7

056: James Taylor, ‘Secret O’ Life’

Thinking that James Taylor is ‘Fire and Rain’ is like thinking that The Beatles are ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ or Dylan is ‘Blowing in the Wind’.
There’s so, so much more.

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18

072: Stephen Stills, ‘Suite:Judy Blue Eyes’ (“Just Roll Tape”)

Late one night after a recording session in which he accompanied his girlfriend Judy Collins, post-Buffalo Springfield/pre-CSN Stephen Stills gave the engineer a couple of hundred dollars, and said, “Just roll tape”. The resulting recordings, acoustic demos of 13 new Stills songs, lay forgotten for 40 years.

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17

064: Janis Joplin & Tom Jones, ‘Raise Your Hand’

My memories of Janis–the interview, the kiss, and the TV performance where she brought plastic Tom to meltdown.

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10

053: The Beatles, ‘In My Life’

Even though they misrecorded it.

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4

061: The Doobie Brothers, ‘What a Fool Believes’

A hopelessly happy jaunt into the 1970s– the sappy grin on the face of lead guitarist, the come-on smile of the backup chick singer gives Michael McDonald, the ‘Oh, I really am cool and hot and couldn’t be enjoying myself more’ look he returns; the illogical, off-the-beat smash of the cymbal on ‘Anybody else would sure-LY know’, the loopy little calliope adornment – every element perfectly enmeshing to form a tapestry of fun-k. And a painfully familiar, seldom-told story. And a crazily cool Italian a cappella version you’ve never heard. Whooo!

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6

038: Van Morrison, ‘Astral Weeks’

Spiritual blue-eyed Celtic soul acid acoustic jazz-rock, gorgeous and sumptuous and moving and transcendent. Desert Island music.

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22

049: Chrysalis (J. Spider Barbour), ‘Summer in Your Savage Eyes’

The greatest band no one’s ever heard of.

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6

052: The Lovin’ Spoonful, ‘Girl, Beautiful Girl’

In which Jeff bemoans maybe turning down a job with a very famous Hollywood director.

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