It’s 1987 and Tackhead are already delivering it, even as Public Enemy are talking about bringing it. The Noise, that is. Big beats, no bullshit, as many samples as you can jam into two inches of audio tape. And in the case of Tackhead, genuinely hot playing, because they were most definitely a band. “I seem to remember the original 12-inch single version of Mind at the End of the Tether being the better one – stronger, less cluttered. But the version on the Tape Time album speaks its the truth regardless. Superlative and loud and surrounded by tracks of equal cacophony. If you truly wish to know what the latter part of the mid-80s felt like, start here.” (Philip Random)
The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.
Part Twenty-Seven of the journey went as follows:
Santana – A1 funk, every step of the way
Jesus Christ Superstar Original London Cast – heaven on their minds
Jimi Hendrix – third stone from the sun
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – earth hymn [1+2]
Elton John – Madman Across the Water
Klaatu – around the universe in eighty days
FM – one o’clock tomorrow
Agitation Free – you will play for us today
Agitation Free – Khan el Khalili
Agitation Free – Ala Tul
Magma – de futura
Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“The Gun Club were punk badasses out of L.A. who did much of the dirty work of rescuing the blues way back when, releasing them back into the swamp where they belong, or as I remember someone shouting in my ear in the late ’70s sometime, ‘Punk killed the blues, and a good thing too.’ But good things never die, do they? They just mutate, reinvent, re-emerge, with 1981’s Fire Of Love all the evidence required: the full-on rush of punk and the muck of the bayou (that crossroad where the real stuff never dies), maybe put it at the service of some dangerous poetry about a girl so heavy, she’s like heroin – never misses the vein. Hell yeah.” (Philip Random)
It turns out that I Me Mine was the very last Beatles track to be recorded, and it makes sense — a rant on the topic of ego from George Harrison who’d always had a hard time getting his songs on the albums — something he was about to make up for, big time. But that’s another story.
“There ought to be a law that when a band changes its sound as thoroughly as the Doobie Brothers did in the mid-1970s, it should also be required to change its name, if only so future generations don’t get forever stuck confusing the cool, rocking stuff with the soft, latter day sponge ball stuff. Anyway, for the record, the Doobies peaked in about 1973 with an album called The Captain and Me that didn’t just boast mega-hit rockers like China Grove and Long Train Runnin’, it also had a stretched out mini-epic called Clear As The Driven Snow. Apparently it’s about cocaine abuse, but it’s always been more of a marijuana fave of mine.” (Philip Random)
The Strawbs started out as a folk band in the 1960s, but somewhere along the line, things started getting so-called progressive, which Rick Wakeman‘s stint on keyboards only accentuated. But even after Yes scooped him up, the Strawbs continued with the progressing and expanding, and nowhere so seriously, intensely, psychedelically as The Life Auction, found on 1975’s Ghosts. It’s tea time, the middle of England somewhere (or maybe just some drab Canadian suburb) and the acid you dropped an hour or so back is finally kicking in hard, the truth about everything revealed in the polluted haze of another diluted day.
Nifty jam from April Wine, one of those Canadian rock outfits that didn’t get heard much around the world, but got piles of national radio airplay through the 1970s, only some of it bureaucratically mandated. But they never played We Can Be More Than We Are. You had to actually had to own the Canadian pressing of the album for that one (or find a copy of the Gimmie Love 7-inch and flip it to the b-side). Cool groove, hot licks and then a phone call, some stoner on the line, looking for an easy break into the record biz, but all he gets is some free advice. “You can be more than you are.”
“A Thin Lizzy rocker that neither boogies nor woogies. It’s just heavy and strong and full of threat, though of what I’m not quite sure, maybe something lurking in the deep Irish night. Found on 1976’s Johnny The Fox, which is one of those albums that nails its place in time. Not punk, not metal, just rock, good and hard.” (Philip Random)