Jefferson Starship - “Stairway to Cleveland” (1981) Digitally remastered by me from my vinyl copy.
That no one has ever posted this song on tumblr is a massive fail.
Not only is this song a solid statement of purpose from a band that to this day has never given up even through seemingly disastrous personnel and name changes and questionable commercial-over-artistic decisions, this song is also the precursor to R.E.M.’s “It the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” in its content, delivery and tone. I highly doubt that it’s merely a coincidence.
Whatcha gonna do about Cleveland? Whatcha gonna do about rock ‘n’ roll? Whatcha gonna do about crazy crazy? Whatcha gonna do about it? Hey, we gotta a new band - a new face - a new time! Sing a song of rock ‘n’ roll and drive us all crazy People tell me everything I need to know about Rock ‘n’ roll, politics, and all about our new band But some people are never happy "Don’t like it" "Didn’t see it" They had to make a comment! Your new drummer’s crazy Your manager’s an asshole! You get a new shirt? I can’t stand your guitar player! Rolling Stone, Village Voice: picky picky picky They said we can’t sing, can’t play, can’t write anyway New name Old name We carry on with such insane fuckers everywhere!
Whatcha gonna do about it? Whatcha gonna do about crazy crazy? Whatcha gonna do about romance? Whatcha gonna do about tense moments?
So I gotta new girl, blonde girl, big mouth, big heart Y’know I like her, But they say she’s too noisy Atomic girl! … Atomic girl! New York - L.A. Times rock ‘n’ roll magazines They said we couldn’t make it But here we go again on rock ‘n’ roll radio, rock ‘n’ roll radio, People tell me everything I need to hear about what we need, what we got, what we’re never gonna get Your old singer has gone away Whatcha gonna do about it? Gold records, rock ‘n’ roll Why don’t you sound like you used to in ‘65? ‘69? ‘75? Everybody stand up They got to make a comment Critics said they’ll never make it, never make it, never never never never never never never never never!
Fuck you! We do what we want!
Chaos comin’, keep strummin’, louder and louder and louder and louder, Whatcha gonna do about it? Whatcha gonna do about crazy crazy? Whatcha gonna do about it? Whatcha gonna do about dark ages? Whatcha gonna do about night time? Whatcha gonna do about Walter Cronkite? Whatcha gonna do about romance? Whatcha gonna do about the economic price index? Whatcha gonna do about love? Whatcha gonna do about tense moments? Whatcha gonna do about crazy crazy crazy crazy? Whatcha gonna do about it?
Whatcha gonna do about … War and toxic chemicals and Mr. Rogers and true love and the end of civilization and Muzak and The P.T.L. Club and Ronald Reagan and guns and the draft, B-52s and cancer and nuclear fission and DC-10s? Science fiction, brain control, drugs and sex and Buddha and 714s, 45s, eight billion people, Jesus, Krishna and everybody and rock ‘n’ roll surrealism? Everything everything everything everything!
Ain’t it fun, ain’t it fun. Baby, now you’re one of us. Ain’t it fun, ain’t it fun.
Ain’t it fun.
Ain’t it fun living in the real world. Ain’t it good, ain’t it good being all alone.
If the Farro brothers got together shouting “Where you’re from/You might be the one who’s running things/Well you can ring anybody’s bell to get what you want”, it would undoubtedly be read as directed at Williams. As it stands, it’s all the cynicism you might expect in an album nonetheless attack as being somehow too happy.
Should be fun to hear how the Novel American debut goes down. I imagine we’re in for another fandom war, tumblr. It’s gonna be awesome. Also, that choir!
Talk about going out on top: Carmen’s last single before semi-retirement, not even an album track, turned out to be his biggest hit in a decade. After coming out firing early on, Carmen’s post-Raspberries singer-songwriter work fell flatter and flatter. He continued to have success writing songs for others, and his non-US single (for whatever reason) “That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll” reemerged as a hit several times for others. Carmen was about done as a performer, coming off a horrid showing with his “Tonight Your Mine” album - the “edgy” cover is hilarious - but his single for the time-warped Dirty Dancing soundtrack brought him back to the top of the Hot 100. The next year’s “Make Me Lose Control” reunited Carmen with his old producer, Three Dog Night maestro Jimmy Ienner, and at number three peaked higher still than “Hungry Eyes”. “That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll” served as the B-side, because a bonus megahit beats an afterthought filler almost any time.
It’s just weird thinking that this was in the top ten in the same year as half of “Appetite For Destruction.” Steven Hyden on Grantland talks a lot about the dissolving barriers in music genres - he also says One Direction has a damned good rocker on their album, but I’m not open-minded enough to check - and while nobody would ever confuse Imagine Dragons with Lupe Fiasco, it does make me wonder. But then I remember I don’t have any idea how I’d go about proving or disproving it all - my guess is that these things are cyclical, as blues spun off heavy metal around the same time the Southern California “yacht rock” sound was taking on jazz elements, for instance. Any wannabe scholars wanna take a stab?
"Give me a shot at the night, give me a moment, some kinda mysterious."
Didn’t crack the Hot 100. I’m surprised - I thought Gaga had made synthesizers cool again - but then, how often does the designated new-song-on-greatest-hits collection do that great? Seriously, I’d like to know. The closest I can think of is “To Make You Feel My Love” from Billy Joel’s becoming relevant two covers later, because Adele is made of magical breakup dust and can do that.
Here’s a new track I did as part of a project at University. I am designing a graphic novel influenced by science fiction films of the 1980s , and this track will act as the opening and main character’s theme.
It is a common misconception that the ‘L’ in Samuel L Jackson’s name is an abbreviation of his middle name. In actuality, It is a roman numeral, indicating that he is the 50th descendant in the line of Samuel Jacksons, who have guarded our race since the ancient times.
Keep your head and everything will be cool You didn’t have to make me feel like a fool When I try to say I feel the way that I do
Apparently this guy was the genius of modern music geniuses. It’s stuff like this that make me wish I was smart - I read even just reviews and I cannot follow what the hell is going on. It seems he decided he’d figured out pop music entirely after making this album and then ignored the genre for a while. It seems he was right, too - he seems to have been able to just hurl out hits without trying on his way to finishing out his studio contract. Multiple times over, no less, though “Bang On The Drum All Day” is the one that refuses to ever die ever ever ever.