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In 2012 I put together a premium CD for the WFMU fundraiser called “Super Hits of the Seventies.” I was looking for a way to express my thanks to the many listeners who literally keep the station on the air with their direct financial support. I approached some of my favorite music makers and asked them to create a recording just for us - a cover a song that went top 40 somewhere on Earth in the 1970s - the one rule was “no irony.”
I had no idea what kind of response I’d get - but the musical community’s support was overwhelming - and the end result was one of my favorite albums to ever exist.
In the months following I’ve been asked almost continuously if I was working on a sequel - and for the 2014 fund raiser I’ve managed to put together a worthy sequel: “More Super Hits of the Seventies.”
Like the first volume, I was, and am, completely bowled over by the quality of the music I received. The thought that this cd simply wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the good feelings that WFMU has engendered throughout the musical community is a powerful one, and it keeps returning to me. It is inspiring to know that so many musicians appreciate and support our free-form radio mission.
And if you appreciate the support these artists have shown to WFMU, please support them and reach out to let them know that you appreciate their efforts.
Here’s some information about each artists and each song.
1. Jay Gonzalez "Get Down”
Produced by Chris Grehan & Jay Gonzalez
Recorded by Chris Grehan at Joe's house
Jay Gonzalez - Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Pianos
Chris Grehan - Electric Guitars, Vocals
Joe Rowe - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
In 2012 Jay Gonzalez sent me a copy of his just released debut solo album “Mess of Happiness.” A veteran of a million bands and currently playing keyboards and guitars for the Drive-By Truckers, Jay still managed to squeeze in some time listening to WFMU and thought his music might be just right for my show. “Mess of Happiness” turned out to be one of the musical high points that year. Jay obviously grew up with many of the same records I had (Cheap Trick, Top 40 singles), and his music manages to fuse his influences with a thing all his own.
Jay’s song choice, "Get Down," was written by Gilbert O'Sullivan, whose 1973 recording of it (featuring Chris Spedding on guitar and Herbie Flowers on bass) was a #7 hit in the U.S. and reached #1 in the U.K. O’Sullivan claims the song is about his dog.
Why did Jay choose this song?:
"I'd heard Nick Lowe mention in an interview that he wanted to cover "Get Down" in his first band and they refused on the grounds that it was too pop. Well, very few songs are too pop for my taste so I sought out the song and, not only did I love it, but could hear in it a distinct influence on Nick's songwriting. Gilbert O'Sullivan has the knack for writing ear worm catchy tunes with sophisticated yet quirky arrangements (the "whoa" 's toward the end of the tune weave through several different keys before returning to the outro.) Chris and Joe dug the tune and we consequently had a blast recording it."
Jay managed to capture that blast in his recording - and it’s a great way to kick off this album. Visit www.jaygonzalez.com for more information about Jay, and to watch some highly amusing music videos.
2. Ben Vaughn “Hitchin' A Ride”
Produced & recorded by Ben Vaughn at The Relay Shack, Parts Unknown, USA
Ben Vaughn - vocal, guitars
Philadelphia area native Ben Vaughn made his first splash with The Ben Vaughn combo in the early 1980’s. Since then he’s kept busy releasing solo albums (including one recorded entirely in his car) packed with catchy, wry songs that showcase Ben’s obvious musical fanaticism, producing (Ween, Arthur Alexander) and making music for films & TV ("3rd Rock From The Sun" "That 70s Show" to name a small fraction). He also hosts a weekly radio show “The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn.”
The super catchy “Hitchin' A Ride” (#5 for Vanity Fare in 1970) is one of those songs that has been covered countless times and I was pleasantly shocked when Ben delivered a version that found a completely new song that had been hiding inside the familiar one all along. The song was co-written by Mitch Murray who had early success with “How Do You Do It?” and later success with "Billy Don't Be a Hero" and "The Night Chicago Died."
Why did Ben choose this song?:
“I always thought this song was more serious than the arrangement on the hit version let on. The guy is broke. He’s out on the highway, he’s missing his gal AND it’s raining. Not a good situation to be in.”
Listen to Ben’s radio show & keep tabs on him at: www.benvaughn.com
3. Chris Stamey “Draggin' The Line”
Produced by Chris Stamey
Recorded at Modern Recording, Chapel Hill, NC and the Fidelitorium Kernersville, NC
Mixed at Modern
Mitch Easter - guitars
Chris Stamey - bass, keys, singing
Jon Wurster - drums
Lydia Kavanagh - high harmonies
Jeff Crawford - low harmonies
When I was in high school the first two dB’s albums changed my life. I had never heard contemporary music makers combine raw emotional song writing with a touch of left field weirdness (an avant-garde influence?) to make a new kind of person-connected pop. Chris’ career starts in Winston-Salem, NC, High School bands, and includes a stint playing bass for Alex Chilton, his work with the dB’s, a interesting solo career and a long and varied list of credits as a producer. His cohorts on this recording include his long time collaborator Mitch Easter, who redefined indie rock recording when he produced R.E.M.’s “Cronic Town” ep in 1982, and WFMU’s Best Show alum Jon Wurster.
"Draggin' the Line" was the biggest solo hit of Tommy James’ career. The single, written and produced by James and Bob King , went to #4 in 1971 and is a perfect example of the short lived genre “psychedelic-bubblegum.”
Why did Chris choose this song?:
“When I looked for a 70s song that fit the bill of Michael's project, "Draggin' the Line" jumped out at me. It's about the sound as much as the sense, throwing down the gauntlet from a time when the studio was first becoming an instrument in its own right. Both it and "Crimson and Clover" came at a time when musicians were finding a new freedom in recording--it was no longer just a way to bring live performance into the living room, you could use delays and overdubs to create an imaginary sound world several steps removed from stage reality. The idea that the studio could be used to grab on to a mood or feeling, by setting the wires up in a certain way, was a small revolution. And the fact that they were sonically subversive and still HITS is appealing even now, but back in the day it was magic and very freeing to hear these songs on the radio. And I have to admit that the fact that they were coming from America instead of being imports from Europe filled us with (perhaps jingoistic?) pride, back in the day.”
You’ll find information about Chris and his Chapel Hill, NC based Modern Recording studio at: www.chrisstamey.com
4) Chris Collingwood "Sundown”
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Chris Collingwood at Camp Workaround, Northampton, MA
All noises by Chris Collingwood
Chris’ band Fountains of Wayne are one of my all time favorite bands. In a world full of two-guitars-bass-and-drums bands, Fountains of Wayne just do it so much better then everybody. Their records are filled with well crafted, powerful, touching, clever, well played and perfectly produced songs. Chris manages convey life’s absurdities and heartbreaks without ever verging into silliness or emotional pandering.
Gordon Lightfoot’s 1974 #1 hit “Sundown” was one of his six U.S. top 40 singles. In his native Canada he had 19 top 40 hits; his first in 1962 (!) and by the 70’s was well on the road to icon status. Lightfoot has said that "Sundown" was inspired by his then girlfriend, Cathy Smith (girlfriend of more then one member of The Band, drug dealer to Ron Wood and Keith Richard and fatal injector of 11 speedballs into John Belushi).
Why did Chris choose this song?:
“Teasing my Canadian friends about Gordon Lightfoot is a long and glorious tradition. They smile and say yeah but your country has a weird gun fetish, to which I say we liberated Paris and landed on the moon and furthermore, Loverboy, eh. It was never that funny and it's even less funny sober. I like Gordon Lightfoot and I don't care who knows it. “
See Chris’ thoughts as he tweets them: http://twitter.com/chemicalpill
5) Momo-Sei “One Toke Over The Line”
Produced & Recorded by Momoko Yoshino & Sei Yamamoto
Recorded at Sporadic E Studio, Tokyo, October 2013 on a Yamaha MT50 4 Track Cassette Recorder
Momoko Yoshino - Vocal & Hand Clap
Sei Yamamoto - Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass & Hand Clap
It was a You Tube video of Japanese band Triolean Tape’s version of Nick Lowe’s “Heart” that lead me to the sublimely harmonic Momo-Sei. A little research lead to a series of energetic pop bands (The Automatics, Sunnychar, Tiger Shovel Nose, Tirolean Tape) that were somehow related. Of course most of this information was on Japanese websites and I’m still not sure I connected all the dots properly, but with help from a friend involved in the Japanese music scene (thanks Ryohei Matsunaga) I was able to pinpoint vocalist Momoko Yoshino as the common thread behind all this great music. Her pairing with Sei Yamamoto (of the very power poppy band The Playmates) has resulted in a new chapter: Japanese pop-folk.
“One Toke Over The Line” (which my daughter sings as “One toe over the line”) was a folk duo Brewer & Shipley’s biggest hit (by far) peaking at #10 in 1970. Some radio stations boycotted the song, due to references to drugs - but Lawrence Welk apparently wasn’t hip to the kid’s lingo and a popular singing duo on the show, "Gail and Dale," performed the song on Welk’s show in 1971 with Welk referring to the song as "...a modern spiritual."
Why did Momo-Sei choose this song?:
“Because we love to sing in harmony!”
Momo-Sei’s debut album will be released in 2014, keep in touch at: http://momo-sei.tumblr.com/
6) Robbie Fulks "Sally G"
Recorded by Alex Hall at Hi-Style, Chicago, IL.
Robbie Fulks- acoustic guitar and vocals
Robbie Gjersoe - electric guitar, backing vocals
Alex Hall - tom-tom
Nora O'Connor - duet vocals
Beau Sample - bass fiddle
Jenny Scheinman - fiddle
Robbie Fulks sings great, plays guitar like no one else, and writes greats songs. Add to that: knows how to get it all on record and knows how to pull it off live. The total package! The Chicago based Fulks walks the line between reverent student of country music’s past and iconoclast. There is something to love on all of his twelve albums, including his latest “Gone Away Backward” and my personal favorite “Georgia Hard.”
In 1974 Paul McCartney (& Wings) spent some time in Nashville writing and recording a few songs. Two of those songs were released as a stand alone single, and both made the top 40 with the A side “Juniors Farm” reaching #3, and the B side “Sally G” reaching a more then respectable #17 (though I never remember hearing it on the radio in New York).
Why did Robbie choose this song?:
“I picked this song because there's a slimmish selection of country songs from the AT40, and I certainly didn't want to try singing Ambrosia or Hues Corporation. Paul McCartney's brief Nashville phase magically happened when I happened to be 11 and an avid AT40 and Beatles and ex-Beatles fan. Also Lloyd Green, who was to become my dear friend, played steel and dobro on what will henceforth be known as "the original version"!”
Along with the usual things you find on artists’ web sites Mr. Fulks keeps a particularly interesting blog at: robbiefulks.com
7) Lisa Marr with Cool "Lovin' You Ain't Easy”
Recorded and produced by David Carswell and John Collins at JC/DC Studio, Vancouver, BC
Adrian Burrus – guitar, backing vocals
John Collins – piano
David Carswell – backing vocals, guitar
Miss Marr – vocals
Shawn Mrazek – drums
Amanda Pezzutto – bass
The first time I heard Lisa Marr she was making bouncy-punk-pop music with the Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) band Cub (1992-97). Since then she’s co-written & sang on some of my favorite songs from The Queers, moved to L.A. and formed Buck, played in The Beards (with Kim Shattuck of The Muffs) and put out solo records that showcase her ever evolving sound (she’s also a film maker).
Michel Pagliaro is one of Canada’s biggest rock stars. His "Lovin' You Ain't Easy” was a huge hit there in 1971, released under the moniker Pagliaro. It’s a perfect song and why it wasn’t a huge hit in the U.S. I do not know, but proof that life is not always fair.
Why did Lisa choose this song?:
“While searching for something a little off the beaten Top 40 track, I got an email from David Carswell with a link to Michel Pagliaro’s “Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy:… From the K-Tel “Rock Avec Pag” album. Epic. We had to do it! I remember listening to this song as a little kid eating root beer popsicles in my grandma’s Vancouver backyard circa ’72. A true Canadian pop gem… Merci, Michel!”
Keep up with Miss. Marr’s creative output at: www.lisamarr.org
8) Dressy Bessy "What Is Life"
Produced by John Hill & Tammy Ealom
Engineered by John Hill at Little Sounds, Denver, Colorado
Tammy Ealom – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Craig Gilbert – drums, tambourine
Rob Greene – bass guitar
John Hill – lead guitar
Eric Allen – backing vocals
Rick Benjamin-tebleau – Trombone
Merisa Bissinger – flute, piccolo, frumpet
Maureen Hearty - backing vocals
Greg Hill – backing vocals
Dan Sjogren – tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Horn arrangements by Rick Benjamin-Tebleau
One of the first bands I thought to invite to take part in this project was The Apples In Stereo. Unfortunately main apple Robert was taking some time away from music to peruse an advanced mathematics degree. The Apples’ manager offered me two Apples In Stereo related bands Dressy Bessy and The Babysitters (see song #11) which both featured Apples members. Win/Win! Dressy Bessy was formed in 1997 in Denver, Colorado. They say "We've always had an emphasis on having fun" and that shows in the band’s music (some of which is yours for the downloading at Soundcloud).
Why did the Dressy Bessy choose this song?:
“We really love George Harrison, but initially started learning “Fox On The Run” by Sweet. While playing that song we kept falling into “What Is Life”, because the choruses are the same. From there the decision was easy.”
Play with Dressy Bessy here: www.dressybessy.com
9) The Tripwires “2-4-6-8 Motorway”
Recorded by Jack Endino and Johnny Sangster at Soundhouse Recording and Crackle and Pop, Seattle, WA
Dan Peters- drums/vocal
John Ramberg- vocal/guitar
Jim Sangster- bass/vocal
Johnny Sangster- guitar/vocal
This Seattle super group has two fine albums "Makes You Look Around" (2007 on the Paisley Pop label) and "House To House" (2010 Spark and Shine). Besides the band’s pedigree here’s what you need to know, they list their influences as: “Los Shakers, The Equals, Rockpile, Cheap Trick, The Everly Brothers, The Undertones, The Sonics, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Charles Sinkevitch, The Pop Tops, Them, The Ink Spots, The Move”! Need I say more? "2-4-6-8 Motorway" was the Tom Robinson Band’s first single. Released in late 1977 it made it into the top 5 on the UK singles charts. Robinson wrote the song "trying to work out the chords to Climax Blues Band’s "Couldn’t Get It Right"" with a chorus lifted from a Gay Liberation chant "2,4,6,8, Gay is twice as good as straight.” T.R.B. fought like cats & dogs and broke up in 1979.
Why did The Tripwires choose this song?:
“The lyrics include both “lady” and “truckin'”.
Be friends with The Tripwires: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tripwires/97507791378
10) The Mockers "Eres Tu”
Produced by Robbie Rist and The Mockers
Recorded by Robbie Rist at ValleyHollah Studios, Woodland Hills, CA
Seth Gordon – vocals, guitars
Tony Leventhal – vocals, bass
Robbie Rist – vocals, guitars, drums
Way back in 1992 when I first started doing shows at WFMU (Saturday overnight 3am to 6am!) there was no such thing as the internet (as we know it today). So to further my interest in unusual non musical sound recordings (phony phone calls, answering machine tapes, kids messing with tape recorders) I would place (free) classified adds in the back of music zines asking folks to send me their unusual recordings. I received some cassette tapes (there were no cd-burners yet!) for my trouble, and some of the best were from fellow collector (and possible participant) Seth Gordon. This introduction led me to his band The Mockers and their albums “Somewhere Between Mocksville and Harmony” and the Mitch Easter produced “Living in the Holland Tunnel.” Check You Tube for their brilliant videos for “Republican Girl” & “(There's No War On Christmas) When Christmas Is In Your Heart.”
The Mockers’ roots are in Spain (see below) and their song choice was a number nine hit 1974 for Spain’s Mocedades and one of the few Spanish language songs to reach the top 10 in the U.S.A.
Why did The Mockers choose this song?: “You could say The Mockers started when Tony and Seth met as kids in the ‘70s in southern Spain. And besides our Beatles albums, collections of “Happening Hits” and “Groovy Greats,” songs like “Eres Tu” were the soundtrack to those endless days and doing a version of it now kind of transports us back to that special time.”
Open three Mockers tabs:
11) The Babysitters "Magnet And Steel"
Recorded and Mixed by Gregory Hill at Sparky the Dog Studios
Maureen Hearty - drums, backing vocals
Gregory Hill - guitars, backing vocals
Eric Allen - bass, lead vocals
The second of our Apples In Stereo related bands, The Babbysitters, are a Denver based husband/wife indie pop power trio featuring Eric Allen from The Apples In Stereo, award winning author Gregory Hill, and his wife Maureen Hearty. Their full length cd “Have A Seat” has been described as “...a witty, rapid-fire exercise in the diversity of raw, weird and catchy rock music” and features the #1 hit song “Smash Bang Boom.” Visit their Soundcloud site to pay-what-you-wish for their newly released live cover of the entire “Tattoo You.”
Walter Egan wrote the music for “Magnet and Steel” in an effort to cop the groove to Chuck Willis’ “The Stroll.” The lyrics came “in 15 minutes” mostly driving home from a recording session with Stevie Knicks during which he had been overcome with attraction to the singer. Produced by Lindsey Buckingham, (Fleetwood Mac Rumours co-producer) Richard Dashut and Egan, and featuring Lindsey Buckingham/Nicks on background vocals the single went to number eight in 1978.
Why did The Babysitters choose this song?
Eric Allen explains: “I just associate “Magnet and Steel” with riding shotgun next to my Dad in my Moms rusty 67 Mustang, listening to the stereo and feeling cool that I get to ride up front with my Dad.”
Spend time with The Babysitters at: http://thebabysitters.bandcamp.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Babysitters/156237064447200
12) Laura Cantrell "It's A Heartache”
Produced & recorded by Mark Spencer at Tape Kitchen, Brooklyn, NY
Laura Cantrell - vocals
Mark Spencer - guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
Rob Walbourne - drums
Laura and I started at WFMU at the same time, I remember we carpooled to the first DJ training, getting lost somewhere in East Orange between the I280 exit and the old house on the Upsala College campus that housed the station. For years, like many of you I started my Saturday mornings with Laura’s wonderful Radio Thrift Shop (if you miss or missed it, the archives are here). In 2000 she released her debut album “Not The Tremblin' Kind” which rightfully set the world on fire. Her ear for great songs and true production continue with her new album (her 5th) "No Way There From Here” which was released in early 2014.
“It’s A Heartache” was a # 3 hit for Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler in 1978. It was written by Tyler’s managers/producers Ronnie Scott & Steve Wolfe, tailor made for Tyler’s raspy voice - the result of an operation to removed nodules from the singer’s throat. The song was also recorded by the raspy Ronnie Spector in 1978.
Why did Laura choose this song?:
"I saw the title "It’s A Heartache" and immediately memory-ported to the old west Nashville roller skating rink, with Bonnie Tyler's voice blasting over the speakers. Funny to me now how obvious a country song it is, we didn't notice that then, just the drama inherent in "standing in the cold rain, feeling like a clown."
You can visit with Laura at: www.lauracantrell.com
13) Lisa Mychols “Let's Stay Together”
Produced by Steve Refling in Sunny California
Colin Kupka - horns
Steve Refling - various instruments
Jason Staczek - Hammond B3
Listeners may know Lisa Mychols from her most recent solo album "Above Beyond and In Between" (which sounds like a reinvented collection of 60’s A sides) and the #1 hit song “Make Believe” which I played incessantly in 2013. But her history as an integral member of the L.A. music scene is DEEP. For years she’s been making great music as a solo artist, as a member of cool bands and as a collaborator with some of Los Angeles’ most creative and interesting musicians.
Al Green’s single of “Let's Stay Together” is one of my top ten all time records, America agrees and sent it to #1 in 1971. Written by Al Green, Willie Mitchell & (Booker T. & The MG’s drummer) Al Jackson, Jr. and produced by Mitchell at his Memphis studios with the Hammond B3 organ drawbars set at “00 8000 000”. In 1983 Tina Turner had a top 40 hit with the song that helped spur her comeback.
Why did Lisa choose this song?:
“When Steve suggested we do this song, I didn't think it was a good idea. Who in their right mind messes with perfection, right? But the song is so good I had to agree. The original is a masterpiece and I hope listening to our humble version makes you fall in love with this song all over again.”
Peek into Lisa’s world here: www.lisamychols.com
14) Ken Stringfellow “Moonlight Feels Right”
Recorded at A.K.A. Studio by Thomas Gloor, assisted by Renaud Nasch.
Mixed by Ken Stringfellow at Le Son Du Blé, Paris
Ken Stringfellow plays all the instruments
Ken Stringfellow is a very musical person. In the late 80s he formed The Posies who helped define the sound of indie rock. In 1993, he and fellow Posie John Auer were asked to join Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens for a Big Star reunion which lasted until Chilton's death in 2010. Ken also has a long association with R.E.M., augmenting their sound live and on records. Ken’s solo albums are deep listening; the latest is “Danzig In The Moonlight.”
“Moonlight Feels Right” went to number three in 1976 for Atlanta band Starbuck. Their version features an insane marimba solo.
Why did Ken choose this song?:
“Sometimes, to understand your repulsion, you have to increase the level of your fascination.”
Ken lives in Paris, you can watch the moon rise & visit him here: www.kenstringfellow.com
15) Mike Randle “Hotel California”
Produced and Recorded by - Mike Randle
Mixed by - Christopher “C-Loops” Lopez at the Peach Pit
Drums - Hans Denley
Fender Stratocaster (2nd solo, using BMF Aries Fuzz pedal), Fender Esquire (1st Solo, using Fulltone OCD pedal), 12-string acoustic guitar, Nashville strung 6-string acoustic, electric piano, electric bass, wah-wah guitar and all lead & harmony vocals - Mike Randle
L.A.’s Mike Randle is one of the most musical people I have ever met. When Love’s Arthur Lee heard Mike’s band Baby Lemonade in 1992 he immediately fired his backing band and hired the Baby Lemonade guys to back him. They spent the next four years (till Lee was sent to jail on a “3rd strike” gun charge) touring the world are blowing people’s minds with a show that presented the great Love songs with a powerful delivery that skirted the line between reverent and contemporary. Meanwhile, Baby Lemonade released great records, and Mike released two great solo albums. When Lee’s sentence was overturned five years later they hit the road again until Lee’s death in 2006. Meanwhile Mike is still making great music in L.A.
“Hotel California” was a #1 hit for The Eagles in 1977. Written by Don Felder, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey, it is one of the most popular Rock songs ever recorded, but it is also one that a lot of people hate. I have no problem with it.
Why did Mike choose this song?:
“I always loved this song as a kid but Don Henley’s afro in the video of them playing live really sold me on it. Also, this tune is the perfect marriage of a sort of southwest country reggae song.”
Visit Mike website & read his highly entertaining Arthur Lee tour diaries here: http://www.mikerandle.com
16) Swamp Dogg “Sweet Home Alabama”
Produced by Swamp Dogg & Larry “Moogstar” Clemon at The Dogg House
Engineer - Larry “Moogstar” Clemon
Larry “Moogstar” Clemon - keyboards
Steve “Stoney” Dixon - bass
Charles L. Hayes - tenor sax
Craig Kimbrough - drums
Guitar Shorty - guitar
Swamp Dogg - acoustic piano
Jerry Williams Jr. has been making great music for a LONG time. In 1970, after fifteen years trying to get a hit releasing singles on over a dozen labels, he adopted the name and persona Swamp Dogg and let it all hang out musically & emotionally - releasing the classic (and to the point) “Total Destruction to Your Mind.” He’s produced tons of great session, and written scores of great songs. Check HERE if you want your mind blown by his discography. Produced by Al Kooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Sweet Home Alabama" reached #8 on the US charts in 1974. It was written as an answer song of sorts to Neil Young’s "Southern Man."
Why did Mr. Dogg choose this song?:
“I picked it because it has become sacred as the Alabama National Anthem. I’ve never heard a Black act perform it and very few country and rock acts. I figured it was time for a Black act with Alabama roots to step up to the plate and blow the horn of love, for this predominately Black populated state.”
Read the Swamp Dogg times here: www.swampdogg.net
17) The Neighbors “Rock 'N' Me”
Produced and Engineered by The Neighbors
Mixed by Allen Clapp
Peter Gilstrap - guitar & vocals
Scott McKnight - bass, organ & vocals
John Moremen - lead guitar & vocals
Steve Woehrle - drums & vocals
I just discovered The Neighbors’ delightfully poppy music recently (as listeners of the show might be aware). I was curious about them, but like many bands that existed pre-internet there isn’t much info out there on them. After some digging, I found out they were D.C. based and existed from around 1984 to 1989. Some wild coincidences later I realized that one of the band members is a loyal WFMU listener - one that I’d traded emails with already! When I asked them to contribute to this CD it was the spark they needed to record together for the first time in twenty years! Check them out HERE at their 1986 peak!
"Rock'n Me" was a #1 hit for Steve Miller in 1976. His other two number ones are "The Joker" and "Abracadabra." I have always loved the “Fly Like An Eagle” album and had no problems as a 12 year old going back & forth from bands like The Ramones to Steve Miller.
Why did The Neighbors choose this song?:
“The Neighbors were known for usually throwing in a surprise cover into our sets. Folks around the DC area might remember seeing us do this song at DC Space, 9:30 Club, and The Bayou. We picked it because we remember how much it rocked then and knew we could totally rock it again!”
Say Hi to your Neighbors at: www.facebook.com/theneighborsdc
18) Paulusma “All The Young Dudes”
Mixed & produced by Jelle Paulusma
Recorded by Lode de Roos at Studio Sonante, Amsterdam, Holland, August 2013 Vocals, percussion and philicorda recorded by Jelle Paulusma at Ralphobia, Amsterdam, Holland, August 2013
Rob Klerkx - drums
Elmar Klijn - philicorda organ
Coen Paulusma - tambourine, vocals, handclaps
Jelle Paulusma - lead vocals, guitar, bass, bells
Theo Sieben - lead guitar, vocals, handclaps
with Bauke Bakker - vocals, handclaps
Len Lucieer - vocals, handclaps
Ralph Mulder - vocals, handclaps
From 1988 to 2004 Jelle Paulusma was singer/ guitarist in the much loved Dutch band Daryll-Ann. They made great fuzzy guitar driven pop music and became a favorite of my radio show. Since going solo, and adopting the moniker “Paulusma” Jelle has made a string of recordings that touch on a wide variety of influences and confluences.
Why did Paulusma choose this song?:
“It was an opportunity to pay tribute to a true classic from the 70’s and a chance to really sing my heart out.”
Visit Holland: www.jellepaulusma.com
19) M.A.K.U. Sound System "Cumbia de la Nassau” (Funky Nassau)
Produced & recorded by M.A.K.U Sound System at Casa Del Indio Records
Moris Cañate- tambor alegre
Liliana Conde – vocals and percussion
Andres Jimenez – drums
Juan Ospina – bass and vocals
Felipe Quiroz - synth
Isaiah Richardson Jr – tenor saxophone
Camilo Rodriguez – guitar
Robert Stringer – trombone
M.A.K.U Sound System is an eight person, born in Queens, Colombian band playing music that is traditional at its core, but with a futuristic spin that is distinctly M.A.K.U - incorporating influences ranging from jazz, psychedelic rock, punk, afro-beat, reggae, and soul. Most of the band members are Colombian immigrants who currently live, work, and play in New York City.
The Beginning of the End’s "Funky Nassau - Part I" peaked at #15 in 1971. The group formed in 1969 in Nassau, Bahamas and included three brothers.
Why did the band choose this song?:
“This song has a Caribbean element that feels familiar to us.”
Get down with the M.A.K.U.s at: www.makusoundsystem.com
20) Eef Barzelay "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart"
Produced & recorded by Eef at his home studio in Nashville, TN
Eef Barzelay – baritone uke and voice
The first line of the Wikipedia entry for Clem Snide: “Clem Snide is an alt-country band featuring Eef Barzelay (guitar, vocals), Brendan Fitzpatrick (bass) and Ben Martin (drums).” Huh? An Alt Country band? Really? I always thought they were a rock band specializing in devastational heartbreaking songs. In any case, Eef Barzelay has been making great music with them since 1991, and great solo recordings in the gaps.
"How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" was written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb (and reportedly offered to Andy Williams). The Bee Gees recorded it on January, 28 1971 along with five other songs. The recording went to #1. What can I tell you about this song that your ears and heart haven’t already told you?
Why did Eef choose this song?:
“I just always loved this song it’s got all my favorite moves in it.”
Where’s the Eef: www.clemsnide.com
When I imagine the hours of effort that went into making these recordings it makes me feel incredibly indebted and appreciative to all of the artists who participated—and to you, the listener, for supporting WFMU.
Special thanks to;
-Scott Anthony at Storybook Sound for mastering the project and taking 20 masters recorded in different corners of the world and making them sound like a cohesive album
-WFMU listener Steve McFarland for the package design & amazing Photoshop work on the front cover for both volumes of Super Hits!
-Listener Adam Oelsner for the perfect video editing!
-Jay Sherman-Godfrey who helped me to sequence both volumes of this series!
-WFMU ‘s Rex Doan for his voice over work!
-WFMU's Gaylord Fields for proofreading!
-WFMU's Rob Weisberg for his helpful brainstorming efforts!
If you’re still curious - don’t forget to check wfmu.org/michael for my radio show archives - which include interviews with many of the people involved in these recordings, including; Laura Cantrell, Fountains of Wayne, Tommy James, Al Kooper, Willie Mitchell, Mike Randle, Chris Stamey, Swamp Dogg, Ben Vaughn, and many more!
Once again, thanks for supporting WFMU.
-Michael Shelley February 2014
v1.3 (this document will be edited & expanded in the coming weeks, so check back for later versions)