Classmate David Bradley was a remarkable keyboard player with a haircut and snarl that seemed to be modeled after Eric Burden. I remember many parties where David and a band of classmates would perform this specific work with all of the racy verses and lyrical allusions. I'm not sure why David didn't graduate with our class. Does anyone else know his whereabouts?
If the Beatles were "clean," the Animals and the Rolling Stones were "dirty." In the 1960s the music industry focused much of its attention and money on white boy bands playing music that was directly influenced and inspired by the roots music of African-American communities. By the time we graduated in 1971, African-American musicians began to be heard on the radio (still controlled by the same people from the '50s and '60s) and the Age of Aquarius promised a much more racially (and musically) open society. And we believed it.
Our music was so pre-chewed that it was hard to hear and see something authentic or edgy. Notice how the rawness of this song was framed as the "outro" for the ABC TV show, Shindig. Girls are suddenly dancing upstage, and then folks start flooding the bandshell. And who were these people?
Meanwhile Mick Jagger and the boys kept stabbing away at their song about not getting satisfaction. Ironic?
There were many elements of the 60s musical ferment well-underway by the time Paul Simon began to establish himself. At 21 years old, Bob Dylan was a huge influence. And in 1964, the folk-pop sounds of Simon & Garfunkel was barely a whisper against the backdrop of the Beatles. Their first album (Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m.) sold about 2,000 copies.
But this song that appeared on that album found an audience and eventually became a song that had "legs" and shaped the next wave of pop music that would blossom just as the Class of 1971 was graduating. More can be found at this informative website:
This was the "American" response to the Beatle's elevated genius in "Rubber Soul." Brian Wilson was blown away by Lennon-McCartney's melodies, lyrics and studio techniques -- and his searing lyricism and musical imagination was sparked to create the legendary "Pet Sounds." This song ("Woudn't it Be Nice") continues to be an evergreen pop song. Here is video from behind the scenes.
Now that you can hear the bottom 5 "hits" from 1971, which ones are Thumbs Up and which ones are Thumbs Down?
My Thumbs Up in order of preference:
#99 Riders on the Storm...classic and timeless. The Doors rule the Cool.
#98 One Less Bell to Answer...incredible performance by McCoo.
#97 Right on the Tip of My Tongue...obscure group, solid Motown sound.
I think I heard this music at a house party that was hosted by someone...I don't remember who is was. Do you remember going to a house party and listening to this music in Fall 1970?