Sunday, June 10, 2012

Music Sunday - The Late Sixties/Early Seventies Edition

I like new music, old music, most kinds of music. It seems to me, however, that the period between 1967 and 1973 or so produced an amazing variety of good music - or at least a lot of music I liked when it came out and still like listening to today.

The thing that got me thinking about this this week was a surprise re-hearing of a song from 1969, "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town)", by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. It was a song I liked when it was released, but I had nearly forgotten about it in the intervening years and it kind of surprised me to discover how glad I was to hear it again after so long. When it came on, I cranked the volume on the radio in the car and sang along - for some reason I tend to remember the lyrics of songs that I haven't heard in years - and despite the content of the song, just having heard it seemed to put me in a much better mood simply because I'd heard it.

Not that this is a song with fun, upbeat lyrics. Released during the height of US involvement in Vietnam, it tells the story of a man who was injured in the war, something that wsn't talked about a lot at the time, even with protests against the war heating up across the country and around the world. But it is a good song, and a good song is always a good thing.

Looking around for other songs from the time, I found a couple of others that are just as good, and just as good today as they were when they were recorded, also in 1969, even though they are much different than "Ruby". I found this 1989 performance by B. B. King of his 1969 hit "The Thrill Is Gone":

And then, for something completely different from either "Ruby" or "The Thrill Is Gone", there is "Come Together", the last song the Beatles ever recorded with all four of the band's members in the studio at the same time.

I think it is only appropriate to also include this song, from the following year, while the Beatles were in the process of breaking up. This is one of the first of Paul McCartney's songs as a solo artist, "Maybe I'm Amazed" which, for my money, is one of the most interesting love songs I've ever heard, and far from his later "silly love songs" period.

And, because I can, I'm going to include this song from a little earlier, The Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", from 1965. I've never been able to figure out if this is a song of rationalization or apology, but I've always liked it.

From a little later than the first songs this week, this is a live performance of "Heart of Gold", by Neil Young, from 1971 or 1972. I was lucky enough to see Young perform this song live in 1973. You'll have to bear with the first minute or two of the video, with Young searching for the right harmonica before he performs the song, but its worth the wait. And, really, it's kind of amusing watching him pull boxes out of various pockets before he finds the instrument he wants.

That's what? Six songs? I could post quite a few more, but this is probably enough for one Sunday. Enjoy.

Oh, and I'd love it if you'd drop a comment telling me about your favorte songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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