Archive for the ‘Billy Joel’ Category

Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Above and below: Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’ picture sleeve, front and back

Listen: Say Goodbye To Hollywood (Mono) / Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band
Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band

Matt recently told me of his experience discovering The Ronettes via Pandora Radio, just a few weeks back. It was his first exposure. I often refer to certain vocalists, like Ronnie Spector, as being from a time period when one had to really sing in order to make records. That technical ability resonated, and upon hearing ‘Be My Baby’ during Pandora’s random, computer logic song choice playlist, got up to check the LED read out. His story concluded with an exclamation of her undeniable singing abilities, and now knowing exactly what I meant.

Every once in a while, along comes a superstar to the rescue of an idol, feeling more than indebted to said legend. Such was the case in ’77 for Ronnie Spector, with Little Steven Van Zandt (using his beyond brilliant alias Sugar Miami Steve) and Bruce Springsteen getting involved.

Recording and releasing Billy Joel’s apparent Ronnie Spector tribute song, ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’, as the first single (posted above in promo only mono) from the forthcoming album (Epic PE 34683), a benchmark moment in 45 rpm history occurred. Lending The E Street Band’s entire line-up, signature sound (the group an obvious Phil Spector salute themselves) and services to her avail, a flop seemed clearly impossible. Not.

Leave it to US radio. No airplay was deemed worthy, despite the clout of Bruce Springsteen, Epic, Billy Joel, you name it. What a sacrilegious scar to every programmer involved.

Typically, in major label fashion, that forthcoming album (Epic PE 34683) was shelved, and back to the salt mines/oldies circuit went Ronnie Spector, frustratingly having made yet another timeless single and earning nothing. How fucked up.


Friday, November 28th, 2008

Goodbye Little Boy / The Triffids

Goodbye Little Boy / The Triffids

Listen: Goodbye Little Boy / The Triffids 04 Goodbye Little Boy.mp3

Credit goes to Blondie for introducing the 60′s girl group sound to the next generation. There are so many moments when a band just can’t resist letting it all hang out, and going retro for the fun of it. Everyone from Billy Joel (‘Uptown Girls’) to Personal Effects (‘End Of The World’) have done it flawlessly. So did The Triffids with ‘Goodbye Little Boy’. They were signed to Island when I worked for the label, and made a couple of great albums, both embarrassingly ignored in the US, but getting much traction in the UK and of course in their native Australia. They played NY one time, and were super great. Really fun people too. I just loved them. This one-off sounding throwback sat perfectly on their BLACK SWAN album, although sounding nothing like the other tracks. Please search it out – very worth owning.