert Plant's vocals (gotta love that Tarzan-like yell), or just the general gutteral growl of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones? How about all of the above? Shoot, I don't even know the words here -- I just move, man. People must think I'm an idiot...

Roll With the Changes by REO Speedwagon

One of the best bridges ever. Ever. Neal Doughty's organ followed by Gary Richrath's guitar. And don't forget Doughty on piano, either. I loved this one the first time I ever heard it, as the lead track on the album at right, You Can Tune a Piano but You Can't Tuna Fish. And if that isn't one of the best names for an album, ever, I don't know what is.

So if you're tired of the same old story,
Turn some pages.


Just the Same Way by Journey

Ah, yes, back in the days before Steve Perry had completely taken over lead vocals -- and don't get me wrong -- he has a phenomenal voice and to me embodies Journey. But Gregg Rolie is featured here, as he was on two of the band's other hits, Feelin' That Way and Anytime. What works for me here is the mixture of their vocals -- different pitch, style, but sounding great together. Sort of like the Reese's of '70's rock!

I like Jonathan Cain on keyboards, but Rolie's vocals gave Journey an additional resource.

Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC

Just when you think it's about over, it gets better. Fast, then slow, then fast again. A rocker worthy of stadium play, and in fact, I do play it when doing the PA at my sons' high school baseball games. Hey, I'm not interested in their music; folks on the fence have to listen to my music! Brian Johnson's vocals are great on this track.

Rosalita by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Doesn't the Boss just paint you a picture with a lot of his songs? None more so than here. The scenery, the characters, the situations... Clarence Clemons is great on that sax as usual, and the rest of the band meshes well, also as usual. Another tune that reaches a stopping point, but heads right into a crescendo that takes it home the rest of the way. Fun, fun, fun!

BONUS track --

Never Been Any Reason by Head East

The first time I heard this song I thought it was Emerson, Lake, and Palmer -- the synthesizer is reminiscent of ELP's Lucky Man. Head East hails from my native Illinois, originally forming at the University of Illinois. They never really had another hit, but this one's lasting -- sounds great everytime I turn it up!


Edo Bosnar said...

Mostly agree with all your choices, but especially "Roll w/ the Changes" - yes, yes, yes! I really never liked REO Speedwagon, then or now, but this song is so absolutely, unbelievably f***in' awesome.
As for your comments about Journey, long after they began to fade into obscurity, I heard some tracks from their almost forgotten first album, in the pre-Perry phase: really cool stuff, a kind of jazz/prog sound definitely influenced by Schon & Rolie's tenure with Santana...

Doug said...

Edo --

Thanks as always for your comments!

Right now I have a little CSNY on -- how about "Carry On", or "Chicago" by Graham Nash? Not outright rockers, but certainly singalongs.


Karen said...

AC/DC at the high school games? Doug, you are a wild man!!


Anonymous said...

I used to be fairly take-it-or-leave it about The Immigrant Song until The Band From Outer Space (some guys in amusing "Alien" costumes) mimed to it on the Gong Show.

And I could never decipher the lyrics unitl i saw the punk kittens doing it online :0(

B Smith

Michelle said...

Great choices, Doug! Another Zeppelin one that I'd like to add is 'When the Levee Breaks'. That song can help me bear even a traffic jam (as long as it's on a Friday, mind you).

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