Archive | April, 2018

Certain Songs #1201: The Moody Blues – “Legend of a Mind”

Album: In Search of The Lost Chord
Year: 1968

At least partially because I never could stand “Nights in White Satin,” which seemed to be played on every damn radio station ever and always, I never quite grokked the epic silliness of The Moody Blues.

That said, when most of their other singles came on the radios, rockers like “Ride My See-Saw” and “Question” or even “Tuesday Afternoon,” I enjoyed them enough to at some point take a flyer on their two-disc best-of This is The Moody Blues during my mini-prog phase in 1977-1978.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1200: Monty Python – “Spam Song”

Album: Another Monty Python Record
Year: 1971

I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that I didn’t have to wait until they made a film or our local PBS station did another round of re-runs, but that I could buy actual record albums of Monty Python material!

Even better, instead of being just audio versions of the sketches people might have seen on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, everything on their non-soundtrack albums was recorded specifically for the albums.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1199: Montrose – “Space Station #5”

Album: Montrose
Year: 1973

There’s a small little area of L.A. north of where I live called Montrose, and every single time we drive by the exit for it on the 210, I make the devil horns and whoop “MONNNNN-TROSE!!” in honor of an album that was a staple of my teenage years.

Clearly one of the blueprints for the formula that made Van Halen global superstars (my beloved UFO was the other), Montrose was an fusion of big-ass riffs, dumb-ass lyrics and catchy songs. With an origin story not so different from Led Zeppelin’s — big session guitarist & bassist plus unknowns — Montrose featured Ronnie Montrose’s inventive guitar and the monster voice of a then unknown Sammy Hagar.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1198: Monsoon – “You Can’t Take Me With You”

Album: Third Eye
Year: 1983

After Monsoon disbanded, Sheila Chandra went on to a pretty successful career in world music, initially backed by Steve Coe & Martin Smith, who were the guys from Monsoon, but I only ever heard 1984’s Out on My Own, which I remember being surprised at disliking, but it was too much pop, and lacked the balance of Third Eye.

After that, I lost the plot, and while I was happy to discover that Chandra has had a long and pretty successful career — including a pair of songs in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers — I was subsequently saddened to learn that in the past few years she had contracted a disease that effectively rendered her mute, which is sad, to say the least.

(more…)

Certain Songs #1197: Monsoon – “Ever So Lonely”

Album: Third Eye
Year: 1982

Like The Monkees, Monsoon was a band that was assembled in the studio, as opposed to organically growing in the wild. And like The Monkees, Monsoon had a huge Beatles influence.

That’s where the similarities end, though: whereas The Monkees were all about Americanizing that A Hard Day’s Night vibe, Monsoon had an concept that grew from George Harrison’s sitar experiments on Revolver & Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: what if Western pop music, but made with Indian instrumentation?

(more…)