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Well, after all the fun we had last time, the boys of The Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog are back for another Triple Tuesday Special on LaptopSessions.com. Jeff, the innovator for this event, called me up this weekend and I couldn’t resist!
Here’s my version of a great Byrds tune, “Set You Free This Time.” It’s from their 1965 album Turn! Turn! Turn! and it’s another Gene Clark original. He’s such an underrated songwriter, and I like him more and more every time I listen to his material. And “Set You Free This Time” is such a great song, it deserves to have all three of us give it a shot. The song is very introspective- I wonder if he was writing it about a specific someone, or if it’s just a feeling he had (or was thinking about). For 1965, it was pretty innovative- pop music really didn’t take that turn (turn, turn) until a little while later. Gene Clark always struck me as the same kind of guy that played the lead songwriter (Jimmy) in “That Thing You Do”. He wrote these sad, introspective songs. Then, they were turned into pop hits. But some were just meant to be slow and sad. I’m sure Gene Clark fought with his producers, as well. This song was featured on the second and last Byrds album Gene would appear on (in the 60s, at least).
Jim and Jeff posted their versions below mine so you’ll be able to take your pick…or, hopefully, listen to all three!
As a side note, I would like to thank everyone who frequents my videos. Just yesterday, I accepted my 50th subscriber on YouTube (who, of course, received a coupon, as promised by Jim), and today I’m up to 55. I really appreciate your watching and especially commenting both here and on YouTube!
I hope you’ll continue to check out LaptopSessions.com as we update the site with new videos every day in 2008!
Welcome back to another edition of the Laptop Sessions!
One of my favorite Tom Petty albums is the little-known 1999 album Echo. I found it used in an FYE about a year ago, and although it may not be his best album ever, it immediately grew on me. There are some really great tracks on it (out of 15 tracks, you’d hope so!), including the title track that I’m playing here. It took me a bit of practice to be comfortable playing this song without a cheat sheet in front of me — certainly not for the chords, but for the words, which change every chorus. In the end, it was a lot of fun, and I’ve been playing it pretty much every day since I recorded it.
Some day, I might get up the “balls” (as Tom Petty might sing) to play “Rhino Skin,” one of the best tracks on the album. Take a listen to it some time, and maybe you’ll see why I’m not quite there yet… 🙂
Don’t forget to look for another great Laptop Session with Jeff tomorrow, Jim the next day, and then [insert: Arnold Schwarzenegger voice] I’ll be back!
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…)
Hello all, and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! It’s me, Jim Fusco, back here again with another cover song video.
This one is from one of my favorite albums ever- “Cloud 9” by George Harrison. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but something about the albums from this late-80s period is just so great to me. It’s probably because I grew up listening to them and it’s nice to think of a time I was alive AND people like George Harrison were still really popular. Plus, I think listening to rock music at such an early age (I was three years old when “Cloud Nine” came out) like this really sticks with you. There have been some songs that I heard back in the late 80s and I haven’t really listened to since. When I finally hear them again, somehow I know all the words! It’s really incredible to think that those lyrics stuck with me over all those years and that I learned them when I was so young. I guess that’s why they try to teach a second language to kids that are under ten years old- it really does stay with you! Of course, instead of a foreign language, I learned a ton of rock music lyrics. 🙂
For my iTunes, I have a song rating system I devised. Basically, it’s a way of sorting through all of my music and categorizing the ones I truly love. It also helps me weed-out all the songs I don’t like but have in my music library just to complete an album. Anyway, my 5-star songs are my favorite songs of all time- these are the classics like “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys and “You Just May Be the One” by the Monkees that I just can’t live without. The next category down, 4-stars, is for songs that, when they come on, I say to myself, “Oh man, I love this song.” This category is reserved for songs that make my eyes widen and my ears perk up as soon as the first chords kick in. “This Is Love” by George Harrison is one of those songs. As soon as the song starts, you’re hooked in- the great chord progression and the wonderful late-80s guitar sound get me every time. I can only hope that my acoustic cover song version I’ve done here for the music video blog does the song justice.
This song, “This Is Love”, is a classic. It’s got that unmistakable George Harrison sound. If you don’t know it, get ready to have a new favorite song, because this song has a great melody and, of course, great chords and style- George all the way! Of course, there will be many more George Harrison songs done here for the music blog in the future. I recently got into listening to all of his solo albums and was blown-away…no pun to another George Harrison song… In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today’s video and will come back for more great cover songs from The Laptop Sessions music blog!