Monthly Archives: June 2021

The Esoteric Diaries on an extremely hot summer day Wednesday 6/30/21

Thanks DavyH Photograph of Poppy(below) by DavyH off of his Twitter

on Twitter


Lou Spinnazola just played the “Last Days of May” by Blue Oyster Cult on the Spin Room and I cannot believe that a month has flown by. Found this interesting blog transcribing part of my August 1995 interview with the wonderful and brilliant Bobby Hebb:

Bobby told the story of how he came to write ‘Sunny’ in a TV interview with US TV host Joe Viglione in August 1995…

“I find it more psychological the way I was thinking…it’s your disposition…you need a lift, an up, that’s all. Sometimes everyone needs an up. So “Sunny”, to me, is that disposition, you need a Sunny disposition to get away from whatever, just as I said before, “amuse me”, “make me forget what I just saw man”, “I don’t wanna know, I know I have to know, but I don’t know how to deal with it right now. I will deal with it, I’m not running away from this.  I just need a break.

So this was the idea behind “Sunny” – (it) was (to) give me a brighter idea so that my emotions will not be as disturbed as they are. I need a calmer feeling so that I can balance myself and adjust and then continue forward, onward.”
AllMusic link to the original here:

She Cracked by #ModernLovers #JonathanRichman

She Cracked by #ModernLovers #JonathanRichman Song Review by Joe ViglioneOne of the six John Cale produced “demos” from the combination of tapes which are the first Modern Lovers album, “She Cracked” is the stuff Velvet Underground fans’dreams are made of

91 in Medford 6:28 pm 94°F°C Precipitation: 15% Humidity: 47% Wind: 10 mph Malden, MA Tuesday 5:00 PM Partly cloudy

It’s 6 pm in Malden. Now 6:28 …I’m scurrying around The Esoteric Diaries Tuesday June 29, 2021

Review by Joe Viglione  [-]
Writer Jeff Tamarkin says “ex Butterfield Band guitarist Mike Bloomfield, drummer Buddy Miles, and others put this soul-rock band together in 1967. This debut is a testament to their ability to catch fire and keep on burnin’.” That The Electric Flag do so well — they appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival with the Blues Project, Paul Butterfield, and Janis Joplin, and all these groups had some musical connection to each other beyond that pivotal festival. A Long Time Comin’ is the “new soul” described appropriately enough by the late critic Lillian Roxon, and tunes like “She Should Have Just” and “Over-Lovin’ You” lean more towards the soul side than the pop so many radio listeners were attuned to back then. Nick Gravenites was too much of a purist to ride his blues on the Top 40 the way Felix Cavaliere gave us “Groovin’,” so Janis Joplin’s eventual replacement in Big Brother & the Holding Company, Gravenites, and this crew pour out “Groovin’ Is Easy” on this disc. It’s a classy production, intellectual ideas with lots of musical changes, a subdued version of what Joplin herself would give us on I Got Dem Ole Kozmic Blues Again, Mama two years later, with some of that album written by vocalist Gravenites. Though launched after Al Kooper’s the Blues Project, A Long Time Comin’ itself influenced bands who would go on to sell more records. In the traditional “Wine,” it is proclaimed “you know Janis Joplin, she’ll tell you all about that wine, baby.” As good as the album is, though, the material is pretty much composed by Mike Bloomfield and Barry Goldberg, when they’re not covering Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and adding spoken-word news broadcasts to the mix. More contributions by Buddy Miles and Gravenites in the songwriting department would have been welcome here. The extended CD version has four additional tracks, Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” and “Mystery,” both which appear on the self-titled Electric Flag outing which followed this LP, as well as other material which shows up on Old Glory: The Best of Electric Flag, released in 2000. “Sittin’ in Circles” opens like the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm,” the keyboards as well as the sound effects, and a hook of “hey little girl” which would resurface as the title of a Nick Gravenites tune on the aforementioned follow-up disc, where Gravenites and Miles did pick up the songwriting slack, Bloomfield having wandered off to Super Session with the Blues Project’s Al Kooper. Amazing stuff all in all, which could eventually comprise a boxed set of experimental blues rock from the mid- to late sixties. Either version of this recording, original vinyl or extended CD, is fun listening and a revelation.

The first Paradise Rock and Roll Spectacular happened on June 29, 1978…after the blizzard of 78 into the summer. The Cars played the night after us. Here’s an audio of the Cars on July 1, 1978 two nights after

Erma Franklin did the original Piece of My Heart. It’s where Janis Joplin and Big Brother got the song from; Aretha’s sister joins the Electric Flag and performs Piece of My Heart go about 55 minutes in Erma sings her sister’s Chain of Fools and then her own pre-Joplin (though in 1968, the Joplin era “Piece of my Heart”

Esoteric Diaries of Joseph Viglione Second Day of Summer 2021

I produced this!

My Robin Gibb Review

Robin Gibb

How Old Are You?

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-]

How Old Are You? is an extraordinary pop record from vocalist Robin Gibb, although none of these ten excellent tunes penned with twin brother Maurice joined his other two Top 40 hits on the charts. Heavy synthesizers embrace Gibb‘s distinctive vocals and embellish the sensational “Juliet,” which launches side one, as well as the very serious “Another Lonely Night in New York,” which opens side two. In between are gems like “Danger,” an elegant techno journey. This is the type of song which FM underground radio could have played in the early ’80s, a dark sound with hooks galore, and a joy to listen to. But why put Robin Gibb alongside Joan Jett, Genya Ravan, and Ian Hunter on the FM while the Bee Gees were so overexposed on Top 40? This is such a radio-friendly record by a proven artist that it only goes to show that a frosty march like “He Can’t Love You” has no place on the public airwaves if the artist isn’t hip enough, and what a statement that is; of course if Jett had performed this in her heyday, it would have gained some chart action. A poster photo of Clark Gable and Ava Gardner is separated from the box office by a solitary Robin Gibb on the front cover, while the singer sits in an empty movie house on the back, accompanied only by a young couple kissing (with Robin being a voyeur). “Kathy’s Gone” has film references and all the elements of a hit single. Every track shows the precision and professionalism the record-buying public encounters with each Bee Gees release. This is as much Maurice Gibb‘s album as Robin‘s, with co-production, co-songwriting, bass and acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and synthesizers provided by Robin‘s twin. “I Believe in Miracles” could have been a big hit for Dolly Parton or Linda Ronstadt, and why no ’80s adult contemporary artists jumped on this treasure chest of songs in America is a mystery. “Juliet” received substantial airplay in other parts of the world, reaching number one in Germany. Collapse ↑

Esoteric Diaries Sunday 6/20/21

It’s the summer solstice at 11:30 pm or so tonight. Here’s the Moe Tucker 45 we released in 1980, a song the velvet Underground had recorded but released years after we put this classic out there for the world.

Lonely Oak Radio June 20, 2021 Thought About You

thanks to Lonely Oak Radio for spinning Thought About You 9:17 AM Jun 20, 2021 #sundayvibes #SummerSolstice2021 @SteveGarnett20 Thought About You from #BostonRockandRollAnthology21 #CountViglione #BostonRockandRoll @rranimaltour @lspinna @gregpaquette5 @WhiteLightArts #LouReed #StarTrek #CaptainKirk #ScienceFictionRock @PunkBlowfish

Cator Web Radio June 18 Thought About You

Good Music Radio Double A Side Can’t Wait to See You Smile

June 20, 2021


Product Description
Veldt (UK): Mike Alexander, Lloyd Wadey, James Waterland.
Personnel: Mike Alexander (vocals, cello, keyboards).
The wonderfully eerie “Sleep” opens this 11-song debut CD, The Cause: The Effect, by the U.K. group Veldt, not to be confused with Chapel Hill, NC band the Veldt from the ’80s/’90s. “Sleep” has bending guitars right out of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly or any other spaghetti western you can think of — this trio certainly likes its movie soundtracks — and the haunting backing vocals and voice on the hook are enhanced by explosive sounds and tight edits, making for an extraordinary little piece of music with a lot of surprises. The title track, “The Cause, the Effect,” has flavors of Roxy Music and more film music nuances as does “Walking in Silence,” the effective video which recalls the great British synth pop of groups like Human League and Spandau Ballet’s “new romance” sound, only with more sweeping ambience for a new millennium. The lyrics have staying power long after the song has played its last note, a sure sign of craftsmanship from Lloyd Wadey, James Waterland, and Mike Alexander, three musicians who have a wonderful sense of style, coupled with material and production that are first rate. Add to that the trio’s intuitive sense of what is classy and intriguing and you get a superb
concoction of old-school British pop with elements of the modern sounds a Monsieur Leroc squeezes into his soulful gems. A tune like “Good Morning,” their debut single, evokes the majesty of an old Marianne Faithfull album while delivering perfect harmonies that could be the Small Faces if they were young and just starting out in the 2000s. This is one of the few bands that begs you to seek out the bonus track on their second CD single, so go find “Play for Today,” the B-side of “Walking in Silence,” and understand that there are musicians out there who care about a rich sound and delivering compositions that have melodic strength and interesting lyrics. The Cause: The Effect is a very impressive debut and a deep album that grows stronger with repeated spins. Highly recommended. ~ Joe Viglione


Product Description
Outside of repackages and live albums, original music from Tommy James is far too limited for an artist of his stature. 1980s Three Times in Love contained the sublime title track which hit the Top 40, while 1990s Hi-Fi on Aegis Records and 1995’s A Night in Big City remain treats for hardcore fans. Hold the Fire deserves a better fate, and the team-up of James with James “Wiz” Wisner leads to some very creative moments. “Isn’t That the Guy” has a great hook, a terrific hook, and some modern sensibilities, but may be a bit too avant-garde for adult contemporary radio. “It Keeps on Goin’ ” reveals the Tommy James his true fans appreciate, investigating pop boundaries and keeping the music different from track to track. One of the best titles here is the “bonus track,” “I Love Christmas” which deserves a place next to Darlene Love’s “All Alone on Christmas” and other latter day seasonal delights. “Ordinary Girl” is a strange hybrid of Elton John’s “Hey Jeannie” meeting David Gates’
“Goodbye Girl,” and on that level it works. “Angels & Strangers” begs the question of who wrote Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane” riff first? Those “Crimson & Clover” chords are recycled here prior to a soaring chorus. Why James decided to re-record “Megamation Man” from the A Night in Big City rock opera is anyone’s guess — the CD-single from the ’90s already gave us two edits. What is understandable is “Sweet Cherry Wine,” the remake of his Top Ten anti-war anthem from 1969, issued as a single a few months prior to Hold the Fire’s release. Almost 40 years later the song is just as significant, but the slowed down rendition is not going to get the point across as effectively as the original. It’s a missed opportunity, and is indicative of the album; this is a very good record from a great artist who delivered great albums whether they sold or not. The title track works, as does much of the music here, and it is great to have the pop maestro back. Where Lou Reed, truly James’ underground dopplegänger, kept releasing product over the decades, the world has not yet had enough of Tommy James’ creativity. If Hold the Fire marks his rebirth, it’s a good first step. ~ Joe Viglione

The Mason Williams Album

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

     Producer Mike Post and composer Mason Williams packed all sorts of experiments into this half-hour listening experience called The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, and though there are some interesting moments from the clever singer, it is the instrumental masterpiece “Classical Gas” that displays the highest level of creativity. The 45-rpm was a number one adult contemporary hit in the summer of 1968 while the award-winning artist was writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It won Grammys in 1968 for composition, performance, and Mike Post’s arrangement, and maybe because of its huge popularity, it feels out of place in the context of this concept disc. The 27 seconds of folksy banter that make up “Life Song” or the “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” riff that is all 30 seconds of “Dylan Thomas” are disposable bridges between musical elements that matter, the closing instrumental “Sunflower” — part of a film project where the songwriter “set up cameras in the desert” to capture “the largest flower ever done” — a skywriting airplane drawing underneath the rising sun. Stan Cornyn’s always difficult liner notes explain it, but not as well as the photo of the plane on the back cover. “Wanderlove” emulates Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” without the flamenco guitar — the artist saved that for “Classical Gas” — and it appears the folksinging duo was a major inspiration to him in the development of this project. Al Capps’ arrangement of “Baroque-a-Nova” is noteworthy — sounding like the Bob Crewe Generation on speed, and a candidate for a much better segue after the hit than the downer that is “Long Time Blues.” A politically incorrect “The Prince’s Panties” is another excessive track, showing that Warner Bros. Seven Arts allowed the team many indulgences. It paid off as there are a couple of gems and one diamond found when sifting through The Mason Williams Phonograph Record.

Nils Lofgren Night Fades Away

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

     If you combine portions of the titles of Neil Young’s 1973 Time Fades Away and his 1975 LP with Nils Lofgren, Tonight’s the Night, voila, you have Night Fades Away. Some erstwhile rock critic said that Neil’s Time Fades Away is an album that reviews itself — just erase the word “Time” and you have “Neil Young Fades Away.” Lofgren has less to risk at this point in his career than his former musical cohort, and the LP is more about exploring styles and experimenting than a fully realized musical statement. Nils’ disheveled five o’clock shadow and torn, stained shirt on the front and back covers give a glimpse of the musical image, though Skunk Baxter from Steely Dan, on guitar and production here, takes the opposite tack, employing the oh so professional name Jeffrey Baxter. Jeff Porcaro, Nicky Hopkins, and even Del Shannon (with vocals on his own “I Go to Pieces” ) all show up and bring their individual talents, though some of it gets lost in the thin sound Baxter crafts for his fellow guitarist. As with the I Came to Dance album, the best moments here are the covers. The Beatles’ “Anytime at All” is lots of fun, and though the rendition of Peter & Gordon’s Top Ten smash from 12 years prior, “I Go to Pieces,” moves nicely and is substantial, it doesn’t come close to the original, despite Shannon’s presence. The title track, “Night Fades Away,” opens the album, and it is the best and most memorable original. “Ancient History” runs a close second with “In Motion” having some good moments and a neat line in “Streets Again” — “I treat my victims like my friends” — showing some humor. The song suffers from a nursery rhyme slipped in between the verses and co-writer Baxter’s very nondescript production. The material and production keep Night Fades Away in the shadows, a dilemma for an artist as creative as Nils Lofgren. If only the music inside were as ragged as the cover photo of a star as enigmatic as he is handsome.