Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "Paris Songs"

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Friday, June 19, 2015
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Joni Mitchell
Rod Stewart
Allan Sherman
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"Une Nuit A Paris"
10cc

"That's the way the croissant crumbles after all"

From the "Original Soundtrack," the album with the band's big hit "I'm Not In Love." "Une Nuit A Paris" is a nearly nine minute opus with movements. It opens the album, and if you're young and unfamiliar with the band's oeuvre you'll be positively stunned that people made music like this, never mind opened an LP with it.

"One night in Paris is like a year in any other place"

That's the tip of the iceberg, just the headline of the story, check this out, it's been going through my head all week!

"You Went The Wrong Way Old King Louie"
Allan Sherman

This has been playing in my head too.

"He was the worst since Louis the First!"

Ah, the sixties, when comedy and irreverence ruled, that's why we revere the decade. Allan Sherman peaked with "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!," but there wasn't a Jewish household without his LPs, he was a giant star. Listen to this, it'll crack you up.

"Every Picture Tells A Story"
Rod Stewart

DON'T IT!

Rod the Mod was an insider's game, until the track from the second side of this LP, "Maggie May," broke through. But all these years later it's this gem, the opening cut from the first side, that plays through my head, the one with Maggie Bell's "vocal abrasives."

It's a whole story, you can PICTURE IT!

"Paris was a place you could hide away"

I started singing this to myself long before I left the U.S.

I've spent too much time feeling inferior, but when I hear this track I feel positively POWERFUL!

"Free Man In Paris"
Joni Mitchell

David Geffen's song. From Joni's breakthrough album. Probably the best song on the LP. With the verse that explains what it's truly like to be the man behind the music...

"You know I'd go back there tomorrow
But for the work I've taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song"

That's where the phrase about the "star maker machinery" made its debut. Now you know why Joni Mitchell is a cultural icon.

Furthermore, how many first heard of the Champs-Elysees in this song?

"California"
Joni Mitchell

"Sitting in a park in Paris France"

From Joni's best record, "Blue," the first song on side two.

A masterpiece that puts today's Top Ten to shame.

The voice, the changes, the lyrics...

I'm coming home to California tomorrow. I may not kiss a Sunset pig, but it's still the Golden State, it's still the repository of my dreams.