“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. I still keep opening doors.” (Philip Random)
The lazy take on Cat Stevens is that he was a hippie singer songwriter type who lost his nut somewhere along the line and suddenly decided Allah was Great and death to the infidels (or whatever). Which is mostly wrong. And rather completely misses the point that, even with all the MOR hippie hits (most of which weren’t really that bad), he could still genuinely surprise on occasion. Case in point, Bitterblue, particularly the guitar bit near the beginning, when it suddenly kicks from standard strumming into an almost mystical overdrive. Allah be praised.
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 Thirty-One of the journey went as follows:
Queen – tenement funster
Queen – flick of the wrist
Queen – lily in the valley
Cat Stevens – 18th Avenue
Gentle Giant – wreck
Donovan – celtic rock
Led Zeppelin – no quarter
Led Zeppelin – the battle of evermore
Jethro Tull – cold wind to Valhalla
Jethro Tull- with you there to help me
Emerson Lake + Palmer – Knife Edge
Emerson Lake + Palmer – Tarkus [somewhat modified]
England – poisoned youth
Electric Light Orchestra – one summer dream
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.
This continues to be Randophonic’s main focus, our 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 indeed, musically speaking.
Part thirteen of the journey went as follows:
Emerson Lake + Palmer – hoedown
Raspberries – overnight sensation (hit record)
Electric Light Orchestra – Mission [a new world record]
Electric Light Orchestra – dreaming of 4000
Queen – Seven Seas of Rhye
Queen – my fairy king
Barclay James Harvest – mockingbird
Cat Stevens – miles from nowhere
Doobie Brothers- clear as the driven snow
Camel- song within a song
Camel – another night
FM – black noise [part-1]
FM – headroom exerpts
David Pritchard – an admission of guilt [excerpt]
FM – black noise [part-2]
Peter Hammill – dropping the torch
Strawbs – lay a little light on me + hero’s theme
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.
“A Cat Stevens gem about being profoundly somewhere that managed to not overstay its welcome in my ear drums. Top 40 radio didn’t play it much. It wasn’t on the Greatest Hits album that everybody and his big sister owned. You had to actually play the album Tea For The Tillerman to hear it, or find a movie theatre that was cool enough to be showing Harold and Maude.” (Philip Random)
Everybody (or their big sister) had a copy of Cat Stevens Greatest Hits back in the day, and it was a darned good collection in a heartfelt folkie-poppy sort of way. But if you really wanted to know the depth of the Cat, you had to go to track one, side two of the albumCatch Bull At Four, the song called 18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare) which managed in its less than four and a half minutes to cover all manner of mood and intensity, all of it cloaked in doom and shadow and, despite the obliqueness of its lyrics, definitely going somewhere.