This was quite a week: the California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty, President Nixon left for China, Grease opened on Broadway, and John & Yoko co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show. Too bad I was only four years old at the time…

#5:

Harmony

Three Dog Night: “Never Been To Spain” (Axton)

From the album Harmony

Dunhill Records, 1971

Note to Danny Hutton and the rest of the guys in Three Dog Night: I have also been to Oklahoma, and if heaven means 3.2 beer and hundreds of thousands of Sooner fans, I’ll take my chances in hell.

#4:

Climax

Climax: “Precious And Few” (Nims)

From the album Climax Featuring Sonny Geraci

Rocky Road Records, 1972

BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD

“Heh heh…heh heh…climax…heh heh…heh heh.”

#3:

A Song For You

The Carpenters: “Hurting Each Other” (Geld/Udell)

From the album A Song For You

A&M Records, 1972

In 1994, A&M Records released a Carpenters tribute album entitled If I Were A Carpenter. To promote the CD, the label held a concert at the Main Bar in Dallas with local alternative bands performing Carpenters songs. I wasn’t actually in a band at the time, but my friend Dave worked for Polygram and got us on the bill anyways. We put together a group using a bunch of our friends, and we bashed our way through some fun versions of “Help,” “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft,” and “Hurting Each Other.” My friend Simon “sang” lead on “Hurting Each Other,” and I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to Richard Carpenter, the estate of Karen Carpenter, the city of Dallas, A&M Records, the music industry as a whole, and God for what Simon unleashed that night.

#2:

Let's Stay Together

Al Green: “Let’s Stay Together” (Green/Mitchell/Jackson, Jr.)

From the album Let’s Stay Together

Hi Records, 1972

“Let’s Stay Together” had reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 a week earlier, and it remains Al Green’s only #1 hit. The song was recorded on a Friday, released the next Monday, and was officially on the charts by Thursday.

Tina Turner released her own version of “Let’s Stay Together” in late 1983, and its success (it peaked at #26 on the Hot 100) paved the way for the massive Private Dancer comeback album a few months later.

#1:

Nilsson Schmilsson

Nilsson: “Without You” (Ham/Evans)

From the album Nilsson Schmilsson

RCA Records, 1971

Badfinger’s original version of “Without You” is very good, but Harry Nilsson’s epic vocal makes his take the definitive version of the song. It might just be my favorite vocal performance of all time.

About ten years ago, I was in a bar with in Venice Beach with my brother-in-law Dano. We settled into a booth and knocked back a couple of beers, and then Dano pointed to a small framed photo on the wall behind me. It was a picture of Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon– and they were sitting in the exact same spot that we were currently occupying. My butt still tingles whenever I think about it.

_____________________________________________________________

Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

Passage

The Carpenters: “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetery Craft” (Carpenter)

From the album Passage

A&M Records, 1977

Close To You

The Carpenters: “Help” (Lennon/McCartney)

From the album Close To You

A&M Records, 1970

Tina Turner_ Singles & B-Sides

Tina Turner: “Let’s Stay Together” [Single Version] (Green/Mitchell/Jackson, Jr.)

Full-length version from the album Private Dancer

Capitol Records, 1983

No Dice

Badfinger: “Without You” (Ham/Evans)

From the album No Dice

Apple Records, 1970

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

One response »

  1. Koshka42 says:

    Aaah, Harry Nilsson…

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