R.I.P. Paul Kantner, the driving force behind Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship, bands who, to this day, have not really received their due as radical innovators of revolutionary Rock, well beyond their fame as hippie hitmakers; a transition in which Kantner (and Grace Slick) was the driving force (and Hugo Award nominee!).
Today is a Balin/Kantner composition, featuring Jerry Garcia on the plaintive guitar melody, that has only become more popular and recognized over the years. Saxophonist Tom Scott’s version was a beat digger staple before Pete Rock and CL Smooth sampled it for the basis of their 1992 single They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.), which has become an acknowledged classic of the Golden Age of Hip-Hop. Funny that one of my favorite sixties ballads, would also lead to one of my favorite Hip-Hop jams. More recently, Experimental collective, Ulver have paid tribute to the song with a beautiful cover, securing the song’s legacy with a new generation.
This band is a mystery. The only information that a quick search turns up is that there is this LP and and later 12″. I don’t think that this has been available online before. It’s a great album, that sounds like some Midwestern Rockers gone Art Punk, with female vocals and a guitar player who loves to unleash furious distorto solos all over the place. It reminds me a little of Ron Asheton era Destroy All Monsters, and some of Akron Ohio’s fantastic late 70’s Punk label, Clone Records.
This track is the sample source for Cut Chemist’s, Outro, video link below.
I remember a Philadelphia hipster DJ buying Billy Squier’s Don’t Say No from me, for the kitsch/retro factor of The Stroke, and when I tried to tell him that it was a legitimately great album, he looked at me as if I was insane. For some reason, Billy Squier does not receive his due among the modern rocker scene. Sure, Big Beat became a Hip-Hop sample staple and Classic Rock radio still shows some love, but aside from that, Squier seems seldom discussed these days. Where are the deluxe reissues of the first three albums? Why are neither Piper (his band pre-solo fame) albums currently in print, with the cheapest CD twofer currently listed for $75 on Amazon? Sure the Rock Me Tonight video is an embarrassment of gargantuan proportions (see video and Dangerous Minds links below), but it’s beyond time to recognize the awesomeness of prime Billy Squier.
This single, lifted from Piper’s self-titled debut, should have been a massive hit. Classic Powerpop.
And who can forget this classic Squier soundtracked scene from Fast Times At Ridgemont High?
Alright, here goes the career killer video that is Rock Me Tonight. Even by 80’s standards, it’s fruity. It’s like Gay Flashdance filmed a scene on a Miami Vice set, with Squier prancing and writhing in a “how did no one stop him? There’s a whole team of people working on this and no one said anything?!” vein. The funny thing is, if you peruse his earlier videos, you will see plenty of evidence of questionable dance moves and fashion choices, it’s just that this one drew waaaaaay too much attention to it. Who cares? Look back and laugh. It was the 80’s, damn it! Dance like nobody’s watching Billy! http://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_video_that_killed_the_rock_n_roll_star
In honor of Mr. Spoerri winning an eighteen month long lawsuit, regarding Jay-Z’s unlicensed use of this track. There’s no way Jigga doesn’t have a team of clearance lawyers, so how the hell does that shit still happen?
Excellent remix of this Moog classic that you may recognize as the sample source for Gang Starr, Just To Get A Rep (DJ Premier always knows what’s up), Dr. Octagon, 3000, or Pusha T, Lunch Money, or maybe you just have dig the original, either way, this extended take is awash in trippy synth madness.