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Tag Archives: The Who
This record came to me through one of my friends who asked me to record it for him. The story of how he came to own this record is worth telling because those times are long, long, gone…
So his story is this: My friend grew up in Wichita, Kansas in the 1950’s. Not much went on in Wichita in the ’50s and ’60’s. Not much goes on there today, come to think about it. But when my friend was a junior in College, Jerry Lee Lewis was going to come through town and play a concert. My friend didn’t even really know who Jerry Lee Lewis was. One afternoon, a flat bed truck came through the campus grounds with a bull horn announcing a rock and roll show and where to get tickets. As a crowd began to gather, the promoters just started throwing copies of Jerry Lee Lewis albums out into the crowd. My friend is a tall gentleman now, and he was tall back then too. He easily caught one of the records. So here it is “The Golden Cream of Country” by Jerry Lee Lewis. This record was released in 1969.
This record is on Sun Records. The famous studio of the producer, Sam Phillips. Sun records is hallowed ground. It is one of the birthplaces of Rock and Roll. Take a look at this photo:
At sun records in the 1950’s Rock, Country, Blues, and Folk music collided all at the same time. The results changed music forever. Sam Phillips was the baby Doctor that assisted in it birth. This record is a great example of what was going on at the time. The tittle states it’s a “Country” record, but I would guess that when you listen to some of the songs you may think differently.
Invitation To Your Party
A country song but with a honky tonk Rockabilly piano sound going on too. Hmmm….
This is such a famous song and it has been recorded by “everyone and their dog!” I bet there are a lot of people that would be stunned to know that it was written by Hank Williams. Here we have a Louisiana man singing about the bayou. This is a great version and “The Killer” nails it!
When I saw this song title I thought it was going to be the “Ramblin’ Rose” of Nat King Cole. This is a different song. By the way, this song doesn’t sound anything like country and western music to me. This is very Rhythm and Blues with it’s boogie beat and the style of singing it is really a very cool song. This could have just as easily been Ray Charles.
Cold, Cold, Heart
Another song by Hank Williams. When you call an album “The Golden Cream of Country” , you have to include some Hank Williams, Right? There is a great new CD out that is a collection of unfinished songs of Hank Williams. The CD was put together by Bob Dylan and a who’s who of great singer/song writers. I haven’t heard it yet, but initial reviews have been very positive. Jerry Lee definitely gives this song the country effect. I especially like the gospel roll he uses in this arrangement. The piano solo in the break is classic Jerry Lee Lewis.
As Long As I Live
This song is much more Rock n Roll than country. The lead guitar sound is definitely more Rock sounding than country. Once again The Killer tears up the piano with a great solo.
Seasons Of My Heart
I don’t know who the woman singer is. She is not credited on the album anywhere. It’s interesting how they purposefully sing slightly out of sync with each other. It gives an edge of emotion to this song it wouldn’t otherwise have.
One Minute Past Eternity
This song is the most country song on the LP. This is in the style of old country like Patsey Cline.
I Can’t Trust You In My Arms Anymore
This sounds more like Fats Domino than Willy Nelson.
Frankie and Johnny
This is the only song on the LP that Jerry Lee Lewis wrote. This is straight ahead rock and roll. Not any country going on here. This is a great little rock and roll ditty.
A twangy guitar and a singing style like Roger Miller. A very country sounding song, with a slight blues edge to it.
How’s My Ex Treating You?
Once again the walking blues bass appears. I like the fuzzy sound of the bass in this song. It’s a great tittle for a country song. It just sounds like rock and roll more than country. The Hammond Organ is not a typical C & W instrument ether.
And with that, “The Golden Cream of Country” comes to an end. It’s Not the greatest album I ever heard. It is interesting that a record like this was released with a tittle like this in 1969. Consider what other albums were released in 1969. The Beatles released Abbey Road, the Rolling Stones released Let it Bleed, Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin I and II, The Who released “Tommy”. There were also classic albums released that year by bands like The Velvet Underground, King Crimson, Captain Beefheart, and Nick Drake. That is a very diverse group of musicians. Music was going in a million directions in 1969. Maybe the competition for Jerry Lee was so intense he felt he had to call it a country album to sell any copies.
So the point to me is that it is dumb to label music. Country? Rock? Jazz? Classical? Then you get really silly with labels like: Fusion, Alternative, Dubb step, Heavy Metal, Punk, Indie, etc… On and on it goes, till nobody know what it really means anymore. I don’t know. I could be wrong. What do you think?
Live albums are usually considered to be only for the “hard core” fan of that particular artist. I’m not not sure that I agree with that. Sometimes the live album raises to the level of high art. So what follows is my list of the top live rock albums. I’d love to hear what your list would be. Review the list and make your own.
This album captures the Stones at the height of their powers. The 1969 American tour is considered to be one of the greatest rock-n-roll tours of all time. It was the first time a band toured with monitors on stage so they could hear themselves above the crowd noise. The Stones came back to England and told the Beatles “You need to go tour the U.S. again. Now you can actually hear yourself on stage.” The result was that they could do things musically on stage that could not be done before. A great example it the magnificent version of “Midnight Rambler” . The new deluxe version of this record contains The original LP on CD and vinyl as well as bonus cuts and the complete opening acts that toured with the Stones that year: Ike and Tina Turner and B.B. King.
2. Little Feat “Waiting for Columbus”
I get excited the second I hear the band warming up their voices back stage. This band is so good live that you wonder if it’s really a studio recording with a crowd overdub. Consummate musicianship and artistry!
3. The Who – “Live At Leeds”
This is another live album that caught a band at the height of their power. Tommy was still a new LP. Roger Daltry was young and had that powerful voice. Keith Moon was still alive and kickin’, and Pete Townsend wasn’t deaf. I love the 18 minute version of “My Generation” that becomes a highly complex medley of several of their best songs.
4. Jimi Hendrix – “Band of Gypsy’s”
What an album this is! It is spooky how good Hendrix was. Here he is only months before he died, with a new band, pushing his music in an entirely new direction. This album was recorded at Filmore East at the height of the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement. Jimi sings “Machine Gun” and dedicates it “to all the cats fighting in Chicago, and New York and, oh yea; all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam”. In many ways this is my favorite Hendrix LP.
5. Neil Young with Crazy Horse – “Live Rust“
This was one of the all time greatest tours of rock history. Neil toured in support of his masterpiece “Rust Never Sleeps”. All the hits are here. You gotta love “Cortez the Killer”, “Like A Hurricane”, and “Hey, Hey, My, my, Rock-n-roll will never die…” Crazy Horse at their sonic, dissonant best!
6. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young “Four Way Street”
I remember the first time I heard this record. It was in Art class in junior high school. This girl I had a crush on brought it in to listen to while the class painted. I loved it the moment I heard it. I loved how it was divided into a “wooden” disc and an “electric” disc. CSN&Y used to start their shows acoustic, take an intermission, then come back and do an electric set to close the show. There are so many great moments on this record. I love all the banter the band members have with the audience. It creates a very intimate atmosphere that is unique in live recordings.
7. The Allman Brothers “Live at Filmore East.”
This is without a doubt one of the most amazing live albums ever. The musicianship on display here is mind blowing. These guys were great! What a lose to rock-n-roll that Duane Allman died so young. “Whipping Post”, “Statesborro Blues”, and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” are wired into the Psyche of roll-n-roll. This is a “must have” in any collection.
8. Talking Heads – “Stop Making Sense”
If you have never seen this concert film you should. This is a stunning performance by one of America’s best bands of all time. Talking Heads are a force of nature. The concert starts with just David Bryne on stage by himself. With each song another band member comes out to join him until finally the entire band is on stage. What is amazing is that each song retains it’s identity no matter who is on stage performing it. “Once in a Lifetime” is just unbelievable. Every song is great. The drama and musicianship is beyond belief.
9. U2 -“Live at Red Rocks”
I think this is one of the best live albums U2 ever did. I like it much more than “Rattle and Hum”. They are still young and full of piss and vinegar. I love “11 O’Clock tick-tock”. All these songs were still new and the power and outrage the band feels at the violence in Ireland is palpable.
10. Johnny Cash “Live at Folsom Prison”
You can hear prison guards in the background. You can even hear Prison doors clink and slam shut. A passionate performance from a man who really tried to make a difference in the lives of prisoners. By the way, although Johnny Cash is a country singer, he is one of only two country singers in the Rock-n-Roll Hall Of Fame; so, he belongs on the list. This is a powerful, and moving recording. If you ever get a chance to see the documentary about this concert don’t miss it. It will make you think. God Bless Johnny Cash.