Happy Sunday! Once again another weekend seems to be flying by but, of course, we cannot let this happen without visiting six tracks from six different decades with the magical music time machine. Hope you’ll join me for the ride!
Elliot Lawrence and his Orchestra/Alto Lament
For the start of today’s journey, let’s set our time machine to 1958. That’s when American jazz pianist and bandleader Elliot Lawrence recorded Alto Lament, a smooth track by Anthony Louis Scarmolin, an Italian-American composer, pianist and conductor. Based on what I could find, it appears the track was first included on an EP titled Definitely Lawrence! and released in 1959. Lawrence’s long career started in the 1940s. After recording and touring with his own band, he gave up jazz in the early 1960s and began composing and arranging for television, film and stage. Among others, he wrote the score for the great 1971 neo-noir action thriller The French Connection starring Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider and Fernando Rey.
Oasis/All Around the World
After this relaxed start of our trip, let’s kick it up a notch with a song that couldn’t be more appropriate when traveling across different countries: All Around the World, a catchy tune by UK pop rockers Oasis. By the time they released their third album Be Here Now in August 1997, they already had established themselves as one of Britain’s most popular ’90s bands, only three years after emerging from obscurity with their debut Definitely Maybe. Like all other songs on Be Here Now, All Around the World was penned by the band’s lead guitarist and principal songwriter Noel Gallagher.
Tedeschi Trucks Band/Somehow
For this next pick, we shall travel back to the present. When listening to Somehow by Tedeschi Trucks Band, somehow, I keep thinking of Bonnie Raitt, one of my all-time favorite artists. Both Susan Tedeschi’s vocals and the music would make this track a perfect fit for Raitt. Written by the group’s member Gabe Dixon (keyboards, guitar, vocals) and songwriter Tia Sellers, Somehow is from their most recent studio album I’m the Moon, which came out in September 2022. Rightfully, Tedeschi Trucks Band called their fifth album the “most ambitious studio project” of their career to date. It was released in several installments, which I covered here and here at the time – terrific album!
The Kinks/Waterloo Sunset
Time to pay a visit to the ’60s. Let’s hop across the pond to London. The year is 1967 and it’s the month of September. That’s when British rock band The Kinks came out with their fifth UK studio album, Something Else by the Kinks. And indeed, that release was something else! In no small part, that’s because of the incredible lead single Waterloo Sunset, which appeared in May of the same year. Written by Ray Davies, the tale about a solitary narrator reflecting on two lovers, the river Thames and Waterloo Station is an absolute gem in the band’s catalog, at least in my book!
Roxy Music/Jealous Guy
When I first heard Jealous Guy by Roxy Music on the radio in Germany in 1981, I immediately loved it. In my youthful innocence, initially, I thought the song was the English art rock band’s own tune, not realizing they had recorded it as a beautiful tribute single to John Lennon in the wake of his senseless murder in December 1980. At the time, I already owned Lennon’s great 1975 compilation Shaved Fish, but it didn’t include Jealous Guy – definitely a miss! Originally, Lennon had recorded the ballad for his September 1971 sophomore solo album Imagine. Eventually, I borrowed a copy of that album and taped it on music cassette. Nowadays, I dig both versions equally.
James Gang/Walk Away
When you hang out with good friends, time flies – I can’t believe we’re reaching the final stop of another music time travel trip! Let’s end it with a kickass rocker by American rock band James Gang: Walk Away. Written by the great Joe Walsh, who had joined the group in early 1968, Walk Away was the opener of James Gang’s third studio album Thirds, released in April 1971. It would be Walsh’s final studio project with the band. After his departure in December 1971, he formed Barnstorm. Eventually, he was invited to join the Eagles in 1975 and continues to perform with them to this day.
As usual, the final thing I leave you with is a Spotify playlist featuring all of the above tracks. Hope there’s something you dig and you’ll be back for more!
Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube; Spotify