Friday, May 14, 2021

Weekend Musical Threefer


The late great bassist Jack Bruce and fellow Scottish- born rocker David Byrne share today as a birthday, Bruce in 1943, Byrne in 1952.  We also want the note the birthday yesterday of the great Stevie Wonder (b. 1950).  

Bruce, who died in 2014, is regarded as one of the best bassists of the rock era, and his songwriting skills were particularly important to Cream's success ("Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room," etc.).  We're featuring a largely overlooked Bruce-Pete Brown composition from "Disraeli Gears," the ecstatic "Dance the Night Away," featuring the only time a 12- string guitar would appear on a Cream album, with stirring, cascading crescendos played, of course, by Eric Clapton(who shares vocals with Bruce), and Ginger Baker's driving beat.  A forgotten gem.

Byrne is also an accomplished songwriter who was in the vanguard of the evolution of the music video.  The Talking Heads' "Wild Wild Life" won the Best Group Video in 1987, and features parodies of other rockers like Billy Idol, King Creole, Prince, Madonna, Joe Jackson and Meat Loaf (some portrayed by Talking Heads band member Jerry Harrison).  Fun and very New Wave.

It's impossible to pick a Stevie Wonder song that represents the scope of his iconic career -- so we're opting not to. We're picking his soulful version of Dylan's civil rights anthem, "Blowin' In The Wind," from 1966, co- sung by his mentor Clarence Paul, which hit number one on the R&B charts.  Hope you enjoy.




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