This Day in Rock Music History: July 1

    1956:  Brenda Lee, age 11 at the time, went into the recording studio to record "Jambalaya".

    1959:  Dave Brubeck recorded "Take Five".
    1962:  Gene Vincent and the new group the Beatles performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
    1963:  The Beatles recorded "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You" at EMI Studios in London.
    1963:  Monday fell on this date, and that meant artists had to have new releases or wait a week from Saturday to make the chart.  Two new 45's that were on the desks of radio stations across the country were "Judy's Turn To Cry" from Lesley Gore and "Candy Girl" by the 4 Seasons.
    1964:  John Lennon bought a mansion in Surrey, England.
    1965:  John Lennon's "A Spaniard in the Works" was published.
    1966:  Janis Joplin moved into the house owned by Big Brother & the Holding Company in San Geronimo Valley in California.

    1967:  Procol Harum had an amazing hit on their hands as "A Whiter Shade of Pale" rocketed up from 80 to 28.
    1967:  One of the great times of the Rock Era, the Summer of Love, and it was off to a great start.  The Association took over at #1 with their classic "Windy", one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*.  "Groovin'" by the Young Rascals was #2 followed by "Little Bit O' Soul" from the Music Explosion.

    1967:  It was another famous date of the Rock Era as the Beatles first hit #1 with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  After debuting at #8 (back then it was much tougher to debut in the Top 10 than it is now), the Beatles closed the deal to #1.
    1968:  John Lennon unveiled a set of drawings called "You Are Here".
    1968:  The Doors released the single "Hello, I Love You".
    1969:  The Doors released the album The Soft Parade.
    1969:  Sam Phillips, the genius who first recorded Elvis Presley, sold Sun Records.
    1969:  John Lennon and Yoko Ono are involved in a serious car crash in Scotland, that required John to have 17 stitches.

    1970:  Casey Kasem's American Top 40, which would become a radio fixture and overwhelming #1 in its time slot, debuted at radio stations across the country.  Casey Kasem, one of the great guys of all-time, actually took the time to write back to me to not only comment on my production of The Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era* but to give me his home phone number to help me out.  I will never forget that.

    1972:  We didn't realize at the time how little time we had to enjoy him.  Jim Croce's first song, "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" debuted on this date.  Croce, who would soon record "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time In a Bottle", among others, would die a little over a year later in a plane crash.
    1972:  "Outa-Space" by Billy Preston was the top R&B song.
    1972:  Elton John's Honky Chateau moved from 37-7 after just three weeks on the album chart.  This was the first sign that he was becoming a megastar.
    1972:  "Song Sung Blue" by Neil Diamond was #1 for a fifth week on the Adult Contemporary chart.

    1973:  "Song Sung Blue" became Neil Diamond's 28th hit, his 7th Top 10 song, and his second #1 (following "Cracklin' Rosie") on this date.  Sammy Davis, Jr. fell with "The Candy Man" while Billy Preston's instrumental "Outa-Space" remained at 3.  The timeless "Lean On Me" from Bill Withers rose to #4 and Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose were at 5 with "It's Too Late To Turn Back Now".  The rest of the Top 10:  Jimmy Castor Bunch with "Troglodyte", Gallery were on their way down with "Nice To Be With You", Elton John moved "Rocket Man" from 14-8, America landed in the Top 10 again with "I Need You" and Wayne Newton had a hit with "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast".
    1973:  "Jesus Christ Superstar" closed after 720 performances on Broadway in New York City.
    1973:  Bob Dylan released the Soundtrack to "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid".
    1973:  Laurens Hammond, who invented the Hammond organ, died at the age of 78.
    1974:  Paul Anka released the single "Having My Baby".
    1975:  Ringo Starr divorced his wife Maureen Cox.
    1975:  10cc had the #1 U.K. song with "I'm Not In Love".
    1975:  Connie Francis received a $2.5 million judgement against a motel where she was sexually assaulted two years earlier.
    1977:  Pink Floyd played a sold out show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

    1978:  Joe Walsh had the fastest climber as "Life's Been Good" moved from #50 to #31.
    1979:  The Doobie Brothers celebrated their 10th anniversary with a jam at Friar's Club in Los Angeles.
    1981:  John Morey, bassist of Steppenwolf, died in an automobile accident in Santa Barbara, California at age 32.
    1983:  The new group Bon Jovi signed a recording contract with Mercury Records.
    1985:  Kool and the Gang released the single "Cherish" to radio stations--Monday, July 1.
    1986:  Back when the "M" in MTV stood for music instead of mundane, the channel hosted a competition in which the winner (Lisa Barber) attended a world premiere of Prince's movie "Under a Cherry Moon" in Lisa's hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming.  As part of the prize, Lisa and 200 of her friends viewed a private concert by the Purple One.
    1987:  The Grateful Dead released the album In the Dark.
    1989:  R.E.M., Joe Jackson, the Robert Cray Band, Lou Reed and Elvis Costello were at the Rock Torhout Festival in Torhout, Belgium.
    1989:  "Batman" by Prince was the #1 song in the U.K.

                        The Fine Young Cannibals moved to challenge for #1

    1989:  Music fans in 1989 chose Milli Vanilli as the #1 song.  Neneh Cherry remained at #4 with "Buffalo Stance".  Simply Red's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" entered the Top 10 at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Express Yourself" from Madonna moved from 13-6, Donna Summer was at 7 with "This Time I Know It's For Real", Cyndi Lauper moved to #8 in an active Top 10, Natalie Cole had song #9 with "Miss You Like Crazy" and New Kids on the Block tumbled to #10 with "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)". 
    1990:  Mark Knopfler, John Illsley and Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell decided to get the group back together, record an album and go on tour.
    1995:  R.E.M., the Cure and the Cranberries performed at the Rock Torhout Festival in Torhout, Belgium.

    1995:  Cracked Rear View by Hootie & the Blowfish, which ranks 12th in the Rock Era for the longest time to reach #1 on the album chart, returned back to #1 after taking a week off.  The Soundtrack to "Pocahontas" was #2 followed by Pulse from Pink Floyd, which fell to #3 after just one week at the top.  TLC's CrazySexyCool was #4 and Live's great album Throwing Copper was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Soundtrack to "Batman Forever" moved from 15-6, the debut from John Michael Montgomery came in seventh, Soul Asylum was at 8 with Let Your Dim Light Shine, the great second album from Boyz II Men was at 9 and another great one from Blues Traveler, four, entered the Top 10.

    1995:  The popular Wolfman Jack, one of the most famous disc jockeys of the Rock Era and host of the popular "Midnight Special", died in Belvidere, North Carolina at the age of 51.
     1999:  John Popper, harmonica player of Blues Traveler, experienced chest pains and underwent angioplasty at a hospital in Los Angeles.  The band postponed concerts for a month.

    1999:  Guy Mitchell, one of the early stars of the Rock Era, died in Las Vegas at the age of 72.
    2000:  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the MSG in New York City.
    2000:  Kylie Minogue had the top song in the U.K., with "Spinning Around, a song written by Paula Abdul.
    2001:  Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones was asked to paint a group portrait of regular diners at the Ivy, a West End restaurant in London.  Elton John and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys were two of the regular customers who were to be painted.
    2002:  Six stamps designed by Sir Paul McCartney went on sale in the Isle of Man--all proceeds went to the charity Adopt-A Mine field.
    2003:  Herbie Mann ("Hijack") died of prostate cancer at the age of 73.
    2004:  In today's episode of "Inmates Run Rap Music", rapper Ja Rule was arrested and changed with marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.
    2004:  Michelle Branch married her bass guitarist, Teddy Landau.

    2005:  Soul singer/songwriter/producer Luther Vandross died at the JFK Medical Center in New Jersey at the age of 54.  He had suffered a major stroke two years before.
    2005:  Renaldo "Obie" Benson of the Four Tops died of lung cancer in Detroit, Michigan at the age of 69.
    2006:  The Who were the main performers at the Hyde Park Calling festival in London.
    2006:  Busta Rhymes had the top album with Big Bang.
    2008:  Rolf Harris ("Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport") was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Hall of Fame.
    2008:  Mel Galley, guitarist for Whitesnake, died from cancer of the esophagus at the age of 60.
    2010:  The Eagles were in concert at the Verizon Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    Born This Day:
    1915:  Willie Dixon, blues singer and guitarist who wrote "I Can't Quit You Baby", a song Led Zeppelin later did; died January 29, 1992
    1932:  Bobby Day, who wrote "Rockin' Robin", was born in Fort Worth, Texas
    1939:  Delaney Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi

    1945:  Debbie Harry of Blondie was born in Miami, Florida
    1946:  June Montiero, singer with the Toys ("A Lover's Concerto") 
    1948:  John Ford of the Strawbs was born in Fulham, London, England
    1951:  Fred Schneider of the B-52's was born in Newark, Georgia
    1952:  Dan Aykroyd of the Blues Brothers and of course "Saturday Night Live" was born in Ottawa, Canada
    1952:  Leon Chancler, session drummer and percussionist, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana; played on "Billie Jean" for Michael Jackson and also worked with Donna Summer, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and many others
    1960:  Ted Key of the Housemartins
    1963:  Roddy Bottum, keyboardist for Faith No More, was born in Los Angeles

    1971:  Missy Elliott was born in Portsmouth, Virginia
    1971:  Adam MacDougall, keyboardist of the Black Crowes, was born in New York CitySource URL:
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Discography: Jethro Tull

    This unique group stretched the boundaries of popular music with its creative arrangements and innovative subject matter.  Here is the complete list of albums from Jethro Tull:

    1968:  This Was (#62, #10 U.K.)
    1969:  Stand Up (#20, #1 U.K.)
    1970:  Benefit (#11, #3 U.K.)
    1971:  Aqualung (#7, #4 U.K.)
    1972:  Thick as a Brick (#1, #5 U.K.)
    1973:  A Passion Play (#1, #13 U.K.)
    1974:  War Child (#2, #14 U.K.)
    1975:  Minstrel in the Gallery (#7, #20 U.K.0
    1976:  Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young to Die (#14, #25 U.K.)
    1977:  Songs from the Wood (#8, #13 U.K.)
    1978:  Heavy Horses (#19, #20 U.K.)

    1979:  Stormwatch (#22, #27 U.K.)
    1980:  A (#30, #25 U.K.)
    1982:  The Broadsword and the Beast (#19, #27 U.K.)
    1984:  Under Wraps (#76, #18 U.K.)
    1987:  Crest of a Knave (#32, #19 U.K.)
    1989:  Rock Island (#56, #18 U.K.)
    1991:  Catfish Rising (#88, #27 U.K.)
    1995:  Roots to Branches (#114, #20 U.K.)
    1999:  J-Tull Dot Com (#161, #44 U.K.)
    2003:  The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

    Live Albums:
    1978:  Live--Bursting Out (#21, #17 U.K.)
    1990:  Live at Hammersmith '84
    1992:  A Little Night Music (#150, #34 U.K.)
    1995:  In Concert
    2002:  Living with the Past
    2004:  Nothing Is Easy:  Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
    2005:  Aqualung Live
    2007:  Live at Montreaux 2003

    Compilation Albums:
    1972:  Living in the Past  (#3, #13 U.K.)
    1976:  M.U. -The Best of Jethro Tull (#13, #44 U.K.)
    1977:  Repeat - The Best of Jethro Tull -Vol II (#94)
    1985:  Original Masters (#63)
    1988:  20 Years of Jethro Tull (Box Set) --(#97, #78 U.K.)
               20 Years of Jethro Tull:  Highlights
    1993:  25th Anniversary Box Set
              The Best of Jethro Tull - The Anniversary Collection
    1998:  Through the Years
    2001:  The Very Best of Jethro Tull
    2003:  The Essential Jethro Tull
    2007:  The Best of Acoustic Jethro TullSource URL:
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The Top Instrumentals of the Rock Era, Part 2

    You will find several lists of the top instrumentals so this one is far from being the only one.  I tried to base it on what the public thinks, leaving my personal bias out of it.  For it doesn't matter what a so-called "expert" or professional in the music business thinks.  History will always record what the public believes.

    So I base a good deal of this list on chart performance at the time, single and album sales to this point in history, and how the song holds up today.  I have put a considerable amount of time and effort into coming up with this list.  Although I believe it contains The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*, it doesn't start getting great until the top 85 or so.  

    What is great about instrumentals is that the songwriter is free to focus solely on the music.  Artists today have gotten away from that--when you strip the song from its jive and 21st century sound effects, all you have is the music.  By listening to these instrumentals, hopefully we'll get back to what matters when composing a song. 

     Of course, I do realize that beginning in the 1980's, we as a society began cutting music programs to the bone so really we have only ourselves to blame for the poor quality of "music" these days.  I know my own knowledge of music (I play the saxophone, clarinet and have played piano since age 5 and was in a group of 12 that was selected to sing at our church's world conference in Portland, Oregon and then toured throughout the country...) would not have been as great were it not for music education in the schools.  I hope we can get back to providing more funds for that, to stimulate our children's interest in music.

    Getting back to the other "lists" you may see on the web.  They are great, but what is a music site without music?!  Thus, you actually get to hear the songs that are in the list.  Many I was not familiar with until I started researching for this special.

    For navigation, the song titles are below the embedded YouTube video.  For ease of use, I am separating the special into 10 segments of 10 songs each.  The next segment of 10 songs will be on the blog July 3.  I strongly recommend playing each song in order--with any luck (if I've done my homework (and I have!)), each one should sound better than the last.  At least that's the goal.


    90.      "Lollipops and Roses" by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

    "Lollipops and Roses" was originally done by Tony Velona.  Alpert took jazz elements and mixed them with a style he invented and became famous for called "Mexicali".  Keyboardist Leon Russell, under the pseudonym Russell Bridges, plays on the song as does famous session drummer Hal Blaine.  The song became famous as one of the songs of the television show "The Dating Game".  It was one of the top tracks on the album Whipped Cream & Other Delights, which not only reached #1 for eight weeks in 1965 but spent 61 weeks in the Top 10 (#8 All-Time) and 185 on the chart (#35 All-Time).

    89.      "Bongo Rock" by Preston Epps

    Epps learned to play percussion while stationed at Okinawa in the U.S. Korean War.  After his military service, Epps played in coffee shops in Southern California and soon was signed to Original Sound Records.  "Bongo Rock" was released in 1959 and reached #14.  Epps' song inspired the Surfaris hit "Wipe Out", which may be coming up in The Top Instrumentals of the Rock Era*.

    88.      "Cannon Ball" by Duane Eddy

    Eddy began playing guitar at age five and, after his family moved to Arizona, began performing as a duo with Jimmy Delbridge.  The two played songs at KCKY in Coolidge, Arizona and it was there that they met disc jockey Lee Hazelwood.  Hazlewood became Eddy's producer and not only liked Eddy's technique of playing lead on the bass strings of his guitar, but accentuated it through his production of the records.   Eddy was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

    87.      "Space Race" by Billy Preston

    Preston began playing piano and organ at age three and at age 10 he was performing with Andrae Crouch and Mahalia Jackson.  He earned his living as a highly sought-after session musician before venturing out and becoming a successful solo performer.  Most notably, Preston played electric piano and the Hammond organ on "Get Back" by the Beatles.  He also played for acts such as the Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5, Peter Frampton, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Norah Jones and many others.

    "Space Race" reached #4 in 1973 and sold a million copies. 

    86.      "Asia Minor" by Kokomo

    Jimmy Wisner was a pianist, arranger, songwriter and producer who used the name Kokomo to market his single "Asia Minor".  He began as a classical pianist and in 1959, formed the Jimmy Wisner Trio, backing musicians including Mel Torme.  Wisner released several jazz albums but recorded a rock & roll adaptation of Edward Grieg's "Piano Concerto in A Minor" using shellac on the hammers of a cheap piano to achieve the sound he wanted.  Wisner released the song under the name Kokomo because he didn't want to alienate his jazz fans.  Turned down by over 10 record companies, Wisner released the track on his own label Future Records.  The song was released in 1961 and became a #8 hit.    Wisner later wrote "Don't Throw Your Love Away" for the Searchers, and was a producer and arranger for Neil Sedaka, Barbra Streisand, Tommy James, Carly Simon, Tony Bennett, Judy Collins and many others.  Wisner also was the head of Columbia Records' A&R Department for a while as well. 

    85.      "In the Mood" by Ernie Field's Orchestra

    Fields was the son of saxophonist and bandleader Ernie Fields, Jr. The younger Fields alternated between big band, swing and R&B and after moving to Los Angeles, formed the house band for Rendezvous Records. The great Glenn Miller wrote this song during World War II to entertain soldiers. It was Miller's greatest hit and has since been covered by hundreds of artists. It is safe to say that by now, "In the Mood" is one of the top songs ever recorded.  Ernie Field and his Orchestra released their version of 1959 and enjoyed an international hit, reaching #4 in the United States.  The song remained on the singles chart for 19 weeks and sold over a million copies.

    Fields also played with the Marketts ("Last Night") and the Routers.

    84.      "Alley Cat" by Bent Fabric and His Piano

    "Bent Fabric, whose real name was Bent Fabricus-Bjerre, was a Danish piano player.  Fabric led a jazz band in the 1940's before making the move to popular music in the 50's as head of Denmark's Metronome Records.  This song became the theme for a Danish television show that he hosted.  It reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #7 on the popular chart.  Alley Cat" won the Grammy for Best Instrumental in 1962.  In many parts of Mexico, vendors will drive around neighborhoods blasting the song on loudspeakers to get children to come outside and buy ice cream.

    83.      "Desafinado" by Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd

    Stan Getz was a legendary tenor saxophone player who played for band leaders such as Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. He was largely responsible for the bossa nova craze. Antonio Carlos Jobim contributed many songs to Getz over the years and it was quite a combination. Desifinado is a Portugese word meaning "out of tune" or "off key". Getz teamed with Jaoa Gilberto in 1963 to record Getz/Gilberto, one of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*. That album also includes a good version of this song, but it is this combination with Charlie Byrd that is a member of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*. "Desifinado" reached #4 on the Easy Listening Chart and #15 on the popular survey.

    82.      "Tonight" by Ferrante & Teicher

    Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher were a popular duo of American piano players who met while studying at the famous Julliard School of Music in New York City.  Both were musical prodigies and later returned to Julliard as members of the faculty.  They began playing in night clubs but soon were performing classical music with a full orchestra.  Ferrante and Teicher would play music from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and others.  The duo would include piano sounds achieved by adding paper, sticks, metal bars, glass and other objects to piano string beds that would result in strange sounds that gave the effect of percussion instruments.

    "Tonight" was written by Ernest Gold for the 1960 movie "Exodus", starring Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Peter Lawford, Lee J. Cobb, Sal Mineo and John Derek.  Gold won an Oscar at the Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Mineo also won an award for Best Supporting Actor.  Gold also won Grammies for Best Soundtrack Album and Song of the Year for "Tonight", still the only instrumental to win that coveted award.  The song has been recorded by hundreds of artists, but never better than Ferrante and Teicher.  The duo reached #2 for four weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart while the song hit #5 on the popular chart.

    Ferrante and Teicher later recorded the theme for Rod Serling's radio drama series "The Zero Hour" on Hollywood Radio Theater. 

    81.  "The Work Song" by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

    Alpert attended University of Southern California in Los Angeles and was a member of the Trojan marching band for two years.  He was one of the trumpet players in the 1956 classic movie "Ten Commandments".  Alpert wrote the hits "Wonderful World" for Sam Cooke and "Alley Oop" for the Hollywood Argyles before forming the Tijuana Brass and later founding A&M Records with Jerry Moss.  Alpert and the Brass were huge stars in the 1960's, never more so than 1966 when five of their albums were ranked in the Top 20 simultaneously.  That feat has never been repeated and at the end of the year, the group's sales exceeded 13 million, more than the Beatles.

    "The Work Song" is one of the lead tracks on the album S.R.O., a #2 album for six weeks in December of 1966. Source URL:
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In Concert: Diana Krall

In Concert: The Beatles

    To get the In Concert feature rolling, I'm going to get a few more tracks up.  I'm going to be very discerning and only post live performances that I feel are worthy of posting.  Here are the Beatles from Australia, 1964:

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In Concert: Peter Frampton

    One of the best guitar solos in music history was when Peter Frampton amazed us in "Do You Feel Like We Do".  Incredibly, he did the entire version live on "The Midnight Special" and pulled it off.

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In Concert: Linda Ronstadt

    From time to time on Inside the Rock Era, I'll post YouTube links to great performances by some of the top stars in history--live.

    Here is the incredible voice of Linda Ronstadt on "Desperado".  You can of course see members of the Eagles in the background; they were her backing band.  With her encouragement, they set out on their own and become highly successful.  The Eagles later covered this song extremely well but for now, here's Linda:

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Five Best Songs: Loverboy

    Here's one of the best acts of the early 80's.  They kept it going for three solid albums.  Here are the Five Best Songs from Canada's Loverboy:

    1.  "Working for the Weekend"
    2.  "The Kid is Hot Tonite"
    3.  "Turn Me Loose"
    4.  "It's Your Life"
    5.  "Queen of the Broken Hearts"

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The #41 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"Stranger in Town" by Bob Seger

    We are up to #41 in Inside the Rock Era's special countdown this summer of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*.

    Bob Seger, who put together a string of several great ones, checks in here.  The album can be tracked all the way through without skipping a song or two; most of the Top 100 Albums* are that way and in fact several of Seger's are--a highly reliable album artist.  Four hit singles helped publicize the album and no doubt the quality of the album surprised even the people who bought the LP.  "Hollywood Nights", "Still the Same" "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "We've Got Tonight" were all winners as singles and sound as good today as they did back in 1978.  "Feel Like a Number" was also featured in the great movie "Body Heat" starring William Hurt and Kathleen Turner.  That's Mickey Rourke singing along to it in the "workroom".  "Till It Shines" and especially "The Famous Final Scene" are excellent.

     Thanks to the huge airplay from about every rock station worth its salt, Stranger in Town spent 110 weeks on the chart  position, peaking at #4.  It has sold six million copies to date and has a superb Track Rating* of 9.22

    Stranger in Town:
    (All songs by Bob Seger unless otherwise noted.)

    Side One
    1.  "Hollywood Nights" --4:59
    2.  "Still the Same" --3:18
    3.  "Old Time Rock and Roll" (George Jackson, Thomas Jones, Bob Seger) --3:14
    4.  "Till It Shines" --3:50
    5.  "Feel Like a Number" --3:42

    Side Two
    6.  "Ain't Got No Money" (Frankie Miller) --4:11
    7.  "We've Got Tonight" --4:38
    8.  "Brave Strangers" --6:20
    9.  "The Famous Final Scene: --5:09

    The Silver Bullet Band helps Seger on tracks 1,2,5 & 8 while the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section back him up on tracks 3,4,6,7 & 9.

    The Silver Bullet Band consisted of Seger on guitar and vocals, guitarist Drew Abbott, Robyn Robbins on keyboard, Alto Reed on alto saxophone, bassist Chris Campbell and David Teegarden on drums and percussion.  Barry Beckett (keyboards), guitarists Pete Carr and Jimmy Johnson, David Hood on bass and Roger Hawkins (drums and percussion) were members of Muscle Shoals.

    Glenn Frey offers up a guitar solo on "Till It Shines" and fellow Eagle Don Felder plays a great guitar solo on "Ain't Got No Money".  Bill Payne played organ, synthesizer, piano and keyboards on "Hollywood Nights" while Doug Riley contributed piano and keyboard on "Feel Like a Number" and "Brave Strangers".  Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews handled backing vocals on "We've Got Tonight" and "Still the Same".  The Waters family (Julia, Luther, Maxine and Oren) contributed backing vocals on "Hollywood Nights".  Brandye came in and did vocals on "Still the Same" and "Brave Strangers", while James Lavell Easley, Stanley Carter and George Jackson did background vocals on "Old Time Rock and Roll"

    The album was recorded utilizing several studios--Criteria Sound Studios in Miami, Florida, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama and Cherokee Studios, Capitol Records Studios and Sound Suite Studios in Detroit, Michigan.  Punch Andrews was the Producer with assistance from Seger.  The Engineers were John Arrias, Mark Calice, David Cole, Hugh Davies, Gregg Hamm, Steve Melton and George Tutko while Andrews; Arrias and Seger mixed the album and Wally Traugott mastered Stranger in Town.  Roy Kohara was in charge of art direction, Ken Anderson did the design of the album and Terrence Bert and Bob Siedmann contributed photography.  It was released May 5, 1978 on Capitol Records.

    Bob Seger places this great, great album at #41--Stranger in Town.Source URL:
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Lyrics to John Denver's "Spirit"--the Featured Unknown/Underrated Track

    Everyone knows of John Denver's long list of successful songs, albums and concerts.  While he lived, he was one of the best-loved singers the world has ever known.  Few people know of this song, and that's unfortunate.  Enter Inside the Rock Era.  Part of my goal for this site was to publicize deserving songs throughout the Rock Era that, for one reason or another, never became Top 10 hits.  Most of the time, it was because either the record company or radio stations simply blew it, to be blunt.  Each week or so, I'm going to introduce a new Unknown/Underrated Song.  The ground rules are simple--to be eligible, it couldn't have made the Top 10.  I will try to mix it up so you can get several different genres and styles of music, for there is great music in every genre (besides rap, of course).  This is one of John's best songs, both lyrically and musically.

    His spirit joined and so was formed
    Ten thousand years ago
    Between the swan and Hercules
    Where even dark clouds glow

    To live with grace, to ride the swell
    To yet be strong of will
    To love the wind, to learn its song
    And empty space to fill

    Apollo taught me to rhyme
    Orpheus taught me to play
    Andromeda cast down her sign
    And vega lights my way

    Smoke rings in a galaxy
    An endless flight through time
    Lyra gave her harp to him
    And left him free to climb

    A winters journey from the moon
    To reach the summer sun
    To rise again, to sing for you
    A song thats yet unsung

    Apollo taught me to rhyme
    Orpheus taught me to play
    Andromeda cast down her sign
    And vega lights my way

    His spirit joined and so was formed
    Ten thousand years ago
    Between the swan and Hercules
    Where even dark clouds glow

    To live with grace, to ride the swell
    To yet be strong of will
    To love the wind, to learn her song
    And empty space to fill

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Discography: Rush

    When Neal Peart was hired as drummer of this Canadian group, they really took off.  Their sales of 25 million records ranks 79th in the United States.

    1974:  Rush (#105, #88 Canada)
    1975:  Fly by Night (#113, #37 Canada)
               Caress of Steel (#148, #48 Canada)
    1976:  2112 (#61, #1 Canada)
    1977:  A Farewell to Kings (#33, #22 U.K., #2 Canada)
    1978:  Hemispheres (#47, #14 U.K., #4 Canada)

    1980:  Permanent Waves (#4, #3 U.K., #1 Canada)--very good album.
    1981:  Moving Pictures (#3, #3 U.K., #1 Canada)--another very solid album.
    1982:  Signals (#10, #3 U.K., #3 Canada)
    1984:  Grace Under Pressure (#10, #5 U.K., #1 Canada)
    1985:  Power Windows (#10, #9 U.K., #2 Canada)
    1987:  Hold Your Fire (#13, #10 U.K., #9 Canada)
    1989:  Presto (#16, #27 U.K., #11 Canada)

    1991:  Roll the Bones (#3, #10 U.K., #1 Canada) --not promoted properly, but their best album.
    1993:  Counterparts (#2, #14 U.K., #1 Canada)
    1996:  Test for Echo (#5, #25 U.K., #1 Canada)
    2002:  Vapor Trails (#6, #38 U.K., #3 Canada)
    2004:  Feedback (#19, #68 U.K., #5 Canada)
    2007:  Snakes & Arrows (#3, #13 U.K., #3 Canada)

    Live Albums:
    1976:  All the World's a Stage (#40)
    1981:  Exit...Stage Left (#10, #6 U.K.)
    1989:  A Show of Hands (#21)
    1998:  Different Stages (#35, #121 U.K., #12 Canada)
    2003:  Rush in Rio (#33, #139 U.K.)
    2005:  R30:  30th Anniversary World Tour
    2006:  Grace Under Pressure Tour
    2008:  Snakes & Arrows Live (#18, #70 U.K., #8 Canada)

    1978:  Archives (#121)
    1981:  Rush Through Time
    1990:  Chronicles (#51, #42 U.K., #5 Canada)
    1997:  Retrospective I
               Retrospective II
    2003:  The Spirit of Radio:  Greatest Hits 1974-1987 (#62, #167 U.K., #16 Canada)
    2006:  Gold
    2009:  Retrospective III: 1989-2008 (#160 U.K.)
               Working Men
    2010:  Time Stand Still:  The CollectionSource URL:
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Hits List: Cher

    Cher proved she was a star in her own right many times over after the breakup with Sonny.  She sang a later song "If I Could Turn Back Time".  And she has, several times.  You can look at this Hits List and see where, because of a dry period between hits, she could have cashed it all in and lived happy for the rest of her life.  And yet she came back several times and "turned back time".  In fact, there have been few artists in music history that have not only continued to chart but remain relevant.  Cher is definitely part of that club.

    1965:  "All I Really Want to Do" (#15, #9 U.K.)
               "Where Do You Go" (#25)
    1966:  "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" (#2, #3 U.K.)
               "Alfie" (#32)
               "I Feel Something in the Air" (#43 U.K.)
               "Sunny" (#32 U.K.)
               "Ma Piano (Per Non Svegliarmi)"
               "Behind the Door" (#97)
               "Mama (When My Dollies Have Babies)"
    1967:  "Hey Joe" (#94)
               "You Better Sit Down Kids" (#9)
               "Mama" (Italian Version)
    1968:  "The Click Song"
               "Take Me for a Little While"
               "Yours Until Tomorrow"
    1969:  "For What It's Worth"
               "I Walk on Guilded Splinters"
               "The First Time"
               "Chastity's Song (Band of Thieves)"

    1971:  "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" (#1, #6 Adult Contemporary, #4 U.K.)
    1972:  "The Way of Love" (#7, #2 AC)
               "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"
               "Living in a House Divided" (#22, #2 AC)
               "Don't Hide Your Love" (#46)
    1973:  "Am I Blue?"
               "Half Breed" (#1, #3 AC
               "Carousel Man"

    1974:  "Dark Lady" (#1, #3 AC, #36)
               "Train of Thought" (#27, #9 AC)
               "I Saw a Man and He Danced with His Wife" (#42, #3 AC)
               "Rescue Me"
               "A Woman's Story"
    1975:  "A Love Like Yours (Don't Come Knocking Everyday)" --with Nilsson
    1977:  "Pirate" (#93)

    1979:  "Take Me Home" (#8, #2 Club, #19 AC)
               "Wasn't It Good" (#49)
               "It's Too Late (To Love Me Now)" (#87 U.K.)
               "Hell on Wheels" (#59)
    1981:  "Dead Ringer for Love" (with Meat Loaf) --#5 U.K.
    1982:  "Rudy"

    1987:  "I Found Someone" (#10, #33 AC, #5 U.K.)
    1988:  "We All Sleep Alone" (#14, #11 AC, #47 U.K.)
               "Skin Deep" (#79, #41 Club)
    1989:  "After All" (with Peter Cetera) --#6, #1 AC, #84 U.K.
               "If I Could Turn Back Time" (#3, #1 AC, #6 U.K.)

    1990:  "Just Like Jesse James" (#8, #9 AC, #11 U.K.)
               "Heart of Stone" (#20, #30 AC, #43 U.K.)
               "You Wouldn't Know Love" (#55 U.K.)
               "Baby I'm Yours" (#89 U.K.)
               "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" (#33, #50 Club, #7 AC, #1 U.K.)
    1991:  "Love and Understanding" (#17, #3 AC, #10 U.K.)
               "Save Up All Your Tears" (#37, #16 AC, #37 U.K.)
               "Love Hurts" (#43 U.K.)
    1992:  "Could've Been You" (#31 U.K.)
               "When Lovers Become Strangers" (#15 AC)
               "Oh No Not My Baby" (#33 U.K.)
               "Whenever You're Near" (#72 U.K.)
    1993:  "Many Rivers to Cross" (live) --#37 U.K.
               "I Got You Babe" (re-recording) --#35 U.K.
    1994:  "It Ain't Necessarily So" (with Larry Adler)
    1995:  "Love Can Build a Bridge" (with Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry and Eric Clapton (#1 U.K.)
               "Walking in Memphis" (#11 U.K.)
    1996:  "One by One" (#52, #7 Club, #9 AC, #7 U.K.)
               "Not Enough Love in the World" (#31 U.K.)
               "The Sun Ain't Gonna' Shine Anymore" (#26 U.K.)
               "Paradise Is Here" (#11 Club)

    1998:  "Believe" (#1, #1 Club, #3 AC, #1 U.K.)
    1999:  "Strong Enough" (#57, #1 Club, #29 AC, #5 U.K.)
               "All or Nothing" (#1 Club, #12 AC, #12 U.K.)
               "Dov'e l'amore" (#1 Club, #21 U.K.)
    2001:  "Piu Che Puoi" (with Eros Ramazzotti)
               "The Music's No Good Without You" (#19 Club, #8 U.K.)
    2002:  "Alive Again"
               "Song for the Lonely" (#85, #1 Club, #11 AC)
               "A Different Kind of Love Song" (#1 Club, #30 AC)

    2003:  "When the Money's Gone" (#1 Club)
               "Love One Another" (#2 AC)
               "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (#17 AC) --with Rod Stewart

    2010:  "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" (#1 Club)Source URL:
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