Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth

Marrakesh Express – Crosby Stills & Nash (1969) 192Khz/24bit FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Marrakesh Express” was released in the spring of 1969 on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s eponymous first album. It spawned two Top 40 hit singles, “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which peaked respectively at #28 the week of August 23, 1969, and at #21 the week of December 6, 1969, on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified four times platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 4,200,000.

Crosby, Stills & Nash is such a great album, and I’m working on my Wes Anderson Criterion Blu-ray collection (lack only “The Darjeeling Limited” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”..and my favorite of his films, “Budapest Hotel” (his latest) which hasn’t yet received the treatment)….so since I didn’t have anything else ready, I made this very quickie mashup. I hope you enjoy it. PS….buy the movie on Criterion Blu-ray if you haven’t yet and are as big as I am. https://www.criterion.com/films/27520-the-darjeeling-limited?q=autocomplete The video is my first encoded in 4K UDH (though the source material is not 4K…i’m just experimenting with the format).

The album was a very strong debut for the band, instantly lifting them to stardom. Along with the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo and The Band’s Music from Big Pink of the previous year, it helped initiate a sea change in popular music away from the ruling late sixties aesthetic of bands playing blues-based rock music on loud guitars. Crosby, Stills & Nash presented a new wrinkle in building upon rock’s roots, utilizing folk, blues, and even jazz without specifically sounding like mere duplication. Not only blending voices, the three meshed their differing strengths, David Crosby for social commentary and atmospheric mood pieces, Stephen Stills for his diverse musical skills and for folding folk and country elements subtly into complex rock structures, and Graham Nash for his radio-friendly pop melodies, to create an amalgam of broad appeal. The album features some of their best known songs: “Helplessly Hoping”, “Long Time Gone” (a response to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy), “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (composed for Judy Collins) and “Wooden Ships” (co-written with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane).

This album proved very influential on many levels to the dominant popular music scene in America for much of the 1970s. The success of the album generated gravitas for the group within the industry, and galvanized interest in signing like acts, many of whom came under management and representation by the CSN team of Elliot Roberts and David Geffen. Strong sales, combined with the group’s emphasis on personal confession in its writing, paved the way for the success of the singer-songwriter movement of the early seventies.

In a contemporary review, Rolling Stone critic Barry Franklin called Crosby, Stills & Nash “an eminently playable record” and “especially satisfying work”, finding the songwriting and vocal harmonies particularly exceptional. Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in The Village Voice: “I have written elsewhere that this album is perfect, but that is not necessarily a compliment. Only Crosby’s vocal on ‘Long Time Gone’ saves it from a special castrati award.” In a retrospective review, Jason Akeny of AllMusic believed some of the songs’ themes “haven’t dated well” but “the harmonies are absolutely timeless, and the best material remains rock-solid”. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Crosby, Stills & Nash number 259 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner was finally credited as co-composer of “Wooden Ships” on the expanded edition reissue, something long acknowledged on his group’s version of the song from their Volunteers album, released the same year.

[Lyrics]
Looking at the world
Through the sunset in your eyes
Trying to make the train
Through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five foot tall in blue.
Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind
Had to get away to see what we could find
Hope the days that lie ahead
Bring us back to where they’ve led
Listen not to what’s been said to you
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
All on board that train
I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
I smell the garden in your hair
Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth
Colored cottons hang in air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped Djellebas we can wear at home
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board that train
All on board that train

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And you might know how to play with fire

Original Sin – INXS (1984) 192khz/24bit FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

Original Sin” was released in April 1984 on INXS’ fourth studio album, The Swing. INXS was another favorite back in the early eighties….I loved this tune and “Johnson’s Aeroplane” (so much that it was one of the first videos that I made)…watch it here: https://youtu.be/CXqtmaz_0Aw This is another video where I’ve taken the single edit video which was about 3 minutes and 45 seconds, and edited it to the longer studio track which was a full 5 minutes and 20 seconds….so you get the full studio track and like 30% more video…..it’s much better this way, don’t you agree? 😉 Thanks for watching!

From Wiki:
The lead single “Original Sin” was recorded in New York City with Nile Rodgers and featured Daryl Hall on backing vocals. Overall, the album featured a slightly harder-edged sound than their previous releases.

By 1983 Australian rock band INXS attempted to expand their international profile with their fourth studio album, The Swing. The Sydney-based group had formed in 1977 by three brothers Andrew on guitar and keyboards; Jon on percussion and drums; and Tim Farriss on guitar; together with Garry Gary Beers on bass guitar; Michael Hutchence on lead vocals; and Kirk Pengilly on guitar, saxophone, and vocals.

In September 1983 the band travelled to New York City to work with Nile Rodgers (Madonna (entertainer), The Power Station (band), Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Kim Carnes) as producer at his Power Station studio. It was the first time the group had recorded outside Australia and provided the album’s lead single, “Original Sin” (December 1983). Rodgers asked Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates to guest on backing vocals for the chorus, Hall later recalled “I don’t know why because they’re good singers, they didn’t need me but I did it anyway”.

All four singles were co-written by Andrew with Hutchence, while other album tracks were generally written with one or more additional band members.

From December INXS were working with Nick Launay (Midnight Oil, Models) at The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, to complete the rest of the album. A cassette extended play of remixes, Dekadance, was also released in Australia.

AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that The Swing “retains the new wave pop sense and rock attack of their earlier albums, while adding a stronger emphasis on dance rhythms”. He liked the improved songwriting “with more than half of the album featuring memorable hooks”.[8] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, opined that “[it] boasted all the confident swagger and accomplished rock hooks of a band on the cusp of international acceptance”.

Fellow Australian journalists, John O’Donnell, Toby Creswell and Craig Mathieson, found that Rodgers’ effort with “Original Sin” had delivered a track with a “confident rhythm” and helped the band so that “they now had focus; the lyrical image … fitted their circumstances”. Meanwhile, Launay, after hearing that track, “accepted the challenge” of providing a “sense of reinvention” for the group so that “post-punk affectations and new romantic plumage were fading away, revealing a rock band with funk leanings and pop instincts”.

[Lyrics]
You might know of the original sin
And you might know how to play with fire
But did you know of the murder committed
In the name of love you thought what a pity

Dream on white boy
Dream on black girl
Then wake up to a brand new day
To find your dreams are washed away

There was a time when I did not care
And there was a time when the facts did stand
There is a dream and held by me
Well I’m sure you had to see it’s up in arms

Dream on white boy
Dream on black girl
Then wake up to a brand new day
To find your dreams have washed away

You might know of the original sin
And you might know how to play with fire
But did you know of the murder committed
In the name of love you thought what a pity

Dream on white boy
Dream on black girl
Then wake up to a brand new day
Dream on black boy
Dream on white girl
Then wake up to a brand new day
Dream on black boy
Dream on white girl
Then wake up to a brand new day
To find your dreams are washed away

Dream on, to play with fire
White boy, black girl
Dream on, in the name of love
Black boy, white girl
White boy, black girl
Black boy, white girl

Dream on
The name of love, yeah
You thought what a pity

Original sin

3 Classics from The Cars

Drive – The Cars (1984) MFSL SACD FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Drive” was released in March 1984 on The Cars’ fifth studio album, Heartbeat City. I’m still on a Cars roll! 😉 This is a great great track and I’ve always wanted to play around with something for it. I really needed to spend more time adjusting the spiraling stars, etc. video clip as it’s not blended quite right to be able to see the performance clip….I did get the traffic time-lapse effect video to work much better…actually the whole thing looked nice (and different) with just that effect and I almost went with that edit, but it got just a tad repetitive. Hope you enjoy the show! Thanks for checking it out!

Heartbeat City was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Picking up a positive commercial response, the Cars had many tracks getting airplay, and singles “Drive” and “You Might Think” in particular both became Top 10 hits. The album also received supportive reviews from several critics; for example, Robert Christgau stated that “the glossy approach the Cars invented has made this the best year for pure pop in damn near twenty, and it’s only fair that they should return so confidently to form.”

Heartbeat City contains a total of five American Top 40 singles. Of these, “Drive” and “You Might Think” were also Top 10 hits, reaching the No. 3 and No. 7 positions, respectively. A number of songs from the album gained significant radio and TV exposure; most notably “You Might Think” and “Magic”, which both received heavy airplay on MTV.

The lead vocal on “Drive” was performed by bassist Benjamin Orr. The song’s video was directed by actor Timothy Hutton. It features Ric Ocasek arguing with a troubled young woman played by model Paulina Porizkova (whom Ocasek would later marry). “Hello Again” had a video directed by the legendary Andy Warhol, who also appeared onscreen.

The single “It’s Not the Night” reached No. 31 on the rock charts. The song “Stranger Eyes” was used in the theatrical trailer of the 1986 film Top Gun, but it never made it into the soundtrack. “Looking for Love” was later covered by Austrian singer Falco as “Munich Girls” on his 1985 album Falco 3.

When the Cars performed at Live Aid, they played three songs from the album (“You Might Think”, “Drive”, plus the album’s title track) alongside the fan favorite “Just What I Needed”.

Robert John “Mutt” Lange’s commitment to produce the Cars album meant that he told Def Leppard he could not work on their album, Hysteria. However, due to delays in that album’s recording, Lange was eventually able to produce it.

The cover art (including an image of a 1971 Plymouth Duster 340) is from a 1972 piece by Peter Phillips called Art-O-Matic Loop di Loop.

[Lyrics]
Who’s gonna tell you when
It’s too late
Who’s gonna tell you things
Aren’t so great

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Who’s gonna pick you up
When you fall
Who’s gonna hang it up
When you call
Who’s gonna pay attention
To your dreams
Who’s gonna plug their ears
When you scream

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Who’s gonna hold you down
When you shake
Who’s gonna come around
When you break

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Oh you know you can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

I’m In Touch With Your World – The Cars (1978) MFSL SACD FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“I’m In Touch With Your World” was released on The Cars’ self-titled debut album in June of 1978. This album sounded insanely brilliant in the summer of 1978, it was so unusual and powerful, one of the greatest debut’s in history.

I love every song on this record and wanted to shine a bit of light on one of the less known tracks, so I decided to to try something with this old performance video for “I’m In Touch With Your World”. I cleaned up the video and used some effects to light-up it up a bit and then edited it to the studio track (which was sourced from a Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs’ Super Audio CD FLAC).

The unusual percussion and keyboards (a big part of this songs appeal) are highlighted by Greg Hawkes’ performance, which I also turned up a notch or two with the video editing. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for watching!

The album, which featured the three charting singles “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll,” as well as several album-oriented rock radio hits, was a major success for the band, remaining on the charts for 139 weeks. It has been recognized as one of the band’s best albums.

Critically, the album was well received. AllMusic’s Greg Prato described it in a retrospective review as “a genuine rock masterpiece”, and stated that “all nine tracks are new wave/rock classics”. Prato continued, saying “With flawless performances, songwriting, and production (courtesy of Queen alumnus Roy Thomas Baker), The Cars’ debut remains one of rock’s all-time classics.” Rolling Stone magazine critic Kit Rachlis said “The pop songs are wonderful,” continuing that “Easy and eccentric at the same time, all are potential hits.” Rachlis, however, said that “The album comes apart only when it becomes arty and falls prey to producer Roy Thomas Baker’s lacquered sound and the group’s own penchant for electronic effects.” Rolling Stone also ranked the album No. 284 in its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list. Robert Christgau said, “Ric Ocasek writes catchy, hardheaded-to-coldhearted songs eased by wryly rhapsodic touches, the playing is tight and tough, and it all sounds wonderful on the radio. But though on a cut-by-cut basis Roy Thomas Baker’s production adds as much as it distracts, here’s hoping the records get rawer.”

Elliot Easton said of the album, “We used to joke that the first album should be called The Cars Greatest Hits. We knew that a lot of great bands fall through the cracks. But we were getting enough feedback from people we respected to know that we were on the right track.”

The Cars featured a large amount of technology on many of its tracks, due to the band’s appreciation for new equipment. David Robinson said, “We’d always get the latest stuff from music stores even if it would be obsolete in two months. It reached the point where I’d have 10 or 12 foot switches to hit during a short set.”[1] The album also is notable for front-man Ric Ocasek’s use of irony and sarcasm. Keyboardist Greg Hawkes said, “There was definitely a little self-conscious irony in there. We started out wanting to be electric and straight-ahead rock, and it kind of turned into an artier kind of thing.”

David Robinson said in an interview that he “had designed a very different album cover [for The Cars] that cost $80.00 to design.” He continued, “I remember the price exactly. It was completely finished and everything, but it was a little more bizarre than the cover that they had in mind, so they changed some of it because of copyright problems and put it in as the inner sleeve. But I think that was way more how we envisioned who we were then.”[2]

Unlike many of The Cars’ album covers, the cover for The Cars was designed by the record company, rather than drummer David Robinson. The cover was not well liked by the members of the band, however. Robinson said, “I thought that when the Elektra came out it was way too slick. The pictures of us I didn’t like.”[2] Guitarist Elliot Easton expressed dislike for “that big grinning face,” saying, “Man, I got tired of that cover.”

The cover model is Natalya Medvedeva, a Russian-born model, singer, writer and journalist.

[Lyrics]
You can tuck it on the inside
You can throw it on the floor
You can wave it on the outside
Like you never did before
You get the diplomatic treatment
You get the force fed future
Get the funk after death
Get the Wisenheimer brainstorm

So don’t you try to hide it
(I’m in touch with your world)
And nobody’s gonna buy it
It’s such a lovely way to go
It’s such a lovely way to go

I been lying on your feathers
You keep talkin’ about the weather
I’m a psilocybin pony
You’re a flick fandango phoney
It’s a sticky contradiction
It’s a thing you call creation
Everything is science fiction
And I ought to know

So don’t you try to hide it
(I’m in touch with your world)
And nobody’s gonna buy it
It’s such a lovely way to go
It’s such a lovely way to go-uh-oh

Since I Held You – The Cars (1979) HD 192/24 FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Since I Held You” was released on The Cars’ second album, Candy-O, June of 1978. This album was very close to as great as their first one which was really an achievement for the band.

I’ve had a concept vid for “Dangerous Type” sitting around for 2 or 3 years which I think I’ll finish up soon….in the meantime I worked up a couple more live performance vids. This one features a 192kHz/24bit FLAC from the recent HD releases of their studio albums….they sound stunning, trust me.

From Wiki:
Unlike the first album, Candy-O was created under a more democratic approach. Ric Ocasek said of this, “When one of my songs goes to the band in barest cassette form, we sit around and talk about it. If I’m outvoted, we don’t do it. “We almost didn’t include ‘Double Life’ on the new album, it had been dropped. I think everybody in the Cars is open-minded and creative enough that they would do anything – nobody’s holding anything back. Everybody appreciates the more radical, experimental kinds of music and likes it. But sometimes, when you’re put together with five pieces, things are not as minimal as they could or should be. Everybody’s developed a unique personal style, and we rely on their input. If they did it, it’s good enough.”

For the album, the band once again worked with Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker. Ocasek said of their relationship with the producer, “Well, some of the things on that first album that we thought were a little slick, we toned down on the second, like on the background vocals. But if we were going to rely on the producer we had hired, there was no reason to try and change him. On the second album, it was easier to say, ‘Roy, let’s not do the multi-tracked harmonies this time.'”

The band’s label, Elektra, initially wanted to hold back the release of the album, but the band stood their ground. Ocasek said of this, “At first Elektra wanted to hold it back some, but we told them there was no way, because if they were going to hold that back, they were going to hold us back, and we can’t just sit around and be held back.” Released as the follow-up to their 1978 hit album The Cars, Candy-O peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The album re-entered the charts at No. 179 in 1984. The record was also ranked number 82 on Billboard’s “Top Albums of the Year” chart for 1979.

Three singles were lifted from Candy-O: “Let’s Go” hit No. 14, making it the first Top 20 Cars single, “It’s All I Can Do” peaked at No. 41, barely missing the Top 40, and “Double Life” failed to chart.

The album cover was painted by artist Alberto Vargas, who was known for his paintings of pin-up girls that appeared in Esquire and Playboy magazines in the 1940s through the 1960s. The idea to hire Vargas came from drummer David Robinson, the band’s artistic director and a collector of pin-ups. The 83-year-old Vargas had retired several years earlier but was persuaded to take the assignment by his niece, who was a fan of the Cars. The painting, depicting a woman sprawled across the hood of a car, was based on a photo shoot directed by Robinson at a Ferrari dealership. The model, coincidentally named Candy Moore (famous for having played Lucille Ball’s onscreen daughter on The Lucy Show), briefly dated Robinson afterward.

Rolling Stone critic Tom Carson said, “It’s almost inevitable that Candy-O, the Cars’ second album, doesn’t seem nearly as exciting as their first. The element of surprise is gone, and the band hasn’t been able to come up with anything new to replace it. Candy-O is an elaborately constructed, lively, entertaining LP that’s packed with good things. And it’s got a wonderful title. But it’s a little too disciplined, a shade too predictable.”

[Lyrics]
I really love the way you talk
I don’t mind sayin’ so
And oh, I love it when you dance
So silky slow
Oh, baby please don’t go

I know you refuse to get involved
You won’t help me out none
You run around like a paperdoll
Pretending it’s fun
Oh, baby please don’t run

Somethin’ in the night, just don’t sit right
Looks like I’m gonna be up all night, yeah

It’s been such a long time
Since I held you
I said, it’s been such a long time
Since I held you
Oh oh, such a long time
Since I held you

I won’t forget the way you said
It doesn’t bother you much
Tutor impressions in your head
Just before the last touch
That meant so much

Somethin’ in the night, just don’t sit right
Looks like I’m gonna be up all night, yeah

It’s been such a long time
Since I held you
I said it’s been such a long time
Since I held you
Oh oh, such a long time
Since I held you

It’s been a long time
It’s been a long time
It’s been a long time
Such a long time

Well, it’s been a long, long time
I said, it’s been a long, long time
It’s been a long time
Since I held you
Oh oh, such a long time
Since I held you