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Archive for May, 2012

Rockets – On The Road Again

May 7, 2012 1 comment

Originally posted April 28, 2010 – updated link and additional text.

This has me pretty speechless, but I’ll try to get you interested enough to click: Italo Disco cover of old blues made famous by Canned Heat.  Robot costumes, bald heads, and silver face paint.  Silly rock and roll faces.  ENORMOUS head on that lead singer.  Click now…you know you want to.

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Categories: Irony, Italo Disco

ELO – Showdown

May 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Originally posted April 18, 2010 – updated link to youtube and additional text.

ELO kind of got a bad rap from my parents’ generation (partially related to their disco “Don’t Bring Me Down”…brrruuuuce….later rehabilitated by the New Pornographers) and as a result aren’t really on the radar too much these days.  But you’ll be hard pressed to find a better purveyor of pure pop.

The group was co-founded by Roy Wood, and had partially evolved from his group The Move, who surely will feature again in these pages.  Suffice to say he got a bee in his bonnet for a fusion of classical and rock.  Jeff Lynne, the other founder and creative force, thankfully reduced the strings’ role after Wood left.  You do get the novelty of two cellos and a violinist adding their stylings to the bulk of the songs, though (and later it would be full orchestral arrangements for everything).

Showdown, their second US charting single, is a crafty steal from the Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”   On the clip below they’re kicking it for German TV, which accounts for the lack of applause I guess.  As a bonus, Lynne really betrays his Birmingham (UK)** roots – not just in the pre-song chatter, but in the lyrics as well.

I think the stripped-down atmosphere benefits the song tremendously. It rocks!

**Who else do you know that’s from Birmingham?  Ozzy.  Same slurring and mumbling, though Lynne has possession of his marbles so it’s not as bad.

Categories: Funky, Rock