Saturday, August 4, 2007

Crossing The T's--Part II

Pete Townshend’s solo career has been a tad frustrating to meseems like he‘s always out to try and top Quadrophenia and Tommy with these half-baked Rock operas like The Iron Man and Psychoderelict (and The Who‘s Endless Wire), and they always wind up being big disappointments.  I wish Pete would just do an album of songs now and then about whatever’s on his mind at the timeI’m tired of all this lofty artsy-fartsy stuff.  I much prefer more topical songs from Pete like the title track from Empty Glass (“I stand with my guitarall I need’s a mirror, and I’m a star…”), “A Little Is Enough"  (“Common sense would tell me not to try and continue…“), “Jools And Jim” (“They don’t give a shit Keith Moon is deadis that exactly what I thought I read?...Morality ain’t measured in a room he wrecked…”) and “Slit Skirts" (“No one respects the flame quite like the fool who’s badly burned…/Have to be so drunk to try a new dance…/Can’t pretend that growing older never hurts…”).

My All-Time Pete Townshend solo Top 10:
1) “Gonna Get Ya” (1980)
2) “Slit Skirts” (1982)
3) “White City Fighting” (1985)
4) “Jools And Jim” (1980)
5) “Empty Glass” (1980)
6) “Rough Boys” (1980)
7) “Face The Face” (1985)
8) “A Little Is Enough” (1980)
9) “Give Blood” (1985)
10) “Heart To Hang On To” (1977-w/Ronnie Lane)

It’s a damn shame they only made two albums, because this was some fun stuff!  Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison secretly put out the wonderful Vol. 1 in 1988, and just as Roy’s career was experiencing a major upturn, he died of a heart attack.  There was no replacement for Roy on 1991’s Vol. 3 (Vol. 2 doesn't exist), but wouldn’t Carl Perkins have made a great Wilbury?  Or maybe Dave Edmunds?  I heard they’ve recently repackaged the two Wilbury CDs, adding some bonus tracks and a new DVD of their videos and such.  Sounds dandy to me.

My All-Time Traveling Wilburys Top 10:
1) “The Wilbury Twist” (1991)
2) “Poor House” (1991)
3) “Handle With Care” (1988)
4) “End Of The Line” (1988)
5) “Cool Dry Place” (1991)
6) “Dirty World” (1988)
7) “She’s My Baby” (1991)
8) “The Devil’s Been Busy” (1991)
9) “Heading For The Light” (1988)
10) “Rattled” (1988)

Canada’s Triumph got off on the wrong foot with me in the late ‘70s, and it took them a while to finally win me over.  These Rush wanna-be’s had the audacity to pretty much rip off Kiss’ stage showapart from the fire-breathing, make-up and blood-spitting, anyway.  Their breakout hit “Hold On” was about all you heard on Rock radio in the summer of ’79along with Billy Thorpe’s “Children Of The Sun” and fellow-Canuck Pat Travers‘ “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)”and it wore thin on me real quick.  As time wore on, I learned to tolerate them a bit, as the song “Magic Power” caught my attention, as well as “I Live For The Weekend”.  Like .38 Special, they were a good-but-not-great band, and ironically I saw both those bands as opening acts at the same concert at Arrowhead in ‘81, on the bill with Loverboy and Foreigner.

My All-Time Triumph Top Five:
1) “I Live For The Weekend” (1980)
2) “Magic Power” (1981)
3) “A World of Fantasy” (1983)
4) “Lay It On The Line” (1979)
5) “Spellbound” (1984)

The Tubes were notorious for their borderline-porn live stage act in the ‘70s, during which lead singer Fee Waybill (born John Waldo) would become his alter-ego “Quay Lewd”, sort of a poor man’s Ziggy Stardust, if there is such a thing!  The band toned things down for 1981’s Completion Backward Principle album, and people started taking them seriously. “Talk To Ya Later” was a great track, and “Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore” is one of my favorite power ballads of all-time.  They had an even bigger hit with 1983’s “She’s A Beauty”, but in 1986 the album Love Bomb lived up to its title (in spite of a great single “Piece By Piece”), and The Tubes went down their own name. [Sorry, bad puns...]

My All-Time Tubes Top 5:
1) “Piece By Piece” (1986)
2) “Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore” (1981)
3) “Talk To Ya Later” (1981)
4) “Sushi Girl” (1981)
5) “She’s A Beauty” (1983)

What is that?  A Twisted Sister CD?  In my CD player?  Damn right, Mr. Niedermeyer!  I have a soft spot for these guys, even though they were more cartoonish and campy than a serious Rock band.  Dee Snider is a charismatic dude (even if he didn’t always dress like a dude at times!), and TS made some of the funniest music videos ever.  And I must be the only person in the world who loved their final album, 1987’s Love Is For Suckers.  Bloody hellthat thing couldn’t possibly be 20 years old already, could it?!?

My All-Time Twisted Sister Top 10:
1) “Love Is For Suckers” (1987)
2) “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)” (1987)
3) “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (1984)
4) “Tonight” (1987)
5) “Out On The Streets” (1985)
6) “I Wanna Rock” (1984)
7) “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll” (1983)
8) “Shoot ‘Em Down” (1981)
9) “Stay Hungry” (1984)
10) “The Fire Still Burns” (1985)

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