Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 9 – Siblings
Our Labor Day rock-a-thon continues with more singles on 45. This time let’s listen to some rock and roll siblings. We’ve already spun a few sibling acts: the Carpenters, with brother and sister Richard and Karen, as well as Phil and Don, better known as the Everly Brothers.
Let’s begin with the first family of New Orleans: the Neville Brothers. You’ve probably seen us rant about how the Nevilles should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not to mention Art Neville and the Meters; these boys are just about the greatest musicians on the planet. The Nevilles have had some awesome albums, but their history on 45 single is woeful. We did dig up “Yellow Moon,” the title track from their unsurpassed classic album from 1989.
The Everly Brothers are no strangers to the top of the pop charts. Between 1957 and 1965, the Bros scored 26 Top 40 singles to make them the most successful recording duo of all time. We covered their 1984 comeback, but let’s listen to the 1964 “Gone, Gone, Gone” which was covered recently by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.
Canadian sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson form the nucleus of Heart, whom I once described as “Led Zeppelin with breasts.” I’m sorry about that, because I really like Heart; their “Bebe Le Strange” single from 1980 truly rocks out.
Speaking of rocking out, let’s dip into some Iggy and the Stooges, featuring the mighty Scott Asheton on drums and the late, very great Ron Asheton on guitar. When the Stooges cut their 1973 punk masterpiece Raw Power, Ron Asheton had been relegated to the bass to make room for guitarist James Williamson. “Search And Destroy” was issued to radio stations with a mono and stereo mix on each side of a single; you have here the glorious mono mix.
Perhaps no sibling act in rock and roll made as great an impact as the brothers Wilson, in the Beach Boys. Carl, Dennis and Brian Wilson formed the core of one of rock’s greatest acts; big brother Brian is still goin’ strong today. Let’s spin one of the Boys’ later singles, the good-time “Marcella” from 1972.
Second only to the Beach Boys, brothers John and Tom Fogerty in Creedence Clearwater Revival tore up the pop charts in the late 1960s. Tom was originally leader of the group, but little brother John – the main songwriter and singer – eventually took over, which led Tom to quit in 1971. The two avoided each other for the rest of Tom’s life (he died in 1990). In 1974 Tom had perhaps his best solo moment with the single “Joyful Resurrection” from the album Zephyr National. The very Creedence-like song features former CCR members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford – but despite what you may read on the internet, it does NOT feature John Fogerty. To get J.C. Fogerty into the mix, we’ve included our very rough copy of his rare 1974 single “Comin’ Down The Road.”
YouTube: “Comin’ Down The Road” from the Austin City Limits festival
The Spencer Davis Group came out of England in 1965 with a soulful rock sound. Guitarist Spencer Davis recruited bass player Muff Winwood and his piano and guitar playing little brother Steve Winwood. Stevie was 14 when he recorded “Keep On Running,” which became the Spencer Davis Group’s first No. 1 hit. Muff would be later known as a record producer (Dire Straits) but Steve would keep on running through the groups Traffic and Blind Faith, as well as his own successful solo career.
And finally, no survey of rock and roll siblings can be complete without mention of the brothers Davies. Dave’s first guitar lick for the Kinks, on “You Really Got Me,” is just about the greatest rock riff of all time. Singer and songwriter Ray Davies would be most acclaimed but you gotta hand it to Dave – he could crank out the riffs. Here’s “Victoria,” the rockin’ single from 1969’s Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall of the British Empire).