Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When It Came On, I Couldn't Sit Still




Doug: Back on January 31, I was charged with driving my sister the 50 miles or so up to Midway Airport so she could catch her flight home after a short visit. It was really early on a Sunday morning, so I needed some tunes on high just to keep me awake for the ride back home. I had the Sirius-XM set to "70s on 7" because, after all, I am a Bronze Age Baby. I really like that station, because you could get Led Zeppelin, Al Green, the Bee Gees, and the Knack all back-to-back-to-back. And then it came on -- the Spinners' Rubberband Man. At no point for the next three minutes was I in any danger of falling asleep at the wheel. I'm sure other drivers gave a sideways glance at the champagne-colored Highlander and wondered who the whackjob behind the wheel was.



Doug: Enjoy a live version of the song in question. And of course, what makes you move to the music?

24 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

Great topic, Doug. And what a great song - I'd almost forgotten how much I absolutely love "Rubberband Man." The video is great, too. I like the way the woman one of the guys pulled up from the audience really starts getting into it. I remember, sometimes back in the '70s, radio DJs would sometimes play the awesome extended version - about 4 extra minutes grooviness.

For me, one song that almost always makes me want to get up and start dancing is the appropriately titled Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone. Another is the Romantics' What I Like About You.

A few that don't necessarily necessarily make me want to dance but perk me right up are and usually have me singing (or shouting) the lyrics out include this live version of Pat Travers' "Boom, Boom (Out Go the Lights)", the Pixies' Debaser and Chicago's Saturday in the Park - that last one in particular never fails to get me to sing along (I just did it now when I listened to that YouTube link).

Rip Jagger said...

I got so weary of this song when it was a hit because it played the AM stations so dang much. But as you say it's a song with real simple charm that just snags you and crawls inside, a nice reminder of bygone days. Hearing now, once in a while is delightful.

Rip Off

Redartz said...

Doug- wonderful topic, excellent song! The Spinners were fantastic; this is just one of their greatest. And that Sirius radio is a winner as well. My wife has it in her car (I still have the old am/fm tuner in my 16-year-old ride), and "70s on 7" is my frequent choice when driving it. By the way, "70s on 7" plays American Top 40 with Casey Kasem on Sunday mornings; you can slip right back to the decade of pet rocks and Howard the Duck...

Songwise- "The Groove Line" by Heatwave. Just can't sit still when that plays. Also, "Express" by B.T. Express (appropriately enough). Finally, one more that almost rocked me enough to get up and move on the school bus to junior high (almost): T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia) by M.F.S.B. Dynamite song, no doubt that was why it was used as the theme to Soul Train. Yes, T.S.O.P. was AOK with me; think I'll go play it ASAP. Sorry, couldn't help myself...

Humanbelly said...

Yep, yep-- Sirius/XM is the provider of our listening entertainment at the shop (I came to it via XM well before they merged), and 70's on 7 is one of our more listened-too channels as well. The transitions in pop music over that decade are just huge-- although I do feel like the station's playlist could stand to be a bit deeper sometimes. It runs the gamut from the tail end of the 60's Beatlemania (w/ the Let It Be album well-represented), through the awful roller-rink pop (Billy Don't Be a Hero, etc), through the entirety of Disco (good & bad), SuperGroups like Queen and Kansas and Boston, and into those early years of pop-friendly New Wave like Blondie. And of course a HECK of a lot of R&B and R&S with EW&F and Marvin Gaye and a zillion others.

However, to the specific question at hand-- I've always been much more of a Belt Along With Gleeful Abandon type of listener, rather than a Can't-Keep-My-Feet-Still type. Hence, much of the 70's doesn't grab me quite the same way, 'cause the trend toward high tenor lead singers/wailers was pretty much complete, while I'm a baritone. And my personal taste in pop is, sadly, pretty darned square & whitebread-- so the 60's tend to be the decade that I surrender to. (Well, and the On Broadway Channel) This usually results in my associate putting her tools down and laying her head face-down on the work-table until I stop singing. . .

HOOKED ON A FEELIN' (Blue Swede version) is a huge favorite.
YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELIN'- Man, I could sing along w/ Bill Medley all day.
FIVE O'CLOCK WORLD by the Vogues
Almost all of the BeeGees pre-disco hits are terrific sing-along-withs (and ripe for enhanced harmonies).
LIGHTNIN' STRIKES by Lou Christie. . . until he goes into falsetto. . .
IT'S NOW OR NEVER by Elvis (esp. that G he jumps to at the end-- a money-note for sure).
HAPPY TOGETHER by the Turtles
ELI'S COMIN' by Three Dog Night--- actually that's a get-me-bouncin' song every time I hear it.

Hooo-boy, this is an embarrassing list, isn't it? The level of not-cool that I was/am is hard to imagine. . . but, we are what we are, eh?

HB

Doug said...

Hey, HB -- I work with 15-18 years olds every day. I quit worrying about being cool a long time ago.

After all, "It's Hip to be Square", right?

And I'm so glad that the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack brought new life to some fun tunes from the Bronze Age. My 24-year old son couldn't wait to get his hands on the soundtrack album, and lo if the boy didn't buy it on vinyl! Warmed my heart.

Doug

And a PS: My wife and I took in the musical "Beautiful" on Saturday. It's based on the early career of Carole King, right up to the release of Tapestry. What a talented lady, and what a talented cast we saw in Chicago. It was a lot of fun. Sure, it was pretty formulaic -- if you've seen "Jersey Boys" and "Motown", then there aren't too many plot surprises. But it was a really nice 2 1/2 hour diversion. Recommended!

Humanbelly said...

I'll tell you, Doug-- vinyl is the new chocolate. Or black. Or something like that. HBGirl has been opting for vinyl for recreational listening whenever possible this year (!?!). The accumulated/combined record collection that HBWife and I haven't touched for decades is now being raided regularly with gasps of astonished discovery. Since the source of those gasps is a teenaged girl, it's also made crystal clear that we are somehow deeply "at fault" for possessing this treasure or that gem for all these years and not letting her know about it. . .

Having a girl, Doug--- it opens up whole vistas of unforeseeable transgressions. . .

HB

Doug said...

On a similar note, I was looking at the link to the post from December when I asked our readers about changes through the decades. If you recall, there's a picture of the Bay City Rollers that drew a comment from Edo.

So that gets me to thinking about those artists who come over the airwaves these 40 years later (here's your "uncool" part, HB) that make you smirk a little, and then you proceed to sing right along as if not a day has passed.

I'm talking "Rock and Roll Love Letter" by those very same Rollers, the 2-3 hits that Shaun Cassidy had, and some Andy Gibb, too.

Doug

Humanbelly said...

Ha! RubberBand Man just played on 70's on 7!

HB

Garett said...

Could Have Been a Lady by April Wine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dL8q3yc5SQ
I just heard the original by Hot Chocolate for the first time-- I like April Wine's faster version better.

Jesus Christ Superstar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZD9b-NRfN8
On a recent band trip we play this album to get pumped up. I hadn't heard this version with Ian Gillan from Deep Purple since I was a kid, so it was cool to hear the differences from the movie version with Ted Neely. Amazing funky bass throughout. The '70s must be the best decade for funky bass.

How You Like Me Now by The Heavy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzvRsl4rEM

Brimful of Asha by Cornershop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LBnMRWeV-E
With 45 record player in the video. "Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow" is a fun sexy lyric, and then he adds touchingly, "mine's on the 45".

Edo Bosnar said...

Garett, great selection of songs; I love Brimful of Asha, both that remix version and the original, and man, I haven't listened to any April Wine in years, so thanks for that...
I just remembered two songs that always put me in the mood for dancing, the Bangles' wonderfully infectious Walk Like An Egyptian (yes, part of my formative years were in the 1980s, thank you for asking), and arguably one of the most awesome dance/party tunes ever written, The Boys Are Back in Town by the Bus Boys.

...and as nice as these musical diversions have been, I've seriously got to get back to work...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I don't think I've ever actually heard "Rubberband Man" before; but then I'm no dancer, so all the groovy stuff doesn't really do anything for me.

As for 70s stuff, I like a lot of the usual fare (Elton John, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, Bowie, Eagles), plus I love me some punk (Sex Pistols, Clash, X-Ray Spex). There are a few obscure tunes that kind of grab me, like Milk and Alcohol by Dr. Feelgood. Not sure if it's danceable, but I like it!

Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

Oh GOOD call w/ Walk Like And Egyptian, edo! Yeah, that one hearkens right smack back to the title of this post. HBGirl yells at me for bouncing around in the driver seat whenever it comes on the radio. Okay, okay-- that's got me thinking a little more on-topic (and maybe into the next decade--).

OH,OH,OH,OH!! OMG! Meatloaf's "Paradise By the Dashboard Light"-! Yeah? Yeah? Makes me want to sing, dance, and act it out whenever it comes on! What's even better is that it effects HBWife the same way-- making it an undiscovered level of Hell for HBGirl if she's in the room (or the car) at the time! Ahhhh, that song is an almost perfect cocktail of visceral, joyful, bittersweet nostalgia on overdrive. . . !

"Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet-!
"Roam" and "Love Shack" by the B-52's!

Hmmm-- maybe those early 80's are where I should be hangin' my audio hat. . .

HB

Redartz said...

Boy, its tough to keep steady at work when you're getting hyped up to play some tunes...

HB- if Blue Swede is uncool, count me as un. Love that song; when it plays I "ooga chakka" along with the best of 'em.

Edo- "Walk like an Egyptian" is definitely a high point in 80's pop. We have an old family video of our youngest son (about 2 at the time) dancing to that song; as a teen he hated 80's music. Now he loves it.
Also, Edo, great that you mention the Busboys. "Johnny Soul'd Out" is a personal favorite...

Garett said...

Glad you liked, Edo! Hey Mike, thanks for the Dr. Feelgood link. I don't know this band at all! I like the energy of this one, She Does It Right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHm7uIC84YM
Nice sharp guitar sound.

david_b said...

Let's see, HB's 'Roam' and 'Love Shack' combo are killer..

Original studio recording of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' from the Stones is good.

Blondie's 'Sunday Girl' with the double-backbeat. Doug's mention of Huey Lewis hits are great, like 'If This is It' and 'Heart of Rock'n Roll'.

Ok ok, Starship's 'Built This City'.., corny as it is, still has a great, catchy refrain. Jagger/Jackson's 'State of Shock' is pretty darn good, but I preferred the live rendition with Mick and Tina at LiveAID better.

At a gig a few years back I did do a medley with 'Dancing in the Streets' (Bowie/Jagger) with 'Going to a Go-Go', turned out quite well.


'Always Something There to Remind Me' by Naked Eyes, anyone..?


Humanbelly said...

Yikes, we're just about a dangerous half-step away from makin' mix-tapes, aren't we?

DavidB-- I really like the full, open, clear lead vocal on "Always Something There To Remind Me". Not screamy, y'know? Just a 2nd tenor laying it out in the upper part of his comfortable range.

Hey, can anyone. . . anyone. . . our age not start bouncing around right at the opening THMPTHMPTHMPTHMPTHMPTHMPTHMPTHMP of the bass in "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror? That whole long intro keeps you tightly vibrating like a coiled spring until Richard O'Brien FINALLY sets us all loose with his wailing "I rememmmmberrrrr. . . doing the TIIIIIME warp. . . !" Again, the sight of proper, professional little HBWife performing right along as both Magenta AND Columbia is not an experience one soon forgets. . .

HB

BobC said...

HB--I played Rocky in an amateur repro at several midnight showings in the 80's. My big "solo" was "The Sword of Damocles"

Anonymous said...

@HB: Ha, I have dozens of mix-tapes (well, mix-CDs); I like a nice variety when I'm tune listening :)

@Garett: Yeah, I wasn't familiar with Dr. Feelgood either, but I saw a reference to "Milk and Alcohol" online someplace, checked it out, and thought it sounded cool. You're right about the energy in "She Does It Right". Of course, a couple of Canadians like us could start tossing out names like Streetheart, Trooper, Sweeney Todd, Rough Trade, Toronto, Gowan, Kim Mitchell, and so on...but why give away all our secrets?

Mike Wilson

Anonymous said...

"Add It Up" by the Violent Femmes - starts out slow, vocals only, then WHAM! fast music. As soon as it starts, I can't wait for that part to kick in.

"What Do I Get?" And "Ever Fallen in Love" by the Buzzcocks- best pop punk of all time? Bouncy and not too harsh. I tap on the steering wheel a lot during those songs.

"Stand" by Sly & the Family Stone - gets me pumped and makes me want to pump my fist.

"A Girl Like You" by the Smithereens - every time the vocal trade-off happens toward the end of the song, I lean forward. I don't know why, exactly.

"Chameleon" by Herbie Hancock - I bop along for the entire song, which is over 10 minutes long.

- Mike Loughlin

Humanbelly said...

Ah-hahaha! BobC, I'm always hopin' to see you pop up over here-!

Bob's a bit of a weight-lifter (or used to be at least, yes?), so he would have legitimate qualifications to play the be-muscled golden boy--!

HB

Lloyd Smith said...

70s on 7! Yeah! Listen to it when working, working out, and even when blogging. I love to sing along with Kansas, Tony Orlando & Dawn, B.J. Thomas, and the Spinners. I also dig moving my feet to Aerosmith, Donna Summer, Dr. John, and the Captain & Tennille! Whoo! Get down!

Lloyd Smith said...

70s on 7! Yeah! Listen to it when working, working out, and even when blogging. I love to sing along with Kansas, Tony Orlando & Dawn, B.J. Thomas, and the Spinners. I also dig moving my feet to Aerosmith, Donna Summer, Dr. John, and the Captain & Tennille! Whoo! Get down!

The Groovy Agent said...

Dunno why the double post. Sorry!

BobC said...

Hee hee, HB! Just so you know--I be a 50 Yo and not-counting-anymore man, but I can still bench 300 lbs! So nice to see you here, pal. I can't believe that my beloved Black Panther is finally getting some serious attention via Civil War. I always knew the character had huge potential!! Anyway--I was a big fan of black music in the 70's--way before it was cool. Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Labelle, P-Funk. 70's funk/RB never gets the respect that the 60's stuff got.

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