Every member of the band is involved, the singer is lucid, committed, pissed off and he's brought a pretty great song with him, together its magic but its also professionalism - not many bands actually have this - they don't believe what they are selling, but this band knows how to put it across for an audience and that's important because it matters and because well to quote the singer .........out on the street your chances are zero.
One of the better bands of that 71-75 era along with the Stones, Faces, Dolls, Big Star etc. They weren't at that level, but sometimes they had great offhand moments - their lead singer, was older and had a great wit and style about him - he had seen a lot in Rock and Roll - you know he pushes his guitarist out of his spotlight good-naturedly of course
You know that movie dweeb who thinks a shitty nothing movie is the equivalent in every way of The Godfather?
The next time some music dweeb tells you that an average at best Indie Band That Never Did Anything Ever is the equivalent of the Who well......they're not. To prove it play them this, the rest of us can just watch it in awe:
Joe Jackson was always the lesser of the guys who did this sort of ornate pop but his best songs off his first 2 albums still hold up and this is his very best song from that time imo. He also knew how to put his songs over - it's not an easy song to perform at all - and at the end notice how he backs away from the mic to make his voice sound at a distance, a pretty cool echo effect.
Power pop classic that he cut as a demo and which he does stupendously here - this really was the last time he had a shot at stardom on his own terms - after this he would discover the Cramps, release a fascinating disaster of a solo album then stopped playing music at all, worked as a dishwasher, was homeless, joined a nothing band as a nobody (Tav Falco's Panther Burns) ......until he was able to get his head together and make a fraction of the money that he deserved.
The final Only Ones album is hampered by weak production but the songs themselves are great - it helps to find them in different versions though. This is one of the best and live it's far more muscular with John Perry's stinging guitar and the great lyrics come through - if you do happen to be stronger, it only means you're gonna take longer......... to go under.
The last song on the last great REM album (imo) Reckoning - an album and song about being baffled by time passing you by in Reagan's America - they never got this feeling quite right again and no British band had anything to say about it anyway - they are still in the running for best band in the US (not quite) when all the best bands were American, period.
It is hard to reconcile them here with the 90s wackjob zillionaires they'd become - Stipe with long hair AND smiling, Mike Mills a ball of energy. The band was funny then too (it wouldn't last) "Jefferson I think we're lost" a clever triple meaning shout out to (President) Thomas Jefferson, (President) Jefferson Davis and their manager Jefferson Holt.
The original Pretenders and what a tight band they were - within two years Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott would be dead - but here everybody is in dazzling form and specifically they were a Rock critics dream:
Unlike other special Rock bands in 1980 - The Clash, Talking Heads, Gang of Four, Rockpile - there were a lot! - they had many things going on all at once - all 4 members were charismatic and could really play, songs were sexy and from a female POV, songs were political and personal but never too much of either, songs were hard but catchy and poppy - there really was nothing to chase anyone away at all, everyone could find something to like and many people found many things to love.
Well..they've made 3 albums, all touched by much greatness including a shockingly good comeback album 10 years after their disbanding and no band was ever quite like them either before (The Clash, Oasis) or after (Franz Ferdinand, The Arctic Monkeys). Here they are with their magnificent and very Kink-y non-album single which sounds live like a glorious mess. Preceded by them being everything a band should be - drunk (or worse), more than slightly homo-erotic and quoting a very great poem. Ah, to be young ......
Similarities between Paul Westerberg and Al Pacino? Well one is they will remake their previous failures until it becomes a success - to them. Westerberg will re-do songs (see the I Don't Cares album for one example) and Pacino will re-do roles forever (Richard III, Shylock etc). This is the best song from his worst solo album - and there's no jokes (besides the title), no interview, there was no tour, no press, all grown up. After this he'd go on a thrilling come back run with Stereo/Mono/Come Feel Me Tremble ....... and it's a reminder you never know in life what you're looking at in the moment......or in this case Art either.
Australia’s Hoodoo Gurus – an absolutely awful band name - would completely fit into our 80s thread too. But I’m including them here because they were an uncanny live band – every component of their songs live was exactly right when they didn’t have to deal with a recording studio – the backing vocals, instrumental interplay, energy - everyone knew their role and could play it perfectly.
Of course, the argument against that is that with Rock and Roll the whole point is to not play it perfectly on purpose......but they were a very fun band live and this track is their usual infectious show.
A fantastic clip of XTC - who were (at the very least) an often dynamite singles band - performing their biggest hit "live" (mouthing the song) - right after this point the band would stop appearing live due to extreme stage fright. But here mad scientist/pop mastermind Andy Partridge is having great fun, acting out the song, and the cameras help out by providing different vantage points - it "feels" live.
Not sure if this counts because it's a vocal performance over a pre-recorded backing track, but the title does say "TV".
Hard to believe with as long as I've been a serious Beatle fan, but I'd never seen it before a couple weeks ago and have been watching it ever since. I'd seen pics of Paul in that red blazer but never got around to watching the whole clip. It's just magical. I got chills when all the people ran on at the end and John waved his arm and said "come on".
I know a lot of people said what the Beatles were doing in the White Album period wasn't right for 68 and that's why they received mixed reviews and sort of fell out with the counterculture a little (as opposed to The Rolling Stones and others). But in a divided time like that that's just what the world needed, a big uniting moment with all those people there singing. They had all kinds of people there, young, old, hippies and people who looked like squares, blacks, whites, and a guy in a turban. We need something like that now but I don't know if it's possible today with how fragmented media is.