Frank’s Faves on Fridays

April 23, 2010

Alive And Kicking – “Tighter, Tighter” (1970)

Slightly anonymous soul from an act I’ve never heard of before. It sounds vaguely familiar, but I don’t remember ever hearing it until now. I have a feeling that this song means much more to you than it does to me. I liked how awful the guitar sounded. You can always count on a soul song to contain at least one bad guitar sound.

Gary Charlson – “Hey Deanie (1981)

Another song I haven’t heard before – and don’t have much intention of hearing again. No doubt you have an emotional attachment to this song (otherwise you wouldn’t have suggested it), but for me I guess it’s one of those songs where “you had to be there” in a particular time and place when you first heard it. I have no idea who Gary Charlson is, but I like what he promises on his album cover – “Real Live Gary!”:

Andrew Gold – “Lonely Boy (1976)

That is a great chorus. Musically, the whole band playing on the off-beat in the verses had a tendency to mess with my mind, but I’m used to it now (at least the cowbell stays on the beat). I find the lyrics slightly bothersome, though, because the chap in the song sounds ungrateful. (He gets a sister but still considers himself an only child? Then he gets married, has a kiddy, and teaches that kiddy to be a “lonely boy”? What kind of parent is he?). Despite my misgivings about the lyrics (I guess AG wanted to keep the “lonely boy” theme going throughout the song – but how about this: by the end of the song he’s no longer a “lonely boy”?), I think it’s a mighty good song. With a great chorus.

There are good live versions of it:

Andy Kim – “Rock Me Gently (1974)

Very mild, but very enjoyable. It looks like you’ve figured out one of my weak spots: anything played on AM radio in the early 70’s. Andy Kim’s vocal phrasing reminds me a little of Neil Diamond but I’m guessing that’s unintentional (I don’t know of any artist who ever wanted to sound like Neil Diamond). Wikipedia reckons that “Rock Me Gently” is bubblegum, but I don’t. I consider it pretend-Diamond. I call it “Cubic Zirconian”.

Thanks for reminding me about both “Lonely Boy” and “Rock Me Gently”. I hadn’t heard either of them in ages and had completely forgotten about them.

If at some point I find myself in the mood to post a mid-70’s soft rock song, “Lonely Boy” will be near the top of the list – and “Rock Me Gently” will be sitting right there next to it.