“When Elvis (aka The King) died in 1977, John Lennon was smugly heard to observe that he’d already been been dead for almost twenty years — ever since he joined the army back in 1958. But I give him another ten years, to 1968 and the big deal comeback TV special on NBC. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had just been shot, the Vietnam war had officially gone to hell, the Beatles hadn’t played live for years. But Elvis wasn’t worried. He had a secret weapon for the show’s finale, a brand new song written by a guy named Earl Brown called If I Can Dream. ‘I’m never going to sing another song I don’t believe in,’ said Elvis when he first heard it, ‘I’m never going to make another movie I don’t believe in.’ And yeah, Elvis did deliver on NBC, a performance that reached deep through the strange vacuum of the cathode ray tube and touched the hopeful soul of all humanity, maybe even saved the world. But then he proceeded to eat doughnuts, sing awful songs, make worse movies, and finally died nine years later, alone, sitting on a toilet. Poor guy. The King of Need, the Residents called him.” (Philip Random)
“David Bowie at his rawest, glammest, most rockingest. The time I him do Cracked Actor live, he sang it to a skull, a cracked actor indeed. Or was he an alien? Aladdin Sane being the last of Ziggy albums that wasn’t all cover tunes. Either way, it was a harder rock than pretty much anyone was delivering at the time, except maybe Iggy and Stooges at the … and almost nobody knew they even existed.” (Philip Random)
Warren Zevon’s Excitable Boy got a fair bit of notice at the time, but we only ever heard a few tracks on the radio, and none of them was Lawyers Guns + Money, which is just a good old-fashioned smart, sly, cynical as f*** rocker about a rich kid off in some foreign locale, into something way over his head. Not unlike America itself at that particular moment in time, what with a recently lost war and all manner of other horrific sh** unfurling.
“How dumb was America in 1974 (and Canada for that matter)? This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us, one of the fiercest, funniest, pop smart eruptions to ever get pressed to vinyl, didn’t make the singles charts, didn’t even crack the Top 100. In fact, no Sparks single ever charted in the entire decade of 1970s, their best. Thank God for friends and friend’s big sisters being somehow cool enough to find out about them anyway, and share the f***ing glory.” (Philip Random)
The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest, most random and (if we’re doing it right) relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a long and convoluted process that finally evolved into something halfway tangible in early 2018. The 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here, if that makes sense. And even if it doesn’t, we’re doing it anyway for as long as it takes, and it will take a while.
Installment #8 of The Final Countdown* went like this.
1150. DJ Me DJ You – because [DJ Swamp remix]
1149. Funkadelic – Vital Juices
1148. Rolling Stones – dance[s]
1147. Invaders of the Heart – voodoo-psyche
1146. America – a horse with no name
1145. Residents – hanky panky
1144. Eno-Moebius-Rodelius – tzima n’arki
1143. King Crimson – groon
1142. Marc Barreca – oleo strut
1141. Renaissance – trip to the fair
1140. Klaatu – prelude
1139. Tomita – snowflakes are dancing
1138. Tipsy – bunny kick (your mothers mix)
1137. Brian Eno – I’ll come running
1136. Guess Who – key
1135. Grateful Dead – Alligator etc
1134. Telesp – Scarab
1133. Ozark Mountain Daredevils – E E Lawson
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
The album’s called Dark Continent, and the song’s called Tse Tse Fly (both references to Africa) but Wall of Voodoo‘s first (and best) long player is really about America. The jangly guitars, cheap drum machines, scrapyard percussion bits and tips into noise. And the stories being told, equal parts noir and surreal. What could be more American?
“The Call stuck around for a good while, and always told the truth. But for me they’re forever 1983, saying what had to be said. Which is basically, hey America, remember those Romans who conquered the whole known world only to have their empire crumble under the weight of their corruption, hubris, decadence, stupid triumphalism? Looked in the mirror recently?” (Philip Random)
The Solid Time of Change will be Randophonic’s main focus for the forseeable future, an overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era (presented in countdown form) – 661 records from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time, musically speaking.
Part nine of the journey went as follows:
Rick Wakeman – white rock
Rick Wakeman – lax’x
Love – alone again or
Love – the good humour man, he sees everything like this
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Pluto the Dog
Emerson Lake + Palmer – take a pebble 
America – sandman
Moody Blues – higher + higher
Moody Blues – house of (three) doors
Moody Blues – legend of a mind
Caravan – the dog the dog, he’s at it again
Caravan – the love in your eye [unpop edit]
Pink Floyd – fat old sun
Jon Anderson – ocean song
Jon Anderson – meeting [garden of Geda]
Jon Anderson – sound out the galleon
Jon Anderson – transic
Jon Anderson – naon
Daevid Allen – only make love if you want to
Van Morrison – almost independence day
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.