A Bit Like You And Me Radio

April 27, 2016

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now (1969)

The song heard below was written by Joni Mitchell in March of 1967 while on an airplane. She had been reading the book Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow, in which the main character was riding in a plane and observing the clouds below him. Mitchell, being on a plane herself at that moment, began to gaze out the window, admiring the clouds, and then began to write this song. As she told Rolling Stone magazine in 1967, “I dreamed down at the clouds, and thought that when I was a kid I had dreamed up at them, and having dreamed at the clouds from both sides as no generation of men has done, one should be able to accept his death very easily.”

A little while after her fruitful plane ride, Mitchell gave the song to Judy Collins to record and release on her October 1967 album Wildflowers. Collins’ version would go on to be released the following year as a single and became an enormous hit, earning the singer a Grammy for Best Folk Performance.

The version heard below is the first version to have been released by Joni Mitchell herself. Mitchell first decided to record and release the song for her second album released in May of 1969, titled Clouds. The singer-songwriter came back to the song again in 2000, when she re-recorded and re-released it for her album Both Sides Now. Both versions of her song received critical acclaim; the song is now regarded as one of her best; and Rolling Stone voted it #171 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now (1969)

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Lyrics:

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides, now
From up and down, and still, somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy, dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ‘em laughin’ when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides, now
From give and take, and still, somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say ‘I love you’ right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads; they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides, now
From win and lose, and still, somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

I’ve looked at life from both sides, now
From up and down, and still, somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

April 20, 2016

Hawkwind - Hurry On Sundown (1970)

This English band was one of the first to billed as “space rock.” And although the band is remembered as one of rock’s earliest “space rock” groups, they also encompassed elements of hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, and psychedelic rock throughout their forty-seven years (and counting) career.

Formed in November 1969, the band was spotlighted by their lead singer, primary songwriter, and guitarist Dave Brock. Throughout the band’s history, there have been over forty members of the group, including notable names like Lemmy (who would later form Motörhead), Ginger Baker (of Cream, Blind Faith, etc.), and even Arthur Brown (of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown) for a few years in the early 2000s.

The song heard below is the very first track of the band’s very first album, eponymously titled Hawkwind and released in August of 1970. The song was written by Dave Brock and produced by a founding member of The Pretty Things, Dick Taylor.

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Hawkwind - Hurry On Sundown (1970)

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Lyrics:

Well, hurry on sundown
See what tomorrow brings
Hurry on sundown
See what tomorrow brings

Well, it may bring war
Any old thing
Look into your mind’s eye
See what you can see
Look into your mind’s eye
See what you can see
There’s hundreds of people
Like you and me

Oh, hurry on sundown
Hurry on sundown
Oh, hurry on sundown
Hurry on sundown

Well, hurry on sundown
See what tomorrow brings
Hurry on sundown
See what tomorrow brings

Well, it may bring war
Any old thing
Look into your mind’s eye
See what you can see
Look into your mind’s eye
See what you can see
There’s hundreds of people
Like you and me

Oh, hurry on sundown
Hurry on sundown
Oh, hurry on sundown
Hurry on sundown

April 13, 2016

Grateful Dead - Ripple (1970)

The Grateful Dead began recording their American Beauty album just a few months after the band had released Workingman’s Dead. The close proximity of the two works has led many Deadheads to consider the two albums as a pair. Some of the notable aspects of the album were its abundant folk influences, as well as its improved and more complex harmonies. The latter was in thanks to Crosby, Stills & Nash, who had been giving the Dead tips on how to harmonize and sing together. The two bands had had their social circles intersect more and more at that time, as CSN had been recording their album Déjà Vu at Wally Heider Studios, the same place the Dead were recording American Beauty.

With music written by Jerry Garcia and lyrics by Robert Hunter, the song below was released as the opening track to Side Two of American Beauty. And when the group’s famed “Truckin’” was chosen from that album to be released as a single, it was the song below which accompanied it as its B-Side. Hunter’s lyrics were said to have been written after drinking half of a bottle of retsina; and much of the lyrics seem to have been influenced by the 23rd Psalm of the Bible.

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Grateful Dead - Ripple (1970)

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Lyrics:

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down; the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know- don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full, may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road- no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go, no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall, you fall alone
If you should stand, then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way, I would take you home