Got The Fever

Friday, September 28, 2007

The B-52's

At one time they were everywhere – at the parties, in the car, in the parking lot Friday afternoons, on the radio and certainly in the dance clubs. They were a great gasp of fresh air amidst the dark and brooding pompousness of ‘alternative radio’. Again, at one time.

The B52’s were crazy, fun, infectious and danceable for everyone. Standards from them included ‘Rock Lobster’, ‘Planet Claire’, ‘Private Idaho’ and ‘Strobe Light’. Loved them all.

Though there are a lot of good tracks on their first few albums, there are a few that I enjoyed above the others.

Dance This Mess Around
Maybe it’s the very beginning that really intrigues me? The organ and guitar that gives just a taste, a sampling, of the track that helps to pull me in. Maybe the attraction is the way the vocals are sang? There’s not really a need to ‘carry the tune’ so much as it is a melodic proclamation of sorts. Most likely it’s just a damn good song to sing and dance to.

Remember when you held my hand
Remember when you were my man
Walk talk in the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over, think it over
Roll it over in your mind
Why don't you dance with me
I'm not no Limburger
Just a limburger

Dance this mess around, Dance this mess around, 'round, 'round !!

Give Me Back My Man

This is another unconventional track that highlights their songwriting skill, along with their ‘Ace card’, vocal and guitar, showing up again. You’ll probably never hear them singing ‘Stardust’, but I’d bet that a lot of artists would have a hard time covering this as well. Insistently and powerfully done this is something that is made for, and belongs on, a random play list.

Her head's in a whirlpool,spinnin' round and round.
If she don't get her man backshe's gonna drown.
I'll give you fish,I'll give you candy,
I'll give you everything I have in my hand.

Give me, give back my man.

B-52’s: Dance This Mess Around (115)
The B-52’s [1979]

Give Me Back My Man (110)
Wild Planet [1980]

Friday, September 21, 2007


When I’m in the mood for blistering, beer-swilling, ear hair vibrating speaker death, I have to admit that Aerosmith is probably my favorite all-time hard rock band.

But, saying that, I also have to believe that Aerosmith, in the last decade or so, has waned a bit in popularity with their original fan base by delivering a series of schmaltzy and forgettable so-called ballads.

I am here to tell you that Aerosmith invented the rock power ballad with ‘Dream On’. There are a certain number of other rock ballads that come near ‘Dream On’, but none are better and there are fewer still that have stood the test of time – given a time period of say twenty years or even more. Get a set of outstanding earphones and play a clean version and you find that you are riding a rock natural high.

So, this has had me thinking the past few days of other Aerosmith ballads that are totem poles higher than their current output. Try these for mighty sound, depth and quality.

You See Me Crying
Right from the opening piano, violins and Hamilton’s guided bass that garnishes, you can tell that this is exactly the right formula for when you absolutely need your hard edge dulled ever so slightly. However, the introduction of Tyler’s vocals breaks it into a commodity that you absolutely must have. In addition, when his voice begins to quiver (classically Tyler style) in the middle eight at 2’24" … well, isn’t this just about everything you could possibly hope to hear for this genre?

No question.

When the violins and whole band together begin to collide in heavenly swirls of sound, they rival the crashing, rushing torrents of bleaching rain in a scene gathered from Jane Austin’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with swirling emotion. Perry’s gutty guitar never overpowers, but crystallizes the piece – something that would have been so tempting to do. But, he eschews it, and in restraining without sacrificing passion, he meshes it seamlessly with aplomb.

This has it all. The slow flirtatious build up, the powerful mind/body bubbling of desire, the explosive eye-clenching climax and the sultry smolder at the end that is as tender as the last nibble on your neck before falling asleep.

You see me crying
Please say you’ll stick around
And I got to be your lover
Honey, let me take you to town
And I’ll show you everything I know
And I’m never gonna let you down

‘Cause my love is like a merry go round

Home Tonight
On first headphone listen you’ll be delighted to hear a slightly different tone for a piano! Almost ‘clunky’, but very distinctive and harmonious. Once more, the focus of the piece centers on giving you a bite, but without tearing the flesh off.

For a while, when Rocks came out, when I was coming home after a long night, I’d break this out just to end my night with a good tune. Now, every time I hear it, I think of sitting in my car just outside of my place, car in idle, in order to hear this to the very end.

And baby, drink a cheer to yesterday
And maybe, you’ll drink those tears away

So baby, don’t let go
Hold on real tight
‘Cause I’ll be home tonight

Aerosmith. Rock ballad classics. Say no more.

Aerosmith: You See Me Crying
From: Toys In The Attic [1975]

Aerosmith: Home Tonight
From: Rocks [1976]

Total Downloads: 158

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Premature Ending

It was a bit reckless and premature to announce that it was the last post. Rather impulsive even.

But, I need to continue writing and posting on this blog to keep a bit of sanity is the way I’m thinking most recently. Keeps me busy and ‘off the streets’ as Dad might have said. Should give me a modicum of focus week to week. It’s one pleasurable activity to look forward to as mighty meteorites pummel into soft tissue.

So, with your kind permission dear reader, I’d like to resume posting on Got The Fever. However, be forewarned, that at times the ramblings may seem transparent. Or, they may seem as bleak and barren as an Emily Dickenson soliloquy. The posts may also be rather infrequent.

Don’t Leave Me Now
This is a track that defies description. This is a track that you must experience up close and intimately as opposed to trying to analyze and illustrate. This is a track that you must unconscientiously feel breezing lazily through you when all is quiet and you’re alone, keeping time through the breathing that permeates the background. Compelling loss, towering need and a gut-wrenching, stomach-corroding collapse.

I Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer
A beautiful interpretation of a Stevie Wonder composition done with splendor and grace that I’d be so bold as to say bests the original. The track builds strength and intensity as it is played, yet remains elegant and heavy with meaning.

I’d Rather Go Blind
Since I was a wee one, this song has had an impact. Even as a kid hanging his transistor on the handle of his Schwinn, I could feel the gripping cold touch of loss through the Hammond B3 and pulsed drumming. Rod at his best truly could convey colorful depth and meaning through his unique and graceful vocalization and interpretation.

Pink Floyd: Don’t Leave Me Now
Three Dog Night: I Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer
Rod Stewart: I’d Rather Go Blind

Addendum: Strange request here - I'm lately (again, that is) getting very into new country music like Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley etc. Anyone know of a good country download site? I can find all kinds of rock and funk, but no search has thus far come up with a site where I can get good country albums. Contact info on right. Thanks to all.