461. St. Dominic’s Preview

“It’s true. St. Dominic’s Preview (the song) should probably be way higher on this list. I guess I was just feeling a little allergic when I was compiling things – the danger inherent in loving any particular song too much, playing it too many times. Which is definitely the case here. You hear people talk about Celtic Soul – well, this is it, magical, mystical yet entirely grounded, even as it yearns and it reaches and … well, what the hell’s it about anyway? It’s about many things, it’s about everything, I suspect, it’s about cross-cutting country corners and every Hank Williams railroad train that cried, and Belfast being a hell of lot farther away than f***ing Buffalo. And the rest of the album‘s pretty damned strong as well.” (Philip Random)

VanMorrison-1972-live

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470. good time boogie

“I don’t know why I even put this record on in the first place. I guess I was bored. A friend’s album, plucked more or less randomly from a pile in the mid-1980s sometime. A song title like Good Time Boogie, an album title like Jazz Blues Fusion, John Mayall in general – I was not remotely into this kind of stuff. I guess I could plead alcohol, but I didn’t drink much in those days. It just had to happen, I guess. And it was good. Music that was both grounded in tradition and set loose to explore. And what a groove! Exactly what my soul needed.” (Philip Random)

JohnMayall-1972

480. sitting

“Every generation has its pluses and minuses.  Born in 1959 means you pretty much missed the 1960s entirely, except from an outside-looking-in little kid’s perspective. Turn eleven in 1970 and you’ve got the Beatles breaking up, Bob Dylan going into hiding, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin all dead within three months. On the other hand, turn thirteen in 1972 and you had the likes of Cat Stevens riding high not just in charts but also in terms of serious artistic cred. Here was a guy laying it all out for you, direct from his cosmic soul — the nebulous and paradoxical truth about this, that, life in general. All just a maze of doors which opened from the side I was on. I still believe that.  Just keep pushing hard, boy, try as you may, you’ll end up where you started from. Not sure about the last part though.” (Philip Random)

CatStevens-1972-London

483. Jesus was a Capricorn

How do you tell if there’s a hippie in the room? Say, “Jesus was a Capricorn.” Hippies must immediately follow with, “He ate organic food“. It’s in their training. But that’s okay. It’s a solid tune – Kris Kristofferson likening our great lord and saviour ™ to the hippies of his day, and suggesting that were he to wander down Main Street, he’d likely suffer the same old brutal fate as 1,972 years previous. Because everybody’s gotta have somebody to look down on, someone to feel better than, any time they please.

KrisKristofferson-1972-booze

493. lazy

“Memories of John Masterson, the older guy who lived next door, and definitely a wild one. He had a souped up Datsun 510 that he loved to bomb around in, so he’d give me rides places just to have an excuse to open it up, burn rubber, go FAST. And I swear he always had the same 8-Track playing, which was Deep Purple Made In Japan, and it always seemed to be the same song. Not the obvious one, Highway Star. Nah, John Masterson was hooked on Lazy, from its lazy indeed beginning onward through the riffing and rocking and erupting. The All Time Heavy, he called them, and I wasn’t going to argue, not at 90 mph down a back road near the docks.” (Philip Random)

DeepPurple-1972-live

 

523. Vitamin C

“A nifty little almost pop song from the group known as Can about who knows what? Including the singer, I’m pretty sure, Damo Suzuki from Japan, hanging out in Germany, trying to work in English, ending up inventing his own dadaesque language. A song about whatever you want it to be about, I guess, although I’ll go with my friend Thomas’s interpretation. It’s about that dissipated feeling you get when you’ve wasted all your precious vril energy on rich, yet pointless pleasures. But the music’s there to revive you, like the potion it is, alchemical and true.” (Philip Random)

Can-1972-promo

527. wind up

“It’s Christmas 1972, a party at family friends. I’m thirteen and barely old enough to be hanging with the big kids. Just shut up and sit in the corner. And then they all go outside to smoke a joint. They even invite me along, but no way, not with my parents barely fifty feet away. Which leaves me alone with the record that’s playing – Aqualung by Jethro Tull, getting to the end of Side Two, a song about all the religious bullshit they push on you when you’re a kid, which I had no problem agreeing with, particularly the part about God not being a simple toy. You didn’t just wind Him up once a week, say few stupid prayers and then get on with your everyday lying, cheating, stealing. Nah, if there was a God worth giving a shit about, He or She or It had to be magnitudes more complex and wise than that. I don’t believe you — you’ve got the whole damned thing all wrong.” (Philip Random)

JethroTull-AqualungINside

607. Telegram Sam

“I did hear Telegram Sam at least once way back when, and my immediate teeny bop take was, ‘this sounds exactly like that other T-Rex song‘. And I was right. But ultimately, wrong. Because what I was really referring to was T-Rex‘s groovy, funky, rockin’ one in a trillion sound. Which I didn’t really get for at least another decade, which is when Bauhaus’s rather raucous take on Telegram Sam nudged me into paying attention again. Pop for the ages, glamorous and forever cool.” (Philip Random)

T-Rex-crowd-1972

623. perfection

“I’m twelve years old. It’s 1972 and there’s this band I keep hearing on the radio who can’t be the Beatles, because the Beatles broke up two years ago, but they sure sound like the Beatles. Bad-something. And then my friend Chris buys their latest single. It’s called Baby Blue, and it’s official. This band is called Badfinger.  Maybe three years later, I’m finally buying albums on a regular basis, and one that I’m always looking for is Badfinger’s Straight Up (the one with Baby Blue on it). “Good luck finding that,” says a record store guy one day. “It’s impossible to find ever since Apple went under.” Which was not entirely accurate. I found Straight Up a few times over the years, used and stupidly expensive. Then finally, early-90s sometime, there it was at a flea market, cover a bit hacked but the vinyl itself looked okay. The weird thing is, the song that immediately grabbed then thirty-something me wasn’t Baby Blue, but Perfection. Solid sort of mid-tempo rock, with lyrics you actually heard: There’s no good  revolution – just power changing hands – There is no straight solution – Except to understand. True enough and yet all too sad given the tragedies that tore Badfinger to pieces. All the more reason to keep playing the records, I guess.” (Philip Random)

Badfinger-1972