1. Both Sides Now- Judy Collins- I remember hearing this on AM radio in my family's green station wagon as a kid, and it made me sad even then. Here I am staring into the void, Thor doll in hand.
2. No Regrets- Tom Rush- I like how the verses struggle with the sentiment of the chorus. "Strange faces in your place can't keep the ghosts away" is a great line. I posted the promo film he made for the song a couple of weeks ago, so here's a live clip.
3. Cycles- Frank Sinatra- The whole Cycles album is worth seeking out, just look at how happy Frank looks on the cover, like he can't believe he just recorded this shit! Actually it IS a good record.
4. Reason to Believe- Tim Hardin- I got nothing, beautiful song though.
5. Don't Cry No Tears- Neil Young & Crazy Horse- Zuma might be my favorite Neil Young record. Buck up you cry babies. And yes that cactus is giving you the finger.
6. Just The Other Side of Nowhere- Kris Kristofferson- Kristofferson's music always reminds me of being a little kid in my Dad's brown pick up truck, driving around with him and listening to this on 8-track, seems like he always had an open beer in the car. Back in the day when open containers were not against the law and no one wore seat belts. Good times.
7. Houston-Dean Martin- Written by Lee Hazelwood, who spent some time in Texas as a youth. No one can ever accuse Dino of taking himself seriously, see clip below. One neat trick he had was clapping for his own performance, sometimes you got to let the audience know what to do. Smiling helps a lot to, people like that, (nothing worse than cats who are too cool to smile) let's them know that you're having fun and that they should join you, they don't want to see some miserable bastard up there, acting like he's doing everybody a favor for crawling out of his hole.
8. Jean the Machine- Scott Walker- Scott could write humorous- "she made her way here from Hungary, a refugee with a voice like Callas, but somehow she couldn't get on, so she took it off at the local palace" and even better "my landlady said Jean's a commie spy, each time I ask for the reason why, my landlady said it's a front, she bumps and grinds codes to a audience of immigrants."
9. So Easy She Goes By- David Blue- It's all over now Baby Blue.
10. Tracy Had A Hard Day- West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band-Whoever came up with the "speed kills" campaign forgot to tell Lemmy and Mark E. Smith. I know that's anecdotal evidence, but still, perhaps it should be revised to "speed ages you prematurely" or just "speed makes you ugly".
11. Early Morning Blues and Greens- Diane Hildebrand-Covered by the Monkees on Headquarters.
12. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)- Randy Newman- So God wrote a song and then got Randy Newman to record it. And as it turns out God is kind of on a bum trip, really a bit of a downer. "I burn down your cities, how blind you must be, I take from you your children and you say, how blessed are we, man you really must be crazy to put your faith in me, that's why I love mankind". Thanks God, you're a real mensch.
13. She Sang Hymns Out of Tune- Dillards- A nice version of this Jesse Lee Kincaid song-look I can't always wow you with insights, just listen to it.
14. One Time and One Time Only- Tom Paxton- Lots of Tims and Toms in this mix and lots of Elektra Records (continues to struggle for something interesting to say, keep reading I get better). Sweet song. Video below for the Last Thing on My Mind.
15. Once I Was- Tim Buckley- "Soon there will be another to tell you I was just a lie". Clip of the song "Happy Time" below cause I couldn't find a clip of "Once I Was", there's a cool later day beatnik atmosphere to this performance. Ya dig? Lee Underwood knows just what to do with a song, and the fact that he's bearded and balding makes me like him even more, this is no easy life.
17. A Message to Pretty-Love- I dig Arthur Lee's affected vocal style on this song. The harmonica here reminds me of one of my cats crying. "I go slip, slip away".
18. Barstool Blues-Neil Young & Crazy Horse- Told you I liked Zuma a lot. Now this is how a guitar should be played. The line about the friend who died a thousand deaths reminds me of that Pete Townshend poem about Brian Jones, "A Normal Day For Brian, A Man Who Died Everyday".
19. It'll Never Happen Again- Tim Hardin- Those first two Tim Hardin records on Verve are the bees knees.
20. Looks Like December- Antonio Carlos Jobim- "I leave all my confusion in the machine".
21. On A Rainy Afternoon (Does She Need Me)- Bob Dylan- One of the nicest bits in Eat the Document, Bob hits a real sweet vulnerable spot with his voice on this one, and it still knocks me out sometimes just how good he could be, especially when firing on all cylinders in 1966.
22. Time Operator- Scott Walker-"And I wouldn't care if you're ugly, cause here with the lights out I couldn't see, you just picture Paul Newman, and girl he looks a lot like me".
23. Kiss the World Goodbye- Kris Kristofferson- Another song where somebody is insisting they have no regrets and still manages to come off maudlin as hell like that's about all they got. Good song though and the character's getting ready to end it all anyway so no hard feelings! We won't have this guy to kick around much longer "I'm gonna leave whatever's left of my luck to the losers".
24. Both Sides Now- Frank Sinatra- This is from the Cycles album as well. And so I'll put you down gently back where I found you.