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Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

Archive for the tag “Rolling Stone”

The Flamin’ Groovies Still Shakin’ Some Action

Flamin' GrooviesHere’s a quick one this morning.

If I were to compile a list of my all-time favorite songs, The Flamin’ Groovies‘ “Shake Some Action” would easily land in the Top 20. Released in 1976, the track was inspired by The British Invasion while incorporating strands of nascent punk rock and new wave. It is “beat music” in the best sense, with chiming jangling guitars, loud riffs, pounding drums and a chorus that will stick in your mind for days on end.

“Shake Some Action” was simultaneously ten years behind the times and ten years ahead of the times. While that kind of positioning is hardly a prescription for chart success, the song’s influence on the guitar-driven “alternative rock” of the 80s, 90s and beyond is unmistakable:

My eleven-year even old loves “Shake Some Action,” more than thirty-seven years after its release. Talk about your timeless music.

Portions of the band have reunited, and they are playing a number of shows in November in the Midwest and on the East Coast. They are also working on an EP. The first song, “End Of The World,” can be streamed through a wonderful profile of the band posted this morning on Rolling Stone’s website.

Take a listen. “End Of The World” picks up where tracks like “Shake Some Action” left off long ago. Its chiming guitars are instantly recognizable, and its pounding rhythms flow smoothly seamlessly into what could prove to be an equally memorable chorus. Rolling Stone describes “End Of The World” quite nicely:

[It] blends proto-punk energy with power-pop melody. A certain rawness permeates the band’s dedication to pop rhythm, making it sound like it could have been recorded today or in 1972.

Or, for that matter, 1982, 1992 etc.

There’s something for everyone in “End Of The World,” whether you are in your 60s, your 50s, or your 20s. Or, if you are an eleven-year old sitting in the back seat of my car.

The Greatest Song You Probably Never Heard

big-starSometimes a song seems in retrospect to be “ahead of its times.” That usually means that the song or band proved to be influential. The song thus sounds contemporary, even though its old.

Rolling Stone picked “September Gurls” as the 180th greatest song of all time. “A nonhit from [Big Star’s] second LP . . . ‘September Gurls’ is now revered as a power-pop classic.”

“September Gurls” was destined to be a non-hit, coming out in 1974 as rock became bloated and self-important. Instead, Big Star looked back to the British Invasion with concise, elegant guitar pop. In turn, they influenced everyone that followed — REM, The Replacements, Matthew Sweet, Wilco, The Posies and Teenage Fanclub, just to name a few. What sounded old gave birth to the new.

“September Gurls” sounds as fresh and as beautiful as it did 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, etc. That is one of the makings of a great song.

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