The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

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Daryl Hall and John Oates: Their hits are still on our list as the best things in life

I’ve long been an advocate of Daryl Hall and John Oates performing a complete album during their live show. It’s not a new concept. Brian Wilson has performed the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” (1966) album for a while now. And the Doobie Brothers have done the complete  “Toulouse Street” (1972) and “The Captain and Me” (1973) albums in concert.

I think it’s cool because the fans get to hear deeper cuts that bands usually don’t perform live. But there is the very real possibility — the Beatles are on the record as saying this — that some album cuts, particularly those albums that were recorded early in the artists’ careers, have never been performed live by the band. There are songs on albums that bands learned just for the album, and would have to relearn them some 40 to 50 years later.

So it’s not necessarily an easy thing … Read more

Mutlu’s new album ‘Good Trouble’ a thought-provoking smooth groove

Mutlu is getting into a little good trouble.

The Philadelphia singer-songwriter — who has written, recorded and opened for the likes of Philly icons Daryl Hall and John Oates as well as Amos Lee — can lay claim with his silk-like vocals to being part of the next generation of The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP).

But his latest album is a little different. Titled “Good Trouble,” it’s got an edge. And that’s exactly how he wanted it. The title of the album was inspired by a term used by Georgia Congressman and civil right icon John Lewis, who uses it in the context of facing confrontation and pushback for his views. 

Sure, its got the usual smooth groove and natural storytelling that has come to define Mutlu’s music. But “Good Trouble” takes it to a different level, tackling thought-provoking topics like societal change, inequality, depression and hardship. 

“My … Read more

‘Stairway to Heaven’ is nowhere near the greatest makeout song ever

I do not like the music of Led Zeppelin. I never have. 

It all goes back to when I was a teenager in the 1970s. I had a girlfriend who liked to make out to Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” I was 16 years old, just starting to car date, and was dealing with raging hormones that many of us were experiencing at that age. I liked making out with her. I just didn’t like making out to “Stairway to Heaven.”

I had no interest in Zeppelin’s music then, and that’s the way it is now, some 40-plus years later. Sure, I know a couple of their tunes, and can probably sing a couple of verses to some of their songs. But I do not have any Zeppelin in my vinyl or CD collections and don’t plan on adding any.

But the discussion over whether “Stairway to Heaven” is the … Read more

And then along comes The Association again to transport us back to our youth

When I was a kid, my parents had an album collection, and one of the albums I absolutely wore out was “Insight Out” by The Association. It includes two of the band’s biggest hits, “Windy” and “Never My Love,” both still among my favorite songs of all-time

The Association — which includes original members Jim Yester and Jules Alexander — appeared July 26 at the Sellersville Theatre 1894, and the show took me back to when I was 8 years old, spinning vinyl at my parents house in central Illinois.

I was fortunate to interview Yester for a chapter in “The Vinyl Dialogues Volume IV: From Studio to Stylus” on the making of “Insight Out.” It was a thrill for me to hear Yester’s recollections of the making of that album. What follows is the story of that album, as told by Yester.

Ruthann Friedman was kind of like a … Read more

Stories from the front row with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul

If you’ve got a favorite band who you’d like to see live, do yourself a favor and spend the money to sit in the front row. And if Stevie Van Zandt sticks a microphone in your face, make sure you know the words to the song he wants you to help sing.

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul were at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, Saturday, July 20. I had been carrying around a gift card from Christmas and was looking for the right concert on which to spend it. And I wanted to see Little Steven.

Front row tickets aren’t always affordable, but for this show, they were. Only $81.50, which is a bargain for a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. It seemed like the perfect way to treat myself with the gift card that was suddenly burning a hole in my wallet. I could hear … Read more

Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot bring the Billy Joel big time

From the very first song I heard Mike DelGuidice and his band Big Shot perform at last year’s Ambler Arts and Music Festival, my thought was, “Hey, this guy is pretty good. He really nails those Billy Joel songs.”

Well, that’s because DelGuidice and Big Shot have been performing Billy Joel’s music for nearly two decades. In fact, DelGuidice  is so good that in 2013, Joel hired him to be a backing vocalist and guitarist for Joel’s band. If you do an artist’s songs so well that the artist hires you to help him do his own songs, that’s pretty doggone good. 

But I didn’t know any of that the first time I heard DelGuidice and Big Shot. And I love those moments when I first discover an artist whose work I hadn’t previously known. I research the artist, listen to his/her stuff, become a fan and start … Read more

Rock royalty David Crosby humble and fun in New Jersey show

David Crosby didn’t end his show Saturday night in Pennsauken, N.J., with a song he had written himself. He ended it with a Neil Young song written for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

“This is serious now. I’m gonna ask you to please sing really loud,” said Crosby to the large crowd attending the free concert at Cooper River Park for the kickoff event of the 2019 Camden County summer concert series. “This song is really important right now in America. It’s needs to get sung a whole lot really loud. Some people down there in D.C. need to hear it.”

Crosby — politically active throughout his career — and his Sky Trails Band then offered a spirited version of CSN&Y’s “Ohio,” a protest song and counterculture anthem about the Kent State shootings May 4, 1970. Four unarmed students were killed by Ohio National Guard soldiers during a campus protest … Read more

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