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Reelin’ In the Years 141: Haitian Divorce – RIP Walter Becker

It turns out that while I was away one of the authors of the song which gives this category its title died.

Steely Dan was one of those acts which seem to stand apart from the general run of their musical contemporaries. In their time but not of their time.

I’ve already posted Reelin’ In the Years of course, but also Do it Again, Rikki Don’t Lose That Number and Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More.

This is one of their UK hits from 1976 that doesn’t seem to have charted in the US, perhaps not released as a single there.

Steely Dan: Haitian Divorce

Walter Carl Becker: 20/2/1950 – 3/9/2017. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 140: Up the Pool

I’ve still not caught up with happenings while I was away.

However, following on from yesterday’s post.

For the Lancashire coast’s heritage.

Originally from the Life’s a Long Song extended player then on the compilation Living in the Past.

Jethro Tull: Up the Pool

Reelin’ In the Years 139: The Pretender

You know I have a soft spot for rhyming. (See for example here and here.) There is an art to it when it’s done well and inventively, the rhymes woven into the overall story the song tells.

In this song Jackson Browne manages to find at seven rhymes for pretender. Some are reasonably obvious – legal tender, his fender, the spender, contender, surrender – but one is inspired; ice cream vendor. I must say though that “end there” is a bit iffy.

Jackson Browne: The Pretender

Reelin’ In the Years 138: Life’s A Long Song

I just love the rhyming in this song’s lyric.

The only slight blemishes in its perfection are the lack of any assonance (rather than rhyme) in song/fill at the end of the first refrain – though song/dawn and song/all in the second and third are fine in that regard – and that in the last line of the first verse fret doesn’t rhyme with fear and cheer.

When you’re falling awake and you take stock of the new day,
And you hear your voice croak as you choke on what you need to
say,
Well, don’t you fret, don’t you fear, I will give you good cheer.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. If you wait then your plate I will fill.

As the verses unfold and your soul suffers the long day,
And the twelve o’clock gloom spins the room, you struggle on your
way.
Well, don’t you sigh, don’t you cry, lick the dust from your eye.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. We will meet in the sweet light of dawn.

As the Baker Street train spills your pain all over your new dress,
And the symphony sounds underground put you under du
ress,
Well don’t you squeal as the heel grinds you under the wheels.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. But the tune ends too soon for us all.

But the tune ends too soon for us all.

Jethro Tull: Life’s A Long Song
Ian Anderson: Life’s A Long Song, Chamber version

Reelin’ In the Years 137: Dear Elaine

This is something of an oddity but yet is entirely consistent with Roy Wood’s oeuvre.

Very unMove-like and far too restrained for Wizzard – which he had formed at around the same time as this – it could still be an outtake from The Electric Light Orchestra, the band’s
eponymous first album, which did contain quite a lot of acoustic plucked strings in its arrangements.

Roy Wood: Dear Elaine

Reelin’ In the Years 136: Jessica. RIP Gregg Allman

This is perhaps the most abiding legacy of the Allman Brothers band, whose member, Gregg, died earlier this week.

I might have included it in this series before if it had not had the (mis)fortune to have become the theme tune to Top Gear. Still that’s not the Allmans’ fault and it was chosen long before the programme was hi-jacked by the play-to-the-lowest-common-denominator tendency.

The Allman Brothers Band: Jessica

Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman: 8/12/1947- 27/5/2017. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 135: Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)

This almost forgotten song (it hardly gets any retrospective airplay) was oddly, given the perennial appeal of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, Wizzard’s only no 1 hit apart from See My Baby Jive.

In some senses it’s not strange that posterity has deemed this less memorable. It’s slower in tempo and arguably too long.

Wizzard: Angel Fingers

Reelin’ In the Years 134: Blockbuster

That siren sound announced the change from the Sweet’s previously bubble-gummy sound to something more hard-edged. It gave them their only UK no 1.

Surprisingly it wasn’t as big a hit in the US as the totally bland Little Willy had been.

The Sweet: Blockbuster

Reelin’ In the Years 133: Comin’ Home

A guitar heavy one from 1970.

Delaney and Bonnie – under whose name along with their friends – this song was released formed a rotating ensemble using many musicians among whom was Eric Clapton who features on this recording.

Delaney and Bonnie and Friends featuring Eric Clapton: Comin’ Home

Reelin’ In the Years 132: Changes

Following last week’s offering from Black Sabbath here’s a more famous Changes – the Bowie song, here taken from BBC sessions. To my mind there’s a lot more energy in this live version than the LP track.

David Bowie: Changes

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