Here’s a new feature. I’m putting three songs together more or less as a mini-set. There’s no real relationship between the songs other then unintentionally. Just three songs I like played back-to-back, almost like a disc jockey would randomly do. Some you might know, some you might have missed. Some you might like, some you might shrug. Eh, at least you’ll hear them.
Back in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s, there was a band called Mountain with a terrific guitarist named Leslie West. Their bass player was a guy named Felix Pappalardi who was well-known for producing some of Cream’s music. Mountain played at Woodstock and put out a couple of pretty good albums.
I saw West on VH1’s “That Metal Show” not too long ago so he’s still out there doing it. I noted in an earlier post that he long ago sat in with The Who doing a Marvin Gaye song. He also put out an album last year that features, among, others, the late Jack Bruce of Cream playing and singing on one of the band’s staples, “Spoonful.”
One of my favorites of Mountain’s is “Theme for an Imaginary Western,” a tune by Bruce who was bassist, main vocalist and primary songwriter of Cream. It’s got a really nice lazy feel, a cool swirly organ part and a couple of tasty guitar solos. Pappalardi on vocals. I like the whole idea of an imaginary Western. Very evocative.
When the wagons leave the city
For the forest, and further on
Painted wagons of the morning
Dusty roads where they have gone
Sometimes traveling through the darkness
Met the summer coming home
Fallen faces by the wayside
Looked as if they might have known
Curtis Mayfield was a member of a band called The Impressions that formed in the ’50’s and – like the Drifters – is apparently still going. He was a singer, songwriter and guitarist who was also famous for doing the soundtrack to a movie called “Superfly.”
One of my absolute favorites by him is a song called “Move on Up.” It absolutely cooks. The horn arrangement alone is worth the price of admission. There’s a longer version out there if you find yourself getting into it.
Hush now child, and don’t you cry
Your folks might understand you, by and by
Move on up, toward your destination
Though you may find from time to time
There were several iterations of Fleetwood Mac between the Peter Green blues version and the Nicks/Buckingham version. This song, “Hypnotized” is from their early ’70’s incarnation with guitarist/singer Bob Welch. (The Pointer Sisters covered it!) Spacy, ethereal, otherworldly. And a cool drum/guitar thing happening.
Seems like a dream
Got me hypnotized
They say there’s a place down in Mexico
Where a man can fly over mountains and hills
And he don’t need an airplane or some kind of engine
And he never will
Now you know it’s a meaningless question
To ask if those stories are right
‘Cause what matters most is the feeling
You get when you’re hypnotized