The Sunday Six

Celebrating music with six random tracks at a time

After a busy week with two back-to-back “big ticket” concerts, I’m ready to take a short break from live shows and celebrate the beauty of music from home with another Sunday Six. Hope you’ll join me on my trip to visit six tunes of the past and the present.

Weather Report/Forlorn

Let’s get underway gently with some jazz fusion by Weather Report. Forlorn is a smooth track from their ninth studio album Night Passage, which came out in November 1980. The piece was composed by Austrian jazz keyboarder Joe Zawinul, who is regarded as one of the creators of jazz fusion. Zawinul co-founded Weather Report in 1970 with saxophone maestro Wayne Shorter. By the time Night Passage was released, the group also featured the amazing Jaco Pastorius (fretless bass), Robert Thomas Jr. (percussion) and Peter Erskine (drums). Weather Report would record six more albums before they disbanded in early 1986 after Shorter had left to focus on solo projects.

The Guess Who/Hand Me Down World

While I’ve only heard a handful of songs by The Guess Who, I know one thing for sure: I love this next tune! The Canadian rock band’s origins go back to 1958 when Winnipeg singer and guitarist Chad Allan formed a local group called Allan and the Silvertones. In January 1965, the band, then called Chad Allan & The Expressions, released their debut album Shakin’ All Over. The group’s cover of the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates song also became their fourth single. The band’s American label Quality Records thought it would be clever to disguise the group’s name by crediting the tune to Guess Who? Not only did the publicity stunt work but it also gave birth to the band’s new name. Hand Me Down World, written by lead guitarist Kurt Winter, is from The Guess Who’s seventh studio album Share the Land, released in October 1970. It also became one of their hit singles, reaching no. 10 in Canada and no. 17 in the U.S. A version of The Guess Who is still around and currently touring the U.S.

Tal Bachman/She’s So High

Let’s stay in Canada for this next pick from April 1999. There’s also another connection to the previous tune. Tal Bachman is the son of guess who? Yep, Randy Bachman, who in turn was a co-founder of The Guess Who and, of course, Bachman–Turner Overdrive. When I heard She’s So High in 1999, I loved it right away and got Tal Bachman’s eponymous debut album on CD. It’s pretty good power pop, and I’m a bit surprised Bachman junior only issued one additional studio album, Staring Down the Sun, in July 2004. Man, with this jangly guitar sound and the catchy melody, I still love this song as much as I did back in 1999. Beware, it might get stuck in your brain!

The Kinks/Till the End of the Day

After some catchy power pop music, I think it’s time for some ’60s rock, don’t you agree? I’ve said it before. The Kinks are among my favorite British rock bands, together with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who. Till the End of the Day, written by the great Ray Davies, first came out as a single in November 1965. Subsequently, it was also included on the band’s third studio album The Kink Kontroversy, which appeared a week after the single – clever and quite appropriate title. If you’d like to know why I’d encourage you to read this post by fellow blogger Dave from A Sound Day, who just discussed The Kinks’ volatile behavior the other day. Till the End of the Day became their sixth top ten single in the UK (no. 8). It was most successful in The Netherlands where it peaked at no. 6. Elsewhere, it charted in Germany (no. 19), Canada (no. 34), Australia (no. 63) and the U.S. (no. 50). Baby, I feel good!

Band of Horses/The Funeral

If I recall it correctly, it was on Eclectic Music Lover’s blog where I first learned about Band of Horses. In fact, his most recent Weekly Top 30s installment features Warning Signs, a tune by the indie rock band from Seattle, off their current album Things Are Great. Band of Horses have been around since 2004 and released six studio albums to date. The Funeral, despite its grim title, is a great tune from their March 2006 studio debut Everything All the Time. The music is credited to the entire group, with lyrics written by singer-songwriter Ben Bridwell who has been the band’s sole constant member throughout numerous lineup changes. The Funeral also became Band of Horses’ debut single – check out that great sound!

Rival Sons/Pressure & Time

And once again it’s time to wrap up another Sunday Six. Let’s make it count with a kickass rocker by Rival Sons: Pressure & Time. The band from Long Beach, Calif. was founded in 2009 and still includes three original members: Jay Buchanan (lead vocals, harmonica, rhythm guitar), Scott Holiday (guitar, backing vocals) and Mike Miley (drums, backing vocals). Dave Beste (bass, backing vocals) who has been with the group since 2013 completes the current lineup. Pressure & Time, credited to the entire band, is the title track of the group’s sophomore album. Released in June 2011, it was their first to make the charts, climbing to no. 19 in the U.S. on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers. Wikipedia notes that while Rival Sons oftentimes are compared to ’70s rock, they have cited Prince, D’Angelo, The Roots, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf as influences. Whatever the case may be, when listening to Pressure & Time, I can hear some Zep in here, and that makes me really happy!

Last but not least here’s a Spotify playlist featuring the above tunes.

Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube; Spotify

14 thoughts on “The Sunday Six”

  1. You say that you’ve only heard a handful of songs by the Guess Who? Well, that is just totally unacceptable as far as I’m concerned. You need to go and listen to Best of the Guess
    Who, immediately if not sooner. Lol. The Kinks Till the End of the Day is another great one. I love that one. But I don’t think Tal Bachman is even in the same ballpark as his daddy and uncles in Bachman-Turner Overdrive, unfortunately. It doesn’t seem like it rubbed off on him at all.
    I remember Band of Horses when they first came out, But I got to listen to it again.
    I forget the name of the Weather report album that I had but I know it was much older than the one that you mentioned here. It’s hard for me to get into that kind of music, but I bought it because I wanted to hear the people who were on those Joni Mitchell albums. I remember it was kind of lively though. And I kind of liked it I think. What’s it called Jazz Fusion or is that something else?

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    1. I admit my lack of knowledge of I guess you know it’s who is a bit embarrassing!

      I also agree Tal Bachman isn’t in the same league as his dad. That being said, I love “She’s So High” – blame it on my pop ear! 🙂

      Last but not least, yep, it’s jazz fusion. I’ll admit it’s been an acquired taste.

      I remember when I listened to some of Santana’s jazz fusion-oriented albums that followed “Santana III”, I didn’t quite know what to do with it.

      What got me a bit into Weather Report is Wayne Shorter’s saxophone playing. I’m a huge fan of that instrument. I’m also very fond of Jaco Pastorius and his amazing fretless bass work. His tone was just incredible. He literally made his bass sing!

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      1. Yep. Those ones after Santana 3 just weren’t the same as the early ones. I thought, where are all the good songs like they used to have? But I did like that one Moonflower album that was like half studio and half live. And it had their cover of She’s Not There. It was like from the late seventies I think.

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      2. Even though I have developed what you could call a more open ear for jazz fusion type music, my pop instinct never quite goes away. As such, the first three Santana albums remain my favorites. I also know and like Moonflower. “Europa” is such a gorgeous instrumental!

        Have you ever listened to Santana IV from 2016? For that album, Santana had put together the classic Santana band to the extent the original members were still around.

        I think it’s a cool blend of the old Santana with some contemporary elements. If you haven’t heard it, I would encourage you to give this a spin!

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      3. I don’t know if I would like Santana 4 because I couldn’t stand that other comeback song they had with the guy from that 90s Alt-Rock band singing , I can’t remember his name but I think he was from the band Matchbox 20. I usually don’t like it when old bands try to update their sound cuz it usually just sounds corny. But you can’t blame them for at least trying.

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      4. I think you mean “Smooth” with Rob Thomas. While I prefer classic Santana, I actually like that tune.

        “Santana IV” is very different from “Smooth” and definitely sounds more like early Santana.

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  2. first, thanks for the link in the Kinks one! Some good tunes there. Love the Guess Who one, remember it well from back then. Both they and BTO had success in States, but it was taken to another level at home in Canada… two of the first real homegrown ‘superstars’ up there. (We even heard tons of Joni Mitchell on hit radio in the early 70s). I’m only vaguely familiar with the song “funeral’ by Band of Horses (supposedly it’s been used in lots of commercials) but in general I do love that band. Their ‘Cease to Begin’ album was one of my favorites of the entire first decade of the 2000s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dave. As Kingclover told me in no uncertain terms, I need to brush up on The Guess Who. Based on what I’ve heard thus far, I really like their music!

      I’ve also yet to explore Band of Horses in greater depth. I find their sound pretty intriguing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hard to categorize but most seems to be a bit country, a bit ethereal, bit garage….a lot of great songs though (B of H)

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  3. Thanks for the mention and link, Christian. Though I’m not familiar with very much of their music catalog, I’ve loved all their songs I have heard. I was a huge fan of the Guess Who from the moment I heard their gorgeous song “These Eyes” – have a listen if you’ve never heard it: https://youtu.be/xcLdbsrSngA That said, I loathe “American Woman”, which I just find so grating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Weather Report a lot – Zawinul is my favourite, probably because I try to play keyboards too. I liked that you went outside Heavy Weather for your pick.

    I mainly know Til the End of the Day from the Big Star cover.

    Liked by 1 person

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