Hello everyone and welcome to my first installment of “Title Track Week” here at The Laptop Sessions! Chris and Jeff have already put forth two strong efforts, so I had to follow suit. I have such a list of songs to add to the Sessions, but I can’t seem to sit myself down to do a few lately. Don’t have much choice come Friday!
Tonight, I bring you the title track of the most successful post-Beatles solo album from one of the group’s members: “All Things Must Pass”. This is a great album, of course, and expect to hear many songs from this one in the future.
This is a great song that has a very insightful message, especially considering that George is now passed. We actually played this song in tribute to him on one of our radio shows over at WCJM.com Free Internet Radio.
This video was done a bit differently- I used my new ZOOM H2 microphone, which is really awesome, to record the audio. It came out great, but unfortunately became kind of a big project because the H2 wouldn’t properly connect to my Macbook. I hoped to do all of my Sessions with this microphone from now on, but the Mac doesn’t give the option to use the internal camera’s video and the ZOOM’s audio. Of course, you know I’ll keep trying to find a solution…
I hope you enjoy today’s Session and come back to http://LaptopSessions.com tomorrow for another great “Original Wednesday” video from Chris Moore!
I’m proud to present the first in a week-long event here at http://LaptopSessions.com entitled “Title Tracks Week”!! Each day this week, we’ll unveil a new session devoted to a song whose title is the same as the album it was on. For instance, I chose a song from the Band’s 1970 album Stage Fright called — well, you may have guessed it already — “Stage Fright.”
This is an interesting song to me, as I’ve heard and read rumors over the years that this song was written by the Band’s Robbie Robertson in reference to Bob Dylan. If anyone would know, it would be someone like Robertson, who has played many shows with Dylan over the years, most often as his lead guitarist. (He’s particularly well-known for being the electric guitarist that powered Dylan’s sound in the mid-60s, when he first “went electric.”)
For anyone who’s seen Dylan play on stage, it does make sense that he might suffer from a form of stage fright…
So, without further ado, here’s the first of seven title tracks this week — even Original Wednesday this week will be a title track. I hope you’ll check back tomorrow for Jeff’s installment!
I have found that there are very, very few artists that I love who started playing music any later than the early t0 mid- 1990s. John Mayer has been an exception, at least up until his whole “I’m into blues/I’m very serious/I have long hair” phase. I fell in love with Room For Squares, found Inside Wants Out charming, and couldn’t stop listening to Heavier Things. Unfortunately, I found Continuum to be unimpressive on the whole. And don’t even get me started on Try!
So, for this session, I went back in time to “Love Song For No One,” hoping to conjure up a time when I loved Mayer and his work. I think his first album is often dismissed, as though every song were “Your Body is a Wonderland” — which I’m man enough to admit I really enjoy…
Without further ado, here’s my take on “Love Song For No One,” a version that took me many takes before I was happy enough to release it. I’m still not entirely happy with it, but my voice was scratchy and I did my best. Besides, you know what they say — a session a day… keeps Chris, Jim, and Jeff going crazy? 🙂
I’m pretty excited today, as I give you a new band to the Laptop Sessions: America!
I got into this band because of today’s cover song, Sister Golden Hair. I used to hear it on the radio many times growing up and decided that it would be perfect for a cover song. I’ve now seen the band America in concert at least ten times, meeting them and getting their autographs on many occasions. They’re great guys and that only helped make them one of my favorite bands.
I love their album “Homecoming” and will be doing most of the songs off it in the future. But, for now, I give you the tune that started it all for me. Once I found out that this song was from the same guys that did “Horse With No Name”, I had to get the “Best Of” CD. After that, I scoured CT (this was before eBay was huge) for any America CDs I could find. I even bought some of the LPs. The band was surprised to see such a young guy asking to get those signed. My gravitation towards America was probably due to the fact that I could tell they were influenced by the Beach Boys- their harmonies and melodic songs drew me in. And, they put a classic rock spin on things- kind of like Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but even more mellow.
“Sister Golden Hair” is really one of my favorite songs. The chorus is so catchy, but Gerry Beckley (the singer and songwriter for this song) didn’t stop there- he began the song with a great acoustic guitar part and some really cool slide guitar. One of the reasons why the original recording of “Sister Golden Hair” sounds so good is because Beatles producer George Martin actually produced it! Yes, that’s right- he even produced a few other albums for America in the mid 70s. The first song he produced for them was the big hit “Tin Man”.
America had two #1 Billboard hits- “A Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair”. It’s a shame they didn’t have a third, because then each member would’ve had their shot at having a Number One Hit. “A Horse With No Name” was written by Dewey Bunnell, but original member Dan Peek (left in the late 70s, but is now deceased) never got a song up to Number One. He did have a popular song, though, in “Lonely People”, which is instantly recognizable. So, I guess all of the band members had their chances to shine.
Like many of my acoustic cover song videos, I’m using my nylon string guitar here. Sure, it doesn’t sound exactly like the original, but I thought it allowed me to sing over the guitar without shouting. On the verses, I found that I needed a softer sounding guitar because the tone is so “conversational” and not soaring above the music (like a Beach Boys song would be, for instance).
I hope you all enjoy this America acoustic cover song- truly one of my favorites. Stay tuned for more cover song music videos from the musicians here at the Laptop Sessions video blog!