1001. if wishes were horses

Sweeny Todd were mostly a Vancouver thing, though they did have one big deal hit. But then singer Nick Gilder split, leaving a gap in the lineup for an androgynous glam male voice. Enter local teenager Bryan Guy Adams, but only for one album, because then he also split, cutting his hair and dropping the middle part of his name (and all of the glam), bound as he was for Bruce Springsteen lite world domination. Which is a pity, because If Wishes Were Horses (the song and the album) had some genuine pixie dust in its veins, and there’s nothing wrong with pixies.



1002. spaced cowboy

You didn’t get to hear much of Sly and Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On when the album was new in 1971-72, certainly not if you were stuck out in suburbia.  But what little you did hear was enough to make it clear: the 1960s were over, with only crushed and dying flowers left in their wake. A darker, meaner time was on us, even if many were still pursuing deep space extraterrestrial explorations of a personal kind.


1004. The Apocalypso

“The Singing Fools were from Toronto, I think. But the whole world was doing the Apocalypso by the mid 1980s, what with the doomsday clock edging closer and closer to midnight, the ice caps officially melting, the ozone layer officially depleting, chemical spills wiping out entire towns, nuclear reactors melting down, and the President of the USA well on his way to dementia. What else were you going to do?” (Philip Random)

1005. memory of a free festival

“A story song about the day young David Jones (aka Bowie) played at a hippie free festival and got his mind blown by all the beautiful people, and probably some weapons grade 1960s LSD, because the sun machine came down toward the end, like a vision of heaven itself.  And it was good, very good, the entirety of the vast rapture that was 1969 captured in song, because man had just walked on the f***ing moon, man, so now any f***ing thing was possible. At least that’s how it felt at the time. I think. I was only ten, and many thousands of miles away, stuck in suburbia.” (Philip Random)



1006. easy money

King Crimson were a force indeed come 1973’s Larks Tongues In Aspic. Bill Bruford (recently with Yes) had just joined and they were well and truly armed and dangerous and unafraid to go anywhere, try anything, with the almost funky Easy Money the closest thing to what one might call a normal song (at the beginning anyway). Welcome to true progressive rock, or as Crimson main man Robert Fripp later described it, Bela Bartok by way of Jimi Hendrix.