Gotta Get Up

Today’s Featured Track is “Gotta Get Up” by Harry Nilsson • Nilsson’s first “rock” song • What a voice! • Hear it on our just-posted “Gotta Get Up” playlist on NOW HEAR THIS, the music podcast hosted by Rock Stamberg & John Stix

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So This Is Christmas

Tracklist: Like what you hear? Let us know by LEAVING A COMMENT! Note: The “Play this track” cues below may be off by several seconds on mobile devices. John Stix’s Song Notes: JAMES TAYLOR: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” JT has done a good amount of Christmas music. Much of it is too slick […]

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Join the Band

Tracklist: Like what you hear? Let us know by LEAVING A COMMENT! Note: The “Play this track” cues below may be off by several seconds on mobile devices. Song Notes: JONI MITCHELL & TOM SCOTT AND THE L.A. EXPRESS: “Big Yellow Taxi” Tom Scott and the L.A. Express were Joni Mitchell’s touring band in 1974 […]

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A Tribute to George Martin

SEATRAIN: “I’m Willing” Back in the early 1970s, Singer Sewing Centers sponsored live radio broadcasts. They did this because they wanted you to know they had large record departments in their retail sewing centers. One of these broadcasts, which I still have on cassette tape, was by the group Seatrain. I was sold by that radio concert.

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Now Hear This: Episode 7

FLEETWOOD MAC: “Second Hand News” What a great album opener. Rumours was *the big one* for Fleetwood Mac and it’s fitting they led it off with this amazing Lindsey Buckingham song. Deceptively bouncy and even fun, performance-wise, its stealth personal lyrics foreshadowed Buckingham’s increasing position in the Mac and subsequent reputation as a musical eccentric to be reckoned with.

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Now Hear This: Episode 6

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND: “10th Avenue Freeze-Out (Ballad Version)” Bruce Springsteen has always been at ease changing up the recorded version of a song for the stage. It’s a Dylanesque trait that has served him well. I spent months searching for his live ballad version of “For You.” And man is that good. But this masterful remake of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” is hands-down my favorite Springsteen track that has yet to be officially released. The original is a great “strut rocking song.” This ballad spotlights the power of the lyric, the image of the night. It’s absolutely cinematic. —John Stix

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Now Hear This: Episode 5

STEELY DAN: “Instrumental Overture” 1993 was the year Steely Dan became a touring band after a 20-year layoff. When they recorded their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill, in 1972, leaders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were surprised when their record company asked them to tour to support it. They were songwriters, not performers, and Fagen certainly didn’t see himself as a front man. The road provided no second takes, shoddy sound reinforcement and no particular allure for the band. But 1993 introduced a great band with a great sound able to project their great songs. Like the old Motown reviews, the backing band would come out and play ahead of the duo’s arrival on stage. All the nuance, dynamics, and deep colors of each song were performed flawlessly. This version of “Bad Sneakers” was not officially released and its inclusion would have enhanced the Dan’s surprisingly unimpressive Alive in America live album released in 1995. —John Stix

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