Friday, November 18, 2011

Lost Gem: "New York's Not My Home" - Jim Croce (1972)

"And I had begun to doubt all the things that were me."
--> Jim Croce <--

Jim Croce's breakout album was "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" (1972)...with the uptempo title track being his radio debut single. Three tracks from this album would become radio staples.

The next year, Croce's follow-up record..."Life and Times" (1973) quickly went gold with another three singles taking over the airwaves.

He had just finished recording the album..."I Got A Name"...that same year with plans of a holiday release. Barely a week out of the studio, after doing a show in Louisiana, Jim and longtime partner Maury Muehleisen would tragically be involved in a fatal plane crash.

Jim Croce and Maury Muehleisen

Made no difference whether you were a bruising truck driver or a scared young boy with a broken heart.  Redneck or didn't matter.

He was one of us and he was singing our life.

LOST GEM:--> "New York's Not My Home" really about anyplace where we feel odd man out or last man picked. That place where the weight of all strange places and faces almost buries us.

Have you heard this gem?

Well things were spinnin' round me
And all my thoughts were cloudy.
And I had begun to doubt
all the things that were me.
Been in so many places.
You know I've run so many races.
And looked into the empty faces
of the people of the night
And something is just not right.

'Cause I know that
I gotta get out of here.
I'm so alone.
Don't you know that
I gotta get out of here.
'Cause New York's not my home.

Though all the streets are crowded
There's somethin' strange about it.
I lived there bout a year
and I never once felt at home.
I thought I'd make the big time
I learned a lot of lessons awful quick
And now I'm tellin' you
that they were not the nice kind.
And it's been so long since
I have felt fine.

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lost Gem: "Zero the Hero" - Black Sabbath (1983)

--> Black Sabbath <--

"Born Again" (1983) is a pretty good Black Sabbath album...but receives even higher marks as a post-Ozzy album.

Ronnie James Dio had a good run as the first Ozzy replacement. (four albums...the first one being diamonds.). But near the end of his tenure... Dio (may he RIP) was sounding a wee-bit tired and uninspired. Hence he cut bait.

This allowed legendary screamer Ian Gillan of Deep Purple to be brought into the fold...(this move caused a nasty backlash from Sabbath fans...Dio wizards...and Deep Purple purists!)
After one album...Gillan left.

However, Gillan's banshee vocals wailing atop classic Sabbath thunder riffs sometimes worked. The album deserved better.

LOST GEM:--> "Zero The Hero" dark, heavy and catchy. Tony Iommi fires off blistering riffs and solos...while Ian Gillan's vocals give the song a fresh twist of metal magic. Nicely done.

Have you heard this gem?

Accept the fact that you're second rate life is easy for you
It's all served up on a gold plated plate
And we don't even have to talk to you
Your face is normal that's the way you're bred
And that's the way you're going to stay
Your head is firmly nailed to your TV channel
But someone else's fingers on the control panel

What you gonna be brother - Zero the hero
Don't you wanna be brother - Zero the hero
When you gonna be brother - Zero the hero
Impossibility impissibolity mother really a hero

You sit there watch it all burn down
It's easy and breezy for you
You play your life to a different sound
No edge no edge you got no knife have you
Your life is a six lane highway to nowhere
You're going so fast you're never ever gonna get down there
Where the heroes sit by the river
With a magic in their music as they eat raw liver

You stand there captain we all look
You really are mediocre
You are the champion in the Acme form book
But I think you're just a joker
Your freedom life ain't so much of a pity
But the luv-a-duckin' way you're walkin' around
The city with your balls and your head full of nothing
It's easy for you sucker but you really need stuffing.

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers