Archive for February, 2017

Wichita Lineman

Wichita Lineman” was written by American songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1968. It was first recorded by Glen Campbell with backing from members of The Wrecking Crew. Campbell’s version, which appeared on his 1968 album of the same name, reached #3 on the U.S. pop chart, remaining in the Top 100 for 15 weeks.

This is truly a great song. I encourage you to find and listen to Johnny A’s  version. My instrumental arrangement is based more on the original.

February 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

The Windmills of Your Mind

“The Windmills of Your Mind” is a song with music by French composer Michel Legrand and English lyrics written by Americans Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman. The song (with the English lyrics) was introduced in the film “The Thomas Crown Affair “(1968).

The version in the movie was sung by Noel Harrison. A cover by Dusty Springfield cracked the USA top-40 in 1969.

This one probably qualifies for my “anachronistic surf rock” category.

 

February 26, 2017 at 7:10 pm Leave a comment

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was written by Jimmy Webb. First recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1965, it was later covered by Glen Campbell in 1967 — which led to both Campbell’s superstardom and Webb’s success as a songwriter. Webb was in his late teens when he wrote this classic.

This is my 4th instrumental recording of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix“.

 

February 25, 2017 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Over Under Sideways Down

“Over Under Sideways Down” was released in 1966 by the English rock group the Yardbirds. On the studio recording, Jeff Beck played both the lead guitar and bass guitar.

The single performed well on the record charts – it reached number 10 in the UK and number 13 in the US. The song was ranked number 23 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

My instrumental arrangement is based on the original.

February 24, 2017 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

I Will Wait for You

I Will Wait for You” is the English version of “Je ne pourrai jamais vivre sans toi”, a  song from the French musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, 1964). The music was composed by Michel Legrand and the original lyrics written by Jacques Demy. The English lyrics of the song were written by Norman Gimbel.

The film starred Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo.  The film dialogue is all sung as recitative — similar in style to an opera.

My instrumental arrangement is surf-rock.

 

February 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Theme From the Endless Summer

“The Endless Summer” is a 1966 surf movie-that follows two surfers on a surfing trip around the world. The title comes from the idea that if one had enough time and money it would be possible to follow the summer up and down the world, making it endless.

The soundtrack and main theme of the film were the work of a surf-rock group called “The Sandals”. The theme was released as a single but never charted, however it is still widely recognizable due to the film’s popularity. The Ventures covered it on a single released in Australia.

My arrangement hews closely to the original with just a few instrument and harmonic changes.

February 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

The War Lord

“The War Lord” is a 1965  film set in 11th century Normandy, starring Charlton Heston and Richard Boone. Until this film, most Hollywood representations of feudal life were glamorized. The War Lord attempts to portray the 11th Century in a more accurate fashion as dirty, violent and ruled by brute force.

In 1965 the Shadows released a single of the movie’s main theme, which peaked at #18 on the UK pop charts.

My arrangement is based on the Shadows version, but substitutes a baritone guitar for the main theme. It also modulates halfway through to take advantage of the lower notes available on the baritone.

 

February 19, 2017 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

Needles and Pins

Needles and Pins” was written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono (yes, *that* Sonny Bono).  The song was originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1963. Although her version never cracked the US top 40, I recommend it over the Searchers better known version from 1964.

Other versions of the song were recorded by Del Shannon, Cher, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, and the Turtles. It was also a number 1 hit in France when recorded in French by Petula Clark entitled ‘La Nuit N’en finit Plus’.

The Ventures featured it in on their album “Fabulous Ventures” in 1964.

 

February 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

Fugitive

“Fugitive” was a track on the Ventures album “Fabulous Ventures”.  It was also released as a single in 1964, although it did not crack the hot 100. This is not the theme from the TV series “The Fugitive” (1963-67), although it is reasonable to assume it was inspired by it — although I can find nothing to confirm this other than the similar timeframes. This “Fugitive” was composed by Lou Josie, who also wrote “Midnight Confessions”, the Grass Roots hit.

My arrangement follows the form of the original Ventures, but makes several changes in rhythm and overall feel.

 

 

February 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

Theme From a Filleted Place

“Theme From a Filleted Place” was a track on the Shadows eponymous 1961 album. Writing credit is given to Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Jet Harris. My arrangement follows the original but dresses it up a bit with some changes in feel and a solo section.

February 17, 2017 at 7:37 am Leave a comment

Heart Full of Soul

Heart Full of Soul” was first released by the English rock group the Yardbirds in 1965. Written by Graham Gouldman, it was the Yardbirds’ first single after Jeff Beck replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist. Released only three months after “For Your Love”, “Heart Full of Soul” reached the top ten on the charts in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Something of a blues purist at the time,  Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds in March 1965 because of a perceived shift in musical direction towards “pop” — as evidenced by the recording “For Your Love”. Replacement Jeff Beck’s more eclectic influences led the group to move in more exotic and experimental directions, including “Heart Full of Soul” and the following year’s “Over Under Sideways Down”.

My instrumental arrangement follows the original fairly closely but is one verse shorter. I also played the tune’s signature riff on a baritone guitar.

February 16, 2017 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

She’s Not There

“She’s Not There” was the debut single by British rock band The Zombies, written by keyboardist Rod Argent. It reached No.12 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1964, and reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States at the beginning of December 1964.

The Zombies were a terrific band who had a different, less guitar-driven and more intellectual, jazzy approach than their contemporaries — perhaps because their leader, Rod Argent, was a keyboardist and not a guitarist.

My instrumental arrangement is modeled after the Shadows’ instrumentation and sound.

February 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

Bus Stop

Bus Stop” was the breakthrough single by the British pop band The Hollies, released in 1966. It reached No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart and also No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard charts in September of that year. It was composed by Graham Gouldman, who also wrote “No Milk Today”, “For Your Love”, “Heart Full of Soul”, “Listen People”, and “The Things We Do for Love”.

My instrumental arrangement is at a faster tempo, but still attempts to preserve many of the characteristics of the original.

February 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

“You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” was written and sung by John Lennon and released on the Beatles album Help! in August 1965. It was also featured in the film. Lennon wrote the song at home during what he called his “Dylan period.”

The song lyrics are ambiguous. Some have suggested that it was written for their manager Brian Epstein, who had to hide his homosexuality from the public.

My arrangement follows the original in form and feel, replacing the vocals with harmonized guitar parts and additional instruments.

February 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

You Really Got Me

You Really Got Me” was written by Ray Davies and recorded by the English rock band the Kinks.  It was released in August 1964 as the group’s third single, and reached number one on the UK singles chart the next month, remaining for two weeks. The song became the group’s breakthrough hit — it established them as one of the top British Invasion acts in the United States, reaching number seven there later in the year.

The track was influential in numerous ways, from the distorted guitar tone to the driving rhythm — both of which were forerunners of Led Zeppelin and Heavy Metal.

My instrumental arrangement follows the form and feel of the original, but adds a few twists to maintain interest in the non-vocal setting.

February 10, 2017 at 6:48 pm 3 comments

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