The Sunday Six

Celebrating music with six random tracks at a time

Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter – well, it actually wasn’t that bad, at least here in lovely Central New Jersey, but the line from George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun was the first thing that came to mind in connection with spring, which officially started today! With that being said, let’s get to the first spring edition of The Sunday Six.

Tangerine Dream/Underwater Twilight

Today’s trip starts with a soothing instrumental by German electronic music stalwarts Tangerine Dream. This track was part of a “chill mix” playlist my streaming music provider served up the other day. Founded as a five-piece in 1967 by Edgar Froese, the group has seen numerous line-up changes over its long and still ongoing history. Wikipedia notes their best-known line-up was a trio, which in addition to Froese (keyboards, guitars) included Christopher Franke (keyboards, drums) and Peter Baumann (keyboards). Spanning the years 1971-1975, that line-up’s albums included Alpha Centauri (March 1971), Zeit (August 1972), Atem (March 1973), Phaedra (November 1973) and Rubycon (March 1975). To get to Underwater Twilight, a track from Tangerine Dream’s 16th studio album Underwater Sunlight, we need to jump forward 11 years to August 1986. By that time, Froese and Franke were joined by Paul Haslinger (synthesizer, grand piano, guitar). Froese remained with Tangerine Dream until his death in January 2015. The group’s current line-up has no original members. The only connection to the past remains Froese’s widow Bianca Froese-Acquaye who acts as the group’s manager.

Grant Lee Buffalo/Rock of Ages

Our next stop takes us to the ’90s and Grant Lee Buffalo, a rock band from Los Angeles, who initially were active between 1991 and 1999. Their members included Grant-Lee Phillips (vocals, guitar), Paul Kimble (bass) and Joey Peters (drums). All of the group’s four studio albums came out during that period. After they disbanded in early 1999, Phillips launched a solo career. In late 2010 and early 2011, Grant Lee Buffalo briefly came back together for a reunion tour. Rock of Ages, penned by Phillips, is a great track from the group’s sophomore album Mighty Joe Moon, released in September 1994. Its vibe reminds me a bit of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. I’m completely new to this group and dig what I’ve heard so far. I’d welcome listening tips any of you may have.

Joe Jackson/Friday

For this tune, we’re gonna step on the gas and go back to October 1979 and the sophomore album by Joe Jackson, aptly titled I’m the Man. The record, which I received as a present for my 14th birthday in 1980, was my introduction to the British artist. Initially, he gained popularity with post-punk and new wave before embracing a jazz-oriented pop sound. With Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive from June 1981, he also did an all-out jump blues and swing record. His most recent album Fool, which I reviewed here, appeared in January 2019. It’s quite compelling! Back to I’m the Man and Friday, which was penned by Jackson. One of his ingredients is excellent bassist Graham Maby, who continues to play with Jackson to this day. Check out Maby’s pulsating bassline – so good! I should also acknowledge Gary Sanford (guitar) and David Houghton (drums, vocals), which rounded out Jackson’s band at the time – the best backing group he has had, in my view.

The Association/Never My Love

After three tunes into our journey, it’s high time to visit my favorite decade the ’60s. And, boy, do I have a sunshine pop goodie that has California written all over it. The Association have been active since 1965, except for a short one-year break-up from 1978 to 1979. Their heyday was in the ’60s where they had a series of top 10 hits. The group also opened the Monterey International Pop Festival that took place June 16-18, 1967. Never My Love, co-written by American siblings Don Addrisi and Dick Addrisi, is among The Association’s biggest hits, climbing to no. 2 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Canadian charts. The tune first appeared on the band’s third album Insight Out from June 1967, before being released as a single in August that year. The Association are still around. As one can imagine, they have had numerous line-up changes, and if I see this correctly, only guitarist and vocalist Jules Alexander remains as an original member. Check out that beautiful harmony singing – gives me goosebumps!

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers/Vinyl

A few days ago, I featured The Boneshakers in a post dedicated to blues and blues rock. This cool group was formed in the early 1990s by Was (Not Was) guitarist Randy Jacobs and Hillard “Sweet Pea” Atkinson, one of the group’s vocalists, after Was (Not Was) had gone on hiatus. Since 2015, The Boneshakers have repeatedly worked with American saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair. This lady is one firecracker. Check out Vinyl, the opener of an album titled The EastWest Sessions that came out in September 2017. Love the funky groove and the soulfulness of this tune!

The Flaming Lips/Can’t Stop the Spring

As we’re once again reaching the final destination of our six-tune music time travel, I thought it would make sense to end this post where it started – spring! I give you Can’t Stop the Spring by psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips, which I found through a search of my streaming provider’s music library. Somehow that title sounded familiar, so I searched my own blog, which sadly I’ve done more than once to see whether I already covered an artist or song. And, full disclosure, I previously included the tune in a post from March 2021 titled Here Comes the Spring. There’s nothing wrong to repeat a song, even if it’s what I like to call weirdly catchy. As I noted at the time, Can’t Stop the Spring, credited to the entire band, is from their sophomore album Oh My Gawd!!!…, released in January 1987. Formed in Oklahoma City in 1983, The Flaming Lips are still around. 

Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube; Spotify

13 thoughts on “The Sunday Six”

  1. Underwater Sunlight (it’s actually called Sunlight, not Twilight) was one of the best things they did in the 80s. I heard it the other day. Now it sounds like it was a little bit ahead of its time cuz it’s kind of like a lot of stuff that came in the 90s. The other one I like on that album is Song of the Whale. Its really nice I think.
    I also love The Association. I think they were the best vocal harmony group of the 60s. They had really intricate harmonies for that kind of music. Never My Love is the best one I think, and also Along Comes Mary. and of course Cherish. And Windy. Those are all awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for pointing out my error regarding Tangerine Dream, which has been fixed. Given their similarities, I had mixed up the titles of the featured track and the album.

      The Association’s harmony singing is outstanding. When it comes to white artists, I think my favorite would be Crosby, Stills and Nash. The Beach Boys were excellent harmony vocalists as well. And let’s not forget about The Beatles! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and CSNY were just the greatest groups PERIOD, who also had the greatest harmonies. I meant that the Association were probably the best one who were specifically Vocal Pop, which there really wasn’t a whole lot of during that whole rock and psychedelic era. It’s amazing how successful they were considering that type of music had really gone out of style by then. But I’ve always thought that even the straight-up pop music of the sixties was almost as good as the Rock music etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Some good tunes in this eclectic mix. Always good to learn more about the bands as well. I think Grant Lee Buffalo is a groovy name for a band. I like the intro to the first one. Mindi has a Bonnie flair to her that sounds great. The last tune just didn’t do it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa, I guess I passed audition overall, so I’ll happily take it! 🙂

      I can see why The Flaming Lips aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. It’s definitely a bit weird, but I find it intriguing. Plus, the song’s title was a nice fit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christian, you are welcome. Have you seen “Get Back” about The Beatles yet? I just watched the last hour of the 3rd part earlier this week, where John says that after the concert. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So you picked up on my Beatles reference – love it!😀

        And, yep, I watched the documentary on Disney+ at the time it came out last Thanksgiving.

        The Beatles nut I am, I signed up for a temporary subscription, which I cheerfully canceled after I had watched all three parts. I wonder how many other temporary subscribers the Mickey Mouse channel received at the time!😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I did 🙂 Awesome, Christian, and I am betting a lot of people did. I got 6 mo free Disney + when I bought my phone which is still going. They do have a lot of good old movies (Star Wars, Disney Classics, etc.) on there.

        Like

  3. I love Never My Love…I don’t know why…but I love that small guitar lick…it’s just something about it. I saw them live in the late eighties at a revival show.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a neat little guitar riff – thanks for calling it out, Max.

      My primary reason for picking the tune is the beautiful harmony singing – something that along with the ’60s I can talk about all day and all of the night, all day and all of the night!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is great harmony singing….it’s a really good song. It was that 60s atmosphere they had going on…it sounded really good.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I second the love on Never My Love – it’s a great little song. It’s quite unusually structured too – not really a verse and chorus song, more like a few verses, then a bridge.

    Flaming Lips are one of the best bands of their era I think, and they have a psychedelic thing going on which should appeal to classic rock fans. I haven’t actually heard their first few records.

    Liked by 1 person

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