Depression in Song

NoBullying.com, in their April, 2015 piece entitled “Songs About Depression,” reminds us Beatles fans that the song “Every Night” from Paul McCartney’s debut solo album — recorded while still legally a Beatle — was created while the bassist was battling depression.

How nice to see Richie Havens take this song and imbue it with his own very upful feeling:

“Every Night”     Richie Havens    1980

Elektra would release “Every Night” b/w “Here’s a Song” as a single.  “Every Night” would also find itself in the enviable position of side one, track two on Havens’ Connections LP, released in 1980.

Richie Havens:  Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Ann Lang & Gail Wynters:  Backing Vocals
Andy Newmark:  Drums
Chuck Rainey:  Bass
Montego Joe:  Congas & Tambourine
Elliot Randall, Jeffrey Baxter:  Electric Guitar
Jack Waldman:  Keyboards

Richie Havens 45Note:  you have until Halloween to bid on a sealed 8-track of Richie Havens’ Connections.

Richie Havens 8-trackWhen Were 8-Track Tapes Officially Put Out to Pasture?

1980 sounds a little late for 8-track tapes possibly — makes me wonder when production finally ceased for that lowly country mouse of audio playback formats (created by Bill Lear of celebrity jet fame).  According to technology-and-society blog, For the First Time (or the Last Time):

“There is a debate about the last commercially released 8-track by a major label, but many agree it was Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits in November 1988.  Some 8-track titles were still available through record clubs until 1989.  Many of these late-period releases are highly collectible due to the low numbers that were produced.  Among the most rare is Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood.  The record club-only 8-track cartridge that seems to sell for the highest amount is The Police’s The Singles, which has sold for over $200 for a single copy. Another highly sought-after title among collectors has been The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols, which has sold for over $100 for an open copy in average condition.”

“Brung to Ewe by”: Paul’s Return to the Avant Garde

This rather bonkers promotional campaign for Paul & Linda McCartney’s 1971 LP, Ram, might very well have been the catalyst that propelled the album into the upper reaches of the pop charts both here and abroad:

How curious to hear all the different treatments of Paul’s “Now Hear This Song of Mine” — only to then leave the song off the album altogether.

As Paul & Linda instructed radio programmers in the two-page document that accompanied this Brung to Ewe twelve-inch promo album:

“Here are some introductions you might like to use before Ram album tracks.  We made these while we were doing Ram, and they’re designed to play straight into an album track, or out of it for that matter.”

This limited-edition, individually-numbered disc contains fifteen different 30-second and 60-second introductions to Ram album tracks.

“Sugartime”: Linda & Paul at Black Ark

Paul McCartney released a posthumous compilation in 1998 of Linda-related recordings, Wide Prairie, that included two tracks from Linda & Paul’s 1977 sojourn to Lee Perry’s famed laboratory of sound – Black Ark – in Kingston, Jamaica.  One of those Black Ark recordings, a remake of The McGuire Sisters’ million-selling hit, “Sugartime,” features long-time session pros Winston Wright on organ, Mikey “Boo” Richards on drums, and Boris Gardiner on bass, with Sir Paul on Wurlitzer electric piano and “toasting” vocals:

“Sugartime”     Linda & Paul    1977

Linda McCartneyBack to Skool for Paul

Rather amusing to note that Paul misspells the name of each and every session musician in his liner notes to Wide Prairie [“Miky” vs. Mikey Boo (drums); Billy “Gardber” vs. Gardiner (rhythm guitar); “Baris” vs. Boris Gardiner (bass); Winston “Write” vs. Wright (keyboards).

1950s Time Capsule in Black & White

Darling clip of The McGuire Sisters harmonizing with Perry Como on his NBC TV show.