Category: Do You Want to Know a Secret?
Right about now, July 2017. Smack dab in the middle of Sgt. Peppers 50th anniversary, you probably believe you know and have heard everything about this iconic recording. Well! Hang onto your mustache Billy Shears….Didja know this… There is a dog whistle that closes out the L.P. At the end of side two…Yep, after “A Day In The Life” after the final crashing “E” chord played on three piano’s and before the dead groove that features a random, short audio clip of Beatle chatter John Lennon actually blows a dog whistle. A dog whistle by definition is a device that emits a tone at a super high frequency of 15 kilo cycles per second, a tone which can only be heard by folks with near super hearing and, yes….Dogs!
Although, both John and Paul have claimed it to be true, no ones quite sure, Afterall you can’t hear it….However that hasn’t deterred the debate between the folks who claim they can actually hear it and those of us who can’t….
Of course we’ve included the mysterious piece for YOU to review and share what you hear or don’t. AND it also provides a great opportunity for you and Fido to hang out and listen to Sgt. Pepper..
You, of course remember, loved and likely played ’til the grooves turned grey The Moody Blues Iconic ambitious and beautiful “concept album” “Days’ of Future Passed” This was only the bands second L.P. Following their debut hit single and album “Go Now” a dramatic departure from their early sound of…er…ah…um…hmmm…actually were not sure what to call The Moody Blues early sound! Some critics have referred to it as “Blue Eye’d Soul”….Maybe, BUT, there is no question with “Days of future passed. This “Deep Track” fully orchestrated, dynamic project is Ground Zero for the “Progressive Rock” movement from November of 1967! The Band and it’s label marketed the record as the first Rock record to fully integrate a Rock band with a classical orchestra ( The London Festival Orchestra) The label even included photo’s of the orchestra in the studio with the band!
But, here’s the secret….There really is no London Festival Orchestra….It’s a “Brand” that Decca records created. The “Orchestra you here on DFP are just a handful of hired studio string and horn players mixed in with a Mellotron ( a string simulation device)….Further, The Moody Blues were never even in the studio when the string parts were laid down. In spite of the “augmented” photos you see on the back cover…..You get it. The whole thing was a marketing hoax. However the underlying concept of writing songs about each part of the day was sound and generated at least 4 huge hit singles. Remember “Dawn is The Feeling”…”Tuesday Afternoon,” “Evening Time To Get Away”
And everyone’s swooning favorite……wait for it………
…..”Nights In White Satin”
Yep all from “Day’s Of Future Passed” featuring “The London Phoney Baloney Orchestra….But, like you we loved it, slow danced with our girlfriend and thought we saw God…. “And I Love You, Whoa how I Love You-ooooo”…fade
Hold on, we have to hear “Nights”
It was 50 years ago today, May 5th 1967 that The Kinks released their staggeringly beautiful “Waterloo Sunset”. Acclaimed by many as The Kinks single best piece of work, it was solely written and produced by Ray Davies! ( without any help from long time Kinks producer Shel Talmy) Didja know that the song was originally titled “Liverpool Sunset”? Although a Londoner, Davies had fallen in love with the Liverpool area and it’s trending music scene. Ray tended to spend all his free time there. And yes, One of The Kinks early gigs was a five week stand at The Cavern Club! Early on, many fans believed “Waterloo Sunset” was about two very popular English actors Terrance Stamp and Julie Christie who were allegedly in a relationship, due to the song lyric….”Terry meets Julie, Waterloo station every Friday night” But it wasn’t true. The line was referring to Ray’s sister Julie and her boyfriend Terry. As incredible as the record was it stalled at number two in the U.K. And barely charted in the U.S.
Let’s listen to one of the best from the 1960’s
Elton John’s nickname is “Rocket Man”, So dubbed after his huge number one hit, of the same name in 1972, from his “Honkey Chateau” album. However, his very good friend Rod Stewart always calls him Sharon !…
But….Get this, didja know that Rod did a huge solid for his friend “Sharon” when in 1970 Rod recorded and released “Country Comfort”…. An early song from Elton John and Bernie Taupin. A full two years prior to Elton releasing it in 1972 on his “Tumbleweed Connection” album!
“That’s what friends are for”!
Soooo, Let’s listen to Rod’s recording from “Gasoline Alley”…….”For Sharon”
You, of course remember and likely loved the “Cheesey” garage band classic “96 Tears” by ? And the Mysterians in 1966. But, did you know that the original title of the song ( written in 1962) was….”69 Tears” ? The bands manager convinced the band to “invert the numbers” and make the change, fearing radio stations wouldn’t play it with the double entendres of the title. ( listen closely to the lyric and you’ll realize how closely the original title reflects the lyrics…..yes they do.) Right or wrong, the song shot to number one, sold one million singles and a very mysterious and legendary band was born. Many historians sight ? And The Mysterians as Thee first “Punk Band”
Here’s what it sounded like after the re-write in 1966….
My God,….I Just Can’t Stop Dancin’….
How ’bout You?
Didn’t you love Hermans Hermits featuring Peter Noone as “Herman”? Although considered a singles artist and never critical darlings, they had over a half dozen huge and very diverse hits “Something Good” “Mrs Brown You’ve got a lovely daughter” “Henry The Eighth” There’s a Kind of Hush” “Listen People” and of course ” Dandy” a bouncy happy go lucky song about a womanizing “ladies man.” An unusual song for the band ro record, as Hermans Hermits, didn’t write their songs, usually turning to professional songwriters in the U.S. And U.K. “Unusual” because “Dandy was written by the amazing Ray Davies! Front man and principal songwriter for The Kinks! Furthermore, The Kinks released their own version at the exact same time as The Hermits. Strange as it sounds, The Kinks recording received absolutely no attention, while Hermans Hermits had an international smash!….”Dandy you’re all right”
Here’s Peter…..er, Herman…
We’ve all heard plenty of insane stories about the legendary and notorious record producer Phil Specter! Our favorite, however, occurred during the production of what many believe was Specters signature “Wall Of Sound” recording. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield. From the beginning, the production was subject to debate, Bill and Bobby thought the song was to long, and the tempo to slow. Lastly, the song was written in a key that required Medley to sing it in his “Basso Profundo” voice ( quite simply, his deepest voice) But the pay off came when they were about to record the vocals. Specter sat down with Medley and Hatfield and explained how it was going to be. “Bill, you’ll start the song and sing the first verse solo…Bobby, you’ll stay out until the first chorus”! Bobby, obviously annoyed and upset with Phil, responds by saying “Well what am I supposed to do while Bill is singing? Phil snaps back immediately, saying simply…”GO TO THE BANK”….
Meanwhile, this legendary recording was the Record of the year in 1965….It was the most successful record of The ’60’s and in 1999 BMI DECLARED IT “The Most Played Song of the Twentieth Century
Bobby and Bill spent a lot of time at the bank!
Take a listen once more to just how well Phil Specters’ plan worked.
Didja know that Thw Beatles last single to reach number one was “The Ballad of John and Yoko with the B-side being George Harrison’s under appreciated “Old Brown Shoe” released in 1969!
furthermore, didja know that “The Ballad Of John and Yoko” only features two Beatles playing all the instruments, John and Paul!And the B-side, “Old Brown Shoe” only features two Beatles playing all the instruments, George and Ringo!
“All you need is love”( and a little versatility)
Didja know that Ringo is not playing drums on The Beatles classic debut single “Love Me Do” Nope, and it isn’t Pete Best ( the bands original drummer ) either. It is actually a Scottish session player named Andrew White (the handsome dude pictured above “rockin’ his skins”)This is all George Martins doing. The Beatles actually recorded “Love Me Do” three times. Initially with Pete Best, Gearge Martin didn’t like what Pete was doing, so they tried one with Ringo….Nope, so then George Martin insisted they bring in session player Andy White, with Ringo being relegated to tambourine. A very bad day for Ringo Starr! Today, there are two different versions of “Love Me Do” available, one featuring Ringo on drums, one with Andy White on drums. You can identify who’s playing drums quite simply. If you hear a tambourine playing in the background then your listening to Andrew White on drums! (Ringo on tambourine…Yikes!)
Meanwhile, here’s Ringo, Doin’ the job…
Do you remember The Singing Nun? In 1963 she had a number one record with her song “Dominique” Her real name was Jeanine Deckers and she lived in a convent in Belgium. “Dominique”was not just a hit in the U.S. it was an international smash. Ms. Deckers toured the world, even appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Singing Nun made a small fortune from “Dominique” which she donated to the Catholic Church, only to find out that she owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes. Sadly, in 1985 The Singing Nun died pennyiless in a double suicide pact with her longtime lesbian lover from an overdose of alcohol and barbiturates….You can’t make this stuff up…. And perhaps you should listen..