Y’know I was driving along the highway recently and Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’ came over the radio. Classic it may be, but it has not stood the test of time. I nearly clenched my teeth and floored it out of frustration, willing the song to be over and done with. It sounds terribly dated but alas my friends, it is not alone. You see along with say Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’, these two culprits are just a couple of what Mr Rockbrat will refer to as ‘tired old rock dogs’ – err hang on, that could me and the Cowboy. Ahem.
These are the tunes you know backwards – and sideways and upside down. Radio stations around the globe (is there a need for radio stations nowadays ?) should take a note of these and ensure they NEVER get aired again. But let’s move on…
You can bet back in the early 70’s ‘Smoke On The Water’ sounded raw and fresh – and would’ve no doubt angered parents around Britain, as their kids cranked it loudly whilst they sipped tea and tried to watch Coronation Street or whatever. Whilst on Purple, ‘Black Night’ is another of theirs which makes the grade. It could replace bran muffins. Whilst I’m at it, I’ve never been a fan of Gillan’s vocals, and I think that is a chief contributor to why these two plodders should be in a museum. Whilst on the subject of dusty museums, Eric Crapton and his ‘supergroup’ Cream are another contender. Their ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ is another teeth grinder and I instantly kill the radio when I hear it. Horrible. Sure Crapton is a genius, but he’s about as interesting as a plain biscuit. I’m sure Koresh and his band of zany followers would’ve been screaming for mercy had the authorities at Waco simply played this old tune over the PA (no God/Clapton pun intended here either !). At the risk of offending some of the narrow-sighted Kiss zombies, I am including ‘Rock n Roll All Nite’. The Catman does not even get to finish his drum intro on this song before I change it. Looking back, Rock n Roll All Nite had started to sound dated by the early 80’s – and I should know, as I was there….oh and just for the record – when it came to partying (ie boozing) everyday it was Space Ace and Criss and not the tune’s contributors, who were no doubt double checking their bank balances. Though as history has shown, Frehley did enough partying for the whole band back in the day. Moving on to our next old age popsioner is Suzi Q’s Devil Gate Drive. I hope to near hear that ‘a one a two a one two three’ intro whilst I’m alive. Plod plod plod. Next up is Don McLean’s American Pie. Haven’t we heard this enough already. It’s not only in February when this one makes me shiver – it’s all year round. The might Led Zep are not immune either. Their classic Black Dog is now a battered old hound and should be put down. Whilst on the subject of Animals (geddit) another tune which sounds like it was recorded in 1805 is the legendary House Of The Rising Sun. Zzzzzzzz. Sorry I was drifting off just thinking of the melody. The King (and I don’t mean Wally Lewis) makes the cut with Don’t Be Cruel. Wake me when it’s over.
Before you write and say what about Syknyrd or Golden Earring or the Stones etc etc stop and re-listen to the tunes. ‘Satisfaction’ still sounds great, so too ‘Radar Love’ or any Skynyrd tune. Skynyrd by the way do not rely on their back catalogue and continue to write and release killer tunage. Overall – these songs might be fine for one of those compilation ‘driving albums’ you can find at a road stop – but if that was the only choice, I think I’d rather roll the window down and listen to the engine.
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Black Night – Deep Purple
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
Rock n Roll All Nite – Kiss
Devil gate Drive – Suzi Quatro
Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
American Pie – Don McLean
House Of The Rising Sun – Animals
Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley