“I’m thirteen, lying in bed and unable to sleep for reasons of existential magnitude, so I’ve got the radio on to keep me company, tuned to FM, of course, because I’m at least that cool. Anyway, this song comes on, heavy and wild, the singer howling about how he wants to reach out and touch the sky. But I didn’t catch who it was. Next day at school, I I’m quizzing everybody, but nobody knows what I’m talking about, and anyway, they’re mostly into Elton John or Three Dog Night. Long story short. It took fifteen years to get my answer, care of Jared, a marijuana dealer I knew at the time who played bass in various hard rock outfits, knew his heavy history. I mentioned the ‘I want to reach out’ part and he instantly said, ‘Black Sabbath Supernaut,’ like I’d just become magnitudes less cool in his eyes. How the hell could I not know Supernaut!? But I was just glad to have the answer, life suddenly feeling a little more purposeful, complete. Supernaut, found on side one of Vol. 4, which Jared had, so on it went, heavy and cool as I remembered. Life before the interwebs. You just had to keep digging.” (Philip Random)
“It’s 1970 and Elton John is still a ways from superstardom. Which doesn’t mean he may already have recorded the best album of his career. It’s called Tumbleweed Connection and yeah, it’s working a slightly silly concept about the old west, but the songs are so good, who cares? With Love Song a particular standout for me if only because it’s been so overlooked in its understated, ambient lushness. Almost too beautiful. And it’s a cover. Lesley Duncan wrote it.” (Philip Random)
These 12 Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Randophonic’s other 12 Mixtapes of Christmas from two years ago, or even with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you). And they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).
There’s no particular genre, no particular theme or agenda being pursued, beyond all selections coming from Randophonic’s ever expanding collection of used vinyl, which continues to simultaneously draw us back and propel us forward (sonically speaking) — music and noise and whatever else the world famous Randophonic Jukebox deems (or perhaps dreams) necessary toward our long term goal of solving all the world’s problems.
Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from Roy Orbison to Curtis Mayfield to Can, Bob Dylan, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Kraftwerk, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and beyond (and that’s just from the first mix) — anything and everything, as long as it’s good.
“I suppose I was born just early enough to remember a time when Elton John was not a big deal pop supernova, but rather a cool underground item, more for the older kids. Like Russ (boyfriend of a friend’s big sister) who insisted that Madman Across the Water was about Richard Nixon and Watergate, the crazy mess he’d made of things. He was the madman destroying everything he touched. Which kind of made sense in 1973. Except I later realized it was a 1971 record, and the Watergate break-ins didn’t even happen until 1972, and didn’t get much media coverage until after Mr. Nixon got himself massively re-elected with pretty much the biggest majority in American political history. Mad and confusing times, no question. Lots of scary shadows forming across the water, maybe throwing time itself out of joint. Who knew the what of anything? Except the music. The music was amazing.” (Philip Random)
“As I remember it, David Bowie hit the suburbs of the Americas in comparatively slow motion. First came Space Oddity (a big deal AM radio hit in early 1973, some three years after it had hit big in the UK), then Ziggy Stardust (various album tracks popping up on FM radio), by which point you were starting to see pictures of the guy. Beyondfreakish. Which were backed up by the inevitable rumours (that he actually was an alien, that he and Elton John were secretly married). But by the end of the year, all that stuff was settling, and it was the music you couldn’t ignore. So Much Great And Strange Music. So much so that a track like Panic in Detroit didn’t get near the attention it deserved. If only for the riff. You could base a whole genre on that riff. Which, it’s arguable, the Rolling Stones already had. But that’s another story.” (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.
Cool and soulful non-hit from Elton John‘s third album, 1970’s Tumbleweed Connection, which Philip Random maintains is his best “… mainly because it preceded the absurd levels of mega-hugeness that so devoured him by mid-decade. Apparently it’s a concept album concerning country themes, cowboys, dust, lust and, in the case of Where to Now St Peter? some heartfelt gospel yearning which truly sets the guy’s voice free. I mean, has any other white man, before or since, ever sung the word blue so thoroughly, completely, rhapsodically …?”
Reginald Dwight (aka Elton John) was beyond huge through the first half of the 1970s – ten studio albums (plus one soundtrack) between 1969 and 1975 and none of them awful. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the last truly good one though, with the title track working a sort of country feel that shouldn’t have worked coming from an English suburban kid, but it did. The 70s were like that. Lots of fantasies realized … until the cocaine took over.
The Solid Time of Change continues to be Randophonic’s main focus, 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 and only occasionally absurd time, musically speaking.
Part ten of the journey went as follows:
Godley + Creme – The Flood
Godley + Crème – some more pieces of consequence
Elton John – rocket man
Klaatu – calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Klaatu – little neutrino
Jethro Tull – only solitaire
Jethro Tull – back-door angels
Jethro Tull – Two Fingers
Fleetwood Mac -searching for Madge
UK – in the dead of night
UK – by the light of day
UK – presto vivace + in the dead of night [reprise]
PFM – the world became the world
Synergy – on presuming to be modern – 1
Synergy – Phobos + Deimos go to Mars
Synergy – terra icognita
Synergy – on presuming to be modern – 3
Renaissance – on the frontier
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.