♫ And now, as promised, here’s the reminder of all the things you should have done on valentine’s night – our handy pocket sized (if you have big enough pockets for a laptop) guide to AAA artist romantic odes you might not know:
5) ‘Something So Right’ (Paul Simon/ There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, 1973): Paul’s love-lorn narrator skirts around every subject he can think of in this ode to his fiancé, quietly hinting at his growing feelings of love for his partner in lines simply thrown away in parts of this song. The lines tell us about his reticence to open up and his old belief that he would never be in love – and yet, just as in 10cc’s more famous classic ‘I’m Not In Love’ – we know from these clever little lines that the narrator is besotted. Half romantic ode, half apology, this song tells us that ‘when something goes wrong I’m the first to admit it, but the last one to know – but when something goes right it’s likely to lose me, its out to confuse me because its such an unusual sight and I can’t help it with something so right’. Lovely.
4) ‘Coming Back To Me’ (Jefferson Airplane/ Surrealistic Pillow, 1967): This is the song that nobody knows from the album that everybody knows, or something like that anyway. Sandwiched between the two hit singles of ‘Somebody To love’ and ‘White rabbit’ and the histrionics of the change-the-world-and-make-it-quick rockers that made tha band’s name was this gorgeous Marty Balin ode to a lost love. Accompanied throughout by just his own acoustic guitar and Grace Slick’s eerie recorder, Marty’s narrator lets us listen in to his daydream which finds him peeking through the curtains longingly because he thinks he just saw an old girlfriend’s silhouette coming up the drive to see him just as in days of old. ‘The summer hadn’t hailed and held its breath too long, sleepy music and suddenly you’re gone, and through the window where no curtain hung I saw you, yes I saw you coming back to me…’ Hmm, delicious. Marty’s ‘Today’ from the same album is shorter but just as gorgeous and both songs are well worth seeking out.
3) ‘Cuddle Up’ (Beach Boys/ Carl and the Passions-So Tough, 1972): Dennis Wilson at his romantic best, accompanied by nothing more than a Mantovani-like orchestra and one of the most amazing Beach Boys choirs on record. Like an early prototype for his solo records, this is Dennis at his most bare and honest, passing up his more usual rough and ready rocker image with a yearning melody that wouldn’t have been out of place in the canon of his brother Brian. ‘Your love for me is so warm and good for me, growing every day, honey, honey, I’M IN LOVE!!!!! Ooooh’, err sorry, got a bit carried away along with Dennis there. The demo for the song with alternate lyrics (‘Barbara’, released on the Beach Boys rarities set ‘Endless harmony’ in 1998) is even more moving when stripped bare of its passion-filled accompanied and stapled instead to a simple piano rhythm (and if that last sentence doesn’t get me into Private Eye’s ‘pseud’s corner’, nothing will!)
2) ‘Love Is the Thing’ (The Hollies/ Write On, 1976): A latter-day Hollies classic – possibly the last Hollies classic depending on what fan you are speaking to – filled with a tremulous Allan Clarke at his ‘Air That I Breathe’ best, a subtle synthesiser melody and a choral section that seems to burst into full flower out of nowhere. The first time those classic Hollies harmonies kicks in full of yearning and wonder at the narrator’s memories of his first love still takes me by surprise now and it shouldn’t – I’ve heard the thing hundreds of times. ‘They say you can’t forget your first taste of love, memories…’ Interesting how many of these songs are about people’s first loves by the way – my first love was The Hollies or have I already told you that? (Err, maybe this musical obsession might explain why my first love was a group – its not too late! Honest! You wait till next valentine’s day! (err didn’t I say that last year?))
1) ‘For My Lady’ (Moody Blues/ Seventh Sojourn, 1972): Hidden away quietly on the last ‘proper’ Moodies album is this fantastic Ray Thomas ode to love and all that it has done for him. Never mawkish, never obvious, this simple song with its carnival funfair-riff is a delightful tribute to love in its many guises and its ability to right wrongs and provide stability and comfort, no matter how many obstacles you have to travel over to get there first. ‘Sail on shifting seas, battle oceans filled with tears, at last my port’s in view, now that I’ve discovered you’. Ahh. There are many lovely romantic ballads in the Moodies’ large and varied canon, but this one wins by a furlong.
A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY Entries 2008-2019
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221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/dr-who-and-five-musical-links-to-alans.html
222) Five Random Recent Purchases http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/five-random-recent-purchases-news-views.html
223) AAA Grammy Nominees http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/aaa-grammy-nominees-top-twelve-news.html
224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/ten-aaa-songs-that-are-better-unedited.html
225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-shortest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html
226) The longest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-longest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html
227) Top ten AAA drummers http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-drummers-news-views-and.html
228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides) http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-singles-and-b-sides-news.html
229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-stories-behind-six-aaa-logos.html
230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-best-aaa-screams-top-ten-news-views.html
231) An AAA Pack Of Horses http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-songs-about-horses-top-ten-news.html
232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-anagrams-news-views-and-music-issue.html
233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-surnames-and-their-meanings-news.html
234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/twenty-erroneous-aaa-album-titles-news.html
235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/fifteen-great-aaa-string-parts-news.html
236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/top-thirty-hilariously-misheard-aaa.html
237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ten-controversial-aaa-sackings-news.html
238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/a-critique-on-critiquing-in-response-to.html
239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-ten-musicians-whove-played-on-most.html
240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/thoughts-on-cameronmustgo.html
241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/six-random-recent-purchases-kinksg.html
242) AAA Christmas Number Ones http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-christmas-number-ones.html
243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles plus worst releases of the year) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-review-of-year-2014.html
244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/mecfs-awareness-week-at-alans-album.html
245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/why-tory-victory-seems-deeply.html
246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/a-plea-for-peace-and-toleration.html
247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2015.html
248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-fifty-most-read-aaa-posts-2008-2015.html
249) The Revised AAA Crossword! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2016_07_10_archive.html
251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/an-aaa-covers-tribute-to-chuck-berry.html
254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/06/guest-review-supertramp-some-things.html
255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2018.html
256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-alans-album-archives-review-of-year.html
257) Tiermaker https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/06/alans-album-archives-on-tiermaker.html
258) #Coronastock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/04/coronastock.html
259) #Coronadocstock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronadocstock.html
More for you next week (or 10 days or whatever it is) – see you then!