33 years ago today, Lindsey Buckingham – having temporarily set aside his work with Fleetwood Mac –released his first solo album, an effort which also went on to earn him his first hit single as a solo artist.
Between Fleetwood Mac releasing Tusk in 1979 and recording their 1982 album, Mirage, the aforementioned Mr. Buckingham took a little time for himself in 1981, and between some sessions at Larrabee Sound Studios in southern California and some other sessions at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, he pulled together a piece of work which, while certainly a little less mainstream in sound at times, still had enough hooks and harmonies to send it to #32 on the Billboard Top 200.
It was supposed to be a Steve Winwood solo project.
At this point Traffic had broken up. They'd already released their half live/half studio final project, "Last Exit." And Steve had moved on to Blind Faith, whose album had a prodigious first side but imploded after their one and only 1969 tour. But in the process of making the record, the group reformed, minus Dave Mason, who was about to resurface with his exquisite solo debut "Alone Together," and the end result was this LP.
Few were waiting for the Traffic reunion. The band had never had a hit, despite writing them for others. Fans were rabid, but most people were still clueless. But it was "John Barleycorn Must Die" that got everybody to pay attention, not because it had a single, but because of the sound and the songs, it was an amazing listening experience.
36 years ago today, Neil Young released an album that harkened back to the sounds of his 1972 masterwork, Harvest, but which initially featured a problem in the mastering that resulted in the singer/songwriter buying 200,000 copies back from Warner Brothers, which he ultimately used as shingles for a barn roof. (Yes, really.)
Made mostly in Florida, albeit with a few key sessions in Nashville, Comes a Time was seen as such a return to form for Young that it only took a month for it to outsell all six albums that he’d released since Harvest.
In Jimmy McDonough’s Shakey, Young recalled that the album had “started out as a solo acoustic record, and then I went in to Warner Brothers and played it for Lenny (Waronker) and Mo (Ostin). Mo said, ‘We like it, but if you’re not in a hurry, why don’t you take it and see if you can put rhythm tracks on what you have. We just wanna hear you play with a band, too. If you don’t like it, fine. Give it a shot.’ Mo never makes suggestions, and he made that one. So it gave me something to do.”
64 years ago today, the MVP of Genesis entered the world in Portsmouth, England. Why is Mike Rutherford the MVP? Well, he plays lead guitar, bass guitar, provides backing vocals, and he’s a hell of a songwriter, too. What would you call him?
Born in 1950, Michael John Cleote Crawford Rutherford got his first guitar at age eight, joined his first band (The Chesters) at age nine, and was expelled from public school in his mid-teens. That certainly seems like the perfect start for a lifetime rock ‘n’ roller to us, and it clearly worked out well enough for him: by age 15, he’d joined together with Anthony Phillips, Tony Banks, and Peter Gabriel and founded Genesis.
It's happening. You probably first noticed it a week or so ago at the grocery store; most likely only half registering the Halloween themed Reeses peanut butter cups as you made your way towards the express aisle. Or perhaps you spotted an ad hoc pumpkin farm popping up as you drove home from work the other night. In any case, Halloween season is here. If not already, soon ever other commercial on your television will have some sort of Halloween theme. Your Facebook feed too. So let's embrace it.
This week's playlist, the first of a series, is here to do just that. From Ronnie Cook & The Gaylads, to Screaming Lord Sutch and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.
Oh, and by the way: Boo.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Amon Düül II, Hijack/Made in Germany: One of the seminal bands of the so-called Krautrock movement of the ‘70s, Amon Düül II never made much of an impact in the States, but at least with Hijack there’s a good excuse: it’s not all that great an album. Still, it does open with a pretty great number (“I Can’t Wait, Pts. 1 & 2”), close with one that’s somewhat silly but still highly entertaining (“Argy the Robot”) and somewhere between the two there’s a enjoyable unique cover of Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” If you’re only going to get one of these two additions to our digital catalog, though, you’ll almost certainly want Made in Germany, one of the best albums of Amon Düül II’s career. You still might not be able to get into it, but if you can’t, then at least you’ll know definitively that Amon Düül II may not be your cup of tea, because it’s unequivocally one of their best.