The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

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

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Hall & Oates concert delivers a few Philly surprises to the Philly faithful

Daryl Hall and John Oates are very good in concert. But when they go off the script a little, they’re even better.

That’s what happened at the July 10 show at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, N.J. Even though the venue is across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, this was clearly a Philly show with a Philly vibe by the Philly area natives.

And the evening featured a couple of really cool surprises for the Philly faithful, which Hall promised at the beginning of the show.

We know a Hall & Oates concert will include all the hits. And the setlist reflected that. H&O opened with “Maneater,” a No. 1 single in 1982, I think mostly to just get it out of the way. Although it’s a hugely popular song with the fans and gets everybody up on their feet right from the get-go, Oates is on the record in … Read more

Reelin’ in the Steely Dan experience, with an assist from Steve Winwood

Here the thing: If you’re a Steely Dan fan and you’ve paid to see the band in concert, then you cannot get up and go to the restroom just as the artists are breaking into “Reelin’ in the Years.”

I understand that those of us who grew up with Steely Dan over the past 40-plus years may be at an age where the frequency of using the facilities may be more challenging to us at this age than it was in our younger days.

But c’mon, it’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” one of Steely Dan’s most enduring hits. The song, written by Dan founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 7 on the U.S. Cashbox Top 100 chart in 1973. It appeared on the band’s debut album “Can’t Buy A Thrill,” released in November 1972.

Surely one can reel … Read more

Peter Frampton: Ooh baby, we still love his way

In a conversation with a newsroom colleague earlier this week, I mentioned that I was going to the Peter Frampton concert June 14 at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.

“Is it an acoustic show or a full band concert?” he asked.
“I don’t really know. I’ll have to check,” I said.

The question slipped my mind until later that evening. While sitting in the easy chair with the computer in my lap, I happened to be looking at Twitter and noticed some tweets from Frampton, whom I follow on that social network.

My experience with artists on Twitter has been mixed. I know, for example, that David Crosby and Howard Kaylan from the Turtles respond to tweets themselves and I have had exchanges with both. But I also know that many artists, like Brian Wilson and Al Jardine from the Beach Boys, Daryl Hall and John Oates, and Peter … Read more

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. give a solid gold performance in Atlantic City

Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo admit that when one of their songs comes on the radio, they turn it up because they want to hear themselves.

“The problem is that we’re listening for mistakes,” said Davis. “Did he hit that note? He’s flat, what happened there? Even years later, we’re always critiquing. We’re always listening for something instead of just listening to be listening.”

If their show June 11 in Atlantic City is any indication, then they’re the only ones who can detect any of those hiccups. But for those of us who aren’t Marilyn McCoo or Billy Davis Jr., Saturday night’s performance wasn’t only flawless, it was spectacular.

Let me state right up front that if you’re looking for an unbiased review of the show, this isn’t the place. The following will be completely biased based on personal interaction during telephone interviews with Billy and Marilyn and from … Read more

The vision of Art Garfunkel planted in our brains still remains

When Judy was a little girl in the 1970s – maybe 10 years old or so – her parents used to take family camping trips. Judy’s dad had gotten a trailer that he hitched to the back of the family’s station wagon, and off they’d go, sometimes staying in their home state of Pennsylvania and sometimes venturing as far west as Illinois and Missouri.

Judy, a confessed girly girl, didn’t much like these camping trips. She preferred the comforts that civilization afforded her, which, among other things, included indoor plumbing. Judy was then, and is now, a big advocate of indoor plumbing, which puts her at odds with much of the camping experience.

It was on these trips that her father, equipped with 8-track players (who remembers those?) in both the station wagon and the trailer, subjected his family to his favorite music: Simon and Garfunkel.

“He played those tapes … Read more

Here’s the lowdown on Boz Scaggs: He’s still smooth as silk

When Bobby Caldwell had a hit with “What You Won’t Do For Love” in 1978, one of his label-mates at TK Records was Boz Scaggs.

And officials at TK Records recognized the similarities between the two artists.

“Disco was burning out. But don’t forget, three years prior to me releasing my first album, Boz Scaggs had the ‘Silk Degrees’ album. That kind of like almost ushered in that type of path for me. And TK Records took full advantage of that,” said Caldwell in an interview I did with him for “The Vinyl Dialogues Volume III: Wax On,” due out this summer. “I did recognize myself that there were some similarities between myself and Boz, especially in the music we grew up on.”

Many of us had Scaggs’ “Silk Degrees” album in 1976. It went to No. 2 and spent 115 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums charts. The album … Read more

Lost in the love of Air Supply for three decades

Lisa Shetler is a huge Beatles fan. She saw Elvis in concert a couple of times and Tom Jones live a half dozen times. She’s seen The Moody Blues, Pat Benatar and Neil Sedaka and she’s liked them all.

But her favorite band was always Air Supply, the Australian soft rock duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock. And by the summer of 1986, Air Supply had racked up an impressive number of hits, including “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Every Woman in the World” and “Here I Am.”

So when Lisa saw that Air Supply would be in concert near her upstate New York home at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center on Aug. 29, 1986, she knew she had to go. And that she wanted to take her three children, 15-year-old daughter Lydia and two boys, 9-year-old Jim and 5-year-old Mat.

“I remember the weather forecasters … Read more

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