Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#151 in the Series) is The Edgar Winter Group, They Only Come Out at Night.
This was a pretty big deal when I was in 8th grade. I always remember walking across the street because my friend Joe Moncada bought a couple new albums. To this day I remember it was this and Curtis Mayfield, Super Fly.
They Only Come Out at Night was a HUGE album for Edgar Winter and his band in 1972.
It contained two well known songs. They were the instrumental Frankenstein and Free Ride.
The Edgar Winter Group was quite the band. Many of the names were or became quite well known. Rick Derringer and Ronnie Montrose were on guitar. Dan Hartman was one of the main vocalists.
Rick Derringer had a well known solo career punctuated by the hit, Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo. Hoochie Koo hit #1 the next year and featured Edgar on keyboards. (Not to mention it also had Joe Walsh on guitar and Joe Vitale on drums.)
Ronnie Montrose would of course, start the band Montrose with then named, Sam Hagar as his front man. He then would start performing under his name Ronnie Montrose. This is where we first saw drummer Steve Smith.
Dan Hartman was quite the different story. He went into the disco world and did quite well for him self. He had a big hit in 1978 with a song called Instant Replay. (It sucked)
But his biggest hit would be in 1984 song called I Can Dream About You. It hit to #6 on the Billboard Singles Chart. It was featured in the film Streets of Fire. It actually didn’t suck.
They Only Come Out at Night was produced by Rick Derringer and also was featured a young up and coming technical director named Bill Szymczyk. He went on to produce such acts like The Eagles, James Gang and The Who.
They Only Come Out at Night peaked at #3 on the Billboard Album chart.
Frankenstein was a #1 hit. (One of few instrumental #1 hits.)
Free Ride peaked at #14 (One of many songs with vocal to peak at #14)
Check out this great extended live video for Frankenstein. It’s follow by Free Ride.
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#127 in the Series) is Harry Chapin, Sniper and other Love Songs.
We’re going back to the Singer/Songwriter genre today for a 1972 release by master storyteller, Harry Chapin.
One of the few artists that I’ve always been interested in, but never had a chance to see perform live. As many of you know, Harry’s been gone for years so that chance has been passed.
There are other Chapin albums that I could have chosen that would have given me much more, and much more popular material to cover. But I chose this album for one song, Sniper.
Quite possibly the most powerful song I’ve ever heard in all my life. Nearly ten minutes in length, Sniper is a bone chilling narrative of the Texas clock tower shootings from 1966.
He not only gives us a near pay by play of the shootings, (Yes, names were changed) but also looks at what my have caused this famous flip-out. Everything from the shooter’s (who’s name is also never mentioned) relationship with his mother to his need for celebrity.
Harry Chapin would often end his concerts with this song. So you’d get a nice hour and a half of humorous story telling full of laughs and cheer, and then he’d send you leaving with this on your mind. You had to love Harry Chapin.
Harry Chapin was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, known for his extensive work in helping world hunger. He was on his way to a giving a free concert in East Meadow, NY when he suffered what doctors thought was a heart attack, slowed on the Long Island Expressway and was rear ended by a semitrailer. His VW Rabbit burst into flames. He was extracted by other drivers, including the semi driver. He died that evening.
Harry’s brother was singer Tom Chapin. Tom was a child actor who starred as ‘Jack’ in the original version of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Jack was the leader of the civil tribe.
A foundation was started to continue Harry Chapin’s fight against world hunger work.
For more information on the Harry Chapin Foundation please visit HarryChapinFoundation.org.
Here’s a live performance of Harry Chapin doing Sniper from one of the original episodes of Soundstage. Recorded in Chicago in 1975. Watch it. Powerful stuff.
I think the heaviest part of the song is the final chorus. ‘I Am, I Was, and now, I will Be! I will Be!!
Click on the album title for the full text of Lyrics.
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#112 in the Series) is the debut self-titled album by”Bill Quateman.”
In 1972 I head a song on WXRT called ‘Changing of the Guard.’ ‘XRT has always given a run down on what they had just played. Usually as a set. I loved the song and waited to hear who it was by. Well That’s when I first heard the name Bill Quateman.
So made my trek to Hegewish Records and bought his debut. Mind you I didn’t look at the song list.
Well somehow I got the album wrong. The song I heard was Steely Dan. But I screwed up what I was looking for and ended up with Quateman.
But I played the album anyway and it turned into one of my favorite albums of all time. I still love it to this day!!
I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but Quateman was able to get Elton John’s backing band to play on this release. Caleb Quaye and Davey Johnstone on guitar and Sid Simms on bass. He also grabbed one of the best drummers in Chicago, Tom Radtke.
The music was wonderful. Folk – Rock I guess you could say?
Some of the tracks that jumped out were, My Music, Only Love, Only The Bears are the Same, Too Many Mornings, What Are You Looking For,’ and ‘ Get It Right On Out There.’
Jump forward about 30 or so years. One night I was looking around on the internet and found Bill’s email address. It was also a Yahoo Messenger address, Well I saw he was online and we chatted for about 20 minutes. It was pretty cool. A few months later he did a show at Fitzgerald’s here in the Chicagoland area. I was able to get together with him and I told him the Steely Dan story. We both got a big kick out of it.
This is one of those albums that you can play over and over from start to finish. Check it out.
If you went to a party any time during the mid to late 70’s, there’s a very good chance that you heard The J. Geils Band’s “Full House” Album somewhere in the mix. Well, if you went to the right parties, that is!
“Full House” was released in 1972. This was three or four years before the big boom on live releases hit the music scene. Everyone had one later. But that was not true in 1972.
There are so many hot tracks here. ‘First I look at the Purse’ was a great show opener. And who didn’t think about learning to play harp after listening to Magic Dick’ classic, ‘Whammer Jammer.’
Peter Wolf, Seth Justman, and J. Geils, etc. got it right on this one.
As a side note, the new Peter Wolf album ‘Fools Parade’ is quite good and highly recommended.