“Can’t You Hear My Knocking marks that precise moment at which I realized Punk Rock was dead (which is bullshit, of course, it was just going into remission for a while). It would’ve been summer 1988, a party at the joint we called the Palace of Failure. I remember I was sitting on the stairs, swigging from my ever trusty bottle of cheap red wine, no doubt stoned as well. Suddenly somebody yanked off the hardcore record that was playing, mid-song, which was fine by me, I wasn’t exactly paying attention. A few seconds of party noise and then … pure riff magic, the Rolling Stones at their most elegantly gritty, tearing everything up, the whole party immediately starting to groove. Even Mick Jagger didn’t sound that annoying. How was that possible? And then, the last two-thirds of the track, he wasn’t around anyway, just a full-on Latin groove and some hot soloing. Pure bliss and proof positive that whatever had been so horribly wrong with old school rock back in the early punk days had now passed, a dysfunction of the zeitgeist or whatever. And how the hell had I not heard this song before? Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, from Sticky Fingers, the one with the zipper on the cover. Which means I had heard it. Because my friend Gary had that album way back when, end of Grade Seven. I distinctly remember playing with the zipper. Which is kind of weird, now that I think of it.” (Philip Random)
“Time Waits for No One is arguably the Rolling Stones‘ most beautiful song — epic and tragic and the kind of nugget that got at least a little radio play back in the day. Years later, I discovered it was mostly Mick Taylor‘s accomplishment. He didn’t write it, but he did everything else, fought for it in the studio, played the guitar solo. And then, as the story goes, he was done. He quit the band, did a good job of becoming completely obscure. Apparently, heroin was involved.” (Philip Random)
John Mayall being the man whose former band members couldn’t seem to help launching mega careers back in the day. Sitting in the Rain being an obscure old track that eventually showed up on a 1969 compilation. Does it classify as a proper Mississippi Delta blues? Probably not. But it sure works on a rainy day.
Part One of Randophonic’s three part celebration of the 40th anniversary of 1974 aired November 29th, on CiTR.FM.101.9.
Here it is in two Mixcloud streams. All Secrecy No Privacy:
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (an extended Movie of the Week):
The podcast of the full program is available for download here …
Think of it as a halfway cool radio program from forty years ago — a few guys running through some of the essential records of the year, not ranking them so much as just shouting them out. This is the important stuff. This is what has kept the flesheating robots at bay for the past three hundred or so days. And they might have been stoned while they were doing it, so stuff is out of order and maybe a little confused, but in a good way, 1974 proving rather difficult to really pin down.
But there was certainly no shortage of darned fine music.
Kraftwerk – autobahn
Wherein some very smart German guys decide that what the world truly wants and needs is a sort of stretched out and techno-fied version of the Beach Boys’ Fun Fun Fun. And they nail it, a hit single and album world wide. The future is suddenly very cool.
MFSB – TSOP [the Sound of Philadelphia]
Disco wasn’t really a SOUND yet in 1974, so it wasn’t really annoying at all. Not yet anyway.
O’Jays – for the love of money
The root of all that evil. Same as it ever was.
Camel – freefall
Introducing progressive rock, the elephant in the room, which it’s safe to say peaked rather gloriously in 1974, with Camel as solid an example as any. Tight playing, complex arrangements, no fear of cosmic overload.
Alice Cooper – teenage lament ’74
Does it always suck to be a teenager? Probably. But as far as we know, 1974 is the only year that had an actual teenage lament.
Sensational Alex Harvey Band – the man in the jar
Straight outa Glasgow, and not just a little glam, but you would not want to mess with any of them.
Rolling Stones – fingerprint file
74 was not a great year for the Stones with Keith Richard heroin comatose pretty much the whole time and Mick Taylor (the best player they ever had) calling it quits. Yet they still nailed it big time with Fingerprint File. All secrecy. No privacy.
BTO – not fragile
Big meat eating, truck driving riffs and melodies that rocked pretty much the whole world. Nothing pretty about any of it …
ELO – boy blue + Laredo tornado
ELO finally just went all the way technicolour with their fourth album, the concept known as El Dorado. These two flowed nicely together through the middle of side A.
10CC – Wall Street Shuffle
Blood sucking brokers ripping the whole world off, laughing all the way to hell and back. Some things never change.
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway [an extended Movie of the Week]
It’s hard to grasp now, but forty years ago Genesis were pretty much the epitome of strange and complex cool, with the four-sided Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Peter Gabriel’s last album with the band) believed by many to be one of the genuine monsters of the so-called prog-rock genre, by many others to be simply monstrous.
What’s it about? To be honest, we’re pretty sure not even Peter Gabriel knows, and he wrote the lyrics. That said, it seems to begin with an apocalypse of sorts. On Broadway. But nobody notices except Rael. Who’s Rael? He’s the (sort of) punk hero of the thing, whose weird adventures will take us deep into subterranean regions of mystery, pleasure, torment and lifeless packaging.
What’s the significance of the lamb? Not much, it seems.
Meanwhile from out of the steam a lamb lies down. This lamb has nothing whatsoever to do with Rael, or any other lamb. It just lies down on Broadway.