Nightman Listens To – Connie Francis – Jealous Heart (1966 Series)!

Jealous Heart by Connie Francis (Album, Traditional Pop): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

Greetings, Glancers! When I said I was doing this – listening to every album of 1966, I really meant it. Putting aside the genres and performers I don’t like, and going all in, at least until I can’t do it anymore and end up quivering under a bog. Which brings me neatly to Connie Francis. I don’t know much about her, aside from the obvious – she’s a singer and an actress and even though her heyday was in the 50s, she’s still going today. I’ve heard some songs by her before, mostly dreary choral ballads and pop which I didn’t like. I… I just hope this isn’t country. Wikipedia doesn’t even have an entry for this album so these are indeed uncharted waters. Some dude has helpfully uploaded the album to Youtube, so if any of these song titles are incorrect or not even on the album – go moan at him.

Jealous Heart: A big swell of strings, but in the weepy old decrepit style. Then Country ballad guitars. Fuck. It’s not really Country, but I associate it as such. The voice is good, clear, if not exactly my thing. The melodies are box-ticking exercises – you hear the first part, and you can finish it precisely yourself without hearing it. There’s a whining quality in the vocals in some words. Lets hope the album is short.

If I Ever Get Lonely: A sweeter sound, but still very much that song style which I was dreading. Say what you will, the lyrics are still marginally more interesting than what’s in the charts these days. There’s something odd about the vocals – almost like they are higher or more powerful than they need to be – the band is playing around 6 or 7, but Connie’s on 11. Awful talking part. Better chorus – don’t need the backing vocals.

Everything I Have Is Yours: Guitars shimmering. That’s a more unusual vocal melody. Belted out. Becomes more generic as it progresses. Soppy guff, but she is best when she hits and holds the big notes.

If You Ever Change Your Mind: Brief string blast. Reminds me of Trailer Park Boys. Annoying backing vocals – get rid. The song themes are all very similar – someone has left but I’m still here if you want me. Have some self-respect. I’m surprised stuff like this was still flying in 1966 – it sounds like something from twenty years earlier.

Do I: Man those backing vocals are like tar in my ears, followed by someone shoving their balls in my face. It’s the same whining Country ballad tone and rhythm as several other songs. Man, it’s early, but I already need some metal.

Fair Weather Lover: More of the same. Same rhythm and tone – check. Terrible backing vocals – check. Clinky piano – check. Moaning about love instead of going and getting some – check. This would be unlistenable if not for Connie’s voice.

Ivory Tower: The ‘I love you’ part was nice, I guess.

Once A Day: It would have been great if she’d said ‘once a day, once a day, have a wank’ instead. Or eat and apple. At least this one has a different rhythm and the lyrics are more self-deprecating. Still moaning, but at least this time it felt funny.

My Foolish Heart: Good vocals. The strings are better.

I’m Falling In Love With You Tonight: Better musically – the cascading piano and little guitar runs compliment the idea of falling, and the melody is allowed to be kept pure – no interference, or not much, from backing voices. It just meanders too much.

Nevertheless: I’ve run out of things to say. I’m drained by the monotony of it all. I know I’m not the most creative when it comes to writing these things, mainly because I’m typing as I’m listening, and the music pulls down my spontaneity if it’s crap. She’s singing some stuff about love.

So Long Goodbye: So long, goodbye, and thank Vader for that. Nothing here for me.

Connie’s a good singer – no complaints there. She has a David Lynch vibe. The songs are boring, the lyrics make me want to push her down a flight of stairs – probably because she’d fall in love with me. I’m sure she’s a great person, I’ve no idea who wrote the music or lyrics, but neither are good. Just not for me at all. Is this a generational thing? Is it me?

Let us know in the comments what you think of Jealous Heart in the comments!

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: N/A

Nightman Listens To – Roy Orbison – The Orbison Way (1966 Series)!

Roy Orbison The Orbison Way | Life Of Vinyl

Greetings, Glancers! We ‘re getting through these 1966 albums at a fair old pace. Or at least I’m listening to them frequently – I can’t guarantee when you’re actually going to see this post given that, at time of writing I haven’t even published the 1966 Series announcement post yet. But enough of that. Roy Orbison is one of the greats, but yet another who I haven’t listened much to beyond a few hit singles. I’ve certainly never heard a full album by him. That changes today. I know nothing about this album, except that it has twelve songs and clock in under thirty minutes, so I’m expecting quick pop rock songs with strong vocals. Let’s do this.

Crawling Back‘ opens a little like YNWA. A similar arpeggio. Sweet, low vocals. Strings come in on second verse, vocals, go a little higher, still smooth. They go higher again. I wish he’d taken the melody a little higher and really pushed for it, but he goes in a different direction. The strings complement and accentuate. He pushes it at the end, and it’s good.

It Ain’t No Big Thing‘ opens with something which sounds like an organ, just before the guitar joins. The verse is very Beatles, but he comes into his own for the chorus as the vocals soar. It’s another broken-hearted song of lost love, even if he’s making light of the subject. Great stuff on the ‘I’m dying’ line at the end.

Time Changed Everything‘ starts neatly, nice dynamic between vocals, keys, and drums. Very sweet vocals and melodies again, more doubt in the lyrics. I like how the melodies change four or five times until the chorus finally comes, the chorus acing as a crescendo.

This Is My Land‘ has swelling strings, harmonica, and another familiar arpeggio. Sublime vocals again. I think the music is better than the actual vocal melody, but it’s hard to complain about something so endearing and well-performed.

The Loner’ starts out with an interesting string introduction, reminiscent of Egyptian/Arabian scenes in old movies. I think at this point we accept the vocals are going to be good, that’s a given. Nice swells at various points, a climbing and falling melody at others.

Maybe‘ seems like a more traditional ballad. There are stabbing guitars and drums to counter the central piano lines. It’s a little plain, but still gets by on charm.

Breaking Up Is Breaking My Heart‘ is much faster than anything else on the album so far. That definitely spices things up as things were getting a little slow and samey. The song continues to build with extra bass and beats and sudden strings in its second movement. Fun melodies go with the lyrics. Great stuff. Just wish it hadn’t faded out.

Go Away‘ spices things up further with its more unusual arrangement. For large parts it’s Roy and no instruments, but it gradually builds into a more traditional ballad. Groovy instrumental piece in the middle with organ and guitar.

A New Star‘ opens like an old-fashioned Country ballad. It gets better, thanks to Orbinson’s vocals and another nice choice of melody. There’s a lot of twinkling, some sweet violins join the fray. It stays away from the standard pop song structure, which is both to its credit but also makes it feel a little directionless.

Never‘ has sprinkles of fun, shambling along breezily and making me think of a lot of the cliched Swinging Sixties sounds. There is throng in the background which could be horn, keys, or guitar. It definitely sounds happier and more light-hearted than the other material.

It Wasn’t Very Long Ago‘ has a touch of Sixties London too. Slow and steady, nice peaks in the vocals, great melodies – especially the lead refrain.

Why Hurt The One Who Loves You‘ starts with sleepy bass and piano like a dance hall from the 1930s. It feels like a song to slow dance to, but the lyrics say otherwise. A drifting end to the album.

Well, I think I can safely say that was the best ‘new’ album I’ve heard from 1966 so far. I always knew Orbison was a great singer, and this showcases his abilities quite well. There isn’t as strong a single as something like Pretty Woman but I’d happily listen to the whole thing again. I would probably get bored with the whole over time as many of the songs tread similar ground musically and lyricially, but at least structurally things are kept interesting by introducing many different elements – changes in time and pace, and plenty of instrumental choices which the so called crooners generally were not adventurous enough to try. I can easily grab a few of these for the playlist as I ferry the family to and fro in the car.

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: It Ain’t No Big Thing. Time Changed Everything. Breaking Up Is Breaking My Heart. It Wasn’t Very Long Ago.

Let us know what you think of The Orbison Way in the comments!

Nightman Listens To – Sounds Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel (1966 Series)!

Takes From the Top: Recording Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Sounds of Silence' | Songwriter 101 |

Greetings, Glancers! This one is a surprise. I assumed this would be in the Colin Larkin’s Top 1000 Series instead, but apparently not. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, given that I already listened to Bookends which is considered one of the best albums of all time, but I thought it was muck. I know there’s another one or two albums by them on Larkin’s list I’m going to have to suffer through, and now this one has been added to the mix. Maybe this is the anomaly and I’ll like it. Probably not. I had high hopes for these guys, but Bookends killed it for me. At least I know I like the title track.

The Sound Of Silence: It’s as haunting as beautiful as ever and this is one of the songs which made me think all of their music would be like this. This seems to be a different version than the one I’m used to. The production of this version I’m listening to is rubbish, but I’ll blame the YouTube upload on that.

Leaves That Are Green: A bouncy, near harpsichord start which sounds like wholesome folk fun. That main keyboard or whatever it is piece is lovely, bouncing and climbing and falling. Melodies clear, harmonies sweet, the lyrics are a little hammy and folk trope ridden.

Blessed: A deliberate out of tune string bend intro and more prominent drums give this a heavier feel. The vocals start with a loud shout… this all makes me feel the whole thing is a satirical look at certain religious types. There’s some weird noise stuff going on, couple with the shouting and talking and the string-bend gives it all an unusual tone. So far, it’s much better than Bookends. 

Kathy’s Song: This sounds more like what I was expecting – finger picked `guitar and smooth vocals for a lonesome folk feel. It’s all too rambling for me to truly enjoy – too much of a story than a song, but nothing wrong with it.

Somewhere They Can’t Find Me: A more uptempo song with a more overt rock or jazz feel. The harmonies on this one are a little messy – definitely could have been tightened up. I appreciate the strings and the little extra pieces added to spice it up and it’s different from everything else so far – it’s short, and reminds me a little of The Cure.

Anji: This actually compliments the previous song – there’s a similar down the scale riff. Seems like this is an instrumental. It feels like you could almost sing the lyrics of the previous song over this one.

Richard Cory: Another story. These folk guys sure love writing lyrics about people who don’t exist. This one feel like a Beatles song. There’s a touch of satire in the lyrics, the melodies are rambling and the vocals verge on Dylan-esque at times.

A Most Peculiar Man: Another story. Organ and nice flickering guitar. It’s all very nice while lacking a killer melody. Another lyric touching on suicide. The lyrics get a little silly – just a collection of lines which barely fit the confines of the song’s rhythm. I don’t usually mind that, but here it doesn’t work.

April Come She Will: More sweet finger picking and nice sounds. This is the stuff I like about folk – when it’s gentle with a touch of sadness or something bittersweet, but it needs the melody to back it up. Melodies here just about work while still sounding similar to much of the rest of the album.

We’ve Got A Groovy Thing Goin: Drum intro. Then groovy organ and beats. Better melodies. Marginally heavier. Benefits again by being brief.

I Am A Rock: Subtle guitar intro with soft and clear vocals. What’s it going to build to. That was sudden. Slight Mamas & Papas feel. Nice guitar parts and soft organ backing. The most obvious chorus since the first track.

Thank goodness. That was considerably better than Bookends. That now gives me renewed hope that I’ll like other stuff by the band. This is more like what I expected from the band – simple, gentle folk songs. There is humour in the lyrics and the usual pastoral stuff. The overall word to describe all of this is nice – it’s inoffensive, simple, it’s music to have in the background which no-one is going to be put off by or pay much attention to. Few of the songs have something to tip them into greatness, but there is enough variety that I imagine I’d get more out of a second listen. I also imagine though that I’d get bored with most of the songs only a few listens after that.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Sounds Of Silence.

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: The Sound Of Silence. The Leaves That Are Green. April Come She Will. We’ve Got A Groovy Thing Goin.

Nightman Listens To – Bobby Vinton Sings Satin Pillows And Careless – Bobby Vinton (1966 Series)!

Bobby Vinton Sings Satin Pillows and Careless by Bobby Vinton (Album,  Traditional Pop): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

That was a mouthful. Here comes another. You know, one of the things which most terrifies me about music today – and it is absolutely happening right now – is how today’s singers are basically nameless voices for someone else music. Everybody is singing everybody else’s stuff, everything features someone else, and most songs are written by the same handful of people behind the curtain. It’s getting to the point where it is almost exactly like it was pre-The Beatles. Back then, you had a handful of singers, male and female, and they all put out the exact same songs on the same types of albums each year. Every so often there would be ‘a new voice’ (read – a younger pretty face) and that new voice would have one or two songs written specifically for them. Then everyone else would cover that song and the whole shit cycle would continue. Maybe a new movie would come out, or there would be a novelty hit – the same thing would happen – everybody would have a go at it. There was almost no variance in the charts and you’re preference was either ‘I like that guy with the black hair in the suit’ or ‘nah, that guy with the brown hair and shirt is much better’. Everyone was a clone of everyone else and the entire system was controlled so that the same type of performer would get famous and the same few people would get richer. This is exactly where we’re getting to again.

Now, we do have the internet which allows anyone to put their music out there. You have to know how to make it and record it, but you can, and you have billions of listeners at your fingertips. Of course, no-one will ever hear it because the system is stacked against you and is designed to block creativity and push back against anything that isn’t conforming to the party line. But as long as we have access to the actual good music, then people will continue to be influenced by it and make their own, right? Welllll… where do you get your music from now? Hard copies? Those sales are waaay down and you may notice it’s harder and harder to buy physical copies of the stuff you like. You’re almost forced to go digital. As much as illegal sharing is still rampant, people are also in control of what gets shared online – the same people who don’t want you to listen to the stuff outside of the party line. What happens when they decide one day to simply stop offering the good music? You can’t buy a physical copy anymore and the digital stuff is gone forever. You can’t chat to your friends about it because they haven’t heard of your crazy bands and only listen to what they’re told to listen to. Very quickly and easily that circle of goodness shudders, shrinks, and the swarm of content, the same shitty shared content that everyone already knows, that everyone is sharing, that everyone is copying and adding nothing new to, is entirely surrounding you and everyone else, and soon that’s all there is.

That’s an extremist viewpoint. Tongue in cheek. But it’s possible. And honestly, as much as it is a nightmare for us, it would be a dream come true for those in control. Thankfully, people are resourceful and creative and wonderful, and there will always be someone who pushes back. But right now, we are undoubtedly on a regressive path when it comes to music, especially from a commercial standpoint. When was the last time you heard something new in the charts – truly original, genuinely fresh? It is out there, it’s just never going to make it widespread. But we’re talking about Bobby Vinton or something. He was one of those guys with hair and a suit. He sang other people’s songs, just like everyone else did, and appealed to young girls with his boyish smile and forbidden shlong. The interesting thing about Bobby is, that he is actually an accomplished musician and a decent songwriter himself. Of course, his songwriting talents largely went to waste and most of his career was covering the hits of others. Sure, if it’s making you money and getting you ladies, why the hell wouldn’t you? I’ve probably heard some of these songs, there’s only ten of them, most will be short, so this shouldn’t be too painful. Thankfully in 1966 this sort of thing wasn’t as popular as in earlier years, but if I start seeing too many albums like this and too many crossovers, I’m going to skip them.

Petticoat White: This starts exactly as you’d expect it to with a name like that. Vinton has always had a sweeter, more childlike voice when compared with other crooners of the age. His delivery and pronunciation of several words and sounds is so over the top it must have been a joke. If you had a grandmother in 1966, this is probably what she listened to.

Bitter Teardrops: Is that a Theremin or someone singing? There’s a touch of country and Caribbean. This one is actually quite nice and I like the quick switch to the high notes. Vocals are sweet, the music is sad, and the delivery is sorrowful. Melodies aren’t the best but it works. A nice little treat.

All The King’s Horses: Feels like a 50s ballad. It’s all very sweet. Even though the lyrics speak of some sort of mishap and breakup. More unusual pronunciation. Pleasant. Forgettable.

Careless: More of the same shimmering guitar. This is just weird. The lyrics are terrible and the melody is like something they would have forced on me at Sunday School.

You Own My Heart: At least this has some sullen jazz piano to mix things up. It’s another tale of lost love. It reminds me of Bond soundtracks. It’s not very good.

Satin Pillows: Jeepers, this guy likes to cry a lot. Almost every song so far has had something about crying or tears. It’s another country song with the trappings removed. I feel like you could choose one song from the album and discard the rest – they’re almost identical.

Two Purple Shadows: More of the same. At least this one reminds me of Christmas. I swear the vocal melodies in all of these songs are the same.

Everyone’s Gone To The Moon: This one is more tuneful. Still, not that different from everything else. Lyrics are more interesting, it spices things up with violin and backing vocals.

Going Steady With A Heartache: Marginally more up tempo. Then it slows to the same beat as the rest. Same pauses and accentuation. Same old words about love ending. Someone get this guy a prostitute.

Someday: Boo hoo. Who’s idea was it to make an album which entirely consists of some kid’s moping? It comes across as an incel in the making. Dear Lord.

Well, that was almost unbearable. At least each song was short and there wasn’t many of them. But seriously, they’re all the same – lyrics, melodies, vocals – there’s barely an idea between the lot of them. Beware, this is the musical landscape we’re heading back to. Everyone’s gone to the moon, indeed. Most definitely a relic of the past even when it was released over 50 years ago, so what does that make it now? Not good, that’s what.

Let us know in the comments what you think of this – even though I’m certain you’ve never heard it.

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Bitter Teardrops, I guess?

Nightman Listens To – I Hear A Symphony – The Supremes (1966 Series)!

I Hear a Symphony (The Supremes album) - Wikipedia

Greetings, Glancers! I have high hopes for this one. To me, the Motown sound comes down to The Supremes and The Jacksons. Of course, it’s more varied, but when I think of Motown, I think of these two groups first and foremost. While I grew up with The Jacksons and Michael, I never owned or heard any albums by The Supremes or Diana Ross. I did hear a bunch of their songs, and in most cases loved all of them. I have quite a few Supremes songs in my car playlist, and some of these appear on this very album. The album seems to be a mixture of covers and Supremes originals, so I’m excepting sweet harmonies and bouncy melodies. Let’s do this.

Stranger In Paradise‘ isn’t one I’m familiar with, but sounds very dated – the pace and the dreary strings – it feels like a song from a few decades earlier. The singers do what they can with it so I can tolerate it, but wouldn’t choose to hear it again.

Yesterday‘ is The Beatles, obvs. I didn’t know The Supremes had covered it, though I suppose everyone has. It’s spruced up in a jangling, twinkling way, and the strings give it a fuller feeling than the original. The main difference is of course the vocals, Diana retains the sadness of The Beatles version and again gives it a meatier boost, but adds some unnecessary little ticks at various points.

I Hear A Symphony’ is on my playlist in the car. It’s pure, fun Motown pop. It does sound similar to some other Supremes songs, but on its own it still hits all its marks. Sunny, lovely.

Unchained Melody‘ is one of my most hated songs ever. Man, it just never goes away. I’m not sure why I have such feelings against it in my heart, definitely the overplaying and success it has had is part of it, but beyond that I find it exceptionally boring and emotionless for what others see as this big heartfelt thing. I just don’t feel it, or get it. I don’t mind the lead lines, the melodies are changed up just enough from what I know to take him them sweeter, but the backing vocals are not great – I’m not sure what they’re going for but those harmonies are not in sync with anything else going on. This is probably the best version I’ve heard of a song I can’t stand, though it does round out of steam towards the end like every other version.

With A Song In My Heart‘ instantly feels dated again – those violins reek of the crappy musicals of ages gone by. The vocals make the song tolerable again, but like many of the songs from those musicals, there isn’t a single interesting melody and they seem designed as background music for slow dances. Just feels a little pointless.

Without A Song’ continues that trend. More slow dance, uneventful music. At least this one has more of a formula than the previous one. There are some bell-like keys and percussion going on, but they don’t help.

My World Is Empty Without You‘ is another one already on my playlist, and it’s such a step above the other songs so far. It’s full-on Motown genius, bouncy, perfectly blending funk and pop in the guise of a ballad. I love the switches from major to minor, all the instruments shouldn’t work together – but do – and the melodies have actual stakes and merit.

A Lover’s Concerto‘ opens with…. is that Bach? It then shifts into another Motown pop song. Why is this familiar to me? The vocal melodies are following the Bach melody, I assume that’s why. It’s a little jarring if I’m honest… I’m not sure if it works, but I think I like it. It’s definitely weird to me, putting words to a piece of classical music I sort of know. It’s not the first time this sort of thing has been done, but it reminds me of when they put lyrics to the Eastenders theme tune.

Any Girl In Love‘ opens with a brief brass parp which leads succinctly into some of the better harmonies and melodies on the album. This is a new one on me, it feels like it bridges the gap effectively between the dreary junk of old, and the more engaging inventive pop of the time. It’s classy and memorable.

‘Wonderful Wonderful‘ doesn’t give me good feelings from the off – instantly returning 40 years into the early years of the 20th Century. Those whining strings, the tame beat. Luckily though, the overall melodies and vocals bring it out of the mire of ye olde music, so it isn’t so distasteful to me. If I had been around in the 1920s, and perhaps I was, I could see myself tolerating a dance or two to this.

Everything Is Good About You‘ starts with a brighter, more familiar Motown beat. Now, I could say it’s samey to some other Supremes hits – it certainly seems to be going that way – but it’s a beat and sound I enjoy. Mostly I’m just glad it’s not another cover of some dismal ancient ballache. It’s hardly close to their best work, not enough edge, not any harmonies to speak of, and lacks a killer hook, but it’s still fine.

He’s All I Got‘ closes the album in what appears to be a more traditional Motown vein. Again it’s bouncy, poppy, sweet verse melodies, and catchy chorus, all supplemented with guitars, clangs, horns, and strings. It’s a step above the previous song, but a step below the ones I’m putting in my playlist. Maybe I’d like it more with more listens, but nothing wrong here.

This wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Half of it was, but the other half were daft covers of songs from a genre I’m not a fan of – those old-time soulless ballads from an era when music asked no questions and was merely tactless dressing. The other half – the good half – features a number of songs I was already familiar with, and a few I wasn’t. These are mostly where the group shines and allow their energy and joy to come through. It’s a pity there wasn’t a few more tracks on the good half to tip into the majority of the album being enjoyable, but I hope that comes in later releases.

Nightman’s Playlist: Any Girl In Love. I Hear A Symphony. My World Is Empty Without You. Lovers Concerto.

Nightman Listens To – Them – Them Again (1966 Series)!

Them Again by Them Feat. Van Morrison on Amazon Music -

Greetings, Glancers! There’s a curious cultural curio about folks like me from Northern Ireland. We don’t like it when ‘one of us’ gains fame and success around the world. We get embarrassed, it’s like we’re ashamed of allowing ourselves to be seen by the outside world as if we’re all part of some depraved sex cult and the rest of you have just had a peak behind the curtain and seen which devices we’ve been shoving into which holes. The flip side of it is that we do have a certain pride – in a country of 300 people or whatever it is, that we’ve managed to produce a certain number of iconic figures in the field of sport, music, and film.

And then there’s me. I don’t give a fuck if you’re from here, there, or anywhere. Admittedly I do get more pissed off by famous Irish people than others – but only if I already don’t like them – but that’s more a case of hearing the accent and wondering how anyone could take any of us seriously. I have no pride or patriotism in my bones or elsewhere and I will congratulate or mock based on your achievements and my feelings towards you alone. Which brings us to Van ‘The Man’ Morrisan (Morrison). He’s a bit of a cock, really. It has always disturbed me that he has been held up as the best our country has to offer. Seriously, what a knob. But then, I’ve liked some of his songs – there’s no getting away from how good a couple of them are. And we’re all here today because I’ve admitted I’ve never heard this album featuring him, or any other he’s involved in. Does that make me a hypocrite? Hey, I never said I wasn’t.

From what little I know about Them, they were a typical 60s rock band who did a mixture of original tracks and Blues covers. So, an Irish version of The Rolling Stones then. I don’t have high hopes for this, but at the very least maybe I’ll hear some rousing old fashioned rock ditties.

Could You Would You: There’s that timeless 60s production. I could do without the organ – I’m rarely a fan. I’m also not a huge fan of Morrison’s vocals – sometimes great, mostly not. This is a sweet enough rock ballad. He sounds like he’s trying too hard to mimic Jagger. It sounds like a hundred other 60s songs but does have its own flavour.

Something You Got: He sounds an awful lot like Jagger here. It doesn’t help that so many of those Blues standards sounded so samey, then all the British Invasion bands came and covered them in samey ways. This is mostly weak and forgettable. It has a brass solo in the middle, but as a whole I’ll have forgotten it by the album’s end.

Call My Name: A more interesting start. A more interesting song. Much more in the vein of 50s rock than your usual Blues song. Morrison doesn’t have enough emotion in his voice or delivery, so it’s lucky that his tone is more or less distinct. Guitars feel a little like The Doors in places. Yes, I know Van and Jim knew each other.

Turn On Your Love Light: I know this one from Blues Brothers 2000. I’ve always wondered what a Love Light is. Is it like a Fleshlight? Or is it a light you turn on so that your boyfriend knows it’s safe to ‘come in’. This has gone all sorts of dirty places. It’s an uptempo Blues song with added organ and, is that tambourine? Fun but forgettable. Van screams a bit. I just knew they would hand-clap.

I Put A Spell On You: We all know this one. This version is more smokey, sultry, less mysterious than the original. In other words, if the original is pure infatuation, this one is cheap porn. Yeah, I think that about covers it.

I Can Only Give You Everything: Feels very Stones again. Similar energy and raw power. The song is painfully basic. Repetitive riff, verging on the garage rock scene that was opening up, but melodies are non-existent. Could have been much better with a noticeable vocal hook.

My Lonely Sad Eyes: More interesting. The Morrison originals are better than everything else here. He also sounds more like himself vocally when it’s a song he’s written. The little vocal ticks and melodies sound very similar to his big hits, so I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s quite limited. I’m sure I’m wrong, but I don’t mind. It’s nice, not top tier, but in that lower B grade territory.

I Got A Woman: More fast-paced blues. It’s energetic and fun – you’ve probably heard some version of it. I wish I had more to say about the blues songs. I always like them, but they always feel inconsequential. It was the dance music of the day – good for moving to, but in one ear and out the other.

Out Of Sight: A James Brown cover, it lacks the one of a kind charisma he brought to what is an otherwise plain song. Nothing wrong here, just more C grade material.

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue: It’s that Dylan song which rips of Stand By Me. At least this differs from the usual Blues material. It has always been a sweet song, the shimmering instrumentation making it arguably more preferable to the original. Morrison sings it nicely.

Bad Or Good: Honkey Tonk time. Unfortunate hand claps. It feels like this should be a much faster song, but instead it sways along at a slow pace. Luckily it doesn’t go much further than two minutes as it would have outstayed its welcome.

How Long Baby: A slow bluesy ballad, organ led. If you like Morrison’s voice, you’ll like this. I don’t so it’s not for me. More simple and repetitive stuff – I wouldn’t mind if the melodies were more interesting. The tremolo effect on the guitar changes things up somewhat. 

Hello Josephine: Another very Stones-esque cover. More saloon cowboy piano shenanigans and a Johnny B Goode solo. It’s fast and short so doesn’t get on my nerves too much.

Don’t You Know: The flute and bass stuff keep this afloat. Makes me think of a Pink Panther episode. Not bad. Not great.

Hey Girl: Points for following it up with more flute. Again, it’s Morrison’s solo work which feels stronger. Make what you will of lyrics like ‘baby you’re so young I don’t know what to do’.

Bring Em On In: A rambunctious closer which is certainly a lot of fun and works as a rock album closer should – it gets you on your feet and makes you want to play through the whole thing again. It’s not amazing – it’s still firmly in B grade territory – though maybe with a singer I liked more this could score higher.

Essentially just another one of the hundreds of other albums in the 60s which followed the format of blues covers with the odd original. The covers never get better than straight B grade, though the Morrison penned originals are more interesting and give me hope for when I eventually get to his solo albums. I don’t know if I’ll ever come fully around to his vocals – here he doesn’t go much further than a Jagger wannabe. Most of the playing by the band is sound, if unadventurous – just what the material demanded. If you’re into 60s streamlined Rock, then there’s no reason you won’t like this. I just ask for a little more.

Let us know what you think of Them Again in the comments!

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: It’s All Over Now Baby Blue. My Lonely Sad Eyes. Hey Girl.

Nightman Listens To – Buck Owens – Roll Out The Red Carpet (1966 Series)!

Buck Owens And His Buckaroos - Roll Out The Red Carpet | Releases | Discogs

Greetings, Glancers! Before we kick off this shit show, I should mention that I’ve been forced to skip a couple of albums in our 1966 list – That Nashville Sound by Jimmie (Jammie) Rodgers (Dodgers) and Where The Action Is by The Ventures. I simply couldn’t get good full copies of those albums. On to Buck Owens, the terribly named man I’ve never heard of, and what the hell is going on with that album cover? That short of embarrassing snap is usually reserved for in-bred Christian Bible Belt bands and clumsy family portraits in a final straw-clutching attempt to avoid divorce while pretending they’re still happy. Willie has a bit of the old Rod Serling about him though.

As for the album – it’s Country, so there’s already a 99% chance I’ll despise this, but it looks at least that it’s a collection of original songs (as far as Country music can be classed as ‘original’). At most, maybe there will be some decent instrument playing and I won’t want to shove excess bog roll in my ears.

Gonna Roll Out The Red Carpet‘ gets off in typical shit-kicking style. The vocals aren’t as unappealing as Country vocals usually are for me, and there’s a definite pop/rock approach. Harmonies, beat, melodies are all good – the guitar does have a twang but it’s not so far into ear-hurting territory. Neat little pauses throughout, and doesn’t wear out its welcome.

He Don’t Deserve You Anymore‘ opens with the pedal guitar sound I find so tiresome and grim. This time the vocals are more whining and close to what I dislike about the genre. The rhythm is more akin to what I know of Country – the sort of crap my parents would listen to in the car before I was able to sneak my cassettes into the player. It’s not terrible, just very plain and not at all to my tastes. Any Country music experts – I’d be keen to hear your opinions on all of this.

Cajun Fiddle‘ is exactly as it sounds. A bit of a hoe-down, a couple of good old boys sitting by the campfire, ‘fiddling’ each other. There’s also some guitar and drums. As far as instrumentals go, it’s just about tolerable.

That’s What I’m Like Without You‘ is another whiney ballad. It’s just like Xander says – ‘the music of pain’. Except the pain is of the annoying sort, like an early morning eyelash trapped in your socket. Replace that guitar with anything else and I suspect I’d tolerate this – change up the vocals and I’d maybe like it. Even with those facets removed, it’s still all too plain.

I’m Laying It On The Line‘ takes us back out of moaning ballad land. It’s another love song – aren’t these guys meant to sing about horses or something else? It’s a step down from the first song in that the vocals are pure Country bollocks. Melodies and lyrics do have a light-hearted appeal, but it’s still bullshit.

Hanging On To What We Got‘ is marginally faster again. This is a little more likable – the pedal and twang are gone and the vocals aren’t as ‘Welcome To Texas’. I can just imagine Bill Paxton dancing with a corpse in a run down diner to this. References!

We Split The Blanket‘ is somewhere in between the last song and the crap stuff – there are twanging interludes and there are dual vocals – crap and less crap. They have split the blanket, in other words. The melodies are already merging with the other songs – that’s always a negative in the Country music I’ve heard – doesn’t matter who the artist is or what era it’s from – the melodies are so similar as to almost be indistinguishable.

‘Cinderella’ is another ballad, just like the rest. The only distinguishing feature between this and the others is the lyrics. It occurs to me that I am probably the only person in the world listening to this song at this exact moment.

Tom Cattin‘ gives the album a bit of a kick up the anus. Feels like another instrumental, but unfortunately I can’t get past the awful Country tone and style. The playing is tight and tidy, but man I cannot stand the sound. Thank the Lord of Hay Bails these songs are short.

There Never Was A Fool‘ is another Country song, just like all the others. Same riffs, same melodies and rhythm. The vocals aren’t as bad as most.

After You Leave Me‘ is another ballad, and I’m almost convinced I heard that intro five minutes ago on one of the other songs. The vocals are sung with a deeper hue. Make no mistake – it’s still terrible.

I’ll Love You Forever And Ever‘ is finally the last song. I tried, team, I really did. This is just not for me, never will be. At least it’s not a ballad and they’re going out with a bang. Well, more of a plop than a bang. Weird pronouncing of ‘ever’. Vocals are terrible in places, better in others.

I feel almost physically ill listening to that. Country music has a large following in my Country – possibly because of our cultural history of farming. I’m not sure why the two go hand in hand, but both are aspects of this world I have no interest in. The sooner the tractors get off the roads, the better I say. And take your shitty music with you. Maybe I’m just predisposed to hate this stuff, given my general lack of patriotism. Maybe I just prefer good music – who knows. In any case, I have zero desire to ever hear any of this again. Similar to what I’ve mentioned in my Jazz posts – I’m still willing to learn – is this classed as ‘good’ Country music? Let me hear what is known as the best so that I can compare it. Maybe listening to this is the pop equivalent of S Club Juniors versus The Beatles. At the very least, it’s another album ticked of the list.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Buck Owens and his Red Carpet yapping!

Nightman Listens To – Ascension – John Coltrane (1966 Series)!

Highest Trane: John Coltrane's World-Building Ascension - JazzTimes

Greetings, Glancers! I know this won’t make a lot of sense because I post out of sequence, but this is like my third or fourth Jazz album in a row that I’m listening to and write about. If I never hear another jazz album in my life, I’ll die an unhappy man for having heard any in the first place.

I do have some experience of John ‘Robbie’ Coltrane, having listened to his A Love Supreme album in one of my other lists. The only thing I remember about it is that I didn’t enjoy it. And that it had a lot of horns. Looking at the album cover for Ascension I can only assume that this will be more of the same – horns and boredom. Interestingly, terrifyingly, it looks like there’s only a single 40 minute track on the album. Lets hope it’s not some freewheeling mess of noise and instead has some semblance of concept. Hell, even a coherent melody would be nice. Let’s do this.

You know that viral video which claims to show a girl being reunited with a donkey she had raised, but they hadn’t seen each other for years? You know the type – the kid calls for the animal, it comes out of its pen, sees the child, and begins braying in delight/pain as it canters towards the child for an emotional cuddle. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy and forget for 12 seconds that we live in a world governed by Religious and/or Money Hungry maniacs who want us to be nothing more than powerless slaves – and we keep letting them do it! The sound the donkey makes? That’s the sound of 80% of this album, except imagine that the donkey has been tied to the side of a Waltzer.


That’s really all you need to know about the album going in; if you like tuneless noise, the sound of talented musicians off their tits in a frenzy of ego, playing as fast and loose as you like with no care given to structure, tone, emotion, or melody, then have at it. Jazz is for you. For the rest of us it’s nothing more than clanging clanging clanging clanging clanging clanging horn bit clanging end.

That’s another one signed off for 1966 – lets hope we get a rest from the fucking jazz nonsense. Feel free to call me a philistine in the comments!

Nightman Listens To – The Spencer Davis Group – The Second Album (1966 Series)!

The Second Album (The Spencer Davis Group album) - Wikipedia

Greetings, Glancers! Last time we had our first truly, fully positive experience in this series so far thanks to Roy Orbison. I hope that trend continues but it doesn’t look good given that I don’t know anything about the Spencer Davis Group. I’ve heard the name somewhere on my travels, and I’m thinking jazz, in which case this is going to be a chore. I’m going to assume this is their second album. Actually, in looking at the tracklist this appears to include yet another series of covers. Lets do this.

Look Away‘ starts with piano in a light blues infused jazz rhythm. The vocals are crisp and clean and we then get some fine gospel style backing vocals. I don’t think I’ve heard the song before, but it’s a good start. A solid bass line propels things with the piano over the top and the vocal combo the cherry on top.

Keep On Running‘ is a song I do know, but I don’t think I’ve heard this version. It’s given more of a Garage rock feel and the vocals are up there with the original. As always I could do without the hand claps. It’s another one of those songs from this era that you can’t imagine anyone could really mess up, such is the strength of the melody and the energy needed to carry it.

This Hammer‘ opens with a suggestion of country infused garage, before dropping into a blues rock stammer. What makes it stand out from it’s ilk is those high pitched vocals. It’s all very Dukes Of Hazzard. 

Georgia On My Mind‘ starts with slow saloon piano – it’s another song I know from others. Even with the piano doing some jazz spin-offs, it’s too slow and drunken for my liking.

Please Do Something‘ opens with a simple two note riff and collection of beats before kicking up a gear for the chorus which brings layered vocals and chords. The vocals are still good, this is probably the catchiest song so far although it does lapse a little too easily in blues vocal melodies at times. Good drums throughout.

Let Me Down Easy‘ has very smooth almost Motown vocals and recalls many of the famous voices of that era. The touch of organ, staccato chords, and unusual melodic lines give this an air of mystery. There’s a decent guitar solo in the middle too.

Strong Love‘ gets off with a leap, faster drums, up down guitar and bass, some sort of hand drums in there too – it’s quite chaotic but fun. The ‘ooh ohhs’ are catchy and the rest of the vocals and melodies retain interest.

I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water‘ is classic blues as you would expect. Big guitar opening, feels Country alongside the Blues. Is it a different singer this time?

‘Since I Met You Baby‘ opens with similar guitar to the previous song, your standard descending Blues downwards scale. This sort of slow Blues quickly gets on my nerves if there’s a run of tracks in a row. There is a certain sweetness to this which I credit to being a bunch of white British dudes and for having a piano section in the middle more than the lyrics.

You Must Believe Me‘ sounds familiar. It has both a Swinging Sixties and Motown vibe. It’s certainly more pop-oriented than the run of Blues songs we’ve had. The title is used as the chorus, and it’s a catchy one.

Hey Darling‘ is a sex song. Low down sweaty blues at a seductive pace – it’s the sort of song British advertisers would use in a commercial for chocolate. You know the sort – a bunch of frustrated nymphs are watching a hot builder or gardener doing some sort of topless manual labour, and just as they’re about to climax they get distracted by a bar of chocolate, grab it, and head inside to close the curtains. As soon as the solo hits… that’s exactly the sort of solo you hear in softcore. It’s all very distracting and I can’t focus on any other merits of the song.

Watch Your Step‘ blasts open with an ascending riff and clattering drums for a frenetic closer. It’s very fuzzy, hissy – could be just the version I’m listening to but it feels more like a conscious choice. A nice slice of early garage rock with overlapping vocals. It’s pretty obvious that the original, which I don’t believe I’ve ever heard, must have influenced the likes of Moby Dick and Daytripper.

It wasn’t Jazz, so that’s already a positive. I still don’t know anything about the group, but this album at least was a mixed bag of 60s pop with a near garage rock infusion, Blues, and Motown – all good things – with the thread of solid vocals and playing tying it neatly together. I don’t think any of the songs are strong enough to make my long-time playlist, but there’s certainly plenty I would enjoy listening to again. A solid album again, but it’s difficult for me to recommend covers over the originals unless the originals are crap or the covers are exceptional.

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Look Away. Keep On Running. Let Me Down Easy. You Must Believe Me. Watch Your Step.

Nightman Listens To Lightfoot – Gordon Lightfoot (1966 Series)!

Lightfoot! - Wikipedia

Greetings, Glancers! Never trust an album which ends with a exclamation mark. Anyway, I don’t know an awful lot about Gordon Lightfoot beyond that he’s a singer songwriter. At least that should mean we get an album of original material rather than the same old covers and standards. Looking at the tracklist, there is one song I recognise – a cover –  but it’s a song I like. Lets see what this is all about.

Rich Man’s Spiritual: Lovely folk guitar intro, fills you with warmth and happiness. Vocals a little too deep, too Country for my tastes. Lyrics hit that idyllic 60s vibe. The vocals don’t hit the emotional peaks I’d want and the melodies are too short and cyclical. Still, good enough start.

Long River: Great guitar again, smooth and sweet. There’s still that flicker of Country in the vocals, which makes sense given what he’s singing about. Vocals are nice though, easy to swallow without being too saccharine. A whistling part. Good, but too middle of the road for my tastes.

The Way I Feel: There’s something I love about just a singer and a guitar and no other crap. It does get samey after a while if I listen to too much – much faster than a standard band with full arrangement. The music and melody in this one are more interesting. It’s music for a contemplative mood. Too much of it puts me in a funk. Especially when it’s repetitive like this.

For Lovin Me: Faster. Definitely more Country. A more fun song but still missing the emotional hook or the quality melody or the sense of change and dynamics.

The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face: Lets see what he does with this. I’ve loved versions of this – I can barely listen to the original though. This is unfortunately closer to the original. It’s more palatable than the original, but it’s drained of emotion. He’s just singing sweetly and I feel no connection to the words, and the melody and phrasing are changed from those versions I like. He seems to never change his approach – every new verse is delivered in the exact same way – he may as well be reciting the alphabet.

Changes: Another cover I believe, though I’m not as familiar with the original. It’s sweet again but every positive and negative I’ve mentioned on every other song also applies here. There’s a lot more to go folks.

Early Morning Rain: Faster. Lighter. More singing. Competent.

Steel Rail Blues: Into the second half and more of the same. This has more of a hook, every so often. White boy blues. More lyrics about going home or going somewhere.

Sixteen Miles: The thing about folk music that I like and can listen to consistently always comes down to the voice – Lightfoot has a good voice, regardless of whether it’s the style I prefer – but it’s that lack of change in his delivery. Taylor, Mitchell, hell even Dylan will change it up from line to line – adding inflections, slurs, runs, a bit of gravel, a bit of force or restraint. This guy just sings at the same plateau and it really does make the whole repetitive.

I’m Not Sayin: Another faster, lighter one. Musically. The lyrics are typically good – descriptive if not overly poetic or unique. Better than most chart drivel. This one is more fun than most and I could see myself choosing this over the others. I’m not sayin I would, but if I was forced to choose.

Pride Of Man: This is in a similar pace to the one before. I prefer these faster ones – not just because he gets through them soon, but they feel more urgent.

Ribbon Of Darkness: Country whistlin’. Quite possibly while sittin’ on a rockin’ chair, drinkin’ and a spittin’ and a lookin’ o’er a field of wheat. Slows nicely before resuming for the verse. Or was it the chorus? It’s all just a bunch of words and unvaried guitar now.

Oh Linda: Well, this one is different. Leading with some sort of bass. That alone has allowed him to try something different with his vocals and melodies. Unfortunately he falls back on the same traps and just keeps doing the same thing over and over and over. CHANGE. SOMETHING.

Peaceful Waters: This is moderately different again. Feels genuinely melancholy. Too little too late, and not startling enough to truly stand out.

As is often the case with many of these albums, I dig the first song but then thee next few sound the same, and then it becomes apparent that the singer or band have one level. Or at least that’s how it’s conveyed to me. Towards the end of this album he broaches new territory but doesn’t actually do anything with it. Maybe that’s the restriction of folk, maybe that’s because he is restricted as an artist and couldn’t break through the tropes. Maybe it’s because I’m writing from fifty years after the songs were written and everything here has become so hackneyed and watered down that whatever truth and power it may have had has long since faded. Whatever emotion he put into these songs doesn’t translate to me, whether that be down to the genre, his voice, his vocal approach. There isn’t enough in any of the songs to grip me or speak to me on a melodic level and even as much as I enjoy the simplicity of a solo performance, the limitations of that approach become apparent very quickly over the course of a whole album. Unless you’re a beast. Lightfoot is not a beast.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Lightfoot!

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: None are bad, though none are really good. So take your pick as any is as average as the next.