Can't Get It Outta My Head








                A Baby Boomer


       Muses on The Music

The Mad Dog, the Englishman …

… and Joe Cocker. The late, leather-lunged song interpreter was my tour guide for another auditory excursion on the deck last week. It was a relatively short journey, because I have just one Cocker album: the one that put him on the map, his debut offering, “With a Little Help from My Friends.” (Although I revisited it this evening.) “With a Little Help” is most notable for the title tune, a cover of the Lennon-McCartney tune, which is the second track on the landmark “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. As a single, it gave Cocker a 1968 No. 1 in his native United Kingdom, and a Hot 100 debut in the U.S. It did not mark Cocker’s first chart success, though. He had already had a U.

Knockin’ Prog Rock

Is progressive rock dead? One might get that impression from an opinion column that ran last month on one of the political websites I read regularly. In “Prog Rock: A Noble but Failed Experiment,” National Review Online critic-at-large Kyle Smith writes a mostly-dismissive obituary for the genre. But to paraphrase Twain, rumors of prog’s demise, and of its failure, may be greatly exaggerated. I still listen a lot to the bands that are lumped in with prog, and I think a lot of other rock music fans do; what I hear on SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks reinforces that impression. And if selling concert tickets and records is any measure, prog rock acts were hugely successful well into the 1980s. (Smith’s

Pulled Up by the Roots

One of my recent al fresco audio adventures involved the Grass Roots, specifically a 1994 compilation album titled “Temptation Eyes.” That is, of course, the name of a single by that 1960s and ’70s rock band, one of the songs for which people my age remember the group. The fact that the album doesn’t show up in the Roots’ Wikipedia discography says something about how musicians’ work is owned and distributed, but may also reflect the complicated history of this particular group of musicians. While not exactly Monkees-level machinations, the Grass Roots are an example of the kind of monkey business that goes on in popular music. The band had songs before it was a band, had a lineup that chang

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