Hold Me Tighter

‘You Really Got a Hold on Me’ was recorded by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles on their 1962 album The Fabulous Miracles and the single charted #8 in the US.  This million-selling song received a 1998 Grammy Hall of Fame Award.  It has also been selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  It was the second #1 R&B hit for The Miracles as well as their second Top Ten Hit on the Hot 100, and the group’s second single to sell over a million copies, after ‘Shop Around’.  Miracles leader Smokey Robinson wrote this song while he was thinking about Sam Cooke’s song ‘Bring It On Home To Me’.  Cooke had performed at Robinson’s church with his group the Soul Stirrers, and Smokey was a big fan.  In Cooke’s song the singer apologizes to his girl after dumping her, and he promises to treat her right if she will come back to him.  ‘You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me’ carries a similar sentiment, but the roles are reversed, where the girl mistreats the guy, but he loves her unconditionally.

Smokey Robinson wrote this song when he was in New York City negotiating a publishing deal, and not pleased with the way the talks were going.  He says that he wrote the song in his hotel room with the intention of writing something controversial, which he accomplished with the first line, “I don’t like you, but I love you.”  There is another ambiguous line where he says that he wants to split, but he can’t quit yet.  Love is a crazy thing, and even when she treats him badly, he still loves her madly, which seems like a conflicted and unhealthy sentiment inside of a dysfunctional relationship, that was rarely heard in songs of this era.  The guy declares that his love will remain strong, and he doesn’t need to kiss her, but he wants her to hold him tighter and squeeze him.

When Motown was growing into a dominant label in 1962, they set up a tour where many of their acts performed together around the United States.  For many people, this was their first look at Motown acts like The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.  This was the biggest Motown hit at the time, so The Miracles closed the shows with it.  The Miracles included Smokey Robinson, Claudette Rogers Robinson (Smokey’s wife), Pete Moore, Ronnie White, and Bobby Rogers.  Marv Tarplin played guitar and The Funk Brothers were used as the session musicians on this recording.  Smokey Robinson sang lead while second tenor Bobby Rogers is featured on harmony co-lead.  This song was originally slated to be the B-side to ‘Happy Landing’, but DJs and record buyers across the nation preferred the song on the flipside that explored the feelings of a man so in love with a woman that he can’t leave her despite the fact that she treats him badly.

Just six months after The Miracles hit the charts with this song, The Beatles on Parlophone chose to record this as their first song for their second British album With The Beatles and Meet the Beatles was the US release.  Their version featured John Lennon on lead vocals, with George Harrison providing close harmonies and Paul McCartney on backing vocals.

I don’t like you, but I love you
Seems that I’m always thinking of you
Oh, oh, oh, you treat me badly
I love you madly, you really got a hold on me
You really got a hold on me, you really got a hold on me, you really got a hold, baby
I don’t want you, but I need you
Don’t want to kiss you, but I need you
Oh, oh, oh, you do me wrong now
My love is strong now you really got a hold on me

You really got a hold on me, you really got a hold on me, you really got a hold, baby
I love you and all I want you to do is just hold me
Hold me, hold me, hold me

Tighter
Tighter
I want to leave you, don’t want to stay here
Don’t want to spend another day here
Oh, oh, oh, I want to split now, I can’t quit now
You really got a hold on me, you really got a hold on me, you really got a hold, baby
I love you and all I want you to do is just hold me, please
Hold me, squeeze, hold me, hold me
You really got a hold on me
You really got a hold on me
I said you really got a hold on me

Written for Do You Love Me – MM Music Challenge #196

Dark Blue, Blue Condition

‘Blue Condition’ is a song by Cream from their 1967 second studio album Disraeli Gears and it was written and sung by drummer Ginger Baker.  This mellow tune is a slower paced, drum pounding piece that details what it feels like to be depressed, or “blue”.  The message might be that life is what you choose to make of it, so if you’re feeling blue, the best thing to do is to keep your life on track so you can accomplish things.  If you start heading in the wrong direction, your life may be like taking a leisurely stroll through thick mud.

The increasing annoyance of Jack Bruce’s domination of these recording sessions who was involved with writing or cowriting six out of the eleven songs on this album along with Ginger’s lack of song writing credits resulted in him writing these lyrics in an echo chamber that was built in the basement at Atlantic Studios.  Many people say that this song reminds them of something that Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd might have written.  Although Ginger wrote this song, he wasn’t the first to sing it, as it was given to Eric, but he couldn’t get it down, so Ginger stepped in to sing it, as Jack and Felix encouraged him, feeling this might cheer him up.

Cream came together in 1966 and this supergroup became hugely influential in the ‘60s.  They released four albums before disbanding in 1969.  The trio of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce made an unusual sound, which was a fusion of throwback blues, wah-wah–laced psychedelia, proto jam-rock, and serious technical chops.  A perfect band for their times, they found themselves selling out shows at hot spots like Fillmore West and Winterland Ballroom and soon became an integral part of the soundtrack for the fast-growing hippie/counterculture movement.  Recorded in New York and released just after the Summer of Love in late 1967, Disraeli Gears was a tremendous smash in both America and the band’s native U.K., spawning classic hits like ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’, and ‘Strange Brew’.  Without a doubt this was one of the quintessential albums of the ‘60s, and it still remains as impressive today as it was when it was first released.

Don’t take the wrong direction passing through
Instead of deep reflection of what’s true
For it’s a combination of judgments made by you
That cause a deep dejection all the way through

No relaxation, no conversation, no variation
In a very dark blue, blue condition

Early rising every day
You must be enterprising in your way
For you will hear no laughter, nor see the sun
Life would be one disaster all the way through

No relaxation, no conversation, no variation
In a very dark blue, blue condition

Don’t take the wrong direction passing through
Instead of deep reflection of what’s true
For it’s a combination of judgments made by you
That cause a deep dejection all the way through

No relaxation, no conversation, no variation
In a very dark blue, blue condition

No relaxation, no conversation, no variation
In a very dark blue condition

Written for Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) – MM Music Challenge #195.

Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) – Challenge #195

Kenneth Ray Rogers was an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. Rogers sold over 120 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling male artists of all-time according to the RIAA, with one Diamond album, 20 Platinum albums and 11 Gold. He recorded 24 #1 hits (including classics like ‘The Gambler’, ‘Lady’, ‘Islands In The Stream’, ‘Lucille’, ‘She Believes In Me’, and ‘Through The Years’), 12 #1 albums and 25 Top 10 country albums. Miraculously, he has charted a song within each of the last seven decades. His music has always crossed boundaries, with singles and albums finding frequent success on the Country, Top 40, and Adult Contemporary charts, and in a few instances, on the R&B and Christian charts. He was the first country artist to consistently sell out arenas, Rogers also achieved pop superstardom and reached the pinnacle of worldwide popularity and celebrity few artists have ever attained, performing live for millions of fans. Kenny Rogers had 28 Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 10’s, which ranks him fifth-best all-time, and he sent the most country #1’s to the top spot on Adult Contemporary (five of his eight AC #1’s were also country #1’s). He died from natural causes on March 20, 2020 at the age of 81.

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This is a psychedelic rock song that was said to reflect the LSD experience, and it was intended to be a warning about the dangers of using the drug, but psychedelic rock was not the right medium to deliver this message.  The song was first released by Teddy Hill & the Southern Soul as a single in 1967 that was backed by ‘Stagger Lee’.  Jerry Lee Lewis, backed by members of The Memphis Boys, took the first crack at this song also in 1967, but his release came a month later and the song was never a single.  The chart-topping rhythm section at Chips Moman’s American Sounds Studio in Memphis, was featured on this rendition of the song and it appeared on Lewis’ album Soul My Way.

‘Just Dropped In (…)’ was next recorded by The First Edition (with Kenny Rogers on lead vocals) and it peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts.  This was Rogers’ first top ten hit and…

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Did Shakespeare Have a Sister

William Shakespeare was the eldest son of John and Mary Shakespeare who had eight children in total.  William had two older sisters that died as infants, and he also had three younger brothers and two younger sisters named Joan and Anne.  I am not sure what became of Anne, but Joan was the only surviving daughter of John and Mary Shakespeare and the only one of Shakespeare’s siblings to outlive him.

The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982.  The group, whose best-known line-up comprised Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, are regarded as one of the most important to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.  In 1987 they released a compilation album titled The World Won’t Listen which included a short two-minute song titled ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ which was also released as a non-album single two years earlier.  This song is named after a chapter in Virginia Woolf’s 1929 feminism essay, A Room of One’s Own where Woolf invented Shakespeare’s sister Judith to advance her feminist argument in her advocacy for feminist causes.  Woolf believed in equality, but like other Modernist writers of the early twentieth century, Woolf saw herself as an outsider and observer.  Judith’s life is fraught with tragedy, as she is pressured by her family into an early marriage, and when she begs to be allowed not to marry, she is chastised and beaten by her father.  She must escape to London to free herself to pursue art, but is turned away with scorn from every theatre she approaches and she is treated with rejection and ridicule.  She becomes pregnant by a theater-manager, which makes a life of writing impossible, and she eventually kills herself.  But later in the essay, Woolf brings back the ghost of Judith Shakespeare and tells the young women in the audience that they have the power to be the voice that Judith never had.

This song ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ peaked at a modest #26 on the UK chart.  This song doesn’t seem to have a lot in common with the character Judith Shakespeare, as it seems that she never found love and the guy in this song is begging his mother to let him go so he can find love.  The lyrics, “Young bones groan, and the rocks below say, ‘Throw your white body down,’” are adapted from Canadian author Elizabeth Smart’s 1946 novel, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept.  When Morrissey whines, “I’m off to meet the one I love / Oh Momma, let me go”, might be a reference to Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie where Tom Wingfield takes off after quarreling with his mother at the dinner table.  Tom’s father walked out on the family years ago, so the responsibility of supporting his mother and his sister has fallen in his shoulders.  His sister is Laura Wingfield, a disabled girl that is living in a fantasy world, she doesn’t do anything but sit at home listen to records and play with her glass animals.  Laura is able to escape from reality into the characters that she has collected in her glass menagerie, but her mother wants her to have a gentleman caller and succeed in business school.  Laura quits business college because she got scared when a boy in the class was making passes at her.  She was nervous in class and became physically ill during her first typing speed test.  Laura repeatedly displays a will of her own that defies others’ perceptions of her, and this repeatedly goes unacknowledged.

Guitarist Johnny Marr said that writing ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ was a lot like pulling an odd star out of the sky, as he imagined this strange song and strange sound and Morrissey encouraged him and then they captured it.  It became a statement of solidarity between the four band members and Marr said that he was extremely proud of that togetherness.  The song was deemed too short, but when people told The Smiths that they were wrong that only fired them up.  Frontman Morrissey felt that regardless of what many people felt that this song was part of his life, because he had put everything into it and he wanted it more than anything else to be a huge success, however it wasn’t.  Making a good record is kind of like writing a good post, as you want people to read it and The Smiths wanted this song to be heard.  The Anglo-American pop duo Shakespears Sister consisting of Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit took their name from this song.

Young bones groan, and the rocks below say
“Throw your skinny body down, son”

But I’m going to meet the one I love
So please don’t stand in my way
Because I’m going to meet the one I love
No, mama, let me go

Young bones groan and the rocks below say
“Throw your white body down”

But I’m going to meet the one I love
At last, at last, at last!
I’m going to meet the one I love
La-de-da, la-de-da
No, mama, let me go
No, no, no, no, no, no

I thought that if you had an acoustic guitar
Then it meant that you were
A protest singer
Oh, I can smile about it now
But at the time it was terrible
No, mama, let me go
No, no, no, no, no, no

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge #194 Look At Little Sister.

Look At Little Sister – Challenge #194

The Midnighters were an American R&B group from Detroit, Michigan who helped to launch the career of lead singer Hank Ballard and the worldwide dance craze the Twist. Between 1953 and 1962 the Midnighters had almost two dozen hits on the U.S. Pop & R&B charts and they became the first group in history to place 3 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. This group formed in 1952 and after several personnel changes, the group stabilized with the lineup of guitarist and songwriter Alonzo Tucker, Henry Booth, Charles Sutton, Sonny Woods, and Lawson Smith. Hank Ballard and Sonny Woods met when they worked on the same Ford auto assembly line in Detroit. They became friends, and when Smith, the group’s lead singer, was drafted, Ballard joined the group to take his place.
Double Trouble is an American blues rock band from Austin, Texas which served as the backing band for guitarist/singer Stevie Ray Vaughan. The group was active throughout the 1980s and contributed to reviving the blues, inspiring many later blues and rock musicians. Formed in Austin, Texas in 1978, the group went through several early line-up changes before settling on a power trio consisting of Vaughan, Chris Layton (drums), Tommy Shannon (bass). They became a four-piece by 1985 after adding Reese Wynans (keyboards).

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‘Look at Little Sister’ was written by Hank Ballard and he recorded it in 1959 with his group Hank Ballard and The Midnighters.  I read that Hank’s little sister was the inspiration for this song, but I couldn’t find much on Hank’s family, as after his father died, the seven year old Ballard along with his brother, Dove Ballard were sent to live with their aunt and her husband in Alabama who were strict religious relatives and that is where and he began singing in church.  I guess there is a chance that this could have been a half-sister or a step sister.  Most of the lyrics in Hank’s songs were filled with raunchy double-entendres that left little to the imagination, pushing the envelope of what was considered acceptable in the ‘50s.  Ballard wrote the song ‘The Twist’ which was made famous by Chubby Checker and Dick Clark, the host of the TV show American Bandstand…

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Nothin’ Else Mattered

‘Edge of Seventeen’ was written by Stevie Nicks and released on her debut solo studio album Bella Donna in 1981.  The song peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 1982, while the album went multi-platinum.  Nicks was expressing the grief she felt from the death of her uncle Jonathan and the assassination of John Lennon during the same week of December 1980.  Her uncle was not anyone famous, but he was part of her life.  John Lennon was a music legend who was a very-close friend to Nicks’ producer and lover at the time, music mogul Jimmy Iovine.  One of Jimmy’s first jobs as a recording engineer was a gig he got with John Lennon after showing up to the studio to work on Easter Sunday.  His bosses were so impressed, they connected him with Lennon.  Jimmy was so close to Lennon that his death had a direct impact on his and Nicks’ relationship.  Stevie didn’t known Lennon personally, but she was still deeply saddened due to the depressing effect his passing had on the man she loved.

Nicks got the title for this song from a conversation that she had with singer Tom Petty’s wife Jane Benyo.  During the conversation, Nicks had asked Jane when she met Tom for the first time.  Jane replied Nicks by telling her that she and Tom met when she was “at the age of seventeen”.  Jane had an incredible thick Southern accent and Stevie thought she said ‘edge’ not age, so she told Jane, “Forget it, it’s got to be edge.”  Nicks liked the phrase and decided instantly it would make a good title for a song.  Nicks planned on making this song about the romance between Jane and her then husband Tom.  However, after the devastating demise of Lennon and her uncle, she changed the song’s theme but kept its title.

White-winged doves synchronize their migration into the Sonoran Desert with the reproductive cycle of saguaro cactus and they serve an important job as saguaro pollinators.  In 1980, Stevie was flying home from Phoenix Arizona and someone handed her a menu that said, “The white wing dove sings a song that sounds like she’s singing ooh, ooh, ooh.  She makes her home here in the great Saguaro cactus that provides shelter and protection for her”, and this became a basis for her song ‘Edge of Seventeen’.  Several days later, outside her room, she heard a bird singing the same thing over and over, making some “Ahhs” and “Oohs”, which she thought was an owl, but her friend said, “No, that’s a dove!”  Stevie started to cry, thinking that this dove had come here to watch over her.

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh

And the days go by, like a strand in the wind
In the web that is my own, I begin again
Said to my friend, baby (everything stopped)
Nothin’ else mattered

He was no more than a baby then
Well he seemed broken-hearted
Something within him
But the moment that I first laid
Eyes on him, all alone
On the edge of seventeen

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh

Well, I went today
Maybe I will go again tomorrow
Yeah yeah, well, the music there
Well, it was hauntingly familiar
Well, I see you doing what I try to do for me
With the words from a poet and a voice from a choir
And a melody, and nothing else mattered

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh

The clouds never expect it when it rains
But the sea changes colors
But the sea does not change
So with the slow, graceful flow of age
I went forth with an age old desire to please
On the edge of seventeen

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh

Well, then suddenly there was no one
Left standing in the hall, yeah, yeah
In a flood of tears
That no one really ever heard fall at all

Well, I went searchin’ for an answer
Up the stairs and down the hall
And not to find an answer
Just to hear the call
Of a nightbird singing, “Come away”
(Come away, come away)

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
I said ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh

Well I hear you in the morning
And I hear you at nightfall
Sometimes to be near you
Is to be unable to feel you, my love
I’m a few years older than you
(I’m a few years older than you) my love

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh, baby, ooh, said ooh

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Challenge #193.

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Challenge #193

When Stevie Nicks was 27, she became famous for singing in Fleetwood Mac, and she quickly descended into a drug hell and becoming addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and Quaaludes so she could sleep, until her system broke down and she started having nosebleeds, falls on stage, blackouts and near overdoses. She bought $1 million worth of cocaine and it burned a hole in her nose the size of a dime. Around 1986, Stevie Nicks’ cocaine addiction reached crisis levels. Her management company checked her into the Betty Ford clinic and she was prescribed Klonopin. Nicks struggled with a Klonopin addiction that was used to treat panic attacks, and anxiety and this sort of turned her into a zombie. Stevie underwent an abortion in 1979 after she got pregnant while dating the Eagles singer Don Henley. Nicks is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, reflecting her success with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, as a writer and singer of raw, magical songs about love and freedom, including ‘Dreams’, ‘Rhiannon’, ‘Gold Dust Woman’, ‘Landslide’ and ‘Edge of Seventeen’.

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In 1981, Stevie Nicks released her debut solo studio album Bella Donna, which went to #1 on the Billboard 200 and contained ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’.  This song charted #50 in the UK and it reached #3 in the US.  In 1975, when Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were still known as Mudcrutch, and they wouldn’t gain mainstream success till their 1979 album Damn The Torpedoes which is when Petty and Nicks first met.  Stevie became infatuated with Tom Petty and they eventually developed a four decades-long friendship that grew into one of mutual love and respect for one another, even though it started as a one-way obsession.  Nicks asked Petty half-jokingly if he could write her a song that she could record for her first solo album.  Petty didn’t take her request seriously at first, but Nicks reiterated her request a year…

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Soul of a Woman

Led Zeppelin recorded ‘Dazed and Confused’ on their 1969 eponymous album, which is usually called Led Zeppelin One.  ‘Dazed and Confused’ was written and recorded by Jake Holmes in 1967, but the original Led Zeppelin album credited Page as the sole composer.  Holmes sued for copyright infringement in 2010 and now the album lists this song as being written by Page, but inspired by Holmes.  Jimmy Page heard folk singer Jake Holmes perform this when Page was a member of The Yardbirds.  They played on the same bill at the Village Theatre in New York City.  Holmes’ version is about an acid trip, but contains many of the same elements that made their way into the Led Zeppelin version.  The Yardbirds played this song regularly in concert, but never recorded a studio version of it, although they did play it for a BBC taping in March 1968.  The Yardbirds arrangement included a section where Page played the guitar with a violin bow, an idea suggested by David McCallum Sr. whom Page had met while doing sessions.

This song was an important part of Led Zeppelin’s live show throughout their early career, and became a vehicle for group improvisation, eventually stretching in length to over 30 minutes.  The improvisation would sometimes include parts of another song, including the group’s ‘The Crunge’ and ‘Walter’s Walk’ (released later on Houses of the Holy and Coda, respectively) Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock’ and Scott McKenzie’s ‘San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)’.  The 1967 Scott McKenzie song was played in late 1972/early 1973 and they continued to play this till 1975, when it was replaced ‘Woodstock’ by Joni Mitchell which was only played (or sung to be a bit more precise) once in a while.

Jake Holmes began his career in a Folk parody duo with his wife Katherine as Allen & Grier and when they broke up, he was in the comedy trio Jim, Jake & Joan that included Jim Connell and Joan Rivers.  Jake Holmes, Rich Husson and Tim Rose formed a group called The Feldmans, later known as Tim Rose and the Thorns.  Jake composed an entire album for Frank Sinatra, his 1970 Watertown album 1970 and he wrote the lyrics for The Four Seasons 1969 Genuine Imitation Life Gazette album, and his 1967 debut The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes is recognized as a groundbreaking project.  This album features the original ‘Dazed And Confused’ which Jimmy Page borrowed for the Led Zeppelin debut.  Jake Holmes was voted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and he’s been a top commercial jingle writer in New York City for many years.

This song contains the most sexist line that I have ever seen in any song, saying that the “Soul of a woman was created below”, and you probably couldn’t get away with that any more in these days of political correctness.  Some women will put their man through hell and this song is about a woman hurts and abuses her man.  She lies about where she has been and who she was with, so she was not a very good girlfriend and she may be the worst ever.  The guy goes to work and he works hard, but when he gets home, all she does is make him miserable, because she is an evil heartbreaker who just won’t shup up and give him any peace.  The guy is dazed and confused by this creature from hell.

Been dazed and confused
For so long, it’s not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Lotsa people talkin’,
Few of them know
Soul of a woman was created below, yeah

You hurt and abuse,
Tellin’ all of your lies
Run ‘round, sweet baby, lord, how they hypnotize
Sweet little baby, I don’t know where you been
Gonna love you, baby, here I come again

Every day I work so hard, bringin’ home my hard-earned pay
Try to love you, baby, but you push me away
Don’t know where you’re goin’,
Only know just where you’ve been
Sweet little baby, I want you again

Ah, ah, ah, ah
(Did you ever look up my woman)
Ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, ah
Ahh, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhh, ahh
Oh, yeah, alright, alright
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah
Ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah, ah-ah

Oh, I don’t like when you’re mystifyin’ me
Oh, don’t leave me so confused, now
Whoa, baby

Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Take it easy, baby,
Let them say what they will
Tongue wag so much when I send you the bill,
Oh, yeah, alright

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music Oh! My Soul – Challenge #192.

Oh! My Soul – Challenge #192

The Screamin’ Rebel Angels sell their merchandise through Bandcamp, which is a free online record store and music community where passionate fans connect with and directly support the artists they love. Bandcamp helps musicians post music, earn new fans, and be paid fairly for their work and this site is also great for listeners, as they can find new music and artists outside of the mainstream, and offer them critical support. The Screamin’ Rebel Angels released their first EP, Pounce Like A Tiger, just seven weeks after forming, and they followed this up in 2012 with the release of an independent music video for ‘Right To Wrong’ and single release of the Gino Washington classic, ‘Out Of This World’. They released their first full-length album Hitch Hike which was recorded on New York’s Lower East Side. Fans that have gone to see this band perform live have said that they felt like witnessed the resurrection of rock and roll, stirring within them the raw, primitive passions which first electrified audiences at the genre’s inception.

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In a Song Lyric Sunday when the prompt of was Hop, Jump, Leap, Pounce, Spring, I wrote about the Screamin’ Rebel Angels’ song ‘Pounce Like a Tiger’, and I am back here today with another one of their songs which I really like.  ‘Oh! My Soul’ was released on their second album Heel Grinder which came out in 2019.  ‘Pounce Like a Tiger’ came out on an EP of the same name released in 2011 and their first album was Hitch Hike and that was released in 2013.  Laura Palmer is a fiery redhead from Brooklyn, NY who is the lead singer, guitarist, upright bassist and businesswoman that fronts the Screamin’ Rebel Angels.  This is Rockabilly at its best, loaded with energy and intensity, featuring primitive power that is pure rock ’n’ roll.

‘Oh! My Soul’ is the opening song on this Screamin’ Rebel Angels’ album Heel Grinder

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We’re Almost There

Michael Jackson was as famed for his high-pitched voice as he was for his plastic surgery.  Allegedly, his softly-spoken manner was a direct result of his father Joe forcing him to undergo chemical castration making him get hormone injections at age 12 in a bid to delay puberty and keep his singing voice high.  After 1971, The Jackson 5 saw a steady decline from their early supernova success and that is when Michael and Jermaine started pursuing individual careers.  Puberty eventually kicked in and Michael’s voice changed around 1973–4.  His innocent smooth voice began to roughen out and began to grow into the raspy voice that the world knows and loves.  New songs were needed when

Michael’s voice started maturing, as his earlier high-pitched vocals suited when his voice dropped several octaves.  Brian Holland & Eddie Holland were brought in by Motown to help write music for Michael’s fourth studio album Forever, Michael and Hal Davis produced this 1975 album.  The single ‘We’re Almost There’ peaked at #54 on the Billboard Pop singles chart and it went to #7 on the Billboard R&B (Soul) Singles chart.

The Holland brothers helped to breathe new life into Michael Jackson’s solo career, trying their best to build a solid and convincing narrative to suit the young singer.  Michael sings about believing in, and wanting to reach, that distant point on the horizon where happiness becomes reality.  By staying focused and not giving up, moving forward, holding on, and taking one more step, because he is almost there could be seen as circumstances that were happening in Michael’s life at this time.  Michael was always trying to give it his best, even though he never attained the happiness that he deserved.  The young Michael is enticing us with promises that dreams can come true for lovers even though it may be a long hard climb.

This album would be his final one released with Motown before he and his brothers The Jackson 5, save for Jermaine, who remained with Motown left for CBS Records a year later.  This album displayed a change in musical style for the sixteen-year-old, who adopted a smoother soul sound that he would continue to develop on his later solo records for Epic Records.  Most Of the tracks were recorded in 1974, and the album was originally set to be released that year.  However, because of demand from the Jackson 5’s huge hit ‘Dancing Machine’, production on Michael’s album was delayed until the hype from that song died down.  Two years had gone by, and Jackson’s fourth solo album left him a bit bereft.

No matter how hard
The task may seem
Don’t give up our plans
Don’t give up our dreams

No broken bridges
Can turn us around
Cause what we’re searchin’ for
Will soon be found

Cause we’re almost there
Just one more step
(Cause we’re almost there)
Just one more step
(Just one more step)
Don’t give up
‘Cause we’re almost all almost there
(‘Cause we’re almost there)

(Look at the lovers)
Look at the lonely lovers
That didn’t make it
Life’s long hard climb
(Life’s long hard climb)
They just couldn’t take it
(They just couldn’t take it)

Don’t let it happen to me and you
Hold on together, darlin’
We’ll make it through

Darlin’, keep on reachin’ out for me
Keep on reachin, do it for me
Do it for me, cause baby

(‘Cause we’re almost there)
(We’re almost there)
(‘Cause we’re almost there)

We’re so close
I can taste it
A life so sweet
Can’t afford to waste it
(Can’t afford to waste it)

Need to feel your hand
Slippin’ from mine?
Just hold on tighter now, darlin’
Keep on tryin’

Baby, do it for me, do it do it baby
(Cause we’re almost there)
Just one more step
(We’re almost there)
Don’t give up
(Cause we’re almost there)
Just one more step

Baby baby, don’t give up
(‘Cause we’re almost there)
Keep on, keep on
(We’re almost there)
Just one more step
(‘Cause we’re almost there)
Cause we’re almost there

[Instrumental]

Just one more step
Cause we’re almost there
We’ve come to far
To turn around

Ooh!!

Keep on reachin’
For higher ground
We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs
Let nothin’ in the world darlin’
Turn us around

Cause we’re almost there
We’re almost there
We’re almost there

Everything we’re lookin’ for
We’re almost there
Keep on reachin’ out for me

Cause we’re almost there darlin’
We’re almost there
We’re almost there darlin’
We’re almost there
We’re almost there

Ah we’re almost there
Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music Challenge #191 – Rock With You.