Saturday, August 30, 2008

10 Great Songs from One Great Year 1973

1973 was the year I turned 11 and started to notice girls. Although, it seemed to take another 4 years until they noticed me back. That was the year I went to my first dance party and the year I met John Niland, the Dallas Cowboy football star who tried to break into my house.

It was also a very interesting year for music. Rumors blared of a Beatles’ reunion and Elton John became a legend. The southern California country-rock formula started to grab hold, as the Eagles released Desporado and The Allman Brothers released Brothers & Sisters.

Cover of the "Rolling Stone" – Dr Hook & the Medicine Show

Dr. Hook had a string of top 10 songs in the 70’s and while this wasn’t their biggest hit, it’s the one most played today on the radio. The song was written by Shel Silverstein (of children book fame) and was actually the second Dr. Hook song written by him (“Sylvia’s Mother”). After writing this parity of the excesses, Dr. Hook finally made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine a few months after the song was released.

It Never Rains in Southern California – Albert Hammond

Although far from a household name, Hammond had collaborated in writing other hits, including “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies. This song was a biography of sorts as he tells a true story that happened to him. Interestingly, Hammond’s son, Albert Hammond, Jr. is a member of the alternative rock band, The Strokes.

Angie – Rolling Stones

This was thought to be about David Bowie's wife, Angela, a friend of Mick Jagger's, but the lyrics suggest it is about his relationship with Marianne Faithfull, which ended in turmoil in 1969. But according to Mick Jagger, the title was written by Keith Richards. “I think it was to do with his daughter. She's called Angela. And then I just wrote the rest of it." Whatever it was about, it was always my favorite Stones’ song.

Hello It's Me – Todd Rundgren

Second release from Rundrgen’s Something/Anything? Album, “Hello, It’s Me” came out at the very beginning of 1973, even though it started getting radio attention a few months earlier. His intention with the song was to portray the negative side of a relationship that ends in a phone call. As haunting a song as he was known for, it became his signature song.

Harmony – Elton John

In the early 70’s, Elton John released an album every six months. Remarkably, Elton and Bernie Taupin (his lyricist) were so prolific that in 1973, Elton released his second annual record as a double album (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road). Harmony combines the unique talents of the two collaborators as well as any song they’ve done.

JessicaAllman Brothers

Jessica is the name of guitarist Dickey Betts' daughter. He was working on this when she crawled into the room and inspired him. She was 1 year old. Although it received considerable airplay when it was released, it was rejuvenated after appearing in the movie “Field of Dreams” in 1989.

Doolin’ Dalton – Eagles

This song tells the story of the infamous Wild West gang, The Dalton Gang. Formed in 1888, the gang consisted mainly of train robbers in what was the Oklahoma Territory and included the Dalton brothers, Bill Doolin, Bittercreek Newcomb and many other famous outlaws. In 1892, after many members of the gang had already been killed, 5 members including 3 of the Dalton brothers were ambushed and killed in Coffeyville. Bill Doolin, Bill Dalton, Bittercreek Newcomb and Charlie Pierce, the last surviving members, recruited 7 more outlaws and formed the Doolin-Dalton Gang to exact revenge on the deaths and continue on with their lives of crime. The song ends here, leaving what happens afterward unknown, but in real life, by 1898, every member had been killed.

Only In Your HeartAmerica

Taken from their second LP, Homecoming, this song showcased Gerry Beckley’s driven-piano acumen first noticed on “I Need You”, the previous year. This song was the third release off of this album, following “Ventura Highway” and “Don’t Cross the River,” and was included on their greatest hits package, History.

Long Train Running – The Doobie Brothers

Most people recognize this Doobie Brother’s classic as “Without Love.” The imagery of freight trains rolling along the countryside set to the lyrics of a classic love song, this song was one of the earliest hits of the band.

You're My Home – Billy Joel

Written for his wife as a Valentine's Day present because he couldn't afford chocolate or flowers, this classic Billy Joel song released as the B-side of the "Piano Man" single. It was also included on his Songs in the Attic collection in 1982.


WomanHonorThyself said...

wow the Doobies..awesome pics!

readingjunkie said...

Wonderful picks this week! Eventhough I have never been a huge Elton John fan.
I have the "Hello It's Me" tune in my head now.

Shayne said...

I'm glad you like it!