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Tag: classic rock (page 1 of 3)

Rock Lyrics Vol. 20 – Supermans Song

A very odd song to be the first hit for a new band, but there it is. Superman’s Song was released in 1991 by the Crash Test Dummies, a Canadian band of some repute hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I think there was another rock band or two that came from Winnipeg, but it slips my mind … [joking].

The deep bass-baritone of Brad Roberts, offset by the dulcet tones of Ellen Reid, is the main draw of the band and a perfect mix for the funeral-dirge vocals of the song.

The lyrics talk of Superman in the past tense, which was odd, because this song was released in 1991 and Superman didn’t “die’ until 1992. Did Brad have some sort of precognition? Or was he tipped off? I’m sure it helped sell CDs in the USA when the comic-book series depicting the death of Superman came out.

The instrumentation is very understated, with the piano supplying the body of sound, along with guitar, bass and various orchestra instruments. The only percussion I can hear is the wooden block. The song was all about the vocals, and rightly so.

This is one of those sing-along songs. I know I did whenever I heard it. You did too, didn’t you? Come on, admit it. Sing along with the video, and read the lyrics while you’re doing it. They’re quite interesting.

 

Superman’s Song

Crash Test Dummies

Tarzan wasn’t a ladies man,
He’d just come along and scoop em
Up under his arm like that,
Quick as a cat, in the jungle.
Clark Kent, now there was a real gent,
He would not be caught sittin’ around in no jungle scape,
dumb as an ape, doin’ nothing.

Superman never made any money,
Savin’ the world from Solomon Grundy.
And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

Hey Bob, Supe had a straight job!
Even though he coulda smashed through
Any bank in the United States.
He had the strength but he would not.
Folks said his family were all dead.
Planet crumbled, but Superman he forced himself
To carry on, forget Krypton, and keep goin’

Superman never made any money,
Savin’ the world from Solomon Grundy.
And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

Tarzan was king of the jungle,
And lord over all the apes.
But he could hardly string together
Four words, I Tarzan you Jane.

Sometimes when Supe was stoppin’ crimes,
I’ll bet that he was tempted to just quit
And turn his back on man,
Join Tarzan in the forest.
But he stayed in the city,
Kept on changin’ clothes
In dirty old phone booths ’til his work was through.
Had nothin’ to do but go on home.

Superman never made any money,
Savin’ the world from Solomon Grundy.
And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

And sometimes I despair
The world will never see another man like him.

Songwriter: BRAD ROBERTS
Superman’s Song lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Released: 1991

 

 

Live Long and Prosper

 

Rock Lyrics Vol. 19 – RIP Starman

Born – David Robert Jones – January 8 1947.

Died – David Bowie – January 10 2016.

“RIP Starman. To say we’ll miss you doesn’t even scratch the surface.”

You will find 3 videos below; the first is the oft-heard radio version we are all so familiar with; the second is a very rare screening of the original promotional film from 1969; and the third is a choir of ordinary people paying homage to a star. I watched all three. You should too.

Space Oddity

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (Five, Four, Three)
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (Two, One, Liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in the most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do
Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows”

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?

“Can you hear And I’m floating around my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.”

Songwriter: DAVID BOWIE
Released: July 1969
Space Oddity lyrics © T.R.O. IN

Live Long and Prosper

Rock Lyrics Vol. 16 – American Band

This song has long been one of my favourite tunes (you’ll see how long in a minute), but it never occurred to me that it was a song about Rock Star Life. It is! The main theme is partying while travelling, “tear the hotel down“, and about groupies. Except, they don’t call them groupies. As the lyric says: “Four young chiquitas in Omaha“, who were waiting for the band in the hotel lobby intent on meeting the boys in the band. And they did!

They make special mention of a super-groupie, Connie Hamzy, who claims to have ‘had’ Don Brewer, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Huey Lewis, Peter Criss, and Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas, among others, I’m sure.

The other person they reference is Freddie King, a renowned blues player hailing from Texas. Freddie opened for the band during one tour and would hold poker games after the concerts. Freddie usually won.

Recorded in Florida on June 12, 1973 (42 years ago!), produced by Todd Rundgren, here is one of the best-named bands in all of rock – Grand Funk Railroad – performing We’re An American Band live in 1974. Shirtless. Rock on, dudes!

WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND

Grand Funk Railroad

Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock, put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie was doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact

Up all night with Freddie King
I got to tell you, poker’s his thing
Booze and ladies, keep me right
As long as we can make it to the show tonight

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

Four young chiquitas in Omaha
Waitin’ for the band to return from the show
A feelin’ good, feelin’ right and it’s Saturday night
The hotel detective, he was outta sight

Now these fine ladies, they had a plan
They was out to meet the boys in the band
They said, “Come on dudes, let’s get it on!”
And we proceeded to tear that hotel down

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

[ubiquitous guitar solo]

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band
We’re an American band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

We’re an American band (whooo)
We’re an American band (whooo)
We’re an American band (whooo)

 

 

Live Long and Prosper

Rock Lyrics Vol. 15 – Life’s Been Good

Continuing on with the Rock Star Life series of rock lyrics posts, here is an iconic tune from 1978 that fairly drips with sarcasm about the behavior and lifestyle of many rock stars – Life’s Been Good by Mr. Guitar Riff himself, Joe Walsh.

My favourite piece of lyric is this:

It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame
Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed

Walsh pokes fun at the rock star lifestyle of wealth and fame, the spoiled mentality – how it’s not him that’s changed, but everyone else. We all probably have those same thoughts on occasion.

I had a large number of videos to choose from for this post .. as you could imagine .. and I think I chose the best one. Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good – Featuring Daryl Hall – Live From Daryl’s House. If you have ever watched any of the Live From Daryl’s House shows, you know how good they are. This one does not disappoint. Enjoy!

LIFE’S BEEN GOOD

Joe Walsh

I have a mansion, forget the price
Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice
I live in hotels, tear out the walls
I have accountants pay for it all

They say I’m crazy but I have a good time
I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life’s been good to me so far

My Maserati does one-eighty-five
I lost my license, now I don’t drive
I have a limo, ride in the back
I lock the doors in case I’m attacked

I make hit records, my fans they can’t wait
They write me letters, tell me I’m great
So I got me an office, gold records on the wall
Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call

Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through
(Everybody say I’m cool) (He’s cool)
I can’t complain but sometimes I still do
Life’s been good to me so far

I go to parties, sometimes until four
It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door
It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame
Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed

They say I’m lazy but it takes all my time
(Everybody say oh, yeah) (Oh, yeah)
I keep on going, guess I’ll never know why
Life’s been good to me so far
Yeah, yeah, yeah

 

Live Long and Prosper

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