Get it Up for Love

5 Aug

Steaming at Mixcloud.

If you’re like me (28), you didn’t actually grow up listening to Bob Dylan and The Mamas & The Papas. Your primary education in pop came a little later, and your parents’ kitchen music consisted of Fleetwood Mac, America, and Joni Mitchell. You took road trips with Cat Stevens and suffered The Eagles as you cleaned the garage. Some of this music stuck with you. My dad liked to talk endlessly about the production wizardry of Todd Rundgren (“Todd the Godd”), while my mom preferred the slower and slinkier Carole King. Growing up in the 90s, I first learned to appreciate music from the 70s. And lately, my tastes have returned to that primal scene. This mix represents an attempt to combine the commercially friendly, radio-ready rock that was a part of my childhood with the darker, more ironic art-rock that grabbed my attention in grad school.

The aesthetic distance between early Hall & Oates and Roxy Music was not so great, it seems. For many popular artists, the 70s was a decade in which to explore a wrap-around studio sound, implement finicky instrumental precision, and play with synthesizers. One can sense a feeling of underlying paranoia that drives the experimentalism in a lot of the era’s best music. There were some excesses. Take Genesis as an example. Before Peter Gabriel left the group, they produced pastoral English prog and attempted a Broadway musical about a Puerto Rican kid with a split personality. When Phil Collins took off, his music underwent another significant creative shift. I live for this nonsense!

Among the artists represented on this compilation, radical reinvention was the norm. None of the bands I’ve included insisted on stable musical identities from one album to the next. Of course, this makes it difficult to form a comprehensive opinion of the artists’ work. It is my intent to fill in some of the inevitable gaps.My title comes from a Ned Doheny song that provided initial inspiration. It’s a tune about a “tricky situation” with a more than obvious double entendre. I briefly considered staging a photo of myself in tribute to Ned’s Hard Candy album. I gave that up when I realized that I simply don’t have the hard body to pose for it. Neither did Ned. But times have changed.On a different note, you could just as well call this mix “Songs from an Unmade Film by Paul Thomas Anderson.” Picture John C. Reilly and Don Cheadle rolling in a drop-top through the asphalt and florescent blight that was Los Angeles, 1977. Feel their soulful malaise. It is the smoothest sadness.

Track List:
1. Gerry Rafferty – Right Down the Line
2. Barnaby Bye – Blonde
3. Todd Rundgren – It Takes Two to Tango
4. Fleetwood Mac – The Ledge
5. Genesis – Back in N.Y.C.
6. King Crimson – Lizard (Edit)
7. Neil Diamond – Solitary Man
8. Hall & Oates – I’m Watching You (Edit)
9. Alessi – Do You Feel It? (Edit)
10. Todd Rundgren – Long Flowing Robe
11. Cortex – Images
12. Steely Dan – King of the World
13. Hall & Oates – War Babies
14. Roxy Music – Mother of Pearl
15. Iggy Pop & James Williamson – No Sense of Crime
16. The Beach Boys – Leaving This Town
17. Weekend – Too Bad
18. The Roches – Hammond Song

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