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Friday on my Mind 210: For What It’s Worth

Buffalo Springfield were a particularly North American phenomenon even if they did spark the careers of Stephen Stills and Neil Young. I don’t recall them ever having a hit in the UK. This song though is redolent of that mid 1960s anti-establishment the-times-are-changing vibe. (Not that the times ever did change.)

As to this video I have to say I find it difficult to take anybody wearing a cowboy hat seriously. (That was as true in the mid-60s as it is today.)

Buffalo Springfield: For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)

Friday on my Mind 55 Years On

A recording of The Easybeats’ first performance of Friday on my Mind on Top of the Pops on 24th November 1966 long thought lost to the world has been discovered in Australia. The story is here and includes the relevant clip.

The sheer joy of the lead singer’s performance is delightful to see.

He seems to be singing two lines of the lyric of the chorus in a slightly different order to that on the ’45 single which I bought, though.

Reelin’ in the Years 196: After You Came

Though he contributed spoken word pieces to the previous five albums plus an instrumental in Beyond from To Our Children’s Children’s Children only six Moody Blues songs were credited to their late drummer Graeme Edge as sole writer. This rocker, the last track on side one of Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, was one of them.

The Moody Blues: After You Came

Graeme Charles Edge: 30/3/1941 – 11/11/2021. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 69: Late Lament – RIP Graeme Edge

I was saddened to read in the Guardian of the death of Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues on Armistice Day.

As a drummer he perhaps wasn’t spectacular but he did the job. He was one of the group’s original members (in the days of Denny Laine, Clint Warwick and Go Now) and continued on to the glory days of the late 60s and early 70s. His contribution to the group’s œuvre was not initially musical but spoken word (poetry if you will) starting with the Morning Glory sequence from Days of Future Passed whose first verse,

“Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight,
Red is grey and yellow white,
But we decide which is right,
And which is an illusion,”

is returned to in Late Lament, the spoken coda which comes after the final song, Nights in White Satin. Unfortunately this clip omits the gong right at the end.

The Moody Blues: Late Lament

Graeme Charles Edge: 30/3/1941 – 11/11/2021. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 195: Wond’ring Aloud (and Wond’ring Again)

One of the more understated tracks on Jethro Tull’s 1971 LP Aqualung was this acoustic ditty, Wond’ring Aloud.

Jethro Tull: Wond’ring Aloud

On the compilation album Living in the Past, was this reworking/extension, Wond’ring Again, which may be Ian Anderson’s masterpiece. A meditation on humanity’s propensity to mess things – especially the planet – up. From forty years ago!

It’s also a perfect example of Anderson’s lyricism, moving from the poetic to the mundane within a sentence.

Jethro Tull: Wond’ring Again

Live It Up 83: Rent

A couple of months or so ago I heard Liza Minelli’s version of this song on the radio and was surprised I hadn’t heard it before. It’s a very Minelli interpretation but was nevertheless produced by the Pet Shop Boys, who had had a hit with it two years earlier.

Liza Minelli: Rent

For comparison purposes here is the original:-

Pet Shop Boys: Rent

Something Changed 49: Shiny Happy People

REM in their pomp. Gloriously catchy. (That’s a silly hat Michael Stipe has on in the video though.)

REM: Shiny Happy People

Friday on my Mind 209: Eloise. RIP Barry Ryan

I’ve been meanning to post Eloise here for ages but never quite got around to it. Sadly its singer Barry Ryan died last month. He had a few minor hits in the UK when in partnership with his twin brother Paul, who eventually gave up being onstage in favour of being a songwriter. Apparently influenced by Richard Harris’s success with the Jimmy Webb song MacArthur Park, Eloise was the fruit of that and became a no 2 hit in the UK (with some chart compilers having it at no 1.) Paul predeceased Barry in 1992. So it goes.

Eloise is almost sui generis (despite any comparison to MacArthur Park.) It doesn’t really sound like any other 1960s song. It could be said to be overproduced and overwrought but once heard is never forgotten. Dave Vanian of The Damned liked it so much he had the band record it in 1986, when it reached no 3 in the UK.

It was released under the credit Barry Ryan (with The Majority) but is always referred to as if Barry Ryan were the sole performer. He certainly gave it his all in the recording.

The follow-up to Eloise, the similarly overblown Love is Love, can be listened to here and The Damned version of Eloise here.

The clip is from the German pop show Beat Club.

Barry Ryan: Eloise

Barry Sapherson (Barry Ryan,) 24/1/0 1948 – 28/9/2021. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 68: Soul Deep

This was the third UK hit for the Box Tops but it only reached no 22. It’s become something of a classic, though.

This clip sounds to be the recorded version played over footage of a TV appearance.

The Box Tops: Soul Deep

Friday on my Mind 208: That’s the Way God Planned It

Billy Preston holds the singular distinction of being the only other artist to feature as a named collaborator on a Beatles single. That was with Get Back and its B-side Don’t Let Me Down, both credited to The Beatles with Billy Preston.

In the wake of that he had a top ten hit of his own in 1969 with this song though.

Billy Preston: That’s the Way God Planned It

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