I see absolutely no point in re-issuing God Save the Queen to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As much as I despise the royal family, the re-release of this song will only serve to diminish its initial impact. There is nothing worse than corporations trying to capitalize on the past with anemic attempts to re-create it.
You will never be able to capture the moment of spontaneity that is capture in it original incarnation. Check out the film, The Filth and the Fury (reviewed here), if you wish to fully understand its initial impact.
I would also like to congratulate Johnny Rotten, for wanting nothing to do with its cynical re-release.
I usually try to stay clear of static videos, but it is highly unlikely that there is ever going to be any video footage of this group of, essentially, lesser lights (aka cast-offs) from reasonably famous bands, performing the two minute funk masterpiece, Apricot Brandy.
Originally, these guys were marketed as a supergroup, as they had ties to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Iron Butterfly and Buffalo Springfield. The reality was that the public didn’t care. If you are going to market a band as a supergroup, you should at least have one recognizable face – or at least an attractive one. This band had neither and the album quickly had its corner sniped and was tossed unceremoniously into the discount bin.
There one golden moment for Rhinoceros is this song, which is the only reason I have held onto this album. The funny thing is is that they got to make two more albums. Besides Apricot Brandy, this has to be some of the most unlistenable schmaltz from the sixties – it makes the worst of Blood Sweat and Tears sound like Beethoven. I guess the record company felt that the public was wrong in their dismissal of Rhinoceros, and decided to teach us a lesson by releasing two more albums even more unlistenable than the first – obviously as punishment for not supporting the first album.
The second and third albums skipped off the edge of the discount bin and went straight to the garbage…where they belonged. It should also be noted that any chance these guys had of actual success was negated when management declined an offer to perform at Woodstock. Joni Mitchell could recover from missing out on Woodstock. These bowl cuts, not a chance.
It is probably for the best, though, that they missed Woodstock, as it would have given the poor quality ‘brown acid’ circulating there a run for its money.
Vying, unsuccessfully, for the title of funkiest white band of the 70s, here is Rare Earth performing, I Just to Celebrate, in front of 250,000 fans at the Ontario Speedway, California on April 6th, 1974. The video is from the one day concert known as, California Jam, and featured the likes of – Earth Wind and Fire, Eagles, Seals and Croft (ugh), Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath (yeah!), Deep Purple and Dreadful Lake and Palmer. Enjoy…
Ever wonder where Billy Idol came from? We’ll, he was there from the beginning of the Punk movement. If you look closely you can even see him going to a Sex Pistols gig in the excellent documentary, The Filth and the Fury. Both Billy, and his first band, Generation X, were really more glam and pop than Punk. Either way, it is still good music. This video is taken from the 1980 documentary, D.O.A.
Sheffield, England was a little known hotbed of electronic music in the late 70s. An amazing lineup of bands all emerged from this depressed and forgotten city, such as: Cabarete Voltaire, Heaven 17, The Human League, Artery, Def Leppard, ABC, Pulp, The Extras, 2.3, Clock DVA, I’m So Hollow and The Comsat Angels.
Don’t You Want Me, by The Human League, is the biggest single to come from this amazing collection of bands, but it is by no means the final statement. In fact, it was really the beginning of the end. If you are not familiar with any of these bands (minus Def Leppard) I highly recommend going back to the beginning of this movement and having a listen.
Here is the video for, Don’t You Want Me.
A personal favorite of mine and one of the standout performances at, Woodstock. It is sad to think that some of the people in this band went on to form schlockmeisters, Journey. It guess that is what happens when you switch from weed to coke. Here is the video for Santana performing, Soul Sacrifice – ripped out of their minds on acid.
From his 1968, Comeback Special, here is the rather surreal video for Elvis performing, Trouble and Guitar Man. Further proof that Elvis was king of the air guitar.
So, one day you are in a great band, then a couple of the members bugger off to form a new band without telling you – instead they have the band’s accountant tell you. The band in question was the legendary, English Beat. Two members left to form, General Public. A name destined for the discount bin. The remaining two members formed the much more memorable, Fine Young Cannibals. It is ironic that the two guys left behind went on to form the more popular band. 500 singers auditioned for The Fine Young Cannibals, but none were chosen. In a moment of desperation they contacted, Roland Gift, who had sung with The English Beat, previously. Here is the excellent video for, Johnny Come Home.
Ween – these Scotch Guard huffing lunatics made some of the best music of the past 20 years. I had the privilege of seeing them in concert and it was 3 1/2 hours of uninterrupted bliss. When I listen to their music it is like they took my brain, shoved it in a blender and then played it back to me. Here is their great video for, Freedom of ’76.
The best song from their most coherent album. Sharp, concise, pumping and not suffering from poetic ramblings or other self indulgent nonsense (at least on this song). Here is the video for the Doors’ mini magnum opus, Break On Through (To The Other Side). Not sure where else one would break on through to, but whatever – at least Jim stays vertical for a whole song.