Category: Albums of the 70s

Ananda Shankar ‘Ananda Shankar’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Jumping Jack Flash” by Ananda Shankar East certainly met West on Ananda Shankar’s eponymously titled first album from 1970. Ananda Shankar was first exposed to Western sounds when he traveled with members of his famous family, as they performed on concert stages across America during the 1960s. Shankar’s father was the Indian choreographer, Uday Shankar, while his more-famous uncle was the master sitar player, Ravi Shankar. Although, he Ananda also became famous for playing sitar, he did not study under his uncle, but rather studied traditional Indian music with Lalmani Misra at Banaras Hindu University. The concept for his debut album was simple, meld Western rock sounds with the traditional...

Art Garfunkel ‘Breakaway’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Waters Of March” by Art Garfunkel Art Garfunkel certainly missed his calling during his post Simon & Garfunkel solo career. If ever an artist was better suited to cut a Bossa Nova album with his gentle, smooth voice and octave range, it was Art Garfunkel. Proof positive is his recording of the Antonio Carlos Jobim classic “Waters Of March” from his second solo record, 1975’s Breakaway. “Waters Of March” was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim in both English and Portuguese (“Águas de Março”) and appeared on his 1973 album called Jobim. Although, the Bossa Nova craze was in the early 1960s, the song has since become a standard part of...

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia ‘Disco Jets’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Cosmic Convoy” by Todd Rundgren & Utopia If it had come out when it was recorded, it would have been met with shrugs, or even worse, total disdain. Instead, except for those lucky few who could afford an expensive Japanese import box set, we’ve had to wait 36 years for it to finally get a legal release, and then only in the U.K.  However, if you’re a fan of Todd Rundgren and Utopia, then it was totally worth the wait. Disco Jets was recorded in 1976, directly after sessions for the album Faithful. The album found Todd Rundgren with his head firmly in the past, giving half the tune stack...

Odetta ‘Odetta Sings’

    Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Hit Or Miss” by Odetta Odetta! Voice of the Civil Rights Movement? Roots mama? Gospel great? Soul queen? Hip hop hottie? The answer, of course is yes! Actually, most people don’t remember who Odetta was. But if you are of a certain age (which is certainly older than I am) and was a fan of folk music, Odetta was your hero. She was an activist, actress and an influence on any folk singer worth his weight in salt…including Dylan, Baez, Belafonte, Ochs, Neil and numerous others. She was in the thick of things, right there at the March onWashingtonin 1963. Martin Luther King dubbed her “The queen of American...

Doug Sahm ‘Doug Sahm and his Band’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#820 in the Series) is Doug Sahm, Doug Sahm and his Band Doug Sahm was Americana Roots Rock before the respective terms even existed.  A multi –instrumentalist child prodigy, his career going all the back to the Louisiana Hayride in the 50’s appearing with the likes of Hank Williams, Web Pierce, and Hank Thompson , Sahm was first and foremost a band leader. From his early days with The Pharaoh’s, his career defining stint with The Sir Douglas Quintet where they released the hit “She’s About a Mover” along with the California classic “Mendocino,” and the subsequent forming of the Tex –Mex Travelling Wiburys, The Texas Tornados that featured Flaco Jiminez, Augie...

The Seldom Scene ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” by The Seldom Scene They sure love their bluegrass in Virginia! I lived in Alexandria for five years, and during that time I was exposed lots of great bluegrass music via a weekly local Sunday morning radio show. As is still the case now, the best venue to go see live bluegrass music was at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. And from the late ‘60s through the late ‘80s, The Seldom Scene played there every Thursday night to mostly sold out audiences with guest like Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, John Prine, Lowell George and Vince Gill sitting in. I was saddened to hear of...

Al Stewart ‘The Year of the Cat’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Year Of The Cat” by Al Stewart So, 2013 is not the year of the cat…it’s the year of the snake, but that’s just the hook that led me to choose this fine tune as the first Song Of The Day of a new year. While most people are familiar with Al Stewart for a clutch of breezy easy listening tunes from the late 1970s like “Time Passages,” “On The Border” and this top-ten smash, by the time of this 1976 hit he had already recorded singles with members of The Yardbirds, appeared at the very first Glastonbury Festival in England (1970), and was already well known throughout Europe for...

King Crimson ‘Lark’s Tongues In Aspic’

      Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Easy Money” by King Crimson – Nothing can match the rush you get from hearing a newly remastered version of a record you’ve lived with for nearly 40 years, especially if the remastering job is done right. It’s all about the nuances you never knew were there that magically appear, making something that had been so ingrained in your memory sound brand new again. Such was the blissed out rush I experienced this morning on my way to work when I listened to the just re-released King Crimson album Lark’s Tongue In Aspic. In the ever changing world of Crimson lineups, this one came to be after the...

Lou Reed ‘Berlin’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Sad Song” by Lou Reed When Lou Reed’s Berlin came out in 1973, it was met with a huge shrug. Hot off the heels of “Walk On The Wild Side” success and the Transformer album produced by David Bowie, Reed worked with producer Bob Ezrin who had a taste for the absurd and theatrical. Departure is an understatement describing what Reed and Ezrin delivered to the American public. A story about a suicidal mother who was a hooker and her boyfriend wasn’t exactly easy listening, although, nobody having any knowledge about Reed’s past with The Velvet Underground should have been surprised that he could, or would, deliver such a morbid,...

Spirit’s Ed Cassidy Dead at 89 From Prostate Cancer

  We now have confirmed from two sources that drummer Ed Cassidy of Spirit has passed away this morning, December 6th from prostate cancer in Los Angeles. Mr. Cassidy formed the band Spirit in the late 60s with his stepson Randy California and others.  Mr. California preceded him in death in 1997. Here’s a piece we did on their great album Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.  ———————————————————————- Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#132 in The Series) is Spirit, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. It’s a shame you don’t hear Spirit on the radio. They were an outstanding band in their time. Let by the late Randy California and his stepfather Ed Cassidy, Spirit released fourteen albums between 1968 and 1996. Twelve...

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