Saturday, November 9, 2013

Movie Advertisements - August 1974

Here's some advertisements from Denver's Rocky Mountain news, from August 1974.

Let's see what's playing...

Before Star Wars, George Lucas had another huge hit, American Graffiti (1974)

Not the best looking ad, but still a remarkable film. Chinatown (1974)

Bronson would eventually make 5 Death Wish movies, all with more or less the same story.

One of my favorites, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)

That car with a personality, Herbie Rides Again (1974)

Hell of a selection this week at the Flick

Max Baer, TV's Jethro Clampett, changes attitude, Macon County Line (1974)

Don Siegel, and Michael Caine, a great combination, The Black Windmill (1974)

one of the great horror films, The Exorcist (1974)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Beatles B-List

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, The Beatles (1963)

It's a little bit stunning to realize that 50 years ago, in November 1963 the Beatles were taking Europe by storm, their invasion of the United States only a couple of months away.

Love Me Do, All My Loving and I Wanna Be Your Man were already released, and the album With the Beatles was rapidly becoming one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

Here we stand two generations later, John Lennon has been dead for over 30 years, George Harrison for more than 10, meanwhile Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney keep going strong. McCartney in fact remains one of the most popular touring bands on the planet.

The Beatles (1966)

Not everyone is a fan of the Beatles.

Shocking, I know, but the truth is that lots of younger people aren't really fans of the Beatles at all. They are too old fashioned, too much their grandma's band.

And hey, I get it tastes change. But I also have to add that in my experience, the people who tell me they can't stand the Beatles, invariably have at least one song by the band that they secretly love.

But that's the thing about the Beatles, they just had so very much great music that no matter what your taste is, the band seems to have something out there to attract the fans of almost any musical type.

With the Beatles there have been so many great songs by the band that have been paying on the radio somewhere, everyday, since they were released. Hey Jude, All You Need is Love, Strawberry Fields Forever, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Yellow Submarine and a good dozen other songs are after almost 50 years, still on constant rotation on oldies and classic rock stations around the world.

The Beatles (1969)

Now I'm a huge fan of the band so, I have never really gotten sick of any of the Beatles work, however I've got to say that there are some songs by the band that I've heard a whole lot more then others. So in the last couple of years I've been paying a lot more attention to the Beatles B-List.

The B-List is different then the bands B-Sides, especially as in the case of the Beatles, their B-Sides quite often became hits all on their own. The B-List, as I define it is a selection of songs by the band that are excellent songs, that could have been huge hits for any other band, but for the Beatles are in the secondary level of their discography.

Just to give an example of what I am talking about, the song I'm a Loser, from the 1964 LP, Beatles for Sale.

I'm a Loser, is a Lennon composition that moves past the bands early love song era and begins looking at rejection and loss, is in many ways a revolutionary song for pop music, but is almost forgotten by most audiences today.

Let's talk a little bit about the Beatles seventh studio album, 1966's, Revolver.

The Beatles - Revolver (1966)

Revolver was recorded at the beginning of the bands psychedelic era, and while a huge seller it only generated one single, Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby. The rest of the album while containing some of the bands most interesting and innovative work, was considered not to have many songs that were radio friendly.

Has there ever been a more radio friendly song then the McCartney penned, Got to Get You Into My Life? With the horn section right out of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, happy, bouncing lyrics and a totally danceable beat, it really is one of the great pop songs. Yet if you hear it on the radio, it's far more likely to be Earth Wind and Fire's version the it is the Beatles.

She Said, She Said, on side 2 pf the album is another great John Lennon song that never gets any real radio play. Lennon would refer to this as one of his first acidy songs, but the strong guitar work combined with a powerful vocal track makes this one of the strongest songs in the entire Baeatles catalog.

And just to show on Revolver that Lennon was at the top of his game, the album closes out with the incredibly trippy, Tomorrow Never Knows. Every day classic rock stations play pretty much every cut off of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, so you would think a song like TNK would be an FM standard, but again, here is yet another amazing Beatles song that gets almost no airplay.

Another McCartney song that I feel gets more or less ignored is I'm Looking Through You, off their sixth record 1965's Rubber Soul. Just a lovely ballad about again about love and loss. Great music, mixed with a particularly strong harmony from a double mixed Paul and John. Just lovely.

The thing about both Rubber Soul and Revolver is that these two albums are really a period of time when the band was fundamentally changing from a traditional though exceptionally talented pop band and began trying to write something more, and it shows in the maturity of the lyrics and subject matter on both albums.

Rubber Soul is also where you begin to see George Harrison bloom into a powerful songwriter all his own. On Rubber Soul, George's If I Needed Someone is a love song on par with anything either John or Paul had ever written.

There really aren't that many Ringo songs to point to in the B-List. He didn't sing that many leads and the ones he did still get surprisingly strong airplay. A Little Help From My Friends, Yellow Submarine and I Wanna Be Your Man, all get strong airplay still, even Octopus's Garden pops up here and there.

Of course, there is one song by the band that NEVER gets played on the radio......

The list could go on and on.

Okay folks free free to let me know about your favorite lessor known Beatle songs. There are so many great songs to choose from.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scott Carpenter, Pioneer of Inner and Outer Space

Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter

Colorado's Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit the Earth died October 10th, 2013 at the age of 88. Carpenter's Mercury-Atlas rocket, Aurora 7 launched on May 24th 1962 orbiting the Earth three times over a course of five hours, at the time the longest space flight from either the American or Soviets.

Still Carpenter's flight was controversial, with claims that Carpenter was not paying sufficient attention to Mission Control, and Carpenter was quietly moved out of flight status. However Scott Carpenter was not finished exploring yet and moved into NASA's earth based SEALAB program spending extended time at the bottom of the ocean.

In later years, because of this experience, Carpenter would play a pivotal role in developing the underwater training facilities used by current astronauts as a way to help simulate a weightless environment.

Scott Carpenter leaves behind a wife and many children as well as his legacy of exploration.