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 Post subject: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:18 am 
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So as you may or may not have seen at the beginning of lockdown I decided on a whim to listen to the Top 500 singles of 1964 and when I'd done that I thought I might as well do 1965 as well. Afterwards I posted some of the music I'd discovered in a thread.

Well since then I've done 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 and I am about to head into the 1970s. So I thought since I'm going into a new decade maybe I could get something going here on Obner.

This is the plan. I'll post one video ever day, we can listen together (kind of) and if you've got anything to say about it, then say it. I'll listen to the full Top 357 - 500 independently but I thought on Obner we'd do the Top 356 of 1970 and that way there's one video per day over the course of a full year.

Now bare in mind I'll not have heard most of these songs so I can't vouch for their quality, it might be that the first 10 or 20 are utter garbage, but I've found that in the previous years I've produced a Like short list of about 150 - 200 out of 500 so fingers crossed if that sort of ratio is maintained it won't be too painful and of course different people have different tastes.

If no one is interested I'll probably just keep the thread going anyway all on my lonesome. I also rate everything out of 5 stars. 5 being classic, 4 being good, 3 being average, 2 being poor and 1 being beyond any kind merit whatsoever. 4 & 5's go on a yearly shortlist.

So no time like the present....

356 - JONI MITCHELL - The Circle Game



I have to admit I quite like some of Joni's later pop/jazz work but I've not heard her earlier material which was, I imagine, more in a folk vein. Definitely a very strong folk influence here, her voice is a beautiful as ever and the song has a nice catch on the chorus. Not the kind of music I am going to stick on under normal circumstances but it has it's time and place. Joni's voice alone puts it above the averageness of the herd so I'm going to give it 4/5 and the first track makes my 1970 shortlist.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:54 am 
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355 - THE HUMAN INSTINCT - Midnight Sun



A New Zealand heavy psych band I've never heard of. Can hear a bit of Hendrix in there as you'd probably expect during this time period. My big issue here is that the sound quality is poor, not sure if that's the original recording or the YT upload. It's also lacking some 'drive', something this kind of music needs otherwise it tends to fall a bit flat. Overall I'd say these guys needed to hone up their act or fall by the way side as just another generic genre band. Since I've never heard of them I'd imagine they fell by the way side. I'll give this 3/5.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:48 am 
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354 - THE BEACH BOYS - Cotton Fields



Ah! The Beach Boys! Perhaps the greatest band in history.....that I don't really like. Now it would be obtuse to say something like 'Good Vibrations' wasn't genius however my gloomy Northern European mindset never really bought into the affluent Californian sunshine pop aspect of the Beach Boys and I tend to find them a little saccharine. This Leadbelly cover has aspects I both like and don't. The style of the harmonies seem like the genesis of a lot of bad middle-of-the-road 70's pop tripe and the middle eight makes me want to dash a chair off the wall. On the other hand there's come nice country style guitar (obviously influenced by The Byrds) and the fade out is almost rockin'. This is borderline, a high three, or low four? In the end my own bias are probably casually tossing this into the mediocre pile 3/5.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:32 am 
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353 - SHIRLEY BASSEY - Something



Shirley Bassey has a belter of a voice that could knock over garden sheds and her bombastic Bond themes are brilliant but this Beatles cover seems a little misguided. For me it doesn't suit her voice and requires a gentler touch than the little Welsh tornado is capable of. Having said that the general public, in their wisdom, conferred hit status on Bassey's version and I'm sure it was one of the highlights on the chicken-in-a-basket circuit, so what do I know? One last note before I dawn the black cloth and pronounce verdict; the bass is pretty good, I wonder if it was a known player? Anyway, this falls into to that by now familiar 3/5 bracket.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:09 am 
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352 - RARE EARTH - (I Know) I'm Losing You



A white, psychedelic rock/soul/funk outfit on the Motown label although I have to admit I don't recognise the name despite them having several major hits. Perhaps a sort of 'Hootie & The Blowfish' style Big-Over-There situation. This song bothered me at first as I thought it sounded like something until I realised it was a cover of the Temptations hit. I actually quite liked this. It has that cross over style of the time, a bit rock, a bit psychedelic, a bit soul, a bit funk, in the vein of say early Funkadelic or Love or Sly Stone or any number of others. The basic song writing of the original track has serious pedigree (Eddie Holland and Norman Whitfield wrote it) and as a result there's a solid base for the band to improvise off of although I have to say I actually prefer the 10 minute album version as it gives the band more space to work with. This version seems a little confined in vinyl single form like a captured man eating tiger contained in a small cage at a Victorian zoo. I'm going to give this 4/5 and hence it becomes the second track to make my 1970 shortlist.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:42 am 
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351 - JOE SOUTH - Hush



Another artist I am unaware of although a little background check from my cop car reveals he wrote 'Rose Garden'. Step away from the vehicle sir. From what I gather this was the original version of the song, released in 1967, Deep Purple then covered it and made it a big hit in 1968 and then the Joe South version was re-released in 1970 perhaps to take advantage of the fact that Deep Purple had success with it. Unfortunately, in an 1970 context it sounds definitely more 1967 than 1970 and thus, contemporaneously, a little dated. Also the YT upload sounds a little muddy to me which is not to its advantage either. The Deep Purple version actually sticks pretty closely to the original but has much more chutzpah than Joe South's so while this version of 'Hush' isn't bad per se it's hard not to compare and contrast with the more illustrious, indeed wolf howlin', Deep Purple take on the song. 3/5.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:01 am 
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350 - THE 5TH DIMENSION - One Less Bell To Answer



A song in which the (apparent) rending of the human soul is reduced to this awful couplet 'One less egg to fry, and all I do is cry'. If there is a supermarket in Hell it's playing this vapid dreck with it's vacuous easy listening background music and insipid faux emotional lyrics. I'm all for driving a truck load of eggs up to her house and throwing them at her. 1/5.

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 Post subject: Re: MUSIC SCHOOL. Listen with the Doctor. Episode 1 - 1970.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:45 am 
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349 - STEVIE WONDER - Never Had A Dream Come True



My gran's favourite song was 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' and therefore, as an angry punky kid, I grew to detest Stevie Wonder and his milquetoast nonsense, an attitude that may not have been entirely fair, based on one song as it was. Having listening to his 1960's output for the first time I can say that the mercury in the barometer of hate is dropping but this particular track is a plodding and asinine affair, I'll reel myself in from using the phrase 'loathsome blandness' (oops just did!), however it falls somewhere between being not bad enough to really hate on and not good enough to admire in any way. Thus the Doktor's ghastly clawed hand plucks Mr Wonder and slings him on to the great dazed pile of 3/5s.

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