I’ve always loved this Johnny Cash song; his songs often remind me of my grandfather and father and of my youth. That being said, no, I have never shot a man nor can I personally relate to this song. But, that being said, Jim was reminded today of another Johnny Cash performance that utilized the same chords, so thus there is a little surprise in the middle for all you Fusco-Moore fans out there…
A couple years ago, a friend at work asked me for some information about Bob Dylan and his work in the 1960s. Little did she know I would not only give her son as much verbal information as he required, but I would also type up a brief discography of his albums. I just came across it today, and I figured I would share it with you all!
Bob Dylan Discography
– The Sixties –
1961 – January: Moves to New York
1962 – March: Bob Dylan
-Very folky album, mostly comprised of covers. His early original “Song to Woody” (for his hero, Woody Guthrie) is notable.
1963 – May: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
-His first big success and one of his true classics! This is the album that made bands like the Beatles stand up and take notice of him.
1964 – January: The Times They Are A-Changin’
-Deep in the heart of his “protest song” era, this topical album solidified his standing with the folk artists of the 1960’s.
August: Another Side of Bob Dylan
-In this album, Dylan’s desire to break away from topical songs and write more personal material—“My Back Pages,” etc.—becomes evident.
1965 – March: Bringing It All Back Home
-Dylan begins to “go electric” with this half acoustic, half electric album.
August: Highway 61 Revisited
-This is where Dylan pulled out all the stops and made a sound that was all his own. Best known for its lead-off song, “Like A Rolling Stone.”
1966 – May: Blonde on Blonde
-Dylan pushes his sound a step further with this album; widely considered to be among the (if not THE) best album of his career.
1967 – December: John Wesley Harding
-Following his motorcycle accident in 1966 and the cancellation of his upcoming tour dates, fans were somewhat thrown by his return to a more folky sound.
Records in a basement with the Band; those widely bootlegged takes were later
released as The Basement Tapes
1969 – April: Nashville Skyline
-Making the transformation complete, he released this country rock album with a new version of “Girl of the North Country” (originally from Freewheelin’) as a duet with Johnny Cash.
Okay, so here’s a bit of an anomaly. Most of us cast members of WCJM.com Free Internet Radio will be surprised, if they’re not listening to the shows as often as I do, to find me playing a Billy Joel song. I want to take this opportunity to clear the air.
If you listen to the Beach Boys’ music through the ages, you’ll hear a progression in the music. The styles may be different as the years go on, but most of it is just building on what was previously there.
Conversely, you can listen to Paul McCartney or the Moody Blues through the years and notice that their song/music styles change with the TIMES. For instance, in the seventies, songs got longer, then got disco-y, then got electronic once they reached the eighties. Around 2000, you heard drum loops and “new age” production on albums from both McCartney and the Moodies.
But, their SONGS and the general “type” of music (rock or pop) stayed pretty constant. I’m not giving any free passes for horrible disco versions (Beach Boys fans can goan at “Here Comes the Night”) or electronica from the early 80s, but at least you still knew it was a “Paul” song or a “Moodies” song.
Billy Joel, for me, falls into two categories, both of which I’ll briefly address:
As you’ll note with the bands I like, I tend to stay away from bands that are generally “overrated”. Yes, the Beatles are lauded all the time, but it’s pretty clear they’re the ONLY band that deserves the accolades they get. But, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys NEVER won a Grammy for their songs (unless you count “Best Instrumental” for “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow” a few years ago- what an insult). The Moody Blues STILL aren’t in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t think America’s had a decently reviewed album in Rolling Stone since their first one.
But, look at who gets ALL the attention:
– Bruce Springsteen
– Elton John (who sells concert tickets like Tickle-Me-Elmos did the day after Thanksgiving)
– Bob Dylan, whom I’m convinced can fart on the microphone and earn a Five Star Rolling Stone review. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man, but he is overrated, as well.
Now, Billy Joel is playing TEN, yes TEN shows at Mohegan Sun Casino here in Connecticut and sold them all out. The man hasn’t done an album in like 15 years and is more popular than ever. I swear more people go to his concerts than have EVER bought his music. And THAT’S the kind of crowd that makes someone so overrated. The “Starbucks” crowd that loves what all the other soccer moms love.
The theme here: It’s not Billy Joel’s fault. I really don’t blame HIM for my dislike of his music.
2. He changes the TYPE of music he plays ALL THE TIME.
As I said earlier, bands I like have changed their styles through the years, either through progression, or just keeping up with the times. But, again- a Beach Boys song was a Beach Boys song, you know?
Now, Billy Joel:
Sometimes, he’s the crooner, singing in that horrid “holier than thou” voice about “regular people” from New York and their stories.
Then, out of nowhere, he’s formed a barbershop quartet in “For The Longest Time”.
Then, he’s some teeney-bopper singing “Uptown Girl”.
Then, 80’s rocker while singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.
And, finally, he’s a good old fashioned rock’n’roller on tunes like this one, “You May Be Right”.
What style of music IS this man? Epic piano numbers? Guitar-based rockers? Vocals-only diddies? What?
That question, I cannot answer. And maybe I’m being a bit too general here, as since I’ve noticed this trend, I’ve never gotten past the Greatest Hits.
In closing, I love this song, I love the style, and I wish this was the REAL Billy Joel. I hope you enjoy my rip-roarin’ rendition of this Billy Joel song! (What a rant…)
Fun, Fun, Fun – 8 The Warmth of the Sun – 10 (doesn’t get much better than this) Don’t Worry, Baby – 10 (see last song) Pom Pom Play Girl – 4 (too Jan and Dean for me) Why Do Fools Fall in Love – 6 (again, not a big fan of covers, but this one is very well done, especially that vocal break in the middle) *I Do – 6 (even though the verse is a clear re-tooling, the chorus is pretty amazing) In the Parkin’ Lot – 8 (I really like this song- it’s got great harmonies and I love the tag at the beginning and end) This Car of Mine – 6 (I love Denny’s vocals on this one!) Keep an Eye on Summer – 9 (just wow) Louie, Louie – 1 (ugh- why guys, why??) Shut Down, Part II – 3 (okay, but only because Carl wrote it!) “Cassius” Love vs. “Sonny” Wilson – 2 (Can this even count? They can’t even get the jokes right! But, it is cute.) Denny’s Drums – 4 (I hate that Dennis doesn’t get a lot of credit for his drumming, but he clearly has the chops here)
** You have five or six songs that are not only great, but classic on this album and it makes this album a great listen. In my opinion, the Boys really honed the harmonies on this album- not a bum note to be found. Plus, showing off the talents of Dennis (singing and playing) and Carl (writing and playing) is just great. Brian was truly in his prime starting with this album. I find it hard to talk down to any album with the likes of Don’t Worry Baby and The Warmth of the Sun on it. Their greatness truly cancels out any mediocrity the few clunkers on the album express. **