In the late Seventies, there was a flood of new music going on ... and I was into it. A lot. And while Elvis Costello and Talking Heads and the Police and all that was exciting, I'll cop to being more than a passing fan of bands that had supposedly passed their prime years earlier.
Indeed, my 14-year-old self thought all of these guys were ancient. Ancient. I realize, of course, that I'm a fair bit older now than all of them were then. At that point, Ray Davies was 35; Pete Townshend 34; Robert Plant 31. In any event, Doors nostalgia kicked in a little while later, the "classic rock" radio formula was pretty much invented (and, to its shame, scarcely changed since), and the geezer bands knocked one compilation out after another.
At the time, though, I bought these records, and played them continually.
Led Zeppelin: Hot Dog. In Through the Out Door seems, in retrospect, like the soundtrack of the fall of '79. Didn't think this would be the end of the road. Looking back, with just seven tracks, it doesn't seem like much, but I love running through it, and Hot Dog is still a hoot.
The Kinks: (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman. The disco groove sounds more obvious with distance, but Superman is not too dated. (The opening riff also sounds like it got nicked a few years later by Survivor for Eye of the Tiger.) More tuneful than anything punk was dishing out, but just as immersed in Seventies malaise.
The Who: Won't Get Fooled Again (Live). From The Kids Are Alright, which I played enough for my parents (at least once) to ask for something else on the stereo I had put together in my room. Punk may have been bitting at bloated rockers, but the Who - and at this point they were arguably at their most bloated - could cut through it in style. Besides, that stuff about "Meet the news boss, same as the old boss" turned out to apply to that trend, too, didn't it?
The Rolling Stones: Shattered. I didn't realize until a few years later (when, to borrow a phrase, the Stones were sucking in the Eighties) that Some Girls is quite a good record, with nods to the discos and to the edgy punks telling them to piss off. Shattered is my favourite Stones tune from the period.
Paul McCartney & Wings: Arrow Through Me. To be truthful, I didn't and still don't much like Back to the Egg, although I can hum along to Arrow Through Me. I read a piece a month or so ago about Wings, and how Back to the Egg was to have been a relaunch of the band, with the musicians filling up on new wave and reggae as recording began, expecting that would be Macca's direction. None of that, of course, wound up on record; pity. Makes you wonder.
A five-song playlist is filed to this blog each Saturday. Click below to see others.