Another slightly different focus for this kind of post: I decided to tie today’s post to a mood, rather than a particular time in my life. Some of these songs played in other posts, as well, but these are some of the tunes I listen to when I am really bubbling with joy.
The first song was released on Electric Light Orchestra’s Out of the Blue (released 10/77.) Out of the Blue contained several smash hits for ELO, but my favorite feel-good song from them is Mr. Blue Sky:
This song plays for me from my family’s time in Turkey, (1968-1970) — this is one of those signature songs that take me back with the first bar. From The Turtles, and released on their album of the same name, here is 1967’s Happy Together:
I played the French horn in high school, and that included four wonderful, exciting years of Music Camp at the University of Maine at Orono. Among the best events of those weeks, I remember gathering in the cafeteria during free time, and jamming to albums by Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
My favorite of those albums was Blood, Sweat and Tears 3, released in 1970. This album is loaded with incredible brass, a signature section of BST. This version includes a lengthy jam (approximately eleven minutes long,) after the song is sung. I is also by far the best live performance of Lucretia MacEvil:
This last number is not one I listened to when I was a kid, but after the first time I saw the clip and heard the story, I was hooked. The story, (written by Ian MacDonald in his history, Revolution in the Head) goes:
The Beatles had been recording for twelve hours and time was officially up. George Martin, though, needed one more number—something to send the album out with a bang. Accordingly he and his team retired with the group to the Abbey Road canteen for a last cup of coffee (or, in Lennon’s case, warm milk for his ragged throat). They knew what they had to do—the wildest thing in The Beatles’ act: “Twist and Shout,” their cover of a 1962 U.S. hit by black Cincinnati family act The Isley Brothers. An out-and-out screamer, it was always demanding. That night it was a very tall order indeed.
Back in Studio 2, the group knew they had at most two chances to get this arduous song on tape before Lennon lost his voice. At around 10:30pm, with him stripped to the waist and others ‘hyping’ themselves by treating the control room staff as their audience, they went for it. The eruptive performance that ensued stunned the listening technicians and exhilarated the group (as can be heard in McCartney’s triumphant ‘Hey!’ at the end).
From Please, Please Me by The Beatles, here is Twist and Shout: