Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 5
Remember when you had a record player that could stack about five or six 45 rpm singles on a spindle, and they dropped onto the turntable one at a time? I gotta say, sometimes I feel that modern technology has taken some of the romance out of life. Ah well, here are some more singles:
Let’s get crazy right out of the chute … Ten Years After was a British blues/rock/psychedelic band from the late 1960s, most famous of course for their 11-minute boogie “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock. That song originally appeared on the band’s Undead live album from 1968, but after Woodstock the band’s label decided to issue an edit of the song on single. So here we have “I’m Going Home” in its incarnation as a 1969 single, the Undead track whittled down to about three and a half minutes.
For a long stretch in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, nobody came close to Foreigner for sheer hit-making power. The band led by journeyman guitarist Mick Jones and leather-lunged singer Lou Gramm scored hit after hit that sounded great on the radio. Their albums sold in the millions, and one of their biggest was 4, released in 1981. Foreigner’s only No. 1 album in the United States spawned monster hits like “Urgent,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You” and “Juke Box Hero.” The band also released the rocker “Luanne” as a single that mysteriously stiffed.
Gerry Rafferty was formerly part of the band Stealers Wheel, then he went solo in 1978 and scored big with the album City to City and the soaring hit “Baker Street.” Rafferty felt a little uneasy about being a rock frontman and he was very reluctant to perform live – as a result his albums probably didn’t sell as well as they should have because he rarely toured. Snakes And Ladders, an album from 1980, featured “Royal Mile (Sweet Darlin’)” as its opening track and only single.
One guy who never had a problem performing live was Burton Cummings, the rockin’ Canadian who fronted the Guess Who during their salad years. Cummings also had a decent solo career after 10 years as a bandleader; he had a huge hit with “Stand Tall” in ’76. In 1981 he reached the U.S. Top 40 once more, with “You Saved My Life,” a ballad from his album Sweet Sweet. But let’s listen instead to the second single, “Mother Keep Your Daughters In,” which rocks.
We’ve already spun one single from Bob Dylan, but let’s do another: “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” was cut by Dylan in 1965 during his sessions for Bringing It All Back Home. The song didn’t appear on the album and languished until 1967, when Dylan issued it as a single in Holland, of all places. The song finally appeared on one of his Bootleg Series albums, in 1991. As a bonus we’ve also included one of the best-known covers of the song, by Fairport Convention in 1969 from their classic album Unhalfbricking – the French-language “Si Tu Dois Partir” which was the band’s biggest single.