The Who – Behind Blue Eyes

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Chin/Ears/Eyes/Face/Mouth/Nose.

From their 1971 album, Who’s Next. The song reached #34 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on December 18, 1971.

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend originally wrote this about a character in his “Lifehouse” project, which was going to be a film similar to The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophenia. Townshend never finished “Lifehouse,” but the songs ended up on the album Who’s Next.
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey both have blue eyes, but the song is not autobiographical. Townshend has said that he wrote it to show “How lonely it is to be powerful.”
Townshend was going to use this as the main song in the Lifehouse film for the villain, Jumbo.
Pete Townshend has explained that he never behaved like a typical rock star when he was on tour, especially when it came to groupies, which he tried to avoid. He says it was a run-in with a groupie that was the impetus for this song. Townshend, who got married in 1968, was tempted by a groupie after The Who’s June 9, 1970 concert in Denver. He says that he went back to his room alone and wrote a prayer beginning, “If my fist clenches, crack it open…” The prayer was more or less asking for help in resisting this temptation. The other words could be describing Townshend’s self-pity and how hard it is to resist.
Roger Daltrey’s dog got run over on the day he recorded his vocals for this song – it was the first dog he ever had. The Who singer recalled to AARP The Magazine that he “was desperately trying to hold it together.”

Behind Blue Eyes

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it’s like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

No one knows what it’s like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And if I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And if I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

Songwriters: Pete Townshend

Christie – Yellow River

From their 1970 self-titled album, Christie. The song reached #23 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on November 28, 1970.

From dmme.net 2009

– Jeff, there seems to be a resurgence of interest in all things CHRISTIE. Do you have an explanation for this little phenomenon?

Well, it’s the fortieth anniversary of the release of “Yellow River” next April, so this could be something to do with that, or people just wanting to stay in touch with songs they grew up with that made a huge impact on them at the time: nostalgia is a very powerful emotion! Also that particular song means so much to so many people – a simple anti-war song that the listener can instantly connect with, that has a timeless and universal theme, applicable to any zone of war or conflict. Or is it like the old Heineken advert, ‘It reaches the parts other beers can’t!’? Also, with so many famous and not so famous cover versions all over the world, the song sooner or later threads its way back to the composer or group which is me, Christie. So one way or another, that “River” keeps rollin’!

From Wikipedia

The actual location of Yellow River in this song is not specified, although the author, Jeff Christie, is on record as saying that it was inspired by the idea of a soldier going home at the end of the American Civil WarAs the song was released during the Vietnam War, it has been interpreted as being about a soldier leaving the U.S. Military at the end of his period of conscription.

Yellow River

So long boy you can take my place, got my papers I’ve got my pay
So pack my bags and I’ll be on my way to yellow river

Put my guns down the war is won
Fill my glass high the time has come
I’m going back to the place that I love yellow river
Yellow river, yellow river is in my mind and in my eyes
Yellow river, yellow river is in my blood, it’s the place I love
Got no time for explanations, got no time to lose
Tomorrow night you’ll find me
Sleeping underneath the moon at yellow river
Cannon fire lingers in my mind, I’m so glad that I’m still alive
And I’ve been gone for such a long time from yellow river
I remember the nights were cool I can still see the water pool
And I remember the girl that I knew from yellow river
Yellow river, yellow river is in my mind and in my eyes
Yellow river, yellow river is in my blood it’s the place I love
Got no time for explanations, got no time to lose
Tomorrow night you’ll find me
Sleeping underneath the moon at yellow river
Yellow river, yellow river is in my mind and in my eyes
Yellow river, yellow river is in my blood it’s the place I love
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jeff Christie

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Don’t Do Me Like That

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Did/Didn’t/Do/Don’t/Does/Doesn’t.

From his 1979 album, Damn The Torpedoes. The song peaked at #10 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on February 2, 1980.

From Songfacts

Petty wrote this after his first group Mudcrutch moved from Florida to Los Angeles in 1974. The song finds him warning (or at least asking) a girl not to dump him, as he has a friend who recently had his heart broken. Not one of the group’s more meaningful songs, Creem magazine called it a “throwaway romp.”

Many listeners enjoyed this romp, making it one of Petty’s most popular songs.

Tom Petty strongly considered giving the song to The J. Geils Band because he thought it had their sound. (Petty and the Heartbreakers had opened for the J. Geils Band on tour). However, the band turned him down as they were already deep in the mixing process for their album and producer Jimmy Iovine persuaded Petty and his bandmates to record it themselves. They were glad they did as it reached #10 on the Hot 100, becoming the group’s first Top 10 hit.

Don’t Do Me Like That

I was talking with a friend of mine
Said a woman had hurt his pride
Told him that she loved him so
And turned around and let him go
Then he said, you better watch your step
Or your gonna get hurt yourself
Someone’s gonna tell you lies
Cut you down to size

Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
What if I love you baby?
Don’t do me like that

Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
Someday I might need you baby
Don’t do me like that

Listen honey, can you see?
Baby, you would bury me
If you were in the public eye
Givin’ someone else a try
And you know you better watch your step
Or you’re gonna get hurt yourself
Someone’s gonna tell you lies
Cut you down to size

Don ‘t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
What if I love you baby?
Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t

Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
What if I need you baby?
Don’t do me like that

‘Cause somewhere deep down inside
Someone is saying, Love doesn’t last that long
I got this feelin’ inside night and day
And now I can’t take it no more

Listen honey, can you see?
Baby, you would bury me
If you were in the public eye
Givin’ someone else a try
And you know you better watch your step
Or you’re gonna get hurt yourself
Someone’s gonna tell you lies
Cut you down to size

Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
What if I love you baby?
Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t

Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
I just might need you honey
Don’t do me like that

Wait
Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
Baby, baby, baby
Don’t, don’t, don’t

No
Don’t do me like that
Don’t do me like that
Baby, baby, baby

Oh, oh, ohWriter/s: TOM PETTY
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

The Who – Don’t Let Go The Coat

From their 1981 album, Face Dances. The song reached #84 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on July 11, 1981. I was inspired by today’s weather. It is 15 degrees here right now.

From Wikipedia

Several authors, including Stephen Thomas Erlewine, regard the lyrics of “Don’t Let Go the Coat” as an ode to spiritual guru Meher Baba. The title then refers to Meher Baba’s charge that his disciples “hang fast to the hem of my robe,” where the robe is a metaphor for his teachings. Alternatively, the song could refer to Pete Townshend‘s parents, who were the ones who would pick him up when Pete Townshend descended into drugs and alcohol.[1] But regardless, the song strikes themes of spiritual torment, fear of abandonment and the need to keep faith, beginning with the lines:

“I can’t be held responsible for blown behavior

I’ve lost all contact with my only saviour”

Musically, “Don’t Let Go the Coat” has a country rock flavor. Authors Steve Grantley and Alan Parker describe the guitar sound as being similar to that of The Pretenders, and note that the Pete Townshend‘s acoustic guitar solo has Spanish inflections.

Don’t Let Go The Coat

I lost all contact with my only saviour
No-one locked me out because I failed to phone up
I can’t bear to live forever like a loner

Don’t let go the coat

It’s easy to be sad: when you lack a partner
But how would I react to a broken heart now
It ain’t really true rock and roll unless I’m
Hanging onto you and when I hold it next time

I won’t let go the coat

I try to explain but you never understand it
I need your body but I can’t just demand it
I won’t let go like a stray at heel
(Never let it out of your sight)
Every lonely wife knows the way I feel
(Don’t let go tonight)
Don’t let go the coat
Never let go the coat

Your friends all pass for life is just a market
But you have to finish everything you started
So I live my life tearing down the runway
Sure to get the hang of hanging in there someday

Don’t let go the coat
Won’t get no more chances – forget the war dances
Go blind and hang on – don’t try the slang son
Never let go the coat.

Songwriters: Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend

Smokie – Living Next Door to Alice

Released as a single in 1976.  The song reached #25 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on February 26, 1977, and #5 on the UK singles chart.

From Songfacts & Wikipedia

This overtly commercial song was a massive hit, but someone had to spoil it. Written by the regular team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, the men who wrote hits for Suzie Quatro, Sweet and (the one they don’t talk about) Gary Glitter, this was recorded initially by New World in 1972.

In November 1976, it was released by Smokie, a group Chapman and Chinn were producing, for whom it was a massive hit, topping the charts in no fewer than seven countries. Curiously this was a double A-side, the other side being “Night Moves” by Bob Seger. Unfortunately, someone thought it was fit to parody, and in 1995, the Dutch project Gompie decided to add an unfortunate refrain to it: “Alice, Alice, who the f–k is Alice?” This version topped the Netherlands chart.

In this song, the singer is heartbroken because Alice, his neighbor for 24 years, is moving away. He never expressed his feelings for her, but he clearly thought about her a lot. In the last verse, his other neighbor, Sally, says that she’s been waiting 24 years for him, and she’s still here, but he ignores her and continues to pine for Alice.
On the American Top 40 broadcast of 26 May 1979, Casey Kasem reported that Chapman stated that his source of inspiration for “Living Next Door to Alice” was “Sylvia’s Mother” by Dr. Hook.

Living Next Door to Alice

Sally called, when she got the word
She said “I suppose you’ve heard about Alice”
Well, I rushed to the window, and I looked outside
And I could hardly believe my eyes
This big limousine pulled slowly into Alice’s drive
Oh, I don’t know why she’s leaving, or where she’s gonna go
I guess she’s got her reasons but I just don’t want to know
‘Cause for twenty four years I’ve been living next door to Alice
Twenty four years, just waitin’ for a chance
To tell her how I’m feeling, maybe get a second glance
Now I’ve gotta get used to not living next door to Alice
Grew up together, two kids in the park
Carved our initials deep in the bark me and Alice
Now she walks to the door, with her head held high
Just for a moment, I caught her eye
As the big limousine pulled slowly out of Alice’s drive
Oh, I don’t know why she’s leaving, or where she’s gonna go
I guess she’s got her reasons but I just don’t want to know
‘Cause for twenty four years I’ve been living next door to Alice
Twenty four years, just waitin’ for a chance
To tell her how I’m feeling, maybe get a second glance
Now I’ve gotta get used to not living next door to Alice
Sally called back, and asked how I felt
She said “I know how to help, you get over Alice”
She said “Now Alice is gone, but I’m still here
You know I’ve been waiting twenty four years”
And the big limousine disappeared
I don’t know why she’s leaving, or where she’s gonna go
I guess she’s got her reasons but I just don’t want to know
‘Cause for twenty four years I’ve been living next door to Alice
Twenty four years, just waitin’ for a chance
To tell her how I’m feeling, maybe get a second glance
Now I’ll never get used to not living next door to Alice
No, I’ll never get used to not living next door to Alice
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Michael Donald Chapman / Nicholas Barry Chinn

Hot Chocolate – You Could’ve Been a Lady

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Could/Might/Should/Would

Released in 1971 as a single. The song reached #22 on the UK singles chart.

From Songfacts

Frontman Errol Brown (from the Mail On Sunday January 25, 2009): “Tony Wilson, the co-founder of the group, came up with the idea for this song. He was the one who first encouraged me to try my hand at songwriting.”

While the Hot Chocolate version of “You Could Have Been a Lady,” never charted in the US, April Wine, a young Canadian rock band, took the song to #32 in May of 1972 on Billboard’s Top 100 singles charts.

You Could’ve Been a Lady

You could’ve been all right

You could’ve been here tonight
You could’ve been sweet as wine
You could’ve been a lady

You could’ve been all right
You could’ve been here tonight
You could’ve been sweet as wine
You could’ve been a lady

They all love you, you’re a good girl
When you awake you’ll find another man
Lying beside you
They all need you, they all want you
Well, I’ll be surprised if you realised
Where you’re going to

You could’ve been all right
You could’ve been here tonight
You could’ve been sweet as wine
You could’ve been a lady ….

If I tell you where you’re going to
You’d laugh in my face, I’m out of place
Mind your business
They all want you to make love to
Well, I’ll be surprised if you realised
Where you’re going to

You could’ve been all right
You could’ve been here tonight
You could’ve been sweet as wine
You could’ve been a lady ….

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na ….

All right
You could’ve been here tonight
You could’ve been sweet as wine
You could’ve been a lady

 

 

Marcus Hook Roll Band – Silver Shoes

From their 1973 album, Tales of Old Grand Daddy.  Before the band, AC/DC had formed Malcolm and Angus Young got together with their two older brothers George Young, Alex Young and Harry Vanda from the Easybeats and made an album.

From Blabbermouth 2014

Just before Malcolm and Angus Young took us on a debaucherous decent down that Highway To Hell, they joined with their talented brother, George Young and guitarist Harry Vanda, to form the brief-yet-musically-significant group THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND. Back then, there was no such person as Marcus Hook, nor did the “band” originate from the borough of Marcus Hook in Pennsylvania. George and his fellow musicians only ever existed as a band in studio, releasing three singles and one album in the early ’70s. When any of these tracks turn up on Internet auction sites today, collectors bankrupt their PayPal accounts to win them. Now, THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND is releasing their one and only album, 1973’s “Tales Of Old Grand-Daddy”, on June 3 through Parlophone as CD/vinyl/digital download.

The truth is, if THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND had ever come out of the studio, played live, travelled the world, promoted their records, and found the success they certainly deserved, then the AC/DC phenomenon that electrified the rock ‘n’ roll landscape for decades might never have gotten off the ground.

THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND is one obscure, but significant, persona of the legendary partnership of Harry Vanda and George Young. Their better known personas are the ’60s beat phenomenon THE EASYBEATS, and later the mysterious entity FLASH AND THE PAN.

Dutchman Harry Vanda and Scotsman George Young first met as displaced teenagers in an immigration hostel in Sydney, Australia. Having heard the single “Natural Man”, Capitol Records (USA) immediately expressed an interest in producing an album from THE MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND.

The main recording was during July/August 1973 in Sydney. A key ingredient was the “duty free” supplied by producer Alan “Wally” Waller — Jim Beam Old Grand-Dad bourbon whiskey — hence the album name.

George Young explained: “We had Harry, myself and my kid brothers, Malcolm and Angus. We all got rotten, except for Angus, who was too young, and we spent a month in there boozing it up every night. That was the first thing Malcolm and Angus did before AC/DC. We didn’t take it very seriously so we thought we’d include them to give them an idea of what recording was all about.”

Engineer Richard Lush explains: “The sessions were great fun, fuelled with plenty of Old Grand-Dad bourbon. Angus Young drank milk. Despite their youth, as we all now know, Angus and his brother Malcolm played guitars as well as Harry.”

The production notes, recently unearthed at Abbey Road Studios, reveal that on many of the tracks Malcolm Young shared rhythm guitar and guitar solos. The Kentucky bourbon seems to have affected everybody’s memory. For instance, there is some great slide guitar on the album but no-one can remember who supplied it. Harry thinks it might have been Kiwi-born Kevin Borich, but Kevin does not remember being there. Wally vaguely remembers Malcolm doing some slide guitar, but really can’t be sure. So the challenge for the astute listener is to figure out which licks and solos belong to a seventeen-year-old Angus Young.

 

Unfortunately, the lyrics are unavailable.