Monday, December 1, 2014

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #3

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be All Right), by Elf

For those of you who are avid fans of heavy metal, the name Ronnie James Dio probably rings a bell to you. Before he was in bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and his own solo band he was in a blues rock band that went through many name and line-up changes. However, most people refer to it as Elf due to that being the name they put out their first full length record under in 1972. This band put out music far different from what you would expect to hear out of Dio. Much of Elf's music had the piano as the instrument with primary focus rather than guitar. The song Sit Down Honey (Everything Will Be All Right) accurately represents what the band was all about. It has a bit of a honky tonk vibe to it, but is also straight up blues. It is a fun rock n' roll romp to put a smile back on your face when you're a little down.

2. Funk #49, by The James Gang

If you listen to a lot of classic rock radio you have probably heard this song. Before singer/guitarist Joe Walsh rose to fame in The Eagles and his own solo career, he was in a band called The James Gang. Funk #49 is the song that got them what fame they did manage to acquire. The guitar riff is rather iconic and quite accurately reflects its name. If you happen to be a guitar player, I highly advise you learn this. It's rather fun to play. If you're not, it's still a great tune to bob your head and relax and/or dance to; especially during the bridge when there is no guitar and it sounds like a Latin/tribal dance party.

3. Bang a Gong (Get It On), by T. Rex

This is another tune that gets a lot of play on classic rock radio. Bang a Gong (Get It On) is 70's glam rock band T. Rex's biggest commercial hit. Sadly you don't seem to hear much else from them on the radio or anywhere else because T. Rex was actually a pretty fantastic band. I feel that this is another great tune to get up on your feet and dance to if you're in the mood. It has a pretty good fairly upbeat shuffle rhythm to it and an easy enough melody for you to follow. There aren't a whole lot of fireworks on the fretboard in this tune, but in this case such things are not particularly necessary to have.

4. Bad Motor Scooter, by Montrose

Now I KNOW you guys have heard of Sammy Hagar. If you don't, you have done bad and should feel bad. Before he was in Van Halen or had a solo career he rose to prominence somewhat in a band called Montrose; which was lead by blues/rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose. Bad Motor Scooter was written by Hagar shortly before joining the band. If you need something fast, loud, and fun then you have most certainly come to the right place with this tune. Plus, the revving motor sounds made by the guitar make you feel like you're riding on a bad motor scooter that much more. It's definitely one of my favorites from Montrose.

5. Strange Magic, by Electric Light Orchestra

Strange Magic is one of my favorite songs to put on if I really need to relax and feel a pleasant warm sensation; especially at night. It's a softer tune, but the orchestration and various melodies in it more than compensate for all of that. Oddly enough this song gets me into the holiday spirit even though the lyrical content has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or anything of that nature. To me, this song has everything: pleasant melodies, tasty vocal harmonies, immaculate orchestra backing, etc. It is easy listening while still being very much rock n' roll.

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