The 60's

  • Ray Charles "You Don't Know Me"

    There are very few songs from the 60's that I can personally relate to. it seems as if they're was more songs about already being in a relationship and having that being reciprocated (you know, she love me, I love her and all of that BS) or on the flip side, songs about relationships gone wrong, guy cheats on the girl, or visa versa, they can't understand each other so the guy ends it with the girl or visa versa and then the girl or guy misses each other so badly and they can't stand being lonely or without and how everything sucks and their life is really shit and they can't stand being without each other even though their past relationship is gone. Now granted while these situations might be relatable to most other people my age, I've never really been in a serious romantic relationship or had that much success with girls so the human feelings or emotions that are surrounded in those songs are things I've never really had or have had expereinced before. but there is one subject matter that really does speak to me and one human feeling and emotion that I can personally say I have had before with girls, and this particular song sums that emotion all up in just a few lines of lyrics. and if you haven't already figured it out by now (and hopefully you have since I"m assuming whoever reads this blog is somewhat intellectual and can pick up on things pretty quickly) and that is the feeling of being attracted to the girl but she does not feel the same way or is not attracted to me at all and only considers me as a friend. This has happened to me on numerous occasions and quit honestly, I don't want it to happen again but really, there are some lyrics in this song that really speak to me. for example "for I never knew the art of making love", that lyric rings true to me for a reason that I won't reveal in this blog post but given the subtext in the lyric you should be able to figure out why that one line of lyric speaks to me so much. and also, the other half of that section "afraid and shy, I let my chances go by a chance that you might love me too" now this one I will explain why I can relate to it so much. in numerous times while I try to get girls, I always feel so frustrated because I let them slip away from me and into the arms of another man because of my inability to attract and seduce them, but for me it's not neccesarliy because I"m afraid and shy (and really I"m not) it's because of my social awkwardness and my "friendly" and non sexual conversations I have with these girls that result in me not getting her in the long run, or her already being in a commited romantic relationship with another guy before I stepped into the picture which automatically puts me in the "friends zone" and really, that is what this song is all about. and also, what makes this track really interesting is that this was originally a Country song written by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Waalker that was pretty basic but Ray Charles re arranged it and turned into a tender R&B Ballad with extremely sophisticated chord changes that are just drop dead sexy,and trust me, if I didn't tell you that it was a originally a country song written by Nashvill writers, you probably would have thought it was a smooth R&B Pop tune written by Charles himself. but anyways, this song was really interesting because Ray became one of the first male Black singers to do a full album of Country songs written and originally recorded by white people. now at first people thought he was crazy and it would never amount to anything really big but he proved them wrong and had his publisher track down the most popular C&W hits of the past 5 years and that is what he would up recording at a brand new studio in Hollywood called United Western Recorders with Sid Feller producing and the Randy Van Horn singers backing him up. and also, a very young Don Peake is in these sessions as well as a guitar player. the first white Guitar player to join Ray Charle's session and touring band.

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  • Chris Montez "Call Me"

    Do you ever listen to a song and think to yourself "man I can really picture myself saying that to a specific person I'm interested romantically and sexually?" well that's exactly how I felt when I listened to this song. it's one of those songs that says what a lot of guys say to a girl that they're romantically interested in, and while the song might be dated in a sense that the average person doesn't really make a whole lot of phone calls in this day and age and most people prefer texting but still since Call and text or one syllable words they can be swapped out for one another since it would still fit with the melody of the song. if someone were to do a cover of this song in 2017, they could easliy sing "text me, don't be afraid you can text me, baby it's late but just text me" but that's besides the point. the point is the singer is suggesting the girl should call him so they could potentially get together for a date, now when I'm usually talking to girls I don't usually suggest they should call me or text me in fear they might think I"m desperate or needy and that's the kind of vibe that the singer is getting off in the song because really, he's letting the girl know that he is available and she should call him whenever she needs him which isn't neccesarily a bad thing but it's always better to let girls know that your busy and you have a life and you don't have a whole lot of free time on your hands. but either way, it's every guy's dream to tell a girl that they like to call or text them and have them actually do it. Cause a lot of times you'll tell them that and they will say "ok but they won't follow through with it. it's something I've always looked for in a girl, but have never been able to achieve, but the point is the message that the guy is giving to the girl is clear and to the point and can still fit in a situation in the modern world even though this song is 52 years old. but really, what makes this song remarkable is the incredible musicianship of the players (which were regulars of the A&M record label which was Herb Alpert's label started by him and Jerry Moss. hence the A&M name of the label) Herb Alpert produced this song and he used top notch players such as Nick Ceroli on drums, Julius Whecther on vibes, Pete Jolly on piano, Chuck Bergphopper on bass, and John Pisano on guitar. but really, the vibes and the piano are the instruments that really stick out on this song as well as some of the tasty drum fills and I really do enjoy the live feel of the recording (specifically the handclaps) to make it seem like the song was recorded in a nightclub when it was really cut at Gold Star Studios on the corner of Vine and Santa Monica Boulevard. but another interesting thing about this song is that it was written by Tony Hatch and originally recorded by Petula Clark. which is interesting because most of her songs were songs that nobody else really did at the time and this was only 1 out of the 2 songs that she originally recorded first and did not have a hit with (at least in America) but someone else recorded it  and a pretty decent sized hit with it in America. the other song was "Your the One" by the Vogues, that one she actually co wrote with her writer/producer Tony Hatch.

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  • Simon and Garfunkel "Homeword Bound"

    when you listen to songs, often times they are about romantic relationships that either went really great and everything is awesome or things went to complete shit. either the guy or the girl got cheated on or one of them initiated a breakup so something more or less went wrong with that. but how often do you hear songs that are simply about the feeling of looking forward to coming home while being on a long journey? Now personally it's difficult for me to relate to songs like that because I have not travelled super far away from where I live (I usually stick in the Los Angeles Area and not go outside of it) But I have known many friends that have travelled a great distance to live where I live (LA) and I'm pretty sure this song will hit home for them. This is also one of those songs that have lyrics that really paint a picture of what's going on with the singer's life. you can hear that he is a solo artist/songwriter that is tired and warn out after doing several shows around the city he is visiting and now is eagarly waiting for his train to arrive that will take him home to his girlfriend and he'll hear his beatiful music playing in his home as soon as he arrives. You can tell when listening to the song that he feels a sense of loneliness and he has gotten warn out of the monotony of the places he is travelling to and all of the people he is running into on his journey aspire him to want to go back home. Any aspiring Singer songwriter who goes on tour and travelles across the country will be able to relate to this song. Just the feeling of wanting to go back home and being sick of the monotoney of every single city you travel in is something that was relatable back then and even right now in 2017. and also, what makes this song even more interesting is that Paul wrote this based off of his own experience about traveling as a singer songwriter in England (where he was living at the time) in 1964. he also had a strong infatuation with a girl in Greenwich Village named Kathy Chitty who has a ticket taker at a club he used to perform at before he moved to England and was still living in New York after the recent faliure of Wednesday Morning 3am. A landmark album for the duo. after it became clear that he wanted to perform in England, the two parted ways and when he got stuck at a Widness Railway Train station (which was in Liverpool) he wrote the lyrics for this song. You can clearly now see where he got the inspriation to write this song now. this song is also in my favorite musical key (Bb Major) and it features beatiful acoustic guitar work by Paul and a great piano work by Al Kooper. and this track was also recorded in New York in Columbia Studios with Bob Johnston producing.

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  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons "Working My Way Back To You"

    I have been waiting to do a review of this group for quite a long time. and I apologize for not doing any reviews in Oct or for the rest of Sept. My site was down for a long time because long story short I missed a payment but when I paid for it my site was still down, contacted Virb and they told me to get in touch with GoDaddy (my domain name server) I did and they fixed a minor issue that was causing my site to be down. but moving on, I'm really excited to tackle this one and give my two cents on it. why? because whenever I try to describe people about my music, I always mention this group. why? because when you listen to my original songs (and I"m not neccesarliy focusing on the vocal performances, but on the melodies and song structure and lyrics) I've been able to model my songs in terms of structure (the hook, the chorus, and the verses and pre choruses) from listening to songs by this group. their songs (especially a few of their 1965 songs) have been a big influence on me as a songwriter and in my honest opinion, I think their music represents the best music that came out of the 60's hands down but exactly makes their music so good? well, it's not just the hooks and the melodies that make their songs so memorable and unique but the lyrics is what I really want to focus on for this song. now whether or not you can relate to the singer's actions he has made towards his girl, the situation that is painted in this song can describe a young man's situation right now in 2017. he was with the girl, but when he was with her, he didn't think much of her and for whatever reason was not satisfied by her at all and he treated her like dirt and enjoyed it but as soon as the girl decides to call it quits and move on to someone else, he immediately regrets his past actions because now he spends many nights a lone and he can't stand not being with her but he also knows that he will have to work his way back to getting back together with her with a happiness that slipped away from him when karma bit him in the ass. now this song was not written by the team that wrote most of the group's hits but you can tell just by listening to the song that the team that wrote this modeled this tune after the songs that Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio wrote for the group (the group's main writer's/producers) and made it sound simliar in terms of structure but not infringing on their copyrights either. all of the group's songs benefited from supreme musicianship by New York's top studio musicians.players like Buddy Saltzman, Al Gorgoni, Hugh McCracken, Vinnie Bell, Ralph Casale, Lou Mauro, Eric Gale, Dick Hyman, Bernie Glow, Ernie Royal, and several others. some of the best players in New York are on their records and not only that, but for mono singles, they also benefited from excellent engineering work that made their performances pop and shine, and that would not be possibly without people like Phil Ramone or Sandy Dalvadore While I can say that their music drasically improved by 1964, I honestly believe their music has had the best capability of standing the test of time and becoming absolutely iconic. and I can guarantee you, after hearing this song, the chorus will be drilled into your brain and you won't be able to get it out of your head for weeks on end. that's how good their music was. even if you won't remember any of the verse lyrics. the chorus will stick with you. their music was so good that even the Spinner's a 1970's pop soul disco group decided to cover this song and make it a big hit all over again the late 70's early 80's. and MadCon even covered one of their songs and turned into a big radio hit in the mid 200's. just goes to show you how good they were, heck, there even was a broadway play and a movie made about this group.

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  • The Newbeats "Run Baby Run"

    this song and this band are quit honestly one of the most fascinating groups of the 60's. there music was the perfect blend of two very popular genres of music of the mid 60's and the lead singer's lead vocals are very distinct as well. what made this group so interesting? well, for starters, they came out of Nashville. now for us music history buffs, we should know that Nashville (before this record came out) had a very strong reputation in the music business for putting out corny/schmaltzy country songs with lush string arrangements and slide guitar and really reallly sappy background vocals. that became well known in the biz as the "Nashville Sound". this was emboddied in many hit records by the likes of Skeeter Davis, Roy Orbison, Brenda Lee (especially her) and Johnny Tilloston. glossing over country with those types of arrangements help that genre of music cross over onto the Pop Charts. but really, when Nashville came out with this group, right out of the gate, it was quite the departure for what they were most well known for up until that point. first of all, when you listen to their first hit record (Bread and Butter) that Tambornie Slam on Two and Four and the two chord piano riff echoed many Motown songs of that time (including many Marvin Gaye records like Your A Wonderful One) and more importantly, Larry Henley's distinct Falsetto lead vocal seemed to have been very influneced by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. so essentially, their music was very much a combination of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Motown, but to me it feels like Henley's falsetto lead vocal seemed to would have become a big influence on the Bee Gees for their music in the 70's. but on the side, to me it sounds like this group was a direct result of how Nashville was listening to what the Four Seasons and Motown were putting  out at the time and their take on how there were going to compete with both of those groups and those labels by creating their own version of the Motown and Four Seasons sound. this record in, in particular, is a great example of just that. with it's fuzztone guitar and rolling piano riff and it's staccato strings, it really is a unique sounding record with a lyric that can be tied with a real story behind it but I"m not exactly sure if it was based off of anything real but I doubt it was. the song is essetionally about a guy that is encouraging a woman to run into his arms if the guy she's really interested in hurts her and makes him cry, a story that very well could have been done before in another song but the way this record came out, it made that old cliche story fresh and new again. this record was also produced by Wesley Rose and I"m honestly not sure about who's playing on the record but given the time period this record came out in and the city it was recorded in, It was probably some of the Nashville Usual suspects of the mide 60's (Nobert Putnam or Charlie McCoy on bass, Hargus Pig Robbins Or David Briggs on piano, Kenny Buttery or Jerry Carrigan on drums or Jerry Kennedy and Wayne Moss on Guitar)

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  • Herman's Hermits "Just A Little Bit Better"

    When the British Invasion happened in 1964, it wipped out the careers of many singers and groups that were extremely popular between the years 1959 and 1963. many groups that were consistantly having Top 10 and Top 20 hits within this period were no longer having hits after the Beatles came to America. these groups included the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Neil Sedaka, Bobby Vee, the Shirelles and Dion. some of these singers were lucky to have a comeback in the 70's or late 60's but some of them never saw the light of day after the Fab Four took over the Hot 100 in 1964 (this included the Shirelles). Some groups were not harmed by the British Invasion at all. Such as Motown, the Beach Boys and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and several others. (Chicago Soul included and the Newebats and the Shangri Las and others as well). but during the British Invasion, many bands ranging from towns such as Newcastle, St Albans, and Manchester, Liverpool and Tottenham brought a different Flavor of British on to the Pop charts. some of the bands were harder edged and more about Blues and Rock and Roll like the Animals, but this group in particular was more a long the lines of Bubblegum pop but they were still intellligent enough to have songs that appealed to older Teenagers other then just little kids. they were also, one of the most popular British Bands of the 60's Ranking up 12 Top 10 singles between the years 1964 and 1967. this song in particular has an interesting angle. it's song from a guy that talks about a woman's love interest (that isn't him by the way) that's fuilty rich and can buy her all of these fancy and lugurious things that he simply can't afford, but what he can give her is love, and he's trying to convince the girl that love would be a million times better then any fancy item her love interest can give her. the song opens up an opportunity for an asnwer record to be made sung by the girl as to who she decides to date, the guy that has all of the money and can get her whatever she wants or the broke guy that can give her love and that's pretty much it. that concept can easily be appliable to a modern day situation and I can relate to it to a certain extent because of my current financial situation and I know when trying to get girls, I could be competing against guys that have jobs and can buy her whatever she wants. but anyways, now I would like to talk more about this group. they were first and foremost a real group. they played on most of the American Top 10 hits (expcet for There's a Kind of Hush) and were a solid band Derek Leckenby (the group's lead guitar player) is a solid lead guitar player who played the solo on I"m Henry the Eigth and the distincitve lead guitar on Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter. other band members included bassist Karl Green, Rhythm Guitar Player Keith Hopwood and drummer Barry Whitwam, and of course, the lead vocalist Peter Noone (who looks and sound the same today, by the way) the producer on this (Mickie Most) also produced Donovan, the Animals, and Lulu. most of their songs were cut at Dee Lane Lea Studios in London. the only songs they did not play on their covers of Wonderful World and Silhouettes and No Milk Today and There's a Kind Of Hush. John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page are on those records though (and Possibly Bobby Graham as well)

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  • the Monkees "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone"

    there is no other word to desrcibe this track other then completely and totally badass. Not only is this track totally ahead of it's time but it conveys such an attitude that would be the precursor to a genre of music that would later become known as Punk Rock. now really when you listen to this track, the attitude that comes out of it is a sure fire "don't fuck with me" attitude that would really hit home to a lot of listeners but what exactly makes this track so badass? well first of all, it's in a minor key and really the message in this song is clear. and what he is trying to tell the girl he's talking to is also very clear. now this is definitely not your conventional love or break up song at all. it's really about a girl that has put the guy down in the past and has used and abused him and the guy lets her know upfront that he will not be another one of her victims she can just push over and basically be her "stepping stone", and to add more of an interesting angle to this song, the narrator paints the picture for us in a sense that he lets know that the girl definitely has money and is very upper class and not poor at  all and the clothes she wears are so outragous that it could cause people to take notice of what she is wearing and it could cause "Public scenes" but at one point she used to have no money at all (hence the lyric when I first met you girl you didn't have no shoes) and the guy also lets the girl know that he will never be a friend of hers and she won't find his name in her book of contacts that she has. either way, this song has a strong hook and it's definitely different from a lot of other songs that they, but it's still totally badass. and another thing that's really cool about this song is that it goes Double time in the section after the  chorus. still super cool. but now I would like to talk about some of the history behind this particular band. this band was formed and created by two TV producers/writers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider. the cast the 4 actors in the show based off of a casting call they made out to hire 4 young good looking musicians for the show. but during these early stages of the show, they did not let the members of the monkees Play on their own records or write their own singles. instead, they hired two songwriters/producers from Screen Gems to write songs for the series, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to write and produce for the series. production of the show started in the summer of 1965 and the instrumental tracks were written and recorded for the first album were done without any real participation from the group members minus singing on the tracks. the musicians on these early recordings included Larry Taylor on bass, Wayne Erwin, Gerry McGee and Louis Shelton on guitar, and Bobby Hart on Organ and Billy Lewis on drums. this angered a couple of members of the band because Michael Nesminth originally wanted to write and produce some of the band's singles but was limited to writing and producing 2 original songs as album cuts. eventually, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were fired as writers and producers of the show and the Monkees were allowed to play ont their own records for their first album but that album generated no hit singles and was knocked off the charts by Sgt Pepper's by the Beatles. Neil Diamond and Gerry Goffin and Carole King also wrote songs for the Monkees and so did John Stewart of the Kingston Trio. most of their early songs were cut at RCA studios in Hollywood.

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  • The Rascals "I've Been Lonely Too Long"

    this post in my 60's music blog is going to come from one of my all time favorite bands from the 60's. In my opinion, this band is the number one most underrated, most under talked about bands from this era. Not only were they a fantastic band in the studio but live they were even better. Now why would I consider this one of my all time favorite bands from the 60's?  Well it wasn't just with the dynamics of their playing abilitites both in the studio and on stage but it was with their feel good lyrics that avoided the corny and schmaltzy cliches of many others songs of that era. Many of their songs were primarily about the atmosphere they were in lyrically and just being in a place where your happy and totally 100% content with yourself and your life, like for example, in "Groovin" the song is just simply about relaxing and just hanging out on the streets on a sunday afternoon and being with the person that you love and a "Beatiful Morning" is plainly about just waking up to the morning time of the day and wanting to go outside and smell the fresh air and enjoy nature and not waste your time by being inside. But there's a couple of other things I would like to point out to you about this particular band. Just like the Doors (another popular sixtites band from that era) the group did not perform with a bass player but just like the Doors, they quickly figured out they could not get a way with playing without a bass player in the studio (at least for the rest of their singles after their first 2 singles) so they brought in guys like Chuck Rainey, Richard Davis and Ron Carter and Jerry Jemmot (and Gene Cornish, their guitar player also played bass on their next two hit singles after Good Lovin and I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore. which were this song and You Better Run) Now another thing I would like to point out to you about this band is that they were not afraid to show that they were heavily influenced by the African American music of that era (specifically from Stax and Motown) they even covered Motown and Stax songs from that era including Mustang Sally and Mickey's Monkey. And in fact, if you never saw a picture of this band or have never seen them live and you closed your eyes listening to this group, you probably would have thought they were a group of black guys singing these songs but truth to be told, they were just 4 white guys that had a lot of soul, and they were also the first all white band to get signed to Altantic Records, who at the time, had primarliy black groups and singers signed to their main imprint but had white Artists signed to their subsidiary Atco Records. the Rascals were the quintesssential Blue Eyed soul band from the 60's and the best one your ever going to come across hands down. Oh and a couple of more things I would like to point out to you about this group, Not only does this band currently have the entire original band still alive to this day in 2017 (which is rare and only a few groups from that era have all of their original memebers still living in 2017) but unlike the Beatles, the band always consisted of Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati Gene Cornish an Dino Danelli from Day 1 of the band's inception. their weren't any personnel changes until after the 60's when the band broke up. You can't say the same thing about the Beatles since it wasn't always John Paul George and Ringo. but now I would like to point out a couple of things I really like about this record. first off, I love the bass line that's heavily influenced by the James Jamerson bass lines of the Motown Records of this era as well and what also makes this record Motown is Dino's Drum fills, and by the way, Dino Danelli was an absolute beast on the kit live. he was just an incredibly flashy and powerful drummer. his drumming was definitely toned down in the studio but was totally cappable of keeping the pocket and doing those infectious drum fills in this song but one more thing I like about is the trombone in the verses but to me, that part of the record comes as a nice surprise because it's there but when you listen to it, it doesn't feel like the main part of the song. it's just there in the arrangement to fill up empty space when Felix wasn't singing but it fits perfectly with what's going on in the song once you listen to it. Overall this band was a phenonemal group that does not get enough credit or recognition they deserve but they really should and they are definitley worth checking out. I also saw them live at the Greek Theatre in 2013 and they sounded just as good as they did 50 years ago. they only had to change keys on two songs from what I can remember (I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore and How Can I Be Sure)

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  • The Swinging Medallions "Double Shot of My Baby's Love"

    When people think of songs about getting wasted and partying and not having a care in the world, they tend to gravitate towards Hardcore EDM or trashy Hip Hop/rap songs but songs of that nature have their origins and while most of them from this era are pretty squeeky clean and by all means have no references to drugs, sex or Alcohol, this one on the other hand, is the polar opposite of those types of songs. Really, while other songs from this era that are just plainly about having a good time and listening to great music and dancing doing some of the cheesiest dances of that era (the Twist, Mashed Potato, the Fly, the Jerk, etc.) that by the way, no one really does those dances anymore. this particular song has so many references to sex and Alcohol that it's really a surpise to me that this made Top 40 and it did not get banned from several radio stations across the country. I mean seriously, anyone can easliy figure out what the singer meant when he says "She loved me so long and she loved me so hard" I mean, C'mon, do I have to spell it out for you?, but anyways, the chorus of the song is also laced in Double Entendre because it uses the alcoholic term of "Shots" in reference to something really dirty. I mean when he says he got a Double Shot of My Baby's Love, what do you think he was referring to? Well, I"ll tell you right now he is definitely not referring to Double Shots of Whiskey or Tequilla, but more like double shots of her sucking his dick. and when he says there is a good thing they don't bottle that stuff, then he definitely can't be talking about actual Alochol but more like Felatio. but what makes this song interesting is the lyricist's use of drinking actions to actually refer to sex. but anyways, now I really want to get to the history behind this track. it was written by Don Smith and Cyril Vetter and originally recorded by a band called Dick Holler and the Holidays, and I've actually heard the original version of that song, and it a super calypso very latin version of that song. and this song itself (while the group was a one hti wonder) became very popular in areas such as North and South Carolina and this type of music (kind of a hybrid Blue Eyed R&B/Soul) became known as something called Beach Music. the reason why it was called Beach Music was because the young kids growing up in those areas used to listen to these songs on repeat on their little transister AM radios out by the Carolina Beaches in the Atlantic Ocean. other songs that fall into this genre included "Girl Watcher" by the Okaysions "May I" by Bill Deal and the Rhondells and "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am" by the Tams.

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  • Tommy James and the Shondells "Crystal Blue Persuasion"

    there are some records that make you feel a certain way when you listen to them. sometimes they make you feel angry, sad, or left out or uniterested in anything else besides the record you listening to, but then are some that just make you feel really good from the first couple of bars of the song as soon as the music kicks in. this is one of those songs. really it's just an amazing song even though fro the most part, it's only 2 chords, the two chords the musician used as the main part of the song make it sound and feel really good. now good is obviously a subjective term, but when it comes to harmony and theory, the major and minor 7 chords are proven to make any song sound really good even though most musicians don't use them. almost as good as any cliche 6,4,1,5 chord progression or 1, 5,6,4 chord progression. now the two chords that are both in the for front of the song are two minor 7th chords (the Minor 3 7th and the Minor 2 7th) now that is the main reason why this song sounds great is because it's using those fantasitc feel good chords, but why else does this song sound really good? well, it's also because of the lyrics for this song. Now the Lyrics, on the other hand, represent hope and change and new horizons for the singer that is singing the song. and while the lyrics might seem very hippy and peace and love, it still makes you feel very good because the singer's life is looking up and he has nothing but positive vibes to fill the room when he sings this song. but one thing I will say about the lyrics is that this actually might surprise you but the lyrics are actually very religious. the singer that wrote this song (Tommy James) wrote this just after he became a born again christian and discovered his faith in God and that's what inspired him to write this song (in fact, god is the person he is referring to in the third verse in the song after the modulation and when the horns kick in) and many of the songs lyrics were inspired by a section of the Bible called the Book of Ezekiel and while many people don't really consider this a gospel song since it does not mention the words Jesus or God in the entire song, it does have a lot of religious undertones in it, but it's still secular enough to be played on mainstream radio and still become a national Top 40 hit. And also, the guy that produced this (Tommy James) when he originally went into the studio to record this, he went in with quite the big ensemble (two guitars, two basses three keyboards and a full drum set) but then he realized that all of those extra instruments seemed uneccesary for this particular song. so one by one, he got rid of all of the extra instruments, and he was left with an accoustic flamenco guitar, a bass, an organ, a tamborine, and a pair of bongos and all of a sudden, he had exactly what he wanted out of the record. now he did overdub some horns afte the fact but he still had exactly what he wanted out of just that bare bones instrumentation. And also, the guy that came up with this song also put out a book 10 years ago called Me the Mob and the Music. it's a fantastic read and it's definitely worth picking up. his story is just absolutely amazing because he was signed to a record label that was owned and controlled by one of the biggest crime families in NY. and how they got signed to that label and the shit they went through being signed to that label is very fascinating to me at least. the book is definitley worth a read and I couldn't put it down when I first read it.

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