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Deb#1

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No, no Beatles if that’s what you first thought.

This week I have for you just a few old songs that have special places in mind.  Maybe you miss your hometown or maybe you’ve traveled and found other special places that bring evocative images, memories, or feelings to mind.  Here are four songs on the softer rock side that have special places in mind I thought might match up well against each other (along with some notes largely gathered from Wikipedia FYI).  These are all well-known songs but even well-known songs can be tough to decide between, as Darren’s recent week showed. Or, it will be an easy week for you!

 "Carolina in My Mind" is a song written and performed by James Taylor, which first appeared on his 1968 self-titled debut album. Taylor wrote it while overseas recording for the Beatles' label Apple Records, and the song's themes reflect his homesickness at the time. Released as a single, the song earned critical praise but not commercial success. It was re-recorded for Taylor's 1976 Greatest Hits album.
James Taylor –“Carolina in My Mind”



 "Wichita Lineman" is a song written by Jimmy Webb in 1968. It was recorded Glen Campbell with backing from members of The Wrecking Crew. Webb's inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in rural southwestern Oklahoma. At that time, many telephone companies were county-owned utilities, and their linemen were county employees.  Heading westward on a straight road into the setting sun, Webb drove past a seemingly endless line of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole.  He described it as "the picture of loneliness". Webb then "put himself atop that pole and put that phone in his hand" as he considered what the lineman was saying into the receiver.
Glen Campbell - “Wichita Lineman”



 “Brooklyn Roads” was Neil Diamond’s first single after signing with MCA records back in 1968.  The song highlighted a far more personal side of Neil Diamond with its autobiographical lyrics and adult oriented orchestral arrangements. It also appeared on the album “Velvet Gloves and Spit”.
Neil Diamond – “Brooklyn Roads”



 "California Feelin’" was written by Brian Wilson and Stephen Kalinich in the early 1970s.  The group's recording was left unreleased until Wilson recorded a solo version in 2002 for the Beach Boys compilation “Classics Selected by Brian Wilson”. Two composite versions of the Beach Boys' original recordings – one complete and the other a piano/vocal demo – were included on the 2013 compilation “Made in California”.  An official music video was released in 2014.  It was the winner of a fan contest devised during the promotion of “Made in California”.
The Beach Boys – “California Feelin'”



 I hope you enjoy my week.

 For easy cut ‘n’ paste:
James Taylor –“Carolina in My Mind”
Glen Campbell - “Wichita Lineman”
Neil Diamond – “Brooklyn Roads”
The Beach Boys – “California Feelin'


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Time, time, time
See what's become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please”

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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #2 
Gold -- Glen Campbell -- The classic.

Silver -- James Taylor -- Way back.

Bronze -- The Beach Boys -- Has its moments.

Tin -- Neil Diamond -- It's a lot easier to find video of Manhattan's streets than Brooklyn's. That's why 55 Water St., the Manhattan building I worked in, is in this video a few times, but there's only a vague glimpse of where I worked in Brooklyn. Ah, memories.

Lots of memories from here:

Brian Wilson -- "California Sun" (nice pictures)
youtube.com/watch?v=2tohY2Tu9ec

Bruce Springsteen -- "California Sun" (live -- next time he should hold the camera higher)
youtube.com/watch?v=fEn7VXpSkKI

The Rivieras (from Indiana) -- "California Sun" (laid back alternate version)
youtube.com/watch?v=62UfgT1K0Tw

Thanks Deb!
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #3 
Okay Deb, I've got this!  

GOLD - To Brian and the Boys for an incredible song that has quite the history behind it. I've never really listened fully to it.  The Carl vocal alone is mind-blowing - one of his best!!!!  Putting together the two versions - VERY cool.  All the vocals are incredible.  Listen to the organ giving an almost gospel feel to it. Cal - i - for - NI - A.  THANK you for putting this one in!!!!!!!!! A LOT of complexity within it.

SILVER - to James Taylor for that beauty and  makes one want to go to Carolina (in our minds).  I love though on Sweet Baby James, and you would appreciate this, when he goes: Now the first of December was covered with snow And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
Lord, the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting  With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go  <
That resonates with me.

Bronze - to Glen.  Too many Major 7th chords for me. It's a nice song though. 

Tin - to Neil D. 
I can't listen to it that much, sorry, but love that little break he takes before the title is sung. 

I'm better driving in Manhattan - hard to get lost, but the constant driving distractions coming from all directions makes me the better driver. I'll take the subway into Brooklyn and not the roads, though. 

I have posted this several times and it doesn't show the entire post. Is it something I said? 

Simple reasons:

Gold - the complexity and the Carl vocal. It has me feelin' The ending says it ALL!
Silver - the simple elegance and the long a (a friend).
Bronze - that vocal is perfect and he means it. 
Tin - the breath/break

It's a clear one through four for me this week.  No mulling about. FOUR incredible artists, Deb.  Well done. 


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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #4 
G James Taylor
S Glen Campbell
B Beach Boys
T Neil Diamond
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
It's a nice song though.


The Mona Lisa is a nice painting. 

The Taj Mahal is a nice building. 

Brian Wilson is a good songwriter. 

Penicillin was a handy invention. 

Laurence Olivier was a decent actor. 

Don Bradman could bat a bit.
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #6 
Darren,  Lost me at Dan Bradman.  All of the other statements are wrong of course (nice painting, nice building etc.)  WL is a nice song - but not something CLASSIC. Is there a version without the sappy strings out there? Major 7ths kind of get to you after awhile.  Use sparingly - a la John Lennon, don't live by them!!!!!  He knew. So does Brian Wilson. 
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #7 
Al, there are TWO major 7th chords in 'Wichita Lineman' - Fmaj7 and Bbmaj7. I play it every week. Granted, they get repeated a few times. So does the chorus in 'Good Vibrations'. 

Here's an inferior cover by one of the other contestants this week. Sorry, it still has strings!



It's DON Bradman!

I'll save you looking him up...

His Wikipedia entry starts....

Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908 – 25 February 2001), often referred to as "The Don", was an Australian international cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman's career Test betting average of 99.94 has been cited as the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport.
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #8 
I was going to guess Cricket but if I were wrong … I used to follow your surfers but that was it. They were revolutionary.  There was a good piece on ESPN about a Hawaiian surfer last month. 

D@rn those strings - there has to be something without it. Gee Darren and the Maj 7ths - next you'll have your Barry Manilow set going. Side-note - I LIKE the early Barry until he went Copa on us. 

Here's Jimmy ….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=79&v=7q4rG_6QSM4
BTTIGTP was also Major 7ths - follow-up alright. 

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Deb#1

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Reply with quote  #9 

Larry, Straight in out of the gate…So, Neil Diamond’s video is more Manhattan than Brooklyn? I’m crushed.  I’ve been to NYC a few times. Yes, memories.  All crazy good.  I even thought about Frank Sinatra’s NY/NY for this week.My best night in NY (so far) was spent on a rooftop in Manhattan in summer.  There were three BB related videos for this week that I was considering.  My first pick was San Simeon. Problem was the only video I could find did not play everywhere. This one (you may or may not see):

The other beside the one I posted for the week by the BBs was the Brian Wilson solo one from Selected Classics that you posted. For one reason or another I went with the whole BB ensemble.  I wonder which one would have done better.

Al, yes, the Carl vocal.  Carl gave his big brother a run for his money in the excellence in vocal department.  Carl’s vocal is unbeatable on GOK.  But, sappy strings??...sorry, I love ‘em.  “Too many Major 7th chords for me” ..I’m having trouble with this but trying to understand.

Yes Darren. Glen beats James’ Wichita Lineman.  It seems to capture that lonesome feeling so much better.
At first I was considering putting up the Seeker’s Morningtown. And then I understood it was a fictional place.  "It’s a nice song though".

I'll leave it to someone else to post Kokomo.
Thanks for playing and voting.


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Time, time, time
See what's become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please”

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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #10 
Deb, I've been playing Al's Postcard album a lot lately.  It's got a lot of "nice songs" like above and then some excellent ones [cool]

All of the news behind Lineman, including Al DeLory and Wrecking Crew and the intention of the strings: 
https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-40861326
Listen and look for Glen's great guitar run in the video and then the BRILLIANT lead and how he gets out of it with the code going through the line - strings are not the focus live. It's really an incredible performance. 

Deb and all - a Major 7th is usually an embellished chord. Take C for example, a 7th chord you would have the B flat if you were playing C7.  These are referred to as dominant 7ths. The major 7th is raised and thus a B would be played (not flat). They are pretty chords and with WL it's kind of a sad song with these chords really a major part of the structure of the song.  To me, they are really ear candy. "Nice" sound but you do need some protein in one's diet and all other nutrients.  Jimmy Webb always says WL was a follow up to Phoenix but one can see how much Glen Campbell LOVES this song - he connects with it. Maybe he IS the Lineman.  It's a clever idea actually. What became MOR music in the 70's (Carpenters come to mind) but America and even Steely Dan and others were using them.  When they are passing chords - nice.  When they are the structure - they are almost overpowering.  Hey a key chord in Something, by the Beatles, but he doesn't stay on it! I rest my case. Hoping that helped. 

Deb, exactly on Carl's GOK vocal - it's perfection!  But he REALLY knocks it out of the park here as well on a song that most people really don't even know - self included here! 

More "nice songs" throughout the week please. [smile]

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John B

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Reply with quote  #11 
Feel as usual I'm cast in the role of dissent.  That's fine, I don't believe Antonio Brown's accuser (or every single Me-Too accuser) without due process, I don't mind.  but I don't find Carl's vocal 'perfect' on this version of California feeling, (a little...oversung?) though certainly better the parts with conservative doofus Bruce Johnston.  Can't forget that while producing 'The LA Light as presence of God as a loving reality' album, as he plotted a double digit minute disco mix of 'Here Comes the Night' and slapped on lessors such as 'Love Surrounds Me' and 'Full Sail', etc., he emphasized "a heavy NO on California feeling.'  Then he probably went to a republican rally or whatnot.  

and a couple of the other songs don't provide me any emotional reaction at all.   but, anyhoo...

1. "California Feeling"

my favorite version is on "Classics Selected by Brain", I even like the harmonies better.   all in all a near great song, if not quite living up to the legend (including the Crawdaddy story that called it 'easily Brian's best ballad since 'Caroline, No'.   Perhaps Brian read about Ray Charles having a state song then Bruce Springsteen and thought, 'why not', and just like when he wrote for Sinatra ('Still I Dream of It'), the result was pretty damn good.  I suppose interesting to hear the different parts together, but really, the only part I would keep other than the 'Selects' one is the opening.  I like to play that one while driving on vacation, say from N. Cal where I live, to S. Cal where I will spend Thanksgiving this year.  Very easy gold for me.

then it gets hard.

2.   "Brooklyn Roads" by Neil Diamond

even someone like myself who has never been to NYC (I go for the 1st time this Christmas, so please send 'can't miss' suggestions!), knows Central Park and the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty would NOT be on 'Brooklyn Roads'.  Aren't videos so very dumb?  who thought of them?   like cellphones, did we really need them?   but I kind of like the lyrics in the 2nd half of the song.  So, silver/second.

then it gets harder.

3.  "Wichita Lineman" by Glenn Campbell

boring it seemed to me at the time, and still so.  Kind of a Norman Rockwell lyric.  He's 'still on the line'?  Well, help him down, don't they have ladders, how hard is that?  duh.  My parents really liked and bought Glenn albums, including the Christmas one.   they were okay.  much later, I liked the song 'Sunflower' which I told my Beatle fanatic brothers (I have 2 of them) that Glenn sounded like Ringo, and they were actually offended!  go figure.  I meant it as a compliment.  it also vaguely resembles/influences a dull song from my day, called 'Wildfire' by a mediocre white man who wore a beard. 

4. "Carolina in the Pines" by James Taylor

was he even from Carolina?  does it matter?   Exceedingly lucky and boring singer songwriter, who I know, appreciates the way the Boston Red Sox play and in general, liberal causes, good for him on those.  but the music?  and those embarrassingly mediocre covers of Motown (and Carole King and Sam Cooke and ...the guy who did 'Handyman'.  THIS is a career?).   and this one.  even made John Denver sound hip and insightful about the uh, common country man who thanks god and so forth.  My other memory of James, not so sweet and not a baby, was the 'No Nukes' film, where a guy in a clown suit loses a debate with a pro-nukes guy, and they left it in the film.  and the singers are all rehearsing and one of them says, 'afraid I'm going to lose my voice' and James responds, "I got MINE."   right.  he did.  and what an...er, voice it was.  rather like anyone else's, I guess that would make him the folk Mike Love.

p.s. Free Antonio Brown!  go Patriots!
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #12 

It's a long drive.

Yo La Tengo -- "Move To California"
youtube.com/watch?v=Hw1DLsSIVQk

Grandaddy -- "El Caminos in the West"
youtube.com/watch?v=W_sSNY48feo

X -- "Los Angeles"
youtube.com/watch?v=fUiZHt6sqg4

The Magnetic Fields -- "California Girls" (not that one)



The Beach Boys -- "California Girls" (session takes 42-44)
youtube.com/watch?v=moE6FpJgGGc

The Fendertones -- "California Girls"
youtube.com/watch?v=ShnDmOJUB6c


Over in last week's thread:

Gold -- The Beach Boys -- "At My Window"
Silver -- The Turtles -- "It Ain't Me Babe"
Bronze -- The Hollies -- "Look Through Any Window"
Tin -- The Beatles -- "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window"
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John B

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Reply with quote  #13 
this is sure to renew the Larry is really me conspiracy theory.   See, how he docked the Hollies, despite singing beautifully because, well, it was championing a peeping Tom--?    Right on as they said in the 70's.!
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #14 
'At My Window' was a polariser. 

It scored:

6 Golds (Ang Jones, John Potter, Joy B, Verden McCutcheon, D.A.N & Michael F. Becher),
4 Silvers (Lee Marshall, Roy Roger Bridge, Annie Day & Paul Adsett),
4 Bronzes (Cynthia D. Hood, Al Forsyth, Prodigal Son & Teenage Symphony), and
7 Tins (David Wilson, Tom Tobben, Pete Simpson, t Bedford, Gordon Higgins, mother's little helper & Darren J. Ray)
from the 21 voters. 

It owes A LOT to this....


“Raspberries, Strawberries” – Also from the Sunflower sessions, this simple cover of the Kingston Trio hit eventually became “At My Window” on the final album. Wilson worked with Al Jardine on an early version of “Raspberries, Strawberries,” as well as “Back Home” during the Sunflower sessions. (excerpt from Brian Wilson's Secret Bedroom Tapes by Brian Chidester of LA Weekly)

The full article...
https://www.laweekly.com/brian-wilsons-secret-bedroom-tapes-a-track-by-track-description/

Back to you, Deb. 

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John B

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Reply with quote  #15 
It owes, but less than a lot.  Maybe, inspired is a better word other than a few notes.   I really like this song, though.

Reminds we miss the good taste of ANG though...
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