Some music that’s been getting regular rotations in my life lately:
“Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out” (Petra Haden) Petra, daughter of one of my favorite bassists Charlie Haden, recreates the old Who album from my youth using only her voice for all the parts. Who ever thought they’d hear I Can See For Miles sung acappella? Great fun!
The idea for this project came from Playboy Magazine – I was asked by submit a list, in late 1999, of the ten greatest songs of the Millenium. Hah! I thought, hypocrites – they don’t mean millennium, they mean twenty years – I’ll call their bluff and do a real thousand-year selection. My list was similar to the choices here on this CD, starting in about 1068, and winding slowly up to 2001. That they failed to print my list among others submitted by rock’s luminaries, is but a slight wound – it gave me the idea for this show, which has been performed occasionally, and will hopefully receive a few more airings. The idea is that Popular Music comes in many forms, through many ages, and as older forms get superceded, sometimes the baby is thrown out with the bathwater – great ideas, tunes, rhythms, styles, get left in the dust of history, so let’s have a look at what’s back there, and see if still does the trick. I am unqualified to sing 98% of the material here, but me having a go could be considered part of the fun. Also, trying to render an Arthur Sullivan orchestration with acoustic guitar and snare drum is pretty desperate stuff, but may, at a stretch, be thought “charming.” What appears on this CD is a performance, rather than a chronological, distillation of several different shows – hence some gaps in the 17th and 18th centuries, and too much weight on Music Hall and Rock & Roll – we just felt that some performances weren’t quite captured – perhaps on Part Two?”
– Richard Thompson
A ferocious recording of RT with (arguably) his best electric band – with Clive Gregson, Christine Collister, John Kirkpatrick, and Kenny Aronoff on drums. All the notes say is that it was recorded live, direct to digital 2-track in 1988. I’m pretty sure that this is a show I saw at the Bayou in Washington, DC that was broadcast live on WHFS. RT at his most wildly chromatic and inventive and the band rocks unbelievably hard.