K-Dillie: Now Yer Messin' With a Son of a Bitch
"Fox on the Run" by SWEET:
Every time I hear this song played unexpectedly on iTunes' Party Shuffle, that goofy intro scares me into thinking that somehow the Steve Miller Band's "Swingtown" snuck onto my computer. Because, man, do I fucking hate me some Steve Miller. Luckily, it's just the opening notes of (the) Sweet classic "Fox on the Run," a sublime rollerskating jam that combines ELO and T.Rex. Of course, Sweet aren't completely innocent in my eyes, having scored a hit with another of my all time least favorite songs, "Ball Room Blitz."
"King of the Night Time World"
"Detroit Rock City"
"Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" by KISS:
The sound of that Sweet song makes me think of one thing: the original glam dorks, KISS.
Last post I covered The Runaways, and this afternoon Kiss brings us a link back to that band of bad ass rock chicks. How? Through the involvement of a man by the name of Kim Fowley. Fowley was a singer, songwriter and musician who eventually made his way into the more promotional side of the music business. . . basically by being an all around bullshitter and "svengali." The Runaways were essentially his creation, with Fowley putting the band together and giving them their jailbait image (and at one point, the backstory hype of them actually being runaways). One of Fowley's other great moves was penning, with the help of his writing partner Mark Anthony, "King of the Night Time World" for Kiss's break-out 1976 album Destroyer.
Now, I may have discussed this around these parts before, but Destroyer, released a month after I was born, scared the absolute shit out of me when I was a kid. The cover imagery, a painting of the band in their kabuki makeup dancing on a pile of rubble as cities burn at their feet, was partly to blame. Part of the blame also lies at my young feet. Not old enough to understand things like sexual innuendo, songs like "God of Thunder" sounded like the embodiment of evil. Little did I know that almost every song on this (and any) Kiss record was really just about fucking.
I'm sure it didn't help matters that the record starts out with "Detroit Rock City" (presented here in its radio-edited form, which excises about 1.5 minutes of "rock theater" where a guy gets into his car, cranks up the Kiss, and dies in a fiery crash), a song about rocking. . . and dying. Maybe if I'd heard a few more of the band's more lunkheaded songs, like "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em," I wouldn't have taken them so seriously. The fact that I did is a testament to the power of theatricality, especially in the eyes of stupid pre-adolescent kids.
"Move Over" by SLADE:
Really, if I wanted to personify the '70s at its most rockin', glammed out, cock flappin' best, I could choose pretty much any song from the Slade catalogue. Aside from penning one of the greatest Christmas songs ever ("Merry Xmas Everybody"), Slade basically created the template for 80s hair metal with tracks like "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (covered by The Runaways and Quiet Riot, among many others), "Cum on Feel the Noize" (that's right, the other Quiet Riot hit), and more. Since the band was covered and emulated so often, today I'm including "Move Over," their semi-hit cover of a Janis Joplin song.
"Randolph's Tango" by THIN LIZZY:
I already wrote plenty about my love of Thin Lizzy back when I did an entire week of Lizzy posts, so I'll keep this brief. If I'm writing all of this month's posts under the guise that these songs would save you from getting your ass kicked if you put them on in the dingiest of biker bars, "Randolph's Tango" might actually get you laid. Or married. It's also one the most musically intricate and interesting songs of Lizzy's storied career. Man, I really do wish Phil Lynott were still alive, because I think he's one musician who had the skills to keep maturing as a songwriter without becoming a complete puss like Sting or Mick Jagger.
"Hair of the Dog"
"Whiskey Drinkin' Woman"
"Love Hurts" by NAZARETH:
"Love Hurts" by THE EVERLY BROTHERS
"Love Hurts" by GRAM PARSONS:
For a band from Scotland, Nazareth sure sounded like they belonged on the L.A. Strip with hard rockers like Guns 'N Roses and Motley Crue. From the opening cowbell of their hit single, "Hair of the Dog," they let it be known that they were here to bang heads. It's hard not to picture Axl Rose behind the microphone here (Guns would go on to cover the song on their patchy, almost hilarious covers album, The Spaghetti Incident?) especially with the tough guy chorus, "Now you're messin' with a son of a bitch!"
All of tonight's songs come from the Hair of the Dog album, including the sludgy Joe Walsh-ian "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman," and Nazareth's biggest hit, their cover of the Everly Brothers' "Love Hurts" (though I really think they based their version on Gram Parsons' cover. . . listen to all three and judge for yourself). Time for a slow dance between you and the old lady you met up with back on that Thin Lizzy number.