Sunday is fun day and I’d like to invite you to join me on another trip through space and time to explore great music from different eras. Rest assured the flux capacitor and the time circuits work, and I’ve already set the coordinates for the first destination the magical music time machine shall visit. Off we go!
Woody Herman and His Orchestra/Early Autumn
Today, we begin our journey in a studio in December 1947 to witness the recording of a beautiful jazz instrumental by Woody Herman – of course, without disrupting the space-time continuum! The American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, singer and big band leader was active from the mid-1930s until his death in 1987. This recording of Early Autumn, composed by Ralph Burns and Herman, featured Stan Getz (tenor saxophone) and Terry Gibbs (vibraphone), together with Herman (alto saxophone) and his band.
The Heavy Heavy/Miles and Miles
Let’s go back to the future, which really is the present, with a great tune by The Heavy Heavy, a UK-based five-piece band. Led by Will Turner and Georgie Fuller, they “create the kind of unfettered rock-and-roll that warps time and space, sitting at the reverb-drenched collision of psychedelia and blues, acid rock and sunshine pop” according to their Bandcamp page – sounds like a perfect fit for our trip! Miles and Miles, written by Turner, is from their debut EP Life and Life Only released in June 2022.
Led Zeppelin/Stairway to Heaven
Next, let’s set the time circuits to November 1971 and what I would consider the greatest rock tune of all time, on most days: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, off their untitled fourth studio album, aka. Led Zeppelin IV. ‘No Beatles song?’ you may wonder. ‘And a band he constantly has called out for borrowing from other artists without giving credit?’ I know, I know. To be clear, I still think Messrs. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page should have put their big egos aside and admitted that Stairway’s intro clearly sounds like Spirit by Taurus (the part in question starts at 45 seconds). It wouldn’t have taken away anything from Stairway, nothing whatsoever! This masterpiece brilliantly builds from an acoustic into a full-blown metal tune, featuring one of the best rock drum parts I know, by the amazing John Bonham. And, yes, the song hasn’t exactly suffered from obscurity on classic rock radio stations, so let’s get it over with!
Marshall Crenshaw/What Do You Dream Of
Time for a dose of great power pop! To get it, we shall travel to July 1996, which saw the release of Miracle of Science, the seventh studio album by Marshall Crenshaw. When thanks to a recent post by fellow blogger Rich Kamerman I started listening to Crenshaw, I came across What Do You Dream Of and earmarked this tune right away for a Sunday Six. Crenshaw, who has been active since the early ’80s, is best known for hit songs, such as Someday, Someway, Cynical Girl and Whenever You’re on My Mind. But he has written many other gems including this one!
The Byrds/You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
You know we simply can’t skip the ’60s as long as I man the controls of the magical time music machine. Today’s destination of this decade shall be August 1968. That’s when The Byrds fully embraced country on their sixth studio album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, thanks to Gram Parsons. Initially conceived by band leader Roger McGuinn as a double LP that would span American popular music ranging from (early) bluegrass to (then-current) electronic music, Sweetheart of the Rodeo became the first widely recognized country rock album. One of my favorite tracks is You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, penned by Bob Dylan in 1967 in Woodstock, N.Y. during a self-imposed isolation following his motorcycle accident the year before. The maestro himself recorded the tune in September 1971. It was included on his second compilation Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II, released in November of the same year.
The Alarm/Sixty Eight Guns
Once again, we’ve reached the sixth and final stop. This one takes us to Feb 1984 and Sixty Eight Guns by The Alarm. Fellow blogger Max from PowerPop first brought the Welsh rock band and this great tune to my attention a year ago, and Rich Kamerman reminded me of them a few weeks ago. Ya see, Robert and Jimmy, giving credit is simple – just man up and do it! Co-written by the group’s Eddie Macdonald (bass, guitar, vocals) and Mike Peters (vocals, guitar, harmonica), the catchy song is from their debut album Declaration. If you made it grungy, it could be a Green Day tune.
As usual, I’ll leave you with a Spotify playlist of the above goodies and hope I’ll see you again next Sunday for another trip!
Sources: Wikipedia; The Heavy Heavy Bandcamp page; YouTube; Spotify