Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Guitar Riff Song of the Ages"


And that riff would be the one belonging to Train Kept a Rollin'.

In its original fingerpoppin' incarnation the riffing was all piano and scat ba-doo-days undergirding its lyrical bouquet of postwar hipsterisms. This Train offers up what is probably the greatest double entendre chorus ever written: The train kept a rollin' all night long and I still wouldn't let her go

The song owes some debt to Cow-Cow Boogie.


Composer Tiny Bradshaw shuffles it along in 1951:



Johnny Burnette recognizes the song's carnal potential and takes it into a minor key and gives a scorching, jungly treatment in 1956:



The Yardbirds bring the monumental guitar riff of all rock guitar riffs in 1965. Behind the proto-metal guitar figure, this version returns some of the residual swing and strips it of Burnette's jungly vibe. Keith Relf's double overlayed vocals are like a brain wrestling between good and evil:




The band rerecorded Train for the movie Blow Up. The producers couldn't get licensing clearance for the original so they changed the lyrics to Stroll On and electrocuted it with fuzz-toned duel leads blowing off the Stratocasters of Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Many have argued that this is the moment where metal began. Whatever: it's friggin' hot.




Lemmy sludges it up and takes it back to the garage:




Jimmy Page brings it to early Led Zeppelin, 1969:




For most people, the reason they know of the song at all is for Aerosmith. The band released it as a single in 1974. It failed to chart at the time:




Live on television from 1974 on what may be the world's smallest stage:




Imelda May and "good ol' rockabilly":




While I was composing this piece I ran across a post for the Hard Rock Cafe's blog that had the same idea.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Back Again


So, Miley Cyrus covers Led Zeppelin's version of Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and it's a joke, right?



Well, no, actually.

You've got to hear it to believe it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sex Pistols Live in 1978


So this is the filth and the fury: I must say, it's pretty impressive. (That is, everyone but Sid.) 

Worth a listen. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Albums by Blonde Redhead, Tricky, and Interpol




Blonde Redhead's new album is available for streaming at NPR.

You can also download a free track at Soundcloud.

Hear Interpol's El Pintor and Tricky's Adrian Thaws.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bowie Outtakes from 1977


Two instrumental tracks left in the can from David Bowie and Brian Eno ca. 1977, from the fertile Low/Heros period.

They sound amazingly fresh. Listen:






From Dangerous Minds

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sexy Robot


The song for the most part is a basic ProTools-sausage electronica recipe – though, better than most. Aside from the club beats, it has a kind of Todd Rundgren-ish sound. It's usually not the sort of thing we feature here on Jellyroll. 

Except that this video has a twerking robot:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Afghan Whigs: Matamoros





Here's a blistering recent Letterman performance – Greg Dulli's voice is still going where it needs to go: