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

Tag: Elliot Lurie

Whoa-oh-oh, listen to the music: The best concerts of 2019

Generally, there’s no such thing as a bad concert, and 2019 was no exception. While my criteria for what’s constitutes a good concert experience changes a bit from show to show — the location of my seat, the ticket price, whether I got to go to the meet-and-greet, the quality of the photos I get — I can usually find a lot of things I like about a show. 

I couldn’t limit the list to the Top 10 shows of 2019, so I made it Top 11 this year. Really, all the concerts were very good, it’s just that these were just a little bit better.

11. Steely Dan — The Met/Philly (Nov. 9) — There was a lot right and a few things wrong for me at this show. First and foremost, the music was brilliant, Donald Fagen can still deliver the goods, and his band is nothing short … 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

A ‘fine girl’ turns 45: Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass details the writing of his iconic song ‘Brandy’

Elliot Lurie picked up his J-200 acoustic guitar and sat down in the upstairs bedroom of a farmhouse that he and his bandmates had rented in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

The farmhouse had been built around the turn of the 20th century and was surrounded by 88 acres of farmland. The band, which had been fairly successful playing bars and fraternity houses in the late 1960s in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had rented it for $240 a month with the hopes that it would provide an atmosphere that was conducive to creating music that would take the band to the next level.

Even though he was just out of college in 1970, Lurie had already developed his own way of songwriting, which included playing a chord sequence and melody that worked for him, then just free associating from there.

In high school, Lurie had a girlfriend named Randye. So he … Read more

Turning the clock back 40 years: A car, a girl and a song

Among the many cool things I get to do with The Vinyl Dialogues series during interviews with the artists is to hear the inspiration and evolution of some of my favorites songs.

Daryl Hall has shared with me the story of how he wrote “Sara Smile.” Dewey Bunnell of the band America has told me the backstory on “A Horse With No Name.” Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers has explained to me his thought process on the writing of “China Grove.” Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass offered me great detail on the creation of “Brandy.”

But I’ve never gotten to “live” the evolution a song myself. Until now.

J.D Malone is a singer-songwriter who performs often in my area of suburban Philadelphia. I’ve followed his career for a few years now, seen him perform live a number of times and have all his CDs. His songs are well-crafted and … Read more

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